Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

We're building a better forum experience with you in mind. Beginning June 26, 2019, all Veritas Health forums will move to forum.veritashealth.com.

Learn More

Smoking - any tips of quitting????

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Lower Back Pain
I know this is a very unsociable topic - but for those [ex-]smokers out there who were told to quit before surgery - how did you do it? Have you got any tips because I'm struggling big time.

In fact, the more I think about my forthcoming 2-level PLIF, the more I need to have another ciggy!!! My surgery hasn't been confirmed yet (although they've said it COULD be in July), but I'm hoping to try and quit sooner, rather than later. But how????

In the past I have tried 'cold turkey', patches, cigarette substitutes (that you can hold and 'puff' on like a real ciggy but without all the nasty poisons etc.), chewing nigotine gum, etc. etc. Nothing has worked so far.

Short of going to see a hypnotist (which as a Christian I don't believe in), what else can I do? CHOP MY FINGERS OFF????

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!


  • the only way to stop smoking is to STOP !!!
    any you already know that !!! but as a smoker myself i sympathise with you and as we are both going for similar operations i sympathise even more .i love to have a smoke .3 am is a lonely place and a cup of tea
    a and walk to the shed for a fag is a treat for me ..i can feel the ex and none smokers recoil in horror!! but lets not kid ourselves if you smoke and have done for many years stopping {when you don't really want to } is almost impossible ..i have gotten patches from the doctor and after 2 days stopped using them simply because at 3 am where my treat!!! now don't get me wrong ,,i am not fool i understand ALL the health risk associated with smoking and a fusion operation will almost certainly fail if you smoke.and i too will have to stop .sue i will be smoking up to a month before my operation and then i will just stop ..if you want you operation to work you are going to have to stop too ..its not easy but patches and gum wont do a thing for you unless you want to stop ....do you ??? really???
    good luck hun !
    tony x
  • Hiya Tony (again!). I've just returned from yet another hospital appointment (Rhuematology this time) and it seems I've now got Reynauld's Syndrome (whatever that is) and osteoarthritis in my fingers (I thought it was just in my Facet joints) and he's ordering a batch of tests (I had a blood test and chest x-ray today), and on the blood test form he's written "? Lupus" - does he suspect I've got that as well? I'm also to have a 'nerve test' as the feelings I have in my left hand could be carpal tunnel or coming from my neck, or something!

    Tomorrow I'm going to yet another hospital (to see the Consultant Anaesthetist I've been putting off since last September). I feel I ought to keep in touch with this one as I may need his help with pain management if/when/after I have the fusion.

    I decided to book these appointments to coincide with my week off from work so that I don't have to take even more time off than I have to.

    Anyway, the rheumatology consultant TOLD me today to stop smoking because it affects my blood circulation and will adversely affect the Reynauld's (ha! not to mention recovery after the proposed 2 lvl fusion possibly in July).

    Oh dear, what is there to enjoy then? I hate all this - when you think you've got one problem under control, another comes along and bites you on the butt. I'll have to take your advice Tony and JUST STOP.

    You'll probably read about me in the "News of the Screws", ha! I can just see it now: "Wife gets arrested after shouting abuse at the world after giving up smoking!!!" or something just as silly.

    I'm angry already - and I've still got a full pack left. Must go, can't waste time, I NEED A CIGGIE!!!!

    All joking aside, it's going to be extremely difficult to give up the only vice I have left (and still enjoy) and my hubby smokes + enjoys it too - I know it'll affect me emotionally in the short-term (I tried before and got very short tempered!) and am well aware of the benefits of giving up smoking, but it's going to be soooooooooo hard!

