Top 7 Smoking Myths That Stop You From Quitting

You just smoke when you’re stressed; you think it’s good for your figure; or you think it’s your body, and you’ll do what you want. There are a lot of excuses that keep you puffing away, but deep down you probably know you should quit. AOL Health’s “Myths That Keep You Smoking” may change your mind about your favorite excuse.

1. Quitting will make you fat: Thin models and actresses who smoke, and ads like the one above from Virginia Slims make you think that cigarettes are the key to keeping your figure, but quitting doesn’t have to mean gaining tons of weight. The average quitter gains about 10 pounds at first, but studies have shown that health-minded quitters tend not to gain as much weight: Clearing up your lungs actually makes it easier to exercise and rev your metabolism, so once your cravings go away, you should be able to peel off the excess weight by replacing your afternoon smoke with an afternoon run.

2. Smoking just a few times a day is fine: Unfortunately, smoking isn’t like having a glass of wine. There’s no “in moderation” rule that allows for a safe amount of smoking. A long-ranging Norwegian study showed that women who smoke one to four cigarettes daily are five times more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smoking women; men who were also “light” smokers were almost three times more likely to die of lung cancer. Both men and women were nearly three times as likely to die of coronary artery disease.

3. Quitting is expensive: Gums, patches, and medications can cost up to $600 over the course of quitting, but smokers pay thousands a year to maintain their smoking habits. AOL Health estimates that a New York state resident who smokes a pack a day is paying around $4,000 a year, but even in states with lower taxes, it’s a pricey addiction.

4. Smoking is only bad for the person who smokes: Of the non-smokers who die from lung cancer each year in America, 3,000 die from secondhand smoke, and several studies have shown that spouses and family of smokers have a much higher risk of lung disease, cancer, heart disease, and developing asthma.

5. Cigars and chewing tobacco are healthier than cigarettes: Though these are taxed less heavily in most states, they’re still addictive and bad for your health. Chewing tobacco is highly addictive and associated with high risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, cheek, gums, tongue, neck, jaw, face and lips. Smoking a cigar is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes (an entire pack), and cigars have higher concentrations of toxins and cancer-causing tar.

6. I’ve been smoking for so long, it doesn’t matter if I quit now: A study at Duke University showed that if you quit before age 35, you can expect to live as long and as well as a non-smoker. At any age, quitting immediately improves lung function and lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

7. I’m not really addicted, so I can quit whenever I want: Nicotine is one of the most highly addictive drugs out there, even more so than heroin. Nearly 70% of smokers want to quit, but only 4% to 7% actually manage to do so without help.

via AOL Health

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    • Denise

      Well I quit cold turkey 2 weeks ago. Yes it turned on my sweet tooth atwhich I’m trying to handle that. I’m determind never to smoke again and I now know the meaning of taking it one day at a time.

    • 4 days sober

      does it get easier? i want to crawl in a hole until this passes? More addicting than heroine? Then why can’t i go to a hospital to detox? I still have to go to work and come home and do the mom thing. smoking since 13, now 30. that means i’ve been smoking longer than not. Is the brain capable of changing or is smoking somehow branded into me, an inevitable compliment to my life? God I feel like i just lost my best friend!! In truth my cigarrettes have been there for me through everything. ONE DAY AT A TIME

      • Charity

        I feel ya, I quit today, and I hurt. I will be 29 this year and I started at 13. I cant even take it one day at a time, I am taking it one wave at a time. It hurts, I have chills, I don’t feel so good.

      • Imo

        I have also quit recently after smoking for 20 years(38 now). Today is 9 days without a smoke.
        The cravings are subsiding. I might have a craving in the morning, and maybe 1-2 times a day. It gets better so hang in there and it gets easier everyday

    • Matt

      Man, I really feel you guys. I quit on August 6th and it’s still a day-by-day thing for me. You should be proud of yourselves because it is hard as $*!& to quit.

      The biggest thing that has helped me when I have an urge to smoke is to remind myself of all of the positives that come from quitting… I’m saving money, I don’t feel like a social leper for lighting up in public, I smell better, I don’t have to worry about squishing my pack when I sit down, I don’t have to worry about forgetting my lighter… they are little things and may not work for everyone, but they have for me. Every time I have a craving, I think of something positive and immediately feel so proud of myself. I am FREE of cigarettes… I don’t think I ever realized how much they were holding me down until I decided to quit. I am so proud of the last 4 weeks that it would be a shame to spoil it now by having one. I hope to god I can stay quit, but understand that it is a process.

