Today is a milestone I never thought I would reach. It has been three months since I quit smoking. There were times previously when I wouldn't go three minutes between smoking, lighting one off another.
I have said before, I was not one of those candy ass smokers who bemoaned their addiction. I reveled in it. I loved smoking. I loved the rush, I loved the smell, I loved the taste, I loved the feel. I had no intentions of quitting. Ever. I knew the risks I was taking and I was prepared to take them as payment for the enjoyment I received.
The only reason I finally quit was cost. Cigarettes had just come too expensive here in Canada, over $9.00 a package, and I finally grew tired of the expense which was over $500 a month. I just couldn't justify that any longer no matter how much enjoyment I received.
So, it was off to the doctor for a prescription for Champix and the attempt to quit. It was, with the use of Champix, the easiest thing I have ever done. That drug should be given away free to anyone who wishes to quit because if you cannot quit smoking with Champix it is because you simply do not wish to quit.
In the three months since I have quit I have lost 37 pounds and walked over 1500 kilometers. I am healthier than I have been in 20 years. (Yesterday I spent eight hours with a chainsaw on a woodpile, a feat that would have killed me if I was still smoking.) I took up walking to help me with the craving for cigarettes and it has become something I have come too enjoy more than smoking and which I look forward to each day. I love the smells and sights I encounter whether walking the River Front Trail or hiking through the woods.
I will blog about it before summer is over but I can say with all certainty that this has been the best summer I have had since I was in my late teens.
Do I ever miss smoking? Hell, yea. I miss a smoke in the morning and after dinner at night. I miss a smoke sitting outside with a cup of coffee. If I pass someone on the street who has just lit up and the smell hits me, I want one. I just haven't wanted one badly enough to have one and I doubt I ever do. I suspect I will miss smoking the rest of my life but I have found things to replace it that seem to be so much better and which pay me instead of me having to pay.
I am no prima donna here. Like friend Scott, who quit 18 months ago when he had a heart attack, if I was ever told I had a fatal illness, I would probably return to smoking immediately! Why not?
I am also not a "reformed smoker." I don't care if other people smoke and I don't care where they do it. I simply say to anyone who wishes to quit and who has never been able to do so, see your doctor and get a prescription for Champix (Chantix in the United States). It makes short work of quitting.
(Originally posted to Multiply August 20, 2008)