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Monday, March 24, 2008

how is everyone doing so far?

I hope everyone hasn't given up on stopping smoking? Kelly did you set a stop date to just say I have had enough of this being a slave to cigarettes and be strong and over come the urge to light up? I guess it is somewhat harder to stop when someone you live with still smokes, you might feel like you are being deprived of something you enjoy doing, I really did enjoy smoking and for the longest time I really didn't want to stop in fact I told people that when they asked me why I didn't stop. I always wondered what people did with their hands all the time since they didn't smoke. Well now that I don't smoke I don't miss not holding a cigarette all the time, in fact it is actually more handy not to have to find somewhere to lay a cigarette while I am trying to do something.

I think today is the last day this month to follow the almanac but there are 3 days next month I think and I believe that the 3rd is one of them I could be wrong on that, and I know some folks think that is a lot of witch craft or star gazing but there are gazillions of old timers and some not so old timers that swear by it, and I will admit, I think there is something to it too and not only the smoking thing.

Gigi50 I guess you are still not smoking? I also noticed some withdrawals or what ever they are called but everyone I talk to in the medical field tells me that will all get better in a while. I hope so because some of it is annoying, do you notice getting up in the middle of the night almost every night, I do, from 12:00 to 2:00 every night and it is hard to get enough sleep like that and I even get night sweats some times, I guess it could be menopause..lol but really I am not sure what causes it.

Anyway, I wanted to check in with the folks on here and see how you all are doing. Good luck. Be safe.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just Checking In

Hello. I don't have too much to say about smoking or quitting right at the moment. I did want to say that after I stopped the Chantix and the Avelox, I started feeling better almost right away. It is nice being back to my normal self.

I have been busy with work and with my sons. Just normal life going on. I am really starting to get spring fever. I know I need to quit while it is still cold because I enjoy smoking more when it is nice and warm out.

Thank you Robert Drysdale for your great posts! Welcome to our little group. I hope you will continue to provide us with your good information.

I am working on setting a quit date. Gee, that sure makes it sound like a big deal, huh? There really is no great project involved with setting the date, I just have to pick one and do it. I have not checked the almanac for good dates to quit in March, I think I will do that now. I hope I did not already miss them.

Congratulations to everyone out there that has already quit smoking. That includes everyone that writes here and also all of our commenters that have quit. I am really learning a lot from all of you and your experiences. Thank you for sharing.

Side Effects Think about it

I've been catching up. Think about side effects like this.

When you smoke there aren't any perceivable side effects (that the smoker sees) BACK OFF all you reformed smokers - I'm going somewhere here.

The minute we stop we begin to look for what? Side Effects blaming the pills, patch, whatever crutch we've chosen to help us get there.

Perhaps the side effects are just from quitting?

Being BITCHY, SNAPPY, GRUMPY, GASSY, CRAPPY, SLEEPLESS, HUNGRY (god I sound like the 7 dwarfs all rolled into one) I probably snuffed Snow White but just don't remember doing it.

Sleepless = not sleeping, insomnia, tired, cannot get enough of the infomercial world until the early early edition of the news shows up around what 3:00 am

Gassy = OMG you would think I'd eaten enough pinto beans to be my own blazing saddles!

Crappy = crappy taste in my mouth YUCK

Hungry = I could eat the kitchen counter some days, silestone isn't good for one's digestive system

Bitchy/Snappy/Grumpy = well those are all self defining now aren't they?

Positives (that I've noticed)

My skin looks 100% better
I don't have to have waxing done as often
Food tastes better
Those wrinkles around my mouth are diminishing
My voice is different clearer, less raspy (I don't sound like that woman on Beetlejuice anymore)
Cardio isn't a dirty word anymore
My sense of smell seems better
No Sinus infections
Yellowish tint to my fingernails is gone

Enough Ranting for Now

Staying on the Wagon without firing a shot!

