Smoking. !!!: I am writing as I am... - British Lung Foun...

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Smoking. !!!


I am writing as I am wondering if there's something seriously wrong with me or is it a personal issue. I am still a smoker with emphysema and two weeks ago I went to the Dr, not my usual one at the practice, and when I asked her for Zyban which I have used before and it made me stop smoking, she said I had to attend smoking cessation. On hearing that I frowned as I don't want to attend a useless programme for six or seven weeks to help me stop. I asked for an appointment with my usual Dr but he wasn't available for a regular appointment for two weeks, so I made a phone appointment to try another Dr in the practice. Lo and behold my usual Dr called and asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted a prescription for Zyban to which he asked for what reason, and on telling him he said that he couldn't prescribe me that for stopping smoking. I asked him for a private prescription for it and again he refused. The chemist I use checked my records and said he can't understand why he wouldn't give me a private prescription as it wouldn't cost the NHS anything. My major problem with that is that on the NHS website for smoking cessation, Zyban is listed as one of the treatments so why would he refuse. I decided to attend the smoking cessation class where I told the lady I wanted Zyban and she then tells me that she will contact my Dr to find out as they must do the prescription for the meds. So folks, why must I attend smoking cessation classes to not get the tablets I want. Now I know that I'm not going to get it as he's already said he won't. They said they have had great success with Champix, which I have also tried but it didn't work for me, and to back that up, one of the other people at the class said he couldn't take Champix anymore as he was losing his appetite when he uses it. Then they offer patches and lozenges which also don't work for me. I want to stop as this disease has started to take serious effect on me at times but in saying that, will stopping smoking prevent the inevitable happening as I'm now 69 and been smoking for give or take 50 years. Sorry for being so blunt about it but that's the way I feel.

34 Replies

Sorry but I am going to be blunt as well. I honestly believe that you are finding excuses for not stopping. Zyban, etc., etc. are only crutches. They will not make you want to stop. The only thing that will do that is you but you already know that.

I don't know if stopping will prevent the inevitable but are you willing to risk it out of academic interest?

Before you start spluttering into your coffee, I would like to say that I am speaking from experience here as I am in exactly the same position as you are except that I am a couple of years younger. I use every excuse in the book for not stopping today - too much stress, not the right time, etc. but let's face it, there is never going to be an ideal time. We just need to stop and we both know it.

You sound as if you are slightly healthier than I am in that you were able to attend a cessation class. I could not do that. I cannot fill a kettle without being a gasping wreck so that is something you may have to look forward to if you don't stop.

I truly believe that we can both stop if we convince ourselves that we are not going to let a piece of plant material rolled into a cylinder, rule the rest of our lives. We are stronger than that.

Tell you what - let's both give it a go starting from tomorrow (Monday 3rd. ) and see how we both get on. Tomorrow gives us time to get our heads in gear for becoming non-smokers and we can do it.

Well said. If you don't really want to stop you never will.

Well said greatauntali, I used to be a smoker and chose to give up because I had developed asthma and I was told I could look forward to ending up with chronic breathing difficulties and COPD like my parents, if I did not stop. I was so distressed at the thought of ending my days holding on to an oxygen mask, I gave up there and then. It was not easy but I stuck to it. Thank goodness I did, I am now still asthmatic and have bronch too, together with all sorts of other complaints. Cigarettes are poison. Good luck and I hope you are sensible and save the money towards a treat, I did and I have some really lovely memories to saver. Take care, Maximonkey

Nobody can predict your future. I am sorry to say that in my opinion it will be far shorter than it needs to be if you do not give up smoking. You need to remember that medications patches etc are just aids to stopping not a total answer. The important part is wanting to give up and in all honesty I get the impression from the post that you are not totally committed to the task. I smoked for 45 years and found out I had emphysema after nearly dying from bilateral pneumonia and septicemia. My advice to you is not to wait procrastinating about it but make a choice now!

Smoking for that length of time its going to be rough.. I look at like me needing losing weight I have been over eating for years.. The with drawls are the same addition as smoking ... My weight will advance me as your smoking will advance you.. It is easy for people to say smarten up and stop smoking do as your told.. Our addictions are rough ... .. I started by saying no to sweets when I was offered just slowly started to change... I have lost hundred pounds another sixty to go and I do mess up over binge but I get back on track ... I still get in shit for not being thin now.... To me start cutting back if your at a pack a day cut back to ten a day.. for a couple of weeks then cut back by one every two weeks new some one that did it that way and it worked..... Smoke a couple puffs put it out and do something.. Or say I'll put it off for a hour and it will lead into two... don't beat yourself up and don't listen to any negitive comments from any one.... Just start no time line .. but cut back you don't need that patch there not good for you....Less stressful and to me that is a good way of doing it..... If you have a coffee with a smoke in the morning just take two puffs put it out... Just a different way of looking at it... Don't beat yourself up......

