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2011

Even if it’s a quit-smoking campaign.  What do you think?

I came across the photo below, and I thought, that’s a really well done stop smoking campaign image “Kill a cigarette and save a life.”  Great artistic picture.   And yet it kinda gave me a brief urge for a cigarette.  And I say “kinda” because I’m more or less WAY past the stage of craving one.  And I thought, that’s weird, but I find something cool about the whole image.  She’s an attractive girl, has a freshly lit cigarette in her hand, smoke wafting around her head.  Yeah I notice it’s a noose, but it doesn’t have much of a negative impact on me.  Not like the photo below it of the stinky butts.  The noose photo  is very clever, but does it serve it’s purpose? 

And then I began to remember  how I felt when I first quit.  And how great it was to finally get through a couple of hours without thinking about a cigarette.  Relief!  Only to go to town and see a butt on the ground, or someone smoking.  And WHAM, the cravings would hit hard.  Eventually we get over that.  But early on it’s difficult when one is visually brought back to their habit.  That’s why it’s so important to immediately change one’s focus when that happens.  Simply turn you head and along with it, your mind.

I think all those oh-so-clever ad campaigns with their visually intellectual message attempts are not nearly as effective as a simple photo of an ashtray full of butts. 

But what do YOU think about that smoke noose photo?  And I’m particularly interested in what the new quitters feel.  Am I off the wall in my comments about this?  Does seeing that cigarette, and the expression on her face, tilt of her head -  draw you in or is the noose (and the tiny words bottom right)  enough to deflect that thought and turn you off toward  smoking.  Does it help or hurt your quit?  And why?

Sometimes I wonder if these types of ad campaigns are paid for by the tobacco companies.
 

 

 

Isn't this a more powerful image?

 

Giulia

THE SERIOUSNESS OF FAILURE

Posted by Giulia Champion Oct 11, 2011

Yesterday I posted a blog entitled NICODDEMON'S LIES.  (Click on the link if you want to read it.  It's long.  Don't let it scare you.)  HWC on this site was good enough to to inform me of it's author, John Polito, over at whyquit.com. 

I wrote him to thank him.  Thought some of you newbies, especially the younger ones, might benefit from our exchange.  You matter so much to so many of us on here.  Don't continue smoking.  Please quit.  Before it's too late. 

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John,

I had copied your blog on NICODEMON'S LIES from when I first quit 5 years ago.  I had gotten it from somebody else and reposted it on my first quit smoking site (unofficialnicanon).   Yesterday I reposted that material on BecomeAnEx.  If you check out the link, you'll see some of the thank yous I got.  There were more but I reposted it a day later using different margins, so the first group of people who enjoyed it you don't see.

Anyway, the last person who posted told me that it was YOU who wrote it.  Just wanted you to know that your wisdom lives long and strong and keeps going on.  And we in the quit smoking community have benefited much.  I'm over 5 1/2 years quit and so glad of people like you who taught me how to do this.  And just passing it all wondrously on. 

Giulia

My link on BecomeAnEx is https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/people/giulia

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Thanks for the smile, Giulia!   What's important is that we understand the seriousness of failure, that half the smokers we see tomorrow already know how they'll die. 

   
This week my heart's hurt bad.  I didn't want to deal with the hurt Neal's wife is feeling but she called, having watched the man she loves go from diagnosed with lung cancer to dead in just five weeks.  I don't want to go to bed tonight thinking about his 9 year old daughter crying herself to sleep. 
   
I know that tomorrow or the next day Helen from NZ will write about her lung cancer treatments, hoping above hope that God will hand her a miracle.  And Lord knows I pray it happens.
   
What I know, Giulia, is that these middle-aged smoker stories are not unique as this year roughly 2.5 million smokers will be claimed by their addiction during middle-age.  Imagine that, two million who thought that plenty of time remained to get serious about quitting. Wrong!!!
   
Nicotine addiction is a brain wanting disorder in which the mind is fooled into believing that smoking nicotine is as important as eating food or drinking liquids.   Although Nicodemon's Lies is a nice story, why should any active nicotine addict believe its words over the pounding inside their mind telling them that that last fix relieved wanting or that their next fix is as important as food. 
   
