I Gave up Smoking Six Weeks Ago. When Do I Start Feeling Good, Again?

For more than a quarter of a century, I was an absolutely dedicated smoker. A two-packs-a-day, anytime, anyplace, anywhere smoker. A smoke-ring-blowing, lighter-stealing, ashtray-filling semi-professional smoker, the sort who looked at photos of a young Serge Gainsbourg bathing his children with a filterless Gauloise affixed to his lower lip and an inch of ash dangling and thought: “Amateur!”

I have smoked at weddings, at funerals, at ceremonies Christian, Hindu and Jewish. I have smoked in temperatures 30 degrees below freezing and rising 50 degrees above. I can light cigarettes in monsoon rains, Himalayan blizzards, shallow-draft speedboats on a breezy day – conditions that would defeat even the most hardened adventure smokers.

In fact, within five minutes of giving birth to my spawn, I was scampering down the stairs to smoke outside the hospital.

And, no, I am not exaggerating. Here are a few of the situations I have smoked in:

* While driving a motorbike
* On an air ambulance
* During sex
* While floating down a river in an inner tube
* In the Dead Sea
* On sundry mountain summits
* While skiing
* Within hours of promising my son to give up cos it was his birthday
In cinemas
* In Mongolia (harder than it seems)
* In the bath
* From butts, without even bothering to make a rollie out of them like a (partially) self-respecting human being

I have now been smoke-free for six weeks. And I feel… Well, I feel rubbish. I have been, almost constantly, sick with one minor but debilitating ailment after another. Further, I look rubbish.

Serge Gainsbourg exhaling cigarette smoke.

Amateur hour, clearly.

Now, on the plus side, I actually have no desire to take up smoking again. Which is handy since, living in Bali, I’m surrounded by smokers.

Seriously, Indonesia – not least because its tobacco industry employs about 250,000 people – is one of the last bastions of the smoker. You can smoke pretty much everywhere apart from hospitals, petrol stations and parts of airports (I’ve seen Indonesians smoking below the “no smoking” sign on bloody oil tankers), and it’s not unusual – even outside those Borneo villages where bloody toddlers smoke fat cigars to keep the mosquitos off – to see prepubescent children with fag in hand. Plus, cigarettes, even Western brands – cost spit here (it’s around $1.50 for Marlboro, and very much less for local brands).

I do get the odd craving, every now and then – a raw, physical craving – which passes with a few deep breaths. But, push comes to shove, I don’t actually want to go back to smoking. The idea of sucking burning, foul-tasting smoke into one’s lungs from a little white tube just seems intrinsically ridiculous, even if you don’t factor in the fact that you’re cancerising yourself and (possibly) those around you to do so. That is, I think, a sea-change from the last few times I tried to give up smoking, when I rather missed it.

I’m constantly grateful that my breath doesn’t stink, that I can wake up in the morning without reaching for a packet of fags by my bed, etcetera. I do not feel anything untoward when retrieving an ashtray for smoking guests.

But… I am extremely far from experiencing that wave of healthy wellbeing, of glowing-skinned gorgeousness that one is supposed to feel. I look infinitely worse than I did before stopping smoking.

Elderly lady lighting cigarette from candles on birthday cake.

Not the toaster. Progress, of a sort.

And here is my major gripe with this. I was absolutely geared for a week or two of hell – I’ve given up smoking many, many times before, and, for the dedicated smoker, the withdrawal is, some claim, comparable to heroin withdrawal. (I certainly did very little but lie in bed and doze and read for the first two days of giving up smoking – handily, I started the day before Nyepi.)

I was also geared for that irritating period where your lungs clear out all the mucus that’s been accumulating there leaving you hawking like a nineteenth-century chimney sweep shortly before expiry, which is probably what all those consumptives in Victorian novels actually sounded like, but, oddly, that phase is yet to come.

Still, by now, according to a myriad websites, I should be feeling many of the benefits of giving up smoking: clearer lungs, better skin, fresher breath and more. With the exception of the fresh breath, though, I must confess it’s quite the reverse.

Given that I rank number one in Google for the search term “whining about my cold“, you might wish to take the following with a pinch of salt (I know Zac does). Still, I’m just coming off what is, I think, my third mysterious cold-type bug in those six weeks (aching muscles, sore throat, runny nose, insanely bloody tired the whole time). My face exploded about three weeks ago and hasn’t gone back to normal.

Whether that’s because of oestrogen returning to my system and sending my hormones haywire, me adopting spot-picking as an alternative to smoking (one needs something to do with one’s hands, after all), or some combination of the two, I neither know nor care. I have more spots than I’d ever had as a teenager, and that sucks.

And further, I’m bloating up. I’m not sure how much weight I’ve gained, because I don’t weigh myself but, while I can still fit into all my clothes, my stomach definitely sticks out further than it did. And, because I feel so goddamn tired all the time, it’s almost impossible to exercise.

Obscenely fat cat glares at camera.

I’m sorry, did someone say “bikini”?

I am not at all sure what to do about this, to be honest. Patting oneself on the back for giving up smoking only goes so far. If one feels a bit enfeebled after 20 lengths of a very small pool, or a leisurely stroll up to the market, as I do, then surfing is not an option to shed the weight.

Further, I’ve spent quite insanely disproportionate sums (given the economics of smoking here in Indo) “rewarding” myself for giving up smoking, an activity that simultaneously nigh-eliminated my ability to focus and, therefore, to earn, for a solid fortnight, so reward strategies aren’t likely to help. (And, no, being constantly mildly debilitated isn’t helping, either.)

But I continue to feel rubbish. Just boringly, tediously, whinily rubbish.

I’m not a great believer in medical conspiracies, but I can’t imagine that “unpleasant reactions to giving up smoking” is something that many doctors feel motivated to explore as a topic (although one bold chap has gone on the trail of the common cold, as well as mouth ulcers – mine have gone now, yay!).

But…. tell me. Did anyone else feel like absolute rubbish as much as six weeks after stopping smoking? Or is it just me? It all seems most unfair.

Image credits: Serge Gainsbourg, leerde mij by Marco Raaphorst and
Fat Cat by 紫流. Thanks to Lia Vandersant for the 100th birthday pic.

83 Responses

  1. Clarence says:

    LOL – I felt horrible 6 weeks after I quit smoking. By then, I was being bombarded with IMRT neck radiation on a daily basis for 2 1/2 months, and simultaneous chemotherapy on a weekly basis, all in a valiant effort to save me from stage-4 neck/throat cancer brought on by smoking. After half dying from the treatment, I underwent a 12 1/2 hour operation to peel my face back so they could remove 25+ lymph nodes from both sides of my face/neck. Now 7 years later, I feel fantastic, being 100% cured of terminal cancer, a very rare thing. Hopefully this encourages you to endure the pain and misery of quitting – get the point?

