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Arrested In Development - Why I Quit

by Pippa Starr

July 22, 2020

I am effectively breaking the law to try and save my own life

Before I was even born and blessed with this amazing opportunity called life, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) had already entered it.

GSK had entered my mother’s metabolism to try and avoid all sorts of complications related to childbirth. While it is currently in an ongoing investigation, it is highly suspected that it could be one of the main reasons why I was born into the body of the incorrect gender.

Some refer to the condition as transgender, but while it is more complex than that we will keep this simple.

Due to various life constraints, I was unable to live my life congruent of brain and body till I was nearly 38 years old. As you could only imagine being born into a body that doesn’t match your gender is a brain cyclone that no one should have to endure. While around 1% of the population do encounter a gender abnormality of some sort, there is still a lot of science to do.

History has shown us over the last century that we have gone from doctors prescribing only just a few drugs to literally thousands of various options to keep us well, or do they? History has also taught us that while some drugs are great and help us live longer and enjoy a more comfortable life, there have also been some disastrous consequences as well.

To treat my gender related condition, it involves a strict regime of necessary hormones, also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is obviously a great life saver but like most drug regimes it must be carefully managed and monitored by a qualified physician. Drugs often have side effects and one of the most drastic side effects of HRT is when smoking combustible tobacco products, the risk of a blood clot causing a stroke or death is almost imminent.

I was a heavy smoker since I began the habit in my teens. The moment I was hooked, I could literally draw a 12mg Peter Jackson Mild in around 4 puffs and it did not seem like enough. A few times I tried going cold turkey but when stress entered my life so did the cigarettes. I had to promise my treating physician of HRT that I would not smoke otherwise I could not be treated.

I was prescribed Pfizer Chantix ( Varanicline) after explaining that an earlier attempt to quit in my 20’s failed using GSK Zyban (Bupronin). The Chantix made me sick and was a failure. My physician then gave me a fist full of nicotine patches. I tried them for 3 months and they simply could not hold the tidal wave of cravings for a cigarette back. I used a GSK Nicorette inhaler for a day that nearly became my last as I gagged and stopped breathing for valuable seconds while I was driving at speed near missing a tree and a certain fatality. I then tried the lozenges, and the gums, both seemed to have an awful reaction to my airway that would prevent me to breathe for up to around 30 very scary seconds. I read Alan Carr’s “How to Quit Smoking” book and I quit for a day. I had hypnosis and craved a cigarette minutes after. I even seeked out a supreme master of Acupuncture who had 50 years’ experience in the ancient pin cushion like art. After he cured my seemingly endless back pain I felt I had been saved by an evangelist, but for real. Unfortunately, the acupuncture to quit smoking didn’t work on me either.

Here I was at age 38, mentally and physically in sound condition and ready to deal with the medical issue that had literally hampered my whole life, that I and other experts in the field highly suspect was a result from a GSK drug that should never entered my system, yet attempting to correct it, I find my self in an impossible situation. I risk lying to my treating physician and get the necessary HRT medication, or I top myself. Dam you big pharma! Your products don’t work properly and I am doomed, were some of the thoughts rolling in my mind.

In a vain attempt to not give up, I did what any reasonable person would do and google the hell out of google till I found a way to stop smoking. I located a tobacconist who sold an e-pen cigarette shaped device. There were no instructions. The guy who sold it to me not only had to reach behind a counter after I asked if he had any left, he also could barely speak enough English to mutter out the words “no it doesn’t have nicotine, it is illegal”. I bought it anyway in the hope that a secret wizard had inserted a magic potion in the device that would help me to stop smoking. I read up articles on it and discovered that there was no legal way for me to obtain the nicotine I needed to quit smoking. To no surprise the device did not help me to stop smoking, but it did get me thinking.

I thought “bugger it”, if I can’t be who I was born to be, then I will lie my arse off to my physician to get the HRT and if I die or have a stroke as a result of smoking with a HRT then that is what is meant to be for me. All the other big pharma drugs didn’t work so that will be how I will either die or end up with a stroke. I ran that Gauntlet for around 18 months and with some lady luck on my side and a lot of it I survived.

I saw a work colleague in the smoking area where he was explaining to me that he got his vape device locally and was able to get nicotine from overseas and had stopped smoking for 6 months. He let me have a puff on this super looking vape device and the sensation was amazing. It was far more satisfying than that little e-pen I bought. From that moment I had a great feeling about this. I purchased my first device and nicotine e-liquid online straight after my shift and was excited.

It only took a couple of weeks for me to end the prison sentence given to me by smoking that lasted over 25 years. I could finally breath, not only because I wasn’t smoking but also the cloud of concern from dropping dead with a blood clot risk was significantly reduced.

What I did not expect was that what I was doing was seriously illegal.

I am effectively breaking the law to try and save my own life.

A guy in Perth selling vapes was raided just as I started vaping.

I could possibly have to go to a real prison just because I vape with nicotine in Australia.

This risk continues as the government have promised to block the supply chain to obtain the much-needed nicotine. I am not alone with my plight as so many others have complex health situations that will compromise their lives if they must return to the cigarettes. The science is openly available to prove the massive reduction in harm that vaping with carefully measured nicotine brings. There is undeniable evidence that my old foe’s (Big Pharma) have created an influence over various government bodies and non-government bodies that continue to deny myself and others from this life saving technology.

As you can see from the start of this article, Big pharma have complicated my life and my health, yet they also have provided a solution with HRT.

It’s like they create a problem to create a demand.

What is clear, as a society we need to demand scrutiny from our authorities before registering product after product from big pharma companies. While governing bodies and non-governing bodies that advise the government say they are all about independent science, you only need to dig just a little bit deeper to locate the power of the almighty tentacles of big pharma dollars are often still creating an unnecessary demand for products that need more scrutiny.

I am not suggesting to not take necessary medications that work for you, but for the love and respect of yourself and family please fully understand as much as you can about what big pharma products you put in your body first as it may have ramifications for generations to come.

If you need to quit smoking contact ATHRA's website for information.

*The opinions expressed in this article are my own and if you have any health concerns at all please see a trusted doctor.


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