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

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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.

#76 | 28 Aug 2001 | JERGOLD1


I go through whole days now without thinking about a cigarette. Sometimes at the end of a day I will try to count how many thoughts I had that day and get the count confused whether my thought was from that day or the day before or the day before that. I did get a strong urge going back to the hotel to pick up a camera for the rehearsal dinner for my daughters wedding. I was alone and the thought went into my head i could buy some smokes have one throw the rest of them away and no one would know.

But the more I thought about it the less sense it made. Plus, I really didn't want one anymore, it was just nerves , after a few minutes the urge past. I was very proud of myself. Just remember everything you learn here and you will be OK. I stay on my guard , but most days are a breeze.


Three months, two days, 6 hours, 23 minutes and 4 seconds. 1885 cigarettes not smoked, saving $438.34. Life saved: 6 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes.

#77 | 30 Aug 2001 | shilyn

I sit and sometime's want a smoke, and tell myself it would not be any good for me. I get scared that one day something will happen, and I will really want that smoke bad. All I can do is hope and pray that God will be here for me, to guide me in the right direction, and I will not smoke ever again.

This I believe will be one of the hardest thing's I will ever do in my life, And I'll tell you it is hard to be around people who smoke. I didn't realize how much disrespect a smoker can give to someone who doe not smoke. What is even harder to face is that I was one of those people. I did not care if a person did not like smoke or not!

I will fight these craving's. I have had 2 cry spell's since I quit. I guess cause I am fighting myself. I was 8 when I hd my first smoke. Today I am 30. I smoked for 22 year's. I sit now and wonder why did I have to get that first cigarette? To this day I can not answer. I am now in my 6th day and fighting! I am #1 bound and determined to stay smoke free! I thank everyone in the family here for your support.

God Bless,


#78 | 04 Sep 2001 | Gormo Gold

While it's very hard to believe in the first few weeks, it is absolutely true. IT DOES GET BETTER, MUCH, MUCH BETTER! And it happens quickly too! The trick is to stay with it and Never Take Another Puff! Gormo.

#79 | 05 Sep 2001 | starla (GOLD)

I just wanted to say that when i first started my quit, I thought it would be IMPOSSIBLE to go a whole day without thinking about smoking! The craving was constant, every second my only thought was that I wanted to smoke!! NOW I HAVE GONE BY MANY MANY MANY MANY DAYS WITHOUT ONE SINGLE THOUGHT OR DESIRE TO SMOKE!! FREEDOM AT LAST!@!! ITS SO GREAT ISNT IT!??


Smoke free for eleven months, two weeks, five days, 7 hours, 11 minutes and 15 seconds. 12365 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,762.08. Life saved: 6 weeks, 22 hours, 25 minutes.


| 11 Sep 2001 | childofnite GOLD

Hi there! I found this thread to be particularly useful when I was fairly new in my quit. Joel pointed me towards it. Now that I have been NICOTINE FREE for 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days, 3 hours, 15 minutes and 2 seconds, I feel comfortable enough to let newbies know that I *maybe* spend 2 minutes out of an entire day thinking about cigarettes. I no longer obsess about them, and I find the act of smoking.... well....*filthy*.wink em

I haven't yet had those wondrous days where there are no thoughts at all, but I've come pretty close.

Keep it up, newbies! I *never* thought I'd be at this point. You CAN do it!

Yqs, Diana

#81 | 11 Sep 2001 | grafix(Gold )

One month, two weeks, two days, 15 hours, 38 minutes and 27 seconds. 714 cigarettes not smoked, saving $233.49. Life saved: 2 days, 11 hours, 30 minutes.

A few thoughts still around each day, but these make me stronger becuase I realise I still have an addiction. I use the term thoughts becuase the craves really don't exist anymore.


#82 | 18 Sep 2001 | Joel

I am attaching Mitch's post that was in today's parade to this string so that it can help to confirm the fact the urges do become a rarity over time.

From: mitch (bronze) Sent: 9/17/2001 11:05 AM

A hardy congratualations to all of you quitters out there. Just wanted to let you know that I've gone a solid day without even a micro-thought about smoking. Actually had to remember to have an urge and then do a "put-thee-behind-me" on it. The mind is a treacherous friend, no?

Mitch hasn't smoked for: 155 days, 11 hrs, and 59 min. Cigarettes not smoked: 1560 Money saved: 366.60 Life saved: 5 days, 10 hrs, and 0 min.

