Naomi Campbell believes ‘cigarettes are harder to quit than alcohol’: is she right?


Naomi Campbell covers the new issue of Shape – God, she looks so good here. You know I’m not even a fan of Naomi, but sometimes I can’t help but be reminded… she’s a real supermodel. People keep trying to pass off Anne V, Erin Heatherton and Behati Prinsloo as supermodels… but they are not. Naomi is. Christie Turlington is. Cindy Crawford is. Anyway, in the cover interview, Naomi talks about how she’s completely stopped drinking, but that quitting cigarettes is the hardest thing ever:

Naomi Campbell looks runway ready on the April cover of Shape magazine in a daring cutout swimsuit. The 43-year-old British model takes center stage in a black and gold zipped ensemble and in an accompanying interview talks about her struggle to quit smoking.

Campbell – who checked into rehab in 1999 to seek help for a cocaine addiction – is determined to kick the bad habit.

She says she doesn’t want to have to stand on ‘street corners’ lighting up but confessed it has been more difficult than she expected.

She told Shape magazine: ‘People told me that cigarettes are harder to quit than alcohol. I didn’t believe it, but you know what? It is harder. I’m not someone who wants to light up inside people’s homes, including my own, and I don’t want to stand outside on street corners anymore. It’s still a struggle. In fact, just talking about it makes me crave one, so let’s stop, please! But I am really trying.’

Naomi – who is using nicotine patches to try and wean herself off cigarettes – has previously admitted she enjoys life more since giving up alcohol.

She has said: ‘I choose not to drink today in my life because I find that I’m allergic to alcohol. I have more energy and I have more fun than when I was drinking and I can hang out really late and get up early in the morning with no hangovers and still smile.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I agree with her – if you’re a casual or social drinker, it’s much easier to give up the booze than it is to give up the cigarettes. Non-smokers who have never been addicted really don’t understand what it’s like to try to quit, how often and how easy it is backslide and how much you crave it. And she’s right, just talking about it makes me want to light one.

That being said, I disagree with her diagnosis of “allergic to alcohol” – some people really are allergic. She’s not. She just stopped drinking because it was making her bloated, tired and hungover. That’s the same reason I gave up drinking too, but I’m not calling it an allergy.


Photos courtesy Shape, WENN.

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96 Responses to “Naomi Campbell believes ‘cigarettes are harder to quit than alcohol’: is she right?”

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  1. bns says:

    It probably varies from person to person. In her experience, that could totally be true.

    • Lisa says:

      Agreed. I quit smoking cold turkey, and honestly did not have a hard time (at the time I smoked quite a bit and LOVED it).

      • V4Real says:

        +1….. but I’m still drinking.

      • MonicaQ says:

        Yeah, my grandma just put em down after smoking almost 50 years. Just said, “Nah.”

      • Scarlet Vixen says:

        I also agree. It depends on the person. I smoked on and off for over 10yrs, and up and quit mid cigarette one day almost 6yrs ago. Every once in awhile I think I want one, but it’s more the situation-going out and having a drink, or sitting on the porch playing cards-than an actual craving. I don’t have an addictive personality so I fortunately was never actually addicted to smoking, alcohol, etc.

        My husband smoked for 20yrs and tried MANY times to quit unsuccessfully. He finally was able to quit cigarettes by switching to e-cigarettes. It’s not ideal, but he’s a pilot who uses caffeine & nicotine to self-medicate for ADD because he’s unable to take any Rxs for his ADD. It was a difficult transition for him because he really was addicted. I’m beyond thankful he quit, just for the stink factor.

      • sophie says:

        I quit cold turkey too after a 2-1/2 pack a day habit. Was living on coffee and cigarettes. Did not have the willpower to cut back slowly. First couple of weeks were rough but it got better. After seeing my mom and aunt suffer with emphysema I knew I had to quit.