Well I'm back. It's been a month officially and 2 months unofficially. I still haven't smoked but boy have I wanted to more than once. Friday nights when our friends all get together to throw darts, talk, hang out whatever oh yea and drink.......Now that smell just makes me sick to my stomach. I hate the way I smell when we get up the next morning.

I've quit taking Chantix. Took it off and on for over a year, never wanted to kill anyone or myself, all the side effects etc. It worked for me what can I say, or maybe it really didn't and I was just ready to quit - I'll never really know. But it helped me get there. I honestly think I finally decided not to let it beat me any longer. Us Taureans can be really stubborn you know! Bottom line whatever makes you quit makes you quit.

I've been faithfully working out (6 times a week) haven't lost a stinking pound or one Percentage of body fat, still on the blood pressure medicine, etc. I did have a pity party last Tuesday because NOTHING had happened to me since I quit except for I'd been sicker than a dog after quitting and I'd quit.

Here's the Positives - I can go a good solid 30 minutes on the elliptical without hacking up a lung, I can do 20 military style push ups, I can handle up to 40 lbs when doing tricep push downs. I haven't gained one pound from stopping smoking. I can take a deep breath without coughing and it doesn't hurt. I jogged/walked my first mile in my entire life a week ago and lived to blog about it!

Bottom line all the scare tactics in the world aren't going to make anyone quit.
You'll quit more than once
You'll fall off the wagon and get back on the wagon and fall off and get back on.
You have find the thing that will enable you to quit no matter what it is and go for it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Kind Of Drug Could Increase Number Who Quit Smoking

Greetings: Smokers in your
quest to quit smoking this information might be useful.

Smokers who try to quit using existing medications, such as nicotine patches or Zyban, are about twice as likely to succeed as those who don't use medication or are prescribed placebos during clinical trials.

But despite the relative effectiveness of medications currently on the market, more than 80 per cent of quitters will be smoking again within a year, according to a review in the latest IJCP, the UK-based International Journal of Clinical Practice.

A new kind of drug has now been developed that could improve long-term quit rates, according to Dr Jonathan Foulds from the Tobacco Dependence Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Varenicline is being evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration under a six-month priority review which began in late 2005.

"Trials carried out so far have yielded promising results, suggesting that varenicline could be a major advance in the treatment of nicotine dependence" says Dr Foulds.

"Drugs are normally earmarked for priority review by the FDA if they are felt to address health needs that are not currently being adequately met.

"What makes varenicline different to existing medication is that it is the first treatment specifically designed to target the neurobiological mechanism of nicotine dependence."

Initial results show that the drug successfully stimulates dopamine -- sometimes called the brain's pleasure chemical -- as well as blocking nicotine receptors. This reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms and craving and may also prevent a lapse from turning into a full relapse.

Existing quit smoking methods have limited success and studies have found that some 18 per cent of people using them will be smoke free after a year, compared with 10 per cent of people prescribed placebos.

This figure can be increased to 25 to 35 per cent when smokers receive intensive counselling and combined medications are used.

Dr Foulds summarised 141 studies covering just over 48,000 subjects who were randomly allocated different types of medication or placebos.

He found that quit rates with nicotine replacement methods and drugs such as bupropion (trade name Zyban), nortriptyline and clonidine ranged from 14.6 per cent to 24.9 per cent. Smokers who were prescribed placebos (dummy drugs) achieved success rate of between 8.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent.

But clinical trials carried out with varenicline on thousands of smokers suggest that the new drug yield may yield better success rates.

The results of human trials reported in 2005 and 2006 found that short and long-term quit rates were higher when compared with placebos or bupropion (Zyban).

Studies presented at recent scientific meetings have shown that short-term quit rates in the first 12 weeks were approximately four times higher with varenicline than placebos and that long-term abstinence rates, for the first year, were more than twice those of placebos.

"Almost 20 countries and numerous US states have already announced or implemented comprehensive indoor smoking bans and that figure is rising all the time" adds Dr Foulds.

