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Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 27, 2015

Two recent studies have pointed out that what you believe about smoking and about quitting are in fact what you experience! When given identical sickerettes half a group were told they had nicotine and half were told that they were nnicotine free. The groups acted entirely different on an fMRI! [fMRI can see brain activity.] 

Another study showed that if you believe that you will quit smoking - then your chances are that you will regardless of the method(s) used. If you believe that it's impossible for you to quit then your chances are not good. Education and Cognitive Adjustment are more important than what pill, patch, etc you use to quit in measuring success! Actually NRTs alone don't help! Support and ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT make all the difference!

By spending time here, participating and reading things like quitsmokingonline and The Easy Way you just made your belief system change. If you skip those steps and think "I just haven't found the right med (or method)  for me" you are dooming yourself to another failure! 

It's that simple!

The best quit smoking tool anybody has is right between your ears!


You CAN do this!

The terrifying rate at which smokers die from smoking

Two-thirds of smokers will die early from cigarette-triggered illness -- unless they choose to kick the habit, according to new research from Australia.

The study of more than 200,000 people, published this week in BMC medicine, found about 67 percent of smokers perished from smoking-related illness. That rate is higher than doctors previously estimated.

Tobacco smoke can boost the risk for least 13 types of cancer. The earlier you quit, the better.  “The relative risks of adverse health effects increase with increasing intensity of smoking,” the study states, “measured by the amount of tobacco smoked per day, and with increasing duration of smoking.”

Smoking 10 cigarettes daily doubles the risk of death, the research showed. Smoking a pack daily quadruples it.

"We knew smoking was bad, but we now have direct, independent evidence that confirms the disturbing findings that have been emerging internationally," said co-author Emily Banks, a researcher at the Australian National University.

An estimated 42.1 million Americans smoke cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette smoking is the top cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, the agency reports, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year -- or one in five.

Emotional turmoil aside, smoking is also bad for our wallets. An Ohio State University study found employees who smoke tobacco cost employers roughly $6,000 more annually in health care and productivity than nonsmokers.

Another study, from the New England Journal of Medicine, shows health-care costs for smokers tend to be, on average, 40 percent higher. (The same research darkly suggests we’d all save money in the short term if cigarettes vanished from earth but might pay more down the line because everyone would live longer.)

Policymakers have long wondered how to get Americans to quit the habit. Adding excise taxes to cigarette packs has reduced youth smoking in some areas, according to research from the University of Michigan. Nearly 30 percent of adults who live below the poverty level smoke, compared with 16 percent who live at or above the poverty level.

The World Health Organization recommends enforcing smoke-free public places and creating “supportive environments” for people to part with their packs. The CDC, meanwhile, distributes advice like “how to live with a hole in your neck.”

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!!!!!!

Nicotine causes degeneration in a region of the brain that affects emotional control, sexual arousal, REM sleep and seizures, UCLA neuroscientists report in the journal Neuropharmacology. 

"Nicotine causes the most selective degeneration in the brain that I have ever seen," said UCLA neuroscientist Gaylord Ellison, a professor of psychology and member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute. "Only one tract of the brain is affected."

The part of the brain that is affected by nicotine is called fasciculus retroflexus, which has two halves. In previous research conducted over more than two decades, Ellison's research team has shown that such drugs as amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy damage one half of fasciculus retroflexus. In the journal Neuropharmacology and at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in New Orleans, Ellison's research team reports for the first time that nicotine causes degeneration in the other half of fasciculus retroflexus. The neuroscientists further report that the drugs that damage one half of fasciculus retroflexus do not damage the other half that nicotine affects.

"Our findings suggest that this (fasciculus retroflexus) is the brain's weak link for stimulant addictive drugs," Ellison said. "This tract is affected more by chronic drug use than any other tract in the brain.

"It seems likely that fasciculus retroflexus is linked to drug addiction and relapse," Ellison said. "In chronic smokers, this tract may well play a major role in the addiction to nicotine."

Fasciculus retroflexus is a pathway that emerges from the brain's habenula, which is above the thalamus. (The habenula is the chief relay nucleus of the descending dorsal diencephalic conduction system.) This pathway is a part of the brain that is not well understood.

Ellison has studied the effects of drugs on the brain for more than 20 years. His research is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, which is funded by California's tobacco tax.


More than a Kick
On its own, nicotine might promote tumors and wrinkles

Kendall Morgan

Nicotine shifts the body into high gear. Whether from a puff on a cigarette or a patch stuck to the skin, the drug enters the bloodstream and bathes the internal organs. But scientists generally attribute nicotine's power solely to the activity it sparks in the brain. That stimulation makes smokers feel good, even euphoric. It's also what makes them crave more. Physicians, however, generally finger tobacco's thousands of other chemical constituents, including known carcinogens—not nicotine—for cigarettes' nastiest side effects. Each year, tobacco accounts for 400,000 deaths among 48 million smokers in the United States alone.

Beyond its addictive appeal, nicotine itself might have devastating consequences throughout the body, some scientists now say. Acetylcholine—the natural nerve-signal carrier that nicotine mimics—is a jack-of-all-trades. The chemical acts on many cells, including those in the lungs and skin. Therefore, nicotine may goad many tissues into hyperactivity—a possibility that raises scientists' suspicions about its role in disease.

"It's an eye opener. Nicotine isn't just a drug that stimulates neurons. It does the exact same thing to cells outside of the nervous system," says dermatologist Sergei A. Grando of the University of California, Davis, who studies nicotine's effects on skin.