      • Janet says:

        I quit cold turkey from 2 packs a day over 30 years ago and haven’t touched a cigarette since. I can’t stand to be in the same vicinity with anyone smoking. Two things probably helped me quit: 1) I had really lost any pleasure from smoking and it had just become an empty, stale habit, and 2) at the time I quit I had the flu which developed into pneumonia and I was so sick I didn’t know if I was dead or alive. When I came out of it I had lost all desire for a cigarette. I haven’t had a cigarette since 1984.

    • ya says:

      Yeah – it depends on what type of addiction people have. Both obviously can lead to substance use disorders.

    • homegrrrl says:

      At AA meetings everyone smokes by the entrance, so it re-ignited my addiction to cigarettes all the time. I knew who had my brand, too, so I knew who to bum one off. I wouldn’t say it’s as hard to quit as booze, because it’s a bridge to a clean lifestyle. Smoking gave me that mild drug until I built up more solid sobriety. I had to quit cold turkey after my first year of sobriety, and just not be around smokers at all under any circumstance. I haven’t smoked in a decade and a half. I doubt I’d pick it up, because I’m a parent, a massage therapist and dietician. There was a time when smoking made sense. I can’t even abide bad breath, let alone the breath of a*& of a smoker, and my lungs and skin are used to feeling clean, so smoking would just be dirty, no insult to dirt, but smoking is a filth that clogs the soul!

  2. Lindy79 says:

    I have never smoked but I can see what she’s saying here.
    Smoking may be a turn off for some people but you can puff away all day and still function (I’m sure there’s people who can function while drinking but it’s not the same), also there’s that idea that it can act as an appetite suppressor. so ideal for someone in her industry (albeit it wrecks your general health and skin over time).

    *I agree about the supermodel term, it doesn’t really apply to any of them now. It was the Versace era that really was the height of it…remember they had a restaurant?!

    • Dani2 says:

      Naomi was asked in an interview if she believed there were any models who she thought were this generations Christy, Linda and herself and she was pretty quiet about it but then she was like “no”. And there isn’t really. That was really the supermodel era, they don’t make them like that anymore.

      • MonicaQ says:

        I wonder, being 5-15 years old between 1990 and 2000, what is truly designating them as supermodels? Is it because we saw their polished forms and nothing else and now we have twitter and fb? Or was it confidence and claws out?

        I remember my aunt asking me when I was kid who was my favorite supermodel. I said RuPaul. She was very taken aback. Hey, I figured she had the song, she had to be one, right?

      • LAK says:

        MonicaQ: the reason they were supermodels, is primarily that they could work all aspects of the industry and be authentic in each one.

        Many models can only be VS models, but not runway or editorial or beauty or anything else as an example.

        These girls had/have a truly chameleon like ability to look good in any situation. And make whatever they were selling work, and it did because they could shift product for simply being the face of it.

        PLUS most importantly, these girls were/are truly beautiful in an iconic, amazonian freak of nature, stop traffic sort of way. Not much Photoshop required to make them look good. They are older now, and they still look good even when they no longer fit the skinny model standard requirement for their industry.

        You look at Naomi now, and no matter that she has an ugly personality, you can’t deny her beauty. That was the norm standard of models from that era. And they were reported on as breathlessly as if we had social media then.

        The top 15-20girls (Naomi, Christy and Linda being the top 3) were/are so amazing even when they’ve given into cosmetic surgery.

        And what’s more amazing is the variety of beauty represented by those top 15-20girls. I remember Asian models eg Yasmeen Ghauri, Devon Aoki, Jenny Shimuzu (sp?), this model from siberia who looked part Eskimo (forgotten her name now), the black models (Veronica Webb, Beverly Peele, Kiara Kajaguru, Karen something, Alek Wek), the white girls like Nadja aueman, Karen Mulder, Helena Christiansen (that Chris isaac video still hits me every time), Kirsten Macmenamy, plus the usual suspects of Claudia shiffer, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Tatiana Patitz (sp?) Stephanie Seymour to name some of those top 20girls.

