Warren Sentes on realistic expectations for quitting smoking

The best part is that I don’t feel like someone who is quitting smoking, I feel like a non-smoker.

This guest post is courtesy of Quora contributor, Warren Sentes, Recovering after 15 years, with his answer to the question:

How can addicted people stop smoking?

People who don’t smoke cannot understand the strength of this addiction. Telling a smoker “not to start” is moot and ignorant. Gum and nuts are no replacement for nicotine. A nicotine addiction *is* a physical one, not one “I think I need.”
The pill helped me quit, and continues to help me not to full-blown relapse.
Talk to your doctor about a prescription, be it Wellbutrin, Chantix, Zyban, or whatever other drugs are available. Check if your health insurance covers smoking cessation.

In my experience, the medication started working almost immediately. It surprised me how the normal desire to smoke almost disappeared. Suddenly, I was free of it. I stopped thinking about it. Entire days would pass without so much as a passing thought. Even smelling cigarette smoke didn’t trigger the desire again. It was incredibly liberating. Smoking didn’t control me anymore. It didn’t take up my time, distract me from activities

At night I had amazingly vivid dreams. I had never dreamed like that before. Sights, music, colours, adventures that lasted all night. These were side effects of the drug, I suppose, but I looked forward to them. There are other, more serious side effects but they didn’t affect me, and they don’t affect most people. If you spend too much time worrying about things that might happen, you will fail the treatment.

SMS blog 15 05 18 taste pixabay gadiniAfter a few weeks, my sense of smell got better, and my appetite increased. I had heard of this benefit of quitting but I thought it was just BS. It isn’t. I gained a few pounds, too. And how could I not? Food was delicious, as if I had never truly tasted it before. Indeed, I hadn’t.

I coughed up a lot of stuff. Green, grey, brown, nasty stuff, as my lungs began to heal. I’ve heard that lungs are the only organ in the body that regenerate. And they begin doing so almost immediately after quitting. People said that I would have more energy, but that was a benefit I never noticed. I certainly felt bad less often though.

Overall, quitting smoking has been a very positive experience for me, but it hasn’t been perfect. Once I stopped taking the meds I fell off the wagon a couple of times, but not permanently. I go months without any trouble, and after a night of drinks and smokes with friends, I go months again.

The best part is that I don’t feel like someone who is quitting smoking, I feel like a non-smoker.

It’s a label I wear proudly.


The original post, shared on November 24, 2013, can be found on Quora as Warren Sentes’s answer to “How can addicted people quit smoking?”

Posted in Guest post, Reasons to Quit.