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Old 04-04-2007, 12:41 PM   #1
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Trish M&M HB User
Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Hi You All: I have yet another question about coming off Chantix at the end of three months. If you'll remember, I recently asked what the difference was in a physical addiction to nicotine and a psychological one. You all were kind enough to explain for me.

So...here's another question. I'm 2 months (and 24 hours) into my quit. I have absolutely no desire to smoke. Occasionally, having a cigarette crosses my mind, but it's quick and fleeting and of no consequence. This indicates to me I'm over my physical addiction and these rare "urges" are psychological. So....why do you suppose there is the possibility that I'll want to smoke and miss smoking after having finished my 3 months of Chantix -- as others have? If I don't want to smoke now, why do you suppose I might want to smoke at the end of another 4 weeks? I'm trying so hard to understand this. Thanks for your patience and any answers you might have.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

You and I are both nicotine addicts. The thought of smoking will cross our minds. I am not entirely certain we will ever be over "physical addiction". However it will continue to be psychological addiction. Sorry, not what you or I wanted to hear, but it's a fact.

Joel Spitzer once wrote, and I quote:

"While we can accurately predict the physiological withdrawal, psychological withdrawals can occur at anytime. It is possible that the urge this man was having was just as painful as the ones he had a week earlier. While the urge may have been as strong, it was different. When he had an urge before, there was really nothing he could do to get over it. If he just held out a few minutes, the urge would pass. But psychological urges are more under the ex-smoker's conscious control. A good analogy demonstrating the difference between physiological and psychological pain can be seen by analyzing a common toothache.

A rotting tooth can cause a lot of pain. If your dentist explains to you why the tooth hurts it really doesn't resolve the situation. You know why it hurts, but it still hurts. Simply understanding physical pain does not make the pain go away.

To illustrate another point, say you go to the dentist and find out that you have a cavity. He has to drill the tooth and put in a filling. The drilling can be a very rough experience. After it is all over the pain will stop, but whenever you hear the sound of a dentist's drill, even if it's years later, you cringe at the thought of the pain. Once you realize that you are simply reacting to the sound, you know that you are not really in danger and the reaction will end. Understanding the root of the fear alleviates the anxiety and the associated pain.

Any urges for cigarettes that occur today are reactions to conditioned triggers. You are doing or experiencing something for the first time without smoking. It may be going to a bar, a wedding or going on a plane. It may be seeing a person or being in a place where you always had a cigarette in the past. It may be something you hear or even an old familiar aroma. The sense of smell is a powerful mechanism for triggering old emotional feelings.

So today, if you find yourself desiring a cigarette, look around you and see why at this particular time and place a cigarette is on your mind. Once you understand that the desire is being triggered by some reaction to an insignificant event, you can just say "no" to the cigarette without further problem. All you need to do is understand what triggered the thought. The urge will pass. The next time you encounter a similar situation you will not even think of a cigarette. You will have learned how to face another experience as a ex-smoker.

Quitting smoking is a learning experience. Every time you overcome an urge you will have overcome another obstacle that threatened your status as an ex-smoker. As time goes by, you will run out of obstacles and you can comfortably go through life a happier and healthier person. All you need to remember and practice to stay an ex-smoker is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF."

So it will become important for us to protect ourselves in the future by whatever means. In other words, protect our "quit".

John Polito once wrote, and I quote:

"The recovered alcoholic, the heroin addict, the nicotine addict, deep down each knows the "Law of Addiction." They’ve heard it over and over again. Just one sip, one tiny fix, or one little puff of nicotine, just once, that's all it takes and the addict is back! They know that either immediately or in a short period of time they'll once again be slaves to their old level of drug use or greater. We know the Law of Addiction so why do we break it?

There are three primary factors associated with relapse: (1) rewriting the law of addiction; (2) an excuse; and (3) a vague memory. It doesn’t matter if it happens within two hours, two days, two weeks, two months, two years, or twenty, the factors remain the same and apply to all of us. Rewriting the law of addiction is easy and you don’t need a pencil, paper or computer to do it."

Hope this helps...

Kevin__

Last edited by Kevin__; 04-04-2007 at 04:07 PM.

 
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:14 PM   #3
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

I think Kevin hit it smack dab in the head! We are addicts. At different times in our lives we will be tempted. It is gonna happen sooner or later, plan on it happening so that you are not taken aback when it does. My daughters fiance shared with her that when they were out at a neighborhood bar, he really had a craving for a cigarette. He had quit "cold turkey" 6 years previously. He did not smoke, but the thought was there and momentairly so was the desire.

Sapphire

 
Old 04-04-2007, 04:18 PM   #4
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Trish M&M HB User
Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Thank you, Kevin. That was a really thoughtful and considerate reply and I appreciate it.

I agree - and I totally understand - that I am addicted to nicotine. There is no cure...there is no getting over it...it's a fact. I will die being an addict. If I have one - just one cigarette - it will be my road - and a fast road - to right back where I was. That has always been my undoing in previous quits. I thought, "I can have just one". Well....I can't.

I am paying close attention to those infrequent urges and I've pretty much determined that they're "habit" urges. Maybe I didn't ask my question exactly right -- or maybe I didn't read your response just right. What I don't understand is why I'd want to start smoking again after my 3 months is up when I'm doing fine managing these "urges" right now and have acknowledged to myself -- and anyone reading this -- that I am a nicotine addict.

I don't know...maybe I'm just fretting the hell out of myself for no reason. Actually, there IS no reason at this point. I have no idea what things are gonna be like after my last pill on 5/1/07.

