ARGH!!! It’s enough to drive someone to smoke!

I am a smoker.  I am well aware of what it does to my body.  I know all the statistics.  I have had doctors and complete strangers lecture me on the horrible things I am doing to myself on each inhale and exhale.

What none of them realize is that it is an addiction.  Truly.  I’m not saying that to justify what I do.  I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone.  I’m saying this so that you can all understand why I am currently trying, for the fifth time, to quit.

On average, it takes a smoker 3-5 times quitting to be quit for good.

I had a grand plan.  I was going to go to smoking cessation classes this month through the military, they would prescribe me Chantix (which works), I would have a quit date of 17 July and then I would have a good month or so to really have it take before the kids got home from visitation with their father for it to take. 

That was the grand plan.

But the Air Force, in all of their brilliance, has decided that quitting smoking should be horribly hard for those of us that are trying to do it.  They told me that I would have to try the patch (which irritates my skin) or Wellbutrin (I’m bipolar, can’t take an antidepressant) for a month before they would prescribe the Chantix.

Why?  Money.

Wellbutrin and the patch are considerably cheaper than the Chantix.  I don’t ask for the Chantix because I want to cost the military more money.  I ask for it because I know it works for me and I know that I have horrible reactions on the other medications and aids offered.

The Wellbutrin will send me into a spiral of depression.  Yes, it’s an anti-depressant, but for a bi-polar person, it’s like liquor to an alcoholic.  It’ll make you feel good for a few minutes and then the long term ramifications will be horrible.  The patch makes me break out in horrible rashes.  I can’t use either one of these.

So, I jump through the hoops.  I have to make an appointment to see my doctor before I can get the Chantix.  And the military, in all it’s glory tells me that the first available appointment is 1 August.

Um, excuse me?

1 August?  That’s three weeks away.  Are you kidding me?  The whole idea is that the medication plus a support group will make you more likely to quit.  It ups your chances of being a successful quitter (there’s an oxymoron for you) by more than 50%. 

So, the military’s plan is to send me through the support group, still smoking, and THEN give me the medication with no support group?

Yeah, as usual, bass-ackwards. 

Thanks a lot, guys, for making this harder on me than it already was going to be.  I had set myself up for success and they just shot me down and set me up for failure.

I’m debating attending the PCM appointment on 1 August and then attending the smoking cessation class in August.

But, that’s three weeks away.

Until then…..smoke ’em if you got ’em.



16 thoughts on “ARGH!!! It’s enough to drive someone to smoke!

  1. i can help you quit smoking. it usually is fairly effective. i would need about a half hour of your time, in person. there’s not pain or anything like that involved. just you sitting in a chair, me sitting in a chair across from you, just talking, and you have to simply answer questions and occasionally close your eyes and picture what i’m asking you to picture.

  2. I am a smoker as well I want to stop for financial reasons sadly that is not the best motivation i would stop for health reasons if it were not for the fact i still remember the withdrawals from last time I tried and physically I just cant face those on top of my back pain

    • It’s so hard to quit. And when you have added stressors or physical issues, then it makes it even harder. The withdrawals are horrible. The American Cancer Society says that nicotine is just as addictive, with horrible withdrawal symptoms, as cocaine or heroin. Makes it very, very hard to stop. Plus, I actually enjoy it. But, I’m in the same boat as you. They are too dang expensive. For the non-smokers that read this blog, I figure I spend around $240 a month for cigarettes. That’s almost $3000 a year. I want to quit for health reasons, as well, but the financial reasons are much more pressing right now.

  3. I don’t mind if someone chooses to smoke but what I do mind if they force their smoke on me (blowing my direction etc) and yes it is an addiction but I do think that it is one most can live with (my dad did) but if you want to give up I think it is mainly a head thing

  4. hmmmm how is that a cost reason…with my average every day run of the mill insurance it only cost me $12 for my prescription to Chantix. It didnt take…simply because it was either smoke or drink coffee…I needed to cut back on coffee due to fibro cystic breast issues. It got better and by that time the damage was already done. Dr was pissed…oh well buddy. Take one stimulant away fine….take 2 and Imma gonna go kung-fu on someone’s behind and that would not end with a favorable result.
    They do say the cravings go away after a few days/weeks heck if I can remember the hardest part is your triggers. The time of the day you crave one the most….right after a meal…..with coffee….stress the list goes on. The feelings when you cannot satisfy that craving equals to a kid with add/adhd being forced physically to sit still and concentrate. Or a woman during pms and cant find not ONE PIECE of chocolate in her whole house!!!!!

  5. I am also a smoker. I will be 55 this year. I have smoked since I was 11. I quite once, 13 years ago because my husband ragged on me and his voice was grating on my ears (we were newly married). That lasted about 3 months then I went to Singapore on assignment for a few months without him, started smoking again. Problem? I actually enjoy my cigarettes and don’t have any real negative physical affects from my years of smoking. The biggest negative? All those holier than thou non-smokers who think I should stand in 2 feet of snow and below 30 degree weather to have a smoke when I am at a pool hall or a bar, really?

    I bought a pool table instead.

    I will continue to smoke until I don’t want to anymore or until they make it illegal. My contribution to the tax base at both a federal and state level is far more significant than the whiners based on how much I smoke.

    I am sorry they are making you jump through hoops though to get the help you need to quit. It is ridiculous. Good luck on quitting if that is what you want to do for yourself.

  6. I can so relate, I was a smoker for 10 years and even though it doesnt seem a lot, when you start at age of 13 the addiction is crazy. I used to smoke 20 cigaretts a day or more. I quit 1 year in a half ago, I tried 3 times and my biggest drive to quit was my boyfriend who is now my husband. His asmatic and I really love him. I actually used medication called champix it was effective for me. The medication makes you a little bit nausious and it goes away really fast. I only took it for like a month but ones I saw I could actually stop, I quit the medication and keep going on my own. Sometimes when I drink, I’ll have a drag or two but then I realize that it’s not so nice even though I really felt like it. Any way al of that to just to say YOU CAN DO IT. I’ve done it and I really understand how you know it’s bad for you but it’s so addictive. Ones I quit I realized how bad my breathing was so breathing better made me not want to go back and well food taste wow I can’t explain it ones my taste buds started working the way they should have food just tasted so much better! As a chef I was surprised and decided that I couldnt go back. If you need any support I’m here.

    • Oh and sorry I forgot to mention that chanpix is been known to cause depression and ppl have actually attempted suicide while taking it, so it only get prescribe if everything else fails and constant dr visits are recommended. It works but it can lead very quickly to depression, specially suicide. As a suicide survive I was terrify to take them, hence why as soon as I could do it on my own I stopped. Just keep that in mind. I think they should give you the details instead of telling you, you need to try other things just because. Any way ones again. I’m here.

    • I have used the chantix in the past and it is good. I’m more frustrated at how hard it is to get the medication now that I’ve decided to quit. Thank you so much for offering your support. I know I’ll need it!!

      • Great! Just keep jumping the hoops. You can do it. It’ll be so worth it at the end of it all.

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