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Posted Dec 12 2008 7:07pm

As you can see, I've made it to my 1 Year mark without a cigarette thanks to the quit smoking medication Chantix.
I started smoking steadily when I turned 16 but I started in the 5th grade sneaking them with a girl friend. My parents were both heavy smokers so it's probably almost natural that I picked up the nasty habit (I'm the oldest of 7 children, only 3 of us smoke(d), both girls and one brother). I was allowed to smoke in the house in the open as a teen and then when I went into the Army way back when, the Army put cigarettes into our C-Rations and made a pack of cigarettes 17 cents - yes you read that right, 17 cents.
Is it any wonder that I turned into a pack a day plus smoker? I smoked 36 years with no hope of ever quitting. I half heartedly tried to quit a couple of times and the anxiety I felt, made me pick it right back up.
Last year my son and his wife told us they were expecting their first child and also told me that they would not allow this child to be around me if I smoked..............and then my breathing worsened, my health was deteriorating, my doctor said "You have to quit or risk an imminent heart attack and/or stroke."
The quit wasn't easy but taking the Chantix made it possible to carry through with my quit this time.
I have a beautiful grandson Rudy that is 6 months old and he has never smelled his Nana with cigarettes on her breath or clothes, and his Nana's (Me) health is slowly but surely improving and hopefully I will be around to see my Rudy fall in love and have a baby of his own.

If you are a smoker and you've thought about wanting to quit or you have health issues that would improve if you didn't smoke, call your doctor and ask him/her about whether Chantix is an option for you.
The side effects I encountered were gas, some insomnia, vivid dreams (not nightmares but dreams that were 3 dimensional and in technicolor), dry mouth. These side effects lessened over time (three and a half months on the Chantix). All this without putting more nicotine in my body.

I still have days, sometimes a few days in a row where I think I'd like to smoke a cigarette but I haven't, I just change gears and the urge goes away. I also have family and friends that have supported and encouraged me throughout this year - y'all have been awesome!!!!
I've learned that smoking was more of a habit, a ritual, than it was an addiction. I can see that I wove smoking into everything that happened to me during that 36 years, happy events, sad events, it was my constant companion and the one thing I always turned to...........this was the most difficult aspect of quitting, changing how I handled everything I did in my life.


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