Citation: Anonymous. "25 Years of Addiction: An Experience with Tobacco - Cigarettes (exp38879)". Erowid.org. Jun 18, 2006. erowid.org/exp/38879
I have started to smoke cigarettes when I was 13 (it was during the late 70s, I'm now 40). I then stopped for a few months, but one year later , I started to smoke more, but without inhaling the smoke. At this time the 'drug psychosis' started to spread through society (which has only grown stronger since). Good-willing adults 'informed' me about the dangers of marijuana and heroin as well as about the fact that incense could be used as a drug.
I started to smoke incense by mixing it with tobacco. That's how I learned to inhale the smoke, directly without holding it in my mouth. It was giving me a mild buzz. I soon realized that tobacco alone was nearly as much effective, but was easier to smoke. I was 15 when I had a very boring summer, during which I discovered how to inhale the smoke without hurting my throat, by pumping it into my moth before breathing. I had the nicotine buzz with every cigarette then, and quickly stopped to feel it, while tolerance quickly built up. I was smoking between 10 and 15 cigs a day. I also inhaled some volatile solvents when 15. Very stupid.
When I was 16 , I was smoking around a pack a day, and was aware that it was not safe (but I didnít care at all). I continued until I was 22 and was legally forced to stay one year in the army. Reality became depressing and boring. At the end of my service time, I was smoking more than 30 cigs/day. Every time I experienced heavy circumstances or had a boring job, my answer was to increase my nicotine consumption.
I have started to smoke pot when I was 18, I quickly fell in love. It first helped to reduce my tobacco consumption. But things seemed to change as I was smoking always more tobacco, and finally pot and cigarettes seemed to work together in order to make me smoke more.
From a boring job to another one, I ended smoking 3 packs a day around year 2000. It was a total addiction with side effects (I wasnít aware of all at the time). It was simply not possible even to think about quitting.
Finally, tobacco became outrageously expensive and I was suffering more and more side effects. I was also smoking a lot of pot and tobacco helped me to keep memories of what happened. It heightened my short term memory, which worked bad because of my long term pot abuse.
When I was very stoned on pot, I was smoking more. When I was drinking alcohol, it was making me smoke more and more. Trying a new drug was making me smoke more too. It was a one-way road. My answer to everything was to smoke more.
In 2003, there was a very violent event (verbally, and physically, but without anyone being hurt) involving several members of my family. Some accounts were solved. I experienced a massive adrenaline high for 3 days, mixed with sleep deprivation. I smoked 5 packs (100 cigs !) or nearly on the next day. My throat was burnt. I was so stoned on adrenaline (and nicotine, no pot) that It seemed possible to stop tobacco, which I was hating for itself and as a symbol of addiction.
I got a prescription for nicotine coated patches. The doctor wanted me to start slowly with chewing nicotine gums while trying to smoke less.
I refused and asked for patches, because I knew that I'll certainly OD, chewing too much gum while still smoking a lot of cigarettes. Those guys donít know a lot about the way desire for toxic substances actually works.
I started on next day morning : no 'last cig' , directly sticking the patch. To drink coffee or not ? I have drunk one and another one and another one . I wasnít feeling any effect. I wasnít awake. It was 'easy' not to smoke. But things werenít right. There's was a real fight with a skilled enemy ! Nicotine tries everything to make me smoke again ! Frontal assault of need, temporary amnesia of the fact that I stopped, silly idea that it's possible to continue smoking a little while regarding to have stopped and so on.
It was hard, but I found something which worked: mentally give up to the need , but without physically moving. I said : 'ok, I'll smoke' but without actually lighting a cig. 2 minutes later the need was gone. Anyway, need attacks brutally, but lasts only 2 minutes . Passivity is my ally. Pot helped a lot too. It was a bit hard (but not unbearable, it's not heroin or something like that) for 10/ 15 days; then things calmed down a little.
After a month, I asked my doctor for a weaker dosage, but he said that it was better for me to continue using the 21 mg patches for one more month. I followed his advice but he was wrong. At the end of the 2nd month, things seemed to normalize, my coffee and pot consumptions had slowed down a bit.
So I started to use 14 mg / day patches. I wasnít prepared for that : the whole stuff started on again ! The need of a cigarette at any moment, the increase of pot, alcohol and coffee consumption and so on ! I'm 100% sure that it would have been easier to stand this a month earlier. I wasnít in a fighting state of mind anymore and I nearly gave up. The hard time lasted 5 or 7 days only, fortunately. I have used the 14 mg dose for 2 months , and then passed to the lowest patch format available 7mg/ day. This time, the symptoms didnít come back.
I used the 7 mg patches for 1 month and a half , and then gradually forgot to put a new one, for a day, then 2 , then 3 and then definitively...
During this period, I first about salvia divinorum and ordered some. I found it very interesting, but the first times I smoked some (no full blown trips) the need of nicotine showed its ugly nose! This effect faded away within the 3 or 4 first times. Later I had a very strong trip using the quid + smoke method and as soon the strongest effects wore off I felt the most massive need for nicotine I have ever felt. But It didnít happen again.
In fact, every time I experience a new drug , nicotine tries to get on the train. It even has become a way for me to evaluate if the effect of a new drug is a placebo one (no need for tobacco) or not (tobacco wants to ride the train too). But all this is now very light and not disturbing. It happens only the first time.
I smoke 2 or 3 cigarettes of lobelia every week and I'm very happy as well with the taste than with the effect, which reminds me tobacco, but in a more nice way , without giving me the need of some. I also chew a nicotine gum, taken in many small amounts every week. No more than 2 or 3 mg. It gives me a nice buzz, but is less interesting as time passes and addiction fades away in the past. It's a recreational use which has nothing to do with addiction.
Doctors say that I managed all this very well and that a lot of people have more troubles to stop than me. I donít tell them that pot was a great help and that I consume other drugs. While stopping to smoke tobacco, I smoked more pot, tried a bunch of new drugs, temporary increased my coffee and alcohol consumptions, got hypnotized by my computer screen, fell in love, and so on.
I'm happy to have stopped. I got a better nose, a better taste, I'm sleeping better , I can drink more alcohol without having sleep troubles, sex works better too (even if I thought it was working fine).The only negative side effect is my short term memory which pot has greatly injured and that tobacco helped to work. I started to grow fat, because nicotine burns the fat and also because I was more hungry. But my weight has started to decrease, as my body adapts to its new chemistry. The side effects of quitting decrease as time passes, but it' a slow process. I guess thatís why a lot of people have so much trouble to stop smoking.
Tobacco is shit. Industrially produced cigarettes are full of toxic compounds and are highly addictive. Those guys who give advices about how to quit smoking, most of them are simply jokers and donít know what they're talking about. In my opinion the patch is the only way a substitute for smoking can work. Nicotine gums and candies and inhalers are all working like cigarettes, with a nicotine peak. The patch is the only way to have enough nicotine in the blood to cut a large part of the need without getting a high.
I rarely take prescription drugs and have never taken any long term medication.
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