Tell a newbie how many seconds a day do you still want a cigarette
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.
#751 | 30 Nov 2011 |
It's been two and a half months since setting myself free from nicotine, and over a thousand cigarettes not smoked! I don't think of having a cigarette often enough to think to post on this thread today. I would say...once in a while is how often I want a cigarette, and its fleeting. More wonderful: being around smokers and having a good time does *not* trigger the desire, so I don't have to avoid parties. What causes triggers are things I haven't done in a while, like finishing a long book for instance. These are very weak phantoms of an old desire that far from causing discomfort make me want to laugh at the silly things that cause a fleeting thought or desire.
The reason I came here to post today was to share with people in their process of breaking away from the addiction a realization I had. I realized that living without nicotine is incredibly easy. What has been hard sometimes is not having a crutch, especially at first, during some moment of stress. I just wanted to give a newbie the benefit of that understanding and tell you that the answer is, it turns out crutches aren't needed. Wings are. We had them all along. When we put out the last cigarette we found our wings, started flapping them, achieved liftoff, and then started enjoying the ride and the view. Congratulations to you if you're a newbie reading this. If you are anxious today wondering how you could possibly get through life without a crutch, turn that question around and think of how sweet it is to be free of needing any.
#752 | 08 Dec 2011 | FreedomStaff
]I am kicking this string up now because I want the new members to be reading through it. It is an important string showing how over time the thoughts for cigarettes do really become infrequent. I also want to note that the purpose of this string is for new members to read the experiences from a lot of people what it is like for them not to over time, not for new members to write what it is like for them the first few days or weeks of quitting.
#753 | 08 Dec 2011 | Joe J free
Tell a newbie how many seconds a day DO I still want a cigarette?
Out of the 86,400 seconds that make up today - how many will you spend actually wanting to ingest some nicotine by sucking hot tobacco smoke through a paper tube? I bet it's actually less than 0.5% (that would be 7.2 minutes).
WOW, You're already 99.5% free psychologically.
We all get 100% free and clean physically in about 3 days when we decide to not take another puff.
Even before I quit I didn't want to smoke all day every day any more & yet I still had to....to stave off constant withdrawal anxiety that is the result of our body eliminating the chemically addictive poison from our blood serum.
Once free of nicotine we no longer have to................. so why would we Want to do that again?
Don't go through the rest of life thinking you're just getting by without nicotine ......instead Celebrate LIVING Free of nicotine.
"I don't want to die!" - the bottom line?
Withdrawal is Temporary. Recovery is a temporary period of adjustment back to the way we are meant to be - free.
Freedom is permanent as long as we keep our personal promise to not take another puff, no matter what, for the rest of today.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change as well.
Joe J free 83 months this coming Saturday
#754 | 31 Dec 2011 | Petey
Before I found Freedom I never thought I could quit for good but even though I am only in the early stage of my quit I am 100% certain that I am going to keep it going.
Since I was a slave to nicotine for 35 years and this is my 35th day of Freedom, I have a year to a day relationship in terms of smoking and not smoking. Freedom is so worth it - here is what it is like for me ALREADY! - And I bet I am more shocked than you!
How often do I WANT one? - Never.
How often do I think about smoking - Never.
How often do I think about NOT smoking - Several times a day.
How often do I get a physical craving? - Never
How often do I get an urge or a trigger? - A few times a day.
WHEN I WAS A SMOKER?
How often did I WANT one? - About once EVERY 20-30 minutes.
How often did I think about smoking - About once EVERY 20-30 minutes.
How often did I get a physical craving? - About once EVERY 20-30 minutes
How often did I get an urge or a trigger? - About once EVERY 20-30 minutes
How often did I think about NOT smoking (Quitting) - Several times a week for at least 30 years.
Its easy to keep your nicotine levels at normal - Just keep it on the outside - Do not take a dip, do not take a chew, do not smoke a cigarette, do not use any form of nicotine delivery device to deliver it into your body. As the Meerkat would say "Simples" (You won't get that unless your from the UK )
#755 | 31 Dec 2011 | LLJ
when i think about cigarettes (which is hardly ever), i am grateful that i don't have to:buy them, roll them, smoke them, cough after them, wake up in the morning feeling tight in the chest after smoking too many of them, smell my clothes, hair, skin after smoking them, worry about my health after smoking them, feel shame and guilt after smoking them...you get the point. freedom is HUGE! best thing i've ever done. i feel compassion towards people still in the early stages or still lurking, and offer this. it was hard at first, but you CAN do this. yes my friend, you really can.
10 months free.
#756 | 01 Jan 2012 | Roy
Zero. I do still think about them once in awhile, but never want one. My hard won freedom is too precious at this point to throw away over a lousy puff.
