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What is Nicotine?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 30, 2014

Nicotine is a nitrogen-containing chemical - an alkaloid, which is made by several types of plants, including the tobacco plant. Nicotine is also produced synthetically.Nicotiana tabacum, the type of nicotine found in tobacco plants, comes from the nightshade family. Red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes are examples of the nightshade family.

Apart from being a substance found in tobacco products, nicotine is also an antiherbivore chemical, specifically for the elimination of insects - it used to be extensively used as an insecticide.

Pharmacologic effects - when humans, mammals and most other types of animals are exposed to nicotine, it increases their heart rate, heart muscle oxygen consumption rate, and heart stroke volume - these are known as pharmacologic effects.

Psychodynamic effects - the consumption of nicotine is also linked to raised alertness, euphoria, and a sensation of being relaxed.


Addictive properties - nicotine is highly addictive. People who regularly consume nicotine and then suddenly stop experience withdrawal symptoms, which may include cravings, a sense of emptiness, anxietydepression, moodiness, irritability, and inattentiveness. The American Heart Association says that nicotine (from smoking tobacco) is one of the hardest substances to quit - at least as hard as heroin.

According to a report published by the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health, tobacco companies steadily increased the nicotine content of their cigarettes from 1998 to 2004, by approximately 10%. The higher the nicotine dose in each cigarette, the harder it is for the regular smoker to quit. The Department accused the tobacco companies of deliberately making their customers more addicted, so that they could secure sales. Doctors complain that this business strategy of getting customers more hooked undermines the success rates of smoking cessation therapies

In November 2012, tobacco companies were ordered by US District Judge Gladys Kessler to inform consumers that they had deliberately manipulated their cigarettes so that smokers would become more addicted.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary:

Nicotine is "A poisonous volatile alkaloid derived from tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) and responsible for many of the effects of tobacco; it first stimulates (small doses), then depresses (large doses) at autonomic ganglia and myoneural junctions. Its principal urinary metabolite is cotinine.


Nicotine is an important tool in physiologic and pharmacologic investigation, is used as an insecticide and fumigant, and forms salts with most acids."


Another study carried out at the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that nicotine consumption makes cocaine more addictive. (Link to article)




Nicotine's molecular formula is C10H14N2.


How did nicotine get its name?


The French ambassador in Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain, sent tobacco and seeds to Paris from Brazil in 1560, saying that tobacco had medicinal uses. From his name came the Latin name for the tobacco plant - Nicotianana tabacum.

Nicot sent snuff - powdered tobacco that is sniffed through the nostril - to Catherine de Medici, the Queen of France at the time. He said it would treat her migraines. Nicot, who suffered fromheadaches, said the snuff helped relieve symptoms. The Queen tried it and said it was effective. She said that tobacco should be called the Herba Regina (the herb of the queen).

In 1828, Wilhelm Heinrich Posselt, a doctor, and Karl Ludwig Reinmann, a chemist, both from Germany, first isolated nicotine from the tobacco plant. They said it was a poison.

Louise Melsens, a Belgian chemist and physicist, described nicotine's empirical formula in 1843, and Adolf Pinner and Richard Wolffenstein, both chemists from Germany, described its structure in 1893.




In 1904, nicotine was first synthesized by A. Pictet and P. Crepieux.




Side effects of nicotine




The pharmacokinetics of nicotine


Pharmacokinetics refers to what the body does to a substance, while pharmacodynamics refers to what a substance does to the body.

After inhaling tobacco smoke, nicotine rapidly enters the bloodstream, crosses the blood-brain barrier and is inside the brain within eight to twenty seconds. Within approximately two hours after entering the body, half of the nicotine has gone (elimination half-life of about two hours).

How much nicotine may enter a smoker's body depends on:

  • what type of tobacco is being used
  • whether or not the smoker inhales the smoke
  • whether a filter is used, and what type of filter it is

Tobacco products that are chewed, placed inside the mouth, or snorted tend to release considerably larger amounts of nicotine into the body than smoking.

Nicotine is broken down (metabolized) in the liver, mostly by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cotinine is the main metabolite.






What is the nicotine "effect"?


Nicotine is both a sedative and a stimulant. When our bodies are exposed to nicotine, we experience a "kick"- this is partly caused by nicotine's stimulation of the adrenal glands, resulting in the release of adrenaline (apinephrine). This surge of adrenaline stimulates the body, there is an immediate release of glucose, as well as an increase in heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.


Nicotine also makes the pancreas produce less insulin, resulting in slight hyperglycemia (high blood sugar or glucose).


Indirectly, nicotine causes dopamine to be released in the pleasure and motivation areas of the brain. A similar effect occurs when people take heroin or cocaine. The drug user experiences pleasure. Dopamine is a brain chemical that affects emotions, movements, and sensations of pleasure and pain. Dopamine neurotransmitters are located in the substantia nigra, deep in the middle of the brain. Put simply, if your brain dopamine levels rise, your sensation of contentment is higher.

Depending on the nicotine dose taken and the individual's nervous system arousal, nicotine can also act as a sedative.

Tolerance - the more nicotine we have, the higher our tolerance becomes, and we require higher doses to enjoy the same initial effects. As most of the nicotine in the body is gone during sleep, tolerance may have virtually disappeared first thing in the morning. That is why many smokers say their first cigarette of the day is the best, or strongest. As the day develops, nicotine has less of an effect, because of tolerance build-up.




Concentration and memory - studies have shown that nicotine appears to improve memory and concentration. Experts say that this is due to an increase in acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Norepinephrine also increases the sensation of wakefulness (arousal).


Reduced anxiety - nicotine results in increased levels of beta-endorphin, which reduces anxiety.




How common is nicotine addiction?


Humans get their nicotine "fix" primarily through smoking tobacco, but can also obtain it by snorting snuff, chewing tobacco, or taking NRTs (nicotine replacement therapies), such as nicotine gum, lozenges, patches and inhalators.

By far, the most popular way of consuming nicotine is by smoking cigarettes. Worldwide, over one billion people are regular tobacco smokers, according to WHO (World Health Organization).

Smoking in the USA - Approximately 23% of adult males and 18% of adult females in the USA are smokers. Over 400,000 thousand premature deaths in the country are caused by cigarette companies, nearly 20% of all deaths. More people die as a result of smoking than all the deaths due to HIV, vehicle accidents, murders, suicides, alcohol abuse and drug abuse combined.




Smoking in the UK - approximately 24% of the UK adult population are smokers, according to the NHS (National Health Service) - 25% of males and 23% of females. 114,000 smokers die prematurely in the UK every year.


The NHS, UK, says that about 70% of all British smokers would like to quit, but believe they cannot. Half of all smokers in the country eventually manage to give up successfully.

Cigarette smoking originates from the European exploration and colonization of the Americas, where tobacco was common. Smoking tobacco soon became popular in Europe, and then spread to the rest of the world.

Giving up smoking reduces heart attack risk to lifetime non-smokers' level - although quitting smoking cannot reverse damage to the arteries, it can reduce the risk of heart attack and death to levels found in people who have never been smokers, researchers from New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College found.





CDC director explains what he hates about electronic cigarettes


Of all the threats to Americans’ health -- a list that includes bird flu, measles and West Nile virus -- few get Dr. Tom Frieden as riled up as electronic cigarettes.


As director of the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionFrieden has a ready-made platform for spreading his views about the dangers of vaping. During a visit to the Los Angeles Times on Monday, we asked him why he is so passionate about e-cigarettes.


“I’ve treated so many adults who are desperate -- desperate -- to get off tobacco. They all started as kids,” Frieden said. “I see the industry getting another generation of our kids addicted. To me, as a physician, when 1.78 million of our high school kids have tried an e-cigarette and a lot of them are using them regularly … that’s like watching someone harm hundreds of thousands of children.”


In addition, he said, “people have a misconception that the tobacco epidemic is a thing of the past. Tobacco still kills more Americans than any other cause. It still kills more than 1,000 people a day. As a doctor, I can tell you it kills them in really unpleasant ways -- gasping for breath with emphysema, with cancer, with heart disease.”


What does that have to do with e-cigarettes?


“E-cigarettes are a tobacco product,” he said.


Actually, the battery-operated devices do not burn tobacco. Instead, as my colleague Monte Morin reported, they “heat nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerin into a vapor, which is inhaled by the user.”


[Updated at 5:46 p.m. PDT April 29: The nicotine burned in an e-cigarette may be extracted from a tobacco plant, according to the Food and Drug Administration.]


Still, Frieden rattled off five reasons why e-cigarettes are as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes:


--“If they get another generation of kids more hooked on nicotine and more likely to smoke cigarettes, that’s more harm than good,” he said.


--“If they get smokers who would have quit to keep smoking instead of quitting, more harm than good.


--“If they get ex-smokers who have been off nicotine to go back on nicotine and then back to cigarettes, more harm than good.


--“If they get people who want to quit smoking and would have taken medicines to think e-cigarettes are going to help, but they don’t, more harm than good.


--“If they re-glamorize smoking, it’s more harm than good.”


Just for good measure, Frieden threw in two more problems with e-cigarettes: People who use them can expose kids, teens and pregnant women to nicotine via secondhand smoke; and enterprising smokers can put marijuana or hallucinogens in an e-cigarette “tank.”


Frieden acknowledged that “stick to stick, they’re almost certainly less toxic than cigarettes" and that many people have quit smoking tobacco cigarettes with the help of e-cigarettes. However, he said, “the plural of anecdote is not data.”


“If the e-cigarette companies want to market these to help people quit, then do the clinical trials and apply to the FDA,” he said, in a reference to the Food and Drug Administration. “But they don’t want to do that. They want to market them widely.”


Just last week, the FDA announced it would begin regulating electronic cigarettes by forbidding sales to minors and requiring manufacturers to include health warnings on the devices. Frieden called those moves “a good first step.”


“The challenge that the FDA has is that they will be challenged by the tobacco industry, as they have been at every step of the way,” he said. The federal agency “tried to regulate e-cigarettes earlier, and they lost to the tobacco industry. … So the FDA has to balance moving quickly with moving in a way that’s going to be able to survive the tobacco industry’s highly paid legal challenge.” 


Know your Enemy!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 29, 2014

What would you say is your enemy in this effort?

Well, that goes deeper into your reasons for quitting. If health is anywhere on that list then keep reading!

If you answered sickerettes, then you’re only partially right! The true enemy is Nicotine!

Why? Because Nicotine is the substance that addicts you and becoming free of the addiction is the only true way to protect your health and that of your family and pets.

When tobacco is smoked, nicotine is absorbed through the wall lining of the small air sacs in the lungs. When sniffed or chewed, it is absorbed through the mucous membranes of the nose or mouth. Nicotine can also be absorbed through the skin.

Regardless of how nicotine is absorbed, it enters the bloodstream where it circulates throughout the body and travels to the brain where it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, it binds to and activates receptors called the cholinergic receptors.

These cholinergic receptors are present in the brain as well as in other areas such as the muscles, heart, adrenal glands and other vital organs. Normally, these receptors are activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is produced at nerve endings in the brain and in the nerves of the peripheral nervous system.

The actions of acetylcholine help to maintain healthy respiration, heart function, muscle movement and cognitive functions such as memory.

Since nicotine has a similar structure to acetylcholine, it can activate the cholinergic receptors. However, unlike acetylcholine, nicotine enters the brain and disrupts its normal functioning. Regular smoking leads to a change in the number of cholinergic receptors and to changes in their sensitivity to nicotine. This can lead to the development of nicotine tolerance.

Once this happens, the affected person needs to use nicotine regularly to maintain normal brain function. If the level of nicotine falls, the smoker may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that lead to them "topping up" their nicotine levels by smoking again. Because of its highly addictive properties, smoking is considered by the American Heart Association to be one of the hardest addictions to break.

A new paper delivered at the American Society of Cell Biology annual meeting in New Orleans suggests that nicotine can cause direct harm to cells in the heart.

The molecular pharmacology professor at Brown University exposed cells found in the heart to nicotine. After only six hours, a kind of cellular drill, called podosome rosettes formed and ate through tissue.


When this happens in the vascular smooth muscle cells which are in the middle layer of the arterial wall to the inner layer, this can cause plaque to form in atherosclerosis. This happened when Hai exposed human and rat cells to nicotine.


