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

Page 20

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.

#476 | 20 Oct 2005 | victoria4504d

I think it's great so many of you hardly ever think of smoking anymore. That truly must be a great feeling. I, however, am so surrounded by smokers it is very hard not to think about it at all. This doesn't mean I'm in constant 'crave' mode, it just means I think about smoking a lot. But this no longer bothers me...I'm not going to take another puff. I have knowledge. Thoughts are not actions...and my fingers refuse to light up a cigarette. So, I may think 'cigarette'....I may think 'mmmm'....I don't move....the second is over....and I move on to something else. Nothing is uncomfortable about it anymore. It's only a thought....if I acted on all my thoughts, I'd be in be trouble; if not dead or in jail...
Hang in there....you'll be over the hard part soon...

| 22 Oct 2005 | Debi289(Gold)

If I ever think of a cigarette, and that is rare, it is about 10 seconds a year. And as quickly as that thought enters my head, I just remember what it was like, and say no way. I never will go back there. For the lurkers and people on the brink of quitting, the thought of quitting is scarier that the actual quitting. Don't think about a lifetime without nicotine, think about today without nicotine. Then when you get into bed at the end of the day......you will be that much closer to being free. Debi289

#478 | 23 Oct 2005 | davez GOLD



I have quit smoking for One year, four months, four days, 14 hours, 22 minutes and 15 seconds. I have not smoked 12289 nasty cigarettes. I have saved $1,689.87 by not buying those stupid little death sticks. I have added 6 weeks, 16 hours, 5 minutes to my precious life. I am so proud of myself for being a quitter!!

#479 | 24 Oct 2005 | JulebullGold

I'm going to be honest -- Sometimes, out of nowhere, a split-second urge voices itself: "hmmm, I'd like to..." Almost as quickly, I dismiss that thought with all that I've learned here -- NTAP, you're a puff away from a pack a day, you like yourself too much to do that to yourself ever again. I've got the tools to handle it! However, that split second reminds me that the Nicodemon is alive (but not well) out there. SMOKE FREE for more than three years (lost my Quit Meter when my old computer died).

#480 | 28 Dec 2005 | John (Gold)

A Freedom Visitor's Comments

Hello I was trawling about (as you do) and came across your group, what a wonderful thing it is I wish I had had that level of support when I gave up. I had smoked 40 a day for around 30 years and had tried often, and failed, to give up then one day I had a TIA ( mini stroke) which after extensive tests was attributed to smoking and suddenly I had to give up.

Can I tell your members that in my experience it was terrifying to even think of giving up so much so that I would rush back to my cigarettes in a panic every time I tried to give up. But be assured if you ignore that fear - just for an hour then a morning then a day or two then suddenly (honestly) the fear goes and you reach a calm determination, it is as if the addiction has given up and set you free although it pops up occasionally to keep you on your toes - but without its power somehow, suddenly you control it for the first time.

I gave up smoking more than 6 years ago and have never had one since and now I never fancy one, never even think about them and if I am around smokers it doesn't bother me in the least.

Only an ex smoker can know how brave a thing you are doing I applaud you all


#481 | 28 Dec 2005 | Laurengela

I am a newbie and I crave a smoke about 4-5 times a day. Right now it's pretty tough. I was entertaining the idea of going to buy a pack just a few minutes ago. I'm done with it now though and after reading this message board, I have got my quit back under control. Hanging tough. 6 days quit. going for one week.

#482 | 28 Dec 2005 | Joannetta

In my early days of freedom from nicotine (which even back then I treasured for the exhilerating feeling of being free from nicotine) whenever my mind slipped into a habitual thought about having nicotine, I conjured up this image of the worst of what needing to feed myself nicotine meant. Banished as a social pariah to feed on nicotine in a cold and lonely environment. No amount of "pretty-up" chemicals injected into the cigarettes could cover-up the intense stink of cigarette smoke in freezing weather.

Today - at 1 yr 5mths + I never want a cigarette. When a thought about smoking comes by - because I see or smell smoking, my thought is instant defensiveness - I NEVER let my guard down around nicotine. I keep my quit about me with one simple rule - I will never take another puff.

Cheers, Joanne

#483 | 29 Dec 2005 | KelliePfree1

I am still a newbie myself but I don't want to smoke but I think about it maybe a couple of brief times a day. The triggers were very frequent when I first quit and you just have to face them one by one. I am sure I have MANY to over come. Don't let the thought of a smoke make think you need to act on that thought! It is wonderful to be free!

