No Smoking Day
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Day 228 - Feeling the strain

Much like Mash's Thread, I 've stopped for 7.5 months and have suddenly had a mountain of craves and am wobbling to the extreme. It coinsides with job hunting again as contract is due to end - I've had a few interviews and am struggling with panic/nervousness - I am generally quite shy and hated interviews before stopping, however they seem ten times more scary now. What have the long term quitters done to allay nerves where a ciggie used to calm everything down?

14 Replies

hey dave

all i did in scary situations is hit it head on and beat down that trigger thats all it is a new situation you havent came across since quitting

my most recent was starting college a few weeks ago and i am a year and 4 months quit because i have not encountered this before i had quite a trigger but i am on week 4 of college now and cravings just dont happen

i thought this is ridiculous i am stronger than this craving and i have come much to far to even consider going back and then i felt week by week the craving just shrunk

hope this helps you



and by the way i think interviews are ridiculous these days i am sure half of it is for there own entertainment at the end of the day when they say why do you want to work here all you want to say is 'to get my wage packet and pay my bills' but you have to go through the palava of saying 'i am a team player, i enjoy working with the general public, i love working all the hours god sends just to line your pockets with profit etc etc '




The thing to remember is that smoking gives the illusion that it calms you down etc.

The truth is that it is the 5 mins or so that you take out that calms you down, so when you get to an interview just take an extra 5 mins in your parked car before you go in to gather your thoughts and you will do great.

Dont let the sneaky nicodemon fool you into believing something that is most defineately not true....


hey dave just remember that smoking actually causes stress and only gives the impression of releiving it. if you smoke your heart rate and blood pressure increase and the body goes into fight or flight mode , cos it thinks its under attack, which it is, clever little body. its best to face things head on and ride them. in my experience not smoking makes me more pro-active and focussed. in the old days i would chain smoke my way through anything even remotely stress ful. the more u stress the more u smoke but at the end of the day you have to put the effort in. to get to where your going. these are just smoking triggers which u can beat just like the ones that youve already conquered. it might feel like a situation that absolutely requires a cig to go with it but there is no such situation or reason. Anything can be done just as it is.

Mash x


I haven't caved (too stubborn!!!), but have never felt as nervous as this ever.


I've heard that Day 228 is almost always a tough one, for some reason. Hang in there, Day 229 is almost always a lot easier.

Okay, just trying to get a little laugh.

You can handle it! Think of all your experience so far!


Heya Dave,

You're doing great quit buddy! I haven't had to do a job interview or stand up and do a presentation yet at work so you must be going through massive craves having to keep going for interviews. Just think though you really want your interviewers to be able to smell the horrible stench of ciggies that you would smell of if you still smoked. It's very off putting and may decrease your chances of getting a job. No matter how much you would try and hide it you can smell a smoker a mile away...I'd be more nervous that they'd be able to smell that ciggie you'd chuffed away on 10 mins before going in and my mind would be focussed on that and not the interview. Plus like mash says.....smoking increases stress levels by increasing the heart rate etc. Don't be fooled by the nicomonster...his tactics are much more subtle now at 7.5 months quit. Stay with us Dave :)

P.s Good luck and thinking of you during your interviews

Lisa x


hey dave on the plus side why not use the fact that youve quit to really impress them after all to quit smoking means your a fekking genius with balls of steel, looks great smells great and and is great. someone who is definately a team player , up for the challenge, rose to it everday hes been quit, slain monsters,kept his cool in many a crises and managed to keep his sanity. the jobs yours just dont smoke , you've quit remember!

Mash x


Ha, Mash's post is good...I remember saying that if I ever stopped smoking it would be the hardest thing I'd ever done and it is, it is a MASSIVE achievement to quit and it should be written on everyone's CV !!!

But the panic/nervousness thing? I don't know how bad it is with you but I have panic attacks at things like interviews which obviously means I don't get the job, er-hum, so I've started using beta-blockers in times of extreme stress. Just take one about an hour before scary scenario and ... no sweats, shakes, blushing etc. Obviously, you'll have to go to the doctor about them but they really help with things like meetings at work when I have to speak etc. Good luck with it all. x


Hi Dave. As everyone has said, nicotine just makes you more edgy so don't let the nicotine monster convince you that a cigarette will calm your nerves. It's amazing that just when you think you are over the hard part of stopping smoking, these romantic ideas about nicotine pop into your head! Just keep reminding yourself that stopping smoking is one less (and very big) thing to worry about in your life. Imagine how crap you would feel right now if not only were you facing job interviews - but you were still smoking and desperately wanting to quit as well.

I'd suggest facing the nerves head on by getting your interview skills into the best shape they can be. I interview a lot of people in my job and can assure you that if your CV has got your foot through the door then you probably have what it takes to do the job. The difficult bit then is convincing the interviewer/s that you are the kind of person they can see themselves working with. A few tips (sorry if you already know these - just think it might help):

* Before the interview, do not have coffee - it will just make you more jittery.

* Take a small bottle of water in with you (or don't be afraid to ask for a glass of water). If you get nervy in the interview, admit you are understandably nervous because getting the job means a lot to you, and take a few seconds to have a few sips of water and calm your nerves. We've all been there and I would be suspicious of an interviewee who was not nervous!

* Make sure you answer all questions with evidence of things you have done in the past. Rather than just saying "Yes, I am organised", say "Yes, I am organised... and I demonstrated this when I worked at xxxx, xxx problem arose, I decided the best way to tackle it was xxxxx, this is what I did, this was the outcome, this was how it benefited the company".

* I can highly recommend the Pocket Career Transition Book - it covers everything from CVs to interviews:

Finally... smile in the interview! Interviewers get nervous too and it will put both of you at ease.

Fantastically well done on stopping smoking so long. Good luck with the job hunting - I've just received my redunancy notice this week and totally understand where you are at.


I feel for you with the nerves. But I definitely agree with boo and mash - the reason you're feeling that cigs would help is because this is a new trigger that hasn't cropped up since your quit. Each time you face a new situation like that it can leap out and strangle you, even months into a quit. But if you stare it down, you'll get through it and break the association, just like you broke all the others. You don't need fags, they won't make you better in an interview. In fact they'll make you smelly in an interview, and that is never good. :)

Hope it all goes swimmingly, and smoke-free!

Helen x


Hi Dave

Its funny how we can be sailing along thinking our quit is great - and then suddenly a trigger out of no-where sets off the cravings.

The thing I've found about it though is that the first time you experience the stress due to a particular reason - you get the crave. Then the next time that same experience happens - the crave doesn't seem to be so bad - and then the next time its even less - and so on until eventually you will be able to go to inteviews and not think about ciggies. I think it's just about never letting up on the re-training of our brains.

I was given a tip by a psychologist I went to see a few years ago with panic attacks. When you feel that things are out of control - take 5 minutes to sit back and do the following excercise:

Breath in deeply - hold for the count of 2 and breath out slowly to the count of 5 - and keep repeating. It has helped me ever since then and you can do this wherever you are...and takes your mind off the ciggies too!

Wishing you all the very best of luck with your inteviews!




Thanks for the messages everyone.

I've been pretty good at batting away triggers/craves so far, so these ones came as a surprise.

I arranged 3 interviews for one day (not much annual leave left) in 3 different towns (all fairly near) - perhaps it was too much pressure. I'll take time to chill and do some breathing exercises from now on!!!


we will all be thinking of you!!

1ST great post mash!!! wish I said all that stuff,

but Dave you have got this far, you are just wobbley ;)

even though I smoked for the last 25 years I always employed non smokers, (sorry smokers) you go for it!!! and good luck :)


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