"Why can't I quit smoking?"
"I want to quit smoking." "I've tried nearly everything." "Why can't I quit?"
If this sounds like you, you're just one step from success but it's a step most smokers miss, a missed realization that contributes to their downfall. It's that knowledge and understanding truly is a quitting method, the empowering self-admission that very few smokers have any insight into nicotine dependency and even less into arresting it.
For example, the "Law of Addiction" is the most important quitting lesson of all. Just one puff of nicotine will, within 8 to 10 seconds, result in up to 50% of nicotinic-type brain acetylcholine receptors being occupied by nicotine, creating a powerful dopamine explosion that the mind's pay attention pathways will, in the short term, make nearly impossible to forget. When quitting the quitter isn't battling an entire pack or even a whole cigarette but just that one powerful puff of nicotine that will destroy their hard work and all but guarantee relapse.
Although critical, it's just one lesson among many. How long does it take to reach peak withdrawal, why can getting there feel like an emotional train wreck, how does nicotine feed smokers stored fats and sugars with each puff, what happens if they try skipping meals once nicotine feedings end, and how does nicotine interact with stress, caffeine or alcohol?
Imagine trying to quit smoking without knowing the ABCs of quitting smoking. As silly as that may sound it's far more common you think.
Think about it, what learning takes place by slapping on a nicotine patch, chewing nicotine gum, swallowing a pill or being hypnotized? None, absolutely none. The smoker knows no more about their chemical dependency after failure than prior to relapse.
Why fight in darkness and fear when you can turn on the lights?
Nicotine dependency is about the mind's "aaah" reward and anxiety punishment pathways being fooled into believing that that next nicotine fix is every bit as real and important as eating. Like trying to go without food, a region of the brain known as the insula punishes the smoker with urges, craves and anxieties when they go too long without introducing a new supply of nicotine into the bloodstream. As with eating, the brain's reward pathways provide them with a dopamine "aaah" sensation following nicotine replenishment.
Welcome inside the nicotine addict's mind, a place where an endless cycle of chemical beatings and rewards have left the smoker totally yet falsely convinced that nicotine defines who they are, gives them their edge, helps them cope and that life without it would be horrible. They no longer remember their pre-addiction mind and the beauty of going days, weeks and months without once craving nicotine.
Those selling quit smoking products actually play and prey upon the nicotine addict's fears. Their product marketing is designed to try and get smokers to believe two falsehoods. They want them to believe that quitting cold turkey is nearly impossible, to fear their natural quitting instincts. They also want them to believe that most who buy and use their products succeed. Both representations are false.
Far from cold turkey quitting being nearly impossible, according to the U.S. Surgeon General roughly 90% of all long-term successful ex-smokers quit entirely on their own without using any quit smoking product or undergoing any procedure. But don't believe the Surgeon General, take your own poll.
What GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer do not want known is how utterly horrible their quitting products work in real-world use -- outside of clinical trials -- when used as stand-alone quitting tools.
Research by GlaxoSmithKline consultants published in 2003 found that only 7% of real-world nicotine patch and gum users were still not smoking at 6 months, a 93% failure rate. New Pfizer research suggests that Chantix and Champix will likely produce real-world failure rates frighteningly close to those of the nicotine patch and gum.
Instead of being afraid of your natural instincts why not educate them? Why allow anxieties born of needless fears to eat away at your dreams, desires and resolve? Your natural instincts know that knowledge and understanding can destroy fear but are you listening? Allow them to explore WhyQuit, the Internet's oldest and most popular nicotine dependency recovery education forum. The site sells nothing, is staffed entirely by volunteers and actually declines donations.
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Learn More About Nicotine Cessation
- WhyQuit.com - the Internet's oldest forum devoted to the art, science and psychology of cold turkey quitting, the quitting method used by 80 to 90% of all long-term successful quitters.
- "Never Take Another Puff" - a free 149 page quit smoking book in PDF format by Joel Spitzer of Chicago, the Internet's leading authority on cold turkey quitting and nicotine dependency recovery. Joel's free book is an insightful collection of almost 100 short quitting articles on almost every cessation topic imaginable.
- Joel's Video and Audio Quit Smoking Lessons - 64 video quit smoking lessons on a wide variety of quitting topics.
- Ask Joel - Email your quit smoking question to Joel Spitzer.
- Nicotine Cessation Tips - an 8 page PDF tips guide.
- Freedom from Tobacco - the Internet's only 100% nicotine-free quit smoking forum. Here, visitors will find 325,000 archived member posts indexed on 22 subject matter message boards.
- Nicotine Cessation Topic Index - an alphabetical subject matter index to hundreds of nicotine cessation support group discussions at Freedom from Tobacco.