Smoking: Hello I have been a smoker for... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Hello I have been a smoker for 52 years how on earth do I manage to stop smoking, what did you do? since my husband's death smoking is the thing that I really needed.

22 Replies

I'd been a smoker for 50 years. Had a heart attack/cardiac arrest in December 2018. Never been ill in my life prior to heart attack. I rang 999 when I started to feel that I couldn't breathe, I've never been so frightened like I was at that point while waiting for the ambulance to turn up. Luckily it arrived within 6 minutes of me ringing 999. Taken to heart and chest hospital where I went into cardiac arrest before they could put a stent in LAD, then placed in induced coma to stabilise me.The next morning in ICU had a nicotine patch slapped on my arm. On discharge I was supplied with 4 weeks worth of patches. Provided with the full 12 weeks course of them, slowly cutting down to the minimum does then stopped the patches . It's now over 2 years since my last cigarette.

For me it was the shock and trauma that got me to stop.

If you can't stop, have you tried vaping instead, it's claimed to be less dangerous than smoking cigarettes. I also know someone who successfully used hypnosis sessions to quit after trying nicotine patches without success and he's now been a non smoker for 5 years.

Hope you can succeed in stopping

I tried Nicotine patches they did nothing for me at all.

Returned home from working overseas and at my age (61) decided to semi retire. So thought life would be good with lots of golf and country walks. Had been smoking small cigars for around forty years and suddenly felt my fitness level was poor and energy levels getting worse decided to try and give up and my mates suggested vaping. Over period of five months reducing the nicotine level stopped completely. One month later had a HA. Not related to vape but most certainly not helped by years of smoking. Following bypass surgery never been tempted to smoke again but most certainly have the occasional craving.

So no matter what you try it will not be easy but the benefits you will notice in a short space of time. Some may not think vape is safe but being honest what is ?

Stay safe


Hi I tried for many years would get to time shops closed and then gave in and brought some .

I decided my marriage was over and asked him to leave

So being short of money and needed to keep busy looked at what I could do .

So with the money I spent on smoking

Joined slimming world

Cinema once a week

Aqua fit once week

swimming twice a week

And joined a Reiki share group

Set myself a date a week after he moved out ,and never smoked again

I gave up at a stressful time selling a house and moving on my own .I do think the Reiki group helped a lot.

Patches did not work for me and vaping is just swapping one thing for another

Its not easy but you will find a way that suits you when you ready

Been 17 years for me

A heavy smoker for at least 30 years .... stupid me..... I really wanted to stop so had an hours session with a Hypnotist and have never smoked or wanted to smoke since. That was about 25 years ago. If I hadn’t stop I would have been dead by now.

MichaelJHHeart Star

I am going to address this from a different angle. You already have narrowed heart arteries known as CVD (cardio vascular disease). Another circulatory disease is PAD (peripheral arterial disease) which affects the limbs but mainly the lower leg. This was one of the causes of my BKA (below knee amputation) last year. PAD is usually caused by smoking and/or diabetes. When I went to amputee rehab last month (now cancelled because of CovID) the other two in my group of three had lost a leg because of smoking. Both just stopped smoking!

My father was a long time smoker (starting around age 15, joined the army very early and back then smoking and drinking were pretty much unavoidable in that crowd). Fourty years later, married with three almost grown children he quit. Why/how did he do it? FEAR -- he'd started coughing his lungs out each morning, and did not want to risk losing what he had.

On researching the topic (I'm a landlord for my own property, choosing only non-smokers as tenants, but some inquirers had smoked so I looked up their likelihood of restarting). I was surprised to find (easily googled) successful long term stopping of an established smoking habit is quite rare. The first two years are the toughest, but, the urge continues indefinitely. The link includes a graph [Figure 2, note there's a .pdf for downloading the study] showing that even after thirty years, a former smoker still has a 10% chance of starting smoking the very next year! Needless to say, my question of would be tenants has become: 'When did you quit smoking?'

