Welcome to Freedom! Are you addicted to nicotine? Do you see a true drug addict looking back when looking in a mirror? A drug's "intoxicating" effect has almost nothing to do with its ability to physically addict users. For example, nicotine's addiction rate among regular users exceeds 70% while cocaine's dependency rate is five times less at around 15%. Most addiction scientists now consider nicotine the most addictive drug on earth!
Once dependent, the nicotine addict's brain has become permanently altered. The brain creates additional receptors to process higher levels of nicotine. The law of nicotine addiction is simple. If a former nicotine addict uses any nicotine, even one puff, they are all but assured of full and complete relapse back to their old level of nicotine intake or higher.
The maximum time in takes for the body to become 100% nicotine clean, and for the symptoms of physical withdrawal to peak in intensity, is 72 hours. Within ten days to two weeks, the mind's physical adjustment to living without nicotine is substantially complete. What remains are some pesky habit triggered craves and about five different memories for each puff you've ever taken (touch, pucker, inhale, taste, and the dopamine ahhh).
The secret to successful quitting is to focus on remaining quit for just one hour at a time. Remain free for one hour and then celebrate! It's when we start thinking about going without smoking for a week, a month or "forever" that we start making the challenge harder than necessary. If you can not remain nicotine free for the next hour then tomorrow doesn't matter. Soon the hours build and by the 72 hour mark your anxieties will begin easing.
Many of the symptoms experienced during prior quits, like difficulty concentrating, were due to low blood sugar. Drink plenty of fruit juice the first few days (cranberry is excellent). Also spread out the amount of food your normally eat. Don't eat more, eat more often. Nicotine fed you by releasing stored fats, but no longer. Don't skip meals!
A few quick guidelines. Don't give up anything except tobacco but be extremely careful around alcohol and other smokers during the first week. Write down all your reasons for quitting and read them every day. No crave anxiety attack lasts for more than three minutes (look at a clock). Develop three coping plans and use them all if necessary (shower/bath - deep breaths - clear your mind of thoughts while focusing on your favorite color, object or person - call a friend).
Whereas a crave lasts less than 3 minutes, smoking "thoughts" can infect your mind for hours if you let them. Immediately replace them with positive thoughts about your new freedom, self-respect, confidence, and improving health. Withdrawal, craves and "thoughts" are the temporary price of freedom! There is no legitimate excuse for relapse, including the death of the person you love most.
If you'll be patient with your healing, within 60 to 90 days of quitting you should experience that first day of total and complete comfort where you never once think about a cigarette or smoking. After that, they'll quickly become your new norm. Within 90 days your lung function should improve by 30%.
Victory is yours the moment that you know with every fiber of your being that you'll never take another puff of nicotine. There is no such thing as just "one puff." If you decided to bum your relapse cigarette, don't ask for just one. Instead, ask for the entire pack, because you're going to need them, and thousands more! R emember, be patient and no nicotine for just one hour at a time!