Observations about quitting smoking

Discussion in 'Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco' started by Bridget, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

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    In the past few years, I have seen many, many people quit smoking and here is what I have observed. I have not seen ANYONE who smoked for say more than 5 years not gain 30-50 pounds. That thing the medical folks tell you about a 5-7 lb. weight gain is BS. It's at least 30. Then within the next 2-3 years, they begin having weight or diet-related illnesses (diabetes, colon, arthritis, whatever) that they never had when they were smoking. This doesn't appear to the be the case with young people who only smoked a short time. I'm not saying anyone should smoke; in fact, better if you don't start by far. Not saying you shouldn't quit either. Just saying that if health is the largest reason you want to quit, you may want to think twice. Just what I've observed in every case.
     
  2. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    I've not seen that. Clearly, it's a factor of the socio-economics etc of where you live.

    I live in an area with very few overweight people, so it follows that ex-smokers find an alternative (to compensatory eating).
     
  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    I can confirm this. I just talked to somebody who told me they used to smoke, and smoked for a long time. When they stopped, it happened to them exactly as you describe.
     
  4. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Can you provide the ages and life styles of the persons you have observed?

    I smoked for 10 years before giving it up. Over the next 35 years I have gained around 40 lbs. I don't have any of the diseases that you mention because I have remained active. I walk every single day and do water exercises and/or swimming as often as I can manage.

    Yes, I have some arthritis but that is age related. There were some polyps removed during a colonoscopy but nothing abnormal about them. My colon is slightly larger than average but I am slightly larger than average at 6'3" so I don't think that it is significant.

    I highly recommend to EVERYONE to give up smoking and I know from personal experience how difficult it is to do so. Weight gain does happen but it can be muscle mass instead of fat. As a smoker I was skinny and now I would attribute at least 50% of my weight gain to muscle. Anyone who gives up smoking needs to take up exercising instead. You need to work off some of the tension that you were relieving with smoking. Even just a short walk will do that instead of eating something.

    Speaking of eating diets are a complete and utter waste of time. Don't change WHAT you eat, change HOW MUCH you eat instead. If you like doritos and chocolate milkshakes that is fine as long as your LIMIT the portion sizes after you give up smoking. Instead of taking the whole bag just put a few in a small bowl and pour yourself a small glass of chocolate milk. Set a rule that you won't get any refill for at least 30 minutes. Over time your stomach will shrink and you will regain the natural body sensor that will tell you when you are full.

    None of this is rocket science but doctors suck at communicating this kind of basic advice.

    To summarize if you are going to give up smoking then INCREASE your exercise and DECREASE your portion sizes. That should keep your weight gain to primarily healthy muscle mass.
     
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  5. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

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    Trouble is nicotine actually burns calories. I read that somewhere and I believe it. So, at an incredibly stressful time (while quitting smoking), you would have to eat less than before. And at a time when the stress encourages you to eat more. I believe it is possible to quit without the weight gain. But it involves such a lifestyle change, as you described, that few want to or can. I haven't seen one person who hasn't had the weight gain. Then with the subsequent health problems, in my opinion, it's the dirty little secret the doctors don't tell you.

    These are just people I know, young to middle middle-aged and smoked probably ten years or more. Just common lifestyles. It's not a scientific study. But it's EVERY single one, which is disturbing.
     
  6. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    I agree that quitting is stressful. It took two years before my nightmares of becoming readdicted finally stopped. :eek: I had even cut back to just 5 per day before quitting so it wasn't as though I was a "heavy smoker" either. It is just that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances around.

    Nowadays with eCigs it is possible to rid oneself of the harmful chemicals and just deal with the nicotine addiction itself. I haven't tried it myself but I can see how it would be a means to reduce the carcinagins that come with cigarettes themselves. That alone has got to be a health benefit. It is possible that some of the calories burned come from your body having to work to flush those toxins out of your body.

    Speaking of which I just underwent a course of Bowen therapy. While it is minimalist when compared to full body massage therapy I was surprised by how effective it was in relieving stress. There were a couple of days where I literally could feel the toxins draining out of my body. I know that sounds dramatic and Bowen is an "alternative therapy" but if it works for me why not use it? It was cheap and effective and I am feeling a whole lot better. Best of all I am sleeping through the night again which not a lot of 65 year olds can claim to be able to do. And yes, that too is a way to manage the stress of quitting tobacco.
     
  7. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

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    The Bowen therapy sounds like a great idea. One of the major reasons I would like to cut back drastically is the expense, but from what I can figure, the e-cigs may be just as expensive(??) And it also sounds like the anti-smoking folks are just as against those (for unknown reasons), so would still be a social outcast LOL.
     
  8. BleedingHeadKen

    BleedingHeadKen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I can confirm the weight gain. I put on a lot of weight after I quit smoking about 12 years ago (I smoked for 13 years). Then again, I've always had trouble with weight so it's not surprising. On the other hand, I've had no weight-related issues, and I'm working on getting back down to a healthy weight now. I am far, far better off for having quit smoking. I'm not sure if other means of ingesting tobacco would have been so bad, but those alternatives were not available then.

    I know many other ex-smokers who have not had issues. My grandfather quit after 50 years. While it's true he died of colon cancer, that runs in the family and he was free of cigarettes for 10 years before he passed away. He was already heavy, so any weight gain wasn't major.
     
  9. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    I read an interesting essay yesterday. It was about the civility of smoking. Or more pointedly, the lack of civility now that folks have deemed themselves holier than though over folks who do smoke.

    The point of the essay was that even though you may not like the smoking, and even though you may now want to be around it, you tolerated it, and those who did smoke, and we as a society were vastly more civil to eachother because we had to practice tolerance of those who smoked. And while I don't smoke, and I find it bothersome, I see a lot of truth in that observation. Isn't it truly the intolerance of smoking and by association those who smoke that is key to the lesson folks learn that it's fine to be intolerant?
     
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  10. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    I can recall doing the math two decades after quitting and it was an impressive savings. While there might not be any actual monetary savings by switching to e-cigs you should at least have some health benefits from not inhaling the toxins and not gaining weight. If you also cut back your frequency then you might realise some monetary savings but I have not done the math so I really don't know.

    As for being a social outcast I was at a picnic the other day with both a smoker and someone smoking e-cigs. Just being in the vicinity of the smoker was unpleasant because the smell clung to their clothes and on their breath. On the other hand I was standing right next to the e-cig person while they were smoking and even inhaling their second hand smoke and there was nothing unpleasant at all. Since it is just steam infused with nicotine so there are none of the physical smoke particles that create the smell.

    I still would not want that nicotine infused steam around children but there was no way that it falls into the same noxious category as cigarette smoke as far being socially unacceptable goes IMO.

    If your goal is to cut back drastically then the expense is one motivation but your health is more important and that should be the primary concern. It is the carcinagins in cigarettes that cause the cancers so getting rid of those should be priority number one. Then finding the balance between stress reduction while weaning yourself off the nicotine can be done on your own schedule to ensure that there is no weight gain while you replace the "smoking habit" with "healthy habits" like going for walks when you would otherwise have taken a smoke break.

    This is not easy so please don't think that I am trying to minimize what you are trying to accomplish here. It takes willpower and a strong desire to get that monkey off your back. Even if you only end up with a less toxic habit that has got to be a step in the right direction so it is the logical place to start IMO.
     

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