A handful of recent studies has suggested a link between nicotine and ailments ranging from sudden infant death syndrome (SN: 9/14/02, p. 163) to cancer. Scientists have found that the stimulant spurs the formation of blood vessels that could feed tumors and promote plaque buildup in arteries (SN: 7/7/01, p. 6). The body may also convert nicotine into the chemical precursors of the carcinogen that scientists call NNK (SN: 10/28/00, p. 278).


The latest experimental work strengthens the connection between nicotine and disease and highlights additional ways that the chemical might promote tumors, age skin, and stall wound healing. Researchers say the drug may also literally cook proteins in the blood.


Death can be good


Nicotine probably doesn't cause cancer, but new research suggests it might keep cancer cells alive. And it apparently does so in two different ways.


First, the drug prevents a cellular form of suicide, called apoptosis, that normally eliminates nascent cancer and other damaged cells, says clinical oncologist Phillip A. Dennis of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.


In many cancers—including those of the breast, ovaries, prostate, and brain—a protein that normally keeps apoptosis under control gets stuck in its active form and thus shuts down the suicide sequence. More recently, Dennis' team discovered that the same molecule, called either Akt or protein kinase B, jams in the on-position in most lung cancer cells. The finding led the team to wonder whether constituents of tobacco activate Akt in the lung.


To find out, they tested the effect of nicotine and its derivative NNK on normal lung cells in lab dishes. Nicotine activated Akt at concentrations comparable to those that have been measured in smokers' blood, and the cell-suicide rate fell by 60 percent, the team reports in the January Journal of Clinical Investigation. It took more stress—ultraviolet radiation exposure, for example—to kill nicotine-activated cells than normal cells required, Dennis says.


Nicotine-treated cells acted abnormal in other ways, too. In lab dishes, lung cells usually stop growing when they become crowded, Dennis explains. "When treated with nicotine, lung cells kept growing to the point of coming right out of the plastic," he says.


NNK also enhanced cell survival by stimulating Akt. Therefore, NNK might exacerbate nicotine's cancer-promoting ability, Dennis suggests.


Nicotine's boost to cell survival could be important to other cancers associated with tobacco, including those of the head, neck, kidney, and bladder, he says.


Nicotine has a second talent for enhancing tumor growth, two lines of research suggest. The drug makes tumor-nurturing blood vessels sprout. Tumors can only grow to a certain point before they must be fed, says John P. Cooke of Stanford University. "They don't continue to grow and become malignant unless they can call blood vessels into themselves," he says.


Cooke's team has found that nicotine increases the speed at which human blood vessel cells grow in lab dishes. What's more, lung-tumor cells in mice given nicotine-laced water expanded faster than those in mice not given the drug (SN: 7/7/01, p. 6).


Nicotine may encourage blood vessel formation by stimulating the production of vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, a second team of researchers has found. Vascular-system researcher Brian S. Conklin, now at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and his colleagues knew that VEGF shows up in the majority of cancerous tumors. It's also a player in plaque formation along blood vessel walls. Because vascular disease and cancer are both linked to smoking, Conklin and his colleagues wondered whether nicotine might ramp up blood concentrations of the growth factor.


The team tested the effects of nicotine and cotinine—the primary product of nicotine breakdown in the liver—on blood concentrations of VEGF in a pig artery. Both compounds hiked concentrations of the growth factor, the researchers reported in the February 2002 American Journal of Pathology.


Full speed ahead


Just as nicotine sparks activity in nerve and tumor cells, it speeds up normal cellular activity in the skin. For example, some cells exposed to nicotine might go through the same life stages in 10 days that would normally take 10 weeks, says dermatologist Grando.




MISBEHAVING. Nicotine derails the body's natural messenger, acetylcholine, causing neurons and other cell types to overreact.


E. Roell


Such hyperactivity occurs in cells called dermal fibroblasts that control the skin's texture by regulating the production of support proteins including collagen and elastin. When skin gets wounded, these fibroblasts send out proteins that clean the site. The cleanup crew acts like "biological scissors," Grando says, clearing the way for healing to begin.


In the February Laboratory Investigation, the team reports that nicotine sends fibroblasts into inappropriate activity. In the laboratory, the researchers exposed human fibroblast cells to the drug. Enzymes normally unleashed to clean wound sites were deployed in the absence of injury. Those proteins then chewed up the scaffolding that keeps skin flexible and strong. That effect would leave skin sagging and wrinkled, Grando explains.


On the other hand, in regular users of tobacco, another mechanism of skin healing slows down as a result of nicotine's ability to speed cells up. Normally at a cut, skin cells called keratinocytes crawl out from the edge of a wound and cover the broken surface. Acetylcholine sets those cellular healers in motion. That led Grando and his colleagues to ask whether nicotine interferes with keratinocyte migration.


The researchers grew human skin cells in lab dishes and treated some cells with growth factors and others with growth factors in combination with nicotine. Nicotine-treated cells started to move as if on a healing mission but stopped short of the distance that cells not given nicotine traveled, the team reported 2 years ago. The span traveled by keratinocytes declined further as more nicotine was added to the lab dishes.


The fast-paced lifestyle that nicotine induces in cells might explain why, Grando says. Nicotine cuts skin cells' active life short, leaving them with too little time to seal a wound before they conk out, he hypothesizes.


Now we're cooking


Nicotine's widespread effects result primarily from its imitating the natural stimulant acetylcholine. But a new study suggests that a derivative of the drug might also interact with the blood to literally fry proteins.


