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February 21 2018 04:23 PM
Great story.  Thank you for sharing.
I'm in the process of climbing up one of those rungs on the ladder of learning.
I keep slipping in my attempts to quit, but I'm going to try to climb to the next rung again.
Again, thank you for sharing your story. 
Keep up the habit of being smoke free.
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February 14 2018 08:00 PM

Congrats on getting started. It sounds like you are making a ton of positive changes. So nice work!

Irritability is a very common withdrawal symptom. I have not heard that quitting smoking can affect your sex drive but it makes sense that it could. The good news is you should start feeling better soon. How are you feeling today? Have you noticed any changes in your withdrawal symptoms?

Ashley, Health Educator
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February 12 2018 12:00 AM
Here it is in a nutshell. Smoked for 36 years turned 50 in oct 2017. November we took a vacation to Lake Tahoe. Smoked there too until the elevation combined with the asthma and cold I had. Gave me an attack that was the worst and I lost my oxygen. Yes normal levels are at 95 percent mine was at 79. Rushed me to the ER and put me on Oxygen. Never thought I would be one of those people. The ones you stare at or see on Truth commercials. I looked up at the ceiling and said whoever is listening God Aliens ECT if you give me my oxygen back I will never smoke again. 4 months later I still walk by a smoker and want one. Gained 15 pounds from the oxygen and the steroids to breathe. They let me out with a green tank and said call this Oxygen company and get off of this mountain. We went to a hotel in San Diego where the company delivered a huge box with 50 feet of hose so I could walk around the room. I had a meter to test my levels. Every time I took it out of my nose it went down to 84 85 so I put it back in my nose. Thought that would be my life on oxygen forever. Guess what? Day 9 comes and I take the thing outta my nose wait 10 minutes and take my reading 95 percent!! Kept checking it every 10 minutes and waited 3 days just to be sure to tell them to come pick up their stuff. Went out one time with a green tank and everyone stared at me. Could not go out again. I prayed to God and not being religious someone was listening. This is your wake up call. Stop smoking. Yes it is hard it sucks and the smell still makes me want to buy a pack. Every day is easier but can't say I don't think about it. Good luck and if all else fails call the national quit line and get free patches. i won't post a photo but the hardest thing you'll ever do will save your life. I am still not out of the woods but thank my lucky stars that 4 months has gone by without a tank or a cigarette. YOU CAN DO THIS!! THINK OF THE WRINKLES YOU WON'T GET AND THE BREATH YOU WON'T HAVE TO CHEW GUM AND YOUR CLOTHES CAN BE WORN TWICE LOL. DO IT FOR YOURSELF. IF YOU HAVE LOVED ONES DO IT FOR THEM TOO!  I HOPE THIS HELPS.
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February 11 2018 10:59 PM
I have quit since November 2017. It wasn't a choice. I was visiting Lake Tahoe on the vacation of a lifetime. I had asthma and still smoked. That coupled with the cold I had was a recipe for disaster.
I woke up at 5 am not able to breathe. I woke up my husband and said please we need to go to the urgent care. At 7 am when they opened we were first in.
My oxygen saturation was at a 79-80 normal is 95 or better. They put me on Oxygen and started steroids immediately.
As I lie in the bed with the cannula of Oxygen not knowing if I would have to wear this for life or not I was terrified. I had seen people smoking on oxygen before. Couldn't believe my eyes.
At this point they were giving me 4 liters of O2 per hour I think? Anyway they told me 2 days later I could go home but would need to leave with an oxygen tank. They put me on a steroid and said to buy an Oxygen meter at CVS and take it off about every 8 hours and check to see if my oxygen levels got better. We came off the mountain and booked a hotel in San Diego. I had a tank and a box with 50 feet of tubing so I could walk around the room. I remember praying not religious but said "God if you give me my oxygen back I will never smoke again." 8 days later I took it off and my Oxygen was at 92. Wore it one more day and my oxygen was 95 percent. I kept testing every hour to make sure that it would stay. I thanked the Man/woman/thing upstairs and have kept my end of the bargain ever since. Don't let this be you. I still crave cigs every day and have gained around 15 pounds from quitting and steroids. At 50 years old I am not sure if I will ever be able to go to the mountains again. But I have no oxygen and wake up every morning and try and get 30 minutes on the treadmill. It is not easy. I made a promise to someone and intend to keep it. Sucks that I ever started. Glad I quit but should have done it many years ago. Good luck to everyone. Chewing gum helps. Nothing will ever give you that feeling of a cig in your hand and the meditation effect it has. But you will live and not walk around with a tube in your nose. Don't wait to learn the hard way. Do it now!!
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February 04 2018 03:59 PM
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January 11 2018 06:03 PM
Bump up for new users. 
Be sure and start reading from the last page. You'll get a few chuckles out of this which is always good for you.  
Not One Puff Ever
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January 05 2018 08:47 PM
It is amazing. We haven't crossed paths for it seems several years, really? Good to hear from you ladycigevictor and that beast Nicodemon has ridden into the sunset! Happy New 2018 to you dear. Stickin to it
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December 28 2017 03:10 AM

