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Dove

Quitting Smoking

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Hello, Everyone,

I am active in the church at this point in my life, and hope to be so for the rest of my life.

I am struggling with quitting smoking right now, and am asking for some help in what to do spiritually to overcome this. I feel like I've tried everything. The patch, the lozenges, priesthood blessings, prayer, scripture study, etc. It is difficult in an emotional way for me to let go. When I did really make an effort to quit smoking, and lose weight, it felt like everything in my life began falling apart. I lost friends, became ill, had struggles at work. It became too much, and now I'm smoking as I had before I tried to quit.

I've quit smoking before. The first time I quit immediately after a priesthood blessing and used a patch consistently for a week. Years later, in an angry moment, I bought a pack, thinking I could quit after a couple. I now smoke double of what I originally did.

Is God trying to teach me something, like not to take the gift of being able to refrain for granted? Am I being punished? I seem to have no will in this as of late-especially when I've been ill for so long, it becomes discouraging after awhile.

Anyway, I would appreciate anyone's helpful ideas

Dove

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I do not think you are being punished because *I* do not think our Father in Heaven works like that. I have heard that the missionaries have a great stop smoking program. Otherwise I would suggest a lot of Praying And a lot of fasting. Good luck.

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Dove,

I quit smoking two years ago as I decided it was time for me to rejoin the church. I prayed for help and ask my doctor to prescribe something that would help. He gave me Welbutrin and after a couple of weeks of taking it I tried to quit. I have to say it was successful. I will credit the Lord for his help in preparing me and watching over me as I gave this habit up. I must say that I think, for me, that it was mostly mental, once the decision was made and a coarse set, the rest was a mental game that was fairly easy to beat.

Place your trust in the Lord and tell your doc everything that you go through as you try to quit. Pray that your doc will have the guidance that he/she needs to help you. Don't give yourself any extra stress on the first day or two that you quit, like fasting or something. Fast a couple days before or after and request help. This is the best advice I can think of and it worked for me so I hope it will work for you too. :)

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Keep busy. Expecially for times that are you triggers.Avoid them if you can. If you can't find a replacement activity. IIRC the cemical dependence is over in a few days. The phycological is the hardes part IMO.

I locked myself in the bedroom and played 2 or 3 video games all the way through.(Keep busy)

Stayed inside for 2 weeks straight(avoiding triggers) Something about being in the fresh are made me want to pollute my lungs.

Carried a rock and bag of Lemon heads in the car for a while.(replacement activity.)

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I am a truck driver and was a 2-3 pack a day smoker, quit cold turkey 28 months ago, i didn't use the patrch or the gum because that keeps you hooked on the nicotine,you just gotta put up with being "dope sick" for a couple days.

my crutches to quit were sugar free gum (chewed like 5 packs a day of the stuff (gotta love sam's club)

sunflower seeds (keeps that whole hand to mouth action going)

Floss picks (the little mint sticks with dental floss, and your dentist will love this new addiction)

and cough drops,

as hordak said, you gotta keep your hands and your mouth busy....thats why i had all these options....but chewing sunflower seeds will mimic the old action, i also chew on srtaws and such alot, and i will confirm that the psycholoical addiction lasts prety much forever, i still want a cigarette at times, (like right now, i can almost taste it) and my dad told me once that after dinner he still wanted one (after quiting 40 years earlier)

it also depends on your personality, i've got a very addictive personality, with a family history of addiction, and am a recovering alcoholic to boot.

so to rehash my ramblings, replacment activity, prayer, etc

and don't waste you money on nicotine replacement...you just gotta deal with the withdrawl eventually, unless you wanna chew the gum the rest of your life

andn the most important step you have to WANNA really WANNA not just say you wanna

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Quitting cigarettes is no small task...congratulations that you are beginning to form the intention to stop.

It helps to understand your biology. Nicotine receptors in your brain are exquisitely sensitive to even small doses of nicotine. (Hence, even smelling tobacco can be a trigger.) When you draw a puff, most of the nicotine is absorbed through your mouth, throat, and lungs. Within seven seconds your brain registers the hit, and rewards you instantly with muscle relaxation and activation of your pleasure center. This effect lasts only for 20 to 60 seconds, which is when you are drawn to take another puff.

