I Quit

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Quit

Largely because of a doctor visit this week, I decided to seriously quit smoking (again) and today is my first day on the prescription medication, Chantix, or Chamtix, as it's called in Canada and Europe.

The perfect scenario for this 12 week program is to quit smoking by the end of the first week. Most people slow down through the weeks and end up quitting altogether by the end of the 12 weeks or sooner.

I've quit twice before by cutting down. After 40 years of smoking, it's not only about the nicotine, though that withdrawal will be ugly. It's also the lifestyle, the bitch of a habit, the oral fixation -- tootsie roll pops and gum are helpful. I've kicked smoking (and worse) before so I hope this time I'm successful. And that it's not too late for me.

A diagx managed to scare this old bird into big-time serious quitting mode. Chantix is controversial, but the risks outweigh keeping smoking to me.

What has worked for you, or someone you know, to quit smoking? How'd you do it?


Sister Wolf Sun Aug 03, 04:26:00 AM EDT  

I am so glad you asked! And I worry about Chantix!

I quit by chewing Nicorette gum. It was the only way. COld turkey or trying to "cut down" didn't work.

The gum is the ticket. You use it as a crutch as your body and brain adjusts to the absence of cigarettes. You slowly taper off the gum (cuz it's not that exciting to chew) and voila, YOU ARE FREE FROM SLAVERY TO NICOTINE!

I smoked two packs a day, a hardcore longtime smoker. In time you will stop missing it. You can hold a pen for the tactile habit, and you can have mint after dinner or sex or whatever.

I'm happy for you! You can and will do this. If I could, anyone could. xo

Ole Phat Stu Sun Aug 03, 07:37:00 AM EDT  

My wife She-Of-The-Steel-Willpower quit cold turkey 30 years ago this month. I couldn't do that, so I stopped by reducing the dose.

Week 1: From 30 Black Russians to 20 Black Russians .

Week 2: Stay at 20, but change to Pall Mall (almost incredibly weak by comparison)

Week 3: From 20 PM to 15 Pall Mall.

Week 4: Change back to Black Russian, find you can only manage 5 or 6 of them :-)

Week 5: Change back to Pall Mall.
But stay with only 5.

Week 6. Five Pall Mall were so weak, I could quit then :-)

Never smoked since :-)

Sujaco Sun Aug 03, 01:11:00 PM EDT  

Sister Wolf: Thanks for the encouraging words. Good to hear that you beat smoking. I like that the Chantix doesn't contain nicotine or any drugs. Watch out, I'm going to get technical on your ass--It does some sort of blocking, and the word dopamine is mentioned.

Stu: That's pretty funny. But whatever works, right? Congrats to you and your steel-willed wife. I did pretty much the same thing about cutting down, but on the last week when I went back to super weak cigarettes, I kept smoking them-- one right after the other.

The urge to smoke is evil. Believe it or not, this medicine is taking away that urge. I just started this stuff and who knows how it's going to turn out but for now I really like it and have high hopes.

Sister Wolf Sun Aug 03, 04:54:00 PM EDT  


Anonymous Mon Aug 04, 08:13:00 AM EDT  

HOME MADE CINNAMON TOOTHPICKS. It's not just nicotein, one developes a need for oral stimulation.

Sujaco Mon Aug 04, 01:15:00 PM EDT  

Thanks for the good idea, anon. I just may do that.

Deb @ Sugarfused Tue Aug 05, 11:52:00 AM EDT  

I'll be over here cheering for you! So happy to read about your decision to quit. I don't know anything about Chantix but I hope it helps. I ate a ton of hard candy and, yes, it still shows to this day, but I don't care anymore. I'd rather have the extra weight than the smoker's breath.
Good luck!!

S Tue Aug 05, 04:19:00 PM EDT  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lima Tue Aug 05, 04:21:00 PM EDT  

If its any help running has worked well for me. I've never been a smoker, but I've had some brutal withdrawals before and it really helps, because it gets the endorphines moving, its natural and endorphines feel better.

Sujaco Tue Aug 05, 06:12:00 PM EDT  

Thanks for your encouragement, Deb. It means a great deal. Hard candy or anything like that is most helpful. I like any sucker on a stick because I'm able to hold it and put it in my mouth. I can withdraw from suckers later!

lima: I like the explanation about running. I used to run 8 miles a day. Now I'm so out of breath, I'm winded going to the mailbox and back. Sad. Thanks for stopping by!

Lima Tue Aug 05, 11:52:00 PM EDT  

I had the same thing happen. The first time I got winded, but I got a bit of the endorphines and looked back and thought well that sucked and soon enough I was feeling good again and it helped clear my mind. Running also increases serotonin levels which are the satisfied with life centers of the brain which really go a long way to eliminating cravings. Which ever way best of luck!

Chaobell Thu Aug 07, 12:30:00 AM EDT  

This is going to sound kind of dumb, but it worked: I realized that if I didn't have cigarettes, I didn't smoke. And reminded myself that it took more time and effort to go buy cigarettes than find something else to do until the urge passed. Laziness actually became my ally. "Man, I want a cigarette... but I would have to go to the store and get some... and they're what, $500 a pack now... meh, forget it, I'll just chew some gum or something."

Also, I could not go anywhere without a pack of gum on my person for about three months.

weirdpixie Fri Aug 08, 02:54:00 PM EDT  

hi susan! excellent to hear you are on a quitting streak and of course i wish you the very best with it and sending lightbeams your way.

when i quit (almost 9 years ago!) i used Nicorette patches for about a week until I couldn't stand the nausea anymore-- they made me really sick to my stomach and I just couldn't stand that feeling anymore one day so I just stopped using them altogether and stuck with the gnarly cravings, using lots of cinnamon candy to help me get by. I bought tons of Hot Tamales ;) Used to keep the boxes in my purse, desk, and at home in the snack drawer. That took about a month actually before I was able to ween myself off the candy completely and never lit up another cigarette ever again.

Sujaco Fri Aug 08, 03:24:00 PM EDT  

Chaobell- In my quit program, today is the day I throw out all my cigarettes, butts, ashtrays, lighters, etc. 5 packs of cigarettes down the drain. I hate being wasteful but it has to be done.

WeirdPixie the ritual is very habit forming. You really braved through with just a week of the patches. Good for you. I may later have a sucker jones to deal with but for now that's mighty fine with me.

Man, you guys make me feel strong about my quit. THANK YOU!


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