please help - smoking issue

30 Replies



Is this normal, I gave up smoking on wednesday, down from 20+ per day to less than 3 puffs, (im pretty much going cold turkey) having smoked for 20 years, I am not finding things too bad except for the following.....Every bit of me aches, is this normal? its my legs, arms, shoulders etc. is this nicotine withdrawal or something, if so how long will it last? (i am also very very weak and tired).Thanks for your reponses in advance.

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jacklin 1245698114

Yes, it's normal, it'll last as long as you let it! Be positive, you will succeed! It's that nasty drug trying to make you give in - DON'T! You are stronger than a few dried leaves in a bit of paper - whether you tell yourself you will be able to stop or whether you say you won't be able to - you will be keep telling yourself that you can and you will!

junkanoo 1245698608


I gave up 4 years ago after 40 years of smoking. I did not suffer the symptoms you describe but we are all different. However, I found the nicotine chewing gum a great help - I don't think I would have given up without it. I tried the patches but I could not get on with them.

The only hope I can give is that the craving does go eventually. I hardly ever think about smoking now and I certainly have no desire to start again.

It is not easy - in fact it is extremely difficult. You need the support of those around you. I was very difficult to live with when I first stopped. You may put on some weight - I did.

Try the gum and keep on with the struggle - it will be worth it in the end.

Best wishes.

Beermat-404235 1245699219

Having given up eighteen months ago after 40 years of fifty fags a day and knowing a lot of quitters, I do not think your aching sypmtoms are at all normal. I have minus will power and tried to quit a dozen times in recent years and literally ended up banging my head against the wall for need of a fag when working on the computer. Then I took a course of pills called Champix ( on the NHS) which actually fool your brain into thinking you are full of nicotine, ergo no withdrawal symptoms. For me it was unbelievably effective and I have not felt the slightest need for a gasper since. I think it works out at around 27,567 fags I have not rolled and smoked since I quit, and it bucks me up no end to imagine a thousand ash trays full of all those stinking butts. The other thing is it makes one's sense of smell so much better, and I now believe what all those non-smoking friends told me about the stink of stale baccy on my breath and hanging around my clothes. Funny enough, I have not put on any weight with my improved sense of taste, as feeling so much better has helped me exercise more and watch my weight. To be honest, what I do miss is the 'social' side, like having a fag while looking at a job I am doing around the house and planning what I shall do next to make that shelf stay on the wall, or stopping for a smoke during a long hike, or having a fag after a meal with smoking mates. But, on balance, it has to be better to stop. Hope this helps...

dawley 1245700341

Hi me and my wife gave up at the end of last year after smoking for at least 20 years,your symptoms sound pretty normal to us.We felt terrible at first as it is very stressful to stop, and sleeping, well all day if we could! Have also gained some weight, but as for you like us, it will all be worth it in the end and also good for your pocket and more importantly your health.Keep it up and Bon courage!

J. La Flem-421117 1245710234

Comfort yourself by knowing you are not alone! You will get through this, and it will get better.
I just kept thinking that whatever I suffered, it was better than being a smoker and really damaging my health.
Cigarettes are no longer 'in'. Being a non smoker is where it's at!
Well done for getting this far, and keep it up.

Mickrest 1245711363

I agree with Jacklin. I too felt worse for quite a few months, but am really happy I persevered. I feel fitter and healthier than I did 25 years ago.

In the end, nothing will really help but own your own will power.

Keep telling yourself that you're doing the right thing. It will eventually get much better and much easier to resist.

Put aside the money you're saving and give yourself a treat at the end of the first 3 months of abstinence as a big pat on the back.