    • Theodora says:

      Thanks, Clarence. That’s a sobering thought. You always think it’s not going to happen to you, and then, of course, it does. So, yes, good to be reminded of the realities – and impressed you recovered from stage 4!!!

    • Clarence says:

      Thanks – yes, it should be sobering. You always think things like this happen to someone else, and not to yourself. It was a textbook recovery, far greater than anticipated. Glad to say that I’m in far better health now than before the illness. Two years ago, I spent 6 weeks trekking in Nepal, including places like Everest Base Camp and back around to Island Peak for climbing to 20,400 ft.. I was in better trekking condition in 2013 than I was during my first visit to Nepal in 1985. Quitting is the best thing that you will ever do for yourself and for your family and friends. Lots out there to see and do.

      • Theodora says:

        I agree. In fact, one concocts a whole deranged maths around how it can’t happen to you, at least I do (no history of cancer in the family, no heart disease in the family, yada yada). I think one thing that subconsciously motivated me was that one of my favourite bloggers – Lisa Bonchek Adams – who had never smoked but had metastatic breast cancer died quite recently. I checked in to see how she was doing and she… well, she wasn’t any more. The ending of her voice very much validated what she’d been saying all along: she was 46.

        I also appreciate how remarkably non-preachy you’re being, given an experience most of us would holler from the sodding rooftops. Honestly, I do.

  2. Jalakeli says:

    My husband was miserable for a good long time. In fact, one of his principle complaints was that I got bored of my cheer-leading routine long before he stopped needing it. If it helps at all, he feels a hell of a lot better now, about 10 months later (and has for a few months). He’s also having a much easier time exercising – the long workouts that he’s always enjoyed no longer put him on his ass for the rest of the day/week.
    Anyway, *\O/* G.O. T.H.E.O.D.O.R.A.! GOOOOOOO THEODORA! *\O/*
    p.s. I still owe you that hospital thingy, I’ll figure out where it is eventually, probably well after you’ve stopped having any interest.

    • Theodora says:

      Oh, I’ll always be up for sharing ludicrous US medical bills, no worries in that regard. And I’m glad to hear your husband’s fitness level *dropped* after giving up. Last time I gave up, we were doing Everest Base Camp, so I didn’t notice the dropping fitness level due to the fact that I was exercising solidly. I think it’s this sort of stage – the 1-6 month stage – that’s probably the most challenging. Because you’re through the immediate buzz of “woo! I gave up smoking!”, through the first intense withdrawal and yet – still feeling very worse than better. It must be bloody hellish living with someone who’s giving up smoking. Take a bow, lady, take a bow….

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Weight gain at least a stone, energy still tired, no cough going on 4 months. Dr said weaning off stimulants is causing the exhaustion. . Ya for us… 5/19=4 months for me

    • Theodora says:

      Oh wow – so the doctor has confirmed that it is related to coming off stimulants? On some levels, I’m not surprised – on another, I’m just horrified. I guess one plus side is that this process is so hideous it’s almost impossible to imagine going through it again. I’m fairly sure I’ve gained the big end of a stone, almost all of it around my stomach, but with a smattering on my thighs. Gah.

  4. Geoff says:

    I felt awful after giving up. And never felt any of the supposed benefits either. I’ve given up smoking twice for several years and it was the same both times. I’ve become convinced that all of the stories about how great you’ll look / feel afterwards is all bullshit made up by miserable ex-smokers to make themselves feel better and then enthusiastically promoted by doctors to convince you. The only plus side is eventually you stop doing all the extra eating / treating yourself and the weight returns to normal, and you have to focus on the fact you probably are actually healthier and will live longer too.

    • Theodora says:

      Well, I’m glad to know you stop doing the extra eating, at least. It’s the not feeling healthier that’s killing me. I was expecting to have boundless energy to work off everything I’m eating by doing fun stuff like surfing, and transform it into this stunning, super-toned youthful body, and, frankly, but for the beer gut, I currently look like a recovering smack addict. Actuarial tables, however, are very definite that stopping is the RIGHT thing to do. Quite horrific how much they take off for continuing to smoke after 40, in fact. (Not sure whether you’re smoking or non-smoking at the moment, hence why I ask….)

      • Marcia Mackey says:

        It gets much much better but takes about 3 months. I totally sympathise – it’s really tough to feel that you actually look WORSE as a non smoker but that is totally temporary. You often get a little glow after the first 24 hours or so but that’s just withdrawal honeymoon glow. After that you look like you’ve been embalmed as your body starts to feel the loss of the nicotine and you’re just knackered and moody and hungry and depressed.. Then as you really, truly, properly heal over the next 6 weeks you’ll glow like a lamp:) Keep it up.

  5. Ronny says:

    It gets better … don’t worry. As for those that don’t smoke, this is how hard it is to quit … so don’t start.

  6. Nonplussed says:

    It’s so long since I had a ciggy I can’t really remember when, but I think it was in Sudan in 2012. It was too hot to smoke. I’d given up many times for about a decade. I used to smoke during exercise classes (that’s true). Every time I gave up I had to go to bed for three days, then go through the horror of the further three weeks of “really giving up” until I just got bored with giving up. I never had an trouble with giving up, I did it all the time. I didn’t get sick but I put on weight. But you take it off too, mostly by moving about a bit. My heart just doesn’t pump in the way it did, without the stimulants. I think the fabric of my Mitochondria was nicotine based and dismantling all of that must be a shock.. I also had to get used to life with no time delay, which was interesting. I blew my top at several clients and lost them. It has taken a long time to get used to living in the now rather than living a life deferred for the next fag break. Ciggies were a good barrier. It’s going to take time to adapt. As for feeling better? I’m not sure I do, but I definitely do not puff or wheeze when running for a taxi, so there’s that. That and you’ll be there longer to see what becomes of the boy, and everyone else, which is lovely no? Good luck to you. It’s all a process and there are no right ways, but yes, it’s difficult, because it’s mental as well as physical and who knows what’s going on in our minds?

    • Theodora says:

      I absolutely believe you smoked during exercise classes – I’ve popped out for ciggies during them myself, though I’ve never done exercise classes in the kind of tolerant climes that allow you to smoke in the middle of it. I like your point about life without the time lag. I find myself having to “breathe” in the moments when I would have just had a ciggie to create a calming pause. It’s odd that you should just have stopped, like that, in Sudan. I think one gives up, and gives up, and thinks about giving up, and then finally something clicks. To me, it does seem very silly, now, wanting to light up a little stick of leaf and paper and inhale burning chemicals into your lungs, which is a sea change. Although, sweet jesus, the weight gain. I’m bar reviewing in Hong Kong and because I don’t want to admit to having put weight on by buying fat clothes, I’m wearing thin clothes. That’s vest and short-shorts thin clothes. Sweet jesus….