What that means is that the nicotine is acting like "a kind of cancer of the blood vessel which is waking up these cells and breaking them away from their surrounding matric and then migrating having an effect like it is almost like digging a hole through the wall," Hai said. "I think this is potentially very interesting and significant."


It also means that the nicotine substitute of an e-cigarette may reduce a person's chance of having lung cancer, but it does not mean that their risk of heart disease will go away.

It’s not real tobacco smoke, but the emissions from electronic cigarettes can still contain harmful ingredients.

A new study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research shows that e-cigarettes generate enough nicotine emissions that they can be inhaled by those near a smoker. Third hand nicotine clings to your body, hands, furniture – even your carpet! This exposure rcreates health risks to your family members and pets.

Would you offer a little bit of cyanide to your loved ones or take it yourself because you don’t want to give them a lot??? That’s the logic of “harm reduction.”

There’s only one way to free yourself and your family from the dangers of sickerettes – become addiction FREE! We can show you how! You decide!


You CAN Quit Smoking!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 29, 2014

50 Million people already have!

Knowledge is POWER!

Read, Read, Read! Retrain your addicted Brain!

“It is what it is.” Does that mean I know this is true or does it mean that I accept it? Knowing is easy. Acceptance means getting to the other side.

It means when there is a hard to swallow reality such as having a chronic, progressive, incurable smoking related illness I allow myself to process the grief of that until I reach a stage of acceptance and actually integrate the totality of it, feeling okay about what it is, and turning my focus back to what I can do instead of what I can’t.

It means learning to live a nourishing healthy lifestyle that incorporates my COPD but doesn’t forfeit my essence to it. For me that has taken a long time beginning with Smoking Cessation and still evolving through the progressive nature of illness.

Each year I’m just a bit less able to breathe and control my coughing. Each year I have a few more sick days and even “sick” takes on a whole new meaning. Each year I have to reform my household hygiene,push myself to EXercise and eat right, accommodate my lack of stamina, prepare for sick days…

I have learned that whatever I choose not to accept is likely to continue kicking my a$$ until I get right with it. Getting it right takes me back to the Serenity Prayer over and over again because I may have it right today but next Month may bring new realities – new acceptance challenges.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Always sorting….

What is gone and won’t come back ever?

What might I be able to reacquire with concerted effort?

Knowing the difference I challenge myself to hold onto what I do have until the day comes when it really is gone for ever. (I was going to say for good, but I don’t see anything good about it! My acceptance isn’t that complete!)

When we find something to be unacceptable, how are we to accept it? I start by acknowledging that I am powerless to change it. Not hopeless or helpless but simply unable to control it. Then I consider that while it is not how I want it to be, that perhaps it is how it is supposed to be…

Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today. When I am disturbed it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

…Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.” – Alcoholics Anonymous

Add “Grrrrr” to “attitude” and it comes out gratitude. Recovery from anything including Nicotine Addiction and COPD  involves overcoming a “disease of the attitudes.” I get in my own way when I choose to blame others, wallow in self pity, or focus my energy on what I cannot do. When I do that I feel stressed out, depressed, and anxious. All of that energy wasted just to avoid the daunting possibility of change.

Old adages ring true, “Most folks really are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” I have every right to be angry and to express my needs and feelings. In fact, anger is one of the Stages of Grief.

But I also have the right to heal, to adjust (change), to overcome, and to transform. Simple choice: stay stuck or grow?

EXperience teaches me, guides me, and offers me wisdom. Just as acceptance is always optional, so too is making sense of life’s lessons. Choosing to live in the present without regret and as little resentment as possible affords me greater opportunity to gain wisdom.

The lessons get a little more painful each time they come around until I learn to accept. Now, I’ve learned to laugh at my own folly.

“I did then what I knew to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou

Please Join me in Celebrating on the Freedom Train Today!


The Turning Point!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 26, 2014

I can't say what day it happened.


Yet I know that there WAS a point where the war between I want a cigarette( IWC) and I don't want a cigarette (IDWC) was over!  


Of course the battle has been fierce especially during the first week when the IWC found out that IDWC was life and death serious and not just playing around with an entertaining idea!


I followed James advice and most of the time was able to ignore the war which is probably why I can't point to an AHHH moment!  


Thus, the war went on and I went on a semi-Happy Quitter (I'm not as good at it as James - wish I was!) Inevitably the war was over and the winner IDWC was declared and I looked up and knew IWC doesn't have a chance!




I decided to QUIT SMOKING and I decided to ignore the battle but most importantly I didn't let a cigarette near my face NO MATTER WHAT! I have said N.O.P.E. each and every morning! And some days several times an hour  - whatever it takes because this was for me the single most important thing I could do for myself to improve my HEALTH and LIFE!


 Then I found that I was changing!  I became a more confident, concerned person!  I'm concerned about LIFE but I'm also concerned about QUALITY OF LIFE!  That means not only not dying but LIVING ABUNDANTLY!


 Those of you that know me well have seen these motifs rising one by one to the surface of my blogs and comments and by no means do I think that I am done growing and changing!


I feel that at 56 years old that I am in many ways just beginning to LIVE - to LIVE ABUNDANTLY the way my Creator  intended!


This is the gift I want for those of you out there who are just beginning this journey ! Give your QUIT a chance and all that sense of loss, deprivation, sadness, regret, suffering and self sacrifice WILL turn around 360 degrees and it will be the cigarette that is the obvious source of the suffering and you will KNOW in your total being that you have made the absolute BEST DECISION in your entire LIFE!


Best Wishes!  


That would be the Law of Addiction! Each of us is an individual with our own personal quit history but it doesn't change the Law of Addiction! The Law of Addiction doesn't even know or care who you are! It's an equal opportunity law, like the Law of Gravity! The Law of Addiction says

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

It applies whether you've been hooked for 2 weeks or 50 years and everything in between! It applies to the social smoker just as it does the closet smoker and the chain smoker. It applies to the 15 year old and the 60 year old. It applies to the healthy and the ill, to men and women, straight and gay, religious and atheist, all of us equally!

So where's the opportunity? You have the opportunity to slowly kill yourself while spending $10/day! You have the opportunity of giving away your brain - your judgment - yourself! You have the opportunity of hiding away from life on life's terms behind a soke cloud that threaten the health of everybody around you and your pets! 

OR you have the opportunity to become FREE the way Our Creator made us to be!

Bottom line - the only way to quit smoking is to Not take One Puff Ever!!!! N.O.P.E.!

One of two things happens following relapse. Either the user will think they have gotten away with using and, as a result, with the passage of time a "false sense of confidence" will have them using again, or they'll quickly find themselves back using nicotine at their old level of daily intake, or higher.


Although it sounds strange, as Joel notes, the lucky ones are those who quickly find themselves once again fully hooked.


Why? Because this group stands a far better chance of associating that first puff, dip or chew of nicotine with full and complete relapse. Instead of learning the Law of Addiction from some book such as this, they stand a chance of self-discovering the law through experience and the school of hard-knocks. 


It's a lesson that's become increasingly difficult to self-discover since 1984, when the FDA approved the first of a now vast array of nicotine replacement products (NRT), the nicotine gum. 


Today, the lesson that just one hit of nicotine spells relapse gets muddied and buried by promotion and marketing associated with ineffective nicotine weaning schemes. Those standing to profit from the sale of NRT have re-labeled a natural poison medicine. They teach that instead of ending nicotine's use that you need to replace it, and describe doing so as "therapy." 


Its why teaching and sharing the "Law of Addiction" with those still in bondage is the most important gift we can give. Pre-NRT generations enjoyed clean mental chalkboards upon which to record prior relapse experiences. Today the chalkboards of millions are so filled with conflicting messages that identifying truth has become nearly impossible. 


This generation needs us. They need our insights. 


 No Legitimate Justification for Relapse


Over the years we've heard nearly every relapse justification imaginable. Some relate extremely horrific and brutal life situations and then put their back against the wall as if daring you to tell them that their nicotine use and relapse wasn't justified.


Guess what? Again, there's absolutely no legitimate justification for relapse. None, zilch! 


As Joel puts it, we understand why the person failed. They "violated the Law of Addiction, used nicotine and are paying the mandatory penalty - relapse. We also know that any excuse that the person is attempting to give for having re-awakened an active chemical dependency is total nonsense. There is no justification for relapse."


Don't expect any serious support group or competent nicotine dependency recovery counselor to allow relapse excuses to stand unchallenged. They can't, as silence is a teacher too. Here, a deadly one. 


It's "like someone standing on a ledge of a building," writes Joel. "Do you want the people standing on the ground giving the person on the ledge reasons not to jump, or after listening to all the woes in the individual's life saying, 'Gosh, I understand what you are saying? ?’ 'I feel that way too.' 'I guess if I were in your shoes I would jump too.' 'Don't feel guilty, though, we understand.'" 


"I don't want this statement to be read like a mockery of those attempting to offer help," says Joel. "I am trying to illustrate an important point. Obviously, if the person on the ledge jumps he or she will die. But understand, that if a person relapses and doesn't quit, he or she is likely to face the same fate, just time delayed."


"Yes, if you saw a person on a ledge you would try to use empathy to coax him or her back. 

But, empathy would be in the form of explaining that you understand his or her plight but totally disapprove of his or her current tactic for dealing with it. There are better ways to resolve these problems than committing suicide." 


"You may understand the feelings the person had. You may have even felt them at some point yourself. But you don't give into the feeling," writes Joel. We are nicotine addicts: real, live honest to goodness drug addicts. If we were all heroin addicts sticking needles into our arms, when one of us relapsed and started again injecting heroin into their veins, would the rest of us pat them on the back and tell them that "it's ok"?


Would we tell them "don't worry about it," "it's just a little slip, nothing big" "you just keep slipping and we'll just keep hugging you each time you come back." "Hey, we all slip everyone in a while; it's just part of life," that "it's no big deal"?


No big deal? Surrendering control of life to an external chemical is a big, big deal. The smoker waiting for the sky to fall while committing slow motion suicide is massive. 


Continuing Use Rationalizations

While the relapsed addict may feel that their reason for relapse was sufficient, it will not be sufficient to explain the fact that they find themselves still using. They now need a new rationalization to explain why their relapse justification has passed, yet they haven't stopped using.


"I'm just too weak to stop."

This excuse dismisses or ignores having been successful up to the point of relapse. 

Obviously, they were not too weak then. 

This user would benefit by focusing upon and breathing renewed life into freedom's neglected dreams and desires. 


During their next recovery they need to master putting and keeping those dreams in the driver's seat of their mind, especially during challenge. They'd be wise to review the crave coping techniques shared in Chapter 11 and prepare for battle by arming themselves with additional coping skills. They need to appreciate that the growing pride they felt before they relapsed can take root anew in just a few hours, as they navigate withdrawal again, just one challenge at a time. 


"Well, at least I tried."

As Joel notes, chalking the attempt up to "experience" will mean absolutely nothing unless the user "objectively evaluates what caused his relapses." "Instead of recognizing his past attempts as failures, he rationalizes a positive feeling of accomplishment about them.


 This type of rationalization all but assures failures in all future attempts." He needs to understand that claimed use justifications never cause relapse. Administering another dose of nicotine is what causes relapse, not the circumstances surrounding it.

"I know I will stop again."

This addict justifies continued use today by promising to navigate withdrawal in the future. But what if their now shattered dreams and desires never again become sufficient to motivate them to stop? What if there just isn't time? What if continuing use causes the fats and plaque building and gathering within an artery delivering oxygen to their brain to become fully blocked before arrival of the courage to again say "no." 


Once sufficiently re-motivated, why should they expect a different result if they still have little or no understanding as to why the last relapse occurred? 

If their motivations are sufficient now and they understand why they relapsed, what are they waiting for? 

They are likely waiting because they've invented some new silly drug use rationalization as to why now just isn't the right time. 


"I've tried everything to stop and nothing works."

Joel tells the story of a clinic participant named Barbara. She "told me that she had once attended another clinic and liked it more than ours. I asked her how long she had stopped after that program and she said, 'Oh, I didn't stop at all.'"


"I then asked her how many of the other people succeeded. She replied, 'I don't know if anybody stopped.' I then asked, if nobody stopped then why did she like the program more?

She answered, 'When I completed the program, I didn't feel bad about smoking!'"


