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All People > jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 > jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 Blog > 2015 > March
       When I quit, I had no previous experience or expectations. Being a very inquisitive soul, I had a lot of questions. I was looking at quitting from all angles my first 100 days especially, and, asking some serious questions of myself.     

The biggest question of all became "what might draw me back to smoking?"

When I heard of the pleasure receptors in our brains being sensitized to nicotine, it became the biggest hurdle for me to jump. As I researched and asked questions, I learned that although our pleasure systems had been hijacked to pretty much respond only to nicotine, these receptors die off during the first year after last ingesting nicotine and are replaced with new ones that had never known nicotine.   

That meant my major fear of starting back had been removed.

Nicotine keeps us coming back while we are using it but, once those pleasure receptors have been replaced, we are not bound to nicotine for life. (unless we choose to use nicotine again and sensitize our new pleasure receptors to it.)



Big Tobacco-Nothing Personal. We're Only In It For The Money

Some say cold turkey is the only way.

If that was the only way, I wouldn't be quit.

So I say use an aid if you need to but UNDERSTAND WHAT THE AID IS DOING AND WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

All the nicotine aid CAN DO is give you some temporary relief from the physical withdrawal while you begin to unlearn the habit part. (the motions, the repetion and the memories connexted to smoking)




Please don't convince yourself that the NRT is all that is keeping you quit. Your decision to not smoke must be your primary backup if you even begin to consider the thought of smoking. You have the power. You always have, you just didn't realize it.

Being WILLING to quit WINS over fighting with yourself to keep from smoking EVERY TIME.

The NRT was never intended to be used forever. If You Use it, don't let it use you!

that strokes you out or gives you a heart attack?

Smoking is a game of Russian Roulette and playing at quitting wll always lead you back to smoking!

I hope you quit before you find out which one kills you.

If they control us and how they control us is what I'd like to discuss.
There is a built in evolutionary need to want to feel good. We can't really change that, it's what we've inherited.
Addictions cause a dopamine release. That's what makes us feel good.

Some people stay busy all the time. Accomplishing things triggers their dopamine release. Some people create. For some it's the love of being in nature. For others music, art, cooking, photography or some other means. A jogger runs to get their dopamine. Sports and exercise are considered healthy addictionsbut I have known people who could only focus on getting to the beach and surfing. It's really a matter of how much you allow it to control your daily life.

Now let's consider the unhealthy addictions and how they make like minded addicts flock together for acceptance and validation. This is true of any drug.
I've always said that if you want to break a drug addiction, you have to stop hanging out with the people who share the same addiction. I know that some of you are living with smokers and that can be difficult as you are constantly reminded of doing it. It can stay in the forefront balanced on the fulcrum of "should I or shouldn't I?". If you distance yourself from it, it is easier to let it go. You can distance it mentally with some of the techniques we teach here, even if you live with a smoker.

Besides the health problems we know smoking creates, it most certainly puts limitations on who you interact with in all areas of your life.
Can they smell you coming as you enter the job interview?
Are you unable to concentrate 30 minutes into that contract negotiation?
Do they really want you to hold their baby?
How about the smoker box when you fill out that dating questionnaire?

The only way to quit smoking is to disengage from it and distance yourself from fixating on it.

IMPORTANT: With our evolutionary need to get dopamine and feel good, it is imperative that you find addictions that replace the nicotine based infrastructure with something different and positive so you don't go back to smoking.

As Peggy says:
Smokers don't get to smoke. They have to smoke.
If you have no tools in your arsenal to quit smoking and stay quit, ask us.

Smoking and Gum Diseases


Smoking tobacco is one of the risk factors in developing gum diseases: inflammation and infection of the gums and bones that hold the teeth in position. Some of the major harmful side effects of smoking are:

  • Gingivitis- Studies have found that redness of the gingiva  and edema of the gums are severe in smokers when compared to non-smokers with similar oral hygiene. The nicotine content of the cigarette causes narrowing of the blood vessels causing decreased blood supply to the gums. Furthermore, the reduced immune response caused by smoking delays the body response to toxic oral microbes, i.e. the bacteria present in plaque can do more harm!
  • Periodontitis- This is a progression that can occur from gingivitis.  Periodontal disease implies irreversible destruction of the gum and bone around teeth.  Smokers are more at risk of this type of damage.  The periodontal damage can also occur faster for smokers and the response to dental treatment is usually not as good as for non-smokers. Smokers demonstrate more calculus when compared to non smokers. Calculus causes recession of the gingiva, periodontal pockets and alveolar bone loss.  This in turn causes tooth mobility and loss of teeth.
  • ANUG (Acute necrotizing  ulcerative gingivitis)- People who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day are more prone to ANUG than non smokers. Smoking causes reduced blood flow and reduced immunity of the gum tissues.  This, along with poor oral hygiene, allows the bacteria to invade the gums, causing the painful ulcerative gum disease, ANUG.
   don't look at the picture of the hairy tongue or you may go blind :-) 

The NICOTINE in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A.

It is also associated with increased wrinkling and skin damage on other parts of your body, including your inner arms.