  7. Nonplussed says:

    When I gave up the unmentionables I also gave up booze for quite a while (no triggers), that and joy of any description. Over and above a certain amount, nicotine becomes a tranquilliser rather than stimulant, facing the world unmedicated is, to be frank, a challenge still. Dropping three packs a day (yes!) was, the last in a long line of givings up. One of the things you may have to give up might be short shorts. I promise the fat goes, you need to be sanely aware of what you’re eating (just don’t snack), without developing an eating disorder, and walk a lot. A lot. An Elizabeth Taylor style kaftan might be an idea in the interim. Growing up is just horrible.

    • Theodora says:

      Mmmmm…. Kaftans are looking very appealing, here in China, where everyone else in short-shorts is a) Asian b) skinny c) around 15-20 years younger than me. But then… where to buy, where to buy? I actually look about four months pregnant at the moment. It’s really quite unfortunate. Glad to hear it does come off. I’m contemplating buying a bike (pushbike) for Bali, so that I actually get some exercise during the day: walking is looked upon very oddly there. As in, “Oh! Theodora! You’re walking? Is everything OK? Is something wrong with the bike?” (This of a 500-metre stroll to the market.)

  8. Bob R says:

    I too was a very enthusiastic smoker, two packs a day, before quitting cold turkey nearly four years ago.

    It takes a while. There’s no other way when suddenly removing what was a MAJOR part of your life, physically and psychologically, for so long. Your body and mind have LOTS of adjustments to make, especially after spending 27 years fighting back what you were feeding it. There is no one size fits all internet listicle out there, so stop looking. 🙂

    First thing to go for me was the persistent smokers cough that many smokers refuse to admit they even have. I replaced that addiction with one for bicycling, and instead of food, treated/rewarded myself with one or two full body massages per week.

    I don’t miss the habit at all, find the smell repulsive, but on rare occasion I do miss the act.

    Good luck. You’ve gotten through most of the rough part. 🙂

    • Theodora says:

      I don’t miss the habit either, but, oh boy, it does take a while to be through all the physical changes. It’s the weight gain that riles me the most. I don’t think I did have a smoker’s cough, bizarrely. But bicycling does sound like a good habit to take up. Seriously contemplating buying a bike back in Bali….

  9. Richard says:

    It is good to see I’m not the only one suffering after 6 weeks but I am on Champix that is supposed to suppress the urge to smoke. Not only do I feel like poo, I haven’t slept properly for 8 weeks and have a wind issue to rival a hurricane (all side effects of Champix). What worries me is I am still desperate for a smoke, it seems to be getting worse the longer it goes on!!! Put on a stone in weight, feel rubbish and totally knackered!
    Smoked for 35 years, 40 a day and ‘made attempts’ before, stopping for a week then starting again without anyone seeing!! Shallow I know but I am was more embarrassed that I was a smoker!

    But I am determined this time and reading the comments on your page has been inspiring! Thank you for your spirit and inspiration!

    • Theodora says:

      Oh, yuk! Stay strong. And good luck….

    • Donna says:

      Hi Richard I’m also on champix and at the 6 week Mark tho.
      I have been suffering with the same symptoms, my life had literally become a nightmare so last week I started to reduce my dose from 2mg to 1mg and all the symptoms have gone. Even the craving I was still experiencing have gone and now I’m kinda seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
      I know it was a while since you commented so I hope this message finds you in a better state.

  10. Donna says:

    Hi Theodora,

    I’m at the 6 week mark and stumbled across your article while looking a reassuring pat on the back as we do.

    I must say everything you have wrote certainly rang true with my experiences so far and your descriptive comparisons are brilliant. Recently I have been as miserable as a dog with no dinner and generally don’t take enjoyment in reading articles to do with smoking, got to say love it.

    Hopefully I will read more of your work in the future.

    All the best

  11. Lisa says:

    6 weeks nicotine free. I found weeks 3 and 4 were the worst with irritability headache and stomache. Weeks 1 and 2 were more cravings and hunger yet mood was positive. I still miss the a act of smoking but wouldn’t compare it to a craving. Eating has calmed down, I have increased exercise, I do look bloated… Gained about ,4 pounds. I read it can take 6 to 12 weeks for nicotine receptors to normalize. I read these unstimulated recpetors is why causes withdrawal. Def gets easier… And if quitting was easy everyone would be doing it! I think the fact of how hard withdrawal is, is enough to keep me away from! Cigs forever!

  12. Maria says:

    6 weeks free, spotty, with the migraine from hell and insomnia, but I am definitely not going back. I think some of the problems are due to the fact I also gave up drinking! Hope to start excercising soon as I get some energy. Noticing this post is from 2015, I hope you are all still fag free.xx

  13. Sierra says:

    I really liked the article , it is so true , that even at 6 weeks the initial excitement of ”the not smoking euphoria is over”I feel crap, lethargic, miserable and have the munchies!. and then panic about weight gain , and I also feel that you reminisce more about situations, you would have now been smoking, so seem to grieve for” I would have normally had a cigarette now”, I have had four family members recently pass away with smoking related cancer diseases, and the reasons to quit stare back from my 3 childrens faces , but it is hard and I believe each and everyone of us quitters, will fight our own demons and monsters on this arduous journey, which at times can be quite lonely and frustrating , so like Theodora , well done for your honesty and I really appreciate your comments, I hope you have continued to stay smoke free, and I really hope I feel better soon , because I would like to conquer this addiction for once and for all.

  14. KarenC says:

    Hi All, I quit smoking 6 wks ago and decided I needed some inspiration so I googled “quit smoking for 6 weeks” and this site came up. Glad I read your posts. They were helpful and some even made me laugh a bit. I just so want this monkey off my back! Today is a harder day because I am home without a car and its too cold out to take a walk or bikeride, so I sit here at the computer wondering when I will finally stop thinking about having a cig. I am on Chantix and have crazy dreams nearly every night. They’re actually really funny dreams – not nightmares, thankfully. I have definitely gained weight too. I never even liked sweets until I quit smoking… my thing was always savory salty snacks. Now, I eyeball candy and desert until I finally give in and eat it. Not sure I like it, but in my insanity I eat it because what the hell else am I going to do with this designated smoking time… ahh just saying it makes me feel better. Best wishes to all of us on mission to quit! Hoping obesity isn’t the next challenge! (only half kidding)

  15. MarioH says:

    I also stopped smoking 6 weeks ago. Now when i nearly loose my insanity i go on the net to read a good blog and came across this one (definetly the best one i have came across until now since i feel everyone is honest).
    I asked my wife for a drag 2 days ago and she wouldn’t give me…….boy how glad i am she refused. I’m also on Champix (that’s what they’re called in Europe) and also dream a lot. I’ve eliminated all sugars and processed foods from my diet for fear of gaining weight which somehow i managed to keep the same weight. I look towards other quitters for inspiration but daily exercise at the gym and going to the sauna helps for time to pass without getting those dreadful cravings. I can’t say which days are the worst as there seems to be an “attack from the enemy” every day. I must not loose and all you out there who are in the same situation also must not loose. Why am i say all this? Because even if you considering all the sufferings you DO feel better in those few moments when you totally forget about the cigarettes and that you ever was a smoker. So my only wish is for these time periods to get bigger and bigger.
    By the way i’m 55 and smoked for 35 years recently 40 a day.