~wbiC, member bhf forum

Lezzers in reply to wbiC

As an ex long term smoker I'm not sure why you think posting something that pretty much says you're gonna fail at giving up smoking is helpful to someone who is looking for encouragement! I'm of the generation that smoked in offices, cinemas and even on airplanes. I gave up smoking about 20 years ago having smoked for 20+ years, I don't crave a cigarette and haven't done since about a year of giving up. Yes, initially you have an urge for a cigarette but that dwindles, lasts just a moment or two and disappears totally. Likewise pretty much everyone I know has given up smoking and never gone back to it. You've only got to look at the comments on this post to see that the majority are successful ex smokers. Let's encourage the OP instead of discouraging??

wbiC in reply to Lezzers

My post is meant to highlight the proven hazard of succumbing to a weak moment (under lifestyle, health or other stress).

Forewarned is forearmed.

Moving forward in ignorance is very apt to guarantee failure (imo), which could prove devastating to the unsuspecting smoker attempting quit smoking, who might then never retry.

Relapsing's ok, it's expected. Pick yourself up and retry. Few are so lucky as my father, and get it right the first time (he never smoked again for over 30 years).

wbiC, member bhf forum

Lezzers in reply to wbiC

I think just about everyone who smokes knows of weak moments especially long term smokers, no need to highlight it!! Let's focus on positives for encouragement ☺️

wbiC in reply to Lezzers

> I gave up smoking about 20 years ago having smoked for 20+ years

You've been there, done that. Fine. With your hindsight, and especially decades of success under your belt, you've a right to feel you 'know it all'.

I'm writing from his perspective: he's never done that, but wants to successfully do that. Our viewpoints are apt to be very opposite, yours is complacent, mine's cautionary / be prepared for the worst but, hope for the best.

~wbiC, member bhf forum

Lezzers in reply to wbiC

How long did you smoke for and how long have you given up?

wbiC in reply to Lezzers

Zip and zip. To supplement merely researching the topic (my background's chemistry, and I've looked up nearly two thousand health related studies) my direct experience has been: living with my father for over a decade before he quit, and, being on hand for the decades after he quit (I was his family caregiver for his last decade or so until he passed at 85).

~wbiC, member bhf forum

ps. 3's my limit for back and forth on someone else's topic, so, you're more than welcome to 'the last word'.

Lezzers in reply to wbiC

So no experience!! Have you reached the 3 limit?

gilreid1 in reply to Lezzers

It would appear no experience in any heart related matters. A serial googler

Lezzers in reply to gilreid1

So it would seem!

Lezzers in reply to wbiC

Thank you for updating your comments that I'm welcome to the last word, very much appreciated and very positive ☺️

After 35 years of heavy smoking and trying different cessation methods my wife and I took up vaping.That was 9 years ago and my wife no longer vapes but I vape pure vegetable glycerine with 0% nicotine. I only do so because of habit and I love it.

Exchanging cigarettes for vaping was easy and stopping vapes is so much easier than going cold turkey with cigarettes.

Speak with your local smoking cessation centre (GP) and discuss 'Champix'. This is a prescription only drug and after 40 odd years of smoking and a HA I went on to it. While patches etc still have nicotine which is the addictive element Champix blocks the brain receptors while allowing the nicotine to wean off. Once on you set a firm date that you want to stop, I only took the tablets daily for two weeks and stopped smoking. This was nearly 5 years ago, no craving or climbing the walls. You can also read about Champix and how it works online but seriously, if you are having difficulty stopping smoking then speak to your GP and ask about the drug. Best wishes

MRK-3 in reply to Stuart2441

Many years ago I was given a drug from my doctor to stop smoking but I got hallucinations and dreadful headaches but it actually was stopping me getting the urge to smoke but had to stop it because of the terrible side effects. Apparently at the time it was only women who suffered these side effects.

At the price they are now it should be easy to stop! Can you really afford to ?I stopped in March 1993 after smoking for 43 years and each week put the money away. In November went to Hong Kong and Guilin (China) on holiday and the following March to Zimbabwe.

Try having bypass surgery,it worked for me.x

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