Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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... and smoking

Give up smoking first
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Some condensed advice for those who may have thought about giving up smoking -

The reasons -

Health, cost, filth.

The advice -

Let the reasons just sink in over time.

Do some preparation - the associations are the worst aspect of the habit, if you can't break smoking after a meal then you probably can't give up without other drugs.

Break as many associations as possible before stopping. Life tends to be over-punctuated by a cigarette for smokers. So punctuate with smoking at random rather than by association.

Do the research - menthol sweets for example reduce the ability to get rid of nicotine. When you decide to quit, you want that stuff out of your system as soon as possible and there are many substances that can prolong severe chemical addiction withdrawal from 1 day to 4 days - ouch ! From that point on, its just fighting the associations.

So fight the associations for a few weeks before going for the first 1-2 days of nicotine withdrawal.

Keep some cigarettes around, but in a tin in a drawer and not with matches or a lighter - for me this reduced any panic reflex.

Treat cigarette replacements like cigarettes - you don't want them. Many people gain weight by stuffing their faces with various stuff, but for me a pot of coffee sees me through the first 8-12 hours of the day, and then you need the boiled sweets, nuts, biscuits etc available ... or just make another instant coffee. Not a cig replacement, but just a small treat or appetite suppressant when the cravings become a little too much.

72 hours! You've made it. If you can make it this far, all of the addictive nicotine in your system is gone and its just habit you are fighting.

For me the most comforting thought was that I had beaten smoking on a chemical level, but it was also the beginning of a lot of doubting.

(Journalistic idea to be continued) -----
notes for later -
circulation, skin grease and diseases
improved senses and sensory shift into new disgusting realms of smell perception
sudden increase in energy and disruption of sleep patterns
alcohol has half the effect and is twice the cost
inability to give people two fingers without the pretext of smoking
getting old and letting go of one the last vestiges of being young, reckless and cool.
reminder about Health, cost, filth

bigsleep, Mar 26 2017

[link]






       Something I've never understood about certain smokers is that when they come down with the flu or something, they stop smoking, and I presume they then go through withdrawal at the same time as being ill in other ways. Then, they recover and resume smoking. What's that about?
nineteenthly, Mar 26 2017
  

       Smoking is a long term deal. For decades I've had a meal and then taken a stimulant. I was unlucky (lucky) this year that it laid me out flat for 2-3 days, but for the average cold or flu I'd be taking stuff and smoking to get through it. As it happened, I'd been mentally preparing to give up smoking for a few years so it was a pleasant surprise when I realised that after a few days of not eating, smoking, drinking and generally trying to not argue with my feverish self that I'd broken the critical 72 hours in 1 or many respects.   

       And I think that it can be very helpful in retrospect to start breaking the associations before trying to give up.
bigsleep, Mar 26 2017
  

       This is important - here is my advice on smoking:   

       Don't and I repeat DONT use the term 'give up' when referring to smoking, if you want to stop smoking, talk about it in terms of stopping smoking. To stop smoking is your intention, so say you want to stop smoking, say you're stopping smoking, say you've stopped smoking. Say it that way. Talk to people about it that way. Use the terminology that refers to the actual stopping of it.   

       Don't use the phrase 'give up'.   

       In almost all other areas where the phrase 'give up' or 'giving up' is used, it denotes that you're trying hard to do the thing being talked about, and that this is your intention, but somehow you're such a failure that you're faced with giving up, or tempted to give up, or have no alternative but to give up. The thing you're trying to do but failing at is a desirable achievement or an aspirational and worthy goal, a hard-won prize, a tough but aspirational journey. Nobody would want you to give up on that, that's insane - everybody would want to encourage you to keep going, keep at it, persevere, keep on keeping on, and their first reaction would be to negate your protesting and get you to get back on the job.   

