I am a new member here and this is my first post having been browsing the net for giving up smoking info. I've posted in the 2nd Month section as that is where I am now in my stop smoking attempt. Sorry it's such a long post, I am just so pleased to have stopped and this seemed a good place to encourage others!
I use Personal Vapourisers (aka e-cigs) and agree (before anyone says) that I am probably as addicted to them as normal cigs. But at the moment I don't care - using them I have achieved my main goal of **giving up smoking**! So although in some ways I do feel it is almost like cheating, I can see that it is in fact just another form of NRT, the nearest 'approved' method being an inhalator I guess. When I used gum many years ago I found I 'needed' the gum in the same way, it was just less visible to others than a PV.
In the past I've tried -
Gum - stopped for 2 months with gum in the late 1980s, but relapsed in a time of stress (and drunkenness.) Stopped several other times but much shorter spells.
Patches - seemed almost useless, I think the constant nicotine delivery they provide just did not work for me.
Cold Turkey - several goes but hopeless for me, lasted a day or two at best.
Not tried -
Zyban or Champix - a couple I knew tried one of these (don't remember which) and they suffered strange side-effects that put me right off.
Hypnotherapy - a friend stopped for several months this way but he suffered some odd changes of personality problems! As though some sort of internal conflict was going on that he could not cope with very well.
Now in my 6th week since my last stinky cig I and can say that so far it's going very well. I started to feel the benefits almost immediately, within a few days my 'smokers cough' totally disappeared and my chest felt 20 years younger, like new, I now feel I have more energy and am a healthier colour (according to my kids), my teeth and tongue are much cleaner, the nicotine stains (tar stains really) have gone from my fingers, also of course I no longer smell like a smoker.
Once a week I go for a drink with friends and the club I use allows PVs to be used in the bar, a few of us use them there now and no-one bats an eyelid or complains, apart from one die-hard smoker who is now also thinking of trying. It is surprising how pernicious the nicotine circuits in the brain are, both him and another friend in his 60s who really needs to give up appear almost afraid to even contemplate any method of stopping.
Now I can even walk past the smokers huddled outside and usually not suffer any pangs when I smell the smoke. I'll be honest it sometimes smells good, but not that good! In fact the thought of actually smoking a cigarette now is pretty vile. Since my first daughter was born 20 years ago I've not smoked in the house, always stepping outside, it is wonderful to give that up. My cats were very apprehensive at first when I used the PV indoors as they always avoided cigarette smoke, but now pay it no attention at all.
My reasons for giving up are all the usual very obvious ones really. A main one is that my father passed away 11 months ago at the age of 86 after a difficult battle with cancer. He was a heavy smoker from about the age of 12 up until he was forced to quit in his 40's by ill health, mainly caused by smoking, but also lung damage from when he was a 'Bevin Boy' miner and a bout of rheumatic fever when a child, which damaged his heart. He always wanted me to stop and I hope he can see that I now have. My three children are also rather pleased with me of course!!
I started on 'normal' strength e-cigs and plan to reduce my dose over the next year or so to no nicotine, then stop the habit altogether when I know there will be no nicotine withdrawal symptoms. A neighbour of mine, in his 30s, who used to be a heavy smoker stopped with PVs about 10 months ago and has now halved his nicotine level, he tells me it is very easy if not done too fast.
For those still thinking of giving it a go, or a second or third go (like me) it can be done and the benefits are tremendous. Once you start feeling and seeing those benefits concentrate on them, be proud of the fact you no longer smell of ashtray, can walk faster and for longer without getting out of breath, look healthier, have fresh breath, cleaner teeth and are doing yourself proud winning a difficult personal battle!