How I Quit Smoking (After Many Failed Attempts)

One reason I made this site was to help others like myself stop smoking cigarettes once and for all.

quitting cigarettes and smoking for goodWhile I would never admit it back then, I used to have a pretty major addiction to smoking– actually I would smoke about a pack of cigarettes a day. All my friends were smokers and to make things worse, I’ve always worked in bars, restaurants and night clubs so smoking was never seen as a big deal.

Then one day I saw my now-late uncle come down with major lung cancer from smoking and… watching him die a slow and painful death confined to a hospital bed scared me so bad that I decided it was time to make a change.

My Reasons to Quit Smoking

I want to be there for my kids and my grandkids when they grow up. I tried every way imaginable to quit smoking: cold turkey, medication, nicotine gum, the patch, hypnosis- even electronic cigarettes.

Some worked better than others, and some just didn’t plain work at all. My hopes are to share with you my reviews of what worked best for me, how I finally quit smoking, and help you stop smoking cigarettes once and for all.

Have you ever heard the expression, you can’t fight fire with fire? It isn’t just true for redheads :). It actually rings true for trying to quit smoking as well. You can’t fight nicotine addiction with more nicotine and expect someone to magically stop smoking. What I learned trying various methods to quit is that addiction to nicotine is actually only one small component of cigarette smoking.

The problem is most of us (myself included) accept conventional wisdom far more often than we should, and soon the conventional wisdom of yesterday clouds today’s awareness of reality, so we continue to do the things that don’t work over and over again, helping pharmaceutical companies that make products like Zyban, Nicoderm, and Nicorette become filthy rich while they continue to treat our symptoms profitably without offering a real cure to the root causes of smoking addiction. And it’s no surprise, really.

There’s a lot of market share at stake for big companies that stand to gain when it’s so conveniently easy for the average smoker to run up a large tab in a year’s time buying pills, nicotine patches, gums and chemical concoctions in a desperate attempt to kick smoking to the curb. It’s designed that way on purpose to make a very small group of people very large mountains of money.

Most Stop Smoking Products are Designed to Fail and Doctors Simply Don’t Care

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you go to see the doctor, pay outrageous monthly insurance premiums and co-pays, get seen for 10 minutes if you’re lucky, then the doctor, who barely makes eye contact with you and your kids and sees you as no more than a number on his busy schedule, throws some pills at you and has you pay the receptionist on the way out.

To add to the ills of the American healthcare system, most stop smoking products are made to introduce either the same or new chemicals into your body and never address the emotional, psychological, energetic, spiritual, entertainment/recreational, and social aspects of smoking. I’ve tried to quit smoking using all the conventional and popular methods and none ever worked for me, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t stopped yet. It isn’t your fault.

I was fortunate enough to find a system to stop smoking that worked for me. But first…

Popular Stop Smoking Products/Methods I Tried That Didn’t Work for Me

Chantix/Champix for Quitting Smoking – This drug has been suspected involved in hundreds of suicides. It’s pricy and if you don’t quit your first few attempts, you could rack up a major bill. Also, the fits of rage and anger on this drug are not too fun either.

Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey – The champion of all quit-smoking methods, I’ve been down this road before. You probably have too. It usually works for a few days then you’re back smoking. That’s how it was with me. Still it was a good way to get those initial feelings of nicotine withdrawal under control.

Nicorette Nicotine Gum Review These are fun to pop and they give you a buzz, but they don’t get rid of the craving to put a cigarette to your mouth. Just another pack of gum when the day is done.

Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes – There is no statistic yet (e cigarettes are still in their infancy) that e cigarettes help you to stop smoking. But the fact remains, if you’re smoking an e cigarette, then you’re not smoking a real cigarette. Still e cigarettes have a lot of their own side effects too like nausea and heartburn, plus it’s easy to vape way too much and not know it, then get sick. Now cities are banning electronic cigarettes in public places too.

Nicoderm/Nicotine Patch – This clever device is a lot of fun and convenient for smokers but again, it doesn’t deal with the emotional, psychological, and mental aspects of smoking as well as the oral fixation of putting a cigarette to my mouth and taking a drag. After the first 30 minutes I got really sick.

Also known as Wellbutrin, a popular antidepressant, Zyban kept me awake and made me feel numb to the world. I already had anxiety and depression going in, but this made my ADD go crazy and I just didn’t feel like myself. Some of the side effects of this med are insomnia, restlessness, lack of appetite, and suicidal ideation.

You may feel like quitting, but don’t ever quit (trying to quit)

Most people don’t quit cigarettes on their first attempt anyway but as long as you keep trying to quit, the numbers, hard data and statistics are all on your side. Yes, that’s right. If people continue to try to quit smoking, they will eventually quit. Ask any smoker who quit. If I could do it, anyone can do it. No one’s saying it’s going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. In fact, quitting smoking takes everything you got and in the end, it all comes down to you.

