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QUITTING SMOKiNG vs QUiTTING HEROIN

tackyspiral

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i recently quit smoking cigs i smoked half a pack to a pack a day every day for the last 5 1/2 yrs
It was completely my choice and something i wanted to do because i found out i am pregnant. I had heard on multiple occassions that fun little statistic where people tell you that its harder to quit smoking than to quit shooting heroin.
A year ago I began the process of quitting iv heroin and coming off long term suboxone maintenance. It took quite a while and many relapses and a lot of moments in which i felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness but I finally got clean.
It took me about 3 days to quit smoking and i still have half a carton (about 5 packs) of smokes in my room. For one thing there is no way i could calmly sit in this room even now if i knew there was even 1 dime bag of dope in here.
The two are not at all comparable! And no, heroin is not easier to quit than smoking!
My personal conclusion is that whomever came up with this little concept was completely cracked out and then somehow managed to sell the general population on this ridiculous idea.
Anybody else share my opinion or disagree i am curious?
 

Znegative

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well, I personally agree that heroin is a way harder addiction to quit than smoking tobacco, but I believe that the two are also apples and oranges in terms of addiction.

IMO, cigs do not have anywhere near the psychological draw that dope does. In fact, it's more like coffee IMO, the problem is that it gives you all types of health conditions ranging from cancer, problematic pregnancies/birth defects, emphazema and so one. However, I have been able to quit opiates for periods of time over 6 months, yet since I started (nearly 10 years ago..fuck), I'd say the longest I've gone without any nicotine (no patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, e-cigs etc) has been three days. I think however this has less to do with some kind of positive reinforcement, but rather that smoking, compared to using heroin is legal, and therefor not stigmatized like shooting dope is. You also have to take into account how much cigarettes situate themselves into your life. If your a smoker like myself, you just feel naked without one-there never seems to be a tasteless time for a quick drag. We use cigarettes for way more than effect (cause lets face it-the 'buzz' sucks), they serve as a social lubricant, and an excuse to stand outside and stare at things without seeming like a moron.

However, in NYC with the taxes on tobacco skyrocketing, I can easily see a day where 711's, gas stations, and even corner bodega's will be held up at gun point while nicotine addicts clear the shelves, taking everything from crap quality Top Tobacco, to the finest of the fine, Newport's.

But I hear you. If quitting dope and cigarettes were equally as challenging, than I don't know why I can easily chew gum and not smoke for five days with a pack of cigarettes lying right on the table, yet not for the life of me turn down a bag of dope even while on a blocking dose of suboxone.
 

kokaino

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All the BS you hear about nicotine being harder to quit then heroin or cocaine is just that - bullshit. I have always found dope to be touger to let go of, even past the withdrawal period. Heroin is exponentially harder to quit than cigarettes. With heroin, it's not just the drug (but of course the drug is the main problem) but the rituals surrounding it and its use as just as addictive. With cigs, you don't have that kind of thing. There is just more to a heroin addiction than there is to cigarettes. It is a far more complex addiction and anyone that claims cigs are harder to quit than heroin is either just ignorant or is an outright liar.
 

Znegative

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I'm wondering if this myth is based on some kind of relapse statistic. I can see how then the numbers might show that people have a higher chances of relapsing on cigarettes, but that's not really a great way to scientifically measure the psychological dependency of one substance vs another. Still though, from what I've read, the rate of relapse for a recovering heroin addict after even one year is around 90%.
 

kokaino

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I'm wondering if this myth is based on some kind of relapse statistic. I can see how then the numbers might show that people have a higher chances of relapsing on cigarettes, but that's not really a great way to scientifically measure the psychological dependency of one substance vs another. Still though, from what I've read, the rate of relapse for a recovering heroin addict after even one year is around 90%.
Actually, methamphetamine addicts have the highest relapse rate among all hard drugs addicts. Heroin has a 50% relapse rate according to this study! It can be as high as 87%, however.

This book has a similar rate of 60% relapse rate for heroin addicts.