"Here in New Jersey, for example, smoking is very expensive and we have just implemented comprehensive legislation to ban smoking indoors in virtually all pubic places.

"This is good news for smokers and non smokers alike as many smokers are keen to quit and this gives them an added incentive.

"Medicines like varenicline are very important as they will help many more people to quit smoking, including those who have failed with other methods."

Adapted from materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., via EurekAlert!

Hope you found this information useful
Robert Drysdale(Biobob)

Quitting Smoking: It's Never Too Late

Greetings Everyone

Many people spend a lifetime trying to give up smoking, but there is good news for older smokers from research carried out at the Peninsula Medical School in South West England.

A study by Dr. Iain Lang and his colleagues has revealed that the point of retirement is one of the most effective times to try to give up smoking. The study followed 1712 smokers aged 50 years and older over a six-year period, taking into account their work status (whether an individual was working or retired) and smoking status (whether a non-smoker or smoker).

The research showed that a total of 42.5 per cent of those who had recently retired had quit smoking, compared with 29.3 per cent of those in employment and 30.2 per cent for those who were already retired. The results indicate those who undergo the transition into retirement are more likely to quit smoking than those who do not.

Said Dr. Lang: "Retirement is one of the great transitions in life, which is why a greater proportion of people may find it easier to make significant changes elsewhere in their lives at this time. Retirement is a point of life at which people have a whole range of opportunities to do things they haven't previously felt able to do. We are excited at the possibility that what we have seen with smoking may also apply to other aspects of lifestyle, like eating more healthily and doing more exercise. That would be a great result not just for the health of the individual but also because it would relieve some of the pressure placed upon the NHS by an ageing population."

He added: "However, anyone who isn't planning to retire just yet shouldn't put off quitting. The sooner you quit the sooner you will experience the benefits -- when it comes to stopping smoking there's no time like the present!"

The Peninsula Medical School team also suggests that employers who are putting together retirement training for their staff should also include guidance about how to have a healthy retirement.

Dr Lang stated: "We would also like to see more employers use retirement as a catalyst for supporting the ongoing health of their retired employees. Preparing them for a healthy retirement is good HR policy -- and quitting smoking will be an important part of that."

Adapted from materials provided by Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.

Hope you found this post useful in your quest to butt-out.

Best Regards
Robert Drysdale(biobob)


Greetings Non-smokers:

If you are planning to ignore the messages of national No Smoking Day on 12th March by claiming that smoking is one of the few pleasures left to you, then recent research from the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England may make you think again.
Extensive research carried out by Dr Iain Lang at the Peninsula Medical School looked at the relationship between smoking and psychological wellbeing. Dr Lang and colleagues used a measure of quality of life called the CASP-19 and found that smokers experienced lower average levels of pleasure and life satisfaction compared with non-smokers. The difference was even more pronounced in smokers from lower socio-economic groups.

In short -- smoking doesn't make you happy.

Dr. Lang and his team carried out a study involving 9176 individuals aged 50 or over, who took part in ELSA, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The studies for the research categorized people as never-smokers, ex-smokers and current smokers, and used household wealth as an indicator for socio-economic position.

Said Dr. Lang: "We found no evidence to support the claim that smoking is associated with pleasure, either in people from lower socio-economic groups or in the general population."

He added: "People may feel like they're getting pleasure when they smoke a cigarette but in fact smokers are likely to be less happy overall -- the pleasure they feel from having a smoke comes only because they're addicted. These results show smoking doesn't make you happy -- in fact, it is associated with poorer overall quality of life. Anyone thinking of giving up smoking should understand that quitting will be better for them in terms of their well-being -- as well as their physical health -- in the long-run."

Adapted from materials provided by Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.

