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want to quit...having weird health issues. help?
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want to quit...having weird health issues. help?

Hi I'm erin...I'm a 25yo female and I've been smoking for four years now. Recently I started smoking A LOT more than usual because of some major stress. I'm at about a pack and a half to almost two packs a day. I've begun to notice a wheezing when I breathe..a deep congested cough which also sometimes causes me to cough up flem (phlegm). These symptoms are concerning me as I'm sure they're due to my increase in smoking.

I just lost my gramma who I viewed as my mom to small cell cancer due to smoking in january of this year. I want to quit because of these new uncomfortable symptoms and because of what I saw my gramma go through.

I need some advice on quitting...I've tried stopping cold turkey and failed miserably. Also..these weird chest symptoms witht the cough...do they sound like complications from smoking? They've been persistent for a couple months so I've ruled out a chest cold.
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326505_tn?1304172825
I'd like to tell you that there is a magic pill that would help you quit, but there isn't : (
Given your family history and the fact that your breathing is compromised (asthma? COPD?), you just need to keep trying until you succeed. Don't give up and don't get down on yourself. Just keep on quitting until you finally do it.
The addiction is both physical and emotional. The physical w/d is gone within 72 hours so you should try to prepare yourself for the emotional w/d. Why do you smoke? When do you find you need it the most?
Most smokers are under the dillusion that smoking decreases stress. You can rationalize it any way you want, but it actually increases stress, truth! Read some articles at whyquit.com. Under Education/Joel's Library you will find categories and hilighted articles which can help you understand why you smoke and how you can help yourself quit.
Overall, don't beat yourself up if you happen to have some slips, but pat yourself on the back for every hour, day, week that you go without it : )
Good luck!
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1448936_tn?1363209946
I know that smoking doesn't help stress but for whatever reason when I start feeling anxiety my mind tells me "SMOKE". That's the biggest problem I've dealt with when trying to quit. I have anxiety disorder so panic attacks are a regular occurence for me so as soon I start having one I immediately light a cigarette. Once I master not smoking while anxious quitting should be easier.

I'm going to my doc to check out my wheezing and congested cough. Can smoking cause asthma? I've never had asthma before.
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326505_tn?1304172825
I was diagnosed with "asthma" about 10 years ago and I began using an inhaler 2X daily. It wasn't until I quit and my physician left my folder open that I saw the dreaded COPD diagnosis and no mention of asthma : (
I admit that I had figured it out but was trying to trick my brain from acknowledging the truth, which was that it was COPD all along. You asked if smoking can cause asthma...no, but it can cause COPD and that mimics asthma. You can also develop asthma at any time in your life, but if you are a smoker, than your chances of getting COPD are far greater.
I too have suffered for many years with panic disorder, anxiety and depression and still do, but what you have to do is convince your "inner you" that smoking is and will never be the answer. You might try breathing exercises to help control the smoking urges. Walking is a great way to take your mind off things.
Don't wait like I did Erin. I smoked for 40 yeras, through both of my pregnancies and throughout their childhood and into their teens, all because I was to weak and lazy to attempt to quit. I realize how foolish I was because, if you want it, it really isn't that hard.
Good luck!
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1448936_tn?1363209946
Thank you for the encouragement! Out of curiosity what should I expect as far as withdrawals? My dad said when he quit 20 years all he can remember is being edgy and irritated. I want to know what to expect so I can be mentally prepared for it in advance. I'm ready to tackle this for real and be prepared as possible.
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326505_tn?1304172825
your dad is right, edgy, irritated, short tempered pretty much covers it. It might help to get some lolipops/carrot sticks/celery. The thing that helped me most was getting a good support system behind you, people you can speak to who will get your mind off of things. When an urge happens, just remember that they never last more than a minute or two. Take a walk, do breathing, read an article, phone a support person. Before you know it, it will have passed. It really is doable, I promise you : )
Keep posting here. We are also a good support team : )
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242912_tn?1374091204
Erin, the support here at MedHelp is my only support and after several trys, I am finally at 220 days, I am ecstatic to say!  Yes, you will have increased anxiety, anger, and other emotions because smoking pushes all those feelings down temporarily, but I have to tell you, at this point the stress in my life is 100% easier to deal with without the anxiety of needing a cigarette every half hr.  

After I quit, it was months my chest was so tight and I thought I had acquired adult asthma, but guess what?...no more tight chest, no more inhaler and I can breathe just fine.  You can do this, Erin, you just have to want it badly...or be scared enough :(

Start a tracker - it will keep you accountable.  It's helped me alot!  
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1448936_tn?1363209946
Thanks everyone. I've made my plan to quit. On monday I'm calling my doc to refill my xanax script so if I get a nasty panic attack I have a backup that isn't a cigarette. And I'm planning on tuesday to toss all of the cigs I have left as I will be in maryland with family for 3 days. I won't be allowed to smoke in the house or much at all because my boyfriends 5yo niece has asthma. So with the support of family and the knowledge of a little girls health problems and my meds I'm confident ill get through the first 3 days which as I understand it are the worst. I'll check in and let everyone know how I'm doing.

