Using Chantix to Help You Quit Smoking

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“How can I use Chantix to help me quit smoking?”

I quit smoking cold turkey almost two full years ago. I haven’t had a single puff since then, and the freedom is absolutely wonderful. Since I’ve quit and discovered this awesome life without nicotine, I’ve encouraged a number of my friends and coworkers to try to quit smoking also. Many of them have been doing so lately, with the help of a medication called Chantix.

The reason I’m so excited about this is because everyone I’ve spoken with personally has said that Chantix really helps a lot. At least 3 of my coworkers have used Chantix to successfully quit now, and none of them have relapsed. Based on my past experience with people trying to quit smoking, these results are phenomenal. Even though I didn’t use Chantix to quit smoking, I’m excited that it seems to be helping so many people, and I want to give my input as to how you can maximize your chances of quitting with Chantix. Here are some key points to remember as you start on your quitting journey:

Using Chantix to Help You Quit Smoking

1. Chantix is not NRT – “NRT” stands for “nicotine replacement therapy.” The idea behind NRT is to replace the nicotine in your body as you give up cigarettes in order to ease your withdrawal. Examples of NRT include the nicotine Patch, nicotine gum, and the nicotine inhaler. I tried using NRT therapies to quit smoking for a couple of years before I finally gave up on them and decided to try it cold turkey. Using the nicotine patch never worked for me for two reasons: one, I still wanted to smoke even when I was wearing the patch, and two, when I finally removed the patches, I went through a horrible nicotine withdrawal anyway. I finally did a lot of research about the NRT industry, and I learned that those methods aren’t really all that helpful in the long run. People tend to do great while they are using NRT, but I truly believe that cold turkey quitter have better chances in the long run. Based on this theory–combined with the fact that I eventually quit smoking successfully cold turkey, I am excited about Chantix helping other smokers, because it can complement cold turkey quitting strategies….the same strategies that worked for me when I finally quit. Special Note: The makers of Chantix (Pfizer) do not recommend combining Chantix with NRT products, such as the patch or the gum. At present, no published studies have been conducted testing the safety of using Chantix with the Nicotine Patch. Because of the way Chantix works on your brains Nicotine receptors, using the patch is not recommended with Chantix right now.

2. Chanitx is an affordable therapy – based on all of my coworkers who seem to be having successful quits using Chantix, you only need a two month supply to make it work for you. Regardless of your insurance coverage, you shouldn’t end up paying more than about 200 bucks for this two month supply. Unbelievably, smokers typically balk at this figure, thinking that it is outrageously high. That’s when you have them multiply their daily smoking cost (usually around 5 to 10 bucks) by two months worth of smoking. At that point, 200 bucks isn’t looking so bad. Be sure to remind the smoker what it costs to continue smoking for the rest of their life, and toss in the little bit about how they will also die an average of 12 to 15 years early (unless they manage to quit now).

3. Less side effects than the alternatives – Chantix produces fewer side effects than using either NRT therapies, such as the patch or the gum, and also Zyban, which can have some pretty heavy side effects in some users. So if you are looking for something to help you quit smoking, Chantix seems to offer the most amount of help with the least amount of side effects, while also being more effective in the long run than the patch or the gum. You can devise a quitting strategy around Chantix that incorporates everything from a cold turkey strategy as well. I just find the opportunity to quit with this medication to be really exciting, because I am surrounded by people who have been successful in quitting with it. My advice: learn everything you can about cold turkey quitting, and then combine that information with Chantix, and you’ll be well on your way to celebrating a smoke-free life.

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  • Thomas

    There are a few studies that show alcoholic mice dramatically reduce their alcohol consumption when given Chantix.Researchers are wondering if Chantix might turn out to be a useful adjunct in many addictions.

  • admin

    I have read about that as well, Thomas–that Chantix might prove to be useful in reducing alcohol cravings, and also possibly cravings for opiates as well. Exciting news, as there has also been a push recently to encourage people in recovery to quit nicotine simultaneously with other addictions. Thanks for your input, Thomas.

  • Virginia

    You do need to update your site to include the new WARNINGS! This one leaves people who find it under a false impression that chantix might be safe to use as a smoking or alcohol aid when really it is a REPLACEMENT drug. One that might make you have a spiritual awakening of the danger of this untested poison.

  • Vern

    Hi Patrick,

    This was written about 2007 I guess – that’s the date of some of the comments. What has happened since then? Did your co-workers continue to stay quit, or did they go back? Could you fault Chantix now? Are there safety warnings like Virginia said?

    :) Vern

  • Patrick

    Good questions, Vern. That particular coworker did stay quit, and she has not relapsed at all since.

    However, the flip side of that is that I quit cold turkey (no chantix) and my friend quit via hypnosis (no chantix) and we are both still doing good as well.

    As for the warnings about suicidal thoughts and whatnot, I think those have diminished somewhat, and the drug is still on the market in America. But it remains a potential side effect….

  • Vern

    Got it – thanks for the update!

  • Dubbya

    I’d suggest that a person has to take some of the reported side effects with a grain of salt since irritability, constipation, sleeplessness, depression, lethargy and in some cases, severe anxiety are completely normal for most people, even without the drug.

    Even if there are some health risks, they’re more than acceptable if they help 22% of people trying to quit find success. In addition, I wonder how many people use the “potentially harmful side effects” as an excuse to continue smoking?

    BEGIN SARCASM >> I’m thinking that with all the “potentially harmful side effects?” of being on Chantix that we’re probably better off to continue smoking until we die of lung cancer, COPD and/or heart disease. It’s much easier than quitting, isn’t it? << END SARCASM

    Us nicotine addicts are famous for finding ways to justify our compulsive "need" to smoke in our own minds, aren't we? Food for thought…