I quit smoking…again. Also? Aetna is the best insurance ever.

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I’ve been smoke-free for 8 days. 192 hours. 11520 minutes. a million nano-seconds.

It seems like a long time. It’s felt like a long time.

Honestly, I haven’t felt much withdrawal until yesterday. I guess it hit me that my smoking husband was coming home, I was going to be around smokers all weekend…I’m a little scared.

I smell it. I see it.

I can taste it when I kiss my husband. His clothes reek of it.

When he quits with me, I feel invincible. He usually tries to quit with me, but he will never agree to use any help. No gum, patch, lozenge, smoking cessation medication, nothing. As most people know, it’s nearly impossible to quit smoking cold turkey and KEEP off the cigarettes. I quit cold turkey in 2010 and I lasted about 5 months. I gained 20 pounds. Not fun.

The first time I went out drinking with my smoking friends, I was back to smoking almost a pack a day before the weekend was over. My husband had quit as well, and I believe he was doing pretty good, with only the occasional slip-up, and he started again too.

With my husband now traveling for work, I have plenty of time where I am not around any smokers. I tend to stay home a lot when I first quit smoking, because I know what my triggers are, and I work hard to avoid them. This weekend, not only is my husband coming home, but we are spending the weekend out of town with friends…and some of them smoke. Between my husband and those friends, I am sure it will be a little tough for me to be strong.

But I’m determined.

And I stocked up on chewing gum.

People always ask me how I quit smoking so easily, with little to no withdrawal symptoms. I owe it all to Bupropion. It is the only thing that really works for me. Bupropion is a prescription drug marketed under the name Wellbutrin – you’ve probably heard of it being prescribed as an anti-depressant.

No, I am not depressed…

In 1999, I decided that I wanted to quit smoking (I had been smoking off and on for about 5 years at that point) and went to my doctor for help. He told me about a drug called Zyban, which he said was almost foolproof in helping people quit. He explained to me that studies surrounding a popular anti-depressant had shown that many people actually quit smoking while using that drug. They began remarketing it under the brand name Zyban, and the rest was history. Now, I didn’t have a computer back then (I was too young and broke to afford a $600 desktop, which is about what they cost back then) so I actually had to sit down and read the entire drug information pamphlet before deciding if I wanted to go on the drug. I was only 20, and had never been on any type of prescription, so I was nervous.

From what I gathered, something in the Bupropion just made smokers less interested in smoking. They weren’t sure if it was an increase in willpower, or something that the drug did to make cigarettes less satisfying, but it worked.

And it worked for me. I’ve actually used Zyban/Wellbutrin/generic Bupropion 7 or 8 times in the last 12 years. I start out with one small dose pill a day for three days, then begin taking two pills a day on the fourth day. Sometimes I am able to quit within the first 5 days. Sometimes it takes me two weeks. This time, it took me 6 days.

Within the first 48 hours, my cigarettes TASTE different. They leave a nasty taste in my mouth (worse than the one they already leave) and they are less satisfying. By the end of the first week, I am already smoking less because I just don’t enjoy them as much, as I am not as antsy when I go long periods of time without smoking.

The longest I’ve ever stayed on Bupropion is one month. You are supposed to stay on it for three months, but I have never been able to afford it in the past, because it’s extremely expensive!

How expensive? $256 a bottle without insurance. Which I used to have to pay. While working at my previous employer, my insurance did cover part of it, and I paid $75 for a 30 day prescription. Still pretty pricey. Because it was so expensive, I have never used it for longer than one month. Doctors have always told me that the longer I stay on the prescription, the better chance I have of not starting back…

When I went to fill my prescription two weeks ago, I was SHOCKED to find that my husband’s new insurance…pays the entire cost, less my co-pay. It costed me $10.  I didn’t even need to worry about credit card payment processing in order to be able to afford it!

I asked the clerk at the pharmacy, “Are you sure? It used to cost me $75 and that was with Aetna too.” But she assured me that this was the price for my insurance plan.

Did I mention yet how much I love my husband’s new company? LOVE LOVE LOVE

So, this time, I plan to continue treatment for three full months. And I am working on convincing my husband to go to a doctor to find out if this medication would be good for him as well.

Wish me luck!

Do you have any tips for me to help me stay smoke free? How have you quit smoking? I’d appreciate any advice you can offer – or words of encouragement!

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  1. says

    I quit cold turkey. Twice.

    The first time I quit I was 18 and it was my ex-fiance (about a year and a half before getting preggers with DS1) because he would get MAD if I smoked (it was an abusive relationship).

    The second time, I picked my pack a day habit back up in the summer of 2008 and quit cold turkey in Jan 09 because I found out I was pregnant lol.

    I still struggle, especially when PMSing, or oddly enough during NICE weather… but my oldest son (when he found out I smoked) can lay on a thick guilt trip like no one else.

  2. says

    You can do it! It makes it so hard when your spouse doesn’t quit too though. You really need to be able to support one another and him coming home smelling like smoke won’t help at all. I’ve been there and done that. Thankfully, my husband put them down about a week after I did and we’ve been quit for 8 months now.

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