Saturday, December 18, 2010

Keep your savings from going up in smoke...

Let me preface this with the fact that I used to smoke, and I know its not easy to quit.  I lowered the amount I smoked every day to about 5 cigarettes, but just couldn't seem to quit. I needed a prescription to help me finish what I started.  But in the long run it has worked great for me, I haven't had a cigarette since December 25th 2007, it was my subconscious Christmas gift to myself.  I didn't pick a quit date like they tell you to because that would have just set me up to fail; if I smoked on my quit date I would have just said "oh bummer I blew it" and I would still be smoking today.  Instead, I just got busy and involved in the day and before I knew it it was time for bed and I hadn't smoked all day, and finding out it didn't cause me to have a seizure, pass out, or even break a sweat?   Well that revolution has kept me from going back, OK, that and the money, which is why I am writing this blog. 

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 for information and tools.

I hope you all have a great weekend!



  1. I'm tweeting this! I'm sure someone will find it helpful! I'm glad you were able to quit! It's such a dirty habit and getting expensive! Props to you!!

    Very informative post!

  2. Thanks so much for the re-tweet! I sure didn't want to sound like I was on my "I don't smoke so neither should you" high horse. It really dosen't bother me when folks smoke around me, its just so gosh darn expensive now days, I think they were like $1.50 when I started. uggg!

  3. I soooooo admire you! I am a smoker who is constantly saying I will quit....I smoke about 10 a day...I have smoked for waaaay too many years. Kudos to you and thank you for sharing this! xoxo


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