First Do No Harm

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 How to Quit Smoking  

The first thing you must know: there is no such thing as willpower.

Just forget it. Donít even try to tell me you just didnít have the willpower.

There is no such thing.

The reason we fail is this: we lose sight of our goal.

If you KNOW this (in your gut/in your being), you cannot possibly fail. You will keep your eyes on the goal.

Obstacles are those things you see only when take your eyes off your goal.

Your author is an expert in failure. Iím told Iím an environmentalist, a journalist, a teacher, a goofball (at times) and still more things, but the one subject in which I am fully qualified, certified, and, again at times, mortified, is failure.

I failed well over 50 times to quit smoking. Or rather I took up smoking after I had quit some 50 times; so I failed at least 50 times.

I succeeded once.

Today I am smoke free.

All because I learned one thing: to keep my eyes on the goal at all times.

First Things First

Go out and buy a book. Yes, you have things to read on the web, but smoking is a visceral habit. You smoke with your whole body: posture, hands, mouth, nose, face, eyes, lungs, and bloodstream. So get a book; hopefully a paperback, you can carry in a pocket or pocketbook. Have something for your hands to do, because 20 times a day (or more) your hand is going to twitch on its way to your pocket or pocketbook for a cigarette).

Have something for your hands to do. Get a pen or highlighter to mark up your book. Keep your hands busy. (See the Quitting Time Watch review at the end of this.)

Everyone asks me: what about nicotine substitutes? Gum, lozenges, the patch, inhalers?

The longer you stay addicted to nicotine the harder it is to finally quit . . . for some people.

I was one of those. If you find yourself failing a lot, it could be because of this method failing you. You go on and on and on until you are exhausted and finally you lose site of your goal, frustrated and still craving a butt BECAUSE YOU ARE STILL ADDICTED TO NICOTINE.

The Great Medical Hypocrisy 
Nicotine is a drug, a dangerous drug.
Were the average smoker to get all their
nicotine from one full week of smoking
in a single dose, it would kill that smoker
immediately.

However, when the drug Nicotine is administered
in a pill or a patch or in gum, it is referred to as
"medicine."

Gum (non-nicotine) or mints, sunflower seeds, candy. These are simply more addictions. Do you need them? Yes, sometimes you just get an oral craving. Ok, a stick of gum or something, but do you really want to substitute one addiction for another? Use substitutes moderately and wisely.

Read your book. Read everything. The more you know, the more youíll be ready for when the urge strikes. It will strike at least 20 times a day.

While you are planning to quit, like right after you read this, start writing down your reasons for quitting. Be specific, at first, then you can later note general reasons. They have to be YOUR reasons, because it is only YOU on this path. This is YOUR addiction you are breaking and you have to do it for YOU and nothing else (though you might have many people depending on you). Write all your reasons down. And make them life affirming: instead of writing, Bad Breath, uuggh! You could write, Sweeter breath, sweeter kisses. Write down how much it costs you (even your auto insurance can go down after youíve quit). Write down YOUR reasons for quitting. Youíll find more each day. Keep track. AND PRINT THE LIST. Hang it where you can see it. Add more if you discover them. Print it and read it. These are your goals. If you keep your eyes on them, you will quit. If you leave the list in your computer, youíll lose site of your goals.

Now, for some bad news: your unconscious mind (subconscious, preconscious) will try to sabotage your quitting. You will forget your list somewhere. You will arrange to be in a crowd of smokers. You will forget everything, your book, your reasons, your reasoning even. BE ON YOUR TOES. You WILL try to sabotage your quitting.

This usually happens within ten days to two weeks of quitting. It will happen again in about six months (different times for different people) when you think you are safely quit and "one smoke wonít hurt." Wanna bet? Most people cannot have just one smoke as most alcoholics cannot have just one drink. For some it takes 3 or 4 (or 50 failures) to finally realize this.

Ok, letís talk about that first struggle youíll have within the first ten days to two weeks into quitting.

Example: you get into an argument with your spouse and you hop in the car and go for a drive. Youíve left your book and your reasons at home. Suddenly, you want a smoke. But itís not your fault. Itís your spouseís fault. So, now youíre going to have a cigarette just to punish your spouse. Itís your spouseís fault that you are smoking, not yours.

