Non- or Ex-Smokers out there? Another Poll

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bakron, Oct 19, 2003.

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  1. bakron

    bakron New Member

    I thought it would be interesting to run this poll as well. I'll tell my story, and invite others to share theirs. Now, as an ex-smoker, I would be the last one to try to make anyone stop. I remember what that was like! I hated it. I also believe that everyone has a right to determine whether or not he or she will smoke, and that no one, not even our government has the right to say that a person absolutely cannot smoke. Just wanted to make that clear before anyone reads my story.
    <hr>
    I had made a commitment to stop smoking in about 1994 after I realized that my Shortness of breath was getting worse as my husband and I were just walking along during our some of our trips. I'd set a goal to "feel healthier" by the time I turned 50. At that time, I had developed allergies, and was having a difficult time living in the area of Central California; the area was becoming increasingly more polluted with smog and other airborne particulates.

    Before I started the attempts, I told myself that I was not going to feel guilty if I didn't follow through with my intentions, or that I wasn't going to feel defeated. I also told myself that <b>I was doing this thing for me and not because other people wanted me to stop</b> (so many well wishing friends and family just seem to nag at me, and I resented it).

    My first try was with using a 5 or 6 (can't remember for sure) "step" program to stop taking in substances that were known to harm the body and to be a “link” of sorts to other addictive behaviors. This would be done slowly over a period of time to cleanse the body, and then after the treatment, the substances could be added back, but then only in moderation. For me, the last step would be giving up the cigarettes. I stopped the coffee, sugars, the alcohol, etc. (have to admit that none of those were particularly problems for me), and then it came time to stop the cigarettes. Well, needless to say since it was my “first” try, it didn’t work!

    My second try was a "cold turkey" try . . . forget that one, at least for me!

    On the third try, I used the Nicoderm patch through a prescription from my doctor and was under his care as well. The dose was a lower dose than what a person would normally have started with as I had been successful at cutting back to less than a pack a day. I "flubbed up" several times. The handy markets were selling cigarettes one at a time, and several times I would stop in at one of them and pick up one to smoke on the way home. I didn't feel that it was a failure to do that, because I'd told myself from the start that I wasn't going to think that way. Weeks passed, and I was told by the doctor to stop the patches and see how I would do. It was hard, and I ended up back on the patch at least once. After a few months and determination, because I really wanted to feel better, I found that the urge had subsided substantially.

    Now, that's been a while. I won't say that the smell of a newly lit cigarette doesn't smell wonderful! And I know that all it would take would be for me to light up just one even now. However, I <u>don't miss</u> the way my lungs felt in the morning after smoking a pack the evening before, or the way my mouth felt or tasted in the morning. And especially important, I don't miss the way I would get winded after walking with my husband or with friends at the mall.

    Before I was diagnosed with FMS, I had several years of feeling wonderful after stopping the cigarettes. My taste improved and I could really taste flavors I'd forgotten, I could smell things I hadn't smelled for a long time, and I could out walk my husband on a shopping spree in downtown Sacramento! I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were still smoking and had to deal with FMS and all the misery it causes as well.

    I look back, and sometimes I miss having a cigarette as they seemed to calm me. However, I think of how I was able to achieve a very difficult goal . . just for "me." Then, I take a deep breath and enjoy wonderful air in my healthy lungs and thank God who was really the one who helped me through it all.

    L, Jeannette
  2. SBear

    SBear Member

    I quit smoking years ago when I realized that I was so addicted that I was either smoking or having nic fits all the time. I went cold turkey--this was before the nicotine patches, and the quit smoking clinic cost so much money I couldn't afford it. Tobacco smoke really bothers me now-there's nothing worse than an ex smoker! I feel people have a right to smoke, but far, far away from me! LOL!
  3. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I never smoked myself. I think this is an interesting poll. I wander if the smoking improves or makes the Fm worse or neither. I think it would help with the stress of it.

    My mother smoked since she was a teenager. When she was in her 50, she started having trouble breathing. She know she was probably going to end up with emphasema(sp) if she didn`t quit. My mom and both her sisters quit cold turkey after that. It scared them all so bad.

    I admire you all who can quit, it sounds so hard to do.
  4. Owlbird

    Owlbird New Member

    Over three years of quitting cigarettes, and I still like the smell of them and crave once in awhile, but it was the best thing. My breathing problems began in my late thirties. My doctor and I fought about it all the time. She was actually a smoker at one time too. As you, I believe a person has the right to smoke in a well ventilated area or have a place for them to smoke. I hated having to go outside all of the time and freeze in the winter. I won't say that I don't miss smoking, but at the same time, I'm glad that I did quit. I went cold turkey. Good luck out there to anyone who tries to quit. It is a very challenging and difficult thing to do, but it is well worth the try. Owlbird
  5. ranger

    ranger New Member

  6. suzbee

    suzbee New Member

    ... except for one little Swisher Sweet cigarillo in the 8th grade, on a bet. Smoked the entire thing. Oh, how I wish I hadn't! Bleah! LOL! I guess that reinforced staying away from tobacco for good. ;-)

    Congratulations to those who have wanted to quit and were able to. Good for you!

    suzbee
  7. zekieboo

    zekieboo New Member

    I quit 15 years ago, cold turkey. Didn't have the patch or gum back then. Best thing I've ever done in my life!
  8. bakron

    bakron New Member

    To keep going!
  9. Eilid

    Eilid New Member

    Only smoked during the years I worked inpatient psych ward, and only occasionally, and only Newports. I am only an "outside" smoker, and when it was too cold to smoke outside I just would quit. Then the following summer started again. I never smoked in front of my children, or in my home, or vehicle, and those are the restrictions others follow if they want to be in my home or auto. Just to insure that I would not smoke too much, rather than buy my own packs, I would pay other co-workers exorbitant prices for one cig at a time. They used to laugh, as they never asked me to pay, but I would give them a dollar for a cigarette. That way I could not afford to smoke too much. It was working inpatient that made me sort of want to smoke, those were in the years when the patients could smoke on the unit in the designated smoking area.

