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Why we say "N.O.P.E."

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 31, 2017

Why do we say "Not One Puff Ever"?


At first, it sure sounds like a code-phrase for WILLPOWER, doesn't it? But that's not what it means to us.

"Willpower" is not what it takes to be a successful Quitter. In fact, people who just try to "gut it through" (and "hope it works") are most likely to fail.


The mantra "NOPE" is used because we understand three basic principles:


(1) Nicotine is true chemical addiction,. It uses the same dopamine reward pathways in our brains as as does an addiction to alcohol, cocaine or heroin.


(2) Once we are addicted to nicotine, we cannot "cure" or "kill" an addiction but only ARREST it.


(3) Even after we have successfully arrested our nicotine addiction, taking JUST ONE PUFF of nicotine will create a high probability of becoming a smoker again. This is true regardless of how long we have maintained a successful Quit.


From these three principles comes The Law of Addiction, which states,


"Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."


And that, my friends, boils down to "If you take a puff, you're prolly gonna end up smoking again".


(I know this to be absolutely true, because I gave up a 23-year Quit by smoking just one bummed cigarette "to see if I still liked it". That's called "overconfidence". Do not ever develop that. I immediately began smoking full-time again for four more years. I could have avoided that so easily if I'd understood that nicotine is not a "bad habit"; it's an addiction that can be jump-started with one bad choice...)


And so we say: NOT ONE PUFF EVER. (N.O.P.E.)

Get it? Got it! Good!

xxxooo, Sky   (see the site "" for more information on addiction)


Take a Deep Breath...

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 1, 2017

I'm sure glad June is over!  I finished up the last of five 3-day trips, back-to-back, with a transcontinental red-eye that arrived in DC at 5:58am.  I flew 15 days in a row.  I went to my condo to sleep for a few hours, then back to the airport to catch a flight home to  the Oregon Coast.  I have SIX DAYS OFF!!!!


Flying over the Cascade Range as we approached the Portland airport, we got a nice view of Mt Hood, which is the fourth highest peak in the range.  I took the picture below.



Every time I see Mt. Hood, I am reminded of the majesty of this earth of ours.  And of the feeling of breathing in cold, crispy, fresh mountain air.  And even though the only air available to me at that time is icky recirculated airplane air, I take a deep, deep breath.  I fill up my lungs, taking as much air in as I can.  I hold my breath for a few seconds, then I slowly blow it out.  And it feels so good to be able to do that!


Before I quit smoking, I couldn't have taken a "deep" breath, much less a "deep,deep" breath.  And when I tried, it always ended with me coughing.  And, demented as it may be, the coughing reminded me that I couldn't wait to land so I could smoke.  


But things are different now.  I quit smoking four years ago.  I gave my lungs a second chance.  They are healing every day.  Now, when we drive up Mt. Hood, I can take in huge breaths of cold, fresh air.  


They are wonderful cleansing breaths that give me a sense of calm, that help me to relax, and remind me that my stresses are mostly small ones, self-created and will eventually resolve themselves.


But, wait, aren't those the things that I used to insist that smoking did for me?  Make me calm?  Relax me?  Solve my problems?  These are the lies of addiction that we tell ourselves.  


And you have the power to change that for yourself and improve your life.   You CAN quit.  It isn't easy at first.  It requires some preparation, some reading, some thinking adjustments.  The improvements in the beginning of your Quit are so small at first that you may not notice them.  But every single day, every hour, every minute that you are not smoking, you are healing your body and your brain.


So take a deep cleansing breath.  And be proud of yourself for taking control of an ugly addiction that USED to have control of YOU.


You can do this.  Yes, I'm talking to YOU.


xxxooo, Sky