7 Years smoke-free: of falling and rising and an ingenious 10-second rule

If you imagine that you can become a non-smoker and be smoke-free if you just hold out for 10 seconds – that actually sounds too good and too simple to be true, or?

I had only had one very short failed attempt when I began preparing for my non-smoking existence in May 2009. It worked, I am smoke-free to this day – but it was harder than I had imagined in a surprising way. But to anticipate this for those who might be looking for help here: At the same time it was easier than I thought.

I originally wrote this article in 2016. I am now over 10 years smoke-free and I am very grateful for it.

Most guides about quitting smoking seem to work like a fairy tale: The heroes set out on their journey, difficulties they encounter, insights and moral concerns, illness, etc. and at the end of the last cigarette stub it says: "And they lived happily…". Hardly anyone talks about what comes afterwards.
Before quitting, I read several guides to quitting smoking, all of which were garbage. The peak of stupidity: The book "Endlich Nichtraucher", which tried to tell me that smoking "doesn’t taste good at all". I am still convinced that this work was written by a non-smoker.

Today I am asked again and again what my tips were for finally becoming a non-smoker, and how I kept it up. How I managed not to light up after the last cigarette, because that’s what it’s all about. It is not about deciding to smoke the last cigarette at some point, as many books want to make us believe, that is still each person’s own decision, but how it can work, that one remains happy without the happy end of the last cigarette. And that is what this article is about.

I hope to be able to help one or the other maybe a little bit or at least prepare for what may come after the last cigarette.

Attention: The article has become very long and very personal, sorry for that. I felt like telling and I would be very happy if one or the other contributes his own experience in the comments. Or even just my own thoughts.

Content of the article

The perfect guide to quitting smoking – and my failed attempts

The perfect guide to quitting smoking goes like this: throw away your cigarette and don’t smoke anymore. So stupid, so simple.

Here’s how it didn’t work the first time I tried. Everyone had told me about the psychological dependence. That the physical withdrawal symptoms can also be enormous, I had simply suppressed – a point to which I will return later. I suffered from severe nervousness, even worse sleep disturbances than usual, headaches, tremors and I have probably forgotten half of the symptoms. After three days I gave up.

The second half-attempt to quit smoking was to get myself into these famous books on quitting smoking. The attempt failed during the reading, because there was such huge nonsense in it, as already described above, that smoking would not taste at all, smoking would be totally shit and so on. Already out of protest I continued to smoke.
The books would have been of no use to me anyway, because they all stopped at the point where the last cigarette was smoked. The said with no syllable, how one it then but perseveres, not to smoke. The books were just trying to convince me not to smoke, talking to me like I was a dumb kid. If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s being treated like a stupid, underage child. Smoking is awesome. I find that even today after years of being a non-smoker. Only the addiction is just really shit. And so was the stench, unfortunately.

Why I wanted to quit smoking

The third and less half-hearted attempt clicked when my sister confessed to me that she had first aired out the Christmas package for nephew and niece on the patio for a few days because it had smelled so much like smoke. Ohmeingott, how embarrassing. However, that was only the famous last drop. Even before that, the pressure of suffering that my smoking brought with it was creeping into my life.

In the last years of smoking, I even had to light one every few hours at night to be able to sleep. I was too lazy to get up, so I smoked right in the bedroom. A long distance flight was hell for me. If I wanted to meet with friends then rather with those who also smoked, because the constant consideration was exhausting. I was one of those.

I was getting more and more annoyed that I was focusing my life so much on smoking. I was annoyed to be so obviously addicted. I was annoyed by the weakness of this addiction. I was annoyed by the obviousness of my character weakness, which I showed to all outsiders by smoking all the time. The health argument? Spit on it, I was fine. I never had that coughing in the morning. Cancer? My mother died of it as a non-smoker. The money argument wasn’t one: I smoked tobacco, it cost me – I kept meticulous records – an average of 35 euros a month, that’s 420 euros a year, or 5 beers and 5 coffee-to-gos a month less. Not really an argument for the equivalent of several days of indulgence. Being able to taste and smell better again? That’s a fairy tale, may I proclaim here. This may be the case for some people, but for me, even after seven years as a non-smoker, there is no difference.

But the addiction, it was really hell. The long-distance trips I didn’t take. The meetings with friends that I canceled because they were supposed to take place in non-smoking apartments. The constant smoking at night. I did not want to stink anymore.

And I wanted to be free above all. Free from constraints, because constraints don’t really fit into my idea of life at all. And addictive behavior is the worst compulsion you can impose on yourself.

The preparation

This time, I vowed, I would be smarter about the withdrawal and decided to prepare mentally for three months and physically for 10 days for the day I would put out my last cigarette.

I started getting tips: From acquaintances who also quit. And I looked inside myself: Why do I like smoking so much?? When I liked to smoke?

I avoided smoking at my typical happy-smoking times. A friend of mine stated: "When you quit smoking you have to go through everything you used to do without smoking once. Only then you’ll be over it." Smoking while drinking beer and coffee. Smoke while talking on the phone. Smoking after exercise. Smoking while walking. Smoking before going to bed. Smoking after getting up. Smoking after sex. Smoking before sex. Listening to music. While reading. After the hairdresser. While tinkering. While redecorating. Consciously not smoking takes a long time. So now I was prepared for that.