It's why we die.  It's why addiction to smoking nicotine is leading cause of preventable death in every developed nation on earth.
   
Thanks for writing, Giulia.  I wish your email had found me in better spirits.  I wish there were a way we could awaken the average nicotine addict to the lie we lived.   Truth is, they have to awaken first and be brave enough to say no to that next fix.  Sadly, it doesn't happen often enough.
   
Still just one rule determining the outcome for all ...  no nicotine today!
   
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
   

John  - Gold x12-

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Ah John,

Do not despair so, my new acquaintance.  Yes lives are lost by being too late, but lives are won by people like you, and me, who continue to try to shine the light of hope and truth and triumph over addiction.  I know the despair and frustration of feeling like one can't get the point across to change a life.  But you know - it's not up to us.  It's up to them.  And if we can plant the seed that may germinate, even long after our time of planting - that's ok.  That's all we can do.  When the time is right for them, it will happen with perseverance, or it just won't.  No matter how hard we try to get the point across by bludgeoning or cuddling.

But you know what?  I think successes happen more often than we despair about.  I see people all over BecomeAnEx who are winning.  Yes, there are the losers who give up trying, but we must dwell on the winners in our dark moments, and  remember that we may have made a difference in so many people's lives that we know not of.  And if we are too late, maybe we've given them a few more years. 

May I post your response to me on that blog?  I think it might hit home even more than your original post.  It's so filled with just the raw truth of what smoking does and how it affects those who truly care.  I think I'd entitle it "The Seriousness of Failure." 

Anyway, thank you for such a quick response.  I'm honored.  And I'm so sorry you're experiencing the loss of "too late."  I know just how you feel.  It costs when you care that much.  On a positive note - WhyQuit.com is one of the sites mentioned most often for help on BecomeAnEx.  And much, much wisdom is being passed on.

Do not despair.  Lives are being saved.  Hey - I'm one example.  Ya know??!!!!   

Giulia

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Yes, if clearly within the forum's rules and they have no objection that would be fine in sharing our exchange, Giulia.   But please make sure before doing so.

   
Sorry to sound so negative.  Yes, we're each doing what we can.  But at times I think our time might be better spent working on the front end, to prevent youth and young adult dependency onset.  I say that because increasingly we're working with new quitters who became hooked since the founding of WhyQuit and Freedom in 1999.   If only we could have had a heart to heart sit down prior to that first puff. 
   
Sincere regards,
   
John  
   
Giulia

NICODEMON'S LIES

Posted by Giulia Champion Oct 10, 2011

I found this old post that I put out on my first quit site  July 11, 2006.  I had a four month quit behind me at this stage.  I think there's much wisdom here.  Five years later - or forever.  Unfortunately I don't know who to credit.

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Nicodemon's Lies  by Jon R. Polito at www.whyquit.com (editing 11/25/11 to put in his name and link - for some reason the whole blog is not showing up here)


    Our Lie / The Truth

1. My cigarettes are my friend

Friend or master? What kind of "friend" would deprive you of oxygen, take away your ability to smell, burn your clothes, destroy your teeth, harden your arteries, elevate your blood pressure, daily feed you 4,000+ chemical compounds that include arsenic, ammonia, acetone, formaldehyde, butane, massive doses of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, methane, stearic acid, vinyl chloride, mercury, and lead, together with 43 known cancer causing agents (one of which is created when nicotine breaks down -NNK), before finally killing you with cancer, a stroke, a heart attack or emphysema? Imagine seeing your executioner as a friend. Such protective denial thinking shows the amazing grip that nicotine imposes upon the mind.