    Good luck Tony for when it's your turn - why don't we stop together???? We can compare notes and SHOUT AT EACH OTHER instead. What dya think? Shall we just do it????
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • advertisement
  • I took Wellbutrin which is covered by insurance and it's the same medication as zyban. I completely lost the desire and cravings. Maybe see your Primary Dr. to help you out. Good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • both kath {who is a health professional} and i smoke and both enjoy it .we dont smoke in the house just the shed {and i smoke in my car } bad me !! but i am going to give the clicker CBT thing a go i know some one that had one for food addiction and has lost 2 stone in 6 months ! .if you think about it when you want a cig ..say after your tea {the nicest in my opinion} if you just light one and have 2/3 puffs on it .you may find that is enough .after a few days of just a few puffs on your favorite cig time and just a click on the ...well i will just have one ...
    you know the the ones ..while your waiting for the kettle to boil or while you are on the phone ..after a week or so if you are serious about quitting it will work .but i bet that after your operation as soon as you are able ...you {and me !!} will light up ..because we like it and it gives us comfort in our little world of pain and suffering .
    life is not a dress rehearsal and if you carnt or wont quit dont beat yourself up about it
    tony x
  • I quit 31/10/09 using champix. I wanted to quit for myself, my son and for my op dec 09.
    Here in the uk we have zyban and champix. Zyban is not a very tolerable drug but in some in works. I had an allergic reaction (top to toe in a rash very itchy too)to it thankfully not an anaphylactic, but I went paranoid and weird too!!lol!
    Either go to your local Gp or smoking cessation clinic. I'd tried patches, inhalator, gum, lozenges, tabs and zyban.
    Champix has a high success rate, it blocks the nicotine craving receptors. You smoke with it for 2 weeks and through that two weeks the fags taste awful and the craving disappears...its very odd. 7 months on im smoke free. I do now and again get the urge, but once a smoker, i think we're always gonna be one.
    No harm in trying it. my only side effect for 1 week was insomnia, but i was already not sleeping because of the back pain.

    caroline x

    also, which you will already know fusing is more effective/successful in the none smoker.
    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
  • advertisement
  • Thanks Caroline. I'll remember 'Champix' for when I see the GP next. My daughter has returned from a business trip to the States and, yep, you've guessed it, she's brought back 200 ciggies!!! Oh no. I'll pay her for them (because I forgot that I asked her to get them in the first place) - and I'll smoke them/give them away and then THAT'S IT!

    I know I HAVE to quit before surgery - ideally about a month before so there's no nicotine left in my body. Once I get a date for the op, then I'll stop. I know I have to.

    Also, I'm being tested for other health problems at the moment - which I believe has been a gradual build up of side effects from all the high dose steroid facet joint/epidurals and pain medications I've had over the last 5 years.

    I know all the downsides to smoking (my brother even has a company that produces a solution to help people quit), but still, I also know it's going to be hard. My mum gave up for 15 years (before she passed away 10 years ago) and she always said the craving never went away.

    So thanks to everyone for your comments. It definitely helps (knowing I'm not alone) and when I get a date for surgery (if the NHS doesn't cancel it in the meantime to save money!), I'll let you know how I'm getting on.

    Ci thi (as they say in Yorkshire)

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Hi

    I quit 3 weeks ago I am using Zyban and they have been fantastic. I have no urge to smoke, I have been around people smoking and I can honestly say it is not bothering me one bit. I have been a smoker for 23 years, I would really go to your GP to ask about these, and they are not a nicotine replacement.

    Good Luck
  • You really have to want it to succeed regardless of how you do it. I started smoking around 13, now at 50 I've been cigarette free for a bit less than a year and a half.
    Last year was a bad year all around for me...and it was the year I decided that no more BS, I wanted to quit. I have a nephew who likes to spend a lot of time with me, he was 5 at the time and I did not want to smoke around him. I tried patches, but they didn't help with my hand/oral issue. I didn't want to take meds, so, finally I talked to my doctor after reading about something called a Nicotrol Inhaler. This, along with me wanting to quit did it for me.

    While I didn't change the insert as often as they suggested, it was the one thing that seemed to help me get past the hand/mouth thing. Yes, it does have nicotine in the inserts... but let me tell you... when you get your script filled, it comes with a bunch of mouth pieces and (I think) 160 individual thingies (you are directed to "smoke" it like a regular cig... about 10-20 minutes and then toss the insert) For me, I changed them every day or three and was fine with it. I still have the box in my closet, it's got about 100 or so left in it.

    Now for the hard part... you still have to WANT to not smoke. My last cigarette was on February 24th, 2009. My family lives with me and one still smokes which other than the smell (hahahhaha,it's true... when you stop, it smells ;p) doesn't bother me. I wouldn't call it a craving so much as... a little sad feeling that I can't use that anymore to avoid something - which is what I used it for for a lot of years... angry? go outside and have a smoke... sad or hurt? go out and walk and smoke... then my back and legs got mad at me... and sitting and smoking just didnt help the agro. I now argue more... before I'd always walked away ;p

    once in awhile... mostly when I'm walking into or out of a store behind someone that just put one out in the ashtray, I wish I still smoked, but it does go away. Part of the not doing it anymore is... after a whiile, you don't want to give up the Not smoking... because you know, it doesn't really fix anything.. all the problems are still there after And you've smoked again ;p

    I wish you the best of luck with whatever method you choose. Just remember, you're doing it for a reason... one that is pretty important.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.