Smoking Cessation Tips: How I Quit Smoking with Chantix

What’s it going to take? What is your “bottom” with cigs? Cancer/death – you already have COPD Lung Disease-Pneumonia-Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis. If you can’t stop now you won’t be able to stop when you go lower – oxygen-chemotherapy-cancer. You think you control smoking just like alcohol – When I get that bad I’ll quit – Like I have a choice or control over when I will quit. Drinking bottom was when I looked at myself in the mirror with my unmanageable destructive-chaotic life in front of me and finally realized, “I can’t stop.” With cigs I’ve always said, I’ll quit – just not right now.” When is a good time? Like alcohol how do you hit bottom? Some when they are spending too much money on it/ first dui/divorce/lose house/lose kids/skid row bum/dead. Smokers – First bronchitis attack/first pneumonia/ lung disease/oxygen/cancer/dead. What is my bottom for cigs? When I tried to quit it was like a dry drunk – miserable – more patches –inhalers etc. I deprive myself, force it. I’d always smoke again. Like I was in control. I think I always knew I couldn’t quit but I would never admit it. Step One. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-our lives had become unmanageable.

  • 1. Dr. Expenses
  • 2. Missing work
  • 3. Can’t breathe
  • 4. Cough so hard it hurts
  • 5. Have lung disease
  • 6. Pay $3 a pack $6 a day $42 a week $168 a month. Wow, I could join the gym!
  • 7. Burn holes in everything. Antique linen table cloth
  • 8. My house, clothes, car, breath stink
  • 9. My teeth are yellow and falling out, gum disease
  • 10. Osteoporosis
  • 11. Emphysema-lung disease-COPD
  • 12. Adam’s Spontaneous Pneumothorax – Second hand smoke?
  • 13. It controls me – Inconvenient – go outside, stop & get more, don’t run out.


Smoke Free 76 Days!

Wow! It seems like forever! I took Chantix for 6-weeks and thought I would try to get off of it because of bad things I am hearing in the news. I have not had any of the side effects-depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.-that they are discussing about Chantix. Anyway, I went off of it last Monday. It has a 5-day half life, sort of a self tapering system. So, by day 5, it is completely out of your system. Well, Thursday, day 4, I was kind of depressed and weepy,(which is exactly the way I am without my cigarettes.) Then Friday, I had a fully blown depression episode of crying and not being able to stop. That usually happens to me when I get off nicotine. When I would go to a lower dose nicotine patch is usually when I when get like that and smoke, hence I never got past 60 days before Chantix. When I am on Chantix I am fine, without it I could smoke just to make me quit crying. Anyway, I filled my Rx and got another six-week supply, (I only take one 1mg Chantix in the morning. I do not take two 1mg doses.) The one at night was just too much and I couldn’t get to sleep and when I finally did I didn’t want to get up. So one Chantix has been working for me for 6 weeks now.

So, I am back on the Chantix. Big deal! I did not smoke and I could of. There are plenty of people at work that would give me one. My son gave me a good idea on how to look at going back on the Chantix. He said, “Look at it like you do your anti-depressant. It is medicine, that helps you, not a drug.” Well, that helped me so much. As a matter of fact, my Doctor told me I could stay on it a year if that is what it takes for me not to smoke. I am not going to try and rush this thing.

It is a bigger risk to my life for me to smoke than it is to keep taking the Chantix.

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Smoke Free 80 Days!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

Nicotine is a drug used for relaxation, no? Nicotine is a drug used as sustenance due to frequent situations where one is expected to behave well beyond the so-called ‘rational’ task, to deal with the more than the expected……and only to those addicted. To others such a task is normal and easy without any chemical help. To those addicted, it is a staple of life.

I want to see Nicotine as a ‘drug of relief’ instead of a ‘drug of sustenance’ (AKA ‘BECAUSE I HAVE TO’ ). Thus, due to my stubbornness and my expectations of being perfect, I will only be smoking one pack per day from this day on, down from two packs per day. I got off work at 9:30 PM. It is 12:26 AM now, and I’ve had three smokes since then, the normal sum is around 15 smokes, amazing?….and it doesn’t bug me. Thus, why should the force of habit make me smoke when my natural dependence to nicotine doesn’t even WANT it? Answer: I shouldn’t. I should only ‘use’ such a ‘drug’ when I ‘need’ to.

I may never ‘need’ to….but it’s a step towards a future smoke-free life. I should never ‘need’ anything besides myself and those close to me, but the word ‘need’ is almost synonymous with the word ‘want’……Do I want what I need, or do I need what I want? One way to tell, and I’m trying to figure out that question by literally cutting my smoking in half.

This work is released to the public domain. I hold no copyrights, and no rights reserved.

Smoke Free 90 Days!

Wow! Now that’s a new record for me. It’s a miracle that’s for sure, one day at a time. Never underestimate the power of prayer. And I can’t forget the Chantix. I know I couldn’t have made it this far without it.

I have not been going to the gym. I miss going because it is such a great reminder that I no longer smoke. I tend to take it for granted that I am not smoking anymore. Can you imagine? As desperate as I was to stop and all those times I tried, I have now become complacent. When I go work out every step on that treadmill reminds me how lucky I am that I can breathe and still have the oxygen and stamina to walk two or three miles at a pretty good pace. Now if it gives me such a great feeling, why don’t I go? I have a million reasons. I forget to bring my shoes/clothes in the morning, my son works at 5:00 and needs my car most nights during the week, I never think about going in the morning before work, and I never think about going home changing shoes/clothes and then heading for the gym. Okay, no more excuses. I just figured out how I can overcome the minor obstacles I have thrown in my path. After all, I am paying for it every month, I might as well use it, right?

