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(17,478 posts)
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 03:39 AM Jul 2023

The Threes

It's a bit unnerving, posting in a group that hasn't seen a new post in close on a year. Call it forum necrophillia if you like but I'm heading towards three years without nicotine and this post from Warpy inspired my thread.

I once heard that the crucial times when giving up smoking are three days, three weeks and three years. As I said above, I'm nearing three years; the past couple of days I've had a powerful urge to smoke.

Instead of relenting and buying tobacco or cigarettes, I'm reverting to the method that allowed me to break a fifty year habit that was killing me. I'd rolled my own for years, so the transition was not difficult. This link on Wikipedia is a list of smokeable plants that are not tobacco:


I had several growing in my garden, others grew nearby. I harvested, dried and ground up enough foliage to fill a few jars, stocked up on nicotine patches, gum and lozenges and having taken care of the nicotine craving, used the dried herbs to break the 'hand to mouth' habit. That is, I smoked - but not tobacco.

It took a remarkably short time to get over the nicotine, which actually tells me a lot about the nature of my past addiction. The main thing is, I never felt deprived; having a wine or coffee? Smoke a herbal blend. I was able to deal with the triggers for nicotine with a combination of smoking herbs and nicotine therapy.

After a remarkably short time the nicotine craving had passed. I grew up soaked in tobacco smoke - while my mother was carrying me, as a child and then I invariably took it up myself. I was hooked from the first inhalation. Tobacco gets you THAT quick. For around a year I puffed my herbal blend at ever decreasing intervals. It's not perfect but its a hell of a lot better than smoking thirty a day. It also gave me insight into the reasons I smoked - these were not necessarily coupled with tobacco addiction.

I had no trouble admitting that I was an imperfect soul - I wasn't one who could do the cold turkey walk and feel no effects. Instead I found a compromise that, while not absolutely perfect, worked for me and importantly broke the nicotine habit. My health has improved, so has my COPD. The biggest improvement is to my wallet.

As I write, I'm going through a three-year moment of weakness. I started thinking about smoking. It never, ever goes away, so strong is the habit and urge. Instead, I ground up some leaves and herbs that I had dried for such an occasion and I'm puffing right now. But not nicotine. I'll feel a little guilty tomorrow, but no real harm has been done.

If I can do it, so can you.

14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
The Threes (Original Post) canetoad Jul 2023 OP
i use anniversaries in the usual ways as well, positive events and a few negatives Tetrachloride Jul 2023 #1
Congrats bro canetoad Jul 2023 #2
It can be tough Old Crank Jul 2023 #3
Congrats to you on your quit. murielm99 Jul 2023 #4
I sincerely hope canetoad Jul 2023 #6
I know I read some years ago that it takes Captain Zero Jul 2023 #5
I don't think canetoad Jul 2023 #7
Congratulations!!! MayReasonRule Jul 2023 #8
Good Luck! AltairIV Jul 2023 #9
Thank you for posting this MyMission Jul 2023 #10
Good for you, canetoad peggysue2 Jun 5 #11
Having my morning coffee canetoad Jun 5 #12
Back at you, canetoad peggysue2 Jun 5 #13
I recently took up the habit again, Kath2 Jul 13 #14


(8,107 posts)
1. i use anniversaries in the usual ways as well, positive events and a few negatives
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 03:55 AM
Jul 2023

I am 2 solid years without a drop
not counting some molecules in older grapes.

I have a friend who went tobacco cold turkey

He said it took about 3 weeks of withdrawal

big gz on your 3

Old Crank

(4,015 posts)
3. It can be tough
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 04:16 AM
Jul 2023

And you can't tell the young because they aren't hooked in their minds eye.

My father tried for years to quit. Couldn't do it. He got diagnosed with emphysema. The doctor offered him a cigarette. He quit right then, cold turkey.

Died at the age of 59. I am now 13 years older than my father when he died, as a nonsmoker.


(31,005 posts)
4. Congrats to you on your quit.
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 05:15 AM
Jul 2023

I smoked almost as long as you. I scared myself into quitting, almost a year ago. I knew something was wrong.

I have stage 1B lung cancer. It has been arrested by stereotactic radiation. My scans show that the tumor is not growing. It may be dead tissue.

I feel the way you do. If I can quit anyone can quit. Good luck to you!