The neurons that keep us hooked.

28 DEC 2017

Brain researchers have pinpointed a small group of brain cells that are especially responsive to nicotine, and which might be the main culprits in driving addiction to the substance.

By tweaking these neurons in mouse brains, scientists were able to curb nicotine addiction in the animals. Not only have their results solved an important piece of the nicotine addiction puzzle, but they could also lead us towards new treatments for the problem.

Nicotine is one of humanity's most popular drugs - it's considered to be the third most addictive substance we know. And because it holds such a sway on our brains, it's extremely difficult to quit.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is a leading cause of preventable death, with about 1,300 people in the US dying every day due to cigarette smoking or smoke exposure.

Which is why a team led by researchers from The Rockefeller University has been digging around brain chemistry to identify potential new drug targets that could help curb the addiction.

They focussed on two small brain regions located in the midbrain - the evolutionary older part of vertebrate brains, and one of the many brain features we share with mice.

These two interconnected regions - the medial habenula and the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) - are known to be involved in drug dependence, and also contain the receptors that nicotine binds to once it enters the bloodstream and crosses into the brain.

The team has previously discovered specific mechanisms of neurotransmitter production in these areas that are a crucial part of developing a nicotine addiction.

This time, they honed in even further, and found a small cluster of brain cells in the IPN that change their activity after being chronically exposed to nicotine.

Normally, when the brain gets a nicotine hit, the habenula sends a signal to the IPN that decreases the pleasurable effects of the drug, thus limiting nicotine intake. But one of the hallmarks of nicotine addiction is getting desensitised to the drug and needing to smoke more.

Using mice that had been drinking nicotine-laced water for six weeks, the researchers found that chronic exposure to nicotine actually changes a group of neurons they dubbed Amigo1. These cells release two different neurotransmitters that blunt the signal from the habenula.

"If you are exposed to nicotine over a long period you produce more of the signal-disrupting chemicals and this desensitises you," says senior researcher, neuroscientist Ines Ibanez-Tallon from The Rockefeller University.

That's a super-important clue if we're going to come up with medication that can curb nicotine addiction by changing how our brains respond to it.

To see if the Amigo1 neurons really are addiction drivers, the team fiddled with the expression of one of the genes that encode for the nicotine receptors in these cells.

Then they placed the nicotine-hooked mice in an environment where the animals could choose whether to hang out in the chamber where they previously got the drug-laced water, or another area (this is called "conditioned place preference").

Sure enough, the mice whose Amigo1 neurons were silenced didn't show a nicotine preference, while their addicted kindred kept coming back to the chamber for more.

Even though so far we only have seen these results in mice, we do share similar brain structures with these animals, so the researchers are confident we can learn something about human addiction here.

"What all of this tells us is that the habenula-IPN pathway is important for smoking in humans," says Ibanez-Tallon.

Now that the researchers know where to look, they'll be further investigating how to manipulate the Amigo1 neurons in order to discover new ways to target nicotine addiction.

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December 12 2017 03:39 AM
Hi Tim and thanks again for your support to me...still clean. Wishing you have great day.
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December 09 2017 11:58 AM
Hi Penitent...I am still clean.
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