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Full Version: Out Of The Ashes To Ashes: The Smoking Cessation Thread
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Okay, all.... I'm sure one has created a thread like this in the past... but I wish to resurrect this topic cause well... I want to stop smoking. Books alone don't help, as I have found some really great ones... even books that don't include dissecting your childhood with workbook activities.

The title of this topic was inspired by an excellent pocket sized book called "Out of the Ashes".

Smoking is so inherently anti-life. and yet, I continue to do it.

Holler if you would like to participate in this thread!
Anyone? Well.... I feel like the last smoker/wannabe ex-smoker on earth.... (crickets chirping).
hi, moonpieluv!

There did indeed used to be a thread on this topic, but alas, it is gone.

I'm an ex-smoker. I quit by reading Alan Carr's book The Easy Way to Quit Smoking. I think you're right, a book alone can't do it, you really have to be ready. Which, I was. I would recommend this book though, it helped me a lot. It focuses on changing your entire mindset about smoking, not simply tricks you can try to quit.
moonpieluv, good luck. i quit smoking last year and it was tough. i used nicotine patches, which are
pricey but really helped me through those first two months. luckily, it took.

have you considered some type of nicotine replacement aids so that you can focus on changing your
habits before the withdrawals commence? previously, i had tried to quit smoking at least five or six
times. the expenditure on patches helped me to stay strong. i didn't want to think all my cash had been
misspent. i don't know if that helps at all...
Moonpie, I'll jump in as I'm still a smoker. A social smoker, but I've realised it doesn't make much difference how I smoke, it's that I smoke at all.

The mister and I both smoke. We're moving to a new place this summer with his child, which means we won't be smoking in the house. We're hoping that'll encourage us to stop.

What I've found in past attempts to quit, though, is (for me) I have to understand the psychological reasons I smoke. For that, Alan Carr is quite good, and surprisingly understanding. I also agree with kari: you have to be ready.

I smoked for 10 years: age 17 to 27. It was such an integral part of my life and I thought it was actually a part of my personality (this was in the 90s, right before smoking became completely socially unacceptable). Anyway, I met this guy (who's now my husband), and he didn't like my smoking but never nagged me about it (absolutely key: nag me to change and I won't, dammit!), but said one night, somewhat sadly, "I just wish you would be around for the long haul", as in, rather than dying of cancer. I don't know why, maybe it was just good timing, but I decided very soon after to quit. That was on a friday, and I declared that, come monday morning, I would be smoke free. So I spent the whole weekend smoking as many ciggarettes as possible, and by sunday afternoon I was so sick of them that I was actually looking forward to quitting. And that was it! Oh, I tried the patch for half a day, but it made me sick (what a waste of $50), so I just went cold turkey. I feel really, really lucky----it was like to desire was taken away from me, so there was no struggle. And I was a BIG smoker. I smoked about a pack a day and had fancy lighters (including fist-sized crystal types that sit on your coffeetable, like Bette Davis might use), gorgeous ashtrays from the 1960's, silver ciggarette case, etc.
One caveat, tho: I had stopped drinking before this, so I wasn't bombarded by the desire to smoke when I drank. Man, that's really hard to resist. Anyway, It's been 10 years! Maybe my method will work for someone else. I totally agree you have to be ready and to want it.
My story is similar to Sassafrass. I smoked for 20 years, age 15-35, quit 2 years ago. I smoked about 1/2 pack a day, unless I was out partying, then it was about a pack. I tried to quit several times a year, from age 25-35, and had been cutting down dramatically for the last year that I smoked. But what really did it for me was my wonderful man. He was definitely against me smoking, and wouldn't let me smoke around him, but he didn't pressure me to quit. What really made me do it then--? I finally had a great boyfriend after a TOTAL DROUGHT for 3 long years, and the sex was FABULOUS... but the thing was that I wanted to go on the pill. I was 35. You can't do both without SERIOUS risk of stroke. It was kind of a no brainer: Carefree sex with a gorgeous sexy man, or smoke?

I quit. Cold turkey. There are definitely times that I miss it, but honestly as soon as I was on the birth control, I knew that I actually could not smoke without seriously risking my health. That's how I've gotten through every temptation.

I agree... you have to really want it, and also the conditions have to be right. They don't have to be good [I was starting a new full-time faculty job at the time], but they have to be right.