I often hear, "I've already tried cold turkey plenty of times!" What this person doesn't yet appreciate is that education is a recovery method. In contrast to uneducated abrupt nicotine cessation it's like turning on the lights. Products and procedures clearly can fail to produce as advertised. But it's a little hard to blame knowledge and understanding when our actions are contrary to them.


 Like any tool, knowledge cannot take credit for being used, or blame for being ignored. Unlike products, this book can never claim credit for having endured a single challenge for any reader. Credit for their ongoing victory will always be 100 percent theirs. Likewise, responsibility for allowing nicotine back into their bloodstream and brain is totally theirs too. 


"Maybe I'm different."

"Maybe I can't quit."

It isn't that this person is different. In fact, they're the same as us. Relapse after relapse, with at least a dozen serious failed attempts of my own, I eventually came to believe that it was impossible for me to stop. 


After one last failed attempt in early 1999, I surrendered to the fact that I was a drug addict, hopeless and would die an addict's death. What I didn't then realize was that each of those battles was fought in ignorance and darkness. I was swinging blindly at an unseen opponent. What I didn't realize was that I'd never once brought my greatest weapon to the battlefield, my intelligence. 


I'd made recovery vastly more challenging than need be. I skipped meals, added hunger anxieties, mind fog, experienced caffeine doubling associated with at least a pot of coffee daily, and leaned heavily upon others for support. 


Insanely, more than once I celebrated and rewarded myself with just one cigarette after three days, once the early anxieties began easing off a bit. I knew nothing of the body's ability to rid itself of nicotine within 72 hours. And having inter-spaced cold turkey with at least four NRT attempts, I was totally lost. Was nicotine medicine or was it what was keeping me hooked? 


How could I possibly self discover the Law of Addiction via one puff and relapse when now being taught that nicotine was medicine? Was I weaker than the hundreds of millions who had successfully stopped? Was I different? 


Certainly not with respect to what happens once nicotine enters the brain. As Joel notes, it Is impossible to locate any person who relapsed who didn't introduce nicotine back into their bloodstream.


More Excuses Coming

As far as relapse excuses are concerned, life will provide an abundant supply for anyone looking for them. We will have friends or loved ones who will get sick, diseased and die. Dying is a normal part of life. If the death of someone close to us is an acceptable reason for relapse then the freedom and healing of nearly a billion now comfortable ex-users is at risk. 


Expect imperfect humans to do the unthinkable. We change, disagree, sometimes break promises, argue, and start and end relationships. Expect financial distress as food, medicine, fuel and living costs continue to rise. The loss of a job or inability to work may be an injury, disease or pink slip away.

Floods, droughts, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes will happen. People die, vehicles collide, sports teams lose, and terrorists attack and wars will be waged, won and lost. 


Life promises loads of excuses to relapse. But freedom's promise is absolute. It is impossible to relapse so long as all nicotine remains on the outside. We each have a 100 percent guarantee of staying free today so long as no nicotine gets inside. 


Harm Reduction

What if we do relapse? What then? Hopefully, relapse will instill a deep and profound respect for the power of one hit of nicotine to again take the mind's priorities teacher hostage. 


Hopefully, belief in the Law of Addiction will thereafter forever remain beyond question. 


Hopefully, we'll immediately work toward reviving and strengthening our dreams and soon start home again. But if not, what then?


And what if our relapse was to the dirtiest, most destructive and deadliest form of nicotine delivery ever devised the cigarette? 


We're told it accounts for 20% of all deaths in developed nations. According to the World 

Health Organization, smoking is expected to claim more than one billion nicotine addicts by the end of the 21st century.


Respected nicotine toxicologist Heinz Ginzel, MD writes, "burning tobacco ... generates more than 150 billion tar particles per cubic inch, constituting the visible portion of cigarette smoke. But this visible portion amounts to little more than 5 to 8 percent of what a lit cigarette discharges and what you inhale during puffing. The remaining 90% of the total output from a burning cigarette is in gaseous form and cannot be seen.


Many health officials wish they could immediately transfer all smokers to less destructive forms of nicotine delivery. And some are now strongly advocating it. 

"If NRT were ever able to replace smoking, which is highly unlikely," writes Dr. Ginzel, "morbidity and mortality caused by nicotine itself would manifest over time and replace that of cigarette smoking. It would probably be lower for the adult, but nicotine exposure during fetal development and infancy could have alarming consequences for affected populations." 


How many fewer deaths would occur? We don't really know. Although most harm reduction advocates are extremely optimistic and expect massive reductions, their suppositions ignore the fact that most smokers have already logged years of tobacco toxin and carcinogen exposure. 

How does their continuing use of the super-toxin nicotine factor into the damage already done? 


What are the long-term risks associated oral tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and replacement nicotine in long-term ex-smokers? It may take decades before science can untangle relative risks and draw reasonably reliable conclusions. 


As for any traditional combustion-type cigarette claiming to be less harmful than other burning cigarette, don't buy it. Inhaling gases and particles from a burning mini toxic waste dump is inherently dangerous and extremely destructive. 


A recent study examined the effects of smoke from three brands claiming harm reduction upon normal embryonic stem cell development. It found that smoke from these so-called harm-reduction cigarettes inhibited normal cell development as much "or more" than traditional brands.


Some public health advocates are alarmed that harm reduction campaigns may actually backfire, keeping millions who would have successfully arrested their chemical dependency hooked and cycling back and forth between cigarettes and other forms of nicotine delivery. 


They are also concerned that harm reduction campaigns tossing about terms such as "safe," "safer," or "safety" may actually entice ex-smokers to relapse.


I hold in my hand sample packets containing two 2mg pieces of "Fresh Fruit" and "Ice 

Mint" Nicorette gum with tooth whiteners. I was told that these sample packs were being sold at self-service checkout counter displays in Canadian beer stores for one penny.


How many ex-smokers will be tempted to give it a try while drinking alcohol? How many will relapse? How much of this sample gum will end up in the hands of youth?


The second sentence on the back of each Canadian sample pack tells smokers that Nicorette gum isn't just for stopping smoking. "Nicorette gum can also be used in cases in which you temporarily refrain from smoking, for example in smoke-free areas or in other situations which you wish to avoid smoking." 


Imagine pharmaceutical companies dove-tailing their marketing with that of tobacco companies in order to make continued smoking easier or more convenient. Have you ever wondered why you have never once heard any pharmaceutical industry stop smoking product commercial suggest that, "Smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema and circulatory disease, that you need to buy and use our product because smoking can kill you"? 


You haven't and likely never will. But why?

 As hard as this may be to believe, the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries have operated under a nicotine marketing partnership agreement since about 1984. The once secret documents evidencing the agreement are many, and suggest that neither side may directly attack the other side's products.


The primary purpose of their partnership is to ensure the purchase and use of each side's dopamine pathway stimulation products. They want you to pay them to satisfy your dependency's wanting. This book's purpose is to aid you in arresting it. 


Back to harm reduction where both sides in the debate appear to be overstating their case. 

Some opposed to harm reduction have argued that the risks associated with a smoker transferring to oral tobacco is like getting hit by a small car instead of a large truck, like shooting yourself in the foot instead of the head, or like jumping from a three-story building rather than one ten stories tall. 


Lacking accurate relative risk data themselves, the harm reductionist counters by asserting that, "Based on the available literature on mortality from falls, we estimate that smoking presents a mortality risk similar to a fall of about 4 stories, while mortality risk from smokeless tobacco is no worse than that from an almost certainly non-fatal fall from less than 2 stories."


"We estimate"? It's disturbing to see us stoop to educated-guessing when it comes to life or death.

It is also disturbing that no serious harm reduction advocate has yet been willing to provide an accurate accounting of known and suspected harms associated with chronic nicotine use. They know that the amount of nicotine needed to kill a human is 166 times smaller than the amount of caffeine needed to do so (40-60 milligrams versus 10 grams). Yet, in order to sell smokers on "safer" delivery many have resorted to falsely portraying nicotine as being as harmless as caffeine.


Harm reduction advocates have also done little to quiet concerns about the impact of marketing upon youth, messages already bombarding them with a wide array of tempting flavors being portrayed as vastly safer than smoking. 


They seem unconcerned by an increasing number of adolescent nicotine harm studies showing nicotine's horrific toll on the developing adolescent brain.


Let me give just one example among many. Ever wonder why those who started using nicotine as children or early teens tend to have greater difficulty learning through listening?


Research shows that adolescent nicotine disrupts normal development of auditory brain fibers. This damage may interfere with the ability of these fibers to pass sound, resulting in greater noise and diminished sound processing efficiency.


Harm reduction advocates not only ignore the harms inflicted by nicotine, they ignore nicotine's greatest cost of all, living every hour of your life as an actively feeding drug addict. They must, otherwise they couldn't sell it. They focus on dying not living. Some have resorted to accusing cessation educators and counselors unwilling to incorporate harm reduction lessons into their recovery programs as having a "stop or die" mentality. 


It is as if they have no appreciation for the fact that bargaining is a normal phase of recovery, and there may be no more inviting bargain for a drug addict than one which invites them to keep their drug.

It's why it pains me to include this harm reduction section here at the tail end of this book.

I worry that some new struggling ex-user reading this book, who would have succeeded if this section had not been included, will instead seize upon the words that follow as license to relapse.


But the alternative, the potential for relapse and then smoking yourself to death because relative risk had never been discussed or explained, is totally unacceptable. 

Still, as Dr. Ginzel notes, it would be nice if we knew the actual relative risks in contrasting oral tobacco to NRT but we don't. What is the relative risk when comparing cigarettes to oral tobacco or to electronic cigarettes or replacement nicotine?


We know that cigarettes currently contribute to nearly five million deaths this year, and that cigarettes release more than 4,000 chemicals while oral tobacco releases 2,550 chemicals. We also know that 81 potential cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in cigarette smoke versus 28 in oral tobacco.


The only as yet known harmful agent in both the new electronic or e-cigarettes (which uses an atomizer to create a nicotine mist) and replacement nicotine (NRT) is nicotine, and trace amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA's), which should be correctable via quality control.


Still, additional research is needed as we have little long-term data for pure nicotine, as nearly every user has years of cigarette or oral tobacco exposure, which makes it nearly impossible to determine direct and proximate cause.


Clearly, smokers face serious risk of many different types of cancers, a host of breathing disorders including emphysema, and serious circulatory disease as carbon monoxide combines with nicotine to destroy vessel walls and facilitate plaque buildup. 


Smoking's risks and roughly 50% adult kill rate are well known. What wasn't being studied until recently were the health concerns being expressed by long-term NRT users. Although we still don't know whether or not NRT user health concerns are in fact directly related to chronic nicotine use, online complaints among those who have used nicotine gum for one year or longer include: 


Addiction with intense gum cravings, anxiety, irritability, dizziness, headaches, nervousness, hiccups, ringing in the ears, chronic depression, headaches, heart burn, elevated blood pressure, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sleep disruption, tiredness, a lack of motivation, a heavy feeling, recessed, bleeding and diseased gums, diminished sense of taste, tooth enamel damage, tooth loss, jaw-joint pain and damage (TMJ), canker sores with white patches on the tongue or mouth, bad breath, dry mouth, sore or irritated throat, difficulty swallowing, swollen glands, bronchitis, stomach problems and pain, gastritis, severe bloating, belching, achy muscles and joints, pins and needles in arms and hands, uncontrollable foul smelling gas that lingers, a lack of energy, loss of sex drive, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, fecal impaction from dehydration, scalp tingling, hair loss, acne, facial reddening, chronic skin rashes and concerns about immune system suppression.


While smoking's harms are clearly vastly greater and far more life threatening than nicotine's, how do we weigh and balance pure nicotine's ongoing use harms against smoking's? 


How many millions of additional air sacs would these lungs have today if I'd permanently transferred my dependency to nicotine gum the first time I used it in 1985 or 86? 


If my goal had been long-term gum use instead of 8 to 12 weeks during cessation, would I have been more willing to accept gum's slower, less precise and less controllable delivery?


If I'd permanently transferred my dependency to cleaner delivery in 1986, would I be able to run for more than a few hundred feet today? Would I have more teeth?


If I had allowed myself to become hooked on the cure, as an estimated 37% of U.S. nicotine gum users were as of 2003,451 would I have had the motivation to eventually break free from all nicotine, as I did on May 15, 1999 when I stopped smoking? 


