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Sections

  • That First Subtle “Aaah”
  • Chemical Slavery’s Onset
  • Tolerance
  • Nicotine
  • As Addictive as Heroin?
  • Addiction Not News to the Tobacco Industry
  • Freedom Starts with Admitting Addiction
  • Quitting vs. Recovery
  • 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
  • Inventing Use Rationalizations
  • Chemical to Demon
  • Chemical to Friend
  • “I like it” - “I love it”
  • “It relieves stress and anxiety”
  • “I’m just a little bit addicted”
  • “I do it for flavor and taste”
  • “My coffee won’t taste the same”
  • “It helps me concentrate”
  • “I do it to relieve boredom”
  • “I do it for pleasure”
  • “It’s my choice and I choose to”
  • “It’s just a nasty little habit”
  • “I’ll lose my friends”
  • “I can’t quit”
  • The Law Defined
  • Why?
  • The Law Reflected in Studies
  • Missed Lessons
  • Just one rule - “No nicotine today!”
  • The Final Truth
  • When to Start Home - Now or Later?
  • Pack for Recovery
  • Pack Core Motivations
  • Pack Durable Motivations
  • Practice & Pack Patience
  • Pack a Positive Attitude
  • Know How to Measure Victory
  • Create Relapse Insurance
  • Know Where to Refuel
  • Destroy All Remaining Nicotine
  • Just One, Just Once
  • Early Alcohol Use
  • Weight Gain
  • Crutches
  • Quitting Aids
  • Negative Support
  • Breathing Second-Hand Smoke
  • Bad Days
  • Menstrual Cycle Considerations
  • Pregnancy
  • Recovery Timetable
  • Ending Nicotine Use
  • Physical Readjustment
  • Emotional Readjustment
  • Subconscious Readjustment
  • Conscious Readjustment
  • Arriving Home
  • Nicotine’s Half-life
  • Natural Fruit Juices
  • Caffeine Use
  • Recovery Sensations - Good, Not bad
  • Neuronal Re-sensitization - Temporarily Numb
  • Symptoms
  • Possible Medication Adjustments
  • Possible Underlying Hidden Conditions
  • Celebrating Two Weeks of Healing!
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
  • The Unconscious Mind
  • Reinforcement & Crave Episodes
  • Common Use Cues
  • Are crave episodes really less than 3 minutes?
  • How often do crave episodes occur?
  • Cue Extinguishment
  • The Bigger the Better
  • Reward
  • Crave Coping Techniques
  • Seasonal, Holiday and Infrequent Cues
  • Dignity’s Denial
  • Tearing Down the Wall
  • More Lies
  • Conscious Fixation
  • “Just once, I want to do it once!”
  • “What should I call myself?”
  • The Joy of Smoking?
  • A Silent Celebration
  • Long-Term Quiet and Calm
  • Gradually Diminishing Thoughts and Urges
  • Caring for Our Recovery
  • Relapse
  • Harm Reduction
  • Appendix A: Recovery Journal/Diary
  • Appendix B: Summary of Basic Recovery Tips
  • Alphabetical Index

Freedom from Nicotine – The Journey Home

Dedication
This book is dedicated to all still captive to nicotine’s influence. May understanding the “Law of Addiction” lead you to freedom.

Acknowledgments
This book could not have been written without the insights of Joel Spitzer. It would not have been written without the support of Patricia P. Arnold and encouragement of Harriet McBryde Johnson, who died on June 4, 2008. Sincere thanks to Joel Spitzer, Sallie Hamilton and Joseph Savastano for their assistance with editing and review.

© 2009 FFNicotine.com & WhyQuit.com

3

Freedom from Nicotine
The Journey Home
John R. Polito
john@whyquit.com
Copyright © 2009 FFNicotine.com & JohnRPolito.com

Reservation of Rights - The author reserves all rights in all printed versions of this book. Free E-Book Use Authorization – The electronic or e-book version of this book is totally free and may be downloaded at www.FFNicotine.com or www.WhyQuit.com. The e-book or any portion may be freely distributed in electronic form for any non-commercial education purpose, so long as no charge is made for it, no donation is solicited, and so long as this “Free E-Book Use Authorization” remains with any significant portion of the book. The author is not affiliated with any product or service, nor does he endorse any product or service. It is his belief that a person does not need to spend money in order to break free from nicotine, that users do not need to be hypnotized, acupunctured, lasered, patched, gummed, lozenged, bupropionized, vareniclined, nor take any vitamin or herb, or purchase any other product or undergo any other procedure in order to end use of nicotine. The author provides this PDF book totally free of charge. No portion of this book may be used as an express or implied endorsement of any smoking or nicotine cessation product or service. Please contact the author at john@whyquit.com if any reproduction of any portion of this book is found to contain product or service information, or if in any way used to market or promote any fee based product or service. Medical Advice Disclaimer - This book is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a reader and his/her physician. Do not rely on any information in this book to replace individual consultations with your doctor or other qualified health care provider.
E-book Date: 12/31/08 Revision Date: 08/30/09

4

Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: NICOTINE ADDICTION 101...........................................................................13

That First Subtle “Aaah” ...............................................................................................................13 Chemical Slavery’s Onset................................................................................................................15 Tolerance.........................................................................................................................................18 Nicotine ...........................................................................................................................................21 As Addictive as Heroin?...................................................................................................................24 Addiction Not News to the Tobacco Industry...................................................................................27 Freedom Starts with Admitting Addiction........................................................................................32 CHAPTER 2: QUITTING “YOU” ...........................................................................................34

Quitting vs. Recovery.......................................................................................................................34 Buried Alive by Nicotine “Aaah”s...................................................................................................35 An Infected Life................................................................................................................................36 Forgotten Relaxation.......................................................................................................................37 Forgotten Calm During Crisis.........................................................................................................38 Forgotten Breathing & Endurance..................................................................................................39 Forgotten Sensitivities.....................................................................................................................41 Forgotten Senses..............................................................................................................................41 Forgotten Mealtime.........................................................................................................................42 Extra Workweeks..............................................................................................................................43 Forgotten Priorities, Forsaken Life ................................................................................................44 CHAPTER 3: OUR WALL OF ILLUSION - NICODEMON’S LIES? ................................45

Inventing Use Rationalizations........................................................................................................45 Chemical to Demon.........................................................................................................................46 Chemical to Friend..........................................................................................................................47 “I like it” - “I love it”.....................................................................................................................50 “It relieves stress and anxiety”........................................................................................................53 “I’m just a little bit addicted”.........................................................................................................55 “I do it for flavor and taste”............................................................................................................55 “My coffee won’t taste the same”....................................................................................................56 “It helps me concentrate”...............................................................................................................57 “I do it to relieve boredom”............................................................................................................57 “I do it for pleasure”.......................................................................................................................58 “It’s my choice and I choose to”.....................................................................................................59 “It’s just a nasty little habit”...........................................................................................................59 “I’ll lose my friends”.......................................................................................................................61 “I can’t quit”....................................................................................................................................61

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................139 Subconscious Readjustment..................................................................................................................com 5 CHAPTER 4: THE LAW OF ADDICTION...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................139 Conscious Readjustment.............99 Weight Gain......................................121 Breathing Second-Hand Smoke............................................124 Menstrual Cycle Considerations...........................88 Destroy All Remaining Nicotine ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................137 Physical Readjustment...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................75 Pack Durable Motivations............................................................................................................................................................................................127 CHAPTER 7: THE ROADMAP HOME.............................................................................................................................................135 Ending Nicotine Use .......................97 CHAPTER 6: PREPARING FOR COMMON HAZARDS AND PITFALLS............................................................................................................................................© 2009 FFNicotine...........123 Bad Days...............................................................................................................................................................75 Pack Core Motivations.................70 The Final Truth............................................................................................................................................................................................................65 The Law Reflected in Studies................................................................99 Just One...................................108 Quitting Aids............65 The Law Defined.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................68 Just one rule .......70 CHAPTER 5: PACKING AND PLANNING FOR THE JOURNEY HOME..................................65 Why? ...135 Recovery Timetable................................................................................77 Practice & Pack Patience................com & WhyQuit.....141 ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................99 Early Alcohol Use......................112 Negative Support........................................80 Pack a Positive Attitude..............................................138 Emotional Readjustment.73 When to Start Home .............................................................................................................125 Pregnancy..........................................................................................................................87 Know Where to Refuel....................................................85 Create Relapse Insurance...................................................102 Crutches .....................Now or Later?..............................................82 Know How to Measure Victory................................................................... Just Once ............66 Missed Lessons .............................................“No nicotine today!”..................73 Pack for Recovery............................................................................................................................................................................140 Arriving Home............................................

.................................200 Crave Coping Techniques............................................................168 Celebrating Two Weeks of Healing!...............................................6 Freedom from Nicotine ...................................................................................................................................................................147 Recovery Sensations ..........199 Reward ...................................176 Bargaining...........................THE FIRST 72 HOURS.........143 Natural Fruit Juices....................................................178 Acceptance..................................................................................................................215 ...................................................................145 Caffeine Use..........................................170 CHAPTER 10: EMOTIONAL RECOVERY..............................................................Good...........................................................................................................................................................................................180 CHAPTER 11: SUBCONSCIOUS RECOVERY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................194 The Bigger the Better.........................The Journey Home CHAPTER 8: FREEDOM FROM NICOTINE .....................................JOURNEY THINKING...........188 Are crave episodes really less than 3 minutes?......................................................................................................175 Anger.................................150 Possible Medication Adjustments.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................200 Seasonal.....................................................................................191 How often do crave episodes occur?.....................................214 The Joy of Smoking?..148 CHAPTER 9: PHYSICAL RECOVERY...................................................181 Reinforcement & Crave Episodes..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................204 CHAPTER 12: CONSCIOUS RECOVERY ......................................................................................................192 Cue Extinguishment.............................................................................................167 Possible Underlying Hidden Conditions...................................................................... Holiday and Infrequent Cues ....................................................................142 Nicotine’s Half-life................................................................................................................................172 Denial.....................................................................182 Common Use Cues .....................................................................................................................................181 The Unconscious Mind.................................................................................................................178 Depression..................................................................214 “What should I call myself?”...............................................................................................................205 Tearing Down the Wall..........................................206 More Lies... Not bad.........212 “Just once............................................................................................................................................................................................. I want to do it once!”.......................................................................................................................................205 Dignity’s Denial..............................................................................149 Symptoms......208 Conscious Fixation.....Temporarily Numb..............................................................................................149 Neuronal Re-sensitization .................................................................................................................................................................

................................................................................................................................................218 A Silent Celebration .............................218 Long-Term Quiet and Calm ............................................................218 Arriving Home.................................................................................230 APPENDIX A: RECOVERY JOURNAL/DIARY..........................................................................................................................................................................................238 ..........................226 Harm Reduction..........................................................................222 Relapse...........................................................com & WhyQuit..........................................................................................com 7 CHAPTER 13: HOMECOMING...............................................237 ALPHABETICAL INDEX..........................................236 APPENDIX B: SUMMARY OF BASIC RECOVERY TIPS....© 2009 FFNicotine...............................219 CHAPTER 14: COMPLACENCY & RELAPSE........................................................................................................................................................222 Caring for Our Recovery..................................................218 Gradually Diminishing Thoughts and Urges..............................................................................................................................................

fear of the emotional storm that may arrive with the next challenge we face. Hopefully you are about to awaken to the realization that “educated cold turkey” is a quitting method. or of ideas or concepts born inside this mind. The insights that follow were not discovered during my own thirty-years of chemical captivity.The Journey Home Introduction You may or may not like reading books but if a slave to nicotine then this one has the potential to alter your thinking. that someone has been lying to you. so as to afford you the ability to notice and savor the full flavor of coming home. you are about to discover that you’ve journeyed far. learning to live nicotine-free can be our greatest personal awakening ever. a fear of success. As hard as it may be to believe. By destroying needless fears. fear that we really did smoke our last cigarette ever. what once may have seemed nearly impossible is now ours to command. during previous attempts our fears may have been many. Why? Because with knowledge as your ally. It is my dream that the library of knowledge we are about to explore helps you see through the fears and lies associated with living nicotine-free. that it aids you in once again occupying the driver’s seat of your mind. In fact. My objective in writing this book is to remove the mystery and as much anxiety as possible. The pages that follow offer understanding as a tool for diminishing both. Insights.8 Freedom from Nicotine . understanding and the confidence flowing from them can destroy needless fears and anxieties. nor do they flow from more than a dozen serious failed attempts to break free that each lasted longer than a day. How did they do it? You’ll likely discover a giant elephant in the room. Take your own poll of all the ex-smokers you know who have been free from all nicotine and all stop smoking products for at least one year. Fear of failure. . far from the beautiful pre-nicotine mind you once called home. This book is not the result of the invention of some new method or product. nearly all of the lessons shared here were mined from the discoveries and accomplishments of others. The anguish of quitting in ignorance and darkness can overwhelm freedom’s dreams. mind and life. ending nicotine use does not need to be a horrible or even a bad experience. I wish I could claim credit for most of what you are about to read but I can’t. fear that life as an exsmoker will be horrible. that knowledge is power. our fears. Instead. It’s difficult to appreciate the beauty gradually unfolding around us after ending all nicotine use if consumed and gripped by anxiety and fear. that we’re leaving something valuable behind when we stop using. fear of an inability to cope.

vaccines that partially block its entry into the brain.com & WhyQuit. the recovery method used by 80-90%1 of long-term successful ex-smokers. out of the blue. free online MSN-based peer-support quitting forum that Joel could clearly see was floundering horribly. this book would not exist without the insights and teachings of Joel Spitzer of Chicago. hypnosis or Billy Bob’s Lima Bean Butter. Addictive Behaviors.com on January 18. designer drugs that imitate it. Pages 2760-2765. These ex-smokers owe their success to ending use of all nicotine. 2000. vitamins. Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods of smoking cessation. lasers that imitate needles. a motivational website I started in lungs of a smoker and non-smoker. Try to locate any other person who has devoted their entire life. as a volunteer smoking prevention speaker for the American Cancer Society. On January 20. Since 2000. 2 Freedom from Tobacco – Quit Smoking Now was founded on September 8.com 9 Those marketing a growing array of quitting cures are compelled to attempt to acquire market-share by getting you to fear your natural instincts. Volume 263(20). 2009. needles. But it takes strong observational skills to look at the elephant and accurately separate truth from fiction.yuku. Joel truly is the Henry Aaron. They are insights he began harvesting as early as 1972. 1999 as a free peer support forum at MSN Groups. what was then an anything-goes. In anticipation of the closing we moved Freedom to Yuku's free forums where we officially opened “Freedom from Nicotine” at www. cold turkey. Methods used to quit smoking in the United States: do cessation programs help? Journal of the American Medical Association. Smoking status of Australian general practice patients and their attempts to quit. . or to magic herbs. May 1990.© 2009 FFNicotine. and at Freedom from Tobacco2 (Freedom). Frankly. not to devices that replace it. Fiore MC et al. Joel emailed me offering to share more than 80 stop smoking articles he’d written. Pages 758-766. 2009 MSN shut down all MSN Groups. I have studied and shared Joel’s clinical observations. This book celebrates how education and understanding hold promise to swell their numbers even greater. July 1999. May 2006. There are hundreds of millions of worldwide cold turkey success stories. On February 21. 1 Doran CM et al. to helping smokers break free.com A young Joel holding wrapped slices from the (WhyQuit). full-time. Volume 31(5). They quickly became the centerpiece at both WhyQuit.ffn. and then as a smoking cessation counselor and paid staff member in 1977.

how did I miss all this? Where had I been hiding? Why hadn’t I seen smoking nicotine as true chemical dependency. Without hesitation. More than once Joanne had wanted to pull the plug and shut Freedom down. two-week clinics he’d presented. Since they’d already used a “one day at a time” approach to successfully break free. he did agree to join us and assist as a co-manager and become our director of education. It was as if online message board support was somehow actually fostering defeat. Freedom from Tobacco. its influence upon heart rate. vitamin C. But now. Failure was everywhere. so they could return and enjoy their own relapse party. Joel challenging pharmaceutical industry assertions that nicotine Freedom’s co-founder. and encouragement for them to again jump into the “quitting” pool. alcohol. Each new announcement of a return to smoking brought lots of virtual member hugs. How could I have missed all this? I was left stunned and humbled by how little I actually knew about smoking or stopping. depression.The Journey Home He’d written the collection of articles as follow-up reinforcement and relapse prevention letters. or grasped the importance of crave trigger extinguishment and cessation crutch avoidance? Prior to Joel’s arrival. Who was I to think that I was somehow qualified to create and co-manage an online stop smoking support group? This guy was the real deal! Nicotine’s relationship to eating. . that replacement nicotine undermines resolve. Although Joel declined. here was a guy whose entire life had prepared him to deliver on the forum’s name. I was hammered by ringing truths on a wide range of cessation issues.10 Freedom from Nicotine . Joel used the closing of each article to teach them how to stay free … How to “Never Take Another Puff!” As I read them. Joanne gum is not addictive on Fox News on May 12. letters sent to graduates of the more than 300 six-session. It was as if the group’s affection and attention were an invitation for others to relapse too. stress. we begged Joel to take charge of what was then little more than an anything-goes motivational pep-rally. twelve-hour. Diehl. and I had grown horribly frustrated. Joel raised scores of concerns that I had never once considered. and sleep. 2004. anger.

Jan-Feb 1999. “Never Take Another Puff. An email I opened a few moments counseling lessons.” I’ve searched long and hard for any work comparable to Joel’s.com. Nearly a decade later they remain on center-stage and freely available to all. who is six weeks into recovery.3 Today. According to U. Since then I’ve been on a quest for answers and at every opportunity possible have shared what I’ve learned at WhyQuit. J. Joel’s Library. you’re about to find yourself “in the mush. I’ve been unable to locate any collection of work that comes close. It is effective because it is so simple and innocent.WhyQuit. (3) conscious competence [mastering Joel's teachings]. ago from Roy.com.” the same mush I encountered when Joel arrived.4 3 4 Spitzer.© 2009 FFNicotine. . Pages 64-66. www. It has the power of innocence. once competence is achieved it becomes difficult to recall how we could ever have been anything else. The collection has grown to more than 100 articles and now includes more than 60 video counseling lessons. there are four phases to change induced learning: (1) unconscious incompetence [not knowing that I knew almost nothing about my addiction]. They continue to be the heart and soul of our online work. It can move mountains. Except for individual lessons here and there by particular counselors and authors. Physician Executive.com 11 I fondly named his collection of reinforcement letters “Joel’s Library” and gave them centerstage at both WhyQuit and Freedom.com & WhyQuit. and (4) unconscious competence [having those lessons become as second nature as walking].” has become relapse prevention insurance for countless Joel presenting one of his 63 free video thousands. On May 15. Google rankings. the often-repeated title of Joel’s free ebook. and Allen Carr’s excellent assault upon smoking rationalizations. (2) conscious incompetence [Joel making me aware of how little I knew]. “The ‘Never Take Another Puff’ sentence is one of the most powerful sentences I have ever heard in my life. It was my only shining light in a mass of darkness and guided me back to a normal nicotine-free life. So here it is in a nutshell. What I did find were individual studies by scores of dedicated researchers and educators. According to him. Volume 25(1). It's my hope that this book provides an avenue to expand the reach of our work to the millions who either lack Internet service or have yet to discover WhyQuit. studies that aid us in better understanding this most amazing chemical called nicotine. As health care futurist Joe Flower puts it. said it well. In the mush. since 2001 WhyQuit has been the #1 “nicotine cessation” resource. As Flower suggests. 1999 at 10:00 pm I took my last puff of nicotine.S.com/joel Flower J.

live long! John John R. If someone has gifted you a copy of this book.12 Freedom from Nicotine . If just starting out. Polito Nicotine Cessation Educator . Being deprived of the insights needed to save our life is a horrible reason to die. hug hard. you can visit WhyQuit.com or FFNicotine. Consider handing or e-mailing it to a friend or loved one still trapped in active dependency. congratulations on your decision to reclaim your mind and life! You are about to experience the time-tested adage that “knowledge is power! Yes you can! Breathe deep.The Journey Home Please don’t allow this book to collect dust on some shelf or become lost in your computer if the printed or electronic version aids you in achieving conscious competence.com to download the book's most recent electronic version.

your face turned six shades of green. dip or chew of tobacco? Although some took to smoking like fish to water. That dopamine reward pathway memory was far more durable than the negative memory of unpleasantness that clouded its creation.” But after such an unpleasant introduction you were sure that it couldn’t possibly happen to you. How could it? If like most. our mind had just sampled and experienced an extremely powerful and longer than normal dopamine “aaah” explosion. what most recall is how utterly horrible it tasted. An enduring memory of what caused that “aaah” was created.com Chapter 1 13 Nicotine Addiction 101 That First Subtle “Aaah” Remember how your body reacted to that first-ever inhaled puff. nauseous or if like me. you may have heard that tobacco could be addictive or that it could develop into a “nasty habit.© 2009 FFNicotine. How could it become a habit? How could you possibly become addicted? Like or dislike have surprisingly little to do with true chemical addiction. It was a memory that would soon have us returning to steal more. You may have felt dizzy. Prior to that moment. But what is dopamine? Do you remember what you felt when first praised for keeping your coloring between the . you didn’t like what you just experienced. Your mouth may have been filled with a terrible taste with your throat on fire and lungs in full rebellion. Beneath any rebellion by our body to the toxic chemical onslaught that it had just endured. as scores of powerful toxins assaulted. inflamed and numbed all tissues they touched.com & WhyQuit.

14 Freedom from Nicotine . Sitting atop the spinal cord at the base of the brain. accomplishment. reinforces and prioritizes basic species survival instincts. dopamine “aaah” pathways were not engineered to act as some brain candy toy to idly pleasure humans and other animals. Vivid. Medical Science Monitor. companionship. raw animal impulses and subconscious decisions. the brain records the entire event in what may be the highest definition memory (plasticity) that the mind is capable of producing. It caught our attention. Psychology Today Magazine. helping to establish future priorities and encouraging us to repeat the activity that produced the reward. spelling your name correctly or reciting your times tables? Remember the “aaah” feeling? Remember the feeling of making friends with another child or when mom gave you a big hug? “Aaah!” That was dopamine. taught us what is important. It controls our drives. It’s what researchers call “salient” or “pay attention” memories. group acceptance. Addiction: Pay Attention. They originate in a region of the brain known as the limbic system. alcohol and cocaine coupling to reward processes via endogenous morphine signaling: the dopamine-morphine hypothesis. sex or nurturing. They operate as a preprogrammed survival tool that actually teaches. stay focused. an article reviewing the drug addiction research of Nora Volkow. learn 5 Stefano GB. But as in any classroom. thirst quenching. Nov/Dec 2004. Both anticipatory and activity generating “aaah” events grab and hold our attention. In addition to generating a noticeable “aaah” reward sensation. But as it relates to drug addiction it plays a much larger role. We had just sampled the mind’s reward for accomplishment. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. there must be some form of discipline for failure to pay attention. June 2007. 6 Kathleen McGowan. Volume 13(6). our “pay attention” pathways are a built-in survival training school. easy to recall recordings document the experience. peer bonding or nurturing and the resulting “aaah” memory was burned into our brains. Pages RA91-102. .6 Yes. et al.The Journey Home lines. It is the brain reward pathway neurotransmitter responsible for giving us a prize when anticipating or experiencing species survival events associated with eating.5 Dopamine pathways are present and strikingly similar in the brains of all animals. Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Nicotine. It is one of many brain chemicals that allow brain cells to communicate with each other.

