Quitting Smoking Gets Easier. Truly it Does!

Light at end of tunnel when quitting smoking.Quitting smoking and healing from addiction is a long term process. One that takes many, many months. Even though the chemical dependency itself only takes several weeks to breakdown, the more advanced, neurological damage caused by addiction takes a lot longer to recover from.




 
By neurological damage, I am referring to the immense number of neural pathways and connections that link smoking and the intake of nicotine to behavioural, emotional and environmental cues.

The question, “do the cravings EVER stop?” is often asked on many quit smoking forums and support pages.

It is not unusual to see medium term quitters metaphorically, “lose the plot,” at finding themselves still battling through a wall of cravings several months into their quit. The question, “do the cravings EVER stop?” is often asked on many quit smoking forums and support pages.

So, do they? If you have quit smoking and ever find yourself asking this very question, I suggest you pause and reflect over your own quit and how far you have come.

Has the experience progressively gotten better? Are your cravings as frequent, intense or long lasting as they were in the early weeks and months?

Have you noticed you have spent less time thinking about your quit this month than you did last month or the month before?

Unless you are EXTREMELY pessimistic by nature, I am confident you will find it has gotten better, and over time, significantly better. The plasticity of your brain ensures it.

In time, the most you will be left with is a shadow of a crave. A thought that usually disappears by the time you acknowledge it was there in the first place.

So, given this trend; can you not see the healing process working? Can you not trust and accept the healing process will continue to work until you are healed? Can you not trust, that one day, you WILL stop experiencing these walls of craving and be free to get on with the rest of your life in comfort?

Every crave is an opportunity for the brain to weaken and metabolise another connection. In time, the most you will be left with is a shadow of a crave, a thought that usually disappears by the time you acknowledge it was there in the first place.

Given even more time, the shadow itself will disappear. It WILL happen, it WILL get better, and it WILL take time. Trust in the process, have faith in your brain’s ability to heal and focus now on building a better, healthier, happier and more active life.




 

Comments

  1. annette smith says:

    i worked at exercising patience and enjoying the healing experience. i actually looked forward to experiencing the next side effects of my quit. Both the bad and the good. The bad as i knew i had to go thro this wall, and the sooner it came the quicker it would be in my past. It does take time to heal fully but the advantages of being a non-smoker are well worth the wait.

    • So true Annette 🙂

      • I agree with Annette – it’s quite interesting to go through the motions and almost (dare I say it) exciting to wonder what’s going to happen next, although saying that I’m only into my third day. Wish me luck!

        • I have quit many times cold turkey or using cape and nothing has worked for me. The longest I have quit was for 5 years, and starred again. I went to the doctor and she gave me a rx for chantix. I decided that on day 10 I was going to quit the ha it completely. Yesterday was day 10 and I just hit 24 hours being smoke free. I know I have a long road ahead of me. Every morning I journal my thought on my iPhone. If truly helps to write down you feelings and milestones. It is also nice to say “I quit”, when a co-worker says lets go out for a smoke. So that being said I am doing well and will beat this nasty habit.

  2. It’s very inspiring to read that things will improve- we just have to be patient, humble, but most of all proud that we have started the healing process 🙂

  3. Hello,

    Well after the cold turkey method I decided on the 29th of August of 2013 to quit smoking, actualy what Anette writes its true, it was fun to go trough the process, to know what I was about to experience and was prepared to deal with it.
    Today I am still not smoking and the simple thought of smoking has vanished from my mind. Celebrating every crave moment I felt with ” I managed not to smoke !” was truly the big help personaly.
    I realy apreciate this website for helping me understand what was I about to feel during the process, so thank you one more time. I just hope my comment can give strenth to others like other comments gave to me before.
    Cheers from Portugal !

  4. I stopped smoking 6 months ago. The last couple of days I am having constant cravings. Is this normal 6 months in.

    • I suspect you’re feeling the Nornicotine being depleted. It usually happens around the 60 to 120 (or 80 – 100) day mark. Most people experience the same cravings as they did in the first two weeks of quitting. I think the trick is to expect this happening, and consciously avoid and plow through this hurdle so much time after actually quitting.

