A personal challenge

After seventeen years of smoking, I've quit. I'm done with it. The reasons:


Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals, including at least 50 carcinogens that are released when a cigarette is smoked. Some are found naturally in the tobacco leaf, and others are created through combustion or burning. Some of the chemicals and poisonous gases in cigarette smoke are:

· arsenic

· acetone (used in paint stripper and nail polish remover)

· ammonia

· carbon monoxide

· cyanide

· mercury

· nicotine

· lead

More than 45,000 people will die this year in Canada due to smoking. Although the amount of chemicals in each cigarette is small, it is cumulative -- the amount stored in the body increases with each puff of a cigarette. There is a little bit of chemical in each cigarette puff, and there are over 10 puffs per cigarette. Over a year, at one pack of cigarettes a day, a smoker will inhale 73,000 puffs of dangerous chemicals. Nicotine (found naturally in tobacco plants) is a powerful stimulant to the brain and central nervous system. It is extremely addictive. When inhaling cigarette smoke:

- The smoker gets an immediate concentrated dose of nicotine in the bloodstream.
- Nicotine hits the brain within 6 seconds – faster than mainlining heroin.
- Nicotine causes blood pressure to rise and increases heart rate.
- Nicotine may also have a depressant effect.

The first daily dose of nicotine stimulates the large bowel while curbing appetite and slowing digestion. It lowers skin temperature and reduces blood circulation in the legs and arms. This makes the heart work harder. Nicotine is very poisonous if consumed in large amounts and may cause nausea in new smokers or any smoker who gets too much of it. Sixty milligrams of nicotine taken at one time will kill the average adult human being by paralysing breathing. The reason it doesn't kill smokers quickly is that it is taken in tiny doses, which are quickly metabolized and excreted by the body. The damage cigarettes do to your body should be obvious. Understanding the effects to the body, no reasonably intelligent person would ever consider smoking.

Society does not condone smoking anymore

Since nearly 4 out of 5 people in this country don't smoke and there are now more ex-smokers than smokers, it's highly likely that most of your friends and family are non-smokers. Pretty well impossible to smoke in a building of any kind these days, so off you go to a designated area outdoors. Going outside in the pouring rain, or freezing cold, to feed a habit is most unpleasant and time consuming. Try taking long flights when you’re addicted to nicotine, it’s hell.


Finally, the economic costs of smoking. At almost $9 a pack, the cost of smoking is staggering. I did the math, at a pack a day I can afford those tube amps I've always lusted for

Giving up Smoking

The addiction is almost evil, what other drug do you legally administer 25 times a day? When inhaling cigarette smoke, the smoker gets an immediate, concentrated dose of nicotine in the bloodstream. It hits the brain within 6 seconds – twice as fast as mainlining heroin. Many smokers also find handling a cigarette to be a soothing habit. This resulting dependence on nicotine – both psychological and physical – is responsible for continuing the cigarette habit even in smokers who know that it may be (or is) harming their health. Everyone wants to quit, the task is not trivial.

When you stop smoking, your brain and body begin the process of healing itself. At the beginning of the quitting process, people will experience symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Quitting smoking has been proven to be as hard (or harder) than kicking a cocaine or heroin habit. The most common symptoms include:

Irritability, frustration, anger or anxiety
Difficulty in concentrating
Increased appetite
Problems falling asleep or frequent waking
Slight depression or feeling down

What happens to your body when you stop smoking?

· Within 8 hours carbon monoxide level drops in your body, oxygen level in your blood increases to normal

· Within 48 hours your chances of having a heart attack start to go down, and your sense of smell and taste begin to improve

· Within 72 hours bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier, lung capacity increases

· Within 2 weeks to 3 months circulation improves, lung functioning increases up to 30%

· Within 6 months coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve

· Within 1 year the risk of smoking-related heart attack is cut in half

· Within 10 years the risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half

· Within 15 years the risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked.

If you’re a smoker, you will realize health benefits if you quit; the damage done is not necessarily permanent. If you’ve never smoked, read the above and exercise common sense. Go over every one of these points with your kids, and for those friends and family that are smokers, pass it along. I’m not on a crusade, and since I’m on my third day of quitting a bit on edge (to say the least). Bear with me……


Congrads Jeff!
That is great.
Best gift you can give to yourself and those who care about you including us here at Agon.
Cheers & Happy Holidays

I remain,
I quit 3 weeks ago, cold turkey.
Still clean.
Won't go back to smoking.

