If you have ever tried to quit smoking cigarettes, you know the task is almost unbearable. It feels like you are going insane. Your skin feels weird, your heart races, your temper is out of control, and all that is only day 1. Truly quitting takes time, effort, and some help. Why? Nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco is more addictive than heroin.
The struggle is real
I was a smoker for almost half my life, and tried to quit several times. Sometimes I would make it a few months, sometimes only a few days. I had to leave extra money at home, so I wouldn’t be tempted to grab a pack. Even today, the smell of a cigarette can call to me like a fresh baked pie on a windowsill. I still find myself occasionally standing uncomfortably close to strangers who are lighting up, always downwind.
The crazy ways we try to quit
Friends of mine that have tried to quit have gone to pretty great lengths. Some used acupuncture or hypnosis. Another put a rubber band on her wrist and snapped it violently every time she wanted a smoke. Let’s just say there were a lot of nasty looking welts.
I went to some serious lengths myself. I tried Zyban, but the prescription had a “rare” side effect that I won the lottery on, unbearable itching. After one night sleeping in the bathtub covered in Calamine lotion and red as a lobster, I knew the pill was a joke.
I tried the patch but quickly found out what nicotine overdose feels like when I forgot to take it off before a jog. Thank goodness medics were nearby. The gum actually made me want to smoke more, and when I went back to cigarettes, I was up by half a pack a day. My tolerance had increased.
Cannabis and quitting smoking
Aside from boot camp, my most successful attempts to quit smoking had the help of a great friend, Mary Jane. It gave me that relaxing euphoria that no cigarette could match. I never felt the overwhelming urge to light up if I could puff on herb instead. Stress melted away. However, cannabis wasn’t always an option.
I certainly couldn’t partake in the service. Nor could I use for many of my previous careers. Those times were the hardest. I inevitably began to smoke like a chimney again. If you can use cannabis to quit, more power to you. IT works.
This post was originally published at this location