Need advice on quitting smoking - seeking treatment or self-help?


I started to smoke when I was 20. I started it for fun, but gradually, smoking became an unavoidable thing in my life. I smoke a pack each day. It has been only some time since I had feelings to stop this. The main reason was, my friend was diagnosed with lung cancer some days before. He also used to smoke. I became so afraid after hearing his case. I decided to quit from that day onwards but, I was not able to do so. I had a craving for it. Since I can't control myself, I think it is better if I undergo a smoking cessation treatment at Toronto. Is there anyone here who has undergone a similar treatment? How did you quit your smoking? Please suggest me some ways. Is it necessary to undergo a treatment or is there something I can do by myself? Please share your thoughts.


This worked for me. I marked on the calendar each day the number of cigarettes I had each day. And zero for those days when they come. I think you need something visual to show what you are doing. Something like putting a dollar in a jar for each cigarette might give you a picture of what you are doing.

Good luck

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I smoked for a long time as well and enjoyed every minute of it. I did not want to quit but my grandmother died from COPD as a result of smoking 3 packs a day and my uncle died of lung cancer. Because of UC, I have bronchiectasis (sp) so I have difficulty breathing at times. Anyway, what I did to quit was to cut back the number of cigarettes I smoked each day. It took me a while to reprogram myself to life without cigarettes but I do not have any desire to go least for today. So each week take away a few cigarettes and get used to the reduced number. You may need longer than a week too. Don't rush the process because you need to embrace a smaller quantity of cigarettes. It is hard at times. Once you get down to 2 cigarettes per day, try one day without them and smoke the next if you really want to light up. I never denied myself a cigarette if I really, really needed one. What I would do was tell myself that if the desire does not subside, I was allowed to smoke the next day. Usually by the next day, I did not want extra cigarettes or any for that matter. I know today, if I pick up one cigarette, I will be hooked I do not take the risk. I have not smoked in about 14 years....And, I did quit two times before my final time and did not smoke for years each time. I am very familiar with how my addiction to tobacco manipulates me. Take care and good luck to you! Sincerely, LH


Thank you! I will surely try this out.


I am so sorry for your loss. It is inspirational when someone shares how they quit their smoking. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Hello RosaAyala.

Firstly, let me thank you for posting such an interesting subject as all us ex-smokers will testify that it is not easy to give up an addiction such as this.

Having been a heavy smoker in the days when they were still encouraging us to do so and there was no help or advice not to. I gave up overnight when the government put 6pence extra tax on each packet of cigarettes to help pay for some war or other they were waging at the time. It so enraged me to think that I might be contributing to their war fund that I vowed they would never get a penny out of me again. I tell you this because I believe that to give up an addiction we need strong motivation and determination.

I figured that there were several several  facets to the habit that needed addressing:

1) Habit/ routine: This was in some ways the mmost difficult one to overcome because for the most part I indulged in the habit without giving it any or much thought. I found that I was being 'triggered' to smoke by insignificant little things like having a cup of tea, smelling the suphorous odour of a lighted match, or the social phenomenon of a friend offering me a fag - even though they knew I was trying to give up.

2) Psychological/emotional:  Nicotine is a drug that calms the nerves and helps us to relax. At the time I smoked, there were plenty of things happening to encourage me to think that I needed calming down (along with the rest of the population). I needed a distraction to occupy my thinking and active time in a constructive way. For me, as I WAS STILL A RELATIVELY YOUNG MAN, this was a gradual involvement in long-distance running, which changed my habits, routine and was devoid of the sorts of triggers mentioned above.

3) Physical addiction: There is no doubt in my mind that I was physically addicted to nicotine and there were well known successful approaches to weaning oneself of addictions- In those days the leading lights in this sphere were Alcoholics Anonimous but their techniques were just as relevant to any other addiction. The fact that I was going 'cold-turkey' and giving up overnight, never to smoke again, made those first couple of minutes,  hours, days, weeks and years exceptionally difficult.

Whenever I got the craving too much, I used to remind myself of the term used frequently when I was in the boy scouts and that was 'stickability'. I also reminded myself that every penny spent on fags was money going up in smoke to help support wars and killing people that I vehemently disagreed with.