This is how stinking thinking works. Stay tuned for more stinking thinking. But know that you will try to start a fight (and succeed) and you will want to smoke. Know this. Be prepared. You are at your weakest when stressed. This is how 80% of all quitters go back to smoking: by blaming someone outside of them: co-worker, spouse, kids, etc., blaming them for their failure. Guess whatÖit was all planned by your unconscious mind. It was a planned failure. Be prepared!

Most books tell you to keep track of your smoking habits for two (or so) weeks. You get a pad of paper, fasten it to your pack of cigs with rubber bands (binders, in Minnesota). Yes, rubber binders. You have to remove the rubber binders to get the pad of paper out and write on it BEFORE you smoke that cigarette. You are monitoring your smoking habit. You are becoming aware of your smoking habit.

Most cigarettes are smoked unconsciously.

You write down the time of day. Rank the cig: on a scale of one to five or one to ten, itís up to you. This number represents how much you need that particular cig. There are some systems that have you rank it after you smoked it tooÖhow much it fulfilled your need for a butt.

There are reasons for this exercise: you have to know yourself, when you smoke, where you smoke, how you smoke to be ready for those cravings that will hit you after youíve quit. For instance, say you have a smoke right before you leave for work, or you have one smoke the moment you get into the car or get on the phone. You rank this one in "need" say 3 out of 10.

After youíve quit, when you get on the phone, or step into your car, or right before leaving for work, youíll not only be ready for the craving, youíll realize that itís only a 3 out of 10 need . . . so, how hard is that to resist?

Youíll even know when those really terrific cravings are going to hit. That emergency butt (10 out of 10!). Like when the kids trash your living room; nasty in-laws coming over; dog crapped on the carpet; your 8-year-oldís teacher just called asking for a meeting, or an intervention; your spouse comes home drunk; your eighteen-year-old is arrested for hanging with the wrong group at the wrong timeÖany of these is enough to stress you out and demand a cigarette.

At these times, you must be prepared. You must think about the extremely stressful times before you quit. Know that you will crave a butt at these times. Know what to do. No craving lasts longer than 30 seconds so look at your watch.

Knowing your habit helps to beat it.

You will be on your guard with all your techniques, all your "substitutes" for this cravingÖyouíll have your routine down; youíll have your ammunition; your support, to keep your eyes on your goals and avoid that ONE cigarette.

Remember: you donít want just one cigarette; you want a lifetime of cigarettes.

Should you fail and light up, before you finish that cigarette you will be looking for the next one.

Ok, so what are the things we can do when the cravings hit?

First off, as we just mentioned, know that a craving does not last longer than 30 seconds. If it does, you are causing it to last longer than 30 seconds because you are going to just run out and buy that cigarette no matter how many techniques you know to use, because youíre stubborn and youíre just going to smoke. Ahh, did you really mean those reasons you wrote down? Those reasons to quit smoking. Did you really believe them? Did you keep your eye on them?

Stinking thinking. This is the great term for that thinking that gets you to light up a butt after youíve quit smoking. Any thought that leads you closer to that butt is stinking thinking. There is no good reason to smoke. You know this. Therefore if you are giving yourself a reason to smoke, youíve gotten into a whole bunch of stinking thinking.

Learn to recognize stinking thinking. Youíll get it the weeks/days prior to your Qday (Quitting Day). Youíll do a lot of stinking thinking. Youíll want to just have that cig and not write it down on that stupid pad. Youíll want to put off your Qday. Youíll even plan to fail. Youíll see a situation you can get yourself into where the "temptations" would be just too great. Watch yourself. Addictions make us stupid. Ask any addict after theyíve broken the addiction.

Acupuncture, hypnosis, group therapy, herbal detox, juicing, superfoods . . . are these ok? Definitely, yes. Go do them. Heck, do them all. Acupuncture on your Qday is perfect. Hypnosis classes leading up to your Qday (some people like to quit in the last hypnosis class, some choose to go home and do it there). Yes, do all of these. And yes, certainly detox the nicotine from your body. There are some herbal solutions online that will help you detox the nicotine (listed at the end of this article). Juicing fresh fruit and vegetable juices helps detox, but donít go on a juice fast. Donít try to quit smoking and lose weight at the same time. Youíll fail both. Focus on one thing at a time. The smoking cessation kit I used (with herbs and aromatherapy and a little booklet) came from www.health4her.com. It was called Seven Day Smoke Away but is now known as Smoke Rx. They had a money back guarantee.

