Non smoker / Ex smoker

I would like everyone's outlook to this. When your quitting or when you feel you've quit. How do you know how long or when. Do you become a non smoker or an ex smoker. I know everyone's feelings and perception to this will differ massively. I am very interested to how we all feel. Some people have never lost some part of their life as a smoker. A friend told me 10 years after quitting every now and then he feels his top pocket for his smokes but then says he doesn't know why as his not craving for one. My husband 20 years ago put his smoke out and said I give up I'm not smoking anymore and never really had any cravings. I quit smoking and then was doing the sneaky ones once for 9 months, then thought Bugger it these cravings are never going to go away. DER Jenny you keep feeding the nicotine demon with all those sneaky ones. Everyone is different how do you feel non smoker / ex smoker. Any other peoples stories?


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52 Replies

  • hi Trem

    I don't smoke.i don't miss why have I reached for my bag for a fag again.2-3 times in last few week?

    its always there.were always on guard

    take care 😊

    keep kicking 😎

  • Probably because you had a very stressful week Lizzy and how you would have coped when you were having rough time. You done well girl :)

  • Hey Jenny, my interpretation is that a non-smoker is someone who never smoked. An ex-smoker is someone that used to smoke (years quit). I think of myself as a recovering smoker and will consider myself this until I have a few years quit under my belt and will then call myself an ex smoker :)

    It also has been said many times on here that some people consider themselves smokers but choose not to smoke.

    My hubby gave up 2 years ago and like yours found it relatively easy. He seemed to smoke out of habit whereas I smoked as thought it made me feel better, needed it for stress situations, enjoyed it for celebrations, holidays, after certain chores etc....

  • That's a very good way of putting it, Roisin. Really like the distinction you made between the recovering, ex-smokers and smokers who choose not to smoke. There is a difference in all of them.

    I also know people who quit without problems or current smokers who are not bothered by not having a cigarette for hours or even days at a time. I guess folks with that kind of brain chemistry could call themselves true ex-smokers.

  • Recovering smoker, smokers who choose not to smoke. Wow these are different ways of saying and looking at it. Thanks ladies


  • Going to your bag to me is a habit Thinlizzy54. My mum passed 4 years ago and I still pick up the phone to call her


  • yea u understand that move.i still say/think for a few seconds I call in and see dad.but he went 5years ago.

    dam habit ha ha

  • Think I'll always feel like an ex smoker, which I'm fine with. Still doesn't feel right if I say I don't smoke, have to say I have stopped smoking...

    Is there a difference? There is when I say it..

  • For me, if I am asked do I smoke, I would reply 'No, I gave them up' and let them know how long I am off them.

    Asked hubby there for his opinion and he said he now considers himself a non-smoker. When he had his gall bladder removal surgery back in May, he was asked if he smoked numerous times by the medical team and he just replied 'No'. If he had off had the surgery back in my stage of 8 months he would have replied the same as me above. He said after a year he thought this....

  • Context Nozmo ?

  • It depends who's asking - anything medical related then I'm an ex smoker cos you know the damage is still there. Anything else I'm a non smoker. I am not a never smoker.

  • Well put miscy. Just interesting to hear how we all see ourselves. Me I'm frightened I might jinx myself so I'm in the process of quitting with the ultimate goal of being an ex smoker. My body will tell me when it's the right time to say I'm a non smoker


  • I'm a smoker however I haven't had one for 118 days, some days I would walk over burning coals for one but majority of days I dont think about them

  • Good to hear from you runmeg , delighted you are still going strong :)

  • Back at work so keeping busy, still battling the demon but getting easier, never going back to smelling awful and struggling to breathe

  • tell me about runmeg, just posted there....

  • runmeg im hearing you about the burning coals, I still find it hard to get my head around how hard it is one day and so easy and non existent the next. It's that's bloody nicotine demon and his mind games. Have to be aware at all times. Must admit though it's very tiring keeping him away at times.


  • For me At the moment I am a smoker who chooses not to smoke. I still feel vulnerable at times and need to keep my defences against nicodemon up. a non smoker to me is someone who has never smoked and therefore never thinks about smoking like my hubby. I still think about smoking in one way or another every day, either shrugging off the urge or congratulating myself that I've gone another day/week/month without smoking. One day maybe I'll be able to say with all honesty that I'm a non smoker.

  • Abuelajeannie thats exactly why I asked the question, so I can be in the right mindset. Different ways people word things can have a big impact on how I look at things


  • I could have written that ....that is me exactly...I believe it is a very very honest and sincere approach. You know the size of your monster and you are not underestimating it, you are not playing games either. You are here for the long run! One day at the time, grab the bull by the horns but we will win in the end.

    Abuela I am now heading to 9 months ans I hardly even think about smoking, smoking doesn't even bother me anymore.

    There is an end to it, stay strong, you will get there.

  • mmaya you sound very determined and a person with their head screwed on the right way. Keep going and always pop in now and then as it helps hearing how others cope too


  • Thanks :)

  • I am with Nozmo on this - definitely an ex-smoker. Like Jean (and as shown by what happened to Roisin earlier) I still feel that I have to concentrate on staying strong. Not sure if I Will ever be a non-smoker but will only think of myself as one when I never think about it

  • FordyP to me is all that concentration that takes it out of me. Some days I'm just so tired from keeping the nicotine demon away the day before that I don't want to get out of bed


  • Trem I know exactly how you feel - especially at the moment with my cold (I am sure that it must be some exotic disease rather than just man flu - maybe beri beri). Seriously though we are not that far apart on our quit journey - both gone cold turkey, both between the 2 and 3 month mark, and I think that the bouts of tiredness have been one of the worst side-effects. Up until this last week or so mine seemed to be improving - hopefully we will both be feeling energetic and full of fizz for the summer. Either way I am sure that neither of us will crack - I couldn't face going through all of that pain again

  • FordyP crack! No way on earth, this is my last quit attempt as I know I'm not strong enough to go through it all again. So it's smell nice and stay strong or give in and die young. Believe me I'm not dying young


  • That makes 2 of us!

