Stories & experiences


Patches vs cold turkey

Posted in Getting started 26 Oct 2019

Hi I quit on 10th October so 15 days ago

I have been a fairly heavy smoker for 30 years. I quit for 6 months on a vape a couple of years ago but always missed a proper "hit" also my tanks kept getting blocked and I also had allergies to both the pg and vg juices I tried the expensive stuff and cheap stuff but always ended up with blocked sinuses for weeks on end. I accidentally on purpose "forgot " the vape on holiday and smoked through a few cartons of cheaper cigarettes abroad; )

Fast forward to this year I was virtually rolling a cigarette twice hourly and before bed chain smoking at least 3 roll ups!

I went on a stop smoking course in march this year and had to do a carbon monoxide breath test before being given a free prescription for patches and inhalator weekly. I went through the course with relative ease over 8 weeks . My wife was still smoking in the house and zilch encouragement but I was winning . I went from 21mg to 15mg oatch with no problems After the course finished within the week I'd run out of patches. I had a choice to purchase more myself but I saw a opened pack of cigarettes on the table and smoked one! That was obviously my downfall . My mindset was ruined so I continued to smoke till now

I didn't plan to stop but just bought a pack of patches and left them in my drawer . I slapped one on a few weeks ago after a coughing bout

I've since been looking at youtube vids and various sites . There's a guy called Chris skoyles who has a great channel also Joel spritzer allan carr and a woman called Nasia promoting a CBQ Method? Most of them are against nrt of any sort?

It's so confusing for me because I've read only 3% quit cold turkey whereas 15 % quit smoking using nrt?

I am still buying and using patches I read a new survey that says most DON'T use nrt for long enough and step down slowly they say at least 6 months ?

I've been putting the patch on at 11am and taking off early evening about 7pm ? I'm not craving only certain moments like stress or just a thought going through my mind but I'm not caving in. Do you think I'm on the right path ?

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  • Happiness October 26, 2019 | 5:21
    wow. I would think you were doing something right Despertetostop. Unless you get up at 11;am and go to bed at 7 p.m.

    Your name is indicative of the need for change. You have taken the time to learn about nicotine. You know the names to follow...... Those are the things that I encourage most to the newcomers. Know yourself and nicotine. Only you knows you best and can provide the right incentives and decisions. I do believe that you are off to a magnificent start. Very positive and very inspirational. Changing our perception is of the utmost importance, not whether you go cold turkey, champex or Nrt. The main driving force is your own belief. Please read post here and know that you have our utmost support and understanding. I still believe that it was that coming to believe in myself and the possibility of actually becoming a non=smoker that drove me . Here I am today almost a year smoke free...something that i didn't think would ever come to pass.... and I am not laying on my deathbed. In fact I have never been happier or felt freer. I am grateful if I can lead others to achieve what I did, especially my daughter and spouse.