You know, one of the things that helped me in my last year when I was cutting down so much was that I never got on myself for going back to it after a few days of not smoking. My philosophy was that every gigarette I didn't smoke was one less smoked in my entire lifetime... and that's really encouraging.

Good luck, women!!! You really can get over it.
I currently smoke I have tried 4 times to quit..... I don't drink... but I LOVE coffee and whenever I have coffee the urge to smoke is so heavy....It ofcourse does not help that I go to starbucks and have coffee and everyone I know there smokes... I want to quit.... I tried the gum... It is horrid... and it feels like someone sprayed by tongue with pepper.....
QUOTE(Moonpieluv @ Jun 20 2007, 11:12 AM) *
Anyone? Well.... I feel like the last smoker/wannabe ex-smoker on earth.... (crickets chirping).

LOL u are not alone....i wanna quit..... the last time I quit I gave up coffee and I was iratable and tired all the time.... When you work 3shift coffee is your lifeline.... Ciggie stink and they stink up my clothes but I love a cup of coffee and a cigarette
I was never much of a smoker, I tried it when I was younger but I just never became addicted. Other than a few clove cigarettes(very few like one or two a year), I haven't smoked for almost ten years.

My hubby is a social smoker. But my city just past a smoking ban in all public places(bars, restuarants, etc.) so it's been a lot easier for him to avoid. And we don't let people smoke in our house.

Anyway, goodluck on quitting, moonpie and other busties!
Ginger, I think our city is banning smoking in certain types of establishments. Restaurants being one of them. Bars are exempt. Not sure about the bars that also serve food. I hope they become non smoking, but I am not holding my breath. Then again, one of them recently became smoke free by choice.
My husband also smokes socially. I really want him to quit. He has to make the decision on his own, I think he's getting closer.

You guys are killer, or anti-killer, in that you have provided me with some support.... I've been friggin ready... I stare at the damn things like "what the hell is this thing anyways?" How bizarre that it's in my life so thoroughly. ugh.
I see these people joggin down the street all early in the morning, or I participate in yoga with the incredible importance of breath, and think "WHY?" fear, perhaps?

The time is coming soon because I must save money MUST save $$. And I'm tired of stinky stinky everything. I'm glad it's becoming socially unpopular to smoke. There's been so many situations that I've been in that made me feel like an outcast.

And I have to say this, despite how totally retarded this sounds, but I'm using it as ammo against the urge... a PRO on my Pro's and Con's list...
I have noticed, ahem, that there seems to be more men that are the kind of erudite individuals that I crave, that seem to have the qualities that I'm looking for.... who don't smoke. And well, because I'm concerned about my health, my lifestyle in general (ya know the rocker drinker smoker type=unhealthy), I want to be with someone who wants to do the same or already does. If I'm doing it, perhaps I would be the flower they would want to pollinate. tee hee.

But seriously, regardless.... I feel bad when my cat leaves the room and meows at me outside my door.... I feel bad stepping outside and he meows at me thru the door!! My cat must be trying to tell me something!!!!

Keep on keeping on... help the potential ex-smoker with your stories, rants, etc!!
Moonpieluv, you sound just like me 2 years ago. You are right on the verge. I was already disgusted by the whole thing before I even quit... and it is getting tougher and tougher to find non-smoking guys who are tolerant of smoking. And you need a non-smoker if you want to quit, because you really need to keep yourself away from it as much as you can. As a rule, my man never dated smokers. He told me later that my habit was almost a deal-breaker for him, but he really really liked me, so he made the exception. I quit 2 months into the relationship, and he is such good support about it now. Of course, if you find the luv of your life and he smokes, you shouldn't pass him up. It'll just be that much harder to quit... but maybe you can quit together.

Best of luck!! smile.gif
hello all I am new here!! I have not smoked in 1 month I used the patch , now i cant stop eating !! oh no ..... I slowly cut my coffee a little decaf with my regular a little more decaf .... now i dont crave coffee at all dont even like it much because no cigs but when i did feel the urge to have coffee i would take a few drinks from my cup then drink lots of water right after must start exercising help!!!! Cheryl
I'm a very active social smoker. have been sick and the thought of smoking while ill just made me feel worse. And I felt- well, I might as well just give it up completely and stop buying. SO I threw out half a pack today and now I'm wishing I had not.