  16. Gwen says:

    LOL….I too, googled 6 weeks with no cigarette and found this page. Congratulations to all posting here, I surely hope all of you are still smoke-free!

    This time was different for me, don’t know why, I’m guessing it’s always been true what I’ve heard that it’s all in your mind, the way stopping drinking, drugs, etc. is, your mind makes itself up to quit, and that’s it.

    Yes, I still have strong cravings, but know that I will never smoke a cigarette again, don’t know how or why I know this, after trying to quit so many times in the past … (45 yr. smoker here), but I’ve eaten a ton of peppermints for the cravings and have come to the conclusion, after reading and talking to many former smokers that I will NEVER stop ‘wanting’ a cigarette….it’s just that the wantings will become less and less.

    Talked to a guy the other day who has been cigarette free for 20 years….he told me he just had a dream the night before that he was buying a pack…..I thought to myself….sheesh! 20 years! well…dreaming about them is much better than smoking them…..so hopefully I won’t dream of them too much….

  17. Tommy says:

    Hi everybody I quit six weeks ago and I feel the same way as everybody on here. but my dad that quit ten years ago says that for every minute you suffer is another minute you get to live. It sucks to quit but it sucks worse to die from cancer. For you and everybody that loves you. If you ever have the urge to smoke just google throat cancer. That will change your mind. Thanks for everybody’s support

  18. Judi says:

    Hey everybody. Someone who does not smoke for 6 weeks in the Eastern European country is sitting at the balcony drinking coffee and feeling like would have just ONE cig (it’s me 🙂 When this long nightmare will stop? Theodora, what is your situation now? Is everybody who wrote here still nonsmokers?

  19. sal says:

    Well, it is 2 months to the day for me since I stopped smoking. Your article is a documented version of the conversation I had with my Father the other evening. Its insane. I have been at this point before when I have previously tried to quit. I started again. This time I thought “it may be different”. Who was I kidding. It been 2 months of pretty much hell. Not only have I had to contend with and fight off the cravings, which is mentally exhausting, THEN comes along the physical withdrawal symptoms. Mine mirror yours. I am exhausted mentally and physically. My stomach looks like I am about to drop a baby any day now. I am that bloated. I have spots all over my back and face. I look like shit because I am so tired. I cant sleep because my sleep pattern is so screwed up. My daily headaches are killing me. This is before you have monthly PMS to add to that delightful mixture. Then there is the irritability. I have hidden anything sharp and heavy. I have stopped drinking booze, eating carbs and cut out all sugar. I am rattling with the amount of vitamins I am taking. I am drinking water, taking water tablets. I have switched from coffee to lemon tea and apple cider vinegar. I have also been exercising like a fiend. I am that desperate. Watch this space. If you don’t hear from me I have gone into the mountains somewhere to live like a hermit. *sigh*

  20. smoke free in NYC says:

    Tomorrow marks 6 weeks as a non-smoker and I thank you for this post and all the comments. It is helpful not to feel so alone in this journey. I loved smoking and the breaks and friends that came along with it. I also enjoyed being a little rebellious. I think about smoking all of the time yet in a way, I finally feel free. Quitting 3`was so dreadful that I cannot bear the thought of going through that again, ever. First came the headaches which were blinding and then I was stomach sick for days. All I did was sleep and puke. I guess that helped with the actual 72-hour nicotine withdrawal. But, I thought that by now I would been done wanting to enjoy a cig. Guess what? I still want one but I won’t and I can’t. Not even one puff or I will be back at square one. I keep trying to say to myself “yipeee, I’m smoke-free” (thanks to the Allen Carr book, THE EASY WAY TO STOP SMOKING) and I then have to resist the urge to punch myself in the head. Fortunately, I have been exercising although I have not yet noticed any improvement in my breathing (not that it was an issue before). Unfortunately, I am eating more. Not necessarily as a substitute or a reward. I am just trying not to be so hard on myself. Stopping smoking and going to the gym 3x/week is really hard. I just turned 50 and I have been smoking since I am a teenager (up to a pack a day). I went for a physical and my doctor told me I was in good health. I thought to myself, how long can that go on with sucking the cancer sticks every day? That is when I decided to be a non-smoker. I just thought that by the 6-week mark, I would have moved on a bit. There is a a lot of support in the beginning but not so much now so again, I thank you all.

  21. Elizabeth Herzog says:

    I gave up smoking 6weeks ago I am happy that I did and proud of myself have been smoking for 42yrs I am 59 yrs old so it’s been a long time I still don’t feel the benefits of quitting I am tired,irritable,coughing,I feel a bit lost,I don’t mix much anymore with my smoking friends I feel to socialise with them would be a temptation for me I hope to move on from that feeling but until then I’m staying away….my skin if anything is not glowing my skin is itchy and face a little puffy I also have a few aches and pains seen to be more amplified since quitting I guess I abused my body for so long I need to hang in and give my body a chance to recover it is so good and helps me a lot to read other people’s journey through the life of giving up the cigies so thankyou and I will stay strong and hope you do too,thankyou to you all Elizabeth 😎

  22. Janis says:

    I also gave up 6 weeks ago, funny how so many of us turn to the net for encouragement/support. 56 years old, I smoked for 43 years so this “non-smoker” thing is completely foreign to me, but I’m kinda diggin’ it! Yes, I want to have a smoke everyday & think about it a lot (when will that part stop?!). But as many before me, I don’t want to ever go thru the hell of stopping again, as it truly is hell. If I had to find a positive in this (other than the obvious), I’d have to say how much I am enjoying smelling things again. My home does not smell like an ashtray, nor my car, clothes, hair, etc. Strange to wash my hair & have it actually smell like shampoo for a few days, lol! Keep on keeping on people, we are walking down the right road now & I pray we can all stay on it! I’d love to hear an update from the woman that started all this, Theodora?

    • Mary says:

      Tonight I am 6 weeks a non smoker at 58 yrs and 43 yrs smoking and I thank you all, your stories have made made me laugh, and so many similarities. It has been hell and I hope I never go back there.

  23. Mary says:

    Tonight I am six weeks smoke free and I thank you all.