    Since my retirement i devote my time to give back to a life saving cause. Ok, maybe that is extreme......or really.....maybe that is true. I do it because I care and I believe. I am thankful that I q
  • Happiness October 26, 2019 | 5:22
    I am thankful that I quit smoking and it is an immense pleasure and satisfaction to encourage others. Yes , anyone can quit smoking and I am proof.
  • Happiness October 26, 2019 | 5:27
    Out of curiosity, did you read the part where Nrt's are most effective combined with a counselling?
    Welcome and stay with us. Increase your belief and power . You can be free. Think positive!!!
  • Desperatetostop October 26, 2019 | 6:09
    Hi Happiness and thanks for your swift post. No I didn't read that part . I plan to browse the whole site tomorrow on a laptop. Atm I'm. On my phone and probably need glasses to read the small print; )
    Your story and even tag name gives me hope I dint want to be a long term ex smoker missing cigarettes I want freedom and health and a feeling of euphoria that I've broken the chains . Many say that after a year it unoticeably and gradually releases it's grip. You're doing great work helping others x have you any tips for changing mindsets please
    I think as you say the mindset is most important and I read somewhere 80 % is mental which I truly believe. I did try the group counselling which was great and I did join a fb group but found I was getting overwhelmed with over thinking about it too much so I'm trying a laud back approach but having the reasons for quitting stamped in the forefront of my mind especially when a craving hits
    I get up at 9am and generally go to bed at midnight so I'm patch free for those spare hours . Even when I take the patch off I don't get more cravings than when I have it on . I sincerely believe it's mental far more than physical
  • FreshAirOK, Hunter New England October 26, 2019 | 7:18
    Hi and welcome. I quit using nrt, started on patches 21mg then cut them in half and then in quarters over a 12 week period. Moved on to 4mg then 2mg gum after that 1.5mg minis and finally 1mg spray! Phew I got there in the end though. I was a two pack a day smoker for 45 years so was a serious case. I read allen carr and followed up all suggestions given by other quitters here. I won't have another cigarette as I love the benefits of being a non smoker...the freedom from thinking if I have enough, where can I smoke if I'm out, smoking in the cold or rain...the health benefits as well as the money saved. I feel fantistic and hope you are starting to reap the benefits at 15 days too. Keep it up. You can do it just remember to want to quit more than you want to smoke it's as simple as that.
  • softly40, Mid North Coast October 26, 2019 | 7:46
    Hello there Desparatetostop, Great news on beginning again, it takes a lot of courage to do that. It doesn't matter at present whether its cold turkey or with NRT, since you have started and know what to expect it is best not to change gear just yet. You made a decision which is the biggest hurdle, the other hurdles are just for jumping over one at a time. Yes Mindset is the key, since you have tried before I think that a belief in yourself this time needs to be that much stronger.

    You have a ton of resources to look at, so this can be a little bit mindblowing, My favorite was a video called "How to be a happy Non Smoker" by NASIA DAVOS, put out by TEDxUniversityofPiraeus. The emphasis on this video and on the book by Alan Carr is pretty much related to our happiness at being free long term and learning about ourselves in the meantime.

    To me there was a wealth of information in order for me to move forward by looking at both, irrespective of going Cold Turkey or using NRT we are not mindless creatures, getting into that debate, when the final result is and should be to make it as easy as possible for yourself, and enjoy the process.

    I identified with the lack of belief in myself to begin with, and grew stronger with the thought of not returning to square one again, by adopting the Mantra "Nope" (not one puff ever) brought forward by 'Safe' on this forum and a few other mantras I developed as I went along.

    Keep close to this forum and ask away, a combination of reading, talking to self, counselling, and physical changes which you are in control of can help you through this time. Good Luck and well done
  • Red-67 October 27, 2019 | 0:58
    Hi, and Welcome :)
    The right path, is whatever works for you. The right frame of mind is much more important than the method. This really can be as easy as you make it. If you make up your mind, that you do NOT WANT to smoke, not just that you want to quit, there is a difference, it can be easy. This does not have to be a long, journey. You do not have to live by some mantra. You just have to make the choice to become a free, non smoker, and really QUIT, not just stop, until the next urge happens. The nicotine is the easy part. Your body is completely free from the affects of nicotine in about 3 weeks. The addiction to smoking, on the other hand, will last only as long as YOU let it.
    Yes, the numbers can be confusing, and interesting. It is true, that more people do stop smoking with NRT or drugs, like Champix, Zyban, etc., BUT, by far, the most successful quit, meaning they never went back, is cold turkey. At least, that is the statistics I have been able to find.
    Right on here, some time back, is one that said,, ( I successfully quit 3 times using Champix. ) DUH ! That is not how I would define a successful quit.. :)
    Ok, I'm rambling.. The point is, this does not have to be complicated. Let yourself see the truth about being a SLAVE to a little tube of tobacco, and everything it cost us, and not WANTING one can become easy. You will not crave something you don't want. After 45+ years of smoking, I knew I was really free of them in about 4 weeks. No missing. No craving. No wanting. It can work for you too. I is, really, just all in your mind. You can do it :)
  • softly40, Mid North Coast October 27, 2019 | 8:34
    If you had read my post Red you would have read that the method is not important too, which we agree on. You obviously had a deep hatred of the cigarettes to begin with, which is one that everyone can adopt too, some people though had enjoyed their smoke, and have only given up because of the money or the ostracizing that society imposes on us. We are complex human beings, it wouldn't be an interesting world if we all had a black and white approach to problems. We do agree upon one thing, that is the mental aspect to begin with, but when you have had one failure after another, then a different approach needs to be taken. If you take your position alone after failing, then no one would try again. They would just give up.

