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Wed, May. 21st, 2008, 09:52 pm
Quitting Smoking

The new drug chantix is quite effective at getting people to quit smoking. It basically works by making you no longer get a rush from cigarettes, which helps people stop using them.

While the health effects of smoking are deleterious enough to warrant quite a bit of damage and risk from an effective smoking cessation program, there's a bit of a stir about the possible side effects of chantix going on right now. Given the effects described, and the mechanism by which chantix works, I have a theory as to what's causing the problem, and would like to propose the following warning label for it:

Warning: This drug may cause you to spontaneously quit smoking, and in case you haven't heard, quitting smoking sucks!

Thu, May. 22nd, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
spider88

So in other words it forces them to experience the pain of withdrawal even if they smoke? Yeah, that ain't gonna be popular.

Thu, May. 22nd, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
bramcohen

I was thinking that they could get the withdrawals to go away if they smoke, but without the nicotine rush the association with withdrawal relief is dramatically reduced. Now that you mention it though, it could be that the interference with nicotine's action is deep enough that they get withdrawals regardless of how much they smoke.

It seems likely that other successful smoking cessation drugs will have similar problems, even ones with dramatically different forms of action, and the more effective the drug, the more reliably it produces the withdrawals. Short of inpatient detox though, there isn't really much alternate method of helping people quit smoking, and I haven't been able to find literature on places offering inpatient smoking detox - even the ones which do heroin detox don't generally make the patients quit smoking.

Thu, May. 22nd, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
booger_dawson: Up with Hope down with Dope!

Dave Chappelle said it best in Half Baked... Drugs make me sick, thats why im up with hope and down with dope!

Chantix is quite effective, I have known people who smoked for many years and were successful by using it. When using Chantix, the smoker still smokes while taking the pill daily. Eventually he/she will develop a dislike for smoking in general. So far the people I know who took it have been smoke free for 2 years.

I on the other hand used the Nicotine gum and was clean for a month, however I ran out of the gum and some sh*t went down (general day to day stress aka bullsh*t) and didn't feel like shelling out close to 30 bucks for another box of nicotine gum. So I went for my brand of smokes. But don't you worry kids I still have plans to quit and hopefully will be able to take chantix soon.

They do have online meeting groups that are supposed to be like AA but for smokers via message boards or something.

A funny thing about some of those online support groups is the way they handle personal data, so be careful. With my Box of Nicotine gum they had a booklet that said I could register and receive a Certificate after I complete the program and it was "Free." I thought it would be cool, but when I went to the website I read the privacy information, and it read that information can be sent to my employers if requested. I was like WTF does me quitting smoking have to do with my employer. So I didn't sign up, So make sure to read the privacy policies.

Sorry for making this long, just had to let people know about that, just in case other smokers read this too.

Take Care

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
muerl: Re: Up with Hope down with Dope!

I think the reason they will give it to employers is some companies will pay for things to help you quite smoking. Granted reading privacy policies closely is an important thing.

i'm about 8 months free going cold turkey personally. My personal advice to anyone is quit when your already doing a dramatic change. and don't expect to get alot done the first week,

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
booger_dawson: Re: Up with Hope down with Dope!

Wow 8 Months Cold Turkey?!! Congratulations!!! I was wondering did you read a book about cold turkey before you started? Because I been seeing people recommend a particular book left and right.

I think I should try cold turkey because I think it will prevent me from caving in sooner next time. With the Nicotine gum it wasn't that hard for me because it would tapper off my cravings. But I was thinking if I did it cold turkey I would have put myself through harder work instead of it being handed to me.

How has it been so far? Do you miss it? Do you still get flare ups from time to time? I think it will be hard to break the habit of writing code and smoking at the same time! lol I know I know sounds typical coding and smoking at the same time.

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
muerl: Re: Up with Hope down with Dope!

No, i didnt read a book, I just went with what i had heard anecdotally, mainly that you need to find ways to break the habits in addition to the addiction. to be totally honest, as bram says above it sucks. it sucks alot. What i think made it work for me was i quite when i moved, to a new city, where all of my friends in the city for the most part didnt smoke. Further, it was my first week of contracting, and i didnt have any huge deadlines, so i didnt really get a whole lot accomplished. I really only remeber laying on my floor, i didnt even have a bed at the time, stealing internet from my upstairs neighbor and swearing.

I hadn't coded and smoked at the same time in a while when i quite, ie i would step away for a smoke to collect my thoughts. Which was really hard, for a long long time. Havign no outlet to step away from things. For about the first month i was contracting from home, i found when i really need a break from what i was doing i would take a porn break instead of a smoke break.

I miss alot of things about smoking. I wont enumerate them because well thats not going to help you.

I do get flare ups, they get less often as time goes on, though the past week or so has been bad. I hit a watershed moment around 6 months where i was no longer thinking about it often (and about 6 months was when i stoped counting the days since)

I saw some adds on tv a few weeks back about "becoming an ex smoker" and how you relearn everything, it has a guy trying to drink a cup of coffee and just not being able to. I agree with that alot. atleast for things that you typically associate with smoking. Its strange, i still hang outside parties with smokers when i am bored inside, i just talk and dont smoke. Anther key thing i found, i recently got a smart phone, so i can read rss feeds anywhere, and reading rss feeds fills the "i'm bored waiting for X" that smoking used to.