       Almost everywhere, 'giving up' is used as an undesirable choice. Stop using it when what you actually want is to stop smoking. Giving up smoking is ridiculous - what are you expecting people to do? Encourage you not to give up? Get you to keep smoking? Have them point out the advantages of smoking, reminding you of the end goals and the eventual prizes of the achievement? Don't talk about it in terms of 'giving up'.
Ian Tindale, Mar 26 2017
  

       //Giving up smoking is ridiculous//   

       You are so right. The whole sacrifice to the gods thing is stupid. Last year I gave up cold turkey, but that's mainly because turkey sandwiches are really boring. The smoking thing this year is a bit more of a challenge. I also gave up meat for 6 months. If I can't give up smoking then next new year's I'm going to give up giving up stuff.
bigsleep, Mar 26 2017
  

       I've been trying to understand git for the past seven years or so. Each time I use it, I basically give up. I don't hear people cheering.
Ian Tindale, Mar 26 2017
  

       Yeah, git is strangely popular but its a rubbish tool that sucks in the universe. Subversion was even gittier though.
bigsleep, Mar 26 2017
  

       I'm sure I never understood the allure of trying smoking.
RayfordSteele, Mar 26 2017
  

       The thing is, though, that cigarettes are just really, really good.   

       Personal advice (which I have no intention of using myself, and am therefore happy to give away for free) - switch to vaping. All the good things about cigarettes (ie, nicotine, and all the good things it does for your nervous system) and none of the crap, plus it's absolutely dirt cheap and is available in chocolate, apple, vanilla and many other flavours. Of course, it doesn't make you as cool or as nice a person as smoking does, but you can't have everything.   

       Anyway, good luck with the quitting, [bigs], and let us know when you start again.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 26 2017
  

       Sure, if you like brown teeth, smelly hair, bad skin, yellow fingernails, black lungs, and that whole goth look as applied to a 60-year old looking body who's actually only 37.
RayfordSteele, Mar 26 2017
  

       So... I was nineteen, exposing gas lines by hand in northern Alberta one winter because you can't use machinery and few people were stupid enough to need that kind of work.
Being fresh out of school they wouldn't let the rookie stop for a smoke break with the rest of the boys since I didn't smoke.
Didn't take long before I bummed my first smoke.
Few towns later I started playing under water hockey and without flippers or anything I could swim the length of an Olympic pool submerged on a single breath.
  

       I said that the day I couldn't do that anymore I would quit smoking, I just didn't think it would take three decades.
I'll be forty eight next birthday. I think the last time I tried it was two years ago.
  

       I should probably do that again soon.   

      
<later edit>
Sorry, forty nine next birthday... did the math wrong.
  

       Anyway, there's lots of reasons that people start, usually lack of education.
Out of sight, out of mind.
  

       //I'll be forty eight next birthday. I think the last time I tried it was two years ago//   

       Impressive for a smoker. Are you sure you are doing it right ? I was beginning to struggle with one flight of stairs.   

       //Anyway, good luck with the quitting, [bigs], and let us know when you start again//   

       Six weeks in and the sheer stink of the world, bleeding gums and crawling flesh make me want to start again. Hoping a lot of that is temporary, if it isn't then week 8 I give up giving up.   

       As a very small biologist do you have any inside stories about the side-effects of sudden massive nicotine withdrawal ?
bigsleep, Mar 27 2017
  

       //side-effects of sudden massive nicotine withdrawal//   

       Accelerated ageing of the brain. Increased chance of recurrence of depression. Weight gain. Of course, those only last for the first couple of years, apart from the first three.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 27 2017
  

       I saw a post or comment on reddit recently, though I can't refind it, that said you should not use the phrase "give up" in the context of smoking cessation. The reasoning was that any other time you say "give up", you're referring to an activity that you're trying to do (but failing at), whereas with smoking you're referring to an activity that you're trying not to do. They suggested using terms like "quit" or "stop" instead because those convey the deliberateness of the cessation. I don't know if this is psychologically sound or not but I thought I might as well say it because it's probably the only relevant thing I have to say.
notexactly, Mar 27 2017
  

       /Are you sure you are doing it right ? I was beginning to struggle with one flight of stairs.//   

       Yeah, not just smokes, pot too... and I can drink guys more than twice my weight under the table.
I weigh about a buck-fifty soaking-wet on a good day.
<shrugs>
Misspent youth, tolerances off the charts. Kinda makes anesthetics a bitch. I've been fully cognizant of far too many procedures now.
Shit hurts even while asleep. I avoid doctors like the plague. Not because I don't like them as people... they just permanently fuck me up with the shit they don't know every time I am subjected to them.
True story.
  

