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Smoking Cessation Message Board


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hey folks. first time poster. just turned 33 and decided enoughs enough with smoking (been smoking since i was 19)

unlike many, its not so much physical worries that is making quit, but rather the apathy smoking has brought to my life. when i was young i was always an angry person, then i found smoking and voila, my anger went pretty much away. smoking calmed me right down.

the only problem is that its made me apathetic through out my life. instead of being a 'go getter' i've just shrugged off so much because, hey, i could just have a smoke and whatever was concerning me didn't seem so important.

but enough is enough. this habit has taken so much enjoyment from my life - most if it im sure i don't even realize i've missed out on. i've been self-medicating using cigarettes and enough is enough.

anyway, i've tried the patch, inhaler, and gum. the patch worked well for me, it really quelled the withdrawal symptoms. the problem with the patch though is that it was so easy to simply take it off after the work day and have a smoke - it was too easy to jump off the NRT and 'reward' myself with a genuine cigarette.

the good thing with chantix is that once i take the pill, there's no 'untaking' it. whether i like it or not its going to do its thing. which for someone like me is perfect - it basically means that the only 'motivation' i need is for about 10 seconds when i take the pill in the morning. after that, chantix is in my system and helping me get through the day.

while today is my first day, im so impressed with the drug that i felt like sharing. i'm really amazed. when i have smoke now i don't get the 'ahhhh' feeling. usually id have a smoke about once an hour, when my concentration was starting to fade. but on chantix i've found that my concentration is even throughout the day - and i consider this a big reason for the dulled need to have a smoke.

so far i've had no side effects. i had no queasiness taking it this morning. I did find that i was exhausted this afternoon and had to take a 4 hour nap (hehe, now i can't sleep and its almost 2am). i feel a bit of 'fogginess', but nothing excessive - and to be honest its 'almost' an enjoyable fogginess, 'almost' like the calm i got from smoking.

anyway, given im getting these effects from only one .5mg pill (like i say its my first day) i'm amazed.

also, what i love about this stuff is that it enables a process whereby i end up simple rejecting cigarettes. unlike the patch, where you basically have to STOP smoking, with this stuff i can keep smoking and say 'goodbye' to my old friend slowly. that was my biggest problem with the patch, it was so 'decisive' - i'd realize 'this is the last smoke im ever goign to smoke' the night before, which would then get me thinking about everything i was giving up, and then stressing me out that maybe giving up smoking wasn't the smartest thing to do. id end up smoking twice as much the day before putting on the patch becuase if i succeed these would be hte last smokes id ever have (yet despite that, i never managed to succeed in quiting.)

but with chantix i don't have to think about 'this is my last smoke'. while the urge to 'quit smoking' keeps getting stronger, i know im free at any time to have a smoke and not impeed my progress. as a result the whole fear process of giving up a coping mechanism like smoking isn't present. my smoking today is about 50% of what it normally is, which is amazing for teh first day. all i can do is hope that as the next few weeks go by, my 'habit' gets weaker and weaker and at some point i simply stop smoking all together - from some of the experiences folks on here have had, i'm pretty optimistic that is exactly what is goign to happen.

anyway, i know a lot of folks have had side effects taking chantix. i don't know if i'll develop any, but so far so good. and i don't want to praise this thing too much, since i've only just started taking it, but i can definitively say that this feels unlike other NRTs.
well just finished day 4. smoking a bit less. noticing my lungs are starting to cough up more phelm than before - good sign i guess.

for the first 2 days i was really lethargic. on day 3 that seemed to pass. now on day 4 (where you double the dose) the lethargy is back. but only on taking the second dose in the evening.

the fogginess i was having seems to be gone. the bloating is gone also.

so basically side effects still in play are lethargy and thats it. a bit of achiness also, but very mild.

anyway, can't say the process so far has been 'fun', but i can say im getting to the point where i can actually see myself quiting.

ironically the side effects im having so far are helping me look forward to quiting - i keep thinking "this is what cigarettes have done to me. its not chantix doing this to me, its 14 years of smoking. cigarettes are NOT my friend."

