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5 Myths About Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey (CT)

  
  
  

 

quitting cold turkey?

First, some points to clarify:

1) This blog isn't a debate on whether or not you should quit cold turkey, nor a response to anti-NRT theorists. The author doesn't work for tobacco companies, nor any tobacco product manufacturers or distributors, and QuitNet receives no revenue from the sale or advertisement of NRT or other quit-aids

2) In 18 years as the world's first and largest quit-smoking website, we've had a lot of experience with what works best for the most, and what the research indicates -- and that's what we speak to here. If you can quit cold turkey, you should -- the sooner the better.

Twenty two years ago, before the patch and other quit-aids were available without prescription, I quit smoking cold turkey (CT). Three times, in fact (the third time being, as they say, a charm). And after many years of easy access to over-the-counter quit medicines like NRT, i.e., the patch, gum, lozenge, etc, most smokers still try to quit cold turkey. CT is defined as any treatment method which does not include medicinal control of withdrawal symptoms, i.e., the smoker stops smoking, either abruptly or with a plan, and doesn't employ any chemical interventions to minimize detoxification. Hypnosis, acupuncture, and other alternative treatments are also considered CT because they do not directly address physical withdrawal, or detoxification.

So you won't ever catch me saying cold turkey is a bad way to quit, or that it won't work work for you. I'm living proof that it can and does work. But it's also important to address the most common misconceptions about CT quitting, so you can make the best choices for your next quit.

Myth #1. Cold Turkey is the most effective way to quit.

Decades of research repeatedly demonstrate that only 3-6 CT quitters, out of every 100, will succeed during any given quit attempt. This makes cold turkey the least effective of all treatments, even less so than medication placebos. The primary reason for these low numbers is that the physical, mental and behavioral parts of withdrawal sometimes prove too much to handle, and can negatively impact everyday life even for the most determined quitter.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that any single quitter won't be able to quit using CT, only that, individually, other methods provide better odds.

Myth #2. Cold Turkey is the safest way to quit. 

Quitting smoking is rarely dangerous, and almost never more dangerous than continuing to smoke, but a slower, measured withdrawal from nicotine usually provides a more comfortable path to tobacco freedom. The sudden onset of cold turkey detox among the heaviest smokers can trigger fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure, cold sweats, and 'the jitters'. Changes in metabolism can adversely affect prescription medication doses. CT quits can trigger acute depression and suicidal ideation among those with mental health challenges, and/or trigger massive chemical/hormonal rearrangements in the body. 

Additionally, CT quitters are more likely to transfer smoking addiction to sugar, caffeine, or other addictive substances, causing acute or chronic difficulties with weight gain, depression and anxiety -- all of which contribute to higher rates of slips and relapses.

Myth #3. Cold Turkey is the fastest way through withdrawal.

The longest, most intense detoxifications are usually suffered by CT quitters (depending on the level of addiction). Three days is commonly referred to as the make-or-break timeline for CT withdrawal, but CT quitters can experience moderate-to-severe detox symptoms for weeks after quitting. Again, this is not to say you will suffer such withdrawal if you quit cold-turkey -- that's largely determined by your current addiction/smoking level and metabolism -- only that you're more likely to than if you detox more slowly with NRT.

Myth #4. The intensity of a Cold Turkey quit inhibits relapse. 

Though many CT quitters claim that their quit is/was so horrific that they never want to go through it again, there's no solid research demonstrating that past withdrawal experiences influence current quit-success, or that a bad past experience keeps one quit. What we often find instead is increased resistance to the idea of quitting because of past difficulties, and higher rates of slips and relapses during intense detoxes.

Myth #5. Most smokers quit Cold Turkey. 

This one is not a myth. Though quit-aids are about 20% more commonly used now than a decade ago, CT is still the most widely-used method, largely because it’s the easiest, and free. But most CT smokers will also relapse during the first weeks of any individual quit. This is why smokers are increasingly turning to quit-aids first, or after trying and failing with CT.

All that being said, cold turkey quitting may still best the way for you to quit. If you're a middle-aged man or post-menopausal woman, have successfully quit smoking before without medicinal intervention, and/or aren't being treated for depression or a bi-polar condition, your odds of quitting CT are better than average. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, weigh less than 120 lbs., or smoke less than half a pack a day, you probably should quit smoking CT. In any event, a CT quitter is wise to beef up their support network--which increases the chances of any quit succeeding.

But if you know, or fear, that severe withdrawal will negatively impact your life, or haven't been able to get through the withdrawal process unaided in the past, don't worry. There are more effective treatment methods available to you!

Good luck, visit QuitNet for help, and KTQ.

 Alan Peters, CTTS-M

 

Regarding public health perspectives on cold turkey quitting: This blog is about CT quitting for individual smokers. Public health officials often, and should, promote CT treatment to large populations, because that's more cost-effective than offering, distributing, and supporting compliance with quit-medicines on a large scale.

No QuitNet authors or experts receive research funding or other renumeration from pharmaceutical companies. 

 

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Comments

You wrote: "CT is still the most widely-used method, largely because it’s the cheapest and easiest. But that's nothing to brag about, because most of those smokers will also relapse." 
 
Isn't this a little disingenuous? After all, the vast majority of smokers who quit using NRT will also relapse, right? 
 
In fact, didn't the 2012 Harvard study find no difference at all in success rates between CT and NRT quitters? 
Posted @ Sunday, June 10, 2012 9:27 AM by moggyfan
(Oops--pressed post a moment too soon) 
 
Given your disclaimer in the red font, why do you call NRT "more effective treatment" in your final sentence?
Posted @ Sunday, June 10, 2012 9:32 AM by moggyfan
Hi, moonga:  
 
Thanks for responding. Disingenuousness would imply an intent to deceive, so you get an unequivocal 'no' to your first question (and I have a comment about that shortly).  
 
But to your second, the Harvard study (which was a population study relying on survey answers, not a randomized, controlled research study) actually did not conclude as you state. The study specifically addressed relapse rates over extended time periods, but NRT is a short-term withdrawal managment aid, not a maintenance or relapse-prevention tool. The real question of disingenous lies in the motives of the public health officers who facilitated the study/released their conclusions, or in the media outlets who often misrepresented the study.  
 
But to illustrate the point another way: If I used the Atkins diet for six weeks and lost 20 lbs, but then gained the 20lbs back within two years, could we conclude that the Atkins didn't help me lose weight?  
 
There are other problems with that study, too, which we touched on in an earlier blog: 
 
http://blog.quitnet.com/quitblog/?Tag=nrt+not+effective 
 
SInce then, the American Cancer Society, which has studied quit-medicines for years, released this response to the study's conclusion: 
 
http://www.treatobacco.net/en/page_222.php 
 
ATTUD released this one: 
 
http://www.attud.org/pdf/ATTUD_statement2012.pdf 
 
The American Lung Association summarized it best: 
 
"There are physical, mental and social aspects to nicotine addiction, and nicotine replacement therapy is only meant to address the physical addiction. Behavioral counseling and social support help to address the mental and social components of tobacco dependence and it is these two factors that are likely to be more important in relapse prevention over time (the main issue examined by this study). A comprehensive approach to smoking cessation that addresses all three components of a smoker’s addiction is key to avoiding relapse and achieving long-term success." 
 
http://www.lung.org/press-room/press-releases/population-based-smoking-cessation.html 
 
I have a little more for you in my next comment. 
 
Thanks for reading, and come back, 
 
Alan
Posted @ Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:50 AM by Alan Peters
Hi, again, moonga:  
 
Regarding NRT, You wrote: "After all, the vast majority of smokers who quit using NRT will also relapse, right?" We could split semantical hairs, but most smokers using any quit-method will relapse; two decades of study consistently demonstrates that up to 3 times fewer will relapse using NRT, even if they don't use it properly. Other quit-medicines are proving even more effective than that. Any single study can't undo years of accumulated data. 
 
The US Public Health Service says:  
 
"In clinical trials, it has been repeatedly been shown that the combination of counseling and various forms of NRT improve cessation rates. In the U.S. PHS Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008, an analysis of 83 studies (controlled and randomized) showed quit effectiveness was 1.5 – 3.1 times higher in NRT treatment arms than placebo treatment arms. In the Harvard study, people were simply asked after they quit what they used for help." 
 