Besides, it would probably be easier not to have a normal everyday life in the days after quitting. So I set the date for three days before a dream vacation: I would travel to Greenland for the first time.

I would gain weight, that was pretty certain. I’m pretty picky about my body, so I mentally prepared myself to first gain weight and secondly eat healthier to keep the coming problem at bay. I started cooking healthier and writing down snacks for when I was constantly hungry in between meals. Nuts and olives for example.

Distract yourself with something, many told me. You need a substitute action. I wrote down options for those moments when the cravings would come: drinking a glass of water. Sucking a candy. Eat something. Going for a walk (this is probably something for the less smokers, my boss would cough a bit if I went for a walk every time). Have a coffee. As a pre-reward, I acquired an espresso machine.

Then 10 days before the scheduled date, as promised to myself, I reduced my smoking to cushion the physical withdrawal: I set my fags for the day and divided them: 20 on the tenth day, 15 on the ninth day, 10 on the eighth day, 8 on the seventh and sixth days, 5 on the fifth and fourth days, three on the last three days. At least I would reduce the physical withdrawal symptoms to a minimum and could take care of my psyche.

At the same time as the countdown began, I imposed a smoking ban on myself in the apartment – from now on I only smoked on the balcony. I vented my apartment, which probably stank incredibly of smoke, and started washing all my clothes, the bedding, carpets, rugs, curtains. The apartment should preferably no longer smell of smoke, this smell should disappear from the nose to make it easier for me.

The preparation phase worked amazingly well, I was highly motivated.

The last day

I was already using my substitute actions and already suspected that they would do me no good. But I was proud and excited: I would get this done. Or? I wanted, absolutely. I was actually brave enough to go to a smokers’ bar with friends on my very last evening. I had planned my last cigarette for 23.50 o’clock set – full drama, baby. But already the second to last one at 5 p.m. didn’t taste good anymore. I never smoked my last cigarette.

The first smoke-free days

In fact, on the first non-smoking day I had no physical withdrawal symptoms, my plan had worked – I thought. I was jittery and could hardly concentrate, but the vacation was approaching anyway. On the second day my mood went into the basement – normal, I thought. On the third day a phone call with my long distance relationship – pure crying. That was not me at all. It was already dawning on me that there was a little more physical dependence than generally assumed.
The Greenland trip then distracted me to some extent, plus I was physically hard at work because I had a blatant cold. After coming home everything would be fine, I thought to myself. But nothing became good.

A shocking low

My head raced into a depressive low, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since my teenage years. Yes, I was in a rather exhausting relationship. Yes, my life wasn’t super-sober, but on the whole I was actually satisfied. Besides, I had just had a great trip, so what was the point now?? I no longer recognized myself. Nothing was good anymore, I couldn’t enjoy anything, I couldn’t get anything done at work and I had to pull myself together every minute to keep from crying. Several weeks passed.

Looking for help I went to my family doctor. Whether he should prescribe me antidepressants, he asked with a thoughtful look at the disturbed and howling creature sitting there in front of him. But I didn’t want any pills, I just wanted to know why I was feeling this way, I wanted to hear that it had to do with smoking cessation and that I would soon feel better. No, that couldn’t have anything to do with it, the doctor told me. Completely ruled out. I should rather take antidepressants.

In desperation, I looked at various, albeit slightly ominous, help forums on the Internet and realized: I was not alone, depression after smoking cessation did not seem to be that rare. A psychologist friend of mine also assured me that this connection was by no means far-fetched.
It was insanely important for me to know that there were others like me and that I wasn’t imagining this connection.

Smoking and depression

Today, the connection between depression and smoking is clear. Ex smoking much more known and easier to find on the Internet. There are studies that find a link between nicotine and a lowered serotonin level. In layman’s terms: smoking makes you happy. And if you stop smoking, your body will have to get used to producing the happy hormones that keep your head in the right place.
In other studies, a relevance of a link between people with depressive tendencies and tobacco addiction is recognized. It is unclear whether people prone to depression are more likely to reach for a cigarette or whether smoking promotes depression. Still other studies suggest that tobacco use can promote mental disorders.

What I kind of suspected for a long time, but didn’t want to admit: I didn’t become a smoker "just like that". Reading about the connections between smoking and mental health made me realize: I had been "fogging" myself and my environment with the fumes for years, and with it all the things I couldn’t handle.

Smoking was a "smoking away" of the unpleasant things. I didn’t have to deal with them, because I already had something to do: I smoked.

Smoking for pleasure had long since given way to psycho-smoking. Whenever something upset or annoyed me, I had to light up a cigarette. This also matched my nightly manic smoking behavior when I couldn’t sleep or had another nightmare, and it matched the fact that the pressure of suffering from smoking had become too great: I probably already suspected that there was something bubbling under the surface that wanted to get out, and smoking was a means of keeping these things down there.

The reward for all the effort

It took about three months before things started to look up again. My relationship failed because of the withdrawal, but that was good in the end. It would not have held out anyway.
For those of you who have persevered to this point: Thank you and congratulations, from now on it’s up again, because now comes: the reward for all the effort.