        And they had personality. There was a model who had green/blue hair and occasionally traffic red hair for the 2-3years she modelled. There was another one who primarily modelled for Jean Paul Gaultier who was known for her shaved head and dragon tatoo on her shaved scalp.

        There is a regular poster to this site who has a blog dedicated to 90s supermodels called ‘the one and only’

        Most of the models these days are so forgettable and seem to need a major PR campaign behind them for people to remember them eg the VS/SI models.

      • sienna says:

        It’s also the fact that until the past decade or so, models were on the covers of magazines.

        In these supermodel heyday there were rarely actresses on the covers of Vogue, Elle, etc. Linda, Cindy, Christy, Yasmin, Naomi were on the covers of magazines every month. They were the stars… and they looked soooo good.

        My hubby worked with some of them at Revlon and still loves them.

      • LAK says:

        Found the Siberian Supermodel! her name is Irina Pantaeva.

        this is her.

        Apologies for saying she looked part eskimo [yes i know, wrong region, but i couldn’t describe her ethnic look differently . she’ ethnic Buryat. very big in he early-mid 90s.

  3. bowers says:

    It’s probably about equally hard; I quit smoking 11 years ago, and I still want one. I don’t drink anymore but don’t even think about it.

  4. Dani2 says:

    So stunning.

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think it’s a false equivalent because she wasn’t addicted to alcohol, but was to cigarettes. Having said that, I quit smoking, cold turkey, 30 years ago, and if smoking weren’t so lethal I would start again tomorrow. I still crave a cigarette in certain situations. It’s very hard to quit, so I wish her luck.

    • blue marie says:

      I’m with you on that, but I’ve only been smoke free for 2 years. I think the hardest part for me was that I knew once I quit I could never pick it up again because it will never be okay for your body and I really enjoyed it when I was in my 20’s and hated to admit that I was destroying my health.

      • V4Real says:

        I’ve been cigarette free since June of 2011 and I don’t miss it. I still have close friends who smoke around me and I don’t long for one. I sometimes ask myself why did I ever like those things. Still, I do not go around ragging on people who choose to smoke. I just don’t allow anyone to smoke in my house or car.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Good for you for quitting, everybody. It’s tough, but it’s worth it.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Same here….I quit 29 years ago, when I got pregnant with my son….never went back to it….but to this day, sometimes I smell cigarette smoke and think, damn, I want cigarette! Crazy!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I know. Sometimes people will walk by on the street smoking, and a little waft of smoke will come near me and they say, oh sorry! And I’m too busy snorting it up my nose to answer, lol.

    • Esmom says:

      Not sure if I agree that she didn’t have a real problem with alcohol. If she went to rehab for cocaine addiction, wouldn’t that indicate an overall propensity toward addiction to just about any substance? I could be completely wrong, I admit I have zero expertise and little experience with serious addiction.

      I do know a couple people who are alcoholics who have quit booze but stayed with cigarettes because they couldn’t bear the thought of having to give up their last “vice.” In the case of one friend I think continuing to smoke is the only way he can stay off the booze. Addiction is really, really tough and I feel for people who face it every day.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You may well be right. I was just going by what she said about quitting drinking, and she never said she was an alcoholic, but you’re right – she didn’t say she wasn’t, either.

    • Janet says:

      Funny how some people miss cigarettes after they quit and some don’t. You still crave them after 30 years. I’ve also been smoke-free for that long but when I smell cigarette smoke I want to vomit. I have to leave the room. And I was doing 2 packs a day.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I loved my first cigarette. A lot of people felt sick or gagged on theirs but I loved it right away. I guess it depends on the person. You’re lucky you don’t still crave them.

    • shanti says:

      I haven’t had a ciggie for 12 years after smoking for nearly 18yrs (. how could I have done that !!!) and in dreams I still smoke.. …. don’t want one …. just dream them…..on the subject just started watching Mad Men and their smoking habits are amazing,, I think I used to be like that…..yuk ,,thank god I married a non smoker..