      I hope you’re still of smokes, even if this isn’t the most pleasant time in the process.

      • I’ve never heard of this? I never experienced it either the first time I gave up, after 6 months (and several months before that) it was as if I’d never smoked… So I hope everyone doesn’t freak out when reading that they’re going to get horrible cravings around the “60-120 day mark”… I never did 🙂

  5. I’m “smoke” free for 6 months now, but I am using the patch 3-4 times a week and using a vaporizer.

    I keep questioning if I’ve really quit. Wanting to look at the “glass half full”, I can confidentialy say yes, I’ve quit smoking cigarettes.

    Although I’m still feeding myself nicotine I’ve worked down to the lowest strength on the patch and worked down a strength on the nicotine in the vaporizer.

    Heck, if it takes another full year before I completely kick the nicotine I’ll be happy and consider that a victory!

    Was smoking 1 and a half packs a day for last 5 years and this is like my 5th attempt at quitting.

    While I’m sure each individual is different, I found using the patch really helped curb those spontaneous cravings where I would go grab a pack on previous attempts to quit. The vaporizer helps with the habit part. It’s been a winning combination for me.

    • That’s not quitting! It’s replacing one source of nicotine for another!

      • Kimberly Williams says:

        Don’t be discouraging a lot of people quit by weaning off the nicotine and I think the combination is great it’s better than stinking tobacco that’s where all the cancer causing chemicals are in the tobacco not nicotine! Some of us aren’t strong enough to just quit me being one of them but we’re still in the race and will still count our milestones victory. Good day!

      • Jodi Meadows says:

        Its quitting cigarettes. Why u gotta be so negative.

    • DJ may have just replaced one source of nicotine for another but a lot of people simply can not quit smoking cold turkey therefore NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) is the only way they can quit. At least DJ is now cigarette free, that deserves congratulating. Nicotine isn’t actually that bad for you’re body, it’s all the other poisons and chemicals that are in cigarettes/tobacco that kills. DJ may still be using nicotine but at least he/she is living a healthier lifestyle. Well done to you DJ, I wish you the best of luck in continuing to be cigarette free and one day being nicotine free.
      I myself smoked 30+ cigarettes per day for 14 years. I started when I was 15 (I am now 29). I was smoking tobacco roll ups with no filter. Over the years I had tried to quit cold turkey countless times (far too many to remember) but unfortunately I just couldn’t do it. My mood was the worst part, I wanted to kill anybody insight, even if the just smiled at me! My anger at everything was just unbearable, I was impossible to be around and I just couldn’t function. Needless to say in a matter of days, sometimes even hours, I was reaching for a smoke. 19 days ago I quit the cigarettes (roll ups). Granted I am using a vaporiser but at least that is healthier than smoking cigarettes! I will, of course, cut down gradually over time. Using NRT is the only way I am able to quit cigarettes, and I am sure I am not the only one. Even though I am using a vapouriser I still struggle with cravings, to be honest I feel like each day is getting harder and harder. I have days where I think “will this ever end!” I am sticking with it though! This time round I am not prepared to give up giving up! 😀

      • I tried the Nicolette inhailer when I first tried to give up smoking, and now I’m on my second go of giving up (5th week 🙂 without the Nicolette inhailer it’s so much easier (well as easy as it can be lol). I think for me it made it worse to have it because every time I did it made me want a cigarette more because I was doing the same actions as smoking, without the smoke. The hardest thing (for me) is stopping reaching for the things, that automatic grabbing for a cigarette without even thinking, so it kind of felt like the inhaler hindered the process of getting out of that habit, because I’m still reaching for something, and having it, just like the cigarette. I know everybody is different but I’d rather do complete cold turkey, get as far away from the reaching for one as possible. Using a vapour cigarette or inhaler seem like torture to me…

        Having waffled on with all that, I’m on my 6th week of giving up (6 weeks tomorrow morning). I hope everybody keeps at it here and it really does get easier 🙂

  6. I’m 11 days into quitting after many attempts. My biggest problem is dealing with stress as cigarettes were my best “friend” when stressful events came up. Physically, I feel better and stronger each day although thoughts of smoking still creep in from time to time. However, I will NOT grab a cigarette no matter how strong the urge! I am determined to kick this horrible habit once and for all!! Stay strong!

