+ Reply
Log in or Register to participate in these discussions
Smoking... What worked for you to quit
22 Posts
I am making this separate post to strictly talk about smoking.

My father is in his 60s and has throat cancer, an avid heavy smoker for about 50 years.

I know how hard it is to quit and I want him to quit in the healthiest way possible.

What worked for you and what didn't? What was it like in terms of withdrawals and getting used to not smoking? How long did it take to feel better not smoking?

Discussions with his doctor, a Juul vape was suggested as the lesser of two evils, my father is not the biggest fan and I learned bad things of this particular mini vape thing which is not being produced anymore which made me question this as a suggestion at all. I was not spoken to before they purchased it and I am sure he is not even using it. I know alot about the cons of vaping and the best ones to get should you get one with the intent to quit smoking, my dad is also not taken by the fancy flavours so thats not an encouragement for him lol.

So I ask what worked for you? a schedule, routine, cold turkey and what was the experience like?

11 Replies
7042 Posts
Hi Pleuvoir‍ .  I can totally  sympathize.   My fiance was  a heavy  smoker.. couldnt sit through  a movie without a cigarette.    He smoked before going into treatment, after treatment and snuck cigarettes  into the ICU somehow.  When theres a will theres a way.    I'll tell you what didnt  work.  It was me.... being a nag.   I nagged non stop about it and it only pushed  him further  away  from me.  A person will only stop smoking  if THEY  want to stop.    I wish I had a better answer  for you but it will only happen  if he wants it to.    I hope you get  some other answers from those who were able to  quit and how they  managed.  
12 Posts
Cold turkey and sunflower seeds!!! And any activities to take my mind off of it, smoke dope instead of cigs and vape, my diagnosis of prostate cancer was enough to stop immediately, oct 6 /20 is the day I stopped and I will not go back. Do it for your family if you can’t do it for yourself. You can do it and you have an absolute mountain of support here to do it. I thought smoking would be the hardest thing I’ve done in life, but now my fight with this awful disease trumps that, so I look at smoking as the easy way out. Trust me, you’ve got this. 
137 Posts
I started smoking at 11 & quit (for good) at 41 (am now 65). I was very good at quitting, having quit many times over the years.

What finally did it for me, was that "I" wanted to quit. Nagging from my son & husband for years never worked. Nagging does NOT work, ever!

One day I just decided that when I was finished my last pack, that was going to be it. I still remember exactly what time & where I was & who I was with when I had my last cigarette.

I had gotten tired of the price going up, tired of running low or completely out & then asking my husband to pick some up on the way home from work, even though I knew he hated it. I got tired of having to smoke outside, due to so many public places becoming non-smoking. I got tired of getting dirty looks & 'advice/admonitions' from non-smokers. I got tired of the coughing. I got tired of colds being worse than they had to be. I got tired of my doctor telling me all about the negative side effects. I got tired of running out of breath quickly at such a young age. I got tired of it causing my health issues to worsen.

I guess I just got tired of not being in control.

So, I had my last cigarette, enjoyed it & never said a word about quitting to anyone at all. I just quit. This time I didn't cheat either!!

I did buy patches & I used them for 3 days, long enough to get over the physical cravings. After that, I worked on the mental cravings.

It took almost a week before my husband & son realised I had quit lol

It took a few hours only before I could feel changes, such as breathing better. Each day was better & better in the way I felt physically.

I changed all of my habits, no longer smoking in the car, smoking after a meal, in the bathroom, in the backyard, while having a coffee, first thing in the morning. I didn't visit my Mom (a life-long smoker) for 3 months till I knew for sure I wouldn't be tempted.

I am a non-smoker & I have never been happier of anything I've accomplished (except for giving birth lol)

It CAN be done. It isn't easy, but it is worth it.

730 Posts
I've never smoked a cig in my life. But my husband had a good speech about quitting smoking.
apparently, back in the day when he quit, they actually had doctors to help you through it. (They then collected patient feedback and sold it to cigarette manufacturers, so they could make them more addictive). 
anyhow, his doctor advised him to identify patterns. When do you smoke? When getting up? When having coffee? When reading the newspaper? When having a drink? 
once you've identified those triggers/habits, change or avoid those. Not the smoking itself. So instead of having a coffee and a cigarette, you have a glass of water and a cigarette (or not). - apparently doing that makes the appeal of the cigarette go away. If you do it for a few weeks it just makes the smoking less and less appealing.
I can see one habit feeding another.
My brother says the advent of cell phones cured him of smoking (boredom smoking waiting for the bus etc).

From personal observation (my mum quit a dozen times) nagging makes things worse. And having someone continue to smoke in the household, makes it near impossible.
Cynthia Mac
3229 Posts
Pleuvoir‍ , I don’t think there’s an easy answer to this one. 

Personally I quit (40 years ago), when I changed jobs. I just decided that I wasn’t going to smoke in my new workplace (which was allowed back then). Whenever I wanted to have a cigarette, I picked up my knitting and worked on it for 10 minutes. Your dad might need to find something he can do to replace the smoking when the cravings hit.

As someone else pointed out, you have to want to quit. My father smoked until the day he died (for 70 of his 80 years) - and he was both a prostate and lung cancer survivor, whose lung cancer had metastasized to his liver. When he was in his 40s, Dad’s doctor told him, “you’ll never be able to quit,” and Dad took those words to the bank. He quit for about 6 months when he got his prostate diagnosis, and for about 6 weeks after his lung surgery.