I have tryed quitting many times, slowly cutting back, quiting with friends slowly, twice cold turkey made it about 2 months before the first one the second time and then it was a slow step back. Thats something i would add, don't think one will not hurt, because sadly it will.

This is kind of a disjointed ramble, but i hope that it helps, best of luck.

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
booger_dawson: Re: Up with Hope down with Dope!

No way man, its not a "disjointed ramble." I appreciate your honesty. Yes, I agree it is hard, and yes having 1 cig will get you after you tried stop smoking. I think thats a big reason why some people start smoking again. Thinking 1 cig will just be 1 cig, but you end up hopping back on the smoke train.

I'm looking towards quitting again. Its been a bitch to pull 17 hour days now doing projects of interest. I remember when I first started smoking I felt unstoppable, I was getting shit done left and right when I first started smoking like it gave me a boost. Now I have to load up on coffee so I don't get tired.

Just curious, is Bram a smoker himself? Or did he find an article about Chantix? Anyways bottom line, anyone here reading this trying to quit best of luck and I mean that in a good sincere way.

Thanks for your input Muerl.

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
bramcohen: Re: Up with Hope down with Dope!

No, I'm not a smoker. I avoid nicotine out of respect for its addictive qualities, and aside from that I appear to have such a ludicrous natural tolerance of that type of drug that my chances of getting addicted to anything are probably fairly small. It causes me to get jabbed with needles at the dentist an awful lot before I finally stop screaming every time they cut, kind of freaks out anaesthesiologists.

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
booger_dawson: Re: Up with Hope down with Dope!

sorry for another post, dont worry I will cut down on the posting for this topic...

But all I can say is JESUS!!! haha are you serious about the dentist thing?

"It causes me to get jabbed with needles at the dentist an awful lot before I finally stop screaming every time they cut, kind of freaks out anaesthesiologists."

Those few lines alone made it quite graphic visually in my mind..hha

So what do they do? Do the anaethesiologists think your just bullsh*tting or what? I remember getting a few fillings and getting the needle shot to numb me out. But i'm wondering sense you have a high tolerance do they give you a boat load of novocaine? Or do they tell you i'm sorry this is the best we can do for you cause of possible risks (OD?). Cause it must hurt really bad if you have to endure all that for an hour or so getting teeth work man.

Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
tiberiu84: addiction

Do you know what an addiction treatment goes like? You should know that there is a phase which produces a lot of discomfort for the addicted person, but each person that wants a cure, well, will suffer the pain and then live a healthier life.

Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 07:55 am (UTC)
spider88: Re: addiction

Then why take a drug? Why pay for that? Just go cold-turkey.

Tue, Jul. 15th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
ext_83835: Nicotine works different from other drugs

From what I have read in resent Scientific American article the mechanism
behind making dependent on smoking (explaining easy way to get dependent
on smoking, among others) is different from other drugs of abuse (Wikipedia
has also good explanation in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine#Dependence ).

So I'm bit wary about drug which is marketed as "making you no longer get
a rush from cigarettes"
. It is not 'rush' that is dangerous and producing
dependency.

Tue, Jul. 15th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
bramcohen: Re: Nicotine works different from other drugs

Whichever way it works, chantix has proven quite effective (at least relatively speaking) at helping people quit smoking.

Sun, Nov. 23rd, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
charlierotario: Re: Nicotine works different from other drugs

What about the secondary effects?

Thu, Nov. 27th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
samcalledlife: Stop Smoking with Chantix

I read Chantix has side effects like nausea, gas or flatulence, sleeping disorders, constipation.
For some nicotine patches work well.
Also, Chantix seems to expensive at $120 or more for a 30 day dosage.

Here is a little more about Chantix to Quit Smoking and it's Side Effects

Thu, Nov. 27th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
samcalledlife: Stop Smoking with Chantix

I read Chantix has side effects like nausea, gas or flatulence, sleeping disorders, constipation.
For some nicotine patches work well.
Also, Chantix seems to expensive at $120 or more for a 30 day dosage.

Here is a little more about Chantix to Quit Smoking and it's Side Effects

Thu, Feb. 12th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
bothwill

I appreciate your point of view but I think this decision is for each individual smoker to make. One thing is sure: there is no easy way in loosing an addiction. I don't know what side effect Chantix has, I prefer the old fashioned way, a drug rehab program.

Thu, Feb. 12th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
bramcohen

Does that rehab program you linked to offer smoking cessation? Nicotine is a drug which rehab should be great for, since the withdrawals really do go away after just a few weeks and a lot of people don't relapse, but most rehab programs don't have people quit smoking because they don't want to deal with nic fits.

Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
spider88

Oddly someone just posted a comment to me on this thread, from nearly a year ago, and I thought it was a recent thread of a friend of mine who recently tried this drug.

It made her insane. It was extremely painful. Just like actually quitting. When she smoked a cigarette, she said it was like inhaling plain air, and very creepy. A few minutes later, she had a full blown panic attack.

Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
bramcohen

Yeah, that was kind of my point - the physiological effects of chantix and going cold turkey are likely to be almost indistinguishable, because chantix makes nicotine just plain not work. It has the advantage over going cold turkey in that you can commit to doing it at the time you take the chantix and not have to worry about having a momentary lapse of judgement and scarfing down an entire pack. So on the plus side, it forces you to go through withdrawals. The downside is that it forces you to go through withdrawals.