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Quitting smoking


ejpritz

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I am not sure if this is the best place to post this... has anyone quit smoking by using Nicotine Gum? I quit 2 years and 4 months ago, and have not had on puff in that time, however each month I need more and more nicotine gum (yes I have been chewing it this entire time)

I did not know if anyone else is in the same boat . I convince myself that it is much better then smoking is, but did not know if anyone has been told that it is Harmful or if the gum itslef can cause cancer.. I cannot seem to find much info on this topic on the internet.

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Hi Erin!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm very excited to 'see' ya! I used the gum once for a while, but I guess I wasn't committed enough and stopped it. However, I have a friend ~ actually a rather new friend of the last 2 years ~ and she chews it ALL the time. She says she's cheweed it for the past 9 years. Can you believ it??? So I have no idea if it's good or bad to do that, but she's done it for that long. As far as I know, she's had no complications of any sort. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't any.

How about an update on everything else??? I had hoped to find you at the Boston Walk '06. Thought maybe you would be able to make it. I'm still looking forward to meeting you. I'm anxious to know how other things have been going.

Kasey

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Kasey:

I am glad to see you too... I have not posted forever but I am on the site almost every single day. At the time of the Boston Walk my mother was finshing chemo.. she had a really tough time with it, she was very sick and lost her hair (which she had the toughest time dealing with) and I was unable to get involved in the walk because I was emotionally drained. Good news is she is still around and well... She feels good physically, just has a tough time mentally with it and does have periods of depression. Just trying to get her to enjoy life and be well....

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Hi Erin. When I quit in early June 2003, my doctor prescribed Welbutrin (Zyban). It was great. I was under a bit of pressure to quit as I had to do so at least 14 days before I had surgery. I haven't had a cigarette since June 12, 2003. I highly recommend this approach.

A friend of mine quit smoking when she was 35 (long ago) and used Nicotine gum for the rest of her life. She started smoking again about the time of her daughter's wedding. Then quit and never smoked again. BUT, SHE CHEWED THAT GUM ALL THE TIME. She died when she was 68, but not from chewing that gum. I think Welbutrin is better - just my opinion.

Good luck

Muriel

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Thanks Muriel.... My Dr. was willing to prescribe me Chantex (sp?) to quit the gum but I have to admit I felt a little weird about taking a pill to get off the gum so I tried qutting on my own. I think I am going to try next week the day after my Birthday... From what I read Nicotine withdrawal only last days so I guess I can be miserable for a few days.

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it takes 72 hours for nicotine to be put of your system, the rest is up to you. I totally understand what yout saying because i do it too!!!

Not the gum but the patch, i have an emergency stash for when i know ill be overly stressed or tempted. I'll do it- anything not to ever smoke again!!

yes it would be better if i had will power to cut out Nicotine completely but 2007 was one doozy of a year for me!

Congratulations on being smoke-free!! Im so proudof you!

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I used the patch to quit this time but I have not used it past the time recommended (I think it was 10 weeks for a heavy smoker)

I have been quit since May 14th

But I can't say the cravings still don't come and go!!!

good luck and continue what you need to do to stay quit.

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Hi Erin:

Congrats on your smoke-free status!!! :D

I'm interested in your thread as I have done a couple of quit attempts myself, but haven't been successful yet :( . I can't use the gum because of all of my dental work, but I've done the patch and cold turkey so far. I just might try Chantix next (I see the doc later this month), even though 3 people I know who used it last year were not successful in quitting with it (but I do know why they failed, that helps). Otherwise, I'll try lozenges out now....figure I'll discuss it with the doc. first though.

From what I can find, freedom from nicotine dependence is definitely encouraged, but there really isn't much study on the long-term effects from nicotine replacement therapies. These links might help give you some info. on that:

https://www.healthforums.com/library/1, ... 78,00.html

http://quitsmoking.about.com/od/nrts/f/nicotinegum.htm

http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:7CF ... d=25&gl=us

Go to page 9 on the third link (that's where they specifically address long-term use).

In a nutshell, there is some suggestion of a cancer threat from nicotine, though the literature admits more study needs to be done (and, yes, the literature says it is better than smoking). Some articles seem to point to potential cardiovascular effects and that has to do with how nicotine itself affects the body.

The study literature does warn us, however, that the potential for relapse to smoking does exist when weaning off of these replacement therapies -- nicotine has an anti-depressive/anti-anxiety effect in the body so somehow we have to find another way to deal with stress other than nicotine use. I didn't really know that until recently (or it just didn't sink in :? ) -- that explains why those first few days when nicotine was going out of my system I honestly felt just fine, but the minute a stressful event happened, that's when I relapsed!

As you can tell, I intend to be really prepared on what I am up against so as to not fall back this next time!

Anyway, hope this helps.

Linda

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Very interesting!

I had alot of slip ups in the beginning with my quit 5 years ago- I did cold turkey, patches and Wellbutrin. Maybe it's psychological but it helps to know when I get completely stressed out and reach my limit (which runs about every 2-3 months these days and just recently the entire month of December) I can fall on the patch if I need to.

I have stage 2's and I cut them in half- put a couple in my dresser drawer and a couple in my purse.

Call it emergency rations.

I wouldn't be using them at all any more I am sure had my mom not suddenly passed away on me...things were finally starting to calm down and even out...

oh well.

Would like to be updated on what Jack has to say about the nicotine though! Keep us posted!!