  6. jaye says:

    I agree with her. I tried to quit smoking several times in the past. I switched to e-cigarettes because I felt like, for me, it was the oral fixation that made me continue to smoke. Since I’ve been using them, I found that I wanted real cigarettes less and less. I gave in to temptation once early in my switch to e-cigs and I hated the way they tasted.

    • nofkksgiven says:

      same here with the e-cig – and they def make the old regular cigs I love taste like trash – plus I find I crave the e-cigs less often than regular cigs…but quitting the e-cigs too? I don’t know how…I can’t imagine. But going from smoking a pack a day – to puffing on an e ccig after meals and at night is a big improvement and everything I own no longer smells like smoke

    • Pandy says:

      I work in smoking cessation and you are right, it is the oral fixation that makes it so difficult. If you smoke a pack a day, for example, you conceivably are bringing your hand to mouth (to inhale) approximately 100,000 times per year. That is a hard habit to break. Good for you for making the switch but you might want to switch to an inhaler as there are no standards for what is contained in e-cigarettes, so you can’t be sure what you are inhaling from them. Good job!!

  7. Melissa says:

    Not for me personally but, I can see how they would be if your career relied on being able to keep your weight down and the cost of cigarettes weren’t an issue.

  8. Jen says:

    Nicotine is one of the most addicting drugs there is. That is how the tobacco companies stay in business and why it is so hard to really quit. I had friends who would not take direct airline flights because they could not go without a cigarette for that long, they needed to have connections so they could get a smoke. I also read where some of those e-cigarettes also have nicotine, so not sure why they would be any better, except for money making purposes.

    • Sixer says:

      It’s not the nicotine that kills. So the e-cigaretters might be nicotine addicts but there’s no tar or additives, which are the carcinogens. They’re more equatable to caffeine heads, I think, vapers.

      • Nikki L. says:

        Nicotine is extremely bad for the human body. Do a bit more research. E-cigs are especially dangerous because there is very little need to stop; you can vape just about anywhere, and constantly pull at it all day long. I’ve had two friends who’ve had issues with this.

      • Sixer says:

        Nobody’s saying nicotine is actually HEALTHY! But it doesn’t kill you in the way that cigarettes do. A very different point.

      • Esmom says:

        I have read alarming things about what e-cigs contain. They are unregulated so basically anything can go in there. I heard a radio interview with a public health guy, maybe the head of the CDC, who said it’s basically like the Wild West when it comes to e-cigs. Dangerous and scary to not know exactly what you might be ingesting.

      • Sixer says:

        What’s in eliquid is nicotine and either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, or a combination of both. What is being questioned is the PROVENANCE of the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin as the industry is unregulated.

        Read everything on the issue of e-cigarettes with a very critical eye, either for or against, and including the half-baked nonsense emanating from government entities. This is a big money issue for the future and big players – tobacco companies and big pharma – will be squaring up to one another.

        What is without doubt is that it is better for your health to neither vape nor smoke. But vaping is LESS harmful than cigarette smoking, if you simply must do one or the other.

        (If anyone wonders why I know stuff about this – I edited a PhD on the topic last year! I don’t have big personal views one way or another).

      • LAK says:

        Sixer: I don’t smoke, never have. So apart from avoiding smokers unless I can’t, i’ve never paid attention to the regular cigarettes vs e-cigarettes debate.

        I can’t believe how ignorant (Oxford dictionary definition) about e-cigarettes I have been. I didn’t know they were cigarettes, thought they were rather cool props nothing more. Thanks for this information.

    • jaye says:

      E-cigs are better in that you eliminate the tar and carcinogens associated with real cigarettes.

    • blue marie says:

      Sixer is right. I read an article not that long ago that nicotine (in gum or patch form only) can actually improve memory.