Pages 531-534. by chance. how does all of this relate to nicotine addiction? What would happen if. Science. Vol. butane. nurturing. accomplishment and reproduction. methane 7 Naqvi. As previously explained.com 15 and apply the lessons being taught. A 2007 study found that smokers who sustained brain damage to the right insula actually lost the urge to smoke. Chemical Slavery’s Onset Drug addiction is about the brain's "pay attention" dopamine reward pathways being taken hostage by an external chemical. arsenic. craves and anxieties.7 suggesting it may be responsible for generating nicotine use urges.’‘ We nicotine smokers didn't suck tissue destroying tars that included ammonia. NH. Thank goodness it doesn’t take traumatic brain injury or stroke to get the insula to stop craving nicotine. So. vinyl chloride. et al. Its polarities and structure are so similar to acetylcholine. these pathways were engineered to teach and reinforce species survival priorities associated with food. The insula receives a wide range of input from our senses. an external chemical so closely resembled the properties of the neuro-chemical responsible for activating brain dopamine pathways that once inside the brain it was capable of generating a stolen and unearned dopamine “aaah” sensation? Nicotine is such a chemical.com & WhyQuit. . Damage to Insula Disrupts Addiction to Cigarette Smoking. lead. water. that it bonds to the same receptors and easily hijacks the brain’s reward system. 315 (5811). the brain’s natural chemical messenger responsible for initiating normal dopamine pathway stimulation. Discipline appears to be dispensed inside the mind’s limbic region by the brain’s right insula. mercury. Enter nicotine. formaldehyde. hydrogen cyanide. what some researchers consider the most perfectly designed drug of addiction.© 2009 FFNicotine. emotions and previously recorded “pay attention” memories. January 2007.

Volume 39 Number 11. We did so to replenish rapidly falling nicotine reserves. K. This combination of events results in a powerful "aaah" sensation within seconds of a puff that lingers far longer than would a normal dopamine reward. gives us our edge. pay attention to this!”8 Continued nicotine use causes these extremely salient memories to quickly pile up. we are punished with anxieties and hunger pains when we wait too long between feedings. Rewarded by dopamine and punished by an endless need for more nicotine. April 2003. Our mind is essentially told. Nicotine “aaah”s became as important as food “aaah”s. Page 32. The need to replenish one’s nicotine supply gets recorded in what may be the highest definition memory the mind can produce. Think about how short-lived the “aaah” sensation is following a bite of your favorite food.9 Our hijacked brain quickly became fooled into believing that bringing a new supply of nicotine into the bloodstream was every bit as important as eating. the same dopamine rewards. helps us to cope. Psychiatric News June 4. We quickly “forget” that it was ever possible to function without it.The Journey Home or vast quantities of carbon monoxide into our bodies because we wanted to watch each puff destroy a bit more of our capacity to receive and circulate life-giving oxygen. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. we quickly grew to believe that we could not function comfortably without it. Nearly indistinguishable. Volume 4(2). Psychology Today Magazine. . also see. Our rewarded and punished mind was left totally yet falsely convinced that nicotine use was essential for survival. 9 Parrott AC. We each endured greater extremes in daily mood swings than non-users. that it defines who we are. “Hey. J. we gradually experienced increasing mood deterioration and escalating distress. 8 McGowan. Nov/Dec 2004. we experienced the same anxiety beatings. Why can’t you starve yourself to death? Have you ever thought about it? Not only are we rewarded with dopamine “aaah” sensations when we anticipate eating or actually do so. it somehow turns off a key killjoy enzyme that prevents normal dopamine clean up. depression and anger. They soon begin burying all remaining memory of life without it. Article ID: 3571. and the greater our dependency the more unstable our moods. Cigarette-derived nicotine is not a medicine. and that life without it would be horrible or even meaningless. punctuated by insula driven anxiety. Addiction: Pay Attention. As our body slowly metabolized and rid itself of the nicotine we introduced via our method of delivery. Rosack. Volkow May Have Uncovered Answer to Addiction Riddle. 2004. what goes up must come down.16 Freedom from Nicotine . Nicotine cravings became as real as food cravings. Nicotine not only fosters dopamine flow by crossing the blood-brain barrier and docking with a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors. Pages 49-55. Yes.

to this calm. This classical conditioning bell. As illogical as it may sound. This quick fix isn’t a solution at all. It is a guarantee of continuing bondage within a cycle of nicotine-dopamine highs and lows. times. that we can stop using nicotine by using it. as detailed in Chapter 11. people and emotions with using nicotine. We must extinguish the flame of each established feeding cue that we lit through association. we face the conditioned consequences of years of nicotine feedings that involved replenishment patterns that did not go unnoticed by the subconscious mind. a lower-intensity storm that’s never ending. Normally the urge is so subtle it goes unnoticed but we reach for nicotine to satisfy it nonetheless.© 2009 FFNicotine. We sell ourselves on the belief that this is our reward for having briefly succeeded in going without. But encountering a feeding cue during a time when brain nicotine reserves are at or near depletion can trigger a brief yet powerful anxiety episode. Our subconscious became conditioned to associate various activities. We seek and find relief in the exact manner our addiction conditioned us to generate relief. Soon. But survival instinct pathways taken hostage by an external chemical are incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction. Insula driven urges. Contrary to what we then feel. Without nicotine we thrive. those three minutes are extremely short lived in comparison to a life of addiction. hungry for calm. quiet. must now be un-rung. . Do you remember the calm and quiet mind you once called home? Remember going days. in the mind of a nicotine addict the instant and obvious solution is to take the hook and bite on old “aaah” memory bait. yet forgotten mind be a good thing or bad? However. the episode will last less than three minutes and is entirely manageable. weeks and months without once craving nicotine? Do you remember not needing it at all? Would coming home. We reach for the very thing from which only hours or days ago we were trying to flee. and while recovery time distortion can make minutes feel like hours. While seemingly unmanageable. for the enslaved mind. craves and anxieties alert us when a conditioned use situation is encountered. Truth quickly became a casualty of the mission and function of our “pay attention” circuitry.com 17 Without food we starve to death. any attempt to stop using nicotine is met with a rising tide of anxieties. It learned to expect arrival of a new supply of nicotine in specific situations or under specific circumstances. like that which Pavlov used to teach his dogs to expect food and begin salivating. Instead of staying afloat for the up to three days needed to navigate the roughest seas and see the emotional storms at last peak in intensity. we convince ourselves that we can succeed if we just have a little now. old nicotine use “aaah” memories that fill our brain memory banks begin looking like life jackets. If an underlying current of physical withdrawal anxieties isn’t sufficient to get us to bite.com & WhyQuit. locations. We reach for nicotine.

We are drug addicts in the truest sense. Retrieved September 14." toying with true chemical addiction as though it were some "nasty little habit" is a recipe for relapse. Pages 1633-1646. Forgetting the amazingly calm and quiet mind we once called home our "pay attention" pathways were fooled into establishing a new number one priority in life. The European Journal of Neuroscience. Findings indicate that average intake per cigarette is 30% greater in African Americans at 1. Diminution in the response to a drug after prolonged use. . especially over a period of continued exposure 2. 2008. the average nicotine intake per cigarette varies significantly. It does so by growing or activating millions of extra nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors in as many as eleven different brain regions. there is only one rule that governs recovery. skip meals. (n.reference. it attempts to diminish the influence of nicotine by more widely disbursing it. Knowledge is key in our quest to return home. procrastinate regarding work. As you’re about to learn.The Journey Home Nicotine addiction is about living a life of lies. The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary. but we would not forget or fail to respond to the bell for our next nicotine feeding.). November 2002. Like an alcoholic pretending they can have "just one sip. from Dictionary.41 10 tolerance.18 Freedom from Nicotine .com/browse/tolerance 11 Mugnaini M et al. Knowledge is power! Tolerance Definitions of tolerance include: 1. without changes of alpha7 or alpha6 subunit mRNA: an autoradiography and in situ hybridization study in rat brain." Break the law and you lay to waste all of your effort and dreams of a life free of nicotine. some form of ongoing support and an appreciation of the truth that just one powerful hit of nicotine all but assures relapse.com website: http://dictionary. Volume 16. We call it the "Law of Addiction.11 Although the average user’s body depletes and eliminates (metabolizes) nicotine at the rate of roughly one-half every two hours (129 minutes in Caucasians and 134 minutes in African Americans). Decreased responsiveness to a stimulus. We may forget to take our vitamin or medicine. Upregulation of [3H]methyllycaconitine binding sites following continuous infusion of nicotine.d. friends or romance. deceit and denial. Knowledge. As if it somehow knows that too much dopamine is flowing. Physiological resistance to a poison. or 4.10 The brain attempts to fight back against its toxic intruder. miss-out on time with family. The capacity to absorb a drug continuously or in large doses without adverse effect 3. obtaining that next fix. Abide by it and failure becomes impossible.

or smoking more nicotine in order to achieve the desired effect. like mine. the more damage nicotine inflicted upon our still developing brains.”15 For me. Alpha-5/alpha-3 nicotinic receptor subunit alleles increase risk for heavy smoking. Volume 32(12). et al. 15 Slotkin TA. a female advantage that disappears if the female brain is exposed to both prenatal and adolescent nicotine. I came into this world as nicotine’s slave and likely spent the first few days in withdrawal.14 As Duke University’s Professor Slotkin puts it. My “aaah”s were no more powerful smoking five cigarettes a day at age fifteen than when smoking 60 per day at age forty. . December 2007. Pages 2453-2464. Research suggests that damage to dopamine and serotonin pathways is significantly greater in males than females. Two a day. If nicotine is a developmental neurotoxicant in animal studies. Gender-specific effects of prenatal and adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke on auditory and visual attention.13 There is also the fact that some of our mothers. Volume 280(2). Volume 76 (1-2). Pages 152-165. 17 Jacobsen LK. we know that genetics probably explains most differences. I needed that much more in order to achieve the same remembered effect. April 2008. 14 Law KL. Nicotine metabolism and intake in black and white smokers. assaults which commenced three to four weeks following conception. “nicotine alters the developmental trajectory of acetylcholine systems in the immature brain. those first few cigarettes at age 15 were not about initial addiction. dare we recommend nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant women and adolescents? Neurotoxicology and Teratology. We find ourselves sucking a wee bit harder. Over time.17 12 Péérez-Stable EJ et al. Pages 368-373. holding the smoke longer. Pages 1-19. et al. Brain Research Bulletin. Volume 111(6 Pt 1): Pages 1318-1323. Molecular Psychiatry. four smoked hard.com & WhyQuit. with vulnerability extending from fetal stages through adolescence.16 In addition to genetics and prenatal nicotine exposure. 2008. Issue 1. they were about relapse to a condition my brain had known since those very first developing acetylcholine receptors were attacked by nicotine. 13 Berrettini W.com 19 milligrams per cigarette than for Caucasians at 1. 16 Slotkin TA. May 15. our brains gradually grow additional nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors. Volume 30. you’ve been at the same nicotine intake level for some time now and it’s likely vastly less than the three packs-a-day I was smoking. While we don’t yet fully understand wide variations in levels of nicotine use. Smoking during pregnancy and newborn neurobehavior. the younger we were when we started smoking. Pediatrics. Volume 13(4). most of us require more nicotine in order to match last month’s or last year’s “aaah” reward sensation. Journal of the American Medical Association.12 Tolerance ever so gradually pulls us deeper and deeper into dependency’s forest.09 milligrams per cigarette. Adolescent nicotine treatment changes the response of acetylcholine systems to subsequent nicotine administration in adulthood. et al. smoked during pregnancy. July 1998. four. three. Pages 152-156.© 2009 FFNicotine. et al. Neuropsychopharmacology. you’re probably thinking. June 2003. January 2008. I was born with my brain wired for nicotine. I know.

in reality their slavery is just as permanent and just as real. myself included. But seeing increases in smoking following relapse is today far less common. as we found ourselves not only de-sensitized to nicotine but to life as well.The Journey Home The bottom line is that being a “little bit addicted” is like being a “little bit pregnant. brain tolerance changes will increasingly be associated with trying to obtain additional nicotine by smoking fewer cigarettes more intensely. We were rewired to function with a precise amount of nicotine in our blood stream and lived the reality of “nicotine normal” that we created. The reverse is often seen in smokers transferring their dependency to oral tobacco or NRT products. . Long-Term Nicorette Gum Users Losing Hair and Teeth. yes for real. three-year male gum user who chews 40-50 pieces a day and thinks he may "chew more than anyone in the world. 7 days a week . on beaches and in the presence of children. the millions of extra nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors grown by the addicted brain de-sensitized it to its natural sense of neuro-chemical normal. three-year female gum user. Like a hurricane needing warm water in order to strengthen.” claims a 32 year-old. where around-the-clock use becomes possible.” While normal for light smokers to rationalize that they are somehow superior or better able to control their addiction than heavy smokers. despite the significant difference in nicotine intake. 18 Polito JR. environmental factors that subject us to other chemical agents (employment.” asserts a 48 year-old. Smoking more cigarettes harder."18 Regardless of method of delivery or level of nicotine tolerance. homes or vehicles. as if the brain was trying to make up for missed nicotine feedings. water and air). differing toxin and carcinogen types and concentrations in different brands of tobacco. the fuel for tolerance is additional time and opportunities to use nicotine. They often find ending nicotine use just as difficult as I did. hobbies. Non-smokers are increasing less tolerant of smoking in their presence. Any attempt to stop using it brought potential for a brief emotional train wreck. the smoke-free indoor-air movement is gradually sweeping the globe. "There is one in my mouth 24 hours a day. As you may already be aware.. When combined with genetic factors. and how intensely each cigarette is smoked. it was almost like binge eating after dieting.com.20 Freedom from Nicotine . playgrounds. We required greater nicotine intake. Faced with fewer replenishment opportunities. Probably more nicotine than when I smoked. WhyQuit. Smoking is also increasingly being prohibited in parks. “I started out with about 6 pieces a day and now chew about 15 pieces of 2mg per day. Over the years I met many smokers. who experienced a significant increase in their level of smoking and nicotine tolerance following a relapse after a cessation attempt. the smoker smoking five times a day may face health risks just as great or greater than heavier smokers.. December 1. 2008.

we know exactly what it takes to stay free. The pharmaceutical industry competes with the tobacco industry in purchasing tobacco from tobacco farmers. nicotine. We each remain wired for relapse for life. begin to diminish and the worst will be behind you. While this may seem like a curse it gradually becomes our biggest peace of mind. New Zealand Public Health Report on Nicotine. Just one powerful puff. 20 Blakely T et al. Although we can arrest our chemical dependency. It’s why nicotine dependency recovery is an all or nothing proposition.19 When holding dry tobacco in your hand. Volume 125. Journal of the American Dental Association. Nicotine is a colorless. the weight of nicotine within it will vary depending upon the type of tobacco. that ruled our lives for so long? Nicotine I was surprised to learn that all nicotine comes from the tobacco plant. Whether the brain’s current daily level of tolerance is one nicotine fix or twenty does not alter its status as slave. 21 Tilashalski. we cannot cure. 1997.6% of a tobacco plug’s weight and about 1% of the weight of chewing tobacco. Nicotine is not created in the laboratory. Nicotine (Black Leaf 40) Chemical Profile. morphine. . liquid organic-based alkaloid in the same family as cocaine. Assessing the Nicotine Content of Smokeless Tobacco Products. So what is this chemical. is bitter tasting and gives off a slight fishy odor when warmed. May 27. gum and lozenge.com 21 The brain makes substantial progress in reversing tolerance-induced de-sensitivities within 72 hours of ending all nicotine use. Withdrawal anxieties will peak. Pages 590-594. quinine and strychnine. April 1985.© 2009 FFNicotine. including nicotine in nicotine replacement products such as the patch. it comprises 1.21 19 Cornell University. Once confident of victory. While nicotine’s weight averages about 3% in cigarettes20 and moist snuff. It slowly yellows when exposed to air. permanently eliminate or destroy it. odorless.com & WhyQuit. K et al. May 1994. But although the brain gradually restores natural sensitivities. somehow tolerance’s wiring paths become permanently etched into our brains. dip or chew of nicotine and we will find our brain again begging for more.

Pesticide Management Education Program (PMEP).22 nicotine is a fetal teratogen that damages the developing brain. 29 de Landoni. April 1985. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. April 7. JH. Nicotine evokes cell death in embryonic rat brain during neurulation. nicotine (Black Leaf 40) Chemical Profile. IPCS INCHEM. July 1996.22 Freedom from Nicotine . dizziness. January 17. some escapes through cigarette ventilation and the filter traps some.29 Although the average American cigarette contains 8 to 9 milligrams of nicotine. a mixture that was 40% nicotine sulfate.5 mg/kg versus 1. A et al. Bates Number: 2064334296.24 Today nicotine is touted in organic gardening as a means for killing insects. Nicotine’s minimum adult LD50 is 30mg (milligrams) and if in ingested in liquid form death could occur within 5 minutes. it helps protect the plant’s roots. 23 Roy TS. ranging from 0. et al. JH. March 1991. IPSC INCHEM.32 Average intake can vary significantly from smoker to smoker.17 to 1. Nicotine (PIM 373). et al. Volume 331(2). stalk and leaves from being eaten by insects and animals. 1998. December 1998. It was sold as an alkaloid insecticide in America under the brand name Black Leaf 40. Strychnine (PIM 507). Volume 287(3). Nicotine (Black Leaf 40) Chemical Profile. Pages 1136-1144. Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction.37 milligrams of nicotine into their bloodstream with each cigarette smoked. March 1991.27 or cyanide (50mg).The Journey Home One of the most toxic of all poisons. symptoms include salivation. vomiting. Memorandum. JL.31 It results in the average smoker introducing 1.2 mg of nicotine 22 de Landoni. . 2001. How deadly is nicotine? It’s nearly twice as deadly as black widow spider venom (. 28 van Heijst. 32 Jarvis MJ. Arsenic (PIM G042). Cyanides (PIM G003). hypertension and coma.Draft Outline. nausea. that makes nicotine as deadly as strychnine. February 1988. diarrhea. 31 Philip Morris. 30 Benowitz NL.9mg/kg) and at least three times deadlier than diamondback rattlesnake venom (. abdominal pain. which also has a minimum adult LD50 of 30mg. ANP. Pages 134-138. July 14. April 1985.25 Drop for drop. The lungs absorb nearly 90% of inhaled nicotine. 27 Benedetti.23 A natural insecticide formed in the roots of the tobacco plant. March 1989. IPSC INCHEM. Nicotine yield from machine-smoked cigarettes and nicotine intakes in smokers: evidence from a representative population survey.5 mg/kg versus . Nicotine. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Prior to death. Media Presentation . Pages 123-125. 26 Borges. weakness. 24 Cornell University. IPSC INCHEM. LD50 is an abbreviation for the lethal dose of a toxic chemical. 1994.89mg/kg).30 some is burned. IPCS INCHEM. New England Journal of Medicine. et al.3 to 3. The implications for tobacco regulation.28 Nicotine kills by eventually paralyzing breathing muscles.26 and more deadly than arsenic (50mg). It represents the amount of the chemical needed to kill 50% of humans weighing 160 pounds. confusion progressing to convulsions. Volume 93(2). 25 Cornell University.

July 2008. bringing enough nicotine into their body to have killed a 160-pound human if the entire 30mg had arrived all at once. et al. January 1. Two to three drops of nicotine in the palm of the hand of someone weighing 160 pounds or less and he or she is dead. February 2007. Volume 199(1). et al. Neuropsychopharmacology. Pages 77-84. Differences between smokers and nonsmokers in regional gray matter volumes and densities. Volume 331(2). et al. Don’t believe it. pp.35 studies of the long-term (chronic) effects of smoking nicotine report decline and impairment of attention.36 Visualize nicotine’s neuro-toxic effects upon the human brain slowly destroying it. As for those selling a growing array of nicotine products. Long-Lasting Cognitive Deficits Resulting from Adolescent Nicotine Exposure in Rats.et al.com & WhyQuit. Pages 123-125. Effects of smoking and smoking abstinence on cognition in adolescent tobacco smokers. Vol. their marketing ploys and the research backing their sales pitch will always micro-focus upon the effects of just a few of 33 Benowitz NL. over an entire day. even the thought of going without nicotine may be sufficient to generate anxiety. also see also see Counotte DS. 37 Gallinat J. Biological Psychiatry. concentration. Biological Psychiatry. J.© 2009 FFNicotine. Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction. January 1. European Journal of Neuroscience. 1994. June 25. aren’t they! Now. Volume 55(1). Those pushing a growing array of nicotine products often falsely assert that they are as safe as caffeine. September 2006. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2004. 38 Gallinat. The implications for tobacco regulation. New England Journal of Medicine. Abnormal hippocampal neurochemistry in smokers: evidence from proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 T. 2005. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. et al. Smoking and structural brain deficits: a volumetric MR investigation. 24. Effects of transdermal nicotine on episodic memory in non-smokers with and without schizophrenia. et al.37 while damaging what remains. Volume 57(1). Nicotine is at least 166 times more toxic than caffeine. A smoker smoking 30 cigarettes per day is. Is it any wonder that a 2004 study using brain MRI imaging found that “smokers had smaller gray matter volumes and lower gray matter densities than nonsmokers?”34 Contrary to findings from studies examining the short-term (acute) effects of nicotine. Pages 80-84. July 14. and the accuracy of working and verbal memory.com 23 per cigarette.33 Picture the largest rat you have ever seen. 1744–1750. It would weigh about a pound. Picture a substance more toxic than rattlesnake or black widow venom being fed to your brain day after day after day. Try to remember what it was like to go weeks and months without once craving nicotine. Pages 56-66. Volume 27(1).38 Possibly the most frightening of all the risks posed by our addiction is its ability to destroy all memory of why this journey home is important.000 milligrams compared to 30mg for nicotine. . Psychopharmacology. Think hard. Those pre-addiction memories are gone. also see. Pages 89-98. AL et al. Caffeine’s lethal dose is 10 grams or 10. The 1mg of nicotine that entered your bloodstream from your last nicotine fix would be sufficient to kill that rat. 34 Brody. 36 Jacobsen LK. 35 Jubelt LE.

39 Canada’s cigarette pack addition warning label reads. Their marketing will never attempt to value the loss of personal freedom to chemical addiction. The alcoholic’s comes with drunkenness and the cocaine addict’s is euphoric. supermarket or gas station. Surgeon General warned that nicotine was as addictive as heroin and cocaine. sold legally in the presence of children.” But how on earth can nicotine possibly be as addictive as heroin? It is a legal product.24 Freedom from Nicotine . sodas. Their goal is to make money by selling us nicotine. The common effect among drugs of addiction is their ability to stimulate dopamine pathways 39 The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction: A Report of the Surgeon General. 1988 the U. . while ignoring the big picture. near candies.The Journey Home the more than 200 neuro-chemicals that nicotine controls (usually the stimulants). and behind the counter at the corner drug store. Heroin addicts describe their dopamine high as accompanied by a numb sensation. 1988. in a fair and honest manner. while the methamphetamine or speed addict’s dopamine high is fast or racing. nor discuss. not to free us from requiring it. pastries and chips at neighborhood convenience stores. May 17. Do you know of any alcoholic rehabilitation program that recommends switching from whiskey to pure alcohol and then slowly weaning yourself off alcohol over a period of 90 days? Who benefits from such a treatment method when it takes just 3 days to rid the body of all nicotine and experience true healing in full bloom? As Addictive as Heroin? On May 17. “WARNING CIGARETTES ARE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE .Studies have shown that tobacco can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine. the harms inflicted by nicotine upon those addicted to it.S.