Well, our KU Jayhawks have made it to the Final Four once again. I am so excited. Those kids have worked hard and I hope they go all the way! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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Smoke free 105 days!

8 Habits of Successful Ex-Smokers

  1. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the more support you receive from friends and family, the more likely you are to quit smoking successfully. Calling someone and asking for help was number one on most ex-smokers lists. Remember, you are not alone. Millions of people have successfully quit cigarettes.
  2. Avoiding others who smoke. Sometimes this can be difficult, especially if it’s a family member or husband/wife that is a smoker, but smelling cigarette smoke, (more so, in your home), can trigger a relapse. Hopefully, they will understand and volunteer to smoke outside to help the cause.
  3. Staying away from places they used to smoke. Not the car or the living room, but the corner bar or restaurant that they would linger for hours, over a cigarette with friends. Or the side of the building at work where they would take their breaks with the other smokers. Successful ex-smokers go for a walk on their break, on the opposite side of the building.
  4. Taking up a new hobby has helped many ex-smokers stay quit. Crocheting, Photography, Crossword Puzzles, or Excersing. Anything that engages your hands and your mind. Some people Knit, do Sudoku, start Blogging or get their own Domain Name and start a website. There are so many things to do, other than smoking. Find something you enjoy and do it.
  5. Get a check-up. After becoming an ex-smoker, we suddenly become aware of how important our health is and want to take care of it. Going and getting your cholesterol checked, blood sugars, mammogram (if female), and a general physical shortly after quitting, is a great way to feel good about yourself and the huge step you have taken to take better care of your health. It also makes it easy to remember to have an annual physical on your Quit Date!
  6. Successful ex-smokers have a morning and evening routine. They have a plan that they follow like taking a shower first thing after the alarm goes off. It is hard to smoke when you are soaking wet. Or they brush their teeth, no one wants to smoke when their breath is fresh. If they drink coffee they change the location where they drink it, i.e. the basement or at the corner coffee shop. Any location that is different from where you would drink your coffee and smoke before becoming a successful ex-smoker. Do the same for your evening routine. Relax before bed by reading or praying the rosary or just closing your eyes and relaxing for a while. Deep breathing is another good habit to get into, especially right before bed or during times of stress.
  7. Last but not least – NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, DRAG, TOKE, ETC. FROM A CIGARETTE AGAIN!!!

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Smoking Addiction-Could it be your Genes?

US News.com reported that three seperate teams of scientists have narrowed down that smoking addiction and lung cancer could be connected to certain genes. This discovery could mean screening that would help with the success of people who have been trying to quit, but seem to lack the ability. This explains why some smokers continue to smoke even after being diagnosed with cancer or are on oxygen. They just can’t stop.

The scientists studied the genes of more than 35,000 white people of European descent in Europe, Canada and the United States. Blacks and Asians will be studied soon and may yield different results, scientists said.

They aren’t quite sure if what they found is a set of variations in one gene or in three closely connected genes.

The gene variations, which govern nicotine receptors on cells, could eventually help explain some of the mysteries of chain smoking, nicotine addiction and lung cancer. These oddities include why there are 90-year-old smokers who don’t get cancer and people who light up an occasional cigarette and don’t get hooked.

“This is really telling us that the vulnerability to smoking and how much you smoke is clearly biologically based,” said psychiatry professor Dr. Laura Bierut of Washington University in St. Louis, a genetics and smoking expert who did not take part in the studies. She praised the research as “very intriguing.”

The smoking rate among U.S. adults has dropped from 42 percent in 1965 to less than 21 percent now.

The new studies are surprising in that they point to areas of the genetic code that are not associated with pleasure and the rewards of addiction.

That may help explain why some people can quit and others fail, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Md., which funded one of the studies.

“It opens our eyes,” Volkow said Wednesday. “Not everyone takes drugs for the same reason. Not everyone smokes cigarettes for the same reasons.”

One clue is in the location of the just-discovered variants, on the long arm of chromosome 15, Volkow said. It is in an area that, when damaged during tests on animals, makes them depressed and anxious. While some people smoke because it helps them focus or gives them a physiological reward, others do it to stave off depression.

That suggests that adding antidepressants to some smokers’ treatment could help them kick the habit.

Being on antidepressants isn’t always a cure all. My history with quitting smoking is I get so depressed I cannot stop crying. The depression is so great that even on antidepressants, it cannot be over come. This is what I am working on now.

Taking Chantix once a day seems to keep the depression away. When I go off the Chantix, after five days, I am so depressed that I cannot work, I cry, and want to quit my job or other erratic behavior. This has nothing to do with the Chantix. Every time I have quit before with the patch, when I cut down to the lower level of nicotine, the exact same thing happened to me. Identical behavior, I couldn’t stop crying, etc.

So I am convinced that depression is why I smoked and why I have such a hard time stopping. I will be going to see my Doctor on April 30th. He is the one that prescribes my antidepressant, Lexapro (I am taking the highest dose possible), and my Chantix. I am anxious to see what he has to say about it. Last time he said to just stay on the Chantix for at least a year. It is better than smoking. I have to agree with him. I am functioning great and it has been 106 days smoke free. Why mess with it by trying to get off Chantix? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m not sure how safe it is to stay on Chantix forever, but for now I am doing great.

This study is exciting and I hope it will develop into something like an easy screen test to see if you have the “genes” to become addicted to smoking. My son is 23 and he smokes all the time. It makes sense to me that he is predisposed to this addiction. Just like Alcoholism. It’s is a family disease, now we know, smoking is too.

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Smoke Free 119 days!

Yes, it is hard to believe it has been almost four months without a single puff of a cigarette. I have to thank God and Chantix for this is truly a miracle.