But. We can do it.
good luck all.

And Cheryl- have you stopped drinking lots of water right after?
Hello ladies. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all so I hope no one takes it that way. I started smoking when I was sixteen, smoked for sixteen years (2 1/2 packs a day) (no frilly cigarettes, no lights, no roll-your-own or Camel no-filters, just Marlboro 100's) and quit in 1989. I didn't use the patch and I lost eight pounds when I did it, but I did get addicted to sugar-free gum. I cut up big fat drinking straws the length of cigarettes so I would have something to hold in my hand and ended up chewing on them until the whole thing was in my mouth. I ended up with wads of spitty plastic filling up my (clean) ashtrays for about six months. So it can be done, but no one ever said it was easy. I don't want to bore anyone with details of quitting, but I used CBT so message me if you have any questions. Good luck everyone who is trying to quit.

Fuck off, asshole spammer.

Okay, I'd like to report that I quit smoking in 2000, when I was 31 (smoked since 18, was up to 2 packs a day by the time I quit), but I have to confess that I've cheated this month with both cigarellos and cigarettes. And I hate myself. And I'm not gonna do it again.

There, now I've said it.
Don't hate yerself, doodle... it's a dang cunning thing, ain't it. You got this. I bet it tasted like shit anyways.

I STILL haven't quit yet. With my move happening in 3 mths and all the weird emotions and uprooting entailed, I have to do something to lessen the anxiety. I suffer from anxiety anyways, so quitting smoking induces more anxiety... and the last time I quit, my blood pressure went up cause I was so stressed.

Has anyone had any experience with well-brutin (sp?) or xanax to help with their anxiety and smoking cessation efforts?

I just got to save money, but I afraid I'll flip out without a little somethin-somethin, ya know?

Hey moonpie! It's funny - the first cheat I had was a cigarette (half of one, actually - one of my neighbours left it in my ashtray on the balcony), and it didn't taste bad at first, but it was the aftertaste that was awful - even after brushing my teeth, I couldn't get rid of it, and I couldn't get the smell out of my hands, either, no matter how many times I washed them. But my next cheat was with a cigarello (those skinny wine-dipped cigars with the plastic filters), and I enjoyed it wayyyy too much. And yeah, I'm still cheating a little bit, and trying not to....

I've had 2 friends try Wellbutrin. One of them reported that it made her feel MORE depressed, and the other one said it made her feel stoned all the time. Neither of them wound up quitting smoking with it.

It took me three serious tries to quit. The first time I went cold turkey, and quit for about 2 years. The second time I used Nicorette, and I stayed quit for almost 4 years, BUT I was addicted to the Nicorette almost the whole time. I finally quit the Nicorette and 6 months later, I was on a stress-leave from my job and started smoking again. The third time, I quit smoking using the patch, but supplemented with Nicorette near the end and for about half a year after. I did eventually quit the Nicorette, too, and haven't smoked until now. (I know darned well stress is behind it now, as well as the psychological desire to shake off aspects of my "good girl" personality, now that I'm in a band.)

Each time I quit, everything went in threes: the first three days were the hardest, and then the first three weeks, and then the first three months. After each of those hurdles, it didn't seem as hard to not smoke.

Oh, and I also supplemented with sugar. Lots of it. I used to wind up at the 7-Eleven, buying kids' candy from the bins. It was about 8 months after quitting smoking that I eventually was able to taper off the sugar. (Which eventually led to my belief in the theory that sugar is a drug!)

When I WAS being "good" about not smoking, I always had the desire to smoke - at least twice a month. I was always able to shake it off. I just told myself that I knew I wanted to smoke, but I simply wasn't going to. (Hence, the reason I think my desire for "bad girlness" is behind me cheating now.)