#83 | 27 Sep 2001 | Vee GOLD

Last week I was at a seminar and thought "I can't wait to get home and have a cigarette while I look thru this book and plan what I'm going to do!" I really began to fixate on that! When I got home I went to this site to find ANY article that would help (most all of them do) and I ran across one that I printed and will always have with me now. It is "Boy, do I miss smoking!" The one statement that is so true in there is "If you say it often enough you really start to belive it."

I have been quit for 1mo/1week/1day. There are days now that I will have to stop and think "Did I think about smoking today?" And there are days when I will think of smoking only because I'm driving and seeing someone else smoking in their car. I am the one that chose to quit, I will be the one that will decide whether or not to dwell on any small thought I may have of smoking and I choose not to dwell and never to take another puff.


#84 | 04 Oct 2001 | citylee

6 months, two weeks, 1 day smoke free, $1,599 saved moola, 7,998 cigs not smoked, 3 weeks and 6 days of life saved!

Thanks for bringing this post up. I would like to add my thoughts. I would like to say first off when I joined this group I was 4 days into my quit and I was reading posts that people who quit 6 months+ were replying to my post and I was wondering how dreadful it was going to be to get that far. My four day quit had me in a panic and I was looking at the people that had quit a long time and it just seemed so far away I couldn't grasp that others actually did it and were coping well. I had thoughts constantly and was praying I would stop thinking of it.

I very rarely think of wanting a cigarette now. Thinking of smoking is more often because others around me smoke. I was waiting in the car for a friend outside a shopping centre last week and saw a girl on her break sitting on a bench and she chain smoked 3 cigs in 10 minutes that she was there. I stared at her thinking, God, smoke enough girl? But in reality I used to do that too. I am now realising how foolish I looked and how addicted I was.

I used to go outside with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for a smoke when we were all together, now they leave every half hour and I felt left behind with the non-smokers. At first that was when I craved the most, knowing what they were doing and I wanted to follow so badly. I now try to tell others how graet it is to be finally free of it. I had the shopping problems too! I avoided movies and restaurants where I could not smoke and now I see more and more places turning smoke free and think to myself, gee, I am glad I don't smoke anymore cause that would have really bothered me that I couldn't smoke there.

Wishing you all good health!!!


#85 | 11 Oct 2001 | Joel

I hope Ryan doesn't mind but I copied the post below to use to add some additional perspective in this string. This one is brought up often because it shows how most people get to a point of not smoking being done with relative ease once the initial quitting process is overcome--and will stay that way as long as we all remember to never take another puff!


From: Ryan(Bronze) (Original Message) Sent: 10/10/2001 6:47 AM

Hi Freedom Family! I didn't want any of you to think I have forgotten about you. My quit is going well and I owe a lot to the Freedom Family. Also I can't believe how easy it is not to smoke. I hope all the newbies are listening to what I just said. Smoking does not come across my mind hardly anymore. I still hang out with my buddies when they smoke (even though I HATE smelling like it) because I know it really makes them mad to see me not struggle to fix my fix. Hopefully I can inspire them to quit. It's a dirty game to play but someone's got to do it smiley

Well I'm still alive, I just wanted to let you know I am doing very well!



I have not smoked for Four months, three weeks, four days, 7 hours, 40 minutes and 2 seconds. 2966 cigarettes not smoked, saving $519.12. Life saved: 1 week, 3 days, 7 hours, 10 minutes.

#86 | 12 Oct 2001 | childofnite GOLD

Hello again, everyone!!! I posted a month and almost a day ago - and I can't believe how much has changed since then - I am almost at that special mark (90 days) In which ex-smokers begin to feel days of complete comfort. I have ALREADY had a few days like that. It can be done, and I find it so incredibly hard to believe that I am where I am now.

I have also been struggling with my weight for most of my life (I'm 27) and never could take it off. Now, with Joel's teachings - and what I was able to accomplish here at Freedom - I am on my way to being the person that smoking would never let me be.

To all friends and Freedom members: I love you all. It's hard to believe that people who don't know you will care so much about you, and help to save your life. You all continue to amaze me. (((((FREEDOM)))))

To all lurkers and newbies: PLEASE take the chance with Freedom and QUIT *NOW*. If you are reading this message, you have already taken that crucial first step. I truly believe that Freedom offers what no other site can - truth, understanding, and the best possible chance of quitting. And, no one that runs this site profits from your use of this resource. It comes from the heart.

Thank you all.

Yqs, Diana

I have been FREE for 2 Months 2 Weeks 2 Days 23 Hours 32 Minutes 48 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 947. Money saved: C$343.57.