Good luck

Dude-389122 1245713340

congrats to all you quitters!! good for you

magsinfrance-384106 1245717718

Well done so far and to everyone quitting.
I gave up 14 yrs. ago when I was on 30 a day and had smoked for 35yrs. I had been in hospital for 6 days when I gave up and instead of going straight back on to them when I got home, as I usually did, I used reverse psychology on myself. I took each day at a time and felt a great achievement as I completed each day without a ciggie.
I told myself that "I am a smoker and I always will be, but at the moment I choose not to smoke." This puts me firmly in charge of what I do. I suppose I'm a bit of a control freak and also human nature being what it is, when we are told that we can't have something, we want it more. Admitting to myself that I am a smoker, but I'm choosing not to smoke, takes away that feeling of not being in control.
Also, when I was smoking, I used to really freak out if I didn't have enough ciggies overnight. When I gave up I had a packet of 20 and a lighter hidden out of sight, and that then took away the fear of not having a cigarette if I really wanted one. Again this then gave me a choice and put me in control. (that packet is still around somewhere, I found it when we moved house!!!)
I never realised until I gave up, that I had a smoker's cough. My cough disappeared after several weeks of clearing my lungs of gunk and one day I realised that I didn't cough all the time anymore. I also found my sense of smell and taste were heightened.
There has been the very odd occasion over the years when I've thought "I'd love a fag" but I just thought "well I could if I want to , but hey, I've come this far, why bother" and that's another day passed without one.
Good luck to everyone quitting, take each day at a time, if you fall off, don't beat yourself up over it, just try again the next day. Change the situations of when you would usually have a smoke, do something else instead. It will be worth it in the end.

jim-382337 1245742451

Congratulations on your attempt.

You are braver than me.I used a crutch to help me off cigarettes three years ago.

If you are tempted to start again, try using NICOBREVIN. It is not a nictine substitute,but a herbal treatment which significantly eased my withdraw symptoms.

I found it via google. Good luck!


thoma-413534 1246095303

I ve just read this thread. Over the past couple of weeks i have been thinking of giving up as i started to do a daily exercise routine. I used to be really fit when i was younger,swimming running cycling, going to the gym twice a week.... I just can t seem to pick the right day! There is always some kind of stress that makes me reach for a smoke. How do you cope with not giving in? Is it a good idea to first try to not smoke for say 4 hours, then try another 4 hours until it becomes a whole day? I really would like to not smoke but everyone around me smokes which makes it more difficult. The strange thing is, i don t even inhale! I think my addiction is having it in my hand or something? Has anyone tried the false cigerettes? And can you get them in the pharmacy here? Congratulations to all of you who have given up or are in the process!

Beermat-404235 1246098011

I can only talk about me and my experiences, Thoma, but cannot imagine anyone with less will power and strength of character than me. After forty years of smoking, up until the September before last I would roll and smoke a fag every twenty minutes for all the time I was awake, and the first thing I did when coming downstairs each morning was have a coffee and three roll-ups.

Like so many people I have talked to or heard from, the spur for me stopping was a chest problem, in my case a bad bout of 'flu. Having decided to try and stop for the umpteenth time, I got the Champix course on prescription, and the idea is that you keep smoking when you start taking the pills, then gradually tail off as your brain thinks you are still topped up with nicotine.

It has worked for me, and I am only relating my experiences in the hope that it wil help others see that even someone with a complete lack of determination and willpower ( like me) can do it and give up the gaspers after many years of addiction.

Hope this helps in some small way.

bighomer46 1246099197

It might be a open ended question but...

If you get champix tablets on prescription and you have to carry on smoking whilst you get going, Do you get your fags on prescription as well

as they form part of the medical treatment.

Beermat-404235 1246103468

Never thought to ask, but felt guilty enough with smoking low duty fags in France then asking the NHS for free help...

Devonian-414213 1246108461

Nicotine is very addictive and don't feel too bad if you can't give it up first time! I gave up when pregnant with the first 2 kids but was soon back on the fags agian and only managed it permanently with the third.

It is 10 years + since I gave it up and I still get bouts of being desperate for a cigarette - I recently bought a car off a heavy smoker and the smell has been driving me mad. I don't think there is anything else but going cold turkey in the end either - however it happens your body and mind has to learn to do without the nicotine.

Beermat-404235 1246113692

It is interesting how everyone must have a different phsyiology, or rather lots of people must have differerent physiologies. I have heard people say that it is like being an alcohilic and you are never free of the craving for a fag, but that is certainly not true for me. My wife still smokes and I have to say I can smell it on her breath and clothes and hair and it certainly does not fill me with craving for a ciggie!

