This article is from the Stop Smoking FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Not usually. :) Not only are we civil in general, but time and time again,
people call us the friendliest group on Usenet. We do a lot of cheering
each other on, but we also provide information and the benefit of our
experiences. Here's a sample of a typical thread:
[Many snips throughout ....]
"I have the impression that [people quitting] imagine that when it's
all gone, they will be over 'physical' withdrawal, whatever that means --
as though the nicotine is causing withdrawal symptoms. Actually, I believe
the absence of nicotine is what causes the withdrawal symptoms, so that
they never really end; it's more like you find a way to deal with them,
until eventually you don't regard them as nicotine withdrawal symptoms any
"Bob, very perceptive. I think, though that we readjust and find
normal/healthy coping strategies. Nicotine allows us to artificially cope
with stuff. I think many of us are developmentally impaired because of
"While I don't disagree with Nat, I want to express my opinion, FWIW.
"Of course, it's the nicotine ingested over time that makes us
addicted, which means our bodies are chemically dependent upon receiving
more/continued nicotine. When we quit smoking, we deprive our bodies of the
nic they've gotten addicted to. So, in the beginning of the quit, as you
say, it's the absence of nicotine that creates the withdrawal symptoms --
because we are addicted.
"However, for me and for many others, even the initial quitting days
are not primarily about physical withdrawal. And, even for those who
experience a hard physical withdrawal from the absence of nicotine, after
the first week or two (or whenever, it varies by the person) it's a mental
"I think that staying smober involves looking at why I smoked, what it
'did' for me, or, rather, what I imagined it did for me. I think this is
what the 'old timers' mean by 'mentally prepare for your quit'.
"So, until and unless we re-orient our view of the cigs, we will
always feel deprived,though it will have little or nothing to do with
nicotine. It'll have to do with having viewed the cig, for all those years
we smoked, as a reward, as a time-out, as a 'safe distance' mechanism, as a
cool-down-from-stress vehicle, etc., etc. My experience during the nine
years I was smober was that I almost never thought about cigs in any way
remotely like I wanted one. In fact, that quit, after even the first couple
months, I was so damned proud of myself that even if the junkie old part of
myself momentarily thought it wanted a cig, I was clear that I was very
happy to be a non-smoker, and that 'urge' just went away, nearly instantly.
"Of course, the fact I'm here, quitting again, the 13th time in my
life, is proof that on some days, nearly anyone can be unconscious or
stupid or downhearted enough that the cig devil sees his opportunity -- the
old junkie (me) who used the cig as emotional comfort encourages one to
have one, don't worry, you've quit all these years, you don't have to smoke
tomorrow, just let yourself have one now, when you 'need it'. HAH!
"I hope I'll never be that unsuspecting again! I hate quitting, and
love being smober, after I get through the re-orient my mind part, again."