3. Evaluating the validities of different DSM-IV-based conceptual constructs of tobacco dependence. 1994. Coupled with the fact that nicotine is legal and easily accessible enables us to live in denial of what we must now recognize and accept. 2. Imagine not 40 American Psychiatric Association. Addiction. But the fact that a nicotine dopamine high allows us to remain fully alert. that we too are drug addicts. with the price dropping to about $2 in less secure pre-release facilities. Tolerance .com & WhyQuit. 10.5 hours per day. et al. 4th edition (DSM IV).com 25 inside the brain. Definitions of nicotine dependency vary greatly. Difficulty controlling nicotine use or unable to stop using it. Avoiding activities because they might interfere with nicotine use or cutting activities short so as to enable replenishment.6 fortyhour work weeks per year to smoking nicotine).5 hours per week or 13.over the years gradually needing more nicotine in order to achieve the same desired effect. In medium and maximum-security prisons $8 per cigarette was pretty much the norm. July 2008. It isn’t unusual for the enslaved and rationalizing mind to see leaving those we love in order to use nicotine as punctuating life not interrupting it. In February 2008 I finished presenting 63 nicotine cessation seminars in 28 South Carolina prisons that had recently banned all tobacco. functioning yet have our nervous system stimulated. Using nicotine more often than intended. One of the most widely accepted is the American Psychiatric Association’s as published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. D. Nicotine use despite knowledge of the harms tobacco is inflicting upon your body. 4th edition. the problem with DSM nicotine dependency standards is not its seven factors but getting those hooked upon nicotine to be honest and accurate in describing its impact upon their life. Withdrawal when attempting to end nicotine use. Imagine paying $8 for a hand-rolled cigarette filled with tobacco from roadside cigarette butts. 5. . The captive mind can invent a host of excuses for avoidance of activities lasting longer than a couple of hours. Volume 103. It can explain how the ashtray sitting before them became filled and their cigarette pack became empty without them realizing it was happening.40 Under DSM IV. 6. blinds most of us from making connections and associations with those addicted to illegal chemicals.41 Although often criticized.C. P. Pages 1215-1223.© 2009 FFNicotine. Spending significant time using nicotine (note: a pack-a-day smoker spending 5 minutes per cigarette devotes 1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. tobacco now wrapped in paper torn from a prison bible. 41 Hendricks. 7. a person is dependent upon nicotine if at least 3 of the following 7 criteria are met: 1. A 2008 study found that 98% of chronic smokers have difficulty controlling use. Washington. 4.

died at age five of lymphoma.690 versus 16. Bertone ER. “When was the last time you ever saw anything else atop a urinal in a men's room that you felt tempted to put in your mouth?” At that the man smiled and said.The Journey Home having $8. Another story by Joel shares a clinic participant’s long kept secret of how still smoldering cigarette butt on the floor burned the bride’s wedding dress. I spent two solid months begging. My own dependency admissions are horrible. Two inmates housed in a smoke-free prison near Johnson City. also Bertone-Johnson ER et al. As discussed in the introduction. they smoked them and went back to their cell and locked themselves back in. Plasma nicotine and cotinine in tobacco smoke exposed beagle dogs. bumming and digging through ashtray after ashtray in search of long butts. The irony is that. Pages 152–158. Environmental tobacco . 1984." Over the years. "Point well taken. while we nicotine addicts openly and legally purchase our drug at neighborhood stores. all this now recovered 42 Roza MR. of smoking while pregnant.26 Freedom from Nicotine . et al. Pages 268-273. and a lighter. Toxicolology and Applied Pharmacology. of lighting their car." I’ve stood before thousands of inmates whose chemical addictions to illegal drugs landed them behind bars. Volume 9(11). Billy. It wasn’t until after breaking free that I read studies suggesting that smoke from my cigarettes may have contributed to their early deaths. that was his brand. sitting on top of a urinal. I was horribly wrong. November 2007. Even worse was losing both of my dogs to cancer. Tennessee ended a six-hour standoff in February 2007 when they traded their hostage. "They got them some cigarettes. clothing. he tells the story of how during a 2001 two-week stop smoking clinic a participant related that he was briefly tempted while in a men's bathroom after finding a single cigarette. Joel then asked the man. Volume156 (3). 2003. Joel Spitzer may well be the world’s most insightful nicotine cessation educator. I heard horrific stories about the lengths inmates go for a nicotine fix. During each program I couldn’t help but comment on the irony that those caught using illegal drugs found their way to prison. I went to sea on a 72-day underwater submarine deployment in 1976 thinking that if I didn’t bring any cigarettes or money along that stopping would be a breeze. during 1998 tobacco killed 25 times more Americans than all illegal drugs combined (418. a correctional officer. hair or dog afire. He thought to himself how easy it would have been to smoke it. Pages 1171-1176. Environmental tobacco smoke and risk of malignant lymphoma in pet cats.42 If so. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. for cigarettes. Volume 73. of smoking while battling pneumonia and sneaking from their hospital room into the staircase to light-up while dragging along the stand holding their intravenous medication bag. The dog as a passive smoker: effects of exposure to environmental cigarette smoke on domestic dogs. also see. One of them. ex-users have shared stories of leaving hospital rooms where loved ones lay dying of lung cancer so they could smoke. American Journal of Epidemiology. Some will do anything. according to the CDC. According to a prison official. also Brazell RS et al.926). My mentor since January 2000.

com 48 World Health Organization. neither is anyone looking for information on how to get off of nicotine. with nearly five million annual tobacco related deaths worldwide.WhyQuit.org at http://tobaccodocuments. http://legacy. 44 Hughes. JR. I often think about the alcoholic’s plight in having to watch 90% of drinkers do something the 10% who are alcoholics cannot do. control their alcohol intake. probably in large part due to genetics. WhyQuit’s Smoking Initiation Survey.46 Collectively they paint a disturbing picture of an industry fully aware that its business is drug addiction. The industry cannot ignore that historically. PM brands include Alpine. June 2005. Roughly 90% of daily adult smokers are chemically dependent under DSM-III44 standards. Again. Virginia and founded in 1854. Dave’s. San Francisco.S. L&M. University of California. Nicotine’s dependency rate situation is almost the exact opposite. 80% age 17 or younger and 92% under the age of 19. But I am clearly not one of them and odds are.45 Addiction Not News to the Tobacco Industry Nearly 50 million pages of once secret tobacco industry documents are today freely available and fully searchable online. 2008. http://legacy. Parliament. 60% age 15 or under.library.edu/tid/nlt13c00. Lark.philipmorrisusa.org 47 Polito. “The base of our business is the high-school student. Pages 299-308.© 2009 FFNicotine. Pages 319-332. smoke and canine urinary cotinine level. Saratoga and Virginia Slims. 2008. there are social smokers called “chippers” who.library.edu/. Benson & Hedges. while 87% of students smoking at least 1 cigarette daily were found dependent under DSM-IV standards. the primary difference between the illegal drug addict and us is that our chemical is legal and our dopamine high was accompanied by alertness. et al. cigarette market in 2007. 50 Philip Morris USA. Prevalence of tobacco dependence and withdrawal. holding a 51% share of the 70 billion dollar U.”49 Philip Morris USA (PM) is America’s largest tobacco company. American Journal of Psychiatry.ucsf. Cambridge. Basic. JR. English Ovals. Commander.com & WhyQuit. 46 Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.com . A population-based twin study in women of smoking initiation and nicotine dependence. et al. Volume 144(2). also see TobaccoDocuments. Pages 205-208. Volume 30(4). WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic. roughly 27% of new smokers have been age 13 or younger.47 Contrary to “corporate responsibility” image campaigns. 45 Kandel D. June 3. Memo. March 1999. August 30.50 Based in Richmond. Bates Number: 94671153. Financial Information. et al. Bristol. February 1987. Volume 106(3). On the Measurement of Nicotine Dependence in Adolescence: Comparisons of the mFTQ and a DSMIV Based Scale. 49 Lorillard. September 2008. Players. to take it or leave it. www.com 27 addict can do is keep them alive in his heart while begging forgiveness. 2005. Switzerland: World Health Organization. As a Lorillard executive wrote in 1978. Volume 29(2). Journal of Pediatric Psychology.ucsf.48 the industry knows it must entice each new generation of youth to experiment and get hooked on nicotine or face financial ruin. Geneva. Psychological Medicine. 43 Kendler KS.43 will never lose the ability and autonomy to simply turn and walk away. Yes. 1978. Merit. http://www. Environmental Research. Pages 361-364. Chesterfield. March 2008.

decline in Marlboro’s growth rate is due to . Jr. The smoke is the final package. http://legacy. http://www. William L. but my own data. which contains the cigarette.A. . The smokers must strip off all these package layers to get to that which he seeks. For openers. http://legacy..edu/tid/txy74e00.S..”51 Do you remember that fateful “what the heck” moment when you surrendered and gave tobacco that first serious try? What you probably don’t recall are the thousands of invitations to surrender and experiment that tobacco industry marketing had by then burned into your subconscious mind. ‘There is a 51 Philip Morris USA. Most of these studies have been restricted to people age 18 and over.53 November 1977 .“I was amazed at the trend that the [Council for Tobacco Research] work is taking. “PM USA agrees with the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking is addictive” and “smokeless tobacco products are addictive.ucsf.. As shown by the following quotes from once secret Philip Morris corporate documents. shows even higher Marlboro market penetration among 15-17 year-olds.com 52 Philip Morris Research Center. which contains the pack.edu/tid/srs84a00.philipmorrisusa. a new staff member. Ford. 1972. Dr. and the period in the life-cycle in which conformity to peer-group norms is greatest.”52 May 1975 . changing brand preferences among younger smokers. Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle for nicotine.“The cigarette should not be construed as a product but a package.. Donald H.“. The cigarette is but one of many package layers. memo: The Decline in the Rate of Growth of Marlboro Red.ucsf. Dunn. The teenage years are also important because those are the years during which most smokers begin to smoke. slower growth in the number of 15-19 year-olds . June 2008.The Journey Home Today the Philip Morris Internet website openly proclaims.28 Freedom from Nicotine .. 1975. makes the following quotes: ‘Opiates and nicotine may be similar in action’ . Bates Number: 2077864755..library. 1972 . Products. May 21.. 53 Philip Morris U. which includes younger teenagers. Bates Number: 2024273959..library. There is the carton. while pounding your brain with those invitations it was fully aware that it was in the drug addiction business.. Confidential: Motives and Incentives in Cigarette Smoking. which contains the smoke. The product is nicotine. the years in which initial brand selections are made.

Teague. http://legacy. 55 RJR Confidential Research Planning Memorandum. . A nine page 1972 confidential memo by a senior RJR executive is entitled “The Nature of the Tobacco Business and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein. to conform. R.. Jr. make new friends. health considerations. the first smoking experiences are often unpleasant until a tolerance for nicotine 54 Philip Morris U..S. Claude E. our advertising -. he appears to start to smoke for purely psychological reasons -.A. uniquely.to emulate a valued image. http://legacy.ucsf.” “Thus a tobacco product is. and certainly he does not start to smoke to satisfy a non-existent craving for nicotine. we are in the process of digging our own grave. Prior to its 2004 merger with Brown and Williamson. cost. Indeed..J.” “If nicotine is the sine qua non of tobacco products and tobacco products are recognized as being attractive dosage forms of nicotine. Seligman to Osdene.library. social patterns and needs..edu/tid/sjw29d00. Vantage and Winston.”55 The next seven paragraphs share direct quotes from this now famous and extremely informative memo. Bates Number: 501877121. Only after experiencing smoking for some period of time do the physiological "satisfactions" and habituation become apparent and needed. Bates Number: 207799380. Now. adventure..com 29 relationship between nicotine and the opiates. Inter-Office Correspondence. the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized. its cigarette brands included Camel.ucsf.edu/tid/ggy75c00. Our Industry is then based upon design. to defy. then it is logical to design our products -and where possible. More. to experiment. to have something to do with his hands. The Nature of the Tobacco Business and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein. highly ritualized and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry. 1977. price. physical and manipulative gratifications. pleasure. RJR Assistant Director of Research. contain and deliver nicotine. to be true.com & WhyQuit. It is my strong feeling that with the progress that has been claimed. 1972. Rather. Doral.” “He does not start smoking to obtain undefined physiological gratifications or reliefs. Reynolds’ Tobacco Company (RJR) has been around since 1874.© 2009 FFNicotine. have fun. a potent drug with a variety of physiological effects.library. designed to deliver the nicotine in a generally acceptable and attractive form. Salem. April 14. “In a sense. While RJR cigarette store marketing screams suggestions that smokers smoke its brands for a host of reasons (flavor. in essence. Monarch. and the like. Eclipse. convenience. North Carolina. its once secret documents tell a different story.. and the like. to be daring.around nicotine delivery . manufacture and sale of attractive dosage forms of nicotine . November 29.”54 Based in Winston-Salem. great menthol..’ . Tobacco products. a vehicle for delivery of nicotine. or to look more adult).” “His choice of product and pattern of usage are primarily determined by his individual nicotine dosage requirements and secondarily by a variety of other considerations including flavor and irritancy of the product.

The Journey Home has been developed. attractive dosage form. in the position of attempting to design and promote the same product to two different types of markets with two different sets of motivations. then we shall eventually liquidate our business. to deliver that nicotine to the user in efficient. nicotine is the sine qua non of smoking. and would be designed to deliver the minimum effective amount of nicotine at the desired release-rate to supply the "satisfaction" desired by the user. The dosage form could incorporate various flavorants. "cleaner". If we intend to remain in business and our business is the manufacture and sale of dosage forms of nicotine.. gas phase. If. effective.30 Freedom from Nicotine . and like desirable additives. needs and expectations. more efficient and direct way to provide the desired nicotine dosage than the present system involving combustion of tobacco or even chewing of tobacco .” As shown by the final two paragraphs above. enhancers. why is it really necessary that allegedly harmful "tar" accompany that nicotine? There should be some simpler. and if we meekly accept the allegations of our critics and move toward reduction or elimination of nicotine from our products. using modifications of techniques developed by the pharmaceutical and other industries.” “It should be possible to obtain pure nicotine by synthesis or from high-nicotine tobacco. then at some point we must make a stand. then.” “Critics of tobacco products increasingly allege that smoking is dangerous to the health of the smoker.. Part of this alleged danger is claimed to arise from ingestion of nicotine and part is claimed to arise from smoke components or smoke "tar". This leaves us. It should then be possible. accompanied by no "tar". as proposed above. RJR’s 1972 memo accurately predicts both the .” “If our business is fundamentally that of supplying nicotine in useful dosage form. or other allegedly harmful substances.

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arrival of nicotine replacement products (NRT) and the combustion free electronic or ecigarette. The lines between tobacco industry and pharmaceutical industry nicotine are now blurring horribly. A 2003 nicotine gum study found that 37% of nicotine gum users were hooked on the cure, each being chronic long-term gum users of at least 6 months.56 It’s a trend that will continue. Brown & Williamson (B&W) was a cigarette company that merged with RJR in 2004. B&W’s brands - now owned by RJR - included Barclay, Belair, Capri, Carlton, GPC, Kool, Laredo, Lucky Strike, Misty, North State, Pall Mall, Private Stock, Raleigh, Tareyton and Viceroy. Here are a few quotes from once secret B&W corporate documents: July 18, 1977 - “How to market an addictive product in an ethical manner?”57 June 24, 1978 - “Very few consumers are aware of the effects of nicotine, i.e., its addictive nature and that nicotine is a poison.”58 March 25, 1983: “Nicotine is the addicting agent in cigarettes. It, therefore, seems reasonable that when people switch brands, if they have a certain smoking pattern (i.e. number of sticks/day), they will switch to a brand at the same nicotine level.”59 Founded in 1760, Lorillard Tobacco Company is the oldest U.S. tobacco company. Its brands include Kent, Maverick, Max, Newport, Old Gold, Satin, Triumph and True. The following telling quotes are from once secret Lorillard documents: April 13, 1977: “Tobacco scientists know that physiological satisfaction is almost totally related to nicotine intake.”60 November 3, 1977 - “I don't know of any smoker who at some point hasn't wished he didn’t smoke. If we could offer an acceptable alternative for providing nicotine, I am 100 percent sure we would have a gigantic brand.”61 February 13, 1980: “Goal - Determine the minimum level of nicotine that will allow continued smoking. We hypothesize satisfaction cannot be compensated for by psychological satisfaction. At this point smokers will quit, or return to higher tar &
56 Shiffman S, Hughes JR, et al, Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample, Tobacco Control, November 2003, Volume 12, Pages 310-316. 57 Brown & Williamson Advertising Conference Report: Synectics Problem Laboratory, July 18, 1977, Bates Number: 770101768; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/mri63f00/pdf. 58 Brown & Williamson, Memorandum: Future Consumer Reaction to Nicotine, June 24, 1978, Bates Number: 665043966; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zfi21f00. 59 Brown & Williamson, Internal Correspondence, Project Recommendations, March 25, 1983, Bates Number: 670508492; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/uly04f00. 60 Lorillard, Present Status of the Nicotine Enrichment Project, April 13, 1977, Bates Number: 83251103; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/bgm09c00. 61 Lorillard, Letter, November 3, 1977, Bates Number: 03365541; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/cze91e00

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nicotine brands.”62 Last but not least is British American Tobacco (BAT), which dates to 1902 and sells more than 300 brands worldwide. BAT’s international brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Benson & Hedges, Winfield, John Player, State Express 555, Kool and Viceroy. It does not own all these brands but is licensed by other companies to distribute them. Here are a few BAT admissions. November 1961 - Smoking “differs in important features from addiction to other alkaloid drugs, but yet there are sufficient similarities to justify stating that smokers are nicotine addicts.”63 1967- “There has been significant progress in understanding why people smoke and the opinion is hardening in medical circles that the pharmacological effects of nicotine play an important part... It may be useful, therefore, to look at the tobacco industry as if for a large part its business is the administration of nicotine (in the clinical sense).”64 August 1979 - “We are searching explicitly for a socially acceptable addictive product. The essential constituent is most likely to be nicotine or a direct substitute for it.”65 April 1980 - “In a world of increased government intervention, B.A.T should learn to look at itself as a drug company rather than as a tobacco company.”66 In light of the above tiny sampling of tobacco industry admissions, should there be any doubt in our minds as to who was slave and who was master, who profited and who lost?

Freedom Starts with Admitting Addiction
It was not easy looking in the mirror and at last seeing a true drug addict looking back. I felt like I was surrendering, that after all those failed attempts I’d lost, that I was a total and complete failure. But as horrible as that moment felt, doing so was the most liberating event in my life. It was then and there I no longer needed the long list of lies I’d invented to try and explain my captivity, my need for that next fix. Yes, there were countless times during my 30 years of bondage where I’d told myself that I
62 Lorillard, Memorandum Secret, RT Information Task Force, February 13, 1980, Bates Number: 94672618; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ust13c00. 63 Honorable Gladys Kessler, Final Opinion, U.S. District Court, U.S. vs. Phillip Morris USA, Page 416, August 17, 2006. 64 British American Tobacco Memo, 1967, as stated in Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales, N-1089 of 1999, Statement of Claim, Page 370. 65 British American Tobacco, Memo, Key Areas - Product Innovation Over Next 10 Years for Long Term Development, August 28, 1979, Bates Number: 321469581; http://bat.library.ucsf.edu/tid/fyz34a99 66 British American Tobacco, Brainstorming II, April 11, 1980, Bates Number: 109884190, http://bat.library.ucsf.edu/tid/oli85a99.

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was hooked or addicted. But not until early 1999 did it hit me that, like alcoholism, it was for real. It was then that it hit me that I was no different from the methamphetamine or heroin addict. Dr. M.A.H. Russell, a psychiatrist and addiction researcher at London’s Institute of Psychiatry had me pegged all along. “There is little doubt that if it were not for nicotine in tobacco smoke, people would be little more inclined to smoke than they are to blow bubbles or to light sparklers, ” he wrote. “Cigarette-smoking is probably the most addictive and dependence-producing form of object-specific self-administered gratification known to man.” These now famous quotes by Dr. Russell date back to 1974.67 Over the years, millions of nicotine addicts have tried proving Dr. Russell wrong. In January 2003, a Miami based company, the Vector Group Ltd., began marketing a nicotine-free cigarette called Quest in seven northeastern U.S. states. A novelty item, thousands of smokers rushed out to purchase their first pack of nicotine-free cigarettes but locating any smoker who returned to purchase a second pack has proven near impossible. We would no more smoke nicotine-free cigarettes than we’d smoke dried leaves from the backyard. Hello! My name is John and I’m a comfortably recovered nicotine addict. It is not normal for humans to light things they place between their lips on fire and then intentionally suck the fire’s smoke deep into their lungs. Nor is it normal to chew or suck a highly toxic non-edible plant, hour after hour, day after day, year after year. We rationalize such irrational behavior because of the neuro-chemical reward we can steal by performing the act; a nicotine induced dopamine explosion. Cuddling up to the warm, cozy rationalization that, at worst, all we have is some “nasty little habit” serves the tobacco industry well. While habits can be manipulated, modified, toyed with and controlled, nicotine addiction is an all or nothing proposition. The industry knows that so long as its marketing continues to sell nicotine addicts on the idea that they’re in full control, that they will likely continue to hand the industry their money until the day they die. Regardless of the delivery device or method used to introduce nicotine into the bloodstream, fully accepting that nicotine dependency has permanently altered our brain not only simplifies the rules of recovery, it provides the key to staying free. Thousands of words but only one guiding principle for keeping our dependency permanently under arrest ... No nicotine today!

67 Russell, MA, The Smoking Habit and Its Classification, The Practitioner, June 1974 Volume 212 (1272), Pages 791-800.

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Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

Chapter 2

Quitting “You”

The real “you” never, ever
needed nicotine. You were fine on your own. The real “you” never experienced the artificial highs brought on by elevated nicotine levels or the devastating lows that often accompany withdrawal. We typically functioned more towards the center without such violent or disturbing neuro-chemical mood swings. So what if you never, ever needed to smoke, dip, chew or suck nicotine again? What if your mind was once again itself, filled with a constant sense of calmness and getting its dopamine releases the natural way, from great food, 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?

