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Tell a newbie how many seconds a day do you still want a cigarette

Page 12

Remember the first few days after you quit smoking? Remember worrying that the urges, wanting and craves would never end? Here's your chance to reach out and tell both smokers and new quitters what it's like now. Below are 33 pages of comments written by hundreds of former smokers who had successfully quit smoking for days, weeks, month, years and some even over a decade, sharing what it was like for them at these different points in time to be nicotine free.

If a cold turkey quitter, please email us and share with visiting newbies both how long you've been 100% nicotine-free (paste your quit meter stats if possible) and how many seconds each day you spend wanting a cigarette. We'll then add your response to the below "Tell a newbie ..." parade which Joel started back in 2001 in our original support group Freedom.


#276 | 15 Sep 2003 | Guy (Gold)

Never! Last craving was 6 months ago!

#277 | 26 Sep 2003 | Lydia Gold

I started smoking at age 13 and smoked for 30 years. I have been Quit for: 1Y 3D 14h 50m 1s. I have NOT smoked 11058, for a savings of $2,349.94. Life Saved: 1M 1W 9h 30m.

Average amount of time per day that I find myself wanting a cigarette? Absolutely none

Average amount of time per day that I think of smoking? 60 seconds (these thoughts are ususally feeling sorry for people that I see or smell smoking)

Average amount of time per day that I spend having a crave? 1 nanosecond (I dont have craves every day but I estimate that I have 2 or 3 very mild craves per week and each lasts about 10 seconds or so. They are so mild that I can easily nod to them without missing a beat and it's almost like they evaporate before I even fully acknowledge them.)

#278 | 26 Sep 2003 | SammymnGOLD

Haven't posted to this for awhile. But very happy to report that after 1 year, and 2 1/2 months, the answer is ZERO, ZIP, NEVER. And that's the truth. Hang in there newbies! I promise that you'll get there.

Sarah

#279 | 26 Sep 2003 | GoldCamore1

I have not had any craving since day 12 of my quit. free and healing for 3m 2w 5d 16h 30m 12s.

#280 | 27 Sep 2003 | CookiesGold

HMM GOOD QUESTION. WELL, LET'S SEE HMM, NO CRAVE HERE.

COOKIE

I have been quit for 11 Months, 1 Week, 6 Days, 9 hours, 47 minutes and 24 seconds (348 days). I have saved $2,438.85 by not smoking 13,936 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 3 Days, 9 hours and 20 minutes of my life.

#281 | 29 Sep 2003 | Andy (Silver)

I would say that at most I have two cravings per week. I know that there have been weeks where I haven't had any. At best they are fleeting thoughts, not the deep physical and emotional triggers like in the early days of a quit. Those definitely pass so hang in there and be strong. Never Take Another Puff!

Andy

I have had the monkey off my back for 9 months, 3 weeks and six days. I have saved $1,655.16 by not smoking 6019 cancer delivery devices which has helped me to reclaim 2 weeks, 6 days, 21 hours and 35 minutes of my life!

#282 | 25 Oct 2003 | John (Gold)

Keep going in the right direction Sometimes I'll read a gold milestone post in which the member honestly confesses to still having thoughts of "wanting" every now and then and I can't help but smile as in the next line they'll make some comment that they guess it will always be that way. Possibly but I can tell you that the time and distance traveled during the first year of recovery is identical to the distance traveled in year two, and recovery doesn't stop simply because we reached some milestone.

I see Bob above posted months since his last urge and it has been almost two years (December 2001) now since I last experienced anything that could be remotely considered a thought of wanting to smoke. There were a few times where the moment seemed perfect for building into a thought but it just wasn't to be.

It isn't that a thought now and then would be a terrible thing, or mean that my recovery was somehow defective or that I won't have a big yearning tomorrow. I think what it means is that I've responded to far too many emails in which a WhyQuit visitor or one of our members has received some recent bad news and it has taken it's toll in how I think and reflect upon my 30 years of bondage and the prospect of going back.

I find it amazing that we each spent years and most of us decades living behind and reinforcing a thick wall of denial built of lies and dependency/harm ignorance that insulated us from the reality that we were gradually destroying ourselves and yet look at this wonderful thread. In many cases within weeks or a few months members are down to spending very little time dealing with thoughts that were once core to their very being and their only defense to maintaining sanity and a bit of dignity during years of self-destructive chemical captivity.

I mean, my denial was so thick that I could take any smoking statistic and find good in it. If you told me that there was a 50/50 chance of smoking killing me I would use that fact to help build my wall of denail by treating it as a 50% chance that smoking wouldn't kill me. I never once stopped to learn or consider that for each of the over 4 million killed by smoking each year that 20 others were living with, battling or trying to recover from permanent smoking impairments such as stroke, heart attacks, a host of cancers, or COPD.