I considered Zyban but decided against it; I know it helps but the idea of not having a few beers or some wine when the mood strikes me is a bit too much. Same with coffee BTW, no interest in giving that up either.

I'm using the patch, eating a bushel of sunflower seeds per day, and drinking gallons of water. Other than the frequent anxiety attacks and the absolutely bizarre dreams, I'm getting through it. Congrats! If you make it to CES I'd be happy to join you for a beer at a non-smoking section of a bar! Jeff
Great move!!!!! Did that myself someyears ago - the only downside is I became intolerant of 2nd hand smoke and close contact w/females who smoke. Not much of a down side. Now all you have to do is figure out what to do with your hands since you no longer have a butt in one - I think learning to control them actually made me relax far more than the cigarette ever did! :-)
After smoking for 28 years I quit on March 1, 1996. Gained 35 lbs. and after 4 years the weight started coming off.
Sounds like you have the science down good luck on the psycological aspect.
I smoked for 35 years and quit cold turkey 12 years ago. Watching the years roll by until it was 10 years without smoking, and knowing I had beated lung cancer, was rewarding. Then last year I went to the doctor about my shortness of breath, only to be diagnosed with emphysema. DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. If you smoke, QUIT TODAY.
Cangratulations Jeff and Tom- I know that if I had started I'd never be able to quit. I admire your determination and applaud your self-discipline. Happy Holidays
Congratulations and keep up the good work!
One more thing worth adding: you never completely quit smoking, you remain addicted forever. You can stop and continue to not smoke, but don't fool yourself and think your addiction has been put to rest. I quit for five years, then thinking it was harmless to have the odd one... yep, back to a pack a day in no time.

My dad quit 25 years ago but still get urges when he does certain things. For some strange reason when he shovels snow he gets an urge, odd but true.

Thanks for the encouragement, Jeff
I quit 30 years ago cold turkey when i thought it was too expensive.Now I spend all my money on Audio Equipment. Not sure which is more addictive?????? From one bad habit to another!
The most pleasant benefit of my smoke-free life for the past three years is enhanced orgazm compared to smoked one!
Now imagine buying one used record or CD $4 instead of pack of sigarettes!
Way to go Jeff! My girlfriend quit last year and I know exactly how hard it can be. Addictions are brutal, I overcame one of my own recently that I'd rather not get into, but cigarettes are the worst addictive substance known to man. To beat something like that takes a lot of courage and discipline, you are to be commended. And so are all of the other quitters out there. And Elgordo, my deepest sympathy for your illness.
Dear Jeff

Congradulations it is a great thing to do and the best thing you can ever do for your health. I am kind of on the opposite side of the coin, I am a thoracic surgeon who operates on patients with lung cancer. Almost all is smoking or second hand smoke related. To give you an idea of how tough an addiction it is, almost 30% of the people I operate on will resume smoking at some point. Thats after an 12 cm incision on their chest as a negative reinforcement. Zyban can prove very effective, and the addition of the patch appears to help. Depressingly lung cancer in Canada will cause more deaths than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined and yet it is amazing how little press these unfortunate people get. In my city, Calgary, the politicians were kind enough to enact public smoking regualations where kids are, but delayed the start date for 5 years, presumably because it will take that long to figure out how really bad it is for you. Having ranted a bit there is a downside which is if everyone quit, my system would have little chance of changing (just kidding). Much more unfortunately is that even if everyone quit now, I would still have lots of work for the rest of my career. Good luck and have a great holiday

Jeff and Tom, best wishes to you as you go down the very difficult road of giving up smoking. I watched my mother-in-law quit cold turkey about 12 years ago and was amazed by her will-power in overcoming the physiological and psychological addiction. A difficult beast to slay, but not impossible.
Ive quit many times.
Quitting for a month ortwo is a piece of cake, even a year is not too hard. Quitting forever is very very difficult.

I dont know how many of you watch "South Park" but they did an episode on smoking that was just funny as hell. They really did a good job at making Rob Reiner look like an idiot and hypocrite.

