Thursday, 9 February 2017

My stop-smoking journey // Champix

I've never talked about smoking on my blog before; it didn't seem relevant, and although I wasn't hiding it as such it was never something I wanted to promote. But now - now I'm a few days smoke-free and I want to talk about how I got here, and how the "journey" is going for me.

Smoking was a coping mechanism for me, something that started because my depression was debilitating and it offered an escape that didn't seem immediately harmful. I always knew how bad it was for me - I'm not stupid, and I hated the smell on my clothes and I knew it would make me ill in the long run. I knew my parents were angry and upset, and I didn't dare to think about how disappointed my grandad would be if he knew.

I'm not one for new years resolutions, I've said that before, but I knew 2017 was gonna be the year I kicked smoking - or I'd never do it. At first I tried those chewing gums you can buy off the shelf, and they tasted like poison, far worse than any cigarette I've ever smoked. So I booked an appointment at the smoking cessation clinic at my local GP surgery, and nervously went along.

The woman who runs it was lovely; she asked me questions about how much I smoke, how long I've smoked for, when I smoke the most and why I wanted to give up. She talked me through the different options and in the end, we decided Champix would be the best for me. So what is it? It's a course of medication: you start off on one 0.5mg tablet a day for a few days, then two 0.5mg tablets a day for a while longer, then two 1mg tablets for 11 weeks. It interferes with the receptors that are affected by nicotine, mimicking the effects, so that you don't crave cigarettes and also don't get withdrawal.

Have they worked for me? Unequivocally YES. I've been on them for around 10/11 days at the time of writing this, so I'm currently on two 1mg tablets per day and it's been around 48 hours since my last smoke - and I feel fine. I don't want one, I'm not wondering when my next chance to go and stand in the freezing cold and smoke will be. I'm proud and I don't smell and I'm warm.

I won't lie - there have been side effects. On around my third day, still on just 0.5mg per day, I experienced my first migraine (headaches are on the list) and I literally thought I was going to die. I was in bed, shivering and sobbing, crying for my mum, unable to lift my head up or open my eyes properly. The headache lasted into the next day, when it finally subsided, and thankfully I've only had mild headaches since. Another side effect is increased wind, which (you can ask Sam) has affected me *insert rolling eyes emoji*. Another is nausea, which I've had a bit of, but as long as I make sure I'm eating regularly through the day then I'm golden.

And it's worth it. I've quit smoking, although it's early days, and I'm so proud of myself. I would definitely recommend Champix if you're wanting (and struggling) to quit smoking - here's to a healthy future! Update: it's now been around 2 weeks since my last cigarette and I am feelin' gooooood.


  1. Absolutely amazing Katy. Xxx

  2. Well done! You should be super proud! I smoke and keep saying I'll cut down and quit, then I drink or get stressed and smoke loads again. It's so bad :( I might try what you've suggested, I had no idea there was medication to help! Thank you so much for sharing this, it could really help others <3

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