If I had to say only one sentence why it was worth stopping, this is it: I see clearly today.
Not in the least did I know beforehand what quitting would do to me: I have become a much more positive person. Old burdens that were still lying dormant in me from my teenage years – that I may not even have known about – have come to the surface, been digested and are now gone. My view is no longer foggy, that’s how it feels. I am free from dependence by myself. Quitting was a kind of decluttering of the soul, and completely unexpected. Incredible actually.

I no longer have problems sleeping.
Since I was a teenager I had sleep problems. I needed several hours to fall asleep and could not sleep through the night. Periodically I had periods of nightmares that lasted for days. All that is gone. I explain it to myself by the interaction "smoking addiction by depressive tendency" – "depressive tendency by smoking". This cycle is now broken.

I am more alert.
I used to be tired all the time. Of course also due to the lack of sleep, but also when I had slept a lot. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so awake.

I look healthier.
What no one told me before either: Smoking people look gray in the face. I was gray without noticing it. Suddenly I have a healthy skin color.

I am more appetizing.
Yes, seriously. I wouldn’t be able to touch a smoking guy today either, and even when I was a smoker I knew that no non-smoker would want me: stench, yellow fingers, yellow tongue etc. are just badly unsexy, no matter how cool smoking can be.

Yes, I have gained weight.
It wasn’t very substantial though, three kilos or so. That’s nothing compared to what women gain when they get older. How good, therefore, that my noggin is now balanced enough to endure it.

And of course not to forget: I am free.
I can pack my backpack within 10 minutes and go out for a weekend without thinking whether I have enough tobacco with me. I’m on a plane to South America and the only thing I can think about is my guilty conscience about my carbon footprint. I can wear a dress without pockets to weddings, because the man has the key and I don’t need more than the man, and I certainly don’t worry about whether it’s warm enough to smoke outside comfortably. I have my head free for much more important and beautiful and relaxed things than smoking and have no more obsessive thoughts in my mind. That is freedom for me.

But of course, every now and then, when I see someone celebrating his cigarette with pleasure at a party, I am miserably jealous. But that passes, even in less than 10 seconds.

The 10 seconds rule

In the days and weeks after the last cigarette I tried all my ideas and strategies to distract myself from the craving, to not fall off the wagon. There was one strategy that helped me to stick with it: The 10-second rule.

Actually, it is the one-minute rule that an acquaintance told me: When you get the munchies, look at your watch and you will see that your munchies will be over in one minute at the most. In my case, the craving lasted no more than 10 seconds from the very beginning. Of course, in the first days the craving came every minute. Later every few minutes. After about two weeks he came only once every hour and after three months I had less than once a day cravings.

If you imagine that you can be smoke-free if you just hold out for 10 seconds – that actually sounds too good and too easy to be true, doesn’t it??

It is true, at least for me.

Other tips to persevere with not smoking

Of course, the smoking cessation process can be completely different for you, and I would wish that for everyone. On the other hand, the hard phase after quitting helps me not to start again at all.

Nevertheless, I would like to give my few tips for persevering here. Perhaps a few of my statements will help, just as some theses of others have helped me.

  • The physical creeping weaning with the 10-day countdown was great, I would do that again. So I have spared myself the crass and immediate physical withdrawal symptoms.
  • Make your life smoke free. Of course I don’t mean that you should throw smoking friends overboard, but it’s much easier if your place is smoke-free. The tip from a friend to wash everything that could smell of smoke was worth its weight in gold.
  • It is nonsense that the craving never stops. My hairdresser once told me this before I quit: She has been a non-smoker for 5 years and still has a constant craving, that is normal. It is not. As I already wrote: Of course, twice a year I still have the pangs. For about 10 seconds. I also feel like getting beastly drunk or otherwise shooting up about 5 times a year – I still don’t and can live with it just fine.
  • There is no substitute action! Drinking a coffee, sucking a candy… that was all nonsense for me. I just had to keep it up and as already mentioned the 10-second rule ingenious. The first days I got every few seconds a little hungry – no human being can drink so much water. Replacing one addiction with another addiction is pretty stupid anyway (even if it’s just drinking water), if you want to quit mainly to finally be addiction-free.
    But you can reward yourself, because you have saved at least a little money and especially a lot of time. I have rewarded myself with nice food, for example, buying the good yogurt instead of the cheap one or cooking something exciting.
  • You’ll find lots of references to nicotine patches in the comments*. I have not tried them myself, but they have also helped my partner to stop. If it didn’t work out for you the first time, it might be worth a try to get through the first difficult weeks.
  • You may feel bad. If you now suspect that the narrative above could also apply to you, be sure to find an understanding doctor and a boyfriend/girlfriend to accompany you on this journey. What I have told above was not children’s stuff. This was a full-blown depression, which I was lucky that it went away on its own and that I had a flexible employer. It is important not to go through something like this alone.
    But maybe it also helps to know that you are not alone and that only your body and head have to reorient themselves. Give yourself time for it. Learning from a difficult phase and turning it into a positive one takes time.