You’re the one who makes you quit. Trust me, I know firsthand. And it wasn’t easy to accept this in the beginning. But once I did, it was like a load was lifted off my shoulders and I felt like I could finally breathe. I decided it was time to break the old paradigm of the ways that didn’t work and haven’t been working and do what actually does work to quit smoking once and for all- for myself and my loved ones.

Why quitting smoking was so hard for me personally

I am definitely a creature of habit. Smoking was engrained in my daily activities from when I got up to when I went to bed.

My morning started with cup of coffee and a cigarette, a cigarette followed every meal or snack I ate, and I would light up every time I got in my car.

When I got home from work or school, I’d relax and unwind with a cigarette. Before bed, I’d have a cigarette. Come to think of it, I don’t know of a time when I wasn’t smoking.

I can honestly say I used to enjoy smoking… until I didn’t.

I remember how much I used to enjoy a Marlboro light when driving home from community college watching the sun set off I-65, listening to the radio all the way up with the windows down. The nicotine buzz would kick in with the music pounding and the air blowing through and give me quite the kick. The smell of cedar trees and blacktop roads mixed with burning tobacco used to really relax me and put my mind at ease.

But then it got to the point where I’d turn on the car engine, the radio, and automatically light up a cigarette out of habit only because I was getting in my car and that’s what I always did. I wasn’t actually enjoying it, and that didn’t feel good at all. It felt like I wasn’t in control of myself and like I was a slave to my impulses. Fortunately I get the same enjoyment now if not more out of that same drive but without feeling the need to stop at the store and pick up a pack of cigarettes. It is truly liberating!

I used to smoke when I was bored, or when I had a break at work.

This was probably the hardest. When the bar was slow and there wasn’t much business, or when I had time between classes, there was that 15 or 2o minute window of time staring me in the face just demanding that I go to my car, turn on my music and smoke. Or walk around campus until I found another smoker that I could carry on a mediocre conversation with over a cigarette.

I would smoke whenever I drank, and working in a bar… well let’s just say I smoked- a lot.

My uncle used to say to us all stubbornly “God gave me 2 hands for a reason. One hand for my beer, the other for my cigarette”. When I would drink with all my friends and my boyfriend, we were always smoking cigarettes. Drinking and smoking really do go hand in hand, especially since it’s still legal to smoke indoors at bars and clubs where I live and I don’t see many people trying to stop.

I would smoke as an emotional crutch when I was in a bad relationship or living with my mom.

As if being in an unhealthy relationship isn’t bad enough, I used to smoke even more cigarettes when I was in a relationship with this one guy. The problem is I saw this one guy for 5 years. When we would fight, I would run outside and sit on the porch swing, putting cigarette lighter to Marlboro light after light until an hour had passed, then I’d go back inside and we’d make up just long enough to delay our next fight.

For a few years off and on I lived with family and as much as I love family- they can drive you crazy sometimes, and that made me want to smoke as well. Plus it was an excuse to get out of the house and go outside. I come from a big family so there’s always people and you can’t get away from the circus some days of the week (at least that’s how it feels).

Not a single stop smoking product changed the way I coped with stress or boredom.

My habits were so deeply and psychologically ingrained to the point no chemical could save me. My response to every situation seemed to be to go outside and smoke a cigarette. When I was sad, I smoked. When I was happy, I smoked. When I was bored, I smoked. To reward myself for being productive at work or school or around the house, I smoked.

I needed to break my thought, feeling and behavior response cycle while providing physical relief for my annoying and painful withdrawals, so I branched out my search and started reading about holistic remedies, then took action.

First….

I knew I needed to break the cognitive behavioral cycle of addiction, so in order to deal with the mental and emotional aspect of quitting smoking I got the Kerry Gaynor Method and it really helped.

Then, because I am an anxious and jittery person, I wanted to get something more than just breath mints or gum to attempt to fight the hand-to-mouth motion and oral fixation cravings. And I didn’t want to go back to 5 cups of coffee a day either (or energy drinks).

The best part? There’s zero side effects or chances of addiction. Zero chance of suicidal ideation or depression. Zero mood swings.

The fact that people were curing cancer, treating anxiety and depression (the underlying causes of my nicotine and cigarette addiction), and improving people’s moods naturally made me curious to try Boulder Botanicals Organic CBD.

After trying so many other chemical laden options like nicotine gum, the patch, Wellbutrin/Zyban, and cold turkey this all-natural CBD pill literally was like a life saver in a sea of withdrawal misery.

Stopping Smoking… Just Glad I Did It (for Me)

I eventually quit smoking cigarettes. I can’t say I never fell off the wagon but getting back on was easier every time and eventually the need to smoke became so foreign to me I wondered how I ever put the nasty things up to my lips to start with.

I noticed I finally made real progress when I stopped telling people I was quitting smoking. No social approval or perks needed. So stop announcing that you’re quitting and just quit already!