#87 | 16 Oct 2001| Triin (GOLD)

I have already replied to this thread, but the situation has changed meanwhile, and I thought I'd do it again. I have to say that the number of seconds I still want a cigarette in a day is usually zero. It doesn't cross my mind, I don't remember to remember it anymore, if that makes sence.

When I think about smoking, it is usually because somebody reminds me of that, for example by smoking. But thinking about smoking does necessarily mean wanting to smoke. Many times I find myself irritated by smoking, it gets on my nerves. There are still some times, when I find the thought of smoking pleasureable. usually it is when I experience something new, not ordinary. Feelings I don't feel every day. It's not like an urge I used to feel when I started my quit. It's like a little bit of nostalgia. It passes soon, and it's not hard.

But usually, when I think about smoking - it's a thought of how grateful I am that I don't have to smoke anymore :-) I'm almost @ 8 months

Your Quit Sister,

#88 | 16 Oct 2001 | I win (GOLD)

Mornin' everyone. Just wanted to join in with my three cents worth. I WANT a sickarette - ZERO times a day...sometimes get a psychological nostalgic craving for the "bad old days" maybe a minute or two a few times a day...sometimes not at all. Pretty much I spend a bazillion seconds a day feeling sooooooooooooooo healthy physically and mentally it still amazes me. It's almost like my two+ pack a day x 36 years deadened my senses and my brain.

In addition to gaining mental freedom from the addiction I experience such joy taking deep and deeper and deeper breaths each day, and running and walking and biking. I think it was Marty that suggested -- pretend you're holding a cigarette and suck in a deep breath of fresh air while looking at the sky or the stars. Why would anyone want to substitute sucking 4,000 chemicals when you can inhale that fresh clean sweet tasting air! It's not a joke, you really do feel younger and happier and freer and physically fitter, able to act like and feel the energy of a kid again instead of that numb, lethargic apathetic me that didn't go to movies, or dinner, or friends houses because I couldn't suck on my poison sticks. Hang on tight to your quits Newbies, you've got a whole new wonderful life ahead of you!

yqs, Patty

Free and truly alive for three months, six days, 7 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds. 3933 cigarettes not smoked, saving $688.31. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 15 hours, 45 minutes.

#89 | 04 Nov 2001 | Robert

uhhhhhh ... a WHAT !?!?!?!?



#90 | 05 Nov 2001 | katenosmo (green)

I haven't smoked for 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 day. About 900 cigarettes not smoked. (I can't download the quit meter)

I want a cigarette about 120 seconds a day, but it is not the "climbing the walls" crave that I experienced during week one. I think about smoking about 7,200 seconds a day, but these are not cravings per se. Occasionally they are fond thoughts of smoking, thinking about that one enjoyable satisfying cigarette - the fantasy cigarette that one gets to enjoy once every 120 painful chest tightning cigarettes - but it's fleeting. Most of my cigarette thoughts usually are focused on the benefits of not smoking. I look in the mirror and I think about how much brighter and clearer my skin is. I think about my morning jogs where I go five miles like its nothing (I used to start my mornings drinking a pot of coffee and chain smoking in front of the TV). I think about how proud my friends and family are. The list goes on ...

Stay close to the freedom boards! I've spent hours and hours just reading from these posts and Joel's library. I learned to surrender to the idea that the first few days or so would be hell and I would be crazy, sad, angry, and panicked. I did not expect it to be easy, and it wasn't, but I held on to all the patience I could muster and it has gotten easier!!!!


#91 |06 Nov 2001 | Kinzismom (green)

Two weeks, 15 hours, 44 minutes and 11 seconds. 293 cigarettes not smoked, saving $47.63. Life saved: 1 day, 25 minutes.

I never thought I would be able to say I have gone two weeks and 15 hours without a cigarette and I'm doing just fine! I almost feel guilty about how easy this has been for ME. My husband still smokes and the first week, that made it tougher for me. Now, that horrid, disgusting smell makes my resolve to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF even stronger. Already it is a rare occurence when I think I want one. I don't have to fight those thoughts very much at all. If I have a moment where I forget and think I want one, all I have to do is remember how far I've come in just two weeks!

Congratulations to all you other quitters!Thumbs Up

#92 | 06 Nov 2001 | Chief (Gold)

Well, I have to agree with several others in this post. I too normally think about having one ZERO times in the day. On occation the thought does enter my mind, then I remember "I don't smoke anymore". It is strange to have the thoughts after all this time, but after 16 years of smoking, it is hard to forget old habits. One thing that all of you have to look forward to is the FREEDOM we all have once we quit and never look back.

