I would like to state before you read further, that I discuss e-cigarettes in this post, as a potential aid to quitting smoking. I want to be very clear that there is little to no evidence supporting the safety or efficacy of e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool. While it is reasonable to assume that these are safer than smoking (they are basically nicotine vaporizers), it should not be assumed that they are safe. I look at it as a harm reduction technique for quitting smoking, not as a safe alternative to regular cigarettes.
I have tried several times over the years, yet the best I've managed is a couple months. And even then, I broke down five or six times and had a smoke. I just don't have the luxury of putting it off any longer - the price has gone way beyond my ability to afford it, my body needs me to quit and my children need me to quit.
Before the first (when the federal tax went into affect) I stocked up on about a months supply of tobacco and decided that when that was gone, I am quitting. One of the reasons I discussed the medications I am currently taking, was that the Clonidine and Welbutrin, aside from being found effective for both bipolar and ADHD, are also useful for quitting smoking. Welbutrin is good for smoking specifically, while Clonidine is good for treating the symptoms of withdrawal from heroin, (possibly) alcohol and tobacco. But with all of that, I am still rather nervous about quitting.
My smoking addiction is far more than just nicotine craving, more even than habit. There are some fairly deep seated issues involved with my smoking that have made it extremely difficult for me to even consider quitting. And honestly, I really love smoking - in much the same way that some people love fine beers, great whiskey or excellent coffees (all of which I am fond of). Combined, this just makes it very hard for me to quit - yet quit I must.
So I am arming myself with tools that I am hopeful will make it easier for me to quit and quit successfully. Now I already mentioned the meds, which are not really for quitting smoking, but the smoking cessation properties of which I definitely considered when I discussed them with my doctor. I am also discussing smoking and why I smoke with my therapist. Finally, I just ordered something that I am very hopeful will get me the rest of the way. Already vetted by a couple of people at school and a few folks I am in email contact with, I bought at E-cigarette.
The E-cigarette, is basically a nicotine vaporizer that is shaped like and hits like a regular cigarette. It even tastes a lot like a cigarette, though according to the four people I have discussed it with, it definitely isn't exactly the same. And it does come in several flavors, though I am not the least interested in trying any but the tobacco flavor - at least for now.
I bought one of the cheapest models, found here. This same model is available with only five cartridges, for about eight dollars less or can be bought with even more cartridges - the cartridges of course becoming cheaper the more you buy. I also bought a bottle of the liquid that goes into the cartridges, to see how well that would work out and to get some variety within the tobacco flavors. I am really looking forward to trying this out, as all four of the people I know who've gotten one are really pleased with it and have been very rapidly weening off of actual cigarettes. One of them switched entirely from actual cigarettes, as soon as he got it and while he occasionally wants a real one, seems to be managing well enough.
I am also looking forward to utilizing this product as a step-down method for quitting nicotine as well. The cartridges and liquid comes in different strengths, including nicotine free. As well, they advertise an herbal formula that purports to help reduce the nicotine craving.
I will definitely be writing about slowing down and quitting smoking, as I make progress. I will also be writing about the E-cigarette specifically, as I am hoping that it will be as effective for me, as it seems to be for the folks I know who already have one. Regardless of how it works for me, by many accounts (there are forums) this seems to be a very effective tool for a great many people.
I would note however, that there is little to no evidence as to the safety or efficacy of E-Cigs. On the other hand, they vaporize a mixture of nicotine, glycerin and flavoring, rather than burning actual tobacco, which alone is rife with chemicals and to which more chemicals are often added.
I will also email some of the medi-bloggers I know and see if I can get them to weigh in on the e-cigs.