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Quitting Smoking and dealing with anxiety, stress and emotions... Any Tips?

Shadowstar39

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Apr 25, 2018
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I have been smoking for 26 years. I promised myself I would quit by the time I was 40. I am 42. I kept putting it off. I used to be big into weed, lsd, mushrooms back in the day and had a 5 year stint with opiates/H and have been off of that for 17 years. My only vice left has been cigs. So I have the addiction gene, demon, etc.. whatever you want to call the f'er.
I went through a divorce and my pops passing, having covid, moving to a new town away from friends all in the mater of a year and a half, and got through it all without issue.
This quiting smoking thing has been harder than any of it.

I got to this point as I met the most amazing woman who rocks my world. We have been together for 2 months. She told me she wouldn't date a smoker but made the exception for me since I said I was going to try to quit and she liked everything else. After coughing up a pint of blood from covid, I knew it was time. Also running out of breath walking up stairs was not cool (something that started in the last year).

So I decided to take the plunge and got on the patch and quit. It's been 5 weeks now. I have one week left on the now 7mg patch.

The benefits to quitting have been numerous. No more issues walking up stairs or hills. Smelling things like the scent of a persons hair. The money aspect. Returning morning wood, and massive increase in sexual stamina (3-4x in 12 hours in long 30m-1hr sessions,). Improved metabolism and weight loss (6lbs since quitting). These benefits are amazing and i am thrilled to get this far.

The problem is this has come at a cost. Increased Anxiety, stress, and amplified emotions, a feeling of loss. Stuff that i used unknowingly block by smoking. Get stressed, light up, feel sad, light up, feel happy light up, etc... It has gotten worse each time I reduced the patch dosage and since being on the 7mg patch I have had nights where my thoughts race and my heart feels like its pumping too fast at times.

My worst times are at night. After work it kills me as a thought will get in my head and I will dwell on it. Or I will feel a feeling and dwell on it. Then i have this voice who is telling me, "you know it all goes away with one puff".. You would think 5 weeks in I wouldn't have this. Maybe its because I am still getting nicotine? I don't know but it sucks! It seems there is really only a few things that calm me down. If I am with my girl everything melts away, taking a shower, playing guitar are the only things that really help. Things I would like to have help make it worse as I get stuck in my head, like walking my dog, something I do on the daily. Probably because I would smoke 2-3 cigs on my walk and that's no longer there.

Has anyone here quit smoking and had issues with amplified emotions, anxiety and stress? How have you coped with them.
Any tips to get through this easier?
 

FunkMiller

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Aug 14, 2014
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When I quit, I read a great deal about how nicotine affects your brain, and how it basically brainwashes you. It’s horrendous stuff, and I’m super glad I got rid of it and never went back. I’d suggest reading up as much as you can about how hideous it is as a drug, and what it does to your brain to control your actions. It was understanding that which helped me quit cold turkey.
 
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Yoboman

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Sep 17, 2005
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Whenever you feel like a cigarette, either brush your teeth or suck on a strong mint. That helps with the cravings.

it's only about three days until the nicotine is out of your system, after that it's all habit in your head.
Yeah time goals helped me

Understanding the first three days to a week is the worst and then 90 days to effectively break a habit
 

haxan7

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May 9, 2016
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I used nicotine gum and lozenges as a crutch for like a year. I wouldn’t recommend it. Using them that long is hard on your throat and gastrointestinal system.
 
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sw0mp_d0nk3y

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Whenever you feel like a cigarette, either brush your teeth or suck on a strong mint. That helps with the cravings.

it's only about three days until the nicotine is out of your system, after that it's all habit in your head.
I have similar advice. For me having a big glass of water or doing pushups every time I felt like smoking. Probably the trick is just finding the thing that you prefer, and then doing it every time you want to smoke, until that becomes the new habit.
 

belmarduk

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Nov 19, 2019
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Congrats on quitting.. its a very difficult thing to do.. but..
Nicotine is an addictive substance.. every time you put it into your body, you will want more.
Cold Turkey is the only way, I'm afraid.
 