Would I have created WhyQuit two months later in July? Would I have met Joel in January 2000? Would this book have been written?


I don't know. Maybe, Maybe not. Hopefully you understand a bit better my reluctance to suggest that if you relapse to smoking nicotine, that if a non-pregnant adult, that you consider attempting to adapt to a cleaner form of nicotine delivery.


There, I've done it. But my dream isn't about seeing you develop the patience to allow yourself time to adapt to and remain slave to a cleaner less destructive form of delivery.


It's that you develop the "one day at a time" patience needed to go the distance and allow yourself to sample and taste the freedom and healing beyond. 


Once free, I pray you never forget the most important lesson of all. As Joel says, the true measure of nicotine's power isn't in how hard it is to stop, but in how easy it is to relapse.


Thousands of words but still just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all ... 

no nicotine today! Yes we can!


Breathe deep, hug hard, and live long,

"God gave us a Spirit not of fear but of POWER and LOVE and Self-Control!"

 - 2 Timothy 1:7





Fear of quitting and facing life without sickerettes is natural. After all, we are Addicts and often we have more years of life smoking than not smoking and those not smoking years were a very long time ago when we were children!

Also, although we may not consciously realize it, subconsciously, we know that we have been hiding all kinds of emotions under that smoke cloud - scary emotions like anger, disappointment, and fear of other aspects of our lives. Why would I want to EXpose myself to such EXtreme vulnerability?

Because it gives us an opportunity to HEAL - physically but also emotionally! We own our feelings and deal with them in a whole healthy way for the first time in a long, long time!

Re-cover means to un-cover those emotions that haven't gone away first. They're still there - lingering under that smoke cloud! But un-covered, we can choose to either EXpress them or to simply forgive - to let them go - either because they are part of the past and presently irrelevant or because they are out in the open and can be repaired from here and now!

RECOVERY=reowning ME!

Addiction stunts our emotional growth! Recovery allows the real you to bloom!


 I want to republish one of my Favorite BLOGS by one of my Favorite Advocates! I hope this helps those of us who are waivering!!!


Your DECISION to stop smoking starts with your mindset and usually goes something like this. The first few attempts usually turn out to be dismal failures because you weren't actually serious when you quit! We saved the ashtrays, packs of ciggs (just in case) and even told ourselves we would only smoke if things got really bad, too stressful, or if we lost our job etc... WHY would we do that? Personally I believe it's because we had smoked for such a long time and we really WANTED to quit, but not FOREVER...that was way too much to realize at the time....So we left the "back doors" open in our subconscious mind to starting again.....But ONLY if something TERRIBLE happened...even though the TERRIBLE thing did or didn't happen, our mind kept drifting back to the old subconscious 'brainwashing' of "I'll never REALLY be happy without smoking", or "I love smoking" ", or blah,blah,blah....... Then, after awhile, when we become serious enough to quit, we come to the realization that we are CHOOSING to quit smoking (not just a "want to")...... we DECIDE we are choosing to quit smoking FOREVER, and the task becomes much easier. This time we realize that smoking will NOT BE AN OPTION, for any reason at all, no matter what . So on a conscious and a subconscious level, there is no internal arguement...we have CHOSEN to be free and will honor that decision to remain free to staying quit every day.....The quit process does take time, but the better your DECISION to quit is at the outset, the better quit you will have and all of the "back doors", where the old brainwashing is located, or REASONS/EXCUSES to smoke will be closed. So if you are a newbie or a long time quitter, ask yourself about the "what if reasons" to start back smoking are before they can happen and CLOSE those BACK DOORS.

FDA To Propose E-Cigarette Regulations For The First Time

The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

While the proposal being issued Thursday won't immediately mean changes for the popular devices, the move is aimed at eventually taming the fast-growing e-cigarette industry.

The agency said the proposal sets a foundation for regulating the products but the rules don't immediately ban the wide array of flavors of e-cigarettes, curb marketing on places like TV or set product standards.

Any further rules "will have to be grounded in our growing body of knowledge and understanding about the use of e-cigarettes and their potential health risks or public health benefits," Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said.

Once finalized, the agency could propose more restrictions on e-cigarettes. Officials didn't provide a timetable for that action.

Members of Congress and public health groups have raised concerns over e-cigarettes and questioned their marketing tactics.

"When finalized (the proposal) would result in significant public health benefits, including through reducing sales to youth, helping to correct consumer misperceptions, preventing misleading health claims and preventing new products from entering the market without scientific review by FDA," said Mitch Zeller, the director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.

The FDA said the public, members of the industry and others will have 75 days to comment on the proposal. The agency will evaluate those comments before issuing a final rule but there's no timetable for when that will happen. The regulations will be a step in a long process that many believe will ultimately end up being challenged in court.

E-cigarettes are plastic or metal tubes, usually the size of a cigarette, that heat a liquid nicotine solution instead of burning tobacco. That creates vapor that users inhale.

Smokers like e-cigarettes because the nicotine-infused vapor looks like smoke but doesn't contain the thousands of chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Some smokers use e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking tobacco, or to cut down. However, there's not much scientific evidence showing e-cigarettes help smokers quit or smoke less, and it's unclear how safe they are.

The industry started on the Internet and at shopping-mall kiosks and has rocketed from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide who can choose from more than 200 brands. Sales are estimated to have reached nearly $2 billion in 2013. Tobacco company executives have noted that they are eating into traditional cigarette sales, and their companies have jumped into the business.

Some believe lightly regulating electronic cigarettes might actually be better for public health overall, if smokers switch and e-cigarettes really are safer. Others are raising alarms about the hazards of the products and a litany of questions about whether e-cigarettes will keep smokers addicted or encourage others to start using e-cigarettes, and even eventually tobacco products.

"Right now for something like e-cigarettes, there are far more questions than answers," Zeller said, adding that the agency is conducting research to better understand the safety of the devices and who is using them.

In addition to prohibiting sales to minors and requiring health labels that warn users that nicotine is an addictive chemical, e-cigarette makers also would be required to register their products with the agency and disclose ingredients. They also would not be allowed to claim their products are safer than other tobacco products.

They also couldn't use words such as "light" or "mild" to describe their products, give out free samples or sell their products in vending machines unless they are in a place open only to adults, such as a bar.

Companies also will be required to submit applications for premarket review within two years. As long as an e-cigarette maker has submitted the application, the FDA said it will allow the products to stay on the market while they are being reviewed. That would mean companies would have to submit an application for all e-cigarettes now being sold.


Smoking grandma would rather move than quit

MILFORD, Ohio — Beulah Toombs started smoking a long time ago. She isn't sure exactly when, but she was young. Maybe it was 1935, the year Babe Ruth quit playing baseball. Or maybe 1939, the year "The Grapes of Wrath" was published. But it was definitely before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Toombs – her friends call her Billie – is 89 years old, and she is still smoking. For a woman smoking since the Roosevelt administration, she is remarkably healthy. But now she has a problem. A little more than a year ago, her apartment building in Milford went smoke-free. She had one year to quit, but she just could not do it. Or maybe she never tried.

The apartment building, the AHEPA 127 Apartments, started keeping track of her smoking transgressions. Eventually, management deemed Toombs "non-compliant."

They gave her one last chance to quit, and Beulah made her decision.

"I don't think so," she said. "This is my home, and I think you can do whatever you want to in your home."

So in the next week or so, Toombs will start packing her things, shelf after shelf of figurines, framed photos of her grandchildren and a decade of clutter. She will take her Doral cigarettes and her ashtrays with her. And her little dog, too.

Occupants of the AHEPA 127 apartments are low-income seniors who pay reduced rent under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 202. HUD did not and could not mandate that the building go smoke-free because the building, like nearly all Section 202 housing, is privately owned.

But in 2010 HUD started sending out notices "encouraging" property owners and managers "to implement smoke-free housing policies in some or all of the properties they own."

The AHEPA 127 manager, Amy Lyn Moore, would not talk about the "situation" with Toombs. "What I can say is we have no comment," Moore said.

The policy is made clear in notes to residents over the past 15 months. In February 2013, all residents were informed of the new policy: "No smoking of any tobacco product in any of the residential units, patios, inside common areas, outside common areas, parking lots and all other areas that fall within AHEPA 127-I."

People who already lived there, such as Toombs, who has been a resident for 10 years, were given a full year to quit smoking on the property. For that one year (until Jan. 31, 2014) they could smoke in their apartments, and outside, but only on "the back 3 patios."

In April 2013, Toombs got her first notice. She was caught smoking by the front doors. She got a violation letter that said she must be compliant or she could be evicted. Toombs began to get nervous.

"My mom is getting older, and this is causing her so much stress," said her daughter, Mary Ann Burgoyne. "She kept telling me that she was paying her rent. She was a little confused. She thought they might put her in a debtors prison."

Burgoyne said she or any of her siblings would be happy to take their mother in, but none of them have "flat houses." Toombs walks fine, but she cannot do stairs. "The street curb is about the most she can do," her daughter said.

On Feb. 1, the building went smoke-free. Toombs kept on smoking, but now the building management, and its residents, were watching.

On April 16, Toombs got another letter revealing an "established pattern of non-compliance." This letter was detailed. It showed that at 11:25 a.m. April 8, during a regularly scheduled apartment inspection by maintenance and management, ashtrays containing cigarette butts were "observed in both your bathroom and living room." On April 11, a neighbor complained of smelling smoke. On April 13, a "guest" observed a cigarette and a lighter in Toombs's apartment and told management.

The letter said that one more smoking-related incident would get her evicted.

Burgoyne, the daughter, had a meeting with the building manager, Moore, looking for a compromise. Burgoyne offered to buy a "fancy" air purifier. But Moore offered no middle ground. "We don't want anything, we just want my mother to be left alone," Burgoyne said.

That is not going to happen, because Belulah is fighting history and science.

"Since the 1964 Surgeon General's Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed second-hand smoke. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

People's tolerance for smoking is also on the decline.

Burgoyne said she tried to enlist a senior-advocacy group. They told her this was "the future" and said her mother should stop smoking.

Brian Sullivan is a public affairs supervisor with HUD. He said his department cannot make a building owner do anything. But it is happening anyway. "Building owners do not like smoking. There is the stink. The risk of fire, and you can never get that smell out," Sullivan said. "When the resident leaves you have to paint it twice."

He didn't have data on the number of HUD-subsidized buildings that are smoke-free because so many are privately owned. But he said the trend is unstoppable.

"Do you remember people smoking in elevators? Can you even imagine that now?" he said. "This is happening."

The Public Health Law Center in Minneapolis advocates to restrict smoking. Warren Ortland is a staff attorney there, and he said that while he feels for a woman like Toombs, she has no legal standing. "An owner can make a building smoke-free," Ortland said.

In the future, he said, people will find increasingly fewer places to smoke. Even in an apartment. Nearly all of these decisions are made by property owners, not government regulation or ordinance.

Is he worried that this will affect the poor more than the wealthy? He is not.

"You don't want smoke-free living just to be for the affluent," Ortland said. "You don't want people who are in low-income housing to live with second-hand smoke."

Toombs started looking for a new place and thinks she may have one. She has until the end of the month.

Three women who live in the AHEPA 127 Apartments who were sitting in the lobby last week will be happy for the clean air. They said rules are rules.

Shirley Day has been a resident of the AHEPA 127 Apartments for five years and does not like cigarette smoke. "I have always been a nonsmoker. You can smell it when somebody is smoking; it stinks bad," Day said.

And what about losing Toombs? "I wish she would quit. I like her, but I love the policy."

I came across this article at Hufffington Post yesterday and wish to share it with those who find meaning in Christian Faith. As we say here:

Take what you like and leave the rest;

to be helpful is my only goal!

Happy Easter!


The Risen Christ: A Call to Conversion

But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him." Matthew 28:5-7

"Christ is risen!" That is the Easter greeting that Christians around the world have used for generations. It is one of my favorite parts of Easter -- I love to hear the words "He is risen."

But for so many of us, Easter is not just a religious holiday -- it is a personal celebration and re-commitment. How do we personally experience the resurrection? Every year, as I hear and say "He is risen," I remember that it's not just a theological affirmation, but something I need personally.

Because I need -- I think we all need -- to remember and celebrate the hope that those words proclaim. "He is risen" is much more than an optimistic expression. It is not an empty platitude or wishful thinking, but the assertion of that in the midst of all the personal and collective pain, brokenness, injustice, and oppression that we see or experience, Christ is victorious. And we start over every Easter with a new affirmation and conviction of the hope that will always change both our lives and the world.