  24. Dee says:

    SO happy i How long will all of us have to endure this sick type feeling???? Im not having any cravings for cigarettes at all, probably because i feel so horrible!! SO tired, crabby, all i want to do is sleep! Dont know what to do about feeling so bad, and going to the gym is out..i dont have the ambition!! any Drs in here?? Help answer our questions!!

  25. Alexander Maxhall says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, and to all of you who have commented. I am a 28 year old male, I used t smoke aprox 10 cigarettes a day. Started at the age of 16, but didn’t pick it up properly until 18-20+-.
    Anyway.. Rant aside…
    Been Nicotine free completely, totally, utterly now for 10 weeks.. Yeah.. 10 weeks today.. And I can relate to what you Blog writer is saying and all of u in the comments.. I feel miserable.. Rubbish… Easily irritated, No sleep.. Once I first get to “PROPER” sleep. IT lasts for 12-20 hours.. And I am completely exhausted and lack of energy after all the long nap and during the whole day…
    What I would really like to know is.. When if ever does one start to “normalize” And feel somewhat as before started smoking 12 years ago? :S
    Thank you.. And Greetings from Norway!

  26. Margot says:

    Oh what a big sigh of relief to find my peeps out here! I googled 6 weeks myself’cause it’s getting worse not better. I wish i I could say I don’t wanna smoke. I do. Well, the act as several of you have said. I was practicing the act this morning and realized I was smoking with the “wrong” hand. That’s encouraging no….. wow, so crazy.

  27. Sarah says:

    6 week non smoker and feel so tired, depressed, headaches and to top it off type II Diabetic. I knew the journey would not be easy and can cope with the craving. I too read Alan Carrs Stop smoking book in fact I read it 3 times, then had hypnosis to get me over the first withdrawal. However Alan said once you become a non smoker don’t smoke another cigarette and by reminding myself I find it easy to resist. What is hard is feeling ill. Can anyone see that light at the end of the tunnel and how long it takes to get there.

  28. lemonstolemylemonade says:

    this is such a great thread to stumble upon.. and it’s present day at that. (not from 2003 etc etc) i’m just over the three week mark myself and i feel so exhausted.. i was a 1/2 pack to a full pack a day smoker for 20 years and while i’ve managed to quit for a few months here and there i’d really like to make a real go of it this time. i feel like garbage but underneath that there is a little sense of hope that in a year or so i really will feel better. best of luck to you all and thanks for your insightful words here.

  29. Liz says:

    Just completed 6 weeks no smoking. I am an emotional wreck in the evening to my boyfriend. Cry and over analyze almost every night. I guess I am learning to deal with problems as a nonsmoker. Hopefully it won’t damage my 7 year relationship. I have the worst constipation ever and eat like an 90 year old when I’m only 26. It feels like someone is stabbing me whenever I have to go. I smoked for 10 years and know I will never have another puff. Bring it on withdrawals!

  30. David Grant says:

    6 weeks for me today,not sure why i googled the 6 week mark but here i am..Feeling like shit to be honest but im feeling delighted ive made it this far..Ive achieved the impossible..Good luck to everyone and keep the faith and ill maybe see you all at the olympics..Running the 100 metres lol…

  31. Danny says:

    I have given up smoking for 5 months now and have been I’ll ever since. Put.on massive weight. Skin is really bad. Health is derteriating. Lungs hurt still have no energy am have the person I was before giving up smoking and all doctors say is oh well done for giving up even after I tell them I’ve been I’ll for it over 5 months now

  32. Kathy L. says:

    I quit smoking 8 weeks ago and feel like crap. I quit once before about 6 years ago and I felt great from day 1. Did not have any issues. Everything is different about this quit. Everything is worse. I hope it gets better b/c it makes it really difficult to justify giving up something you love for health reasons when you felt so much healthier smoking.

  33. Mucus mucus says:

    Hi all, I’m 6 weeks today and also feeling it! It’s a slow grind to start working on other ways to process our emotions and not just reach for a cig, let’s face it we were all junkies! If no one has seen this site, whyquit.com check it out! Loads of good tips and support and such a dated site it’s cute. Nice to also know there are others on the exact time frame! Let’s stick it out! Focus on your breath people! We will make it out!!!

  34. Levi says:

    Wow their is something crazy about that 6 week smoke free mark. I just woke up 6 weeks to the day after my last cig and my search brought me here also. Luckily I have been feeling a tiny bit better physically and I can breathe much better but I was only smoking 15 to 20 ciggies a day for the last 15 years.

    My biggest concern currently is my attitude hasn’t gotten better. I’m still short tempered with everything and everyone. I also can’t stop eating every sweet thing I see.

    I might have been a light smoker but I was judt as crazy about them as any of you. I even tried to hide the fact I was smoking from my wife all these years! Of course she knew but I felt better about my addiction if she didn’t see me do it. Last time I tried to quit I told her I had quit. I can’t imagine her disappointment when selecting realized I was back at it since she recently lost her father to lung cancer.

    This time I feel confident I’m done but just to be safe I haven’t told her yet. She probably thinks I’ve lost my mind with all the mood swings.

  35. Misty says:

    1 month nicotine free for me. Still feel like shit…..headaches, chest pain (even went to a cardiologist, because I was scared I was having a heart attack….wasn’t! Not to mention the horrible anxiety attacks that came out of nowhere. Nauseous, not eating much, no desire to work out but make myself do it. Sweaty hands and feet…..really hope I get back to normal one day!!

  36. Mary says:

    Well…today is day 3 for me. I feel good. Just really want a cig especially when I wake up and after a great meal. I am using a patch so that’s probably why I don’t feel bad. Just fighting the cravings. I am determined to quit! I have smoke since I was 16 and turned 50 this year. Thanks for all the stories of what to expect and not to expect. I know we are all different but have the same determination to become Non-Smokers. I will continue to check this page for more information and funnies to help me through this period if adjustment.

  37. Jd says:

    Done the 6 weeks non smoking feel worse wot the hell

  38. Kurt says:

    I too trolled the net seeking some support after hitting the 6 week mark today. I am glad I found this site ! My thanks to all of you who have taken time to comment and share here.
    I will comment more here soon, but just wanted to throw a sincere ” hang in there, it will get better ” JD’s way. 6 weeks is a major accomplishment, don’t kid yourself otherwise.

    Nice start Mary. I would like to suggest to you that you strongly ponder riding the Cold Turkey exit vehicle as the patch simply prolongs the nicotine addiction. It’s a helluva lot better than smoking a cigarette though. You might find Allan Carr’s book Easy Way to Stop Smoking helpful too. His book is available as a free PDF file download, so you might be able to carry a copy of it with you 9n your smartphone. I found the book to be to be an effective reinforcement for those trying times maintaining my quit. Out of time for now, more later.

