Let’s Talk About Smoking

The fact that I am going to write something about how to quit smoking is a bit of joke. I have tried more times than I can count. I have three ‘successes’. I quit once for nine months, a second time for nine months and a third for just under a year. YAY FOR ME. As I write this, I have not had a cigarette for four days, so if I get all manic and cranky by the end of the article, you’ll know why. I’m not even sure this is going to apply to that many of you. These days, I feel like a bit of a pariah every time I light up in public. Does anyone smoke anymore? Sure they do. Why do you think the convenience stores still have walls of cigarettes, cigars, dip and vape crap. You may be the rebel who thinks it’s your God given right to smoke, you may be the closet smoker who sneaks out to the garage to catch a drag when your kids aren’t watching or even the type that says, ‘I only smoke when I’m socializing’. Yup, it takes all kinds. Point remains, for us folks with IBS and other stomach issues, there ain’t a lot of things worse for us than smoking. Please allow me to share some thoughts and things that I have learned throughout my struggle to quit.

Different ways to quit

Let’s start with what I think is the main point; everybody quits different. Think about how different we all are. Different genetics, physiology, psychological makeup, environment, situations…I could go on. These days, you have about a hundred different medications, products and techniques for quitting smoking. Let me share a short story. Keep in mind, I am the impulsive type. I generally do what I want and I rarely read directions. I know, I know. Bad boy. Anyway, I decided I would try the nicotine gum at work (I was working as a waiter at the time). Because I didn’t read the directions I popped two pieces in my mouth (What? I always chew two pieces of gum) and proceeded to chomp away like a diner waitress with an attitude. I walked back into the kitchen after a few minutes and damn near passed out. My buddy, the bartender, says to me, ‘You’re chewing that nicotine gum, huh? You just overdosed on nicotine!'

Being patient

Yes, you only chew once or twice and then you are supposed to tuck the gum in your cheek for several hours or until you feel cravings. Ok, so perhaps the gum is not for me. Nor, are the lozenges. Same concept. These products may do wonders for you. I have spoken to many people that say the gum and lozenges helped them quit for good. The patch is a good product if you are patient. The step down process takes quite a while. So if you want to invest several months in the process and you are the patient type. The patch may be just the thing for you.

I will revisit this topic in another article coming soon. There is an awful lot more to talk about with this extremely important topic that could be a life or death for our health. Literally.

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