    • NYC_girl says:

      I have never tried smoking and never drank much, but I know both are horrible to deal with if addicted. My ex tried to stop smoking a few times, and it was impossible. He couldn’t stop eating, was constipated for days, was miserable to be around, and had a variety of other issues. He really struggled. I know someone who went to AA for a while, and said there were some attendees who would drink Nyquil and Listerine out of desperation. I think both present serious challenges and can destroy your body. My mother’s best friend died when she was 50 from smoking – part of her jaw had to be removed because of a tumor that had gone untreated – she thought she had dental issues at first. Part of her face was missing and she needed a feeding tube. She was 5 years older than I am! On a different note, my father smoked Marlboros for years and stopped 20 years ago with the help of a hypnotist. He never smoked again. However, he was just recently treated for bladder cancer, which like other cancers has a correlation to smoking.

    • Lauraq says:

      I’m glad that e-cigs have worked for you like that. Everyone I know that ‘switched’ to e-cigs still smokes regular cigarettes, and it’s alarming. Whereas the once would have gone out for a smoke every twenty minutes or so, they puff on the e-cig every couple of minutes (it’s so convenient, they don’t have to go outside, or commit to a full cigarette!). Then they also go outside every twenty minutes for a cigarette. I know nicotine overdose is possible, so it is worrisome to me.
      I was a smoker for ten years, quit a few years ago. For awhile I would sneak one or two when I was drinking or stressed. The last time I had one was St Patrick’s day, but I was literally blacked out drunk at the time-I remember thinking that I DIDN’T want a cigarette when I was relatively sober, but my bestie who was my DD said I demanded a cigarette ‘because MTV is in the trees filming us and I want to give them a show.’

  9. lisa2 says:

    I would love to have her body.. she looks great.

    Don’t know which is harder.. I don’t drink, an was never a smoker. never wanted to do anything that was a bitch to quit. Beside I like not being controlled by stuff.

  10. Sixer says:

    Yes. It is. And not least because of the tobacco companies’ research into the most effective addiction (additives, nicotine levels, take-up, etc). Isn’t that calculated addiction research why they lost so many court cases stateside? Because they carried it out AFTER they knew cigarettes killed?

    • Kiddo says:

      This, yes.

    • Nicolette says:

      +1. Quitting smoking cold turkey was no pleasure that’s for sure. I felt like crap for a month, like I was going through some kind of with drawl. Once in a while I’ll have a craving but it quickly passes when I think about how mad I would be at myself after 15 years without a puff.

  11. Shawn says:

    Alcohol was a lot easier for me to quit and I would drink a 12 pack a day 7 days a week and one day I just quit.I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in 3 years..Cigarettes on the other hand is extermely hard for me to give up..

    • here's Wilson says:

      I’m like you… I’ll drink a twelve pack most days of the week then just stop drinking completely for a year with no craving for alcohol… but no matter what I do I can’t stop smoking!!! 🙁

  12. Beatrice says:

    She’s absolutely right. Smoking is a very hard habit to kick. I was able to do it because I had surgery and couldn’t smoke for a month so that plus the painkillers they gave me got me over the initial cravings. However, years later, I still occasionally wanted a cigarette. A friend of mine said that her father had quit smoking 30 years ago, yet when he was in the hospital and delirious, he kept asking for a cigarette.

  13. Dawn says:

    I do agree with her on that and given a choice between being around a smoker or a drunk I will take the smoker any day of the week. Drunks are insufferable and do so much damage to their families both physically and mentally. I hear that the e-cigg has nicotine and now the anti-smoking crowd is going after them and treating them as dangerous as the real deal. Good luck to her on her quest to quit.

    • Sixer says:

      Insofar as I understand it, it’s the solution/suspension/liquid (propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin) holding the nicotine that’s being questioned. Or at least, in Europe anyway. The vaping industry is largely a cottage one and suppliers may/may not be from reputable sources.

      The EU has just turned down a measure to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines as patches etc are regulated. But they are still debating regulating the liquid some other way.

      Of course, the tobacco companies themselves don’t want this, as they see which way the wind is blowing and are all developing e-cigs of their own. The people who want regulation are big pharma, because they can see all that R&D money spent on nicotine replacement therapy going up in flames as more and more people turn to e-cigarettes and away from patches and sprays and gums.