Quitting vs. Recovery
Quitting is a word that tugs at emotion. By definition it associates itself with departing, leaving, forsaking and abandonment. But the real abandonment took place on the day nicotine assumed control of our mind, when new salient memories made us forget that we functioned well without it, when we abandoned “us.” This book isn’t about quitting. It’s about recovering a person long forgotten, the real neuro-chemical “you.” The word “quitting” tends to paint or dress nicotine cessation in gray and black, in the doom and gloom of bad and horrible. It breeds anticipatory fears, inner demons, needless anxieties, external enemies and visions of suffering. It fosters a natural sense of selfdeprivation, of leaving something valuable behind. Now contrast quitting with recovery. Recovery doesn’t run or hide from our addiction but instead boldly embraces every aspect of this temporary journey of re-adjustment. It sees

” All of the neurochemicals once controlled by nicotine were present before we started using and will gradually return to pre-nicotine levels.nothing. talk on the phone. you won’t be leaving anything of value behind . it recognizes the symptoms and celebrates each new challenge as an opportunity to reclaim yet another aspect of a life once drenched in nicotine. It’s a period where each challenge overcome awards the recovering addict another piece of a puzzle.com & WhyQuit. travel. “What was it like being you?” Why fear coming home? Slave to the world of "nicotine normal. have a disagreement. I ask you. Buried Alive by Nicotine “Aaah”s Try to remember.© 2009 FFNicotine. every day. a puzzle that once complete reflects a life reclaimed. start a project or take a break without putting nicotine into your body? What was it like before nicotine took control? What was it like residing inside a mind that did not want for nicotine? One of the most fascinating aspects of drug addiction is just how quickly nearly all remaining memory of life without the external chemical gets buried by high definition dopamine “aaah” memories generated by using it.com 35 each symptom and challenge as a sign of the depth to which nicotine had infected our mind. When knowledge based. How can we claim to like or love something when we have almost no remaining memory of what life without it was like? What basis exists for honest comparison? Why be afraid of returning to a calm and quiet place where you no longer crave a chemical that today. But it might be helpful to reflect upon when the real “quitting” took place." we were each provided a new identity. vocabulary or this book. Every brain chemical that nicotine caused to flow is still present. then why fear life without it? How wonderful would it be to again reside inside an undisturbed mind where addiction chatter gradually becomes infrequent. It is not necessary that we delete the word “quit” from our thinking. or better as “you. Captive . It’s a time when tissues heal. a chemical that is a mandatory part of every day’s plan? Why fear arriving here on Easy Street with nearly a billion comfortably recovered nicotine addicts? Is freedom of thought and action a good thing or bad? If good. you cannot seem to get off your mind. when freedom ended and that next fix became life’s primary focus. Nicotine dependency recovery presents an opportunity to experience what may be our richest period of self-discovery ever. We’ll discuss this in more detail later but I pose this to you now. Everything you did while using nicotine can be done as well. Although nearly impossible to believe right now. to finish a meal. What was it like being you? What was it like to function every morning without nicotine. then rare? Again. It’s a common thread among all drug addicts. senses awaken and the brain’s neuro-chemicals again flow in response to life not nicotine. They were always there and always yours.

fears born of nicotine urge and replenishment memories.5 milligrams entering the bloodstream. When you think about “quitting” I hope you’ll ponder when the real “quitting” took place. Also see Polito JR. Chewing 7. learning that for years we were fooled and lived a lie can invoke a host of emotions including anger. “I have to say. I have chosen Nicorette over food many times. our dependency infects far more of life than receipt of a command for replenishment. This endless feeding cycle constantly interrupted life. such thinking can unconsciously tease and play upon old nicotine use memories. If I run out for a short time my mood becomes irrational. it requires a degree of planning.69 68 AskAPatient. an addict with a low tolerance level of just 1-2 fixes per day. It is costing me more money than I have. unless nicotine’s arrival ends. “even the love in our heart. compliance and the alert dopamine “aaah” that follows. I chew 4 mg 24/7 and can go through 170 pieces in less than 6 days. there is no end to this endless cycle unless we get off.com . Roughly 1 milligram of nicotine enters the average smoker’s bloodstream with each cigarette smoked. re-supplying. 2008. The journey home is about recognizing and embracing truth. WhyQuit. They left us convinced that our next nicotine fix was central to survival. clean-up and returning to the activity previously interrupted or to a new activity. honesty and you too will soon be entirely comfortable again engaging all aspects of life without nicotine.5 grams of moist snuff in the mouth for 30 minutes delivers an average of 3. Advances in Dental . Nicorette User Database. durable memories whose purpose was to convince us that nicotine is vital to survival. memories only made possible because a foreign substance entered the brain and was able to disrupt priorities. One. Systemic Absorption and Effects of Nicotine from Smokeless Tobacco. you are leaving absolutely nothing of value behind. December 1. as important as drinking water or eating food. To quote a line from one of my favorite movies. wrote. Baby steps. memories that should never have been present in the first place. 2008 comments by a 36 year-old female user. or someone who uses much more than the average user (as I did). a 36 year-old woman. making us feel as though we’ve left something of tremendous value behind. Contrary to deeply held beliefs that were pounded into your brain by an endless cycle of urges and rewards. If allowed.The Journey Home brain dopamine pathways did their designed job and did it well. patience. I traded one problem for another. I recently read disturbing comments posted by more than a hundred long-term nicotine gum addicts. I have been chewing Nicorette now for 12 years. it can tease and inflame false fears.6 milligrams of nicotine into the bloodstream. Aside from the time devoted to use. Long-term Nicorette gum users losing hair and teeth.36 Freedom from Nicotine . 69 Benowitz NL.9 grams of chewing tobacco over 30 minutes results in 4. we get to bring it with us!” An Infected Life Whether a closet addict who tries to hide their addiction.com. Holding 2. January 25. Like a mouse on an exercise wheel.”68 Although the word "quitting" is part of the fabric of nicotine cessation. But be prepared.

Pages 38-44 (max increase of 15 bpm).com 37 Nicotine is eliminated from the body at a rate of approximately one-half every two hours. affected by our addiction.com.000 chemicals or unadulterated oral tobacco’s more than 2. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General: 1989. In addiction to stimulating the release of dopamine. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 70 Spitzer. 71 U.76 Nicotine’s Research. Forgotten Relaxation Is it normal to spend the balance of life under the influence of an adrenaline releasing central nervous system stimulant? Prior to climbing into bed to sleep is it normal to consume a chemical that will make our heart pound up to 17. Volume 11(3). 74 Parrott AC et al. Our body’s response to sensing danger or sudden stress is activation of the “fight or flight” pathways of the sympathetic nervous system. Once we permit ourselves to begin looking closely. Najem B. 2003. Volume 89. Smoking it diminished lung function while gradually destroying the ability of our blood vessels to transport and deliver life-giving oxygen. 2007. chewed or sucked. and triggers the release of glucose and fats from our body’s energy stores? Two million years of evolution prepared us well to flee or stand and fight the now extinct saber tooth tiger. Pages 1162-1167 (average increase of 7 bpm). IARC carcinogens reported in cigarette mainstream smoke and their calculated log P values. June 2006. Volume 47(6). nicotine’s intake increases when its elimination is accelerated. Nicotine’s presence altered our body’s natural sensitivities and diminished our ability to relax.html 76 Haass M. June 2003. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy. 1989.. et al. smoking nicotine 17. Killian Research Laboratories. Pages 257-261 (2 mg gum average increase of 5 beats per minute [bpm]. Elimination is accelerated by encountering stress.S. May 1999 Volume 144(1).70 Driven by the need to maintain a comfortable level of nicotine in our bloodstream. Volume 97(2).com & WhyQuit. 72 Smith CJ et al. Never Take Another Puff.75 that accelerates our breathing. Whether smoked. Pages 807-817. http://tobaccodocuments.550 chemicals. WhyQuit. et al. Nicotine chewing gum (2 mg. 1949-1955. to some degree. 4 mg) and cigarette smoking: comparative effects upon vigilance and heart rate. September 1997.© 2009 FFNicotine. It changed priorities and consumed precious time. Page 79.5 bpm)Houlihan ME. Acute cardiovascular and sympathetic effects of nicotine replacement therapy. Inc. Volume 41(6). nicotine also activates these pathways. while making us home to smoke’s more than 4. Hypertension. drinking alcohol or consuming vitamin C. J. up to 81 potential carcinogens when smoking72 and up to 28 carcinogens in oral tobacco73. et al. also. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobaccospecific N-Nitrosamines. Pages 657-665.org/lor/95309579-9589. dilates our pupils.74 that elevates blood pressure. . Volume 10(6). Nicotine and sympathetic neurotransmission. Pages 336-341. restricts extremity blood flow causing the temperature of our fingers to drop up to seven degrees. 73 IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. it becomes hard to find any aspect of life that wasn’t. A double blind study of the effects of smoking on heart rate: is there tachyphylaxis? Psychopharmacology (Berlin). Surgeon General. Psychopharmacology (Berlin). January 1997. tobacco diminished the accuracy of smell and taste. 75 Lorillard Tobacco Company. shuts down digestion.71 It brought scores of cancer causing chemicals into our body. perks our senses.5 beats per minute faster. 4 mg gum 10 bpm.

Acid-Base Balance. orange juice 3.com/ 78 International Programme on Chemical Safety.80 beer 3. It forces the stressed nicotine addict to service their addition and engage in replenishment before turning their attention to the underlying stressful event. February 2003. A never-smoker and a smoker both experience flat tires while driving in a freezing rain.co.1. worry. July 4.1. But why? Have you ever watched a liquid baking soda solution.inchem. March 1991.uk.81 and whisky a pH of about 5.38 Freedom from Nicotine . 81 Murphy and Son Limited. The pH of Beer.7 to 4. to stop responding to non-existent saber tooth tigers. April 2007.7. What’s it like to stop beating a tired horse..org 79 FDA. which in turn causes more than 100 neuro-chemicals to prepare the body to run for its life or fight. We’ll talk more about this later. Disorders of Nutrition and Metabolism. with 0 being the strongest acid. the movement of hydrogen atoms as an acid and a base neutralize each other. a cigarette.3 to 2. This accelerates removal of the alkaloid nicotine from our bloodstream. 14 the strongest base.The Journey Home arrival in the brain causes the release of noradrenaline (norepinephrine). http://www.3 to 3. Approximate pH of Foods and Food Products.4. AJ. try to imagine what it is like to go hours or an entire day without having adrenaline being pumped into your bloodstream. http://www. Pure drinking water has a pH of 7 and fresh milk about 6. http://www. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14.murphyandson. get out and look at the flat.5. and 7 being neutral. a base (alkaloid) being poured over an acid covered car battery terminal or seen a child create a volcano by mixing baking soda with lemon juice or vinegar (acids)? You are watching ionization. Nicotine. The never-smoker sighs then immediately reaches for a jack to change the tire. to again know full and complete relaxation for extended periods of time? Forgotten Calm During Crisis Have you ever noticed what you reach for during crisis? Imagine not adding the onset of early nicotine withdrawal to every stressful event life throws our way. INCHEM. 1999. The measure of the acidity or base (alkalinity) of a solution is known as its pH. cranberry juice has a pH of 2. For now. The Acidity of Wine. Emotional stress.79 table wine 3. and fear cause some of the body’s fluids to become more acidic. They stop. On the acid side. A fluid with a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than a fluid having a pH of 6.merck. 2008 .. That’s right. The smoker reaches for a . Yet nicotine addicts will tell you that they need nicotine to relax! Fight or flight is anything but a state of relaxation. 80 Pandell. including our urine. The rate of elimination of un-metabolized nicotine from the bloodstream depends in part on 77 The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. anger.3 to 4. Both human blood77 and nicotine78 are weak bases (alkaloids) having a pH of about 7. vinegar a pH of 3.7..

an increase in urine acidity from a pH of 5. whether or not they cover the filter ventilation holes with their lips. This is but one example of how nicotine addicts are at a disadvantage. odorless toxic gas produced when any carbon-based material is burned. What they don’t seem to appreciate is the tremendous strain they subject their heart and body to when doing so. S et al. July 1985. Carbon monoxide is a colorless. Early withdrawal is added to every stressful situation encountered. What a wonderful problem to have. to engage in an extended period of brisk physical activity without becoming seriously winded? What was it like to climb flight after flight of stairs.83 While we cannot avoid all stressful situations or prevent them from causing chemical interactions within body fluids. including tobacco. It’s a matter of availability of sufficient oxygen to keep vigorously working muscle well fueled and alive. Volume 234(1). Pages 153-155. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. . How stressful would a stressful situation be if the onset of early nicotine withdrawal weren’t added to it? How much less stressful can life become? As you journey home you may begin noticing an increased sense of calm during crisis. Forgotten Breathing & Endurance Smokers not only suffer from nicotine addiction but the ravaging effects of thousands of inhaled chemicals upon their lungs and respiratory system. 83 Benowitz NL et al. Studies of the interaction of psychological and pharmacological determinants of smoking: II.com 39 the pH of our urine. What was it like to run like the wind. the more acidic our urine. Although it sounds totally backwards.com & WhyQuit.82 In one study.6 to a pH of 4. March 1977. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapy. Nicotine renal excretion rate influences nicotine intake during cigarette smoking. the greater the rate of nicotine depletion. vitamin C or alcohol use. or to chase a child or the family pet without ending up gasping for air? Every now and then I meet a smoker who lets me know that they enjoy running. Whether caused by sudden emotional turmoil. there will be no impact upon nicotine reserves if nicotine isn’t present in our bloodstream. Volume 106(1). the amount of carbon monoxide entering the bloodstream varies greatly (up to 25mg per cigarette) depending upon such factors as how intensely the smoker smokes. 82 Schachter. Pages 13-19. When smoking.5 caused a 206% increase in the rate nicotine was eliminated from the kidneys and 41% increase in the rate of total nicotine clearance from the body. the literature suggests that it has to do with how the kidneys function. Effects of urinary pH on cigarette smoking.© 2009 FFNicotine. to play full-court basketball.

It's too little oxygen and too much gunk. Pages 77-79. January 1988. The number of alveoli in the human lung. WHO. What would it be like to experience a significant increase in overall lung function? Imagine gifting yourself 84 Ochs M et al. It's the same absorption rate as nicotine. Hemoglobin is the portion of each red blood cell that transports a new supply of oxygen from the alveoli in our lungs to each living cell throughout the body. 2004. One-half of the carbon monoxide in that puff will still be circulating inside your blood stream four hours later. A new method for estimating the retention of selected smoke constituents in the respiratory tract of smokers during cigarette smoking.000 chemicals the tobacco industry collectively refers to as tar. once attached to hemoglobin. The chemical attraction between carbon monoxide and hemoglobin is 200–250 times greater than with oxygen. We like to think that most of what we suck into our lungs is exhaled but it just isn’t so. Without oxygen the body’s cells suffocate and die. Pages 169-179. Environmental Health Criteria 213 . British Medical Journal.40 Freedom from Nicotine . ISSN 0250-863X. Volume 296. Volume 19(2). Is it any wonder that our heart and body rebelled when we attempted vigorous exercise hours after smoking? We don’t just deprive our heart and muscles of oxygen. Now imagine what it would be like to allow your bronchial tube sweeper brooms to regrow (our cilia) and begin the process of sweeping gunk from air passages. Ninety-seven percent of inhaled nicotine is not exhaled.Carbon Monoxide (Second Edition). The primary function of our lungs is to allow the entry of life-giving oxygen from the atmosphere into our bloodstream. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.87 Imagine traveling through life with lungs so marinated and caked in toxic tars that it significantly diminishes lung function. Think about that last puff. 1999. Pages 120-124. The problem is. 86 World Health Organization. Ninety-seven percent of NNN (possibly the most potent lung cancer causing chemical of all) is not exhaled but remains within the lungs.5 hours86 destroys the ability of red blood cells to engage in transporting oxygen. ISBN 92 4 157213 2 (NLM classification: QV 662). Volume 169(1). We daily paint the inside of our lungs with the 4. Geneva. January 1. February 2007.The Journey Home and the particular brand smoked. and to then transfer carbon dioxide from our bloodstream back out into the atmosphere. Imagine allowing all still functioning air sacs (alveoli) time to clean and heal. 85 Meredith T et al. . 87 Feng S. But sucking large quantities of carbon monoxide into our lungs changes the playing field. when smoking. Carbon monoxide poisoning. carbon monoxide’s long chemical bloodstream half-life of 2 to 6.85 What’s worse. if both an oxygen molecule and a carbon monoxide molecule arrive at an air sac at the same time. Inhalation Toxicology. the carbon monoxide molecule always wins and the oxygen molecule is left behind. This exchange of gases takes place within an estimated 480 million84 thinly walled air sacs called alveoli.

1989. CNS Drugs. Among the estimated 200 neuro-chemicals that nicotine controls. with ties to mood. .com & WhyQuit. Nicotine self-administration differentially regulates hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor and arginine vasopressin mRNAs and facilitates stress-induced neuronal activation. Pages 705-724. is it normal to use an external chemical to induce a dopamine “aaah” reward sensation? Our dependency robs us of our emotional self-identity and sensitivities.94 epinephrine and norepinephrine. Volume 22(9). Journal of Neuroscience. anger and depression. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. Pages 578-582. August 1. impulse control. Acute effects of nicotine on serum glucose insulin growth hormone and cortisol in healthy smokers. 2008. It’s that their addiction has the wrong chemicals flowing at the wrong times.91 glutamate. et al. [Epub ahead of print].88 our stress busting neurotransmitter. It isn’t that the basic person and personality underlying nicotine dependency is somehow different.2008. Neurotoxicology. What is it like to navigate nicotine dependency recovery. 2002. not nicotine. arrive home and for the first time in a long time allow life. et al. 92 Liechti ME. 93 Lage R. Nicotine Induces Resistance to Chemotherapy by Modulating Mitochondrial Signaling in Lung Cancer. 91 Morgan TM. Role of the glutamatergic system in nicotine dependence. Volume 28(11). The truth is that powerful tobacco toxins rob users of the ability to accurately smell and taste. Volume 13(6). Nicotine treatment regulates neuropeptide S system expression in the rat brain. Volume 53(5). Nicotinic receptors mediate increased GABA release in brain through a tetrodotoxin-insensitive mechanism during prolonged exposure to nicotine. 89 Yu G. November 2007. Forgotten Sensitivities Where is the real neuro-chemical you? When life’s moment calls for deep relaxation is it normal to administer a stimulant that makes the heart pound faster? When a friend is hurt or a loved one dies. to decide which neuro-chemicals your personality and awareness will sense? Forgotten Senses We sometimes hear tobacco users tell us that they smoke. 2008. chew or dip for the flavor or aroma. et al. to have nearly all your hemoglobin again transporting life-giving oxygen.93 antiapoptotic XIAP. Volume 115(1). Pages 907-916. March 12. The millions of extra acetylcholine receptors that our dependency added to our brain not only created a barrier to feeling nicotine’s full effects but a sensitivity barrier to feeling the full effects of life. Metabolism.89 GABA. Volume 28(6). May 2004. mediates or regulates are acetylcholine. et al. et al.90 glucose. Pages 2773-2782. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. Pages 1129-1135. arginine vasopressin. Aside from dopamine. Effect of nicotine on human blood platelet serotonin uptake and effluxm. 94 Zhang J. 88 Rausch JL et al. If you haven’t heard others say it you certainly heard the tobacco industry marketing suggest it.com 41 the ability to build cardiovascular endurance. nicotine has command and control of serotonin.© 2009 FFNicotine. Neuroscience. Pages 137-144.92 neuropeptide S. 90 Zhu PJ.

With each puff. As my mentor Joel puts it. “a rush of air that smells like an ashtray announces your arrival. Sensory nerve endings in the mouth and nasal passages begin healing within three days of ending tobacco use.42 Freedom from Nicotine . However. without looking up. you smell and taste everything more accurately but that does not necessarily mean better. that first spring will bring the aroma of flowers that will likely be far more intense than you perceived while smoking. But wait until you drive by a garbage dump or sewage treatment plant. Come home to you! Forgotten Mealtime I almost never ate breakfast and usually skipped lunch.” It hurt. there may be flavors you thought you liked that no longer appeal to you. or foods you were convinced were horrible that now become favorites. They both offer subtle yet distinct aroma experiences. I didn’t know whether to change banks or brands. Does everything smell and taste better? No. nicotine was my spoon. With an accurate sense of taste. Flour isn’t just white and rain just wet. would say “Hi John!” One day I made the mistake of asking how she knew it was me. that’s not entirely accurate.The Journey Home I used to barely get through the bank door to make the daily deposit when one cashier. the smell of a new baby. nicotine activated my body’s flight or flight response.” she said. You see. which would almost instantly pump . the aromas that tease us as we walk past a bakery or feeling compelled to sample the smell of very flower you pass. Think about having missed out on the natural smell of those you love. What is it like to smell coffee brewing more than a hundred feet away? Imagine being able to identify smokers by their smell. What is it like to live with healed senses? Come to where the flavor is. The same is true of taste. “When the door closes behind you. As Joel notes. as if planted just for you.

Broken down into 40-hour workweeks. The consequences of torturing my body this way were many. Not only did I endure nicotine cravings. it all adds up. and to want the wonderful after dinner conversation to continue for as long as possible? Extra Workweeks A 12 cigarette a day smoker who spends an average of 5 minutes per cigarette devotes one hour per day to smoking. But fair and honest calculation of the total time each day spent servicing their addiction is likely to show as many or more mental interruptions than for smokers. I had long ago forgotten how to properly fuel my body. Journal of the American Medical Association. A portion of that meal was stored and the next day I’d use nicotine to release it.com 43 stored sugars and fats into my bloodstream. The result was always the same: needless cravings. I had few hunger cravings and little experience satisfying them. leaving it in your mouth far longer. where and what might you become if not chained to regular nicotine feedings? 95 Willi C et al.com & WhyQuit.95. and disposing of used tobacco or gum. It made recovery vastly more challenging than it needed to be. Imagine giving yourself a two-month vacation from work each year. about one every 15 minutes. But back to our theme. to sit with friends and eat like a normal human? What would it be like to no longer make excuses to leave the meal early in order to replenish declining nicotine reserves. Usually they require fewer nicotine fixes too. extra pounds. Active smoking and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. to fuel your body on a regular basis. including a 44% increase in the risk of developing type II diabetes (29% for light smokers and 61% for heavy smokers of more than 20 cigarettes per day). What would it be like to reclaim such a large slice of life? What would it be like for your days to belong entirely to you? What if your mouth and hands were yours again without precondition? Who. relapse and failure. Oral tobacco users can blend in and hide where those bellowing smoke cannot. what was it like to feed yourself.298(22). Waiting for nicotine to slowly penetrate cheek and gum tissues while replenishment anxieties build. Smoking 60 cigarettes per day. spent servicing our chemical dependency. delivering more nicotine than consumed by smokers. December 2007.© 2009 FFNicotine. per year. spitting or swallowing juices. I repeatedly tried to navigate early recovery without awareness that nicotine had become my spoon. An utter mess. Volume 12. That’s 365 smoking hours per year. that’s nine full workweeks. I added hunger cravings. I tried to eat my way out of food craves. I would normally eat just one large meal at the end of each day. . I endured a number of hypoglycemic-type symptoms including mind fog and an inability to concentrate. anxieties. parking periods. Pages 2654-2664.

sensitivities. which shut down digestion so as to allow more blood flow to be diverted to our large muscles. When nicotine reserves start falling and feeding anxieties begin to rise. relaxation. accomplishment. Adherence to just one guiding principle promises to get and keep you there … no nicotine today. it became elevated above family. How could we not notice the amount of time devoted to nicotine and its impact upon our senses. time or human priorities. it won’t matter if the moment being interrupted is the most wonderful of our entire day. Choice gets introduced into the equation and only one choice is risk-free. As reviewed in the next chapter. romance and love. Nicotine’s two-hour elimination half-life in human blood is a clock without feeling or conscience. Once home. You’d think we would have immediately questioned such tremendous priority shifting. work. The lesson its design is now compelled to teach is that nicotine use is core to survival. Many of the truths beyond become obvious if willing to come out from under nicotine’s influence. Forsaken Life Is it entirely normal for drug users to truly and deeply believe that their drug use enhances their life. our dopamine pathways. nicotine partially consumes and dominates our eating instincts too by activating the body’s fight or flight response. what may early on have felt like hurricane force anxiety winds will have diminished to an occasional breeze or gust. as important as eating. there is nothing to lose by coming home for a visit. meals and moods? We didn’t notice because nicotine’s “aaah” and urge influence had the questioner’s focus diverted elsewhere? Not anymore. It has zero respect for life. friends. year or life. crisis management. The mind’s survival priorities teacher. food. . It’s here that the full flavor of freedom can be savored and celebrated. In fact.The Journey Home Forgotten Priorities. have been taken hostage. Any activity lasting longer than the time we can comfortably go between nicotine feedings becomes a sacrificial lamb. and that it punctuates rather than interrupts it? I doubt that I ever once stopped to reflect upon the full price of captivity and bondage. Where might we have gone? What might we have done? Who might we have met? What learning was missed? Chemical dependency onset did more than simply modify our core survival instincts.44 Freedom from Nicotine .

behavior and motives that would otherwise be intolerable. or because we were around other smokers or all alone and lonely? During nearly every feeling or situation imaginable I had created a reason as to why this was the proper time to smoke more nicotine. They are a means by which we attempt to justify or make tolerable the feelings. adult smokers who lost an average of 13 years of their lives rode the “there’s still time” rationalization until it collided with the. To “rationalize” is to attribute our actions to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives or. “I’m still young.97 Rationalizations are often personal and compelling. It forces us to invent new ones.© 2009 FFNicotine. to stimulate or relax us. I looked upon my chain-smoking mother with her emphysema-riddled lungs and non-stop cough and rationalized to myself. and that just two years after her own mother’s death she’d be gone. While a young smoker.com Chapter 3 45 Our Wall of Illusion . University of Newcastle upon Tyne. July 2.” “I haven’t hurt myself yet. at least for now. so it’s still safe for me to smoke. But as we’ll review a 96 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.96 Rationalizations are defense mechanisms for making true yet concealed motivations non-threatening. to help us concentrate or take our mind off things. Rationalization. A problem with drug use rationalizations is that reality sometimes crushes them. in other words. I also could not foresee how emphysema would so weaken her that it would diminish her leukemia treatment options. recurrent pneumonia.” Little did I then appreciate that I was just as captive as my mother was. Department of Medical Oncology. 2008 .Nicodemon’s Lies? Inventing Use Rationalizations How many times have we told ourselves that we needed to use nicotine because we were happy or sad. to accompany a thrill or because we were bored. adult onset diabetes or emphysema. “it’s too late now” rationalization? Some smokers believe that their recovery motivation will somehow be enhanced by waiting for their doctor to diagnose them with some smoking related disease such as chronic bronchitis. Rationalize.S.com & WhyQuit. July 2. 2008 97 Online Medical Dictionary. to create an excuse or more attractive explanation. What percentage of the roughly half of U. far younger than she is.