Most places have a money back guarantee. It means nothing, really, nothing reflecting upon or concerning the product. Someone could sell dog treats telling you that theyíll detox your nicotine and for 75% of the customers nothing happens. Still, only a few of those will ask for their money back and the company still makes money selling $4.98 in dog treats for $79.95 plus s&h.

So, again we ask, what do we do when the urge hits?

Get a watch with a second hand. Look at it for 30 seconds. The urge will be gone.

Get out your reasons. Read them ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Keep your reasons in an old cigarette pack (or in your cigarette case, if you have one). Keep the pack where you normally keep your cigarettes. When you get the urge to reach for a smoke (and you will), keep going, pull out that pack of smokes, pull out the list, and read.

Cravings differ for each person. Some feel it in the back of their throat. Some at the top of their head. Some have a free-floating idea of happiness around the corner and then suddenly realize that itís all based upon the happiness that next cigarette will bring. And itís a terrible letdown when you remember that you are a non-smoker.

You are addicted for life. Luckily, the pain of separation from your addiction doesnít last a lifetime.

We do not smoke because we like to smokeówe smoke because we do not like the feeling of not smoking. Wait till your 10th urge strikes and then try to tell yourself differently!

So, when it gets badÖhave something to do. Pull out your book and read it. Read your list. Pull out a stick of gum if itís an overwhelming urge. Call a friend. Go online to a quit-smoking support group. As my mother used to say, "Do something, even if itís wrong!"

But donít reach for that cigarette.

Another thing you can have on hand for that OVERWHELMING urge to light up: Tincture of Lobelia. (Found in most health food stores, though if you cannot find it locally, you can find it online or call 800.HerbDoc for Dr Schulze's.)

If worse comes to worse and you HAVE to have that cigarette, do this. One drop of this lobelia on your tongue, swish it around, and swallow. Now breathe through your mouth. You will FEEL like you just smoked a cigarette. Do this ONLY when you REALLY gotta have that smoke.

Another way to take lobelia is in a tea. Drinking a cup of lobelia tea makes you feel like you just had a smoke. At some health foods, this is sold as Smoker's Tea.

One more trick that often turned me away from that first smoke: empty your ashtrays into a jar. Add a little water and stir them up. If ever you get an overwhelming urge to light up, go open that bottle and smell the contents. If that doesn't turn you off, nothing will.

And finally, avoid those places where you used to smoke; avoid situations (for just a short three weeks) in which you will be tempted. Sit in the non-smoking section. Spend more time in places where you cannot smoke. Take baths. Get a massage. Treat yourself for doing yourself a favor.

Stay away from negative people; people in denial.

I was out with friends one night. One friend was currently in the middle of quitting smoking and another friend kept telling her not to worry if she failed in her attempt to quit, because she could always quit again. The person who said this garbage to my friend who was trying to quit will never quit smoking, because sheís in denial. Taking advice from an addict in denial is self-defeating. Avoid negative people at all costs.

After youíve quit for three weeks, carry a lighter with you. Light a friendís cigarette. Once youíve made it three weeks (21 days) you can actually reinforce your will to quit by lighting anotherís cigarette.

If this seems dangerous, donít do it. It works for some. Not for all.

One more mistake quitters make: they suddenly decide to make up their own rules.

Ok, so you've quit for three days, suddenly you've decided to have one or two smokes a day and then quit permanently some time in the future.

Wrong. First off, if you are using a program (herbs, etc) you are defeating the purpose and don't try to get your money back. They are to be used "after" you've quit smoking. If you just have one smoke a day, then you haven't quit. 

Your mind is gone. Your thinking is stinking. Feed a starving dog scraps and it will live forever. Cut it off and it dies. The same with a habit of this magnitude. Cut it off, and you will make it. Think you can smoke one or two a day, and soon you'll be back up to a pack a day (or more). 

Qday

Make it a party! You are having an Irish Funeral. An Irish Funeral is a celebration of a life, not of a death. You are killing off a part of you; you are killing off that smoker in you. Make it a celebration. Buy yourself a pack of special quitting smokes. Smoke them all day long.

I bought the colorful cigs, the ones in bright pastel colors and I smoked them all day long reserving a passionate pink one for quitting: my last smoke. I looked at it often. It was my last smoke: Passionate Pink. Make it a happy celebration.