  14. Bananapants says:

    As someone 116 days sober from alcohol, it’s kind of hard for me to read about her alcohol allergy and how she just up and chose to quit. It took me three tries, and I go to meetings every day, because quitting alcohol, to me, wasn’t just flipping some internal switch and saying, “ok, I’m done”. I was physically dependent on alcohol eventually. I have worked my ass off to get where I am today.
    Has Naomi straightened out her rage issues yet?

  15. shannon says:

    I haven’t had one in over five years, but I had to quit drinking too. I was only a social drinker, but had to give it up completely b/c as soon as I got a buzz, the craving for a cigarette was too much for me to handle. I run now, but am not a health nut by any means. I do, however, every once in a great while, want a drink and a smoke. Some people can handle it here and there, but if I smoke one, or just take one drink, it’s all over. I have no will power at all.

  16. Delta Juliet says:

    I guess it depends on the person. I smoked for quite a few years and quit with minimal difficulty about 15 years ago. Every now and then after a big meal I’ll think “ahhhh, a cigarette would be nice right now” but it’s a fleeting thought and I never act on it. I also pretty much never drink anymore because I actually DO have an allergy to alcohol (after 2 drinks I can’t breathe and I sneeze incessantly).

    BUT, if you told me I had to quit eating chocolate, I don’t think I could do it. I have been on weight watchers for 3 months and as much as I’m doing great, my cravings for sweets are WAY stronger than anything I ever felt for alcohol OR smokes.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      If you tell me I have to quit eating chocolate, just shoot me. You’ll be doing us both a favor.

    • Lady D says:

      I quit smoking cold turkey, after 30 years on Jan 26. I’m so happy and so, so grateful that quitting wasn’t the horror show I thought it would be. Also kinda amazed that I succeeded. Also, the first 2 weeks after I quit, I ate more candy than I have in my entire life put together. I don’t like candy or sweet stuff very often, but I practically lived on those little black licorice candies called Goodies for about 5 days straight. Very glad that urge went away.
      It bums me out to think that I will still have the craving for cigarettes 30 years from now, but I guess that’s the price I pay for my addiction.

      • Janet says:

        Yay for you! And you may not have the craving 30 years from now. By the time I was off cigarettes for two months I didn’t care if I never saw another one. And that was 30 years ago.

  17. Leek says:

    I have to agree with her on this one. I quit smoking and I miss it quite often. It was a companion. I miss smoking, I miss the manipulation of it in my fingers, I don’t miss raging hangovers because of smoking, and I don’t miss paying for them. I’m currently trying to lose weight and admittedly, I’ve had moments where I’ve considered buying cigarettes to help speed the process but I’m staying healthy for my kids.

    Funny thing is, if you open up a pack of Camels and take a whiff, they totally smell like raisin bran.

  18. Hyena says:

    It depends- I smoked a pack a day for three years and then quit cold turkey- no problem. I think the smell is so gross, unless I am drunk then it’s like bring me home to cigarette land!

    I drink casually now but went through a serious problem in college and tried to not drink for a month and it was the worst month of my life! I snuck drinks behind my roommate’s backs because of the shame and gained 15 lbs because I ate and ate!

    Anyways everything in moderation- even cigarettes. Lol jk about the cigs.

  19. Mich says:

    The cigarette companies have spent billions ensuring that their products are as addictive as possible. Studies compare the addiction level to heroin.

    I’ve been addicted to both alcohol and cigarettes and smokey treats are 1,000 times harder to quit. Unless you have DTs, alcohol withdrawal is largely emotional. The physical side of quitting cigarettes is awful.

    • ivy says:

      I hear cigs compared to heroin a lot. In my experience, they’re nowhere close. It’s like comparing a house cat to a lion.

  20. JENNIFER says:

    As someone who is an alcoholic, I can appreciate her comments. Not everyone decides to share with the world that they go to meetings or work steps. Maybe Naomi saying she is allergic to alcohol is her way of sharing her recovery but not breaking her anonymity.

