I have been a smoker for 17 years and I am really good at it. Sure I have tried to breakup up with my favorite fags on several occasions, but every time I tried I ended up going back to them. Whether it is the nicotine, the habit or the combination of both, I have never managed to make a clean break of it. So imagine my surprise when colleagues at work started quitting in droves. One by one they gave up cigarettes seemingly without effort and/or the associated melodrama. Naturally, I was intrigued and discovered that they were all on this new but very controversial prescription drug called "Champix". So I had to try it.
Now, everyone that has ever tried to quit smoking will tell you. It. Is. Hell. I have done the patches, mouth spray, chewing gum, Zyban and the electric cigarette. None of which worked. I have also once tried going cold turkey and let’s just say it was no fucking fun fair and I almost ended up committing a triple homicide. So when this new drug crossed my path and appeared to help folks quit without any psychotic cravings, you know the “you need nicotine so bad you’re considering licking a dirty ashtray” kind of cravings, I was curious. Would this new drug work for me? So I did some research.
As many of you know, I am Google’s bitch and Facebook’s slut. So it was only normal for me to utilize them both to learn more about this pill called Champix. What I discovered freaked me out. The pill has a list of side effects longer than the New Testament which includes, but is not limited to, death and/or suicide! Did I really want to take something that could give me migraines, blood in my poo, flatulence, gingivitis, rashes, nightmares, mood swings and/or muscle pains, just to mention but a few? After weighing up getting cancer versus farting blood, I called my doctor fully expecting him to be thrilled that I wanted to stop smoking. However, his reaction was rather shocking.
Normally I am a moody person but on Champix I am an irrational borderline psychotic bitch! What makes it worse is the fact that when I am being an irrational bitch I am fully self-aware, know I am being irrational and a bitch and still I just can’t stop myself. Combine this with being bloated and looking like I am four months pregnant, throw in a headache and mix well with nausea and you have a Champix recipe for what can only be described as a clusterfuck of side effects that actually saw me taking one day’s sick leave from work. However, side effects aside, by week four I managed to cut my smoking down by half. But I still was smoking. Smoking but not enjoying it. Smoking out of stubbornness. Smoking out of habit.
They say that when you are on this pill you should set a deadline for yourself for when you plan to quit - quit smoking that is NOT the pill! This was something I wanted to and chose to ignore. Setting a deadline to quit made me sad, miserable and for some bizarre reason I wanted to believe that the pill will help me give up smoking naturally. So one morning after I dreamed that I had to drive through the Gaza Strip and Hamas and some Somali pirates wanted to kidnap me for ransom, I had an epiphany. I came to the realization that if I really wanted to quit smoking I would need to put some effort into it myself as well. And then I wondered what Somali pirates were doing in Israel, why they were working with Hamas and why the hell they were after me!
At week five I started to think that maybe I am in the percentile of people for which this new “miracle pill” doesn’t work. Look, I don’t mind being a statistic as long as I am at the right side of it, and being competitive by nature falling into the “failure” percentile pissed me off and was going to have none of it. I will quit smoking and this Goddamn pill will help me even if it kills me! So I have set a deadline to stop. I have bought my last carton of cigarettes last week (yes I do smoke that much) and it should be finished within the next few days. May God have mercy on all the souls who cross my path. When I smoke my last Peter Stuyvesant it will be a sad day. Saying goodbye to a friend of 17 years who have always been there for me will not be easy. Not easy at all…
Yes, my love affair with Peter Stuyvesant, Marlboro and Camel have almost come to an end. They have been there for me when I was stressed, sad, happy, bored and in need for some after action satisfaction. For 17 years their odor have permeated the air in my house, my car, clung to my hair, clothes and hands. After 17 years it is time to bid them adieu. I must admit, I am a little scared as I am not sure what to expect when I put out that last cigarette, but one thing I am certain off is that in 10 years from now I’d be happy I did.
Till next time.