I wish you all the best and much success, if you are now also on the way to become a non-smoker. If I could do it, so can you.

Eat the time monster!

I have good news and bad news for you: you will have more time after quitting smoking. Unfortunately I had no good excuse for my breaks at work and asked myself what to do with my hands in my free time.
The advantage: You become more popular with your boss. ;)
On the one hand, use the time to concentrate more on your work (your concentration will come back, I promise you)!), and reward yourself on the other hand, z.B. with the preparation of a delicious meal, for which you have not taken time before.

Start a new life!

To also distract myself and turn my life around in general, I started with small hikes in Berlin’s Grunewald and found that I can relax extremely in nature. Of course, I would never have dared to dream that these hikes would one day lead to this blog.
The small hikes became bigger, I made my first long-distance hikes and went to Scotland and Italy for it and later to Patagonia and Greenland. But you don’t have to go so far away to experience beautiful microadventures in the countryside. In the meantime I have written several books about it, of which I would like to recommend this one to you. It inspires you in your everyday life – promised!

trips in and around Berlin:
In my book I show you 52 escapades in and around Berlin, microadventures for everyone:
Whether cheesecake in the cemetery cafe, gliding for little money or off to Brandenburg, for example, to the Forbidden City: So many possibilities for a little time out in.

Buy for 16,95 Euro at Amazon.

Healthy& fit into the non-smoking life

Maybe your motivation to quit smoking comes from the fact that you want to be healthier and fitter in general, z.B. with a sugar-free diet and without many animal fats. Waaaas – you call now, can not smoke and then still do without sugar and meat? Nope, you don’t have to give up meat, but maybe eat less of it, and if you do, eat organic. And delicious recipes help against the constant sugar appetite, for example those of my friend Billa, who manages to conjure up great things with just a few and commercially available ingredients:

Power Food: 100 recipes for more energy, by Sibylle Sturm.
Bound edition 8,90 Euro. Buy now for 9,48 Euro*

By the way, if you don’t feel like buying a book, you can also find many great recipes directly on her blog Billas Welt.

And sports, phew, yes, sports are great – if you feel like it. Are you maybe one of those couch potatoes like me and can’t get your butt up for any sport?? There are four possibilities:

  1. Start with walks at. In my case, walks turned into many long-distance hikes, I’m constantly running around today.
  2. But maybe you also want to start with light Jogging start? Then have a look at Carina and Mandy and their page Running for Beginners. There you will find many tips to get into running.
  3. If you want to build more and more targeted muscles, you need proper training. How about Fitbox training, the "training for lazy people? The Fitbox uses electro-muscle stimulation, the workout takes just 20 minutes and two sessions a week. I tried it, found it really cool and wrote a report about it here.
  4. Cheaper but very good Workout for women and men there are By DVD Comfortable at home: 20 minutes every 2 days with the Tracy Anderson method*. I have a crush on the woman..

Wake up the hippie in you!

Since you will soon be free, free yourself from all the skin care products.. Hair and the compulsion to buy you new clothes all the time. Most of the time it’s just compensation for something you don’t like in your life anyway. Most shampoos and shower gels also contain nasty microplastics and stuff that upsets the hormone balance. By the way, you can check this quickly with the free app Codecheck.

I have been using for a long time only

    * for my skin *, coconut oil* and shea butter* for main care (different oils are good because they penetrate different layers of skin; best to warm and mix)
  • Hair soap or solid (organic) shampoo for the hair (I’m still looking for the optimal one, my hair is thick and heavy)

Both skin and hair look much healthier now with me, more space in the bathroom is also still and I do not have to worry about so much stuff and: I save money.
The same is true for clothes: Better less, but of higher quality, that saves money anyway. With the free time and the saved money you can plan the next vacation right away. How about z.B. with Thailand? At least now you don’t have to be afraid of a 13 hour flight without cigarettes anymore! ;)

Invest the money you saved in a trip to Thailand – the best idea for a hippie feeling, for example on Koh Phangan.

In a nutshell:

1. Use your breaks wisely!
2. Make your everyday life beautiful!
3. Eating delicious healthy food!
4. Move!
5. Less shit = more money& Time!
6. Go to Thailand!

FAQs about not smoking

What is the best way to quit smoking?

Usually substitute actions are readily recommended:

  • Drink a glass of water
  • Nibbling nuts
  • Chewing gum
  • Exercise, etc.

In my experience, substitute actions don’t help much, but I know a fantastic trick: Read here about The 10 Seconds Rule.

What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Frequently mentioned are:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression

Depression is a danger not to be underestimated. Read here my experience report on the way to becoming a non-smoker.

How long does withdrawal last?

Withdrawal symptoms usually occur in different phases and vary from person to person.

  1. The immediate physical withdrawal usually lasts only a few days. Here is to be counted on strengthened with headache and lack of concentration.
  2. Indirect physical and psychological withdrawal can last up to three months. In that time, some bodies need to rebalance their happy hormone levels. Read more about withdrawal symptoms here.

What causes smoking?

Whether unhappy people are more likely to smoke or smokers are more likely to become unhappy is not conclusively clear. Read more about reasons to smoke here.


