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Larry's(LBONN) Quit Smoking Story

"I smoked my last cigarette at 11:00AM, 31 May 2002."


Updated May 08, 2012

My cold turkey cessation began... In addition to cigarette smoke being a combination of lethal gases, such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, sulfur oxides and tar; it constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure and raises the blood fat levels. Nicotine is the addictive ingredient of tobacco and is actually a poison. Nicotine causes a chemical hormone named dopamine to be released and assimilated by the body, which produces a "feel good" response.

When you stop smoking, you will have one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms.
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
These are signs that your body is ridding itself of nicotine and other toxins. These symptoms can last anywhere from two to five weeks.

I experienced just about all of these withdrawal symptoms. For me the most serious was "severe nausea" and "insomnia". Having quit cold turkey on 31 May 02, the nausea became severe around 5 June 02. I used ginger tea to soothe the nausea. The ginger tea for the nausea worked until the evening of 19 June 02. Note: I have never been so sick in my entire life!

On 20 June 02, I visited my physician. In order to solve my nausea problem, my doctor prescribed Promethazine. The side-effects of Promethazine are dry mouth, constipation and dizziness.

My doctor suggested that I begin using one of the smoking cessation aids. Since I had not smoked for 20 days, I decided to use a "non-nicotine" drug to aid in the smoking cessation, rather than the patch, gum or nicotine inhaler. Therefore, my physician prescribed bupropion(Zyban). Zyban is an anti-depressant which causes the release of dopamine and takes the place of nicotine. My physician indicated that the Zyban would possibly take the edge off of the smoking withdrawal symptoms.

The major side-effects of Zyban are almost the same as the smoking withdrawal distresses, and they are:
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
I began taking Zyban at 11:00 AM, 20 June 02 on a daily basis. My Zyban was in 150mg tablets and I took one at 6:00 AM and one at 2:00 PM (8 hours apart). I began taking Promethazine every six hours.

In my case, beginning to take Zyban, while being 20 days into a cold turkey quit was a big mistake. I didn't realize it at the time, but the Zyban made my nausea and insomnia worse!

I took the Zyban for 17 days, and on 7 July 02, 37 days into my quit, I decided that the smoking withdrawal distresses were most likely gone and my sickness was being caused by the Zyban side-effects. I took my last Zyban at 6:00 AM, 7 July 02. I took my last Promethazine at 8:00AM, 8 July 02.

It took 4 days to rid my system of the Zyban and Promethazine. I used ginger tea to combat the nausea during the period 8-11 July 01.

Finally, on the 12th of July 02, forty-two days or 6 weeks into my quit, I awoke without the nausea. Also, the evening of 11 July 02, I was able to sleep for about 4 continuous hours.

As I began the seventh week of my quit, I was positive that my smoking cessation would be successful. With the nausea gone, I could now concentrate on the psychological urges to light up a cigarette. I must admit that when I was suffering with the nausea, smoking was the last thing on my mind.

Initially, the urges were frequent and severe. However, I knew that the urge for a cigarette would be gone in a few minutes, whether I smoked a cigarette or not. My way of eliminating the urges was to change my activity(go outside, walk around on the deck or the garden) and this would change my thoughts.

Also, I am sure that another weapon that helped to beat down the urges was that subconsciously the absolute misery I went through during the first six weeks was fresh and I knew that just one cigarette would cause failure.

Even after one year, I still experience the urge to light up a cigarette several times a day, however, the duration is several seconds and the severity is weak.

This was one hell of a battle and I won!!

The primary Internet sites that I used to research "how to quit smoking" were as follows:The primary site that I used (and still use) for support of my quit is as follows:

Larry (LBONN)
Larry's One Year Milestone

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