"Wow, this new medication I am on has made me want to quit smoking."
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Message 1 of 3 in Discussion
From: Joel (Original Message) Sent: 1/21/2006 8:42 AM

A person tried to put up a post on the board about a specific medication she was put on that was treating a specific diagnosed condition that she had and seemed to have had the added benefit of making her no longer want to smoke. I purposely decided not to list the condition or the medication involved in the original proposed post because I didn't want any other reader to somehow get the idea that they should try to get the medication to help them quit smoking, nor that he or she was a smoker because they had that specific underlying condition that caused them to be a smoker.

I had no email address for the person so was not able to address her concerns of observations directly with her. She was wondering if maybe she was maybe using cigarettes to self-medicate herself for her specific problems for many years.

Is it possible? Well, anything is possible. There are likely some people who smoke in order to self-medicate themselves for certain conditions that they have. What these people need to understand though is the problem with the "medication" (their cigarettes) that they have chosen to use to treat a condition. The medication (cigarettes) they are using has certain undesirable side effects.

Think of it this way. Lets say that you have a medical or emotional condition that causes you some level of discomfort. Nothing life threatening, just a problem that is causing some minor disruption in your day to day function. You go to your pharmacy and look through the over the counter remedies and find one that says it "may" be able to treat your exact condition. You buy it.

When you get home you start to read the dosing instructions and contraindications of usage. The medication has the following standard warning:

Medication is habit forming. Medication leads to addiction to most people who use it. Medication known to be one of the most addictive drugs known to man. Medication contains the following ingredients, followed by a list of four thousand chemicals, some with familiar names like arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and many many others. Medication known to cause cancer in rodents. Medication known to cause cancer in humans. Medication known to cause heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular diseases. Medication known to destroy lung tissue. Medication known to cause chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Medication is known to be the most recognized cause of premature death in the United States. Medication known to cripple millions of people worldwide every year. Medication known to kill over 4.9 million people worldwide every year. Medication known to kill one out of every two people who use it.

On top of this you calculate the cost of using this medication over your lifetime, which is how it is going to be used if you start it now, and you realize it is going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. No insurance company will ever cover its costs and in fact, most likely all of your insurance companies are going to charge you higher premiums for your lifetime because you use the medication.

Considering all of the above consequences--do you take the medication? One more thing--there are other medications on the market that actually can treat your condition, that have no known life threatening health effects.

I think any rational person would try to get a refund for the purchased medication. There is probably only one group of people who would take the medication considering the above implications. It is the ones who had been taking it for years already, who may have started before they knew or fully understood all of the problems the drug would cause. Now they may believe the warnings but they like most others who used it are caught in the active grip of the addiction of the drug. They believe that they have lost choice in the matter. They are users and they believe they are stuck that way for the rest of their life.

Hopefully, somewhere in fine print on the box will be an instruction that says, medication is addictive and deadly, but can be stopped if a person simply makes and sticks to a personal commitment to never take another dose.

Joel

Related readings:

Normal depressive reaction or a real organic depressive episode

From that thread:

People with many conditions may find that after cessation they must find what is normal for them. A person who is diabetic or on thyroid medications often find that the dose required as a smoker needs to be adjusted after quitting. Anyone who is on various medications that effect mood, hormonal and blood sugar levels needs to pay special attention to symptoms. Once through the first few days, and especially into the second week, if physical symptoms normally attributed to withdrawal are still manifesting, it is advisable that their doctor checks out those individuals.

Medication adjustments

Life goes on without smoking

Original version of this post not transferred during Yuku automatic transmission
Post originally posted at the MSN version of the AskJoel board, modified with updated links.