Pretty much trouble free
Cheap - about half the cost of smoking for three months
ConsUpsets the stomach, some users just can't take it
Total program takes three to four months
Expensive - about half the cost of smoking
My wife and I decided to quit smoking two months ago. We have both smoked for over forty years. Between us we have about ninety years in. It goes without saying that there have been numerous attempts to stop smoking cigarettes over the years, usually occasioned by someone we know dying of lung cancer or some health scare we receive from our own doctor. None of these attempts took.
We really weren't intending to make another attempt. Then we ran into a friend of ours who had been just as die-hard a smoker as we were, and the cigarette was conspicuously absent from her hand. She told us that she had quit using a product called Champix that we had never heard of. According to her, the process was completely trouble-free. Simply take a little pill twice a day for a few months and you won't smoke anymore. She said that she simply forgot to smoke. We figured it would work for us if it worked for her and went to the doctor for prescriptions the next day.
This drug is sold under many different names. Here in Canada its called Champix. I understand it goes by the name Chantix in the US. Whatever the brand name it is being sold under, its all a compound called varenicline tartrate and comes in the form of a little blue pill. Unfortunately, it doesn't do any of the things for you that the other blue pill from Pfizer does. All it does is help you quit smoking for good.
While it does seem to work as advertised, nobody really knows what the drug does. Supposedly, it blocks the receptors in the brain that nicotine targets so that you don't have any cravings when you quit smoking. However, if you read the blurb that comes with the drug the part that explains how it works is full of phrases like 'it is believed that' and 'may block absorption'. In other words the actual mechanism is a mystery.
Whatever the mechanism, our experience with Champix has been very good. We smoked for a week while taking the pills, then stopped and we haven't looked back. However it works, there were no physical cravings at all with the process.
Psychological cravings, the actual habit, is a totally different matter. Smoking cigarettes is so much a part of your self-image when you have been smoking as long as we have that it sometimes seems impossible to function without our little buddies. You have to relearn every behaviour that used to involve smoking and develop new ways of doing all those things. That is what is really difficult.
In ClosingThere may be better faster or cheaper ways to quit smoking for good, but Champix has a couple of things going for it: it works and it doesn't hurt.
There is one word of caution, though. This product may be the best way to quit smoking, but it won't help you give up smoking if you don't want to.
More often than not, a decision to quit smoking comes from somewhere outside of us. Our doctor scares us or we find we can't really afford to smoke and we begin a stop smoking program. Deep down inside, though, we don't really want to quit. In my mind, this is the biggest reason why many people try and fail. It isn't that its hard to quit smoking forever, but its very difficult to really want to quit in the first place. That's what you have to work on before choosing a method or a program.