Today I cut my Chantix 1mg pill in half and am going to take 1/2 mg for at least four weeks maybe more. The reason I am cutting back is because of the fatigue I am feeling. In the beginning when I first started taking it the first week or so, I felt like I had the flu. I was achy all over and felt like I couldn’t get off the couch. That is part of the reason why I have only taken one 1mg pill in the morning during the last four months. When I was taking it as directed, two 1 mg pills, 1 in the morning and 1 at night, it was way to much for me to handle. I was depressed and tired all the time, could not sleep at all and just felt ‘weird’. After the first couple of weeks on one 1mg pill in the morning, I felt pretty good, not to crazy and I was still not smoking.

Lately, I have noticed when I go to the gym, or walk for long distances, or run up three flights of stairs, I am exhausted and weak. My muscles are weak. I don’t have the strength I had even back in January and February. I haven’t read anything about Chantix effecting your muscles or joints, but I am going to do some research on it. Of course I am worried about it because I have been on the Chantix longer than the suggested twelve weeks.

I will see my Doctor tomorrow and discuss this with him. Leave me a comment if you have had a similar experience with Chantix. I don’t like feeling lazy all the time.

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This is from another quit smoking blog. Interesting information:

Should I use Chantix or wait for Niccine ?

Niccine: a new approach to quit smoking This is a different approach to the quit smoking problem similiar to by the drug maker Pfizer’s Chantix Swedish anti-nicotine vaccine to be tested in Nordic countries “A Swedish vaccine against nicotine will be tested on 400 people in three Nordic countries,” Heavy smokers who would like to quit, will get counselling along with the new drug, initial test will run for 4 months.

Niccine is supposed to help the immune system build antibodies against nicotine.

Interesting approach to the problem: Niccine will latch onto the incoming nicotine and preventing it from reaching the brain’s reward system, thereby preventing the smoker from getting that addictive smoking “kick” or hit. Niccine, has been developed over the course of 10 years by Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute, under the guidance of professor Torgny Svensson who founded Independent Pharmaceutica.

This is a different approach to the quit smoking problem used by Pfizer’s Chantix. http://www.chantix-smoking.blogspot.com

Smoke Free 188 Days!
Chantix Free 60 Days!

From Joan…

This Pill has changed my life and not for the better. Mt twin Sister along with my older sister – we all decided to take the chantix drug. After 4 weeks we all became very sick. Leg aches – our feet felt like they were being crushed. So tired could not get out of bed. Terrible dreams – lossing our hair. I thought I was having a heart attack. This medication has ruined my last two years of my life – along with my sisters. We have been doctoring every since. Thyroid problems are the one thing we have figured out and not been able to get under control. There were many days I was in so much pain I just wanted to die. I would never suggest this drug to any one. This needs to be taken off the market. They owe me 2 years of my life back – and who knows how much longer I am going to suffer. Please think good and hard before taking

My reply…

Oh Joan, Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry you had a bad experience with Chantix. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

Everyone who decides to try Chantix needs to be aware of the risks involved. It is such a new drug that you don’t know what all the side effects really are. This Thyroid problem is news to me and I have been trying to follow the effects of Chantix for quite a while now.

Again, thank you for making me aware of this and I wish you and your sisters the best of health and God’s Blessings.

Obviously more research needs to be done. After I Googled “Chantix and Thyroid” I have found some good information that shows Joan’s story is just one of many.

Below is a link about Chantix and Thyroid Problems:

Chantix and thyroid problems – Thyroid Disorders – MedHelp

This information is from the Chantix/Pfizer Web Site:

Following is a list of treatment-emergent adverse events reported by patients treated with CHANTIX during all clinical trials. The listing does not include those events already listed in the previous tables or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those events which were so general as to be uninformative, and those events reported only once which did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening.

BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEM DISORDERS. Infrequent: Anemia, Lymphadenopathy. Rare: Leukocytosis, Thrombocytopenia, Splenomegaly.

CARDIAC DISORDERS. Infrequent: Angina pectoris, Arrhythmia, Bradycardia, Ventricular extrasystoles, Myocardial infarction, Palpitations, Tachycardia. Rare: Atrial fibrillation, Cardiac flutter, Coronary artery disease, Cor pulmonale, Acute coronary syndrome.

EAR AND LABYRINTH DISORDERS. Infrequent: Tinnitus, Vertigo. Rare: Deafness, Meniere’s disease.

ENDOCRINE DISORDERS. Infrequent: Thyroid gland disorders.

EYE DISORDERS. Infrequent: Conjunctivitis, Dry eye, Eye irritation, Vision blurred, Visual disturbance, Eye pain. Rare: Acquired night blindness, Blindness transient, Cataract subcapsular, Ocular vascular disorder, Photophobia, Vitreous floaters.

GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS. Frequent: Diarrhea, Gingivitis. Infrequent: Dysphagia, Enterocolitis, Eructation, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, Mouth ulceration, Esophagitis. Rare: Gastric ulcer, Intestinal obstruction, Pancreatitis acute.

GENERAL DISORDERS AND ADMINISTRATION SITE CONDITIONS. Frequent: Chest pain, Influenza like illness, Edema, Thirst. Infrequent: Chest discomfort, Chills, Pyrexia.

HEPATOBILIARY DISORDERS. Infrequent: Gall bladder disorder.

IMMUNE SYSTEM DISORDERS. Infrequent: Hypersensitivity. Rare: Drug hypersensitivity.

INVESTIGATIONS. Frequent: Liver function test abnormal, Weight increased. Infrequent: Electrocardiogram abnormal, Muscle enzyme increased, Urine analysis abnormal.

METABOLISM AND NUTRITION DISORDERS. Infrequent: Diabetes mellitus, Hyperlipidemia, Hypokalemia. Rare: Hyperkalemia, Hypoglycemia.

