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Have you tried to quit smoking?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 16, 2006

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Photo of John Thomas

“Yes, I have. Quite a few times. It’s just too good to give up.”

Photo of Joe Keating

“I’m a social smoker, so I usually try to quit after I finish a pack. But when I go out and have a drink, if I’m around a lot of smokers, I’ll probably have a cigarette.”

Photo of Kym Scafe

“No, not seriously. I’m not ready for that kind of emotional stress.”

Photo of John Momberg

“I actually just tried to quit because I was sick and couldn’t smoke, and it gave me a head start. I quit for a few days, but I was really stressed out and a friend offered me a cigarette.”

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Bone777 11 years, 2 months ago

Yes. Immediately after I tried to quit burning...

geekin_topekan 11 years, 2 months ago

I think about starting up every new years eve but...

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

I have not tried to start smoking, so no.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey smokers how about considering this cocktail twice a day as a preventive measure. Cancer treatments are painful,very inconvenient, expensive depending on your coverage and may not work. Cancer cells flow about our bodies smoker or not but hey why complicate matters. The juice receipe below is what my mother in law chose while doing those awful painful cancer treatments. Her doctor in the end is convinced this is what has kept her alive because two patients diagnosed on the same day have since passed. She was also encouraged by her pharmacist that juicing was a great partner to conventional cancer treatment.

Smokers are not alone as I believe that cancer has become such a prominent situation humans must assume cancer will be part of our lives. Why not begin attacking it before diagnosis. Consider adding more of the cabbage family into diets as well.

Twice a day = one third of this receipe

Juice, taken every 2 hours ( mixed it by the batch and each batch is about a quart and a cup) (all produce organic and well-scrubbed) 6 kale leaves 8 carrots 2 large handfuls of spinach 2 brocoli stalks and florets 3-4 apples 1 cube of wheat grass juice(comes frozen, found at the Merc or Whole Foods, if you can't find it fresh) 6 heaping scoops Advanced Ambrotose 1 Ambrotose AO 3 Plus (another Mannatech product that is mostly aloe vera) 1 colustrum (either Nature's Plus at the Merc or called Immunostart with Mannatech)

You can actually take twice as much Ambrotose ,which I would recommend.

You can find all these at

The Champion Juicer found at the Merc is the easiest juicer to use and clean. This is a big help as juicers are notorious for being hard to clean.

Another avenue may be a product known as Green Vibrance or Berry Green POWDER (360g) An Awakening of Certified Organic Greens and Fruits(at the Merc locally).

My father smoked his entire life and died with no trace of cancer. How lucky is that? My inlaws are now believers, in at least, the value of juicing. The doctor told my mother in law to keep up whatever she's doing as it appears to be working. Will it work for everyone...who knows?

trinity 11 years, 2 months ago

not really. one time i quit for about a month-and gained so much weight i couldn't wear any of my clothes hardly! :*(

bone-your post made my morning! :D

irishblues 11 years, 2 months ago

I quit once for 9 weeks! Then I ran in to both ex husbands in the same day, had to smoke a cigarette or implode.... I'm sitting here hacking this morning with coffee and cigarettes before I go to work in Olathe where I can't smoke anywhere at lunch anymore. Now have to stand 10 feet away from the break room door. Costs of the dang things are killing me worse than the carcenogens (SP). I've GOT to quit, and quite frankly am scared. PARENTS - take note please - the ONLY reason I started smoking was because every body else was. That is the plain truth. I'm setting a plan to quit in the spring. I know myself well enough that if I try to quit in the winter I'll kill someone. I only hope I've got the personal strenght. If I lapse and fail, as I read a large percentage of us do, then I'll quit again, and again and again..... wish me luck and if anyone has any tips - let me know. I plan to just quit, no patch no gum or lozenges, I think that defeats the purpose of purging the crap from my system.(?) Thanks, IB

craigers 11 years, 2 months ago

Nope, never started. I have smoked a couple cigars in my life though. I smoked a half of a cuban cigar once and it rocked me hard. Maybe I'm a lightweight but watch out for those babies.

irishblues 11 years, 2 months ago

Yea, it was bizarre. Hadn't seen one in years, the other in a couple of months.. Now that I look back, it was hilarious!

acg 11 years, 2 months ago

I've tried it all. Patches, gums, the inhaler, $250 an hour hypnotherapy sessions (what a freaking joke), cold turkey, the weaning method, suckers, weed as a substitute--nothing has worked. I cuss the day, 18 years ago, that I picked up this stupid habit, but I thought I was cool. Man, kids are stupid. I wish there was something I could do. I've seen the pics of the cancerous lung and had an uncle that had one of those throat box things but these things aren't even a deterrent. Now, I've partied hard in my earlier years, and I tried everything at least once, but there is nothing out there, anywhere, that is as addictive as nicotine products. They're dangerous and unhealthy and if used correctly will most likely make you sick or kill you. I am very against government control of any kind but tobacco is something I wish they would ban.