 
You also wrote: "Given your disclaimer in the red font, why do you call NRT 'more effective treatment' in your final sentence?"  
 
My red disclaimer is actually referring to population studies like the Harvard one you mentioned earlier. Which approach do you think would be, in the long run, more attractive (i.e., cheaper and easier) for a public health organization strapped for funds: Trying to get a million people to quit smoking cold turkey (of which 50,000 will 'succeed'), or trying to order, deliver, educate, and support NRT to 100,000 smokers (of which 15,000 will 'succeed')? The answer to this question has little to do with the effectiveness of any specific treatment for individual smokers, and much more to do with the reach, or 'penetration', of a population-based quit campaign, and the resources available to drive that campaign. 
 
As I stated earlier, we don't discourage cold turkey quitting (I myself quit that way almost 21 years ago). We just favor science and evidence based methods. 
 
I hope that helps clarify, and KTQ. 
 
Alan 
Posted @ Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:53 AM by Alan Peters
Thanks for all the additional food for thought. I followed & read most of the links. 
 
Some observations: 
 
I was too impressed with the popular media's interpretation of the Harvard study. Perhaps I am overly suspicious of the production & marketing of, and profiting from, NRTs.  
 
It seems to me (on reading the links that summarize the response from the Am. Cancer Society and from ATTUD) that their argument is that NRT *does* help people quit, it just doesn't help them stay quit, an argument very similar to your Atkins analogy. To which I guess I would say, fair enough, except for the not inconsiderable cost of the products themselves (though granted, not as expensive as cigarettes). 
 
The other thing that struck me is that funding for smoking cessation programs IS limited and it IS a zero-sum game, as healthcare dollars grow scarce (ironically, a family member was laid off from his PR job at the Am. Lung Association in 2010 as donations plummeted). Where I live (SF, CA) the voters just defeated a $1/pack tax on cigarettes to raise money for research. But even if it had passed, smokers are a dwindling population (only about 12% of Californians smoke), so there's a limit to what going to that well is going to bring in. 
 
Well, anyway, thanks for all the additional information. I learned a lot! 
 
Even though my name is not "moonga," LOL. 
Posted @ Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:29 PM by moggyfan
How very disheartening your article is to one who is still relatively early into the process of quitting. I am doing this CT. I don't want to read that I am slated to fail because of the method I chose to quit smoking. NO WAY! You ARE WRONG! I actually failed using nicotine replacement measures. I belive it is the determination of the quitter that matters most and not the method at all! WHen using nicotine replacement I was able to postpone my final quit and by the time I got to that point, I quit quitting. This time I made a decision and jumped right on it with no procrastination and no postponement or excuses. I just did it and am still doing it now! I amy not be years into my quit but I am into a quit that I am determined will work. CT is the best way because it does not allow for any excuses or putting off until 'tomorrow' what needs to be done today.
Posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 4:19 PM by Tereasa
Declaring hypnosis cold turkey? What are you smoking? Asserting that quitting cold turkey is dangerous? Do you care that there are no studies supporting your assertion? And as for suggesting that QuitNet has no financial conflict in making such an outlandish attack upon cold turkey, isn't QuitNet currently GlaxoSmithKline's partner in helping market QuitNet counseling memberships? I'm curious, was this article your idea or GlaxoSmithKline's?
Posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:21 PM by Sherry
Tereasa, I'm sorry the blog disheartened you. QuitNet encourages CT, as I do in this article. But this isn't written for those who can quit CT; it's for those who keeping trying it without success (because they believe it's the only way). I quit cold-turkey myself, and if I can do it, I know you or anyone can.
Posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:14 PM by Alan Peters
Sherry, please re-read the blog carefully. And our parent company has a number of third-party vendors who provide products or services, but QuitNet doesn't get revenue from product sales, and I've never spoken to a manufacturer. Thanks, and KTQ.
Posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:16 PM by Alan Peters
Alan, thank you for the article. I for one believe this blog was written in the spirit of trying to help people quit. However in your response to Teresa you say "QuitNet encourages CT, as I do in this article.". QuitNet may encourage CT but you absolutely do not encourage CT in this blog. You say some people may be able to quit CT if you are a middle-aged man or are bi-polar or fit certain other criteria but the whole emphasis of the article is that using NRTs is vastly superior to CT quitting.  
 
I would just like it if you stuck to your guns and not try and say that you "encourage" CT when in fact you do the exact opposite.
Posted @ Monday, June 25, 2012 4:30 PM by Larry Robert
Larry, thanks for your feedback. I'm not sure what you're expecting, though. The blog opens with: "We at QuitNet don't discourage CT quitting. If you can quit smoking that way you should, and many smokers are surprised that unaided quitting is easier than they feared." I don't know how to be more more encouraging than that in an article about the statistical reality of CT quitting.  
 
I'll be writing another blog specifically about CT in the near future; perhaps that one will meet your needs. (I'll even be sharing that I quit that way myself, from a daily 3-pack habit. 
 
Thanks again, and KTQ, 
 
Alan
Posted @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:39 PM by Alan Peters
Dear Folks, 
Does it really matter how one quits as long as they quit? And to all that has quit no matter what the method, I say cudos to you all! For I have tryed it everyway you can think of and yet have not been sucessful. I'm still 2 packs a day and I'm thinking that maybe CT will probably be how ill have to....Unless any of yall have a magic cure. LOL.... 
 
But I do appreciate the support of this website. Atleast I know its hear for my next quit day. 
 
Mel
Posted @ Saturday, July 07, 2012 8:21 PM by mel
Mel, this might sound a little cheesey, but there's a sound principle behind it, "Don't quit quitting until you quit." 12-step groups say it this way, "Keep coming back." Whether you see it or not, every time you try you're learning or reinforcing something you'll need to quit for good. Statistacally speaking, every time you quit, your odds of success are better than the last time. Talking to other ex-smokers, like you did here, is usually an effective tool, too. 
 
Good luck, and see you at the Q. 
 
ALan
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 9:15 AM by Alan Peters
Hands down one of the most awkward smoking cessation articles I have read. Do the Quit Community a favor, Alan, and retire the pen.
Posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2012 11:51 AM by Nicole
Quit COLD TURKEY !!! Of course it'll be hard but there is not better feeling than giving .|. to cigarettes and showing your body that mr. brain is the boss here.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 09, 2012 5:37 PM by Hector
i agree with mr hector nicotine has no i.q. my brain does take it from a person cold turkeying right now any other way is still giving in
Posted @ Thursday, November 22, 2012 1:38 AM by tejas
I quit cold turkey about a month ago. The second weeks was extremely difficult. I have some difficult moments now, or even difficult hours, but nothing like the second week of cold turkey hell. I really think I'm done with them. I never think about smoking, and when I force myself to think how much I enjoyed my habit, I just can't see it now. I feel lucky that I got to enjoy so many years of smoking, that I am still healthy, and that smoking holds no appeal for me at all now.  
 
I did suffer from insomnia for a few weeks, but that seems to be sort itself out now. 
 
I'm not sure if any one method is more effective than another. Maybe you just have to be ready for it.
Posted @ Friday, November 23, 2012 8:12 PM by elysiafields
I quit CT one week ago today. I do have the odd withdrawal pang but you just have to think to yourself that you are killing the nicotine addiction that lives inside of you. Why would you want to continue to feed the addiction? Knowing that I am starving this nicotine demon helps a lot when I have a craving. You are not losing anything when you quit. In fact, you are gaining a lot more. The feeling of emptiness in your throat/stomach/head when you get a craving will go away. I only get 1 craving a day and it lasts for a couple minutes. But knowing that I have a demon in my stomach that grows when I feed it nicotine helps. Just think of it that way. Hope this helps.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 28, 2012 3:36 PM by Shawnie
As someone who has tried to quit cold turkey repeatedly over the last 5 years or so and failed due to the withdrawal symptoms, I can say that this is the most ridiculous article I've ever read. Implying that quitting cold turkey isn't the best way is mind boggling to me. I decided to try again 8 days ago and this time I didn't have ANY withdrawal symptoms...not even so much as a craving. It is all mental. When someone is really ready to quit, they will and cold turkey is the best way. Continuously putting nicotine into your system will only prolong the process.
Posted @ Sunday, December 02, 2012 3:02 PM by Kina
Congrats on quitting for eight days. Just be prepared for when the craving DOES come, because it will - even if it takes a month.  
 
