Day 6 ... I wonder?

I have done ok so far using nicotine gum and have not had any major urge to smoke. I am tempted to see whether I can quit the nicotine gum, but dont know if that would be a mistake, as they do recommend a month on 4 mg at least, then cut down to 2 mg, so tapering the nicotine dose.

It has only been 6 days. I have been reading some stuff saying that stopping all nicotine is best way to get over smoking, and am tempted to just stop the gum and go through 3 days nicotine withdrawal.

However I am worried that if I do the urge to smoke will get the better of me and I will end up regretting not sticking to the gum for longer.

Could anyone who has tried both gum and cold turkey tell me if there is any benefit to being completely free of the nicotine, or whether it is very hard and made easier by tapering slowly using the gum and reducing down the dose?

14 Replies

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  • Personally I'd say stop the gum if you feel you want to. You don't 'need' nicotine in any form so if it's not really working for you then stop using it. As you're onto day 6 I wouldn't have thought there was much nic left in your system anyway so I doubt you'd get three really bad days of withdrawals.

    You can always keep some gum with you for the next few days to use if you get a bad craving but it does seem like a good time for you to make the break final.

    Edit: also meant to say I've tried the gum many times in the past and this time I've gone cold turkey. There's advantages and disadvantages to both methods, it's just about finding what's right for you.

  • long time

    You have been a non smoker for a long time I see from your stats, since last September, which is great.

    The first few days I quit, I was on a bit of a high from feeling like I had achieved something. That feeling kind of dwindles as it becomes just the norm to not smoke and I catch myself questioning my motives for quitting.

    Ideally I would like to just not have the thought of ciggies enter my head. It worries me that I will be having to fight a constant battle with these thoughts for ages and so can I ask, as you have been quit for so long, do the thoughts about smoking lessen with time. Do you find you forget about smoking with time?

  • You have been a non smoker for a long time I see from your stats, since last September, which is great.

    The first few days I quit, I was on a bit of a high from feeling like I had achieved something. That feeling kind of dwindles as it becomes just the norm to not smoke and I catch myself questioning my motives for quitting.

    Ideally I would like to just not have the thought of ciggies enter my head. It worries me that I will be having to fight a constant battle with these thoughts for ages and so can I ask, as you have been quit for so long, do the thoughts about smoking lessen with time. Do you find you forget about smoking with time?Hi Chandri, my own experience was similar to yours. For the first few days, it's as if you get an actual buzz out of NOT smoking :cool: and then. after about a week, the novelty of it begins to wear off :( and that is when it gets harder. In my case the first few days were fine, but for about 3 days last week, it was not so much fun, in fact, it was quite difficult. :( If you feel as if you don't need the NRT, try going without, but make sure that you have some by you. ;) For the past 2 days, l have reduced my Champix to 1 a day, just to see what it feels like, and to be honest, it doesn't feel too different.

    Josie xx

  • can I ask, as you have been quit for so long, do the thoughts about smoking lessen with time. Do you find you forget about smoking with time?

    My answer to that would be yes and no. I still think about smoking (probably I spend too much time on this forum:)!) but the thoughts are nothing like the craving thoughts of when I first stopped.

    Instead of feeling desperate to smoke, and really physically yearning for that nicotine hit, it's a more detached thought now. There are still some situations that make me want a cigarette, I won't deny that. But even that is nothing like those initial days. It's far more of a passing thought now, and relatively easy to just push to one side.

    The last time I genuinely wanted to smoke was last week after a big argument. For weeks before that I hadn't really thought about it, I certainly hadn't wanted to do it. That craving was a real surprise to me as it came so out of the blue - but the odd minute of craving once in a blue month is fantastic compared to the early days.

    Days go by now where it doesn't even occur to me that I used to smoke.

    I don't want to get complacent as it's easy to have one bad moment and find yourself on 20 a day again for another 10 years - as many of us on here will attest to.

    But, to cut a very long story short (sorry I'm rambling so much today!) it will get so so so much easier. You might not forget about smoking but it won't be a painful, struggling thought like it might be now. The time between the thoughts will increase to hours, days, weeks.

    It's like the end of any relationship - you don't forget but after a while it no longer dominates your thoughts.

  • The first few days I quit, I was on a bit of a high from feeling like I had achieved something. That feeling kind of dwindles as it becomes just the norm to not smoke and I catch myself questioning my motives for quitting.

