August 24, 2007
14 Days Without a Cigarette
Today is my fourteenth day in a row without a cigarette thanks to an amazing new drug. Chantix interferes with the brain's nicotine receptors to reduce the smoker's desire for a cigarette. It certainly worked for me.
Now, let me be clear, I was very motivated to quit. It was only a matter of when. I had a routine physical a few weeks ago and I talked with my doctor about smoking cessation methods. He said many of his patients had had success with Chantix and recommended I give it a try.
Like other psychoactive drugs(e.g. Prozac, etc.), you start at a low dosage and slowly increase. So, you pick a "quit day" one week in advance and begin taking the low-dosage medication. During that first week, you are allowed to smoke and, as the dosage is increased, smoking becomes less and less pleasant and satisfying and more and more foul-tasting and nauseating. Really!
All this is not to say that I don't still crave a cigarette - and those first few days were still pretty damn hard to bear. But, Chantix has definitely taken the edge off the pain of withdrawal symptoms and allowed me to continue to function - even at high levels of stress - without smoking.
To tell the truth, I wish I could be one of those people who can smoke two or three cigarettes a day, or only when they're drinking because I really enjoyed some of those cigarettes. The problem is that if I have one cigarette, I'll have a pack a day and that's no good.
So, hooray for modern psychopharmacology!