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

Indeed I have! I quit smoking 4 or 5 times before I actually stopped. Tried several forms of tapering off. . . HAH! All that did was cause me to smoke more when I failed in my attempt (and I only had one ex to contend with :) My success came when I just stopped, cold turkey. I may have been a little testy during the first month (but my husband was prone to exaggerations, so who knows:) He was so sure I would "fold" and start again that it actually motivated me to succeed. For months he waited and waited for me to return to the cigs. I did not! Unfortunately, he was never able to overcome them. May he rest in peace.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB - Who would have thought on the day people don't smoke it would smell worse in here...

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

don't take "non-toxic advice" from a 3 pack a day-er.

Irish, I'm seriously curious (because I have my own kiddies) what you mean by "everyone else?" Did your parents smoke, relatives, or just the kids at school?

My dad died of lung cancer, albiet it was from asbestos. My mom always told us: "If you'd ever watced someone die of lung cancer, you'd never smoke." This sunk in over the years as all 4 of us kids were very young (me being 2). None of us were ever encouraged to start for the mere fact that we knew it would break our mother's heart. Never felt an ounce of peer pressure. I discuss smoking w/ my kids and (knock on wood) I don't think they'll ever start because they get pretty discusted when they see someone smoking. They embarrass me sometimes because they will turn their head in to me and hiss: "Mom, look at that person smoking over there!" (As if the person were having sex on the sidewalk or something.) We're now working on tolerance!!

I have many, many relatives that smoke. An uncle quit cold turkey when his youngest asked him to. (It was already too late.) He died of lung cancer in his 40's. (I loved that man.) Another uncle quit when his brother died of lung cancer. He has also since developed lung cancer but if he makes it 'til next year...he'll be 5 years free! :) 2 aunt's in the throws of emphazema...that's ugly! One cousin quit cold turkey 30 years ago after a 3+ pack a day habit, never looked back and is very well. Too many more to mention.

I hope you find the courage and strength to quit. Mom was right, it can devistate the people who love you.

Adrienne Sanders 11 years, 2 months ago

Marion, I did google beta carotene & smoking. From the two studies done, one can infer that smokers should not take beta carotene supplements. No studies have been done if cancer risks increase if a smoker eats a lot of carrots and spinach.

You can jump to that conclusion if you want to but I'm not willing to say that a supplement acts the same in the body as vitamins from an actual vegetable.

quietgirl 11 years, 2 months ago

I quit almost 2 years ago after smoking for 20 years. I took Wellbutrin for 3 months at the beginning. At first I was very anti-antidepressant but I thought 3 months of those compared to a lifetime of helped with the physical withdrawal symptoms which made getting over the mental ones much easier. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but it was also the best thing. I was one of those who started smoking in junior high because it was cool. My parents smoked and most of their friends smoked, my sister smoked and many kids in my school did too. It was just an easy habit to pick up. Parents don't just tell you kids not to smoke, give them reasons to not start!!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

"I quit almost 2 years ago after smoking for 20 years. Parents don't just tell you kids not to smoke, give them reasons to not start!!" -quietgirl

quietgirl, congrats and good advice.

Marion, I'd tell you to go away but I just find you amooozing. (Kinda like the obnoxious character on a TV show that we love to hate.)

"I frst saw Merrill's post on Larryville and nearly died laughing!" -Marion

Merrill, keep posting. It may just work! :)

Adrienne Sanders 11 years, 2 months ago

From the article Marion linked to:

"However, some intervention studies have suggested that high doses of the antioxidant, given through supplementation, may be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and digestive cancers in smokers."

Note the words "given through supplementation."

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 2 months ago

Quitters never win. That's what I was told as a kid. Seriously, quitting cigs is easy. Just snack instead. Twinkie. Cool Ranch Doritos. Coke. Good, and good for you.

Nate Poell 11 years, 2 months ago

Non-smoker, except for a maybe-bimonthly cigar.

My sister-in-law's trying to quit, and I've put her on some weird tea tree oil-flavored toothpicks. I just like to chew on them because they're pretty intensely mint-flavored and last a long time. But my sister-in-law thinks they might help when she's really ready to give quitting a concerted shot. If you want to quit you might try them, too. They're cheap, too, ~$3.50 for a pack of 100 at the Merc.