I've known people who've had a lot of success quitting smoking while smoking weed, because it cuts the anxiety and stress. And yeah, I do smoke weed, though not all the time....and I'm just as apt to make butter out of my weed and bake with it, to avoid the hazzards of smoke in my lungs. It's funny, though - since I've been really singing, properly (i.e., with the band, from the diaphragm), smoke (either kind) doesn't seem to bother my lungs very much.
Moonpie, it's been a while since you asked your medicines question, but I have tried both of those before, so I thought I'd tell you about my experiences. Wellbutrin was prescribed to help me quit smoking by a well-meaning general practioner. It worked very briefly, but then I became more jittery than ever before. My psychiatrist later told me that wellbutrin is not meant for people with anxiety issues, it only works to help non-anxious smokers quit. As far as xanax goes, it does a great job of ending anxiety immediately, but then when it wears off you're more aware of your anxiety than ever before.

I just wanted to chime in with my experiences with these drugs, because wellbutrin should be discussed with a psychiatric doctor moreso than a regular doc. Hope that is helpful. Although, after a year and a half of not smoking, I am back to it. cigs are a bitch to kick.
I love BUST but I totally do not understand why cigarette companies, no matter how “natural” they are, are permitted to advertise in BUST. I could go on and on but, none of us are stupid—we all know why we shouldn’t smoke. We all know the power of advertising.

As an on-again off-again smoker who reads BUST magazine not only to keep up with what’s going on but also to read stories of strong and interesting women to inspire me, I (and all of us) do not need to also be reminded how much we really want to smoke. GET AMERICAN SPIRIT OUT OF MY BUST!!
I've started taking Chantix, the magic "stop smoking, yo" drug. I'm finding it very strange. Has anyone else tried it? Known anyone who's been on it?
I am participating in a research study on Chantix, and I don't know if I am on Chantix or the placebo right now, but I'm pretty sure it's the Chantix. I've been on it about a week, and I'm experiencing some strange effects, but nothing really negative. I've been having trouble falling asleep at night, and I have a constant mild headache, but I've been quite giddy, maybe even a little manic. I've been way more productive this week than I normally am. Also, I had a mock trial the other night (I am a law student), and usually I get really nervous before those, but I was just excited, and one of my teammates didn't show and I jumped to volunteer to do his stuff. I normally don't volunteer to do stuff like that, and I've been raising my hand in class a lot, which I also don't normally do. I am a little nervous for this weekend though - I can't smoke after 11 pm on Saturday until after my MRI on Wednesday. They are studying the effects of Chantix on the brain and attention span. After that, I have to resume my regular smoking behavior for two weeks (w/o pills) and then do the same thing all over again with the other study medication (probably the placebo). At the end they put me on Chantix for thirteen weeks and give me counseling sessions. I've never participated in a study before, but it's kind of cool. My main motivation for doing it was so that I would be able to afford to go to Tokyo for spring break, but I have been wanting to quit for a while, and there's no way I would be able to pay for the medication myself. I'm hoping it works. I also hope I can get them to give me a copy of the image of my brain - I want to frame it and hang it next to my law degree after i graduate! tongue.gif
I had the headache for a bit. Right now I'm going back and forth between not wanting to smoke and wanting to smoke and being really hostile and angry and being needy. It's a little confusing. Also, I'm ravenously hungry all the time.
Hello all. I've been lurking this thread the last few days. I apologize in advance for the novel-sized post.
I stopped smoking about 9 months ago, cold turkey. For me, stopping has been nothing but a very personal and private thing, not only because my family and husband still smoke, but also because I have been very secretive about "my quit" and therefore haven't talked about this to anyone and have been pretty much alone about the whole thing. Of course they know I stopped smoking, but the reason I am so quiet about it is that my parents still smoke and also my husband still smokes (yes he smokes in the house) and even though I have NEVER once tried to "convince him to quit," or even hint around, he is SO defensive about smoking that he gets all bent out of shape just from those stop smoking commercials, as if they're personally attacking him. Even if he didn't, I wouldn't bug him. As I said, it's a personal choice/decision and I don't think a person can be successful in quitting if it's only to get someone to stop harassing or bugging them. As much as I hope someday my husband will quit smoking, and as much as I'm glad that I made the choice, I do truly feel like smokers are a population who are continually harassed and targeted, shunned and dismissed, and that every year it becomes more and more acceptable to treat people who are smokers like shit. Having been a smoker I know what that feels like to feel attacked and looked down on by society.

