Prolonging Withdrawal Symptoms

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Jan 2003, 00:55 #21

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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Mar 2003, 00:11 #22

I am not attaching the story below to blame or vindicate the makers of the product in question. I am not looking to discuss or debates the merits of the case. What I think is significant about this article for this board is that it shows the plight and struggles of a man who obviously wanted to quit smoking and reduce his health risks, but who did not realize that quitting was possible without the use of a drug. It also shows the sadness to the family of a man caused by smoking.

Back in January I had a woman in my clinic who was on NRT products for over ten years. She had actually relapsed many years earlier by taking a piece of nicorette gum after being off smoking a pretty significant time period. She said that she was on the gum almost the whole time after that, except for one brief time period when she switched to a patch to quit the gum. She estimated that she spent over $10,000 in NRT products over a 10 year period. She is doing fine now, last time I got an email from her she wrote that she was still, "very confident and committed to being a non-nicotine abuser."

The story below is sad, and it is impossible to say what the actual cause of the illness may have been. Smoking in fact does increase the risk of esophogeal cancer. But what we know is that this man was in some form of withdrawal for five years and constantly fighting an active addiction. To keep this quit simple, cheap, withdrawal free, and never having to worry about the potential of future findings of future long-term usage of nicotine just always remember to get and stay smoke is as easy as just knowing to never take another puff!

Joel

A Good Fight By KEN LEWIS
Staff Writer The St. Augustine Record

Pat Greenfield's husband was an intellectual and a sociologist, but he could not think his way out of an addiction to nicotine. He died of esophageal cancer in April 2000 at the age of 66.

Greenfield blamed her husband's death on the Nicorette gum he chewed compulsively for five years in his attempt to quit smoking. She proceeded in 2002 with the Herculean task of suing the corporation that markets Nicorette, doing it without an attorney.

Her case was promptly dismissed, on a technicality, from federal court in Jacksonville. She had failed to breach the legalese and make a jury listen. She said she could not afford an attorney.

Now she's exhausted, consumed by the case, still brimming with the memory of her beloved husband. She guards her inch-thick pile of legal documents as if it was a living being.

Her story is about failure and hopelessness in the mystifying world of law. It's about her conviction that Nicorette is dangerous, though officials say it is not. It's about her love for Robert Greenfield, her grief, and her wish to fight what she calls "the good fight."

Nicorette

Nicorette is produced by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, L.P., which makes over-the-counter drugs for the huge pharmaceutical corporation, GlaxoSmithKline.

The gum is touted as a "stop smoking aid" to be used for 12 weeks. A user is supposed to quit smoking, then chew the gum to relieve the cravings and discomfort. The instructions say to chew once or twice, then "park" the piece between the gums and the cheek.

Nowhere on the box or in its directions does GlaxoSmithKline say the product could cause cancer or be addictive.

On the upper right hand corner, in blue, is the seal of the American Cancer Society.

GlaxoSmithKline pays the American Cancer Society $1.5 million yearly for use of the seal, said ACS national spokesman Shawn Steward. The money is used for research and lobbying. The relationship benefits both groups, and began in 1996, Steward said. That was the year Nicorette became an over-the-counter drug.

Steward said there is no clinical evidence that nicotine replacement therapy, such as Nicorette, causes cancer.

He said that cigarettes cause cancer because of toxic chemicals in the smoke other than nicotine.

"We're not aware of any connections between nicotine and increased cancer risk," Steward said.

Melissa Dunn, a Glaxo-SmithKline spokeswoman, said "no" when asked if there were carcinogenic effects from Nicorette.

"We certainly encourage people to follow the directions that we've worked so hard with the (Food and Drug Administration). . . to put on those boxes," she said.

In the lawsuit, Greenfield cited an article written in 2000 by Stephen Hecht and colleagues of the Minnesota Cancer Center. Basically, the article stated that tobacco users could be producing a carcinogen in their own bodies after metabolizing nicotine. The carcinogen he discovered is known to lead specifically to lung cancer, Hecht wrote.

He wrote that the carcinogen could be formed inside the body "during nicotine replacement therapy, particularly under conditions of long-term therapy."

But Robert Greenfield died from cancer in his esophagus, not in his lungs.

