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.
#626 | 21 May 2008 | JoeJFree GoldWanting vs. thinking, there is a difference
#627 | 21 May 2008 | mewapiti2I guess from what I read here, I am considered a "newbie" here... but honestly:
#628 | 21 May 2008 | Doc460704When I'm having a "bad" day I think about having a smoke twice and it just last me for a second. Just as quickly I think how happy I am not to be in that slavery any more. I've had many days though where the thought never even happens once and I haven't been at this quit that long. So I guess I have maybe six or seven seconds of "thoughts" a week. I'm one very happy camper.
#629 | 21 May 2008 | Maisie MaiAfter 18 days.. probably about 4 minutes thinking about it, although there's not a lot to think about, its quite boring that there's nothing interesting to ponder... maybe 30 seconds with a bit of an empty feeling, craving something that might be nicotine or might be something else. I'm not sure.
#630 | 22 May 2008 | IlonaHappy to be able to check in here and say:
#631 | 23 May 2008 | Rochelle2422I am still a newbiw, but I know I will never smoke again. I only think about cigarettes on the weekend at a nightclub (maybe after midnight); then someone stands next to me smoking and I have to move because it smells so bad, or I get smoke in my eye! Otherwise I enjoy running and skating with my doggy too much to have to stop to light up.
#632 | 24 May 2008 | Ginz820Being mostly a newbie myself, as I am only barely Green behind the ears, I would like to tell newer newbies that I was very concerned about the amount of time I spent thinking about cigs. I work in the construction industry which is choked with smokers and dippers and being around people smoking unrestrainedly all day was what had made me lose quits before. Every time I saw someone smoking I would think Hmm.. time for a smoke and actually go for my pocket to get one out and then remember- I can't! This went on for the first two weeks and I was wondering if this was how it was going to be for me forever. I had smoked a pack plus a day for 30 years it was so much a part of my life that I figured I would always feel the urge to smoke when I saw someone else smoke.
#633 | 19 Jun 2008 | hwc5I had my first day without a single thought of smoking at just over the two month mark.
#634 | 20 Jun 2008 | ssp64
#635 | 20 Jun 2008 | Abu Daud1I turned "green" today. It's still early in the recovery process so I'm not going to say I don't think about them...because I do, but in all honesty it's not really that much. The thoughts come quickly from time to time, but they leave just as quickly. I have busied myself in getting on with my life without cigarettes so there are usually plenty of things going on to take my mind off the occasional thoughts. Once over the initial withdrawal and with nicotine out of the system, I have found that the educational material along with reminding myself to "never take another puff" is enough to get me through the occassional "thought". I have been nicotine free for 1M 1h 15m. I have saved $155.25 by not smoking 621 cigarettes. I have put to better use 2D 3h 45m of my life. My Journey to Freedom Started: 5/20/2008 7:00 PM
#636 | 01 Sep 2008 | baSeekerI've said outloud several times over the past month that "I want a smoke". Usually right after a stressfull moment or prolonged activity has concluded to one of those "smoke 'em if ya got'm" moments.
#637 | 28 Sep 2008 | hwc5At seven and a half months nicotine-free, I'd say that, on average, I think about smoking probably one second a day.
#638 | 28 Sep 2008 | Theresa10458
#639 | 29 Sep 2008 | butterflybeth82
#640 | 29 Sep 2008 | WavyDavy7I take nothing for granted. The thought still occurs to me however. Sometimes it occurs to me that a cigarette could fill some empty space in my emotions, but it's a rather weak notion. When that idea occurs, I often see a picture in my mind of the sensations that I used to experience taking a drag on a cigarette and in retrospect, the satisfaction I got really didn't amount to much (and the smoke hurt).
#641 | 30 Sep 2008 | JazzeruniJoel and everyone here at my Freedom Family, I am proud to say that I am Nora, a nicotine addict - Free and Healing for Eight Days, 21 Hours and 15 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 9 Hours.
#642 | 30 Sep 2008 | nomowrinklesHmmmm. How many seconds a day??? not one!
#643 | 05 Dec 2008 | JoelYou will see that a few members seem to be giving the impression that it is normal to be constantly thinking of smoking weeks into quitting simply because they are recovering addicts. In reality this is not the case. Here is a string with seven years of examples of hundreds of members showing that the norm experienced by most of our members and likely most of our readers too is that thoughts for cigarettes become fewer and fewer over time. People who are constantly wanting to smoke weeks or months into their quits are not simply doing so because they are nicotine addicts. All of the people in the posts above are nicotine addicts and again, if you read their comments you will see that the vast majority of them think of cigarettes very rarely.
#644 | 10 Dec 2008 | Doc460704I might have had a thought about having a cigarette a few days ago but I'm not sure. It could be my old age kicking in. They pop into my head and out again so rarely and so quickly they don't even register anymore. For the first few months a smoking thought would pop into my head, then I'd think about what triggered it, smile, take a deep breath and say to myself "I don't do that any more". Now it takes someone to bring up the subject of smoking or I have to see (or smell) people smoking for me to even think about it. Though I might think about it I certanly don't do it with any sort of longing. If I have any feeling at all it's of remorse that I smoked for so long or feeling sorry for those people still enslaved by it. To answer the question posed by this post, MOST DAYS I'D HAVE TO SAY ZERO SECONDS on "thoughts" and never on "desires".
#645 | 10 Dec 2008 | JoeJFree GoldTell a newbie how how many seconds a day you still want a cigarette?
#646 | 10 Dec 2008 | hwc5I'm coming up on ten months as an ex-smoker. I want a cigarette ZERO times a day. I don't want anything to do with them or nicotine addiction. I'm not around smokers much, but when I am, I feel sorry for them, being chained to that addiction like I was.
#647 | 11 Dec 2008 | Melrose18
#648 | 11 Dec 2008 | Doc2474I think about smoking most days but spend NO time wanting to smoke now.
#649 | 12 Dec 2008 | WavyDavy7Thanks to the understanding I got from Freedom I am better able to distinguish a generallized craving as just that. Maybe I want a cigarette; maybe I'm hungry; maybe I just need exercise. I certainly won't choose a cigarette anymore; there are better ways to satisfy a craving and like it's often said here; even if the craving is specifically a nicotine version; it'll be over quite soon. NTAP.
#650 | 13 Dec 2008 | VICKIGOLD2006This little sign says it all and with over 2 years and 4 months without nicotine, I can truthfully say that I just do not think of smoking. I never thought I would be able to say that, but it's true!! When I see a person or a group outside a building puffing away, I just feel very sad for them. When I first quit and saw people smoking I was jealous and the craves would start. But with each day without nicotine, you become empowered and it becomes more and more difficult to rationalize having a puff.
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