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Any Other Smokers Out There? Help!

Yes, I admitted it- I admit to the sin of "healthy lifestyle" sins-- I am a smoker. **Head hung in shame** (However, my husband and I have set a Quit Date - October 3rd is our last day to smoke- because on the 4th we're leaving town for 7 days and breaking up your daily routine is the easiest way to quit, so we're just going to use my sister's wedding as an excuse. We're using Smoke Away- it worked well once, until we quit using it.) Well, here's my questions:

1) I am trying to not smoke right now without any help at all (i.e. "cold turkey"), and I am craving a cigarette like CRAZY. I ALSO am in the middle of learning to balance my diet, eat healthy portion sizes, and count calories. Unfortunately, these two do not go well together. If I can't smoke, I want to put SOMETHING in my mouth! If I smoke, I know I'm just killing myself. What do I do? Do I try to quit before the quit date, or do I allow myself that setting a Quit Date and DOING it then is a big enough step, so I can smoke until then?

2) How in the HECK do you handle wanting to eat anything in sight that will make your cravings better? I'm terrified that I can't do both, quit smoking AND lose weight. How do I curb my food AND nicotine cravings at the same time??

3) Any suggestions on NON-EXPENSIVE (we are VERY poor) ways that I can curb my cravings? I'm open to products that help, as right now I could climb up a wall...


Tue. Sep 27, 11:00am

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No silver bullet but one thing I try is breathing. When you smoke a cigarette, in addition to the nicotine, you breathe deeply. And this feels good. You'll need to do a lot of things to quit smoking but try deep breathing. Another thing you can try is go for a long walk. You'll feel better, it will give you something to do other than smoking.

I have quit smoking. But it took time, and I fell off the wagon over and over. But I kept at it. Also realize that it will take a massive effort, and start out each day knowing that it will take a massive effort and tell yourself each hour, "what action can I take"

Keep posting, I'd love to hear how you are progressing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 11:19 AM

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They recommend doing something else when you feel like having a cigarette. Good advice. I suggest shoosing something very specific. Choose something to do that would take about the same amount of time as smoking one cigarette. If your usual smoke break takes 5-10 minutes, take a 5-10 minute walk. Or, find a healthy snack (carrot or celery sticks always come to mind - maybe because they look like little cigarettes) and snack on those for 5-10 minutes.
Then, go back to whatever you were doing, telling yourself that you just used your smoke break. This works especially well at work when you're only allowed so many breaks.
When you're at home, or on the weekends, it may be a little harder because you have no time constraints - and you have such easy access to food.
First - Don't keep junk food in your house!!!
Second - Remind yourself that you are stronger than a cigarette and that quitting is a good thing. You don't need to compensate with food.

Most of all - remind yourself that even though this is hard - trust me, i know!! - that it is definitely worth doing and definitely worth working towards! I applaud you for attempting this tough task! You will succeed! And feel free to use your PEERtrainer logs to talk about your progress in not smoking. It is certainly health related - and we're all here for support of that kind!

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 11:47 AM

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Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 11:58 AM

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I don't know of any "products" specifically, but if you find any that work for you, even if they're a little bit expensive, think of how much you're going to save by not smoking! If you and your husband each smoke a pack a day, then you're smoking $70 a week! Over the course of a year, you'll save $3,640! And that is considering a pack to be $5 - here in Chicago, it's way more than that!

So even if what you need to quit costs a couple hundred dollars, it's only a temporary expense, and you'll be saving so much money by quitting that it's a great investment! And, of course, there are so many other incentives!

To ease into quitting, instead of going cold turkey, choose places and deem them "non-smoking." The two best - your house and your car! You'll have to go outside to smoke, which means getting dressed, bundled up if it's cold, grabbing an umbrella if it's raining, etc. It'll make smoking a pain instead of a convenience! You're still allowed (until your quit day!) but you may not want to as often. The more you cut back, the easier it should be to quit completely! Especially if you start dissociating areas from smoking - say, the breakfast table with your coffee or the car on the way to/home from work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 12:02 PM

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the thing about the vitamins and bananas was an awesome thing to post!!!
i also toally agree with the deep breathing and the distractions until the cravings pass and please do keep posting maybe you can motivate me and others to stop also.

Sunday, October 02, 2005, 9:22 PM

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I quit about 2 or 3 years ago using ginger chews and ginger candies. They seems to burn your mouth and it kills the craving. I ate 2 ginger chews and a ginger candy every time I wanted a cigarette. I was eating about a bag of chews a day for a while until I didn't need them anymore. You can find them at Whole Foods.