42 years togetherGreenfield, 71, talks about her husband of 42 years with all the enthusiasm of a new crush.

"What do you say? How do you describe the perfect man?" she asked.

They knew each other for six weeks before getting married. From then on, they were together constantly, first in California, then in Florida, raising two sons and a daughter.

"He was extremely intellectual, a very, very brilliant man," Greenfield said.

He taught sociology at several universities in California, then worked as a criminologist for the state of Florida, she said. They lived in Tallahassee and Jacksonville, moving to St. Augustine Beach for retirement in 1992. Greenfield had been a special education teacher in Duval County.

She said her husband had a knack for understanding "gray areas" and ideas that were not clear. As a criminologist, he could see things that others could not.

He was a passionate man, she said. And he was a smoker. His mother smoked while she was pregnant with him. He started at the age of 13. After more than 50 years of cigarettes, he quit in the mid-1990s, on advice from a doctor. He started chewing Nicorette and could not stop for five years.

In early 2000, a doctor diagnosed esophageal cancer.

Greenfield said her husband asked her to lock up their firearms because the pain was going to be intense. He had 12 weeks to live.

"For months and months and months, I screamed at God, 'Why me?'" she said.

She spent more than a year in profound grief, weeping in church, weeping in Wal-Mart, weeping daily wherever she went.

Then she tried to sue. Greenfield said she talked to at least 30 attorneys, but could not afford their services.

In 2002, she took matters into her own hands, filing a wrongful death suit against GlaxoSmithKline.

She became obsessed with the case and said she devoted at least 1,000 hours of work to it.

U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. dismissed the case in May. He concluded that Greenfield could not bring the wrongful death action because she was not technically her husband's "personal representative."

She wants to appeal, but she doesn't know how. She wants to try again. For now, she'll take a little rest.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

19 Apr 2003, 21:57 #23

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MsArmstrongKIS
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

21 Apr 2003, 08:17 #24

NRT makes me mad. Madder than tobacco companies. I feel that they are preying on innocent peoples' most basic vulnerabilities by outright lying about their product. I believe that within a few decades many, many people will be suing pharmaceutical companies with overwhelming results, as more and more people die of esophagoal cancer or just continue smoking.

Most basic vulnerabilities? Just try telling anyone who is using NRT to quit smoking how very ineffective it is, and stand back for the rage that is sure to follow. Nobody gets that defensive unless they are vulnerable. And why shouldn't they be vulnerable? They truly believe that they have "quit". Tell them they haven't really quit anything and you've shattered their bubble. . .what? Do you really mean that to quit, I have to go through the pain of quitting?

It is almost useless to try to explain that with NRT they are actually making the pain of quitting worse. They feel they could never quit smoking without NRT. They feel that NRT is much cleaner and safer than smoking, so why should someone tell them they aren't making progress?

It is so hard to lead people to the understanding that:
  • Nobody smokes for the additives and the chemicals that you are so proud of "quitting". Nobody is addicted to smoking. It is not the smoke that is the addiction.
  • Everyone smokes for the nicotine. Therefore, injesting nicotine via another route does not end your addiction. The patch does not make nicotine any less addictive, or any less poisonous.
  • Nicotine is a poison that can kill a full grown man via only one drop on the tongue. It is a carcinogen and a vasoconstrictor. Taking it into your body in any way, shape, or form is dangerous.
I love the people who remark about being allergic to the adhesive in the patch. Ha! How many people are allergic to Band-Aids? Or Masking Tape? IT'S THE NICOTINE, O THEE ADDICTS!

Just venting. . .

Alex

I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Months 1 Week 2 Hours 48 Minutes 39 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1057. Money saved: $264.47.
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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 May 2003, 12:43 #25

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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

23 Jun 2003, 16:21 #26

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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jun 2003, 01:10 #27

For Bill's sister:

The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. Thet are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Robin Lady Di
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

05 Aug 2003, 01:10 #28

Before I quit smoking, I did a lot of reading and research on ways to quit. I decided that the cold turkey quit was the way for me to go. I think nicotine replacement is really a way to lie to yourself. If I were a drug user shooting up and changed to snorting the drug instead then I wouldn't have quit using the drug but just change the way I put it into my body. It's the same with nic replacement. If you're going to quit, then just quit. Get it over with. Don't prolong your withdrawal symptoms.

