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Kicking the Addiction

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Kicking the Addiction

Postby Sandi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:29 pm

Today will end 7 days, a whole week, with no cigarettes.

It has taken me a long time ( over a year ) to work up the desire, but more so the confidence that I can do it.

Other than the first day, it hasn't been as hard as I contemplated. Slap on a patch every morning, and chew nicotine gum is the urge seems to be overriding the patch.

Wish me luck.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Dairylander » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:38 pm

Does insurance pay for those products?
I've heard they're very expensive.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:55 pm

Nice work! Your body thanks you. The company that makes your cigarette brand doesn't.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby bdog » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:58 pm

Good Luck!
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby pjbogart » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:58 pm

I quit smoking several years ago through the smoking cessation program at UW, but started again a few months later like a moron. They actually pay you a bit for your time and you don't have to pay for the patches, pills or whatever they give you. For me the critical benefit over the counseling program instead of going it alone is that there's always a small window you're reaching for... meeting tomorrow at 10am and they'll be testing me for carbon monoxide. Then they set you up for another quick visit three days later to be tested again. Those short, manageable goals were excellent incentive and with each meeting it became easier and easier. Within two weeks I really felt like the habit was behind me.

Note: after you've gone a few months and feel like you're really over it, don't fall into the "I can buy a pack, smoke a few and throw the rest out." You're not over the addiction, you're just over the craving. The addiction never goes away.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Sandi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:01 pm

Dairylander wrote:Does insurance pay for those products?
I've heard they're very expensive.


Expebsive but cheaper. Cigarettes are about $50 a carton locally and lasts a week. Nicoderm CQ costs about $30 dollars for 7 patches. The Nicorette gum is $40 for a box of 100. As I don't use much of the gum it should last a month.

So for a weeks supply: $30 for patches plus $10 for gum comes to about $10 less than cigarettes. However that is theoretical because I bought cigs online for less than half that. But as it should be kicked in 2 or 3 months at most, it's definitely cheaper in the long run even at the online discount.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Sandi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:10 pm

pjbogart wrote:Note: after you've gone a few months and feel like you're really over it, don't fall into the "I can buy a pack, smoke a few and throw the rest out." You're not over the addiction, you're just over the craving. The addiction never goes away.


Think it depends on the individual. About 15-20 years ago I quit for 5 years. There was no craving after a few months, and during that quit time ( and always will in the future ) have one cigarette on the Great American Smokeout day. The one cig never enticed me to start again.

That has to be the dumbest thing anyone ever thought up. No one who smokes is going to quit because of that. They may try not to smoke that day, and maybe even succeed, but they will not quit unless their mind was made up to do so to begin with.

One thing I think that helped the other time I quit was that I never changed my habits. Still drank coffee at the usual times, didn't try to substitute candy, toothpicks or other things to busy myself. Didn't care if people smoked around me, and I even allowed friends to smoke in my house or vehicle. The hardest was to have a drink with friends after work. Said to a friend back then "All I need now is hot sex and no cigarette and I know I have it kicked."

Edit: To add that the reason I started again after 5 years was because I put on an extra 50 pounds. The weight might not be as bad as the cigarettes, but I prefer quality of life over quantity.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby gargantua » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:16 pm

Best of luck, Sandi.

I quit at 10:06 pm on September 13, 1977. I still have the butt of the last one I smoked....a Merit. Vile things. The craving went away long ago, but every once in awhile I'll be smoking a cigarette in a dream. Once I notice it I get upset and the dream ends.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:21 pm

Good luck!

I, sadly, recently quit trying to quit.
After 2 years of one unsuccessful attempt after another -- including three tries with chemical aids (a round of buproprion, a round of Chantix, another round of buproprion) and an expensive investment in an electronic cigarette -- I finally had to cut myself some slack. Feeling like a constant failure for two years running really starts to wear you down after a while. I have every intention of trying again -- I signed up for the UW cessation study a couple weeks ago, but they were all full, so now I have to wait a few weeks until the next go-round (and find out what they're gonna give me, because I will never use Chantix again nor will I use the patch.)

However, I have not returned to my over-a-pack-a-day habit -- I'm more like half-a-pack now. A big part of this is that after a family friend passed away, I acquired her cat, and he has asthma. So no more smoking in the house. I used to just sit and chain-smoke in front of my computer but now I have to go outside or out to the garage, which is considerably less appealing. Besides, the way I see it, if I spend the rest of my life trying to quit and failing, I'm still smoking a heckuva lot less, which is at least better than nothing.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Igor » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:21 pm

A co-worker quit years ago. First he had to quit at work, then he had a kid, and their family bought a new car. The hardest part for him was when he was in a bar after golf or bowling or whatever - he didn't know what to do with the hand that wasn't holding the beer.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Sandi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:25 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I signed up for the UW cessation study a couple weeks ago, but they were all full...


This is just my own opinion but I would highly discourage anyone taking cessation classes. About 10 years after my 5 year quit I decided to quit again and exercise more, and did the cessation group study. It seemed to me at the time, that the cessation group only put more pressure on me.

