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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.

#126 | 26 Apr 2002 | Joel

Here is another...

From: Clazz (!!SILVER!!) (Original Message) Sent: 4/23/2002 9:40 AM

I have now not been smoking for: 5 months, 4 weeks 2 days, 20 hours and 58 minutes - in three hours I will be SILVER!! But will not have access to my PC at that point so just had to tell everybody NOW!

For all you newsters out there - it seems like it will never end, the pain, the anguish, the rages, the lack of sleep, the anger, the constant, never ending nagging of nicotine withdrawal - but I am living testimony THAT IT DOES!! FINISH TOTALLY LIKE IT NEVER WAS!

Please believe me - although I can hardly believe it myself - at six months I feel free and totally devoid of the need to smoke. Now, being honest - I do very occassionally get a pang (probably once every week or couple of weeks) but I know this is just a passing thought and I dont need to act on it. Not acting on it is powerful as I rule my thoughts and dont let them rule me.

So PLEASE carry on you guys - we are ahead of you but still with you - hang in there and look foward to a SMOKE FREE SUMMER


#127 | 29 Apr 2002 | Joel

Gormo wrote a post today that I think fits very well into this thread. Not only Gormo's original post, but also the followup string that seems to be growing on it. This thread of Telling a Newbie is one I bring up and refer to often and so thought it would be good to attach Gormo's string here for it to be read not only today, but for all of our new members that join over time.

So I'm Sitting Here Thinkin'

#128 | 29 Apr 2002 | murphying (Gold)

At 4 months (almost!) I only ever think about cigarettes and smoking in the abstract. I was a 50+ a day smoker and at the start of my quit I could hardly imagine seeing myself at this stage - I was so used to quitting and failing, and cigarettes were so much a part of my life that there was nothing I did and nowhere I went without them!

Once I found Freedom I felt like I had reached a safe haven where I learned all I needed to help me stay quit. These days I feel totally at ease and am never tempted in any way to try for 'just that one' - in fact I feel so relaxed now - I've lost the weight I put on in that first couple of months and no longer suffer from the 'hand to mouth' syndrome that drove me nuts the first month!

How many seconds a day do I still want a cigarette - honestly.....none at all! Think about cigarettes? Yes - but only to be thankful I'm no longer held in their thrall!

Now smoking dreams.......that's a whole other threadwink


feeling fabulous, free, & fifty five!!!

#129 | 06 May 2002 | phiwho40(GOLD)

2 or 3 times a day for only a minute or two!!!!!!!!

And that is only after 3 weeks, 1D, and 22hrs.!!

#130 | 09 May 2002 | Richard B (Bronze)

I have a 5 second crave about every 3 to 4 days. I only think about cigarettes probably 2x a day and that is due to the stupid media or due to a friend asking how I am doing. Things are great! There is never a need for a cigarette.

Richard B.

1 Month 1 Week 1 Day 5 Hours 24 Minutes 52 Seconds 784 cigarettes not smoked

#131 | 10 May 2002 | richard This is It GOLD

Wow, John.... do you really look like that after 3 years quit ???

lol... just kidding... I do find it fascinating and a source of strength to read back through old postings... to see how people started off, and how they are now. I think you yourself have a major milestone coming up don't you ??? - can't wait for the celebration !!! ok.. back to topic....

I'm 8 weeks quit... I don't think about "Wanting a Cigarette" at all... I think about cigarettes (in a very detached sort of way), I think about "wanting something" (not sure what.. but I guess that's a crave.... but what for I'm not sure... maybe the "fix of nicotine" (rather than the actual lighting/puffing on a cigarette)) Anyway, these are "thoughts" and they pass after a few seconds....as I remind myself how far I've come.

I don't smoke anymore, I don't need to smoke anymore, I don't want to smoke anymore

I find it amazing that a short 8 weeks ago my feelings were very very very very different....


#132 | 10 May 2002 | John (Gold)

Richard, if you're talking about the X-smoker pictured above, I'm afraid that I don't look that good but it has nothing whatsoever to do with quitting, I assure you! As for me celebrating my new start in life, I promise you, I do it every single day of my life and there is no quit day in my future anymore important than today! I appreciate the thought but Freedom's threads and the valuable posting time of our members would be far better used in offering a few words of encouragement to a newbie in need!

