Wrecked by Chantix

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MarcusP

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I decided a few days ago to try Chantix out to quit smoking. Luckily I am totally urinary incontinent, so I always wear diapers. Well, yesterday I had 2 instances of diarrhea, but managed to make it to the toilet. As long as I am within a minute or two of a toilet, I can hold my bowels about 75% of the time. Today I wasn't so lucky. I had 5 instances of diarrhea, and only made it to the toilet once. And the day isn't over yet.

I think I decided that the Chantix isn't worth it for me. Too much hassle, and a fair bit of pain in my bowels too. I read online about it, and this is not an uncommon experience. What worries me is the large number of people experiencing similar situations who say that their condition hasn't improved even up to 3 months after discontinuing.

I am also experiencing severe pain in my teeth, feeling mildly manic, and moderate anxiety. I guess the bright side is I am thankful my bowels arent normally this bad. I truly feel for people who have this all the time. I really pray it goes away and I havent caused permanent damage. Stay away from Chantix! It is a miracle drug for some, but a living hell for many.
 

mikejames

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Just quit cold turkey. It's the only way. I quit a 2+ pack a day habit 7 years ago by going cold turkey. It was the hardest thing I ever did but I'm still not smoking cigarettes 7 years on.
 

ArchtopK

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in today's world with vaping, I would switch immediately to that just to get away from the smoke aspect. I smoked for 5 years and quit when I was 21. I did continue to smoke cigars twice a day, but you really can't inhale a cigar. later graduated to premium smokes just on the weekends. And as later life brought hi blood pressure, I just gave them up too.
Now just really special occasions. I will say though that even 37 years later, I still have very fond memories of cigarettes. Ages 16 - 21 were a lot of good times.
Also probably cause Mom smoked all during my childhood.
 

INCONTAL

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I quit by vaping.You can ween yourself off by steeping down the nicotine as you go.
 

dogboy

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It sounds like you had a high dosage in that patch. Like others, I quit cold turkey. In my case, I had to quit badly enough, and once I knew I wanted to quit, I did. The first two weeks were the hardest. After that, it wasn't bad, and after a couple months, I didn't miss it at all.
 

MarcusP

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I understand that quitting cold turkey is the highest success rate. I have smoked for 20 years, and quit twice for 1-2 years each time. Thank you for the advice. I know I need to stop, and I want to. I might go cold turkey tomorrow. Luckily today the diarrhea was just 2 episodes today, and I attribute the previous days to Chantix. I tried patches half a dozen times, and barely noticed them, even full strength. I also have a top of the line vape pen with 18mg vape, and it just doesnt appeal to me at all. I guess its cold turkey, or a life of enslavement to smoking.
 

Ringer

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All I can tell you is keep trying until you find something that works.
My last cig was 30 years ago 5 min before my heart attack at 39. It almost killed me.
 

MarcusP

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All I can tell you is keep trying until you find something that works.
My last cig was 30 years ago 5 min before my heart attack at 39. It almost killed me.

Wow! Congrats on 30 years. Part of me is afraid of something similar happening if I quit cold turkey. I mean, 20ish years of hard smoking, I cannot just quit at once? I've just heard so many anecdotal stories where long term addictions quit too hastily led to disaster.

As an update, I quit chantix days ago, and my bowels are belatedly returning to normal. My main symptom now is I cannot sleep more than 3 hrs a night now. My BF understands, and I hang out on the couch so he can sleep, and not toss and turn and wake him. So I'm on the couch now, updating, and wishing I was asleep. Bless all you able to sleep now....
 
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Slomo

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While the e-cig companies them selves are asking for guidelines and regulations (mostly to keep out that cheap china crap), I too agree they are much safer than traditional cigarettes.

Sure it may look dumber with those comically large clouds of vapor, but they are safer for the individual smoking them, and certainly for everyone else around them, since there is little to n second or third hand smoke problems & irritants associated with them.
 

mikejames

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I prefer cigars. I quit cigarettes 7 years ago cold turkey and took up cigars last summer. While not "safe" premium handmade cigars are 100% pure, cured and aged tobacco with no added chemicals. You don't inhale them. they're smoke purely for pleasure, not a nicotine fix, and you're enjoying the flavor and aroma of tobacco as it was intended. Cigarettes really ruined tobacco and gave the plant a bad name. While you''re still facing an increased risk of some cancers, it's a fraction of cigarette risk as you don't inhale. And while still potentially addictive since you absorb some nicotine through your oral mucous membranes, it's much less than the amount cigarettes dump into your lungs and then quickly into your bloodstream. Quitting cigarettes was almost impossible for me. I can go days or weeks without a cigar and only smoke them when I can really carve out an hour to sit down and enjoy one.