      It does get easier (at least it has for me) and that first week was BRU-TAL, but I lived through it! Hang in there. I’m proud of you all and I don’t even know you!

      • terry

        cheers mate, and we are all proud of you.. since my last mail on here its been over 3 month now since ive stopped feel good

    • Michelle

      I’m 22 years old, and been smoking for… Oh, about seven years. I tried quitting three or four times, and always came back to the myths listed above. Cigarettes cost a heck of a lot more in Canada then in the United States. My cigarettes can cost just under $15 a pack… I honestly can’t afford to keep smoking, and I’m worried that once I’m finished school, I’ll find a nice paying job, and THINK I can afford to smoke… Hopefully, I’ll get the courage to quit soon! Congrats to everyone who has quit!

      • Trudi

        Please consider quitting now. Smoking interferes with the work at a job. If you can’t afford to smoke now, you won’t be able to afford it when you’re working.

    • Jaimie

      I quit smoking July of this year. So it’s been about 90 days give or take. I smoked for seven years.

      I think the things that helped me get through the hard times were as follows:

      *Telling friends, family, coworkers and everyone I care about that I quit
      - I started smoking due to peer pressure (I was 18). So it only makes sense that peer pressure would help me quit. I’d bump into people in the breakroom and they would say things like “Day 6, right?” And I’d say “Yes, it sure is.” And they’d ask me how I was doing and congratulate me on my progress. Some days, just the humiliation of having to tell someone “no, I stopped at day x. I gave up.” was enough to keep me going.

      * The phrase “You have to get through it to get past it.” One of my friends picked this line up in a rehab facility. When you quit you’ll have days where you just don’t think you can make it, that a life without cigarettes isn’t a life worth living. Repeating this in my mind helped me stay focused.

      * Stories from other exsmokers. My favorite people to hang around after I quit were exsmokers. They always had a lot of “life is so great after you quit smoking” stories to share… Like “A couple weeks after I quit smoking I popped open a new jar of jelly and BAM smelled grape. That’s when I knew I got my sense of smell back. Did you know, when I smoked, I couldn’t even smell jam even if it was on a piece of bread right in front of my face?” or “I picked my daughter up from preschool and gave her a hug. She looked right up at me and said ‘mom you don’t stink anymore’. That’s when I knew I couldn’t go back.” Sometimes I’d just need someone to assure me that life is better when you quit. Not just a website, someone who actually quit and acutally knew. And they’d always say yes. Always. Without hesitation. That kept me going.

      So I guess at 90 days, if there’s anyone stil in their first two weeks or even in their first 30 days I just want to tell you:

      Life DOES get better. A lot better. Hang in there. It’s worth it.

      • Cindy

        thanks so much for the good article, I can relate to it., I am on day 4 and feel good, and am picking things up and smelling them often, to test my sense of smell. I say the sentence ” smoking is something I can never do again” over and over in my mind. My family is supportive. And now I realize I was more scared than I ever should have been of quitting.

      • Lee

        Thank you so much for this! I am not keeping track (well I’m not focusing on rather) of how many days because I’ve realized that numbers intimidate me when trying to quit. For instance, I’ll see that it has only been one day and I’ll start thinking stuff like, “well, it’s only been a day, I can have just one smoke.” Or, “it’s only been a day!? God this feels like forever!!!” And so, I am just trying to live my life and ensure I do my happy dance when I am experiencing my moments of empowerment, like now *does happy dance*. Thanks for your post Jaimie. Something in there moved me and has helped add some fuel to the fire. And BTW, it’s been 2 glorious days for me without the sick sticks. :)

    • one day at a time

      Wow, I just stumbled across this website and glad I did!! I’m on my 52nd hour of no cigarettes. Nice to read all of your success stories. I have smoked for 10yrs and am in my mid 20s. I will not smoke again! I think the worse part is my routine. After I finish doing something I think of having a smoke then I remind my self I no longer need it. I will not let this drug control me any longer

    • Rajat Gupta

      I’ve quit smoking about 6 months back and I would like to share my experience.

      I am a 25 yr old Hindu and I am from India. I used to smoke 2-6 packs of 10 cigarettes every day. I didn’t like to smoke but I did , I believe this goes for almost everybody. I hated it because I had promised my loved ones but I couldn’t quit. I had resolved many-a-times but failed.I was a cheat and a liar , who couldn’t keep his word.

      6 months back I decided to fast for the first time for the 9 days of Navratri ( I’m not religious , though) having only fruits , vegetables and milk and it was then that I decided that I also wouldn’t smoke during this period.