These next 30 days are likely to bring you a new high water mark as you experience that very first day where you never once THINK about WANTING. After that first one they start happening more and more often and soon become your new norm in life. The sad part is that almost by definition it is very rare that any member notices the first such day until the at least the following day. It's a little hard to notice that you have not noticed something without causing yourself to notice it : ))) I call it the silent celebration. You're right though, it truly is amazing just how far our quits evolve in just eight short weeks. It's almost like watching a broken bone heal! You're doing great Richard! YQB John : )

#133 |01 Jun 2002 | BillW Gold

I've read this thread several times....and never posted to it before.

When I was in the first week, I read it. I couldn't believe that the physical symptoms went away. But I hung on to the assurances that they would, that it would get better.

And the physical withdrawal symptoms went away!

After the physical withdrawal, there was facing down my triggers. Fighting the psychologial battle. I read this thread again.....when it seemed all I could do was think about smoking. I couldn't believe that the obsessive thinking about smoking went away. But I hung onto the assurances that they would, that it would get better.

And the obsessive thinking about smoking went away!

Now I come here twice a day or so, and I dont even want to smoke while I'm reading about smoking (to reinforce my own quit) or posting about smoking (to encourage others).



Three months, three weeks, two days, 23 hours, 18 minutes and 25 seconds. 3389 cigarettes not smoked, saving $669.11. Life saved: 1 week, 4 days, 18 hours, 25 minutes.

#134 | 01 Jun 2002 | Tootie

Being still somewhat early into my quit I would say that since I've gone back to a normal work schedule (8-4:30) I think of smoking at work about 4-5 times a day but I would say at night I think about it almost 10 times. Its nothing I dwell on though, the thought crosses my mind, I take a deep breath and go on about my business.

Six days, 12 hours, 57 minutes and 20 seconds. 98 cigarettes not smoked, saving $21.58. Life saved: 8 hours, 10 minutes.

#135 | 06 Jun 2002 | John (Gold)

I just received the following email which was probably sent to me by a WhyQuit visitor but I'd like to share it here as it's very important for our Oldbies to keep in mind that even two month quitters can find it hard to believe that comfort is just down the road. If you're there yet, please keep in mind that they need to hear that quitting isn't a permanent condition!

I've removed the name from the email but have sent this quitter a link to this thread in hopes that they'll find it, and take some comfort in the fact that lots of psychological healing remains to be sensed! with their wonderful start to their new life!



Dear Sir,

I have been off cigarettes for eight weeks now and I've read websites concerning quitting. But please don't lie to people claiming that quitting leads to calmness and total comfort. Does this apply if you quit smoking in a war zone or if you are in an abusive relationship? No! Try focusing on matters truthful! There are numerous positive aspects to a non-smoking life so there is no need to make things up. I feel sorry for people who smoke. When they smoke they get screwed by tobacco companies and when they are trying to quit they get screwed by pharmaceutical companies trying to sell different patches and gums and then on top of that they have to listen to bollocks like smokers are bad people and losers blablbalabja. I don't smoke anymore because I will not be controlled by a drug. It is quite simple. I don't have to kid my self that Nirvana is around the corner.


#136 | 06 Jun 2002 | CaseyB (Silver)

Hello! I'm also a newbie, 6 days, going on 7!!!

I probably only get one real crave a day now. The first two days I had really bad cravings at all the usual times that I would light up. Third and fourth days seemed like I only had 2-4 bad craves. Day 5 through now it seems like its just one. Ane even that one crave isn't that big of a deal.

However, I do get those "pangs". They don't really seem to be pangs of "need" though. Its more like I'm just missing something and a second of sadness comes over me...then I just realize that "Oh yeah, I would have been smoking a cigarette now!" As soon as I realize that it was just my brain reminding me that I'm off my usual pattern, it passes and I feel happier and stronger because of it. I feel like smoking gives everyone OCD! The most painful part of quitting is jumping out of your normal routine!


I have chosen not to smoke for 6 Days 14 Hours 16 Minutes 41 Seconds!!! Cigarettes not smoked: 98. Money saved: $12.37. I have rescued 16 Hrs 29 Mins 14 Secs of my life!

#137 | 06 Jun 2002 | Rickgoldx5

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 1 Day 3 Hours 47 Minutes 20 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 2025. Money saved: $302.88.

I'm not going to kid you, I think about it once an hour but only for a few minutes. Thats not bad concidering that I was smoking 4pks a day. I really thought by now that I would not have these thoughts anymore! But from what everyone says its normal. I just thank God and the people at freedom for the help. I hope I can continue to help as many as possible as it helps keep me smoke free!!

teeth em

#138 | 06 Jun 2002 | Toast (GOLD)

Wow, John, thanks for posting that email you got! Talk about a trip down memory lane.