Oh well.....one day at a time, I guess.

Thank you again!!

 
Old 04-04-2007, 07:24 PM   #5
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Trish,
I was just as nervous as you at the thought of getting off the Chantix.
Would I want to start smoking again? Would I have the willpower to say no?
All I can tell you is that after three months on the Chantix my urges to smoke were no greater off the Chantix than they were while I was taking it. So therefore I am able to control them and say no to them. Also the longer I am quit, the fewer urges I get. Every so often, I get one that I have to take a very deep breath and slowly let it out. But they are few and far between right now.
I hope this make you feel a little better about getting off the Chantix. For me it was no big deal after I weaned myself off.

Memaw

 
Old 04-06-2007, 12:59 PM   #6
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Well, I have a confession to make...

I was afraid to come off the Chantix as well. I read a few other studies on the internet that indicated the longer you are on Chantix, the greater the chances of making your quit stick. My physician approved a prescription for three more months. (I.e. Months 4 - 6) No questions asked. The pharmacist faxed the requeste to my physician and she approved three monthly refills in 20 minutes. Sheesh... My insurance only covers the first three months though. So I went out and bought the fourth month supply and it cost me $125.

I'm a great big chicken, aren't I...

What can I say... I was supposed to start cutting back to 1/2 tab this morning and 1/2 tab at night, just as Memaw recommended. Next Monday begins month four on Chantix.

I was pretty torn up about this last night and discussed it with my best friend. He said "Just go ahead and take it. You already bought it. You're not hurting anything". I told him I was tired of being "foggy-headed" all the time. Tired of the medicine making me flakey all the time.

This morning I figured even if I don't finish the fourth month supply, at least I'll wait until I'm ready to quit Chantix. So I am still taking the full daily dose. That might sound kind of silly when you think about it. I should set another "Quit Date" for Chantix" you could argue. On the other hand, you do not get addicted to Chantix.

Oh well, who cares... I quit smoking 9 1/2 weeks ago. That important event is behind me now. The Chantix quit date does not seem to be that important. Let me be clear that I am not afraid of quitting Chantix or any side affects that may come with it. Rather, I am afraid for my quit - this has got to be a permanant quit from nicotine. I don't have a choice any more. As Memaw says, "Smoking is no longer an option". So if taking Chantix for another month gives me more confidence in my quit, then so be it.

Like I said, I'm a great big chicken...

Kevin__

 
Old 04-06-2007, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Oh, Kevin, you are NOT a chicken -- great big or otherwise -- and don't call yourself that. You're being cautious and smart. Every single thing I read says quitting results are greater for those who stay on Chantix for 6 months and I am SERIOUSLY considering extended my time. Hell...I'd stay on forever if that's possible.....and I'm not kidding. When I got my rx filled the last time for the final four weeks, the physician has given me 3 additional refills, so I'm good to go longer if I decide to.

The difference between me and most people on this Board on Chantix seems to be that I am having no, zero, nada side effects. I feel good, I rarely think about smoking, the fog brain left long ago. I seem to have no reason to stay on past 5/1/07 and - frankly - I just don't know what I'm gonna do. I think I'm more concerned about having a no Chantix bad experience like TrueBrit than I am about smoking again. Of course, an experience like hers might lead me towards going out for a pack.

At this moment, my plan is to get off the Chantix just like I got on it. For the last three days, take 0.5 mg. x2 daily and be off 3 months of Chantix as of 5/2/07. Still considering, tho.

Best Wishes to you. You've come a long way and been a real inspiration to all of us. Thanks for your posts and I look forward to many more going forward.


 
Old 04-06-2007, 03:36 PM   #8
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Oh!!! Fantastic!!!

I am thrilled to hear that I am not the only one in the entire world who is thinking about continuing Chantix longer than three months. I have become fiercely protective of my quit.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


I was beginning to think I was losing my marbles...

Have a terrific weekend Trish!!!!!!

Kevin__

Last edited by Kevin__; 04-06-2007 at 03:37 PM.

 
Old 04-06-2007, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Hi, Everyone!

Kevin I am like you,
Trish, and Sara as I plan to continue with the Chantix for the whole 6 months and even longer if I am not confident in my QUIT. I too want to protect my QUIT and I know the longer I am on Chantix the better protected I will be. We are addicts, if we slip at all after we are off of Chantix, well, we all know what that means. I do not ever want to go thru this again and I want this QUIT to be my last QUIT. I would even consider a maintenance dose of .5mg a day after the 6 months or more if I felt I needed it.

Sapphire

 
Old 04-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #10
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Re: Question for Those Who Finished 3 Mo. of Chantix

Kevin, Trish, Sara, Sapphire,
If you are not having any problems with the Chantix, by all means take it as long as you feel is necessary!! Was it on this board or somewhere else that I was reading that someone's doctor had them on a maintenance dose of .5 mg every day?

If I ever felt like I needed it again, I would not hesitate to take it. My doctor told me when I first started on it, that should I ever relapse and start smoking again, to let him know and he'd put me back on it. But I'm never gonna do that. I'd have to take a puff first. Ain't gonna happen!!

I did feel better once I got off the Chantix, though. Three months of nausea was enough for me!! I was ready to get off it. But I was determined to complete the 12 week course. I don't think I could have gone much longer on it. Ya'll are so luck not to have any of the yucky side effects. But it is still not bad enough to deter me if I ever needed it again!!

Ya'll keep up the wonderful progress you are making!!

Memaw

 
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