If you're anything like me, no craving for days and even weeks on end, means super extra wicked ones when they do come. 
 
Not only that, but over these last few weeks, I've created lots of extra stress for myself by screwing up here and there, more than usual, which can really bring on the craves. 
 
So be as mindful as you can possibly be, and be ready when the cravings hit. 
 
Good luck to you. I'm still smoke free.
Posted @ Sunday, December 02, 2012 4:44 PM by elysiafields
I've just been reading the above comments and I've noticed a lot of differences between the commenters.  
I was smoking for the past 23 plus years and after a really sad attempt of stopping 7 years ago for less than 6 weeks (using the patches) I was full sure I was going to have to reluctantly smoke till the day I would die.  
Thankfully last February I loaded (only by chance) 'stop smoking' in you tube. And there I found my life saver.  
I then went out and bought his book.  
On the 23rd of march this year I smoked my last and haven't looked back since.  
I'm now over 9 months of them and all thanks to a simple book.  
The book is called 'easy way to stop smoking' , by Allen Carr.  
Google him. You tube him. What ever way you want to.  
I've read comments from thousands of his happy now nonsmoking customers and all feel the same as I do.  
You don't use so called 'NRT' 
You don't use any kind of replacements 
He'll change the way we think and see smoking and explain what smoking is without using scare tactics.  
 
P.s. you wouldn't be reading this page if you were a happy smoker.  
So check it out. He's by far the highest rate of helping people stop smoking and living happy lives after smoking.  
 
You are only smoking this cig to fill the gap that the last one made.  
Good luck.
Posted @ Saturday, December 29, 2012 6:11 AM by Willy
Willy, I too read Easy Way. It helped me so much. I stopped smoking on November 21st 2012. I can happily say it's been 1 month and 8 days of me being smoke free. I have also saved $282. I bought myself a beautiful necklace and my family Christmas presents instead of buying cancer for myself. I have been around people who smoke and like the book says, pity them. Because they are not you. And they will pity you, for not smoking. The void is still there sometimes.. But I can honestly say I feel soooooo much happier, healthier and less smelly. And always remember there is no such thing as having 1 cigarettes. Stay strong!!
Posted @ Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:40 PM by Shawnie
Oops.. Not pity you... They will ENVY you!
Posted @ Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:46 PM by Shawnie
Still smoke free. Cold Turkey. Whatever works though, including nicotine replacement. 
 
The best way is the way that works best for each individual. 
 
The book sounds like a great help, but nobody should feel inadequate if they want to use nic replacements. 
 
The most important thing is not to pollute your lungs with all the poison that goes into the making of a cigarette.
Posted @ Saturday, December 29, 2012 4:34 PM by elysiafields
Hi Shawnie 
I too from time to time get the very odd 'void' and what helps me is first to realise that I don't want to go back to that first cigarette of well over 20 years ago. Which is what you'll be doing if you allow your mind to control you.  
But I find a cup of coffee fills the void easily. Believe me Shawnie when I say with each passing day, week, month it gets so much easier.  
 
Hi Elysiafields.  
I totally agree with you. Each and every person has his and her own choice. And I wish each and every person the best of luck on kicking free of that horrible trap. 
I remember as a child I hated the smell of cigarette smoke and hated being around such people. Yet again I still fell into the very same trap as they were in.  
To be honest I was very happy to see the smoking bans come in. And pray that someday all children won't feel the need to try that first cigarette as we did.  
Good luck.
Posted @ Sunday, December 30, 2012 6:22 AM by Willy
Hi Willy, 
 
I had to smoke a lot more than one cigarette to get hooked. I remember my first pack last me about six month. But I patiently kept at it until I stopped wanting to throw up and pass out. I wanted to be "cool" THAT badly. I wonder if it's like that for kids now? Do they thinking smoking is cool?  
 
Congratulations on quitting for 20 years. I'm really struggling with New Years Eve coming up. I have a little devil perched on both my right and left shoulder prodding me with their little ptichforks to go ahead and light up - just for New Years Eve of course. Why not enjoy them with some champaigne one last time? Yup. That's what the little devils are telling me to do. They pulled that at Christmas time too, but I made it through. One more holiday to go and I'm in the clear for a bit. :)
Posted @ Sunday, December 30, 2012 5:13 PM by elysia
Hi Elysia.  
The two devils you're talking about is the horrible nicotine trap that you have left behind. They are gasping for one more puff, not you. Try and remember that there is no such thing as one puff or one cigarette. Remember, that's how we started in the first place.  
I'm over 9 months of them and still from time to time the nicotine devil comes to me saying 'go on get your hands on a cigarette'. And no matter how deep the feeling of wanting to have one gets, just ignore it. You'll be thankful the next day that you did ignore it.
Posted @ Monday, December 31, 2012 4:14 AM by Willy
May sound really silly but I smoked for 40 years, loved it sometimes, hated it sometimes but nevertheless on Dec 25, 2012 I came down with the flu, was in bed really sick for 3 days so to say the least I did not even think about smoking....It is now 9 days later, still have not smoked, do NOT miss it, have had NO withdrawl and am concerned as to why it is not bothering me. Call it lucky, crazy or whatever but I am not even craving a cigarette...how can this be happening????
Posted @ Thursday, January 03, 2013 7:13 AM by Jan
Thanks for your support Willy. I put the cigs out of my mind and it wasn't a problem at all. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and again I'll want to celebrate by smoking, but I'll deal with it then. 
 
Jan, I'm guessing that you will very likely want a ciggy within a months time. Right now, I'm also guessing that your body needs a time out to recuperate from all the stress of being sick and the stress that likely made you sick. 
 
Have you decided what you're going to do when the first craving hits? 
 
Every time I quit, the same thing has happened. I've gone up to a month before the first craving hit, but sooner or later it did, and it was like POW. 
 
My entire second week off them this time was one, long, brutal, craving and I wasn transformed into a stressed out, accident prone, maniacal biotch. 
 
I'm OK now though. It'll be three months in a few weeks.
Posted @ Thursday, January 03, 2013 8:34 AM by elysiafields
Elysiafields, Thanks for your support and when the urge hits I FULLY INTEND TO GET OVER IT...I am done with smoking, just beginning to feel better today and I am absolutely sure I can do it this time. It is crazy but I know for sure that I am done. Sounds as if you are in the UK,am I right? Will be there in April for a visit. If you are infact in the Uk, what are the smoking bans like there?
Posted @ Thursday, January 03, 2013 10:49 AM by jan
Hi Elysia.  
It's great that you had no problems over the new year.  
Now my plan is simple. It's just to leave the old habits where they belong, in the past. For some very strange reason ever since I got up from bed on New Year's Day it really feels as though I've past the biggest mile stone ever. Strangely enough it's like I haven't smoked in years and not just nine months.  
 