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MastAndo

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Oct 13, 2014
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I don't have much in the way of advice to offer as I am a smoker around the same age as you, and haven't put much effort into quitting. Just trying to not smoke at all for a day here and there though, and even being a relatively light smoker (5 or 6 a day), I can tell it is going to be a harrowing ordeal. From what I've read, those feelings you're experiencing are withdrawals, which are placated by nicotine. Anyone who smokes is just in a constant state of withdrawal throughout the day and giving themselves a little dose of euphoria with each smoke. It sounds like the only way to nip that in the bud is when you're in a place where there's no nicotine in your system at all, which isn't happening with the patch. All that said, really just wanted to wish you well in your quest to quit.
 
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IDKFA

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Jan 15, 2017
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Congratulations on quitting.

As others have said, after three days it does easier. You'll still have craving, but they shouldn't be as intense. You'll get increased stress levels and anxiety, even with patches. Do you go to a gym or do any other form of exercise? If not, I'd certainly recommend it to help manage the anxiety and stress levels. Worked for me.
 

Raven117

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You are doing great! So once that nicotine finally leaves your body in like a week…. It is all a mental game. To me, it was a breakthrough when I realized that there was absolutely no “rational” thought behind the addiction. The “I need one right now because x, y, etc” is simply you mind playing tricks on you.

go into each craving knowing it’s just a matter of telling yourself addicted mind to shut up. It’s a game. Dedicate to winning it every time. (Because quitting gets boring In like a month). You are vulnerable then.

Win each fight. Each time. Just don’t tell your hands to light one. To pull over in a gas station. Just keep on driving. Fight it all the way home. It’s all in your head.
 

Shadowstar39

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Apr 25, 2018
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Have a light edible in the evening. Everyone gets 1 vice, and smoking is one of the worst.

Congrats on achievement so far 😀
Wish I could but get random drug screenings. And that lasts like 30 days so not risking it, sadly.
 

GamingKaiju

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Oct 24, 2014
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I’ll be honest OP as a ex smoker and lots of my family are. It never leaves you my Dad has being stopped 20 odd years now and if someone lights a cig up with a match he still get pengs. Only brief but it’s still there.

You have already dealt with so many addictions but I think nicotine is the strongest drug ever it’s so addictive and it’s cravings whilst small and manageable it leaves a lasting effect on you. Find a way to occupy yourself at night so you’re not sat around, tell your girl that you’re having difficulties and ask for help or change it up and you’ll start to feel better and put it behind you.

Stay Strong OP you have already beaten the habitual part just cut the nicotine out or taper off fast but prepare for 14 days of really bad cravings.
 
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Swauny Jones

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Oct 30, 2013
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I have been smoking for 26 years. I promised myself I would quit by the time I was 40. I am 42. I kept putting it off. I used to be big into weed, lsd, mushrooms back in the day and had a 5 year stint with opiates/H and have been off of that for 17 years. My only vice left has been cigs. So I have the addiction gene, demon, etc.. whatever you want to call the f'er.
I went through a divorce and my pops passing, having covid, moving to a new town away from friends all in the mater of a year and a half, and got through it all without issue.
This quiting smoking thing has been harder than any of it.

I got to this point as I met the most amazing woman who rocks my world. We have been together for 2 months. She told me she wouldn't date a smoker but made the exception for me since I said I was going to try to quit and she liked everything else. After coughing up a pint of blood from covid, I knew it was time. Also running out of breath walking up stairs was not cool (something that started in the last year).

So I decided to take the plunge and got on the patch and quit. It's been 5 weeks now. I have one week left on the now 7mg patch.

The benefits to quitting have been numerous. No more issues walking up stairs or hills. Smelling things like the scent of a persons hair. The money aspect. Returning morning wood, and massive increase in sexual stamina (3-4x in 12 hours in long 30m-1hr sessions,). Improved metabolism and weight loss (6lbs since quitting). These benefits are amazing and i am thrilled to get this far.

The problem is this has come at a cost. Increased Anxiety, stress, and amplified emotions, a feeling of loss. Stuff that i used unknowingly block by smoking. Get stressed, light up, feel sad, light up, feel happy light up, etc... It has gotten worse each time I reduced the patch dosage and since being on the 7mg patch I have had nights where my thoughts race and my heart feels like its pumping too fast at times.