  7. Just wanted to say thanks. Your words are helping me get through. Three days in. Im pregnant with my 2nd child. I quit with my first, but i was farther along than I care to admit. Like a junkie i went back when she was only a few months old and have exposed my daughter to second hand smoke. It is very early in this pregnancy and i am done. Thanks again

  8. So, I have been cigarette free for 46 days and nicotine free for 40 days. The last 2 weeks, I am losing my mind. It doesn’t help that my boyfriend smokes “a few a day”…. on my last count a few is a half a pack. I KNOW that if I light up, I am not going to get the experience I think I want. It would make me sick, and I would need to continue to make myself sick for a day or so, before I would get that “feeling” I think I am looking for. I know they say it is supposed to get better but for me, it has been steadily getting worse for the past week or two and I don’t know what to do. 🙁

  9. Wow reading all your comments kind of freaked me out! I think I underestimated how hard it would be to quit smoking! It seems to be worse than drugs!

    I’m on my 6th day but I must say I wasn’t one of those heavy smokers. I only get cravings when having my morning coffee Cz it used to help me go to the bathroom or after a meal. And of course when I’m out drinking and partying, that’s a whole different story 🙂

    Only problem I’m facing so far is semi constipation. Not going to the bathroom as regularly as I used to and not very satisfactory.

    Anyway best of luck for u all and me too. Really hope to never go back to this poisonous habit and praying that my constipation will be solved soon without having to depend on any external laxative.

    • Hi Jen! Hoping you’re still not smoking. Just wanted to comment on the constipation. Something I have been doing as a way to add to my lifestyle change, is taking multi-vitamins. I have added Metamucil for constipation. All natural supplement. You could also try a tsp. of mineral oil/day. Neither have poor effects & both natural.
      I am on day 22 today. I came to this site because I am struggling with emotions still. I need to visit more often because it really does help knowing I’m not alone. 🙂

      • Marguerite says:

        Hi Bobbie, your post caught my eye because of what you said about your emotions. I too am struggling with my emotions but I’m only on day 7.You are six months in by now at least. If you read this, please let me know how long you were an emotional wreck, lol (my words, not yours).

        Thanks

        • I’m on day 9. I fell like I am getting no support from my family. I feel like setting down and crying. Will this ever get better. I’m wondering

          • I know I’m late with this post, but this is my second “quit”. The first “quit” lasted for 7 months and I’m 4 days into this “quit”. Family will only be patient for so long. Work days are stressful, but after work, I manage to throw myself into reading…something I really love. I separate myself from my mother and husband (definitely easier without kids) and immerse myself into my books until it’s time to sleep.

    • Hey, I’m freaked out reading these comments too 😂 Take each with a pinch of salt, it’s not the same for everybody, and it’s easier for some, I’m on my 6th week tomorrow, and it’s got easier and easier for me. I just stuck with it and tried my best to push the thought out of my mind quick if I wanted one and focuses my mind on things that kept me active, I changed rooms around in my house 4 times 😂 Sounds neurotic but it kept me busy for days lol Anyway, it’s been ok for me, hard at times, morning and after meals or coffee breaks etc but it has gotten easier and easier, especially after week 3 for me 🙂
      I read on a medical forum you do get constipated and can get dry mouth and mouth ulcers. Have tingles in your hands and feet, and develop a cough… Lol! They say all these are positive if you have any and all the symptoms will disappear after a few weeks.
      Anyway I hope you’re doing well with the quitting 🙂