Hi Jan.  
it sounds as though something inside your mind has triggered and your system is just sick of the smoking.  
The great news for you is that after 3 days 99% of your nicotine level has left your body.  
Believe it or not all you have to control now is your mind, which I'll add is the stronger of your desire to smoke.  
If and when you get pangs or desires to smoke just say to yourself 'I'll wait an hour and then I'll see how I feel. With in 10 minutes the pang will have past and by the time the hour comes around you'll have even forgot why you said you'll wait an hour.  
Congrats to you.  
And just sit back and enjoy the changes your body is going through. There's nothing wrong, in fact it's amazing what you are going through and the change of feelings.  
Posted @ Thursday, January 03, 2013 12:20 PM by Willy
Hi Willy, 
 
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I have tried this so many times in the past and have never made it to day 2 before I would say "only gonna take one puff"!!! This time is really different and the pangs come and go and I have NOT given in to them and have NO desire to. I just really find it very hard to believe that this time it is not hard to do, I have no desire to smoke anymore and if I think I am getting the sensation I just swish water around in my mouth and enjoy to freshness. Talking to others that understand really helps too! Thank you all!!!!
Posted @ Thursday, January 03, 2013 2:33 PM by Jan
I think it's genuinely true that the more often you try to quit, the more likely that you will eventually succeed. This year marks the 10th anniversary of my quitting cigarettes. I tried many times with various NRT but for me, it was just prolonging the agony and created strong feelings of desperation to be "allowed" to have just one more smoke or counting minutes until the next one. There were two things that I believe finally made a difference in helping me succeed. One was planning to quit. I chose a firm date six months in the future. That gave me plenty of time to get used to the idea and I continued to smoke guilt free until that date. During this time I also began to observe my "patterns" of smoking so I would be able to recognize triggers. The most important part for me during this planning stage was coming up with ideas or plans on how to deal with cravings when they would come. I knew from previous attempts that no matter how badly I wanted to quit, those cravings were going to happen and if I didn't have a way to address them I would be dead in the water. I made a list of things and promised myself I would do these things when a craving hit. It made me feel more powerful and in control, that I was fighting back. My list had a lot of activities on it, obviously things and places where you can't smoke. Go see a movie. Visit a non smoking friend. Other things too like taking a long walk, etc.  
 
Alan Carr's book helped me tremendously too. I had fooled myself into thinking that I "enjoyed" smoking but the reality is that what I "enjoyed" was the feeling of relief from the cravings produced by nicotine addiction. It was the relief I enjoyed, not the actual smoking part. The Easy Way to Quit Smoking has been the most powerful book I've ever read because it showed me and helped me to understand why I was still smoking and helped to change my thinking.  
 
No matter how a person chooses to quit I honestly don't think you can succeed if your heart isn't in it 100%. People have been successful using all sorts of different methods and it is 100% possible, but you have to join the fight mentally, emotionally and physically. Patches and other aids aren't going to do it for you - they will help you but if you aren't committed through and through there isn't much hope you will succed.
Posted @ Sunday, January 06, 2013 1:13 PM by Annie
First and last time quitter, 50 yr old Scottish female and smoked 30 for 30 years. 2 and a wee bit months "clean", dumped the patches after 3 days, sooking 1.5mg nicotine lozenges x5 daily. I'm more than ok with that. Have swopped my nicotine addiction for non-smoking websites !!! It's working for me. Information is power, not the cigs.
Posted @ Sunday, January 20, 2013 1:12 PM by kate
I completely disagree with this article. Another example of targeted marketing by Quitnet. In all likelihood they are after getting targeted ads from NRT products. Of course they will have material promoting NRTs. 
 
I have quit cold turkey after trying patches, gums and even zyban. I have met many quitter - all believe cold turkey actually is best way as it forces you to face ultimate loss of smoking in your system upfront. With NRT you will prolong the facing the quit part.
Posted @ Sunday, January 27, 2013 2:01 AM by TV
Actually a study performed by the American Cardiology Association published in 2011 and another by a UK university published last year showed that compared to NRT, cold turkey is more effective. Approximately 15% of smokers how try cold turkey quit compared to less than 10% who use NRT. 
 
This means that NRT can actually hinder a persons chance of successfully quitting. 
 
By the way I'm a UK NHS statistician.
Posted @ Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:17 AM by Andrew
Question for Andrew, the UK NHS statistician above--Sounds like real proof, but you didn't give any sources for those studies? I can't find any mention of the American Cardiology Association online. There IS an American College of Cardiology, but they endorse NRT. Do you know how to reach the ?ACA?  
 
Also, what study at what UK University do you refer to?
Posted @ Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:20 PM by Barton
Hi everyone. Just checking in at the 4 month mark. How are the rest of you doing?
Posted @ Sunday, February 17, 2013 9:29 AM by elysia
Hi worried Cold Turkey quitters, 
 
I quit Cold Turkey on December 23 2012 after smoking for 6 years.  
I smoked 20 - 25 cigarettes a day and I have not smoked since. It's close to 10 weeks for me now. 
 
A family member of mine quit soon after me with the help of NRTs but she relapsed within a month. 
 
I don’t get cravings anymore but for weeks 2-8 I would get them about 1-3 times a day. I got through them by telling myself that the moment I have another cigarette I'm choosing to become a smoker again. 
 
Personally I don't see how you can quit a nicotine addiction just by changing the delivery method, I think we need to give ourselves more credit and stop seeing ourselves as victims/slaves to this addiction. You don't need extraordinary will power, just refuse to smoke again be stubborn about it :) 
 
Best of luck to us all.
Posted @ Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:40 AM by John
This is my third time quitting CT. The first time it was about 8 mos the second time almost 4 months and now day 2. My thing is this you have to want to quit. I got around a friend who smoked and was like let me have a drag that drag led to another drag and here I was smoking again. CT is the best way yes it is hard but I found when ever I get that feeling to smoke I take 10 deep breaths by the 4th breath the feeling is gone. Drink cranberry juice it gets the nicotine out of your system faster and drink water. Then I think about what cigs offer me well they make my hair and body stink, makes teeth yellow, cough, wrinkles, broncitis,aging and then I think about the benefits of quitting gives me more energy, I smell good, I feel better, I dont have to be the only smoker cuz no one else smokes and I get 15 yrs back on my life. I am not perfect by far and I hate the fact that I even starter smoking but it is what it is and the only thing I can do is try to change it see I just had a craving 3 deep breaths it is gone...yesterday I was like forget this I have a cold I was choking to death sounds like it is in my bronc tubes I threw the cigs away took a shower washed my hair changed clothes bought some cranberry juice almost drank the whole bottle drinking water the last cig was yesterday at 4:30 pm 19 hours almost 24 hours with no cig imagine that! Oh and the gaining weigh part yes I gained weigh but what you must do is as soon as u quit start walking or go join the gym it will help I am sick as hell and I am getting ready to go walk right now sick and all just dont sit around sitting around makes you think of it
Posted @ Saturday, March 02, 2013 11:57 AM by D
I quit CT and I used to smoke 2-3 packs of cigarettes per day for 25 years. I'm not a pensioner or a post menopausal woman and I support CT over any gums or patches making richer the same corporations that became rich throughout the years by selling to us the cancerous heart blocking ailing tobacco products!! Also chemicals/pills can have awful and/or even life threatening adverse symptoms!!  
 
If you wanna quit, if you really wanna quit smoking its easy .... JUST QUIT!!! 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 05, 2013 10:32 AM by Yannis
For a better understanding of smoking to help you quit check the site http://escapefromtartarus.in
Posted @ Wednesday, March 06, 2013 11:38 PM by Denzil
What the studies are not telling people is that 95% of long term current ex-smokers, quit via CT. We need to grow up and face the facts that this is an ADDICTION. Administration of a drug to an addict with result in eventual withdrawal or resumption of consumption at previous levels or higher. Never Take Another Puff, Dip, or Chew.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 13, 2013 10:00 PM by CT 79
I believe in "what ever way works for you is just fine". CT is just one of the methods used to quit smoking.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 19, 2013 4:43 PM by Edith
Hey everyone, congrats on quitting. I agree with Edith. Whatever works.  
 
CT is still working for me. Five months now. :)
Posted @ Tuesday, March 19, 2013 5:03 PM by elysia
These are exactly the five myths I know about. Plus your way of writing is really cool. I sent a link to this article to a friend of mine who wants to go cold turkey. I know he will fail this way but at least he is trying to dump the habit. Let's see what happens. :)
Posted @ Sunday, April 21, 2013 10:50 PM by Anirudh Bahadur
Six months!! Woo hoo.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:13 PM by elysia
I quit Cold Turkey 5 months ago and it was not difficult at all!!! I got the flu, was sick for 3 days, coughed until I thought my eyes would pop out and on the 4th day I lit a cigarette and thought I would die. I tossed the cigarette in the toilet and have never taken a single puff (hit) since then. No withdrawl adverse symptoms, very few cravings, was never a witch and was extremely surprised that it did not bother me.....I was ready and have not looked back. Every once in a while I will give it a thought but I just take several deep breaths and the craving goes away. By the way, I tried quitting many, many times before always using NRT and never succeeded. Son just went CT 4 weeks ago and he is doing great!!!!!
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:29 PM by Janice
Congratulations Janice. I did cold turkey as well. I didn't get bitchy, so much as accident prone and maybe idiot prone as well, lol. I haven't lit up at all, but have been tempted a few times. I'm sure if I lit up now, I would really enjoy it. But I also enjoy not feeling and looking like absolute crap. My skin looks amazing now and even my hair has improved. Lots of great reasons for quitting, not the least of which is saving money. Congrats to your son as well. Keep up the good work!
Posted @ Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:50 PM by elysia
As a followup to my previous post (I gave up on December 23 2012)  
 
I just want to say I'm now 145 days (nearly 5 months) without smoking. I quit cold turkey and have never looked back. 
 
