smoking (cough, cough)

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smoking (cough, cough)

Postby delf7 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:33 pm

i have been smoking for 35 years. i have tried to quit a thousand times before - used everything from patches, welbutrin, gum, that evil stuff called "chantix", you name it, i've tried it. the only thing that worked at all was cold turkey when earlier this year i quit for almost 2 months, but got dragged back into it.
however, i have not attempted quitting since i started getting interested in buddhism. i think with the meditation and my reading, it might be easier this time. was wondering if anyone can point me to a few things in the texts that might be of special relevence to this particular challenge.
so, today is day one - and i have already confronted mr. nic-o-teen with several greetings of "hello, my old friend habit energy - i see you"
so far so good.
any good words would be appriciated.
thank you.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:56 pm

I quit after 15 years and although my practice certainly helped it did not make it easy at all. If anything, the pain was just as intense as it ever was when I attempted to quit but the strength of my determination (aditthana) was what pulled me through and I believe I owe that to long hours of seemingly fruitless meditation. Persistence and a real understanding of the downsides of smoking were key for me. If you really want out you can do it and I wish you all the best. Mettaya!
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:21 pm

A 10-day retreat or a stay in a monastery will give you the support you need while going through the withdrawal stages. Not being surrounded by smokers is a great help during the first week or two.

Ultimately, the only method that works long term is to become more aware of the causal links between contact (with the sights, smells, or thoughts of smoking activities), feeling, and craving.

Since you have been smoking for so long, it might take several years for the worst effects of the addiction to wear off. The underlying social anxiety or whatever it is that made you want to smoke in the first place can also be removed by persistent meditation practice.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby delf7 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:38 pm

i am attending a 10-day retreat at the end of february, which i think will be good for kicking the habit, tho i hope to succeed in quitting before then so it isn't such a shock to the system. i am also trying to increase my time in meditation to combat the habit. this is going to be hard, i know, but it is time to do it.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Fede » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:43 pm

I think it makes it easier to know that cigarette companies actually include chemical, synthetic ingredients in their tobacco products which are deliberately addictive.
Nicotine is a noxious and harmful substance, but is in and of itself, not extremely addictive. So different chemicals are added just to boost that little factor somewhat.
so know that the companies are actively working to influence you, deliberately, to keep you hooked.
The government will never ban smoking, because it brings them wonderful revenue.
And they know the companies are keeping you hooked.
The government and the companies are deliberately co-operating to poison you.

if that doesn't tell you something, and give you yet another good reason to stop....well, I have tried to help!
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby befriend » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:38 pm

havent drank alcohol in 3 years i quit because i took a formal precpets ceremony with a teacher. now there is no maybe i should drink no i shouldnt but maybe i should. its like alcohol doesnt exist. in my mind im literally incapabale of drinking voluntarily.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:55 pm

Have you tried electronic cigarette's:

An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is an electrical device that simulates the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled mist bearing the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavor and nicotine content of inhaled tobacco smoke; though without its odor, and intended to omit its health risks.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ele ... T-M401.jpg

I see them sold everywhere these days. They seem to be the new big thing.

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:08 pm

befriend wrote:havent drank alcohol in 3 years i quit because i took a formal precpets ceremony with a teacher. now there is no maybe i should drink no i shouldnt but maybe i should. its like alcohol doesnt exist. in my mind im literally incapabale of drinking voluntarily.


Sadhu befriend but please be careful as the drink can play tricks on the mind. I wouldn't consider myself safe until entering the stream. Mettaya.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:10 pm

I used to smoke, and I know you can do it. Stay strong and good luck!! :thumbsup:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:25 pm

I second what Venerable Pesala has said, particularly in relation to attending a ten-day retreat which will be extremely beneficial in assisting you.
My only other suggestion is to revisit nicotine replacement therapy. The method that worked for me is to go on a three month nicotine reduction & replacement program. 1 month at 21mg per day, then 1 month at 14 mg per day and the final month at 7 mg per day. Once you get the slow-release of nicotine happening it decouples the psychological addiction from the physical. Within a day or so of the program you'll "feel like" a non-smoker in that there will be a complete absence of cravings. However, you still need to be careful of associating with smokers as the visual and olefactory association of seeing others smoke and the smell of cigarette smoke may trigger a desire to light up.
Whatever you decide to do - I wish you the very best.

