Stories & experiences



Posted in Staying quit 25 Jul 2018

It's been a while since my last visit and my Quit Buddy phone app reminded me I passed the 2 year mark yesterday so thought I should post entry for the calendar and say thanks again to fellow long time quitters (a few still here I see).

38 years a heavy smoker and after several attempts, cold turkey, patches then tablets, it was a rough ride making it to the first 6 months but then got so much easier after that and particularly by 12 months. I "personally" couldn't have done it without Champix and visits to this group along the way particularly in the first year.

Reading a few old posts here, I've read with interest where Champix is mentioned here and there but with some possibly well-meaning but otherwise mis-informed ignorance about the medication and its success thus dissuading quitters from trying a possibly great solution to smoking cessation. Don't listen to such rubbish and check in with your doctor to discuss if it might work for you. If there are no side affects after second consultation with your doctor, then there is no reason not to run with it if other methods have failed.

Including myself, I've seen many family and friends fail at cold turkey numerous times and just as much, if not more than those who used Champix. Scary references such as "oooo...mind altering drug" is really unhelpful and in fact nicotine passed in to your system is "mind altering" too .. that's why we smoked for so long right!?!? So Champix is just another tool and not a government approved conspiracy. It's like going cold turkey removing the need for nicotine while also taking the edge off what can sometimes be overwhelming cravings during the first few month. A tool to also get you out of the habit.. the actions of smoking. As has been correctly said, Champix is not a miracle drug, it requires the same mental effort as going cold turkey for the most part.

Trust me, I know first hand that if failure happens shortly after using it, it is not because the medication let me down, it's because (like any cold turkyer) I gave in to a moment of long time habitual behavior.. that's all.

So if you're going down the Champix path then don't let a nay sayers scare you off with heroic cold turkey stories. Smoking / nicotine is one of the most addictive things on this planet and some long time smokers need a little help.

Good luck everyone on your continued quit journey..

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  • Robn July 25, 2018 | 17:10
    Awesome Steve01, congrats on getting that monkey off your matter how you do it, it still takes strength of resolve to stay on the journey. Whatever works I say. Once again well done and thanks for coming back to this site to share with us.
  • Leeann , Central Coast July 25, 2018 | 17:12
    Good for you Steve01 on your awesome success. Thank you for sharing your experience and point of view. I think different styles work for different people and how you get to the end goal doesnt matter whether it be assisted with HRT or medication, as long as you reach the destination. People do have different takes on it all so thank you for sharing and woohoo buddy on your success!!!😊
  • Lia July 25, 2018 | 19:22
    Hi Steve01. Right back at you! Congratulations on your milestone. As you said, do whatever works. I know some will do NRT, some cold turkey but I must say I don't think there are too many like me who pointed blame for cravings on Margaret Thatcher... I used to tell her where to go every time she tried to get me to weaken. Not entirely cold turkey. Kind of reverse psychology... Hope to "see" you back here when you must post news of another milestone. Helps me knowing there are long term successes out there, so thanks and wish you well for the future.
  • Steve01 July 25, 2018 | 23:12
    Thanks Robn, Leeann and Lia. It is great to be free. Ha ha..good old Maggie Thatcher worked well for you Lia and great to see a few old hands still here. Seems a lot of good new people doing well on their quit journey.
  • Samcave , Western Sydney July 26, 2018 | 0:27
    Congrats and i also strongly support what you say. My partner is currently using champix is 2 months down and is flying with barely any cravings and NO side effects! It has worked wonders for him he was a heavy smoker and he is so impressed with it. I on the other hand have just made nearly 4 weeks cold turkey am so proud of myself but chose not to do champix because of the hype it causes with dreams depression etc.
    Even though i feel like im in the clear now i wish i had of done the same path as my partner because his cravings were nothing compared to mine. Just check in with your doctors and professionals ofcourse =)
  • Red-67 July 26, 2018 | 3:06
    It's great that Champix worked for you, and yes, it does for many. But, there are some cases, of really bad, lasting, side affects, and the fact that many do slip back to smoking, when it wears off.. Sure, that is because they did not do the quit, in their head.. Pointing out options, and simple facts, should not be called mis-informed ignorance. There are studies, and statistics available..
  • Steve01 July 26, 2018 | 14:38
    Hi Samcave

    Thanks for the feedback and well done to you on the cold turkey quit. I know all to well how hard that can be. It's interesting because my wife still smokes (a heavy smoker) which is why Champix worked well for me. I couldn't do it Cold Turkey with the smell and smokes still laying around on the back table tempting me day in and day out. Sadly, she suffers with anxiety so her doctor wisely would not prescribe her Champix despite her pleading with him because of my success and that of several of her girlfriends. Yes, like most things media or otherwise today, negative hype (often unfairly) gets the attention while good news / statistics is far less published.
  • Steve01 July 26, 2018 | 15:59
    G'day Red-67,

    There has been a handful of bad cases reported and one wouldn't expect otherwise in a highly connected internet world.Indeed when I looked into it all before deciding to try it, I read of a few incidents relating to Zyban (late 90's early 2000's), and a mix of bad reactions reports from some Champix users admitting they have unfavorable pre existing conditions.
    The failure and return to smoking reports are from those who admit not using correctly and stopping use before the recommended 12 weeks. The 12 week period being the time doctors consider necessary to break the habitual actions of smoking. My own failure with Champix previously was exactly because of that.