I smoked for 16 years, about a pack a day, but when drinking, which is often, I could easily smoke more than a pack in just one night! I can't lie, I really, really liked smoking, mostly. It was my thing. I had been doing it for so long that smoking became a part of Me. It was a part of who I was. I made decisions and arrangements in my life based on the fact that I was a smoker.... to me, that's what I was: A smoker. End of story. Smoking for me was my way to pass 5 minutes of time... to de-stress... to compliment my morning coffee... to accent my conversation with a friend... to amplify the enjoyment of a beer or a cup of coffee. The only thing that made that even better for me was when I could share smoking a cig with a friend. This is was a very common scenario for me:

Friend: Hey I'm gonna get going.
Me: Ok, but just have one last cigarette with me ok?
Friend: Sure thing! (lights up)

Smoking for me was not only very social, but also very much a physical habit. It was something to do with my hands. I've always been a rather fidgety person. Cigs to me became so natural I didn't even think twice before lighting up. After a nice dinner, first thing I did was reach for my cigs. Pour myself a beer at night and hangout, always with my cigs at my side. Wait for a friend, light up and kill 5 minutes. Total habit, habit, habit. Did I need to do these things in order to function? No, but smoking had become so intertwined with my life that I just naturally associated these things and behaviors with one another and never thought twice about what I was doing.

One thing that always haunted me was the fact that yes... ok I know smoking is bad for me, everywhere I look, society is scolding me for being a "dirty smoker." But... the thought of quitting smoking gave me such anxiety that I never let myself think about it for too long. When I would hear a friend say that they were considering quitting smoking I would of course give the patented "oh cool, good luck" response but inside I would actually feel betrayed! I've always felt ashamed for having such thoughts, and never admitted it to anyone before, but now I can see just how much anxiety I had about smoking. I honestly believe that's why my husband gets so defensive and angry about those stop smoking commercials. I think he's probably got a lot of anxiety (the same as I had) about the thought of cigarettes not being a part of his life anymore. I wish he could see that it's going to be ok!

A few of the things I have noticed and am glad about:
I no longer get that smothering, heavy chest feeling if I lay on my back
I no longer get a thumping heart
I no longer have chronic post-nasal-drip and phlegm in my throat
My clothes and hair no longer smell like smoke
My car doesn't smell like smoke
I no longer spend about $180.00 bucks a month on cigs

An important thing for me, was to remind myself to keep viewing my stopping smoking decision as a beneficial gift for myself.... even if that sounds cheezy, but most importantly NOT to view the whole thing as a punishment! In other words: *I* am in control. Not anyone else. And I am choosing to not smoke. If I "sneak" a cigarette, who am I fooling but myself? No one is making me not smoke, just like no one is making me smoke. It's MY choice, and right now I choose to not smoke.

This train of thought really, really helped me keep my thoughts in check. I also tried to remember that I knew that if I did choose to smoke one, that I would most likely feel like shit, as each hour and each day passed, the thought of the physical consequences of smoking just one cigarette turned me totally off. I used to smoke while driving to work and then, after not smoking at work all day, I'd light up on the way home and whoa, after not smoking all day, that after-work smoke made me feel kinda dizzy and sick. I used to think every day while having that cigarette... Ugh! What the heck am I DOING this for?? The memory of that awful feeling helped me choose to not have "just one" cigarette. I didn't plan it, but for some reason I would find myself taking really deep breaths...maybe out of nervousness? Well who knows but I would do that a lot during the first week or two, and it almost felt like the feeling in the back of my throat of taking a drag, yet without the yucky racing heart and other stuff. I still do that occasionally to this day. It seems to help.

Ugh well of course there's more but I cannot seem to NOT write a novel.... and I am sorry about that hehe. And of course I wish everyone the best of luck who is tying to stop. smile.gif
Kinkaju - thank you for sharing your story, the things you said make so much sense! I had to go to the clinic this morning to get my pre-quit counseling (As part of the study I have to have two "practice quits" before the real one, because they need uniform conditions for their research), and after I stopped at the book store and was reading The Easy Way to Quit Smoking, to help myself prepare. The author was saying that a lot of what makes smokers so defensive is the fear. We have basically convinced ourselves that smoking relieves stress, makes us feel good, etc. He analogized it to the feeling you get when you take off shoes that are too tight - it feels good but you wouldn't purposely wear shoes that are too tight just to get that feeling. The nicotine addiction causes the fear that keeps us in that behavior. That made a lot of sense to me. That fear is also why all the scare tactics don't work. You're right, quitting is a very personal choice - and people berating and harassing smokers about being unhealthy or weak or stupid is neither effective nor fair. I am 29, and I started smoking when I was 15. When I lit that first cigarette, I never thought that it would lead to an addiction. Yeah, I learned that smoking was bad and addictive in health class, but who listens at that age? Plus most of my family smoked. Most people who smoke start around that age. The only things separating non-smokers from smokers is that the non-smokers either didn't experiment for whatever reason (lack of desire or access) or they tries it and got so sick they never wanted to do it again. I think it's really unfair that smokers are treated as stupid or weak for making a bad decision when they're kids.