While poring over the chemical structure of nornicotine—a minor metabolite of nicotine—chemist Kim D. Janda of Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., recognized that the compound has the potential to mangle proteins. The metabolite could spur the same chemical transformation that occurs when potatoes are fried, he suspected, a reaction familiar to food scientists as the browning effect. A similar reaction can occur without the high temperatures, Janda explains. Proteins altered in this way have been implicated in diabetes, cancer, and normal aging.


In the laboratory, Janda and his colleagues added nornicotine to solutions of blood proteins. Nornicotine attached to the proteins, so that at the molecular level, the product looked like "Christmas trees with nornicotine lightbulbs on them," Janda says. When food browns, similar structures result.


In separate experiments on whole blood from smokers and nonsmokers, the team found that smokers' blood contains more such nornicotine-altered proteins than nonsmokers' blood does. The researchers reported their findings in the Nov. 12, 2002 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


"It's pretty shocking," says Janda. "Nornicotine can be involved in a chemical reaction no one had thought about." The team is now conducting studies to find out how common the nornicotine-blood reaction is in animals and people.


For people trying to kick the cigarette habit, gums, patches, lollipops, and lip balms that contain nicotine are often useful. High-dose nicotine replacements can deliver the stimulant at concentrations comparable to those in cigarettes while giving a person a more constant blood-nicotine concentration than smoking does and avoiding many of cigarettes' harmful components.


"It's still most important that people stop smoking—if they need [nicotine-replacement therapy] to do that, fine," says oncologist Dennis. "But nicotine itself might be harmful in the long term," he adds.


Some people use quitting aids for longer than the recommended few months. Ann N. Dapice, an educator at the addiction treatment center T. K. Wolf in Tulsa, Okla., says she's worked with people who have used nicotine patches and gums for years.


Although scientists don't know all of nicotine's long-term effects in people, emerging evidence makes a "whole new case" for the drug's potential to cause problems outside the nervous system, says oncologist John D. Minna of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.


And once scientists look closer, he adds, they might find disease connections to nicotine that haven't been considered yet.






Which of the following poisons is the most deadly?   

1.    Arsenic                    

2.    Strychnine

3.    Nicotine                            

If you guessed # 3, you are correct. The lethal dosage for a 150 pound adult is 60 mg. The lethal dosage for # 2 is 75 mg and the lethal dosage for # 1 is 200 mg. In other words, nicotine is three times as toxic as arsenic and one and one half times as toxic as strychnine.

 (source: Poisoning/Toxicology, Third Edition, Jay M. Arena, B.S., M.D.)

Nicotine - a poisonous volatile alkaloid, derived from tobacco and responsible for many of the effects of tobacco. It first stimulates (small doses) and depresses (large doses) at autonomic ganglia and myoneural junctions. It is also used as an insecticide and fumigant.

 (source: Black's Medical Dictionary, thirty-fourth edition)

Recent research has shown in fine detail how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of behavioral effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure, the so-called reward pathways. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine, and research has shown that nicotine increases the levels of dopamine in the reward circuits. Nicotine's pharmacokinetic properties have been found also to enhance its abuse potential.

Nicotine - one of the most toxic and addicting of all drugs and it is toxic by all routes of exposure including the intact skin. ....also used as a contact insecticidal.

 Lewis' Dictionary of Toxicology

 Overdose can occur if a person uses too many nicotine patches or chews too much nicotine gum or chewing tobacco, as well as smoking. It can also occur through direct contact with e-cigarette liquids sold in large quantities for refills.

Poison centers are reporting a recent uptick in calls about exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine.

Slightly more than half of these reported exposures have occurred in young children under the age of six. However, this is consistent with National Poison Data System exposures to all substances combined.  Some children and toddlers who come in contact with e-cigarette devices or liquid nicotine have become very ill; some even requiring ER visits with nausea and vomiting being the most significant symptoms. 


2013 vs. 2012 E-cigarette Devices and Liquid Nicotine Reported Exposures


As nicotine can be absorbed into the bloodstream easily through the skin, if an extremely high concentration of nicotine is spilt on the skin, this can lead to toxicity and death.

Nicotine has not yet been clearly identified as a cancer causing agent and is not yet officially listed as a carcinogen. However, Nicotine activates MAP kinases, increases adrenergic signalling in bowel cancer and disrupts apoptosis or programmed cell death. This cell death actually clears the body of cells that have been damaged or have undergone mutations.

Although there is no solid evidence supporting that nicotine is a carcinogen, the carcinogenic potential of the substance has been demonstrated in various animal and cell culture studies over the last ten years.

Impairment of apoptosis means damaged and altered cells remain, creating a pathway for cancers to develop. Nicotine has also been shown to promote angiogensis or the formation of new blood vessels which can help a tumour to survive and grow.


Nicotine has strong mood altering effects and can act on the brain as both a stimulant and a relaxant.


Once within the bloodstream, nicotine may circulate around the body until it reaches the brain. This can occur in as little as 7 seconds.

Once in the brain, it binds to and activates receptors called the cholinergic receptors. These cholinergic receptors are also abundant in other areas of the body such as the muscles, heart, adrenal glands and other vital organs. Normally, these receptors are activated when they bind to a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is produced at nerve endings in the brain and in the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. Stimulation of the receptors by acetylcholine is important in maintaining healthy respiration, heart function and muscle movement, as well as cognitive function.

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 use of cigarettes leads to an increase in the number of cholinergic receptors and changes in the sensitivity of these receptors which may lead to nicotine tolerance. A smoker then needs to maintain a regular supply of nicotine to maintain normal brain function and the habit becomes addictive.

Nicotine also stimulates the release of several neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine,epinephrine, vasopressin, dopamine, arginine and beta-endorphin. Pain, anxiety and other negative symptoms are relieved and positive pleasant sensations are increased.