So, when you try to quit, everything works in reverse. The absence of nicotine produces muscle tension, a sense of emotional discomfort, and restlessness.

The reason you can win is that this cycle, which may have taken you years to perfect, can be undone in 30 to 60 days.

Isn't 60 days of physical and emotional discomfort worth the extra 10 years you get at the end of your life. (Now THERE'S a Christmas present worth waiting for!)

It also helps to understand habit energy. Even without all of the biological hooks, our brains are very receptive to repetetive behaviours. Once a habitual behaviour has been learned (it takes at least 90 days), our neural circuitry rewards us when we complete the behaviour, and reminds us with unpleasant methods when we have deviated from the path. This is great if you want to keep your ironing up to date...but it is the harder part of giving up cigarettes. Therefore, all reminders have to go...lighters, matches, empty packets, ashtrays, and friends who are not supportive of the decision to quit. (Smokers have a need for company nowadays, and don't like losing their nicotine circle.)

Above all, 100 million people have quit...so can you. And I think Heavenly Father waits to support and help whenever asked.

The very best for you!

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Wow...your problem sounds so familiar to me. I understand exactly how you feel. I have a pornography addiction. I went 30 days (seemed like 100) without giving in. During that time I was happier. My testimoney grew. I got my patriartical blessing. And like you, I got a small dose of it. Now it has become even harder than it was before. I can't even find the will to stop anymore. I'm lucky to make it 3 days. I hate myself. I make up my mind that I will never do it again, as long as I live, but end up slipping up the next day. I try praying, but I feel like god no longer cares, and then go look at porn like a fool. Dove, I know the pain you are in, and I would do all in my power to help you. Problem is, I can't even help myself anymore. I will pray for you Dove, supposing that my prayers are even worth anything now.

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Wow...your problem sounds so familiar to me. I understand exactly how you feel. I have a pornography addiction. I went 30 days (seemed like 100) without giving in. During that time I was happier. My testimoney grew. I got my patriartical blessing. And like you, I got a small dose of it. Now it has become even harder than it was before. I can't even find the will to stop anymore. I'm lucky to make it 3 days. I hate myself. I make up my mind that I will never do it again, as long as I live, but end up slipping up the next day. I try praying, but I feel like god no longer cares, and then go look at porn like a fool. Dove, I know the pain you are in, and I would do all in my power to help you. Problem is, I can't even help myself anymore. I will pray for you Dove, supposing that my prayers are even worth anything now.

Thank you, Lost Sheep for sharing this with me. I'm sad because you seem to be really down on yourself right now.

Remember that we are given weaknesses to humble ourselves and come unto Christ, and by coming unto Him, he will make our weaknesses strengths. (Ether 12:27)

Also, there is King Benjamin's speech about how we are nothing before God, and that we can, and I believe this is through the grace of Christ, have a change of heart. (Mosiah 2-5) This was after King Benjamin's people had been diligent in keeping the commandments.

I hope quoting scripture isn't preachy to you. What I'm trying to say is that we all are "fools" before God, and that is the whole point of the atonement to me. He loves you so much, and we are worth more than our addictions.

It's a difficult road, isn't it? Perhaps like you, I'm at a loss as to what to do to stop, other than to get up, dust myself off, and try, try again. One day at a time.

For me, there's a beauty in letting go of judging myself for my sins. It's nice to step back and let Him do the judging, for He always is so loving in His judgements, never to degrade me or leave me feeling bad about myself. My experience of the Spirit has always been one of comfort and being strengthened and uplifted. While we may be "nothing" in the sight of God, I have always come away from the Spirit feeling acknowledged and valued as His child. He's on our side. We can do this :)

Edited by Dove

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Listener,

Thank you for your advice on this, it was quite informative. You're approach to this has given me comfort and hope, and makes quitting smoking more attainable to me. Thanks Again.