Also, Marion, I just found this from PubMed: From the abstract: "The results showed an overall inverse association between the intake of dietary antioxidants, including carotene, and vitamins C and E, and risk of HNSCC. The protective effect of these antioxidants was seen in both men and women. High consumption of antioxidants was associated with a decreased risk of HNSCC among smokers, drinkers and those with both smoking and drinking habits. These findings suggest that dietary antioxidant intake prevents HNSCC in smokers and drinkers."

I think this study examines different types of cancers (throat) from the ones you linked to (lung), but the results obviously indicate that dietary beta carotene is pretty much a good thing for both smokers and drinkers. And as dulcinea47 noted, the main study you linked to stated that "there is no evidence that smokers should avoid consuming beta-carotene-rich foods".

samsnewplace 11 years, 2 months ago

Never smoked, never will, easy to quit when you never started. I'm very thankful to live in a city where all buisiness establishments are smoke-free.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago


And it really sucks to not be able to smoke today, the day of the Great American Smokeout. But it's way too soon in my attempted quitting to allow myself the luxary of even one cigarette. Gonna have to wait until next year.

Sigmund 11 years, 2 months ago

Merrill does have something over Larry King! At least he can use the internet and can cut-n-paste!

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey, does anyone think the Chiefs have a shot at the playoffs this year?

Yes, I'm running reruns.

BS20 11 years, 2 months ago

Im excited for the K-State game too. Go KU. And don't smoke... cigarettes.

Kontum1972 11 years, 2 months ago

well when they pass the legisaltion to increase the insurance prem's for all you smokers and us non-smokers will be excused for paying for your nasty habit because your dying.

to quit smoking takes a strong mind and will power....

irishblues 11 years, 2 months ago

sunflower: I smoked because everyone did... My mother, her family, my stepdad, and especially, my friends. We were budding hippies ready to try and do anything.... Thanks for all the ideas and support!

dacs23 11 years, 2 months ago

  • Joe Keating, artist, Oklahoma City

Just say no to peer pressure Joe. Come on man you're not in Jr. High anymore....but then again you are from Oklahoma

RonBurgandy 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB/Sgt - The Chiefs are 5-4 now, still a shot, but overall they don't have a realistic chance.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

RI, try sedation dentistry! (Unless, of course, those offices have restraining orders filed against you, too.) :@

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB- "I despise the Chief's..." Oh, TOB, you are so dead to me. :*(

SpeedRacer 11 years, 2 months ago

My quote above was from Frankenstein's monster. All joking aside, I know smoking is bad for me and I have "quit" numerous times, once as long as 5 years. Why I return, I really don't know. I know people that have been non-smokers for many years who still want a cig. Was there something in cigarettes that altered our DNA? Anyway, I think it is great when anyone tries to quit. Give them support, it helps.

Ceallach 11 years, 2 months ago

Whenever I see a young person smoking I feel very sad. I see myself when I was their age (although at that time we did not have the medical information available to people today). I want to show them the albuterol inhaler, that has practically become an additional appendage, and tell them I carry it due to adult onset asthma. I quit smoking at 32. My condition is exacerbated by a genetic tendency toward lung disorders in my family. Thank God, none of my children smoke and hopefully my grandchildren will not. I'll always wonder if I could have avoided this had I not started smoking in high school.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 2 months ago

I started smoking when I was 16, quit when I was 19, and briefly restarted last summer, but have since quit. The first time was different. All my friends smoked and you had to have an excuse to skip school, and that's what smoking was for.

The second time I started again it was totally different. People would glare at me in my car and at KU, even when I was nowhere near them. I could've gotten in trouble for even smelling like smoke at my job (work at hospital) and I felt embarassed every time someone gave me "that look."

I guess I'm kind of glad that it's been villified, but I wish people would have a little more compassion. It's easy to think "I'm better than you cause I don't smoke," but unless someone is blowing smoke in your face or is very close to you, then you should keep it to yourself. Most of my friends, all educated in college or graduated and under 25, still smoke. My boyfriend and I both quit and I hope it stays that way.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 2 months ago

After reading more posts, I just wanted to say I don't think there's much you can do to keep teens from smoking. My dad smoked when I was growing up and his lung collapsed, not once but twice, from smoking. My grandma always reeked and so did her house and I hated it, but I still started. My parents were very involved in my life, always there and I still did it. Kids are going to do what they want regardless of what people tell them not to.

Also, quitting cold turkey is the easiest. I kind of think all the other things are gimmicks. I started working out 3x a week for an 1.5 hours, and if you stick to that smoking will hurt way too much for you to want to do it again.