Hang in there folks, you can and will win if you just stick to it, read the posts on this site and watch the videos. There are many great stories of success here to give you comfort and inspiration. Use them often.
Happy New Year
Roy - Free and Healing for Nine Months, Eighteen Days
#757 | 06 Jan 2012 | ptoone
marty (gold) wrote:
I have had NOT A PUFF FOR 6 months 3 weeks 4 days : 3719 cigs not smoked : 1 week 5 days21 hours added to my life.
CRAVINGS ("I really really want to smoke and it's a struggle not to") ZERO and it's been zero since week 3.
STRONG URGES ("I would love a cigarette, like it's a hot day, I'm thirsty and I need a drink") ZERO and it's been zero since month 2.
MILD DESIRE ("I could quite fancy a cigarette now, like I haven't eaten for 2 hours, I'm mildly hungry, and I can smell a barbecue") TWICE A WEEK lasting about 3 seconds each time. It's been like that since month 6.
That means I'm thinking that I'd like a cigarette for 6 seconds a week.
When I smoked, there were probably at least 2 occasions each day when I wanted to smoke but couldn't, because I was in a no-smoking office or a restaurant or on a train. Each of those occasions lasted say 30 minutes average. That amounts to 25,200 seconds a week when I was suffering significant anxiety and withdrawal symptoms, far worse in intensity than any discomfort I have suffered from not smoking since I quit.
That's why I believe that quitting is actually easier than smoking.
#758 | 07 Jan 2012 | OBob
Every so often... maybe once every 3 or 4 months... I'll pass by someone who's freshly lit up, and there will be a fleeting nostalgia. Never lasts for more than a few seconds, and I'd definitely never describe it as wanting a cigarette. Maybe a bit like a poison dart frog... curious to look at, but I don't have any desire to lick its skin.
#759 | 07 Jan 2012 | Lucie
I haven't wanted a cigarette for a very long time, I do however think about smoking fairly often but only because it is a reminder of how wonderful it is to be free!!
During the Christmas period whilst out shopping, I was amazed by how many smokers there were, although that maybe due to the smoking ban so they have to be outside.
That makes me smile and I do notice them and I do think about my own addiction. I remember reading something Doc posted which really helped me when I questioned myself about how often I thought about smoking - I was never fantasizing about smoking please note - he said something along the lines... that of course we think about it, it was part of our lives for so long, every day, several times a day, its OK.
So yep, think about smoking, never want a cigarette - love being free and I really didn't think I ever would be so therefore if I can do it, if you are reading this YOU CAN TOO!!
Go on, give yourself the best gift ever.
Free for a year and two months xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
#760 | 17 Jan 2012 | KarRus
Well I'm a few weeks after turning bronze and I'd have to say I don't think about wanting a cigarette at all. I agree with the previous posts....I'll think about the fact that I use to smoke. I've made it thru all the holiday triggers....and I can't believe how easy it really was. Once I knew the truth about my addiction there is no going back. The lieing to myself is over.....and I'm free from nicotine.
Believe what you see posted here....during the first week you don't think you'll ever stop thinking about quitting smoking but you do and it's mighty fine on this side of my quit.
Don't give up.....never take another puff....it's that simple.
#761 | 20 Jan 2012 | Jazzlady
I came to this website over 5 years ago struggling with addiction like everyone else. Had tried quitting many times in life, but cigarettes always came back to me until I educated myself. Now I can happily say I am still free from my addiction, and I never want a cigarette.
Yes, Freedom is Awesome. Hang in there!
Jazzlady - Free and Healing for Five Years, Four Months, Twelve Days, 16 Hours and 52 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 136 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 39214 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $7,446.36.
#762 | 09 Feb 2012 | Jereby
As a nicotine addict of 35 years I feel so proud to have been free of the evil weed for 777. I have not smoked 6669 death sticks, and find that visualising that amount of cigarettes in one pile scares me. But thanks to your books, information and online support I can now confirm absolutely that cold turkey REALLY works. I had tried everything, and I mean everything to stop smoking in over 30 attempts. The only thing I never tried was cold turkey and now I am a disciple. My partner still smokes, and yes in front of me. But the one puff rule is SO fixed in my mind that even under the influence of alcohol I feel as secure as I can ever hope for.
This really is the return of my freedom, and all I have to do is ....................... not do the thing I don't want to do ever again. Not so hard in the long run, and the first few weeks are like a badge of honour for a battle well fought. A war won and a return to a happier life. I have the breaking strength of a kitkat, If I can do it anyone can. With WhyQuits help the world of stopping is a familial shared experience that is a real possibility. I got angry with your "If you smoke even one then leave the programme", now I'm so glad it was there. Your rules, mixed with my pride has meant I was not one to invade a smoke free environment. Thanks again for all the valuable information and support. I will continue to spread the word.
