Lupus and smoking

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/11/2008 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, allright, I hope this doesn't turn into a topic where I set myself up for multiple lectuers.  Let me start off by saying that yes, I do know that smoking can trigger flares and can cause plaquenil not work as well as it can not to mention all the usual emphsema, asthma, and lung cancer issues.  My question is this do you smoke, did you quit if so did you flare under the stress and if you quit how did you do it?  I don't handle pain well, and I smoke even more when I hurt and can't do much else.  It's an evil cycle that's soooo hard to break.  When I've tried to quit in the past I've had so much anxiety that I just know that the stress will cause a flare, but at the same time I realize what a convient excuse that is.  Any suggestions?


PCP DX Lupus and Fibro, Taking plaquenil, Cymbalta, Flexeril,Claritin, Zantac,Ambien,vitamin B-12, multi- vitamin, Darvocet.  Homeschooling Mom of 2 boys 1 and 6.  Symptoms: Fatigue, joint pain, heat/sun sensitivity, mouth and nose sores, malar rash, migranes, awful hives, positive ANA, and RF.



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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/11/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Great topic Jennifer!!! You are a brave woman and this will help others.

YES! I did smoke. I wasn't a heavy smoker . . . less than a pack a day. When I finally put all the pieces together and realized that all my weird symptoms were Lupus . . . I realized that the ache in my chest could be the pulmonary lupus symptoms. It scared me to death because the only other person I knew with Lupus, died from lung issues. I stopped smoking immediately, cold turkey. I remember exactly where I was when I had my last cigarette and I felt ashamed for having smoked that last cig. I can't say I enjoyed it either.

Anyway . . . because I was so scared I had done damage to my own body, it was NOT hard to quit. I had visions of having severe medical issues which would require my husband and teenage kids to care for me and I felt so guilty and scared and selfish that it made quitting easy. It was like an electric current ran through me and a light was turned on. I really think that it was God helping me to help myself. I actually had prayed about it a lot, but had no real desire or need to stop smoking until that point. Although I actually had quit smoking a couple other times for long periods, only to go back to smoking. Now its been many years since I quit.

I hope it is that easy for you!! I'm not saying I never wanted a cigarette. I really did . . . but it would have been like putting dog poo up to my mouth because I was so disgusted with it. I have had dreams so vivid that it was as though I had really had a smoke. I have to admit that I still enjoy standing outside next to someone who is smoking. LOL

GO FOR IT Jennifer !!! I don't think anyone here will lecture you. You just don't need that. You WILL quit when the time is right for you.


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 10/11/2008 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jennifer, it sounds like you are being harder on yourself than anyone else here would ever be. We are all here for support not to criticize. but if it makes you feel better nono Don't Smoke! LOL

Just kidding. Frankly I didn't even know that it could effect the way that plaquenil worked. I used to smoke like a chimney. I'd still do it today if it weren't for the fact that my lungs are shot. It actually makes me angry that I know people who have smoked more than me and longer than me and don't have any breathing problems. I enjoyed smoking and it's just one more thing that my body has taken away from me. mad

Ok that being said I can give you a little advice for whatever it's worth. first you have to understand that it is an addiction. Most people can't quit smoking on their own. The chemicals in your brain have been effected. Fortunately you don't have to quit alone. The more that is understood about the adiction the better they are coming up with treatments to make quitting easier. The first thing I would suggest that you do is to talk to your doctor. Explain to them that you are afraid of the side effects of trying to quit. He/she may give you a small amount of anxiety meds to help you with this. Secondly there is a drug out there called chantrix. It has very good results. You continue to smoke for the first 6 days while it builds up in your system. There is no nicotine in it at all. It works on your brain function and reduces the urges to have a cigerette. I have heard some people say they have had bad side effects from it but most don't notice it at all. If you blow it and buy a pack smoke one or two and just throw them away flush them down the toilett other wise you will just go get them out of the trash. You should always keep up with your doctor on these things. When you quit there is a good chance that your meds will not work the same anymore. You may actually find that you can take less. chantrix costs about 100.00 a month. but that is much cheaper than cigs.

Also if you are having trouble you know you can come here and rant all you want. we are here for you. When you are ready let us know we will all be praying for ya



Possible scleroderma.  stage 4 COPD, sleep apnea, Osteoporosis,osteoarthritis
Prednisone,plaquanil400mg,azythromyacin,vicodin 4x5mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg,Xanax 1.0 x3,Singular,nitro spray, spirivia,aciphex,lasix,inderal,pot.chlor.,B12 
 Did you ever know that your my hero?

Post Edited (okie) : 10/11/2008 2:32:49 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 10/11/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I smoked since I was 13 and I'm now 42. I smoked about 5 cigs a day.
Back in April, I woke up and just said "today I'm quitting smoking". Something just clicked. I realized many ailments stay in the body due to metals, toxins etc, so here I was struggling to heal my body and I was smoking.

That was last April and I've not smoked since nor will I ever again. And yes, I felt better about two months into it.
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 10/11/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never smoked a cig. But, my mother is a heavy smoker. I really feel for her and anyone else who is addicted. She hates the fact that she smokes, but she is sooo addicted. So, I will be praying and asking God to help you because is definitely not an easy thing to just put down if you are smoking a significant amount. God Bless you, Judy

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/11/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, thanks so much for all the responses. I'm a pretty heavy smoker at close to a pack a day. I'm also a coffee addict and can't imagine one without the other. The funny thing is that I read in a drug guide that caffine increases the analgesic properties of tylenol, so again I use the excuse of "it helps my pain meds work better". The only thing is that my doctors are in favor of me quitting smoking but really haven't said much more then that. Probably because I have no pulmonary complications, YET. Both my PCP and my Rhuemy just nodded their heads when I told them I drink tons of coffee and it does seem that I have to take less pain meds. Coffee really helps with my headaches, too. I know I have an addicteive personalitiy so I'm very careful with the pain meds, but also the fact that I won't drive with my kids in the car if I'm taking any kind of pain med. The smoking is just so tough because I really don't want to quit right now. I'm new to my Lupus and not even officailly dx'd yet, although my PCP and I are both pretty sure. My kids are exhausting and my smoke breaks give just a few minutes of peace and quite away from everything. The baby just woke up, so I gotta go. God bless you all.


PCP DX Lupus and Fibro, Taking plaquenil, Cymbalta, Flexeril,Claritin, Zantac,Ambien,vitamin B-12, multi- vitamin, Darvocet.  Homeschooling Mom of 2 boys 1 and 6.  Symptoms: Fatigue, joint pain, heat/sun sensitivity, mouth and nose sores, malar rash, migranes, awful hives, positive ANA, and RF.



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