How did you kick the smoking habit?

President Barack Obama said in February 2007 that he had quit smoking and that he was, instead, chewing Nicorette gum. During the campaign he didn’t hide his gum use. One reporter recalls that the candidate chewed it more or less every day for over a year. Washington Post reporter Richard Leiby swears by the stuff in an article earlier this year and says while he quit smoking, he’s now hooked on the gum. And he expects the president to be challenged in his efforts not to relapse and in his efforts not to become hooked on the gum.

Tell us about your experience. Did you quit smoking? How did you do it? What advice would you give the president to help him avoid relapsing or chewing too much nicotine gum?

    23 comments Add your comment

    Evan

    June 12th, 2009
    2:59 pm

    I stopped hanging around people who smoked and tried to avoid places where smoking was allowed. I also joined my neighborhood tennis team and spend most of my free time practicing my tennis game. That has helped me keep my mind off of smoking but it has also helped me get into better shape. I have also made some great friends on the team and I became a pretty dang good player.

    paul perdue

    June 12th, 2009
    3:23 pm

    I took wellbutrin to suppress the urges. That worked great. Then I tried not to hang around it. Other activities like working out, cycling, running all helped to make me stop.

    YUKI

    June 12th, 2009
    3:24 pm

    I got pregnant and never smoked again.

    Tyree

    June 12th, 2009
    3:26 pm

    My work environment is smoke free. I got tired of the cravings during the work day. The first week was torture. I used the nicotine losengenzes when things got really bad. Slowly the cravings subsided and I was free from the habit. It’s been almost 5 years. Now, I can’t stand the smell nor the sight of a smoker. Quit now if you’re a smoker. You thank yourself soon enough and be free of that nasty, nasty nasty habit.

    Carey

    June 12th, 2009
    3:27 pm

    A little bit at a time – First, I stopped smoking in the car. Next, I stopped smoking in the house. Then I stopped after breakfast. Then I took 3 days off from work and spent them in bed, mostly sleeping and watching TV. I didn’t drink alcohol for a long time. For the next couple of years, my husband still smoked, and I would have one or 2 cigarettes at night. When he quit two years ago, I found that those last two cigarettes were almost as hard to give up as going cold turkey! It was so important to me that my husband not smoke, due to health issues, that this was the final motivation I need to truly stop smoking. It will be 2 years in August for both of us!

    Deirdre

    June 12th, 2009
    3:38 pm

    I stopped smoking in 1971 when my dad was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx…clearly a result of his 40+ years of smoking.

    8 years later I was in a play that required the character I was playing to smoke. Try as hard as I could, I could NOT prevent myself from inhaling. The play ran every weekend for 4 weeks. I enjoyed every cigarette I had during those 4 weeks(plus rehearsal time). I’ve never been prouder of myself than when I put cigarettes out of my life for good when that play ended.

    Cold turkey…no “helpers”. It was the only way that worked for me.

    Do what I say, not what I do....

    June 12th, 2009
    3:41 pm

    I stopped by watching the president’s good example.. oh wait.. he smokes still.

    David

    June 12th, 2009
    3:52 pm

    I just quit. I made it through an hour, then a day, and then a week. That was 12 years ago. I also drank a glass of water whenever I had the urge to smoke. The bad news is that you never completely lose the desire to have a cigarette.

    gadem

    June 12th, 2009
    4:18 pm

    I just stopped cold turkey…i have urges at time, but I occupy my mind with other things. The good thing is that the smell totally turns my stomach and so that is a deterrent as well.

    Bobbie

    June 12th, 2009
    4:32 pm

    I Quit cold turkey in 1983. It took all of the will power I had to avoid cheating. I thank God I had the sense to quit. My health really improved and I did lose my desire.

    Carlton

    June 12th, 2009
    4:38 pm

    I quit cold turkey in 1982 with 2 other friends. One friend restarted and died 2 years later of lung cancer. It was the most difficult thing I ever did and I was so proud that I was able to accomplish it.. Today, I still would not smoke one cigaratte because I know I would be hooked all over again. For years I would still get the urge to smoke but they came further and further apart.

    Linda Knight

    June 12th, 2009
    5:45 pm

    I stopped smoking in Febuary of 2008. It was my time to quit, cold turkey. I went to Paris in March of 2008 for two weeks. My traveling companion,my sister, is a non-smoker. It really was easier than I thought. I loved my smoke-free trip. So, if you want to quit smoking….. GO TO PARIS!!

    Melissa

    June 13th, 2009
    12:05 pm

    I asked my doctor for Chantix. It worked great and I was surprised that I had no cravings. I have been smoke-free for over 2-1/2 years and still have no cravings. All my previous attempts failed including Zyban, nicotine gum, patches, cold-turkey, and even hypnosis.

    big_fort

    June 14th, 2009
    8:51 pm

    I quit cold turkey. After several failed attempts, I did as my mother did and just quit.

