Should I start taking the Champix now or wait a little longer?

I have tried numerous times to stop smoking - had the addiction for 43 years!! I 'cheated' the pharmacy into giving me champix by blowing zero on the meter they use. I did this by using an e-cig and NRT for 72 hours prior to my consultation. I wanted to have the tablets in so I could quit in my own time without having to keep going to the pharmacy. Long story made shorter - I decided that if I could do it for 72 hrs - keep going just one day at a time. I am now 32 days free of ciggies. I don't want to keep on the NRT and e-cig indefinitely. Could anyone out there tell me when the best time to start taking the tablets would be - based on their experiences of psychological craving. I am enjoying the e-cig - but want to stop using it eventually. Some people tell me that 2 months and 3 months post smoking can be particularly stressful?

This is my first time on this site - joined it today - so hope I haven't 'waffled' too much!!

31 Replies

  • Hi veecatz. That's really good that you've already done 32 days without cigs. Brilliant. I'm probably not the best person to advise on Champix as I have a bit of a downer on it in that I honestly think after taking it for almost 3 months that it's useless. It made me have to get up every night to go to the loo and I had back ache too which miraculously vanished when I stopped taking it. I also feel a lot better psychologically without it. I got an e-cig which I think is not brilliant and I also take lozenges, which I must admit I seem to be taking more and more but the main thing is I'm reasonably happy and don't feel so frustrated and angry any more. I think I'm at 15 weeks today, I hope that one day I just won't want the lozenges any more and to be honest I've got 4mg and 2mg and can't really tell the difference.

    The thing is according to the smoking advisers once you start on the Champix you will have to stop with the e-cig and the lozenges. I managed that for 3 weeks but then something happened where it was a choice between smoking and going back to lozenges so I had lozenges, but they're really not very palatable when you're on Champix, they kind of turn to slime in your mouth but I did only have a couple of them a day whereas since I stopped taking Champix I seem to taking them more and more.

    Having said all that being as you've got the champix you could try it. I take it you have the first pack which are smaller in size. I can't remember now, I think you take the smaller ones for a week then start on the bigger ones but you'll know cos they're a different colour and have the days on. You should start taking them and aim to stop using your e-cig and NRT within 14 days of starting the champix.

    Good luck and please don't let me put you off, you can but try and everyone is different.

  • Thanks so much for getting back to me. I think I may take a lower dose of the champix, but since it is supposed to block the nicotine receptors in the brain - I agree it would be useless to take the NRT which I guess is why you took more lozenges when you stopped the tablets. I so want to get off this treadmill of nicotine and fags and the stigma that goes with it. It is the timing I need to get right - don't want to spoil it all by doing it too soon - but I feel the e cig is perpetuating the 'mental smoking' Thanks so much for your help - will post how I am faring.


  • Aup Veecatz :)

    Firstly a massive welcome to this lovely quit smoking support site :) :) there is loads of help and advise on here, from lovely friendly people :) :) Secondly, I would like to congratulate you for being smoke free for 32 days :) :)

    Rite then, champix !! you take champix about 10 - 14 days before you want to give up :o :) this is while you are smoking !!

    When I used champix, one day I was smoking 25-30 fags, then the next day, down to 9 fags, so I new then it was working :) :)

    Good luck Veecatz, and please keep us posted on how you get on :) :)

    Pete :)

  • Hi,

    Thanks so much for getting back to me - didn't know this site existed until 2 hours ago!

    I know the tablets are for ciggies - but my way of thinking is that it blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain - so am hoping to get off the NRT and e cig using this. I still feel addicted to the nicotine whether it is in tobacco or NRT. I am very glad I'm not on the baccy though, I'm amazed at how much it smells on people who smoke. I must have smelled awful to non smokers! I think I may 'go for it' and set my nicotine stop date 2 weeks from now, but may get a non nicotine cartridge for my e-cig - Vera's little comforter! Bit like a dummy really. I feel a lot more positive having found this site and able to talk to real people who are friendly and helpful. Thanks again, and I will be putting my name on the Winners Wall. This time I feel the time is right - I so want to carry on being stopped.

    Vee PS where do you get the smileys from???!!!

  • Hi Vee and welcome to this wonderful site which is not usually like it was this morning honestly!

    Smileys - if you go on to the blog page and then click on archives and go back to 9th April you will see a blog from our jillygirl which is headed 'Smiley's and Piccy's' and in there are the instructions of how to do smileys. Even I can do them following the simple step by step instruction so if I can, you can. I have to admit to cheating though cos I printed out the instructions and still have to refer to them for the different 'expressions'.