       I... crawl for a living.
CSA standards state that anything manufactured in North America can't exceed fifty pounds for hand lifted objects but since so many of the products I install come from foreign countries I often have to pack thousands of pounds of material up several flights of stairs in sixty, seventy, and eighty pound increments plus my tools and setting materials before I even get to start plying my trade.
All sub-contract for more than the last quarter century. No benefits, and I pay my own compensation and taxes.
I've never had a gym membership in my life.
  

       I am an indentured servant.   

       Many reps, small weights makes you... wiry.   

       I'll be fifty soon.   

       I wouldn't put money against me being able to swim that pool still if I were you...   

       //I am an indentured servant.// I have often wondered, [2fries], how someone with your panoply of abilities has somehow not made greater headway in the world.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 28 2017
  

       // I have often wondered, [2fries], how someone with your panoply of abilities has somehow not made greater headway in the world.   

       It is something we often (perhaps obsessively) wonder about ourselves (and occasionally of others), but to publicly articulate such a private thought is... confronting.
xaviergisz, Mar 28 2017
  

       //someone with your panoply of abilities has somehow not made greater headway in the world//   

       It sounds like he actually spends many hours of the day actually doing something constructive. I'd imagine this leave less time to count money and to exploit other people. Weird to think in this day and age we have courses that teach you how to exploit people and count money. It's so 90's.   

       //Accelerated ageing of the brain. Increased chance of recurrence of depression. Weight gain.//   

       The usual stuff. Anything about getting cancer from giving up ? All that extra blood flow and vitamins must be like ingesting loads of unrequired animal protein that is the cause of so many cancers.   

       In other news, a few more things swelling up due to being flooded with blood. Now I can't pee as well as my gums bleeding.
bigsleep, Mar 28 2017
  

       //I am an indentured servant.// I have often wondered, [2fries], how someone with your panoply of abilities has somehow not made greater headway in the world.//   

       <shrugs>
I didn't go through puberty until I was twenty, was tossed to the wolves before that and had to figure everything out from scratch... alone.
It took a long time to grow into 'me'.
I don't like attention but I refuse to not be me.
Headway is relative.
  

       I've done ok.   

       // All the good things about cigarettes...and none of the crap//

Unless you happen to be someone who is standing downwind from a 'vaper'. In which case you still get regular lungfuls of unwanted smoke blown into your face.

On a more positive note. i thoroughly agree with Mr Tindale. Think of it in more positive terms. It is something you are (definitely) doing, stopping smoking, rather than something you are not doing.
DrBob, Mar 29 2017
  

       // Unless you happen to be someone who is standing downwind from a 'vaper'. In which case you still get regular lungfuls of unwanted smoke blown into your face. //   

       Unlike cigarette smoke, that stuff usually smells nice.   

       // On a more positive note. i thoroughly agree with Mr Tindale. Think of it in more positive terms. It is something you are (definitely) doing, stopping smoking, rather than something you are not doing. //   

       Until reading this, I had failed to notice that my previous contribution was a restatement of something said by someone with whom I share my first name. Not sure how to feel about this…
notexactly, Mar 29 2017
  

       // Not sure how to feel about this… //   

       We recommend "paranoid". It's much better value than "disconcerted and rather uneasy".
8th of 7, Mar 29 2017
  

       Smoke if you want. It's just a thing some people do.   

       If you don't want to smoke, then don't. (That's quitting.)   

       If you smoke, it will probably make you die, so heads up on that. Not a deal breaker for most smokers. Also you will smell bad to people who don't smoke, but maybe you already smell bad anyway, or are not concerned with such things.   

       // I have often wondered, [2fries], how someone with your panoply of abilities has somehow not made greater headway in the world.   

       Dowsing no longer the cash cow it once was.
tatterdemalion, Mar 29 2017
  

       //Dowsing no longer the cash cow it once was.//   

       'bout as much of a cash cow as it's ever been.
How's yer wife and my kids?
  

       Bit harsh?
Ian Tindale, Mar 29 2017
  

       /bit harsh?/   

       The wife and kids? Sweety pies all from what I hear.   

       /Six weeks in and the sheer stink of the world/ - nice bit of prose there. But what about the other things? The good things?
bungston, Mar 29 2017
  

       //Bit harsh?//   

       Maybe.   

       A guy gets tired of getting called out on the truth after a while.
Maybe gets to the point where he don't much care what those who won't listen to reason have to say.
  