It's been an interesting journey through life watching the changing attitudes towards smoking that HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY GOVERNMENTS and their desire to make money for their various enterprises. It was not until they realised that smoking was costing them more in healthcare than it was collecting in revenue that they decided people should be discouraged from doing it.

I have come to view smoking as just one of the many suicidal activities that human beings indulge in for one reason or another. I have no problems with them doing so as long as they don't try to involve me!

I don't know if my ramblings will be of any help to you but I do hope that you will find your own way to give up smoking and lead a more healthy life in future - if that's what you really want to do.

Best wishes


Fraidy Cat

Nicotine lozenges worked for me. Haven't smoked a cigarette in over 10 years now. Only problem is I can't get off the lozenges, guess it's swapping one addiction for another but at least the lozenges don't hurt your lungs or offend other people around you.


Hey Rosa, you’ve been given some wonderful advice from folks who have been there. I started smoking at 14 because it was really cool. I quit for a month when I was about 40. On the 31st day, I just finished cutting my lawn and sat down with a cold beer. After about a minute and twenty-two seconds, I jumped into the car, drove to the pharmacy and bought a CARTON of Marlboros. Not a pack, a CARTON. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Only a real cigarette addict can appreciate that. No guilt, no remorse, just euphoria knowing I had in my possession several days of dragging, inhaling and blowing out with that wonderful taste. Christmas in June!

I quit when I was 68. Just like that, I quit. That was almost 9 years ago and I almost never miss it. ALMOST! There are times I try to get a whiff of some second hand smoke before I come back to my senses. Unfortunately I can’t offer advice except, I learned, the more I thought about it the more difficult it was to avoid smoking.
You’ll do it because you want to. Maybe you’ll remind yourself sometimes that you really need to.
Wanna talk about drinking?


I smoked for 45 years. My mom died from emphysema and I quit in 2000. I used the drug Wellbutrin (from my doctor), the nicotine patch, and all the advice I could use. My daughter told me the first week, every time you want a cigarette, go brush your teeth. Your mouth is fresh and the oral fix helps. I chewed on cut-up straws to keep from putting a cigarette in my mouth. I saved up $20 a week (that's what a carton costs then) and bought a treadmill. I still miss it, wish I could have one once in a while. I told myself, it proves my family loves me. After quitting for a short time, you realize how much you stank of cigarettes. They hugged me all those years of reeking of tobacco. I wish you the very best of luck. You will wake up one morning and realize "I'm not coughing." Proud non-smoker.


You've come to the right place. I smoked for almost 50 years. I smoked a pack a day. I am Type A personality/high-stress and emotionally reactive. I have an addictive personality. I smoked nearly all my life, I tried to quit only once, it was so difficult I never tried to again. I knew it would kill me eventually but nicotine is more addictive than heroin (addiction specialists will tell you this) and it is socially acceptable more than shooting up is, let's face it. So on I went smoking and 'wondering' when it would 'get me'. It got me last August 28th, 2016 when I had a heart attack; and had to have four stents put in. I am on major high dosages of blood thinners and all sorts of heart medications. I have a self-destructive streak I think. I knew it was not good for me at all yet I kept on doing it. I am very blessed to be given this second chance. I easily could have died as my symptoms were not typical. I had no chest pain but all jaw pain. And since I previously dealt with chronic widespread pain anyways it was hard for me to tell what was going on. By the Grace of God I called an ambulance that day; and I don't usually. I hate the hospital and doctors for the most part. "Something" (or "Somebody" I choose to believe it was God Himself) told me CALL AN AMBULANCE THIS IS SERIOUS.

Here is how you can quit. Use the PATCH, and get so scared I mean SO SCARED that it is NOT an option to smoke anymore; OR alternately admit you are self-destructive and go with it. Keep smoking. Simply put it is a CHOICE TO LIVE OR DIE. It's a HUGE choice and it is a REAL one. And the older you get, the smaller that window of time is. Count on it.

