Smokes, let’s go.

So, my quit cold-turkey smoking endeavor only lasted two days. As always, the disappointment I felt at myself was overruled by the delicious return of nicotine to my brain.

I like smoking. I love the buzz, the way my mind feels after the first drag of the day. I like being able to take a break every now and then to have one. The retarded thrill of rebellion as a female who smokes.
I also hate smoking. The way it smells on my clothes and my breath. The ashes and smell in my new car. I hate the very faint pain in my chest that happens when I smoke more than normal. I hate being looked down on by others. I hate being dependent on something.

I’ve been smoking almost three years now. My husband hates it. He’s of the typical mindset that looks down on anyone who has an addiction, like it’s a moral failure and they’re just not trying hard enough. Considering how hard he finds it to lose weight, being well over 300 pounds, it’s ironic how I am the “bigger” person for not being the same way towards him and his food addiction. I am supportive of him. He is not supportive of me. He thinks being a hardcase is the way to do it. Just quit doing it. Ha.

I’m not a heavy smoker. At highest use, I would maybe go through seven cigarettes in a day. This is probably due to the fact I smoked quality natural cigarettes, not cheap additive-laden ones. Yes, quality of cigarette does matter. It’s easy to go through a pack a day when your cigarettes are barely packed with the cheapest tobacco, with additives to make up for the lack of content. You need to smoke more for the same effect.

High quality or not, I am physically and mentally dependent on cigarettes. I become irritable and mean very fast when I don’t smoke. I can’t make it through my day without a few puffs. It’s stupid. And I feel humiliated by my inability to quit. I’ve tried to quit many times. “This is the last pack, I won’t buy another one,” I’ll tell myself. Only to be picking up another one hours after I finish it, having performed the mental gymnastics to justify buying another. NRTs (nicotine replacement therapy) don’t work. I’ve tried gum and e-cigarettes/vapes. They are.. lacking. “Just use your vape!” My husband cajoles me. He makes frustrated noises when I tell him they are not satisfactory in the least.

Today I found something that relieves me a bit about my repeated failures to quit smoking and use NRTs. There is another factor in my failure to quit smoking besides physical addiction – I’m using it to manage my depression. It’s why I am a miserable ball of irritation and explosive anger when I try to quit smoking.

And there’s a reason why NRTs don’t work for me. They have always seemed to lack something crucial, and they do. The part that suppresses my mood disorders. Tobacco itself, not the nicotine, provides MAO inhibition.

“However, a growing consensus among researchers of smoking cessation have found nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products to have limited effectiveness because tobacco users may be seeking the combination of MAO inhibitors (which are found in tobacco) and nicotine, or that NRT products do not delivery sufficient quantities of nicotine. MAO inhibitors in tobacco act to amplify the rewarding effects of nicotine, but may also act as a form of self-medication for people with depression. This could explain the association between mental illness and smoking, the minimal efficacy of NRT, and the findings of studies that smokers will choose a denicotinized cigarette over a dose of nicotine. These denicotinized cigarettes can also reduce subjective measures of craving in abstinent smokers.” (See below for source.)

I’m happy to find this out. There is a reason why NRTs don’t work for me.

So what am I going to do, smoke forever? Nope. There is a tobacco product that provides nicotine and MAO inhibition, that is far, far less harmful than cigarettes. Swedish snus. Tiny little teabag-type portions of tobacco. It is steam pasterized, not fire cured, which means greatly reduced concentrations of carcinogens. There is no smoke to inhale.

It’s not perfect, but it is WAY better for you than cigarettes. I have tried cold turkey dozens of times. I have tried NRTs. The only thing left for me to try is tobacco harm reduction, until I can find it in me to completely quit.

Same buzz, much less of a cost. I think this will actually work.

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