I recently in the past year wrote an article entitled How I Saved Thousand A Year On Cigarettes. In the article I praised RYO, (Roll Your Own), tobacco as a cheaper alternative to prepackaged cigarettes. I would like to take a moment to retract my statement. In November of last year I started my journey on the road to quitting smoking after fourteen years. So far to this point I have been unsuccessful, however I am miles closer to achieving my goal than I ever thought possible.
RYO cigarettes and prepackaged cigars are indeed a cheaper alternative to regular cigarettes. With RYO cigarettes, you can roll cartons of cigarettes for as cheap as around $15 for two cartons, and buying prepackaged cigars will only run you around $1.50 to $2 a pack, as opposed to traditional cigarettes that can run anywhere to $4.50 and up for a single pack. The monetary savings are not worth the problems however.
My first step in my road to quitting took me to a program at a local hospital designed to help smokers quit. The program was very informative and very helpful, although weather and sickness caused me to miss two sessions, leading to me not being able to return for a year due to the program’s rules. During my time in the program however, I learned a very interesting fact about prepackaged cigars and RYO cigarettes that I was not aware of.
Yes, I knew that these products contained pipe tobacco as opposed to traditional cigarette tobacco, and I was under the false impression that this made them slightly better for you as I was informed that they did not contain all the additives of traditional cigarette tobacco. I still do not know for certain if this is a fact, but what I did learn from the program is that pipe tobacco contains a higher level of nicotine than traditional cigarette tobacco.
This fact could be observed by the fact that I noticed it took me longer to go through twenty RYO cigarettes than it did for me to go through the same amount of traditional cigarettes. If I were to buy a pack of traditional smokes, I would have it finished in half a day, whereas it would take me almost double that time to finish the same amount of RYO smokes. What this means is that I was not getting as much nicotine as my body needed from the traditional smokes because the use of RYO cigarettes had raised my body’s nicotine tolerance to an extremely high level.
This made the first two weeks of quitting almost unbearable. The program I was going through had me using two 21 mg patches at a time for the two weeks, as opposed to traditional cigarette smokers who were using one 21 patch, or even smaller doses.
Since leaving the program, I have stopped using RYO cigarettes completely and have tried quitting again, this time on my own. While I have not managed to give up the habit completely as of now, I am smoking traditional cigarettes when I do smoke, and have found that I have cut down by over 50%. If I do run out of cigarettes now and do not have the money to go out and buy a pack, I find that I can survive without them, although I do admit it is difficult, hence my inability to completely quit so far. I believe it is only a matter of time before I am smoke free for the first time in almost fifteen years. I will continue to battle my addiction until I am victorious. I encourage all smokers to attempt to quit, or at least stay away from pipe tobacco. If I do manage to kick the habit, I promise to write a how-to article detailing everything I did in an attempt to help everyone out there struggling to become smoke free.