I have now stopped smoking for 1 months, 1 days, 18 hours, 17 minutes, 21 seconds. That translates into 965 cigarettes NOT smoked, for a savings of $188.17! I have increased my life expectancy by 3 days, 8 hours, 26 minutes, 48 seconds.

#484 | 29 Dec 2005 | GreenSolveg

Okay, I've been thinkin' as hard as I can. There were exactly two instances when I wanted a cigarette in the past semester (4 months.) One of them I count at about 5 seconds, the other was less than 10. So

(15 secs)/(4 months)=(15secs)/(122 days)=(15 secs)/(122*24*3600secs)

so on average I spent about a tenth of a second every day desiring a cigarette, or about one ten-thousandth of a percent of my time, sleep included.

This is as opposed to the first semester I spent smoke free (starting two weeks after I quit)

1st month:probably about 1.5 hours/day
2nd month:ditto
3rd month:0.5 hours/day
4th month:0.25 hours/day

or an average of about 3300 seconds/day, about 4% of my time. I should mention that these craves were much worse than the two this semester. Those two would not even registered on my personal geiger counter a year and a half ago; today I notice them in wonderment because they are there at all.

Conclusion: Over the past two years my time spent desiring a cigarette has been reduced by five or six orders of magnitude. The numbers would be similar for one year.

Erica--Two years smoke-free!!!!

#485 | 31 Dec 2005 | Deborah21703

At this point, I find myself never wanting a cigarette. Sometime the thought passes through my mind, "this would be a good time to have a cigarette", but it's no more than a passing thought, like many other silly passing thoughts. It doesn't have any pull to it at all and is easily dismissed.

It is incredibly wonderful indeed! So for anyone reading this who is early in their quit, stick with it! Never take another puff and true freedom can be yours!


Quit for 1 year and almost four months

#486 | 04 Jan 2006 | John (Gold)

Where does this temporary journey of re-adjustment lead? It leads back to you, minus nicotine and its control over the flow of more than 200 neurochemicals inside your body. What these hundreds of member posts bear testimony to is the fact that with each passing day the challenges grow fewer, shorter in duration and generally less intense.
Why fear the next challenge when its arrival and defeat mean that one more aspect of your life has been reclaimed from your dependency? Why fear going the distance when it means the richest sense of mental quit and calm you've known since becoming slave to nicotine's two hour half-life?

Embrace this journey, don't fear it. Although it's normal to feel that we're leaving a major part of us behind it just isn't so. That lost feeling will gradually return, bit by bit with each and every challenge overcome. You're remolding each aspect of life to function without nicotine. Relish each challenge don't fear them. There is absolutely no way to lose your healing, glory and recovery so long as all nicotine stays on the outside. No nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!

John (Gold x6)

#487 | 22 Jan 2006 | davez GOLD

It's been almost 3 months since my last reply to this one and it's still.



I have quit smoking for One year, seven months, three days, 15 hours, 57 minutes and 26 seconds. I have not smoked 14566 nasty cigarettes. I have saved $2,003.05 by not buying those stupid little death sticks. I have added 7 weeks, 1 day, 13 hours, 50 minutes to my precious life. I am so proud of myself for being a quitter!!

#488 | 23 Jan 2006 | Philip2825

Well, I'm Green, but I have to say that the second month is FLYING BY. I don't think of smoking much now (3-5 times a day, but not craves, just automatic reactions) and when I do, it's no biggie. Craves are rare, maybe twice a week. They last for about 30 seconds. So about 8.6 seconds a day. I would calculate total thought given to cigarettes to maybe 4 minutes a day, average.

This is great!

Philip (Smobriety comes to: 0Y 1M 2W 5D 13H 21Mns $-Saved to date: $185.37)

#489 | 23 Feb 2006 | LEHarris52

How many seconds a DAY??? None!! A brief thought may pass my mind once a month.........for five seconds..........maybe...........

Gold X 2
Love it!!!!

#490 | 27 Feb 2006 | Kristen Goldx3

Absolutely none, zero, never. I wouldn't trade this freedom for anything! rose em

(working on 2 years of Freedom)

#491 | 28 Feb 2006 | anhef


I can hardly believe it....but that's the answer. Sometimes for a few seconds, I sort of want to do something that I formerly associated with cigarettes....like going outside for a break....but it's not the cigarette that I want, it's the associated activity! This is just incredible to me, and if anyone had told me this a month ago, I'd have called them an outright liar. But it's true! ZERO teeth em


I have been quit for 2 Weeks, 4 Days, 3 hours, 5 minutes and 23 seconds (18 days). I have saved $117.67 by not smoking 906 cigarettes. I have saved 3 Days, 3 hours and 30 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 2/9/2006 7:11 PM

#492 | 11 Mar 2006 | nancy999

Joel pointed out this board, and this is a very important board. This is a point I was completely uneduated and unknowledgable about before I hit this website. As a nicotine addict, I thought the actual time spent desiring a ciggy was every waking second. I am pleased to report that, for me, it's so small I feel like kicking myself for not find educating myself years ago.

