Saturday, December 18, 2010
Keep your savings from going up in smoke...
I started smoking when I was 17 and when I was smoking at the start of 2007 I was up to two packs a day, and at $5.00 per pack (the price back then) it was costing me $3,650.00 per year to smoke, then throw in the Doctor bills from when I would get Bronchitis and I was well over $4,000. Now Cigarettes are up to $6.50 per pack and probably going up again after the New Year, making smoking a very expensive pass time. If you are thinking 2011 is your year to quit the habit here are some options.
Nicotine replacement is a popular over the counter option and will help curb your cravings. These aids include patches, gums and lozenges. Most folks have heard of Nicoderm CQ, the program that helps you quit in stages over time, if you would like to give this method a try they have a very helpful web site that will help you customise a plan that fits your needs. They are also offering a $7.00 coupon as well as a sample patch (which doesn't contain any nicotine) to see how your skin reacts to the adhesive. If you decide you want to give the gum or lozenges a try the Nicorette web site has quit plan and it can be customised just for you, they are also offering a $7.00 coupon for their products. As per the American Heart Association; "Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has been shown to be safe and effective in helping people stop using cigarettes when used as part of a comprehensive smoking cessation program" Be sure to check out programs that are in your area, you can check with your health care provider or contact the American Heart Association for more information.
If you have tried the nicotine replacement in the past with limited or no success then you can ask your Doctor about a prescription. Its important to talk to your Doctor to see which type of medicine will work for you, the drugs in the Bupropion class are a form of an anti depressant and include both Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL as well as Zyban. Wellbutrin now comes in generic form so you can find it at a lower cost if this is the product that will work best for you. Wellbutrin and Zyban are both made by GlaxoSmithKline who offer prescription programs that make their medications free or almost free to people that qualify, there are a few different plans on their website. The other popular medication is Chantex which actually blocks the receptors in the brain which in turn makes the cravings stop. (This is the medication I used) It is put out by Pfiser who has a great Chantix web page that will help you understand how it works and create a quite plan for you. They also have a coupon available for $30.00 off.
In Minnesota we have a thing called Quite Plan that is run by the state, its a place where you can talk to a coach over the phone or use the online tools to help you get started and help keep you on your path towards your goal. If your state doesn't offer anything then check out the US web site SmokeFree.gov for information and tools.
I hope you all have a great weekend!