    Me again! This part of your post just caught my eye again. You might have done this already but one thing I've found really useful is to write your reasons and motives down. Write a big, detailed list of why you don't want to do this anymore and keep it with you.

  • You have been a non smoker for a long time I see from your stats, since last September, which is great.

    The first few days I quit, I was on a bit of a high from feeling like I had achieved something. That feeling kind of dwindles as it becomes just the norm to not smoke and I catch myself questioning my motives for quitting.

    Ideally I would like to just not have the thought of ciggies enter my head. It worries me that I will be having to fight a constant battle with these thoughts for ages and so can I ask, as you have been quit for so long, do the thoughts about smoking lessen with time. Do you find you forget about smoking with time?

    Chandri you will think less and less about smoking BUT it WILL take some time unfortunately. :(

    I can remember asking my friend who'd been quit 18mths the same question cos some days it is very very hard I know.

    One day at a time and breathe deeply when you get an urge/crave.

  • Thanks eveyone, that is really helpful, I am glad to hear the thoughts about it lessen with time.

    I find the thoughts more powerful when I am hungry, in fact I just had my lunch and the thoughts about smoking, have decreased 10 fold just from filling up.

    Mind you I am having to be careful, as I was already a few pounds overweight. But funnily enough I have lost 2 pounds since quitting in the last six days.

    I may just be confused and misreading my scales or something, but it did look this morning like I was 2 pounds lighter.

    Someone told me about peanut butter on celery sticks and maybe that is what it is, as previous snacks would have involved crisps and chocolate, of which I have put away for the time being till I am deemed safe around them.

  • My answer to that would be yes and no. I still think about smoking (probably I spend too much time on this forum:)!) but the thoughts are nothing like the craving thoughts of when I first stopped.

    Instead of feeling desperate to smoke, and really physically yearning for that nicotine hit, it's a more detached thought now. There are still some situations that make me want a cigarette, I won't deny that. But even that is nothing like those initial days. It's far more of a passing thought now, and relatively easy to just push to one side.

    The last time I genuinely wanted to smoke was last week after a big argument. For weeks before that I hadn't really thought about it, I certainly hadn't wanted to do it. That craving was a real surprise to me as it came so out of the blue - but the odd minute of craving once in a blue month is fantastic compared to the early days.

    Days go by now where it doesn't even occur to me that I used to smoke.

    I don't want to get complacent as it's easy to have one bad moment and find yourself on 20 a day again for another 10 years - as many of us on here will attest to.

    But, to cut a very long story short (sorry I'm rambling so much today!) it will get so so so much easier. You might not forget about smoking but it won't be a painful, struggling thought like it might be now. The time between the thoughts will increase to hours, days, weeks.

    It's like the end of any relationship - you don't forget but after a while it no longer dominates your thoughts.

    Very well put Hbav!

    When people hear stories of people still thinking of cigarettes years after they quit, they worry that they will crave cigarettes for the rest of their life the same way as when they first quit.

    I personally don't think you'll ever not think about it as you'll always going to remember what it was like to smoke and the feeling you got from it.

    The only way to never think or not crave a cigarette is to of never smoked in the first place.

    The thoughts become so infrequent that the only reasons I think about cigarettes is because I think 'Oh I haven't thought about cigarettes for a while' (I see alot of you scrathcing your heads! :confused:) And of course when I'm on this forum it is hard not to think about it, but thats in a good way because I'm thinking 'I'm glad I'm not smoking anymore!'.

    Thats the only way I can describe it. Anyone very confused?:D

    I have been quit for 6 Months, 2 Weeks, 14 hours, 29 minutes and 7 seconds (198 days). I have saved £382.30 by not smoking 2,979 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Week, 3 Days, 8 hours and 15 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 01/07/2007 00:00

  • That's clear to me Barney..:)

    I was also worried about this... I was talking to an old mate who gave up 20 odd years ago and he reckons he still wants a fag but d'you know what? I think, much of the time it's a bit of bravado: "Look at me, i am so strong willed that even though I gave up years ago, I still live with the cravings but resist them".

    If it was that hard, no-one would have done it right? But lots of people do, us amongst them of course... One advantage I have in all of this is that my lungs are now so shot that I just have to take a deep (relative) breath to remind myself why..

