Ok, I've been done with smoking this time around for a bit over 4 months now. I tried a week cold turkey like I did last time I quit but I became very mean and obnoxious so I decided to go with the nicotine gum to ease the transition.
I did some research (ok, I really had Amanda do it since she loves Googling things) and found that an average cigarette delivers 1mg of nicotine when smoked. The 4mg gum delivers the same amount due to loss from a less effective delivery system. The kicker here? With a cigarette you get that 1mg in about 4-5 minutes. With the gum you get it in 30 minutes. A big discrepancy, if you know what I mean. That would be like stretching your Big Mac meal over 6-7 days instead of eating it during one lunch hour.
Anyway... the gum has been doing well for the most part. The cravings are still a real bitch at times but I can pop a piece of gum and feel a bit better. After four months of the 4mg gum I've stepped down to the 2mg gum. BIG difference! I still chew the same number of pieces in a day, but I can feel the edginess in my mood. I'm quicker with the smart-ass responses to things that normally wouldn't even cross my mental radar, and I'm less tolerant of things that would normally not bother me in any way. But I know that it's the lessening of the nicotine levels doing this, so I try to keep a lid on it until my system settles into the 2mg routine.
I'm guessing that I'll do this for about 2 months, then go a month with alternating regular gum with the 2mg pieces and then eventually move over to only regular gum. I should be able to wean myself from the nicotine without alienating everyone around me if I do it this way:)
And I don't know if this counts as a relapse, but last night I dreamed that I smoked TWO cigarettes. I could FEEL it as I inhaled and exhaled. I could FEEL the rush as the nicotine entered almost directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. Unfortunately, or may not so unfortunately, the brand I smoked in my dream was Salem. My last round with smoking was with Marlboro Lights- I haven't smoked a menthol cigarette in probably 25 years. So it wasn't as good as it could have been. But it was a cigarette, dammit!
Just a note for any of you out there that have quit and may be considering picking up the habit again: The second time quitting is exponentially more difficult and miserable than the first. Just leave it alone, it really isn't all that.
1 year ago