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Phyllis -
This is soooo long, but once I got started, I couldn't stop!

I want to say a word about your mom, even though I don't know either of you. And then perhaps we can talk a bit about smoking and some ways to make the stopping a bit easier.

Your mother is frightened. And I know you are too. Maybe this is a time to talk and lean on each other. I know that sounds like a platitude, but it isn't. Please try to talk to her -- you'll both be stronger and be better able to deal with your situation.

It's really important to stop completely (You know that!). Ask your doctor for help. The patch? Some kind of medicinal help?

Then get a group. Even if you're not a "groupie" -- It's a lot like this board. Helping each other helps both the helper and the one who's helped. (Yikes! what a sentence!) If you can't find a group (try the Lung Assn, the Cancer Society -- they won't try to scare you, they'll just give you tools and support.)

Now a few hints from me (just us girls): Even if you get down to 1 cigarette a day, you're still putting nicotine, etc., into your system. Buy lower/tar nicotine cigarettes, change brands, don't smoke until an hour after you awake, don't smoke an hour before and after meals, don't smoke an hour before bed. See if you can find Listerine toothpaste, brush after each meal. Set a goal (next Monday?) flush remaining cigs. down the toilet (that's where they belong).

Drink orange juice, it's said to flush toxins out of the body; nibble on candied ginger; try licorice (the real stuff) probably available only at health food store; air popped popcorn (I burned out the motor on a popcorn maker!); gum, gum, gum.

Eat healthy -- fruits, veggies. Stay away from sweets, fast food, spicey stuff. Switch (at least temporarily) from coffee to tea.

Once you stop, your mantra must be "not even one puff" because it's not the first cigarette that gets you back on them, it's the first puff. It's a long, hard fight. But please trust me when I tell you that it's worth it.

All best to you...
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