Nicotine intake also increases blood glucose levels, which is generally thought to be the result of the increased adrenalin levels that occur with nicotine intake stimulating the liver to release glucose. The increased availability of glucose along with adrenalin is thought to be responsible for the increased learning ability, memory and alertness that has been associated with smoking.

An increase in the rise of blood glucose also reduces appetite, which raises metabolic rate and eventually causes weight loss in the long term.

Nicotine stimulates the reward centres in the brain, providing pleasure and euphoria when taken. On binding to receptors present in the brain, nicotine causes release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, amongst others, a chemical involved in reward sensations

With continued use, nicotine leads to a decrease in the release of dopamine at a dose the body is used to. There is also a down regulation or decreased production of other stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain.

Furthermore, the number and sensitivity of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain significantly reduces. To compensate, the brain increases production of a number of receptors for important neurotransmitters. Therefore, the reward pathways of the brain become more sensitive, with an increased number of receptors. This increases a smoker's craving to smoke and leads to addiction.

Stopping smoking or intake of nicotine may lead to unpleasant symptoms called withdrawal symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine include:

·         Nicotine cravings

·         Irritability, frustration, anger and mood swings

·         Depression and anxiety

·         Weight gain

The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) notes that: “Nicotine is one of the most toxic of all poisons and has a rapid onset of action. Apart from local caustic actions, the target organs are the peripheral and central nervous systems.”


Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that acts in the brain and throughout the body.

-       US Department of Health and Human Services.

Research has shown how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates reward pathways—the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine, and research has shown that nicotine increases levels of dopamine in the reward circuits. This reaction is similar to that seen with other drugs of abuse.

Nicotine’s pharmacokinetic properties also enhance its abuse potential. The acute effects of nicotine dissipate quickly, as do the associated feelings of reward, which causes the smoker to continue dosing to maintain the drug’s pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal.

-       National Institute on Drug Abuse 2014

In January 2012, a six-year follow-up study of 787 adults who had recently quit smoking found that those who used nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a patch, gum, inhaler or nasal spray had the same long-term relapse rate as those who did not use the products. Heavy smokers who tried to quit without the benefit of counseling were actually twice as likely to relapse if they used a nicotine replacement product.

-        Scientific American

Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States.

Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.

Examples of nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, restlessness, and increased appetite.

-       Center for Disease Control

 It's the nicotine in tobacco that causes nicotine dependence.

Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that keeps you smoking. Nicotine is very addictive when delivered to the lungs by inhaling 

-      Mayo Clinic


A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.

—King James I, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, 1604

When I think of cold turkey I think:

One minute I’m a smoker and the next minute I’m not – for as long as I can stand it, that is!

That’s one approach to Smoking Cessation that seems very likely to fail!


There is another way – Smart Turkey!

Sky Girl captures the essence brilliantly in this Blog:

You can find no end of information about Smart Turkey at

You may decide to use NRTs or pharmaceuticals. That’s just fine! But please use them under a Doctor’s close supervision! They are meant to be used for a short period of time in measured dosages!

And please, please, please leave the e-cigarettes alone! They’re dangerous! They are unproven, unreliable, not recommended, and ADDICTIVE!

Addiction FREE is the Way to BE!

And, Yes, we can all of us get there!

MUMBAI: Nicotine chewing gums, meant to wean smokers from tobacco, could increase the risk of cancer, too, said a new research paper published by Tata Memorial Hospital doctors. 

As tobacco is responsible for 30 to 40% of cancers among Indians, the government had over a decade ago allowed nicotine replacement therapy to be sold over the counter. Nicotine of up to 2 milligram is sold in the form of tablets, capsules and chewing gums to help tobacco addicts get over the habit, but now the Parel-based hospital's doctors say this may not be a good move after all. 

Their research paper, published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical and Pediatric Oncology, said nicotine should only be administered under medical supervision and for a short period of time. "Nicotine replacement therapy is supposed to help smokers cope with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. It is being aggressively promoted and sold over the counter in India," said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, one of the authors of the study. He said that most nicotine replacement products are being manufactured and marketed by the tobacco industry itself

The article states that nicotine is not only highly addictive, it is highly detrimental to health. "Nicotine poses several health hazards of varying severity. Its usage is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal disorders. Nicotine directly decreases immune response and also negatively impacts reproductive health," said Dr Chaturvedi. Incidentally, as the paper itself points out, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has not included nicotine as a carcinogen. But the Tata team reviewed over 90 studies in animals and humans done across the world to highlight the health problems nicotine can produce

Tata Memorial doctors said e-cigarettes, too, are a form of nicotine replacement therapy. "But e-cigarettes contain 9 mg of nicotine, making it all the more hazardous."

I used to spend my todays taking smoke breaks 10 times a day. I used to take over an hour away from my Family, my Friends, my Coworkers, my Boss, MYSELF! I used to think it was no big deal!

Now I spend that hour saying, “I love you” to my Wife!

 I show my Sons that they are important, powerful, worth more than anything else in my Life!

I demonstrate to my Friends that they make a difference in my Life and that I’m grateful for their company!

I work with my fellow CNAs giving care to folks who need and appreciate our services!

I teach my English Students with focus in reaching their goals!

I give my Boss the quality he deserves – that I deserve to spend my time on!

I give myself affirmation that I matter in this World. My Life is important to me (every minute of it) and to the people around me! My Spirit of Freedom is important to God!

I have only one today to live my Life to the fullest! And I can only do that Addiction FREE!


How will you spend yours?