#763 | 07 Mar 2012 | Bev022811
I want a death stick 0 seconds a day!!!!!!!!!!!
I hit GOLD on 2-28-12 and find it hard to believe the control that nicotine had over my life! It is truly amazing how Freedom feels!!!!!! Loving life!!
#764 | 18 Mar 2012 | jimhaycock
NONE. NOT AT ALL. About to go double gold and can honestly say I don't have any thoughts of wanting a cigarette. And this last year has not been an easy one. I AM FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. FREE. from those thoughts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! YOU JUST HAVE TO BREAK FREE - someone else said it but I'll repeat it ... Smoking is harder than not smoking !!!!!!!!!! Keep your strength up and remember eventually it's not a struggle ... Quitting becomes FREEDOM.
#765 | 12 Apr 2012 | PeggyDyer
Yesterday someone asked me how long since I had stopped smoking and it was the first time I couldn't remember the exact amount of days! I am now smoke free for nearly six weeks and I may have one thought about smoking some days - that is a thought about smoking - not a thought that I want to smoke. The amount of seconds a day that I still want a cigarette is a big fat zero. Stopping smoking is the best thing I have ever done in my life. If you are a newbie reading this, please, please stick with it. You will feel so proud of yourself, you will feel healthier, you will live longer and you will be richer. How fantastic will that be? Stay focused and believe you can do it - because you can...and never take another puff. Well done and good luck.
#766 | 12 Apr 2012 | soulagement
It really gives me goosebumps, and you know what? I think this "Free" fever is contagious. I hope any new quitters take it to heart that none of us here have any vested interest in your quit. We're just so happy to see someone else pull themselves out of the quicksand. You can do it, and you have nothing to lose. I never, ever want to smoke, and I am so glad I found this place and all the helpful information here. If you're thinking of quitting or in the first stages, take heart. We're not all here doing a victory dance to impress anyone, and even less so to get anything out of it. It's kind of like getting away from a horrible monster in a scary movie and rooting for those you left behind.
Stick with it, NTAP, One=All, no nicotine inside, no nicotine today... take your pick. You can free yourself and never look back. Never, ever look back and wonder "what if I'd stopped in time?"
Stop now and get ready for something extraordinary: Coming home to you.
IDK why, but dancing bananas seem to convey the message best, so...
#767 | 16 Apr 2012 | apples2967
Today is exactly 12 months since I had my last puff. Without this websitem there is no way I could have done this. Every morning, the first words I speak are "no puff today." When I go to bed at night, my last works are " well done"!
This is the greatest gift I have ever given myself And let me assure you, I NEVER think of having a smoke, but I think often of how free I am. If you think I'm just a strong person, and that there is no way you can quit, let me tell you how weak I am. I am an acoholic and a compulsive gambler. I am as weak as can be to my addictions. But today I choose not to puff, 1 year and feeling great.
#768 | 26 Apr 2012 | ltlme71
LOL Well I'm back. Last time I was here I had been quit for 1 month. Now it has been 6 months. I maybe maybe think about wanting a smoke like maybe once a week It's wonderful to be free !!!!!
#769 | 27 Apr 2012 | soulagement
Well, you are officially Bronze, ltime71! Congratulations on your first 6 months of this journey! So, you know the ropes, you know what to do and what not to do, and should you ever waver or forget, remember to come back and refresh your memory!
#770 | 16 May 2012 | onthepath
My quit date was Dec. 5, 2011. So I am over 5 months nicotine free. An amazing reality!
To be honest, I do still think about smoking everyday. Some days, many times a day depending on how stressful my day is. Once in a while it is still an overwhelming "need" for a smoke. BUT, all I have to do is remind myself that it will only last a few seconds and I can move on quickly. Next thing I know it's hours later and I haven't had a thougth about smoking.
This websight is like a miracle to me. I have quit smoking many times. The longest quit was 9 years. Ya, I said 9 years. Didn't really believe that I couldn't have "one" cigarette after 9 years without. I didn't really understand the power of the addiction. I guess I didn't really see myself as an addict. Someone commented today that smoking is a "bad habit". I corrected them and told them it is an addiction, not just a bad habit.
Anyway, what I wanted to say was that although I do still think about and want a cigarette sometimes, it is very different this quit. That is because other times, after 5 months without smoking and an urge would come, I would tell myself "it's been 5 months and it is still as hard as it ever was. I just can't do this any longer. This is too hard. It isn't getting any better. It will never get better." And I would talk myself into making it harder and harder.
This quit, I have learned the truth. I have learned and can attest to the truth that every urge lasts maybe 5 seconds. 5 seconds. Maybe 6 times a day. That's about 30 seconds out of 24 hours. Really? This isn't too hard. This is very doable.