    Hope this helps and that I am not repeating what someone else has already told you!

    Congratulations by the way in being smoke free for so long - it does get better honestly!


  • Hi Veecatz - Just thaught I would let you know how i'm getting on with champix - to be truthful i didnt really want to give up smoking at the time, but my husband had and also my best friend so thaught i'd give it a go (heavy smoker 37 years) i got the champix took the 7 days 1/2 mg white tablets - still smoking (they say to continute smoking or in your case trying to quit e-cig to still keep doing this) eventually on the 1 mg (blue) tablets an effect of not wanting to smoke will happen - it did me on day 8 - unfortunately the blue tablets were way too strong for me making me dizzy and very tired I tried to stay on the 1mg (blue) but after 3 weeks relented on the advise of the smoking nurse to continute my course on the 1/2 mg whites. I really believe if you can manage taking the blue tablets it definately does something to the brain to stop you wanting to smoke or using NRT replacements. I am now on day 45 (had some tough days) just done emjays breathing exercise and that helped. I really wish you all the luck in the world - and hope in some way this helps. :-) PS first time ever i've managed to be smoke free :-)

  • Thanks so much for responding - your answer has helped a lot and I now feel that I can move to the next stage because I am now craving the NRT and e-cig and although healthier for me - it is still perpetuating the nicotine addiction. I will do as you suggest and try the champix whilst still using the e cig and nrt, will work out a stop date and yo! fingers crossed - Many thanks for your support in this

    Vera x

  • Hi - thanx for replying - do you mean by zero nicotine like just stopping the NRT or is it a product?. I believe the champix isn't nicotine but stops the brain from receiving it - that's why you carry on smoking for a few days to get the feeling that you don't want the nicotine delivered either by e cig or fags. It wouldn't be to use as well as the ecig etc but to get off the nicotine. Am I a bit errrm confused??

  • Ahhhhh! Now the mist has cleared - see what you mean - thanx for clarifying that! Thought I'd missed sommat. I had a look to see if the supplier I use for e cig does zero nicotine but only does low dose not zero dose. However, I try to use the nicotine stuff ie e cig and Nrt alternately - don't use patches just the mist spray thingy - an odd mini tab and the ecig but I rotate them - hopefully so I'm not overdosing on the stuff. I would like the baccy flavoured zero e cig though, as it serves as a dummy when I'm feeling a little frayed round the edges. That would be great if you could send me some info on it . THANKYOU so much Vera x

  • You are a star!! Will go look now - thanks again Vee x

  • A good idea might be to let the tablets tell you when to stop using the NRT (so to speak) don't put yourself under the pressure of a stop date, just let it happen naturally - My NHS smoking nurse assured me there is no harm in doing the champix and NRT or using champix to get off e-cigs - if you dont feel any different after about 4 - 8 weeks maybe then you could try something else - fingers crosssed for you - remember don't put yourself under pressure it will only make you puff away more on the e-cig :-) x x

  • Hi there,

    Many thanks for your reply - I think you are right, I'm running not walking, and I so want to get this right. Never even thought of doing it that way but that makes a lot of sense - I shall leave the quit day open ended and it will probably tail off in its own sweet way. As long as I stay off the baccy its a boon! Vee x

  • Thanks - I'm going too fast for my own good - only just getting used to not smelling stale smoke when I come home. I think the cat is secretly pleased too!! He seems to be spending more time with me now its a no smoking zone!! Thanks again for you help x

  • Hi Vera,

    I've only used an e-cig and haven't smoked since Jan 11th. I can't advise you on any of the other NRT that is available but I can tell you that my use of the e-cig has gradually gone down, similar to Mad. Years ago I did buy some patches but was never able to stop smoking with them and as a result had far to much nicotine going into my body which made me feel very ill. So I waited until now to try again and am up until now doing fine. I did worry at first that I would become to dependent on the e-cig but as time has gone on and I've began to feel the benefits of not smoking I am feeling less anxious about still needing the e-cig.

    Last night I found myself playing favourite songs that I used to love singing and was well pleased to see that I can sing again. No problems with breathing or getting a sore throat. That to me, is at the moment, the icing on the cake because I've always loved to sing since early childhood.

    My advice would be to keep it as simple as you can, in your efforts to continue as a non-smoker.

    Good luck and well done so far.

    Sally :)

  • Thanks Sally,

    I've had some really good suggestions and yours is one of them - its nice to hear how people are doing 12 months on - and you're right - simple is best, as long as I stay off the baccy I'm doing ok in my book, it doesn't matter how long I stay on the e cig after 43 years of tobacco!! 33 days is not really a problem on the e cig when I think about it!!