Hope you found this post useful
Robert Drysdale(Biobob)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Drug side effects

I totally agree with you about the drugs and the side effects of them, most of the ones shown on TV have more things they can cause than things they can cure.
I sure wouldn’t like what those drugs were doing to you, I once took Buspar and it worked fine then several years later I tried it and I was so woozier and shaky I couldn’t even get up with out hanging on to something, so that was the end of those, I flushed them down the pot. I know you said you aren’t a hypochondriac but I think I might be to some extent, I mean I can’t even watch a medical show on TV with out getting the willies thinking that sounds like something I have, lol. I know it is silly. But even with that, I don’t like to take meds, there are a couple I guess I do need but not a lot, the point I am getting at is I am afraid of what some meds can do to a person’s body, and they preach all the time about how bad smoking is,
I guess the really best way to stop smoking is just to make up your mind and not touch another one, and I do definitely know how hard that is to do, I still have times I would sure like to have a smoke but I just tell my self that that isn’t going to happen and with in a few seconds I have given up the idea.
I think I am actually finely starting to feel better than I did before I stopped smoking, I was starting to think I have goofed up by stopping but now since I think I finely got over what ever it was that I had, I can breathe easier and not as short of breath.
I know one thing you have going for you is you really want to stop and maybe if you think of the positive things about not smoking it might help you. Just think of all the new shoes you can buy with the money you save, lol.
You remember how much accomplishment you felt when you stopped for those 5 days? Well you can get that back again and even if you fall off the wagon again, just keep trying and if you make it longer each time then in a while you will stop completely and you will pass the point of feeling you are compelled to light up when those urges hit. As I have said lots of times, it isn’t difficult for me to not smoke, in fact one of my daughters was just here and she asked me if I was sure it was ok for her to smoke, and I said sure, it didn’t bother me at all other than it kind of stinks.
Anyway, I am glad you aren’t on those meds any longer, I can almost tell from your writing that it was messing up your disposition you seemed more aggressive or something not the way you usually write.
Ok, good luck to all.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pharmaceutical Drug Roulette

I feel the need to update my post about stopping the Chantix. It finally occurred to me that I also started a new antibiotic called Avelox on the same day I started taking Chantix. I figured that maybe I should take a look to see if Avelox had any side effects.

The side effects of Avelox are just about as bad as the Chantix. In fact, there are whole forums devoted to how bad Avelox has effected people. Joint pain is very high on that list along with feeling out of it. There were many more listed that sound like how I feel.

So, which drug did it to me? I have decided that I am not going to take the Avelox anymore either. I know that you are not supposed to stop an antibiotic in the middle of the cycle but right now I couldn't care less. I refuse to play pharmaceutical drug roulette any more.

Are some of you wondering if I am a hypochondriac? Let me assure you, I am not. I have never had problems with an antibiotic before or any other prescription for that matter. I don't go looking for symptoms and then start having them by power of suggestion. It is just very clear to me that one (or both) of these prescription medications have caused some uncomfortable and unwanted side effects.

I really don't trust the pharmaceutical companies anymore or the FDA quite frankly. I have always thought it was ridiculous how you see a commercial on television for a drug and then they run down the list of possible side effects. Most of them sound worse than what you would even take the medication for.

After having a son with a speech delay and possible high functioning autism, I have also seriously started questioning vaccinations and flu shots. Maybe I am becoming paranoid or cynical at the ripe old age of 34? I just think our safety was sold out a long time ago. As much as possible, I will stay away from prescription drugs.

Yeah, I smoke and that is stupid. I recognize that and will quit. I think at the beginning of this blog I gave myself a time frame of sometime this year. It will be sooner than later. My point is that I don't want to sound like a hypocrite for slamming the drug companies while I smoke a drug daily. Let's just say that Phillip Morris (and all the other tobacco companies) were the first to try and kill me.

Usually I am rather upbeat and easy going. I am not sure if I am fed up or if this little rant has something to do with a mood side effect from Chantix or Avelox. I am sure I will wake up tomorrow in a much better mood. Lord knows I won't be taking ANY pills tomorrow.