MUSCULOSKELETAL AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISORDERS. Frequent: Arthralgia, Back pain, Muscle cramp, Musculoskeletal pain, Myalgia. Infrequent: Arthritis, Osteoporosis. Rare: Myositis.

NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDERS. Frequent: Disturbance in attention, Dizziness, Sensory disturbance. Infrequent: Amnesia, Migraine, Parosmia, Psychomotor hyperactivity, Restless legs syndrome, Syncope, Tremor. Rare: Balance disorder, Cerebrovascular accident, Convulsion, Dysarthria, Facial palsy, Mental impairment, Multiple sclerosis, Nystagmus, Psychomotor skills impaired, Transient ischemic attack, Visual field defect.

PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS. Frequent: Anxiety, Depression, Emotional disorder, Irritability, Restlessness. Infrequent: Aggression, Agitation, Disorientation, Dissociation, Libido decreased, Mood swings, Thinking abnormal. Rare: Bradyphrenia, Euphoric mood, Hallucination, Psychotic disorder, Suicidal ideation.

RENAL AND URINARY DISORDERS. Frequent: Polyuria. Infrequent: Nephrolithiasis, Nocturia, Urine abnormality, Urethral syndrome. Rare: Renal failure acute, Urinary retention.

REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM AND BREAST DISORDERS. Frequent: Menstrual disorder. Infrequent: Erectile dysfunction. Rare: Sexual dysfunction.

RESPIRATORY, THORACIC AND MEDIASTINAL DISORDERS. Frequent: Epistaxis, Respiratory disorders. Infrequent: Asthma. Rare: Pleurisy, Pulmonary embolism.

SKIN AND SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE DISORDERS. Frequent: Hyperhidrosis. Infrequent: Acne, Dermatitis, Dry skin, Eczema, Erythema, Psoriasis, Urticaria. Rare: Photosensitivity reaction.

VASCULAR DISORDERS. Frequent: Hot flush, Hypertension. Infrequent: Hypotension, Peripheral ischemia, Thrombosis.

Post-Marketing Experience:
The following adverse events have been reported during post-approval use of Chantix. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

There have been reports of depressed mood, agitation, changes in behavior, suicidal ideation and suicide in patients attempting to quit smoking while taking Chantix. Smoking cessation with or without treatment is associated with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the exacerbation of underlying psychiatric illness. Not all patients had known pre-existing psychiatric illness and not all had discontinued smoking. The role of Chantix in these reports is not known (see WARNINGS).

CHANTIX Safety Information

Important Safety Information

CHANTIX® (varenicline) is indicated as an aid to smoking cessation treatment in adults 18 and over. Patients may benefit from behavioral modification and support during their quit attempt. Patients should be encouraged to continue to attempt to quit if they have early lapses after quit day.

Advise patients and caregivers that the patient should stop taking CHANTIX and contact a healthcare provider immediately if agitation, depressed mood, or changes in behavior that are not typical for the patient are observed, or if the patient develops suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior. These symptoms as well as worsening of preexisting psychiatric illness have been reported in patients attempting to quit smoking with CHANTIX or after stopping CHANTIX.

The most common adverse reactions include nausea, sleep disturbance, constipation, flatulence, and vomiting. Nausea occurred in 30% of patients; 3% discontinued due to nausea.

Patients should be informed that they may experience vivid, unusual, or strange dreams during treatment with CHANTIX. Patients should be advised to use caution driving or operating machinery until they know how quitting smoking with CHANTIX may affect them.

Safety and efficacy of CHANTIX in combination with other smoking cessation drug therapies have not been studied. Dosage adjustment with CHANTIX is recommended in patients with severe renal impairment or in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Smoking cessation, with or without treatment with CHANTIX, may alter the pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of some drugs, such as theophylline, warfarin, and insulin. Dosage adjustment for these drugs may be necessary.

Please see full prescribing information.

CHANTIX® (varenicline)

Please see Medication Guide.



Chantix Works

Smoke Free 154 Days!

Chantix Works. Period. No doubt about it. I have been off of the Chantix for four weeks and off of cigarettes for 154 days. This is all so amazing to me and my family and friends are totally shocked as well.

I have gained 25 pounds and have lost 4 pounds in the last 10 days. My appetite and settled down and I have more energy since I went off the Chantix. In a year after quitting smoking you will go back to your pre-quitting weight. I am not worried about my weight like I was about my lungs. I have been walking every morning and can walk twice as far and not get winded.

I don’t miss the smell or the nicotine film that was on everything I owned. I feel healthier and more energetic every day. No cravings, no coughing, no bronchitis or pneumonia. I don’t have to use my inhaler in the morning or during the day, or ever. The money I have saved has bought me a Digital Camera which I use daily. I have my self-esteem back. Quitting smoking is something I can be proud of and my children are proud of me. Even if I get Cancer tomorrow, at least I quit smoking first.

Please use the Chantix if you can afford it. The first side effects will go away after a few weeks. Hang tough and know that it does work. Don’t try it until you are truly convinced in your mind that you WANT to quit smoking, because Chantix Works and you will quit smoking if you use it so you better WANT to quit because YOU WILL QUIT.



Pictures of Diseased Lungs-Warning:Very Graphic

Pictures of Diseased Lungs Warning: Very graphic. Do not proceed if you will be offended. This is really gross.

Normal Lung Tissue

Emphysema Lung

Diseased Lung Tissue


An 80 year old - Normal Lung

The chest and abdominal cavities are opened here at autopsy. The lungs in the chest have a normal pink aerated appearance with minimal anthracotic pigmentation, because this 80 year old male never smoked and never allowed smoking in his workplace. The mediastinum contains mostly fat. The pericardial sac around the heart has not been opened.The diaphragmatic domes extend upward to the level of the 6th ribs.