  • No probs. That is the beauty of a site like this in that everyone has an opportunity to tell their own experience and learn from each others.


  • Hya Sally, have you got one of those e-cigs that you press a button on when you inhale or one of those that looks like a cig. I got one a couple of weeks ago but I just find it useless really and end up using that for a few puffs then reaching for the nicotine lozenges. My consumption of lozenges has rocketed since I stopped taking Champix but then the people who were used in the trials for champix were given a 3 month supply of NRT when they had finished the 3 months of champix.

    That's good that you can sing now. I find the e-cig makes my voice go croakey which normal ciggies never did.

  • Hi Mad. Well they're VIP, sold in shopping centres from a little stall thing, they seem to be springing up here, there and everywhere. Just looked on ECITA's website and they are there right at the bottom of the list but then mebbe that's because they begin with a V. They are based in Manchester but then I assume they would be the importers and wholesalers as they are actually made in the Peoples Republic of China to UK/EU standards. Erm what standards, I thought that was what all the fuss was about with the EU that they're not regulated, though I understand that ECITA have set up to be self regulated. I did only get a starter pack though and I have noticed that this pack contains a 16mg and 24mg cartridge and its the 16mg cartridge I'm using now as the other has run out so maybe its just not strong enough, they do seem to give me a funny voice though, hahah maybe they've got helium in them :D

  • Most people say that my e-cig looks like a pen. It doesn't have a button. I do find that to me, it feels just like smoking a cigarette, which is why it works for me. The liquid that is used just causes a vapour and the nicotine strength goes right down to zero. I had thought about trying the zero liquid but as my use of it is going down anyway, I have decided not to change something that is working for me.

    Normal cigarettes gave me a terrible sore throat and I switched to rolling my own a few years ago for that reason.


  • Ok thanks Sally. Mine looks like a cig. It's a bit like smoking a silk cut, you know the kind, you suck your insides out trying to get something out of the dam thing. :D

  • I had one of those a few years back so I know that

    See the link below.

    This is what I am using. There is a video which demonstrates how it works. It wasn't very expensive for the starter kit so I gave it a go and it has worked for me. I am conscious of the fact that it isn't backed by the NHS so am not recommending it's use, just stating that I use one and also a colleague at work has used one successfully.


  • Aww thanks. Will have a look.

  • You're welcome.


  • Ok, thanks Mad, will have a look.

  • HI again, just wondering which e cig you use sounds like you have found one that is fairly economical. I have cartomizers and they cost £1 each and come in 20's plus p&p. How would I be able to fill the cartomizers up from e liquid, the hole is very small, is there something that can be used to pour it in? Vee

  • You are one brilliant woman!! I had visions of having to go to the chemist for a needle and syringe - which I don't think they would have believed me!! Just pulled one of my used ones apart and it was so easy!! I'm off to get some e liquid tomorrow after work. Now I should be able to start putting the money I saved on fags towards a holiday!! Just have to get a decent tasting tobacco flavour - but that shouldn't be a problem. I feel tons better about it all now. Thanks for looking it up for me - I will keep in touch and let you know how I get on Vee x

  • Hi again Vera :)

    Smileys !!

    If you hover the mouse pointer over them, you will see how they are made :)

    : and then ) = :) but put them close together.

    : and then D = :D

    : and then o = :o and so on :D :D

    I hope that helps you :) if not :P :P :D :D

    Pete :)

  • brilliant!! will just try it out on you!!! :D Looks like mine are colour blind!!! errrrm V

  • it did it - it did it woooo hoooo!!

  • Woooo Hoooo to you too gal :) :)

    See its magic :o :D :D

  • Hiya

    Well done you on getting so far already :0)

    I am on my 38th day of not smoking now and i am using the Champix

    Started taking them kinda half heartedly to see what would happen, and now look at me? It is a natural reduction in the need for the nicotine that makes them, in my opinion, so good so don't worry about when to stop using the e-cig, chances are you will suddenly realise you have not picked it up for several hours!

    Sounds like you need to work more on the when of the habit and maybe change your routine a little so you stop associating certain actions with having a puff. Keep your hands busy, have your coffee 30 minutes later, anything that mixes it up will help

    Little word of warning to gee you along - My friend quit smoking approximately 17 months ago. I am very proud of him for doing so well, alas he is now, and admits it, addicted to his e-cig instead so has to go thru' it all again! They are an aid, not a replacement so the sooner you get off those too the better

    Good luck, stay positive and you will succeed

    Sue xx

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