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

My husband started smoking in college, and has tried to quit a few times. Doesn't smoke in the house or in my car.
My grandparents smoked, and my dad did for a while, but my mom never did. Aunts and Uncles smoked, too.
Grandma quit cold turkey after 50 years, and has emphysema. Grandpa quit after 50 years because he he had alzheimers and couldn't remember that he smoked anyway.
Am still encouraging the hubby to quit, because we could save the money for kids' college, (or a vacation).
Hopefully, he will soon.

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

hubby says he coughs more after he quits (probably because of the cleaner air).
we will try again to quit soon.

rooga 11 years, 2 months ago

Smoking is for weak-minded people. So all you losers that smoke, stop complaining about trying to quit and really do something about it!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

"Kids are going to do what they want regardless of what people tell them..." -Harry manback

Harry, my mother would agree wholeheartedly with you, however, 4 out of 4 of her kids did exactly as she told them. I don't know what the difference was for us, other than we knew with 100% certainty that if we died of lung cancer...she'd kill us! :)

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

rooga - you can't criticize something you know nothing about. There are various addictions, some more serious than others. I wouldn't consider my relatives "weak-minded"

juliopac 11 years, 2 months ago

Yep, quit smoking after many attempts. WILL NEVER go back to it.

Katara 11 years, 2 months ago

Posted by right_thinker (anonymous) on November 16, 2006 at 11:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Love the smell of marijuana smoke, but can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke.

Aha! That explains it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I know what ya mean, concernedparent, pregnancy made me quit too. In fact, cigarettes and cigarette smoke become very digusting to me way before the test showed positive.

Unfortunately, I do slip up now & then. Mainly, when I'm very stressed out at work. It is too easy to bum one on a break.

I know if I ever got caught by one of the kids, then it would be a total disaster. They consider smoking along the same line as worshiping Satan.

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

My teens don't smoke and never will. I never did. Most of my cousins never did, even though their parents did. It depends if you want to do it or not.
I had a 2nd cousin who lost many friends because he wouldn't tolerate smoking or drinking. His grandparents smoked, and he saw the effects of drinking and driving. Those who smoke can also be very hateful to those who don't and vice versa.

Katara 11 years, 2 months ago

Posted by right_thinker (anonymous) on November 16, 2006 at 7:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank god I don't smoke, but I sure would love to lose 20-25 lbs....need to quit eating. What's disconcerting is when you see someone who is obese and who is also smoking. Dangerous combo.

I hear the munchies will do that to you.

"Get some sour cream and onion chips with some dip, man, some beef jerky, some peanut butter. Get some Haagen-Dasz ice cream bars, a whole lot, make sure chocolate, gotta have chocolate, man. Some popcorn, red popcorn, graham crackers, graham crackers with marshmallows, the little marshmallows and little chocolate bars and we can make s'mores, man. Also, celery, grape jelly, Cap'n Crunch with the little Crunch berries, pizzas. We need two big pizzas, man, everything on 'em, with water, whole lotta water, and Funyons." - Brian in Half-Baked

jofuss_malone 11 years, 2 months ago

this product is truely amazing. if you are serious about quiting smoking then you need to attack it at the source - the toxins that are already in your body. you can remove years and years of toxin exposure in just one clay bath.

its important to realize where the source of alot of diseases comes from. a majority of it is exposure to toxic metals. i would definatly encourage people to research this topic for themselves.

have a lovely day!!

oh and to answer the question, yes i did quit smoking 3 years ago. i only smoked for 4 years though. it was pretty easy for me to quit.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years, 2 months ago

prospector...was just wondering that myself. But he doesn't look like a trust fund baby. Probably tax dollars in some manner. If he was not working but living on a fund, they would have called him an entrepreneur. Nope, he's just unemployed and wasting food and rent money on smokes.

willie_wildcat 11 years, 2 months ago

I started in high school and quit when I went to college but started up breifly then quit. I took me three times but I have been smoke free for several years now and it feels great! I did gain weight but I have lost almost 15 pounds since then by exercising.

Jonas- I feel your pain...It is hard to quit. I was horrid during the first few weeks of finally giving it up.