Keep up the fight and don't loose heart!!!  
 
I have a smartphone application called QuitNow which keeps track of all my statistics. 
 
At 20 cigarettes a day I have now skipped 2,886 cigarettes and saved €1,327! 
Not to mention I can breathed deeply again and I actually (strangely) get a little bit of a high when I do it! 
 
Of all the things we are slaves to in the world, please don't let nicotine or NRTs be one of them any longer.
Posted @ Friday, May 17, 2013 4:18 AM by John
This article is biased.
Posted @ Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:30 AM by Anup
I hadn't intended to ever comment on this again. What needed to be said has been said by many others and I haven't anything to add. I do want to say that I have been quit just a few days shy of 13 months now and so obviously for me CT worked well and is still doing it for me. I will admit that I don't believe CT alone helped me to get my addiction under my control. I believe it took determination as well as all of the things I learned on quitnet. The people in there and sharing their journeys...I also think Alan that you posted this as a smoking deterrent more so then an article against CT or for NRT. You know that smokers are usually people who have an "I'll show you" or 'Fuggit' attitude. So you post this and we get our panties in a bunch and we will show you! heheh Brilliant move!. Reverse psychology works on children and apparently on us too? At any rate I still believe in CT but added to that now that I've traveled the sober road awhile is a belief that whatever works for a person is what works.  
I want to say in closing to anyone out there reading this who has NOT quit yet...Just do it! Try CT first because it works and IMO the NRT prolongs the agony and you still have to ultimately withdraw anyhow..try CT right now. Don't put it off. Talk to people in here and learn how to do this. If after one day CT does not work for you...put on a patch or chew the gum or whatever and don't smoke.  
 
Tereasa 
393 days smoke-free  
Posted @ Thursday, June 06, 2013 12:51 PM by Tereasa
Quit CT here. No problem. Followed through with magic hypnosis and I simply didn't have that much in the way of withdrawals. Not like I did when I tried to get off the gum. The gum was like heroin to me. I know people that chew that stuff for years! Their teeth and pocket book suffer too. I want to be FREE of nicotine, not a buddy with it. I didn't talk to my ex much either when I divorced him. I really can't see much difference. Your in or your out. I'm outta here!
Posted @ Tuesday, June 11, 2013 6:41 PM by InsaneJane
I believe this blog has it right when it says ct is not the best way to quit.I was diagnosed with copd and had to find some way to quit.I tried ct so many times and could not stop smoking until i found e-cigs and have been smoke free all most three years.
Posted @ Saturday, July 13, 2013 2:42 PM by jimmy
I Quit CT after several tries, I learned that as soon as I even took one hit off a cigarette again that I was not committed. When I finally succeeded, I first educated myself about what would happen physically so I would understand & be better prepared for what would happen. Then I made the decision to never touch a cigaretteif I truly wanted to be a non-smoker. I also prayed which relaxed me in the most difficult times. I am now almost 4 years smoke free and I just happened upon this blog while looking up how long it will be until my body will be asif it had never smoked (sites differ on that,5-15 years)Prayers for all of you, it certainly takes strength!
Posted @ Monday, August 05, 2013 3:31 PM by Cynthia
I quit CT about 2 1/2 years ago. It was not easy. However, I had an accident that required surgery and I kept saying to myself "Blod Clot", "Blod Clot". That was my trigger word and each time I am tempted to return to a 50 year old habit...."Blod Clot" keeps me in check.  
My husband still smokes, and unfortunately in the house. 
So I am still at risk. But still better than 1st degree smoking. 
You can do it too!!! 
Keep trying until you find your way.
Posted @ Saturday, August 31, 2013 7:28 PM by joyce
I quit cold turkey. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. It's been 12 years without nicotine, but the craving never fully left. 
Today, I used nicotine. CT definately did not reduce my chance of going back. My issue was I loved smoking, I enjoy nicotine.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:14 AM by Miakoda
I'm a 54 year old female smoker into day 3 of CT. I'm not feeling very great but I gotta do this! Went to my doc last week and my cholesterol was 288 :-(. I'm about 20 lbs overweight. Love my doc and been with him 25 years. He sent me a note that said I needed to take a med, quit smoking, and check levels in 6 mos. he also told me that if I didn't take his advise I should find another doc!!!! Made me sad & mad but I'm doin' this. I have hated being a smoker for a long time but failed many times to quit. My birthday is in June and my present to me is gonna be a trip to my doc and almost 6 months of a smoke free life!!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:53 PM by Pam
John again,  
 
This is my 3rd comment 
 
Just letting everybody know I'm 395 days free of Smoking :) 
 
Everything is easier now!! No more remorse, no more feeling defensive around non smokers and no more blocked noses or coughing. 
 
Honestly the only way to quit is to go CT with a plan. Set targets guys - I also use a free Android App called QuitNow but there are others. 
 
Best of luck to everybody, including Pam in the comment above.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 2:55 AM by John
I wrote on here last year. And guess what, last year I quit cold turkey for 3 months and I started again. I don't think i was mentally prepared to stop. I had to. I had really bad bronchitis. And now, a year later, I have been smokefree for 16 days. I have pre cancerous cells on my cervix which are HIGH GRADE( high grade due to 12 years of smoking) If it is not taken care of I will most likely get cervical cancer within 5-10 years and that is pretty much terminal. Done smoking for good. Hearing the words cancerous or cancer is a big eye opener. Fuck the cravings i'm done.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:02 AM by Shawnie
Mr. Q, I'd love to hear your thinking about this July 2013 Gallup Poll which found that after three decades on the market that only 1 in 100 ex-smokers quit with nicotine gum, that most succeeded by quitting cold turkey: <a>http://www.gallup.com/video/163826/nearly-half-former-smokers-say-quit-cold-turkey.aspx Also your thoughts on this table from the Pierce 2012 study: <a>http://whyquit.com/studies/2012_Pierce_Table_1.jpg and this one from Doran 2006: <a>http://whyquit.com/pr/Images/Australian_quitting.jpg. Thanks.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:22 PM by Darth
Darth,  
 
Thanks for your question. As a rule we don't respond to questions from some cold-turkey groups, because their ideological fixation on cold-turkey quitting relies on misinformation and data cherry-picking. We think it's irresponsible to condemn any treatments outside commercial scams, especially when most research validates them as potentially useful and effective. 
 
The three sources you reference are a good example of the discussion problem. They don't prove what your source claims they do, and two of them actually state the opposite (I'll get to that in a minute). None of them studied the clinical effectiveness of one treatment over another for individual smokers, but simply analyzed the numbers of people using them in large population groups. To conclude that one treatment is better than another because most people use it is like claiming American Idol the finest show on TV because the most people watch it, or Big Macs the best food because most people eat them.  
 
In reality, most smokers will always quit cold-turkey. It's free, and the easiest to try. If you really want to test its effectiveness, investigate how many have tried quitting that way and are still smoking, or tally the number of cold-turkey quit attempts vs other treatments before finally quitting. 
 
The Gallup Poll is particularly unuseful in judging individual treatment effectiveness, as it's based on unverified self-reporting, and was included in a larger question set about consumption in general. It didn't include all types of NRT or other quit-meds, and doesn't address how many of those failed average 3.6 quit-attempts were cold turkey, either (a majority, in case you wonder). Here's a link to the actual survey, not the video: 
 
http://www.gallup.com/poll/163763/smokers-quit-tried-multiple-times.aspx 
 
Not to mention the fact that research indicates smokers aren't always reliable in recalling how they quit: 
 
"Participants demonstrated a poor recall of cessation methods: 45% of participants did not recall nicotine gum, 33% did not recall the nicotine patch, and 57% did not recall bupropion." 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15265101. 
 