I'll tell ya, there's few things more enjoyable than sitting on the deck on a nice summer evening smoking a Padron 1926 #1 while sipping a nice single malt scotch.
 

Llayden

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...Cigarettes really ruined tobacco and gave the plant a bad name. While you''re still facing an increased risk of some cancers, it's a fraction of cigarette risk as you don't inhale...

Rates of cancer when comparing cigarette smokers to cigar smokers are the same. The only difference found between them is the type of cancer. Cigarette guys are more prone to throat and lung, cigar people throat and mouth. A single cigar has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes but lacks the filter a cigarette does to reduce tar and nicotine ingestion. There is also a huge difference in the smoke its self. Cigarettes are smoked faster which means a hotter burn. Cigars are smoked much more slowly which is a much cooler burn. That heat difference changes the chemical makeup of the smoke its self, and not in a good way. The slower and cooler the burn the production of things like arsenic and ammonia increase drastically (known carcinogens). All that being said, if you know and understand all the facts of the products and still choose to enjoy any of them, more power to you. I myself enjoy a good cigar every now and then.

I also smoked, dipped, and chewed my way through the military. Strangely enough I would stop for months sometimes without realizing it. I quickly realized that I did those things simply because I was around others that did too. If I were to take a months leave for instance, I wouldn't touch a single tobacco product and have zero desire to do so. The moment I would get back to post and near everyone I would want a smoke immediately. This still happens now, even after two years of being a civilian. I went almost an entire year without smoking. But as soon as I made some fellow vet friends on campus, and followed them to the local smoke shack to continue a conversation, I fell right back into having that desire again. It's damn near a Pavlovian response for me, and much less a chemical addiction.

I don't trust "vape". The simple fact is there have been multiple studies in every aspect of tobacco production and use. All of the physical aspects are known and well documented. There hasn't been any actual scientific research and publication (as far as I know) concerning vaping or possible second hand dangers associated with it. Until there have been such studies (which there won't be for a while, these things take a long time to establish) I would have no interest in using a vaper machine thingy. I distrust them and their safer claims. I want proof and scientific evidence.

OP: However, if you were earnestly trying to end a dependency and the current aides don't seem to work or agree with you, I might consider a different option like vaping. I wouldn't want to try something like cigars, they're too much like cigarettes in function. Whatever you choose, I understand the long hard road that's out there and wish you the best.
 

mikejames

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Rates of cancer when comparing cigarette smokers to cigar smokers are the same.

No, they're absolutely not. I'm not saying cigars are "safe". Any time you smoke tobacco there's a cancer risk, but cigars are not even in the same ballpark as cigarettes.


Even the FDA accidentally admitted in an internal paper that smoking 1-2 cigars a day amounts to a effectively nill increase in cancer risk. And 2 cigars a day is fairly heavy smoking in my opinion. The FDA publicly issues just a blanket statement that "cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes" but their own internal research disputes that.

Here's a link to an article about the internal FDA paper. http://www.rstreet.org/op-ed/fda-study-cancer-risks-nearly-nil-for-1-2-cigars-per-day/, the ultimate conclusion being " data indicates that consumption of up to two cigars per day, while not completely safe, is neither associated with significantly increased risks for death from all causes, nor smoking-related cancers."
 

xpluswearer

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I dont think its propaganda at all. tell that to those who have been burned on the legs and face that it is propaganda. Medical doctors have penned articles on the second hand inhalation of the fumes from the electronic cigarettes or vapes or hookas. Its very very bad as bad as real tobacco smoke ! I can attest my Grandparents all smoked and they all suffered the ill effects from smoking the lung cancer and other cancers from smoking. Just do not do it !
 

mikejames

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I dont think its propaganda at all. tell that to those who have been burned on the legs and face that it is propaganda. Medical doctors have penned articles on the second hand inhalation of the fumes from the electronic cigarettes or vapes or hookas. Its very very bad as bad as real tobacco smoke ! I can attest my Grandparents all smoked and they all suffered the ill effects from smoking the lung cancer and other cancers from smoking. Just do not do it !

If you read the articles, it says the same lithium ion batteries used in cell phones have the same risk. It's just a blatant attempt by health nazis to try to control people's behavior by putting a new boogey man in front of people. Yes, lithium ion batteries can blow up. The chances of it happening to you when vaping, when using the product correctly, are similar to those of being struck by lightning.