If you're still engaged in early recovery, in recognizing and appreciating varying aspects of your own dependency denial, cost denial or recovery denial, or in the bargaining or depression phase of the emotional loss, then the concept of one day at a time while keeping your core motivations as vibrant as possible will sustain you until acceptance arrives.

If you've moved to and beyond acceptance then the law of addiction as restated by the simple phrase "Never Take Another Puff" is hopefully comforting to your mind. It is to mine. Although one day at a time is still central to all of us, like this thread expressing minutes or seconds spent dealing with wanting, once you move beyond acceptance your own thoughts about the concept of "one day at a time" applying to you will likely become as infrequent as your moments spent wanting. It's why you see so many of our older quitters expressing themselves in terms of "Never" instead of focusing on challenges that don't exist today.

But regardless of where we are in relation to acceptance, or how many days, weeks, months or years we are into recovery, our common bond will always be that we are all equal in only being one powerful puff of nicotine away from trading places with our arrested dependency. Only one rule, no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long Freedom!

John

#283 | 26 Oct 2003 | Big Al (Gold)

Hi all y'all. Been awhile since I posted. I joined a Motorcycle Club back in July, most of them smoke. Do I have urges? Well, the only urge I can detect is the urge to pick up a fire hose and douse all the cigs in the area. They smoke, 10 minutes later they hack....and I think...that used to be me! Do I want one? NO! Do I have an urge or craving to have one, not that I can remember in the last year or more.

So, all you new quitters out there, stay strong, stay resolute, and rememebr the motto here....NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. You can do it. I did, alot of others here did. You can too.

I am an addict, I will always be an addict. But I can stay clean by remembering and acknowledging that. And I will NEVER take another puff.

Al

I have chosen to remain smoke free for 3 years, 1 month, 2 weeks, 4 hours, 42 minutes and 29 seconds. I have not smoked 45567 cigarettes and have kept $8,133.86 out of the pockets of Big Tobacco. I will be around to ride my motorcycle, pester my kids and spend their dwindling inheritance for another 22 weeks, 4 days, 5 hours, 15 minutes.

#284 | 29 Oct 2003 | rebmiami green

Hey all. I am doing pretty well, my mind will run to using if I let it, so I am trying to discipline and redirect it. I have made a positive fetish of oral hygiene, and I'm exercising more. I am not actively craving a lot, but my head is in a fog, and I feel irritable at times and even angry. Trying to stay positive.

I rigged up this quit counter deal -- my economic stats are high, running to the equivalent of $9 per pack, because I was using very expensive Nicorettes and very expensive Skoal, a potent nicotine cocktail.

Edson - Free and Healing for Ten Days and 11 Hours, while extending my life expectancy 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 136 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $65.24.

#285 | 03 Nov 2003 | Joel

I thought this post seemed like it belonged in this thread:

From: Stickman2644 (Original Message) Sent: 11/2/2003 11:14 AM

I just wanted to update the site as to my status. I first posted over a month ago as to my quit. I am now happy to say it has been 1month, 1 week, 5 days, 12 hours, 17 mins. I can now say i do not even think of smoking anymore. Last night i attended a Halloween party at which most people where smoking. At that event i did not have one single crave to smoke. I can say i am now a non-smoker!!!!!!!!!!!

#286 | 22 Nov 2003 | OBob Gold

Thank heavens I stuck this out. Yup, it was tough in the beginning, but I got through it. Seeing the positive reports in this thread really helped. Now, I offer my own positive reports.

How how many seconds a day I still want a cigarette?

Zero.

Stick with it, and you'll be posting similar numbers before long.

#287 | 22 Nov 2003 | DlunyGOLD

I am nicotine-free for 2 Weeks 1 Day 46 Minutes, have left 270 cancer sticks at the store, saved $20.30 and have added 22.5 hours to my life.

I have had several "smoking dreams" since I quit (and they have been quite realistic) and do find myself at times craving one, but when those times come I remind myself NTAP and "one day at a time" and that I can do something for the next 10 minutes that would appall me if I had to do it for a lifetime. In a minute or 2 the whole thing is gone.

Since I have quit before (once for almost 3 years) I know that it gets better as time goes forward. In spite of what I said above, this is probably the easiest "cold-turkey quit" I have ever attempted so far.

Thanks for being here!

David

#288 | 22 Nov 2003 | DubiouslyDos

Well hush my mouth, if'n you'd a told me I'd EVER say this I'd have called ya a liar....but here it is: Never! I'm free from tobacco and I ain't a going back!!

Nicotine addiction is low down, sneaky and now that I'm free I'm not aiming to ever go back. Never take another puff! Keep kicking butts,

smile em Dos

I have been quit for 1 Year, 5 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 2 hours, 30 minutes and 7 seconds (548 days). I have saved $2,466.46 by not smoking 16,443 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 5 Days, 2 hours and 15 minutes of my life.