My worst times are at night. After work it kills me as a thought will get in my head and I will dwell on it. Or I will feel a feeling and dwell on it. Then i have this voice who is telling me, "you know it all goes away with one puff".. You would think 5 weeks in I wouldn't have this. Maybe its because I am still getting nicotine? I don't know but it sucks! It seems there is really only a few things that calm me down. If I am with my girl everything melts away, taking a shower, playing guitar are the only things that really help. Things I would like to have help make it worse as I get stuck in my head, like walking my dog, something I do on the daily. Probably because I would smoke 2-3 cigs on my walk and that's no longer there.

Has anyone here quit smoking and had issues with amplified emotions, anxiety and stress? How have you coped with them.
Any tips to get through this easier?
What worked for me was basically quitting cold turkey and working out. Whenever I had the urge to smoke I drank water. I was very high strung and temperamental over a 6 week period. and after that I was like a new person. The smell of people smoking around me grossed me out and I moved on. Mind you ever so once in a while I had the urge and I even broke and had a cigarette one time a few years later which tasted gross and made me wanna hack. So glad I quit. You can do it man. Give it time and don't give up
 

RavageX

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May 11, 2017
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I started up the exercise when I quit. That and gum sorted me out, I still struggled with a few things emotionally, but roughed it out.

It is different for everyone though. After a while...maybe a year or so I never had a desire to smoke again. Stuck with the exercise and saw the physical results as a reward for the hard work and sticking with the commitment I had made.
 
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RoyalLaFlame

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Oct 22, 2013
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I started smoking like 1 year ago, but I've been trying to quit. Switch to a small vaping machine with 3% of nicotine. At first I was going through the capsules crazy quick, but lately I've been controlling myself more.

I got sick this weekend and I didn't touch a cigarette nor the vape machine, I didn't miss it. My mistake was yesterday giving the vape a go again, but I do feel like I don't need it as much. Trying to quit altogether.

This shit kills you slowly, and makes me feel more lazy and sluggish for some reason.
 

EviLore

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This shit kills you slowly, and makes me feel more lazy and sluggish for some reason.
Multiple reasons.

-Nicotine is a stimulant. As your body adapts to habitual stimulant use and becomes tolerant, your baseline energy level will decrease and you'll need the stimulant to get back to your previous normal without the drug rather than the initial highs you had on it. It also interferes with your REM sleep.

-Tar is coating your lungs, reducing your lung function and your oxygen absorption.

-Carbon monoxide from the cigarette smoke is binding to the hemoglobin in your blood, which prevents your hemoglobin from transporting oxygen around your body. Know how if you leave a car running in a closed home garage or with a blocked tailpipe you can die from the fumes? That's just a larger quantity of carbon monoxide from the exhaust fumes binding to your hemoglobin in the same way. Cigarettes make you suffocate at the cellular level.

-Numerous other toxic compounds within the smoke like acrolein, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde, are poisoning your body.
 

RoyalLaFlame

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Oct 22, 2013
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Multiple reasons.

-Nicotine is a stimulant. As your body adapts to habitual stimulant use and becomes tolerant, your baseline energy level will decrease and you'll need the stimulant to get back to your previous normal without the drug rather than the initial highs you had on it. It also interferes with your REM sleep.

-Tar is coating your lungs, reducing your lung function and your oxygen absorption.

-Carbon monoxide from the cigarette smoke is binding to the hemoglobin in your blood, which prevents your hemoglobin from transporting oxygen around your body. Know how if you leave a car running in a closed home garage or with a blocked tailpipe you can die from the fumes? That's just a larger quantity of carbon monoxide from the exhaust fumes binding to your hemoglobin in the same way. Cigarettes make you suffocate at the cellular level.

-Numerous other toxic compounds within the smoke like acrolein, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde, are poisoning your body.
Damn, never thought about it on this level. This shit is scary, for sure I won't touch another cigarette in my life. Thank you very much for this explanation!

I noticed that when I changed to the vape machine, my breathing and sluggishness mostly disappeared. But I'm still slowly quitting it anyway. I want to be nicotine free until my birthday in October.
 
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NickFire

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Hitting the gym (exercise, etc.) is the only hope for getting the edge off, which I really need to get back in the habit of myself. And fyi, stay the hell away from nicotine vapes if you don't want it to be worse the next time you quit. The vape can be used to wean down nicotine, but I found myself using it so often that when I decided to give it up it was twice as hard as when I quit smoking cigs.
 