"Please don't keep teasing me that I might feel calmer or comfortable in my quit! I didn't feel that way before I quit. I don't feel that way now. Therefore, I will never feel that way. It's cruel of you to hit below the belt like that."


Double HA!

Why would we comfortable ex-smokers lie to anyone about feeling calmer and comfortable in a quit??! Do we make money on you believing it? Do we have any control over you? No. No. No. No.

Friends, I'm here just about every day - not to keep me from smoking - I'm done with that - but to keep me learning more and more, closer to my very core, that I am and forever shall be addicted to nicotine. Every bit of truth and encouragement I can soak up arms me that much more for any hair-brained junkie thinking that awaits me in the future. And it does. That's just the nature of reality. I'm here too to offer help when I can to people learning along with me.

Am I here to fool lurkers and newbies into some sinister cock & bull story about it getting better??!! You tell me how your first month compared to your first week, how your third month compared to your first, how your first half a year compared to day one, how the day you turned Gold compared to the day before you quit. If you can say it didn't get any better, I'd have to say you are lying to yourself. I'd have to say you are not really willing to give your quit the nurturing chance it needs to grow and hug you back.

Nirvana is anywhere you want to put it with all your heart.

love Melissa
The Gold Club

#139 | 06 Jun 2002 | Joel

I think the person above must be interpreting something that is not being said. I don't think there is anywhere we we have written that by quitting smoking life becomes perfect. Things still happen in life that can bring people down both physically and mentally. It is just that most people find themselves able to cope with such times in a calmer manner than if they were facing the same situation with withdrawal on top of it. I think the person should also check out the links to the following string explaining the interaction between stress and smoking. Do ex-smokers not face or feel stress? Of course not, but they don't experience the exaggerations of nicotine withdrawal symptoms on top of stress and never will again as long as they know to never take another puff.


"I have to smoke because of all my stress"

#140 | 06 Jun 2002 | JERGOLD1

This thread was started 28 days into my quit. I posted to it at 1 month 3months and I think 6 months. I am now gold and smoking is a thing of my past. I don't really think about cigarettes anymore, But thanks to this place I know I am only one puff away from going back to where I never want to be again, so I keep my guard up.


One year, one week, four days, 7 hours, 50 minutes and 1 second. 7526 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,749.92. Life saved: 3 weeks, 5 days, 3 hours, 10 minutes.

#141 | 06 Jun 2002 | marie ree(bronze)

I had a 2 second thought about smoking today. And that was the first one in three weeks. I call it a thought because there was no strong urge for a smoke.

Marie 2M+

#142 | 13 Jun 2002 | Roger (Gold)

This is the first time for me posting to this thread. I don't know why I haven't in the past. Probably because I was busy posting other things on the boards. Tonight I was sitting here thinking as I posted some milestones and other things. It occured to me I do not remember the last time I thought about a cigarette. I mean for myself. I work around smokers all day. I do not and have not desired one for a long time. I think I had a dream around 3 months and a possible crave. Actually I think the crave was a trigger because I was doing something I hadn't done in ages and used to always smoke then. My mindset is and has been for a long time now "I Don't Smoke anymore and Furthermore I don't Even Desire To. Works for me.

I just want all of the newbies and who are wondering if it all stops and gets better. I also realize there are times when a hard crave or trigger is surfacing and it seems like things just do not get nay better. Have Faith. Relax. It Does Really Get Better. Understand this, it may have gotten better faster for me than you. But rest assured......It will happen to you. Never Take Another Puff and I will guarantee it gets soooooo much better.

Roger .... I have chosen not to smoke for:

5 Months 1 Week 5 Days 19 Hours 52 Minutes 21 Seconds. I have not smoked : 6553. I have saved : $1,068.16 of my hard earned dollars. (It is in the bank thanks to my wife)

#143 | 13 Jun 2002 | SweetLorraine (Gold)

Funny, I can't remember exactly a week or two ago I had a smoking thought, sort of. I sat down to take a break after some yard work and I felt like something was missing. Took me a few minutes to figure out what it was - it was a cigarette. It wasn't that I wanted to smoke, just seemed like I'd forgotten something. (It's irritating to get settled and realize you don't have your glasses or that you left your book up stairs or that your drink is still on the kitchen counter.)