It is really easier than you think! wink em

One year, three months, two weeks, 2 hours, 12 minutes and 36 seconds. 9421 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,177.73. Life saved: 4 weeks, 4 days, 17 hours, 5 minutes.

#93 | 15 Nov 2001 | Joel

In case we do have extra people lurking today, this is an important string. Read and learn that as people stay off longer and longer, staying off does get easier. Not smoking becomes the norm, the need for cigarettes no longer exists and even the thoughts for cigarettes eventually become sporadic to non-existent. Not smoking becomes a habit.

While not smoking is the habit it is still of paramount importance to recognize that in fact you are still a drug addict--but a recovering addict as opposed to an actively using one. There is a huge difference between these two states. The recovering addiction becomes asymptomatic--there are no signs and no residual "noticeable" effects. But there is one big difference between the recovering addict and a person who has never used the specific drug in the past. The recovering addict who shows no physical sign of addiction can relapse by the single administration of the substance. A never user cannot relapse from such a one time experience.

But never users too must be cautious of using addictive drugs too, especially in the case of the drug nicotine that does have such a strong addictive potential. A never user can easily get him or herself addicted if he or she is not careful. Keep in mind, every person here at Freedom and in fact every smoker you ever met was once a never user who never planned on becoming addicted to nicotine. They just didn't recognize that early experimentation was going to lead to the outcome that it did in fact reach--they became addicted smokers putting their health and their life on the line for a drug. So whether you never smoked before or whether you are an recovering nicotine addict--the way to stay free from the harmful effects and control that nicotine has the full potential to exert on you is to know now to never take another puff!


#94 | 16 Nov 2001 | reiterin

I was thinking today about how much I don't think about cigarettes anymore. I really never thought this possible before I quit, when my life was consumed by cigarettes. I don't want to do the math to figure out how many seconds a day I wanted a cigarette when I was an active smoker! And how many seconds my body was in withdrawal. ugh.

Now I've been nicotine free for: 2M 2W 5D 20h 48m 43s, 1132 not smoked, saving $254.73, LS: 3D 22h 20m

Seconds a day I want a cigarette: Well, I'd have to average that out, it'd come to about 10 seconds a day. Many days I don't want one at all!

As for thinking about a cigarette, that happens more often. But thinking is just that... thinking. Usually its about the bad aspects of it. It's when I see someone smoking, and I see them take that puff that destroys them, knowing that soon after they finish this one they're going to crave another one... and another... and another.... And so I think about cigarettes. I think about how happy I am that I'm free of them! :)

Sometimes situations will remind me of how I used to have a smoke. Those triggers we all go through. They're getting so much less and so much easier, though. The first week everything was a trigger, coupled with craves. Now its things that I haven't encountered yet since my quit, like cold weather. But mind you, they're not cravings. They're mere reminders, and then (as others mentioned) I find myself saying, to myself, "But I don't smoke anymore." and the thought is gone.

My thoughts and wants for smoking get less and less; however, I will always know there is no such thing as 'one puff'. I know that I am an addict. And I know more than anything I don't want to go back to that life of constantly wanting - needing - a cigarette.

I only wish I could tell everyone I see smoking how wonderful freedom really is, and I wish I could make them believe that it does get so much better. The only word I can think of right now to describe this is... amazing.

And it only gets better. :)

~ reiterin

#95 | 28 Nov 2001 | childofnite GOLD

Thanks for bringing this to the top again, Marty. It's about time for my third entry in this thread. wink em

Well lurkers and newbies alike: How many seconds a day do I WANT a cigarette? NONE! The occasional 'thought' comes, maybe once every 3 or 4 days, and I look at it and say to myself silently: Whaddaya talking about - I don't do that anymore ... GET BENT!

My quit is really at the point where it is nothing more than just an annoyance every once in a while. It is NOT a crave, and I do NOT want one. It is just wee little faint memories, much like the smell or sound of something makes you remember a time in your life. Not even remotely quit threatening!

I never thought I'd be at this point in my quit - even at the time of my last post. It really does just take patience, and the education offered here at Freedom. Keep reading!!!! Newbies: READ AND POST YOUR BRAINS OUT! Lurkers: Join our family! Now that you see it is possible, there's no more excuses for poisoning yourself and those around you! Love yourself, and I hope to see you around soon!

Yqs, Diana

4 Months 2 Days!!

#96 | 28 Nov 2001 | Tucker1949(Gold)

Afternoon all again ! Wow afternoon already what a fast day today ,going at breakneck speed. LOL Anyway finally getting here and Thank You Marty for bringing this thread up for me. Really, I looked for it! I have posted to this thread before. I remember it was the circulation in my hands getting better then. Now I feel better all over,fatter all over too but will work on that when I am really ready. Right now just trying to maintain.