Tony1944 1246114534

Nicotine addiction is a very deep addiction. Your body has to get used to no nicotine and more oxygen in each breath. Expect muscle aches, tiredness, eyesight changes and eve diarrhoea. It varies from person to person but symptoms do stop .

RON WILLIAMS-409620 1246117651

Hello all yes dying for a cig. Gave up 5 months ago after 60 years, why? got so fed up bringing up so much junk, always walking outside the cafe to get a few puffs between courses amd missing out on our friends conversations, the same as when we visit friends, having to go outside in the cold. I have tried many times to give up and the longest that I have gone was three years, and that cigar at Christmas started me off again. When I did give up I would get rid of all my cigs, lighters and ash trays so that there was no temptations. This time I still have cigs in the draw and I use them as a challenge to say to hell to you you can stay there and so far it has worked. Yes I am on the nicorette, and hate it. If any person asks me if I smoke I just say not today, and provided you do not smoke that first one I know I am OK. It is not easy but it really is just an habit. I have found it is more expensive giving up because I now have to buy bigger clothes but hopefully the weight problem will sort itself out. Best of luck to all you people who want to give it up, it is not easy, it is bloody hard, but well worth it.

never say never

shiawase 1254417753

Hi Perfectlife
I just came across your posting today. Just sorry i didn't see it sooner. It sounds to me like the pain you are suffering is just tension caused by the feeling of giving something up.
Believe it or not nicotine leaves your body in 48 hours and there is no pain. I know that sounds a bit stern but if you think about it your body cannot store nicotine. If you did, the nicotine would kill you (nicotine is a poison). Therefore your body is ridding itself of nicotine all the time - and that's why smokers tend to smoke about 20 a day. Therefore smokers are in a permanent state of withdrawal. No pain. By the time you wake in the morning after 8 hours sleep about 50% of nicotine has left your body and you are not in any pain.
I do hope you have been successful. If not please email me and I will be happy to help (EX Allen Carr therapist) FOC.

KERHUEL 1254420439

I think that the most important first step is to not refer to ''giving up'', afterall what have you got to lose ?? You are not giving up anything but gaining a lot.

arcoat-392332 1254689235

yes some patients did find themselves with pain, the brain has made a place to accomodate nicotine will always be there which is why many folks years on still think and yearn for it.but there are far more damaging chemicals than nicotine in a cigarette., which is why its better to have a nicotine patch, healthwise than to smoke.nicotine has the ability to stop pain.therefore if the pain continues when your withdrawal symptoms have diminished, see the could be something else

TryAgain-414541 1254692435

Perfect Life, I think itwould help you if you took a high dose of Vit. C each day and drank a LOT of water. There is also a ho0eopathic remedy from Ainsworth's in Kensington, which is a smokers' remedy, to clean out the yuck and to help your system to right itselpf and to minimise cravings. It does help a lot.

This website is very good: It made the differenkce for me. I read it all through and downloadede the how-well-you're-doing thingy - never looked back. Terreifying photos. The forum is good, because they have a rule that if you break the deal, you're out - no never-mind-try-again-later, dear - you jolly well do it or goodbye. I was so scared of failing taht I never jojned the forum! So it worked just the same.

TryAgain-414541 1254692960

I mean as much as 2000mg a day, or eat really vast quantities of grapes and other fruit - three kilos a day wouldn't be too much. Drink at least two litres of water a day - as water, not as juice or tea. You could take a ghood antioxidant and multi-vhit-min, as well. I think t7hat was all there, but masked by the fags - now you're feeling it and your body is trying to detox. Green tea is good, too, but even thinking about it makes me feel sick - foul stuff. QAlso, don't eat sugar or refined flour, pasta, etc. or much dairy stuff - all those can exacerbat7e the unpleasant feelings.

Beermat-404235 1254739209

Did I misread you, Try Again, or are you really counselling someone whose blood sugar or intolerance levels you know nothing about to eat three kilos of grapes and/or other fructose-laden fruit a day? Half a stone in old money. Do you want to swiftly amend your advice, doctor?