  10. Hi Cameron, I am writing to thank you for taking the time to build this website. At 2.30 PM on October the 9th 2013 I decided to end a 40 year addiction of 20 a day, the last serious attempt in 2009 lasted 6 months, the previous attempt was prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I wish I had had the information you have provided on my Berlin Wall attempt. With a whole lot of conviction and armed with your words I traded my cigarette addiction by upping my caffeine addiction coming close to 20 cups a day. My advice is try not giving up things you associate with smoking, every-time I got a craving I told myself I needed another cup of coffee – it only took 6 months to back off- though I don’t recommend this approach if alcohol or hamburgers are your trade off. At this point (around 20 months in) I get a ciggy twinge when I smell it or see someone smoking (even in photographs) and still occasionally wake in panic from a ciggy smoking nightmare though all of this passes within seconds. Persevere it truly does get easier.
    Thanks once again Cameron.

  11. Leslie Floyd says:

    Hello
    I’ve smoked for 50 years and just five weeks ago had a major heart attack.
    99% blockage, I could hardly talk with 911 as I was home alone and had to try.
    It was like a freight train hit me — pow, immediately light headed, fell to the floor, vomited, cold clammy sweats, laying flat on the floor now, had to crawl to phone, 911 and then I turned over things calming down but the sweating and talked with God. The emt’s got me doing better, had surgery, 2 stents, and decided no more smoking. Quit cold turkey, I didn’t want to give up one habit for another habit. It’s been almost 6 weeks and I still crave a smoke twice a day. Don’t have a great deal of energy so I take naps and do what little I can. Between the heart resting and smokers flu – I hope to feel better soon. I love to be able to smell the air, the flowers, the dirt, all the smells I never knew were around me. Good luck to all !

    • Gosh I have just read your story on 12th Aug 2016. I hope you have made a great recovery from this traumatic experience and that your year has been a really good one. Sending you all my love and best wishes from Karen x

  12. Louise Mahoney says:

    I have quit for 6 weeks so far. I really have not had cravings as I really do not want to smoke anymore. The anxiety and the nervousness are bothering me the most. One of the website’s I had read said this should diminish after 4 weeks. I found one today that said the nicotine receptors take 6 – 12 weeks, or 10 – 12 weeks for them to return. Has anyone been experiencing bad anxiety?

    • Louise,

      My doctor put me on Welbutrin before I quit to help with the anxiety and because the last time I tried to quit, I thought I would kill my dear husband. It is helping a lot. It is a very low dose and she said it would not be a problem getting off of it. She recommended that I stay on it a year after my quit date because around 6 months you tend to go through another (final) period of withdraw symptoms and that tends to do people in.

  13. Hi all,
    I’m on day 16 now. Yesturday I was at our final softball game and all the players were asking if I was ok. I was extremely grouchy, for about half hour. The more people kept asking what was wrong the more I wanted to burst into tears. That passed. I woke up this morning and the kitchen was messy, again I became superbeast, mad as hell. I saved a single smoke for a ” just incase emergency”. I had it in my lips just about to light it. I was on my phone when I stumbled upon this website. I never in a million years thought support of others stories would help, thank you all who posted it really did help. Again I’m going to do another day.

  14. I’m on day 5 of not smoking. At times I feel like “wow, this isn’t as hard as I thought it would be” and other times (like right now). I feel extremely helpless to my cravings. I purchased these “all natural ” supplements on line and I believe them to be helping some. Also, Lots and lots of sunflower seeds! My first cigarette with my coffee was always my favorite but now (ok, this is weird ) I drink my coffee in the shower. Whatever works, right? I know it will get better but when? I’ve smoked longer in my life than I haven’t so it’s become a part of me. I’ve never tried to quit before. And have never gone 5 days without smoking ever. I plan on this being the first and only time I quit because I don’t want to go through this again. Any words of encouragement or helpful hints are appreciated! Thanks!