Also, green olives seem to kill the craving for cigarettes.

Monday, October 03, 2005, 1:42 AM

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I am having the same problem -- quit smoking for a long time, and then started again!

The site that originally helped me quit is They have a cold turkey, cut through the bs philosophy.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get quite back into the same state of mind, which basically was: I don't want to die young!

Let us know if you quit. I wish you good luck, and hope I join you soon!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005, 9:39 AM

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so you're smoking to help you reach your goal weight? uh-hmm.

Friday, February 09, 2007, 11:42 AM

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i would find it hard to trust a doctor/medical practitioner who advised me to continue to smoke until i lost weight. i mean, you can lose weight later, after you quit smoking. it's easier to turn around some of the health problems associated with being overweight, but you can't turn around lung cancer, mouth cancer, emphysema, etc...there are many helpful nicotine products to try while dieting, such as the patch or gum. are you attending any meetings that focus on quitting?

Friday, February 09, 2007, 12:05 PM

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maybe there are others besides you who are facing the same dilemma. i faced this dilemma and gained weight when i quit smoking. i quit first and am so glad i did so! if i had struggled to reach my goal weight and then quit smoking and put that weight back on, i'm not sure i would have been able to quit. i don't know your history, but i know my own experience and am sharing my opinion to help others, not to insult you.

Friday, February 09, 2007, 12:57 PM

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Funnily enough, often those who are most judgemental are the ones who used to smoke. I understand that in order to quit smoking, you need to learn to hate it. But that doesn't mean you have to hate smokers. They've fallen into the same addictive trap you did... and yes, they can get out of it... and probably will. I'm a yo-yo smoker, quitting for 2 years, starting again, quitting for 18 months, etc etc. It still blows my mind that people say things like "It's really bad for you, you know? It causes cancer." Like... DUH. I haven't been living under a rock! what started out as a rational post has turned into a rant. My apologies, I needed to get that off my chest :-)

Friday, February 09, 2007, 2:12 PM

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i disagree. people do need to be reminded. it's like with weight-loss. we all know that all we have to do is eat right and exercise, using more calories than we take in. but we are all still struggling, asking for advice and tips on how to keep-on-keeping-on with the effort. smokers who do not hear the obvious, that smoking is very bad for the body, can easily "forget" that fact and continue to enjoy their cigarettes guilt-free. the same may be said about french fries or ice cream or soda or cheese or whatever. it's better to remind than to enable...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 10:52 AM

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Then why do scare-tactic campaigns fail to reduce smoking rates?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 12:24 PM

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what stats are you referring to? what is the source of this claim?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 12:25 PM

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here's an article that states how effective scare tactics are.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 12:28 PM

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How can they deduce that it was the scare-tactic campaigns that caused the decrease? Other laws have also changed, like smoking in public places, bars, etc. If anti-smoking campaigns were the only measures being taken out there, I'd have to agree with you. But that's a non-scientific deduction... there are simply too many variables.

My "claim" is based on personal experience. I've known hundreds (and I'm not exaggerating) of smokers, and not one of them has given up because of some commercial they saw. Sure... if someone is sitting on the edge, deciding whether to quit, that sort of ad might be impetus enough to convince them. So I'm not saying they don't have a place in anti-smoking efforts. My original point was that when you tell a smoker that it's bad for him to smoke, what does he do? Light up. I read a statistic yesterday (in a quit smoking book) that smoking rates (in this case, the number of cigarettes the average smoker has in a day) INCREASES by something like 20% on National Anti-Smoking day. And... the number one cancer treatment center in the UK has more cigarette butts outside on the ground than any other hospital facility in the country.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 12:55 PM

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we can all cite our own personal experiences and come up with all kinds of varied results, opinions, interpretations. but these are not scientific studies nor do they hold an ounce of fact. personally, i favor anti-smoking campaigns, scary or not. they are much better than ads for cigarettes and, in my opinion, they are better than doing nothing. i used to be a smoker. ads did not immediately, obviously affect my desire to smoke or quit. but who's to say in the long run that they did not persuade me? i remind my friends of the dangers of smoking when they smoke around me and no one tells me they are offended or gets angry. usually, they don't smoke as much of the butt as they would have if no one said anything. same thing when i drink a glass of wine and reach for a second. i am reminded of how many calories i am consuming. it's friendly support to help each other become healthier, not some contest or competition about who is better or knows more.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:06 PM

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I guarantee your friends are irritated about your "gentle reminders." They're not idiots, they know what they're doing is stupid. Telling people that it's bad for them isn't supportive (even if it is well intentioned). It's condascending to assume that they're doing it because they haven't heard it's bad for you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:22 PM

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kind of defines "idiot", doncha think?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:25 PM

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i am not being condescending when i remind them. remind is not the same as inform. just like i know a chocolate croissant would be pretty satisfying and tasty, but bad for me, it's nice when my friends remind me of those facts. i would like to kindly suggest that you don't offer guarantees about other peoples' feelings.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:27 PM

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I'm reacting to your supercilious attitude toward smokers. If they asked for your input, sure, why not. How would you like it if someone said "if you eat that bagel, you're eventually going to die of a heart attack?" It's not their business to make that sort of statement. And it's not yours to "remind" others of what they already know.

