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I make things on the web, mobile and in the actual world.

I've done lots of bits and bobs over the years, and right now I'm mostly working on this.

I enjoy speaking about things I like, most recently this. You can email me if you'd like, and I'm on twitter.

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Champix - Day one

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So I decided to quit smoking, but this time (I tried to quit when I hit
30), I decided I could use some assistance.

Champix 'reduces cravings for and decreases the pleasurable effects of
cigarettes'. See, I like that idea. I very much like the idea that the
physical cravings can be reduced because believe me when I say that
those cravings can feel like a black hole opened in your belly as you
watch your hand move to the cigarette pack as if of it's own volition.
However, Champix has some seriously 21st century potential side effects:

"In November 2007, the FDA announced it had received post-marketing
reports that patients using Chantix for smoking cessation had
experienced several serious symptoms, including suicidal ideation
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicidal_ideation> and occasional suicidal
behavior
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide#Suicidal_gestures_and_attempts>,
erratic behavior, and drowsiness. On February 1, 2008 the FDA issued an
Alert to further clarify its findings, noting that "it appears
increasingly likely that there is an association between Chantix and
serious neuropsychiatric symptoms."

Wow. What a crazy drug. "Suicidal ideation"? I find myself rather
worried now that the prescribing doctor had no idea that the drug had
been linked not only to suicide, but also extreme aggression:

"...in the fourth quarter of 2007 varenicline accounted for more reports
of serious side effects than any other drug. Suicidal acts and ideation,
psychosis, and hostility or aggression, including homicidal ideation,
were the most prominent psychiatric side effects."

HULK NEED CIGARETTES, HULK SMASH! Seriously though, let me know if I
start going weird(er). These side effects must affect less than 1 person
in 1,000 however, otherwise legally they'd have to include them in the
side effects section in the packaging, which they're not.

FDA warning: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/varenicline/default.htm
4th Nov 2008, 09:15  

billion says:

seriously man, not wanting to make a joke out of your plight but erratic behaviour, drowsiness and "occasional suicidal behaviour" is pretty much the norm whenever I try to give up cigs.

yesterday I tried not to smoke until the evening - in the middle of the day I could barely focus my eyes or hear what people were saying because I couldn't stop thinking how much I needed a smoke. withdrawal is a real bitch, huh?

4th Nov 2008, 10:06

Alfie says:

I must admit that's kinda what I was thinking, it's gonna be bad whatever you do. Makes you realise you're addicted to something really powerful, with it's hooks in so deep.

4th Nov 2008, 10:10

billion says:

all the more reason to give up I guess, or at least regain control. good luck.

4th Nov 2008, 10:17

Fingers crossed for you Alfie - make sure you have plenty of people around you and I'm sure you'll be fine, I'm sending you positive quitting vibes!

4th Nov 2008, 10:31

Judo-Jule says:

Don't you dare to get all weird!

4th Nov 2008, 11:13

javaboy says:

Another weird stopping smoking aid is http://www.mastersoftmobilesolutions.com/lastcigarette_ppc.php
Bit cheesy but does help as you see the days go by. You don't need to believe the psuedo-stats but there aint nothing wrong with a placebo if it works!! Also a shed load of lozenges and gum helped as well.

4th Nov 2008, 13:06

Alfie says:

Yeah im thinking that the gum is really going to be useful as I get to the Champix no smoking date, im gradually cutting down until the 18th which is my go-live no smoking cutoff, at which point I think Ill be using teh gum and lozenges.

4th Nov 2008, 13:09

kikuchan says:

Yea, I'm not gonna invite you round for a while :-)

4th Nov 2008, 14:43

OJ says:

Good luck Alfie. The potential side-effects do look scary, but then they always do.

But if I can give up, you can. Definitely.

I do heartily recommend the gum/lozenges to help you past the habitual addiction stage, but you do remain hooked on the nicotine if you go that way. I had to embarassingly wean myself off nicotine gum. The shame...

Also, I do recommend serious exercise whilst you're trying to give up. It's good for giving you those happy hormones, venting some of the AGGRESSION (or maybe that was just me) and for maintaining your motivation. There's nothing worse than going for a run/ mountain bike/ er cross-country swim with a lungful of tar...

4th Nov 2008, 15:17

Dude, why don't you just invest in some wrigleys? They hardly ever cause suicidal impulses.