while i thought that way in past quit attempts, i gotta say its way easier to mean it and believe it on chantix. its true what they say, you have to want to quit for this to work, but its amazing how it gives you enough of a cushion from the withdrawal to have a fighting chance.
thanks KC.

made it through day 8 without smoking.

work up feeling pretty good today (day 9). actually had enough energy to go out and get some stuff done. went to the gas station and the grocery store (among others) and didn't buy a pack of smokes at either. felt pretty good, the urge was there but it wasn't so much an urge to smoke as it was anxiety over whether i would smoke or not.

in the past i've gone close to 24 hours without smoking (22 hours was my longest i think). already my last smoke was over 40 hours ago and the withdrawal is minimal. i mean, its still there, im still edgy, but its nothing like cold turkey. its still tough enough that you need to want to do this.

today is a big day, because (and how ironic is this) in the past when i would go a day without smoking, i would reward myself with... you guessed it, a smoke! haha. crazy i know, but that's how it would go.

so day 2 of a quit is the toughest for me, because thats where i start to feel better and think 'ahh, i feel healthy again. one smoke wont kill me." and after that one smoke its right back to being a smoker.

so far today i haven't bought any smokes, but the urge is there. its more a psychological urge than physical though.

at this point in chantix (day 9) with 40+ hours of non smoking under my belt, the pros and cons of the experience right now are...

pros

- wow, haven't smoked in my car in like a week and when i got in it today it smelled like an ashtray to me. a dull stink. is this what other people smell when a smoker is around? yuck.

- wow, i can smell smoke everywhere now. got in the elevator today and could tell a smoker must have just been in it. when i leave a building i can smell smoke from where people put out their smokes.

- side effects of chantix have gone way down. drowsiness is gone. fogginess is gone. bloating is gone. constipation is gone. basically just edginess and a tad of lethargy remains.

- energy levels are way up. not sure if its actual energy or simply tension from withdrawal. either way, i'm considering taking a jog this evening, so thats something.

- socialness and libido is up (its above what it was when i was a smoker). im checking out women left right and center now. when i was a smoker i'd just kind of go about my business and ignore most people around me. now i find myself overly engaged with the world around me. go figure.

cons

- man i would still love to smoke. i picked one of the toughest times to quit. i have way too much free time on my hands and not enough to do. if i were married or had kids there would be distractions. but regardless, there is never an 'easy' time to quit, so all of that is just an excuse. but anyway, the point is that i woudl still really like to have a smoke. right now i'm winning the battle , its kind of like 51% me in control and 49% nicotine wanting control back - i've got just enough to fend it off.

- the first week sucked, and week 2 is much better even on the higher dosage (i was worried side effects woudl get worse, but they haven't, they've actually gotten better - maybe because im not smoking, who knows). but part of me still wonders when i'll stop feeling anxious about not smoking.

- when i was a smoker i never had a temper. i jsut let everything in life roll off my back. now im finding my patience isn't what it use to be. im not losing control or anything, but if someone cuts me off in traffic i curse to myself and get frustrated about it for 10 seconds or so. whereas before is someone cut me off i'd just have a cig and laugh about them being bad drivers.

- my appetite is way up. although i haven't gained any weight since starting chantix. and while my appetite is up, its not out of control. in past quits i'd just want to eat handfuls of sugar ;) but with chantix i just feel maybe 25% more hungry than normal, and eating healthy food takes care of the hunger. heck i was driving around today and was starving - you all know that feeling when your starving and you just have a smoke to and the hunger goes away for an hour or two. well i managed to stay hungry for 2 or so hours with no smoke and not buying any smokes - so its not so bad that you have to eat or smoke to deal with it.


but a lot of what id call cons are things i dont think chantix can help with. i mean, normal living includes getting anxious at times, getting upset at times, etc.

im just so use to being sooo even keel as a smoker that its goign to take time to get use to being more emotional and interactive with the world around me. this will sound strange, but without smokes around to dull life you FEEL life more - both the good things and the bad things.

anyway, i came very close to buying a pack today. i didn't so much want a pack, but actually just wanted 1 cigarette. i don't knwo if ill be able to hold out the entire week. part of me wants to smoke a cigarette just to see if i have that 'yuck, this is gross' feeling.

we'll see. but either way, i'm going to stay on chantix until i beat smoking. with the side effects now pretty much gone this shouldn't be too hard.
[B]Well alright now!!! Congratulations on day 8!!! You're doing pretty damned good there. Pat on the back to you!!![/B]

Wow, you sound just like me nine months ago. Trust me, it really does get much better with time.