I know three people that are close to me who have quit nicotine. Two were smokers and one dipped. When they quit, they each used the cold turkey method. Now one has been nic free for a year, one for 3 1/2 years and one for 10 months. The one who has been quit for three months is going through her second bout with cancer. If started as breast cancer and she beat it then it came back to her breast and her liver. She is currently going through chemo again. She has been my best friend for 34 years.

Anyway these three people have really been a motivation for me in my quit. Each of them have been encouraging and helpful.

If you're thinking about quitting, cold turkey is the way to go.
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Robin Lady Di
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

05 Aug 2003, 01:13 #29

I meant the one who quit for ten months, not three months. Sorry
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Sep 2003, 17:22 #30

The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. They are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel


I am lifting the post below from our Quit Cold Turkey string:

I read a comment somewhere in a post yesterday that cold turkey quitting was the ONLY way to quit. This is not a totally accurate statement. It is not that cold turkey is the only way to quit; it is just that cold turkey is actually the easiest way to quit. It is also the method that the vast majority of long-term ex-smokers in the world have used to quit smoking.

There are people who have quit using alternative approaches. There are some people who cut down gradually and actually pulled off a final quit. For every person who did it like this and succeeded, there are many many many many multiples of others who tried it and failed. The individual who used the method will think it is great because it worked for him or her, but since it works for so few people it will generally be recognized as a pretty ineffective technique by most people who do real world research into how to quit.

By real world research I mean by going to long-term ex-nicotine users who you know personally and finding out how they all got off nicotine. Again, you will very rarely find any who did it by gradual withdrawal. If you find a person like this who is now off years, you should never minimize the person's success. He or she quit smoking, likely doing it in a way that made it much more difficult than it needed to be, but still he or she did pull off the quit. The only advice that I would encourage that you share with the person is that now to stay off he or she must understand the bottom line method of sustaining his or her quit. That message is staying cognizant of the addiction and that the only true guaranteed method to stay off now is knowing never to administer nicotine again.

The same principle here applies to people who use NRT products. There are people who have quit this way. Again, it is a small percentage of the long-term ex-users out there, but they do exist. An individual who pulled it off this way will also feel that it is a great method for quitting. But again, this method works for a small percentage of people who try it and if you look into real world long-term quits you will have a very hard time finding many people who actually got off nicotine this way.

I feel it necessary to use that phrase, "got off nicotine," as opposed to saying, "got off smoking." There are some major experts coming out and advocating that people should be given nicotine supplements forever to stay off of smoking. Can this work? Of course it can. If you can give people enough nicotine via supplements it will satisfy their need for nicotine. After all, this is the primary reason they were smoking at the end--to feed a nicotine addiction. If the smoker can just get nicotine for the rest of his or her life via another route, he or she will avoid going through the three days of nicotine withdrawal.

The question needs to be though, why should anyone have to pay what is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars to avoid a few days of withdrawal. On top of this, these people will never be totally free of the moderate withdrawals that such usage is likely to keep going. These people will in fact tout the use of the product as a great aid, but when compared to what people who are totally nicotine free are experiencing, this victory over cigarettes is just a bit hollow.

There are a few people though whom you may encounter over your lifetime that did quit using NRT's as intended, weaning down for week after week and eventually quitting. If the person is now off for years, he or she is pretty much in the same state as a person who had quit cold turkey. He or she is nicotine free, and he or she should be thrilled by that fact. In some ways I look at people like this with a bit of awe, for they in all likelihood stuck with a process that was pretty much a gradual and prolonged withdrawal and yet they succeeded.

Again, debating the merits of their method with them is pretty much a moot point. It worked for them and you are going to have a pretty hard time convincing them that it is an ineffective method. But you do have a message that you can share with them that they do need to know. That message is that even though they are off nicotine for years, they still need to recognize that they are not cured of nicotine addiction and never will be. No matter how they had stopped, they must still understand the bottom line message, that the only way to stay free now is staying totally committed to never administer nicotine again via any nicotine replacement source and to never administer nicotine again from the original source that likely started the whole process by knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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