A Normal Lung

A Normal Lung

A Lung With Emphysema

A Lung With Emphysema

Oat Cell Carcinoma

Small cell anaplastic (oat cell) carcinoma

Lung damaged from years of smoking

A lung severly damaged from smoking

Emphysema of the Lung

Emphysema, representating a late 20th century version of “The Masque of the Red Death” in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, is shown here. Note the loss of lung parenchyma with irregular holes. It should be remembered that deaths from emphysema, as well as lung cancer, have increased greatly over the past few decades because of smoking.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is a larger squamous cell carcinoma in which a portion of the tumor demonstrates central cavitation, probably because the tumor outgrew its blood supply.Squamous cell carcinomas are one of the more common primary malignancies of lung and are most often seen in smokers.

These xrays and pictures are from the QuitSmokingSupport Website
courtesy of Dr. Frederic W. Grannis Jr., MD, a thoracic surgeon. If you would like to see more pictures, click on the link above. They have four pages of these!!

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Smoking again??? Kind of…

Well, quitting the Chantix at 25 days smoke free may not be such a good idea. At 43 days, yesterday, I smoked. I have had a total of five and everyone taste like crap. I even bought a pack this morning, looking forward to my old menthol brand, instead of the camel’s I borrowed from a friend, and they still taste like sh*@. But…they did do what I needed them to do. I stopped crying. I cried all day off and on yesterday until I smoked at 4:00 p.m. then I stopped and I haven’t cried since. Strange don’t you think. What does someone do that gets that depressed without Nicotine? Who knows. My dr. just thinks it’s an excuse to smoke. Might be, but if I’m not crying and depressed I don’t smoke? Who knows! I am going to talk to my MD and my Psychiatrist that RX’s my anti-depressants.

Quit smoking or take Chantix?What to do now? Start over I guess, I took Chantix yesterday 1/2 mg and 1/2 mg this a.m. I guess I am trying again. It’s awful but it’s good too. I’m not crying but am feeling quilty but not beating my self up. I did not give in to the crave or whatever you want to call it, the first time I cried or was depressed. It was probably the 100th time, but it was the only time I couldn’t stop crying.

Oh well, try, try again.

It’s hard, that’s all I have to say and that I have been Apathetically Narcissistic. That has been my mood since I quit. Those are my 22 year old son’s words and believe it or not it makes sense.

Definition of Apathetic: unconcerned, lethargic, indifferent, listless, bored.

Definition of Narcissistic: self-absorbed, selfish, conceited, vain.

Wow! That is me without nicotine. With nicotine I am just Narcissistic! LOL

Oh well, it is all about me isn’t it???

Tips on dealing with a Smoking slip-up

You might be thinking, what do I do if I smoke? Here are some tips I have found, in case you smoke. and what worked for me when I smoked New Years Day after being quit since November 19, 2007. Now I have 13 smoke free days instead of 50 something days. The number one tip I have for you is even if you blow your quit by smoking, (I smoked 7) whether its 1 or 100 do not give up on yourself, just start over. That’s what I did see Smoking Again, Kind of…,
for more details.

The first thing you should do is to tell yourself that you can stop, after all haven’t you been proving that all along? The worst thing you can do is think that you have screwed up completely and everything is lost. That can lead to having a full blown relapse and to keep on smoking.

  • Get rid of any cigarettes
  • Think of it as just a slip.
  • Do not feel bad and give up.
  • Use behavioral and mental coping skills. (Leave the situation, call a friend, list your reasons for quitting.)
  • Commit to quitting again right away.
  • Learn from your slip. Be better prepared next time.
  • Give your self some positive credit for catching it and stopping early.
  • It’s a choice – Living life on life’s terms.
  • Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
  • Happiness is an inside job
  • You have no control over other people, places or things.
  • Your brain is not your friend-don’t go there alone
  • You have enough-You do enough-You are enough!
  • Learn to set boundaries – If you don’t put yourself and your health first who will?
  • Tears- They are important to cleanse your body and to share your true self with others.
  • Find support, Blog, Journal, Write Daily Goals, Learn to Laugh, Learn to connect with your feelings, Connect with others who understand.
  • Practice makes permanence There is no such thing as true perfection because we ALL make mistakes. That is what makes us human.
  • Listen ,Love and Learn about this powerful addiction to Nicotine.
  • Recovery from nicotine is Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.
  • Trust the Process


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How Fast is My Body Healing from Smoking?

When Smokers Quit—The Health Benefits Over Time

The above link takes you to the American Cancer Society. Below are excerpts from that page.

This was exciting news for me to see that even after only 20 minutes or 12 hours my body is repairing itself.

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
(Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)

12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202)

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp.193, 194,196, 285, 323)

1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)

1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)

5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)

10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166)

15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)


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Chantix Now Covered by Insurance Companies

“Many of the Insurance Companies are now covering Chantix because it has had such good results!”

Today, when I went to Walgreen’s to pickup my Continuing Monthly Pack of Chantix, I had the best surprise! I had several other items I was picking up and the pharmacist said, “Your total is $65.” I thought, oh gosh he forgot the Chantix. So I asked, “Does that include the Chantix?” He said, “Yes, your Chantix was only $20.” I about fell over. My mouth did drop to the floor, which wasn’t a very pretty sight I’m sure, since I had four teeth pulled the other day. ) Anyway, the pharmacist continued, “Many of the Insurance Companies are now covering Chantix because it has had such good results!” WOW! Of course I had to tell him I had 12 days smoke free and I had tried everything else there is at least once, and nothing worked except Chantix. I’m sure I was skipping to the car and could not stop smiling. I also couldn’t wait to get home and Blog about it.