As far as the "Pros":

Nicotine used to cause your veins to become constricted all the time. Now that you quit, blood is flowing far more evenly throughout your body. So libido is going to be up. You'll have more energy. You can breath deeper. Your not out of breath when you get to the top of the stairs any more. Very cool...

You are quite right about smoke smelling pretty bad while on Chantix. Smells just as bad when you get off of it. What's happening is the Chantix will not allow your brain to process the "Aaaahhh" feeling any more. So now you are smelling smoke the way every non-smoker does. Almost smells like burning leaves, huh? "Yuck" is right... I still smell it around the house every once in awhile. Smoke is so damned destructive!!! Sheesh...

As for as the "Cons":

I offer you the following to muddle over. What you are feeling right now is very normal and will definitely subside with time.

Trust me, smoking is no longer an option. You definitely don't want to have to go through this again. No, no, no... :nono:

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Nicotine withdrawal symptoms:[/B]

Irritability, mood swings, restlessness, insomnia, fatigue,
inability to concentrate, sore throat, cough, congestion, headache,
increased appetite constipation, gas, stomach pain, dry mouth,
sore tongue/gums , postnasal drip, tightness in the chest.

[B]Chantix side effects:[/B]

Headache, sleep problems, insomnia, unusual dreams, nausea, stomach pain,
indigestion, vomiting, constipation, gas, weakness, tired feeling, increased appitite, unpleasant taste in your mouth.[/COLOR]

Hope this helps...

I had a lot of these symptoms, though not all certainly.

One thing that surprised the daylights out of me was that I actually started to calm down after a few days. Way more then when I smoked. I really mellowed out more with time.

Be reminded that any crave you have will never last longer then three minutes. It's a fact! Try timing it some time. I know - seems like forever. But with Chantix the craving goes POOF! in less then 30 seconds.

For me, what really helped was researching all the postings here and else where on the internet.

Knowledge is power!!!

Glad to hear you are doing so incredibly well. Hang in there buddy, you're doing just fine.

Kevin__
Yes sir, it's called insomnia. It's a nicotine withdrawal symptom. It'll go away with time. However if it becomes too much for you, I know of others on this board (from way back when) who actually cut back on the Chantix to 1MG in the morning and 1/2 MG at night. Some found that if they took the pill at 5:00pm then the side effects passed by bed time.

Now I do not know if you are a caffeine addict like I am, but here is some pretty interesting stuff you may want to consider. (Love that Starbucks...)

I posted this back in March:

[COLOR="Blue"]Not sure if you will find this helpful or not, however I pulled this off the web and thought you might find it at least interesting. I know I did.

[B]The nicotine withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, headache, or difficulty sleeping) may be severe for some - especially if the cigarettes smoked [U]contain high levels of nicotine[/U][/B]

The article was written by a smoking cessation specialist by the name of Terry Martin.

Kevin__

Insomnia When You Quit Smoking
From Terry Martin,
Your Guide to Smoking Cessation.

I can't sleep!

Sleep disturbances are a common side effect of nicotine withdrawal. Some people will sleep much more than usual through this phase of cessation, while others have difficulty getting any sleep at all. If you find yourself suffering from insomnia during the first few weeks after you quit smoking, try a few of these natural remedies to ease your discomforts.

Cut out the caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people know this, but here's a fact that is less widely known: caffeine in the body of a smoker is metabolized(digested) at about twice the rate as that of a nonsmoker. The result is a high tolerance to caffeine. When you quit smoking, the amount of coffee or colas you're used to drinking might now make you very jittery and anxious. Cut back on, or cut out caffeine completely for awhile, especially if youíre having trouble sleeping through the night. Chances are good that once you're through the withdrawal process, you'll be able to drink coffee again, though maybe not as much as you used to.

