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Sep 21, 2001 05:05 PM

Chowhound helped me quit smoking

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At least part of the reason why I decided to quit smoking was the zest for experiencing everything that is so abundant on these boards. I realize that I had let tobacco all but obliterate my taste buds--now, I can't wait for them to come back. I'm on day 4.

Thanks, Chowhounds, your joie de vivre is inspirational.

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  1. Good for you for not posting this on What's My Craving!! I quit almost 6 years ago after smoking for 30 years. It's hard, but so very, very worth it. You'll look better, feel better, and food will taste better than you can now even imagine. Good luck. Tomorrow is Day 5! pat

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      Yes, good luck. Stick with it! If you can do it for one day you can do it for two, etc.

      I quit 20 years ago after smoking for 15 years.

    2. Best of luck, Vordygal, but if you've made it 5 days, you're over the worst of it. I quit 8 1/2 years ago after 20 years of smoking so-called low-tar, low-nicotine Carltons. I did enough recreational drugs in my youth to know that the sensations I underwent involved more than nicotine withdrawal--i.e., the cigarette manufacturers are soaking that tobacco in more than sugar water!

      I was so addicted that I actually smoked in the shower! I did! I had an ashtray in there! How my friends and lovers (mostly non-smokers) put up with me all those years is beyond my comprehension! And I STILL dream about cigarettes. I dream that I'm smoking and I don't want to be! What kind of drug would invade my dreams for EIGHT YEARS!?!?

      It was after I quit that I became a true chowhound. I began writing about food and restaurants, wrote (am still writing) a cookbook, and turned myself into a very decent cook. It isn't so much your taste buds, but your naso-pharangeal apparatus that gets deadened. After a few more weeks, you'll start to smell things that you haven't smelled since you started smoking. Fresh-cut grass, minced tarragon, the sweet smell of truly fresh fish, and all sorts of subtle aromas that have passed you by lo these many years. It's quite heady!

      Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did, and among the best. I hope you make it. Let us know how you're doing. Don't be worried about weight gain--it's part of the deal, and it will come off later when your metabolism readjusts. Then again, I have a friend who LOST 20 pounds when she quit. Pamper yourself! Use the money you were throwing away on cigarettes to buy yourself a few nice presents. Caviar, champagne, foie gras--if you do the math, you'll see that you could actually afford these things with all that tobacco dough!

      Best of luck joining the un-hooked, as they used to say!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Tom Steele

        I recall (hopefully accurately) from my smoking cessation class that 1/4 who quit gain more than X pounds, (forget the value of X), 1/4 lose and 1/2 stay close to the same weight. I gained a lot, carried it a long time and finally lost 50 lbs over 18 months.

        1. re: Jim Dorsch

          I'm still trying to quit smoking (tried many times, still trying), but I wanted to address the issue of weight gain:

          I've read that smoking a pack a day puts stress on one's heart that is the equivalent of one-hundred extra pounds of body weight.

          So don't worry about the gaining a few pounds--your heart will thank you!

        2. re: Tom Steele

          Great Post!
          You really struck a nerve w/that one!
          My girlfriend just turned me on to Carlton menthol 100's
          and even though I quit smoking over 20 years ago, I have to admit, it's a damned fine smoke.
          I am concerned about the mentholation though. Do the crystals really make your lungs bleed, or is that just one of those urban legend deals?
          The hot sauce idea is a great tip, in theory. I have about 20 different ones in my fridge at the moment. (personal favorite: "Inner Beauty")
          Maybe doubling up on the amount of sauce might work, if you're already a chile head to begin with...?

          1. re: Kev

            Sorry to hear you've started again, unless you're not inhaling! In which case, what's the point? Although it's not good for the oral cavity either. I smoked Newports (mentholated) for most of the years that I was a smoker (30). I have the zeal of the converted now. Every day I'm aware that all those years of imprudence may still come back and bite me in the butt. The most helpful thing to me when I quit was Yoga breathing. The "complete breath". I did several rounds, several times a day. I'd wake up in the middle of the night, want a cigarette, and start the breathing. It's good for the pulmonary system, and its calming. Just a thought. Pat

        3. Vordygal, I just remembered something that helped me quit (cold turkey): Hot chile peppers and hot sauces! Imbibing them simulated the experience of inhaling and exhaling warm smoke. It also took my reeling mind off anything but the fact that my lips and mouth were ON FIRE! Start with mild and ratchet upward!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tom Steele

            When my husband quit, the behavioral counselor he worked with suggested small whole cinnamon sticks as an oral substitute. The diameter of a cinnamon stick is about the same as a cig, and one can even inhale through it. It affords part of the smoking experience to do with your hands and mouth, that feels familiar, but is non-toxic. Also a good, spicy taste and zero calories.