Ben
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:40 pm

Good luck, I have failed on many an occasion and am about to try again soon(ish).
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby jackson » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:15 pm

Greetings delf7, :smile:
If I may I'd like to tell you what worked for me, and perhaps it may be of some use to you. I smoked on and off for 11 years or so, tried quitting many times, once for 20 months, another time for over a year, but my willpower would always end up running out and I'd be back at square one. Then I heard on a different Buddhist discussion forum about people who had quit using a method by a man named Alan Carr, I believe, and if I remember the name of the book it was "The easy way to stop smoking", or something along those lines. I never did read the book, but the method from what I understood was to be extremely mindful while smoking and ask just what it was you enjoyed about having a cigarette. Was it the taste? The feeling of the smoke in the lungs? etc., etc. Anyway, it didn't take me long to realize that I didn't enjoy smoking at all, and that the only reason I did it was to get relief from the nicotine craving. This was quite a revelation and it didn't take long until I was just fed up with smoking and had little trouble quitting, and whenever the thought about having a cigarette arose I'd think about just how awful smoking was in those final days because I really wasn't enjoying it. Willpower just didn't cut it for me, I'd always be suppressing craving, but this method quickly and easily killed my desire for a cigarette, and this October or November it will be 5 years since I quit, which for me is a major accomplishment. Anyway, just wanted to share, and wish you luck with quitting your addiction. You can do it!
With metta, :smile:
Jackson
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:46 am

I undertake the precept to abstain from addictive drugs that cause cancer and heart disease. :heart:
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby delf7 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:54 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I undertake the precept to abstain from addictive drugs that cause cancer and heart disease. :heart:

that's why i want to quit.
well.... that and the fact that it's slowly killing me.
i read allan carr's book last time i "quit". i wasn't that impressed with it, as all it did was tell me stuff i already knew. we all know we shouldn't do it. the problem is; try telling that to a 35 year old habit! the ol' habit doesn't listen to common sence. so, i am just trying to acknowledge the craving, say hello to it, and move on to the next moment.
it's hard, but it is getting easier as each day passes.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:09 pm

Congratulations on two full days!!! :woohoo:

:candle: :bow: :clap: :thumbsup: :anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:25 pm

delf7 wrote:that's why i want to quit.
well.... that and the fact that it's slowly killing me.

And the financial cost too no doubt. Donating the money you would otherwise spend on cigarettes to a cancer charity may be another incentive.

Making a formal undertaking to quit may help. Starting this thread was a good move — now we all know that you're trying to quit, and we are interested to know how well you do.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby delf7 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:08 pm

learning about impermanence & craving, something i did not think about last time i tried to do this, has helped me this time around. i am reading more and spending more time in meditation to keep my mind off the smokes.
thank you all for the advice & support. i will keep you posted.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby befriend » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:31 pm

how about if you let go of the craving. its not YOUR craving. you know. relax the tension in the mind caused by the craving, and then do some metta or something positive. when you feel a craving coming on switch your attention to doing a good deed however small. sweeping the floor, or go play a sport.
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby dhamma_newb » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi delf7,

Here's a link to an article describing using Mindfulness meditation to "urge surf." It is used by Psychotherapists to help "people recovering from addictions to alcohol and other drugs. It can actually be used to help with any addictive behaviour such as gambling, overeating, inappropriate sex or any other destructive impulses." Hope it helps.

And be gentle with yourself. I took me many failures to finally succeed in my final quit. I wish you the best.

Peace,
Don

Note: I've also attached the article as a PDF
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URGE SURFING.pdf
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Re: smoking (cough, cough)

Postby silentone » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:29 pm

Have you tried N acetyl cysteine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N-acetyl_cysteine)? Its a very cheap antioxidant you can get in most health/wellness stores It is being used in some promising clinical studies on a variety of physical and mental disorders. Some evidence shows it cuts the addiction from nicotine, cocaine, and other stimulants. It also reduces the toxic damage from the cigarettes and a number of toxic substances. Its been studied for years in the laboratory, some ER physicians use it to treat tylenol overdose (in iv form). You can get 600mg, to 1g pill sizes for about $6-10 that should be about a months supply.

When I was quitting I found green tea to be very helpful. It contains theanine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theanine) which can also be very useful.

Good luck!

"Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times." Mark Twain

Efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of nicotine dependence: a double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21606648

** "Interestingly, subjects receiving NAC rated the first cigarette after the abstinence period of 3.5 days as significantly less rewarding than subjects on placebo (p = 0.04, d = 0.85)."

Effects of oral administration of N-acetyl-L-cysteine: a multi-biomarker study in smokers.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11867504

Antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine reverses cigarette smoke-induced myocardial infarction by inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress in a rat model.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21968809

Effects of N-acetylcysteine on Clara cells in rats with cigarette smoke exposure.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20193479
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