    Coming on here might get us thinking about smoking but, as Barney says, in a good way. In any case, as long as smoking is legal (no comments from the back there!) we will always have to rise above it and be firm in the notion that we are now Non Smokers:D

  • A friend of mine and her husband Quit 5 years ago when she had breast cancer, Her hubby says it dosnt bother him at all, He never thinks about smokeing. She however says she still could murder one and she dosnt believe her husband. She thinks he just says it for her sake as they can never ever go back to the cigs. I was so scared to quit,as i had tried years before with her and we both failed. however this time im gona stay quit like them. I have to wonder if she feels this way because she had to stop, it was like the choice was taken away from her. She put me off quiting for a long time. xxx

  • I am tempted to see whether I can quit the nicotine gum, but dont know if that would be a mistake, as they do recommend a month on 4 mg at least, then cut down to 2 mg, so tapering the nicotine dose.

    I assume by 'they' you mean the company that is actually manufacturing the product and wants you to keep buying it for as long as possible to give them nice fat profits? I wouldn't take any notice of what 'they' say because as other people have said here, your body doesn't NEED nicotine, your brain just thinks you like it. I would suggest trying to go cold turkey and keep the gum on you and if you get to the point where you are desperate for a cigarette have some of the gum instead. At least you won't be choking your lungs even if your body does end up taking in some of that poison.

  • Tax Man

    I assume by 'they' you mean the company that is actually manufacturing the product and wants you to keep buying it for as long as possible to give them nice fat profits? I wouldn't take any notice of what 'they' say because as other people have said here, your body doesn't NEED nicotine, your brain just thinks you like it. I would suggest trying to go cold turkey and keep the gum on you and if you get to the point where you are desperate for a cigarette have some of the gum instead. At least you won't be choking your lungs even if your body does end up taking in some of that poison.

    It is true that my body does not need nicotine, but as it has had it for nigh on 25 years, suddenly not having it is going to be a big shock. The manufacturer of the NRT does recommend cutting down from the 4mg after 1 month, to 2 mg and then completely stopping (even their product) after max 3 months. In their literature they make it clear that it is not for longer than 3 month use and that if you are still taking it after that time you should visit a doctor.

    When quitting any addictive substance from valium to caffeine, it is usually recommended to taper the dose to minimise the withdrawal symptoms.

    Some people from what I have read do not get too bad withdrawal symptoms and after 3 days feel ok, however all my attempts I have felt so absolutely dreadful, and it is almost like shock, that is why I am trying to do it with gum this time and follow the instructions. I actually ran out last night and was forced to have no nicotine and it was very tough so I got some more first thing this morning and I am fine and feeling positive again. I very very nearly had a cigarette last night when I had no gum, but just made it.

    So I am going to keep on this for 4 weeks, cut down to 2 mg a day for the next 4 weeks and then gradually cut down that way, hopefully only ever having to deal with a teaspoon full of withdrawal at a time, rather than a full on bucket load which usually floors me.

    Someone will always make a profit out of me and I do not begrudge anyone making a profit out of me, as long as I have a choice to buy or not buy, but anyway with the NRT as I am in England, it is on the NHS, so I do not pay... Although of course I have actually paid for the stuff many times over, over the years, due to the large amount of money I gave to the treasury in taxes on my tobacco everyday.

    Actually I wonder how much tax I have paid over the years. I am not sure what the rates are, but if it were £3 tax per packet, and I had smoked 1 packet a day for 25 years, that would mean I have contributed £27,000.00 in taxes over the years.

    I think all ex smokers can at least give themselves a pat on the back for their rather large contributions to society that they have made over the years. ;)

  • I didn't know you got NRT for free. That's brilliant! I don't think it's the case over here (Ireland) but I may be wrong.

  • Hey

    just thought id put my two penneth in!! Im sort of on champix, as in take as and when i need them, had an awful weekend and found my puffa GREAT i thought but as i had gone 2 weeks without nicotine it actually made me feel worse:mad: so its back in the bottom of my handbag and im just taking each day as it comes - i really dont know how you can chew that gum by the way - its disgusting - i am eating for england, even things i dont really like ;) As far as this forum making you think about cigs....... think about them anyway so whats the prob.

    Good luck and whatever way you choose it doesnt matter so long as it works - for u

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