How many seconds a day do I spend WANTING a sickerette. NONE!!! I had trouble at 3 months and again at 6 months but now I not only do not think of wanting a sickerette. I am thinking I do not want to even be in the same room as a smoker.Eweeeee I don't want to sound that way, when I was a smoker I always hated it when someone got snooty about me smoking. Well I will keep my mouth shut but it does not mean I have to enjoy it.Dang still smelling and tasting the smoke from Thanksgiving.

Maybe it is not good to tell a newbee that I had trouble at those times. I am not really sure why I had the trouble then myself but I hung in there, came to the board and posted and really had support from all of you, and now I am comfortable. This is a different kind of comfortable now than what I had when I quit almost 20 years ago. Yep ! after that first puff it took me years to get the courage up to try again.This time I quit for me. This time I have the education available to me from Freedom and I am using it. I used it allot when I first started here, now I just go back to refer to when I need to. But just knowing it is here and reading the posts and having the support is truely a Life Saver. Hugs around! Never Take Another Puff.

One year, three weeks, five days, 13 hours, 14 minutes and 32 seconds. 2740 cigarettes not smoked, saving $479.65. Life saved: 1 week, 2 days, 12 hours, 20 minutes.I know my stats are not all that exciting as some, money wise or amount of sickeretts not smoked. I did not smoke all that much but believe me I was just as addicted as a three pack a day smoker and I think it was just as hard for me to quit.Hang in there everyone and I wish you all the Comfort I am feeling now!

YQF Chris

#97 | 13 Dec 2001 | Joel

thumbs upI had a call from a reporter who is writing a story about quitting smoking for a group of medical professionals, who I referred to Freedom this morning. This string is an important one--trying to help people realize that there is life after smoking and it is a life where not smoking becomes pretty easy, much to the surprise of many people who think quitting smoking means a lifetime battle and ongoing struggles. Quitting smoking will require staying committed for a lifetime (a day at a time of course), and staying on your guard over the long haul, but it does not mean fighting constant cravings and urges every day for the rest of an ex-smokers life. Not smoking will become habitual, and the thought sporadic to almost non-existent over time. But always the ex-smoker must remember that there is an addiction still present, that will get easier and easier over time and get to the point where any signs or symptoms of the addiction will become almost non-existent, and will then stay that way as long as the person always remember to never take another puff!


#98 | 28 Dec 2001 | SonKist501(GREEN x2)

I never want a sickerette! I have been free for 1 month and 2 days, and I do still have fleeting thoughts about sickerettes. But want one? No way. I will never take another puff!

I never thought I could really be free after smoking 38 years. I tried to quit a few times and made it a couple of days. I used patches, gum, hypnosis, accupuncture, and anything else anyone suggested. Not realizing I would never be free until I was willing to give up nicotine, the drug that kept me an addict.

I was a lurker on this site for months before I decided to quit. I read for hours and hours and learned so much about my addiction. I never knew that I was a drug addict. When I learned that and was clean for 3 days, I joined Freedom. I am so glad I did. There is always someone here who has been where you are and knows what you are going through and are so willing to support you. Its a great place to be for nicotine addict who wants to stay free.

The first week is the hardest, but not impossible to do, it just takes baby steps one day at a time and it gets easier everyday. Then JUST NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! Betty

#99 | 28 Dec 2001 | Alice


Alice the Addict

Nicotine free for over 8 weeks now and feeling fabulous! Seriously, OK, once in awhile I think about smoking but it's less and less and less and less and less and less!

#100 | 03 Jan 2002 | DesertRat

I can't honestly say I never think about smoking -- I do. But the thought passes so quickly it's almost like I didn't have it in the first place -- weird. It is so truly wonderful not to crave such a destructive element in my life, truly wonderful that I wouldn't dream of putting my precious body through that again.

Lest I sound smug or complacent in my quit, rest assured I'm not. My Dad said it took about 5 years for him to really get past thinking about smoking, and it's now been 15 years. It's different for everyone. But when I walk into a 7-11 or some other place and I smell someone's smoke (I'm in Reno, NV where people can smoke just about anywhere but in hospitals, stores, workplaces), I honestly just about gag. It's so disgusting and I still have a hard time believing that I actually smelled that bad. I've been quit for a year now, after smoking over 2 packs a day for 35 years, and I'm so happy with myself. Newbies, you honestly can do it.

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