As I've been personally reflecting on the resurrection, I wanted to share an adaptation from the last chapter of my book, The Call to Conversion that explores what "Christ is risen!" meant to the earliest disciples. I hope that it will help you this Easter, as you celebrate the fact that "He is risen, indeed!" and reflect upon what this day of hope means for you.

Jesus is alive. That was the rumor which spread through Jerusalem that first Easter morning. Women came to the tomb early in the morning, the first witnesses to the resurrection. Their testimony as women was not even admissible in court under Jewish law; the word of a woman had no public credibility in that patriarchal culture. But God chose to reveal the miracle of Jesus' resurrection first to women. They were told to report the astonishing news of the empty tomb to the men. At first, the men did not believe it.

Jesus' first appearance was also to a woman, Mary Magdalene. She was in the garden near the tomb, stricken with grief. The one who had accepted and forgiven her, the one whom she loved so deeply, was gone. She saw a figure she thought was the gardener and said to him, "They have taken my Lord. Do you know where they have laid him?" Then a familiar voice called her name, "Mary." She looked up and recognized him. "Master!" she cried. Her Lord had come back, and the heart of the woman who had been cleansed by his love leapt for joy. Mary went straight to the disciples with a simple testimony, "I have seen the Lord." Their excitement must have been enormous.

The disciples were in hiding behind locked doors from fear of the authorities, says the Bible. They had seen what had happened to their leader and were afraid they would be next. So they huddled in secret.

The ones at the tomb who appeared as "young men in shining garments" told the women to go tell the disciples and Peter. Peter had always been the leader among the disciples, but he had betrayed his Lord three times with oaths and curses. Peter denied his Master from fear. The strong fisherman wept bitterly and became utterly dejected after the death of the Lord. Jesus especially wanted Peter to know of his resurrection. He wanted to make sure Peter was told, not as a rebuke, but so Peter would know that he was alive and that he still loved him. When the women told them the news, Peter and John ran to the tomb. John, younger and faster than Peter, arrived first and waited at the entrance, peering into the darkness. Peter, always the impulsive disciple, didn't stop at the entrance; he went right inside. He had to see. He had to know. They saw the empty tomb, and they believed.

Then Jesus came and stood among them. "Peace be with you," he said, as he looked into their eyes. Think what they must have felt at that moment. He showed them his hands and his feet. "It is I, myself . . . touch me and see." They could hardly believe what they were seeing. He even took a fish and ate it, just to show them he was real. He recalled to them the Scriptures and his own foretelling of his death and resurrection. It was really he, and he was really alive.

Thomas wasn't there. When the others told him, he didn't believe it. Perhaps wounded with pain and disillusionment, perhaps filled with bitterness and cynicism, Thomas would not let his hopes be rekindled. He said, "Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands, unless I put my fingers in the place the marks were, and my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Later, Jesus came to his disciples again. This time, Thomas was present. "Thomas," he said, "put your finger here and see my hands. Put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas must have witnessed the marks of Jesus' suffering with tears in his eyes. "My Lord and my God," he humbly exclaimed. For Thomas, and for them all, unbelief was turned to belief when they saw their Lord and the marks of his suffering. They were converted by the resurrection.

The disciples had left everything to follow Jesus. He had touched their lives as no one else ever had. He was the one who loved them, and the one whom they had grown to love. Jesus was alive again and among his disciples as before, but now in a new way. The first words spoken to Jesus' followers at his empty tomb were, "Do not be afraid... He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." And the Scriptures say, "When they saw the Lord they were filled with great joy."

Until they saw Jesus, the disciples viewed the world the way others did. The central reality of their lives had been the power of the system and their own powerlessness. But when they saw him, they unlocked the doors, came out, and began turning the world upside down. The disciples were converted; they knew another reality then, one that was truer, greater, stronger, and a more compelling authority than the realities that had paralyzed them with fear. Jesus had risen, and Jesus was Lord.

We, too, are hiding behind locked doors and are afraid to come out. Jesus knows our fears. He wants us to know his resurrection. He says, "Go, tell my disciples that I have risen and that I am going before them. And go tell..."-- he slowly repeats each of our names. Tell him, tell her that we need not be afraid anymore. Like Peter, we have betrayed Christ because of our fears. But Jesus didn't hold Peter's fear against him. Nor does he hold our fears against us. We, too, have doubted like Thomas. We have become cynical, skeptical, and faithless. But Jesus stands among us, shows us his hands and his side, and he tells us to reach out and touch him. He tells Thomas and he tells us not to doubt .but to believe.

Jesus died for our sins, our doubts, and our fears. He rose from the grave to demonstrate his victory over them and to set us free from their power. He wants us, like Peter, Thomas, Mary, and the others, to know his resurrection. He wanted them to know, and he wants us to know, that his love for his disciples has no bounds, that he died to set us free, and that he rose from the dead to show us his way was true. "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."



Here's a brief history of e-cigs blowing up—in your face, in your car, in your home, in your bar.

Last week, an 18-year-old bartender in North Yorkshire, England, was serving drinks when a colleague's electronic cigarette exploded, setting the bartender's dress on fire. This was not the first reported incident of an e-cigarette exploding—over the past few years, there have been more than a dozen similar reports.

Specifically, it's e-cigarettes' lithium-ion batteries that combust. These batteries are also found in laptops and cellphones. But with e-cigarettes, the batteries are especially prone to overheating because smokers use incompatible chargers, overcharge the e-cigarettes, or don't take sufficient safety precautions. For example, many e-cigarettes are made to plug into a USB port, which smokers may take to mean the devices can be safely charged with a computer or iPad charger. But if left too long in a common USB port, some e-cigarette batteries can fry.

The industry acknowledges that explosions are a possibility. "I'm aware of 10 failures in the last year," Thomas Kiklas, who represents the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, told NBC Chicago last October. "When you charge them, they are 99.9 percent safe, but occasionally there will be failures."

The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees tobacco products, does not currently regulate e-cigarettes. An FDA spokesperson says the agency is working to change that.

Here is a brief history of notable e-cigarette explosions and fires:

Niceville, Florida, February 2012
A 57-year-old Vietnam veteran was smoking an e-cigarette when it exploded in his face, knocking out his teeth and part of his tongue, according to ABC News. A fire chief told the news outlet that the accident was most likely caused by a faulty lithium battery, which exploded like a "bottle rocket."

Muskogee, Oklahoma, April 2012
Shona Bear Clark bought an NJOY e-cigarette from Walmart to help her cut back on smoking half a pack a day. Clark says it exploded when she tried to remove it from its package. "It was as loud as firing a gun, but a gun fired right in your face," she recalled.

Corona, California, March 2013
Jennifer Ries and her husband, Xavier, were driving to the airport, with their VapCigs e-cig charging in the car. "I looked around and I saw the battery to the [e-cigarette] dripping," she told CBS Los Angeles. "I went to unscrew it and the battery started shooting fire toward me and then exploded and shot the metal pieces onto my lap…A blowtorch type of fire and then an explosion." Ries suffered second-degree burns, and the the couple later sued the e-cig manufacturer.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 2013
Kyle Czeschin's e-cig was plugged into his laptop. Guess what happened next? "Everything was on fire, my laptop was on fire, my lamp was on fire, the shades," he told News On 6.

Sherman, Texas, July 2013
Wes Sloan wanted to kick his habit, so bought what he assumed would be a safer, electric alternative to cigarettes. "The battery was into about a two-hour charge and it exploded and shot across the room like a Roman candle," he said. Sloan was charging the e-cig in the USB port of a Macbook. He says he suffered second- and third-degree burns, and that he and his wife, Cathy, were treated for smoke inhalation.

Mount Pleasant, Utah, September 2013

A Utah mom was charging her e-cigarette in her car when she said there was "a big bang, and kind of a flash, [and] smoke everywhere," according to Fox 13 News. The e-cigarette reportedly released a hot copper coil that landed in her son's car seat, burning the boy. The mom was finally able to put the fire out with an iced coffee. A fire marshal told the news outlet that the mom's charger was standard and factory-issued, and it was a "catastrophic failure of the device." He also noted this was the second e-cigarette explosion he'd investigated recently in the region. 

Atlanta, September 2013

A woman in Grant Park plugged her e-cigarette into her computer to charge it, according to WSB-TV Atlanta. Fortunately, she was home when she says it began to shoot four-foot flames across the living room. (A screenshot in the above link shows the rag that the woman used to unplug the e-cigarette as it was burning.) "If I hadn't had been home, I would have lost my dogs, I would have lost my cats, I would have lost my house," she told the news station.

Blaine, Minnesota, October 2013
A man was charging his e-cigarette through his computer when his wife noticed that it was "sparking like a fountain firework," according to KMSP Fox 9. The device then "shot out like a missile" from the computer, she said. The owner of a nearby e-cigarette business told the news outlet that the battery didn't have overcharge protection, and that's likely why it overheated.

Kootenai County, Idaho, November 2013
An e-cigarette started a fire in an Idaho household's living room while the family of four slept. The device, which was charging through a laptop, overheated and exploded. "If that smoke alarm didn't go off, none of us would have woken up, you know, none of us would have been able to get to the door, 'cause it would have been blocked by the flames and we would have all died," the son said.

Queen Creek, Arizona, November 2013
Just four days after Kyler Lawson bought his Crown Seven Gladiator e-cigarette, it exploded while charging. "It shot out like a bullet, hit the window, dropped from the window to the carpet," he said. "Caught the carpet on fire…If you're going to charge it, be there. Be present when you're charging it because you never know what can happen."

Eugene, Oregon, November 2013
Judy Timmons had been charging her e-cig in her car for two hours when it exploded. "I'm just glad my grandkids weren't in the backseat because it could have exploded at any time," she said. "It had enough power and momentum to shoot all the way to the backseat," Larry, her husband, said.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 2013

A man in Colorado Springs was charging his e-cigarette when it exploded, setting his bed on fire, according to KRDO New Channel 13. He used a blanket to smother the flames, suffering burns on his body and face. The manufacturer of "Foos" e-cigarettes told the news outlet that this was the first time he'd heard of their products malfunctioning. The man said that nonetheless, "I'm back on normal cigarettes now."

Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, January 2014
A North Carolina man who spent over 20 years working as a firefighter was injured after his e-cigarette exploded in his face. He described the incident to the Jacksonville Daily News as feeling like "a bunch of hot oil hit my face." After spending the night in the hospital, the newspaper reported that he continues to suffer from the incident: "The bottom of his left eyeball is sensitive to light, hard to see out of, and will need to be looked at by an optometrist."

Springfield, Missouri, January 2014
Last Christmas Eve, Chantz Mondragon was sitting in bed with his wife when his e-cig overheated and burst into flames. The device was charging via a USB port on his laptop. He described the explosion as "a searing hot blinding light like a magnesium sparkler, [like] whenever you see a person welding." Mondragon also said the fire burned through his bed, and caused second-degree burns on his leg and foot.

North Yorkshire, England, April, 2014
Eighteen-year-old Laura Baty was serving a customer at the Buck Inn Hotel when her coworker's charging e-cigarette exploded behind the bar. "I started crying hysterically and my arm was all black," she told the Press. "My dress caught on fire as I ran away, and I just didn't know what was happening."

London, April 2014

A woman who used an incompatible charger to charge her e-cigarette caused a major fire that took about 40 minutes to get under control, according to the London Evening Standard. A member of the London Fire Brigade told the paper that, "As with all rechargeable electrical equipment, it's vitally important that people use the correct type of charger for their e-cigs to prevent fires which can be serious and could even result in death."


It is one of life’s laws that as soon as one door closes another opens. But

 the tragedy is we look at the closed door and disregard the open one.

-Andre  Gide


When I first found out that I had Emphysema, it was very hard to imagine a door opening in front of me! My eyes were focused on the door that was being slammed behind me - smoking! The minute I heard the word Emphysema I knew my smoking days were going to have to come to a complete and abrupt halt! In the following days I had my share of fantasies about how wonderful a cigarette would taste, smell, feel - how all my stress would go away - how everything would be alright again if I could just have my fix, -er, friend back! Even knowing that all the above was a lie didn't take away my intense longing for the imaginary past I played with in my mind! I wasn't looking forward to giving up my constant companion! 