      Those 9 days were nightmarish ! I feel down with fever because of acute bronchitis ( Doctor said I was sensitive). I had constipation problems . I felt very bad and dull. It was then that I realized the enormity of pain and suffering I would have experienced one day later in my life because of the cigarettes.This , which I was experiencing , was nothing in comparison.

      And then ,I had already quit ! Even though people around me smoked and I sat with smokers in pubs and all, I never felt like puffing again ,I just hated the damn thing !

      Quitting is hard. There’s no doubt about that. But if you manage 5-7 days somehow and your resolve is strong you would never revert.

      My best wishes to all quitters . May god be with you

    • fadfro

      hmmm, 48hrs of smoke free, nw still been coughing badly n having fever, nt going skool 2dae n 2molo… my target is on 18 of nov,

    • Colin

      Hey all you newly crowned ‘non smokers’ and to all of you who wish you haddnt started in the first place ……………….

      I was a ‘HEAVY’ smoker for 27 yrs and tried several times to quit, with out avail, and then someone told me about a book called Alan Carr’s EAST WAY to stop smoking. It was the best £8.99 i have ever spent. I read the book & 15 days later, i still DO NOT EVEN WANT TO SMOKE! I will never smoke again. IF YOU WANT TO STOP …………… BUY THE BOOK, follow the instructions & you will never smoke again – but you have to want to stop first! 90% sucsess rate & over 9.000.000 books sold – the math speaks for its self. GIVE IT A GO, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE???????

      Good luck from a very happy NON SMOKER.

    • andrew Kallweit

      been smoke free for 4 weeks

    • Chris

      I really want to stop smoking but I have so many little routines that i dont know how to get past. Driving is a big one. I always smoke more in the car because it passes the time. Sunflower seeds seem to help but they also eat at my cheek and then i go back to smoking. I love spicy food and that is a huge trigger for me. Most food in general makes me wanna smoke. Lastly, when i take a break at work I alway smoke to help pass the 15-20 minutes. Any suggestions on how to counteract these triggers.

    • Janice

      I actually just quit 20 hrs ago. I keep reminding myself of all the things I can do with the $200 a month I wasted on smokes. Like joining a gym or buying some new clothes that don’t smell like cigarettes!

    • Yassmin

      okie been 2 weeks and 2 days now and it feels good , i tried everything, nothing worked till that day i had infection in my lungs, coughing like crazy so could not manage any smoke around so stayed around 7 days without a smoke ( i used to smoke 15 per day – then started reducing them till reach 3 with the help of my boyfriend then never had the ability to mange 10 days without a slip ) so when i found out that 7 days passed WITHOUT ME THINKING OR WANTING A CIG i just realized that wow that might be the chance i have been waiting for and so i did put in the trash every single cig in the house and never bought any and it feels okie , just im so afraid to get back again ( been smoking for 14 years and im 28 ) i do not know a single person that smokes now

    • elli

      Notice when you read through the comments ‘Colin’ says he’s the happy non-smoker. That is the key peoples: you need to prepare your mind first, understand that the physical cravings are quite insignificiant but the mental cravings if you don’t remove them can manifest as nasty physical problems. I’ve tried many methods before and Allan Carr is the first that allowed me to experience the quit process with a sense of excitement and happiness – i.e. it’s just not as scary as we have been conditioned to think it is. Good luck.

      • elli

        Also if you have already quit and are finding it hard, maybe consider reading the Allan Carr book as it may just help you not torture youself with the quit and you can just move on a be a happy non smoker, never craving them again :)

    • P-lotwells

      On day 5 did not sleep for day two an three because of jitters and the like finally slept last night and woke up refreshed for the first time and didn’t have to blow my nose or cough up phlegm for a half hour. I have been smoking 13 years (23 now) and have never known the the smells I have been missing. I never knew that soda cans had a smell. It has been getting me through the cravings. At work or school during the 15 minute breaks I walk around the block or go to 7-11 and buy some small food item to see how it really tastes and smells. I always planned on quitting I just wish I had done it sooner.

    • Diane

      It’s quit day 22. It is getting easier everyday. Still have a few cravings per day, but not nearly as strong. Have not been sleeping well since day 1 and hoping that will pass shortly as well. I am on the Nicoderm patch and I’m afraid that the heavy cravings will return when I step down to the next level, but keeping positive thoughts. I am eating a bit more to fill the void, but I will deal with weight gain at a later time. Right now the main concern is quitting and NEVER smoking again. On the bright side, I have already saved a few hundred dollars (used to smoke 1 pack per day) and my breathing is SOOO much better already. It is tough, but it can be done. Hang in there!!!

