Ok it is 3 weeks and 2 days since I started down this road, I am still craving like mad it appears to be all I am thinking about, the NRT is helping but I feel I am being taken over by it all. I went to the smoking advisor yesterday for the second time, I am not finding her very helpful on both occasions she has been talking about her own issues and seems to think I should be feeling ok by now. I'm not. Can someone help me please? I suppose there is some improvement but just don't feel I am making headway properly?

15 Replies

  • Hi Friezfriend. As for cravings they are pretty aggressive when you first stop, plus I know I found that's all I could think of for the first few weeks. Please persevere and stick to it , it will get better, promise.:) You have to think and be honest with yourself, is the nicotine in charge of your brain , or are you in charge of the nicotine?

    As for your advisor Emjay may be able to help you. Otherwise have you thought about trying your local pharmacy.

    I will have a search and see if I can find any info that may help you. :)

  • Thats a relief thank you, it has taken over my mind as you said. Yes you are right maybe I need to try and establish the upper hand here. The last place I would go is a pharmacy! I have a close friend who is a pharmacist who has nagged me for years to stop smoking and although a lovely chap and very well intentioned to the point of giving me loads of free NRT doesn't understand and takes the mick out of me, like friends do! Actually just you saying its all you could think about helps enormously, I felt a bit like I was going bonkers. :)

  • These posts are from some of Emjays. may help

    10 Tips for Quitting Smoking

    ⦁The following 10 Tips for Quitting Smoking have been written by Leo Babauta.

    Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger & author. He created Zen Habits, which Sinfree told us about a while ago. (I think it was Sinfree 8) )

    Anyways, Leo started Zen Habits to chronicle and share what he's learned while changing a number of habits, which of course included stopping smoking.

    You may also remember JillyGirl posting some of his tips a while ago and of course Pete shared a great article about pushing yourself into an 'uncomfotable zone' to be able to move on. This was also one of Leo's blogs.

    Here you go;

    10 Tips for Quitting Smoking

    I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary of quitting smoking. Well, of finally quitting … like most smokers, I had tried to quit many times and failed. But this quit stuck, and I’d like to share the top 10 things that made this quit successful when the others failed.

    1. Commit Thyself Fully. In the quits that failed, I was only half into it. I told myself I wanted to quit, but I always felt in the back of my mind that I’d fail. I didn’t write anything down, I didn’t tell everybody (maybe my wife, but just her). This time, I wrote it down. I wrote down a plan. I blogged about it. I made a vow to my daughter. I told family and friends I was quitting. I went online and joined a quit forum. I had rewards. Many of these will be in the following tips, but the point is that I fully committed, and there was no turning back. I didn’t make it easy for myself to fail.

    2. Make a Plan. You can’t just up and say, “I’m gonna quit today.” You have to prepare yourself. Plan it out. Have a system of rewards, a support system, a person to call if you’re in trouble. Write down what you’ll do when you get an urge. Print it out. Post it up on your wall, at home and at work. If you wait until you get the urge to figure out what you’re going to do, you’ve already lost. You have to be ready when those urges come.

    3. Know Your Motivation. When the urge comes, your mind will rationalize. “What’s the harm?” And you’ll forget why you’re doing this. Know why you’re doing this BEFORE that urge comes. Is it for your kids? For your wife? For you health? So you can run? Because the girl you like doesn’t like smokers? Have a very good reason or reasons for quitting. List them out. Print them out. Put it on a wall. And remind yourself of those reasons every day, every urge.

    4. Not One Puff, Ever (N.O.P.E.). The mind is a tricky thing. It will tell you that one cigarette won’t hurt. And it’s hard to argue with that logic, especially when you’re in the middle of an urge. And those urges are super hard to argue with. Don’t give in. Tell yourself, before the urges come, that you will not smoke a single puff, ever again. Because the truth is, that one puff WILL hurt. One puff leads to a second, and a third, and soon you’re not quitting, you’re smoking. Don’t fool yourself. A single puff will almost always lead to a recession. DO NOT TAKE A SINGLE PUFF!