Fortunately, I came on this site and began to read not just here but also at and because I knew that the initial quitting is not my issue - I've done that many times before! But (see how devious the addictive mind works) only for awhile till my cough got a bit better and "my lungs cleared out!" Little did I know that the cough was Chronic Bronchitis and I was well on my way to COPD!!! My real issue even to this day is how not to be lured back into the addiction through Nostalgia! And one guy impressed me more than anybody else! His moniker is The Happy Quitter and his name is James! He doesn't write so often anymore so keep an eye out for him and you'll meet a true EXample! Happy Quitter! You gotta be pulling my leg! We quit because we're more scared to smoke than we are to quit which is scared crazy, right???? James made a breakthrough in my junkie mind and then, not really believing, but as AA says Fake it till you Make it - I filled my mind not with nostalgia but with anticipation! 

Now what on this amazing Planet is there to look forward to when you quit smoking (besides not dying quite so fast, of course!) ??? Well, I kept looking around at other quitters on this site and some did talk about being tough, fighting the good fight, struggling through another day - just what I expected! But A LOT of EXers spoke of FREEDOM and excitement, of amazing changes that were happening to them!Guess who had been here the longest? The folks who weren't talking the fight language but were talking the FREEDOM language - They gave me something to Anticipate! The quit was no longer couched in words of FEAR but of Liberation from Addiction! Abundant Living! Clean, Pure, Fresh, NEW! the NEW ME! Or as my Friend Rose puts it - Metamorphosis! 


When I stopped looking at that door behind me with Nostalgia and began looking at the Open Door in front of me with Anticipation then my whole outlook changed! I got it! I got excited about my quit! This was the first and last time that I could look at my Quit with PRIDE and a True sense of Accomplishment! Emphysema closed one door and opened another and the Exers told me to KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!


After Month One....

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 17, 2014

A study by Drs. Gillinder Bedi and Harriet de Wit of the University of Chicago and Drs. Kenzie Preston, David Epstein, and Stephen Heishman of the NIDA Intramural Research Program provided initial evidence that drug-dependent humans can experience “incubation” of cue-induced craving. The phenomenon— an increasing susceptibility to drug cues during the first months of abstinence—has been documented repeatedly in animals. The issue has important clinical implications, suggesting that cues may continue to act as a potent trigger for relapse well past the initial period of withdrawal.

The 86 participants in the study were daily smokers who were not seeking treatment and were paid to quit for 7, 14, or 35 days. They came to the laboratory daily for tests to confirm abstinence, and the researchers measured their craving responses to cues on the last day of their participation. One group also participated in repeated cue tests on days 7, 14, and 35. The cues consisted of holding a lit cigarette and looking at photos of cigarettes, and participants rated their craving before and after cue exposure.

 The cue-induced craving was roughly twice as strong after 35 days of abstinence as it was after 1 week. Moreover, the craving increased over this period even though the smokers’ urges to light up in the absence of cues steadily weakened, dropping by more than 25 percent over 5 weeks.

Biological Psychiatry 69(7):708– 711, 2011.

This is NO MAN'S LAND! Be Prepared! You're not "finished quitting" 

-You're just getting started!

You didn't become addicted overnight and you won't be FREE overnight either!

Here's Dale JonesCarp's don't miss BLOG about the First 130 Days:

Don't miss Sarah10671's  great weekly feature: No Man's Land

If you vist her page, you can read the back issues!

Nicotine's chemical properties are addictive. If you take that nicotine away from your body, it will miss it and you will experience physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms surface after three-five days of quitting smoking and linger for approximately two weeks. We list out some of these symptoms to help you prepare for these side-effects to smoking cessation. Rest assured that these symptoms, while some are unpleasant, will only be transitionary and once you're rid of them, will leave you feeling much better after quitting smoking.

Emotional withdrawal

Some of the most common symptoms are...

Depression: You may feel low, sad and hopeless. Hence it is important to surround yourself with people, preferably non smokers and friends who will support your decision to quit smoking.

Angry: Emotional upheaval can make you angry. Others may not be aware of it, but you know what's happening to your body. The age-old remedy of counting till 10 isn't such a bad idea. Stop, think, regain your calm and composure before losing your cool.

Bored: You may have noticed that when you were bored, tired or depressed you tend to smoke. Now that you are on your way to a smoke free life replace these voids with hobbies or get involved with people around you. Pay more attention to your loved ones.

Lonely: Withdrawal of smoking can make you feel lonely, impatient and irritable. If your friends are busy, take up a dance class or cooking class. It is important to expect these feelings of loneliness, so stay prepared.

Mood swing: Tempers will flare and tantrums will increase. These are not exactly PMSsymptoms. Nicotine was once your evil friend but now you have to bear with the loss of the addiction. This will throw your emotional reactions to daily happenings into a tizzy. Most quitters will need help with these mood swings. Replace the smoking placebo with something else. Invest in some great music and strong coffee, maybe?

Physical withdrawal

Nicotine obstructs the flow of oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. Now that you have quit smoking, your body has to hit the reverse button to detox.

Bowel discomfort: It's time to change your diet and fitness once you quit smoking. Quitting smoking can cause cramps, nausea, flatulence and constipation, therefore it is important to increase roughage and exercise your body.

Nasal and throat problems: When you stop smoking, your nose and throat will try to clear the mucous that has accumulated over the years. You may experience coughing, dry throat and mouth. Fluids are the key to clearing this process.

Increase in appetite: Craving for cigarettes can be confused with hunger cravings. The best way to stay healthy is to consume fluids and low calorie snacks.

Headaches: Lack of nicotine can lead to headaches, the way out of it is with massages, plenty of water and rest. Gently massage your temple, drink water, take a hot shower and take a deep breathe.

Lack of sleep: You may experience insomnia after you quit smoking. Take a hot shower before you hit the sack, do breathing exercises too and most importantly avoid coffee closer to bed-time.

Restlessness/lack of concentration: You feel like there is energy bursting in you, transfer this energy into something constructive. In these situations smokes would calm your nerves, but now switch off that thought and cultivate a new habit. You may feel you can't concentrate too; try listening to music or take a break from your routine life.

Weight gain: Increase in craving can lead to weight gain, especially if you indulge in unhealthy food. But don't be dejected, you can cut it out with exercise and the right diet.

Sweating and shaky hands and feet: You will feel that your hands and feet tremble. It is a passing phase that will stop. If you experience these withdrawals you know your body is simply shedding an addiction and leading you to a much healthier life.

Skin trouble: While quitting smoking is associated with healthier skin, the period of withdrawal will cause some skin trouble. Some people with sensitive skin might break out into a fresh acne case or suffer from some ulcers in the inner-cheeks, tongue and mouth. The reason is simply that your body is letting go of the toxins and levelling up.

Instead of losing motivation, after reading these withdrawal symptoms, the one thought any quitter must focus on is this: The fact that your body is changing so much when quitting, simply showcases how much it is continuously changed and affected while you still smoke. Avoid poor health and dangerous diseases - quit smoking today.

"First thing every morning before you arise say out loud,

"I believe," three times." - Norman Vincent Peale

I got in trouble when I listened to  should statements such as  "You should quit smoking"  even when my gut was telling me the same thing. I (and my Nico-demon self) kept saying, "It's my life! I have a 'right' to smoke!" Yet I was being untrue to myself who deep down knew that I was killing myself one puff at a time!. I lost respect for myself which I covered up by smoking that much more determinedly! "Nobody is going to tell me what I 'should' do!" When I was untrue to myself, I incrementally lowered my self esteem. It can happen gradually. Almost imperceptibly, but can have a far reaching and long lasting impact. I'm still re-claiming myself almost 3 years down this quit journey road!

The first step in freeing myself from social restrictions was the realization that there is no such thing as a "safe" code of conduct - one that would earn everyone's approval. My actions can always be condemned by someone - for being too bold or too apathetic, for being too conformist or too nonconformist, for being too liberal or too conservative, from my nonsmoking family and friends when I was smoking and from my smoking friends and coworkers when I quit.  So it was necessary to decide whose approval was important to me.

"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

- William Shakespeare

I had to pay attention to my own needs and wants. I had to listen to what my body, my mind, and my heart were telling me. For instance, if my body was telling me that I have been short of breath for too long, coughing for years not months, feeling tired and anxious, stressed and unconnected to my health, I had to learn to listen past the Nico-noise and hear that Freedom-loving voice that was screaming in the background for attention. If my heart was telling me that I was abusing my God-given gift of LIFE then I had to tune into that message and ponder it with self-love, not run away from it with yet another smoke cloud of denial.

I learned to honor the person I am. I learned to accept myself as human and therefore, imperfect. I had to forgive my mistakes and focus on the prize. i had to learn that I could achieve my goal one day at a time, keeping in mind that smoking cessation is a journey - not an event.  I learn to give myself rewards for the large and small Victories!

I learned to be true to myself and thus be truly me to my Family, Friends and Coworkers. Once they saw this transformation, the "shoulds" stopped both from them and most importantly within ME!


More Hopeful News!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 15, 2014

If you belong to the 30% of our Community who was COPD then you (WE!) can never lose hope! The advacements in COPD treatment right here, right now are coming fast! Here's an article about 3 such treatments

Lung Coils

Lung Flutes


followed by another article expanding on the lung coil procedure:

I plan to speak with my pulmonologist about these advances at my next visit.

You and I wouldn't be here if we were not contemplating some need for change - a conscious or subconscious recognition that smoking is in some way not or at least no longer enhancing our Quality of Life. My own personal reason for facing change was due to a diagnosis of COPD - a chronic, progressive incurable smoking related illness. My Hope for you is that you haven't waited until you were looking bulls-eye at your own mortality before you thought about the need to change. But even some of us who have been confronted with this reality sometimes unfortunately  don't have the skills needed to Succeed in Smoking Cessation and fail to acquire them!

I had been intermittently listening and shutting out pleas for my own change from Family, Friends and Loved Ones. I would compromise with my Addiction, quitting for Months even Years at a time but always with the understanding that I "get to" go back to my Addiction once I cleaned up my lungs and breathing issues. Just like a "dry Alcoholic,' I was a smokeless Smokeaholic! I temporarily changed my behavior but not my Mental, Social and Spiritual status. 

So what obstacles kept me from making the more fundamental life-enhancing change that I later was able to access? I believe that I wasn't able to confront my Fear of Change and tap into my Sense of Courage and of Hope!

 When I was confronted with my mortality I had to re-evaluate what living a Life that matters means! I came to the conclusion that reinspiring myself with Courage and Hope was an important aspect of facilitating my fundamental change. But how could I bring about a new perspective that stimulated the  Courage and Hope that naturally lived in me but had up to that point remained unaccessable?

Each of us as  individuals  decipher the nature of Courage and Hope based on their own unique belief system. This belief system is influenced by their religion and spirituality, ethnicity and other multicultural influences. So I can't tell you what Courage and hope mean to you but I can show you the process that I EXperienced and hopefully illuminate how you can find your own way.


Many definitions of Courage have been presented and depending on your cultural traditions and personal spiriual beliefs some of them ring true for you. One definition that fits my belief system says, "Courage, a moral virtue, is defined by the character strengths of bravery, perseverance, authenticity, integrity, and vitality." Now when I thought about my own Addiction, I realized that Nicotine Addiction had chipped away at my bravery to face my problems head-on; my perseverence toward stress-related issues; my authenticity due to the thousands of lies I told the World but even more damaging - to myself;  my integrity since I chose daily to deny my body, mind and spirit; and my vitality that was being sucked away with every puff I took! No wonder I wasn't tapped into my God-given Courage! My Addiction robbed me of a crucial element that could lead to a path of Recovery!

 One famous psychologist (Tillich) defines Courage as “…the power of life to affirm itself in spite of this ambiguity…” Thank God! Now that I had to actually EXamine the meaning of LIFE itself and MY LIFE in particular, I was stimulated to affirm Life itself in my search for the road of Recovery!

 Courage has a revealing power via our participation and individuation - it is a motivating emotion - the concept of will toward power. Courage implies ‘self actualization’, as an expansion of one’s self. “Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair” (May, R. 1975, p.3). Well. I can't think of too many situations more despair provoking than being told that my Quality and Quantity of Life had just been severely downgraded. Yes, I like most folks receiving a davastating diagnosis felt despair! Yet, deep within me lived the power of Life to affirm itself (my God-created Courage!) i found that, yes, I DO have the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair! I re-discovered the courage to meet the demands of work, love, and friendship. I re-defined my own personal meaning of living a Life that matters.