I started exercising 5 days a week consistently. I stopped eating GMO foods, made a promise to eat more organic kale, then started meditating and praying again. I began making new goals for my life and thinking of how I might spend my money if it weren’t on cigarettes and scratch-off lottery tickets. I even took a course at my local community college in a subject I was interested in- for no reason at all!

I didn’t stop there though.

I also cut way down on sodas and coffee, and switched to low calorie coconut water as an alternative. I cut way back on the sugar intake and started taking a quality multi-vitamin supplement, and even added some nascent iodine to detox my body and liver. I heard that the body tends to become acidic with all the processed food we eat, so now I’ve switched to a more alkaline diet.

It’s been a year and my breathing has drastically improved, my sleep is better and I just feel more in control of my life. Now the focus is maintaining my life’s balance and staying active. I tried to smoke a cigarette recently during drinks out with friends and I was literally grossed out and threw the darn thing away. That’s exactly where you want to be!

Good luck to you with your quit smoking plan too my friend. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

See you on the other side.

GOOD LUCK!!!!! IF I CAN DO IT YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read: The Health Benefits of CBD: Our Reviews

Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey- How to Do It For Good

Quitting smoking cold turkey is actually one of the best ways to begin your journey into stopping smoking. I call it a journey because most of the time people who try to quit smoking do not succeed on the first or even second attempt, whether they use medication to stop or not.

But to put this into perspective, how many people do you know who have never exercised or worked out went to the gym for the first or second time and immediately reported it as being the most fun, effortless and freeing experience of their lives? Most of the time you feel like you can’t do it, or you don’t know what you’re doing, or it feels weird and awkward. All normal!

quit smoking cold turkeyThe good thing about stopping smoking cold turkey is that it helps you to feel your body and to understand what it will actually be like once you completely eliminate your addiction to nicotine. Believe it or not, once you quit smoking, the level of nicotine in your body is absolute zero in less than 72 hours, which means that you will have physically beaten your addiction to cigarette smoking by that point. Then it’s just a matter of beating withdrawals and the psychological addiction.

The next obstacle, the psychological conditioning and perceived emotional dependence on cigarettes which are worsened by the gradual physical withdrawals, all go away after 21 days. So if you can make it 21 days, you probably aren’t addicted to cigarettes any more at all.

The first time I ever quit smoking I stopped for 45 days straight. Then I turned 21 and celebrated my birthday in Las Vegas, so you can kind of imagine how everything went after that. I was drinking and smoking again. But it didn’t last forever, and I don’t smoke any more :).

Quitting Cold Turkey is Difficult, but Possible

 
Quitting smoking cold turkey may not be the best idea if you’re currently smoking one or two packs a day. You may actually want to taper your usage down ever so slightly and start going a day or two without a cigarette to test the waters. This gradual reduction in nicotine intake will make the withdrawals much less severe. But if you smoke less than a half a pack a day, you are the perfect candidate for the cold turkey quit smoking method.

One of the things that makes quitting smoking so difficult is the prevalence of cigarettes all around you. In a state where smoking is frowned upon socially, or there have been laws enacted which prevent the easy cigarette at the bar or restaurant, you’ll find people quit much more quickly and easily.

By the end of 2009 statewide laws in 22 US states prohibited smoking in workplaces restaurants or bars. Nationally over 75% of households have reported that smoking was not allowed inside the home or indoors.

The high cost of smoking from a public policy standpoint

In Texas tobacco-related disease cost the state over $12 billion in medical costs and loss and worker productivity in 2003.

Increasing the price of tobacco has been found to be effective at reducing the prevalence of conception of smoking cigarettes. Additionally adding taxes to cigarettes has made nicotine addiction even less affordable in some states ranging from three dollars per pack in Rhode Island to a mere seven cents per pack in South Carolina.

One of the absolute worst states in America with the highest smoking rates as Kentucky, were over a quarter of a deal population our current cigarette smokers.

Even 15% of Kentucky’s youth in their early teens or cigarette smokers. Kentucky has no statewide smoke-free laws that protect against exposure to secondhand smoke in public places like workplaces, restaurants and bars.

The state with the worst smoking record is West Virginia with over 26% of its adult population smoking cigarettes on a regular basis.

US States with the Worst Smoking Rates

Smoking is most prevalent in states like Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Nevada. Not surprisingly these are the states with few to no smoking bans or anti-smoking laws to protect the general populace.

Often times the state government will actually preempt and prevent local governments and their attempts to regulate smoking or even ban smoking at the local level. This goes to show that the shadowy hands of big tobacco are still at work behind-the-scenes, and with heavy lobbying efforts it makes quitting smoking that much harder for people trying to successfully kick the habit.

The Center for disease control has found that while many smokers try to quit every year, and without assistance most will relapse. On the bright side, the people who continue to try to quit increase their odds of successfully quitting each time that they quit, whether or not they relapse. And most people report that their final successful attempt at quitting smoking is usually unassisted, hence (insert turkey sound here) freeom from nicotine addiction is just ready to be gobbled up as long as you never quit trying to stop smoking!

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