4th Nov 2008, 20:37

Whoever says:

Go for it, Alfie.
Start the Champix.
Then give ALL your cigs and lighters away the day you actually give up. That way it'll be harder to relapse. Rather than just reach for a cig, you'll have to steal, beg or buy one if you want a smoke.
The Champix side-effects are pretty nasty/bizarre and I halved the dose after a few weeks - it just felt too strong. But the stuff DOES ease the cravings and I've lasted 11 weeks so far without a smoke.

4th Nov 2008, 23:19

JokerXL says:

Go Go Alfie!!
You can do it man, and you'll love yourself for getting there.
Tell EVERYBODY around you, brag about it, put yourself so high up there that you could never live it down he you fell off.
Take one day at a time, one hour at a time in the begining, and feel that sense of achievement every day.
Convince yourself that you really don't need the stupid things and it's really quite a ridiculous thing for any one to be doing in the first place anyway.
Good luck mate!

5th Nov 2008, 08:49

Alfie says:

Thanks for all the encouragement guys.

Im not sure if it's the Champix (only just taken second tablet) but I had pretty scary dreams last night. I think Im going to set up a dream moblog and use the spinvox service so I can call/blog the second I attain some kind of consciousness.

5th Nov 2008, 10:06

billion says:

yeah, scary dreams are the norm as well if you're a heavy smoker and you've suddenly cut right down. a gut reaction. there again, you might have just been having nightmares that mccain had won the election...

5th Nov 2008, 10:23

FilbertFox says:

is this what P'hobo used when he gave up? I know he had tried many times before to give up.

Worth a bit more weirdness in the short term to enable you to have a long term

5th Nov 2008, 14:40

SweetMags says:

I start Chantix on Monday...

A bit apprehensive but tons of people I know have taken it with no problems.

Good luck!!!! I am looking forward to reading your dream blog.

6th Nov 2008, 02:02

SuziQ says:

Good luck with that Alfie.... we (me and hubby) are about to try and stop again.... so I know how you are feeling.... it will be great to have some extra breath in my lungs again...
Good luck and stay strong
cheers
Suz

7th Nov 2008, 00:07

FilbertFox is correct that this is the very drug which helped me quit smoking. It worked. It took some will-power, of course, but it worked, and I sincerely hope it works for you Alfie, as my life has been improved immeasurably since giving up in April 2007. Good Luck, and positive vibes to you.

7th Nov 2008, 22:07

PS, apart from restless nights and vivid dreams, I had no noticeable side-effects.

7th Nov 2008, 22:08

Viv says:

Oh good luck. And FF's brutal 2nd sentence is what it's all about. Wish Alan had managed to give up when I did - we'd be a lot better off in every way. Having heart problems is no fun.

8th Nov 2008, 00:45

Alfie, still thinking of you and sending you the vibes man, I found that when the cravings hit hardest, a good burn-up on the bike got my lungs full of fresh air and put me in a better frame of mind. hope it's going well, stay strong, it is worth it.

12th Nov 2008, 09:43

Shelly says:

Would love to hear of people coming off the champix and how they felt? I'm scared!!! suprised i still have a family.

13th Nov 2008, 05:23

Shelly says:

Very proud of you Alfie hang in there

13th Nov 2008, 05:25

Alfie says:

Thanks Shelly, and how so scared? Have you already started taking it? any weird dreams?

13th Nov 2008, 09:42

I came off the champix a week before I should have due to some kind of drug mismanagement on my part (forget to renew the prescription or something) - I did get a few hash nicotine cravings over a two week period, but nothing i couldn't handle, and after that I was fine, no bad effects at all. However, since then I have taken up serial killing.

13th Nov 2008, 12:15

Alfie says:

How soon after starting the Champix did you quit the cigs?

13th Nov 2008, 12:19

Steve says:

I gave up 12 years ago and I still miss them very rarely whilst in a pub.

13th Nov 2008, 12:43

i stopped the fags about a week in to the champix - I suddenly noticed that I was rolling a fag, lighting up, then letting it go out after a couple of drags, and buying more tobacco just seemed pointless.

14th Nov 2008, 13:44

I also had a counsellor while i was giving up, but I found that seeing the counsellor was making me think about smoking, and it became counterproductive. I made a conscious decision just to not think about it.

14th Nov 2008, 13:48

Alfie says:

Todays my 11th day and yesterday I just completely lost any cravings. It's actually astonishing. Because when you quit and still have cravings it's like a battle on two fronts, this is just unbelievably more simple as all I have to do is find things to do with my hands and mouth occasionally other than smoking. In a word: Wow.