Take a warm bath. This is one of my personal favorite ways to relax and destress. I recommend it often, and YES, itís good for the guys too! Light a few candles, use some scented bath salts, and submerge!

Get a massage. Enlist your spouse or other willing pair of hands to help work the stress out of your muscles. If you can get a full body massage, great, but even 10 or 15 minutes spent on your neck, shoulders, face and scalp can really work wonders to relax you to the point of being ready to sleep.

Have a cup of herbal tea. There are a variety of teas on the market today blended specifically to help soothe and promote sleep. Take a look at the tea section in the supermarket, or visit your local health food store and ask for suggestions.

Listen to some soothing music. Soft, mellow music can go a long way towards relaxing you enough to drift off to sleep. You may want to try listening to a recording of waves hitting the beach - soft sounds can be a very good sleep aid. Make sure you have a player that will turn itself off - you donít want to have to get up and do it yourself - defeats the purpose!

Have a glass of warm milk. Spice it up with a little honey and cardamom or nutmeg. It could well be that the reason warm milk helps us sleep is due to the fact that it is a food rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan helps the body produce neurotransmitters such as seratonin. Neurotransmitters are chemical nerve messengers that tell our bodies to shut down at night, as well as helping us to be fully awake during the day. More of the L-tryptophan in milk gets delivered to your brain when you eat a carbohydrate along with it. No wonder milk and cookies have long been a favorite bedtime snack.

Other foods containing the amino acid L-tryptophan:

chicken
eggs
turkey
dairy productsÖmilk, cheese, yogurt
watermelon
cashews

Donít drink alcohol. It disrupts sleep. Though a few drinks may make it easier to fall asleep initially, a person will often wake up just a few hours into their sleep cycle. Frequently, sleep is then intermittent for the remainder of the night.

Get some exercise. Even a short 15 minute walk will help, but if you can't sleep, try getting out for a nice long walk a few hours before bed.

Meditate. The value of this exercise is in letting the stress of your day go. Start out by laying quietly, eyes closed, for 5 minutes. When thoughts come, acknowledge them and let them go. Let your mind drift. Build the time up that you do this activity gradually. Itís a terrific way to relax and slow down enough to sleep. Adding meditation to your daily routine will reward you with improved control and calmness throughout your day.

Read a good book. Climb into bed and settle in for some reading. It never fails to put me out, usually within the first 5 pages.

Avoid naps. While it may feel good to get a bit of sleep in during the day, if you're suffering from insomnia, you need to skip the naps.

Get up earlier. Another useful technique to help you shift your internal clock so that youíre sleepy come bedtime.

Remember, the physical withdrawal phase of quitting tobacco is a temporary condition. Your sleep patterns will return to normal soon, providing you didnít have insomnia before cessation. If symptoms persist beyond the first month or so, schedule a visit with your doctor.[/COLOR]
well, i've gone off the chantix and i gotta say, i feel fine.

in fact, this is a welcome relief to how i felt on chantix. at no point did i feel 'myself' when on it. but despite that it did stop my desire to smoke.

if i hadn't gotten those 4 days of non smoking in with chantix, i dont know if id still be smoke free. but so far today i am. i have no desire to smoke.

i've never been a coffee drinker and i just started. i love this stuff. its gives me the same 'pick me up' as smoking does, but without the hacking and coughing.

for those who took chantix and had no side effects, wow you are so lucky. it would be a great way to quit for sure. but because of how i was feeling, i couldn't stand to take it beyond the 1.5 weeks i did.

but on the bright side, not smoking for 4 days on chantix really broke the myth i had that i NEEDED to smoke. i didn't! and i don't! i know that now.

in a wierd way, the chantix experience for me was NOT fun, but it did remove most of the desire to smoke, so it make quiting easier. but perhaps precisely because it was hard that i am able to be smoke free now without it - i never want to go back to smokes and have to go through quitting again (whether cold turkey or with chantix).





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