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I quit for 4 months but now I'm backsliding....

kelleygirlkkelleygirl Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Stop Smoking
Any advice? I'm not smoking a lot, but I'm concerned that after several months without a single cigarette, I am now smoking "socially" (ie when around other smokers) and have even (I hate to admit it) started buying my own packs of cigs again. I am so ASHAMED! You would think that alone would keep me from doing it. But (no excuses, just facts) the pain meds take away my ability to reason. I find myself having many more cravings while on the pain killers. When I was off them briefly, i didn't have the urges as much, and seemed to be able to control the compulsion to smoke a lot better. I feel very disappointed in myself. I am resolving here and now to quit this nonsense! I worked very hard to beat this addiction and I am letting myself be dragged back under. Anyone have this problem?


  • I don't know that I would beat myself up too much about it. Think of all of the smokes you did not light up, that is a measure of success.

    I enjoyed cigars, never smoked in my life until last Sept. At 48 and with this back issue, I figured it would certinly not kill me to have a smoke. I found that I get some relief from the pain, but I am also chronically allergic to the smoke. LOL , talk about the double edge sword.

    I am quitting too and although I don't have a long history, because it has given some relief, it is hard to let go of. Ask you Dr for patches, which I have heard are really good for helping with the cravings.

    Take Care
  • I, too, am struggling with a smoking addiction. I had a L5/S1 fusion on June 10th, and recently learned that nicotine eats away at bones. Not only do I have to quit smoking, it's not safe to use patches, gums, lozenges, etc., as they contain nicotine. I've started taking Chantix and I'm schedule to stop smoking on Wednesday. I don't mind saying the I am more than a little nervous. Also, because of the immobility due to back pain, I have gained weight and am now considered prediabetic. I haven't been able to walk much, but I'm watching my diet. I just hope that it'll be enough to turn this situation around. I fear gaining more weight when I quit smoking.
  • I know what you mean by the pain killers making you want to smoke more. I have that problem too! I am on Norco, Flexeril and Mobic. I don't know if any of you ever took phentermine, or drink, but it's like that for me. I am not a big drinker, but when I do I chain smoke. On phentermine it was the same way.

    I worried about quitting for surgery, but now I've been told I'm inoperable.... I did get a prescription for Chantix, but I haven't filled it yet. My doc says not to until I'm ready to quit. You have to be ready, you have to be done, or there is no use in trying.

    I've been in your shoes before where I would quit. Then gradually start smoking more. You just have to make up your mind that you are done. Whether it's because you are sick of smoking, or you are truly scared about what it might do to your back. My problem is I truly enjoying doing it, so there is no desire to quit. :(

    I think you just have to decide whether or not you are going to quit. Bottom line. If you're not ready to quit yet, don't torture yourself with trying to. If you are ready, then just do it. Kiss the smokes good bye. :)

    All this is totally just my 2 cents. :) Good luck with whatever you decide. And know that you are soooo not alone!

  • I can relate to the embarassment of going back to the addiction after quitting for months. I "sneak" & go to different stores where they don't know me because I told everyone I quit, which somehow I did before my surgery & for about 2 months afterwards.
    Everyone tells me how PROUD of me they are! This AM I tried to listen to a self-hypnosis tape & couldn't stop thinking of that 1st cigarette in the AM! Maybe I should go back on the Chantix?
    I am on a minimal amount of pain med now & still fighting that addiction. Unlike others, I want the cigs even more now! Guess I have an addictive personality & need something all the time. These past few months since my surgery have been O lonely & depressing!
  • i think that even though its very bad for you .if you enjoy it and it help your mind with the pain ..well smoke if you got em!!
  • This is just a blip and you are going to need all your strength to fight this pain and support that beautiful picture, review what worked when you did stop and use that again.

    Be kind with yourself you have a lot to cope with and stopping smoking a very hard thing to do, you have done it once and you can do it again

    You need a stop smoking buddy, you and I know you can stop for 4 months again, perhaps start by cutting down, distraction save you money and go on holiday.

    You are too hard on yourself, you have done well and even you though you could not stop for a short while and you have done that already, get some additional support of guidance and as with pain attack smoking from all areas, if you can manage pain, you can cut down again. What is your reason for stopping.



