In early 2009 when we found out that we were having a child, the first and most likely hardest task for me was giving up smoking. I’d been smoking since about 1994/5 it was a mammoth task that I ultimately achieved via a long drawn out process.
I find it funny when people tell me to the exact number of days, weeks or years since they have given up cigarettes, as mine was a very gradual process that leaves me unable to pin down an exact date, I can narrow it down to Q4 2009 which isn’t as wonderously detailed as other peoples cessation timeline.
My wife had gone cold turkey and given up overnight, however I knew that I could never go down the path as my wife had, so I employed a 2 step approach to start.
Nicotine replacement was the likely route for me, so first was to decide on the delivery method, to start I would use patches.
A word of warning on the patches front, in my experience with these systems the recommended level is normally far too strong. In 2006 I had attempted to give up and after consulting Nicotinels chart they indicated that I should be on Step 1 (highest), after a day of so I was feeling nausea and discomfort to the point I had to stop using them.
It’s interesting to note that after this experience I was subconsciously smoking around 50% more which I can only put down to the prolonged dosage I had received.
Now my mother has not smoked in years, however she’s swapped the habit for nicotine replacement gum, the thing that was suppose to help her is now a new source of addiction.
I wanted to avoid this and given that the doses are stronger I was wary of taking them for too long.
So on my second attempt in with patches in 2009, I started at stage 2 which at times also felt a little too much, so I would cut them in half to reduce the dose.
Ultimately I lowered to the last stage (3) to get away from the practice of having to cut up patches, this suited me more and it was a good two months using these before taking any further steps.
Patches were only half of the story, as they would see me through from 6am to 6pm during work times, but I was still having a few smokes in the evenings at home (outside ofc), which I wasn’t happy about but it was a strange middle ground I had seemed to find.
Down with this sort of thing
My last step was to move away from the Patches and the evening smoking, I swapped to Microtabs, which in all fairness tasted like crap. Plus they were stronger than I wanted, so again I divided the dose into smaller amounts.
It was at this point that I actually stopped smoking cigarettes, It took me another few months or so to gradually wean myself off the replacement therapy, but I’m happy to say it worked out and I haven’t returned to smoking.
* I originally typed this post in Sept 2014 and only just got to posting it