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

Page 25

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.

#601 | 01 Nov 2007 | JeanT0718

I never want a cigarette. Every once in a while something will happen to make me think, oh, I used to smoke while doing this....but even then I don't want one. It is a distant memory (one that I want to make even more distant.) The way to do that is to.......


3 months 2 weeks 3 hours 55 minutes smoke-free, 2,125 cigs not smoked, $371.88 saved, 1w 9:05 life saved

#602 | 03 Nov 2007 | Kristen Goldx3

From: Suzi Sent: 11/1/2007 3:55 PM

2 seconds once a day...perhaps!
Even after only 2 months...
now THAT'S something to CELEBRATE!!
Suzi Two months, one week, four days, 16 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds. 1454 cigarettes not smoked, saving $363.51. Life saved: 5 days, 1 hour, 10 minutes.

#603 | 03 Nov 2007 | Mick Dundee Free

Absolutely zero is how many seconds a day I want a cigarette.

I barely think of it, never mind actually entertaining the thought of having one!

Life goes on and I don't miss smoking one bit.

Mick Dundee Free 6 months 2 days 13 hours, 3496 cigarettes not smoked.

#604 | 12 Nov 2007 | iwannalive

I am always remembering that I was a smoker every minute. But I dont crave for a smoke much at all maybe once or twice a day but only for about 5 seconds each time. I wouldnt even call it a crave. (just a thought )I can live with that. But I hear it gets even less than that as time goes bye. So it is well worth it to be able to breathe and not slave to smokes. 10 seconds a day urges over smoking every 20 minutes and less. I rather stay quit and healthy.

Diane - Free and Healing for Twenty Eight Days, 10 Hours and 45 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 996 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $318.99.

#605 | 12 Nov 2007 | doreen4158

I think answering this may be a bit premature for me too answer. I will say so far I have noticed I think about it less and less everyday with the craving lasting just a few minutes. Sometimes I think to myself ( and I had this experience just today) "Wow...I have not even thought of a cigarette yet today....It really is getting easier!"

Three weeks, five days, 13 hours, 36 minutes and 44 seconds. 531 cigarettes not smoked, saving $159.40. Life saved: 1 day, 20 hours, 15 minutes.

#606 | 04 Dec 2007 | RJW118

Thoughts of not smoking...frequently...I never want to forget I don't smoke any more, I intentionally keep that thought in my mind cause I never want to forget. Been there done that, it cost me another 5 years of active using.

CRAVE: not even last week when I spilled a cup of coffee all over my desk, which in the past would have sent me into a screeching stress induced crave.

WANT: as in the old "I want a cigarette" mode, never

Never Take Another Puff, Not One Puff Ever.

#607 | 10 Jan 2008 | iwannalive

I dont really have an urge to smoke .I would have to say once every two weeks for about 3-5 min. That's it. teeth em The urges get further apart. That they dont really phase me much anymore. I must say that I never thought I would ever be comfortable or truly enjoy being without a smoke. But I just feel so great and never want to return to being a smoker again.

Diane - Free and Healing for Two Months, Twenty Six Days, 22 Hours and 3 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 10 Days and 16 Hours, by avoiding the use of 3077 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $988.26.

#608 | 11 Jan 2008 | forza d animo

My name is Joseph, I am a nicotine addict. I have not had nicotine for three years and three months. Before I quit smoking, I remember, there was an ex-smoker who told me that the desire never really goes away. Still smoking at the time, I had no idea what that meant. I could only compare it to what it felt like to go more than 45 minutes without a cigarette; The discomfort of allowing the nicotine bell to go unanswered. Wanting a cigarette meant nicotine withdrawal.

I have resisted, for a long time, Joel's prompt to tell a newbie how many seconds a day I still want a cigarette, in the beginning because I kept waiting for the time when I would stop thinking about a cigarette completely. I was defiant. I wanted to prove that the person who made that statement to me so long ago was wrong. Also, I felt weak, an imperfect ex-smoker. I did not want to display weakness before a new member who might be fearful of quitting because someone with 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and more, still thought of a cigarette occasionally.

Truthfully, the moments come and go. Sometimes I think about a smoke and sometimes I don't. I find it very hard to put a time frame on it mostly because I don't dwell on it. I can only say honestly that a few times in the past year the thought of smoking crossed my mind. What I learned here, quickly dispells any thoughts of "how good a cigarette would be." In fact, I usually chuckle at the idea that even at this stage in my sobriety, the idea still crosses my mind. I chuckle because I realize that if I did not know better, one of those thoughts in the early stages of my sobriety would surely have lead me to have just one.