  21. Ginger says:

    Giving up alcohol, at least for me was no picnic! Let’s just leave it at that. Cigarettes I gave up cold turkey. But I have also been known to sneak one from time to time even after I quit for good. Then I had a DVT in my leg five years ago and have been on Warfarin ever since. Now even if I want to smoke I don’t because it can cause blood clots. I’ve heard that Nicotine is more addictive than heroin.

  22. Marianne says:

    I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life…but I think it depends on the person. If you’re a casual drinker. Like, you only have one drink out a restaurant. Then sure, its probably easier to cut it out of your life. If you drink a lot (and especially when you get into the category that you feel that you depend on it), its probably a lot harder to quit. Same with smoking. If you’re the kind of person that has one cigarette at a party every once in a blue moon, its probably easier to quit than it would be if you smoke everyday of your life.

  23. kimber says:

    It depends on how Long you smoked and what brand and how much.
    I quit cold turkey but spent the first day sweating out the toxins miserable. I had pure hate for the tabacco industry and . It was that hate that has kept me smoke free ever since. It was my 3rd attwmpt to quit but the first attemt when i didnt use a patch or gum. I think thats why i was successful. For ppl who said they had no problem quitting cold turkey either were raging bitches (my sister said the same thing about her quitting but she was the devil and we let her bc we knew she was quitring) people or didn’t smoke much.

  24. bluhare says:

    I think I can actually speak to this! I’m a recovering alcoholic who quit cold turkey, no rehab. I smoked and quit five years after that, cold turkey, no drugs. I went to AA back then and they always said “one thing at a time”, which makes sense because I know me well enough to know if I quit smoking and drinking at the same time and failed at one, I’d say “hell with it!” and blow it all.

    Quitting smoking was much harder for me. Much. Alcohol was relatively easy, mostly because I spent all my time at AA initially. But smoking? I had dreams for years where I’d be smoking and I’d wake up in a cold sweat pissed off because I was going to have to quit again. I had them a lot. Mr. bluhare and I also quit smoking at the same time. I do NOT recommend this. Not at all. Especially if you’d like to come out the other side not wearing an orange jumpsuit.

    • Lady D says:

      The first two times I tried to quit smoking when I was younger, the rage terrified me. I wanted to see my boyfriend’s brains dribbling down the doorway into the kitchen. I had a frying pan in my hand. I wanted to kill my pets. Terrifying, incomprehensible, rage. To my core I believe harming people or animals is wrong, and I go out of my way to stop it. As I said earlier, I quit Jan 26, and this time there was no rage. Thank God.

      • bluhare says:

        That was Mr. bluhare. Rage is probably too strong a word for him (I actually do an impression of Mr. bluhare running the gamut of human emotion, which involves me clearing my throat, doing some stretching, and then staring at you stony faced for ten seconds), but he was seriously cranky and angry. I ended up leaving on Day 3 and going over to my sister’s for a couple of days. I, of course, was just a sunny drink of water!!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Bluhare, I can’t imagine how much strength that took. Two of the hardest things in the world to stop, and you did it. That is such an accomplishment, and I hope you know how amazing you are.

      LadyD, I didn’t have the rage when I quit, but my brother did – he put his foot through his computer screen. He said it was a frightening experience.

      • Lady D says:

        Goodnames, my dr. at the time told me that about 5% of the population will experience that type of rage when they quit smoking. He suggested Valium to keep a handle on it.

      • Irishserra says:

        Oh wow. I just posted below that my brother has had a rough time of it. He’s been trying on and off for several years but hasn’t been able to do it. My sister-in-law says he’s horrid to deal with when he tries, so she would almost rather him continue smoking, but then the little ones don’t need to be around that.

        Two years ago he once went 12 days without and was an edgy beast until he had to board a plane for work. He said in one hour prior to the flight, he went through several cigarettes, one after another, to calm him down.

      • bluhare says:

        Thank you, GoodNames. At the time it didn’t feel like strength at all. I just did it. Alcohol on the first try, smoking on the second. I couldn’t tell you how I did it; I just did.