Anyways, Congrats on the Quitting. Keep it up, one thing i have learned is you can quit, but you will start back. In order to kick the habbit for good you have to constantly be quitting.

Good health to all!
Jeff, couldn't agree more. Lost my brother to throat cancer. He had quit for almost ten years, unfortunately the twenty years or so he smoked got to him before then. He was 47. He suffered physically and morally from the time it was diagnosed at the age of 42. He had a few million bucks in the bank. Always wanted to retire early. Operated twice. Second time a part of his jaw and most of the left side of his neck were taken out. The hole was repaired with a graft that came from his chest. The graft was thick and yellow. I went to Schwartz's to get his favourite smoked meat sandwich and bring it to the Jewish General Hospital. He couldn't swallow anymore. Stopped eating and died with a green tinge three days later. Graphic? Maybe. Cheap shock therapy? Maybe. It is the unfortunate reality of many men and women dead before their time. If you smoke: quit now. If you don't, never start. Remember the profits from tobacco were recycled into more legitimate businesses. Boycotts don't work. All the same, try to avoid their products. Amen.
Good for you Jeff--gee, I didn't even realize you were a smoker. You're a tough one for sure; you managed to drink a beer without lighting up. So now that you're more stable at social events ( no more pardon me's, I have to step outside for a moment ), you are welcome to drop by with a couple of discs ! Again, bravo from Toby, another ex-smoker.
Kudos to you Jeff and anyone else that has had the guts to make this type of life-change and stick with it.

Other than one's own personal health and those surrounding them, you can't believe what secondary smoke does to electronics. If this kind of "gook" can collect in a component, that for all practical purposes is sealed, how much "gook" do you think accumulates in the lungs and tissues of someone that is purposely inhaling as much of it as they can ? Sean

Ps... Smokers suck butts : )
Fantastic Jeff! I quit in my 20's and have never looked back, but it has to be a lot harder the longer you smoke. Good luck with it -- it certainly seems like you've got the facts and they're plenty scary. Congratulations.
Congratulations on one of the most important decisions you can possibly make and Best of luck staying away from the temptation.

I run a company that manages wellness programs for many fortune 500 companies (www.clubone.com) and one of the health behaviors/risks we target is smoking.
To this end we have access to some terrific tools. One of the most effective is a cognitive based, on-line tool called selfhelpworks.com and the smoking module is called living free.
This program works for many people and has proven to produce long term results in more than half the people that try it.
Jeff's story and the obvious compassion behind it has inspired me to offer free user liscenses to the first 10 goners who would like to try/use this tool.
Please understand that this is not a solicitation for business, we do not sell this product to individuals but only to very large capitated groups.
My motivation is to simply try and pass on the goodwill and support Jeff has started.

Happy to help,
Kurt Atherton
As someone who has never so much as taken a single puff in his life, nor ever suffered an addiction of any kind, all I can add is my sincerest encouragement to those who are quitting, and my best wishes for those fighting disease.

It always depresses me when I see the apparent persistence in the popularity of smoking among young teens today. I hope the FDA ultimately wins its battle to acquire the right to regulate tobacco as a legal drug, but the only way kids will stop wanting to light up is through the steady decline in smoking's perceived social acceptability, and this is what we are gradually beginning to see today in the public arena. Adults exercising their personal responsibility to quit is a necessary first step in changing the culture of addiction, intoxication, and self-medication that we have inherited.

Though I find the class-action tobacco lawsuits ridiculous and the ban on certain forms of tobacco advertising hypocritical and probably unconstitutional, and though I feel any adult who wants to should be able to smoke if they like as long as it doesn't infringe upon others, the fact is that if the ratio of non-smokers to smokers becomes high enough, the practice will begin to fade away fast, especially in public. The image of smoking as acceptable, not to mention 'cool', has already begun to fizzle out among adults, and though marketing to younger potential smokers is still strong, it seems the tobacco companies can read the writing on the wall and are trying to diversify as fast as they can. Smoking will never die out entirely, but it will become so expensive and anti-social that only those who can't break their addiction will still do it, and then only in private or when surrounded by other smokers in a pitifully few establishments expressly created to serve only them. Better to get out while the getting's good.