Harry- I started for the same reason you did in high school- Everyone was doing it. When I went to K State I would get the same looks from people around town and students that you got at KU. Way to go though on quittig on such a young age!

dacs23 11 years, 2 months ago

Did you know you can post comments on the Al Jazeera english site just like OTS. I just found it today. Look everyone Christmas came early. Now we can mess with people around the globe. What fun.

sign up now at

dacs23 11 years, 2 months ago

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sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

prospector, with all those "p" words, I thought for a minute there, that RI had an alter ego. However, when sitting a w/in a foot of RI, the "p" words frighten me a great deal! (Thus my mega bottle of Purell®) ®®® :)

Cynthia Walker 11 years, 2 months ago

My mother is dying. She was a smoker for about 40 years before her first stroke convinced her to quit cold turkey. She continues to have strokes and also struggles with various respiratory problems, emphysema being the most serious of them. She has double vision. She can no longer drive. She cannot walk without assistance. She cannot read (formerly one of her favorite pasttimes). She suffers from memory loss. She spends most of her time in and out of hospitals and doctors' offices. She has become trapped in her frail, failing body.

I love my mother very much, but I wish she had given me some consideration when I asked her to quit smoking so many years ago. I was just a kid at the time, and her response to me was "I enjoy smoking and I'm not going to quit."

Please try to keep your friends and family in mind when deciding whether to quit. It is unbearable to watch a loved one slowly and painfully die.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

Wow! Catandmouse and Py. I called my 10 yr old in and read her portions of your posts (I could not get through it w/out choking up). She cried for you both. I asked her if there was anything she'd like to say and she said to tell you that she would never do that to her kids and that she is very sad for you both.
I believe that words do make a difference. Thank you both for sharing that.

I have another emphysema (happy Marion?) story: A very good friend of mine was nursing her hubby w/ emphysema some years back during that big KC ice storm. Her house was one of the many w/out power for a long time. He needed oxygen and so she managed to get a gas powered generator (pull start) that she had to get up every 4 hours to refill w/ gas. Her biggest fear was that she'd not be able to get the generator started again for the pull start, or that she'd oversleep, the generator would run out of gas, and he would die. I felt so badly that the burden to keep him alive was hers. He's gone now, but you wouldn't believe how often I think of her going through that.

bangaranggerg 11 years, 2 months ago

I don't try to quit smoking nearly as hard as I try to quit being on fire.

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

jonas: stick to it!!!!!! When you have the urge, just take in a deep breath like it is a drag on a butt, then let it out slowly like it is smoke. After a few times, you will find your urge has lightened.

I wish my sister had quit -- I miss her.

Seeing my oldest sister die recently of lung cancer at age 59 was tough. Her daughter, my niece, got married a few weeks back. She placed a white rose on "mom's" chair when she walked up the aisle. It was so sad, because my sister should have been there.

If you smoke, now is the time to stop. Not tomorrow, or next year. Now.

badger 11 years, 2 months ago

My grandfather smoked for sixty-some years. At 80, he was diagnosed with emphysema and lung cancer. He asked his doctor if he should stop smoking, and his doctor said, "Why bother now? If you'd listened to me ten or twenty years ago when I told you to quit, it would matter. At this point, smoke all you want, it can't really get any worse."

The cancer responded to radiation, and the emphysema progressed slowly, so we didn't have to watch him go through that, as a stroke (high blood pressure caused by years of...smoking!) took him about three years later.

That was sixteen years ago. Over the next several years, my mom tried to quit three or four times, but it wasn't until her own husband's cancer (abdominal, not lung) came out of remission and the doctor told her that cigarette smoke would set back his chemo that she really stopped. She stopped for the first time when she got pregnant with me (said she knew she was pregnant the morning she lit up her first cig of the day and subsequently spent the next half hour curled in a ball on the bathroom floor), then started fourteen years later when other stress started really hitting her. Now, she says she's done for life. I just hope she is.

I had constant respiratory infections from the time I was 14 (when she restarted) to the time I left for college, and every visit home triggered another one. I spent most of my freshman year of college coughing the crud out of my lungs, and in the three years between 13 and 16 I went from being able to swim the length of the pool and halfway back underwater without stopping to being able to make it half a pool length without coming up for air.

I'll never do to my kids or grandkids what was done to me.

gccs14r 11 years, 2 months ago

One thing to remember when you quit (and cold turkey is really the only way to go) is that you can't cheat, ever. You'll respond to the nic rush the same way you did all those years ago, all your hard work of willing yourself to not smoke will evaporate in a flash, and you'll have to start the quitting process all over again. BTDT. BTW, quitting caffeine at the same time does make it easier, as well as the realization that the "stress" you feel, whether about work or life, is just withdrawal symptoms that go away over time.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

TOB, do you know Robin Jones? He's my insurance man and also one heck of a stand-up guy! I'd recommend him to anyone in need of a good agent! p.s. I guess you're resurrected.

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