#289 | 29 Nov 2003 | NeeseNonsmoker

I am green today or tomorrow (!!!???) and I have about two brief cravings a day on weekends and maybe one a day during the week, if that. What I do notice is when I walk by people who are smoking I get supremely annoyed at having to smell it and at the thought of it getting on my clothes.

I always wondered why former smokers were so militant and preachy. Now I know. We know more than anyone how unnecessary it all is.

Denise - Free and Healing for Thirty Days, 14 Hours and 4 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 2 Hours, by avoiding the use of 612 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $137.81.

#290 | 30 Nov 2003 | Patticake (Gold)

How many seconds a day do I still want a cigarette? Zero. However, I still have 'thoughts' of cigarettes and the rountine of being a smoker; been there done that for 40+ years. And to be frankly honest I pray every day that I always have thoughts concerning nicotine addiction. It hasn't been that long ago that I would have been appaled that I would be thinking along these lines so I'll share with you my reasoning for feeling like I do.

I hope I never forget the danger I put myself in by continuing day after day, year after year, in the addiction. I hope I never forget the despair and concern I put those who love me most through. I hope I never forget how I undoubtedly offended people by the way I smelled. I hope I never forget the power of addiction had the ability to lessen my potential of being the very best I could be.

So, just thought I'd share a few of the things I think about these days. I pray I never get so comfortable in my quit that I don't think about 'when'. So when the thought of a cigarette or smoking; which doesn't mean I'm thinking about it in relation to myself, just thinking about it in general as it's impossible to not see it, smell it on others, or not find oneself in a smoking environment on occasion...........what I'm saying is I welcome the 'thought', I welcome it for what it represents to me. It's a reminder of where I was at one time in my life and where I am now. I welcome the horrible and filthy memories and I hope I never forget them. Because everytime a memory crops up the only effect it has on me is to strengthen my resolve that I'll never ever light another.

When I first became a member of this site and 'nicodemon' was shown for what it is, I had this visual picture in my mind of some creature bigger than life, a horrible monster that was just hanging over my shoulder on a quest to continue to make my life a misery. It's true that as time goes along our mindset changes because now when I think of 'it' I visualize a creepy slithering stinking slimey thing that I could easily smash with my boot. Though 'it' no longer has the full power to intimidate me by a visual of bigger than life, I hope I never forget to give it the respect it deserves. Addiction is powerful and relapse is only a thought and a light away. I hope I NEVER forget that.

Nicodemon knows all the tricks of the addiction.......well lately I've learned quite a lot myself. Thanks to Freedom I'm well armed to do battle with the foe. What we must never forget is tactics are ever changing and we must never let our guard down. Once we learn the basics we must then go to the front lines armed with our knowledge of doing battle with a formidable foe.

I've no doubt 'it' will forever nip at our heels as we will always be an addict, though not a participating one. Education and practicing what we learn is and will forever be our armor, we must foever keep it shinned and well oiled.

2 years, 10 months, 1 week, 6 days, and counting.

Love and light,
Antonia

#291 | 30 Nov 2003 | qwerty (green)

In starting this parade, Joel asked for complete statistics...:

Days without nicotine: 223 (7m, 1w, 2d)
Money saved: $2,234
Life saved: 1 Month, 1 Day, 55 minutes

...as well as how many seconds per day I want a cigarette: 5, maybe 6, usually NONE. Maybe once a day, sometimes twice, usually NONE.

I could be wrong about it being 5 or 6 seconds. See, I don't really pay much attention to that particular statistic anymore because it has become so insignificant. Also, those 5 or 6 seconds aren't spent actually wanting a smoke. It's time spent just remembering what it was like to smoke, or a quick thought about a particular trigger, or a fleeting feeling of "hey, I used to smoke in this situation." And then it's gone.

Somewhere along the way, probably after two or three weeks, it got VERY easy. It will get easier for you, too, if you never take another puff!

qwerty
223 days (7m, 1w, 2d)
NTAP, NTAN

#292 | 04 Dec 2003 | Liuchka

I still think of "not smoking" and maybe twice a day I think of the time when I smoked...but cravings, some days not even once! And this is just the beginning. Pat on the back to myself! teeth

Cucarose em

Free and Healing for Two Months, Fourteen Days, 19 Hours and 53 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 7 Days and 21 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2275 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $427.87.

#293 | 04 Dec 2003 | W1LSON

At about eight weeks I think of smoking and I think of not smoking but I never WANT a cigarette.

Wilson ~1 month, 24 days, 20 hours, 1 minute and 11 seconds (55 days).
I've not smoked 2193 death sticks, and saved $195.65.
I've saved 7 day(s), 15 hour(s) of my life.