  39. JRoesler says:

    I’m in my fifth week of not smoking and I have never felt so pissed off in my life! I am so angry at just about everything with no rational reason why. Silly isn’t it – being pissed off about a healthy choice? I’ll keep cramming the blueberry pop tarts, apples, ice cream and whatever else my fingers can grab until this anger passes. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer, the pants are getting tight!! I have to admit that there are no real cravings for a cigarette but I know I am missing something!

  40. Martyne says:

    I have quit smoking mid-April… and we’re closing on Halloween and it just gets worse and worse. I did not go thought the coughing period. Instead, I have not slept one good night since April, so I am very much sleep deprived; there are food that I cannot digest anymore, for no apparent reason; I have gained 25 pounds, even though I’m eating less and exercising more; and I suffer from anxiety so much, even breathing and yoga don’t help.
    I don’t feel like smoking at all, but I do regret quitting. I feel like I’m 10 years older than in March, but that might be the sleep deprivation talking. At first, they said it would be 3 to 6 weeks. Then they said I would be back to myself within 3 months…. I’m still waiting.
    And it makes no sense: How can you spend more calories than you ingest, be super anxious, and sleep deprived and STILL gain weight? How can you feel like you’ve aged 10 years in a few months when it should be the opposite?

  41. Jerry says:

    Very late response…but your story is soooooooooo recognizable… I also feel absolutely shit after stopping smoking…stopped one year, started to smoke again for one month and now stopped again… feeling a wreck, fat, sick, depressed person, wanting that fag again to make feel good…..pffffffffff

  42. WaJa says:

    I am 65 years old and a eight-week non-smoker and proud of it! This is my third time quitting and each time is different. The weight gain is my biggest issue for I don’t want to put on more than 5 pounds during this fight. The first time I was pregnant and didn’t notice any weight gain; second time I blew up at least 25 pounds and we very sad about my weight gain and would cry when anyone noticed how much bigger I had gotten. Well, I know that gaining weight is part of this ‘project’, so, I have incorporated walking 3-4 hours twice weekly, 1.5 hours of dance classes once weekly and just plain conscious of my food intake. I weight myself every single morning. However, my main help in this project is God! When I get a smoking sensation, I immediately talk to God about this project that we are engaged in. The sensation leaves until next time (and there is a ‘next time’). I just need to talk more to him when the urge to ‘snack’ hits. So far, I’m feeling good about this project I’m involved in. And yes, I avoid my ‘smoking friends’ and other socializing activities. I’m still at work!

  43. Liza says:

    30 days smoke free today. Just read all yr comments couldnt stop laughing. I feel like shit . I used to resemble a boat and now resemble a ship…7 kilo gain. Vaping…nicotine still in my blood….dont know if i can let that one go…….happiness.

  44. BALI BABA says:

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  45. Lesley says:

    Six weeks smoke free. Gave up due to bilateral pneumonia and cannot even contemplate inhaling a smoke. However I do feel awful and what I assumed were pneumonia symptoms are what many have of you have been been describing as the effects of giving up smoking including the daily headache, lack of sleep etc. The cravings have been easily managed by a Nicorette inhaler a couple of times a day. I loved smoking and I don’t think I was really ready to give up. I was an old school fagger, by that I lit up at regular intervals during the day, starting when I woke up and the last one before I went to sleep. I miss the physical act of smoking and automatically reach out my hand to the handbag or coffee table for the pack especially after meals. I wonder how long I will be doing that for. I wonder how I will go when the pneumonia is better, will I want to pick it up again? I was smoking for forty years and I loved it like a friend. It was stilll a great social intro, you know, standing outside at social functions and making best friends with fellow smokers, sympathising about being social pariahs.

  46. Lisa says:

    Wow this is so me – almost 46 years old, smoked up to a pack (25’s) a day for 32 years. Always been told I look 10 to 15 years younger than I am. Never had a smokers cough. Been doing yoga 4 times a week for about 6 months and also started back at the gym 3 weeks ago. I will be 6 weeks smoke free in 2 days time. I get the odd craving but nothing major -well……. I feel like crap, look like crap, eat crap and am tired all the time. I’ve got aches and pains in my back and knees. I’ve put on weight, always bloated and full of gas plus I now look 10 years older – all this since giving up smoking WTF!!!! I seriously am contemplating smoking again just to get back to feeling how I did when I did smoke. The thing is I don’t want to smoke but I also don’t want to look and feel like this!!!!!

  47. Karen Angove says:

    I am 58 and smoked since I was 16 recently had a full knee replacement which is so painful and made me feel so bad , decided i needed to do something to try and make me feel well and giving up smoking was the one clear think i wanted to do , on my sixth week still have a painful knee but starting to feel better .
    got more energy, skin looking not put on any weight as yet going to the gym and keeping busy, so for me its just got to be a positive move .

  48. Simon says:

    I am 62 and have smoked since 14. Average cig consumption 30 a day, sometimes more but rarely less. Tried Alan Carr, patches, gum, sprays in fact everything in the past and never succeeded. This time I just went cold turkey and am now on day 25 cig free. I feel pretty normal, not much different really though can taste and smell things much better. It’s all very boring. I loved smoking and really miss it. I know I dare not have even a drag. If i do I’ll be off again. I think it’s just a case of sticking with it in the hope that it will get easier. After all we all know it makes sense

  49. joanne neville says:

    It’s the end of week 4 and I have noticed my hair has a shine….but that’s about it. I cannot go back because I will always regret it if I got an illness due to smoking, it’s just not worth it. They do say that quitting smoking is like quitting heroin, it’s really tough, so the fact that everyone here is trying, is a serious pat on the back and if you feel like shit and think you may as well go back on them…that is just the addiction talking….we just need to be strong and hang in there.

  50. Marcia Mackey says:

    Don’t give up giving up! I need you all to do it because I’m only on week one.
    It’s our addiction talking and not our real selves! Replace the word ‘smoking’ with the phrase ‘cutting myself with a razorblade’ and you’ll see that our rational brain has won because WE’VE ALL STOPPED CUTTING OURSELVES WITH RAZORBLADES’ but our irrational brain keeps telling us that the thing which would make this all better is if we started CUTTING OURSELVES WITH RAZORBLADES AGAIN!
    Best of luck everyone – I’m 49 and smoked all my life – stopped a thousand times and restarted again but I’ve just done a beautiful 350 mile walk and learned the beauty of a body which works: I feel like I’m lucky not to have damaged it more and I’m certainly not going to look that gift horse in the mouth any more.
    Love to you all, and may the most rational part of you win.