SafeOrAlone

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May 22, 2018
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My friend is trying to quit and I think it's making him a bit of an a-hole, while we talk and play games.

He was giving me all this sass "yeah, yeah, you always say you're going to move... Pandemic is no excuse... I moved during the pandemic." All because I joked about getting a bidet for my toilet, but not until I move.
That kinda bitchy ass shit that should be reserved for catty women. It mostly comes across in the delivery, if you know what I mean.
I'm more of the mindset that friends are there to buff each other up, not be catty about shit that doesn't effect them. I don't like to compete with my friends, but a couple of them seem to want to compete with me.

Anyway, he took a ten minute break, and when he came back from smoking, his attitude had totally changed and he was all about teamwork, "you and me", and beating the game together. Just thought it was kinda funny.
 
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NickFire

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Mar 12, 2014
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My friend is trying to quit and I think it's making him a bit of an a-hole, while we talk and play games.

He was giving me all this sass "yeah, yeah, you always say you're going to move. Pandemic is no excuse. I moved during the pandemic."
That kinda bitchy ass shit that should be reserved for catty women. I'm more of the mindset that friends are there to buff each other up, not be catty about shit that doesn't effect them. I don't like to compete with my friends, a handful of them like to compete with me.

Anyway, he took a ten minute break, and when he came back from smoking, his attitude had totally changed and he was all about teamwork, "you and me", and beating the game together. Just thought it was kinda funny.
That grumpiness sounds about right for someone trying to quit.
 
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RAL1992

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Aug 23, 2016
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I started smoking during the first lockdown in the UK; Luckily I was able to work through but the missus wasn't, so she picked up an old habit and that's how I joined in, when I got home from work and having chats in the garden.

I switched six months ago to nicotine pouches (Nordic Spirit) I've managed to stop taking them last Sunday, but since that time... Fuck me, I've never been so angry or irritated over the (little/simple/menial) things, I'm really hoping it subsides soon, the missus said to just buy a pack that are the lowest Mg but I'm at the point that I'm threes days in, I just want to kick the habit completely.

Good luck to all quitting and well done to all who have managed it.
 

A.Romero

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Long time smoker here. Have quit in the past. This is my advice:

- Understand that there are two sides to the addiction: Physical and Psychological. The physical side is covered by the patches or gum. The psychological side could be covered by switching to vaping and other techniques.
- The first 3 days are the toughest regarding withdrawal syndrome. You already went through that so the actual cravings should be much lower, if they don't feel like that is because the psychological side is not being resolved.
- If you were a heavy smoker then a lot of actions are tied to the habit. For example having a smoke after eating, with a beer or whatever. It's important for you to focus on those specific situations and change make the habit different. For example taking a walk after eating.
- A good tactic is distracting your mind (specially after those first days). Drinking water worked for me: whenever you get a craving, drink a glass of water. If you managed to distract your mind for a minute, that craving event is handled until the next one comes (usually linked with some kind of external input or action).
- Make it really hard to fallback by taking away all your ashtrays, lighters, etc. Don't have any cigs close by. It's much easier to avoid smoking if to do it you must drive all the way to the store. Much more difficult to fall back if it requires more effort in comparison to just succumb to an impulse

It's tough to terminate a 2 decade old habit but the first step is wanting to stop. A new partner is a great motivation so I think you have positive things on your side. Good luck!
 

funkygunther

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Dec 22, 2018
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You have to ride it out, its the only option. Be strong, it will take months but eventually you'll forget about it entirely. Good luck.
 

I_D

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Two things that helped me:

1: You are not "quitting" cigarettes by smoking "only" X per day. You have either quit, or not quit.

2: You MUST actually want to quit cigarettes. If you aren't 100% fully committed to the act, it won't happen. This isn't one of those, "Oh, my friends will help me carry through" sort of things. You either want the goal, or you don't.
 
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Kev Kev

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Two things that helped me:

1: You are not "quitting" cigarettes by smoking "only" X per day. You have either quit, or not quit.