    5. Join a Forum. One of the things that helped the most in this quit was an online forum for quitters you don’t feel so alone when you’re miserable. Misery loves company, after all. Go online, introduce yourself, get to know the others who are going through the exact same thing, post about your crappy experience, and read about others who are even worse than you. Best rule: Post Before You Smoke. If you set this rule and stick to it, you will make it through your urge. Others will talk you through it. And they’ll celebrate with you when you make it through your first day, day 2, 3, and 4, week 1 and beyond. It’s great fun.

    6. Reward Yourself. Set up a plan for your rewards. Definitely reward yourself after the first day, and the second, and the third. You can do the fourth if you want, but definitely after Week 1 and Week2. And month 1, and month 2. And 6 months and a year. Make them good rewards, that you’ll look forward to: CDs, books, DVDs, T-shirts, shoes, a massage, a bike, a dinner out at your favourite restaurant, a hotel stay … whatever you can afford. Even better: take whatever you would have spent on smoking each day, and put it in a jar. This is your Rewards Jar. Go crazy! Celebrate your every success! You deserve it.

    7. Delay. If you have an urge, wait. Do the following things: take 10 deep breaths. Drink water. Eat a snack (at first it was candy and gum, then I switched to healthier stuff like carrots and frozen grapes and pretzels). Call your support person. Post on your smoking cessation forum. Exercise. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, BUT DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. You will make it through it, and the urge will go away. When it does, celebrate! Take it one urge at a time, and you can do it.

    8. Replace Negative Habits with Positive Ones. What do you do when you’re stressed? If you currently react to stress with a cigarette, you’ll need to find something else to do. Deep breathing, self massage of my neck and shoulders, and exercise have worked wonders for me. Other habits, such as what you do first thing in the morning, or what you do in the car, or wherever you usually smoke, should be replaced with better, more positive ones. Running has been my best positive habit, although I have a few others that replaced smoking.

    9. Make it Through Hell Week, then Heck Week, and You’re Golden. The hardest part of quitting is the first two days. If you can get past that, you’ve passed the nicotine withdrawal stage, and the rest is mostly mental. But all of the first week is hell. Which is why it’s called Hell Week. After that, it begins to get easier. Second week is Heck Week, and is still difficult, but not nearly as hellish as the first. After that, it was smooth sailing for me. I just had to deal with an occasional strong urge, but the rest of the urges were light, and I felt confident I could make it through anything.

    10. If You Fall, Get Up. And Learn From Your Mistakes. Yes, we all fail. That does not mean we are failures, or that we can never succeed. If you fall, it’s not the end of the world. Get up, brush yourself off, and try again. I failed numerous times before succeeding. But you know what? Each of those failures taught me something. Well, sometimes I repeated the same mistakes several times, but eventually I learned. Figure out what your obstacles to success are, and plan to overcome them in your next quit. And don’t wait a few months until your next quit. Give yourself a few days to plan and prepare, commit fully to it, and go for it!

    BONUS TIP #11: THINK POSITIVE. This is the most important tip of all. I saved it for last. If you have a positive, can-do attitude, as corny as it may sound, you will succeed. Trust me. It works. Tell yourself that you can do it, and you will. Tell yourself that you can’t do it, and you definitely won’t. When things get rough, think positive! You CAN make it through the urge. You CAN make it through Hell Week. And you can. I did. So have millions of others. We are no better than you. (In my case, worse.)

    Cravings - Friend or Foe... How do you see yours?

    Looking at cravings... They really can be quite funny things, do we see them as the enemy and get all negative about them because of the way they make us feel? Or do we see them as our friend, and welcome them in when they come visiting?

    At the end of the day, they wouldn't be here if we didn't stop smoking. So surely seeing them from time to time is a positive thing.... Like some people we may know though... The ones who are okay in small doses eh?!