#294 | 12 Dec 2003 | Waysouth22 Silver

Thinking this is good reading for Robert and lots of others......

I'm only a month into my FREEDOM but I very rarely actually want a cigarette. I do sometimes have triggers-a thought associated with a circumstance when I would have smoked. I just smile and enjoy it now.....really.

Karen - Free and Healing for One Month, One Day, 9 Hours and 46 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 6 Hours, by avoiding the use of 942 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $117.93.

#295 | 12 Dec 2003 | CandidCandiSilver

I have been quit for 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 5 Days, 10 hours and 12 minutes (50 days). I have saved $183.54 by not smoking 1,411 cigarettes. I have added 6 Days, 20 hours and 37 minutes to my life.

Now, the big question ~ How many seconds a day I still want a cigarette . . . . . . . . I find "want" to be the key word here this morning. The answer to that would be NONE!!!

I didn't start that "thank you" parade yesterday 'cause I still want to smoke! Since I was a "closet" smoker, I'm not encountering as many triggers as some . . . . . . and knowing what I know today about addiction to nicotine how could I even think "Gee it would be nice to . . . . . . . . . "? No way, no how!! As each day passes, living without nicotine gets easier and easier. The oldtimers promised us this and it is true! I've been "quitting" for 25 years now ~ if I knew back then what I know today I never would have bought a pack 3 years into my first quit just 'cause I was a little depressed!! I would have saved myself years of agony ~ lying and hiding, remorse, etc. ~ not to mention the health, time and $$ lost over those years.

I do not ever want to get back onto that addiction merry-go-round!! So I will honor my committment when I joined this group to Never Take Another Puff!! It's really that simple!!

Candi

#296 | 12 Dec 2003 | DlunyGOLD

Amen Candi!

As I was waking into the building from the parking lot this morning I happened to think that I was NOT thinking about smoking! And when I saw the smokers out in the courtyard I did not envy them in the least! In fact, I found a good deal of pity for them.

It is nice to see that after 5 weeks things are really starting to come into better focus for me and that everything that has been said here about what to expect in the quit process is true.

One thing that struck me from the first time I looked at whyquit.com a month or so ago was the fact that what was being said FELT like it was the truth! They say that truth has a certain "feel" and "ring" to it and this site had that. I felt like there was no hidden agenda (like I did at another site I had already signed up for) here and that was very important to me.

Thanks again to the "3 J's and the L" for providing us with such a wonderful resource where we can share and learn our experiences and the truth! The education here has helped me to reduce my cravings to 2 or 3 a day lasting 15-20 seconds on average but never actually wanting one to the point of even THINKING of lighting up! I love my newfound FREEDOM from Nicotine's clutches way too much to want to go back. With Freedom's help one day at a time I will never take another puff.

yqb, David
One month, five days, 1 hour, 2 minutes and 31 seconds. 630 cigarettes not smoked, saving $47.31. Life saved: 2 days, 4 hours, 30 minutes.

#297 | 12 Dec 2003 | Yak Girl

I am nicotine-free 3 Weeks, 5 Days, and 10 hours (26 days). Not smoking, even in this short amount of time, has saved 5 Days, 12 hours and 5 minutes of my life.

Yesterday, I had 4 "smoke" thoughts -- each lasting less than 5 seconds. It is nothing short of fantastic --

YakGirl

#298 | 12 Dec 2003 | Alicia is Bronze

After turning Bronze (3 months) on Wednesday, There are NO seconds a day I crave a cigarette! I am so thankful to God, those awful cravings are gone!

The only time I have ever felt a craving in the past month, is when I am around someone who is lighting up a cigarette... That's a CHOICE I'm making, to be around a smoking person. So my new choice, is to NOT go around smoking people. (I've noticed, since becoming a non-smoker, I am making wiser choices! smile em)

Ya know the biggest lesson I've learned since I quit smoking, is that I did just about everything in my life MINDLESSLY when I was a smoker...

I lit up a cigarette without thinking, I ate without thinking, got upset and raised my voice without thinking... So the day I quit smoking, I learned how to start doing things THOUGHTFULLY..

Now I think before I do, I am acting more, and Re-acting less, and I'm acting much more grown up than I did before. I think I am a little easier to live with!teeth em

The process of growing up isn't always fun, but it sure can be fulfilling and rewarding... Especially when we look back on the way we use to be, compared to how we are now.

Alicia

I have chosen not to smoke for 3 Months 1 Day 21 Hours 49 Minutes 56 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 3716. Money saved: $445.97.

#299 | 13 Dec 2003 | GoldenPeachyPie

After fifteen months?

ZERO

Peachypie


#300 | 18 Dec 2003 | John (Gold)

Seconds spent wanting to smoke in 2002 and 2003? Absolutely none!

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