If you like this article, why don’t you buy me a lemonade – because lemonade makes you happy!

The transaction is done via Paypal.
You do not have Paypal? Never mind, maybe you will buy one of my books one day. :)

*partner link: If you order through this link, I get a little commission, you support this blog and my work. The price is the same for you.

This product was added to our catalog on 29.12.2017 updated.


Thank you very much! You don’t know how happy I am about that!
Toitoi for your way (and also for your common way)

Hello. I am 37 now and have been smoking since I was 13. I have not touched cigarettes for 3 weeks now. I unfortunately got an elevated pulse a few weeks ago (resting pulse while lying down constantly 99),but all examinations have shown nothing. Then I got beta blockers and my pulse has leveled off super again. Then one night I suddenly found it hard to breathe and my throat felt like someone was squeezing it, so I said to myself "I’m never smoking again". A few days later this feeling was still there in the throat and got bad air although I did not smoke anymore, so I went to the doctor and there it turned out that I do not tolerate the beta blockers. I stopped taking the tablets immediately (on the doctor’s orders) and I have to say that the air went away after 2 days. I still don’t smoke anymore and I feel much better. My resting pulse and blood pressure has returned to normal without the smoke, you just feel better. My body just sent me a signal that I finally quit smoking. I had smoked 3 packs a day in the meantime. I don’t miss smoking at all and my daughter is happy that I don’t smoke anymore and that I don’t stink of smoke anymore. Unfortunately, my husband still smokes and will probably never stop, but I have to live with that. Had it not been for my health, I would still be smoking now.
I wish good luck and strength to all who would like to stop smoking. Sure smoking is fun, but health should be more important and also that of the family, because passive smoking is just as dangerous for fellow human beings. Unfortunately, I eat more now because I’m constantly ravenous, but that will also settle down.

Well then, I keep my fingers crossed for everyone, also that I don’t fall off the wagon. &

Hello Inka, thank you for the super story.
I am now since ca. 2 months and 3 weeks smoke free.
I started when I was 24 (after my divorce).
This makes me one of the stupid 3-5% who quit after 23 years. I don’t want to start at all.
Had quit once before 15 years ago, but then was addicted to gum.
I held out for exactly one year until my grandmother died. Then directly again from zero to one hundred.
Long, long walks and a cigarette to get drunk were just the right thing.
Now I have told myself to quit completely without a replacement drug. (I don’t want to be ruled by the cigarette anymore)
Pretty much everything that is described here (also in the comments) is going on with me right now.
Depression, listlessness, nervous etc.
I stand in the living room and start crying. I see something stupid on TV and start crying.
But I think it’s just subsiding again a bit.
I ask myself more and more often the question of meaning and the thoughts come up, to quit, to sell everything (divorce) and then lonely house in the forest at the lake with my dog. But then comes the image of sitting on the terrace in the evening "with a cigarette" and looking out over the lake.
Simplify life, minimize, less luxury. All the things that go through your mind. Did you fog these thoughts away before, or is it a part of the depression?.
I think a little of both. (Smoking costs time and is therefore an occupation)
I have since quit smoking approx. 3100 cigarettes not smoked what ca. 11 days of time.

Smoking is cool. (I agree with you exactly)
Whether I keep it up or not does not matter to me at the moment. Should the depressions disappear in time, maybe.
If this condition lasts much longer, then certainly not.
Thanks again for this great writing, you have a very refreshing and honest way of writing.

this is the best text ever. I feel one hundred percent to the 1. Understood what smoking is all about.
The thought that by smoking I am denying something that actually needs to be solved, something that I would have to endure, look at, this thought is just my AHA-experience. Exactly the same. With me it is escape into the fog. Whenever thoughts come up that have to do with anxiety, I hide in the smoke. The thoughts will not find me, I am sure. A very strong realization.
I will now hold out for 10 seconds several times a day, allow all the anxiety and just wait for the turmoil inside me to subside by itself. That will be manageable. Thank you very much.

a big thank you for this great report. I read from this that you understand us and we also understand you and understand a lot of things. can feel. It’s exactly 00:00 o’clock and I’m going on vacation tomorrow with my two kids. Smoking from time to time has never bothered me, but since the beginning of the academy I smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day and have not managed to reduce them. I have now resolved to go on vacation smoke free and be a better role model for my kids! Of course it’s radical to quit from one day to the next, while EVERYBODY around me is a smoker, but I’ll make it. Many tips from you I take with me on the way! Cross your fingers for me..

Dear Inka,
It’s never really been my style to write comments that probably no one ever reads anyway.
But I noticed that it helps, it’s kind of like writing a diary, but it doesn’t feel quite as pointless, because maybe someone is reading ;-)
I smoked for 10 years. Then I would get pregnant. Quitting worked very well and easily at that time, but I had a very important reason for it.
The kids are now 16 and 13, and almost 2 years ago I started smoking again.
At that time it still felt good. Even my marriage got better again, as stupid as that sounds.
But now I’m addicted, and it feels like crap. You describe it quite well. Since a few weeks the wish to stop again germinates. But now I have no "good reason.
So I thought why do I smoke at all?.
I smoke to justify breaks.
I smoke to sit with my husband in the workshop.
I smoke to talk with friends on the terrace.
I smoke to talk to interesting people (smokers), to be part of the group.
I smoke when there is nothing to eat and I am too lazy to cook something.
I smoke.
I can certainly expand this list even further if I go deeper into myself.