Champion. Rosebud. True. Cambridge. using honesty to demolish and destroy smoking rationalizations. while fear can motivate action. Kool. 98 Sanderson CL. 1985. Main Street. yet more than 40 times he teaches readers that successful recovery involves killing “monsters” that reside within. Vol. some of my own early writings actually suggested such rubbish before Joel taught me otherwise. Bucks. Springwater. Marlboro. Windsail. Issue 16. Misty. August 2002. Ending his five pack-a-day dependency likely contributed to buying him another 26 years of life. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Tobacco use outcomes among patients with lung cancer treated for nicotine dependence. Virginia Slims. USA Gold. 99 Carr. 2006 at age 72.The Journey Home bit later. Think about the image. aroma. Prince. Let’s explore a few of the more common rationalizations. Wildfire. tobacco companies spend at least $14 billion annually to keep us convinced that we use their products for every reason imaginable. 2004 Edition. Knights. The most famous smoking rationalization book is “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking99” by the late Allen Carr of England. Journal of Clinical Psychology. We can only stay afraid for so long before growing numb to it. Vantage. Maverick. Rave. Class A. Triumph. Tobacco industry marketing is designed to feed the addict’s mind in supporting drug use rationalizations. Passport. et al. Signature. price. Flavor. Savannah. Sport. I must confess. Austin. Sundance. Roger. Liberty. Viceroy. Inc. Tempo. Allen. Passion. Tourney. Natural American Spirit. Merit. Monarch. Gold Coast. Allen’s book focuses almost exclusively on a single aspect of recovery. Like me.46 Freedom from Nicotine . Allen was a former thirty-year smoker. Pyramid. Now. Lucky Strike. Wave. 20. Eagle. Quality. Pure Natural. Belair. Jade. Palace. who we lost to lung cancer on November 29. Pride. and Yours. Southern Harvest. Mustang. A 2002 study found that only 22% of lung cancer patients who attempted to stop smoking by enrolling in the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center were smoke-free six months after the program. Sterling Publishing Company. Players. Camel. Wildhorse. Bronson. Grand Prix. except the truth: that we do so because we must. We do so because escalating anxieties begin to hurt when we don’t. Basic. Eclipse.S. and even less about nicotine dependency recovery and the path home. it has little sustaining power. Pages 3461-3469.98 Between the “I’m still young” and the “it’s too late” rationalizations will be hundreds of additional rationalizations invented by a mind that knows amazingly little about why that next nicotine fix remains its #1 priority in life. to be cool. Chemical to Demon It is not unusual for those addicted to nicotine to invent destiny controlling monsters and demons inside their bodies and minds. Newport. rebellious or make new friends. Riviera. Lark. pleasure. . status and message conveyed to both youth never-smokers and hard core smokers by cigarette brand names such as: Alpine. Parliament. U. Sonic. Wild Geese. Best Value. Satin.

” “Lets not give nicotine more credit than it is due.yuku. calms us during crisis. I first read Allen’s “Easy Way to Stop Smoking” in May 2006 and had to chuckle at all the references to monsters. the number of active nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors. http://www. Once and for all. There was always only one guiding principle … no nicotine today. it is our life’s companion. These drugs don't have cute names given to them and giving cute names to nicotine can start to make it seem different than these other substances -. inventing and blaming evil monsters when attempting to destroy use rationalizations.” Nicotine dependency recovery has nothing at all to do with demons or monsters.” writes Joel.com/topic/12829 . more dependable than a dog. It is a chemical that alters brain chemistry. although nicotine is the addictive chemical. it is “no more evil than arsenic or carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide – all chemicals found in tobacco smoke. So long as it does not enter our bloodstream.” the title clearly suggesting demon involvement. I wrote a smoking rationalization article in early 2000 that I entitled “Nicodemon’s Lies. never lets us down. and insula driven anxieties. Nicotine is not more trivial than other drugs of addiction and in fact kills more people than all other drugs of addiction combined.com 47 While Allen’s work has helped millions to critically analyze their smoking justifications. It wasn’t long before Joel set me straight.more trivial or less serious in a way. there are no monsters and there is no Nicodemon – there never was. an ocean apart. Is it any wonder that we addicts refer 100 Spitzer. It is no different than heroin. An inanimate object such as a chemical has no such power. The fact that nicotine has an I. there will be no need to invent explanations for its continued presence. plot or conspire and is not some demon that dwells within.Q. “Lets not make it some cute and cuddly or evil and plotting entity. recovery is not some strength or willpower contest. not some evil force. June 9.com & WhyQuit. Chemical to Friend Imagine the illness inside a mind that looks upon its nicotine delivery device as a “good friend. it cannot think.© 2009 FFNicotine. Our greatest weapon has always been our infinitely superior intelligence but only if we put it to work.” “People do not overcome the grip of chemical addictions by being stronger than the drug but rather by being smarter than the drug. of zero is reason for celebration.ffn.” Always there. As Joel put it. We don’t need to be stronger. there is no Nicodemon. Nicotine is just a chemical. plan.” 100 It is the mind’s design physiology that generates crave episodes. Like table salt. terms such as Nicodemon or monster “make nicotine seem to have more power than it actually does. They are fictions invented by a chemically enslaved and uneducated mind. cocaine or alcohol. J. The personification given to it can make an individual feel that nicotine has the potential of tricking him or her into smoking. Although nicotine influences brain dopamine stimulation. Nicotine is simply a chemical. gives us no arguments. According to Joel. 2004. Imagine two ex-smokers.

My Friend” is clearly the most widely read “friend” rationalization buster ever.” Joel notes. you become unwelcome when with him.101 Written by Joel. So he kind of sits on your chest and makes it difficult for you to breathe. ever demonstrates affection or is happy to see us. Joel’s Library. Now you don't want to go off and play with other people when you can't breathe. chemical dependency upon nicotine is an endless exercise in avoiding letdown. “My Cigarette. nicotine addiction is about surrendering control. “He doesn't believe in physical activity. Life’s constant interruption. nicotine can’t talk. It’s about being forced to go buy more.” “He carries thousands of poisons with him. spending thousands during our years as users. . The only thing dependable about nicotine is its ability to keep us dependent upon it. letdown clearly visible during crisis. do you?” Our “friend. they wipe out cilia in your lungs which would have helped you prevent these diseases. “Your friend won't let you. Others think both of you stink.” WhyQuit.48 Freedom from Nicotine .. My Friend.” “But colds and flu are just his form of child's play. As a nicotine smoker it deprives us of engaging in prolonged vigorous activities.com. 1990. which he constantly blows in your face. J. “does not believe in being healthy. Like table salt. “How do you feel about a friend who has to go everywhere with you? Not only does he tag along all the time.” writes Joel. It compels smokers to find an acceptable place to feed. in it he asks. at least until honesty arrives. In his opinion. It’s about putting life on pause come replenishment time.” As Joel notes. as acidic fluids induce withdrawal. He is really repulsed by the thought of you living a long and productive life.The Journey Home to recovery as “quitting”? Personifying our addiction comes easily. He helps you catch colds and flu. Unlike a dog. So every chance he gets he makes you sick. He has a peculiar odor that sticks to you wherever you go. When you inhale some of them. “My Cigarette. He especially likes diseases that slowly 101 Spitzer. not one word. even during bad weather. but since he is so offensive and vulgar. you are too old to have that kind of fun. it never.

“But eventually your friend tires of you. also see. It’s increasingly common to see those hooked on nicotine replacement products treat their form of nicotine delivery as though a “friend. Endocrinology. August 2008. August 1. and deadly. If you have Internet access. Long-lasting teratogenic effects of nicotine on cognition: Gender specificity and role of AMPA receptor function. Expense and increasing social unacceptability are common to all forms of nicotine delivery.” The risks posed by the nicotine alone are likely significantly less than those faced by smoking it. But in truth. asks Joel? They are “expensive. Baykan A. in any form. also see Huang YY. He considers this disease great.205 journal articles having nicotine in the title. Pages 603-610.” My search on August 29. Ultrasensitive detection of nicotine and cotinine in teeth by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Instead of letting you go your separate ways. he decides to kill you. August 2008. Zhang J. or its ability to chemically addict the human brain. Learning & Memory. He clogged up the arteries to your heart. our form of nicotine delivery is not our friend or the enemy. August 6. et al. He picked all the top killers in society and did everything in his power to ensure you would get one of them. Anadolu Kardiyol Dergisi. gum or lozenge was the means by which nicotine entered our bloodstream. While each method of delivery comes with other chemicals.” Joel reminds us. telling him what a great friend he is while you desperately gasp for air. You will just sit home and caress him. American Journal of Respiratory Cell & Molecular Biology. 2008. Somm E. He has a wonderful arsenal of weapons behind him. . He overworked your heart and lungs. socially unacceptable. August 12. Search the word “nicotine. is NOT safe. he has been plotting your death since the day you met him. Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Alters Early Pancreatic Islet and Adipose Tissue Development with Consequences on the Control of Body Weight and Glucose Metabolism Later in Life. In the footnote below I cite titles to a few of the papers published during August 2008.com 49 cripple you . 2008. you will give up all your other friends. go to www. pipe. produced 10. Friend. family.15(8). activities – everything. He knew he would get you sooner or later. “He decides he no longer wishes to have your company.” If anything they are closer to being the enemy. Pages 243-248.gov. et al. Chronic nicotine exposure induces a long-lasting and pathway-specific facilitation of LTP in the amygdala.PubMed. dip.102 It isn’t necessary for anyone 102 Vaglenova J. Volume 6. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. Marchei E. In case you were too strong to succumb to this.” writes Joel. et al.like emphysema. In fact. et al.com & WhyQuit. The protective effect of melatonin on nicotine-induced myocardial injury in newborn rats whose mothers received nicotine. Volume 8(4). also see. also see. Nicotine Induces Resistance to Chemotherapy by Modulating Mitochondrial Signaling in Lung Cancer. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. nicotine’s continued use. et al. and every other part of your body. August 7. PubMed is the U. government’s medical study search engine. cigar. However. addictive. Once he gets you to have this. also see. brain. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. the form of delivery does not alter the super-toxin nicotine’s risks.” Our cigarettes. The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. career goals.S. which pose their own risks. chew. he constantly exposed you to cancer causing agents. It is no more a friend than is a stainless steel spoon.© 2009 FFNicotine. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. And it certainly isn’t a friend controlled by demons and monsters residing within us.

http:// whyquit. J. irritable. As Joel notes. a USC School of Medicine professor and cessation facilitator. Such self-analysis goes like this: Volume 22(16). Chemicals can’t think or feel. while accepting a 50/50 chance of departing earth more than 5. Think hard. “I smoke because I like smoking. and depressed and the only thing that will bring us immediate relief from escalating symptoms is more nicotine. The truth is bad enough.” Each time our serum nicotine level falls below our minimum limit we begin sensing the onset of symptoms of early withdrawal. Early symptoms can include a sick feeling. anxious. referred to as our “serum nicotine level.” an article in Joel’s free PDF book Never Take Another Puff. constantly maintaining a balance between these two painful extremes of too much or too little nicotine. what is so wonderful that we are willing to damage and even destroy our lungs and gradually clog every artery in our body.” "like chewing” or “love our dip. Personifying chemical delivery may artificially inflate emotional bonds and attachments but nicotine. what is it that you love about smoking or using oral tobacco? If a smoker. nausea and dizziness. We start growing tense.com/joel .The Journey Home to resort to scare tactics or exaggeration regarding nicotine’s effects upon the body. how much love does it take to permanently expose your mouth to unadulterated tobacco’s 2. PhD. regardless of how delivered. we are left totally convinced that we "enjoy smoking. We tend to draw conclusions about what we must like by watching what we see ourselves doing.103 According to Philip Michels. being a successful user is like being an accomplished tightrope walker.550 chemicals? Joel teaches that as dependent users we live a constant struggle to maintain a narrow range of nicotine in our bloodstream. Once replenished. Pages 2609-2612. but are capable of causing addiction and harm. “I like it” . is just a chemical. we also have to be cautious not to use too much nicotine and exceed our upper limit of tolerance or we risk suffering varying degrees of nicotine poisoning.” On the other end. it is normal for us to look to our own behavior in order to obtain clues about our attitudes and beliefs. 103 Spitzer.“I love it” I used to say this too and believed this rationalization with every fiber of my being.50 Freedom from Nicotine .000 days early? If an oral user.

I must really love smoking They say. 2001.yuku. the ones after meals and maybe one or two others that they have on certain breaks. http://www. and the emotions that accompany the “I need a nicotine fix AND NOW!!!” feeling. J. I’m probably a “real” drug addict The most compelling statement of like or love revolves around the undeniable dopamine “aaah” sensation that arrives following replenishment. “where are my cigarettes” feeling? Do you recall the emotions that accompany the “I have to have a smoke.com/topic/17137 .” But for those addicted to smoking nicotine it is likely fatal.ffn.” February 21. “Ignorance is bliss. every nicotine-induced dopamine/adrenaline high will have a corresponding anxiety and depression riddled low. But even here the rationalization relies heavily upon selective memory.104 104 Spitzer. Usually they will offer up the first one or two they have when they wake up. AND NOW” feeling? At Joel's clinics he identifies the two pack-a-day smokers who insist that they smoke because of the "good cigarettes" or because they like smoking. “I smoke because I like smoking.© 2009 FFNicotine. Now let’s look at how informed analysis might flow: Logical & True Reasoning • • • • • • • I don’t do things I don’t like to do I smoke lots and lots of cigarettes Each puff destroys more of my body I’m actually slowly killing myself I’ve learned nicotine is highly addictive I tried breaking free but failed Thus. Every nicotine addict knows the “where is my nicotine?” feeling. Remember the. When valuing replenishment is it fair to ignore the urges and escalating anxieties that often immediately precede the “aaah”? The two are tied together.com & WhyQuit. “First I ask them to tell me which cigarettes stand out in their mind as being really great cigarettes on any given day.com 51 Logical Yet False Reasoning • • • I don’t do things I don’t like to do I smoke lots and lots of cigarettes Thus. If we wait longer prior to replenishing.” He then watches as they try to think of other good ones but none seem to come to mind.

a few were smoked and tasted nasty while others were marginal but as soon as they were snuffed out they can’t even be recalled. attempting to run and being left with a throbbing heart that seems to want to explode.. “Boy.ffn. 2001. a few lousy cigarettes and a whole bunch of what now seem to be insignificant cigarettes. while there may be some good ones. If we can no longer remember and explain what it felt like to reside inside our mind prior to nicotine taking control.com/topic/20665 . do I miss smoking!” March 9. being unable to smoke while at work.yuku. They have come up with five to seven good cigarettes yet they are smoking forty or more cigarettes a day. I don't know.” Joel poses a follow-up question. how can we claim to like or love something when we have no legitimate basis for comparison? A key reason why nicotine dependency recovery is so challenging is that dopamine pathway “aaah”s and insula cravings leave us convinced that using nicotine is as important as eating. the dirty brown film on the inside of the car windshield. are we saying we like them too?105 Furthermore. “So here we have a few good cigarettes. even the good ones are killing them. To one degree or another. "How much do you like smoking? Do you like smoking more than you like something like.something like maybe. we are left falsely convinced that nicotine use defines who we are. if we cannot recall the calm and quiet mind we once called home.” Regarding the few identified as “good cigarettes.The Journey Home “I simply point out that we have a mathematical problem occurring here. that ending its use is akin to starving ourselves to death.breathing?" If we say we “like smoking” are we also saying we like the morning phlegm in our lungs and the need for water for a “horribly dry throat”? What about the nasty taste it leaves in our mouth and how it makes foods taste bland? If a pack-a-day smoker.. do we like devoting an hour and a half each day to feeding our addiction? What about often feeling hurried. or standing in line to buy more nicotine. they have to be accompanied by all of the mediocre and miserable ones. then what honest basis exists for asserting that we love and miss using nicotine more than we miss the pre-nicotine us? How can we talk about love if we cannot remember life prior to climbing aboard the endless roller-coaster ride of nicotine-dopamine-adrenaline highs and 105 Spitzer. rush hour anxieties depleting nicotine reserves quicker. oh.52 Freedom from Nicotine . “all of them. and when it comes down to it.” As Joel notes. J. http://www... Where are those other cigarettes?” As Joel points out.

If some event made us angry. replenishment’s relief is temporary. When does nicotine ever resolve the underlying crisis? If the tire was flat. Bates Number: 670508492. nicotine does not relieve anxiety but only its own absence. Only re-administration of nicotine or navigating withdrawal and the up to 72 hours needed to eliminate nicotine from the body can bring relief.”106 Stressful events turn body fluids more acidic. Joel makes one final yet important point. While it calms for the moment. Nicotine’s false calming effect quickly becomes a rationalization crutch reached for during stressful situations. chewed or dipped. How could we not believe it? We felt it happen hundreds or maybe even thousands of times. Without replenishment. not nicotine withdrawal too.© 2009 FFNicotine. http://legacy. stress relief is one the biggest rationalization shams of all.edu/tid/uly04f00 . According to a once secret 1983 Brown & Williamson research memo. the nicotine addict still is not going to feel good. 1983. Conflict resolution does not ease withdrawal. even if the flat tire or other stressful situation is tackled and resolved. Unlike total nicotine elimination.ucsf. Like taking the time to calm ourselves by counting to ten. what’s love got to do with it? “It relieves stress and anxiety” It is normal and natural to believe that smoking is a stress buster. Feeling the physiological effects of stress causes kidney urine acidification.library. not to relax. implying a smoker smokes more in times of stress due to withdrawal. Whether smoked. Internal Correspondence. Sucking nicotine from the bloodstream has the effect of making every stressful event life throws our way far more stressful than it is for never-users or ex-users. “People smoke to maintain nicotine levels” and “stress robs the body of nicotine. But as reviewed in the previous chapter. as they only need to endure the stressful event. the user will again soon be forced to confront the chemical clock governing their life (nicotine’s two-hour chemical half-life) or witness accelerated depletion brought on by encountering stress or by consuming alcohol. nicotine replenishment totally ignores the event.com & WhyQuit. which accelerates depletion of blood serum reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. that it calms us during crisis. the time needed for replenishment combines with the arrival of a new supply of nicotine and leaves us falsely yet totally convinced that nicotine was an emotional solution to crisis. it was still flat. The crutch and nicotine’s 106 Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation.com 53 lows? As real drug addicts in every sense. with blind obedience to a true chemical dependency. March 25.

again not communicating and not resolving the conflict. http://whyquit. You faced it hundreds of times before and nothing like this ever happened. years of nicotine use stopped us from properly dealing with feelings early on.” 107 Joel shares an example. again.54 Freedom from Nicotine . you didn’t. you feel you have blown up inappropriately. maybe months.” According to Joel. because of the build up of frustration. You see it. “Over and over again. you are blowing up for what has been bothering you for years and now. you again get mad. You go into withdrawal.” “One day you quit smoking. Because you are a little annoyed. It is still there. go into withdrawal. grow from the experience. J. to address the problem. nothing else affecting you and you blow up. even if we fail to break free from nicotine. the more shaken. forget it.” As Joel explains it. you put a little time between you and the toothpaste situation and on further evaluation. you feel better. the reaction was greatly exaggerated for the situation.The Journey Home impact upon the user’s life is “more far-reaching than just making initial stress effects more severe. New Reactions to Anger as an Ex-smoker. “Let’s say you don’t like the way a significant other in your life squeezes toothpaste. If the person is within earshot. it is far more severe than if initially addressed. You don’t have that automatic withdrawal kicking in and pulling you away from the situation. “it affects how the person may deal with conflict and sadness in a way that may not be obvious.” writes Joel.” writes Joel. in fact. one day the exact problem presents itself again. maybe the person will change and do it in a way that is not disturbing to you. alleviate the withdrawal and. You smoke. All of a sudden. Instead. You may in fact be off for weeks. You have to smoke. not communicated. and is about to say something. you have to go smoke. maybe for years this pattern is repeated. But in fact. Don’t for a second think that hiding from life by escaping into a central nervous system 107 Spitzer. an article in Joel’s free PDF book Never Take Another Puff. Next time it happens again. Sooner or later. that unresolved stress will most probably result in either a blowup or onset of one or more anxiety related diseases. Understand what happened. but is nonetheless serious. that annoying toothpaste. “You are not blowing up at what just happened.” “When you look back in retrospect. You begin to question what happened to you to turn you into such a horrible or explosive person. In a way. It is like pulling a cork out of a shaken carbonated bottle. At the same time. gets a little upset. You repeat the cycle. not resolved. By communicating your feelings you make a minor annoyance basically disappear. the worse the explosion. you decide it’s not that big of a deal. you lose nicotine. it affects the ability to communicate and maybe even in some way. If you point out how it’s a problem to you in a calm rational manner. You suppressed the feeling.com/joel . you may explode. you are blowing up much more severely than you ever would have if you addressed it early on. But now let’s say you’re a smoker who sees the tube of toothpaste.” “Sounds like and feels like you resolved the stress. But wait. we allow them to fester and grow to a point where when they do come out. and before you are able to deal with the problem.