Another problem is that Gallup defined 'quit' as smoke-free the for the past seven days (7-day pp). Since most unassisted quitters will relapse within a few weeks, it's not surprising that the first seven days will be disproportionately filled with cold-turkey 'quits'.  
The most interesting thing about the Gallup survey is what it inadvertently reveals: since 2000, the percentage of smokers who say they quit cold turkey dropped over 40%, from 91% to 48%. Smokers are catching on. 
 
Finally, always check sources before referring to them. Here's the concluding statement of the Doran population study chart you reference (which was not created by the study group, btw, but by whyquit itself):  
 
"By tailoring smoking cessation interventions to a smokers' preparedness to quit, scope exists to increase the pool of smokers offered strategies that are more effective in achieving abstinence and avoiding relapse, rather than relying on less effective self-quitting behaviors such as cold turkey." 
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16137834 
 
Kind of hard to spin that as anti quit-assistance. Then the Pierce study summarizes:  
"Randomized trials indicate that pharmaceutical cessation aids can increase success by 50% among heavier smokers who seek help, and have demonstrated that ... a combination of quitlines, pharmaceutical aids and physician monitoring can help heavier smokers to quit."  
Actually, the problem, according to Pierce, is not that quit-aids don't work on the individual level, but that educating large populations about NRT, and monitoring compliance, are proving unworkable, and also that, "Pharmaceutical marketing strategies may have reduced expectations of the difficulty of quitting, reducing success per attempt." 
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22224888 
 
The Hammond study I mentioned above says this:  
 
"Participants who perceived cessation methods to be effective at baseline were more likely to intend to quit, make a quit attempt at follow-up, and to adopt cessation assistance when doing so . Many smokers may be unaware of effective cessation methods and most underestimate their benefit. This lack of knowledge may represent a significant barrier to treatment adoption." 
 
No doubt that the success of quit-aids can be overinflated, and that cold-turkey isn't promoted enough as a treatment, but generating endless cold-turkey vs quit-aids debates, creating suspicions about pro-NRT conspiracies (involving everyone from the U.S. Surgeon General to Q counselors), and casting doubt on established research about effectiveness, all help muddy the waters, and contribute to confusion among smokers. That means fewer successful quits, overall.  
 
In the final analysis, the best way for me to quit is the way I did it (cold turkey, actually, from a 3 pack per day addiction),, but that doesn't mean it's the best way for you, the girl next door, or the Man on the Moon to quit. We urge everyone to trying quitting cold turkey, but to also pay more attention to the research, and less attention to those with a particular quit-axe to grind.  
 
Thanks again, and KTQ. 
 
Alan Q 
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 7:04 PM by Alan Q
P.S. Darth, I wasn't referring to your question when I mentioned pro-NRT conspiracy theory, but to other comments in the above thread. 
 
A
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 7:09 PM by Alan Q
P.P.S. Almost forgot this, Darth. Most research nowadays compares NRT to other forms of quit-aids, like Chantix, but Cochrane did another meta-analysis of all recent, large-scale NRT studies, and published this review 15 months ago: 
 
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000146.pub4/abstract 
 
Their summary: "This review includes 150 trials of NRT, with over 50,000 people in the main analysis. We found evidence that all forms of NRT made it more likely that a person's attempt to quit smoking would succeed. The chances of stopping smoking were increased by 50 to 70%. The evidence suggests no overall difference in effectiveness between different forms of NRT, nor a benefit for using patches beyond eight weeks. NRT works with or without additional counselling, and does not need to be prescribed by a doctor. Heavier smokers may need higher doses of NRT. People who use NRT during a quit attempt are likely to further increase their chance of success by using a combination of the nicotine patch and a faster acting form or by combining the patch with the antidepressant bupropion. Data suggest that starting to use NRT patches shortly before the planned quit date may increase the chance of success. Adverse effects from using NRT are related to the type of product, and include skin irritation from patches and irritation to the inside of the mouth from gum and tablets. There is no evidence that NRT increases the risk of heart attacks."
Posted @ Monday, February 24, 2014 10:51 AM by Alan Q
Wow thats is really very good method to quit smoking habit and I am sure it will help a lot in quiting smoking habit.
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 6:25 AM by sean
Hello, I've quit smoking now for Ninety Two Days, I went Cold Turkey and I have to say I didn't think I had the guts to do it, but I am so proud of myself that I did Yahoo! and I'm not the strongest person.I will say you really have to WANT to give up and I thought of the health issues,I'm approaching Sixty and I want to Live a longer life, so I had to give myself a second chance to really think things through and make a decision i'm glad I did.
Posted @ Friday, May 02, 2014 7:14 AM by Lynda
Quit cold turkey 3 years ago and event went to Vegas and did not smoke. (well 2nd hand smoke was inevitable at some casinos) For me it was the first 2 weeks that was the hardest, but after, say, week 4?? smoking was an afterthought. Picked up weight lifting as a new hobby. Now I am in maintain mode. Did the math and for me it was about 600 dollar a year habit. Good luck, but you need to have will power for that first month. Think of the benefits like enjoying the taste and odor of food again.
Posted @ Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:32 AM by samuel
Day 3 Here, I found an interesting method to counter the withdraw symptoms, After smoking 29 years. I pretend the weird withdraw feeling is an exotic drug that I paid for, and I am enjoying it. It seems to be working for now, we will see how it holds up over the next weeks...
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 8:42 AM by Mike
Day 1 here. Quit for a month 5 months ago and then that 1 cig. became many more packs. Tired of feeling congested and anxious. Let's hope I can do this. I try to pretend the withdrawals are an aggravating person trying to tell me what to do...my Aries side then comes into play but feeling alot of physical effects..grinding teeth, crankiness, etc. I receive motivational texts from the smoke free website and it def helps at times.
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Posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 8:47 AM by camille
Hello I am a mother of five and im thirty years old and suffer from major depression with suicidal tendencies. I have tried to quit so many times because of health reasons copd and being asthmatic are big ones. But none of these reasons have helped me to stop. I haven't had a cigarette in 21 days and doing so cold turkey. Yes, it has made me a raging lunatic for a bit, found my triggers. My youngest son is an asthmatic child and has scared the life out of me when he got sick. The smell ofme having a smoke break outside caused him to have an attack. For three mmonths we didn't know what was going on. I stopped for my child and he has had no er visits at all. I have lost weight and eat more now. This quitting thing is for the birds and is a nightmare that I would gladly do again for my babies. Take one day at a time is all anyone can do....gl to all who are taking on this adventure.
Posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 8:45 PM by Jamie
quit using cold turkey 4 years ago. the best way to beat an addiction is one day at a time. it may sound like cliché but it works so when your tempted to smoke remember you only have to stay stopped for that day.during temptation take it from one day to staying stopped for an hour. if an hour is to hard stay stopped for a minute, if not breath in breath out and try not to smoke in between times.
Posted @ Saturday, October 04, 2014 10:52 AM by Justin
The new law at my apartment complex is no Smoking in any Unit...Well this has really been very hard for me to do as I am 86 years old..dont get out very much..dont do much of anything so Smoking was a form of Relaxing for me...By the way I am in very good health for my age...only take one bloodpressure pill a day...and a Vitimin...On Oct.first when the Law took place I decided to quit CT...so far its been 6 days and Im not doing too badly...Get a pang to smoke when ever the phone rings and when I finish a meal but chewing Gum helps a lot...I guess because of the new Law it has made it easier..I dont want to get asked to leave my Apt.,,,I always believe things happen for a reason...Im sure I will make it...
Posted @ Monday, October 06, 2014 10:47 AM by Lois
for a man x no method is useful for y may be gradual method appeal more ,and for z cold turkey is the only option BC if u tried method of y and u did not win,u only have to go through 
cold turkey or u r x.but u feel u r not x selection of method rarely matters BC any quitting method merges to single way few distance ahead.
Posted @ Sunday, November 02, 2014 4:52 AM by xyz
What pure garbage. Cold turkey is the only fail safe way to quit. NRT is like switching from shooting heroin to smoking it. You're still an addict.
Posted @ Sunday, November 09, 2014 3:33 PM by Kenneth
I am day 53 - stopped CT - still feel like crap but getting better every day. The urge to smoke is still there, but disappears within 30 seconds or so... Smoked for 40 years
Posted @ Friday, November 28, 2014 9:48 AM by wendy
I cannot believe what you write on this page. You are writing COMPLETE AND TOTAL rubbish! You are a danger to people trying to completely stop by eliminating all nicotine from their systems.. totally. Are you sponsored by those patch/chewing gum/spray/pill replacement products?  
 