Methamphetamine relapse rate is 92% according to the University of Nebraska (SOURCE). Some studies list the relapse rate as high as 98%

Powder cocaine relapse rate is at 55%, while crack cocaine relapse rate is 81%. (SOURCE)

Nicotine relapse rates are < 31%. (SOURCE)

Clearly tobacco is nowhere as addictive as heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.
 

verso

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Dec 21, 2010
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^

whoa I am very, very skeptical of those numbers. I mean, what, exactly, constitutes "nicotine relapse" ? If they define "nicotine relapse" as one picking up the habit again and smoking regularly as they did before, well, then yes I can see where the numbers might be somewhat lower, but that isn't how heroin relapse is defined and that isn't how I would define nicotine relapse.

If you quit smoking, and someone offers you a cigarette outside the bar, and you smoke it... you've relapsed in the same way that a heroin addict has relapsed when he or she slams a couple bags of dope after being clean for some time; you've picked the substance up and taken it yet again.

I could be wrong, could be very wrong, but there just appears to be more opportunities for a smoker to relapse than a heroin addict, or, a heroin addict who is really trying to stay clean. It's not every day that I walk outside a bar or meet up with a friend and they offer me a bag of dope. I mean, sure, they might ask me if I'd like to go score with them and whatever, but no one has ever said, "hey, here, take this bag of dope, man... let's sniff a bag, what do you say?"

But I mean, co-workers taking their smoke break, friends smoking casually outside bars and in their cars and wherever else. It's just so much easier to say "yes" to a cigarette when it's right there, and all you've got to do is pull one out of a friend's pack.

Now, whether or not cigarettes are more difficult to quit than heroin, I honestly do not know. I'm not sure that I feel confident enough to say which substance/habit would be the more difficult one to kick for most people. But I'd say they're both close, very close, incredibly close and I wouldn't rule out nicotine/smoking's being the more difficult one to quit, and not because of the substance itself, exactly, but because of the availability, the less-er social stigma attached to it, etc.

That being said, for me, having never really been much of a smoker, well, heroin's the more difficult one to quit. And I've smoked, but sometimes it just makes me feel so disgusting and sick that I cannot stand it. Smoked half a cigarette just now and couldn't finish it, but you'd better believe I'm about to finish this bag of dope. I've met others, however, for whom smoking is the one habit they just cannot and will not quit.
 

xstayfadedx

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Jan 7, 2011
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I smoke every now and then but stop randomly. Cigarettes never seemed to be a problem for me. I can pick it up and drop the habit whenever I want to. I don't even know why I smoke sometimes... I think I'm just addicted to smoke (hahaha) but on the other hand quitting opiates is a bitch. I always come back to it and it's hard to tell myself no. I can turn down cigarettes easily.. opiates hell no I cant. I think about heroin a lot but never a pack of Newport lmao.
 

tackyspiral

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Feb 27, 2006
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Most of you have heard the whole cigs are harder to quit than heroin thing at least once right? I know i have heard it more than once and i heard a stand up comic to a bit on it once but i think its interesting how widespread this statistic or myth has become....
However if we are talking strictly about relapse rates then i suppose i might buy that after quitting more people pick up at least one cig due to the availability in this sense i have to agree w verso
However with this argument we should also consider the alcoholic.... alcohol is legal and everywhere and you see advertisements for booze everywhere and bars are not an uncommon site so is quitting drinking comparable to quitting smoking?
in that perspective perhaps but in a physical perspective i would for sure compare a hard core alcoholic trying to quit to a junkie trying to quit much more than to a person trying to quit smoking cigs...
 

i against i

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i don't know, once past WD i've found opiates easier to stay off maybe? in the past year i've gone 3 weeks without opiates and 2 weeks without cigarettes. the effect of being on opiates and the cost seem to make it a bigger thing for me, right now i'm just sick of feeling sick most of the time, being in WD and unmotivated to do stuff, or high and too content to do stuff whilst having no money, for me the gains from stopping opiates are much more concrete than from stopping cigarettes, a fat chunk of money, time and mental clarity. day 2 right now trying to get it together before moving.
 
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