Beliefs about Nicotine

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 23, 2015

Nicotine Addiction damages our Brains in many unforeseen ways. With time even our beliefs surrounding sickerettes change. We begin to trust that we aren't harming ourselves in the face of all kinds of evidence to the contrary. This isn't a conscious choice - it's drug induced distortion! We might believe that we "don't smoke that much." Or we believe that by only smoking after work or weekends, etc.., we're not really hooked. Folks say that they don't wish to quit because they might gain weight, become grumpy, get confused, etc... I believed that because I could quit cold turkey whenever I decided to, I wasn't very addicted. 

Recovery begins when we confront these beliefs one by one and call them out for what they are - Nico-Lies! That's where becomeanEX comes in. Over and over you read about other folks who have had  the same patterns of denial yet broke through them to discover the truth! Over and over again, quitters with EXperience tell you to READ, READ, READ and READ some more. What that will accomplish even more than learning about Nicotine Addiction is that it will break through your Addictive Belief System. 

Researchers have pointed out that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, i.e. looking at what we do and the true reasons we do ir, is much more effective for Smoking Cessation than any NRT or pharmaceutical product. Support groups help us with that at no charge! We have to really look at our beliefs about Nicotine and decide for ourselves to let go of that pack of Nico-Lies! That is Recovery!

Read, participate, face your demons, and live FREE from Addiction for LIFE!


Quit Counter says....

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 22, 2015


That's 4 Years 11 Months and 1 Day!

I used to count by tens, then by Months, then by 100s, then by Years!

Now I forget to count! How cool is that?

Just another wonderful Smoke FREE Day!


Learning to Laugh...

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 22, 2015

Taking care of Kenny at his end of life has taught me that dying isn't all gloom and doom. I'm learning about the upsides of grief - such as moving on to a new and even better place. When we face big changes in life we have to solidify in our minds  the meaning of all that has gone before. That is the purpose of grief. A sort of letting go so we can make the leap into an uncertain future. 

Together we are remembering good times, taking an inventory of purposefulness, and finding a vision for the future. Kenny wonders how his Family and Friends will remember him. He wonders how heaven might be. We laugh at visions of him sitting on a cloud in a white robe playing the violin! 

Yes, there are many laughs to be had. We remember the time I got blamed for Kenny's practical jokes because none of our coworkers thought he has a sense of humor! 8~) Little do they know! 

So it's not all solemn tears and dread. We're learning together to live with dying. 

Who would have known!

While a study found that smokers were concerned with their impact on their friends’ and family’s health, they were seemingly unaware of the effects their habits — such as the risk of developing chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) — could bring upon themselves.

That certainly was my EXperience as a smoker. I was smoking while raising two young Sons and married to a lifetime nonsmoker. I worried about my Family’s second hand smoke and I was deeply concerned with the impression of smoking I was modeling for my Boys. I also sadly missed out on some special times as well as eloping from some stressful times because I felt the need to smoke. That lost time can never be recovered.

Yet I was entirely unaware of the biggest danger of all not only to me but to my entire Family – COPD! Only when I was diagnosed with COPD in March 2010 did I realize that my smoking put our precious time as a Family at risk more than I could possibly imagine. It will cost my Family untold dollars for medical attention to manage the illness. It will emotionally devastate my Family in ways I never would have guessed.

I only learned all of that once I had already become ill and the illness had been identified. COPD is a smoking related illness in approximately 90% of cases. It is chronic, progressive, and incurable. It is however treatable and the Single most effective treatment for COPD is Smoking Cessation. Nothing else will truly help unless and until the patient quits smoking.

And that was just the beginning of the learning curve. I had to learn about Smoking Cessation which means I had to really educate myself on Nicotine Addiction. Up until March 2010, I would never have thought of myself as an Addict! I had quit smoking dozens of times – cold turkey. I thought of smoking as a “bad habit” like eating chocolate bars or driving half a block in the car to check the mail. I thought that people who complained of smoky environments were whiners! Little did I know that I would become one!

I had to relearn relationships – both with fellow Addicts and with Nonsmokers. I had to sort through who were commiserating simply because of Nicotine Addiction and who were true Friends. I had to learn how to relate to Nonsmokers with appropriate Anger and other hidden Emotions.

Which leads me to the next learning EXperience - ME! I had to learn about who I am under that smoke cloud! What does it really feel like to cope with authentic feelings without my numbing agent of choice? I always thought that sickerettes calmed me down and helped me deal with relationships more tranquilly. In fact, they simply covered up what was really going on for me, kept my feelings at bay, and let procrastination take over as resolution for the challenges in my life!

I had to learn about my body, especially my lungs, heart and brain. By understanding how Nicotine toxically affects every single cell of my body I could relearn life without toxicity. Now I could nourish my body with good food, good water, and good air! I could nourish my mind with positivity, authentic relaxation, and stimulation.

There’s something else I learned about – my relationship with God! I would have thought that my relationship with the Almighty was very strong but then how could that be when I was damaging – destroying His Creation? My Values were not in line with my Actions! I learn a lot about what it means to Fear, Love and Respect my Creator! I learn to embrace my Savior more vigorously than ever before! I learn to become blessed with the Holy Spirit minute by minute without taking time out for smoke breaks from my Soul!

Now, almost 5 Years out, Smoking Cessation and COPD continue to teach me more about my place in this World. The learning never stops – for those who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, the blessings of FREEDOM ceaselessly pour out! This is the enlightenment of Authentic Nicotine Recovery and it’s waiting for you to discover it! 


All B.S. Aside!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 14, 2015

When I was a smoker I was a real A$$ to my Family and Friends! They would beg, plead, cry, promise, anything to get me to quit smoking!!!!!