2. I enjoy smoking.

This may be the most deeply ingrained rationalization of all as it has a solid basis in the following flawed denial logic. "I don't do things that I don't like to do." "I smoke lots and lots of cigarettes." "Therefore, I must really enjoy smoking," instead of the correct conclusion, "therefore, I must really be chemically addicted to smoking nicotine." Did you enjoy being the unaddicted "you" or have you forgotten what it was like to live comfortably inside a mind that does not crave for nicotine? If you cannot remember what it was like being "you" then what basis do you have for honest comparison? If you truly enjoyed being addicted to nicotine then why are you here reading these words? Is it that you liked smoking or that you liked not having to experience what occurred when you didn't smoke - withdrawal? Studies have long ranked nicotine as a more addictive substance than either heroin or cocaine. In fact, cocaine's generally recognized addiction rate among regular users is 15% while nicotine's addiction rate of over 70% is at least five times as great. Imagine convincing your mind that it " likes " being addicted to the drug that addiction scientists now rank as the most addictive substance on all of planet earth. We are nicotine addicts . A pack a day smoker smokes 7,300 cigarettes each and every year. How many of your last 7,300 nicotine fixes did you really enjoy ? How many of the next 7,300 will bring tremendous joy to your life? Isn't it time to be honest?

3. My spouse, close friend or family member smokes. I'm waiting for them to quit with me.

Procrastination recovery denial makes the next puff of toxins easier to suck down. Nicotine tells this junkie that they cannot quit until their friend or loved one quits too as they're around their smoke, smells, cigarettes, breath and ashtrays, and quitting is thus impossible. It's pure denial and often both friends or loved ones use the other as their excuse to remain enslaved. How long will you continue to destroy your body while waiting for someone else to quit with you? A lifetime? If and when they do quit with you, what will you do if they relapse? Will "love" cause you to do the same? One of you needs to stand tall, continue on and lead the way. It's okay to have hope for a loved one but you must quit for "you" or it's doomed from the very start. Why make your freedom, health or life dependent upon another person's decision. As for being around smokers, don't we all do it? Isn't it just a matter of degree? Will planet earth's 1.2 billion nicotine smokers disappear once commence recovery? Won't you still see them and smell their smoke at restaurants, as they stand around outside stores or even hospitals, or as they puff away in the car beside you? Will all the stores pull-down their cigarette displays or move them from arms reach just because you are trying to reclaim your mind and life? Don't live the lie that "I smoke for love!"

4. It reduces my stress and helps calm me down.

This health intellectualization is false. The body's pH balance is delicate. Nicotine is an alkaloid and stress an acid producing event. The more stressful the event the quicker the body's remaining nicotine reserves are neutralized (in the same manner as pouring a baking soda solution on an acid covered car battery terminal). The stressed smoker is thrown into early chemical withdrawal adding additional anxiety to the underlying original stressful event. It's why the anxiety associated with a flat tire causes smokers to reach for a cigarette while the non-smoker reaches for a jack. The anxieties build until the doubly stressed smoker cries out "I NEED A CIGARETTE!" Within eight seconds of the first puff, the smoker's nicotine blood serum nicotine level rises and their withdrawal anxieties subside. The addict is left with the false impression that smoking cured the underlying stressful event when in fact the tire is still flat. All non-smokers experience stress too. The difference is that they don't add early nicotine withdrawal to each stressful event. In truth, stress nicotine depletion causes smokers to experience far more anxiety than non-smokers. In truth, it is much easier and calmner being the real "you" than it is living as a chemical slave.

5. My friends smoke, I'll lose them.

The nicotine smoker's mind has been conditioned to believe, through association, that smoking is central to their entire life. Telephone calls, computer time, work, meals, driving, talking, walking, stress, joy, sorrow, and even romance, may have developed a subconscious association with smoking. The truth is that none of these activities will be altered whatsoever by the absence of tobacco. The truth is that quitting smoking will not deprive you of even a single friend or loved one. The truth is that smoking is costing you new friends and possible relationships as fewer and fewer non-smokers are willing to tolerate being around the smell and the smoke. Can you blame them? With the exception of quitting, your current life doesn't need to change at all unless you want it to change. It might be nice to enlarge your circle of friends to include those who don't stand around the community ashtray, but that's totally up to you.