ATROCIOUS advice! ATROCIOUS!!!!  
Posted @ Friday, February 20, 2015 4:36 AM by Graham
Great site! I just quit smoking CT 8 days ago and I hope and feel strong that I can stay smoke free for ever. My boyfriend told me last week how much he loved me and that he was afraid of how long I smoked and the chances of me getting sick, dying and leaving our family. I have smoked for 31 years and quite frankly I never wanted to quit but was forced to for part of 2 pregnancies when I found out. I really enjoyed smoking, but something in his voice and the fact that he never said that to me before made me feel disgusted, ashamed and like the most selfish person for not considering how my family would feel and suffer without me. I thought, although I am a selfish smoker I still need to contribute to my family's financial and well being... 
 
How could I be such a selfish person and only worry about my satisfaction when my children and boyfriend worried about me dying and not being able to spend more time with them watching them grow and enjoying life. Then I imagined myself sick with a breathing tube in a wheelchair unable to take care of my own hygiene and wondered about all the ailments that may have already set in and how much of a burden I would be on my family when I get sick and how that would make them feel and suffer mentally and financially.  
 
That did it for me, I just quit then and I am sure that I won't ever smoke again. I love this site and instead of smoking I read about other success and failed stories to help educate myself as to who else is in my shoes. Thanks to all for sharing and I will use most of these comments as inspiration. I haven't had the cravings yet but for some reason I can now smell better for the last two days and I am looking forward to any other obstacles that try to get in the way of my health because I am going to fight hard and knock them down. I am fighting to be with my family and to show myself that I don't need smokes...they just make no sense or do anything good for me whatsoever. I can get a good or better feeling by exercising or running around the block or donating that money to World Vision and as the kids said we would do. 
 
I will keep posting every month if its ok and I really agree with all the comments, its in one's head and what might work for me may not work for you its the drive that makes us do what we do or not do.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 11, 2015 7:07 PM by Mikael
 
I first posted on here 2 years ago, 90 days into quitting smoking CT ... 2 years later and I feel as I've never ever smoked .... In addition I eat healthy, cycle 60mins/32kms 6 days a week, have lost 30kilos and have improved my health by 1000%!!!  
 
Cold Turkey All the Way 😊
Posted @ Thursday, March 12, 2015 2:19 AM by Yannis
Day 5 of cold turkey - taste smell skin energy and money all improved :)
Posted @ Thursday, March 19, 2015 3:12 PM by Clare
I have not smoked for 8+ years.I smoked for 45 years.2 packs a day.No coffee 8+ years.No alcohol 16+ years.(I was a wino for 26 years who lived under a railroad bridge.I was in an accident and was told by doctors that I should have died, but I had prayed to GOD for life and healing of all and he does one day at a time.God holds all power in heaven and on earth.Patches,pills etc are gimmicks.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 31, 2015 5:47 AM by George Eckart
Hi its me again. I found this site the night I decided to quit smoking cold turkey. It was what Google turned up for me. I wrote here last month on day 8 of my quit. I still think about all the stories I have read, and believe me they keep me going. This blog is like my beacon or guiding light. I really haven't had the urge to smoke since March 3rd, and I hope this will continue. I have been doing really well and still can't believe my courage and strength in having the ability and guidance to quit cold turkey. Its all in my head I figure and I am much healthier now; more mentally than physically but that will change with time, I am also able to inspire 2 co-workers...well so they say. I was able to quit cold turkey without all the drama and negative side effects I expected or have seen or read about with some people, but I think its all in your head. I said I would post often and I will; to help out someone who may be struggling. To let them know that when the time is right for them to quit, they will quit and nothing or nobody will get in the way. I don't miss smoking at all and the brown stains have left my fingers. Also my sense of smell and taste are heightened but its all ok. I am looking forward (like some of you brave folk here) to reach year #1, and then #2 and #5 and so on. Thanks for this site I was able to quit cold turkey and I will always be loyal to this site and my family here. So since March 3rd I am still not smoking and loving it. Hang in there you can do it too.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 15, 2015 4:03 PM by Mikael
Hi All,  
 
John again, this is my 5th comment 
 
I love reading all the comments here when they get to my gmail inbox, they help remind me that others have managed to stay off the cigarettes too.  
 
I've been cold turkey for 843 days, which equals about 17,000 cigarettes that I've not smoked!!  
 
I honestly have to say I'm entirely free of them. Maybe once a week when I'm under pressure the thought of smoking would be on my mind but that's just for 3 seconds at the most. I play poker once a month with my friends and I'm the only one who doesn't smoke, I sit with 5 other players who all smoke at the table and the only thought in my mind is pride. Not the arrogant type of pride, the feeling of having conquered something so addicting by will alone - yet not rubbing it into other peoples faces who haven't been able to give up.  
 
The way I look at it is, don't give others a hard time and you never know they might just be looking at you as an inspiration. I know first hand if somebody says you should give up smoking (particularily an ex-smoker) it's very easy to resent them even if they have good intentions. 
 
Good luck everybody
Posted @ Thursday, April 16, 2015 3:33 AM by JOhn
Quit Ciggs ~2 months ago, along with Alcohol, all Sugars & Caffeine. Cigs have been the easiest, by far. The only real challenge is wondering why I have no urges/cravings even around other smokers. I quit completely CT other than Wellbutrin I had already been taking for depression.  
 
The best factor has been to change my thinking- similar to Allen King's books. e.g. "I don't have any smoking images because I'm no longer a smoker, and will never go back." Simple truths not open to argument. Life is good- my kids are astonished (after 25 years).
Posted @ Saturday, April 25, 2015 4:32 PM by Dale M
Wow! After smoking for 36 years, I gave up the habit in a disruptive way, probably not sanctioned by this site. I quit cold turkey for 10 months once long ago, but the minute I got out into the world again, I fell. 
Reading this site has helped me understand that CT quitters also see NRTs for the useless gimmick they are, and I like that, since my community is getting them pushed as an approved alternative, too. 
Also explains why many ex smokers come on our discussions angry with us for quitting tobacco so painlessly be switching to the so far unapproved, but wildly effective, disruptive method I won't name but is getting slammed by pharmaceutical interests, especially in CA, on this very day. 
My method also works, and I agree that cold turkey is the only viable alternative to what I am doing now. I mean long term. Interesting that even the medical community has been divided on whether or not NRTs even work. These comments seem to indicate what I already knew: they don't, but they make money for the pharma industry. Live and learn, and god bless all the smokers however they manage to quit.
Posted @ Thursday, May 21, 2015 9:52 AM by Angel Tibbs
Subject: smokers life 
 
The life cycle of a Smoker. Warning.. some don’t make it to the end of this. Read carefully. 
 
Mid teens.  
 
One sees his buddies lighting up behind the bike sheds and after school… looks cool.. it’s forbidden fruit…it’s bad for you so it must feel wonderful. First puff…. Ewwww urghhh quick,,,pretend you like it pretend you like it!... ah.. that’s better. Wanna try it again again again…. Getting used it now after a few weeks.. it’s a ritual and one craves it in between smoking times. 
 
 
When I was 21…. “Sinatra” 
 
He’s in his early adult life now.. smoking is the norm.. not a single day goes by now without a packet of cigarettes give or take. Still, it’s not causing him any problems… feels fine… but then he would wouldn’t he.. his youth will protect him. Not been smoking for that long either so nothing to worry about… well healthwise that is. No point in calculating how much money one’s spent on cigarettes up to this point…why worry? One’s sense of smell and taste are diminished now… he can’t smell the stale smell of smoke… truth is, other people can… those who can’t put up with it just avoid him…including girls……No reason to stop…it’s enjoyment in your pocket whenever ones likes! 
 
