Quiting smoking?

I know I need to quit smoking, especially for the blind tasting portion of the exams.  For all of you former smokers, what tools did you use to quit for good?  I have attempted multiple times, and have not quit for good.  Short of going back to boot camp, any ideas would greatly be appreciated!

  • Good for you! The most important thing is to make up your mind to quit forever. You must make up your own mind to quit- you will not succeed if it is someone else's desire or you're only doing it because you think you should.

    One thing that really helped me out was I broke it down into different phases. I knew the first four days were the hardest, so I concentrated on those four days- I figured out how much time I would spend sleeping (and not smoking), working (and not smoking), showering (no smoking there!), and then subtracted that from the 96 hours so then it didn't seem so bad. Once I got through the first four days, I knew FOR SURE that I did not want to go through that again, so that supplied me with motivation for the next phase. I also knew that nothing would be as bad as those first four days!

    I used a vapor thingie for a while just to give me the nicotine while I got myself out of the physical habit of smoking. To unlearn/undo a habit takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks- this was phase two. So I got through that. Then I used the vapor less and less until a bottle of the liquid vapor that was mislabeled "menthol" and was actually "pina colada" got mixed in with the actual menthol in the vapor contraption and the taste of that foul substance gave me the impetus to put that down and never have nicotine again.

    I went through periods of thinking about smoking a lot, then the phase where you hate smoking and the smell makes you sick and you're kind of a Nazi about smoking (avoid being around smokers during this phase- a relapse could be imminent), to finally where I don't even think about it, nor does it bother me anymore to smell someone smoking, other than it's disgusting.

    I smoked for almost 30 years and have now been smoke-free/nicotine-free for over two years. I can honestly say I will never smoke again- life is too grand without it. I can smell all kinds of things now that I probably never could have before, my palate is also much improved. You will feel much better- no more smoker's hack in the middle of the night! You will look younger and have tons of energy! I wish you all the best in stopping smoking!
  • I actually quit when I read Allen Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking. I didn't believe my friends when they recommend the book to me, but the book actually really helps.
  • I was never a super heavy smoker, so I don't think I have much to offer in the way of tactics. But one thing I do want to say is that if you're inside of a month from your exam, wait until after to quit - the shift in your palate and the way you perceive things is significant, and it will negatively impact your tasting until you recalibrate!
  • I had a huge response that got deleted  as I hit the back button by accident:(... here is what I can remember from all of it, shortened slightly:

    Get a good vaporizer mod.  The pen or stick style ones are satisfying for a couple of weeks at best.  When people get frustrated with the learning curve of changing coils, finding juices they like, batteries dying etc. they go back to the analog.  Stick with it, spend the extra few dollars, however annoying it may be, learn the ins and outs and tell yourself it's all for the betterment of your palate.  I smoked for almost ten years, started with a "pen" style e-cig before taking the intro, was blown away at how much better I could taste and I am now in an advanced study group mentored by Christopher Bates MS. I currently use a $200 "mod" and haven't touched a real cigarette in over a year. $200 dollars!? yes, you will recuperate that very quickly when you consider how much money you are not spending on cigarettes. 

    As for the conversation to whether or not this is a health hazard:  I have done HOURS of research.  To boot, my Girlfriend(Soon to be Fiance :)) is getting her PhD in bio Physics... she also did research.  I can only imagine how much better her knowledge is on some of the chemicals and reactions that take place in a vaporizer after her bit of reading.  She gave me the green light to continue on with it. 

    Also, I make my own juice.  Don't try it right away, but definitely go that route when you feel comfortable.  For one, it is immensely cheaper.  Second, you control what goes in.  The bottles of e-juice you can buy at a store have way too much nicotine in my opinion.  The recipes I make require over 180 "puffs" to equate to the nicotine content of a real cigarette.  (Yes I know at that point why even vape, I don't know, I find it incredibly relaxing)   Also, stay away from "custard flavors" as they are usually closely related to diacetyl, which irritates the lungs and causes "popcorn lung" in people that work at factories producing artificial butter flavors for popcorn.  Alot of boutique e-juice producers use these flavors as they feel the dangers are negligable, and unfortunately it makes the stuff taste AMAZING>Stay away

    If you have a local vape shop start there.  People in the vaping community know how hard it is to get off cigarettes, no question is a dumb question.  Their goal is to help people get off the cancer sticks. 