  51. Sara says:

    I quit smoking 1 month and 17 days ago. At first i felt great, let’s say the first 10 days. From then until now I’ve noticed increased panic attacks, anxiety and my heart beating rapidly. I also thought I came down with the flu and have been sick for over 15 days. My lungs have been burning, honestly it’s been a nightmare. I hope someone out there can relate. I started smoking at 13 i’m now 28 years old and quit cold turkey. I dont crave smokes, it’s all the anxiety and shit that’s driving me insane. I really feel like i’ve lost my mind. Please I need some reassurance.

    • Theodora says:

      That sounds like a worrying bunch of symptoms. I’d go to see the doctor if you’ve been sick for over 15 days and your lungs are burning – you could have something like pneumonia – and also talk to your doctor about the panic attacks and anxiety. If they were present before you stopped smoking, then it’s not stopping smoking that’s the cause, but there’s medication that can help with anxiety and that might well be a good route for you.

    • Glowe says:

      Anxiety is tough to handle, and the burning in the lungs (inexplicable to me, really) is terrifying. I got ativan from the doc after 3 weeks and HOLY did it help with the anxiety. Burning is going away slowly (quit March 4) but not quite ready even after 9 months to try out for the Olympic team.

  52. Denise Waters says:

    Hello I’m on my way to my 6th week i have cravings but it better than having no oxygen I gave up smoking cigarettes almost 6weeks I have asthma I been smoker for 35years I’m tired time for a change

  53. Cher says:

    Theadora, did the colds and illness eventually pass? I am just over 6 weeks quit and am pleased to have finally done it after a pack a day 22yr smoking career and genuinely feel I will keep this quit…. but…. I have had coughs and colds and more colds since the day I quit. Can’t taste anything or smell anything and am constantly exhausted. You must be over a year now so please tell me it passes!! Thanks to you all for sharing

    • Theodora says:

      Ha! Well, you’ve put me on the spot. I relapsed, and I’m now about eight weeks in to giving up again. This time has been remarkably easy. I don’t know why, but it could be because I’ve also paused caffeine and alcohol. I’ve still gained weight, but I don’t have any of the lung and chest effects that were so bothersome the last time. I also didn’t make a note of the day I stopped so I can’t tell you how far in I am – and I’m also in Bali so I’m not exposed to the constant coughs and colds of an English winter. It does pass, though: it honestly does. The last time, what did me in was weight gain, not the general malaise.

  54. Angela Ockwell says:

    I’m depressed on day one

  55. dolly daydream says:

    What a great thread with some wonderful replies. Sorry to hear that you, Theodora, relapsed but hope that you’re now still off them – if that’s what you want.

    I’m coming up to week 4, which seems like ages for me and having stopped many, many times before I somehow sense that this time its for real. (I’m 65 and have smoked most of my life – if not now then when?) I think I’ve been a bit more realistic this time round; no heightened euphoria after stopping which (in my experience) can only lead to a disappointing relapse . I used to think it was easy to stop and therefore I could always start again as I knew that I could easily stop again next time – even if next time was 2, 3, 8 years down the line. Actually I’ve realised its not easy to stop; it takes a lot of focus, a lot of examination and realisation of why I miss it, what it means to me (a cigarette is something like a bad boyfriend that I love and hate and yet cant quite let go of) .

    Like others here, Allan Carr speaks most sense in terms of stopping, though I’ve not read his book for many years. My mood is vile, I have no patience and I cant sleep, but can eat for England. I’ve barely left my slob like position on the couch for days as I’ve hurt my hip and so cant walk properly which adds to my feeling grim and depressed; if my dog barks at the tv one more time I swear I will throw him out through the window.

    I’d like to think these are all feelings heightened by the lack of nicotine but suspect the truth is I’m always this grumpy and stressed. And when I used to stand outside in the rain smoking, I’d have something else to feel grumpy and stressed about; at least I’ve removed one excuse. I don’t intend to start smoking again but know full well that I could do so at any point; its all about choice.

    Good luck to you all.

  56. Kw says:

    I quit 6 weeks ago and true ,the first thing to go is the cough. That and knowing you are now healing is really the only silver lining to quitting. I have really bad anxiety and smokers guilt. I struggle every day with crippling fears that I did something to myself but to terrified to get the answers. Stay strong and don’t smoke.

    • Ex smoker says:

      Boy do I recognize myself. Did I give myself permanent braindamage while smoking? Why am I not caughing after almost 2 months? Did my smoking mask 100 other illnesses that are now taking center stage after quitting? My tinitus is worse, why is my head humming like im hungover? Is it really suppose to be like this or is this something else. Have not sleept decent for 2 months. Other then that I am healthy as a horse according to a check up I had 4 weeks ago. I was allmost disapointed.
      Don’t smoke kids.

  57. Mike says:

    Wow … what an article. Almost two years old and still getting posts. Wonder how many people get to the end. I see the post before mine was left at 4:47 AM which speaks volumes. For me, it’s been about a month and it was cigars, not cigarettes. On some days, four a day … and I inhaled them deep. I would go on a 20 mile bike ride and then light one up. I could go for a few days knowing that I wasn’t quiting and never felt the anxiety cause I knew I could always light one up when I wanted. But then I had to take a trip for some family issues and decided that I had had enough. I was gone for two weeks and never felt the urge to smoke but I did feel like crap. I never had the bad cough but at times I felt like I was short of breath which never happend when I was smoking. And I can’t work out as hard as I could before I quit. I read that this is due to your body healing … which I suppose is a good thing. Anyway, I find the story and the posts very encouraging. Keep with it everyone. For me … I just want to feel normal again!

  58. Shelby says:

    Week 4, pushing to 5.
    The tinnitus, sinus pressure, and sleepiness really kicked in after day 10.
    Surprised I don’t have the anxiety and mood swings, but still feel like I am recovering from the flu.
    I have more “controlled” energy, with a purpose. I don’t feel my heart race as I out of
    control would hurry up a task so I could “reward” myself with a cigarette.
    I am also 50, and in the midst of menopause..throw that in there! The night sweats suck, as do the hot
    flashes and constipation. Not a huge weight gain (maybe 5lbs), but have always been a clean eater~ironic.
    I am filled with self esteem and feel more positive every day.
    I will never feel “normal”..What is normal? Give yourselves a pat on the back. It is a huge battle..

  59. Mary says:

    Hi, Friends. It’s 6 weeks today, for me! Thankful for this site and for y’all. I feel awful. Have had a cold for 4 weeks. I have had periods of acute shortness of breath, that just involves one inhale. Mske sense? I have gained 20 pounds in six weeks. That, of course, is ridiculous, and I allowed myself that, on purpose, because I did not want to feel further deprived of anything!! I am a Christian, and Romans 9:16 helped me beyond words. I agree that I, too, am completely exhausted, because it takes so much energy to avoid smoking . And I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything for this house six weeks. I still really want a cigarette badly and I just strive to get through each day. I am gonna keep praying for all of you and for me.