But as to how deeply we’ve walked into dependency’s forest and measuring just how lost we’ve become. “I’m just a little bit addicted” With nicotine dependency diagnostic standards bearing official looking acronyms such as DSM-IV..com & WhyQuit. Honey might be considered. having lost the ability to simply say “no.© 2009 FFNicotine. This rationalization totally ignores the hundreds of flavor additives that the tobacco industry uses to engineer an amazing spectrum of smells and tastes. It's a well-known fact that teenagers like sweet products. 2004. We may discover that we need to learn to address the root causes of once suppressed anxiety or anger in positive and healthy ways. A 1972 memo from Brown & Williamson consultants entitled “Youth Cigarette – New Concepts” recommends the company use a "sweet flavor cigarette. stand back as we’ll likely want to chew or set them on fire too. But let’s stop kidding ourselves. It’s normal for us to compare our situation with that of other drug or nicotine addicts and rationalize that it’s not nearly as bad. being a little bit addicted is like being a little bit pregnant. MNWS. an addiction minimization rationalization that keeps you behind bars.. and today shared on Yuku's Freedom from Nicotine forum on the site's Rationalizations message board. is to bring active nicotine dependence to an end. Kathleen. Whether our brain demands a single nicotine fix daily or thirty. As we climb back into our mind’s driver’s seat we need to listen to our feelings and emotions. existence and depth of nicotine dependency. . It’s our problem. much is being made of the validity of research standards for assessing the onset." It also recommends appleflavored cigarettes. products and people smell good too but never once did we find it necessary to light any of them on fire and suck them deep into our lungs in order to complete the experience. Originally posted at MSN’s Freedom from Tobacco’s on February 29. The only lasting solution to anxieties brought on by rapidly falling nicotine reserves. It is normal to want to rationalize that we don’t have a problem.” why pretend superiority once a full-fledged nicotine addict? See pretending superiority for what it really is. or if not and we really are addicted that we’re just a little bit addicted. none! We blame continuing use on what we describe as tobacco’s wonderful smells and tastes. FTND.com 55 stimulated dopamine “aaah” sensation or hiding from life is an answer or solution. or if we do that it’s just some “nasty little habit”. “I do it for flavor and taste” Taste? Taste? How many taste buds are inside human lungs? Answer: zero. M-NRQ and HONC. Not Much of a Smoker. It also ignores the fact that hundreds of other plants.108 The easiest dependency comparison standard is how frequently we use nicotine. anxieties that interfere with healthy conflict resolution. “Apples connote goodness and freshness and we see many possibilities 108 Craig. But if any are ever soaked in nicotine. our level of tolerance.

locust bean gum. “My coffee won’t taste the same” There’s some truth here but probably not for the reason you’re thinking. parsley seed oil. caffeine. carob bean extract.56 Freedom from Nicotine . vanillin. black current buds. oak bark extract. xanthan gum. tamarind extract. bark oil. orange peel oil. sage oil. coffee extract. then go purchase licorice or chocolate. wheat extract. lavender oil.. smoke flavor. saccharin. milk solids. corn syrup. olive oil. star anise oil. strawberry extract. tolu balsam gum. blackberry fructose. pipsissewa leaf extract. celery seed extract. costus root oil. leucine. raisin extract. cubeb oil. corn silk. Savor their flavors. lemongrass oil.The Journey Home for our youth-oriented cigarette with this flavor. sugars. walnut extractables. cognac oil. patchouli oil. citric acid. tangerine oil. plumb juice. gentian root extract. nutmeg. valerian root. rye extract. prune extract. geranium rose oil. dill seed oil. rose water. raspberry extract. If you like one or more additives in your brand. wild mint oil. tobacco extracts. urea. thymol. violet leaf oil. sclareolide. Tobacco’s smells and flavors are highly engineered. quebracho bark. vanilla beans and extract. pectin. orris root. hops oil. carrot seed oil. orange leaf. camphor oil. bergamot oil. basil oil. sugar alcohols. tuberose oil. balsam oil. Likewise. pine needle oil. coriander oil. rose oil. date fructose. tagetes oil. sodium. licorice. lovage oil. orange blossoms. garden mint oil. peruvian oil. beet juice. lactic acid. clove oil. corn oil. marketing that attempts to brainwash oral tobacco users into believing that taste is the reason they allow scores of toxins that damage taste bud sensitivity to linger in their mouth is pathetic. grape fructose. Bates Number: 170042014 . caraway oil. beeswax. starch. mandarin oil. sherry. vetiver oil. fennel sweet oil. cajeput oil. caramel. chicory extract. fig juice. fenugreek. Advertising which suggests that flavor or taste is the reason smokers suck nicotine laden smoke deep into their lungs (and then briefly hold it there) is an insult to our intelligence. pineapple extract. yeast. maple syrup. olibanum oil. honey. wine. tarragon oil. September 1972. jasmine. Curing methods and additives attempt to make tobacco’s natural harshness acceptable to the senses. palmarosa oil. cananga oil. oak moss. linaloe wood oil. vinegar. spike lavender oil. plum extract. peppermint oil. ginger oil. toasting flavors. pepper oil. peach extract. banana fructose. wild cherry bark. apple fructose. spearmint oil. brandy. dandelion root extract. pear extract. whisky. cypress oil. kola nut extract. lemon oil. rosemary oil. and ylang ylang oil.”109 Since 1972 almost 700 industry tobacco flavor additives have been identified including: alfalfa extract. sucrose syrup. There are zero taste buds inside human lungs. solanone. mullein flowers. saffron. sandalwood oil. lime oil. peach kernel oil. turpentine oil. cassia cocoa. styrax gum. such as licorice or chocolate. rum. bay leaf. valine. pimenta leaf oil. Toxins in tobacco smoke actually impair our ability to accurately smell both coffee and cigarettes. snakeroot oil. Brown & Williamson Document. cedarwood oil. thyme oil. chocolate. It also increases the risk of taste impairment (an inability to detect very small amounts of one or 109 Marketing Innovations Inc. apricot extract. anise. lavandin oil. juniper berry oil. menthol. angelica root extract. linden flowers. allspice extract. cinnamon leaf oil and extract. Project: Youth Cigarette – New Concepts. clary sage oil. I doubt you’ll feel a need to light them on fire or later spit them out. longosa oil. davana oil.

As we navigate recovery it's important to understand the role nicotine played in regulating blood sugar. sour and bitter) by 71% in smokers smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day. Nicotine released stored fats and sugars into our blood. whether bored or not. “It helps me concentrate” Introducing vast quantities of carbon monoxide into the brain by smoking nicotine does not improve concentration. “I do it to relieve boredom” It's easy to relate nicotine use to boredom. Although nicotine is undeniably a stimulant that stimulates fight or flight pathways and excites certain brain regions. The association between smoking and smell and taste impairment in the general population. Once our senses have healed. It causes us to seek accomplishment and the dopamine “aaah” reward that come 110 Vennemann MM. as its absence can cause the temporary impairment of concentration and clear thinking. We probably won't worry about concentration if chronic nicotine use destroys too much brain gray matter or causes a stroke. The half-life of nicotine in the human body is about 2 hours. It makes sense that nicotine use might be more noticeable and thus more memorable when we are bored and doing nothing at feeding time. Have you ever noticed the minor anxieties that occur when bored? It’s why we talk of “relieving” boredom. dip or chew. effectively feeding us with every puff. et al. and when things are normal or somewhere in-between. Concentration problems stemming from low blood sugar can be avoided by drinking plenty of fruit juice (cranberry is excellent) during the first three days. Fresh air and exercise are far healthier brain stimulants. salty. July 28.© 2009 FFNicotine.com & WhyQuit. The aroma of coffee flowing through the automatic brewer often awakens me and the pot is more than 50 feet away. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. it is also a super toxin. It isn’t necessary to eat more food but to learn to spread our normal calorie intake out more evenly over the day. Journal of Neurology. Boredom is thought to be a means by which the mind motivates action. 110 As Joel teaches. vasoconstrictor. many of us will find that coffee’s smell and taste actually improves. Also try not to skip any means for the first few weeks. having the time of our life. . and promotes hardening of the arteries through angiogenesis. so as to keep blood sugar levels stable. Most don’t wait for the onset of depletion anxieties before tanking up again. Personally. If excited or busy we may not even notice nicotine refueling. in reality we need to replenish whether we are bored to death. However.com 57 more of the four basic tastes: sweet. my morning coffee experience is far richer than when smoking. smells and flavors may not be better but will likely be more accurate. Most do so early and often.

we now have nearly an extra hour each day to either fill with some new activity or to sense boredom’s anxieties. Pleasure rationalizations sink their teeth into nicotine’s dopamine high while ignoring the anxieties of nicotine’s low. Hopefully we will spend it in healthy. looking carefree and having fun. over and over again. Wowsers! Maybe that’s why we make such a powerful association between nicotine use and boredom. do we seek nicotine’s high for pleasure or due to chemical obedience. “I do it for pleasure” “I smoke for pleasure. productive and joyful ways. Recovery will clearly add additional free time to each day.The Journey Home with anticipating completion and completing each task. because we must? Pleasure? Why are there no marketing ads showing the serious displeasure that occurs when too much time passes without tobacco? It is hard to imagine being any more . With the single act of replenishment we satisfied both.58 Freedom from Nicotine . Tobacco industry store marketing almost daily crams pleasure suggestions down our throats and into our subconscious minds. Instead of earning the rewards that boredom’s anxieties seek to motivate. our subconscious is always listening. Boredom can be a productive emotion. Pleasure is defined as a state of gratification. As such." they tout satisfaction as why smokers smoke. We didn’t smoke.” Pleasure? It’s the Newport sales cry and it’s highly effective. Playing upon dopamine's "aaah. we steal them. Never-users get horribly bored too but most don’t think about nicotine replenishment as a means of relief. While the conscious mind may not be noticing them. and each averages five minutes. The pictures associated with pleasure marketing almost always depict smokers laughing. chew or dip due to boredom. the onset of early nicotine withdrawal is another matter. Why would they? Escalating nicotine depletion anxieties demand replenishment. If we engage in nicotine replenishment ten times per day. It’s sad to think that the mind views successful nicotine replenishment as a form of accomplishment. While we can endure boredom. We are true drug addicts. satisfaction or joy. Nuisance boredom anxieties suggest that we find something to do. a source of delight. Recovery presents a substantial increase in opportunities to call upon our boredom rationalizations.

As Joel puts it. asked R.” Every time we step up to the counter to purchase tobacco the signs and displays hammer our brains with the message that using it is all about flavor. Tobacco Dollars. “It’s just a nasty little habit” "Nasty little habit?" We are true drug addicts in every sense! That’s right.© 2009 FFNicotine. http://whyquit. dip or chew and our freedom and autonomy will again be lost. as our brain is soon begging for more.” an article in Joel’s free PDF book Never Take Another Puff. Try to find anyone who isn't shocked when cancer. by Bob Hebert. A former Winston Man."111 Once hooked. We say we don’t care what happens. the black. We do so because we have to. “Smoking is an adult free-choice activity. and of a false belief that we’re somehow different than others. Choice? What users have chosen is to avoid withdrawal. But just one puff. that we have to die of something. November 28.com/joel . In America. "Don't any of you smoke?" One executive answered. While it clearly takes time and repetition to 111 New York Times. Most of us using these “self-destruction” rationalizations do so to hide the fears born of a history of failed attempts. and the stupid. Then there are those of us who claim to smoke knowing full well that it’s killing us.com 59 intellectually dishonest than to teach children and teens that we use nicotine for pleasure. our only real alternative is the up to 72 hours needed to purge nicotine from our system. pleasure and aroma. “I Smoke Because I'm Self-Destructive. scared and depressed. As Joel writes. David Goerlitz. 'It worked. look in the mirror and you'll see an honest to goodness drug addict looking right back.J. emphysema. we lost “choice” the day nicotine took control. so why not smoking. that we don't want to get old. But that doesn’t stop the tobacco industry from spending billions on store marketing to build a mighty facade that screams."112 Choice? Once out from under our dependency’s control then free choice is restored.com & WhyQuit. "Are you kidding? We reserve that right for the poor. J. it's killing me!' On the contrary.” “It’s my choice and I choose to continue using nicotine!” The fact is. it isn’t that we like using nicotine but that we don’t like what happens when we don’t use it. they were normally upset. heart attack or stroke does occur. Apparently few tobacco executives “choose” to buy into the lies. Reynolds executives. and that we’ll never be able to stop using. This is one of the most harmful rationalizations of all as it minimizes the risk of using nicotine products in the minds of our children. “It’s my choice and I choose to” “Quitters never win and I’m no quitter. 1993. the young. "no one ever called me enthusiastically proclaiming. 112 Spitzer. because the displeasure starts hurting when we don’t.

Hooked from the first cigarette. Instead of learning and living on the right side of the “Law of Addiction. It didn't take any two hours for my mind to generate the anxieties needed to compel me to smoke more." The warmth of the phrase is akin to that found in the word "slip. There were only two choices ." I truly do. exercise (if you can call it that). Our blood-serum nicotine level always declines by roughly half if we fail to replenish within two hours. Such soft fuzzy words are used to self minimize the hard cold reality of being chemically married to and dependent upon nicotine. Scientific American. Yes. The phrase "nasty little habit" is just more junkie thinking. Chemical addiction does foster habits but it does so by forcing each of us to select patterns for the regular delivery of our addictive drug. stop using cuss words. like call waiting. . May 2008. cracking our knuckles or maybe even losing our temper too often.The Journey Home establish a habit. At three packs-a-day. At last we’ll discover how to have our cake and eat it too. Failing to use turn signals while driving is a "nasty little habit" and so is using too many cuss words.” we reside in a pretend world where some day we’ll awaken and at last discover how to control. It’s much easier to tell yourself that all you have is some "nasty little habit. We would never develop a habit of sucking smoke into our lungs while talking on the telephone or after a meal unless the consequences of constantly falling reserves compelled us to do so. if I was on the phone and had not filled my nicotine tank in the past 15 to 20 minutes. I wish it were just a "nasty little habit. so as to allow us to use or not use nicotine as often as we please. stop cracking our knuckles or when we learn to keep our temper in check. work. Calling nicotine addiction a habit is like calling a young child a parent. my name is John and I’m a recovered nicotine addict. romance. not the other way around. I developed habits but not just for the sake of having habits. Comfortably. we will not experience physical withdrawal symptoms if we start using turn signals. research suggests that “experimenting” with smoking nicotine just once may be sufficient to begin fostering a loss of the autonomy to stop using it. Volume 298(5).113 Adoption of the “habit” rationalization is also disabling to those already enslaved. reminding me of my need to feed. It limited uninterrupted driving time.smoke more nicotine or prepare for withdrawal. Our addiction fathers our drug feeding habits. a second message from my brain’s insula arrived. learning." a means to sugarcoat relapse and failure. ” or so we dream. it was almost always nearing time for another fix. I live just one puff away from three packs a day. But. truth is. Yes. We can depend upon our mind to begin issuing subtle urges to remind us that it is time to bring more nicotine into our body. Even food refueling would take a backseat to nicotine replenishment if the meal lasted much longer than 30 minutes. Nicotine dependency is extremely dependable. mold. 113 DiFranza JR. modify or manipulate our nicotine use. then. But.60 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 82-87. living and nearly every aspect of my life.

“over 85% of smokers agree strongly/very strongly with the statement. and to stay me. for the first time in my adult life I found myself totally comfortable sitting beside non-users and ex-users for extended periods of time. there can be a very real sense of dependency camaraderie.ucsf. “I Can’t Quit or I Won’t Quit.© 2009 FFNicotine. Aside from no longer using nicotine. Gradually. but if you feel you would like to interject at anytime. “I wish I had never started smoking. Dip or Chew! “I’ll lose my friends” According to Philip Morris research. Please don't call on me. The Cigarette Consumer. On the contrary. Fellow nicotine addicts don’t normally try to make each other feel guilty for being hooked and using. I no longer sought situations that allowed me to feel comfortable smoking. our current lives do not need to change at all unless we want them to change. I don't want to talk! If you make me talk I will get up and walk out of this room. my circle of friends and acquaintances grew to include far more non-users and ex-users. Fewer and fewer non-users are willing to tolerate being around the smells and smoke.edu/tid/wos84a00 115 Spitzer. 1984. If you look at me with an inquisitive look on your face. In fact. "Maybe I am not making myself clear. 1986. I am leaving! Am I making myself clear?" 114 Philip Morris. and oral tobacco use can be a major turn-off. including friendships. Bates Number: 2077864835.”115 It’s about a lady who enrolled in one of Joel’s two-week clinics. March 20.library. J. http://legacy. through association. Joel’s Library.com & WhyQuit. WhyQuit. I no longer frequented community ashtrays. all I have to do is … Never Take Another Puff. I Can’t Quit or I Won’t Quit. I won't make you talk. tobacco use has probably cost us relationships. It was as if my addiction had been picking relationships for me. I am quitting smoking. two-hour sessions. Successful recovery need not deprive us of a single friend or loved one.”114 Most of our friends feel the same and wish they knew how to stop.com. "I don't want to be called on during this clinic." Joel said. She advised Joel up front that. no relationship whose foundation is broader than shared drug use needs to be adversely affected by nicotine’s absence. They can benefit greatly by having a friend in their corner who understands the journey users make in returning home.com 61 If I want to stay free. that using nicotine is central to our entire life. please don't hesitate to. . Mine did. In fact. “I can’t quit” I’ve made it no secret over the years that my favorite Joel Spitzer article is the one entitled.” She grew angry. While true that we will no longer engage in nicotine use with any person. yet increasingly. but I don't want to talk about it. Obviously. The nicotine addict’s mind has been conditioned to believe. “Sure. We serve as a form of “use” insurance for each other on those occasions when our supply runs out. which involved six.

Although he still hoped she’d change her mind and share her experiences with the group. They actually heard none of what was happening. I told him I would leave if he tried to make me talk. the two gossips actually broke out laughing. oblivious to surrounding happenings. it made what happened in their day seem so trivial. personal experiences. All except the two ladies in the back of the room. “When the young woman was telling how close she and her brother were. . With approximately 20 participants. said she’d keep in touch and thanked the group for their support. they would be laughing at some humorous story they had shared with each other.The Journey Home Surprised by the force of her reaction. They weren't laughing at the story. I didn't want to burden anyone else with my problems. "I wasn't going to say anything this whole program. The two ladies in the back were talking away as usual when a young lady asked if she could speak to the group first because she had to leave. I had a horrible tragedy in my family today. my brother was killed in an accident. A few minutes later Joel was relating a story to the group when all of a sudden the lady who had requested anonymity interrupted him. "Excuse me Joel. Joel recalls that the group “felt terrible.62 Freedom from Nicotine . when other people were sharing sad. I wasn't even supposed to come tonight." she said loudly. recalls Joel. it was a good group except for two women in back who “gabbed constantly.” writes Joel. The women would stop for a few seconds and then were right back at it. "I can't stay." The room went quiet. but were so proud of her. On the third day of the clinic it happened." She’d remained nicotine-free for two days and not smoking was obviously important. he said he’d honor her request. I told him I would walk out if I had to talk. they were laughing at something totally different not even aware of what was being discussed in the room. The first day I told Joel not to call on me. The young woman said. But today I feel I cannot keep quiet any longer.” The young lady excused herself to return to her family. But I knew I had to stop by if I was going to continue to not smoke. Sometimes. The two in the back continued their private conversation as if she wasn’t there. I am supposed to be helping my family making funeral arrangements. Joel was no longer expecting it.” Others were forced to turn around and ask them to be quiet. I must tell my story.

com & WhyQuit." "I enrolled in the clinic to pick up any tips that would make quitting a little easier and because I was real curious about how people who really were taught the dangers of smoking would react. and I am mad at myself for it. “that was the last of the gabbing from the back of the room for the entire two-week clinic. It wasn't that I couldn't stop smoking. when the lady with cancer was sharing her story with us. with pained expressions on their faces. and I know I will not have another cigarette. I am here to quit smoking. I said it so often they stopped begging. I want to make it clear that I am not kidding myself into thinking that if I quit I will save my life. nicotine-free and proud. I told them over and over to leave me alone. And if I could quit.” wrote Joel. They replied to me. "The only reason I am speaking up now is because you two BITCHES are driving me crazy. I am going to die within two months. Well. He had to calm the group as things had become “quite charged.” “I know where they learned that. that I wanted to stop but couldn't. who Joel recalls had listened to her every word. But I am going to quit smoking. When my children were small.© 2009 FFNicotine. Actually." She turned to the two ladies in the back. anyway. He had stopped smoking for over a week at that time. You are partying in the back while everyone else is sharing with each other. “And the lady with lung cancer proudly accepted her diploma and introduced one of her children. Even though I haven't said a word to anyone. I have sat and listened to all of you closely. anybody could quit." "You may wonder why I am quitting if I am going to die anyway. just get the hell out of here! Go out and smoke. I feel close to all of you. I don't know if this will make anybody stop. When I found out about my cancer. she had not told her family yet that she had even quit smoking. drop dead for all we care. I wasn't going to talk. totally unaware of her loss. writes Joel. even by the lady with lung cancer. The lady who’d lost her brother was also present. If I knew then what I know now. Six weeks later his mother was dead. Your sharing has helped me. The two ladies who had earlier talked only to each other were applauded by all during graduation. "Will you both do me a favor.” recalls Joel. “All was forgiven. I am going to die and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. But today I have to. I have my reasons. I begged them to stop. But now my children are in their twenties and thirties. you are learning and contributing nothing here. trying to help save each other's lives.” All present that night were successful in remaining nicotine-free.” Needless to say. So I am stopping to show them I was wrong. I feel for each and every one of you and I pray you all make it.” She told them about the young woman whose brother was killed and how they laughed. Let me tell you why.com 63 "I have terminal lung cancer. . It is too late for me. they always pestered me about my smoking. As I said.it was that I wouldn't! I am off two days now.well. but I had to prove to my children and to myself that I could quit smoking. that they want to stop but they can't." Joel recalls they sat stunned. they could quit. and two of them smoke.

and I will not either. He thanked Joel for helping her quit at the end and told him how proud she was and how proud he was of her. "She never went back to smoking. .64 Freedom from Nicotine ." he said. She’d taught her children a falsehood and as her final lesson sought to set the record straight. a captive mind that had me believing that my next fix was more important than life itself. It was a lie sold to me by a mind taken hostage by nicotine.The Journey Home When Joel called to see how she was doing her son answered. I too was once convinced “I couldn’t” but it was a lie. It wasn’t that she couldn’t quit but that she wouldn’t.

the tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide. Pages 642-645. 118 U. Centers for Disease Control. “Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.117 and 40% make an attempt of at least one day. Archives of General Psychiatry. 117 U. Why? We need not guess as to what happens inside a human brain that’s subjected to nicotine during recovery. Pages 907-915. Forward by WHO Director General. It states. 2007. regardless of how long we have remained nicotine free. August 2006. . November 14. Volume 63(8). 2008. The evidence seen on brain PET scans is undeniable. “In the 20th century. and (3) that once arrested. at least 70% of surveyed smokers say they want to stop." Whether users know it by name or simply understand the basic premise. that just one hit of nicotine will create a high degree of probability of a full relapse. (2) that once established we cannot cure or kill an addiction but only arrest it. During the 21st century. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults .© 2009 FFNicotine. 119 Brody AL et al. The Law is rather simple. Pages 1221-1226. Cigarette smoking saturates brain alpha 4 beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Sadly. July 26. Volume 57(45). Cigarette Smoking Among Adults . Weekly MMWR. The MPOWER Package.com Chapter 4 65 The Law of Addiction "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance. what they do not know is “how. It is as fundamental as the law of gravity and refusal to abide by it may result in serious injury or death. 2008. Just one puff of nicotine and within ten seconds up to 50% of the brain’s nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors will become occupied by nicotine. 2002. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic.S. 2000. Weekly MMWR. 2008.118 There is no lack of desire or effort. Centers for Disease Control.United States. Volume 51(29).United States. The “Law of Addiction” is not man-made law." The Law Defined According to the World Health Organization. Fresh and Alive.com & WhyQuit.S. cocaine or heroin addiction.” Key to breaking free and staying free is an understanding of the "Law of Addiction." Mastering it requires acceptance of three fundamental principles: (1) that dependency upon using nicotine is true chemical addiction.119 116 World Health Organization.”116 Year after year. failure to self-discover or to be taught this law is a horrible reason to die. it could kill one billion. captivating the same brain dopamine reward pathways as alcoholism.

pouch. once all nicotine use ends. a single subsequent use is extremely accurate in predicting full and complete relapse. a hit that will end our journey. It will be etched along side survival instinct memories recording the behaviors needed to keep us alive. cost us liberty. “The idea that you can't quit the first time is absolutely wrong. How could they. It’s about that first bolus of nicotine striking the brain." What these so called experts fail to reveal is the precise lesson eventually learned.ffn. the brain’s “pay attention” circuitry records the relapse event in high definition memory. it’s like telling the alcoholic. as if trying to protect the particular quitting product they are pushing from being blamed for defeat. “Don’t let shooting-up put you back to using. Why? Why can’t it be taught and mastered prior to a user’s first attempt ever? They don’t teach it because most don’t understand it themselves. December 29.yuku. dip or chew I will relapse.” and that “every time you make an effort you're smarter and you can use that information to increase the likelihood that your subsequent quit attempt is successful.” says Joel. . conventional “quitting” wisdom invites relapse with statements such as “Don’t let a little slip put you back to smoking. The lesson eventually gleaned from the school of hard-recovery-knocks is that “if I take so much as one puff. 2001. If you understand this concept from the get-go. Unfortunately. Instead they excuse failure before it even occurs. and land us behind bars. “Don’t let a sip put you back to drinking” or the heroin addict. Whether it happens immediately or even when we think we’ve gotten away it. tin or box of our particular nicotine delivery vehicle.” As Joel says. it happened by taking a puff. just once and defeat is all but assured. Recovery isn’t about battling an entire pack. 120 Spitzer J. We may actually walk away from the relapse experience thinking we have gotten away with using. But it won’t be long before our brain is begging for more. you don't have to go through chronic quitting and smoking. no one really teaches it.” Experts are fond of stating that "on average.66 Freedom from Nicotine . it takes between 3-5 serious quitting attempts before breaking free of tobacco dependence.The Journey Home While the smoker’s conscious mind may find itself struggling with tobacco toxin tissue burning sensations and carbon monoxide induced dizziness.” Just one.120 “The only reason it takes most people multiple attempts to quit is that they don't understand their addiction to nicotine. People have to learn by screwing up one attempt after another until it finally dawns on them that each time they lost it.” The Law Reflected in Studies Yes. Is this your first time quitting? http://www.com/topic/11623 . well-engineered dopamine payattention pathways will find the resulting dopamine “aaah” sensation nearly impossible to forget.

