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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After 5 Days-Back on the Chantix

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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What I Wrote about Quitting Smoking from 2004

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 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.


Day Five Without Chantix

Smoke Free 73 Days!

Well, today is the day that all of the Chantix should be out of my system. I hope so. Yesterday was a little rough. At noon I started thinking about my daughter, who is 21 and how I neglected her while she was growing up because I can’t remember having fun with her. I cried and cried and thought I was going to have to leave work. Then I started thinking about something else and was okay. Then I went home after work and asked my son about it. He said we used to do crafts together for hours. Thank you Adam. Then I didn’t feel so bad, but all evening it was like I could cry any minute. But, I didn’t and I seem to be okay today because obviously I can talk about it without crying. Whew! I hope I don’t have anything go wrong with this quit smoking Chantix thing. I never want to smoke again and I hope the Chantix did the trick and I won’t have any side effects. The FDA announcement kind of scared me because it said:

“Symptoms may include anxiety, nervousness, tension, depressed mood, unusual behaviors and thinking about or attempting suicide. In most cases, neuropsychiatric symptoms developed during Chantix treatment, but in others, symptoms developed following withdrawal of varenicline therapy.”

If I can get through this, I am hoping I can leave the smoking life behind me. I am determined never to smoke again but if my emotions go crazy, of course I will go to the Doctor first. Oh what am I worried about. So far, so good, right? I am not going to borrow trouble. Life is good today. I am an ex-smoker who might be just a little neurotic!!

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FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Chantix

Please read this if you are taking Chantix.

Quit smoking or take Chantix?

This is from the FDA Site

FDA News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2008

Media Inquiries:
Susan Cruzan, 301-827-6242
Rita Chappelle, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA

FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Chantix
Agency requests that manufacturer add new safety warnings for smoking cessation drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued a Public Health Advisory to alert health care providers, patients, and caregivers to new safety warnings concerning Chantix (varenicline), a prescription medication used to help patients stop smoking.

On Nov. 20, 2007, FDA issued an Early Communication to the public and health care providers that the agency was evaluating postmarketing adverse event reports on Chantix related to changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and actual suicidal behavior.

As the agency’s review of the adverse event reports proceeds, it appears increasingly likely that there may be an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms. As a result, FDA has requested that Pfizer, the manufacturer of Chantix, elevate the prominence of this safety information to the warnings and precautions section of the Chantix prescribing information, or labeling. In addition, FDA is working with Pfizer to finalize a Medication Guide for patients. This is an example of FDA working with drug manufacturers throughout products’ lifecycles to keep health care professionals and patients informed of new and emerging safety data.

“Chantix has proven to be effective in smokers motivated to quit, but patients and health care professionals need the latest safety information to make an informed decision regarding whether or not to use this product,” said Bob Rappaport, M.D., director of the FDA’s Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Rheumatology Products. “While Chantix has demonstrated clear evidence of efficacy, it is important to consider these safety concerns and alert the public about these risks. Patients should talk with their doctors about this new information and whether Chantix is the right drug for them, and health care professionals should closely monitor patients for behavior and mood changes if they are taking this drug.”

Chantix was approved by FDA in May 2006 as a smoking cessation drug. Chantix acts at sites in the brain affected by nicotine and may help those who wish to stop smoking by providing some nicotine effects to ease the withdrawal symptoms and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if users resume smoking.

In the Public Health Advisory and a Health Care Professional Sheet that was also issued today, FDA emphasized the following safety information for patients, caregivers, and health care professionals:

Patients should tell their health care provider about any history of psychiatric illness prior to starting Chantix. Chantix may cause worsening of current psychiatric illness even if it is currently under control. It may also cause an old psychiatric illness to reoccur. FDA notes that patients with these illnesses were not included in the studies conducted for the drug’s approval.

Health care professionals, patients, patients’ families, and caregivers should be alert to and monitor for changes in mood and behavior in patients treated with Chantix. Symptoms may include anxiety, nervousness, tension, depressed mood, unusual behaviors and thinking about or attempting suicide. In most cases, neuropsychiatric symptoms developed during Chantix treatment, but in others, symptoms developed following withdrawal of varenicline therapy.

Patients should immediately report changes in mood and behavior to their doctor.

Vivid, unusual, or strange dreams may occur while taking Chantix.

Patients taking Chantix may experience impairment of the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery.

FDA will continue to update health care professionals with new information from FDA’s continuing review or if new information is received on Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms. FDA may consider requesting further revisions to the labeling or taking other regulatory action as the agency’s continuing reviews and conclusions warrant.

For more information:
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/varenicline/default.htm

Symptoms may include anxiety, nervousness, tension, depressed mood, unusual behaviors and thinking about or attempting suicide. In most cases, neuropsychiatric symptoms developed during Chantix treatment, but in others, symptoms developed following withdrawal of varenicline therapy.

Day Two without Chantix

Smoke Free 70 days!

I slept pretty good last night and woke up this morning one minute before my alarm went off! I LOVE IT! Okay, here’s what I did differently. No caffeine after 2:00 p.m., no chocolate, food, or sugar after 7:00 p.m. I also had a glass of cold milk about 8:00 p.m. At 8:30 I turned off the TV and said the Rosary. At 9:00 p.m. I went to bed and fell asleep pretty quick because I did not see the clock at 9:30 or 10:00 like I have been. Some thoughts and worries came into my mind but I made a mental note and said to myself, “Ok, got that one down so don’t think about it anymore.” When another worry would come into my mind I would do the same thing. Actually, I only had three things I was worried about and then I fell asleep. Oh, I did take the herbal combination at 7:45 or so. I’m not sure if it was one thing or the combination of things but I feel rested, I was able to take my time getting ready this morning – even said the Rosary again from 6:30 to 6:50 a.m. Nice way to start my day.

This is my second day without Chantix. Not sure if that is why I was able to sleep better or not. A friend of mine here at work quit taking Chantix after two weeks because he could not sleep at all. He still is not smoking. I am not really worried about quitting Chantix after only 6 weeks. I don’t like the things I am hearing in the news about it. The sooner I am off any drug, the better in my book. I can always start taking it again if I need to. I am hoping not.