    What to do...

    Read through some tips on JillyGirl's blog -'Stop the urge' and maybe even share some of your own helpful hints and tips there too;


    Breathing exercises - Depending on how you breathe can determine how you are left feeling; more energised, more relaxed, happier, sometimes you can even be left feeling quite anxious if you are not breathing properly. So have a practice in learning the best technique for yourself. Click on the following link to get you started;


    Notice the time that you have the craving, has much time passed since the last one? Is it as intense? Over time you should be able to notice the longer breaks between each one.

    What were you doing at the time you got the craving, is there a trigger point?

    Remember, whether you smoke or not, cravings will go away. You never really notice them going, however you can be sure to know when they return.... Therefore, for them to return.... They must have gone away in the first place! Hope that makes sense :0)

    Sooooo, Friend or Foe... How do you see yours

    Breathing Exercise (1).... Quick exercise that can be done anywhere and is easy to learn

    Cravings lead to irritation and sometimes panic, causing the quitter’s mind to speed up. When this occurs, concentrating becomes hard. Using a deep breathing exercise is an effective way of calming yourself down.

    This exercise can be done anywhere from sitting down in a chair to waiting for a bus. Follow the simple stages described below;

    With your mouth closed and shoulders relaxed, inhale deeply and slowly to the count of eight.

    As you breathe in, push your stomach out.

    Hold your breath for the count of four.

    Breathe out slowly to the count of eight.

    Repeat the cycle five times


    Recommend 0



    Breathing Exercise (2) How to cough up what's not supposed to be there...

    When you first stop smoking, you may feel that you have more phlegm and mucus on your chest. This may cause you to feel a bit rattly and as though you need to 'cough something up'... Doesn't sound very nice, I know but this is a good sign.

    At the end of the day, you are only coughing up what is not supposed to be there!

    1. Stand up with your legs your shoulder width apart.

    2. Put your hands on your hips.

    3. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose - Very slowly.

    4. When you feel like you have taken your fill of air in, take another little bit more.

    5. Keeping your hands on your hips, slowly bend over forward. As you do, blow your breath out slowly through your mouth. Making a blowing noise as you do.

    6. When you have pushed out that final bit of breath, stand up and give a gentle cough.

    Repeat this 3 times.

    Because you are not used to all this good clean oxygen, you may feel slightly dizzy - This is just an oxygen rush. However, if you are not used to it, then please have a comfy chair at the ready.

    If this cough lasts more than a couple of weeks, it may be worth visiting your GP

    Breathing Exercise (3)To help slow a busy mind down and help with a good nights rest

    Before you try going to sleep, think about your day, and try and clear your mind. Is anything worrying you? If so think about whether or not you can do anything about it. Focus on all the positive things that have gone well for you, how good you feel about them or the things that have happened during your day. Any negative thoughts you may have collect them all together and have them ready to leave your body.

    Once you have done this, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

    Breathe in and out a few times, in your own time

    Next, take in a nice, long, slow, deep breath through your nose

    Breathe out a nice long sigh through your mouth

    Repeat this 3 -4 times

    As you feel yourself ready to relax, shrug your shoulders up towards your ears and then let them drop

    Focus again on your breathing, now think of the number 10 as you breathe in

    As you breathe out, see the number 10 leave your mind.

    Feeling any tension leaving your body as you do this.

    Next, breathe in nice and slowly as you think of number 9

    As number 9 leaves your mind, breathe out slowly.

    As you breathe in, see the number 8

    Imagine every bit of worry within you being caught up in your breath and being pushed out

    as you see the number 8 leaving your body,

    taking everything that concerns you away.

    Continue to focus on your breathing

    Imagining with each breath in, you are gathering up every bit of tension from every part of your body.

    Every breath out takes all this tension away.