While Brandon and Boreland teach us that relapse isn’t 100% guaranteed. that they were controlling the uncontrollable. Our blood serum becomes nicotine-free and withdrawal peaks in intensity within three days of ending all nicotine use. TH et al. Still. 6% stole it. 20 or 30 years. Volume 15(3).” The Brandon study’s finding was echoed by the 1990 Boreland study.. most of them likely thought they’d gotten away with it. the study found that 88% who “tasted” a cigarette relapsed. the mean number of days between the end of the “quitting” program and lapse was two months (58 days). Like the salt or pepper in our shakers.com 67 The 1990 Brandon lapse/relapse study followed 129 smokers who successfully completed a two-week stop smoking program for two additional years. 23% purchased it. they remain wired for relapse. Addictive Behaviors. 1990. Pages 235-45. “The high rate of return to regular smoking (88%) once a cigarette is tasted suggests that the distinction between an initial lapse and full relapse may be unnecessary.© 2009 FFNicotine.121 Lapse was defined as any tobacco use regardless of how much. But just one powerful jolt of nicotine and the deck gets stacked against us. 122 Borland R. There.122 Although the challenges of recovery have ended for hundreds of millions of now comfortable ex-users. And it is not some big or little monster that dwells inside us. think or conspire. Addictive Behaviors. high initial confidence levels may have reduced subjects' motivation to acquire skills and engage productively in treatment. and 2% were offered it.com & WhyQuit. 9% found it. it cannot plot. A second cigarette was smoked by 93. Among those who lapsed. Like the sugar in our sugar bowl. While 14% took only one or two puffs. plan. with one in five smoking it within an hour (21%). 42% smoked the entire cigarette. 15(2). of zero. each lives with nicotine dependency’s imprint permanently burned into their brain. Slip-ups and relapse in attempts to quit smoking. which followed callers to an Australian telephone quit smoking line. Postcessation cigarette use: the process of relapse. In discussing the finding Brandon wrote. pages 105-114. with nearly all lapsing within the first three months. a mean average of nine days passed between subjects sampling their first and second cigarette. among 339 participants who lapsed (123 who didn’t make it an entire day and 172 who stopped for at least 24 hours) 295 or 87% experienced relapse within 90 days. The odds of us having the stamina to withstand and endure nicotine’s influence upon the brain without relapsing are horrible. Overall.5% who had lapsed. Nearly half (47%) smoked that second cigarette within 24 hours. Even after 10. while the average smoked about two-thirds. I encourage you to treat and see one hit of nicotine as though 121 Brandon. Clearly.Q. The Brandon study found that 60% who lapsed “asked for” the cigarette (bummed it).” “In our study. . It is only a chemical. Also of note. it has an I. 47% who lapsed drank alcohol prior to doing so. We’re not stronger than nicotine but then we don’t need to be. 1990.

there’s just one controlling principle determining the outcome for all. After all. a lesson that for far too many smokers proves deadly. "I know I can have one if I really want to. In it. But you can be sure that there will be a next time. a mean average of nine days passed between their first and second nicotine fixes. One day. maybe not. Unlike “quitting” products. Those who quickly experience full relapse increase the likelihood of learning.The Journey Home it were.com/joel .68 Freedom from Nicotine . he will become hooked. Joel’s Library. J. Maybe this time he will get hooked. right away. “He thinks he can take one any time he wants and not get hooked. the critical lesson of the power of using nicotine just once. But the more time and distance there is between that first use and full dependency resumption. Usually. within a short period of time sneaking a drag here and there. The Lucky Ones Get Hooked. “The ex-smoker who takes a drag and doesn't get hooked gets a false sense of confidence. He may quit for a week. the greater likelihood there is of learning the wrong lesson. Eventually he will become hooked again. dip or chew are fortunate in that the experience offers potential to self-teach them the most critical recovery lesson of all. 1984. I did it last time and didn't get hooked right away. the law is clear. concise and simple .”123 It’s anything but callous. Our greatest weapon has always been our infinitely superior intelligence. while nearly half who smoke nicotine will experience full relapse within one day. not one puff.” writes Joel.no nicotine today. “The Law of Addiction. dip or chew! Missed Lessons In 1984 Joel wrote an article with the heartless sounding title. The most important recovery lesson our intelligence can master is that being 99% successful at not using nicotine equates to an 87% to 88% chance of defeat.” 123 Spitzer. Although obedience may not always be easy. One day he too may try to quit and actually succeed. But always in the back of his mind he feels. Joel makes the important point that those who experience full relapse within days of taking a puff. or even years. http://whyquit. month.” But as the Brandon study teaches. total adherence to a personal commitment to not violate the law of addiction provides a 100% guarantee of success. “The Lucky Ones Get Hooked. at a party or under stress or just out of boredom he will try one again. As Joel Spitzer has now burned into my brain.

Cold turkey had cornered the recovery market. 2007. Industry assaults falsely paint stopping nicotine use abruptly or cold turkey as nearly impossible and with very few succeeding. Page A1. Yes. the chances of self-discovering the Law of Addiction were significant. When NRT arrived the pharmaceutical industry saw no alternative but to attack.February 8. 2007. Over the years. Thus. the traveling hypnotist came to town every now and then. Wall Street Journal . JR. Influence of Drug Industry.com. by June 2000 its muscle had grown so powerful that U. Polito JR.Behind Antismoking Policy. having to quit again. Absent was the negative influence of pharmaceutical company marketing. WhyQuit.124 Industry influence was soon writing national cessation policy. each time enduring a two-week withdrawal process. WhyQuit.worse yet it doesn’t seem to care -. hundreds of millions of ex-users have been able to discover the power of one puff. Think back to 1980. It has no idea -. But self-discovery of the Law of Addiction has become increasingly difficult with each passing year and arrival of each new magic “quitting” cure.com & WhyQuit. Flawed research equates placebo to cold turkey. JR. the method responsible for generating almost 90% of all long-term successful ex-users. But the only readily available alternatives to cold turkey and abrupt nicotine cessation were forms of gradual nicotine weaning or tapering which had proven dismal. March 12.S. representations and its makeover of cessation literature have gone largely unchallenged.S.S. 125 Helliker. economic muscle or political clout. 126 Polito. Cold turkey is free. U. The pharmaceutical industry has yet to reveal that its almost 200 “quitting medication” studies have nothing to do with drug addicts arresting their chemical dependency.” writes Joel. also see. Instead of teaching the Law of Addiction and the power of nicotine to foster relapse.© 2009 FFNicotine. Does updated tobacco treatment "Guideline" reflect sham science? WhyQuit. policy. Nicotine Fix .com.how many former smokers continue to be 124 Polito.” It has never made a commercial announcing to smokers that it redefined “quitting smoking” from its traditional meaning of ending both smoking and nicotine use. The likelihood of any particular attempt being a cold turkey attempt was substantial. was effectively outlawed and blacklisted by official U. quit smoking policy integrity drowns in pharmaceutical influence. and again.com. marketing intentionally designed to shatter confidence in our natural instincts and abilities. K. May 5. “Taking the first drag is a no-win situation. to meaning an end to smoking nicotine while replacing it with pharmaceutical nicotine. May 13. 2008. it’s no way to live life. The industry’s attacks. It has no bank account.125 Unopposed. prior to arrival of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and nicotine gum. . the pharmaceutical industry teaches that nicotine is “medicine” and that nicotine's use is “therapy. 2008. ending nicotine use abruptly.com 69 Living a series of perpetual relapses. dip or chew of nicotine totally on their own. cessation policy was rewritten so as to make use of pharmaceutical industry cessation products mandatory unless the user’s medical condition prohibited it.126 Amazingly. and again.

we have days where our mind becomes occupied with thoughts of lighting a fire between our lips. there is but one principle that affords a 100% guarantee of success to all adhering to it .” Why? Because being unable to discover the Law due to corporate ambition burying this truth is a horrible reason to remain trapped in bondage with increased risk of dependency induced disease. But still. The study also documented the primary emotion felt immediately following smoking nicotine. infrequent or seasonal subconscious crave triggers.. We stuck with it for the full 72 hours it took to empty our blood. How does the recovering. We confronted and extinguished all but our remote. That is why it is so important that as recovered addicts we reach out within our sphere of influence to those who are still in nicotine bondage and share the most important lesson of all. Just one rule . It is impossible to fail so long as no nicotine enters our bloodstream. disability or death. “No nicotine today. We knocked them dead.” there is zero wiggle-room for those of us who fully take it to heart.“No nicotine today!” While there are scores of stop smoking books and and quick-fix magic cures promising near painless and sure-fire success. Assume that their brains had almost fully re-sensitized. and tasted that very first day of total and complete comfort where we never once thought about wanting to use nicotine. Reflect on the fact that the addict’s sense of “nicotine normal” no . brain and body of all nicotine. If we want to live nicotine-free then why toy with horrible odds? The Final Truth Assume for a moment that we made it! We learned how to remain patient during the few minutes a crave episode clamored for compliance. “The Law of Addiction.70 Freedom from Nicotine . or of chewing “nicotiana tabacum” (the tobacco plant’s biological name) or of a quick dip in nicotine’s pond. Years of hard to suppress dopamine “aaah” replenishment memories keep teasing us.” While the Brandon and Boreland studies afford the junkie-mind an ever so slight amount of wiggle-room on the violation side of “The Law.The Journey Home dependent upon pharmaceutical forms of nicotine delivery at study’s end or have turned to oral tobacco.. Assume that at two weeks into recovery. rationalizing or bargaining mind’s vision of what it would be like to just once more use nicotine compare with the realities that occur during relapse? Recall that the 1990 Brandon study examined lapse and relapse in smokers who’d successfully completed a two-week stop smoking program. each who lapsed during the Brandon study had already succeeded in fully navigating physical withdrawal. At last we were clean! Our healing and glory continued for the roughly two to three weeks it took for our mind to adjust to chemically functioning without nicotine and all the other chemicals that arrived with it.

They longed for what was left behind. one critical factor has changed.6% reported what most of us would have expected following normal replenishment. I was dizzy and I coughed. most will have a common ring to them. Each nicotine fix played a vital role in restoring us to a relaxed level of comfort upon which we had each come to depend. 16% were angry and irritated. 33% experienced anxiety and tension. . most of those memories still remain. an addiction comfort level. with great expectations they took that first puff.com 71 longer existed. and nothing that needed replenishing.© 2009 FFNicotine. their body and brain were on a path of real and significant physical healing. which was “feeling relaxed. each fix brought the addict in us a true sense of relief (from the pains of our own addiction) and yes. and the brain’s sense of normal (homeostasis) had been fully restored.com & WhyQuit. 13% felt depressed and hopeless. expectations now shattered. and in doing so transformed a culprit into a cure.” Although some of us hated bondage. Only 3. they did not embrace the prospect of life without it. So. Our brain no longer has a chemical need for nicotine. Although they may have sensed the “aaah. However. It just wasn’t there. They read like this. there was no chemical missing and nothing was in need of replenishment. Among them. no withdrawal induced anxieties or depression. It just didn’t come!" The thousands of enticing memories in their mind expected a sense of relief and satisfaction. But their body and mind had already adjusted to life without nicotine. If we visit online recovery forums and dig back through messages describing relapses that occurred beyond week two. So what was their prime emotion following relapse? The vast majority had a negative reaction. and 12% felt boredom or fatigue. Yes.” in no way did it match the “aaah” generated during replenishment. there is no denying that each nicotine fix brought relief from falling blood nicotine levels that were beginning to deprive us of a level of dopamine to which we'd grown accustomed. there was nothing missing. while they briefly paused in using it. By that I mean. The number of acetylcholine receptors had fully down-regulated. Chronic nicotine use creates its own artificial sense of normalcy. but I didn’t get the sense of satisfaction I expected. blamed every healing sensation on its absence. Falsely convinced of the need for nicotine in order to feel normal. Without realizing it. while their conscious mind simply tinkered with the prospect of functioning without nicotine. Unlike when those old “aaah”s were created. "I had a mouth full of smoke.

most are clueless as to why relapse doesn’t match expectations. Active dependency has at last been restored to its full-blown freedom shattering rage. It’s time to let go of the influence of these memories upon us. they keep digging inside the pack. eventually they succeed and use it long enough for replenishment to again be meaningful. Sadly. "See. tin. pouch. I was right.The Journey Home So what happens next? Sadly... Although relapse has already occurred and their brain will soon be begging for more. trying to get the experience to match expectations.72 Freedom from Nicotine . There’s just one guiding principle we each need follow . They belong to who we once were.” “Smoking did bring me a relaxed “aaah” feeling and a sense of relief!" It’s important to appreciate that any memories of those "perfect" fixes were created inside the mind of an actively feeding addict who was riding an endless cycle of highs and lows. No nicotine today! . They find it hard not to believe and trust the small mountain of once true replenishment memories still enshrined within their head. They can then finally look in the mirror and say to themselves. packet. tube or box.

Pages 458-460. Nicotine & Tobacco Research." he says. et al.© 2009 FFNicotine.127 A 2009 study confirmed increased odds of 2.com Chapter 5 73 Packing and Planning for the Journey Home When to Start Home . "Rarely do those with the longest initials for credentials do real research on how people stop smoking. February 2006. July 2009. Unplanned quit attempts--results from a U. British Medical Journal. no packing at all! The study’s authors were shocked to learn that unplanned attempts were 2. setting quit dates and following stringent protocols until the magic day arrives." In an email to me Joel wrote.6. Joel has long shared an article he calls "Setting Quit Dates." He asserts that. "Catastrophic" pathways to smoking cessation: findings from national survey. who threw their cigarettes over their shoulder and never looked back. this kind of action plan is rarely seen in real-world quitters. I think the difference between planned and unplanned is that a person who is planning to quit isn't really committed to quit. Volume 332(7539). and this is not news to them.Now or Later? None of our prior recovery attempts failed because we selected the wrong date. New Years or our nation’s national stop smoking day and then to plan around it.128 According to Joel Spitzer. or today.6 times more successful in lasting at least six months than attempts planned in advance. Pages 827-832. . et al. sample of smokers and ex-smokers. "conventional wisdom in smoking cessation circles says that people should make plans and preparations for some unspecified future time to quit. Most people think that when others quit smoking that they must have put a lot of time into preparations and planning.” Joel has found that most successful ex-users fall into one of three groups: (1) those who awoke one day and were suddenly sick and tired of smoking. the real experts are millions of long-term successful ex-users. Experts advise smokers that the "key" to successful recovery is to not stop using now. When it comes down to it.S. (2) those given an ultimatum by their doctor "quit smoking or drop dead". and (3) those who became sick with a cold. Volume 11(7). That’s right. “My gut feelings here. the flu or some 127 West R. If he were committed to it he would just do it – not plan it. They failed because we failed to understand and master the core principles underlying our dependency upon nicotine. but to pick some future date such as our birthday.com & WhyQuit. What if such advice wasn't just wrong but was actually depriving millions of us from dramatically greater odds of success? A 2006 study found that roughly half of all smokers attempt to stop smoking without any planning whatsoever. 128 Ferguson SG.

.com . when things settle down I will stop. Philip Morris USA130 Delay recovery until our next birthday? Wait for life to become nearly stress free? In 1984 Joel wrote an article entitled “I Will Quit When . Get Ready. you're more likely to succeed than if you decide New Year's Eve to quit the next day. The reasons they quit varied but the technique they used was basically the same. Pick a week when your stress level is likely to be low.internetworldstats. They are spur of the moment decisions elicited by some external circumstance. I'm as good as dead now. during midterms. "All of these stories share one thing in common – the technique that people use to quit. or your child's birthday—and mark it on your calendar. I will consider quitting. cigarette market." "If I quit now. I will stop." "When we have a verifiable bilateral disarmament agreement. No matter when now is. web site visited July 31." "Maybe I will quit on vacation.The Internet Big Picture. you must be nuts!" "Maybe after my daughter's wedding. only about 1 in 5 humans were Internet users in 2008 (21. I will stop. 2008.” It opens with the following rather lengthy list of quitting delay rationalizations that fit right in with Philip Morris' planning advice. Quit Assist. I'm too nervous to try now. why should I stop smoking now?" "I'm in the process of moving.” Choose a specific quit date—perhaps your birthday or anniversary." "The doctor says I need surgery.. "I will quit when my doctor tells me I have to. www.The Journey Home other illness. 130 Philip Morris USA.9%)." "Quit now. it will spoil the whole trip." Joel is careful to distinguish real-world quitters from the Internet phenomenon where some spend substantial time reading and planning before taking the plunge. went a few days without smoking and then decided to try to keep it going. Today I visited the Philip Morris USA website. They simply quit smoking one day.." "I am making too many other changes to stop now.06/30/08. If you give yourself at least a month to prepare." "When I lose 15 pounds." "It is too soon after my new promotion. In fact." "School is starting and I'm too nervous to quit. Its “Quit Assist” pages tell those hooked on nicotine to: “Plan and prepare—that's the first key to quit-smoking success. While Internet use is tremendous in industrialized nations. If you examine each of the three scenarios you will see that none of them lend themselves to long-term planning. many of the times 129 Internet World Stats. and it's a real headache." "When conditions improve at work." "It is too late." "The best time to quit is NOW." "My father is in the hospital. Internet Usage Statistics . I can't stop now.S. the company holding a 50% share of the U. is likely far less than one percent." "I will quit in the summer when I can exercise more." "I have smoked for years and feel fine." "I can't quit now it's tax season. who have ever heard of the Law of Addiction.74 Freedom from Nicotine . I can't quit now.129 The percentage of world’s nicotine addicts turning to the Internet to master their dependency.

not the day we decided to take our minds back. surrender and terminate. push-out. forsaking and quitting. This may sound harsh. give-up. terminating or quitting ourselves? As covered in Chapter 2. forsake. Abandoning us? Giving up? Forsaking. the real “quitting” took place on the day that nicotine took control of our minds. Yes. relinquish. I actually prefer that people quit when experiencing some degree of emotional stress.com 75 specifically stated as bad times to quit may be the best. the more stress the better. leave. dreams and desire have always been the fuel of human accomplishment. resign. none of us are stronger than our addiction. The first thing I recommend packing is a healthy and positive mental image of what will be happening during this temporary journey of re-adjustment. However in reality.com & WhyQuit. returning and getting.© 2009 FFNicotine. we can each temporarily muster mountains of willpower but can willpower make any of us endure a challenge that we lack the desire to complete? Once nicotine gets inside. “recovering” the real us! Although it’ll feel a bit awkward at first. chuck. or handle one hit of nicotine without our brain soon begging for more. why not adopt a healthy and educated vision of what freedom will accomplish for you? Synonyms for the word “quit” include: abandon. Pack for Recovery Are you ready to start packing? Are you packing for quitting or recovery? Instead of getting caught up in the “Quitters never win. Winners never quit” mind games. try replacing the phrase “I’m quitting” with “I’m recovering. willpower. but in the long run it will vastly improve the chances of long term success in abstaining from cigarettes. then what remains? As simple as it may sound." the 21 year-old article by Joel asserts. as clearly evidenced by our inability to live the drug addict's first wish of being able to control the uncontrollable. break-off. Born of the honest recognition of nicotine’s negative impact upon our . stand toe to toe with it. instead of abandoning.” I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the calming effect upon needless anxiety generating fears by thinking in terms of taking back. desert. We cannot beat our dependency into submission. taking back control of our mind. desire? It’s natural to think that it’s some combination of the three. all the strength and willpower on earth cannot stop it from traveling to the brain and activating acetylcholine receptors. Pack Core Motivations What is the inner source that allows us to end once mandatory feedings and resume full control of our life? Strength. In most cases. If we are incapable of using strength to control our addiction and we cannot "will" it into hibernation or submission.

it won’t seem silly or childish then to reach for one final resource -“you” -.76 Freedom from Nicotine . They also provide resistance to conscious fixation. motivate and fuel our journey home. invigorated and available at a moment's notice. and the dreams they fuel to be gradually eroded by challenge and die. One way to do so is to sit down and write ourselves a caring (or even loving) letter that we can carry with us. Without our core . But it takes keeping those motivations vibrant and on center-stage. How will we remind ourselves during the heat of battle of the importance of victory? Which desires will control? What will cause us to vividly recall the full price of addiction to nicotine? What will aid us in recalling the prison cell we left behind. the energy and desire to engage in honest reflection about the validity of thoughts of using that linger in our mind.to remind you why victory here and now is oh so important. It allows this journey to transport us home. to a tranquility long forgotten. to flee. When our most challenging moment of recovery is upon us and an anxiety riddled mind is seriously considering throwing it all away. how do we bring that honesty and the desire flowing from it to the forefront of our mind? Dreams and desire embrace recovery as the stepping-stone to freedom. Our instincts may tell us to run. doesn’t it. to an inner quiet and calm where addiction chatter goes silent. Doing so will provide all the wind your dream’s wings will need. This temporary period of re-adjustment called recovery is about dreams and desire. We somehow kept them robust. to try and leave recovery behind. so that they can both consciously and unconsciously stimulate. pull out during challenge and use as a front-line defense. It’s about protecting the juice of desire. it sounds a bit silly. Those of us successful in navigating recovery found creative ways to protect and safeguard our dreams and desires. But let me tell you something. we risk allowing our core recovery motivations. Our core motivations aid in fostering the patience needed to transition an up to 3 minute subconsciously triggered crave episode. be sure to bring along the thousands of negative nicotine use memories that motivated you to begin reading this book.The Journey Home minds and lives. It’s about combining well-protected and remembered core motivations with an understanding of the Law of Addiction. our lost pride and self-esteem and the increasing sense of becoming a social outcast? What will help us remember standing at the counter and handing over our money to purchase a chemical that we knew would force us to return to buy more? When challenged. By forgetting to pack bad and ugly dependency memories. and about keeping the memory and details about living the daily nightmare of nicotine dependency alive. When packing. desire has the amazing ability to fuel change. I know. Why keep ourselves on pins and needles and in fear of challenge when overcoming it rewards us with the return of yet another slice of a life? Allowing honest dependency memories to keep desire excited and stimulated leaves little room for destructive thinking to take root.