Some go outside and dig a little grave and toss in an ashtray, a book of matches, a half-full pack of smokes and celebrate a little funeral. I did this too.

Do what you have to do so that it is registered fully in your mind and spirit that you have quit smoking.

Finally, be aware that even after you quit, urges will hit you when you least expect it. Many times right after the second week (this is why we say, wait 21 days before putting yourself in harm's way). Again, some people get an overwhelming urge to smoke after six months. Whatever you do, do not give in. The physical cravings are gone. Itís all in your head. Do not think that one cigarette wonít hurt, because to most smokers, one leads to a lifetime of cigarettes.

By the time you finish the first, youíre already looking for the second.

I know this. Boy, do I know this.

Get rid of your ashtrays. Get rid of your matches. Get rid of everything but that one empty pack in which to carry your reasons.

Ayurveda

In India, the form of medicine they have practiced for centuries is called Ayurveda. In Ayurveda medicine and thought, consciousness is healing. If you want a headache to go away, we normally try to "ignore" the pain. In Ayurveda, the patient focuses on the pain. Feels the pain. Concentrates on the pain. Consciousness is healing.

To quit smoking, in Ayurveda medicine, one sits still, turns off all outside stimulus, and focuses on that cigarette: tasting, feeling, breathing, being that cigarette. Feel the smoke entering your lungs. Feel what it does. Feel the smoke as it enters your bloodstream. Feel and experience totally that cigarette.

This is a wonderful technique to use the last days of smoking. Know what it truly is to smoke a cigarette; what it does to your body. I used this technique for about two weeks before I quit. I used it at niteÖ.meditating and smoking and focusing.

Product Reviews

Electrolyzed Water

When we first discovered the alkaline Electrolyzed Water, we were told that it was a great detoxicator (pulls toxins from the human body). We had no way of proving this or even testing it. However, after we published our first article, the testimonials started coming in. One brand of testimonial we've kept from you, since...well, you'll see why: people who'd been using illegal drugs wrote to us that they were hit with a surprise urinalysis (they had just 24 hours to prepare) and they drank 8 to 16 oz of the alkaline water. They passed their tests.

I did not want to publish these testimonials, but I did want people who were ready to quit smoking (or quit caffeine) to have another powerful tool, so, I've had to include this here.

A friend came to me wanting to quit smoking, but in the past, she'd never gotten past the second day. By the end of the first day, she developed a migraine headache that just knocked her down. Her family brought her cigarettes before the second day was over.

I'm not a doctor, not a therapist, not anything in the healing profession, but as a journalist, it was my duty to tell her my findings concerning Electrolyzed Water. She drank a quart a day of the alkaline water during the first three days of her smoking fast, and hardly felt a withdrawal symptom. The physical addiction was over by the end of the third bottle. After that, it was her mental addiction she had to deal with.

Nicoban

The people from Nicoban were nice enough to send us their smoking cessation kit. Now, there is no way to assay their product to determine that whatís inside is whatís listed on the label, but we have had our herbalist go over the herbs and yes, they will help to detox the nicotine out of your body. It is an entire program designed to be started on your last three days of quitting and after youíve quit. Once youíve quit, you have to stay quit and follow through on the program.

As the nicotine is cleaned out of your body, the actual physical addiction leaves and all you have left is your mental addiction. However, it is still an addiction and you are not yet in the clear. Keep on your program. Do not miss taking your vitamins and herbs from the Nicoban program.

For some reason, we did not get the Triple Hormones that were supposed to come with the program. We have no idea what they are used for either.

But the Aromatherapy Remedy that came with is a winner! When the urge strikes, pull out the bottle (you can carry it too in an old pack of cigarettes) take a drop and put it on your temples, bridge of your nose. Smoking, as we have said earlier, is a systemic habit involving all of your body. This little movement gives your hands something to do.

Personally, I like to take the Aromatherapy Remedy, put a drop in my palms, and rub them together quickly till they get hot and then I breathed in the fumes. Wow. And yes, itís better than a smoke and will take away your urge to smoke.

You can pick up some Nicoban at www.youngagain.com or call 877-205-0040 for more information or to order.

Quitting Time Watch

Now this is the neatest little thing youíll ever hear about.

For quitting smoking, this watch is HIGHLY recommended from us and as you all know, we donít highly recommend much here. In our litigious society, recommending anything is highly not recommended.