I understand now what that ex-smoker was telling me. I will always be a nicotine addict. The infrequent thought may still cross my mind but it will never be the thought process of an active addict whose daily focus was nicotine withdrawal prevention. Despite occasional thoughts, I never want a cigarette. I enjoy the freedom of living nicotine free way too much.

Read and be free.
3x Gold

#609 | 03 Feb 2008 | John (Gold)

A dog wearing an ex-smoker hat while sleeping

Quit in May 1999
None, since December 2001

#610 | 03 Feb 2008 | emmafisher

I don't really have cravings just a thought sometimes that I should be doing something. Then bingo in my head this was a time that I usually had a cigarette. So those to me are not cravings just really stupid thoughts. The act smoking repluses me. I smell it now and I want to gag. Thank god I remember life as a non-smoker. I didn't start until my mid twenties and I hated smokers before that and the nasty smells. Well the smell are back and that is why I never will smoke again.

Renea - Free and Healing for One Month, One Day, 10 Hours and 30 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 9 Hours, by avoiding the use of 973 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $146.17.

#611 | 03 Feb 2008 | Melrose18

Zip, Zero, Nada!

Melrose, the ex-smoker

1 year, 3 months, 3 weeks, 5 days

#612 | 03 Feb 2008 | starbirder

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


Star star em Free and Healing for Six Months, Nineteen Days and 22 Hours, while extending my life expectancy 7 Days and 1 Hour, by avoiding the use of 2039 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $521.29.

#613 | 05 Feb 2008 | wannadanc

I am 3.5 years into my new life, and I never EVER think about having a smoke. I do notice when others are smoking, and it isn't a craving nor is it a judgmental notice. I simply am aware. I do notice that my olfactory acuity can identify a smoker's car - whether it is just sitting in the lot, or driving by when I am standing next to the street. Amazing thing, that. I used to think I could camouflage my bad habit w/ other odors. BTW - I was a compulsive smoker for 45 years - upwards of 3 packs a day before I finally put them down for good. --

#614 | 18 Feb 2008 | LEHarris52

I think I've answered this before, but that was quite a while back.
So the question is..........how many seconds a day do I want a cigarette.........
Rephrase that to how many seconds a year and the answer would still be the same.
NONE!!! Thanks to this website and a decision to never take another puff......no matter what.

Gold X 4

#615 | 07 Mar 2008 | SallyGL

I never thought I could stop smoking or that I would completely stop thinking about cigarettes - but I have and its wonderful!

~ 2 years free after 42 years not.

#616 | 27 Apr 2008 | stoneris1

As a newbie, I like this string. It gives me a lot of hope and is very encouraging. There is a lot here to read. I need it close by for now, so I am kicking it up. I hope you folks don't mind?

#617 | 27 Apr 2008 | brueniap(gold)

I answered this once a long time ago I think.........thought I would answer again.


nada, zip, nothing, zilch................don't ever want to do it again...............my family smokes...................i never desire it even if they're around me smoking. I'm just glad they're not around me much because it "stinks".


Seven years, three weeks, six days, 4 hours, 57 minutes and 32 seconds. 36178 cigarettes not smoked, saving $6,331.31. Life saved: 17 weeks, 6 days, 14 hours, 50 minutes.

#618 | 27 Apr 2008 | annies1

I can honestly say that I never WANT to have another ciggarette, however I think about having one on what probably amounts to about 6seconds a week!

I have been quit16 months. I have saved £4,698.37(thats $9,317.41) and not smoked 19,374 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day, 6 hours and 30 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 30/12/2006 05:00

#619 | 28 Apr 2008 | meg


Honestly, my nicotine-related thoughts are annoyance at the smell of cigarettes if I can't avoid it etc. And it's been like this for three years. 3Y 1M 1W 3D (1 137 days)

#620 | 28 Apr 2008 | butterflybeth82

Maybe 3-5 seconds every COUPLE of days....

Seriously, it does get so much easier.

Beth - Free and Healing for Two Months, Fourteen Days, 8 Hours and 54 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1487 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $376.73.