And I'm not playing the semantic game here. You understand what I mean by "they're not idiots" and... "I guarantee" is a turn of phrase.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:32 PM

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i guess we won't be friends, then. good luck with your smoking.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:35 PM

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Correct. I'd say good luck, but I'll save that sentiment for your friends.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:36 PM

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i am baffled at the hostility some people let go of on these threads. why the personal attacks?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:54 PM

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I don't usually get hostile. But I'm just sick of ex-smokers being so judgemental. I feel stupid enough for having fallen into the smoking trap. And yes, I feel like it's a yoke around my neck, I wish I could get rid of it. And so I'm defensive when people are condescending.... they seem to think they're telling you something new - like, hey, did you know it's bad for you? DUH. Smoking is an addiction (fact) but it is possible to kick it, obviously. And I plan to.

I believe that each person makes his/her way according to a different timeline. When the person is ready to quit, they will. Until such time, leave them in peace, please. They're feeling crap enough about themselves as it is.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 2:01 PM

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do you think you speak for all smokers?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 2:09 PM

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the topic of this thread is quitting smoking. why would you be offended by someone sharing their opinion on quitting? i think you took the comments as condescending, i don't think they were meant that way.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 2:20 PM

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if i was very overweight and trying to lose, but still eating bagels w/ cream cheese, i would like my friends to remind me of the amount of exercise i would need to do to work off that bagel w/ cream cheese. i would not take it to be mean, but as input from someone who cares about the goals i'm trying to reach. maybe it would be different if a stranger shared their opinion, but i would appreciate it from my real friends.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 2:23 PM

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Eating bagels and smoking are apples 'n oranges. Provided you don't have an eating disorder... chowing down on a bagel is a choice you make. A smoker (rightly or wrongly) doesn't feel like they have the choice whether to smoke or not... they feel compelled to do so. That's why it's an addiction.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 2:47 PM

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the comparison was made earlier so i was following up with the same comparison.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 3:40 PM

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i speak from experience. quitting smoking is easier when you quit before you jump into the weight-loss quest. when i first quit and was totally craving a butt, i would tell myself that if i smoked, i would be putting off the weight-loss journey even further into the future. and when i went to chow down some junk food to ease the cravings, i would tell myself the same thing-the more i gain, the harder it will be to lose. i started doing 10 minute exercise tapes in the beginning of the quitting process and did one often to kill cravings. this really helped me notice the trouble i had breathing and helped me to track my progress insofar as one day, i would be breathing really hard 5 minutes into the tape. the next day, maybe it was 8 minutes in, and so on. great incentive!! good luck to everyone! garner support wherever you can find it!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 12:55 PM

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I smoked for a few years in high school, and I quit in college. No one I knew smoked. Non-smoking room. I replaced my smoking addiction with exercise, eating fruit, and writing in a journal. It took me a good 3 weeks before I stopped thinking about it every minute. Then, it was just every hour. Eventually, it was only when I was feeling stressed...and then one day it was gone (maybe about 2 months later). I couldn't believe the hold it had on me! And that's part of why I quit-I was not to be controlled!-by anything or anyone. Yes, I was a rebel. I also lost 40 pounds that spring.

I feel the same way about food and weight. I don't have too much more to lose, but I keep having to remind myself that I'm stronger than this struggle with food and exercise. It can't have me. And I will fight for myself until the end!

Good luck to all of you!

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 9:31 AM

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to 2:23:

huh, i have eaten bagels and cream cheese often during my weight loss-and i have lost more than 70 lbs. so saying you have to work harder to burn off a bagel and cream cheese in relation to smoking is ridiculous. you can eat whatever you want if you are trying to lose weight as long as you are aware of how many calories you are putting in to your body.

smoking is an addiction that is completely different from a food addiction. and all smokers know how bad it is for them.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 12:31 PM

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How To Quit Smoking

new PEERtrainer article on quitting smoking:


Friday, June 19, 2009, 12:34 PM

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