The revelation I had yesterday was that I can do all this even if I don’t smoke.
The tip to stay away from situations where you used to smoke if you want to quit is totally stupid in my opinion. Because I like to take a break, sit with my husband in the workshop, etc.
Whenever I thought I wanted to quit, but then I can’t anymore. It caused me so much stress that I immediately smoked one :-p
So I realize I can do it all without a cigarette. Let’s see how it works out.

Hello Inka and all readers,

I still smoke now and then and I am currently doing exactly as you describe in your report. Prepare myself with very little smoking and have made myself a fixed date, for days I notice that I have less and less desire to smoke.

I would like to comment here on depression. I had from 2019 to mid 2020 extreme concentration problems and according to my family doctor symptoms of mental stress disorder and depression. Just like that. For no reason. I could not explain. In short, I was and am very happy with my life and could not imagine the correctness of the doctor’s diagnosis. I felt stampeded, not taken seriously by him. I doubted myself in the meantime and asked myself if I was really out of my mind. That did not suit me at all.

In the end, I insisted on a comprehensive blood test with vitamin status (self-pay service)!). I had z. Ex. I had an extremely low vitamin D level and other values were not that great either. I was astonished, because I actually thought to eat healthy, to be enough outside in the sun and so on. I am quite fit. So I started to look at what the body needs and what smokers need for certain substances!). Amazing. After the supply by preparations prescribed by the family doctor and time-limited course of therapy I got better from week to week. Today I feel very well again. Now I will tackle the subject of smoking. I am in good spirits and keep my fingers crossed for a smooth withdrawal.

I would like to suggest you to consider this possibility in case of depression. However Vitamine additionally only justified and after investigation and under company of a physician or Heikpraktiker to you to take. Because too much can also be harmful with certain vitamins and minerals!

Very dear greetings

The things I read here! I am also dealing with smoking cessation once again and find Inka’s tips great and will try this out.

Your experience with vitamin D is very interesting. For professional reasons, I have dealt with this aspect a lot, researched it and was also able to ask psychologists about it, even if only a few.
Unfortunately, psychotropic drugs are often prescribed for depression. Often it is also useful.
But it would be just as useful to investigate whether there is a vitamin D deficiency before therapy, because the symptoms can be very similar. Unfortunately this is often overlooked.
I now take vitamin D from October to Easter on the recommendation of my doctor.
And maybe I will soon be a non-smoker!
I hope you managed!

Many greetings

Super exciting article. Long, but nice to read your story! :)
I myself have been able to drop this vice with a slightly more unknown method> Smoking herbs!

Basically, you can use many herbs (mullein, sage, ribwort, lavender, marshmallow, etc.). the list is almost endless) for example in the form of smoking teas. Some of them, such as coltsfoot, have thereby even (allegedly) a healing effect on the lungs. Many of these herbs were also smoked in the Middle Ages and even earlier as medicine.

The dried herbs are best crushed in a blender and then stored in a closed container either with a hydro stone (i.e. a small clay disc which is previously moistened with water) or a piece of apple. This gives the herbs some moisture, which makes them more pleasant to smoke.
Then you can simply roll the herbs with cigarette paper and a filter to a herbal cigarette. Completely free from tobacco and nicotine.

For a "gentler" one In the beginning you can mix the cigarette with 50% tobacco, and then add less and less every day.

So simply maintaining the habit of smoking itself has made it much easier for me personally. Sometime one has then no more desire at all to smoke something.

Can only recommend to everyone the "herbal smoking method" to give it a chance :)

Greetings from o

Hello Floki,
I would honestly leave the fingers of it urgently! There are few studies so far, what smoking herbs does to the lungs, one study even thinks that smoking many herbs is at least as carcinogenic as smoking tobacco!
And just because herbs sound healthier than tobacco, they’re not necessarily so. First of all, there are also harmful, poisonous herbs, and secondly, they are actually less intended for smoking. In the Middle Ages, as you said, they made teas and poultices from them, but they were not smoked.
Also check out this article: https://utopia.en/ratgeber/kraeuterzigarette-wieso-du-auf-den-tabakersatz-verzichten-solltest/
So therefore to all fellow readers:inside: No, smoking herbs is not healthier than smoking tobacco, please be very careful about that!


Today I’m almost 45 and I started smoking between the ages of 13/14 and was fully on it at 15.
Nearly 30 years of living with nicotine.

2007 – with my first engagement my wife and I stopped at that time and held nearly 3 years – up to our separation well through. One mistake was the "one Exception. followed by a second and zack I was again fully focused on the cigarettes. Shit!

I liked to have a drink with friends, continued to spend more overtime at work (workaholic) than at home and planned every private outing with smoking in mind. Then in the summer of 2018 I had to go to the hospital because of atrial fibrillation – the doctors said. at her age nothing bad, but annoying and caused by stress. You had a point. privately as well as professionally the stress level was on one of its high phases. But the "heart calmed down quickly so that after three days I was calmer and more relaxed gradually approached the level again. Almost 1 year later repeat. 3 months later again. November 2019 then again. Exhausting and really nerve-racking.