    • Nice work Mollie, Do WHATEVER it takes. These words are interesting and helpful. I too have been a pain in the A$$ and my lovely wife has been on the wrong end. I have given up for 3 months twice now and this time I’m up to 5 weeks, so I know there’s a long way to go, but like everyone else reading these words, we have the strength to say ‘Enough’, I’m not going to do this anymore. It costs me ever increasing amounts of money, it costs me my health and I also smell of smoke. I have opened up a ‘Not Smokin’ account at the bank and watch my smoking money accumulate (It’s what works for me). Good luck everybody and remember, be kind to those around you during this withdrawal process’.

  15. Anyone who is struggling to cope after quitting cigarette, please try reading Allen Carr Easyway to stop smoking. I smoked for 25 years and when I decided to quite after reading the book, there was no struggle, no pain or no withdrawal. It was very easy because book conditions your mind. But you have to read entire book – at times you may find it repetitive or boring – but thats how it works. And once you stop – never ever pick another cigarette – even after few years of quitting. That one cigarette will reset your entire effort. You have to read the book again and second time it is not as effective because your mind plays game.

    I also believe that this craving business is over played. Most of our life we often have craving for many things and, believe me, craving of cigarette is no worse than these. You might continue to think of cigarette several time a day in a similar fashion as you think of sex(for men) or shopping(for women) but these so called “cravings” are not seriously. Just brush these aside and these will be gone.

  16. Day 7
    Today I have been up since 3 a.m.-restlessness… My withdrawal symptoms as of yesterday have been runny nose and cold like symptoms and my throat hurts. Cravings can be terrible when they hit but I am managing. I quit cold Turkey! First couple days I was debating why I quit 🙂
    I guess what’s all telling for me is WOW this is truly TRULY an addiction!
    Complete with withdrawals OH MY GOSH!
    It is actually really nice to read other people’s post and type in my feelings… I had no clue this was going to happen-on day 3 I walked into my job and was like,” it smells like old carpet and dust”!
    Hehe- me sniffer is coming alive again…. So I will probably have a lot of random thoughts and such to add into the post… Will try to type my progress often… Looking forward to reading about people in same boat!
    Good Luck to all!
    We REALLY can do this

  17. DAY 8
    Physically-Throat hurts, some body aches, my wisdom teeth kinda hurt back there, exhausted yet.
    Mentally-Tired,(I quit during extreme stress time) trying to avoid that stresser.
    I am also Excited & Happy!!! No cravings yet today.
    Looking forward actually to my next withdrawal symptom 🙂
    I work about 12 hours a day in an office with 4 other woman. They said and say I’m REALLY chatty when I’m having a craving-hehehe
    I’d rather be chatty then crabby 🙂
    I run (5k)s and I do runs- I’m so looking forward to what occurs with my running after a couple months… 2 days ago I ordered a Punching Bag (Everlast 70lb) pink one! I’m excited about this! Going to set up in my bedroom(closet doorway) using a pull up bar…
    Just another fun way to exercise-tone my arms…
    YOU CAN DO IT!

  18. DAY 8
    Physically-Throat hurts, some body aches, my wisdom teeth kinda hurt back there, exhausted yet.
    Mentally-Tired,(I quit during extreme stress time) trying to avoid that stresser.
    I am also Excited & Happy!!! No cravings yet today.
    Looking forward actually to my next withdrawal symptom 🙂
    I work about 12 hours a day in an office with 4 other woman. They said and say I’m REALLY chatty when I’m having a craving-hehehe
    I’d rather be chatty then crabby 🙂
    I run (5k)s and I do runs- I’m so looking forward to what occurs with my running after a couple months… 2 days ago I ordered a Punching Bag (Everlast 70lb) pink one! I’m excited about this! Going to set up in my bedroom(closet doorway) using a pull up bar…
    Just another fun way to exercise-tone my arms…
    YOU CAN DO IT!

  19. DAY 9
    My throat feels bad(better than yesterday though)
    My nose is runny(like sinus infection runny)
    Hot and Cold
    No appetite
    I’m exhausted. Wish I could be put In a deep sleep for like a week.
    My eyes are not burning today.
    No cravings today yet
    Todays journey-
    Work till noon-wash car-home – ZZZZZZZ and read, movies and feel BETTER!
    Keep going and add another Day to your NO smoking life!