Courage, a mature virtue, is preceded by Compassion and Wisdom.  I learned to have Compassion for myself and others with smoking related illness and yes, for all Nicotine Addicts, as well as their Family and Friends who long for the day that the Addict discovers his/her own Recovery Path. I learned to nourish that Compassion by reading many stories of surivors and victims of Nicotine Addiction and the personal suffering that they and their families suffered. Wisdom, led by  Passion (soul of life), leads to Courage by rejecting the worldly values of wealth and power. Such discernment is based on an Integrity in knowledge and the Gift of the Holy Spirit known as Grace.I learned to nourish that Wisdom with a fundamental EXamination of Holy Scriptures and Conscience - by saying "YES, LORD! Here I am!" to the gift of Grace!

I also learned to embrace Simplicity, Patience and Compassion that the Taoist masters  outline as a moral or ethical code along with the Judeo-Christian values of Faith, Love and Hope! Mantras such as N.O.P.E., "one day at a time", "today is the most important day of my Recovery,""the future is a series of NOWS" all reflect that Simplicity that keeps me focused on the Goal of FREEDOM from Addiction. And here we are back to HOPE!


Psychologists say “Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness are a family of strengths that represent a positive stance toward the future” My own  Hope could only thrive in the face of despair as a way of coping. Despair provided that change motivator that provided me with the desire and drive to dig deep inside and to overcome.

" Hope is a concept that allows an individual movement toward a goal" (Erikson), and Hope is a way of thinking and believing that is goal directed that produces routes to desired goals with the motivation to use those routes (Snyder). Without Hope, there can be no change - why bother? Hope is both a cognition and an emotion. Having a sense of Hope is in the affective domain, and yet acting on the Hope requires motivation and a plan that is actively carried out. Sound familiar? Didn't I just say something very similar when looking at Courage? Both Courage and Hope are agents of change!

Now sometimes I possess a high degree of the affective domain of Hope [I hope I win the lottery!] but an inability to take action [I don't even buy lottery tickets!LOL!], while other times I seem to possess neither a sense of Hope nor the motivation to move forward in a Hopeful way - that was the rut I was into as an Addict for Years (both my using years and my dry years.) Only in the most despairing of times did I  access the power of choice and go through a great deal of humbling, if not outright humiliation, before I came to the Simplicity of Hope in Action! Hope is a choice and the more dire the circumstance the more likely I was to make a choice to Hope.


After reflection, I came to the conclusion that I had to know and acknowledge  my signature strengths and use those strengths in my relationships and in service of others in order  to acquire a good Life, to fulfill my meaning of Life and to embrace authentic Happiness.

I have from conception had the belief in the Christian virtues of Faith, Love, and Hope. Hope and Courage are both spiritual gifts in Christian tradition. Hope and Courage can produce endurance and encouragement for  individuals in the face of fear and despair. To conquer fear, Courage becomes an expression of Faith. Please remember that I'm speaking only of and for myself!  It is when we are most vulnerable and powerless we are given the most profound opportunities to risk believing that we are born in Love, of Love, and for Love. The Courage of Faith allows the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) to do its work: Grace brings us Hope as a manifestation of God’s most Supreme Love! I believe this and although I haven't always consciously dwelled in this First Principle to Life's meaning, it defines who I am. I have also learned much later in Life from the oriental  theme of Perseverance and Patience of  soft Courage EXpressed through Christianity as acceptance of God's Will and in the Eastern Religions as a path of least resistance.  In my mind, it is clearly shared in the Christian virtues of Faith, Love, and Hope. Hope implies waiting and stillness.  "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalms 45:10)


So how did I recover Courage and Hope? I had redefined what living a Life that matters means to me and I humbly admitted that I need help to motivate my Courage and Hope. I was searching for an optimal level of functioning for the life tasks of work, love, and friendship by use of Encouragement. I acknowledged that I needed support to motivate change and improve my behavior but also to improve myself! For the first time in my life, I surfed the internet looking for Encouragement and I came to BecomeanEX. I was literally driven by despair! When defined using the root meaning of Courage, Encouragement is, “the process of facilitating the development of a person’s inner resources and Courage toward positive movement.” Encouragement is a natural way to find Courage in times of despair.

Rogers, the famous behavior psychologist, states that there are  three critical conditions  for accepting Encouragement and facilitating change - acceptance, genuineness, and unconditional regard. I found all of these here at BecomeanEX. But I also discovered other attributes such as Patience and Hope that gave me Courage. These attributes facilitated my change by “locating” and enhancing my EXisting desire to be Hopeful that I already possessed. Obviously change does not come easy. By facilitating Hope in and of itself, the Become anEX Community  created the opportunity for  change. For that opportunity to be realized, it requires Patience and that's especially what I could find here more than with my non-smoking Family and Friends - more than anybody in my 3-D World! These are the gifts that Tommy refers to as Collateral Kindness!

I was able to set achievable  short-term (obtainable within one-year), middle-term (obtainable within five-years), and long-term (obtainable within my lifetime) goals. This activity was the beginning of “locating” what Hope resided already within me waiting to be utilized and to reclaim the bravery, perseverance, authenticity, integrity, and vitality that I had forfeited through Addiction.  I became more willful  , thus connecting me to the emerging Courage and Hope that I possessed all along!I am  bringing my  overall life ideal to progressively manageable goals! I am living that meaningful Life that matters to me!

china coal miner smoking

In 2013 Imperial Tobacco, one of four major transnational tobacco companies, posted its first fall in profits in 17 years. One could be forgiven for thinking from the proposed introduction of new restrictions on tobacco products, such as standardised packaging, that Imperial’s announcement was symptomatic of the industry’s terminal decline.

Declining rates of smoking in many developed countries and the introduction of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global public health treaty which requires its signatories to introduce measures aimed at reducing tobacco-related diseases, may only serve to reinforce this impression. But despite growing regulatory risks there has always been a tendency to exaggerate news of the industry’s demise.

Tobacco is still highly valued as an investment by financial institutions, with reports last summer of several funds holding an excess amount of tobacco stock in their portfolios; usually a sign that portfolio managers believe the stock will outperform other securities.

Diversification into e-cigarettes might pay off some day, but profit margins are, for now, significantly lower, and proposed regulation could dramatically affect the market’s growth potential. The simple fact is that, for the foreseeable future at least, the financial strength of major tobacco manufacturers rests on conventional cigarettes.

New markets, stubborn core

Notwithstanding declines in smoking in some developed countries, globally, sales of the majors have been remarkably buoyant and, until very recently, growing. Between 1960 and 2000, global cigarette consumption increased by 4% a year, reflecting the industry’s expansion into emerging markets. And despite signs of global volumes beginning to fall, more than three-quarters of the world’s smokers now live in the developing world.

The significance of this is that, despite the successes of the FCTC (subsequent to ratification 127 parties have strengthened or adopted legislation), tobacco regulation is generally less restrictive in developing and transitional economies and is likely to remain so given that poorer countries have fewer resources to fight the huge range of strategies tobacco companies use to prevent, delay, and dilute public health measures. Of late, much attention has focused on international trade and investment treaties which tobacco companies have used to limit regulation. At least four African countries – Namibia, Gabon, Togo and Uganda – have received warnings from the tobacco industry that their laws violate international treaties, and in Namibia the government is still to put into effect a tobacco control law passed in 2010, following threats from the industry that the new statute violated the country’s international legal obligations. Litigation is costly, the outcome of international arbitration is difficult to predict and tobacco companies have deep pockets; all of which is likely to influence how countries design and implement health policy.

Expansion in emerging markets is, therefore, likely to continue to offset declines in mature markets for a while yet. BAT’s volumes continue to grow in Asia, for example, despite lower volumes in South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Moreover, disposable incomes tend to increase with economic development, which creates greater scope for tobacco companies to offset falls in sales by raising prices and shifting smokers onto premium brands. Further, even in developed countries, smoking is not deteriorating as fast as many people might think. Between 2005 and 2011, the number of US smokers declined from 45.1 million to 43.8 million, representing less than a half per cent drop per annum. The drop in the demand for cigarettes tends to tail off in mature markets, reflecting the existence of a stubborn core of typically poorer smokers who are more difficult to reach with public health interventions.

High margins and yields

Another major driver of the industry’s rude financial health relates to the economics of the business itself. The major brands have evolved very little over some decades; the addictive nature of the product and brand loyalty mean there is little need for major product innovation which helps to keep research and development costs down. Similarly, the addictive nature of tobacco means that the price elasticity of cigarettes is relatively low (for a 1% increase in the price of cigarettes in high income countries, the demand declines by 0.4%). This permits persistent price rises that maintain relatively stable profit margins despite falling sales.

Consequently, most major financial indicators for tobacco manufacturers – earnings before interest and tax, operating margins, and returns on equity – are consistently strong relative to companies in other sectors. One measure of how well tobacco stocks have performed, suggests that they had the highest return of 67 industry groupings in the decade to 2011.

Stable and high profit margins underpin one of the major selling points of tobacco companies; persistently high dividend yields. Many fund managers pick stocks on their ability to reliably pay out dividends and, in the case of tobacco, high yields mean that investors can relatively quickly recoup their initial investment in the form of cash dividends irrespective of movements in the share price.

And herein lies the clue to the massive political mobilisation of tobacco companies against standardised packaging. On balance, the measure is likely to reduce consumption over the long term, but it is the removal of the industry’s ability to charge a premium which constitutes the biggest threat to its status as a go-to investment. If allowed to spread, standardised packaging will put an end to the industry’s pricing strategy and, therefore, to its historically high margins and, with that, potentially, to the industry in its current form.


Her Turn!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 11, 2014

Addiction is insidious. I don’t think anybody ever set out to become addicted. Usually I thought of addiction in terms of alcohol or illegal drugs. Little did I know that Nicotine is an addiction, that even ordinary things like exercise or food could be an addiction. Some people are even addicted to cleaning! WOW! I sure don’t have that problem!

Last week my lovely, beautiful Wife was sick. Her hands were swollen and her face was puffy. Leslie told me about her stomach and head hurting. She was frightened and that made me terrified. My Wife is my Rock! She is rarely frightened. So we were off to the Doctor so we could get to the bottom of things.

I could never have guessed what I would learn that day! Leslie was addicted – to Monster Energy Drinks! She told her Doctor and me that she drinks 6 Monster Drinks a day! What?!!!! Just one Monster has the equivalent of 7 cups of coffee! That’s 42 cups of coffee every single day! Plus they’re loaded with sodium!!!

I had no clue that Leslie was drinking energy drinks at all – let alone a case a day!  I have never seen her with even one! She told me how it happened. First at work on a low energy day, a coworker offered her one Monster to boost her through a stressful day. She found herself picking one up at the store once in a while on the way to work.

Before you know it once in a while became every day. Pretty soon, Leslie figured she would save money by buying six packs! Sure, there were a few weeks of one six pack a week but that slowly increased to a six pack a day – al hidden from her coworkers and from me in water bottles so they looked like healthy juice drinks!

Now, Leslie, like all addicts told me that she didn’t know that Monsters were bad for you! Fortunately being an Addict myself, I understood what was going on! Denial, lies, cover-ups, deception! Even to oneself, right? What’s more, having been at BecomeanEX for so long (4+ years) I knew what the word supportive means!

I have been honest with Leslie about the harmful effects of addictions, not just physically but mentally!

-          Yes, you did know on some level that what you were doing was wrong! Otherwise, why did you hide it from people?

-          Yes, you used your addiction to avoid dealing with life on life’s terms!

-          Yes, you have to withdraw 100% - “just one” is not OK!

-          Yes, you created more problems for yourself and now, only YOU can dig yourself out of this hole!

And I have been supportive of her!

-          I love her now as much as ever and always will!

-          I will never give up on her or on her recovery!

-          I know she can beat this addiction although it won’t be easy!

-          I will talk about her addiction struggle to the extent that she finds helpful! Meanwhile I encourage her to be honest with lots of people around her, surrounding her with a supportive Team of Friends!

-          I will investigate with her what she can do instead when she feels tired and tempted!