Hi I don't understand why the patches don't work for you as they deliver nicotine and make giving up much easier. If you need something in your hand then there is also the little white inhalator which is great for sudden cravings.

I am not sure if they do use Zyban any more as it has been superseded by Champix. I used the former and it gave me hives. It might be that they need to monitor you due to side effects?

There is also vaping which is very popular nowadays, so even if you can't have Zyban there are other methods available.

Some go cold turkey which would have killed me! I gave up last year after 44 years of heavy smoking and fortunately I still only have mild copd. I used patches and the inhalator but it has been very difficult but well worthwhile. There is a very good site on here called Quit. They will help you stop and stay stopped. Good luck. x

Badbessie in reply to hypercat54

I think it is just not the nicotine. It is the habit. I found the only way to give up was to avoid the situations where I smoked. It was almost like changing a computer program. My brain was wired by habit to smoke at certain times. For example after meals etc. I found by slightly altering my routines I changed my habits. My father stopped smoking at the age of fifty but ten years later would still feel along the dashboard in the car for cigarettes when he got in. I think at times the habit is harder than the nicotine craving. You can replace nicotine but changing habits after 45 years is very hard.

2greys in reply to Badbessie

How very true. When I had finished a job, I used to have a smoke, before starting the next one. So I changed the smoke for a stop to drink some water, which helps keep me hydrated. With all the puffing and panting that I have to do, to be able to work, I can get dehydrated very quickly. It was this smoking break between jobs that gave me the most habit trouble at first, especially after a fiddly technical job.

BB4ALL in reply to Badbessie

Very true and thanks.

hypercat54 in reply to Badbessie

Well everyone is different and some of us had the cravings, habit and social side of it like I did. I think it is easier to change habits than to cope with the cravings which can be all consuming.

Also some people don't have as many nicotine receptors in their brain as others which explains why some find it relatively easy to give up whilst some find it a lot harder. I had copd for 9 years before I managed to pack it in so understand the procastination, it's obviously very different if you have been blue lighted into hospital when you will give up from fear to gradually realising that it wil kill you in the end.

I am sure the poster will manage to give it up in time, and hopefully before it gives them up first. x

Some of us need some sort of crutch in life,unfortunately smoking is probably just about the most lethal crutch out there,especially if you already have an existing lung disease.Champix was very effective for me and i quit within the time scales without problem,Zyban is a similar drug and does much the same thing.My problems was that Champix left me with a dopamine unfilled patch in my brain that could never be filled and i returned to smoking.i am now 4 months into patches and sprays and although still a nicotine addict and probably considered a failure to many on this site i believe that it has contributed greatly to my health.

Attend the smoking cessation and possibly your therapist can persuade your Dr that you are still a suitable candidate for Zyban

good luck and best wishes Ski's and Scruffy.

Badbessie in reply to skischool

You are definitely not a failure to anyone on this site in my opinion. I think only those that have been through it can fully understand how hard it is to quit. The important issue is not to give up trying. I have slipped a couple of times but in the end made it. Lol I think, so please do not so hard on yourself.

skischool in reply to Badbessie

Fear not Badbessie,i always awaken to the mantra "i love me" buzzing around my nicotine filled :)

BB4ALL in reply to Badbessie

Thanks Bessie

BB4ALL in reply to skischool

You're no failure to me skischool, thanks for the words.

Thank you to all who answered, I have taken in what you have said, irrespective of whether you decry me for smoking still or have a soft spot and understand what I was trying to say.

To all who said I am trying to put it off, that is not the case otherwise I would not have gone to the cessation class would I.?

What I'm trying to say is, when the NHS advertise Zyban as one of the tablets to stop smoking online, why then do they advertise it as a possible cure and some Dr's refuse to issue it to a patient who knows what has worked for them in the past. That's all I am trying to say. To me it's like a dictatorship, they tell me I must use Champix when I know it doesn't work for me but Zyban does, and no reason is given for the refusal. The lady who follows up when you phone them said it is extraordinary that the Dr has said no and is forwarding it to their manager to find out why. Let me start another blog on another subject that gets me to get everyone going again.

Karenblue in reply to BB4ALL

Oh god I give up 4 months ago cause I was in hospital I come home free from smoking n started again 2 weeks ago all my family having a go at me wot do I do

BB4ALL in reply to Karenblue

Temptation is very hard Karen, smelling the smoke or letting your mind wander towards it is difficult to resist. It's your life after all and you live it the way that you think is best for you. The consequences are unknown but eventually we may find out the hard way.