  • Trem & FordyP, from both of your very first posts, I knew ye meant business, your quits are getting so solid, well done and keep going :)

  • Way to go on opening a can of worms Trem ;-)

    For me I am a non-smoker. Because I do not smoke anymore and have no intention of going back to it.

    Someone that has never smoked should really be called a never smoker as that is more appropriate.

    There are other names like former smoker, ex smoker or reformed smoker but they sound like you are giving up something, something you liked.

  • welshgirl84 sorry about the can of worms and if I hadn't smoked for as long as you I too would say non smoker. Just interesting to see others impressions. I feel if I get it right in my mind it will help when that nicotine demon wants to play mind games with me


  • Trem it's whatever you feel comfortable with.

    If that voice starts to whisper 'just one won't hurt' just keep saying N.O.P.E Not One Puff Ever!

  • Oh welshgirl84 I love it! N.O.P.E I will never forget that, see I ask a silly question and look at some of the responses I get. THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANKYOU. I love this site and all the wonderful intelligent people I have met through it


  • Well I'm a smoker, that's unfortunately what's I've been since 12 years of age and I'm 40. I haven't smoked for almost 9 months and will not smoke today either and with a bit of luck neither tomorrow but I suspect it might take me a few years before I'm able to be an ex smoker or a non smoker.

    I know that given the situation I would smoke, I am very vulnerable, I have a very long term addition. The only reason why I am succeeding is because I am not underestimating my addiction, I am learning about it and taking it one day at the time.

    I will therefore win.

    But for this occasion I am a smoker, still not smoking and it's getting very easy now...I can do this, I will become a non smoker, one day.

  • mmaya im you all over again but maybe a bit worse. I started smoking at 15 and I am in my 8week of quitting. I am now 50 and for the last 10 years was smoking 40 a day. I like you could walk outside light a smoke and it would be like I never quit. Then I think of the nicotine demon and my body shakes telling me you can't go through that again. So for me this is it, I'm giving it everything I have or give in and die at a young age from smoking. So after years of fighting the nicotine demon this is it. I will win or loose. I'm tipping I win😊


  • I just couldnt go back to day one again! Ive done it so many times! ... but that same reason i know i would actualy go and do it again! ...that is the nature of this addiction! very tricky!

    I celebrate my almost 9 months every day and carry on, one day at the time, and one day Ill laugh at this, so will you my friend :) well done you!

  • mmaya our quit is so very similar, today I celebrate 9weeks so I'm a fair way behind you. Watch this spot I will be like you here patting myself on the back for 9 months. Very proud of myself and a lot of other people like yourself that I have got to know on this site. Look out mmaya I can see you in the penthouse soon. Well done to you too


  • You will get there trem. It's all about patience, stay calm and serene and never give up, you will get there, if I can will there's hope for every one out there lol congratulations on doing so well! It might give you some relief that I found it very easy after 3 months.... Something to look up is actually normal now, I don't think about smoking anymore, except the odd day maybe once every 2 weeks average... That's ok, I can live with that! Xxx

  • I'm tipping you to win too Trem :)

  • Thanks RoisinO1 all the support helps heaps


  • It is 5 years since I smoked but although I don't crave a cigarette I often look back with longing to certain times when a smoke was obligatory!. In my mind I will always be an ex smoker and will always be on my guard. No way , realistically , would I light up and negate that hard work but once an addict always an addict, well that's me anyway. My husband gave up 30 years ago and says cigarettes have never crossed his mind. We are all different I suppose

  • I'd say when I get to 5 years off them I will call myself an ex smoker too :) I'm only not even 9 months so steps :)

    For the amount of people I know that relapse after 1 year, I say fair play to you for staying off and staying strong , you ceratinly are inspiration for me! xx

  • Thank you so much Latetotheparty for sharing, couldn't have come at a better time for reassurance and inspiration. 5 Years wow! That is amazing, congratulations. Badge on its way to you! :)

  • Latetotheparty reading a few posts some men have no worries at all they say that's it and that's it. No smoking, no craving, oh if only I had my hubbys mindset as I know it would be so much easier to say bugger it this is all too hard


  • I wish I was one of those men Trem! It hasn't been an easy ride for me either.

    Strangely enough though I do know quite a few blokes that have just stopped because they didn't want to do it anymore, and suffered no ill effects or cravings.

  • Nozmo you may not be one of those men but your here going through all the pain and supporting the rest of us. Good for you / awesome for us


  • Thanks Trem!!

  • I second that Nozmo

  • my hubby too, that is exactly it, he smoked 40 cigs one after another with about 10 cans of beer the night before he quit and never looked back, he just said 'that is it'. He was a very heavy chain smoker and only really smoked out of habit....if he done it anyone can but may not find it as easy as him though :)

  • 5years your a legend! Please keep coming back your a huge inspiration. Well done


  • 5 years quit is totally awesome but honestly ... I want to be where your husband is ... to be able to say I quit 30 years ago ... possibly unlikely at this point as I'm 45 and have been quit 16 months. That takes me to what 74? Hmm maybe ... that may just be my new life goal lol

  • Oi miscy im 50 and 74 isn't that far away we will both be around for that birthday 🙏🏻😊😳

  • I'm a natural pessimist lol ...

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