And I refused to listen!

I can hear myself now - with a Million and One Excuses! You know what? It was all a BIG FAT LIE! A lie I (sometimes) believed but still a Lie!

Stress wasn’t causing me to smoke!

Life wasn’t causing me to smoke!

And FREEDOM sure as he11 wasn’t causing me to smoke!

ADDICTION caused me to smoke – nothing else!

I willingly let myself kill ME! I had no respect for myself or for Life or for God, no matter what song I was singing (in and out of church!) Addicts don’t, can’t care about anybody or anything beyond their drug of choice!

Now the tables are turned! Now I get to know up close and personal what it’s like to be that Friend watching his buddy die due to Addiction and you know what, folks? IT SUCKS EGGS!

Do you want your self respect back?

Do you want your priorities in life to reflect your Values?

I guarantee you there’s something you have to do first – Become ADDICTION FREE! Not tobacco free, not harm reduction bologna!  Real true Addiction FREE! It’s the only way you can face your Family and Friends with a straight face and say that you care! Because sincerely, they will always come second to our drug of choice as long as we’re using.

It’s too late for Kenny! It’s becoming abundantly clear and undeniable now! And Da@*! It hurts! BAD! But he chose Alcohol before anything else – including LIFE!

But it’s not too late for you (hopefully!) This is no joking matter! We’re not talking bad habits and a little bitty vice (like chewing your fingernails.) We’re talking LIFE and DEATH!

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! RIGHT NOW!

Smokers have a thinner outer brain layer than non-smokers, scientists have discovered.

Past studies have long linked smoking to heightened risk of cancer and lung disease.

And research has shown smokers are more likely to endure premature ageing, gum disease, go on to develop Alzheimer's and heart disease.

But if that long list is not reason enough to stub out your last cigarette, a new study has revealed the damaging effect smoking has on the brain.

Scientists in Edinburgh and Montreal found the brain cortex is thicker in non-smokers than smokers.

The cortex is the outer layer of the brain in which critical cognitive functions such as memory, language and perception take place. 

They cautiously suggest that the cortex might regain some thickness once smokers quit the habit.

But they added that was not seen in all regions of the brain. 

The study gathered health data and examined MRI scans of 224 men and 260 women with an average age of 73, around half of whom were former or current smokers.

The scientists from Edinburgh University and McGill University, analysed how a person's smoking habit was linked with the thickness of the brain's cortex using detailed MRI brain scans, careful image analysis and statistical models.

Professor Ian Deary, from the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, said: 'It is important to know what is associated with brain health in older age.

'From these data we have found a small link between smoking and having thinner brain grey matter in some regions.
'There are findings in our study that could suggest that stopping smoking might allow the brain's cortex to recover some of its thickness, though we need further studies conducted with repeat measures to test that idea.' 

His colleague Dr Sherif Karama, assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill University,added: 'We found that current and ex-smokers had, at age 73, many areas of thinner brain cortex than those that never smoked.

'Subjects who stopped smoking seem to partially recover their cortical thickness for each year without smoking.'

The apparent recovery process is slow though, and incomplete, he said. 

Heavy ex-smokers in the study who had given up smoking for more than 25 years still had a thinner cortex.

Although the cortex grows thinner with normal ageing, the study found that smoking appears to accelerate the thinning process. 

A thinner brain cortex is associated with adult cognitive decline. 

Dr Karama, added: 'Smokers should be informed that cigarettes could hasten the thinning of the brain's cortex, which could lead to cognitive deterioration. 

'Cortical thinning seems to persist for many years after someone stops smoking. 

Those taking part in the study were participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 - a group of individuals who were born in 1936 and took part in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947. 

Researchers found those people who had given up smoking for the longest period of time had a thicker cortex, compared to those who had recently quit.

That was the case, even after accounting for the total amount smoked in their lifetime.

Professor Joanna Wardlaw, director of the Brain Research Imaging Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: 'The effects of smoking on the lungs and heart are well known, but our study shows that there are important effects on the brain as well, another good reason for not smoking.'

Professor James Goodwin, head of research at Age UK, added: 'Understanding how and why our thinking skills change with age is a major current health challenge.

'This work helps us to understand how smoking affects the brain in later life.

'The more we can find out about what influences our thinking skills as we age, the better the advice we can give people on protecting their cognitive health.' 

The study is published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry and is part of a larger project called the Disconnected Mind that is supported by funding from Age UK. 

Read more: 

The cortex is the outer layer which covers two thirds of the brain's mass. It is often referred to as gray matter, and is the most highly developed part of the brain, responsible for thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language


Please Pray for Kenny

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 10, 2015

Sorry I haven't been here lately but my Friend Kenny has taken a turn for the worse and is currently in the hospital. Although we knew this was possible we had all hoped and prayed and it seemed like he was making such good progress! Well not so now! The doctors are going o tell us today where we go from here later this afternoon. I still hope that there is something that can be done surgically that might help but I'm worried that he may be too weak to qualify for surgery. It's in God's hands, I know!

I hate Alcohol! I hate Addiction! Life Addiction Free is LIFE itself! I have been Nicotine FREE for 1788 Days of Freedom! That's 4 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, and 6 Days I haven't smoked 17876 sickerettes! I did it for myself but I know that my Family is relieved especially seeing how Addiction can kill you - Sloooooooowly! And always way too fast!

Thank You for our prayers and support!

E-cigarettes generate toxic chemicals similar to those found in tobacco and may harm the lungs and immune system, new research suggests.

The findings, from a study of mice, indicate that "vaping" is far from being a safe alternative to smoking tobacco.