2: You MUST actually want to quit cigarettes. If you aren't 100% fully committed to the act, it won't happen. This isn't one of those, "Oh, my friends will help me carry through" sort of things. You either want the goal, or you don't.
3. there is no "i'll just have 1 cigarette". a lot of people will quit smoking (months, years or even decades) and at some point they have an opportunity to have 1. so they figure, hey 1 cig wont hurt. but every time i tried to quit, this was always my down fall. id have 1, and then within a week id be smoking regularly again. smh

youre a fiend. there is no having just 1 cig. you have to quit and you have to quit forever. the end. hard part is that is a daunting thing to think of. so i suggest just taking one day at a time. just get through today, dont think about tomorrow till tomorrow comes, its too scary and youll just cave under the stress of that idea. just take it one day at a time, and just know that it will get a little bit easier everyday.
 
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I_D

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3. there is no "i'll just have 1 cigarette". a lot of people will quit smoking (months, years or even decades) and at some point they have an opportunity to have 1. so they figure, hey 1 cig wont hurt. but every time i tried to quit, this was always my down fall. id have 1, and then within a week id be smoking regularly again. smh

youre a fiend. there is no having just 1 cig. you have to quit and you have to quit forever. the end. hard part is that is a daunting thing to think of. so i suggest just taking one day at a time. just get through today, dont think about tomorrow till tomorrow comes, its too scary and youll just cave under the stress of that idea. just take it one day at a time, and just know that it will get a little bit easier everyday.
I agree that this is good advice, but even this I don't actually recommend.

This is essentially the same thing as "quitting" cigarettes. There is no such thing as "quitting." If you smoke one per day, you're still a smoker. The only way to be entirely clean is to be actually entirely clean.


I recommend stopping entirely, straight up.
It's not easy; but it is doable.
 

bad guy

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Just make a simple rule: For each cigarette smoke you have to suck one dick. Hope it works out for you better than it did for me.
 

Romulus

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You're probably deficient in essential vitamins and nutrients, which can cause anxiety. Over 80% of people today are deficient and dont know it. But there's no reason to expect things to operate well in the human body if it doesn't have what it needs, that includes brain cells. It's like running a car with shitty gasoline. Doesn't take long for issues to arise.


Magnesium actually curbs my anxiety, hydrates, and helps me sleep. I was incredibly deficient in it.
 
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Peggies

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Allen Carr's "The easy was" helped me a lot to understand the ugly face of (any) addiction. Unfortunately understanding it isn't enough to fight it. But still read it, maybe it helps.

Fun fact after years and years of abusing my body and soul with booze and cigarettes and loathing me for it, I quit from one day to the next without missing any of it one second. Just had to get pregnant.
Maybe you could try that 😉.

Anyway, stay strong. It's worth it!
 

Uhtred

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I quit after 27 years of smoking. I went cold turkey. I had one glass of alcohol after work to help with the shaking. It’s been 3 years for me now. It was one of the tougher things I have done.
 

Amiga

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- drink hot beverages as a new habit, like tea/coffee at daytime. caffeine free hot beverages 6 hours before sleep.
- chew regular gum, eat nuts/fruit. indulge in some sugar treats. you don't have to go all the way to a soy/kale diet. but be measured.
- play online MP. intense games can make forget anything.
 

ItsGreat

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Jul 17, 2020
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Many years of smoking has broken my brain.

I gave up about 10 years ago, the habits have been broken, I don't have any pangs after eating, waking up or drinking a coffee or beer.

But if i do have the odd one during a big night out.... My brain clicks about 48hrs later into grumpy super impatient mode. Like seriously grumpy with the wife and kids.

My brain actually can't put a finger on what it needs as the habits have been broken. But the nicotine hit totally triggers something in my brain that doesn't make me a nice person.

I can totally see why people can't quit. It's brain damaging.

The nicotine part should have been phased put years ago.

I hope my kids never start.

And i wish you well in giving up. Keep using the tiny patches and following the instructions.
 
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QuantumZebra

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Cigarettes are a mean SOB to quit.

If smoking a bunch of weed isn't an option (that's how I quit), try alternative / less harmful tobacco (like Natural American Spirit cigs without the chemicals) ... try to wean off slowly. Cold turkey rarely works.

Also stay away from alcohol - it's so much harder to quit when you drink. At least for me.

Vaping is a final option, IMO... but I feel like it just leads people to... well.. vaping.