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Cutting Back Smoking

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by sadiemarie, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. sadiemarie

    sadiemarie Member

    I currently smoke close to a pack a day. I want to quit but doubt that I would be able to quit cold turkey. I am trying to gradually cut back how much I smoke over time. Any suggestions or tips on how to do this?
  2. Juan

    Juan Active Contributor

    There's this thing I used to do when trying to quit. I had one of those cigarette containers that held about 10 cigarettes. I would put the ones I would allow myself to smoke during the day and leave the rest at home. Then when I felt I could take it, I would put one less in the box. And so on...

    At the time I didn't quit smoking completely, but it helped me reduce it up to a point where sometimes I would just forget to buy cigarettes. If you get to this point, my advice is to toss the box away and start doing some activity that will take over the habit of smoking. Exercise is always a winner.

    When you feel the craving to have a cigarette, try to do something else instead. Go talk to a coworker if you're at work (you were going to skip work for 5 minutes to smoke, anyway). If you're at home, get busy. Play a video game, do house chores, something to keep your hands full. At some point you will find that activity that keeps your mind from smoking the most.
    ExpertAdvice likes this.
  3. sadiemarie

    sadiemarie Member

    I agree thank you! This is a great plan. When I am working on cutting back this is what I will often do. It really does seem to help. Is it hard to quit all together?
  4. ExpertAdvice

    ExpertAdvice Active Contributor

    Love, love,love the advice. As you rightfully said, exercise is always a winner, Exercise will make you feel strong and healthy and vibrant. Also, I would recommend Sports, tennis, football, bike riding, whatever it is, just get active! I like the house chores advice, because a clean environment is key to keeping you happy and colourful. And, for the record, I do think smoking can be quit cold turkey, it's just all in the mind, one just has to force themselves.
  5. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    You could try to substitute something when you crave such as eating a piece of Candy or just keeping yourself busy whenever the craving comes along. I was able to cut back from smoking seven sticks a day down to now three by just drinking water whenever I craved for a cigarette and the three I smoke a day are mostly just out of the habit instead of complete craving. By his I mean that I realize I am only allowing it instead of completely just because I'm giving into the craving because I know I could just wash the craving down with water if I really had to. Not that I'm saying I'm already completely able to control it but I'm saying at least now I can to some degree. On some days I even just smoke one and on some none at all but this is very rare.
  6. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    I won't recommend you to do so, it'll just hurt a lot more. If it is a long term plan, you are bound to not respect it when it comes about smoking. Let's say you are at 2-3 cigarettes a day, and you have a really though day, you already smoke your first one in the morning and the other 2 at the lunch, in the evening when you are being over stressed what do you do? You light another one, or maybe you'll light it because your mate at work will light one and will have no one to smoke with.
  7. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Cutting back slowly is probably the most successful way to quit smoking. Some call smoking a habit, but really it is a physical addiction in addition to a habit. Changing your routine can be helpful in the process of cutting back and ultimately quitting, but going cold turkey is hard because your body is used to having the nicotine and will really crave it if the drop is too dramatic. You can make yourself a schedule to gradually decrease how much you are smoking till you are able to completely quit.
  8. megankl

    megankl Active Contributor

    I cut back smoking from 1 pack a day to cigarettes a day. I would eventually love to quit but as of right now I am satisfied with my change and I already feel so much better. I am sure I will feel 100% finally when I am down to 0 smokes a day :)
  9. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Actually you won't really feel free because at some points you may want a cigarette, but you won't let yourself to have it in order to not get addicted again. The perfect situation if you ask me, would be if you could stay away from cigarettes and smoke only cigars from time to time, this way you would literally be free but it's pretty hard to keep away if you do smoke. How much time did it take you to cut back from 1 pack to 1 cigarette a day?
  10. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    It's not impossible to stop smoking cigarettes, nope! Five out of six of my older siblings stopped smoking cold turkey, and they haven't looked back about it for years now. My only sibling left smoking is a emotional brother and has addictive personality since he was a child - although me and my other siblings have asked him to slowed down or stop, it's ultimately up to him to do it.

    I've helped a few of my friends stopped smoking cigarettes, simply by being the example of never having smoked the drug ever in my life. I ain't perfect myself, but I believe when people see others not do the harmful things they do and if they're sane, they'll start reflecting whether their choices to do the drugs the do is benign or not.
  11. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    Cutting back is going to be difficult. But if you wanted to try nicotine patches or nicotine gum, that might help. You will still get your nicotine fix but will slow down on the smoke inhalation. I have one friend that no longer smokes and uses the patch all the time. When the urge to smoke overpowers the patch he then chews the gum. It's been working so far.
  12. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Difficult though it might be, all you need is a plan and the determination to see your plan through.

    One thing I know about addictive behavior or addictions in general is that first you need a little time to adjust. Psychological preparation comes first.

    Set a date when you'll start cutting down on cigars. Go for a realistic goal. You don't want to fail in the initial stages so maybe start with cutting back on one cigar a week. Then gradually keep cutting back until you're down to a cigar or two a day. That kind of progress will give you the impetus to keep going. Push it to one in two days. One in a week. Then none at all.
  13. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    You can try by cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke daily, I used to take alot of alcohol, I could not see myself quiting cold turkey, so I decided to cut it down slowly by slowly, and it has worked for me, though I must say that it was not easy, you have to be strong willed.
  14. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    It takes a lot of determination to quit step by step, I once tried the Fibonacci serie to cut back a cigarette, I failed miserably. It did require to cut back a cigarette every number of days in the Fibonacci number, 0-1-1-3-5-8-13, but at some point, when you're really low like 3-4 cigarettes you go insane and want more.
  15. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    The easiest thing to do is to reduce the amount you normally smoke per day. It will not just happen over night but gradually your body will adjust to the changes. Always keep note of your intake so you know exactly how well to adjust. Wish you success .
  16. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I think it depends. A lot of friends and relatives have suggested cold turkey for me. It didn't work for me. What worked for me was gradually decreasing my smoking. I've only completely stopped for a couple of weeks now but it was definitely easier than when I tried to quit cold turkey. Oh and this time I have a buddy who quit with me and we have some help from a free program available here, so that might be another factor why it's been easier.
  17. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    This worked best for me as well. I tried quitting cold turkey and it only made me irritable to the point of me snapping at people who were talking to me. Looking back on it now it's funny because that's not me at all but I can still remember the feeling of irritation and how real it was. I think gradual decrease of intake is best too but whatever works for any individual is fine as long as it helps.
  18. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    How much time did it took you to cut back all the smoking in a day?
  19. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    When I was trying to quit cutting back never worked, I just stopped and that was it, I could not smoke less and less, but I guess it can work for other people.
  20. juliaintheclouds

    juliaintheclouds Active Contributor

    Cold turkey is best but it just doesn't work for many people. I tried and I was crying 4-5 times a day! I suggest cutting back by half each week until you are having just one a day. Then smoke one a day for 7 days and quit.