This year I decided to try again and finally quit smoking. Should not become a life relationship. The Corona time – as annoying as it was for all of us, was also a good incentive for me to get back on track. However, I did not think it through (a good 15 attempts) nor for sense, if one is to spend anyway at home and may meet with no one. Completely on its own – excuse was found to continue smoking. My team and I were allowed as retail z. g. after just 16 days start again. what I had not considered. 95% of my team of 16 are smokers. Also anything but considerate. they even tempt you to smoke and urge you to "at least come with me" ect. pp". Ok, stopping now is useless. next excuse found.
But one day in June 20 I have then actually times 15 hours not smoked. 15 hours are nothing – BUT this short time was enough to at least change my smoking behavior strongly (from 25 cigarettes) to tgl. 5 to 10 to reduce. I lasted almost 10 days, which resulted in less coughing – especially in the mornings; less difficulty swallowing, less heart rhythm sensations, etc. pp. After these 10 days I smoked almost 3 days a 15 to 20 cigarettes. and all problems committed from the beginning. On 13.07.20 I woke up in the morning and said to myself – from now on it’s absolutely over with smoking. the night from the 2 to the 3 day was ugly. worst. but now we have the 17th day and I am still nicotine-free. Since 3 days (since I have vacation ;-( – too much time to think) I have to fight partly under very strong inner restlessness and imagine from time to time. to have heart rhythm disturbances. Nervous. but after a short conversation with a doctor’s assistant I am convinced – especially because I feel mentally top and consciously no "Schmacht" feel that it is the body, which after 30 years, partly very strong smoking, now his withdrawal reactions me clearly feel – but I will also without "pills" somehow master.

Inka you write (at least that’s how I take it) all the guidebooks and also books like "finally non-smokers bring nothing. I agree with you – they do nothing for smokers. And they can not have been written by smokers – I agree with you. But exactly this kind of people – those, who themselves are without "addictions are, know yes always best to instruct, how it goes and earn at us smokers not badly.

The books have me all nothing really helped. times the one or other tip. but I do not use it, because otherwise I would be too "aware" I have to deal with withdrawal and that is exactly what I want to avoid.

Now, since 2 days I have a "steamer", to give me for the super extreme moments (1 to 2 times a day) with a nicotine and addiction free" I’ve been using apple liquid to calm my cravings and it works very well – especially because there are no cravings and I only take a maximum of 2 puffs.
Sure you could say now, if you don’t have to, why do you do it – simply to not get more nervous, because I don’t want to get into a depression, nor lead me there. I can’t afford to miss out professionally. So I’d rather go for the (emergency only) vaping than make myself miserable in other ways just for the sake of "others" Something to prove.

Good luck to you all
Depart44 aka Klaus

PS: I treat myself to a food book. I have gained 3 KG in the 14 days and I am already losing weight again. but I lack ideas and it seems that Inka has some ;-)

wow, congratulations to this success! Actually, I should expand this article, because in the meantime many friends of mine have also managed to quit – by vaporizing! If I had to quit again today, I would definitely try vaping as well. I think this is really a great possibility and I totally understand that you are doing this. Personally, I would rather not start now, because I am afraid that it will lead me back to cigarettes. So along the lines of: I’m already 100% off, why should I take a few steps back?? But if I could have made this hard time easier on myself at the time, I would have been super grateful. Therefore: Long live the steaming! Besides, maybe you will get along better with your colleagues – at least that’s what happened to some of my friends.
Toitoitoi I wish you for perseverance, live happily without and eat delicious and thank you for your report! :)

Thank you very much for this inspiring article. I am glad to have come across this page. You have described all this really very accurately and intensively. It is so good to read such articles and also the comments here. I am 27 years old and have been smoking for 11 years. Since about. half a year I have in my head that I want to quit for good. My best friend smokes just as long and we both motivated each other very much. We went to a naturopathic practice and did a smoking cessation by laying on hands. The whole thing happened only 3 days ago. I have unfortunately relapsed again, suffered from very strong withdrawal symptoms that I could not stand physically and mentally, I just lacked the strength. I got extremely involved, cried, could no longer think properly (only about smoking) and hardly sleep. There was always this inner turmoil in me that made me go crazy. My best friend is holding out so far. I will be at the practice again next week. There is the possibility to repeat the whole thing within 2 weeks if you fall off the wagon. But if this should also bring nothing. Will probably try nicotine gum/patches/spray (we’ll see what it becomes). I definitely need a plan B and I don’t want to give up! Alternatively, hypnosis is still up for discussion. I am quite desperate, but far from helpless and I am also very relieved to know that it can be normal to fall off the wagon and that I am not the only one with this problem. I feel really terrible about not having been strong enough. But the nicotine addiction has me unfortunately completely in the grip -yet- I hope.

You all have my fullest respect, who fought hard against these withdrawal symptoms and made it, you can be proud of yourselves!
All the best,
Melina ?