6. It wakes me up and keeps me alert

This dependency rationalization uses a basic truth (nicotine releases adrenaline and a host of other hormones) to hide the fact that nicotine deprives us of the ability to enjoy prolonged periods of deep conscious relaxation. If always at the peak of alertness because we are addicted to and chemically dependent upon a centeral nervous system stimulant then when do we truly relax? This dependency rationalization also subverts and ignores a host of natural alertness techniques ranging from a simple deep breath to brief periods of stretching or moderately exhilarating activity. Instead of engaging life on life's terms, a powerful puff of nicotine starts a neurochemical chain-reaction that increases breathing rate, accelerates heat rate, constricts blood vessels, elevates blood pressure, causes the liver to release stored cholesterol into the blood stream, the adrenal gland to release glucocorticoids, the thyroid to release metabolism hormones, the hypothalamus to release corticotropin-releasing hormones, a decrease of progesterone levels in females and testosterone in males, digestive tract shut-down, a glucose release into the bloodstream followed by a boost in insulin to metabolize it, pupil dilation, and your blood to thicken. Inside those highly constricted and over-pressurized blood vessels, carbon monoxide eats away at their teflon like lining (endothelium) while nicotine amazingly vascularizes fat buildups causing arteries to harden. More smokers die from circulatory disease each year than from lung cancer yet denial kept almost all of them from wanting to know why or how they would die. What goes up must come down. Once the hormones wear off and that drained feeling begins to arrive a new puff of nicotine again whips every central nervous system neuron in a tired body like some overworked horse never allowed to rest. Alert, yes, but somewhere in that endless cycle between alert and exhausted resides the "real" you.

7. My concentration is better.

Vast quantities of carbon monoxide do NOT improve concentration. Although nicotine is a stimulant and does excite certain brain neurons, it also constricts all blood vessels. Feel how cold your fingers and toes get when deprived of blood flow while smoking. Imagine what's happening to the blood vessels in your brain. If nicotine results in a stroke we probably won't need to worry much about concentration. Fresh air and exercise are far healthier brain stimulants. When quitting it's important that you understand the role that nicotine played in regulating blood sugar as its absence may cause the temporary impairment of concentration and clear thinking. If you are experiencing any concentration problems be sure and drink plenty of fruit juice (cranberry is excellent) while your brain adjusts to your body's needs. Also don't skip meals! Nicotine released stored fats into your blood and in a sense fed you with every puff but not anymore. Don't eat more food each day, just spread your normal intake out more over your entire day so that you keep fuel in your stomach and your blood sugar level.

8. It's something to do with my hands.

So is playing with a loaded gun and they both have the same potential for harm. This weak addiction rationalization ignores that doodling with a pen, playing with coins, squeezing a ball or using strength grippers may be habit forming but are non-addictive. You might get ink on yourself, rich or strong wrists but your chances of serious injury or death are almost zero.

9. My coffee wouldn't be the same.

More junkie thinking! Your coffee's flavor will remain identical. In fact, it may even taste better once your taste buds heal after years of being numbed, coated and poisoned. Your sense of smell may become so refined that you'll smell fresh coffee brewing more than one hundred feet away. Although you don't need to give up your coffee or any thing else except nicotine during recovery, be aware that nicotine somehow doubles the rate (203%) at which caffeine is metabolized by the body and as a new ex-smoker you may only need half as much in order to obtain the same effect. If you are a heavy caffeine user and find yourself experiencing increased anxiety during recovery, or encounter difficulty sleeping, try reducing your intake by roughly half.

10. There's lots of time left to quit

This year tobacco will kill 4,000,000 humans, 1.5 million in middle-age who will each die an average of 22.5 years early . In order for 22.5 to be the average, how many hundreds of thousands had to die even younger? Maybe you've got time left and maybe not . But, dying in your thirties or forties is a powerful price to pay for guessing wrong. The numbers above only reflect DEATH by tobacco. You may be lucky enough to be among the millions of nicotine smokers each year who SURVIVE and "only" have a heart attack, a stroke, a lung removed, go onto oxygen, or who receive news of permanent lung disease as you struggle for every breath. Which puff, from which cigarette, in which pack, will pull the trigger that fires the gun? The odds of a male smoker dying from lung cancer are 22 times greater than for a non-smoker. His odds of dying from emphysema are ten times greater. How lucky do you feel?

