My cousin finally stopped smoking at age 49. He started out as many do, just casually picked up the habit while he was in school and then at work, where he was a mechanic in a small western Kansas town. He was no different that a thousand people that lived around him in his rural upbringing. The smoking culture was very strong, especially among lesser educated, blue collar workers such as himself.
Over the years, we would give him a hard time about his smoking. He would just nod his head and say, "Yep, I should stop." But once he returned to the culture, the addiction bonds and behavior were too strong to overcome. But finally he came to a crossroads. His children were growing up and following in his footsteps. He wanted a better life for his children and was afraid they were making the same mistakes - smoking in particular.
So, try as he might, he began the long road to smoking cessation. He tried cold turkey and then the patch. His comment about the patch was funny. He said he would put 2, 3 sometimes 4 patches on his body and he'd still crave a cigarette. He told me that if he could have, he might have even tried lighting one up and smoking it, just to see if that would help. Of course, this was followed by rather jolly laughter. But that's just how his addiction worked. It doesn't mean the patch is bad, it just isn't for everybody.
Finally, a few years later he did what he was supposed to do. He saw his doctor and talked about his nicotine addiction and his previous relapse. He and his physician then came up with a comprehensive plan to quit cigarettes once and for all. That plan included Varenicline or Chantix. Once he started the program, he never looked back. He quit smoking after 32 years. Today, after two years, he says that he doesn't miss them and kicks himself for not quitting sooner.
I asked him if he had any bazaar dreams or weird/eccentric feelings. He said that he remembered his dreams more routinely while taking the varenicline, but nothing too crazy happened. Now, you can't get him to stop talking about how he quit smoking. He is a new man, with a completely different future than what he had two years ago. Before he left to go back home, he told me what I've been telling my patients for years. He said that he was finally tired of smoking and wanted to stop.
You see, it's not always the method (varenicline in this case) that gets you to stop smoking. Those are just tools to help you stick to your decision. It always seems to come down to that decision. I've never met a patient who ever told me they quit smoking by accident - they were always just ready to quit.
So did the varenicline make him quit? Sort of, but not really. He made himself quit. Armed with the previous experience and information he got from his doctor, he was able to facilitate his decision with a method that suited him and his addiction. The method just happened to be varenicline or Chantix. Perhaps it will work for you. Check with your doctor and develop a plan of success. Then you can be one of those annoying ex-smokers telling people how bad smoking is!