I Am Stopping The Chantix Due To Side Effects

This would have been my fourth day on Chantix but I decided to stop taking it already. I did not like the side effects from it. Today would have been the day that I started taking two pills (you start out on one and work up to two). I figured if I hated the way it made me feel on one pill then there is no way I could handle two. Then by next week, it works you up to an even higher dose per pill! Nope, not for me.

By the evening of the first day I took it, I had a rather strange lower backache. My back never hurts so that was very unusual. The backache stayed with me all three days that I took the Chantix. My whole body felt very heavy and sore. My legs were achy and tired. I was also rather lethargic and felt very tired mentally as well. I have also been in a rather pissy mood.

Of course, many people might say that the symptoms above had nothing to do with the Chantix. I know myself and what is normal and what is not normal. These things were NOT normal for me. I made the decision to stop before it got too out of hand. Since I did not take my pill today, I already feel a touch better. My mind is not as cloudy although I do not feel as sharp as usual yet.

I Googled back pain and Chantix and was very surprised (and relieved) to find out that A LOT of people complain about this when using Chantix. In fact, everything I mentioned seems to be fairly common to the drug. Then I read about a lot of people having more extreme symptoms once they STOPPED using Chantix due to withdrawal from the drug itself. I know I am better to stop using it now rather than stopping from a higher dosage.

This is just my experience. A lot of people love it and seem to have no ill effects. On the other hand, my Google search came up with thread after thread of negative discussions about Chantix. Everybody is different and it makes sense that the same drug can cause different reactions in different people.

If you have used Chantix, please relate your experience. Good or bad, I would love to hear what you think about it.

Quit Smoking Video

Good food for thought:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Not too keen on those side effects

Being the hypochondriac that I am, I sure would not like the side effects of that med. And I talked to two people about smoking or not smoking actually, one is the guy that brings our shop towels , he had been a non smoker for 5 years now, and he did it the same as I did, just put them down and not let himself pick one up again, he said he thinks the only way to quit is not using the patches, gums and all the rest,, you just have to be able to tell yourself NO,,, and mean it, and stick to it .. I know that is hard to do but I kind of tend to agree with him.
Then the UPS lady was there today and she is wanting her hubby to stop smoking as he already has some copd. She mentioned the med you are taking and she said she has hear some bad things about it,, and from what you just said, I kind of think it has some unpleasant side effects. In some cases the cure is worse than the ailment..
I wish what ever frame of mind I got into that night I decided to quit would happen to you and everyone else that is trying so hard to stop smoking,, I already said this before but as much as I smoked and for as long as I smoked it was really not that difficult,, I pretty much just told myself , enough was enough and in a way I even kind of dared myself by leaving my cigarettes on top of the frig, so every time I opened the door to get a soda or anything,, there they were,, right at eye level. As a matter of fact, they are still there,, way too stale and strong to smoke now anyway.. but as I said,, I am stubborn and once I make up my mind on something I intend for it to be just that way .
I don’t know, maybe slap yourself on the cheek every time you want a smoke.. lol.. well better not.. might look like you were in a prize fight after the day was done.. lol.
I think I said I didn’t use any substitute but I think in a way I did.. I like peanuts in the shell, so I got lots of those and when I would be here at the computer I would crack and eat them, that is something that takes two hands pretty much so that kept my hands busy, if I ate canned peanuts I would still have one hand free to smoke with… I now one guy that is now hooked on sunflower seeds since he started chewing on them when he stopped smoking.
I know it seems like I am writing a book but if I and help anyone in any way to stop smoking I would love to do that, and it is rewarding to me to get to say , I don’t smoke anymore,, that isn’t to say I look down on smokers, and I never will, I feel they don’t have many rights anymore and I don’t feel that is fair at all .
Well, good luck to all . Vernon

Chantix Day 2

Here is a quick update on my Chantix journey. Today is my second day taking it. Here are some things I have noticed so far:

Side effects:

  • I feel kind of "out of it" or a little loopy
  • definite indigestion (burpy). In fact, I woke up twice in the middle of the night from sudden hiccups! That has never happened before.
  • Very flat emotions. Not happy, not sad but very.... flat.