I don't work well at attempting to do ( or not do ) something if being pressured. It was I think, the anxiety over what the group would say if I failed. But that is just me, maybe others can work well with groups and the inherent pressure. What works for one person may not work for others.

The patch is working well for me now, even better than I thought at keeping the craving down: but while in the group years ago I couldn't make it on the patch. I do now and then have a piece of nicorette gum after eating. The Buproprion is no good for me. It only makes food taste bad, and leave an all day bad taste in my mouth.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:35 pm

I've never tried the cessation study, so I figured it's worth a shot. But again, I need more info before I'm willing to commit. No idea what it entails because they've yet to contact me.

I will not use the patch because it can be dangerous if you smoke while on it and I've already demonstrated to myself that I lack willpower when it comes to quitting. The gum/lozenges never did much for me when I quit (successfully) many years ago. (Getting dumped by my wife is what drove me back.) The thing is, I don't need much help with the withdrawl -- that only lasts a few days. It's the habit-breaking and being around other smokers that I find so difficult. If I don't have any smokes on hand, I can go days without much hassle. If I just never left my house again, I could quit no problem. And most of the aids -- e-cigs, gum/lozenges, etc. -- fail me because what I crave isn't so much the nicotine (at least not consciously), it's the feeling of smoke in my lungs. Nothing else feels like that. I know that sounds dumb, especially to non-smokers, but I miss that sensation a lot when not smoking.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby rabble » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:01 am

I joined the first quitsmoking study in 2005. I'm in this current one but as a former smoker.

I don't know if they're using exactly the same methods this time around but it's probably similar; interviews, a physical, a plan, several different methods, then weekly interviews for a few months, then monthly for several months, then every few months, and visits to get more of whatever stuff they've got you on.

If they're still trying patches and you don't want one, I'm sure they'll give you something else. They're pretty accommodating about that.

I got an anti anxiety drug whose name I can't remember and I quit taking it anyway because I couldn't sleep, and nicotine lozenges. The first lozenge I used got me higher than a kite. At work. At a meeting with several department heads. They liked my energy and how at ease I was around management, but maybe I ought to let somebody else talk for a while. That stopped after the second day. But it was a great two days.

After about six months, every time I used a lozenge I got the hiccups. Last year I found an old pack of them (yes, a seven year old pack of lozenges) and for some reason tried one. Got the hiccups.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:06 am

rabble wrote:a physical

This is actually one of the things that made me first seriously consider doing a study. Free healthcare is free healthcare.
I have some potential heart issues and the more monitoring of that, the better, I figure.
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Re: Kicking the Addiction

Postby pjbogart » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:31 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I've never tried the cessation study, so I figured it's worth a shot. But again, I need more info before I'm willing to commit. No idea what it entails because they've yet to contact me.


Well, perhaps Sandi's aversion to the cessation program is bizarrely political. Wouldn't be the first time. There are no group meetings, it's more like a detailed psychological profile, a battery of physical tests and then meetings with a counselor for followup tests and psychological evaluation. Keep in mind they're conducting science experiments. You might get a placebo, but honestly I'm not sure that it would matter. The real benefit to the program, in my opinion, was the one-on-one meetings with the counselor. You might spend two months in the program before your quit date and you form a bit of a bond with the person you're working with. When your quit date arrives, you want to prove that you can do it... not only to yourself but to the person you've been working with for two months.

Some people gain weight when they quit smoking, but I found just the opposite to be true. For one, if you want to quit smoking, you have to stay alcohol free too because getting drunk pretty much kills all of your inhibitions. I lost about 40 pounds in two months when I quit smoking, which most doctors would probably say is unhealthy, but I wasn't even trying to lose weight. One of the things they give you is a step-counter to encourage you to get more exercise. When you suddenly find that you have too much free time (because you aren't sitting around chugging coffee/beer and chainsmoking) you go for a lot of walks, or at least I did. One day I racked up 32000 steps.

For the program you keep a log of the number of cigarettes you smoke, the number of drinks you have and the number of steps you take each day. Looking at those numbers is a sort of incentive in and of itself. Even before your quit date you'll probably find yourself getting more exercise, smoking less and drinking less, but they actually tell you not to quit until your quit date. Again, it's an experiment so it might seem strange for a doctor to tell you to keep smoking, but they're studying the relative success of the different methods, so quitting before you get your patch/lozenge/pill messes up their experiment.

And get ready for a serious physical. There's not much poking and prodding, but there's plenty of bleeding and panting. I spent about an hour at the UW hospital with some doctor who was rubbing cold jelly on my neck and looking at my arteries. Then they stuck me on a treadmill until my head was about to explode.

Ultimately, what got me to quit was the entire process, I think. It wasn't simply the patch, or giving up alcohol for a few months, or seeing a counselor twice a week, or having a detailed health assessment, or being forced to admit that I desperately wanted to have sex with my neighbor's Cocker Spaniel. It was the whole shebang. It's fairly time consuming for a few months, but definitely worth a shot, and you get a lot of free doctor visits in the process.
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