The first year I quit smoking it came to me that if something so controlled your physical senses that it took your mind off smoking, it could be a good tool for quitting.

That first year, I came up with biting into a lemon, skin and all

and then,

sticking your head in the freezer and counting to 20 while breathing the freezer air.

More recently, packing your mouth with ice cubes and letting them melt whilst trying to avoid "brain freeze"

Another, might be look in the mirror before you smoke.

Do you have some of your own?

Sadly, there is no middle ground with smoking.

You can be uncomfortable for the first 2-3 weeks and then unlearn the urge to smoke and be free


You can be a slave to smoking the rest of your life.

What is your choice?

How is your choice working for you?

It's been 3000 days since cigarettes lost their control over me.


Do you really want to let yourself down again?

PS While you're standing there, wave to the addict looking back at you.

You have to make a decision and follow through.

You don't have to want to quit.

We all know the first 2-3 weeks are the weirdest part of quitting.

If you can get through that, why can't you keep going?

That place between being a smoker or a non smoker is you wasting your time in a self created hell unless and until you decide you aren't going keep playing at quitting.

Why keep shutting yourself down, what's the point? Why keep playing at it?

You say you have to quit OR ELSE?

Decide to quit OR ELSE you may find out what OR ELSE is!

It's important to try new things when you've quit because new things aren't connected to old smoking memories

but also,

because it's fun!

Let's get started

Who has never tried avocado toast?

Keep your e-NO-tions out of it!

Smoking is NOT REQUIRED!

My twin brother recommended someone from church who works on his old Tacoma.  I spoke with him Friday and he said if I called him today at 8, he would try to come over.

He had it pretty much pinpointed on the phone Friday.

He tested his theory and then took it out, called the closest parts place (less than a mile away), went and got the part and had it all done in well under 2 hours.

He also checked and tightened the valve cover gasket ( it was leaking oil and had never been checked) and took one front tire off to see if I needed brake pads. Didn't.

I'm certain had I taken it to a dealer it would have cost $500+ and I would have had to leave it and get rides back and forth two times.

He only charged me $85 for all labor and $165 for a new starter.



Never once thought of smoking!

Do ALL your breathing BOTH  inhaling and exhaling through a straw for 10 minutes. Pinch your nose so you can't cheat!

It will give you a real good idea! Then, consider if that's the way you want to live.

You can't reverse the damage



everything you wanted to know about cheese is another site.


And I'm not smoking over it!

Promising yourself you are going to cut down by one cigarette a day.
There's going to be some fighting coming up when you do this. The fight will be with YOURSELF. You'll have more triggers than usual one day and you will fight yourself right to the bitter end but smoke anyway and break your promise which sets you up for doing it again. There is absolutely no positive outcome to this approach.
The much better way would be to remind yourself that you are making some changes but not in an abrupt confrontational way, you simply tell yourself "I will wait a little longer" There's no set amount of time so NOTHING TO FEAR OR GET ANTSY ABOUT. This means no negative buildup before you quit.
If you make it 10 minutes your first time, that's fine. Just by catching yourself and realizing you didn't need to smoke just because the thought popped into your mind is the beginning of acceptance. Your time between smokes will grow itself. Quitting doesn't look like such a big obstacle if you approach it differently!

My truck has been starting differently lately :-)

Like instead of the first time, maybe the 10th?

So I pop the hood yesterday and the battery cables and terminals are corroded with all that white powder buildup.

So, I remove them and clean them and when we put them back on, the alarm goes off.

Now, I'm not much for using it so I don't even keep the little fob with me to turn it off. I ran inside and grabbed it and got the alarm off.

I try to start the truck. NOTHING

Then it eventually kicks on but it's really noisy.

When I tried to turn it off the engine turned off but the starter motor was cranking on it's own even with the ignition off and the key removed.

The only way I could shut it off was to remove the battery cable.

I went out there about 10 times yesterday trying to think it through and figure it out.

Didn't happen. I also spent most of yesterday afternoon and this morning doing research online as to what it might be and pricing possible parts.

I have it narrowed down to the starter or the ignition. But there are reasons it could or could not be each.

So, I've done everything to try and pin down what it is (like you would make a plan to quit smoking)

But sooner than later, and with my limited budget, I'm going to have to pull out my wallet and trust I'm making the right decision because I don't want to pay for unnesessary work.

Like Quitting Smoking, I've made the plan but eventualy I have to fly it to see it it works.

Trying to make a life from common sense, one day at a time.

That's why it takes a good amount of time to unlearn smoking. Don't give up too early!

Occasionally when growing up, we would have corned beef hash for breakfast.

It was usually out of a can and we would poach a couple eggs to put on top of a serving.

I liked mine with ketchup.

Recently, I've tried the roast beef hash and the sausage hash but the corned beef hash is what I'm used to so the others didn't quite measure up.

I only use Ketchup on hash and Patty Melts. It's what I'm used to.

I only like horseradish with prime rib and shrimp cocktail. It's what I'm used to.

I could probably think of a few more examples like curry, etc.

Now I bet I haven't had hash, prime rib, shrimp cocktails or patty melts more than 100 times each in my entire life but I have set these preferences, probably from the first time I tried them?