#621 |28 Apr 2008 | OntarioNonsmoke

Hey. If there's one thing that a new non-smoker should remember it's this. When I first went on this site I had only been a non-smoker for 2 days. At that time I didn't feel very confident and was concerned that failure was around every corner. I noticed that plenty of the people on this website have been non-smokers for months, some even years... here I am with a paltry 2 days behind me; a very long road and I, well, just kept at it... tried not to think about the duration in time, and instead just focused on slowly but surely filling in all those periods in my day where I'd go have a smoke with something else. Not easy, but you'll be amazed at how building new habits become second-hand nature after a short while.

My cravings at first were brutally strong, and pretty constant, but they diminish and progressively you begin to feel more and more in control. It's a good feeling, BUT - never let your guard down and use common sense (i.e. the first three weeks I found I was extremely vulnerable). The nicotine dosage in cigarettes has been optimized and enhanced by Big Tobacco - it's MADE to make you ingest it once you fall victim to it, whether through chewing tobacco, smoking, whatever. Big Tobacco made nicotine's addictive power such that they WANT you to fail and go back to smoking. The more tobacco money you put in their coffers the more chance that you'll be placed in an early coffin. It's a cruel and nasty world in some ways.

And now? I've quit smoking for over two months and its much, much, MUCH easier. I wouldn't waste my time with telling you otherwise. I've tested myself here and there, gone out with smoker friends (didn't enjoy sucking in their 2nd hand smoke, so I don't do that very often), thought a few times of having a smoke but its a passing thought now, it has little strength; some other activity ultimately occupies my mind, and non-smoking I remain, and enjoy immensely.

This ALL comes down to YOU. It comes down to how MUCH you want to quit. Believe me, after a few months (it goes fast) you feel a strong sense of triumph, it's a great feeling. It also has given me a chance to change other things in my life, it is a remarkably big and admirable step to take. Please note though, I am ever-vigilant. I will not let my guard down until I know I will feel absolutely 100% confident that I would never ever touch another cigarette. Honestly I'm unsure whether that day will come. I'm a recovering addict, so I remind myself that an addict can't be trusted. Personally, I'll probably keep my guard up for the rest of my life, but over time the effort in doing so will dwindle to almost nothing. Even now, at two months, it takes little effort to say no. In the end I marvel at how amazing our bodies are at repairing themselves. I feel so much better as this person I was meant to be, rather than that unfortunate person who had his life taken over by tobacco for just over 19 years. Fresh and clean and no nicotine. oooo yaaaa.

Hope this helps.
Dave T.

#622 | 29 Apr 2008 | moiralives

No Seconds. I never want to smoke again.

I sometimes get hooked into a romantic thought about smoking, a memory about smoking, but it is merely a thought and not a desire or a need or a want.

I never ever want to smoke again.


Moira, smober 23 weeks, 1 day, 12 hours, 21 minutes, 56 seconds
(Thats over 5 months!!! YAY!!!)

#623 | 30 Apr 2008 | RJW118

Want? never
Need? never
Crave? never
Passing thought? maybe a couple times a week
Regrets, ever starting, not quitting soon enough, losing a 2yr 8 month cold turkey pause in 2002
RJW Free at last 7 months 12 days 11 hours, 58 min, Saved 31 days of life , $2,048.00 after 32+ yrs of feeding the addiction to the tune of 2-4 packs a day most of those years, costing an estimated 100,000.00 and untold years off my life

#624 | 03 May 2008 | jeffe23

I haven't smoked in over 2 years and have saved 54 days of my life and didn't need the patch or gum or anything.

I NEVER think of smoking really. I think I had a fleeting thought one spring day when I was having a glass of wine and standing on the deck (much like I used to do when I was chain smoking cigarettes). Those thoughts disappeared for me somewhere between three and six months and never returned.

I know someone who has been smober for more than 20 years and periodically she fantasizes about smoking but never getas any urges or anything actionable.

Jeff - Free and Healing for Two Years, One Month, Sixteen Days, 17 Hours and 40 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 54 Days, by avoiding the use of 15555 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,007.83.

#625 | 04 May 2008 | kevinjohn808

Let's see. I had to open my quit meter to remember how long it's been. Over four years now since I first came here. Distraught and frazzled. My how my perspective has changed.

I never think about smoking. Except the occasional wish for a friend or acquaintance to know the peace that comes with never taking another puff.

It seems so perfectly natural now to be at ease.


Time Smoke-Free: 1540 days, 12 hours, 45 minutes
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 30810
Lifetime Saved: 7 months, 25 days, 8 hours
Money Saved: $11,557.50

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