In the experiments, mice exposed to e-cigarette fumes suffered mild damage to their lungs and became far more susceptible to respiratory infections.

Their immune responses to both viruses and bacteria were weakened by such an extent that some animals died.

Scientists also found that e-cigarette vapour contained "free radical" toxins similar to those found in cigarette smoke and air pollution.

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage DNA and cell membranes.

Professor Shyam Biswai, from Johns Hopkins University in the US, who led the research published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, said: "Our findings suggest that e-cigarettes are not neutral in terms of the effects on the lungs.

"We have observed that they increase the susceptibility to respiratory infections in the mouse models. This warrants further study in susceptible individuals, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) patients who have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, or to new users of e-cigarettes who may have never used cigarettes."

For two weeks, mice were exposed to e-cigarette vapour in amounts equivalent to the doses inhaled by humans.

The animals were then infected with pneumonia bacteria or a strain of flu virus.

Compared with other non-exposed mice, they were much more likely to develop a weakened immune response.

Co-author Dr Thomas Sussan, also from Johns Hopkins, said: "E-cigarette vapour alone produced mild effects on the lungs, including inflammation and protein damage.

"However, when this exposure was followed by a bacterial or viral infection, the harmful effects of e-cigarette exposure became even more pronounced.

"The e-cigarette exposure inhibited the ability of mice to clear the bacteria from their lungs, and the viral infection led to increased weight loss and death, indicative of an impaired immune response."

The study is thought to be the first to investigate an animal's response to e-cigarette inhalation.

E-cigarettes generated just 1% of the amount of free radicals in tobacco smoke, but this still posed a potential health risk, said the researchers.

"We were surprised by how high that number was, considering that e-cigarettes do not produce combustion products," said Dr Sussan. "Granted, it's 100 times lower than cigarette smoke, but it's still a high number of free radicals that can potentially damage cells."

E-cigarette sales in the US are expected to overtake sales of cigarettes in the next 10 years.

In 2013, more than 250,000 American teenagers who had never smoked a cigarette reported using e-cigarettes.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "While there is still little doubt that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than regular cigarettes, this study in mice is yet another reminder of the lack of conclusive evidence currently available on the long-term health impact of vaping in humans.

"Particularly worthy of note is the suggestion by the research authors that more research be conducted into the impact of e-cigarette use among people living with respiratory conditions such as COPD.

"Quitting smoking is the most effective way in which someone living with COPD can slow the progression of their disease. With as many as 25,000 people dying of smoking-related COPD in the UK each year, greater certainty is urgently needed over whether e-cigarettes are safe to use by COPD patients looking to quit smoking.

"Amongst the wider population, we know many smokers have found e-cigarettes a useful aid to quitting. However, until such time as more research has clarified the long-term health impact of vaping, we wouldn't advise their use by non-smokers."

But exposure remains high among children and those who rent.

The number of people exposed to secondhand smoke dropped by half over the last decade, but one in four nonsmokers, or some 58 million people, are still exposed, a CDC report said today.

Declines in exposure haven't been uniform across the board, with two in five children, and seven in 10 black children still being exposed.

A fuller report was published online in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"Secondhand smoke continues to expose too many people," said Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the CDC, during a telephone press briefing. "These are preventable harms, and going smoke-free can prevent a wide range of problems."

Previous studies have found that children exposed to secondhand smoke have respiratory health risks that persist even into adulthood, and that exposure for adults may constitutea greater risk factor for heart disease than other well-known factors such as high cholesterol.

Data for the new report came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during the years 1999 to 2012.

In 1999-2000, about one in two nonsmokers were exposed to secondhand smoke, but by 2011-2012, the number had dropped to approximately one in four. Exposure was higher in African Americans, among whom about half of nonsmokers were exposed to secondhand smoke. Those who lived below the poverty level were also at increased risk -- two in five poor nonsmokers were exposed. Higher than average exposure was also seen in nonsmokers living in rental housing, of whom more than one in three were exposed.

The report said that state and city officials should help protect children and nonsmokers from secondhand smoke by eliminating smoking in public places like restaurants, bars, casinos, and workplaces, and in multi-unit housing such as apartments, condominiums, and government housing.

Though most states have restrictions on where smoking is allowed, at least 14 states place few or no regulations on where smoking is allowed, an infographic from the report showed.

The CDC also encouraged doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to talk with patients about the dangers of secondhand smoke and push smokers to quit.


Quitting "You"

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 3, 2015

The real "you" never, ever needed nicotine. You were fine on your own. The real "you" didn't need the sense of wanting satisfaction that arrived with each new supply, or the anxieties associated with needing more.

The real us typically functioned more towards the center, without nicotine's feeding cycle mood swings.

So what if you never, ever needed to inhale or juice nicotine again? What if your mind was once again allowed to be itself, filled with a rich sense of calm while stimulating its dopamine pathways the natural way, via great flavors, big hugs, cool water, a sense of accomplishment, friendship, nurturing, love and intimacy?

What if days, weeks or even months passed comfortably, without once thinking about wanting to use nicotine? Would that be a good thing or bad?


·         Recovery Instead of Quitting

·         Buried Alive by Nicotine "Aaah"s

·         An Infected Life

·         Forgotten Relaxation

·         Forgotten Calm During Crisis

·         Forgotten Breathing & Endurance

·         Forgotten Sensitivities

·         Forgotten Senses

·         Forgotten Mealtime

·         Extra Workweeks

·         Forgotten Priorities, Forsaken Life ...