11. It's one of my few pleasures in life

Does that mean that it's better than the pleasure of having a throat to deliver fresh air and great food, two lungs with which to laugh, a healthy heart to feel love, or an undamaged mind which dreams of a wonderful tomorrow? Pleasure from your addiction or pleasure in committing slow suicide at the hands of a mind that thinks it can only live with the aid of a powerful stimulant? What do they call someone who derives pleasure from self-inflicted harm or who slowly puts themselves to death? Pick your own label! Which nicotine fix out of the last 5,000 was the one that brought you tremendous pleasure? Which cigarette out of the next 5,000 may be the one that sparks permanent damage or disease, or that carries death's eternal flame? If bad news arrives tomorrow will "pleasure" cross your mind? Your only pleasure is in postponing the challenge of the initial 72 hours that it takes to remove all nicotine from your blood.

12. Dad just died, this isn't the time!

Smoking won't bring dad back nor cure any other ill in life. Success in quitting during a period of high stress in life insures that future high stress situations won't serve as your excuse or justification for relapse. If you think about it, if we continue to live we will all see someone we love die. Such is the cycle of life. It's extremely sad but serious illness, injury, or the death of a loved one are the most convincing justifications that quitters sell themselves on, in order to justify keeping their drug. There is no better time to quit than before your next mandatory feeding. Don't allow finances, work, illness, education or relationships to serve as your excuse to remain an active addict. There is no legitimate justification for ever putting nicotine back into our body - none, zero, never!

13. Lots of smokers live until ripe old age

They are much rarer than you think. Look around. If you do find old nicotine smokers almost all are in poor health or in advanced stages of smoking related diseases, many with oxygen. Laboring for every breath with lungs on their last leg, is that ripe enough for us? Nicotine smokers tend to think only in terms of dying from lung cancer. Tobacco kills in many ways. For example, circulatory disease caused by smoking kills more smokers each year than lung cancer. How long would George Burns have lived to be if he hadn't smoked cigars, 115, 125? Click here to look at the " truth ". What's wrong with dying healthy from natural causes!

14. I get bored. It helps pass the time

Tobacco does not control any clock on earth but it does control you . For the pack a day nicotine smoker it takes about 30 minutes before their blood's nicotine level to drop to the point where their mind sends them an "urge" of discomfort to remind you that it's time for a feeding. It doesn't matter where they are or what they're doing. Depending upon your daily nicotine requirements, the voice inside your head will let you know when it's time. All you're doing when bored is being alert enough to what lies ahead, so that you keep topping off your nicotine tank before the next message of discomfort arrives.

15. It's my choice and I choose to smoke!

It's a lie and you know it! You lost your "choice" and the ability to simply walk away the day that nicotine feedings became mandatory. The only choice you have now is how EARLY you feed the beast within. The ignorant nicotine addict still believes the "choice" myth pounded into their brain by an endless stream of highly effective tobacco company marketing. All the pretty colored boxes, the displays, the sea of ads, how often have you seen any smoker switch brands? It's a well set trap from teens and a way to keep you from looking at the man behind the curtain - nicotine. You uneducated smoker associated smoking with the newspaper, coffee, travel, stress, other smokers, telephone calls, meals, celebrations, romance, or even as a necessary step prior to walking into a store. The educated nicotine addict sees all nicotine fixes as either mandatory, or an early feeding, in order to avoid the onset and discomfort of chemical withdrawal. You smoke nicotine after a meal because it's time for a nicotine feeding and you smoke before a meal because it isn't polite to feed yourself nicotine and food at the same time. If your regular feedings are spaced thirty minutes apart, at least every thirty minutes you're going to start sensing the need for more nicotine regardless of the activity.

16. I'm only hurting me

Have you stopped for even one moment to reflect upon the financial, physical or emotional pain that your needless dying and death would bring your loved ones? Do you care that the deadly byproducts of your addiction have the potential to harm or kill family members, whose only crime was loving you? How much does it cost to attempt to cure a cancer patient? $100,000? $200,000? $300,000? How much is your annual deductible, your lifetime benefits cap and who will pay any balance that remains? What's the cost of a funeral today and which loved one have you designated to pay the emotional price of making arrangements for your early departure? As for making your family breathe second-hand smoke, the World Health Organization says that your smoke contributes to causing lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, colds, coughing, wheezing, worsening of asthma, middle ear disease, cardiovascular disease, and even neurobehavioural impairment (especially in young children). It also found that maternal smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy is a major cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), reduced birth weight and decreased lung function.