I'm still a "newbie" - smoked a little over a pack a day forever, and honestly I get MAYBE 2-5 quick craves a day. They last shorter and shorter every day. For the first time ever, I actually can say this morning (my biggest trigger) that I have NO desire for a ciggy - none. Oh, and as a side note, coffee just doesn't taste as good - I'm drinking juice. Who would have thunk it!

NTAP Nancy
Two weeks, 12 hours, 19 minutes and 12 seconds. 362 cigarettes not smoked, saving $87.80. Life saved: 1 day, 6 hours, 10 minutes. (I get such a rush from seeing that 2 weeks)

#493 | 12 Mar 2006 | Aprilangel1951

I have been quit 2 months,11 days and I am pleased to say days go by without a thought of smoking! When one does occur it is just a brief passing thought and it is gone!!! AMAZING! I never would have believed this was possible till I experienced it! The strong craves are completely gone.
2 months,11 days,12 hours,50 minutes,12 seconds
I have not smoked 1411 nasty cigarettes,saved $169.78 and added 4 days,21 hours & 33 minutes to my life!!

#494 | 12 Mar 2006 | Kristie

I want a cigarette just long enough to remember one equals all, and the thought comes about three times a day now. When I smoked, I thought about smoking about 20 times a day and more than that when I was somewhere I couldn't smoke. Oh sweet freedom! Kristie - Free and Healing for Twenty Three Days, 16 Hours and 57 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 474 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $76.89.

#495 | 17 Mar 2006 | BearcatGOLD

I can honestly say that when I think about smoking - its not because I want to - its only because I'm completely disgusted by it by other people.

Since I quit over three years ago I had a very healthy son and I'm now pregnant with my second child. I am thankful every single day that I quit smoking and that I now live in a smoke-free environment.

So how many times a day do I think about having a cigarette - NONE!!!!!!

A non-smoker for three years and six months and loving life!!!!

#496 | 17 Mar 2006 | Pebbles

I have had no craves for at least a week, i can't believe how this is effecting me, never felt so positive about a quit in my life!

1 month 3 days 10 hours 4 minutes

#497 | 17 Mar 2006 | whosthisitsmesilly

The first week i got craves. Now its triggers that i deal with, a couple a day,well depending on the circumstances of course. When i got the craves i just used the logic that i learned on here and worked with that. Still learning. knowledge is power.
I have been quit for 1 Week, 2 Days, 9 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds (9 days). I have saved £38.97 by not smoking 187 cigarettes. I have saved 15 hours and 35 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 08/03/2006 00:00

#498 | 20 Mar 2006 | John (Gold)

This thread is a bit more accurate in stating how often thoughts of wanting to use nicotine occur as we progress through recovery. Although at times it can seem like trying to watch a rose bud open and almost impossible to appreciate, with each passing day the frequency, duration and intensity of our challenges gradually declines.

Stick with baby steps -- just one hour, challenge and day at a time -- and your freedom and healing will continue. For the record, although I may have a crave or thought about wanting to smoke nicotine at any moment now, the last time I experienced anything that you would consider a yearning was in December 2001 and I smiled during the entire brief encounter (a few seconds) as it had been months since my last and was a wonderful reminder of the amazing journey I'd once made.

Still just one guiding principle for each of us, one that will always remain our common bond, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! We're with you in spirit. Yes you can, yes you have, yes you are!! Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!


#499 | 17 Apr 2006 | whosthisitsmesilly

I dont get craves now. I dont know if i get triggers. Possibly i do?
When i'm happy, sad, mad, bored. I dont consiously want a cigarette, its as if i have to recognise the emotions and let them happen. Start and stop so to speak
I have been quit for 1 Month, 1 Week, 2 Days, 20 hours, 7 minutes and 16 seconds (40 days). I have saved £169.47 by not smoking 816 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Days and 20 hours of my life. My Quit Date: 08/03/2006 00:00

#500 | 17 Apr 2006 | Kristie


Kristie, nicotine free for 59 days

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Page created January 3, 2018 and last updated on January 3, 2018 by John R. Polito