I have only started considering quitting in the last year. I used to always get defensive about the thought of quitting, even with myself! I think it's that fear - not just of the withdrawal, but that it was part of who I am (a smoker) and that it would change me. A lot of factors have been making me feel like I am sick of smoking. I began noticing fine lines on my face, I was becoming more self-conscious about my teeth. The prices keep going up, and I think about all the people getting rich off of me, and everything else I could be doing with that money. And then, last summer, I climbed Mt. Fuji. Don't get me wrong, it was a great experience, but it is what made me realize the full extent of what I have been doing to my body. It was a lot harder than it had to be. I remember standing on the edge of that mountain at one in the morning, barely able to breath, and thinking I need to quit smoking and join a gym. I never realized before how much smoking has been holding me back. I have convinced myself that I hate exercise, when really, I just hate being out of breath. At the same time, climbing Fuji also made me realize that if I can climb that bitch of a mountain, I can do just about anything, which will hopefully get me through this experience.

I don't know if what I am doing is the best way to quit, especially with having to do 2 "practice quits" after which I have to smoke again, before doing the actual quit, but I feel like the structure of the program will help me. I have never tried to quit before, and I only want to have to do it once. I have to abide by their requirements exactly in order to get paid, but at the same time they provide a lot of free resources. I really hope it works, I want to be quit before I turn 30 in June.

Sorry - it looks like I wrote a novel too! Again, I really appreciate you sharing your insight, feel free to write as much as you want! My counselor this morning also mentioned the deep breathing - I'm definitely going to use that one. Did you do anything to deal with needing to do something with your hands? I'm thinking I should get some lollipops or something, but maybe I should try to get over that altogether?
Cecilia, I've heard a lot of people take up some sort of fiber art so they can keep their hands busy. Knitting, crocheting and embroidery are all popular choices. Also, I've started drinking a lot.
Uh, wait. I take my breaks at work outside and I've started bringing along a bottle of water or a latte or a soda. Every time I see someone take a drag, I take a sip. I work with my hands (I'm a pastry chef) and so they are sore a lot so I haven't found the need to occupy them as much. You could get a Wii if you don't already have one. Many of the games are so much fun that you don't want to stop playing to smoke.
So it's day 8 of taking the Chantix. My cravings are gone. Like, for reals. It's a strange feeling, not wanting or needing to smoke.
13 days of Chantix. 6 Days without smoking at all. Every now and then, at home, alone I think, "One sounds nice right about now." But I haven't felt the pull of smoking. I don't want to go buy any. I really feel like this time is going to work.
QUOTE(zora @ Mar 7 2008, 04:52 PM) *
13 days of Chantix. 6 Days without smoking at all. Every now and then, at home, alone I think, "One sounds nice right about now." But I haven't felt the pull of smoking. I don't want to go buy any. I really feel like this time is going to work.

Goodluck wink.gif
way to go zora! it's been two months since i quit smoking, cold turkey, with my boyfriend. i was afraid we would enable each other, but instead we made the rule of no hugging, kissing, sex etc for the other one if either of us smoked. worked like a charm!
Awesome! Keep going, you can totally do it! And just think, the more time that passes, the better your body and mind will feel. biggrin.gif
I'm rezzing this. Looks like this topic has been out of commission since last March, and with New Years resolutions on the horizon, I figure that a few of you people are going to need some support.

And yes, by 'you people' I mean smokers.
Queen Bull
Gah, thank you alluna, you could not be more right. I am supposed to have quit/quit for new years, but the thing is, i really dont want to. ha. I know i need to, i know it is RUINING my health. But oh dear..
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