Surgery and Smoking

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 3, 2015

If you have surgery in your future (and sometimes you have no prep time) watch this advice to your Surgeon. It's so important to give yourself a fighting chance! I've had both elective and emergency surgeries. I know how fast it can all happen. Now I have the confidence that I'm not hindering the surgical recovery by my Addiction! It's good to know that we are doing all we can to provide for a healthy future!


The Push and Pull

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 2, 2015


  What do we do if an urge pushes us in one direction and our values pull us in another? We don't want to struggle with that urge because then it's hard to focus on effective action. So rather than try to resist, control, or suppress it, the aim is to make room for it, to give it enough time and space to expend all it's energy. And one marvelously useful technique for this is known as "urge surfing."
  Have you ever sat on the beach and watched the waves? Just noticed them coming and going? A wave starts off small and builds gently. Then gradually it gathers speed and grows bigger. It continues to grow and move forward until it reaches a peak, known as a crest. Then, once the wave has crested, it gradually subsides. The same happens with urges in your body. They start off small and then steadily increase in size.
  All too often we get into a struggle with our urges; that's why we talk of "resisting" them. In urge surfing, though, we don't try to resist our urges - we just give them space. If you give an ocean wave enough space, it will reach a crest and then harmlessly subside. But what happens if that wave encounters resistance? Ever seen a wave crash onto the beach or smash against the rocks? It's loud, messy, and potentially destructive.
  So urge surfing is a simple but effective technique in which we treat our urges like waves and "surf" them until they dissipate. The term coined back in the 1980s by psychologists Alan Marlatt and Judith Gordon is part of their groundbreaking work with drug addiction.

We don't smoke anymore so what will You do instead?

Make this Quit your OWN!

Why do you want this quit? The answer to this question will help you answer the instead question! Quitting isn't about giving up - it's about embracing Smoke FREE Abundant Living - Your LIFE!

Finding your motivation is key. We can tell you what our motivations are but you have to find your own! What is your reason for living? Because, yes, this is a Life and Death matter! You not only EXtend the Quantity of Life ( number of Years) but you EXtend the Quality of Life - Addiction FREE! You have time (actually lots of time) you gave to your Addiction! You have richer relationships not based on or handicapped by Addiction. You have your True Self!

By putting special meaning into it the Determination and Focus are increased and the struggle decreases! You are creating a new set of beliefs about Life itself not based on your "need" for a FIX!

A significant quit date adds motivation to hold onto your Quit! I chose the first day of Spring - yours could be a Holiday or a Family celebration day - any day that you feel a powerful motivation to honor!

Visualizing what you the EXsmoker looks like also motivates you. Who do you really want to become? I doubt Addict is on that list! Follow your Values - they hold the secret to who's under that smoke cloud!

What might you do as an Exer? With all of that spare time, how will you use it? That's something nobody remembered to tell me about and I came in unprepared! That can lead to boredom and boredom is a trigger! Have a PLAN!

Use the time between decision and Special Date to prepare! Get to know yourself , the Smoker, pay attention to your habits attached to smoking, think about letting go of all of those habits at once. When you let go it helps to have something else in it's place! What will that be for YOU? 

You get to decide who you will become!


The 96% Club!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 31, 2015

When we pass those first 365 days we call it the 6%Club. That's because only 6% of those who begin to quit smoking make it through that first critical Year! A rough but true statistic - and something to be proud of when you do make it! [Our results seem much better than that, BTW, from my EXperience. Maybe it's because we know what we're doing here!] 

Here's another impressive statistic that hasn't been emphasized here yet but maybe it should!

After 2 Years abstinence, the statistical chances of relapse fall from 94% to just 2-4%! Thus, the chances of continued success (statistically) is at least 96%!!!!!

That should be reassuring!

After 10 Years then only 1% relapse. So anybody passing 10 Years would be in the 99% Club! WOW! I want in!!!! I will get in about 5 more Years from now! 

Nice to have even more to look forward to!

But we must always remember that You and I can decide to protect our quit or throw it away any time for any "reason!" We are in control of our destiny!

A new study found that electronic cigarettes can be harmful irrespective of whether they contain nicotine. E-cigarettes are considered a healthy alternative to the traditional cigarettes but research suggests otherwise. It was revealed that the liquid used in the e-cigarettes can cause lung infection.

For the study, cells from the airways of healthy non smokers between the ages of 8 and 12 were taken. They were then exposed to the vapors from the e-cigarettes, and the doctors found that the said cells were affected badly. The cells were placed in one end of a sterile container and the e-cigarette on the other. Suction was then applied, and the cells were exposed to the vapor, recreating the act of smoking. The vapour was seen to immediately increase the IL-6 proteins. The immune response was damaged.

Dr. Hong Wei Chu, director of the Basic Science Section at National Jewish Health and leader of the study, stated that the cells showed a strong pro-inflammatory response and became highly vulnerable to infection. He also stated that the epithelial cells that protect the lungs were also harmed. Speaking of the epithelial cells and the damaged caused, Chu said, "They protect our bodies from anything dangerous we might inhale. Even without nicotine, this liquid can hurt your epithelial defense system and you will be more likely to get sick."

According to WebMD, in the United States in 2012, approximately 1.8 million teens and minors tried e-cigarettes since it was promoted as a healthy alternative. The website reported that last year, nearly 40 million people had used e-cigarettes. The research focused mainly on kids and the effect e-cigarettes on these people. 

Chu said that the sale of the product is not controlled, and there is no standard regulated amount of nicotine or other chemicals that must be in the product. Since the study provides strong evidence of the bad effects of e-cigarettes, Chu concluded that long term consumption can prove to be dangerous.

The study is published in the PLOS-One journal.

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