    My dad smoked not many but sufficient in old age for it have an big effect and if I can help anyone I will.
  • My endocronologist gave me a script for Chantix a couple of years ago when I was going to her for hyperthyroidism. I never filled it because I knew I'd have to get my husband to stop too. I have been reading more and more that the smoking was bad for my lower back pain but didn't have all the facts and wondered why it would help with the pain to stop the smoking. I am still smoking and I too have thought that the pain medication seemed to make me smoke more if I didn't stay busy, which of course we all know is not possible on our really immobile days. I also agree that we can't keep beating ourselves up over it and that it is really hard to quit. I know I would need all the help I could get. When I try to cut back and it plays on my mind, I find myself smoking more because I'm thinking about it more. I know it is easier for some than others and to all of you I wish you all the very best of luck. Keep trying. I'm still getting educated on the connection to my pain.
  • ...is very difficult...

    I stopped for a year after my first surgery. I used Chantix to stop. Then started back up a year later. Was very upset with myself for doing that. I'm now 4 months on the bandwagon and feel good. I used Chantix again to stop. Took it for maybe 2 weeks. It helped getting by the worst cravings.

    I learned a few lessons.

    * You can't have just 1. So don't BS yourself into thinking you can. They are highly addictive. Especially if you are an ex-smoker.

    * If you fall off the wagon then stop, now. Try to stay that way. Whatever it takes.

    * If you keep on falling off the wagon. Then you really don't want to stop. Until you do. Stop kidding yourself. It requires a dedicated effort to stop and stay that way.

    * You do not have to get your spouse/bf/gf/so to stop. Sure it would be nice. But it is not necessary. That is just an excuse for not stopping.

    * Don't hang out with your buddies outdoors when they are on a "smoke break". That is just torturing yourself. You'll slip. Find something else to do for your break. Like walk. Most spineys could use it.

    * Smoking, nicotine. It helps dry your discs, amongst other things. It is hard enough to keep your discs hydrated as you get older. Smoking makes it worse. It also works against the fusion process. There are some reports that show it. Many surgeons will balk at smokers and some refuse to work on you.

    * It is bad for your health in so many ways it is ridiculous. Stopping improves lots of things in your body.

    * It's nice to have a support network. However, I found that it was pretty much all on me to stop and stay that way.

    * Every day you don't smoke is a good day. You need to remind yourself to stay that way. You need to ready to fight off the urge every day. It sneaks up on you sometimes. Think of or do something else for a few minutes. The urge will go away.

    * You can save a bunch of money considering how expensive smokes have gotten. Put that money somewhere as play/fun money to reward yourself.

  • I started smoking again last Sept. after quitting for 12 YEARS!

    To say that I am embarassed would be such an understatement.

    I smoke about 10-15 cigarettes per day now but I still can't smoke a full one. I smoke about 1/3-1/2 and then clip it.

    I can't even imagine going through what I went through the first time it quit. I did the cold turkey thing. I never contemplated quitting, I just woke up one day and walked past my pack of cigarettes and never touched them again.

    I kept that pack of cigarettes on the coffee table for almost a year. I don't know why but I did.

    Now, I feel like such a piece of crude for starting again.

    I suck,
  • In addition to being addictive, nicotine is also seductive. I hope that you won't beat yourself up over your slip. When it is important enough, and when it becomes a priority, you'll quit again. I, myself, am still smoking. I started taking Chantix and was still smoking. I finally decided that until I was 100% committed to quit, there was no sense in continuing the Chantix. There are a few other people on the board who are in the same position; myself, foxy, and tellybeth. At lease please know that you aren't alone, & feel free to PM if you want to discuss it further.

  • Camille,

    It's not a contest on who sucks worse ;-) You went 12 years. That is really awesome.

    Like you I was ashamed of myself for slipping. Sure I can say I was depressed, in pain, and it was a bad day. It still isn't a good excuse. But it happened. Once I got to the point of deciding I wanted out of the cycle. I started back on the Chantix. Stopped pretty quick. So far so good. Consider trying Chantix. If you can do it cold turkey again more power to you.

    I'd recommend you not listen to smokers telling you how it is ok and so on. Build a support network to stop, not reasons and excuses why it is ok to continue smoking. Surround yourself with people and reasons to help you stop.

    Good luck with it.

  • That was good advice you gave up there Graham. The only thing I would add about the Chantix is not to beat yourself up too bad if you don't exactly follow the "quit date" instructions on it. It tells you to quit after taking it only 1 week. It took me 3 weeks. I didn't really even WANT it to work. It was Springtime and I'd actually been looking forward to smoking on warm summer days as opposed to freezing my butt off all winter. But I started taking it anyway.

    By the end of the first week, I noticed that I was only smoking half the cig and then unconciously putting them out - not wanting any more than that. It was starting to make me nauseous.