Dad tried vaping and didn’t like it, either. 
618 Posts
Hi, I'm with Laika57
     I smoked for many years and quit because I wanted to have a child. It was not easy and I had tried many times. What finally helped me was changing my habits and looking at the triggers. I used to smoke when I was stressed, bored, my husband was smoking or when I was on the telephone or having a drink. So instead I changed my habits and tried to replace smoking with healthier things to do and choices. I would go for a walk, put some music on and dance,do some sit ups, bake something. I then stretched out the time in between cigarettes as well. If I felt I wanted a cigarette I would wait an extra 5 minutes, then 10 etc...I always kept a package of cigarettes in the house, as I found if I didn't have any I would think about it more and want to go buy some. Also what is very helpful is Behaviour Cognitive Therapy. It's about changing the way you think so you don't behave a certain way. I am so happy that I quit. I felt much better afterwards and when I think of all the money I saved!! Plus
244 Posts
Hi Pleuvoir,

Your father has to want to quit.  He cannot be cajoled, nagged, or bullied into quitting.

I smoked for over 43 years.  This may sound stupid, but I had no idea how to go about quitting.  So I joined Smoker's Helpline.  There, I learned things about smoking, and how to go about quitting.  They have online forums you can join, and people in all stages of their quit support one another and offer advice.  I decided to quit cold turkey, because I did not believe that NRTs would  be of any help to me.  For me, the habit itself was not the real problem.  It was all physical.  The cravings were extremely intense, and I went through hell for the first month.  But after that, things slowly started to improve.

If your father is at all interested in quitting, suggest he go online and check out Smoker's Helpline.  Tons of us have quit with the help of this site, and tons of people are still struggling to make it happen.  But it would be a good first step for him to take.
512 Posts
Hi Pleuvoir‍ ,
Thank you for writing about your concerns for your father's dangerous ordeal with smoking. It must be heart wrenching for you to witness his slow, yet deadly habit.
Your father must be so fed up with people discouraging him and the medical articles describing the evils of smoking and why he should quit cigarettes. It is a terrible addiction and, therefore, the body overrules the mind each time his body screams for more nicotine. (not to mention the other ingredients: flavour and aromatic additives, ammonia, cyanide, formaldehyde, ether, and on and on).
I was a smoker for 30+ years and I ignored most of the unwanted suggestions to quit from people or reading articles. Yes, ciggies are a slow destructive suicide and a smoker's worst enemy.. But they are also a smoker's best friend. Cigarettes never abandon you, they never insult you, they include you in the Smoking Club with others, they quiet your cravings, they supplement meals and are a reliable companion. Such is the essence of ADDICTION. Vaping is not a substitute. Physical activity is not a substitute. Eating is not a substitute. 
Only another cigarette will curb his desire to smoke. Horrifying, yet scientifically true.
So--- what is a solution?
Hard as it may be for you, please believe that it is not your influence which will have a positive effect on him. It seems FEAR is the motivation for adults to change their unhealthy habits. Some folks realize that there are POSITIVES such as: smelling better, clothing smells better, children are so supportive and proud of you, you feel better and have more energy, your eyes become brighter ...breathing is easier, and no one nags you..Huge amounts of $$$ are saved and no need to hunt for a lighter nor carry so much stuff around. No need to go outside and find a place to light up.
After 6 months free of smoking, one's lungs become more pink, and healthier. Your father may feel  "what's the use of quitting?" Well, quitting begins to aid one's body within 8 hours by lowering blood pressure. It also releases you from Cigarette Prison.
Most quitting programs will present the physical changes in your breathing, blood pressure, and why your mind and body scream for more nicotine....and not shame you at all.
There are programs to quit, but it may take a while. My program was 18 months, with group counselors, addiction specialists, nicotine patches and anti-depressants. Yes...most smokers are depressed. My quit group leaders gave us 18 months to pick a 'quit' date, so we didn't stop cold turkey, nor did we have to gradually smoke fewer cigs. Just as an addiction takes hold over time, so does quitting!
I am now a non-smoker for 18 years. I am so proud that even when I had tongue cancer, I was aware how much better my fight to heal gave me a slight pat on the back.
Anyhooooooooooo, rather than blab on and on, I do feel your helplessness and fear; you may wish to privately gain more information and do some research on quit-smoking programs offered by hospitals, health centres, and Cancer Centre sponsored tips. Find out if a counselor or addiction specialist can visit your father by his bedside.
There is little point sharing info with your father at this time as it will most likely cause him to crave another smoke!. It is up to your father to choose his habits....please let us know here how it goes....And, give yourself a treat for reaching out and writing to this site.
12 Posts
Just wanted to see how things are going, I’m still cig free and quit the sunflower seeds, hell of a lot easier now. I hope you’ve succeeded and if not keep trying. You will get there, I’m not missing them at all now and if I do, it’s so much easier to snuff the cravings
22 Posts

I use the Nicorette Inhaler which gives you a dose of Nicotene and you get the "hand/mouth" feeling. No cravings at all, I just keep it with me wherever I am, just like I used to do with cigarettes.

The most important part of the equation is someone has to want to quit for anything to work. I actually had switched to this 4 days before I was diagnosed. So I was obviously ready to quit, it was just coincidence I got diagnosed. Or was it? Maybe my body knew that I was getting tired of smoking, I'm not quite sure.

It has been working well for me for 6 months now. In BC it is free with health care, and probably in most provinces.

22 Posts
I apologize for not being online for sometime it’s been a hectic time! But I’d like to share the link to my recent post and reconnect with those who were so kind and supportive :)

+ Reply