I'm actually excited for this :)
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242912_tn?1374091204
Great, Erin!  I had to use xanax during the day also, but slowly but surely, that ceased.  I am excited for you, too!  You are young and you are going to feel like a new person!  You'll be amazed at how much lighter you feel.  

We are here for you, honey, so post as much as you need!
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Avatar_m_tn
If losing your grandma to smoking isnt enough motivation for you to quit smoking, I dont know what else there is.  Talk with your doctor or a clinic for some help.
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874521_tn?1375890587
You go for it erin!!!!!!!!! good for you making the 'decision' is the first step girl!!!

Kathyjo, thanks for all the good support you give everyone. Your whole story is mine to a T. 46yrs of smoking, smoked thru 2 pregnancies and nursing my mom till her death with lung ca back in 97...yup still kept smoking. I too suffer from years of depression and 3 yrs ago a dx of COPD...

Sooner or later its no longer a choice to quit its a must. that or a long slow death. after 40+ years yes the damage is there, but stopping will buy us a few more years of breathing without the O2.♥♥
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1448936_tn?1363209946
Well I severely cut back on my smoking today...but I got a little tripped up on the car ride to maryland. Trying to drive 4 hours and not smoke was really hard. But luckily its FREEZING outside and I really have no desire to go stand outside and freeze to death just to smoke a cig. So here's hoping this is the end. I haven't had a cig in 2 hours so only 70 hours to go lol the countdown begins
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326505_tn?1304172825
Just remember the times when you craved a smoke the most and work on it. Preparation and support are key to a successful quit. Read those articles at whyquit and get ready : )

Good luck and keep us posted!
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1526563_tn?1295261089
Hi there!!  Good going .... quitting is not as difficult as we think. Keep up the good work. As they say, it's just a simple mental switch that is required... Cheers !!!
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1534282_tn?1294332545

How have you efforts to quit smoking been going?  I tried unsuccessfully to quit or at least cut back on my smoking for a New Years resolution, as I have been smoking two packs a day like you were; although I already gave in and feel kinda guilty about it. Hopefully your efforts to quit are going better, what did you find was working for you?
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948349_tn?1294383837
Hey I just recently quit smoking myself maybe I can give you a few suggestions that I think might help.

Well one thing I can say is that for me I would only smoke 4-5 cigs a day so my smoking addiction wasn't as much as yours.  BUT...

1.  3 days, 72 hours... Drink lots of fruit juice, some orange juice, and lots of water.  
2.  Remember if you give in it reinforces the addiction.  So really the only way to make the cravings go away with time is to not smoke.  And they do go away...

I can totally relate to those times when you feel anxious, when I get extremely anxious, stressed, and worried I smoke!  In fact in the past 3 years those have been the times when I had started up again.  So maybe think of what causes these situations?  I'm going to work on not putting myself in these situations.  And of course I will try not to give in.

3.  If I were you...  I would take like a week off of school, work, whatever you are doing... and just devote that time to quit.  Just lay in bed, that's what I did.  Drink lots of water when you get a craving and lay down. Don't drink any alcoholic drinks or coffee for a good while after you quit.  I find that after the 3 days are up, i might just get the odd craving, but coffee and alcoholic drinks always gave me a pretty intense craving.    
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1526563_tn?1295261089
Some breathing techniques (relaxes the mind) + a good exercise plan (make you feel healthier & confident) + persuing your favourite hobbies (makes you more confident & keeps you diverted) + a good group support like this one (to keep you motivated) make the whole quit process much easier!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, just wanted to give you some advice that helped for me.  Try "smoker's cleanse" at the health food store. It contains three different herbal remedies.   One helps you detox and get the nicotine out of your system, one helps with cravings and the other helps with calming you down so you don't want to smoke when agitated.  Quitting smoking is hell at first, but it gets better every day... There is another called 'smoking withdrawal" by NatraBio which really helps as soon as you take one.  They are all natural and have no side effects and I was amazed at how well it worked.  I'm going on 5 days and counting cigarette free. I wanted to quit for my kids, felt so bad when I would go to hug them and they would turn away from me because of the smell.   Good Luck!
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4790301_tn?1359221560
hi erin the best way to think of an urge to smoke is to picture the urge as a wave in the ocean..it will b big and strong at first but once it hits the shore it will go away..once u get an urge remember this it will not stay with u ill u light up the urge will go away just ride the wave it could b 5 min or half an hr but i promise u it will go away and u will feel like u smoked when u didnt...good uck..fred
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Avatar_m_tn
I quit smoking after 35 years. I quit by using hard candy to occupy my mouth, also the stop smoking patches that kept me from going absolutely crazy from withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes I would use a straw like I was smoking a cigarette. Most of all, I had determination. You have to really want to quit or you will not quit. A lot of people use electronic cigs, but I have heard mixed results about that.
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