A watch arrived that I immediately set up by entering my name, how many cigs I smoke a day (I donít smoke, but I programmed it as if I was quitting), how much a pack of smokes costs, the date I planned to quit and bingo, off we went.

If I got a (pretend) craving for a smoke, I can now push one button, and using a stop watch, click and start timing the craving. I can push a button and get one of hundreds of messages about quitting smoking, aimed at my personal quitting score (a score is created by where you are in the process and how well you are doing against an "average" quitter, is the best way to explain this.

The watch is effective because:

1. It keeps your mind busy.

2. It keeps your hands busy.

3. It supports your quitting.

4. It reinforces your quitting.

5. It keeps track of your medicine/herbal/nutritional schedule, beeping you when itís time.

6. It keeps your eyes on the prize: you will not lose sight of your goals.

While planning to quit, you wake up in the morning, push the button to start the day, and it tells you your recommended number of smokes for the day (you start by learning to forego a smoke or two; to taper off). If youíve already quit it gives you the number of days and hours youíve quit and how much youíve saved.

Think of it, the watch will tell you, in less than two months, that youíve saved more than $185.00. Now thatís support!

The program is smart. You want a smoke, but donít want to pull out your reasons, click one button and it will give you a reason, or a pat on the back, or a truism about smoking.

Iím now taking some products from Longevity Plus called Beyond Growth Hormones. In a few months Iíll tell you all the results; but the point here being, I programmed the watch to tell me when to take my caps each day; as youíll want to be reminded to put on a patch, or take your meds (Zyban) or take your herbs/vitamins.

What a wonderful watch. The other day, I got angry at some stupidity I saw online, and immediately clicked the stop watch (CHRONO mode) and timed how long it took me to get over the urge to strangle someone. Only 21.3 seconds. Not bad.

Thereís another alarm besides the two med alarms. So you can program three times a day, if youíve got something else planned.

What a wonderful watch. You can find out at anytime how you are doing beyond your morning routine. If you want your score later on in the day? Hold down the info button, the same button that gives you one of hundreds of programmed sentences, and there it is. Here is mine right now as I am typing these words:

Millions of smokers quit each year ó join the club.

Hold the button down longer and: Goal 39 smokes, 0 smoked (so far)ÖI havenít reached my quitting day yet, but also, Iím not clicking on the "Iím having a smoke" button yet. Thatís a tripÖyou get to monitor the amount you smokeÖeven if you have a few over your goal, the Quitting Time Watch will tell you when to stop smoking that "over the limit" smoke. Ok, back to my score. Next it tells me when I quit (how many hours/mins since my last smoke), my quitting score: 88, and finally how much Iíve saved: $30.42. Even if youíve not quit yet, it will tell you how much youíve saved since you started tapering off.

As we said in this article, get a watch with a second hand. Well, now you have that and more. As you start on your journey to quit smoking, getting this watch is not a bad idea at all. It can only help you. They advertise that it is Doctor Designed. We liked that. Had a good laugh. I can still remember back when after an examination both you and the doctor lit up while he told you that you might have to quit smoking, or consider cutting back a little.

We had fun with the watch. Itís a very good tool. You can find it here on the web: www.qt-watch.com 

Smoke Rx (Previously known as "7 Day Smoke Awayô")

This is the kit I used to quit smoking (in addition to hypnosis and acupuncture). Additionally, I chose a period of time in which I would be smoking less (actually, it chose me; I had an upper respiratory infection). Getting the flu or a cold CAN help you quit. But like comedy and love, timing is everything.

Now, since I used this product, you can already expect that, since it worked for me, it gets an A+, but to be objective, I contacted two individuals in our community and asked their opinion of the formula. The first person is Lucy Jackson (click on her name to see her page) who is an herbalist (among many, many other things). She confirmed the homeopathics as helping to relieve cravings, but it was her knowledge of herbs that helped uncover the power of the Cleanse and Calm Formula.  

The first ingredient is Oats, which nourishes your nerves. Lobelia has been used for years to help break nicotine addiction and helps to detox nicotine from your body. Cayenne pepper is used to cleanse your blood and raise your energy level (it is a stimulant). Licorice root is added to boost the performance of the rest of the formula. Licorice aids in digestion. What good is taking something if it is not absorbed? Ginger aids in absorption too and synergizes the formula (makes all the ingredients work better. It also acts as a stimulant. (Once you quit smoking, you find yourself dragging.) Nutmeg is added to help detox the nicotine and finally you have Kava Kava which calms your nerves. 