    We are not all as perfect as yourself, me included I am on Champix and I have tried a few times too, you would probably have wiped your hands from me by now.

    This is a forum for everyone to participate in you included, but you must consider others as needing a different approach other than your own. We can agree on one thing, that whatever approach you have the end result is determined by the increased knowledge you have of yourself and the product. If the Manufacturers of products just sold us the NRT without any thought behind it, then they would be just as guilty as the Manufacturers of cigarettes. This forum for example would not exist if other experts regarding human behaviour did not look at a broad range of complex issues.
  • Red-67 October 27, 2019 | 10:22
    I don't understand your response to my post. It was simply a suggestion for Desparatetost. I never claimed to be perfect, and I fully enjoyed smoking, all my adult life. At least, like most smokers, I thought I smoked because I liked it. I have always promoted,, whatever method works for you,, I simply point out, what the proper mindset CAN do, and how important it is. That's all.. You seem to have read a lot more into it, ? ?
  • Happiness October 28, 2019 | 0:06
    The english language is imperfect and writings can sometimes be misconstrued. Red67, I totally understand and agree with what you said. And Softly40 you have taken exception to the part where someone says that they successfully quit smoking on Champix but it is the 3 times which brings us to the crux of the matter. . I am sure that the product did its part, but the user did not grasp the concepts and embrace becoming a non-smoker. Once after being off of the product with no real understanding of mindset to keep them mentally prepared for an unexpected urge at some point in the future. You really do only need to quit once. Do it properly by correct usage of the product and get counselling. Forums like this are a convenient way of learning about you and nicotine, how to adopt the mindset to make it easier and lasting.

    I think you both and of course others are all amazing individuals and valued members of this community. I hope that everyone, even the 10 year quitters stay in touch with this forum to remember that it is an addiction that can be triggered. Stay close and Stay free!
  • softly40, Mid North Coast October 28, 2019 | 6:26
    I am aware of the problem regarding the 3 times approach in relation to champix, I am also aware it does no good to put others down if they fail to live up to the expectation of others. I took offence at that and also the Mantra or self talk not being needed put forward by another member. On the point of "it only takes the quit to be once" to me, puts those who have failed previously no reason to attempt another shot.

    You both quit Cold Turkey I quit a few times with NRT. The fact remains I have quit. I didn't need to put anyone down in order to do this, I didn't need to hate the cigarette and I didnt need others to skim over my comments or disregard them. It seems as if reading the posts properly is what is needed, before replying. I only hope others who have quit a few times has been helped by my encouragement, not left wondering what all this is about.

    Happiness, my English language was and has been gained with some measure of success at University, this is my gage for constructive criticism, not this forum.
  • Nuts October 29, 2019 | 12:57
    Everyone who has quit smoking is amazing. I dont care how you all did it. Its the end result that counts. Well done to all 👍🤗🏁
  • Desperatetostop November 26, 2019 | 8:08
    Thanks for all your posts I didn't want to cause any grief but can see where people have different mindsets
    I haven't been on for a short time as I've failed and continued to smoke.
    I've signed up for another 8 weeks gov course on patches but this time am adamant to purchase them after so I remain at least 6 months on them and tail off
    I found it quite comfortable with few cravings but stupidly thought I was strong enough without anything fir a hellish 3 days and I succumbed to the temptation
    I'll keep in touch this tine and am very grateful for your comments it seems a very helpful and friendly group
  • Pisces24, Central Coast December 07, 2019 | 7:57
    What is an 8 week Gov course? I'd like to try 3 for me. I.i need this Forum though as I know 80% mental addiction v 20% physical is my problem.. Thanks to all.its good to have understanding friends
  • Pisces24, Central Coast December 07, 2019 | 7:58
    By the way I've started level 2 Nicorette patches.
  • Happiness December 30, 2019 | 4:33
    Hi. Happy New Year to you and I hope it finds you smoke free. This is generally a very amicable forum. Even Softly realises the importance of the mindset in making this journey easier. That I think is the main goal of a forum is to help others through with support and useful tips.