Shazrab in reply to Karenblue

I feel so sorry for you karenblue ❣️ Your family should not be giving you such a hard time as this will only make it more difficult for you to stop ! Ask them to stop nagging and try at your own pace to stop again and well done for stopping in the first place 🌹🌹🌹

Symes in reply to BB4ALL

I have a feeling it may be down to cost. A lot of Drs surgeries these days are continually squeezed for money, and look for cheaper medications.

For example, my Drs stopped prescribing my Salbutamol and prescribed me AirFluSal ForSpiro 500 instead. Why? Simply because it’s cheaper and will save the surgery money. It does the same job so it’s neither here nor there to me, but I was a bit miffed at first when my GP told me medication I had been on for years was being swapped for a cheaper alternative.

It may be the same with the Zyban. It may be that they just won’t prescribe it anymore, to anyone, because it’s too expensive.

It all depends on the GP surgery, and their budgets.


Oh Sweetheart

I was diagnosed with COPD 13 years ago and I am still smoking. I have absolutely tried everything single thing to stop but nothing has changed. I am sitting here now with a cigarette on the go. I truly believe that for me that the only way I will stop will be when I don't have enough breath to actually smoke. BTW I promised my mum that I would give up on her death bed 21 years ago having personally nursed her through lung cancer to the very end. Please don't beat yourself up. Just keep trying. Maybe you will be the one who wins. Someone has to X.

Patsy x

BB4ALL in reply to Hidden

I hear you loud and clear Patsy and you know something, I will stop because I have it in my head, I've done it before and circumstances started me again. It is difficult for long term smokers to give it up totally but it can be done. Thanks for the compassion though and good luck to you too.

You have to have the right mind set to stop. I couldn't do it when I was stressing about it.

I stopped, even though I really didn't want to, because I was so scared. I used an ecig, but to be honest, I'm sucking on that far more than I smoked.

I did it the cutting down way. It's surprising how easy it is to get down to 3, then 2 then 1a day, which is better than 30 a day. It makes finally quitting, so much easier.

Try an ecig, with tobacco flavoured liquid.

I found when I got down to one cigarette at night, I couldn't tell the difference and quit altogether.

You can start at 24mg, if you smoke more than 20 a day and gradually decrease the nicotine strength. You will do it.


Nickcv in reply to casper99

I quit in much the same way Casper. I still vape and only use tobacco flavoured e liquid which I mix myself. I started on 24mg of nicotine having been a 30 a day smoker , I'm now down to 3mg. I've recently had my annual spirometry test and the results from my past three tests show that I have remained pretty much stable..

casper99 in reply to Nickcv

Well done for getting down to 3mg Nickcv, I need to go to 6mg next. xx

Funny enough the Dr recommended I start on ecig but I have tried them too and find I cough more with them than normal fags. The cost of fags today is ridiculous but necessary to try and get people to stop. I will stop I know it and it will be very soon and thanks for the suggestions.

This could also be an explanation

BB4ALL in reply to Symes

Thanks for that info Symes, and I have added my question to that site about my Dr refusing to prescribe it for stopping smoking when it's worked for me previously, yet is listed as one of the treatments for stopping smoking on the NHS website.

E.Cigs & Will Power helped me stop 3 years ago, If I hadn't I probably wouldn't be Typing this. It Is very hard, But You have to Want to Stop for The Sake of Your Health, also being put on the transplant List 2 Years ago and having the Brilliant valves put in my Right Lung in June, If I hadn't have stopped then The NHS had every right to refuse this procedure & being put Forward for Transplant. So, Food for thought... Do you Want to Live Longer? It is your choice, it is very hard after Years of having the Habit. We All could easily have "one more" " one last one" . No more Smokers Cough which turned into Bronchitis, Turning into COPD, No more Spitting up gallons of Mucus........Good Luck to Everyone Trying to STOP.

Love n Hugs . Carolina XXXX

im sorry you have had problems. tabkets to help? my hubby had no help like that nor the free patches not available then. Show them you can give up! you will be adding 10 years I read somewhere to your life .

my hubby is 70 now and on oxygen, awkward for him. but he persists with it. He wishes he gave up smoking years ago....Keep positive.

BB4ALL in reply to CSimms452

We all do CSimms, it's only when you have COPD you realise what you should have done years ago. Mind you, working down a coal mine for 35 years didn't help either, but it's always put down to smoking. I hope your man is ok and I wish him everything of the best.


I wonder if zyban is like champix, my general practitioner said I couldn’t have a repeat of champix months after my first attempt as it only works as a one off. Your body gets used to it as such, it could be that reason.

Apparently Zyban is the same as Champix but years ago it stopped me smoking within two weeks of taking it, but it was used as an anti depressant as well. I will ask my Dr his reasons when I see him on Thursday this week.

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