  60. Eye says:

    Hi all 10 weeks today feels more like 10 months, I hate not smoking the feeling you got on that first ciggy of the day with a cup of coffee or the one after your dinner bliss! I don’t feel any better for it in fact I feel worse. I wake up feeling exhausted my chest aches and my lungs feel flat which I didn’t have before quitting. I will be 67 next month I started smoking when I was about 11 just a couple a day which over the years ended up at between 20-24 a day. Last year I started having breathing problems now and again and the feeling of not being able to get any air in which was frightening my oxygen saturation was 93. Since I quit smoking my saturation level has gone up to 96 but I am still breathless and am now using an inhaler. Was breathless when I smoked and 10 weeks later I am still breathless, put on 4lbs all round my stomach, bloated all the time, nose feels stuffed up, headaches, heartburn, feel exhausted I dread getting up knowing I have another day of crap to get through makes me wonder if its worth putting myself through all this misery.

  61. Andrew says:

    Thanks for all the contributions on this thread . Trying to find other ex-smokers who are still going through hell after 6 weeks makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one battling with the ongoing withdrawal and side effects .
    I’m a 47 yr old who smoked 20-30 a day for 32 years ..I celebrate 3 months of stopping cigarettes today and 7 weeks nicotine free ( stopped initially with a vaporizor 18mg )..I should be celebrating but I’m having another bad day. I have no energy …my body especially my legs and back are stiff and I regularly have numbness and/or pins and needles in hands and feet . I’ve been told I’ve changed by my partner ….he wants the smoker back ..after terrible, angry outbursts like scenes from The Exorcist who can blame him? I’ve gained weight :/ …I have dreams of self harming …but I guess that’s what I was doing as a smoker in reality? …It’s been arduous to say the least but hearing from the people on here that are further down the non-smoking path gives me hope that it isn’t never ending .

  62. Betty says:

    6 weeks here . Smoked almost a pack a day. Feel like death eating a cracker. No turning back but pray I feel better soon.

  63. June says:

    To everyone who posted here please keep at it !! I too googled 6 weeks of non smoking…today is my 6th week! I turned 56 April 1/2017 and have smoked for 38 years. About 1 – 1 1/2 packs a day…sometime 2 or more when out socially drinking. I’ve tried almost everything, willpower – 3 days, hypnosis – lasted 1 month, NRT (nicotne replacement therapy) like the patch, gum, lozenges, inhalers of which I recently became allergic to them. And by the way I had allergy tests done back in my thirties and was told not to smoke as I am allergic to tobacco…which is probably why I cough like the dickens. Always had bronchitis and sinus infections. I coughed so hard when I had a cold in 2004 that I collapsed my left lung. Then in 2008 had pneumonia in the same lung. Dr. said if it ever happens again they would have to “cement” my lung to the chest wall to hold it in place! Not a good feeling when you cough so bad you can feel your lung moving around all the time (yuk)…I’ve had that feeling every day since 2008 !! Breathing is getting harder, walking, exercising, everyday life is getting harder. And coughing is becoming horrid…eyes bulge out, nose runs, pee squirts out (sorry but I am being honest) it is just not fun anymore !! My parents both smoked since the late 50’s…they have been smoke free for over 25 year now (my Dad is 78 yrs old and my Mom is 75 yrs old). My boyfriend just turned 60 and has been smoke free for 6 years now. MY TURN !!! I bought the Allen Carr’s Easy way to STOP Smoking book as well and it works !! He is from the UK but I bought the Canadian version, and it is brilliant! It is not only easy buy you can be happy as well…I smile and enjoy life like I have never before and it is glorious!! I do however, feel extremely lethargic since I quit and can sleep for 10-11 hours a day, not sure why? And I am eating more when I am not supposed to be but I can’t seem to keep it under control (I have gained 5 lbs so far) which is very hard as I lost 50 lbs in 1991 when I joined Weight Watchers and have kept it off until now…which has always been the reason for me to start smoking again – “the dreaded weight gain”! With this book I did not quit drinking coffee, alcohol or avoid any activity that involved others smoking such as drinks with friends or getting together with smoking friends etc. It really does work…no will power required and no nicotine cravings or withdrawal symptoms. If anyone is having trouble quitting please google Allen Carr’s Easy Way to quit smoking as there is world wide support! I have always told myself that I enjoyed smoking but I think I was only brain washing myself into thinking that. Now I tell myself that I am only going to go throught this “quit” once and come hell or high water I am going to ENJOY it and smile the whole time. So that is what I do…when I am having a bad moment I remind myself to smile, laugh and say “I am only doing this once so I WILL enjoy myself” …and it works. Just always remember…it is NOT a habit but an addiction and a psychological lifelong brainwashing that you can overcome.

  64. Chris says:

    Never realised 6 weeks was such a milestone for kicking the habit. I surprised myself by quitting really easily at first. Battled the cravings without a big problem. It’s now I am really struggling. Miss the habit so much, feel like the colour has been sucked out of the world. I definitely feel physically much better, got so much more energy and increased motivation etc. Just feel like any pleasurable experience I ever took part in as a smoker just won’t be the same any more. I am hoping this will pass with time. I know I don’t want to go back to smoking but I really miss those little gaps in the day where I would just stand there and smoke. All the medical reasons are sound and I know it makes sense, but oh boy do I miss it.

  65. Zed says:

    Im six weeks smoke free today,.. abd yes, i feel like crap as well. Im gainging wieght All i want to do is sleep. And ive been a smoker for 43 years. And i too smoked right after giving birth. Haha. Terrible. Ohh well. Ill keep plugging away at it. Dam i want one. But i know i needed this. I always said,.. if i started weezing and hacking,… im quitting. And the first weez i heard. I quit

  66. helen says:

    Just been to see smoking cessation adviser. I quit for a month with patches & inhalator then had (only a slight) relapse, smoking two or three ciggies. First carbon monoxide reading when i was a ‘ full’ smoker was 32 and after a month i’d gone down to 5. I was proud of myself so had a couple of ciggies this weekend. Today my carbon monoxide reading was 8 and the nhs nurse told me i’d ‘failed’ and was back to square one. She said i was like an alcoholic, and couldn’t have even one cig. As the daughter of a violent alcoholic, i told her there was no comparison! I came out of the surgery a mile high with rage and bought a pack of cigs which i’m now smoking. So much for nhs smoking cessation. I’m going to try again but after all the horrible withdrawal symptoms – short of breath, weight gain, constipation, diarrhoea etc, i needed encoragement and gentleness – not to be told i was like an alcoholic failure. I’m 52, started fags at 17, and am a ‘ binge’ type smoker eg i wouldn’t smoke all week but then would have 20 at the weekend while socialising. I just feel very, very angry! X