  25. Sandip says:

    I agree, smoking is much harder. When I stopped drinking I still went to the bar with friends when I stopped smoking could not go where there was smoke it was in my hair and clothes. I’m going back to drinking when they tell me I’m too old to drive.

  26. gobo says:

    she has partial Chinese heritage- it’s possible that that she isn’t able to fully metabolise alcohol. Quite a high proportion of ethnically chinese people can’t due to an enzme deficiency.

  27. Irishserra says:

    My brother would agree with her. He’s an alcoholic and a heavy smoker. Over the past few years he’s dropped the drinking. But he’s tried several times to stop the smoking and he just can’t seem to do it. He’s tried cold turkey, cutting down, medication, eCig, etc. but just can’t seem to pull it off.

  28. lindylou says:

    I was a pack a day smoker for 34 years. I tried the gum, the patch and e- cigarettes. They didn’t work. A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my first anniversary smoke free. I highly recommend to anyone who is struggling to quit to read the book by Allen Carr. It got my head in the right place and I stopped smoking. Stress free. And now I can’t stand the smell of them. I’ll never go back!

  29. TKat says:

    To all of you who would like to quit smoking: read The Easy Way to Quit smoking by Allen Carr! I promise this is not a product placement plug… I recommend this book to all of my smoker friends who would like to quit. I started smoking when I was 15 and went through 1/2 pack to 1 pack/ day for 9 years (and had tried to quit a couple of times before). I binge-read the book in two days — and was done. It’s not that I craved cigarettes and didn’t give in — I just stopped wanting to smoke at all. I convinced my mom to read it and the same thing happened to her — it really works. The best part — the quitting really was easy… no physical side-effects or cravings. I don’t know why more people don’t know about this book.

  30. cerebralmind says:

    Black don’t crack. She’s 43, smoked, and drank alcohol on the regular and still looks good. I think (quitting smoking) it varies with each individual. I know that I didn’t want to go into my thirties still smoking cigarettes. I quit cold turkey when I was 28 and haven’t smoked since (9 years). I like alcohol, but I don’t get drunk. Everyone is different.

  31. dread pirate cuervo says:

    I agree with her. I’m 7 years sober but still smoke. I had quit smoking from 2010-12, but went back. I think about quitting smoking a lot, but just don’t want it enough. Smoking is bad, but I’d rather smoke than drink. I’m very grateful that my obsession to drink never came back like my obsession to smoke.

    Also, the allergy to alcohol she talks about is one of the ways those of us in AA describe our inability to drink like normal people. I don’t always want to explain to people that I turn into a hot mess of tequila & coke if I drink, so I say I’m allergic & they shut up about it.

  32. Ali says:

    I haven’t smoked in years…quit for my health. If someone put a ciggy in front of me right now, after the stressful day I had, I would smoke it and love every single puff! Naomi is spot on!

  33. Duchess of Corolla says:

    I quit 20 years ago, but the urge still creeps up on me. Definitely a hard habit to break!

  34. chris says:

    i don’t think you understand what she means when she says “allergic” to alcohol. the allergy to alcohol refers to what happens in the brain of an alcoholic after the first drink. it triggers the allergy that causes the compulsion to keep drinking. it does not have the same conventional meaning in this context. just FYI.

  35. Emily C. says:

    Everyone I’ve ever known who used to smoke stopped. None of the alcoholics I’ve known have stopped. Everyone I’ve known who’s ever smoked has admitted that they’re addicted to cigarettes and it’s bad for them. Alcoholics only do this occasionally, and it rarely sticks. I know quite a few alcoholics who’ve given up cigarettes. I know zero who have given up alcohol.

    I think she’s full of crap, in other words, and I am annoyed that this woman gets her opinion on addiction heard everywhere because she’s a model, of all things.

  36. Tronic Vape says:

    Cigarettes are hard to quit, too bad more people don’t use electronic cigarettes to quit smoking.