    By the second week - I was FORCING myself to smoke during my "phychological" triggers. 99% of me didn't want to smoke by then, but I was doing it anyway. I made the decision to completely stop during work hours - 8 hours - and it didn't bother me at all.

    By the 3rd week - I smoked 1/2 a cig when I woke up, the other 1/2 on the way to work, 1/2 on the way home and the other before bed. That was it. I knew I was ready and that was when I set my quit date. Other than one slip on a very bad day ( the cig did absolutely NOTHING to help my very bad day - kind of made it worse even ), I'm almost at 3 1/2 months quit and I give that little blue pill most of the credit.

    Point is, give the Chantix a try and if it works the way it is meant suppose to - even if it takes a little longer than it says - it should MAKE you want to quit even if you are sort of on the fence about it.

    Also, to the original poster - if you are not smoking regularly yet, don't try the patch. You're body may be starting to be addicted again, but probably not enough for the amount of nicotine in those patches. Also, what Graham said about not hanging out with smokers for awhile might be really good advice while you are feeling weak ( especially it alcohol is involved! ). That, or try to teach yourself to be grateful you are not the one having to smoke when they do. Mind over matter and all.

    Good luck,

  • Summer,

    I agree with you on the Chantix. I did could not follow their method either time I have used it. 1st time when I got to the 2x/day blue pill I had to cut it back to 1x/day. After a month I cut the pills down to 1/2 a day then 1/2 every other day for 2 weeks. So I weened off the pills. At the time there was a lot of noise about suddenly stopping from 2x/day. I stopped smoking after the 2nd week. This time I took 1x/day for 2 weeks then 1/2 a day for a week. Stopped smoking. I'm ~4 months out. No real urge to smoke even out at a bar.

    Interestingly I have found that the simple fact that I think smoking is a really stupid thing to do to myself. That seems to be the biggest motivator. So whatever trips your trigger that makes you want to stop. Hey, go for it.


    Come on girl you know you can do this. You have already done it. The on again off again thing won't work. Sooner or later, you'll just smoke most of the time. You know it sucks you in so get that willpower and reason back again. Stop it.

  • Hi all,

    I decided to read the post on this topic today. First time I even clicked on the thread BECAUSE I know I need to stop smoking. Let me say that I'm 54 and didn't start smoking until about 7 years ago..How stupid? I smoke Capris (I call them Barbie cigarettes) and I am an ADDICT. As I see the price go up, I tell myself the money I could save if I just quit. I have the patch, the gum, the losenges and a Chantix prescription and haven't used anything yet. I did try the Nicoderm patch one day and thought I was going to have a heart attack from the pain in my arm (pulled it off and never tried again).

    Oh, and I also paid $250 for that stupid laser treatment (what a ripoff -- couldn't wait to light up when I hit my car) -- that was several years ago.

    My neighbor across the street used chantix and she quit, no problem. I just hate taking yet another drug added to what I'm taking now.

    Anyway, when it comes to smoking, I admit, I'm a loser. Never in a million years did I think I'd be hooked on cigarettes.

    I do want to quit because it would improve my sinus issues, my general health, my bank account and my back issues -- my common sense tells me what to do but my little devil says no.

    I'm with you all struggling hearts out there as we try to OVERCOME.

    Take care,

  • As far as adding a new medication, the Chantix will be temporary (probably 2 or 3 months). Please know that when you use Chantix you aren't supposed to use any other smoking cessation product, i.e. patches, gum. Good luck and keep us posted. I strugglel with a nicoteine addition, as well.

  • I started chantix 2 weeks ago today. i have not quit but can honestly tell you that my urge and the amount has gone down drastically. I don't wake up craving it like before. Most days I don't have my first for at least 3 hours after waking. I was always a wake and smoke person. I don't get edgy when I am not smoking either. I do agree that not all people can quit after that initial week with chantix. it may take some several weeks. I am going to be one of those but I do have a good feeling this time. I need 2 more fusions and do not want to spend so much time worrying with whether or not I am healing due to my smoking. I also do not want my 2 year old growing up with a mother who smokes. I have many smoker friends who make it hard but I have stayed away from them as much as possible. Good luck to you all. It is nice to see some of you on here. I started a thread on the subject awhile ago with only limited responses. But, was able to make 2 good friends and supporters from it so i am grateful.
  • Hi Tellybeth, I'm really proud of you for the accomplishments you're making. And, I think that you have your priorities in good order. Know that I'm pulling for you, and I hope to join you shortly.

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