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No Smoking Day
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Accidentally quit - halfway though day 1

Right so - I teach in an international school in Africa. Literally everyone smokes, except for my Muslim boyfriend who obviously would prefer that I didn't. He is a dear and tries not to make a deal out of it. He is also a doctor. Yesterday I became ill and we did the usual tests for malaria and typhoid. Unfortunately, I did not have any crazy ass African disease - I simply had a pneumonia. (which I had a few years ago in Ireland and almost died from it). So why am I still smoking (at least until yesterday?) I don't know but this morning I got up and went down to work (walked down stairs from my apartment) and was told to walk back up. My boss and bossy friend (same person) refused to let me walk outside the school gates to get a pack of cigs. She escorted me to the stairs and watched me climb. I slept most of the morning and now I am awake, having craving after craving for the cigarettes. The thing is, I don't really have enough energy to walk back down the stairs in 45 degree heat to go out on the street, practicing my arabic to get cigs. Nobody will get them for me and I feel and realise that I sound like a completely crazy person. I mean seriously! So it is halfway through the day and the thought has occurred to me that this might be a good thing that I have accidentally quit. The funny thing is - I was going to quit this weekend when I am flying back home to Ireland. Less people smoke there and I will have 15 hours on a plane to get through withdrawal. I hate the fact that I feel like my will has been taken from me, so I am rebelling. Oh - I am not sure whether I am making any sense at all ..............................If you can make sense of anything I have said, please let me know!

11 Replies

Hi Katherine, mine was an "accidental quit" in a way.

My friend died of cancer and the next day, as a tribute to him, I decided not to smoke. The day after that I thought, ok, I'll see if I can do another day. I repeated that process and before I knew it 8 days had gone by and I joined this forum.

Today I'm on Day 103 smoke free after 31 years of smoking.

At first it was tough and I just went one day at a time. For me, days 4 & 8 were really tough and it would have been easy to smoke again.

I'm so glad I didn't as it really is getting easier and easier.

There are lots of good people on this forum who will help you through the tough times and you have to believe everyone who says it gets easier because it really does.

Now you've started "cold turkey" why don't you go for it.

Yes it's tough to start with, but on Day 103 and on my 500th post I can tell you it has been worth every horrible crave I suffered in those early days.


Whinge whine - I think a panic attack may be in order!

Thank you both for your replies. I have to admit that I have had two cigarettes since but I really want to quit.

My original plan was to use the flight home for the holidays as a starting point, spend a week with my parents in Mayo who won't let me smoke in the house anyway and then go visit friends. I am only going home for 2 and a half weeks as I want to spend most of my 2 1/2 month holiday in Khartoum. At which point most of my smoking buddies in Khartoum will be on their holidays and I will get used to living a smoke free life. When the new term starts in August - my apartment will be a smoke free zone.

That was the plan - but I have to say my panic attack today really freaked me out. Now I am afraid that I won't be able to do it.


quit coward

I think I need to quit being such a coward! I gave in to the coward today when I lit up. But now I need to build up to my next quit date which is Sunday 13th May - the day I fly home. I will tell all my friends and family in advance and will get all the support I need. Not to mention the pharmacies that stock quit smoking aids!

*In Sudan there really aren't any aids to help quit smoking.


Use anything you can get hold of that may help you but do remember a big part of the quit is having you head in the right frame of mind so I think you are right to plan it and not rush straight in if you are not ready.

You can do it and dont let anyone tell you otherwise. Most of all keep telling yourself you can do it and believe it. Take one day at a time and dont look at it as losing something but as gaining your freedom.

Good luck


Makes perfect sense to me!

I also quit accidentally, by being hospitalized with a deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Sitting there in the hospital, I contemplated asking the nurse if I could go for a smoke, but realized I would look pretty stupid in doing so, seeing as smoking is known to constrict the blood flow!

After the third day I started getting desperate about my non-smoking future and how I could possibly live without cigarettes. I was deeply ashamed of what I had brought upon myself, and yet I couldn't imagine what quality of life I could have without cigarettes. I wouldn't go as far as to say suicide was on my mind, but I was at an all-time low...

That is, until I started thinking of what life would be like for a non-smoker, and after much contemplation realized that my whole "smoking self" was a fabrication, and that non-smokers don't go through any of the silly thought processes we smokers do. Non-smokers don't have any of the obligations that we do; they don't have the expenses; they don't have the inconvenience of "needing a smoke" where and when it's not possible; they don't feel ashamed about stinking up the place; they don't.... etc. So, I decided that I needed to become a non-smoker (or as near to it as I possibly could).

After 10 days I quit the hospital, went home and had a cigarette. Then I had another packet, and another packet, for about 3 or 4 days. Each one I smoked made me think about what I had promised myself in hospital. I felt ashamed of myself. I even crushed a packet and the next day fished it out of the bin to smoke the ones that hadn't broken!

A couple of days later, I realized that I had bullshitted myself in hospital, at least in the current smoking condition I was in. I felt I had betrayed my conviction. That day I decided smoking was all finished for me.




Wow Alex what a post! Very honest and thought provoking. Very Very good on you!


Hi Alex, I totally agree with haze very thought provoking

You have come a long way since then.

Joan X


Yeah very inspiring post Alex


Funnily enough there's been a lot of successful accidental quitters passed through this forum. Not exactly 10 a penny....but a fair few.

*In Sudan there really aren't any aids to help quit smoking.

Here, this should help - Easyway pdf. Focus on the messages not the writing style.

And then there are links in mine and others' sigs. Spoilt for choice in reading material tbh :p


Good luck with your quit I'm sure you can do it.

I'm going to be totally hypocritical now by saying that I'm surprised that your Dr friend even asked you for a date in the first place. I would find it difficult dating a smoker these days even though I expected others in the past to put up with my ashtray breath.

Yep, hypocrite:p My oh still smokes.. I used to. Our past as ex smokers doesn't make us any less worthy than current non smokers .... just somewhat marginally better than current chuffers, that's all ;)

Before my current long life suffering OH and sprogs I'd like to think any 'appeal' I held was seen for what it was and not clouded by smokey issues :rolleyes:

We're not a right off just 'coz we smoke, we're just more appealing as someone who doesn't :)


I put my hand up to being an accidental quitter. I didn't think I wanted to do it at all, and was driven to it by health issues.

Possibly because I didn't have the 'I want this' mindset at the outset, it took me quite a long stretch of day-by-day determination and a lot of reading around the subject. I managed fine without NRT, the physical withdrawal was a minor part of the quit. It was all about the subconscious habit.

But gradually there was a sea-change in the way I viewed smoking and now... well, I am thankful, daily, that I had the crap scared out of me enough to stop, because I love being a non smoker, and I couldn't bear to start again.

I really really hope you do this. Good luck!



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