I was very surprised at how well the Nicotine patch worked. I had never tried it before because (get ready for this!) I was afraid it would give me heart palpitations or bring on a heart attack. Wow. See this is where all those STUPID 'scare warnings' on medications can get us. Yep I thought the cure would kill me. So I never tried the patch. But when I had the heart attack I immediately quit, handed my last pack of cigs to a woman sitting outside with an IV smoking and told her 'Here, these are for you. I'm quitting. Enjoy.' - she was every so grateful. I felt a freedom (as I did this in front of my grown son who never smoked and hated my smoking). I immediately started the patch while in hospital.

All I can say is you have to be SCARED STRAIGHT to make the decision that you will quit smoking FOR GOOD. It has to NOT BE AN OPTION AT ALL ANYMORE. You have to see it as inhaling literal POISON, knowing that it will kill you. I am too scared to smoke now plain and simple; and I do not scare easily. I always thought I was the suicidal type, the depressive type - until I had a heart attack and my mortality was right in front of me. Then I realized NOPE guess I'm not! 'Cause I quit smoking and haven't taken one drag for almost a year now. And yep I've gained a fair deal of weight - but I had other health issues. Pisses me off I gained all the weight I had previously lost. Now I am 'chunky' instead of slim. But I'm alive. And I can lose this weight and I will.

YOU CAN DO IT, BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE RIGHT MINDSET and unfortunately most of us don't get there until something serious happens to us. Don't be stupid like I was. Do something about it NOW. Before something happens.


Thank you for your kind words. My grandmother was my twin separated by 58 years....LOL. We had some good talks, many cups of tea and cookies. She is always in my heart. Take care. Have a nice day. Sincerely, LH


Hi Rosa. I smoked for a little over 30 years. Kool. Initially, at age 16, to impress some girls at the beach (who we never did get to talk with - lol). I tried to stop half-heartedly a couple of times, but nothing serious. When my son was born my circumstances changed. I ended up divorced with sole legal custody of my son. I quit smoking during the court battle for custody. How? I started with the Patch. What a nicotine rush! I felt quite ill at ease with it. By the time I got to work (a 17-minute drive) I couldn't stand the chemical reaction taking place under my skin. So, I ripped the Patch off and said to myself with conviction, "Ok. Either stop or go back to smoking and hope for the best." Heck - the Patch was even more expensive than cigarettes (at that time). Nowadays, I don't know. I never went back to smoking and doubt I ever will. Do I miss it? Kind of, in a strange, self-serving way. But not enough to restart at Day One again. Never. I've got too much to see and do, with my son, with my new wife, with a zest for life rejuvenated by my ileostomy! I hope the same for you... What I believe you'll find to be true is that ANY stop-smoking method will work if you really want it to. Otherwise, it's just an exercise in futility. "Just Say No" can be effective if you believe in yourself and truly want to quit the habit...


I think quitting is the hardest thing on this green earth. I smoked for fifty years but quit maybe 20 times but only for a few days at a time. Got lung cancer but thank God the doc got it early, only had to remove a small portion of my right lower lobe. He gave me an Rx for Nicotrol (sp) It has been 10 years but I used the thing for maybe six months before I really stopped for good. It's like a little cigarette holder (if you remember those) and it had a 4mg capsule of nicotine.


This is a tough one for me because I still smoke e-cigarettes. I quit three or four times so far. You have to want to quit. To me, it's like everything else, you have to really want it.

I quit for 16 years and yup, I went back. Stopped again for about 8 and here I am now smoking the e-cigs. For me, I think it's the menthol that I like, I wouldn't smoke a non-menthol no matter what. But I didn't smoke many, a pack would last me almost 7 days. The e-cigs will go soon, they're too expensive and I don't care for the smell of the regular ones anymore.

Best of luck to you.


Hi Rosa!

Best advice from me is to Google "Quit Smoking Ontario Help" and take it from there.

It's not so much a question of HOW to quit smoking, it's more of fixing your mind to a total-body-workout of not smoking and figure out what you're going to do instead.

Wanting a cigarette and not having one does hurt. So put on your big girl panties and deal with it, 'cos honey, you're going to make it happen!