17. A cure for cancer is coming soon

Between Europe and North America tobacco will kill over one million this year. How many of them thought that a cure was on the way? Sadly, it was false hope. As hopeless drug addicts they waited, and waited and waited. What type of lung cancer are you waiting for them to cure - squamous cell, oat cell, adenocarcinoma, or one of the less common forms of lung cancer? Even if a cure is coming for all forms and types of cancer caused by tobacco (and there are many), what will be left of your lungs by the time it arrives? If you're gambling on "how" tobacco will kill you, don't forget to consider heart attacks , strokes, and emphysema. Which cure are you betting on?

18. I smoke lights and they're not as bad

Lights and ultra-lights are capable of delivering the same amount of tar and nicotine as regular brands, depending on how they're smoked. They do not reduce most health risks including the risk of heart disease or the risk of cancer . In fact, their smokers often take longer drags which means far more tar and more nicotine than advertised. Others simply smoke a higher number of lights because they feel short changed.

19. It's my right to blow smoke!

And it's the right of non-smokers and ex-smokers to be free from your smoke too. Social controls to protect the rights of non-smokers are just beginning. Can a dog's life-span be cut in half by a smoking master? Would you intentionally double the risk of heart attack or triple the risk of lung cancer for a spouse or family member? Why kill the innocent too? Are non-smokers who get extremely upset at having to breathe some of your smoke simply being obnoxious or are they fighting to protect themselves and those they love from the known harms generated from burning a plant that contains 44 known cancer causing agents (including nicotine) and releases 4,000+ chemical compounds when burned? Do you know a child whose mother smoked while pregnant who does not suffer from some form of impairment today? Think about it!

20. Quitting causes weight gain and it's just as dangerous.

This intellectual denial pre-assumes a large weight gain and then makes an erroneous judgement regarding relative risks. Quitting does not increase our weight, eating does. Some assert that metabolic changes associated primarily with the heart not having to work as hard could account for a pound or two but as far as being "dangerous," you'd have to gain an additional one hundred pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack a day. Keep in mind that your general health, physical abilities and lung capacity will all improve dramatically. If patient, you will develop the physical endurance (a 30% increase in overall lung function within 90 days) and mental recovery tools (the same tools needed to take control of your addiction to nicotine) necessary to shed any extra pounds just one pound at a time. Remember, smoking was your cue that a meal had ended. Unless you develop a new healthy cue there may be fewer leftovers. Also keep in mind how easy it would be for a drug addict to use intentional weight gain to a ploy to sabotage recovery.

21. It's too late now to heal these lungs

Nonsense! If you have not yet caused permanent lung damage you should expect to experience an almost one-third increase in overall lung function within just 90 days of quitting! It's amazing how much damaged lungs can repair themselves unless disease or cancer have already arrived. Even with emphysema, although destroyed air sacks will never again function, quitting now will immediately halt the needless destruction of additional tissues! You only have two options - decay or heal. Which cigarette in which pack will carry the spark that gives birth to that first cancerous cell ?

22. I'd quit but withdrawal never ends!

False! If you remain 100% nicotine free for just 72 hours, your blood will become nicotine free, your withdrawal anxieties will peak in intensity and the number of psychological craves will peak in number. The greatest challenge will be over. Within 10 days to two weeks, actual physical withdrawal is substantially complete as your mind has physically adjusted to the absence of nicotine and accustomed to natural brain dopamine levels. What then remains will be to encounter and recondition your remaining psychological habit crave triggers and to learn to live with the millions of smoking memories stored deep within your mind. You will experience your first day of total quit comfort, where you never once even "think" about a cigarette or smoking, by at least day ninety. The sad part is that you won't even realize that it has happened. After the first such day, they grow more and more frequent until they become your new norm. The deep sense of lasting comfort and calmness that awaits you is probably beyond your comprehension. The real "you" is in total control!