Of course you all know what this means don’t you?!! ANYONE can quit smoking using Chantix now. If you have insurance, please check it out and see if Chantix is covered now. It wasn’t in November so this might have just gone into effect January 2008! If you don’t have insurance, go to the Chantix site and there is a link to help those who qualify, lower income, etc., to get Chantix at a reduced price. So, absolutely ANYONE can get Chantix. That is so awesome. Especially now, all those New Year’s Resolutions to quit smoking, and now they can. Some might think I work for Pfizer or am paid to endorse this product. That could not be further from the truth. I am just a 50 year old lady that has smoked since she was 12 years old and has been diagnosed with COPD which includes moderate Emphysema, who has begged many Doctors to hospitalize me so I wouldn’t be grouchy at my family, especially my kids, while I went through withdrawal. I have been trying to quit for the last 10 years. When I turned 40 I wanted to do it then, then all of a sudden I turned 50, and redoubled my efforts. I finally came to terms with the fact that, no matter what, I will not take another puff. In the beginning the Chantix made me nauseated and I thought to myself, “well, I can quit taking it and keep smoking.” Then I re-thought that statement and said to myself, “well, even if I throw up on the sidewalk walking in to work, I am not going to smoke.” Then I knew I was willing to go to any length to quit smoking. The nausea went away after the first week and it hasn’t returned since. I make sure I take the Chantix after I have eaten and with a full glass of water. That seems to really help.

Chantix is now being covered by many insurance companies. That is the best news of the year for me. No more excuses. The cost of Chantix cannot be used to rationalize a reason for me to smoke. This news had made me very grateful and hopeful that many others will be able to try Chantix and become non-smokers.

TTFN


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Smoking Cessation Resources: Quick List

Here is a Quick List of Quit Smoking sites on the internet. This is by no means a complete list but some of my favorites that helped me along the way:

QuitNet
WhyQuit
American Cancer Society -Nationwide network of free local quit lines at 800-QUITNOW, questions answered by e-mail, message boards, brochures, other information on quitting smoking
American Lung Association -800-LUNG-USA-Freedom From Smoking online program, information about quitting smoking, facts about lung diseases and treatments, more
Chantix
Smokefree.gov
National Cancer Institute -877-44U-QUIT-Detailed information about tobacco and how to quit, surgeon general’s reports, live messaging service at Cancer.gov/Help
Nicotine-Anonymous.org -415-750-0328-List of local meetings in the United States and worldwide, publications in nine languages

Quit Meter
FREE >>> Download SilkQuit v2.60 for Microsoft Windows << FREE

One Year Smoke Free!!!

Yay! Yippee! I made it. It’s official.

Tough decisions we make.

Tough decisions we make.

On January 1, 2009 it was one year without a cigarette. According to Quitnet.com that is equal to
Your Quit Date is: 1/1/2008 10:00:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 371 days, 7 hours, 10 minutes and 16 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 12995
Lifetime Saved: 3 months, 9 days, 6 hours

Now that is awesome! Thanks to Chantix, lots of prayers, and good old determination, I haven’t given in to any cravings to smoke for over a year! It is truly a miracle and I am soooo grateful.

I was scared that I couldn’t quit. It seemed I was doomed to a short life of smoking forever. Then a long came Chantix and I tried it a couple of times. The first time it made me sick and I thought. Forget it. I don’t want to throw up all the time. It’s not worth that!! Then I remembered that Chemotherapy makes you throw up. There are no easy choices here. So I tried it again and this time I resolved myself to the fact that indeed I was going to throw up and I would just have to change the way I walked into my building at work so there was bushes near by to vomit in so now one would see me. Yuk, I know but…I was determined to quit this time. I didn’t care if I threw up every day, I knew I had to quit. I wanted to quit.

Fortunately, the nausea doesn’t last that long and I never did vomit in the bushes. But, the fact that I was willing to do that, to go to any length to quit smoking was something I had never done before.

I gained weight pretty fast, like 20 pounds the first month. The second month I gained 7 pounds and that was it. I have not gained or lost any more weight. Losing weight, depriving myself of anything is not on my agenda today. Today, I don’t smoke cigarettes. Period. That’s it. I’ll diet, deprive myself of food or chocolate later. I suppose if I gain any more weight I might have to think about a ‘Diet’, but not now. As long as I am eating healthy and walking a couple of miles a day, then I’m not worried. I read once that a person who quits smoking would have to gain 70 lbs. to do the damage to their heart, etc. that smoking does. Wow! 27 lbs is a long way from 70!

I’ll write more later. I plan to include tips and “How to’s” the entire month of January. So check back often. And if you have started with Chantix, hang in there. It really does work.





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Coming Soon: One Year Without a Cigarette

On November 19, 2007 it was the ‘Great American Smokeout‘ and I had decided to try once again to quit smoking.  I didn’t think I would make it through the day but I was doing something different this time. I had decided to try Chantix.

Now you may be asking yourself, wait a minute, that was over a year ago. What happened?

Well, I was doing fantastic. Not smoking, cravings weren’t bad, so I decided to quit taking the Chantix. That’s typical of me. I find something that works and I quit doing it. Kind of like walking with my dog for 30 minutes every day. I felt great when I did that so I quit doing that! Why? Who knows.

Anyway, back to quitting smoking with Chantix. I quit taking it and 18 days later I was smoking again and it happened to be on January 1, 2008. I thought that was funny too. I started smoking on New Year’s Day. Most people quit on New Years. So, January 2, 2008 I smoked my last cigarette at 10:00 a.m. on my way to a Doctor appointment that had been scheduled a while back to discuss my Osteoporosis. As it turned out, we discussed that and my quitting smoking. He gave me a new Rx for Chantix and sent me on my way. I started on the Chantix again immediately and haven’t smoked a cigarette since. I have been off the Chantix since April, 2008 and I am happy to say, I am somewhat sane and still smoke free.