(17,478 posts)
6. I sincerely hope
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 05:27 AM
Jul 2023

You stay in remission and the tumor does not progress. I'm truly sorry to hear this, it must weigh very heavily on you, but it's sounding positive and hopefully it wil stay that way.

At times I get very angry at those who pushed and encouraged us to take up smoking when we were impressionable. They have a lot to answer for and haven't been punished nearly enough. I look forward to the day that tobacco is an illegal substance and kids are never even tempted to try it out.

Much love

Captain Zero

(7,192 posts)
5. I know I read some years ago that it takes
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 05:22 AM
Jul 2023

Just under 60 days for all the nicotine to clear the body. Not sure if that still holds true. I do know two people who managed to quit with the aid of a special anti-depressive that takes the 'jitters' away. People just have to keep trying. Sometimes it takes multiple attempts.

I am so happy for all the people I know who have done it.


(17,478 posts)
7. I don't think
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 05:30 AM
Jul 2023

It even took that long. And I was a 30 - 40 a day smoker. I reckon ten days to a fortnight and the edge - the craving for nicotine had gone. I don't know if this is normal or not.

Multiple attempts - I'd been 'trying' for decades. This time, it stuck.


(1,500 posts)
8. Congratulations!!!
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 05:42 AM
Jul 2023

I put down tobacco about 16 years ago.

I’d smoked for 13 years. Averaged 5 packs a day at the end. Swapped to high end spicy cigars, took me about a year and a half to put those down as well.

It’s truly grand to wake up and not crave tobacco to pollute my lungs!!

Congratulations again!!!

Happy Saturday


(1,877 posts)
10. Thank you for posting this
Sat Jul 22, 2023, 08:44 AM
Jul 2023

And congratulations!

I'm inspired by the methods you used and the information you shared, and by your success.


(11,114 posts)
11. Good for you, canetoad
Wed Jun 5, 2024, 05:53 PM
Jun 5

People who have never smoked have no idea what an accomplishment this is. Breaking that smoking cycle is one of the hardest things I ever did. It took me 3 or 4 cessation attempts before I was done for good.

I too grew up in a smoking household. My mother chain-smoked up until a year before her death. She had chronic respiratory ailments but just couldn't give it up until admitted to an Alzheimer's lockdown facility. That's certainly no way to stop smoking!

I've been clean for over 35 years. After several years of quitting, the tightness in my chest while exercising disappeared, stamina improved and I was actually able to taste what I was eating. Plus, the odor of nicotine is dreadful once you stop. While I smoked, I never noticed it. Just the people around me noticed, particularly the kids.

So congrats on a very wise decision! Your health will thank you.

PS: It took over 10 years for my 'urges' to go away. Every once in a while, I would 'sneak' one or ask for a drag off my sister or a friend. Every time I did that I was ultimately sorry bc it never tasted as good as I remembered. If fact, the taste was awful. And then, even the urges disappeared. For that, I'm eternally grateful.


(17,478 posts)
12. Having my morning coffee
Wed Jun 5, 2024, 06:08 PM
Jun 5

Without a cigarette - still. I was surprised to see a reply to this old thread but very happy to see you Peggysue.

I agree, that smelling tobacco now is not pleasant. In the meanwhile the walls and computer screen are a great deal cleaner than they used to be!

Thirty five years is a long time; I don't think I'll live long enough to celebrate that milestone (70 this year) but I'm very proud of being nicotine free for over three and a half years. I'll bet you wished you knew what you know now, when you were young and took up smoking.

Time to meet up with friends and dogs and go for a long walk. *It's 8am here!


(11,114 posts)
13. Back at you, canetoad
Wed Jun 5, 2024, 06:21 PM
Jun 5

Yes, it would be wonderful to have the wisdom of age while young. But then, we wouldn't have had those exhilarating moments of invincibility or of thinking we knew everything. LOL.

Take care of yourself. Pat yourself on the back while at it.


(3,125 posts)
14. I recently took up the habit again,
Sat Jul 13, 2024, 12:28 AM
Jul 13

My life partner died very suddenly on March 9, 2024. Several days after the funeral I very went into a convenience store, bought a lighter and a pack of cigarettes on a whim. I have gone back to being a smoker ever since. It is stupid, unhealthy and ugly and , in many ways, I hate it. Waist of money. They are so expensive now. Total waste of money I do not have. In a way, it has calmed me and made me feel more relaxed as I deal with all of this, My lover, who smoked, was a registered nurse and she kept her smoking habit at home. Hard to quit. It sucks .

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