 
Age 28.. 
 
Approaching the end of the twenties now… the twilight of youth…mind you… youth has started to slip away slightly earlier for him compared with his non smoking twins….you can see it in the face through that grey glow his skin has now…a tired look… the onset of wrinkles ahead of their time.. including ones around the mouth from all that drawing….the early onset of a smokers face infact…the high isn’t as good as it used to be… more a case of feeling normal rather than good…maybe losing his hair a little…yes ok..maybe one was going to lose it anyway so it can’t be the smoking..it can’t be blamed for anything….it’s now sinking in that it’s not as cool being a smoker as once thought by that bright eyed kid 15 years ago….lost count of the number of times standing outside the pub/café/workplace by one’s self in all weather…one wishes they had never started…now in denial about having a smokers cough..it’s just a cough that everyone gets you understand?...Even less point in calculating how much one’s spent since starting now..it’s a sum not worth bothering about… 
 
 
Age 39…. 
 
. Almost reached the 40s and still going strong…still stinking…still couching…a little balder…a little more tired…ah dam,,,missed the recommended quitting age by 4 years…that age that avoids most problems …that magic number of 35 that some study said you’ll probably be ok if you’ve quit by then….still…did well..there have been nightmare stories of smokers dying in early 30s from lung cancer/heart attacks etc…at least one has avoided that…for the moment….had a few more colds than the non smoking twins but hey..what can you do about getting a cold right?..if it comes it comes..it’s nothing to do with the weakening of the immune system over time…afterall…non smokers get colds too yea?....had ones share of flops in the bedroom but then what man doesn’t right?.... it’s all a state of mind and couldn’t possibly be anything to do with poor circulation…no way!..i’ve still got a 3 at the start of my age…”I’M OK”……. 
 
 
 
Age 45 
 
Well here one is…the mid 40s…the age where the gap of heart attack likelyhood for a smoker compared with a non smoker, takes a sharp curve up…the biggest it’s ever been…and will only get higher…30+ years of puffing away..ones face looks ok..for a mid 50something …COUGH COUGH…excuse me..i do that a lot these days…must be the hay fever..yes, all year round hay fever….ah did we always have that many stairs leading up to the flat?... if only I’d gotten a ground floor house…can’t afford one though…not sure where one’s salary seems to go these days….had to ignore that dam dentist the other day..he asked one if they smoked..one told the quac a little bit ya know,,not much…not sure why smoking is related to tooth loss…it never said that on the packets…oh wait.. it did….screw it how was I to know?..what 15 year old kid even looks at the warnings…what 25 year old does either….infact,what smoker does?... Still don’t want to calculate how much I have spent on fags in the last 30 years..have taken the batteries out the calculator.. 
 
 
 
Age 57 
 
Who says smokers die young?...hehe I win I win…cough cough…well um…I look about 10 years old than I am…and one feels a bit older….there’s no way I’m running for ones bus…I’ll wait patiently for the next one… gives me time to light up another couple…just need to get home and sit down…tied these days and feeling spent…once a smoker always a smoker…no point in giving up now as the damage is already done one thinks…why should I give up the only thing I enjoy….it’s nice….doctors have advised to one to give up but blahhh I’m not listening to them. 
 
 
Age 64 
 
When I get older losing my hair… well lost the hair a while ago but that is natural baldness and nothing to do with smoking… can’t do a single day without coughing.. not a single one. .. also worse when I lie down…and in the mornings…so that pretty much means I’m coughing all the time yea?.....it’s always been that way..can’t remember a time without it….sometimes I lose a bit of circulation when one is sitting down…just old age nothing more.. couldn’t be anything to do with smoking.. no way I’m giving up…I’ve made it this far…why should I give up the only pleasure cough cough one has in life…well..pleasure..um…it..hardly makes me feel good anymore..just stops me feeling bad… still hating to think how much I’ve spent on this habit..cough cough addiction..since I started…could probably afford a few years off work…£50,000 is the conservative estimate of how much the average British smoker spends in a lifetime..and even that is probably out of date now…sigh..cough… ahhh…I’ll be alright in a min. 
 
 
Age 72 
 
Well it’s official.. one is one of the cough..cough COUGH.. lucky ones…urgahaaa splutter cough… lucky ones that got to a ripe age and didn’t die of smoking…can’t say one feels good for it though….had a minor stroke..quack says it could just as easily have been a major one…still smoking though…no point in quitting now…blah blah blah.. cough cough cough.. excuse one… it takes me ages to go to the shop…but..i always get there…one has to..no other pleasure in life left..just smoking…can honestly say one wishes one had never started…cough..bare with me while I cough for the next 10 mins non stop…..cougggghhhhhhhh……ones voice is shaky and raspy..in a non cool way…penny has finally dropped that smoking is not cool… 
 
 
Age 80.. 
 
Coughhhhh…hi grandson…can…hardly…speak….from….my….cough…hospital…bed….promise me son….promise me you’ll never smoke….it’s not cool…I ruined my life….cough….COPD…..one of the most painful deaths going…every single breath a struggle… I’ve quit smoking now…but only cause one can’t get outside this hospital to do it now… 
 
 
Age 81 
 
R.I.P. It’s ok next of kin.. we know he has a donor card but we think that given his age, there is nothing we can extract that will be any use. Goodbye. Didn’t want to tell them that normally we could use some of his organs but the fact that he smoked had damaged anything and everything. Don’t fancy cutting his lung open and spilling a carton of thick grey slime all over the operating theatre thanks. 
 
Posted @ Wednesday, June 03, 2015 10:44 AM by kevin
3 months and still counting. No cravings or anything. 30 years of smoking and thanks to this site and whoever blessed it, I am cured from smoking and the urges. I have gained 20 pounds but its 20 pounds I could use. I look more like a woman now, than a hag with a smoke out in the cold or just lingering around. Since quitting, I spend that money on other things that occupy my time and I helped to inspire one co-worker to quit too. I think once you replace the thought of smoking with the thought of you getting ill and making others sick, it does help. My father smoked for so long and died at 86. Most people say he lived long for a smoker, but I think how much longer he would have lived if he didn't smoke. Anyway thanks for all the posts, I look forward to them more than Facebook posts and wish I could hear from some of the others that posted previously; those whose honesty and sharing gave me sooooo much inspiration and courage. I love this site and all those who post here. I see even my friend has posted a comment. His time came to quit CT and it will for you too. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
Posted @ Wednesday, June 10, 2015 4:41 AM by Mikael
Ok I am a healthcare professional who should no better been smoking for about 30 years . Quit many times but this time I seem more motivated . Last cig 4 days ago. Some transient cravings but I am pressing on. I swear I never want to smoke again. 
 
Going cold turKey I need the nicotine poison out of me 
 
More to come
Posted @ Tuesday, June 16, 2015 9:59 PM by Andrew
Good for you Andrew. You can do it, its all in your mind. Just take it one day at a time and try save or keep track of how much you are saving. Every little thing helps keep the focus on staying quit. I am in recovery mode for just over 3 months now and this site and the stories are the crutch that I needed to keep my will power. I don't even have the urge to smoke anymore and I hope I will stay that way for ever. Thanks for posting!
Posted @ Tuesday, June 16, 2015 10:32 PM by Mikael
Day 6 ct  
I only smoked with a beer at night but sometimes smoked 20 in one night  
Now age 50  
Read Alan Carr book again  
 
Has anyone read this book 4 or 5 times before it actually worked ?  
First time I stopped for 8 months  
Second time 2 months and so on  
 
Just read again and feel great
Posted @ Saturday, June 20, 2015 3:08 AM by Adz
1. "This makes cold turkey the least effective of all treatments, even less so than medication placebos." 
 
5. "All that being said, cold turkey quitting may still best the way for you to quit." 
 
That's interesting, also, in another study it was shown that 66-75/100 cigarette quitters quit CT.  
 
In the end, it all depends on how strong your willpower, and your addiction is.
Posted @ Thursday, July 02, 2015 11:12 AM by LoveGiant
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