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I had my last cigarette in September on the hospital steps going in for my lobectomy. I smoked for 30 years but used the nicotine patches for 8 weeks when I got out of the hospital. I think your desire to quit is alot more important than which type of aid you use.

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Good to know about the lozenges -- when I get to my doc later this month, I'm definitely going to ask her about how to cope differently with the weak point of stress. Coping with anxiety seems to be a weak point in my life skills and she already knows that (even before the LC journey this was an issue) -- we already tried SSRIs for that and those don't work on me....all I get is a migraine headache from those and feel like I'm on speed or something (and that wasn't even on a full dose of what most people start with).

And, I've talked to more folks (like counseling) over the years and that doesn't work for me either.

Not sure if this will get off the thread topic, but it's not the everyday stresses that seem to trigger the cravings...it's the unexpected stresses (as far as I've noticed) -- anyone else notice that? Might really wind down to just being willful about the new that comes into our lives after all -- at some point, the new becomes "normal" now doesn't it (we all sure know that one here)?

In case anyone out there is thinking of Chantix -- it definitely does have promise, but methinks this issue of knowing/planning what you are going to do with stress is the key to long-term success with kicking nicotine dependence. Chantix blocks the nicotine receptor sites in the brain -- no desire for nicotine, no desire to smoke or need any nicotine replacement. The reasons my 3 friends failed was (what the heck, I just asked them straight out):

Two of them ran into digestive side effects (cramping, bloating, constipation, gas) at about weeks 3-4....uncomfortable enough that they quit the Chantix at that point. They both reported that while they were on it, they definitely had no cravings for cigarettes.

The third friend also had experienced some of this, but found that being sure to drink more than enough water did away with those side effects. She also did not take full dose as she is rather petite -- she was on half dose; that also did away with her cravings. She successfully made it through the 12 weeks on Chantix and had quit for just over 4 months more -- a major stressful life event happened affecting her family and she started up again.

Hmmmmm.....current/former smokers' bodies now physically want to run to nicotine to provide anti-anxiety effects -- what chemical/hormone would the body normally/naturally provide to counter anxiety? OK, I'm about to run into cell biology so I'll stop now -- this pending discussion with my doc. ought to be a doozy!

Linda

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To all who are in the quitting process:

I quit cold turkey on June 26, 2003, the day I was diagnosed. I had smoked for nearly 50 years and very heavily for the last 20-30. It was not easy and my turkey did get some help from the Nicoderm patches. I used them for the prescribed period and for several months more. From then until last month I carried a Nicoderm patch and a nitroglycerin patch, (heart concerns), in my wallet "just in case". I'm sure they were both way past their expiration and probably would have been ineffective if I did need them.

I still get the old involuntary grab for the pack once in a while and probably always will.

As an aside and an add-on we have recently become aware of the presence and danger of Radon and its risks for lung cancer. We've had our house checked twice lately and are going to have some improvements made in a couple weeks. Our area is classified as having high Radon levels as is a great deal of the country. I think the money I saved on cigarettes could have paid for the Radon mitigation a couple years ago had we known about it.

(Sorry for the detour. I think that's what they call a thread hijack)

John

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Mike and I both smoke. He quit for 5 weeks trying to get his FEV1 numbers up. When they didn't go up enough to keep him from fearing surgery, he started again. He used Chantix and swears by it.

I started Chantix and didn't like how it made me feel. Right now I'm using the Commit Lozenges and I think they are GREAT. I have dentures so gum chewing is difficult.

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I quit smoking 6 years ago but used chewing tobacco.Then I used the commit lozengers to get off the chew.I am still addicted to commit but my onco doesnt seem concerned about. Damn nicotine must really be addictive.Six years after quitting smoking and Im still putting the nicotine in my body.Sttupic things are expensive also. Thats my new years resolution is to get off the commit. I wish you the best.

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Mike me too...NOT the chewing tobacco!! LOL but I still use nicotine sometimes...five years later.

There will be times when i know I will be overwhelmed...where some people may pop a pill or are great at meditation or whatever- I'll put on a low-dose nicotine patch....

It's terrible, and not something I like to admit, but it's good to know you aren't struggling alone.

(((hugs)))

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Like I said in a previous post...I quit smoking about 8 yrs before being dx...After 7 attempts and one time as long as 7 months...than at my niece's wedding ...a couple of vodka tonic's is all it took...and there I was back smoking again...Mind you I am not a drinker...just sociable one...but that did have an effect on me that I wanted a ciggy...ugh

And there I was back smoking..only took one to do it

Than about 4 yrs later watching tv one night...something triggered me and I swear I can't remember what...but I said...'that's it..I will never smoke another ciggerate...I had 2 left in my pack and crumbled them up and threw them in the trash...

My biggest support was my family...(not really)...and I'll tell you why....they ALL said.."oh yeah...we know..you'll go back again"...Well you couldn't blame them for saying that because they knew that I tried to stop numberous times...When I say they were my biggest support..what I mean is..."I'LL SHOW YOU'...and as hard as it was..I did....I think the was the hardest thing I have ever done...I thought of them as my 'friends'...just popp a cigg and i'd be fine...

Now when I think back...how in the hell did I EVER smoke all those years...I gagg just thinking about it...I think cold turkey is the way to go...instead of all this other stuff that you put in your body...Hard I know..but ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

Don't you know us LC survivors are NOT supposed to smoke????...(just a little snicker here)...I wish everyone the best of luck that are trying to stop...just keep trying and it will happen

hugs..nonni

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