Fantastic! You have given a lot of people a great wake-up message. Keep up the good work and treat yourself to those new tube amps ASAP. You deserve it!
Congratulations to Jeff and to everyone else who has quit! I quit cold turkey 30 years ago using the rationale that I could buy more records if I was't buying cigarettes. In my case, a definite relationship between music and health!

I appreciate the effort you made dropping by with your Shanling; damn you I ended up spending the coin cuz of you! I never smoked in my house for several reasons: as you know I have three kids and the LAST thing I ever wanted was for them to breath the toxins; I wasn't setting the best example by smoking but at least it didn't effect their health. God help them if they ever try smoking! Although I was a smoker I never liked the smell of smoke, and I wouldn't expose any of my beloved gear to smoke either. I was an outdoor smoker, even during the coldest Canadian winter days (still managed to smoke a pack a day though). Finally, I was a bit embarrassed that I was addicted to nictoine, so I didn't step outside and smoke the few hours you were at my place. Obviously I don't have any hangups about enjoying a fine Irish beer though :)

Part of the reason I posted this was to summarize the effects and perhaps give some others food for thought, but to a larger degree I've left myself open to scrutiny. I screw up and fail, well it'll be public record to some degree, one more motivator not to give in. I called up amusicdirect on Thursday and ordered some tweaks and whatnot, three weeks worth of cigarette money. There ya have it, can't spend the money on smokes cuz I already spent it on a new antenna, record cleaning fluid, etc...

With the holidays fast approaching I'll be off work (and not traveling) between Christmas and New Years, maybe I can finally drop by with some music and put your gear through the paces? Thanks everyone, Jeff
To both you and Tom, hearty congratulations on a wise decision. I have not personally had to give up that particular addiction, but I am very familiar with addictions.

Your choice on drinking "gallons" of water is a very wise choice. If you continue doing that as a personal habit, your body will thank you in many ways.

My strongest ovation to both of you.
Jeff, BRAVO for your great post and your personal accomplishment. Your greatest gift to yourself and your family.

I'm a former smoker who quit with the help of a book (that may be out of print) called simply "How to Quit Smoking". It was written in the early '50s and if I recall, the author's last name was Brean or Bream. It worked for me.

Good luck to all who are trying to quit smoking and Merry Christmas to my Christian audiophile brothers.

Good for you, Jeff!

I've been smoke free for about 10 yrs. I believe that you will feel much better after about another 10 days and you will soon re-discover what food really tastes like.

Best of luck,

Congratulations Jeff and Twl!!!

It's a great move you made in your lives. Smoking does so much harm to the body, I think we really underestimate it.

Keep strong, it must be a difficult habit to walk away from. Remember, we are all here to support you,
Ive been smoking for 32 years and have went from 3 packs a day to 1 pack ,I have Zyban which I will start on next week, its a real insperation to read this thread ,thanks this is just what I needed.
Good for you. I quit last year. My foolproof method was to have a brain aneurysm. Spent close to two weeks in intensive care on morphine. Never even missed them. No craving when I got out either. This is, however, a fairly drastic method not recommended for everyone.
This thread has caught my eye. I've been smoking a pack a day for about 20 years now and have recently thought seriously about quitting permenantly. I quit for about 3 years 10 years ago but it was tough with everybody else smoking around me, not to mention I enjoy a little drink now and then.
Keep it up guys. I'm rooting for you. Pretty soon I'll be able to join the non-smoking club.

Almost 2 years without a drag for me now, Feb 10 to be exact.

Best decision I've made in a long, long time. Was a pack a day smoker for almost 30 years. Just decided I just didn't want to deal with it anymore and just quit, cold turkey.

To those who've just quit or trying, stick with it. NOTHING WORTH IT IS EVER EASY! The urge goes away and lessens as time passes! I'm rooting for you.....
Good for all of you that quit or are working in it!
2-1/2 packs a day from the age of 16 to 26 years old. Quite cold turkey 31 years ago and was the best thing I ever did. Like Jose says, the urge goes away and lessens as time passes.
only mary-joanna for me on weekends or holidays.
getting tough to consume alcohole for me, but a little drag of green tea or few weed-butter cookies would make my holiday or weekend happy.
Right on DUDE!!