Yes indeed, I am a living miracle. It is almost as if I never smoked and it’s almost as if I never quit. Does that make sense? After smoking two packs a day for 27 years it’s hard for me to truly believe that I am a non-smoker. After this long without a cigarette, it’s hard for me to believe that I ever smoked at all. It’s very strange. I am looking forward to my one year anniversary without a cigarette. I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement from my children and family and friends.  I do have my moments when all I want to do is light up once again, but it does pass eventually. Don’t believe them when they tell you the cravings only last a few seconds and then pass. Some of mine have been days of crying and cursing, wanting some relief. It is God’s grace that has gotton me this far.

I have had many dreams where I smoke and I am always so relieved when I wake up and realize it was just a dream. That is how this last year has been for me, a dream, but a happy one!


Cravings Never Go Away-The Non-Smoking Journey Continues

Cravings Never Go Away-The Non-Smoking Journey Continues…

Okay, here goes nothing. I haven’t written for so long I think I may have forgotten how. I am still smoke-free and it has been …hang on a minute, I have to go check my calculator for how many days now. I know it has been 9 months, but not sure on the days… 294 days, 1 hour, 57 minutes and 9 seconds. Well now that is pretty awesome isn’t it?

Tough decisions we make.

Tough decisions we make.

My weight is still the same, no more, no less. I am still taking the Thyroid medicine and now have added Lipitor, 40mg, for my Cholesterol. Uggggh! Being in denial about my health was so much easier, and cheaper. Of course, denial allowed me to continue to slowly kill myself with cigarettes. Not where I am really at now a days.

Being a non-smoker is pretty wild:

  • I can complete a project without hurrying through it so I can go get my fix, i.e. scrapbooking.
  • I can go on a trip in a car with non-smokers and not feel bad for making them pull over every two hours so I can get my nicotine fix.
  • I can walk in the woods with my camera and take pictures and not have to keep taking breaks to get my nicotine fix.
  • I can be totally relaxed in the movie theater and watch the entire movie without trying to figure out how I can go out and get my nicotine fix.
  • I can just BE. I can BE in the moment, BE where I am, BE who I am, BE with my children, BE with my Dad, BE with my friends. I can just BE for hours and hours of sweet, relaxing, peaceful, and serene joy.

It sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well, it is great. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my moments of cravings, the “deep in the pit of my stomach, gonna die if I don’t have a cigarette,” type of cravings. That was only about 30 days ago. So, yes, cravings never go away, it just goes into a sort of remission and from time to time it will rear it’s ugly head again.

I have thoughts about smoking probably daily but I don’t dwell on them and feed them by focusing on how great it would be to feed my addiction one last time. When I have a thought, I push it out of my mind as fast as I can so I can move on to the next thought that is about something else all together.

This will be a lifetime process I am sure. I just hope the thoughts aren’t quite as frequent, like every day. Every other day will be good. It has slowed down some, it was every minute in the beginning. I am still very grateful that I had Chantix to help me through those times. It helped me until I could help myself. It was a miracle drug and I have no regrets for using it. I feel blessed that I could take it and not suffer from the side effects that some people have been through.

But for the Grace of God go I…

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Chantix: R&D Chief MacKay’s Personal Opinion

Pfizer Research Chief’s Personal Take on Chantix
Posted by Scott Hensley
With questions about the safety of anti-smoking pill Chantix hurting sales, Pfizer’s head of R&D took to the opinion pages of the local paper in support of the medicine over the weekend.

Martin Mackay

Martin Mackay

Martin Mackay (pictured) wrote in the Day of New London, Conn., about his firsthand experience with the health toll of “cigarette addiction, having watched both of my parents smoke for most of their adult lives and my mother die of lung disease.”His basic message was in keeping with points the company hit last week in a roundtable meeting with journalists. Quitting smoking is important, but hard. Chantix, despite some risks, remains a safe and effective option, in Pfizer’s view.

The drugmaker has upgraded the cautions on Chantix’s instructions to advise patients to stop taking Chantix in case of agitation, depression, or unusual behavior. Thoughts of suicide are a particular worry. A heightened concern about risk from Chantix led the FAA to ban the use of the drug by pilots and air-traffic controllers last month.

In his Chantix defense, Mackay couldn’t stop with data alone. He invoked some hometown pride in Chantix, one of Pfizer’s “homegrown” medicines.

The active ingredient in Chantix was invented by scientists in labs in Groton, Conn., on the eastern bank of the Thames River. On the opposite shore, in New London, other Pfizer workers designed and ran the clinical tests that led to the FDA’s approval of Chantix in May 2006. Pfizer employs 6,000 people in the area.

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Chantix &Thyroid: Is There a Connection?

Does Smoking, Quitting Smoking, or Chantix throw you into Thyroid Problems?

Smoke free 205 Days!

As a lot of you know that follow my blog regularly, I had a comment by Joan that her and her twin sister had major side effects with Chantx involving their Thyroid. That prompted me to have mine checked. I went to the Doctor and had the blood work done and everything else checked while I was there. The nurse called yesterday with the results. I have HYPOTHYROIDISM and have to take a medication called Synthroid for the rest of my life! Don’t you think that is quite a coincidence? Well, I sure do. Actually, what are the odds that someone on the internet tells me about this new side effect of Chantix that I had not heard “scary stories” about and it turns out I have it too. Very strange in deed. So I decided to check this out for myself and here is what I have found out.

Does smoking cigarettes increase the odds of getting Hypothyroidism? That was my first question. Yes it does.