    When I left inpatient nursing I just stopped smoking altogether.

    Eilid
    /|\
  10. mamacilla

    mamacilla New Member

    i quit at age 25, after starting at age 16. i am now 51. i can't imagine paying today's prices! i had always said i would quit when it got up to 75 cents a pack! lol........back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.........

    i had been married about a year to a non smoker, so that helped to quit, didn't have to be around it. what is really maddening, though, is that both of our (grown) kids are smokers. ugh
  11. achy

    achy New Member

    I smoked 1-2 packs a day until the Great American Smoke-Out or 1998. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon and I didn't have a cigarette all day, the fact I had a bit of a cold/bug was a big help. I was on my way home and was having trouble breathing...a few hours later I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.I emerged from the hospital 7 days later amoke free. I didn't even know I had asthma..I was always dignoised wiht bronchitus, but that's another story.

    I am still smoke free, and very proud of my accomplishment. Now if I could just lose the 30 lbs I gained!!

    Warm fuzzies
    Achy
  12. yuppie

    yuppie New Member

    Hi,

    I quit smoking 13 months ago, and it the best thing i ever did for myself. i smoked 35 yrs and so glad that my addiction is finally OVER.

    Yuppie
  13. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    I began smoking at the age of 15. I never smoked more than one half pack a day, but I continued to smoke until I was 30. At that time I quit because I was trying to become pregnant. I have never smoked since.

    Last year I was diagnosed with asthma. Thank goodness I no longer smoke, as my asthma is very mild. I don't think I would be as lucky if I was still smoking those Marlboro Reds. I would probably be in real trouble with my pulmonary functions.

    It wasn't that hard to quit. I did it cold turkey. My husband went to acupuncture and he also quit. His was a three pack a day habit and harder to break than mine. Neither of us have resumed smoking.

    We have two healthy children who have never been raised in a smoking household (as I was).

    Good thoughts,
    Michelle
  14. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I quit 10 years ago this month - very glad I did. I used the gum, it really helped; also, found that POSITIVE affirmations really helped gear me up mentally to quit - I would say things to myself over and over about how good I was going to feel, how much energy I was going to have, how much better I was going to look, anything I could think of, and after awhile actually started to look forward to quitting. The hardest part is the mental battle, and the positive emphasis worked much better than telling myself I was going to die from smoking, etc.

    I read a book once which said to think of your gut reason for quitting, no matter how seemingly frivolous - so mine was, I didn't want the wrinkles associated with long-term smokers. Vanity, pure and simple, wrinkles scared me more than lung cancer. and it worked.
  15. happygranny

    happygranny Member

    started smoking at 15, didn't smoke more than 1/2 a pack a day. It made me sick before noon!
    They also made me sick through out my pregnancy, ( that was in 1971) so I smoked little then. Once my daughter was born, and I started to breast feed her, I had a light bulb moment about smoking and what it might do to her precious pure body, so I quit. I still dream of smoking though, 32 years later.....
  16. Michelle Z.

    Michelle Z. New Member

    after thirty years with the help of acupuncture!

    I still get really hard cravings...I'm glad I quit though.

    Best to You and All!!

    Meesee
  17. lighthouselady

    lighthouselady New Member

    and it was the best thing I ever did. I can't say it helped the FM much, still feel as bad, but I feel good about myself. I'm really looking forward to my 1 year mark, I plan on doing something special for me. I quit cold turkey, my husband tried but didn't succeed so I still have a smoker around, but he's very careful not to somke much around me. Hope this helps.

    Soft Hugs, Judy
  18. fwbla

    fwbla New Member

    Hi, As I said in the previous poll I quit 13 yr. ago.I am convinced my health would be much worse if I smoked. But, you cannot convince anyone they have to come to that realization for themselves. For some the addiction is too strong. Unfortunately I would bet some health care workers and non- health care workers doubt the credibility of someone who is so sick and continues to smoke. Thats just the reality. Today society has more sympathy for someone hooked on illegal drugs than a legal cigarette smoker.
    FWBLA
  19. Camille52

    Camille52 New Member

    I am very glad you brought this discussion up. I smoked all my teen years until the age of 35, when I quit, completely and successfully for 8 years. Four years after I quit, I started to get the chemical and environmental sensitivities so bad, I became a shut in. Needless to say I was depressed
    for many years due to all the losses this illness brought on. I wanted to die. I thought "What the heck, everything I breathe in is toxic to me, so I'll just have a few cigarretes and die. What happened, is cigarettes seemed to mask my symptoms, and that changed the quality of my life. It was a trade-off. Now I am 51 years old, and I know that smoking is not a smart answer to alleviating the sufferings. Now I see it as a cop out and even though, I have a fuller life with the smoking, I just know it is hurting me. I am scared stiff to quit. I have tried in the past two years, then the sensitivities return, so I go back to this deadly habit out of fear. Has anyone else had similar experiences with smoking? I feel like the lone ranger on this subject. My doctors think there is truth to this masking effect, and they are not hard on me, because
    I smoke less than half a pack a day. But I don't want to continue on this path. There has to be a better way.
    Please, please, someone, respond, and tell me I am not loopy! Camille52
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