    As you see the number 7 enter your mind,

    feel the activity within your head and thoughts starting to slow right down

    breathing in and then out, feeling more and more relaxed each time as the numbers leave your mind.

    Your breathing should now be nice and slow, your heart and pulse will be more relaxed and your mind will feel so at eased.

    As you slowly count your way down the numbers, you should be feeling ever so relaxed and the days worries and stresses should be as far away from your mind as possible.

    The more you practice this breathing exercise, the easier it should become every-time.

  • Hi Friezfriend, welcome to our community, glad you called in to us. Jillygirl is spot on with her advice. You are in the early days of your quit and at the point where people start to feel the cravings becoming loud in knocking on your door. You have to remember a couple of things here 1) you haven't given in and that is brilliant 2) those nicotine receptors in your brain know you mean business and are in the throw of screaming at you in case you have forgotten them, they want to be fed and nicotine is their food. Stay strong

    Try and think what you are doing or feeling when those cravings set in and then you can start to develop strategies to deal with or avoid them.

    The members on here have all been there and many are feeling the same as you. Come on here and share what is happening and someone will be able to help you out.

    As Cameron say 'we're all in it together' well on here we are and we're all with you.

    Keep up the good work.


  • I don't know what NRT you are using. Friezfriend but make sure if you are wearing a patch to keep it on as instructed. If you have also been given an oral product like gum or an inhalator use it as and when you need it, that should help you manage the cravings.


  • Thank you, thank you, Jilly thank you for all the work you have put in here, I'm going to read it first thing in the morning to start the day afresh and Eye thank you too. I'm using Niquitin Mini tabs 4 mg and inhalator. thanks everyone feel a bit better now just has been a grim day. x

  • There is no doubt it is an up hill battle, but it does get better ... I'm in week four, three days, 5 hours 10 minutes and 22 seconds - LOL ... I didn't find counselling particularly helpful either. Telling me how I'm going to feel better and a lot more tosh besides was no help for me whatsoever. Finally, I went on the e-cig. It isn't so much the smoking it's the 'act' of smoking that I missed (Having something to do with my hands) .. The craving has now virtually disappeared and I'm convinced having a fake fag to play with did it for me .... Don't give up, it WILL be worth it in the end.

  • Yeah when she asked me for my date of birth for the third time, had a stress because she didn't have her phone charger with her, constantly looked over my shoulder to look for her daughter who was bringing said phone charger with her and then took a personal call on her mobile I must say I wasn't feeling particularly valued! Second meeting was even worse, I'm afraid I've got someone just going through the motions. :(

  • I have tired having a couple of pieces of dark chocolate which seems to help and remeber the craving only last for a few minutes. You can do it, you are stronger than a cig. Hang in there.

  • Ok I'm not a big fan of chocolate but like the dark stuff so that's a good plan out to get some now!

  • Hi Its an alwful feeling It nearly cracked me up but I promise you it will go away theres no time limit it took me about 6 weeks but I swear you will feel the benefits. Things that helped me took down all nets in house cleaned all windows anything to keep my mind free - I wish you all the luck and the fact that you've posted what you have on here today proves you want to do it and I promise you you will !! well done and remember each day gets a little easier :-)

  • Thanks Marion. :)

  • Thank you so much everyone this has been really helpful, I didn't crack but did stay up till 4 in the morning watching rubbish on the TV, when I finally woke up today I felt better! I've tried the breathing exercises they are helpful. Doesn't your mind play crazy tricks on you, I know this stuff but didn't think about applying it to myself! I've just downloaded an app with bird song and seaside noises on it which is also quite calming. Much better today and I think that is in large part due to your support. :)

  • Hi Friezfriend,

    Lots of good advice given for you to try, so pleased you feel better today. I like the sound of your birdsong app, I love birdsong and the sound of waves rolling in on the beach, brilliant idea for relaxation.


  • Thank you for all your replies. I am REALLY determined to do it this time! Might need to moan abit but have not had one today!

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