Next, for when those overwhelming cravings hit you, you have the aromatherapy concoction to breathe in. Personally I never used it (or needed it). But I do enjoy the feelings I get when I warm up a few drops rubbing my palms together and then take in a big whiff. 

Next, we talked with Dr Kristin Linner PhD whose specialty is Homeopathy. She works at the Center for Classical Homeopathy in St Paul, Minnesota (651.641.1844). Additionally she's one of the few homoeopathists here to work with animals. 

She taught me something about homeopathy that I didn't know. Not everyone responds to some homeopathics. There are three homeopathic ingredients in the Craving Control Formula; each one, by itself, will work to "eliminate or reduce tobacco craving in people who are sensitive or susceptible  to these particular remedies." [Our Italics.]

Thus, this product uses a shotgun effect in making sure one (or more) of the homeopathics will help you get through your cravings. Kristin also pointed out that the potencies are very low (only a licensed homeopathist may give you the really high potency homeopathic remedies) and will not act at very deep emotional or psychological levels. 

She also warned that taking this formula for too long a period of time could result in physical symptoms showing up: i.e., headaches, skin rash, tooth pain. 

Well, by the name, you can see you are supposed to take this formula for 7 days. That's it. This is not long enough for any reaction to this formula. You will get the help you need without any side effects.

So, to order your Smoke Rxô, you can call 1-866-485-4552, or visit http://www.quit-smoking-in-7-days.com. We received out package just three days after our phone call. 

Learning Strategies Paraliminal CD Smoke Free

We received a CD from Learning Strategies Corporation that uses their own Paraliminal Technology along with something we're currently investigating, Holosync Technology.

The Paraliminal Technology was developed by Learning Strategies. It consists of simultaneous messages that, if you are wearing head phones, are different for each ear. The messages blend in your mind into one message.

Holosync Technology plays subtle tones into your ears, each ear getting different tones. Studies on this technology show that people are able to go into deeply meditative states quite quickly, which used to take masters years to accomplish. We will be reviewing an entire Holosync Program someday soon.

All in all, the CD that Learning Strategies sent us is a excellent tool for quitting smoking. We listened to it and passed it onto people who wanted to quit smoking. It is a very powerful tool in helping to quit smoking, and in our estimate, as effective as hypnosis when used regularly, even after you've quit.

If you want to learn more, just go here: Smoke Free Paraliminal CD

Learning Strategies Paraliminals now come with HoloSync technology. Click here to read an introduction to HoloSync Technology.

Aromatherapy

NOTE: After considerable research and feedback from aromatherapists, we CANNOT recommend any of the aromatherapy products we have received. They both contain alcohol, which, according to the experts, ruins the oils. They are essentially dead oils. 

Thus we recommend you purchase live essential oils of Ylang Ylang, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus and blend them yourself. They are wonderfully healing and if you have received any of these aromatherapy products from either company, test them yourself. You can FEEL the difference between live pure essential oils and these mixed with alcohol. 

Two places on the web to order essential oils are: http://www.theherbsplace.com/essential.html and http://www.youngliving.us. Or you can read up on Essential Oils here at this site:

Essential Oils I - How they Heal

Essential Oils II - Their Properties

Chantix

Twelve years after quitting smoking, I did something really stupid. The latest thing in the smoking world are flavored cigars. It was my birthday. Seemed like a good time to celebrate with a cigar. A friend took me to a tobacconist and we sampled the cigars. She got me a couple packs for my birthday.

You guessed it. Two weeks later I was smoking $8 - $12 per day of these damned tasty cigars.

However, there is always an upside to every downside.

I got a chance to try the new anti-smoking drug, Chantix.

For those of you who smoke and do not know about Chantix, listen up. It works.

Chantix is designed to block the nicotine receptors. Yes, there are side effects.

  • Nausea
  • Sleep disorder
  • Gas
  • sleeplessness
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste

The above side effects came from the Chantix web site. However, other sites will go a bit further in depth. For instance, the sleep disorder usually consists of strange, vivid, 3-D, brightly colored, loud dreams. For those of you who canít afford cable TV, this might be a bonus.