    I just found this post and the comments above and although I felt it best to let go at the time, perhaps Softly has a valid point in wondering what newcomers might read into it.

    I would like to make clear that Red and I are great supporters of this mission of quitting smoking, and though we may have both quit cold turkey, that in itself does not mean that either of us devalues the need of nrt's. Every quit is different because every person is different and has different views and needs. Red and I support anyone method of quitting and if not successful at first to try and try again.

    The whole issue arose out of someone commenting that they had "Successfully quit 3 times on ........." (The method does NOT matter) Fill it in with cold turkey if you will. The fact still remains that it was NOT really a "Successful Quit" the first, second or third try. That does not mean you don't try again. You learn from your experience and make adjustments, usually mentally to change and find something to inspire you enough to see you through. Once quit using ANY method, you also want to understand the mindset to keep yourself from relapse. That is why I asked if you read the Champix or nrt label's which also admit their products work better in conjunction with counselling.

    I am sorry this whole issue arose, but I am glad that I can clarify the facts. I will also remind readers that I comment a lot and that not all comments are directed at the poster. I purposely try to put useful tidbits of information in every post so newcomers can gain some insight into the mindset.

    Everyone can quit smoking. Think positive. In every way!
  • Happiness December 30, 2019 | 7:15
    In reading your post Desperatetostop, you stated that you found no extra or more intense cravings while the patch was off as opposed to the hours when worn. Please be sure to read Pisces story around December 24th 2019 where she has gone "Cold Chicken" the title of her piece. Hers is an amazing tale of how she came leaving on her Day 1 how weak and pathetic she felt. In short order she picked up alot about the mindset and found it comforting and was amazed at her progress. She forgot to put on a patch one day, decided to cut into pieces to lessen the dosage, forgot again and dared to go without.

    I think that we have proven that nicotine has little hold on us. It truly is all in our minds. She had no cravings, or withdrawals. Remembered thoughts of smoking easily dismissed are just that thoughts...but then so are cravings. However, if you look up the definition of a craving, both that i found mention "desire".
    When i went cold turkey, i expected to have some cravings, and so i did, but after the 72 hours where most of the nicotine has left your system, I had no psychological cravings. I embraced the concept of being a non-smoker.
    Pisces, using nrt had cravings, learned the mindset and had fewer cravings in a short time. Then decided to forgo the nrt and did so without cravings in part because I asked if there was a difference between a psychological one and a nicotine one. Maybe she was not craving psychologically anymore, but because of the low dosage of nicotine she was still subjected to.

    The moral of the story is that the mind is powerful. We know that placebos do have some effects on some. It is what you believe that makes things possible.
    Can a million people all be wrong? How many of us smokers thought that while we smoked that we enjoyed it. All of us, that's who. Only when we know our relationship with nicotine do we see the light. We brainwashed ourselves to believe something that we felt we were too weak to change or escape from. We let our fear hold us prisoner to nicotine.

    What a powerful deciduous drug nicotine is. It made us poison ourselves for decades.
    With no shadows to hide in any longer, with nicotine and the habit of smoking fully exposed it has lost its grip on our minds.
    Slowly but surely we turn to face the truth, deny, grieve and then accept the truth........
    Only the truth shall set you truly free.

    Be a non-smoker who is grateful for the opportunity rather than a smoker who though determined to remain smoke free, still harbours desire to smoke someday.....

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