      • terry

        im 61 and had a heart attack may the 2nd 2011 i was in hospital 12 days lucky for me i did not have a by-pass. i had 2 stents in arteris in my heart 90% blocked. i was a smoker from the age of 12 ive stopped now went on a patch for 3 days then went cold turkey.. and ive not had a fag since which in turn has been nearly 2 month..oh yes my heart attack was only a warning one.. a week before i was running up four flights of stairs, fit and decorating.. im not fully fit yet could take me another 3 to 6 month im on 5 lots of drugs which have side affects and i will never be 100% right again. oh one more thing on the ward there was at least 25 who all had there chest opened up and there hearts stopped to have by-passes except me i was lucky!! so remember if i can stop so can you.. its never to late heart attacks are silent you dont know untill its to late.. i wish i would of stopped 30 years ago..

    • Karan

      I wore a patch for 16 hours…decided it was replacing one poison with another and decided to go cold turkey. Its been 100 hours since, not one drop of nicotine into my bloodstream and I feel good. My withdrawal symptoms have not been very crazy, just some digestion trouble and insomnia apart from that I am able to to handle it pretty well.

      I am not sure what tripped the balance in my quit’s favor, but I did read Allen Carr’s EASYWAY approach to quit smoking and as it said ; I haven’t smoked since.

      I am 25 years of age and was a pack a day smoker for 9 years

    • Maureen

      It’s been 18 hours and I am quite enjoying the cravings. It’s like payback for trying to kill myself with cigarettes for the last 20 years. This is my 7th attempt. My last I hope. Thank you everyone for your stories. I’m hanging in there I hope you will too.

    • DavePrime

      Wow. Many of your stories are SO inspirational! Here’s my meager tale:

      I picked up smoking by choice the day my divorce became final. They went with my new leather jacket and boots.) I was 25. I am now 45. Three weeks ago, after fighting a bout of (yearly) bronchitis, I ended up in the hospital with full blown pneumonia. It was so bad I heard the emrgency room doc tell the nurses at the nearby nurse’s station that I had very little chance of seeing the next day.

      It was something the heart specialist said before sending me home that made it so I could quit. He asked if I loved my wife and kids. I answered “Of Course!” He then said, “Every cigarette you smoke costs 5 days of your life.” He said it so matter-of-factly and emotionlessly that it hit home. 5 days. EVERY cigarette. 5 days. I bawled my damn eyes out.

      It has been 17 days. I will NEVER smoke again. I picked up an electronic cigarette (vaping pen) and various flavors and using it and patches for the first few days, I haven’t gone through the hell I have in the past. NO cravings. NO side symptoms. 5 days. No irritability.

      Looking back, I have STOLEN $70 THOUSAND from my family over the past two decades. I am saving $11 a DAY.

      Good luck to everyone else who is facing this fight. Just remember. 5 Days. Every cigarette.

      How much do YOU love your mate and family?

      During testing, the doctors discovered I had full blown Diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure, Hardened arteries, COPD, and a heart so enlarged that it was compressing my left lung. In other words, I was (am) a dead man walking. I spent only a week in the hospital, and was sent home to wait and heal or die. It was somet

      • Maureen

        You can do it! I’m with you, life is nothing if not shared with our loved ones. We’re all with you.

    • Lucky

      Quitting an opiate addiction wasn’t difficult after a week of withdrawal. A history of physically bad habits is good news for quitting the “normal drug.”

    • Dionne

      Hi everyone, I am quite late coming to the party, but I have just passed 6 months cigarette-free, and I want to tell you all that if I can, you can. I’m 44, been smoking on and off (mostly on) for 25 years, quit for 2 years and then fell off the wagon when I got divorced. That was 10 years ago, and now I’ve quit again, using medication this time, and although it gets you over the initial hump, it’s still a battle. It does get easier though, and after 6 months I feel great. I now need to lose about 50 pounds, but I know that it’s all about the power of willpower, so I guess if I can quit smoking, I can lose the weight too. What helped for me: give yourself a gift – reward yourself for quitting, and use the money that you would have spent on 3 months’ worth of smoking to do it. I bought myself an iPad, and every time I use it I think about the accomplishment that brought it to me. Also, when I think about wanting a cigarette, I pick up the iPad instead and use it to keep my hands busy. It really helped to motivate me.