23.  But the craves last for hours!

Just like the lingering thought of a nice juicy steak, lobster in butter sauce, or fresh baked hot apple pie, you can make yourself "think" about having a cigarette all day long, if that's what you really want to do. Unlike thoughts, crave anxiety attacks last for less than 3 minutes. It's important that you look at a clock and time them as your mind can make those minutes seem like hours. The bulk of the anxiety surrounding each crave is self induced. Such "thoughts" can be controlled with honest answers and through the power of positive thinking . Strip away all the self-inflicted anxiety and what remains on Day 3 for the "average" quitter is just 18 minutes of true crave anxiety (an average of six craves each less than three minutes in duration)

24.  I'll quit after the next pack, next carton, next month, my next birthday or on New Years'

Oh really? Can you count on both hands and all your toes how many times you've lied to yourself with such nonsense? And which pack, carton, month or birthday will give you the best chance for success? Forget buying nicotine laden cigarettes by the pack or carton. A case is even cheaper! With the way that cigarette prices are shooting through the roof, you might as well calculate how many it will take to keep you in nicotine for life and buy them all now. The only problem with that is in determining how long you have left to live. How many more pack, carton, birthday and New Year's lies will you tell to yourself? When will they stop? If you continue on your present path, many Birthdays are very likely be cancelled by your early Deathday. Will your family celebrate without you?

25.   I like to smoke when I drink and I find myself smoking even more.

The effects of drinking and stress upon our body's nicotine level are the same. You smoke more when you drink not because you "like" to but because you MUST in order to keep your body's nicotine level within the comfort range, so that it does not experience the symptoms of early withdrawal. When you drink alcohol it causes your urine to become acidic. The acid causes nicotine to be drawn from your blood at an accelerated rate. Thus, the more you drink, the more nicotine you'll need to ingest to avoid the anxiety of early withdrawal. Although early alcohol use contributes to destroying a great many quit attempts, understanding the nicotine-acid relationship can be of benefit in accelerating physical nicotine withdrawal so that quitters can begin feeling relief sooner. Acidic fruit juices, such as cranberry, may help reduce the normal 72 hours of withdrawal required to remove all nicotine from the blood. If at all possible, don't drink during the first few days of your quit. When you do decide to drink, drink at home without cigarettes around before testing your resolve around smokers. By doing so you'll help to break the your mind's psychological link between smoking and drinking, with as little risk as possible. As millions of ex-smokers can attest, your beer or drinks will taste better than ever once your taste buds are allowed an opportunity to heal.

26.   It's too painful to quit!

Compared to what? Three days of physical withdrawal (just 72 hours) in no way compares to the pain of months of chemotherapy, lung removal surgery and a two foot scar, a losing battle with throat cancer, years of trying to recover from a serious stroke or massive heart attack, or fighting for every breath through emphysema riddled lungs as you drag oxygen around for the remainder of your life. If you're really worried about hurt then why continue your daily destruction?

27.  If I quit, I'll just start back again. I always do.

The truth is that you don't have to relapse. We relapse because we rewrite the law of addiction, we forget why we quit, or we invent lies and stupid excuses, such as those that fill this page. Your next quit can be your last but you need to learn how to care for your quit , while always applying the only rule that you'll ever need to obey - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF OF NICOTINE!


28. I'll cut down or quit and smoke just one now and then

You are addicted to a substance that is five times as addictive as cocaine (15% vs. 75%). You may be strong enough to cut back a bit but you'll remain addicted, the decay will continue and a recent study indicates that your health risks will remain unchanged. If you were a pack-a-day nicotine smoker and after quitting you decide to smoke just one cigarette, you might as well get ready to smoke the other 7,300 for the year too as full and complete relapse is virtually assured. The Law of Nicotine Addiction is simple - one puff of new nicotine and it's over! Yes, 95 to 97% of those who smoke nicotine from just one cigarette will immediately or soon thereafter experience full and complete relapse back to their prior level of nicotine intake or higher. Your addiction permanently transformed your brain into a highly efficient nicotine processing machine capable of generating a steady output of dopamine. Quitting is a process where the brain learns to function without the extra dopamine but it does not alter your processing potentials. After quitting, the jail remains but is empty and you're on probation for life!