       Maybe I meant that kids are going to start being like me and less like you and that they better be welcomed in a manner other than the one I got.   

       Maybe.   

       Somewhere the direction of this post lost me, so I'll just jump in here right in the middle and say NICE JOB BIGGERS!!!   

       Keep up the wonderful progress you have made, pat yourself on your (big) back, and hand out some plump, expensive cigars to your enemies. Hugs for the hard work, to you.
blissmiss, Mar 29 2017
  

       Thanks [bliss], it is a struggle and support is always welcome.
bigsleep, Apr 01 2017
  

       Still spitting blood from over-active blood vessels in the mouth. Really regretting not planning nicotine withdrawal better. Just halving it before giving up would have helped.   

       Can't drink lager anymore - tastes like battery acid. Cheaper wines undrinkable. Remind me again why people want that extra 30 years of life as dribbling retard ?
bigsleep, Apr 04 2017
  

       //Just halving it before giving up would have helped// Or switch to vapes.   

       //Remind me again why people want that extra 30 years of life as dribbling retard ?// Well, how did the last 45 years go?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2017
  

       And another unpleasant side effect - blood pressure through the roof. 165/95 as opposed to a 2 pack a day pressure of 120/80. I'm pretty sure those nasty pictures on cig packets are actually what happens if you stop rather than start.
bigsleep, Apr 05 2017
  

       //165/95// Welcome to the Hypertension Theme Park.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 05 2017
  

       Non-smokers blog, stardate early morning towards the end of april 2017 :-   

       Typed in and graphed all the blood pressure numbers. It is obvious on this planet the biggest effect on blood pressure is stuff happening i.e. psychosomatic effects. Most of my high BP readings are due to white coat hypertension even though I'm usually casually attired when measuring my own BP with a cheapish Omron meter. Covering the display helps.   

       Still not sure about starting smoking again, but realised I just missed smoke. So not conveniently being downwind of someone burning garden litter, I took to the spice rack and rolled a joint of Sage which is popular in the herbal cig world.   

       Ok, so not only did I not know that some sages (salvia) are pretty potent cannabis substitutes and quite psycho-active, but the whole loss of taste you get from smoking could be recreated by getting a good mouthful of burning leaf smoke.   

       And after researching the cost of herbal cigs and other delivery devices, it turns out that a small paper roll of nicotine-free herbal cig leaf litter costs upwards of $20 per pack, but you can get a 4 month supply of vaping nicotine for $50. Hmmm.   

       Next thing to look at is whether some of the trippier salvia varieties are legal before I can offer some truly sage advice.
bigsleep, Apr 26 2017
  

       //I took to the spice rack and rolled a joint of Sage// The interesting thing is that any burning plant material is about as carcinogenic as tobacco. Many herbs are even more so, because they often contain large quantities of volatile oils and secondary metabolites that make lots of those nice pretty aromatic rings.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 29 2017
  

       //The interesting thing is that any burning plant material is about as carcinogenic as tobacco.//   

       I realise this, but I don't want to be in this or the next decade in a confined space without smoking. So it turns out there are three or four major factors -   

       1) Nicotine
2) Life punctuation habits which if not checked can fill a day.
3) Oral fixation
4) Smoke
  

       Unless nicotine has amazing life preservative properties I was really starting to get annoyed with being beholden to that beast. If your subconscious is looking forward to a return flight to enjoy that 5 hour without a hit, then you know what I'm saying.   

       2) I think it just a follow-on from chemical addiction.   

       3) Really quite minor. After 3 months I eat a little more, drink alcohol 30 % more on average and have 2-3 boiled sweets per day. Which is quite strange as as a kid I could go through a pen a week with liquid ink (I didn't like the ink).   

       4) That's the really weird one. Instead of saying, "I really fancy a cig right now" I can just light up a herbal cig (rose petal and sage is now a staple), but I don't light another 20-60 mins later. In fact just 2 suit an entire day - start of evening and end of evening. There is no addiction component, but just whatever smoking without nicotine brings. I'm thinking its the same thing that calms bees, the happy smell from a bonfire etc, but its definitely nicotine free.   

       But if you want cigarettes at 10p per pack then its worth getting nicotine vape solution and drizzling over some rose petals and sage.
bigsleep, Apr 30 2017
  
      
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