Lucikily, I did not notice any side effects.

However, I did notice that after two weeks, the sweet smokes just tasted like dead leaves. There was NO pleasure in smoking. So, I set my quitting date, New  Years (how appropriate), and did it. I did NOT miss smoking because the past few days of smoking were terrible. I couldnít finish a cigar. I used to like the smell, but even the smell was terrible.

I stayed on the drug just a week longer, just in case I got stupid again and reached for a cigar. Knowing yourself helps. If you know youíve got no will power and that you have a tendency to ďfall off the wagon,Ē then stay on the drug. Your smoke will taste terrible.

For those of you who tell me that you LOVE to smoke, let me tell you this: you donít. You love the nicotine addiction. You are a drug addict and you need your fix. You donít love the drug as much as you hate what happens to your body when youíve gone a period of time without the drug.

On Chantix, you will soon learn that without the nicotine effect, you do not love smoking. And for you, stay on the drug as long as it takes. I canít believe that people have told me they smoked for two months on the drug. They were not getting any nicotine, but they still smoked. I couldnít take it for two weeks.

Keep in mind that you have to work your way up to the amount of Chantix in your blood. The dosage at the beginning is small. You slowly work your way up. You should continue to smoke, but set a quitting date. Use the other tools weíve discussed above. Be firm on your quitting date. I learned that it took two weeks to get the optimum amount of Chantix into your bloodstream. So, I set my quitting date with this in mind. And as I got closer and closer to the two week deadline, I noticed the cigars (that I loved!) were tasting worse and worse, smelling worse and worse, and just didnít give me what I was paying all that good money for.

So, if you donít get the side effects, or you do but believe that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself and are willing to put up with the side effects, then go with your priorities. 

Other Companies

SmokeAway is a product that is advertised heavily online and on television. However, out of 12 companies selling it, only one responded favorably to a review....but never got us the product to review. Keep in mind that SmokeAway is not related to the 7 Day Smoke Awayô, which has a proven track record. Many people ordering SmokeAway have tried getting their money back only and cannot find a phone number or address or anything/anyone to contact. The people at 7 Day Smoke Awayô told me that they often get calls from customers of SmokeAway who cannot find the company that sold them their product.

Another site (www.smokingsolution.com) sent us their kit ONLY after we ordered it and it arrived in six weeks. We immediately sent it back. When you want to quit, you want to quit NOW. So, this didn't seem even worthy of a look-see. 

Another company that did not respond to us was  www.quitsmokingsupport.com/ . They are supposed to have a daily email program that sends you an email that will support you in your efforts to quit. Their site is full of advertising for different smoking cessation kits and drugs and their program does cost. They did not respond.

We leave it up to you to make your own conclusions concerning the non responders and poor shipping procedures for www.smokingsolutions.com

Links

When you are ready to quit, you will want as much support as you can get so here are even more links to help you and support you. Staying online has one advantage: keeps your hand busy, your mind busy. It has one disadvantage: you probably smoked your head off while sitting online in the past. 

So, one more reason to quit is this: your CDs and Floppy Disks will not get covered with smoke. Your monitor will not get covered with smoke. And the CD Drive and Floppy Drive will continue to read w/o their guts being covered in smoke.


We want to thank Ms Ward's class in Delaware for sending us this following link. Ms Ward is teaching her class to get involved, and when one of her students, Lauren came across this web page, she found us a great link to publish, and here it is:

Cigarettes and the Health Effects of Tobacco


 

Thanks to Tony for sending us this wonderful resource: The Benefits of Smoking Cessation

 

Thanks to Anthony for sending us this: Oral Health Problems Caused By Smoking

The Financial Cost of Smoking

www.quitnet.org 

www.quitsmoking.com 

www.quitsmokingsupport.com/ 

www.cdc.gov/tobacco/how2quit.htm 

www.chriscor.com/linkstoa.htm 

http://dccps.nci.nih.gov/tcrb/Clearing_the_Air/clearing.htm 

http://www.ecig.org/articles/Quitting-Cigarettes-Cigars-and-Chewing-Tobacco.html

http://whyquit.com 

http://unr.edu/homepage/shubinsk/smoke.html 

http://www.quitsmoking.com/cartoons/archive/ 

We are not going to tell you Good Luck....we will wish you Good Fortune as you begin to save thousands of dollars each year!

 

  

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