The first week or two wanting a cigarette seemed constant, but not smoking becomes a habit. Give it a try! I do think about the fact that I don't smoke quite often - it always delights me.


Celebrating 8 months and 2 days of Freedom

#144 |17 Jun 2002 | Sam18Nov Gold

things smell so good............... .... ....taste so good.......... and i can do so much now ................it is really not aproblem........just a habit to have 2-3 seconds of smoking thoughts a day....

thanks for being here...............i am

sam - nicotine free for 3w 5d 13m
hot emrainbow em hot em

#145 | 17 Jun 2002 | Joanne Gold

c02 comfortIt has been a while since I responded to this post. I have been free almost three and a half years and think of smoking all the time because of my time spent at this forum. When I say "thinking" ....be assured.....it has nothing to do with "wanting".... I am not bothered by thoughts to smoke. Keep in mind that my mindset in my early quit still had the little voice (junkie thinking) telling me that somehow I would be different and that I just would never feel comfortable...I thought the constant struggle would always stay at bay. Don't allow the distorted mindset caused by addiction lead you here .. .work though this and understand that each of us do eventually feel at peace and comfortable as ex-smokers.

The voices fade and the logic fills our minds and hearts. In fact, if I was told tomorrow that smoking wouldn't cause any health problems...I still wouldn't smoke. No way...it is disgusting, dirty, expensive, and makes no sense at all. In my earlier days of quitting I always said that smoking was too scary...well... it is..... but that is no longer why I stay off. It gets even better folks! Plain and simple is my answer....

It feels so wonderful to be in control and not have the grips of a killer addiction run my life. I fully understand that in order to maintain this wonderful glory...all I have to do is never take another puff.

This is such a wonderful thread. New quitters with extra time would really benefit by reading the early posts on this string. Hitting the "First" icon under the original post or the bottom of this string will allow navigation thru the previous messages. It sure is enlightening to see how much easier it gets, a wonderful tool of hope. We have to hold on tight and allow the healing to take place. Any challenges are temporary, eventually any thoughts to smoke will be rare and not bothersome. The process is amazing and each of us deserves to be free and in control, the way we were meant to be.

Don't forget friends, it isn't a matter of how strong we are....it has to do with being smart! Baby steps to freedom...not one puff...no matter what.

Gold Club

#146 | 24 Jun 2002 | Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200

Great thread. I am no authority but somehow after two weeks, craves are less strong, more controlable. But the thought of a cigarrete comes up ten to twenty times a day. No strong crave, all are fading away.... It is allways me who takes those desitions.....not to smoke...not to take another puff.


#147 | 11 Jul 2002 | MareBear GOLD

At almost 6 weeks, I "want" a cigarette probably 5-6 times a day, for maybe 2-3 seconds, then I get over it. (max: 18 seconds!) It doesn't get uncomfortable like it did in the very beginning. It's just a thought, not a crave. It's very nice to be calm!


I have chosen not to smoke for: 1 Month 1 Week 4 Days 23 Hours 15 Minutes 20 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 859, saving me $133.20.

#148 | 11 Jul 2002 | Joel

For Joanne F:

This string would read a whole lot different at a board where NRT was still being used. You are not likely to hear people who are off cigarettes for months or years but still using NRT products saying they think about cigarettes a few seconds a day or maybe even just a few seconds a week. These people are thinking about or getting cravings for nicotine on a daily basis and likely experiencing frequent and longer lasting thoughts each and every day. The way to end your bodies demand for nicotine is to simply stop administering it and letting your body truly adjust to a nicotine free existance. To accomplish this means never putting nicotine into your body from any source whether it be by patch, gum, inhaler and in respect to cigarettes just knowing to never take another puff!


#149 | 12 Jul 2002 | JoAnne F

Thanks Joel.....you are really a piece of work.!! I love this forum.

Joanne F.

#150 | 21 Jul 2002 | StrosinGOLD1

This is a wonderful thread! I'm 3 Weeks 1 Day 12 Hours 10 Minutes 48 Seconds into my new life. Cravings have turned to thoughts, and at this point, those thoughts occur 6-7 times a day, usually for 3-5 seconds. Every now and then a thought will remain, yes, that junkie thinking, and so I'll say "I'm not smoking today" or "never take another puff" and then my thoughts change direction.

I look forward to the day when I won't have junkie thinking, just more peace. As many have stated, that day will come!

YQS Sharon

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