14th Nov 2008, 13:56

yep, that ties in with my experience, it all seemed much easier than it was meant to.

14th Nov 2008, 18:22

maureen(maureenpyle-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

I started champax three weeks before christmas , I found the one side effect I had was the weird life like dreams ,seems i dream all night but must sleep there sometime as i am not tired next day , It has worked well i smoked my last cig, on day 14 but had cut way back by then just having maybe one all day , smoking a drag or two then butting it , I am still taking it but feel I have won the battle give it a go , If you have bad effects see the doctor some people will get bad effects from any drug ,,,,,,good luck

6th Jan 2009, 01:11

Chez Guevara says:

I'm about 5 weeks in. On the positive side, yes, it takes away the cravings and I don't smoke anymore.

On the negative side, it's made me really, really depressed sometimes, which is really not like me. And today I just wanted to smash things. So watch out for that.

I think I'm going to stop taking the champix now. To be honest, I'm a bit worried that I might have caught 'mental' and it might be permanent.

1st Feb 2009, 04:43

Alfie says:

Whoah Chez, that's not great then really is it. Definitely stop, if you talk to your doctor/smoking cessation person theyll tell you the same. Saying that, I stopped the Champix after 6 weeks and 13 weeks later Im still not smoking, so dont think that youll suddenly revert.

1st Feb 2009, 08:34

Auddi says:

I started champax 5 weeks ago and immediatly quit smoking. Yes i have experienced sperts of anger, anxiety, and often sickness. I too felt depressed and not myself. I decided after the 3rd week not to continue the drug. However, when i decided to quit, i did a major lifestyle change. I decided to cut alcohol out, until i feel ready not to have that social smoke and i joined the gym. I think you should try champax,and listen to your body. You will know if you should continue or not. Good luck!

13th Feb 2009, 20:43

Lee says:

Been taking champix now for 8 weeks.
These pills seem to be working very well for me. Very few cravings now but have slightly let myself down on a couple of occasions.
Only side effects for me are:
1) Had a couple of days where my mood was really foul. Wanted to jack in the rat race and live like a hermit. Mood has gone now. But it may still be a good idea
2) Mild tinnitus especially in the evening.
3) More chilled out than normal.
4) Low sex drive.
5) Have recently had a couple of major cravings that I had to satisfy. Kept me awake until the early hours of the morning. I say cravings but they didn’t seem to be physical more of a nagging idea that would not go away. Had to have a couple off draws so that I could get some sleep.
Hope this helps

27th May 2009, 22:48

Scooter(prometheusoz-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

The weird dreams; the giant lighter that flicked with a bolt of lightening and woke me. They're making me hyperactive and aggressive! And increased sex drive ... but that might just be better lungs & circulation. Umm, and then there's my own greenhouse gas emissions! I thought some dude on the bus was messing with my hair, sat there thinking what a surprise when I spin around and thump him. I've never punched anyone, I did turn around and it was a bunch of nice kids. That totally alarmed me. My point is, I'm being really conscious to shut up and not react, being careful at work (I've told them I'm a bit off the air) ... and hanging in there. Half way through.

26th Jul 2009, 16:23

tquittin says:

Hi guys

Really good to read this site. I'm on day two of Champix. I've started a blog at tquittinwithchampix.blogspot.com/2010/01/day-1.html

It would be really nice to get some thoughts and encouragement

Cheers

30th Jan 2010, 13:01

Trace says:

Hi guys I have decided that after smoking for 26 years its time to give it up.Reading your reviews has inspired me to give it a go.Here's hopin the damage aint already too far gone.My willpower pretty poor so may have to revert to drugs .I haven't had a smoke all day but they reckon day 3 the worst so probably will want to become a serial killer by then myself.Hey when it gets to the stage that your really puffing when exercising then you realize its time.I think its awesome that most or you guys made light heart of such a serious situation.I cracked up at the comments ,awesome guys I hope I can do the same love this site
Cheers

15th Feb 2010, 15:08

morad(morad-at-safaryat-dot-com) says:

vraiment je fumer pendant 11 ans et j ai arrter a cause de champix merci je suis du maroc

11th Jun 2011, 22:46

ali(al-dot-salami-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

ttttttttttthhhhhhhhxx
Champix love you

13th Jun 2012, 00:38

Viv says:

15th Sep 2012, 02:50