Smoking and Thyroid Diseases: The Connection

Smoking has been found to be one of the prominent causes of hypothyroidism and it has also been clear that smoke contains harmful ingredients that retard the functioning process of the thyroid gland. Many substances present in smoke trigger off anti-thyroid action inside the system and one among them is cyanide. On smoking cigarettes and other tobacco containing products, the ingredient cyanide enters the system and forms a specific compound thiocyanate.This new substance thiocyanate significantly prevents iodine intake and ensures the low production of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism).

However, clinical studies have established that smokers are more prone to have thyroid enlargement which could be an indication of thyroid disturbance. Further, it has also been found that grave’s disease (thyroid eye disease) which is specifically responsible for hyperthyroidism can be triggered off on account of smoking. An article appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association which makes it clear that people who are addicted to smoking are twice more likely to develop grave disease in comparison to non-smokers.

In a study involving women in Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, it was found that smoking impairs both thyroid hormone secretion and thyroid hormone action, according to Beat Mueller, M.D., et al., in the October 12, 1995 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Before I go blaming Chantix, there is a connection between Hypothyroid and smokers. Smoking is directly related to Hypothyroid so how can anyone say Chantix did this to me when it could have been building over many years and smoking has masked it. We all know smoking and nicotine increase your metabolism so the weight gain doesn’t show up as a symptom. Then we quit smoking and Pow! We get this weight gain that cannot be removed by diet and exercise, and we are fatiqued, almost lethargic when we quit because we all know nicotine is an upper/stimulant. So we are diagnosed with Hypothyroid and we want to blame somebody and Chantix is right there. They do have the warning that rarely it can cause the problem so we know that is a possibility, but not very likely. I would tend to believe that this is another thing that smoking has caused, just like osteoporosis, and I just have to learn to live with it.

How to Tell If You Are Hypothyroid

Here’s how you can determine if you have an underactive thyroid condition called hypothyroidism.

Difficulty Level: Easy Time Required: 5 minutes

Here’s How:

1. List your risk factors, including: family history, previous treated/untreated problems (nodules, hyperthyroidism, goiter, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer), previous thyroid surgery, another autoimmune disease, childbirth.
2. Note symptoms including:

  • weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, hoarseness, high cholesterol, constipation, feeling cold, hair loss, dry skin, low sex drive, tingling hands/feet, irregular periods, infertility.
  • 3. Note related conditions, including: recurrent pregnancy loss, resistant high cholesterol, difficult menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, mitral valve prolapse.
    4. Meet with your doctor for a thyroid examination and blood test.
    5. Request a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test, along with T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 tests.
    6. Review your test results with the doctor.
    7. At most labs in the U.S., up until late 2002, the normal range is from around 0.5 to 5.5. That range changed to .3 to 3 as of early 2003. If the TSH level is at the higher end of the range, or above the range, your doctor may determine that you are hypothyroid (underactive thyroid.)
    8. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a high TSH, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    9. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a low TSH, your doctor might look into a possible pituitary problem.
    10. If your doctor ran a test called Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 0.7 to 2.0. If your result was less than 0.7, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    11. If your doctor ran a test called Total T3, normal range is approximately 80 to 220. If your result was less than 80, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    12. If your doctor ran a test called Free T3, the normal range is approximately 2.3 to 4.2. If your result was less than 2.3, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    13. If your test results come back “normal” but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, make sure you ask for an antibodies test. Some doctors believe in treating thyroid symptoms in the presence of elevated antibodies and normal TSH levels.
    14. If your test results come back “normal” but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, consider going to a reputable holistic M.D. or alternative physician for further interpretation and diagnosis.

    Tips:

    1. Many people who have radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism/Graves’ Disease, or who have sugery to remove all or part of the thyroid due to nodules or cancer, are hypothyroid.
    2. If you have been treated with radioactive iodine or surgery, and are currently not on thyroid hormone replacement, but have hypothyroidism symptoms, see your doctor.
    3. Keep in mind that laboratory normal values vary somewhat from lab to lab. Make sure you find out your lab’s normal ranges and review these with your doctor.

    From: About.com

    Source: Chantixhome.com

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    It’s Tough Staying Healthy

    I felt Healthier before I went to the Doctor!

    Smoke Free 200 Days!

    I went to the Doctor for my “Well Woman” visit. I weigh 173 lbs. Ugggghhhhh!!! I have to have a colonoscopy because I am over 50. Uggghhhhh! I have to have my yearly July 31st. Ugggghhhhh! My osteoporosis rating was T -2.5. last fall and he ask if I was taking my Fosamax and I told him I was going to take care of that myself with Calcium Supplements and Walking. Oh no, he said that won’t do it. I have to rebuild the bone! I have to take osteo medicine. so I am going to call my insurance and see if they will cover the once a year Reclast shot. Uggggghhhh! I hate going to the Doc. I couldn’t eat and was poked & prodded, took blood from my little veins, and had an EKG with hairy legs. Uggggghhhhhh! I’m not doing this again for another 5 -10 years. It’s too much work. Luckily I broke it up by doing the Bone Density and Mammogram last fall and the Chest X-Ray and my Eye-Exam. It’s tough trying to stay healthy.

    And did the Doc care that I walk everyday? No, he was not impressed. Did he care that I hadn’t had a cig for 6 months? Kind of happy but didn’t jump up and down or pat me on the back and say, “Good Job”. He didn’t say my lungs sounded better or nothing. He listened to my heart a lot, like even in my neck with the stethoscope. Kind of weird I thought.

    Anyway, it all ended with me not being able to pee in the cup so I figured I will do that when I go on the 31st to the Lady Doc there for my yearly. Oh, and the lab gal sent me home with a poop card. Ugggghhhhh! It was a wonderful day…

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    One Response to “Smoking Cessation Tips: How I Quit Smoking with Chantix”

    1. How to Get Six Pack Fast Says:

      My fellow on Facebook shared this link and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came here.


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