29.   I tried quitting but my family stopped supporting me or was giving me such a hard time that it caused me to throw in the towel

It's a lie. You gave up because you used your family as a cheap excuse to get your drug back. You exaggerated everything they did or didn't do. You were looking for any excuse. You're the drug addict yet you expected them to understand the weakness and thinking of a drug addict's mind. Maybe they didn't pat you on the back as often as you wanted, but if they've never been through chemical withdrawal themselves is it really fair to expect them to appreciate the magnitude or duration of your challenge? They just want you to be normal. They don't know how to react. Do they pat you on the back and keep reminding you, or hope and pray that the worst has passed? Feeling unappreciated, picking fights and creating confrontation are tools of the addict's mind that are often used as weapons in order to reclaim their drug. Some know that if they inflict tremendous stress on loved ones that they may even convince their loved one to beg them to start smoking nicotine again, or to buy their relapse cigarettes for them. That way they can blame their relapse on their loved one. "They just couldn't handle my quitting." "Maybe next time!" The lengths to which the nico-addict will go in order to feed the beast are almost beyond belief. Yes, some will even hurt those that love them most.

30.  Ok, I'm going to quit! Now I can enjoy my smokes until then!

If you've done this more than once, isn't it just more junkie head games ? This addict wants to feel good about smoking nicotine and they've learned that by saying that they're going to quit, that they make themselves feel better even though deep down they know that it's just another lie! Unless something awakens this addict, there may never be a serious quit in their future.

31.   I've got to die of something!

True, but if you knew that tomorrow morning at 9:22 a.m. a massive smoking induced stroke would bring your life to an abrupt end, and you'd die on a cold floor with a cigarette beside you - just as tens of thousands of smokers are found each year - would you light that last cigarette at 9:21 a.m. and pull the trigger that kills you? Would this be one or your primary recovery denial rationalizations? Look around at all the smokers you see today. The death certificates of half will read, "cause of death - smoking. " Yes, they had to die of something but not an average of more than 5,000 days early. Have you met Noni and Bryan ? Would any non-addicted human spend each and every day of the remainder of their life intentionally destroying a little bit more of their ever shrinking lung capacity? Why continue doing so until physical exercise is no longer an option, or until your chemical dependency begins burdening and wasting the lives of others who'll be forced to care for you, as they watch you struggle just to suck oxygen from tanks and machines 24 hours a day? Which family member have you spoken with about taking care of you once you've almost finished destroying that body? Can you imagine what it's like trying to breathe through a straw? It's called emphysema. Since you've got to die of something why not try it out now. See what it would be like to have advanced emphysema by spending just five minutes learning to straw breathe. What has nicotine done for you lately?

32.   I can't quit alone. I'll need nicotine gum, the patch, hypnosis, acupuncture, magic herbs or other wonder drugs!

Wrong! The simple truth is that no magic cure has ever " made " any smoker quit smoking nicotine. The key to immediate and lasting abstinence is education and understanding not hypnosis , not acupuncture and not some over-the-counter nicotine product that teaches absolutely nothing while robbing93%of those who toy with clean-nicotine of a valuable opportunity to master the core principles underlying years of nicotine dependency. Remember, should all else fail, you always have you!


33.   It's all Nicodemon's fault, not mine!

There is no Nicodemon. There never was. The title to this article, Nicodemon's Lies, is one of the biggest lies of all. They were never Nicodemon's lies but your lies. There is no nico-monster and there never has been. Nicotine is simply a chemical, a drug, an alkaloid known as C10H14N2, and its I.Q. is and always has been zero. It does not think, plan, inflict punishment, nor will it conspire to make you relapse or die addicted to it. The fact that it has zero intelligence is your greatest weapon. Everything you see, feel, and sense during nicotine withdrawal and recovery will be grounded in chemical dependency, conditioning, reason, logic or science. Any conspirators in any past attempts to make you relapse and destroy your recovery were always and only "you!" Should you reclaim control of your brain reward pathways, your health and your life, the victory will belong only to you!

EPILOGUE

Taking back control, restoring self-respect and self-confidence, being truly honest and feeling totally free, so fresh and new, clean and proud, smelling oh so sweet, while healing and growing healthier day by day, the real you is just dying to come home. Is it time to end the suicide march or were you born to die an addict's death? It's your birthright to be free. Isn't it time you claimed it? Isn't it time to meet the "real" you again? The key to your cell and to trading places, by placing your dependency under arrest, is in understanding the core principles of dependency, withdrawal and recovery, while following just one simple rule - never use nicotine in any form again - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

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