What I bolded...yeah um no it's not. Care to cite a peer reviewed medical journal on that? There's NO evidence that propylene glycol is toxic in any way whatsoever. The only danger with vapes is that the "juice" is unregulated and you don't always know what else is contained in it. Avoiding any junk made in China probably alleviates most any risk from this aspect.


And your last sentence...everyone knows smoking is bad for you. I watched my dad die 2 years ago from small cell lung cancer. This was a couple years after he had stage 2 throat cancer which was cured. Both of his cancers were caused by his lifetime of smoking. But if you think vaping carries the same risk as smoked tobacco, you very clearly don't understand any of the science involved. there are a specific class of nicotinic nitrosamines responsible for making tobacco carcinogenic and those are not present in vape, or when present only in trace amounts.
 

Llayden

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No, they're absolutely not. I'm not saying cigars are "safe". Any time you smoke tobacco there's a cancer risk, but cigars are not even in the same ballpark as cigarettes.

Yes, they are.

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cigars-fact-sheet

"Regular cigar smokers and cigarette smokers have similar levels of risk for oral cavity and esophageal cancers. The more you smoke, the greater the risk of disease."

"All cigar and cigarette smokers, whether or not they inhale, directly expose their lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and larynx to smoke and its toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. In addition, when saliva containing the chemicals in tobacco smoke is swallowed, the esophagus is exposed to carcinogens. These exposures probably account for the similar oral and esophageal cancer risks seen among cigar smokers and cigarette smokers."

"During the fermentation process for cigar tobacco, high concentrations of cancer-causing nitrosamines are produced. These compounds are released when a cigar is smoked. Nitrosamines are found at higher levels in cigar smoke than in cigarette smoke."

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/documents/cancersurvivor/files/VICC_cigarQ&A.pdf

"Both cigar and cigarette smokers have similar levels of risk for oral, throat, and esophageal cancers. The health risks associated with occasional cigar smoking (less than daily) are not known. About three-quarters of cigar smokers are occasional smokers."

"Health risks associated with both cigars and cigarettes are strongly linked to the degree of smoke exposure."
 

mikejames

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The problem is, there have been a lot of long term studies on the effects of cigarette smoking and the risks are well documented. There have been very few long term studies on the effects of cigar smoking, so what researches often do is just simply say that cigars are the same as cigarettes. A reasonable assumption considering they're made of the same plant, despite being wildly unscientific. When a solid meta analysis was done, like the FDA study I linked, it very clearly showed that moderate cigar smoking imposed only a very slightly increased risk of cancer compared to non smokers and a significantly lower risk of cancer compared to cigarette smokers. Government propaganda sites like cancer.gov would never acknowledge that as their bias is geared toward fear mongering people away from tobacco.

Your cancer.gov fact sheet claims "Regular cigar smokers and cigarette smokers have similar levels of risk for oral cavity and esophageal cancers. The more you smoke, the greater the risk of disease.", but fails to provide a link to a study that even focused on cigars and isolated cigars from other tobacco. What it links to is just another cancer.gov fact sheet that makes unsubstantiated claims and in fact only says:

We believe an accurate statement is that the
risks of tobacco smoke exposure are similar for all sources of tobacco
smoke, and the magnitude of the risks experienced by cigar smokers
is proportionate to the nature and intensity of their exposure.

"We believe". How very scientific indeed. Compared to the FDA analysis I linked with empirical quantitative data. If they tried to publish that in a peer reviewed journal, they'd get laughed at.


Again, I'm not saying cigars are safe. Bathing your mouth in cigar smoke is obviously risky. But in moderation, the risks of developing cancer are almost nil and demonstrably NOT even close the risks of cigarettes.

Factor in as well, that despite the fact that cigar smoke is unfiltered and may contain more nitrosamines, someone who smokes 1 cigar a day (most cigar smokers don't even smoke daily, let alone 2 a day) is bathing their mouth in smoke for a 45 minute smoke session. Your average cigarette smoker is smoking a pack or more a day, exposing the same tissues to cigarette smoke for many many more minutes per day. If a cigarette takes 10 minutes to smoke, an you smoke a pack a day, that's 200 minutes of smoke exposure to your mouth, throat and lungs. Compared to 45mins to an hour for a cigar smoker. Factor in too, that handmade cigars contain 0 chemical additives. Beyond the nicotine specific nitrosamines inherent in the tobacco itself, the crap cigarettes is dipped in contains doezens more carcinogenic compounds.

Yes, they are.

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cigars-fact-sheet

"Regular cigar smokers and cigarette smokers have similar levels of risk for oral cavity and esophageal cancers. The more you smoke, the greater the risk of disease."