I quit smoking 15 years ago. It was the hardest habit I ever had to quit. It took 2 tries. This is how I did it. I did the patch. The patch has 3 different nicotine levels. I did 2 levels. The patch cost as much as the cigarettes. I now say that you can put a bandage on and pretend it is a patch. It is all willpower. Good luck. You can do it.


I need to clarify something. I stated earlier that I quit, just like that. Boy, that could’ve been very misleading. It was the most difficult thing I ever did. I can’t think of anyone for whom quitting was easy except my old boss. He told me there was nothing to it. He quit hundreds of times.


I am an ex-smoker, but let me make an exception. I never was addicted to cigarettes because I smoked only 1 or 2 per month. However, I smoked a pipe almost constantly. I smoked at least one fat (2 each) cigar a day, sometimes more. I was spending the equivalent of three packs a day and getting equivalent nicotine of about 2 packs. But there was no paper in the cigar and no cigarette tobacco ever. Pipe tobacco and cigar tobacco is a completely different product, much less addictive. That's what all pipe smokers say and believe. Don't believe it. After 30 years of smoking, I developed lung cancer in 1996 and had the right middle lobe of my lung removed. The next year I had my first heart attack at age 54. I quit smoking the day before my cancer operation. I have never smoked anything since then. By the time I could open a spring-closed door with my right arm without screaming or crying, I never wanted tobacco in any form again. Eight years ago I was diagnosed with COPD, which can be slowed in its advance but never reversed. I had my second last year during my emergency colostomy surgery. I really enjoyed those pipes and cigars, but if I had known at 24 what I learned at 54, I would never have started. I'm sorry I can't help you quit, but truly your own motivation is the only thing that will get you through. My next-door neighbor had COPD so bad that he was on oxygen 24 hours a day and saying "how are you" would leave him gasping for breath for several minutes. He still did not quit, even in spite of the oxygen and fire risk until the very day he died. He didn't really want to quit in spite of everything, so he didn't really try. For all my friends here on the forum or anywhere else, I don't really want to be preaching at you, but I don't want you to go through what I went through and am still feeling today.


The only effective way to quit smoking cigarettes is to do it cold turkey. Cessation classes and other methods simply do not work.

Once you have several smokeless weeks, it will get easier.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you will ever do.

You will live longer and will feel much better.

I've been through this....


To stop smoking was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done! My grandfather, at seven and eight, would say "You want a puff"? What kid would say no! By the time I was 14 or 15, I was smoking a pack a day and my mother actually started buying my cigarettes on base. Of course, I remember them being just $2.31 per carton! Imagine that! Once I wanted to stop, I tried several of the current treatments: nicotine gum, patches, then the antidepressant that helps! The only thing that helped me was my will to do it. None of the other stuff seems to work, and if you substitute one habit for another, you are no better off! It was difficult, but once you make up your mind, that is half the battle. I quit many times before the final time 15 years ago. I started back once because I would like to be a social smoker, but that is not possible! I thought I could smoke just one, had myself convinced I could do that, but I smoked one the first day and it hurt my throat so bad, but the second went down easier. Before you know it, you are back to a pack a day and beating yourself up for failing! You have to decide to stop, no one can tell you to do it! We are strong and there's no stopping us once our mind is made up!

Good luck, I wish you success!



I used to smoke 3 packs a day and enjoyed it.  One day I got smoke in my 2-year old daughter's face and she said:  "Oh, Papa, that's phooey."  I realized that it was not only bad for me but for those around me as well.  I decided that i was a non-smoker starting that very day.  I haven't had one since.  That was in 1977.  It's not just lung cancer that you have to worry about.  Smoking negatively impacts everything in your body, and you really do not want to suffer and die from what it does to you over time.  Plus, once you get thru the first couple of months, you'll notice how much better you feel, from the moment you get up in the morning.  Also, think of the money you'll save.  When I quit, a pack only cost 50 cents.   Now it's ridiculously expensive and, I've noticed, most people who don't quit are the ones who can least afford it.  Make a decision and stick with it.  You'll beel so much better, I promise.

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