-          I will encourage her to remained focus and determined while taking it one day at a time!

Together we’ll get through this but we are relying on our Creator, as well! Our Lord and Savior will be a member of our Team!

I ask for your prayers for a full recovery and that the damage that Leslie has done hasn’t had permanent physical consequences. I know God answers all of our prayers! Thank You for being my Recovery Family!


Electronic cigarettes can change gene expression in a similar way to tobacco, according to one of the first studies to investigate the biological effects of the devices.

Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on 6 April in San Diego, California, the research looked at human bronchial cells that contained some mutations found in smokers at risk of lung cancer. The cells were immortalized, grown in culture medium that had been exposed to e-cigarette vapour and their gene expression profiled.

The researchers found that the cells grown in medium exposed to the vapour of e-cigarettes showed a similar pattern of gene expression to those grown in a medium exposed to tobacco smoke (S. J. Park et al. Clin. Cancer Res. 20, B16; 2014).

The changes are not identical, says study researcher Avrum Spira, who works on genomics and lung cancer at Boston University in Massachusetts. But “there are some striking similarities”, he says. The team is now evaluating whether the alterations mean that cells behave more like cancer cells in culture.

The work is at a very early stage and therefore cannot establish that e-cigarettes can cause cancerin vitro, let alone in vivo. “They may be safer [than tobacco], but our preliminary studies suggest that they may not be benign,” says Spira.

E-cigarettes are extremely controversial. Because they vaporize liquid containing nicotine, rather than burning tobacco, some researchers believe that the devices could greatly reduce the damage done to health by smoking; others, however, argue that they are simply ‘renormalizing’ smoking.

It's time to let go of the past and put on a NEW PERSPECTIVE! This quit will be different because you know you are not being deprived of anything of importance! You are not sacrificing - you are gaining! You are reclaiming YOURSELF - that person that your Creator intends for you to be - Addiction FREE! You are FREE to make a BETTER CHOICE!


We didn't get addicted with the first cigarette that we smoked so which one was it? The 100th, the 237th? Who knows - at some point we crossed the line and forfeited our right to choose to smoke or not to smoke - it became an addict's necessity.


That's why the quit has everything to do with reclaiming my choice. Did I choose to smoke that last cigarette or was I compelled to feed my addiction? Obviously, I had NO CHOICE AT ALL! I DID make a choice on March 20th, 2010 that I would not smoke that day NO MATTER WHAT! On March 21st I made an equally binding choice. Today, the 1476th day of my quit I chose N.O.P.E.(Not One Puff Ever) and N.E.F. (Never Ever Forget)


By recognizing my choice about smoking or living FREE - Nicotine Addiction FREE, I honor the POWER of CHOICE. I have made other important choices, too, such as changing careers, nutrition and exercise. I have a saying that if you think you don't have a choice - well then, YOU DON'T! Making that life changing choice to live Smoke FREE helped me see those other choices that benefit my Health and Happiness because I learned something fundamental from my quit journey!Namely, I have the Right and the Responsibility to CHOOSE MY ATTITUDE, to choose my words, even my thoughts and feelings, and especially my ACTIONS!!!


I've heard folks argue that "This is me!" when they carry on with negative attitude and behavior. "I am respecting who I am." Well, I say, I have a choice to make. I can honor who I was yesterday and yet CHOOSE to feel better about myself, the world, and life in general TODAY!!! If I was disgruntled and resentful or depressed and pessimistic yesterday - fine, that was me yesterday! But it doesn't have to continue to be me TODAY! I DO have a choice!

I choose to LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY! I choose to see all the beauty and ugliness but to FOCUS on the Beauty! I choose to feel sad, angry, lonely, happy, playful, fascination, etc... but embrace the Happy! I choose to spend my energy on folks who wish to see me flourish and grow and accept my wish that they do the same. I choose to be constructive not destructive when I deal with challenges. I choose to count my blessings not dwell on my losses. I have that CHOICE because I am FREE - FREE of my Addiction - FREE to be ME - the ME that I believe my Creator expects me to be - THRIVING, GROWING, JOYOUS, APPRECIATIVE of this Gift of Life!


So with this 14,761st  cigarette I won't be smoking I CHOOSE TODAY to Pledge N.O.P.E. and N.E.F. and I will RESPECT myself enough to HONOR that decision NO MATTER WHAT! I CHOOSE to PROTECT my ability to CHOOSE! I hope you do the same!




These are some of the Gifts that come to mind as I CELEBRATE my QUIT:

(1) I feel more SELF-CONFIDENT because I made a choice to change my self-destructive behavior and followed through.

(2) I feel more HONEST because I am not evading truthfulness about the consequences in order to support my Smoking Addiction.

(3) I feel more SELF-RESPECT because I made a decision to QUIT SMOKING and honored that decision.

(4) I feel more SECURE because I no longer have that constant battle "I want to smoke"vs"I don't want to smoke."

(5) I feel more OPTIMISTIC because I no longer attack stress with another cigarette, I attack it with a constructive plan of action.

(6) I feel more SPIRITUAL because when I called upon my higher power for assistance I felt his/her response.

(7) I feel more DECISIVE because I saw how I can set a goal and accomplish it one day at a time each and every day.

(8) I feel more SELF-AWARE because I sense days or situations of weakness and have a winning back up plan to protect my QUIT.

(9) I feel more INTEGRATED because when my body said "I need...." my mind and spirit responded affirmatively.

(10) I feel more JOY as I experience COLLATERAL KINDNESS and CELEBRATE each and every daily VICTORY over my Smoking Addiction with my BecomeanEx friends!  THANK YOU for CELEBRATING with me!!!!!!

While the cost of tobacco products has a large impact on consumption rates, new research suggests that less tobacco screen time could also be a contributing factor

The pairing of beautiful people in Hollywood and cigarettes has been blamed for glamorizing smoking. In the 1940s and ’50s, even cartoon characters like Fred Flinstone smoked on television.

We’re much less likely to see cigarettes in movies and television now, thanks to the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking’s health risks and the 1970 Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which banned cigarette advertising on television. While it’s well known that the cost of tobacco products has a large impact on consumption rates, new research suggests that less tobacco screen time could also be a contributing factor.

Researchers watched 1,838 hours of primetime television dramas in the U.S. between 1955 to 2010, and recorded instances of tobacco products being depicted, including smoking, purchasing, and handling. Between 1961 and 2010, tobacco use on primetime TV fell from 4.96 instances per hour of programming to 0.29

When researchers compared rates of smoking on the small screen to that of the American population during the same period, they found a corresponding decline. In 1964, about 50% of Americans were smokers, compared to about 20% now. After normalizing for changes in cigarette prices and other influencing factors, results showed that one fewer tobacco scene per hour on TV over two years of programming could predict a fall of two packs of cigarettes per adult per year. The impact, the researchers say, is about half that of raising tobacco prices.

Despite the positive findings, we still see plenty of cigarettes and smoking on television (think Mad Men), which may be responsible for some continued smoking habits, since research shows that tobacco exposure cues cravings in adult smokers. The study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, also didn’t look at cable or YouTube, which could contribute to rates of smoking as well.



Not One Puff EVER!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 2, 2014

Just one gooey chocolate eclair, just one dash of salt, just one day of skipping a workout... usually, "just one" of anything isn't enough to do you any real damage. But when it comes to cigarettes,  "just one" is way too many!

Smoking just one cigarette causes arteries to stiffen by 25 percent. That's bad news bears, because the stiffer the artery, the harder the heart has to work--which means there's a greater risk of heart attack or stroke.

Instant effects

Studies can now measure the immediate changes in our bodies as we smoke a single cigarette, from a rise in blood pressure to a change in the gases in our blood stream.

Here's what happens when we smoke a cigarette:

  • Although we may feel more relaxed as we smoke, our blood pressure and heart rate both increase, the heart pumps differently, and the blood flow to the capillaries decreases making our feet and hands cold. We experience an increase in hand tremors and stomach secretions.
  • Blood carbon monoxide levels increase. Carbon monoxide takes the place of oxygen in some of your red blood cells, and it sticks on to the red cells for days, preventing oxygen from being carried by these cells. The changes brought about by carbon monoxide mean that more effort must be made to achieve the same physical results as a non-smoker. In particular, the heart must work harder for the same effect, especially when doing rigorous exercise.
  • Other changes happen in our airways: the little finger-like cilia which keep airways clear of phlegm are 'stunned' by chemicals in the smoke and tiny muscles in our airways contract, constricting them. Tobacco smoke also increases resistance in the airways leading to the lungs and reduces lung capacity.
  • There are also measurable changes in the immune system. Every exposure to tobacco can damage DNA in ways that lead to cancer.

A recent review of several studies found that light smoking was connected to a host of other illnesses: cataracts, reduced fertility, an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (where the pregnancy develops outside the uterus) and weak bones.

Get this: Some 7,000 chemicals and toxins will still be attacking your body for up to 8 hours after your last puff, and a smear of gooey brown tar will be left in your lungs forever. Even worse, as your levels of dopamine plummet back to normal after smoking, your body will crave another nicotine high – even if you’re not aware of it. If you give in, you’ll be mentally hooked, which is how smoking becomes an addiction. Bottom line: Experts say that nicotine in cigarettes is just as addictive as heroin – even if you have just one smoke.

Recent changes in the design and ingredients in cigarettes have made them more likely to hook first-time users and keep older smokers coming back.

Changes include:

•Ammonia added to tobacco, which converts nicotine into a form that gets to the brain faster.

•Filter holes that allow people to inhale smoke more deeply into the lungs.

•Sugar and "moisture enhancers" to reduce the burning sensation of smoking, making it more pleasant, especially for new cigarette users.

One-third of the patients who are in the hospital today are there  because of cigarettes.


No Jokes - No Lies

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 1, 2014

7 thoughts that can make quitting smoking tough

When you quit cigarettes, you might experience some physical changes in your body which will make the task tough. However, most people give in and break not due to these physical changes, but due to the many thoughts that pop up in their mind while they are attempting to quit. These thoughts are often irrational and need to be silenced through logic and patience.

1.  If I have just one cigarette a day, it won’t cause much harm

While smoking one cigarette may not cause as much harm as smoking ten, it is still a mighty blow to your quit smoking regimen. You might allow yourself one today, but you will need two tomorrow. Do you want to live the rest of your life restraining yourself or do you want to be free? Starve yourself from cigarettes come what may, and after a few days you will be able to quit smoking. The few days might feel like a few years, but you can make yourself happy by telling yourself that you have chosen good health over bad.

2. My work requires me to use my brain. How will I be able to do that if I continue smoking?

While you may think that a cigarette will help you concentrate on your work, it is doing exactly the opposite. You are not able to concentrate because of your nicotine addiction and it is important that you understand that and suppress your cravings. Read about Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Quit Smoking. 

3. So many people smoke. I don’t know how I’ll resist after seeing them enjoy it

Most people who want to smoke wish that they had never started. It usually doesn’t give them any pleasure and they do it to satisfy their craving which makes them feel sane and normal. Non-smokers feel normal all the time, and if you manage to quit your addiction, you can be a non-smoker too!

4. I am young. I can always quit at a later date and still prevent damage to my body

Why do you want to delay the process? Your youth gives you all the more reason to quit, because the number of years that you’ve been smoking for is less and much of the damage done to your body can be reversed.

5. Smoking is a part of me, and it’s difficult to envision a future without it

Media and society has ingrained in us certain notions of smoking that makes it seem cool to smoke. You might want to sit atop a beautiful mountain, in a cozy European cafe or just a nostalgic college place sometime in your life. When you’ll try to quit, these dreams may seem more fun than they will actually be.

6. A cigarette now will taste so much better than the thousands I have had before

The taste and the pleasure that you will experience when you smoke a cigarette while you are trying to quit is illusionary. Your body is just feeling momentary freedom from the withdrawal pangs that happen due to your addiction to nicotine.

7. My life is in shambles. I can’t handle this without cigarettes

You’ve quit cigarettes and something bad has happened to you. For example, your train may be delayed, your car may break down or you may have picked a fight with your partner. As it is, quitting cigarettes will leave you disoriented for a few days and a bad day can further aggravate your desire to escape your problems by having a cigarette. However, it is important that you don’t give in and instead seek happiness from telling yourself that even though life is bad, you are at least free from the chains of tobacco addiction.

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