I had a preference for the cigarette I smoked because it was what I was used to.

I was a former 40 year, pack+ a day smoker. That works out to 292 THOUSAND times minimally I smoked.

I would say that qualifies as being used to smoking. How about you? Did you smoke for more than a week? A Month? Two years? Most likely you did.

That is why it takes a reasonable amount of time to unlearn smoking.

Don't give up too early! Stick with your quits. Time is the healer!

It's not necessarily something they knew they were choosing but they can't stop it as long as they smoke.

We certainly can't expect those who never smoked to understand the strong connections between emotions and smoking when we didn't see it ourselves.

Be kind to those closest to you when you get amped up and frustrated that you can't smoke.

They are the same, it is us that is changing.

and remember, these are "urges" not marching orders! They fade with time.

Is what we strive to bring to you

You may not want to hear it

We don't want you to fear it

Our hope is the experience

Will help you find success

The worst smoke for me was:

when i had one in my mouth with both hands busy. that slipstream right up your nostrils burns. (not to mention the drooling and your eyes watering from the smoke)

what about you?

the hole in the new outfit?

that burn on the furniture?

catching the couch on fire?

dropping your cherry on the seat while you were driving? or on your lap?

I really don't like second hand smoke in public places when it's unavoidable. Wafting on the breeze is fine but not steady in my face for 15 minutes and up.

I wanted to play and sing today so my buddy Steve and I grabbed our guitars and his dog and headed to the beach. We found a good place to park on the strand and got set up. Unfortunately, right behind Steve was a chain smoker patching and painting a wall. He drops the end of a lit one over the wall to let it go out and it was slipstreaming right towards my face then, he immediately lights up another one.

After about 3 songs I said to Steve, "I can't stand singing in this cigarette smoke."

Well actually, I would prefer not to and I used to sing in clubs that seated 400 and up. They all smoked but, now that I don't have to, I would prefer to forego the smoke in the face.

Anyway, we drove around and finally found a beautiful spot overlooking the lagoon. Set up and had a great session.

I go to the ocean at least every other day. It's 3 miles from where I live. Until we were 11, we lived 4 blocks from the ocean. My dad taught my twin and I how to body surf, probably when we were 5. Mark and I would walk to the pier and body surf 10 hours a day during the summer. When my dad got home from work, we would go body surf with him. It was safe and fun being a kid in California in the 50's.

I quickly learned that waves typically come in sets. Every so often you get a huge set. Very rarely there are days you get HUGE SETS one after the other after the other.


When you're swimming out to get into the right position to catch a wave, you often must work your way through waves that are just breaking right in your path. If you throw yourself into it with all your might and take all the punishment it can dish out you won't last more than 2 waves. You might even drown.


You learn to take the biggest breath possible and then go under the wave and hug the floor so you know which way is up and can push off the bottom to the surface as quickly as possible when it's force subsides.


Fighting to quit is like fighting the ocean. This is why many give up.


Let us help you keep from drowning!


Read the blogs, read the answers to the blogs. Post your own victory's and struggles, Ask Questions!


Willingess NOT Willpower

Are you fighting with yourself over smoking or not smoking? If so, I would ask you why?

You are either going to quit or going to smoke.

Let's examine a word to see how different it is as a noun and then as an adjective.

The word is pur·ga·to·ry

We are all familiar with the term as a noun. (it's limbo people)

What about purgatory as an adjective

"having the quality of cleansing or purifying"

You will remain controlled if you are fighting to smoke.

It's pure negative energy and will sap your "willpower" and steal your quit from you.

Let It Go! Willingness NOT Willpower

Time is the healer!

Quitting now is about the quality of life we have left.

Do you want to be one of Pavlovs dogs controlled by the need for your fix or will you choose living free and unfettered from the bonds of nicotine?

But how long did you smoke?

If you smoked for more than a month you had better pay close attention to what you are telling yourself.

Some of you may be getting real tired of trying to not smoke, right?


I bet some of you are getting real tired OF TRYING TO NOT SMOKE.

This is why willingness and acceptance are how you want to begin and continue with your quit.

This understanding is what we try to grow here.

It isn't a fight and it isn't so tiring when you accept and grow your quit as something positive instead of watering the "hardest thing I ever did" attitude.

If you smoked for more than a month you shouldn't expect it to be over  in a month. Give it a positive twist It isn't going to keep itself if you wear yourself out fighting.

Most quits are lost to emotions getting out of control.

Keep a clear head. Disconnect your emotions from your quit.

How you ask?

Self talk.

It's simply a matter of catching yourself before you go down the wrong road again.

Self talk.

"I'm not going there"

Self talk

"I don't do that anymore"

Time is the healer.

You can make this whatever you want it to be. You don't need smoking to control your emotions! Yes, you have to learn how to deal with them.

You can turn craves around and retrain your brain with a simple phrase you say out loud.
"I Don't Do That Anymore" It's not harsh but it corrals those thoughts and makes you think about your goal and not the moment.

Remember, nothing can make us smoke except us.
Stop blaming the Boogeyman and be honest with yourself  :-)


Continued Slavery or Total Freedom.

It's your choice.

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