  20. DAY 9
    My throat feels bad(better than yesterday though)
    RESTLESSNESS-last night again
    My nose is runny(like sinus infection runny)
    Hot and Cold
    No appetite
    I’m exhausted. Wish I could be put In a deep sleep for like a week.
    My eyes are not burning today.
    No cravings today yet
    Todays journey-
    Work till noon-wash car-home – ZZZZZZZ and read, movies and feel BETTER!
    Keep going and add another Day to your NO smoking life!

  21. Lorie Ann says:

    DAY 25
    No physical withdrawals. 🙂
    Sleeping is OK-
    Emotional withdrawal-CLINGING hard now-a-days-stress induced I’m certain. I’m finding myself constantly thinking I would have a cig. right about now! I’ve got to get through this hump. It’s nothing different(the stress) that hasn’t happened before. Will do this DAY by DAY…. Would love to read all the updates on everyone…
    Not one puff here 🙂
    You CAN do THIS!

  22. lorie Ann says:

    DAY 33
    Sleeping is normal now-
    Withdrawal is just a mind game now and sometimes seems worse then the beginning- I’m not REALLY wanting a cigarette- but am finding myself talking about it a lot- I will work on this.
    Hope you all are doing great?
    🙂
    Keep up the good work!

  23. Lorie Ann says:

    DAY 40
    QUIT COLD TURKEY
    I’ve been feeling remorseful for about 2 weeks I’d say. My reasons are just daily stressors or life’s stressors. Seems as if I’m getting more than my share lately-especially since quitting smoking 🙁
    Part of me is envious of smokers . The addicted mind plays tricks on you. I think about the last cigarette I had and if I truly made the most of it?
    I want to smoke during stress but I don’t need to-if that makes sense?
    Ok here’s a list for ya-
    What I hated about smoking;
    The smell
    Time consuming
    Planned around it
    Ruled my days/life
    Guilty smoker(bought pack a day)
    Reward myself in between chores with cig.
    Embarrassed about it
    Constantly washing my hands, face, loaded perfume
    #1 Reason why I do not want to actually smoke a cigarette
    WITHDRAWAL-IT’s REAL-NICOTINE REALLY IS A DRUG
    Nicotine is a drug! I definitely believe that now! I wouldn’t say I didn’t believe it before I just never realized what a crazy addition this is and I’ve been doing it a long time.
    My Withdrawal sucked!
    I had and am having like the withdrawal systems textbook style- all I have to do is read what’s going to happen next!
    Lol
    I also run- simple 5ks more for pleasure and just enjoy it-
    I was pretty excited and scared to run the first time since quitting and boy was I in for an unpleasant surprise 👀
    After just a few min. My throat felt like it was on FIRE! By the time I was back home which was maybe 15 min. Later I’d swear I was having an asthma attack and my throat was acting 50 shades of crazy!
    What the heck is up with this now-?
    More reading in my near future lol
    YES it hurt really REALLY bad! When I smoked that wasn’t even there. Even now it’s not there. There’s never been any weasing in my voice or hack or smokers cough.
    My truth about quitting smoking 🙂
    Hope you all are doing GREAT!
    Occupy that mind!

  24. I am on day 5 of not smoking. The first 2 days I had to keep busy and the 2nd night I was waking up in the middle of the night with hot flashes. Now I am just lazy and want to eat lots of food. When does this start to feel good? Does it ever start to feel good being quit or do the bad feelings of craving go away and that’s what feels good? This is not fun!

  25. I was a very heavy smoker for at least 15 years. I quit 11/10/13 and there are still days where I miss them sooooo much. Even when its not stress related. I guess it just depends on how much and how long you smoked. It is definitely easier now then it was but there are still many times that I still think of it. I just think of how dang hard it was to quit and that keeps me going. I never want to go through that again. Good luck to everyone!!

Speak Your Mind

*