And I still think to myself while reading.. yes man finally a guy with balls that speaks to me from soul. Until I read halay through:

"What I somehow suspected for a long time, but did not want to admit: I didn’t become a smoker "just like that"."

Wah, wah what? All pictures twisted.

It is so good to read an authentic report of an ex-smoker.
I constantly read everywhere that people almost threw up when they lit up again after quitting smoking because the cigarettes tasted so disgusting, etc.

I have smoked since I was 12 and am now 26 years old. I smoked for 14 years and quit just under 4 weeks ago. Because I hate to be so addicted and feel bad when I’m out of cigarettes and stressed at work – not because I have so many things to do, but because I’m not allowed to smoke for different reasons. I want to be in control of my life and not have the fags in control of me. I especially wanted to quit at a young age, so between 25 and 30- because by the time I’m 40/50 I want to say "oh yeah, smoking" very casually and easily. I also did it once – it was a "youth sin". I think the longer you smoke the harder it is to quit, that’s why now.

The first week was okay, as you also described: sleeping problems, concentration problems, etc… But nothing that would have made me start again.
I thought "Real? That was it? If I had known that, I would have quit much earlier".

What I did not know was the brutal fist in the face from the second/third week.
I cry for no reason because everything is too much for me, because I think that life is too much and I can’t cope with life and its daily tasks. I am listless and flat and hopeless and surrounded by grey clouds and think that life will never get better.
I feel like a sensitive little girl who is a burden to everyone with her aches and pains.
I miss my best friend: the cigarette. My silent, faithful companion who never solved my problems, but who was wordlessly there for me and gave me my space to think and "be". Which has also been a part of my personality.

Okay I notice when I jog that I can breathe better and I also find it a bit cool that I can leave the house without thinking about cigarettes. That I am "independent. But I’m really shitty at the moment.
I know now that I have to solve many problems of my youth and face them; that I can’t smoke them away for years like before.

I am so immensely happy to have just stumbled across your article. This gives me hope to keep going, to believe in myself, to tackle my problems to enjoy my life in freedom. I’m looking forward to being awake in freedom and tackling my problems. I will stay strong.

Thank you so much for sharing your report with us and giving us encouragement!

Dear Vanessa,
thank YOU for sharing your story here – it is really so valuable for many readers, I realize that all the time. But I’m a little worried because this sounds so super similar to my story. I remember it very, very well. The valley began, but the low point was reached only after about a month and a half. When you are already so "grey" see, please seek help. (And please don’t let them talk you into taking antidepressants right away, that may be helpful sometimes, but in my opinion it’s not helpful when you’re in a low due to quitting smoking, because you feel hollow and can’t process anything, which is all the more important now.)
What helped me: Getting a sick note from the doctor and not having to "function" in everyday life to have. It would have been better to talk, but unfortunately you can’t get talk therapy so quickly. Maybe you check in with friends, as hard as it may be, and talk them up a bit. Friends should be able to handle it. :)
Stay strong, stay healthy, and paint your 31 now.7. in the calendar: Then you should notice that things are looking up again. I always find it helpful to be able to hold on to something, whether it’s 10 seconds or a target date, maybe that will help you too.

I wish you all the best!

Phew! I just read with great interest your beautiful report. Thank you for this and I am very happy for you.

I do not recognize myself right now. I am 57 now and have been smoking for about. 40 years. I always had smoke-free phases of up to 6 months in between, which were always easy for me. No problem, nothing, nada. Now getting older, I wanted to give it up once and for all, also for my family. The main reason, no the only reason for me is the health aspect.

BUT ! although I have been smoke-free for about eight weeks now, I am suffering like a dog and I have the feeling that it is getting worse every day instead of better. I’ve probably never felt like this before. I am a person who can be well present in the present and have a strong will. But I feel completely powerless when I try to think of something else. It feels like the worst asceticism.

I’ve been asking myself for days why I don’t allow myself this one little vice. Live otherwise very consciously and quite healthy, do a lot of sports, do not drink alcohol, etc. Smoking was like a gift I gave myself and also indulged myself, a ritual of time that belonged only to me. My lines sound crazy for sure, but I love smoking :(

Today I actually bought cigarettes and these are now lying here, not yet touched. Your lines have rekindled a spark of hope in me that it might actually pass after all, that longing for a relaxed cigarette.

All the best and best regards,

it does not sound crazy at all! On the contrary: I was nodding to myself when I read your lines, the description "Smoking was like a gift that I gave myself and also allowed myself, a ritual of time that belonged only to me"." fits me exactly. Therefore: Feel very understood at this point, and yes, whenever I read such a comment here – and nicely enough many people leave me comments here – I _always_ get pangs again for a moment. Not because of the addiction, I got rid of it, but because of exactly what you describe.
I’m honestly not going to tell you now: stop by all means. I can understand you too well and hey, it’s not like you definitely die of cancer. One does it only maybe. It is a consideration.

What I didn’t write above, but which now helps me a lot not to start again, is also: I want to avoid this moment when I am lying somewhere sick with cancer, my last weeks have started and I wonder if I could have prevented it if I had only stopped smoking. That is my consideration, which lets me hold out.
Do you still give a sign of life, as you have decided?
All the best

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