INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

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Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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March 16, 2016

BobKat's User Guide for Using Chantix to Quit Tobacco

PfizerLabs, the makers of the drug, Chantix, isn't paying me for this. This is from personal experience. A check from Pfizer for $100,000, in gratitude for this post to clarify their product would be nice :)  Just saying.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or licensed to practice medicine.  The following is not intended in any way to assist a person using Chantix. It is posted primarily as personal experience and to share what i personally learned and experienced.

I started smoking tobacco cigarettes when I was 15. I'm 61 now. Of the possible 46 years smoking I was a non-smoker for 8 - 12 years. I've quit tobacco many times, sometimes for a month, up to 3 years.

I have quit "cold-turkey", and it can work, but I was younger then. I have used the gums, the patches, etc. Thing is I really don't want to smoke tobacco. Hate it!!

Getting off from it for most people is a terrible nightmare that can last for months. That's where the gum, patch and such are the solution. They provide nicotine to your body that curbs nicotine withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking.

However, you quit now!

That's correct. When using the gums, patches, etc. you don't want to smoke. You set a date and adhere to it.

Eventually after hundreds of $$'s you ween yourself off cigarettes. If it doesn't work you're out the $$ for the gums, patches, etc. and subscribing $7 a day to smoking when it could go to much more important goals.

Enter Chantix, made by Pfizer.

Of late I was starting to get to 2 packs a day. I have a new doctor and he was concerned about my smoking. Understandable. He recommended Chantix a year ago and I ignored it. Him.

20 days ago I took him up on the offer. I had nothing to lose, but my tobacco habit!

Chantix is apparently a very strong drug. The packaging is precise, made so you know which day you're taking what. Like for example you start out very slow with a min dose and escalate to the desired dose.

You can continue to smoke, if fact for the first few days it's encouraged... I went to day 8 before I quit.

Here's where the lack of education and plurred facts occur.

There are two "complaints" about Chantix that come to mind:

1) When to quit??
2) Does it affect the use of cannabis (in the free states, of course)?

RE: Question 2, cannabis users,  CB1 and CB2 receptors are not affected from what I've read. What limited experience I can share, no problem..

RE: When to quit??  Yeah this is a question I didn't have an answer to for days. I recalled my doctor said "you can smoke using it". But what he didn't say is when to quit.

So I was flummoxed.  When to quit?

Again, Chantix must be pretty powerful considering the care in which taking it is represented. I call it a non-opioid opiate...

You quit any time!! I'd suggest the 8th day or longer. Is it expensive? My insurance covers it 100% for 180 days. I pay nothing. I'm around Day 20.

Chantix is quite simple. Understanding what it does is essential to quitting tobacco and I'm surprised with so much confusion.

The reason tobacco users love it is nicotine, and receptors in our brain that let the nicotine attach, and dopamine is released into out body making us feel good, for a moment. We spent approximately 10 minutes smoking, and that's 10 minutes of a dopamine/good feeling. Then we go back to work and enter withdrawal. That can make us depressed, anxious, unfocused.

Chantix blocks the nicotine from attaching to the nicotine receptors. Further releasing a lower amount of dopamine than the nicotine. Still, it's dopamine - the feel good hormone.

So, once you feel the Chantix is in effect you can quit tobacco. You can cheat to as none of the nicotine gets to your brain. All you may satisfy by "cheating" is a temporary psychological satisfaction, at best.

My insurance covers this drug for 180 days. I'll not be a smoker after that and likely well before.

There is still the psychological withdrawal to go through - the need to smoke. But seriously, if you do it does very little. Except perhaps kill you with toxins, give you a head-ache, make you nauseous.

RE: Nightmares while using Chantix:

I trained myself over many years to have lucid dreams, so perhaps I am better prepared - yes, my dreams are more lucid after starting Chantix, and seriously it could be that I stopped smoking - cold turkey. The effects of Chantix on my dreams hasn't been significant. I am able to better remember them however.

The benefit of using Chantix for me was I could smoke and stop when I felt ready to do it. Totally up to me. And when I did stop, I experienced hardly any of the nasty physical withdrawal effects I remember from the past.

Good Fortune :)

Update, Mar. 18:

I'm somewhere around Week 4... I have bought one pack of cigarettes and smoked them in two days. They were to quell the psychological need, but did nothing to help. 3 days later I am home sick, couldn't sleep and several nasty problems, Fact is I have no interest now in tobacco and I just want this physical torment to end. The torment comes not from nicotine, but from the cigattes. My opinion, the tobacco industry adds addictive chemicals. As these chemicals likely do not touch upon nicotine receptors, what i did by smoking a pack was trigger other addictive receptors. So, today and for the past several days I've felt no withdrawal from nicotine, but I've felt like I had a cold - sinus problems, been nauseous, and even vomited two days ago, after awakening and drinking my coffee. I had taken my pills, including Chantix 15 minutes earlier. Sudden nausea and vomit on the floor.

So the good news is I'm off tobacco for good. The bad news is I feel terrible 4 weeks in. And this stuff - tobacco is legal and cannabis is not. Makes no sense!!

Update, Mar.27:

The psychological anxiety has become too much several times. Meaning I've bout 4 pacts and smoked them in some 45 days.

But I think I'm beginning to see, do see how it can work. It's a head-drug. It will change how a lot of things we imbibe in will work. They still work, but let me cut to the chase...

Chantix works by blocking the nicotine from attaching to my nicotine receptors. My doctor told me I could smoke. Why? Because while on Chantix it's not the nicotine you deal with when you stop. It's the psychological.

I now believe setting a date and time can work, but it's not necessarily the best approach. The cigarettes I smoke do nothing for me, except to sooth my habitual tendency.

My doctor was actually surprised when I called and asked him exactly how does one stop taking Chantix? Is it a step-down or does one just stop? I explained I was thinking I might be ready to stop taking it. I told him he had mentioned people taking it for a couple months. Stopping.

What he answered was sobering. You can smoke on Chantix because I have this habit. A habit that is not providing benefits. One that has been hurting me.

So now, yes, I'm still smoking, but learning to feel the smoke as undesirable. Like would I want an addiction to Spam? No offense to Hormel, love Spam... but do you see?

Without the nicotine what is a cigarette?

You might likely expect this process of smoking and finding it both rewarding and lacking difficult. There are other addictive chemicals in cigarettes. Short lived however. But for me these caused fatigue, hot flashes, confusion. As time goes on the symptoms are diminishing.

I'm fairly certain the effects on dreaming come from the Chantix. My doctor told me three studies found it was nicotine withdrawal. I've quite cold turkey and never had the kind of lucidity I'm experiencing now. I don't find dream enhancement to be a bad side-effect.

One co-worker shared that the the person she knew taking said it was messing with his mind. I can see that, but a slight twist of the dial you'll let go and realize you were likely fighting it. Yeah, it can play some tricks with your head, but so does packaged cigarettes.

I'm continuing the Chantix, will smoke when I feel like it, until I get bored of inhaling noxious smoke.


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