#771 | 28 May 2012 | Victorylass
At 8 months and 10 days free, on most days, the amount of time per day I crave nicotine or think about cigarettes is none. I realized this for the first time yesterday evening, when I went outside with the cat to the place where I used to smoke. I saw the empty ashtray out there, for the occasional guest. I realized I had gone the entire day, and who knows how many days before, without even thinking about cigarettes and nicotine, least of all having a craving! At 5 months I was still craving nights, before bed. But now, the last urge I can remember was during a moment of stress a couple weeks ago. I just finished some stressful final exams, without cravings, come to think of it. After 30 years constantly tethered to my nicotine addiction, I cannot possibly describe how wonderful it really feels to be finally free. I know I am not alone in that feeling and being hugely grateful to this site :-)
#772 | 08 Jun 2012 | suquimby
I kind of feel the need to differentiate on this. For me it's something like this. Seconds a day I 'want' a cigarette is a big fat 0! Number of seconds a day I 'crave' a cigarette on average is probably 5. Number of seconds I 'think' about smoking is maybe on average about 20 mins a day but that is because a, my husband smokes and sometimes I go out with him to have 5 minutes away from the kids and to talk without the kids hearin or interrupting! And b, because it doesn't scare me anymore I have learnt to embrace it. It doesn't intimidate me I think about because it's there because people around me smoke but it is no longer a part of me!
Seriously newbies it just gets better and better and I no longer have a little stick control what I do with my time, my health and my money!
25 days 0 hours and 34 minutes during which time 250 cigarettes stayed on the shelf in the shop because I chose to spend my £81.20 on not suffocating myself! NTAP!
#773 | 12 Jun 2012 | jsg
At 50 days in, I'm doing a lot of days without being bothered by smokes at all. I don't really know how many seconds, maybe a handful? 5 or 10 a week?
#774 | 18 Jun 2012 | VoltMan
I smoked for 38 years, in the end at 3 1/2 packs a day on average. Quit cold turkey 11 Jan 2012 (~5 months now) - my first attempt at quitting. I now have smoking thoughts just a few times per week, and they're not "dwelling" thoughts - they just last 1 or 2 seconds or less. Mostly triggers I'd forgotten about or didn't realize. Also I had a smoking dream the other night - really scary and depressing during the dream but then you wake up and it's fine, so really it's just another dream.
I'm very proud of my progress. For newbies I think the most important thing is the self-realization and discovery that you are simply a nicotine addict. Read, read, and read some more.
#775 | 24 Jun 2012 | Joel Spitzer
From back in 2001:
I have to say that this string has become one of the most important strings I can recall in Freedom's history. It illustrates so clearly what a person quitting smoking can really expect to happen over time. Not just from one person's perspective, but from over 30 people's experiences. It is so common for a person considering quitting or even a person off smoking for several hours or days will go up to a friend or family member who is an ex-smoker and ask the person if he or she ever thinks about cigarettes. The person asking the question wants to know what he or she can expect.
The family member or friend who may have thought about a cigarette once the day before or maybe even once weeks earlier will say that there still are times that he or she thinks about a cigarette. They are just answering the question honestly; that he or she still has thoughts, but often the person inquiring doesn't ask follow-up questions and are panicked by the answer he or she has just received.
For what the person asking the question is hearing is very different than what the longer-term ex-smoker is actually saying. The ex-smoker answering the question is saying, "Yes, there are times I think about or want a cigarette." Its like the urge people get to clean their homes on a particularly nice sunny day. It seems like a good idea for a second or two, and then they come to their senses and out they go to do something more enjoyable. Sometimes the whole thought lasts two or three seconds.
The sequence of events of the ex-smoker can be a train of thought that goes; "Boy it would be nice to have a cigarette right now-no it wouldn't" and that will be that. The thought is over with almost as quickly as it began. It was no big deal and may not happen again for hours, days and eventually weeks or months. That is what many people are saying, but what the short-term ex-smoker or person contemplating to quit is hearing is more akin to "Oh yes, I get powerful crippling thoughts all of the time, every waking moment, and if you don't give me one right now I will rip your arm off!" Again, these are very different interpretations of a simple answer that there are still thoughts for cigarettes.
So I plan to bring this string up often, or at least link over to it whenever possible. For those of you who have not posted to it yet please do so. It is a string that I think can help all our new quitters as well as all people who are lurking in just considering quitting. Your comments can be a great asset to these people. As I said, I plan to use it often for it really captures the essence of what a person can expect his or her experience to be as he or she gets more time accumulated smoke free and nicotine free. Overall it is a pretty comfortable way of life, one that will help the ex-smoker stay healthier and live longer as long he or she always remember to never take another puff!
Knowledge is a Quitting Method
Page created January 3, 2018 and last updated on January 3, 2018 by John R. Polito