"All cigar and cigarette smokers, whether or not they inhale, directly expose their lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and larynx to smoke and its toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. In addition, when saliva containing the chemicals in tobacco smoke is swallowed, the esophagus is exposed to carcinogens. These exposures probably account for the similar oral and esophageal cancer risks seen among cigar smokers and cigarette smokers."

"During the fermentation process for cigar tobacco, high concentrations of cancer-causing nitrosamines are produced. These compounds are released when a cigar is smoked. Nitrosamines are found at higher levels in cigar smoke than in cigarette smoke."

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/documents/cancersurvivor/files/VICC_cigarQ&A.pdf

"Both cigar and cigarette smokers have similar levels of risk for oral, throat, and esophageal cancers. The health risks associated with occasional cigar smoking (less than daily) are not known. About three-quarters of cigar smokers are occasional smokers."

"Health risks associated with both cigars and cigarettes are strongly linked to the degree of smoke exposure."
 

Llayden

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Let me see if I can clarify what I am trying to express. I don't believe that smoking a cigar is any less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, smoking tobacco is smoking tobacco. However, the dangers associated with any form of tobacco use increase with frequency of consumption, rate of consumption, and quality (additives vs. pure). Under those circumstances you are absolutely correct; people who smoke cigarettes do tend to smoke much more than someone who smokes even 1-2 cigars per day (which is a lot as we know). But, that doesn't mean they are in anyway safer, you are only mitigating the health risk by reducing your exposure.

To me it's the same as someone trying to lose weight through dieting. They abstain from bad meals but allow themselves a "cheat" meal every week or so. That cheat meal regardless of how much they've dieted prior is still a high calorie, high volume, unhealthy meal. The size or frequency of consumption doesn't change the calorie value of the meal. The risk associated with smoking tobacco is the same regardless of what form of tobacco you smoke when you are smoking it. There is, as you've pointed out, other risks associated when additives are used in the tobacco.

https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/Brp/tcrb/monographs/9/m9_1.pdf

This journal was very interesting. There is a pretty decent chart that compares pipe, cigar, cigarette, ex-cigarette, secondary and primary smokers.

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/5/802.full

I hope this can make my thought process a bit more clear. I'd hate for this to sound as if I'm trying to in anyway argue (written medium is hard to express actual intonation). I am simply enjoying this discussion with someone else who is very well informed.
 

mikejames

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Let me see if I can clarify what I am trying to express. I don't believe that smoking a cigar is any less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, smoking tobacco is smoking tobacco.
this is what we don't agree on. I think, and have read compelling evidence to support it that cigars, while not safe, are safer than cigarettes. The reason for that, IMO is a combination of the fact that
there are no chemical additive to cigars (real cigars, not convenience store cigars) and the fact that the smoke is not inhaled.


I agree on the rest. I think someone who smokes 15 big ass cigars a week is more likely to get oral cancer than someone who smokes 1 a day or even less at 3-4 per week. But I maintain that ounce for ounce of tobacco smoked, pure unadulterated natural cigar tobacco is less dangerous than cigarette tobacco.

However, the dangers associated with any form of tobacco use increase with frequency of consumption, rate of consumption, and quality (additives vs. pure). Under those circumstances you are absolutely correct; people who smoke cigarettes do tend to smoke much more than someone who smokes even 1-2 cigars per day (which is a lot as we know). But, that doesn't mean they are in anyway safer, you are only mitigating the health risk by reducing your exposure.
I mostly agree. The type of tobacco matters though.

To me it's the same as someone trying to lose weight through dieting. They abstain from bad meals but allow themselves a "cheat" meal every week or so. That cheat meal regardless of how much they've dieted prior is still a high calorie, high volume, unhealthy meal. The size or frequency of consumption doesn't change the calorie value of the meal. The risk associated with smoking tobacco is the same regardless of what form of tobacco you smoke when you are smoking it. There is, as you've pointed out, other risks associated when additives are used in the tobacco.

https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/Brp/tcrb/monographs/9/m9_1.pdf

This journal was very interesting. There is a pretty decent chart that compares pipe, cigar, cigarette, ex-cigarette, secondary and primary smokers.

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/5/802.full

I hope this can make my thought process a bit more clear. I'd hate for this to sound as if I'm trying to in anyway argue (written medium is hard to express actual intonation). I am simply enjoying this discussion with someone else who is very well informed.

Not arguing...fun discussion. I think we mostly disagree on semantics but I do insist that natural cigar tobacco is "safer" ounce for ounce compared to cigarette tobacco which has hundred of chemical additives. But yes, a big part of the "cigars are safer" argument does have to do with the lower volume typically smoked.
 
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