TryAgain-414541 1254740234

Sorry, I meant to write two, not three, but as far as sugar levels go, I should think the OP knows if they are diabetic or anything and obviously that'd be different. But no, two kilos of fruit isn't excessive, just unusual in modern diets. I know Spanish and Italian farmers, young and old, who eat 2-3 kilos a day of grapes, oranges and whatever other fruit is in season and so do I, all the time. But I wouldn't touch most of the muck that people think is acceptable.

shiawase 1254850227

Before I get to the real the problem, I would like to first get rid of some myths. Vitamin C and other detox gimmicks might be useful for ridding your body of nicotine but why bother when your body can dump 100% of the nicotine in 48 hours and 50% in 8 hours (refer to my previous posting in this thread) without pain. Have you ever known a non-smoking barman suffer withdrawal after a 12-hour shift in a smokey pub (inhaling about 5 cigarettes)? We all know someone who smokes all weekends only, and suffers no withdrawal.
Using scare tactics to help a smoker stop does not work and never will. If they did, there would be no smokers left in western society. All smokers know the damage they are doing and most knew the down side even before their first cigarette. Scare tactics make us want to stop but they don't help us to do it.
In my experience as a therapist (10 years and 6000 smokers) and 34 years a smoker before that, NRT, Champix etc fail to address the real problem which is that smokers believe that they get some pleasure or crutch from smoking. I have proved that fact again and again to the satisfaction of all smokers I have met. Using nicotine to cure nicotine addiction is like saying to a haroin addict "Here sniff the heroin through this pipe instead of injecting". With nicotine, it is not the drug that addicts you but believing that you are addicted to the drug. This is where the problem lies.
The reason that smokers go back to smoking after they stop, even many years, and long after the nicotine has left their system, is not that there is a vacuum left by nicotine in their head, but that they still believe that the cigarette would do something for them or that they are missing out on the pleasure or crutch that they think a cigarette gave them. Nicotine is not the problem. the problem is that smoking creates a paradox. We believe that smoking is killing us, enslaving us and stinks but on the other hand we believe that it benefits us in some way. One of the biggest problems smokers have these days is being constantly told how difficult it is to stop. It can be very difficult if you go about it the wrong way. Take that from someone who tried may ways and suffered many failures. Like anything else if you go about it the wrong way, it will be difficult.
I would like to help further but I am not allowed to advertise - and rightly so.
When I stopped 11 years ago I found it increadibly easy and I have never craved a cigarette since and I know I will never smoke. I was shown that I do not need nicotine and that smoking is the biggest con ever conceived.

Good luck to anyone who attempts to stop. It really is great not ot have to smoke.

TryAgain-414541 1254855619

It's amazing how rarely people answer what the original posters write. PerfectLife didn't ask which method was best; he/she asked about the aches and pains. I think there's been one answer to that question, plus several criticising that one answer. Thereshould be a big heading "READ AND ANSWER THE QUESTION."

TryAgain-414541 1254856767

I apologise - there are several - at least three out of twenty-five.

Beermat-404235 1254910872

You really do take the biscuit, Try Again. I, like the first seven responders, answered the intitial question with our experiences of how we felt when quitting smoking. The discussion then naturally broadened and developed to the best ways of stopping or continuing not to smoke. It is called conversation. Then you come thumping in, ignore the initial question, give bad advice about eating ridiculously huge quantities of grapes (as admitted by you in your next posting)... then have the incredible nerve to accuse other people of not answering the intitial question! You even got that wrong by saying it was only one person who did, and had to apologise for that as well. And when I warned about the dangers of advising people whose medical situation you do not know to eat 'vast quantities' (your words) of fructose, you airily and dismissively say that you '...should think that the poster would know if they were diabetic or anything..'. Have you any idea how many people are thought to be diabetic and do not know it? Unbelievable.

On the other hand, my congratulation on your totally informed, thoughtful and helpful contributions, Shiawase.

shiawase 1254940002

Very well put Beermat and thank you. I wonder how perfectlife who made the original post is doing.

Onibury.Davies 1255019757

Hello Perfect Life

Congratulations on your determined efforts to give up smoking alone. I went to a hypnotherapist in 22, she helped me to give up in only one session. I haven't smoked since and have felt no discomfort from withdrawal symtpoms. If you would like her details please email me. I cannot recommend her highly enough. The cost of the session was recuperated within two weeks of me giving up the evil weed.


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