I was a fairly heavy smoker for many years. (2 to 3 packs a day!) When I began smoking, I thought it was the “cool” thing to do
Over the last few years, I came to realize that smoking is very “UNcool” and that more and more people were quitting and there were less and less places where smokers were allowed to light up. I also realized how addicted I was and how terrible smoking was for my health. I knew it was time to quit.
During the past few years, I made a few attempts to break the habit using various methods. I tried cold turkey. That was impossible for me. The cravings were way too strong and my will power was much too weak. I found myself sneaking cigarettes, knowing I was fooling only myself. I tried weaning myself off cigarettes by gradually cutting down on the amount I smoked each day. I failed at that, too. I even went so far as to try hypnotism. Not a one-on-one type of thing, but in a group session.
This “mass” hypnotism was held at a very reputable local hospital so I placed a lot of credence in it. The session cost $60 and at the end of it, I felt like a sucker. For my $60, I wound up with a stiff neck, a pen imprinted with the name of the hypnotist, and a little metal stone attached to a clear nylon thread which I was supposed to use for self hypnotism. Needless to say, I lit a cigarette as soon as I left the session.
At that point, I was ready to give up, believing that I would never be able to quit. But almost a year ago, I met someone who is now a very close friend of mine. (Hey! I met him online!) He gave me the faith in myself that I could quit if I really wanted to. He made me see that there is no easy way and there is no miracle cure.
I did some research online and learned whatever I could about nicotine addiction and the various methods of quitting. I also learned that most people fail at their attempts several times before they succeed, and the important thing is to keep trying.
After everything I read, it seemed like the patch was the way for me to go. This is a program which weans your body off of nicotine gradually over a 10 week period. (8 weeks for light smokers) For step 1 of the program, you use an adhesive nicotine patch (you attach it to any hairless part of your body) which contains 21 mg of nicotine. The nicotine is delivered to your bloodstream through your skin, known as the transdermal method.
Every morning you remove the old patch and put a fresh one on. Step 1 lasts for 6 weeks. Then you begin step 2 which lasts for 2 weeks. Those patches contain 14 mg of nicotine. Then comes the final step. Step 3, which also lasts for 2 weeks, but those patches contain only 7 mg of nicotine.
For those of you who are concerned about the rather steep price (over $50 for a 14 day supply), just think of how much money you’ll save in the long run by not smoking! (The cost of cigarettes is ridiculous now.) I ordered my entire patch supply online from drugsboat.com and I wound up saving over $100 compared to regular drugstore prices.
The best thing about the patch system is that your body doesn’t go through sudden and drastic withdrawal of nicotine like it does when you try to quit cold turkey. It gives you 10 weeks to deal with the psychological withdrawal, while the physical withdrawal isn’t too bad since you’re still getting small doses of nicotine in your bloodstream. I’ve been on the patch and smoke-free for 8 days now! That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without a cigarette since I began smoking. The first few days were the toughest, but each day I feel a little better, and this time, I KNOW I CAN DO IT. Like I said earlier, there is no easy way to quit, but the patch is definitely helping me.
*Note- This was written 18 months ago. I successfully completed the patch program and can proudly call myself to an ex-smoker!