    Kevin Franklin

    June 15th, 2009
    8:42 am

    I used Chantix for 5 months. My wife referred to them as my ‘Happy Pills’. I did not have any of the typical side effects of quitting. I just seemed to feel happier. I did have some very vivid dreams, though. I have not had a cigarette since April 15, 2008. I do get a slight twinge of a craving for one. When I do, I will usually eat a mint. I do find the smell of cigarettes offensive now. BTW, I smoked for about 30 years.

    Larry

    June 15th, 2009
    9:43 am

    I smoked for over 40 years and quit at least 40 times!

    I tried Welbutrin for a year, I couldn’t tell any difference the day I started or the day I stopped taking it. I did finally quit smoking for 5 months while taking Chantix for only 4 months. The Chantix worked great, a few vivid dreams, not bad dreams, but I could remember every detail. The day my prescription ran out I started planning my first cigarette, I lasted three weeks before I smoked again. Six months later I tried quitting again.

    I quit 2 ½ tears ago after taking Chantix for a full 6 months. I haven’t had a single puff since! I stay away from places where people are smoking. But, I still have strong urges sometimes. I take five deep breathes, release it slowly and remind my self why I quit.

    Carrie Johnson

    June 16th, 2009
    10:10 am

    After having been a smoker for twelve years, I quit in August 2008 with Chantix. Over the years, I had tried unsuccessfully several times to quit smoking, using methods such as Zyban and cold turkey. I took Chantix for a month, and that was all I needed. I had some vivid dreams, but not bad dreams, as I had heard many people say they had. I probably should have taken it for another month or so, but I didn’t. So far, it’s turned out well. I can be in places where people are smoking, with no problems or cravings. I rarely even think about smoking anymore.

    Gary Branchaud

    June 23rd, 2009
    6:24 pm

    BEST WAY…after MANY attempts: I smoked Camel Non Filter’s for Years….
    All smokers know there are ups and downs in ’satisfaction’ smoking…some times they taste like crap, but you smoke ‘em anyhow… SO, steps for me were:
    1. Wait for a ‘down’ cycle where either you’re REALLY ready or…they taste like crap…
    2. Get some nicotine LOZENGES…not gum, patches…LOZENGES… break in half (don’t need
    ANOTHER addiction…do we…??)
    3. When the ‘URGE’ blindsides you…POP half a lozenge and wait 3 minutes…. The urge will pass.
    4. Always remember you’re only quitting for NOW…. not ‘forever’…that’s too much for an addict to think about…just for NOW. As a matter of fact…tell yourself, if it becomes OVERWHELMING that…ok…you’ll have one in ‘3 minutes’…pop another 1/2 lozenge… wait the 3 mins…urge will pass… stretch it out. If you fail and have a smoke… NO BIGGIE!… keep at it. After a few weeks you’ll do the same thing…only, you’ll see you don’t need the lozenge any more… you just make yourself wait out that 3-minute urge and know you can ALWAYS smoke if you want…but you DON’T want to…so wait another 3 before you do…. It worked for this hard-nosed addict…

    keep it real

    June 24th, 2009
    2:26 pm

    To be honest with everyone even President Barack Obama I went on a 4 day fast/cleanse and I lost the urge to smoke. You know if you smoke and you eat anything you automatically want a cigarette. Well with the lemonade diet/cleanse you loose the taste for everything even smoking I swear to God. It’s been 11 mos. I still don’t crave cigarettes I prayed and fasted and halleluah I am smoke free. My lips cleared up my skin is brighter. And overall I feel wonderful. Take your life back and decide you are finished with cigarettes and you’re done. Plus they are way too expensive now a days.

    CAP

    June 25th, 2009
    9:42 am

    I am like a lot of others. I quit smoking cold turkey 20 years ago after smoking 20 years from the time I was 14…..back then, everyone smoked, including both parents! So I wanted to be healthy and thanks to Jane Fonda and her excercise tapes I quit! It was really hard, couldn’t sleep, I was a mess, but I did it and WOW, I am so happy I did! Can’t imagine ever smoking now, and want no part of it, Period! One thing for sure is: It is mind over matter, if you really, really want to do it, you can! I know people who have tried to quit for years and say they can’t, even with relatives dying with lung cancer! Yes, you can if you really want it bad enough!!!!

    Angela

    June 25th, 2009
    11:14 am

    I had a heart attack 1 year ago and have never picked one up since. I am only 45. Best thing that ever happened. I was one of those people who never thought I could really quit. It sure is easier to travel and not have to find places to smoke! I can’t stand being around smoke now.

    C B

    June 30th, 2009
    4:17 am

    I had smoked for many, many years and gave up once for 6 months using patches. This time (3 years later) I was having a hard time thinking of myself as a Christian and also being addicted to nicotine.
    I asked God to step in and take control. I gave up trying to help myself any more and that was the last time I lit up. I have been nicotine free without any cravings for 5 days and my 30 year old son is amazed as he thinks of me as a hopeless addict. I told him God answered my prayers.
    I am not a nut by the way !!!

    Wanda

    July 8th, 2009
    9:44 am

    I smoked for 20+ years. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1999. My oncologist mentioned to me that I really needed to quit. I really didn’t want to. The night before I had my mastectomy I asked God to help me quit. I have not had a cigarette since September 1999. He took the desire away. Praise the Lord.