Dove

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I don't envy anyone trying to overcome this terrible addiction. I'm praying for you! My aunt quit cold turkey after her stroke (she has Lupus) and she swore she would never stop smoking. I was surprised because lots of times even severe health problems aren't enough to deter people. I don't know what her secret was, but now she can't even stand to be around cigarettes.

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Wow...your problem sounds so familiar to me. I understand exactly how you feel. I have a pornography addiction. I went 30 days (seemed like 100) without giving in. During that time I was happier. My testimoney grew. I got my patriartical blessing. And like you, I got a small dose of it. Now it has become even harder than it was before. I can't even find the will to stop anymore. I'm lucky to make it 3 days. I hate myself. I make up my mind that I will never do it again, as long as I live, but end up slipping up the next day. I try praying, but I feel like god no longer cares, and then go look at porn like a fool. Dove, I know the pain you are in, and I would do all in my power to help you. Problem is, I can't even help myself anymore. I will pray for you Dove, supposing that my prayers are even worth anything now.

I know it's really, really hard, but try to remember that as you keep trying, the slip-ups will become less and less. I can't remember if you tried a 12 step group or not, but it helps a lot of people feel like they aren't alone and it's helpful to see that those they admire have the same problem. You'd be surprised. :)

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I know of this addiction very well both of my parents were smokers. My father gave it up cold turkey just before I was married more than 20 years ago. My mother on the other hand keep saying she would only quit when she "was ready". My mother died 5 years ago from lung cancer she was only 63. :(

I will keep you in my prayers I know this is an addiction and to anyone who is reading this and has never smoked I warn you to never try it.

Hugs To You ((((Dove))))

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I've never been a smoker, so I am not trying to appear an expert here. However, I know quite a few smokers, and some who have quit. With that in mind, here are a few things that might help:

1. You have triggers that make you want to smoke. For many people, those include waking up, before eating, after eating, while drinking certain beverages, and taking a break at work. You have to be proactive in those times. A good approach is to brush your teeth at those times - before you get the craving. Use a toothpaste and/or mouthwash with a strong flavor - cinnamon is good. This changes the taste in your mouth and helps with your craving.

2. Vitamin C helps you detox faster. Use a product like Emergen-C or chewable supplements. Drink plenty of citrus juices. These will also change the taste in your mouth and help overcome cravings.

3. Exchange a habit for a habit. Whether it's knitting or writing or vacuuming or practicing the piano, find an alternate activity that can become habitual as smoking leaves your life. Reading scriptures is a good one, too.

4. Prayers like, "Father, help me quit smoking" are nice, but specific prayers about your specific need in the moment are better. Consider these alternatives:

"Father, please help me to resist this craving until lunch."

"Father, please help me to find something to do for the next 20 minutes while my body wants a cigarette."

4. Get away from other smokers. Smoking has a strong social component. Until you've kicked the habit, stay away from people whose clothes and hair will act as a trigger for you.

5. Breathe deeply. Smoking is one of the few times when many people take a long, deep breath. Why not take a few long, deep breaths during a craving without smoking? This will help you get more oxygen and think rationally to work through your craving.

6. Plan your day. This is not really smoking-related. It's just a great idea. If you wake up a few minutes early, pray, then ON PAPER plan your objectives for the day, you will be able to visualize your strategies for success in this goal. That will make them much more powerful.

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I smoked during my teen rebellion. But I was never addicted. I just did it to be cool. I stopped when I wanted to with no problems. jbs is right, it depends whether u have an addictive personality or not. A support group might help so u can help each other.

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Hi Dove,

I just wanted to tell you that I know exactly how you feel. I got baptized in January, and I quit cold turkey a couple months before after smoking a pack a day for almost three years straight. I've recently started smoking again and it's been so incredibly difficult to stop this time around. I love this church and I know that I have to end my addiction, but it seems like everytime I pray or meditate on the Scriptures, there's this voice in my head telling me that I need a cigarette.

I know we can do it though, and I know that Heavenly Father is cheering for us. I will pray for Him to give us both the strength that we need.

Listener, that was some great advice! Probably the best that I've ever received....

God Bless

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