How to quit smoking

I had been a smoker for 32 years, and had thought it impossible for me to quit. When I see people still smoking now, I know they are thinking the same thing.  
It turned out to be surprisingly easy. I had a short-lived ‘quit’ some 10 years
ago with the nicotine patch. I relapsed when I had tried the occasional cigar. That doesn’t work. 
 
But it had always stuck with me how easy it had been with the patch. My addiction had increased in the 10 years and I felt like I needed more then just the patch. Hypnosis and Zyban had been total failures. Nicotine gum had always intrigued me, so I decided to try both the patch and gum.
 
A problem with the patch had always been the morning shower, they tend to
come off when wet. So I used nicotine gum when I first rolled out of bed, to give me the nicotine ‘high’, until I was through with my shower and had gotten the patch on.
 
Then, throughout the day (during that first hard week), if a really strong need for nicotine hit me, even though I had the patch on (I was as hard core a smoker as you get) I would also take a piece of gum. That way, between the patch AND the gum, I was able to ride out that first really tough week.
 
It got way better after 10 days, but I went ahead and followed the patch for at least 9 weeks. I used the highest level patch, for 3 weeks, a week longer then normal. I used the gum pretty much just the first 10 days. I remember 4 levels of patches, and found the best prices at Wal-Mart. I think I used the generic, as I liked the manner of adhesive better then the name brand.
 
I want to make it clear that I did not use the gum at full dosage, maybe just 4 pieces a day as opposed to the 12-15 you would use a day if that was your only aid. I realize both the patch and gum insist you should only use one nicotine product at a time, but considering I would not be using the gum at anywhere near the full amount, and considering the effects of cigarettes, I considered it a very wise ‘double shot’ with the patch and gum.
 
The gum gave me that initial ‘hit’ of nicotine first thing in the morning, I could
then take my morning shower at a normal pace, put on the patch, and then just
use the gum when the urges were particularly strong during the day. The other thing I did, was drink lots and lots of water. Easily a gallon a day, and still do. That helps flush your body, plus its just plain good for you. I drank lots of orange juice, as citrus is also highly recommended for de-toxifying the body.
 
 I don’t drink alcohol, and one of the most common failures to quit, that I hear,
“Well I was having a beer, and I thought I could have just one cigarette… “,
Alcohol seems to be a path for failure. [In conjunction with that, this article is slightly mistitled. “I” didn’t do it, reliance on God did it. And prayer. Same with quitting drinking. An addictive personality has to turn it over to God. Otherwise, alcohol and tobacco will kick your butt every time.]
 
The other thing I noticed, to be honest, is there are times when the urge still hits me, and I hear from other smokers it can still hit you 5 or 10 years down the road, but its manageable, its not going to kill you. In a perfect world, we could drink soda pop and eat chocolate all day long while staying slim and keeping our teeth, but this isn’t a perfect world, and cigarettes do kill. Kicking the tobacco habit is not that tough.
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About Iowa Life

Experiencing life in Iowa.
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