I guess I can deal okay with these side effects. None of them are dramatic and I will just keep monitoring how this pill makes me feel.

Now, for the effect it has had on smoking:

  • Already by day 2 on Chantix, the cigarettes taste yuckier
  • I find myself not wanting to smoke the whole thing

I was planning on giving the Chantix a full week before quitting again. I have a feeling I won't wait that long. If there is no enjoyment in smoking at all, why bother? That must be the whole point of Chantix. I will keep you updated!

Monday, March 3, 2008

just keep pegging at it

Kelly, don't beat your self up about giving in to having that first smoke after 6 days, I don't know how many times I tried to stop in the past but never got through more than a day. The main thing is to be persistant, and with that new med I bet it will help a lot, my foreman at work took some kind of med, I don't know what it was but he said it cost over 100 dollars or a Rx. It might have been the same thing and he did quit by using it, he went through the lolly pops for a while though but no smokes, and his wife was going to stop too but she couldn't make it so he has the same thing you do. the spouse smoking, I am sure it would make it a lot harder to quit.
LOL. I bet your hubby thinks you won't quit and that way he won't have to either.. but you will show him and then you can see how much trouble he has in stopping. lol..
I went back to the Dr. Friday , maybe it wan't the stopping smoking that caused me some trouble like I first though, the dr. said I had infection in my lungs, at least that is what he told me but with the antibiotics and the second round of steroids which I am not keen about, I think I am about back to the way I used to be, he told me too, that a smoker gets a little shorter of breath for a while after stopping as the tars etc. are coming loose from the lungs.. Anyway I never heard or though of anything happening from stopping but it is all supposed to be temporary so that isn't bad,,
Ok, keep at it and I think this med will help and I know you have the drive to stop , and that is very important in success.
I hope the others on here are having success as well and I know if they keep trying they will stop smoking too even though it might take some time and a few set backs.
Good luck to all.

I Am A Quitting Loser!

I am hanging my head down in shame when I tell you that I broke my quit. On day 6, I just couldn't shake the all day crave and I gave in to a smoke like the addict I am. I went 6 days...... 6 days!!! How could I go back to it after that long?

My doctor wants me to try Chantix. I got the prescription filled today. I was thrilled that my insurance company did pay for most of it. I took my first pill today and I will see how it goes.

I have heard of a lot of success stories with Chantix. In fact, a few people have left comments on this blog about their success with Chantix. On the other hand, I have also heard some bad things about it too. Interestingly enough, two of my closest friends are using it right now to quit smoking too. I didn't know that and found it funny that we are all trying to quit at the same time. I asked them if they have had any bad side effects from Chantix but neither one of them has. They both feel that it is really helping them. Sooooooo, if they are liking it then I am going to give it a try.

I will tell you how my Chantix journey goes. I hate to point fingers but I am going to point one at my husband anyway! If only he would try to quit with me at the same time, I think it would be so much easier. While I risk soundy whiny, I must say it is hard to quit smoking when your spouse continues to do it. At least I was able to get a time frame from him. He said that he would quit once I have stopped smoking for three months. I see it as him buying himself some more time but I am going to hold him to it!

The way it works with Chantix is that you take it for a week and let it build up in your system. You can still smoke during that week. Then, you can either start cutting back or stop altogether. I will probably pick a day for early next week and stop. Cutting back has never worked for me before. Of course, it is painfully obvious that stopping altogether has not worked out the way I wanted either! There is one thing that I can guarantee: I will never stop quitting until I really quit. It will be done!

If you have a Chantix story, please share it here with everyone. Also, where are all of my quitting buddies?