    About "really bad, lasting, side affects", well we can all get those from eating too much fatty food, sugar or alcohol not to mention any number of other conventional prescribed medications without thorough medical consultation. Think about it.., we've been inhaling toxic poisons into our system for some 20, 30 or 40 odd years now, and suddenly we're concerned about rumored possible long term affect from a short-term medication that might stop one from inhaling more poison and go to an early grave ? I think we've all done enough possible "long term side affects" damage to our lungs as it is. Statistics need verifying and source credibility and examination of motive taken into consideration.

    All I know is that my local GP reports that Champix has had the highest success rate of smoking cessation over all other methods in our region. So all I'm saying Red is just don't put it down if someone is desperate to quit and considering it as an option. I think we all would love to quit cold turkey but for whatever reasons, not everyone can.
  • Red-67 July 27, 2018 | 4:48
    Fortunately, we can have different opinions, really different ideas of what is logical, and, can each choose what we want to believe.
    With any drug, new, or old, there will be those, rare, cases of severe side affects. It's too early to have any real statistics. Is is 1 in 1000, or 1 in 100000 ? We don't know yet, but using the term, "rumoured", does not make it any less real..
    What I mostly try to point out, and I think we can agree, is that it is too easy to think the Champix is quitting for you. In a way, I think, because it makes it too easy, maybe ? So, yes, I do say, one must still do the quit, and choose to stay quit, when it wears off.
    As with any drug, one should do the research, and truly understand the pros and cons.
    And yes, Champix does have the highest rate of stopping smoking, followed by NRT, and then cold turkey.. But, the numbers are different whey you look at, successfully, quit, those who did not go back to smoking.. And, yes, those numbers will most likely change, because, we are dealing with ex-smokers over some years. Some before Champix was even available.
    I have said, that I am not a fan, and that I would not recommend it, but it is stated as my opinion, and that has not changed.. I also say,, find whatever works for you, and stick with it, because this is not a one fix for all problem.
  • Red-67 July 27, 2018 | 7:23
    DUH,, ( Is it ) and ( when ) Why do we see our typos, after we hit Post ?? LOL
  • Steve01 July 27, 2018 | 9:25
    Well I reckon there's nothing wrong with good, healthy debate from time to time.
  • Flora July 28, 2018 | 16:46
    Hello Steve, it sure has been a while and im so happy to see you're doing so well. I also havent been around for ages and thought id pop in. It's been 26.5 months since I quit too.
    For the record and for anyone newer reading this, I smoked for 30+ years albeit a light smoker.... my quit method was by using Champix. I didnt take it as recommended (the whole course)....only about 6 weeks worth and weaned myself off. That was enough for it to work for me. I dont recommend this for anyone else taking Champix. Soon after I this, I went to Greece for a holiday and that was the biggest test for me as everyone smokes, ANYWHERE there. It wasnt hard at all and I knew If i could NOT smoke in Greece, then I knew i had it well and truly kicked.
    Cheers Steve :D
  • Steve01 July 29, 2018 | 11:45
    Wow ... Hi Flora ! Yeah, it sure has been a while ... Of course I remember you well and that you were heading off on holidays after you'd quit. Also that you did a short course of the tabs and succeeded (the same happened for a friend of mine who only did 2 weeks and he's been smoke free for 5 years now) Thanks to you and the encouragement of Johnnie, Lia, jenno211058, Ivan Cranky, Storm and Dobbin in this forum I managed to kick it eventually. :-) Some others I see haven't come back.. hope they're doing ok. Glad to see you're still on track... it's pretty easy sailing now. :-)
  • Johnnie , South Eastern Sydney July 30, 2018 | 21:04
    Hey Steve you doing well buddy. Just 14 days behind me. Mate i just passed 2 yrs also and really i do not think about smoking any longer....this the reason i do not visit the site often. However I do from time to time to offer support to newbies. But as i said smoking is no longer in my mind. Also, what about the cost now? I spend my money on enjoyment now.....not give to Govt coffers...."u...theirs".Mate i think a person needs to try anything that helps them best to quit being champix, nrt whatever. I found nrt lozenges did the trick for me. Never want to go through the quitting process again though. Anyway hope we all continue to be strong and cheers Steve to you Lia, Dobbin and Red just to name some from my class.
  • WendyOhNo August 01, 2018 | 8:09
    Hey Steve, congrats! I probably a little less than 4 weeks behind you. Can you believe we did this? :).
  • Steve01 August 01, 2018 | 10:21
    Hey Johnny and Wendy...great to hear from you guys and that a few from our class (as you call it Johnny) are still quit and traveling really. Ha ha yeah I know Wendy..., its amazing after all the difficulties of quitting we went through that we're now this far down the track. It's a great feeling and I hope an inspiration for others. Freedom is just down the road if you stick to it :-)
  • Dobbin August 06, 2018 | 1:58
    Hi Steve01 Great effort. At the end of the day what works for you is what worked for you. I was a cold turkey quitter but the reason I quit is because quitting became more important than carrying on. I smoked for 53 years and am coming up to three years quit. One thing I do know is that if I smoked just the one cigarette now I would quickly become a smoker again. My brother quit for 10 years and smoked again but this time is even more addicted. One day at a time I choose not to smoke but am more than aware of the demon on my shoulder who would love me to smoke again.
  • Steve01 August 06, 2018 | 10:11
    Thanks Dobbin. Yeah it was a health reason thing for me too. Wow, can't believe your brother returned to smoking after 10 years quite. I remember mine did also but only after 1 year and I remember thinking how crazy after making it one year! Thankfully he's quit again now but you're right... it is an insidious addictive habit.

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