    Go on reddit, they have an incredibly helpful sub-reddit where again, no question is a dumb question reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette

     If you need to order online and have no local shop - mtbakervapor.com

    And the most trusted lab if you choose to eventually make your own juices - wizardlabs.com

    Honestly, my palate wouldn't be where it is without my vaporizer.  Don't listen to any of the flack you catch for trying to "be cool" using one, it's amazing/irritating how many people would rather see someone smoke.  They don't understand the struggle.  I've been there and finally decided it was time to quit and thought of vaping as a great tool, haven't looked back since.  Send me a message if you need any help!

  • I just stopped smoking and focused on my tasting results getting better as motivation.
  • In reply to Mia Vandewater:

    I totally agree with that! I've noticed between smoking and not smoking, or any changes in lifestyle require a full recalibration of your palate. No one else has ever mentioned that. it's absolutely true.
  • I actually quit before I was going through the court, but I just one day said I wanted to quit. I actually quit while I was full time college and working in restaurants. It's all in your mind and you have to be the one that decides to quit for whatever reason money, studying, life etc. If you don't want to quit, you'll never quit.

  • I promise at the very least, you feel soooooo much better in the morning. Good luck, you got this!
  • Get an app! Quit Now or Smoke Free, hold yourself accountable and see the savings and time come back to you. Provides good motivation, and your sense of taste and smell will improve in the first week.
  • This is random, but one thing about quitting that nobody has mentioned yet. Be sure to cut back on your caffeine intake, especially during the first few weeks. When I smoked a pack a day, I also drank 5-6 cups of coffee a day, without any "jitters" issues. I had to cut back to one 8-12 oz cup, no more, to deal with the jitters I experienced upon quitting. Not sure if this is peer reviewed scientific fact, but I feel like nicotine massively affects the way your body processes caffeine.

    As far as quitting in general, a lot of different methods might work, but don't forget to be kind to yourself. If you do well for months, then relapse, forgive yourself and try again.
  • In reply to Dinah Leach:

    This is a great response... i will throw my two cents in as well...

    I know that this is going to sound pedantic, and it's not meant to be, but the only way to quit smoking is to make up your mind that you are not going to put lit cigarettes in your mouth. I have friends that found Chantix to be effective, but for me the only thing that worked was finally deciding to do it.

    Once you've made that decision, understand that: urges don't ever go away, but they get much easier to deal with
    Find something to do to distract you when urges hit. For me it was: Drink a glass of water, take ten deep breaths, tell myself ten times "i don't wan't a cigarette"
  • In reply to Alexander Cornett:

    You said it, Alexander. "Forgive yourself"

    I always thought of quitting as an all or nothing prospect. I would go days, weeks or months without one, but when my willpower broke once I was back to smoking all the time. Once I decided that it was ok to fail, it made quitting less of a focus.
  • Have you thought about cigars?
    They aren't addicting and if anything, you will utilize a similar tasting approach if you decide to do it.

    Cigars are not a habit, unlike cigarettes.
  • I was a smoker for about 15 years, and I decided to do the same thing that you're planning on doing - to see if it would improve my tasting skills. I quit for two weeks in preparation for the exams and supremely bombed every single wine during a mock tasting. DON'T DO IT. It really recalibrates your palate like you wouldn't believe. The flavors were off - structure, acid, everything was whacked. So I 'restarted' smoking and even smoked until thirty minutes before doing the tasting portion of the exams (mainly to calm my nerves). I told myself that I would quit if I passed. I 'quit' for ten months then picked it back up for the next two years.

    As many have said, forgive yourself - it's not an easy habit to break especially if you've been doing it for so long. A combination of granola, chewing gum, and countless of ripped up stress balls helped me through it for the first few weeks. I never tried smoking patches even though a lot swear by it cause I heard it gives you weird dreams as a side effect. :-P Don't vape, I know a few people that contracted 'popcorn lung' from it. :-/