” “My doctor told me not to smoke as long as I am his patient.” “I stopped for my dog. children.” “I’m pregnant and just stopped smoking. J. support group. grandchildren.” not for others . I can’ take it anymore. who stopped for the baby. “While they may have gotten through the initial withdrawal process. they are doing so for the wrong reason. relapse. Quitting for Others. if they don't change their primary motivation for abstaining [from nicotine] they will inevitably relapse. pet. sneeze. so I’m quitting to end his threats. naturally fosters a sense of self-deprivation that can quickly eat away and destroy motivation.” We can’t do this for our doctor. finding herself fixating upon relapse as she convinces herself that she has sacrificed long enough. I quit for them. I have an appointment next month.While wonderful that we’d be willing to attempt recovery because some other person wants us to. As for pregnancy.” “My kids get sick when I smoke in front of them. http://whyquit.com 77 motivations and dreams.” “I’m hooked on nicotine gum and my two teens are telling everyone that their dad is a drug addict. Neither alternative will be pleasant. He is the one who will return to smoking and suffer the consequences. employer. • • • • • • • “My husband can't stand it when I smoke .” Joel teaches that while each is giving up nicotine.that’s why I’m quitting. religious leader.© 2009 FFNicotine. insurance company. best friend. or for the developing life inside a woman’s womb. and nag me to death. imagine a mother to be in labor. I’ll smoke a cigarette!" As Joel notes from this example. I did it for the baby. Should the person for whom we stopped using do something wrong or disappoint us we have at our disposal the ultimate revenge. He will either smoke until it kills him or have to quit again. navigating battle after battle for someone who isn’t in there fighting with us. “He will show them nothing. Pack enough food to get you home! Pack Durable Motivations Do this for “you.com & WhyQuit. and who isn’t there afterward expressing thanks for our sacrifice.” wrote Joel in 1984. that the greatest dangers are about to pass. They cough. "I deprived myself of my cigarettes for you and look how you pay me back! I'll show you. 131 Spitzer. I’ll quit to get them off my back. some guy who wrote a nicotine cessation book. 1984. we risk the likelihood that our freedom and healing may soon follow. spouse.” “My dentist is constantly on me about my dip causing gum disease. I’ll quit by then. Joel’s Library.com/joel . parents.131 Ending nicotine use for someone else pins our success to him or her.

picture dramatic improvement in sense of smell and a noticeable change in how things taste.While fear of bad or even failing health is often a powerful motivator in causing us to contemplate jumping into the recovery pool. hair loss and tooth damage. Trends in smoking before. The flip side of fear of declining or poor health is hope for improved health. imagine recasting those fears into a dream of seeing how healthy our body can once again become. but she probably won’t make the connection. 133 Polito JR. Instead of using fear of failing health as a motivator. What if our primary recovery motivation is escalating fear flowing from noticeable harms? What will happen to related fears if nearly all of our noticeable effects of using quickly improve once we stop? What will happen to our core motivation? If an oral nicotine user.com. it mends and repairs. The mother may find it curious that the baby seems extremely content in the arms of smokers (especially those who smoke her brand). we looked upon it as 132 Colman GJ. December 1. the disappearance of a chronic cough or a noticeable increase in lung function may fuel erroneous thinking about the impact of smoking upon our body. the human body is a healing machine. While healing is normally an extremely positive thing it depends upon our perspective. I guess it’s safe to go back to smoking. “I guess smoking hadn’t hurt my body as much as I’d thought. Long-term cancer and circulatory disease risks will take years to reverse themselves. Imagine a cough. it could prove critical. imagine an end to mouth sores. Journey for better health. 2008. not fear of failing health . What if instead of each new health improvement realization eating away at our primary motivation. the new baby may never know its mother’s natural smell. et al. January 2003. Approximately half of women who stop during pregnancy will relapse within six months of giving birth.The Journey Home Sadly. it must first and foremost be our gift to us. It may seem like word games but when it comes to packing durable and sustaining motives. as it bonds to the odors of the thousands of chemicals each cigarette deposits on the mother’s hair. Volume 24(1). and after pregnancy in ten states.133 If a nicotine smoker. during. we don't correct years of mounting damage to lungs and blood vessels within a few months.132 While all with whom we share our lives will clearly inherit the fruits of our recovery. motives we can reach for during challenge. WhyQuit. If allowed. a mind that at times may find itself swimming in a sea of smoking related thoughts. If our recovery is driven almost exclusively by fear of failing health. wheeze or frightening mouth lesion that disappears in a couple of weeks.78 Freedom from Nicotine . for us it might seem as though our motivational rug is being pulled out from under us as we watch our primary concerns evaporate before our very eyes. But to a mind that commenced recovery primarily due to worries about declining health. Pages 29-35. Long-Term Nicorette Gum Users Losing Hair and Teeth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. skin and clothing. . It may create fertile ground for such junkie rationalizations as.” Obviously.

But if the cost of today’s supply of nicotine is our primary recovery motivation. It may have been what motivated you to start reading this book. 2 months and 11 days I’ve saved $25.00 (U. I just glanced and according to my computer’s desktop “quitting meter. not daily cost The final motivation we may want to consider shifting and recasting is cost. As such.S.com & WhyQuit. as this hard core addict could not fathom seeing such waste. pouch or box? A few dollars? If we focus upon total savings (or total cost) instead of the cost of our daily or weekly supply. If given the opportunity to heal. wad or piece? What’s the cost of a single pack. As to noticeable tobacco related health concerns. initially fear is an extremely positive force. I rationalized that purchasing an entire carton would force me to continue smoking. how would I have been able to sleep at night knowing that I’d thrown away so many packs of cigarettes and they were there in the trash basket beneath the kitchen sink? . why not use their potential for healing and some degree of noticeable improvement as a means of refueling core dreams and desires? These bodies are built for healing. my savings have been significantly greater.632 once mandatory nicotine feedings. Fewer smokers mean that the tobacco industry must charge remaining smokers more money in order to satisfy profit-concerned shareholders. cigar.50 per pack (an addict’s paradise. our core motivation is allowed to grow instead of serve as a source of increasing temptation. Put your body’s ability to heal to work for you. But fear suffers from a lack of sustainability.” at $2. I was one of those smokers who always thought that tomorrow would be quitting day. The cost of satisfying the brain’s demand for nicotine continues to rise as governments use tobacco tax increases as motivation to induce cessation. pinch. We can only look at so many photographs of diseased lungs or mouth cancers before growing numb to them. Do it for total savings. We can only remain afraid for so long.© 2009 FFNicotine. during the past 9 years. Nicotine’s lifetime loyal slave. those tissues not yet destroyed will mend and repair.203. tin.) by skipping 201. what is the actual price of relapse? How much does it cost to bum or be offered a cigarette. In reality.com 79 a reward that left us wanting to celebrate? Imagine the disappearance of each concern stirring our imagination about the limits of possible improvement? Again. South Carolina continues to have the lowest cigarette taxes and cheapest nicotine in America).

(n. Challenge patience . It may be an internal debate within our rational mind and developing the patience to allow honesty and reason to prevail. in order to stimulate dopamine pathways that are sensing some degree of nicotine deprivation. Aside from physiological foundations. not just what you’d spend for tomorrow’s or next week’s supply. struggling with a recovery emotion. the speed with which each of us are able to introduce a new supply of nicotine. confident and skilled at saying “no” to nicotine use impulses and rationalizations? 134 Patience. patience is the "quality of being patient in suffering. But how do we do that? Patience is the ability to navigate anxieties when confronted with challenge. 135 van Gaalen MM. Practice & Pack Patience Derived from the old French word “pati.135 the opposite of patience. It may be associated with our thinking rational mind learning to say “no” to our primitive impulsive mind. Biological Psychiatry.” which means to suffer or endure."134 Ironically. Chapter 12 shares tips associated with navigating periods of conscious thought fixation.).d.Whether confronting a physical withdrawal symptom.com website. July 2006. Dream about the big picture and total savings. encountering an un-extinguished subconscious crave trigger. Critical involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission in impulsive decision making. we must develop the patience to navigate challenge.60(1). Prior to my final recovery I had pneumonia two Januarys in a row and six root canals in two years. What about the value of time? And don’t forget tobacco use related doctor visits. the madness ended after arresting my dependency. et al. psychologically conditions us to develop varying degrees of impatience when it comes to satisfying our dependency. We smokers became conditioned to expect to sense satisfaction of nicotine urges and craves within 8-10 seconds of inhaling a puff of smoke.80 Freedom from Nicotine . Is it any wonder then that it may take a few victories before growing comfortable. As we embark upon this temporary journey of re-adjustment. Volume 1. including being told I have early emphysema. Amazingly. from Dictionary. Chapter 11 is loaded with coping techniques for handling subconscious crave episodes. While at three packs a day I lived with chronic bronchitis and respiratory illness. 2008. Online Etymology Dictionary. Pages 66-73. Learning to say “no” to a use impulse and enduring a couple of minutes of anxiety may be the most important recovery skill of all. practicing and developing patience can aid us in navigating any moments of challenge during the time needed to complete our journey home.The Journey Home When calculating savings don’t forget the price of fuel if travel was necessary to re-supply. nicotine users suffer from the fact that stimulation of dopamine pathways by external chemicals appears to somehow foster impulsiveness. . Retrieved July 27. I can’t begin to guess at my medical savings but clearly they’ve been significant. or fixating on conscious thoughts about using.

"This time I'm quitting forever!" "Forever" is an awfully big psychological bite that can make any task appear larger than life and nearly impossible. Online at Freedom’s support message boards we often see those in early recovery grow impatient. “Why am I still craving nicotine?” “When will my comfort come?” Some endure a substantial degree of self-inflicted anxiety by intense focus upon the question of how long it will take before they are able to go an entire day without once thinking about wanting to put nicotine back into their bloodstream. doesn’t it? Yet the average American consumes 67 pounds of beef annually. instead of looking far up the mountain toward the dangerous climb ahead. It took years to walk this deeply into dependency’s forest. It is wise when climbing the cliffs of a steep mountain to focus on gaining a solid hold upon the rock beneath our hands. instead of repeatedly looking down at the ground far below. some will let go and put their relationship with nicotine behind them far sooner than others. Outlook Report No. It’s been a while since we were in full control.136 Why create needless anxieties by picturing 136 Davis CG et al. Some will cling to varying aspects of it for months. LDPM13502.Recovery is a journey not an event.S. Factors Affecting U. Every recovery is different. Beef Consumption.com 81 We are climbing back into our mind’s driver’s seat and taking over the wheel. Journey patience .” and “One hour” or “One challenge at a time” (when first starting out) are patience focus techniques that break large tasks down into entirely manageable events. USDA.© 2009 FFNicotine. It sort of destroys the image of a nice juicy steak. How many times have we said. Picture yourself sitting down at the dinner table and having to eat 67 pounds of beef. Have patience! The next few minutes are all that are within our immediate control. Find contentment in today’s freedom and healing. Is it realistic to think we can walk out overnight? With patience that day will arrive! “Big bite” anxieties occur when we perceive that the task before us is bigger than our ability to navigate or endure it. October 2005. The decisions made during those minutes are ours to command.com & WhyQuit. or in some even longer. but with greater variation from person to person as to the time need for the fracture to fully mend. After only a few weeks we see them pose such concerns as. It is wise to focus on where we’ll next place our foot. In regard to the psychological aspects of recovery. Imagine the anxieties associated with thinking we need to eat a large portion of a cow. I like to think of it in terms of the time needed to heal a broken bone. “One day at a time” is a patience development skill that once mastered causes “big bite” anxieties to evaporate.” “Baby steps. Why intentionally foster anxieties about the length of recovery or the risks associated with failure? “One day at a time. .

our greatest hurdle of all can be moving beyond the influence of memories of the “aaah” side of our world of “nicotine normal. anger and irritability. while ensuring that replenishment doesn’t deliver so much nicotine that we begin to sense nausea. fears and anxieties were either totally unnecessary or were over little or nothing at all. "How many of you deeply and honestly believe that you can go one hour without smoking nicotine?" Every hand goes up. ever smoke another cigarette for the rest of your life.82 Freedom from Nicotine . It is a daily battle of trying to avoid the inevitable letdown associated with constantly declining reserves. When it comes to recovery. we bounce between slowly escalating anxieties and stimulated "aaah" sensations. often the . Soon the hours will build into an entire day! How does a person recover from a broken bone or nicotine addiction? By allowing oneself to heal. For we nicotine addicts it's about daily survival inside our chemically induced world of "nicotine normal. How many of you deeply and honestly believe that you'll never." It’s a world where.” Nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life creates an endless struggle to remain in that energized “aaah” zone of comfort. I’d reach for that next fix instead. safe and diminishing anxieties fostered by constantly falling levels of the addictive drug within our bloodstream and brain. Throughout our lives we've experienced worry. I then ask. I ask everyone to look around and to never forget what he or she is seeing. like some ping-pong ball." Pack a Positive Attitude Can we make ourselves miserable on purpose? No doubt about it.The Journey Home ourselves sitting down and needing to eat the 5.000 pounds of beef that the average American consumes during their life? I start each seminar with the same two questions. just one hour or challenge at a time. Why adopt a recovery philosophy that we ourselves don't believe we will succeed in? We already have a building block in which we deeply believe. Although I often dreamed about freedom." Usually not one hand goes up. only to find out later that our worries. just "one day at a time. Addiction isn't about intoxication but about feeling normal. "I need an honest show of hands. My single greatest source of self-inflicted anxiety was from failing to confront my addiction. fear.

.com 83 earliest warning sign of overdose." It’s not an adventure. it senses a threat and deploys fear. Although staying addicted is work.” not recovering “you. Although reason may appear to lack the ability to prevail against emotion and conditioning.” Incapable of reason. What drives relapse is the conscious mind allowing its resolve and commitment to slowly get chipped away by anxiety driven doubts and fears. to reassure our subconscious compulsive mind that there is absolutely nothing to fear. only our conscious mind can move the body parts needed to reintroduce nicotine into our bloodstream. it has something they don’t. Why? Because we feel that we have to. The brain’s seat of rational and conscious thought. Insula driven anxieties will begin arriving if we postpone replenishment for too long so we seek the path of least resistance.recovery . and to reassure ourselves that coming home is good not bad. is pulling against our impulsive and primitive inner limbic mind as it attempts to get us to obey what it sees as a survival instinct.© 2009 FFNicotine. and bring more nicotine into our body. reason and desire scream that recovery is the only possible solution. What does all this have to do with attitude? Everything. our deep subconscious conditioning and hijacked reward pathways (the mind’s priorities teacher) see an end to "nicotine normal" as akin to starving ourselves to death. It can leave us feeling tired and drained yet anxious. Unless dreaming or sleepwalking. It’s a job. Even though logic. Adding self-induced tensions and anxieties to the recovery experience can make it seem overwhelming. the quickest possible solution: stimulation “Yes. Eventually.is seen by the primitive mind as a threat to survival.” anxiety “No. But the primitive impulsive subconscious mind sees nicotine cessation as quitting “you. anger. Crave episodes and emotion do not cause relapse.com & WhyQuit. If they did. anxiety. intelligence! We can we use intelligence to destroy fear. our frontal lobe. and dependency conditioning in a struggle to keep maintenance of “nicotine normal” our number one priority. But the conscious mind is the gatekeeper.” Welcome to the addict's world of "nicotine normal. the conscious mind joins the primitive mind in heaping layer upon layer of anxiety icing on recovery’s cake. The answer seems simple. the only alterative . Attitude can escalate our anxieties and fears or serve as a calming influence that relaxes and provides reassurance. The stage is set for a tug-o-war. An endless cycle of fight or flight pathway stimulation whips every nervous system nerve cell like some tired horse. Just use more nicotine and administer another beating. few of earth's hundreds of millions of comfortable ex-users would ever have broken free and stayed free.

greet and extinguish nicotine use conditioning? What if we know that each . Evaluate negative thoughts that attempt to penetrate and infect your positive recovery outlook. what if we know for certain that when a shock comes that it will always be tolerable. Reflect upon how repeatedly telling ourselves that recovery "is too hard. what will leaving our finger in the socket all day do to our nerves? Will it keep us on edge? Will the constant sense of anticipation breed anxiety that has us lashing-out against anyone walking into the room? Will we feel like crying? Will our worry and concern keep us from concentrating on other things? Will it wear us down and possibly drain our spirit? Conversely. cut us. If I had been a skilled swimmer would I have panicked? Of course I wouldn’t. Now picture all of your subconscious nicotine feeding cues being wired directly into the lamp's on-off switch. Picture yourself intentionally sticking your finger into the bulb socket and leaving it there. and that soon the sometimes deep waters of recovery will no longer produce panic. If we know that we are going to encounter a nicotine use cue that will trigger an anxiety packed crave episode. but we don't know when it will next occur. make us ill or kill us? What if we know that the crave episode will not last longer than three minutes? What if we understand and appreciate that the only way to reclaim all aspects of life is to meet. For far too many. break our bones. worry. anxiety and panic. Yes. It doesn’t need to be nearly as difficult as our instincts are inclined to make it. why not allow our dreams to feel the influence of celebrating each challenge overcome and moment of continuing freedom! Picture a plugged-in lamp but without a light bulb and with the switch turned off. there may be a few big waves along the way. For if we learn to do so. The more knowledgeable and skilled we become the greater our chances of completing this swim called recovery.” “endless” or “near impossible” can eat away at our dreams and desires to live nicotine free. this gut instinct is correct and bad news truly is just around the corner.The Journey Home Remember when we were first learning to swim and found ourselves in water over our head? Did you panic? I did. almost half of all smokers are failing to learn to navigate recovery’s waters before their addiction costs them their lives. Many of us genuinely believe that our time is running out and that disaster is about to strike. But that doesn't mean we should fear their arrival or that we cannot relax and do the backstroke until they are encountered. Put each under honesty’s microscope. Others think that plenty of time remains and many will remain in bondage until being forced to exchange their “there is plenty of time left” rationalization for the “it’s too late” rationalization. Reflect on how a positive can-do attitude can reduce self-inflicted stress. Instead. make us bleed. But sadly.84 Freedom from Nicotine . that no crave episode will ever harm us. It’s my hope that you will learn to swim. we may find recovery to be the most amazing period of self-discovery we’ve ever experienced.

should we be surprised when our emotions make us feel that it is? Why feed our mind failure? Why fear the swim and worry needlessly when some of us are not even in the water yet? Why assist our impulsive mind in breeding negative and powerful anxieties? Abandon negativism when it appears. shorter or less real than mine. and tranquil inner calmness that resided inside our mind prior to nicotine taking control. confidence. destroy fears. we were equals in results.com & WhyQuit. Embrace recovery as a wonderful journey back to the rich. if we both remain 100% free tomorrow. this adventure as a beginning. your day’s worth of freedom will have been no longer. Fight back with reason. and diminish anxieties. See the cup as full not empty. . deep. why not focus on learning to relax more during the massive amount of time that the switch is actually off? Why not take your finger out of the socket? If we keep feeding ourselves the thought that recovery is too hard. Replace it with total confidence that we can navigate any three-minute crave episode. with more free time to spend it. Only action. not thought. logic and dreams. marvel in the glory of taking back your mind and life! Know How to Measure Victory Today vs. extra money in your pockets. understanding. Picture your brain and tissues healing. We both achieved full and complete victory today.© 2009 FFNicotine. not some addictive chemical. certainty. if a new ex-user. that you will control your remaining time on earth.” Allow yourself to grow stronger. your day likely brought you significantly greater recovery challenge than mine. can we allow our thinking to become so infected by fear and anxiety that it becomes the instrument of our defeat? Instead of intensely focusing upon any anxiety discomfort that we feel once the light switch is turned on and the crave episode arrives. not weaker. Why allow a negative attitude to breed thoughts that can culminate in relapse? Instead. Replace it with the beauty of again seeing what life is like with us in the driver’s seat. Although I’ve remained 100% nicotine-free for nearly a decade. Look forward with confidence while knowing that nothing of value is being left behind. that nicotine will no longer define who you are. We will have been equals in remaining just one hit of nicotine away from relapse. Still. When our heads hit our pillows. Let honesty silence addiction chatter. not “the end. planning and attitude make the time and distance between challenges more relaxed? Alternatively. Replace it with the assurance that many subconscious nicotine use cues are extinguished after a single encounter. can rob us of victory.We’ve already reviewed “One Day at a Time” as a patience development skill but it can also serve as a yardstick and means for measuring full and complete victory. forever .com 85 nicotine use cue extinguished will reward us with the return of another aspect of our life? Can honesty.

Take it One Day at a Time. .” then on which day do allow ourselves to celebrate? Why wait until we are dead to celebrate? Who is coming to that party? Instead. 1985. If we only see victory in terms of “quitting forever. How do we build a wall? We build it one brick at a time. today! The fact is that. Going the distance in life is normal. Every few years they’ll take a few steps. receive a new baby after one month of pregnancy. As Joel notes. or cook a delicious holiday dinner in a few short minutes. can be done as well or better without it. When we take our recovery just one day at a time. One Day at a Time .The Journey Home Many fail at breaking free because they sell themselves on the lie that the mountain is just too big to climb. When we first end nicotine use our brain’s hijacked priorities teacher (our dopamine pathways).”137 “One day at a time” is a focus skill. all of our worry and concern about tomorrow is wasted emotion. Swimming half way across the river and stopping is not. Imagine getting half the meal cooked and then fleeing the kitchen. Forget about tomorrow. J. WhyQuit. The reason that it is so often quoted is that it is universally applicable to almost any traumatic situation. we’ll be forced to realize that our thoughts of what life would be like as an 137 Spitzer.86 Freedom from Nicotine . consider adopting a recovery philosophy that celebrates each and every day that we remain free and healing. have us convinced that nicotine is central to our ability to function. stop and decide that it’s still too big. Joel’s Library. Think about the needless anxieties and postponed satisfactions of those who insist that victory can only occur if they stop using nicotine for the rest of their lives.As Joel notes in his article entitled “One Day at a Time. if we don’t stay free today. Why not take pride in every brick that’s laid? Managing impatience can be as simple as making the task smaller and savoring victory sooner. It allows us to declare total victory within 24 hours. it isn’t long before we will have reclaimed from our addiction so many aspects of our lives that we’ll begin to consider the possibility that everything we did while nicotine’s slave. while focusing on tomorrow’s objectives tomorrow. It encourages abandonment of all victory standards that fail to permit celebration today. We can’t build a beautiful wall with just one brick.” “this concept is taught by almost all programs which are devoted to dealing with substance abuse or emotional conflict of any kind. Still. it doesn't stop them from trying.com. Why not end nicotine use for just one day. or building half a wall and walking away. obtain a college degree with just one class. and that life without it will be horrible.

Pages 155-162. which might reflect a blend of frustrations. Why? How much would we be willing to pay for an insurance policy that would guarantee that we'd never relapse and that we'd remain nicotine-free for the remainder of our lives? Sorry but there is no way on earth to 100% guarantee that a former nicotine addict will not ingest that one hit of nicotine that leads to full-blown relapse. the feelings of bondage. Volume 317(5835). Repression and the inaccessibility of affective memories. 2007. anxiety and hurt of all our yesterdays would be a heavy burden to bear. may prove extremely beneficial to you later. Our 138 Davis PJ. in earning each daily victory. anxieties. It is wise to write down and make a record of both our reasons for wanting to break nicotine’s grip upon us. Pages 215-219. January 1987. why should we want to recall the daily emotions associated with being an actively feeding drug addict.” Once residing here on “Easy Street. that there is life afterwards and that “it is a cleaner. anger. calmer. Joel cautions us not to abandon it. the worries about our health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Regardless of our emotions or the situation. jotting down a few calendar notes or diary entries about the challenges overcome.138 It makes sense that the mind should remember and replay the good times while forgetting the bad. A growing sense of complacency could also leave us toying with temptation in social situations. We’ve all heard that "those who forget the past are destined to repeat it. most importantly.com & WhyQuit. we can take steps to enhance our chances of staying free. fuller and. Science July 13. Create Relapse Insurance While “one day at a time” is an excellent victory yardstick. reflect upon the one guiding principle that made breaking free possible. and what the first two weeks of recovery were like. However. It may feel like our “one day at a time” recovery philosophy has done its job and outlived its usefulness. crave episodes. a principle that if followed guarantees continuing freedom … no nicotine today. a healthier life. now and then ex-users have horrible days too. also see Depue BE. Why should we want to vividly recall the first few days of recovery. in all of its fullblown glory. We tend to repress and inhibit negative emotional memories and emotional experiences in general. Volume 52(1). We can carry our reasons list with us and read it during challenges." It’s hard to imagine a situation where it rings truer than when applied to drug relapse. et al.” occasional thoughts of wanting to use nicotine may become so brief and mild that they seem almost laughable. et al. He warns that like never-users.© 2009 FFNicotine. including the gift of memory. Prefrontal regions orchestrate suppression of emotional memories via a two-phase process.com 87 ex-user were wrong. including possibilities of significant stress at home or work. . bargaining and sadness? Going back a bit further. when confronted by serious temptation to introduce nicotine into the bloodstream. and the recurring wish to break free. A vivid picture of all the pain.

that it left very little impression. Between months one and three it isn’t unusual to hit a period where recovery seems to have reached a plateau. They can provide support and perspective during challenge.The Journey Home record of the first two weeks of recovery may be as simple as a few notes on a calendar. stupid. some have continued to believe in a few of their old nicotine use rationalizations. The way to stay free isn't by forgetting what it was like to live life as a nicotine addict or the challenges of early recovery but by remembering them so as to never have to repeat them. that is a promise. We may feel stuck in conscious thought fixation. Imagine being able to then and there look back and read our own progress notes of what each day was like. Although at times nearly impossible to see.yuku. Try to get them to put a date on it. try to get them to be accurate in dating and describing it. Ask ex-users how long it has been since their last significant challenge.Ex-users can serve as an experienced source of support. crazy” or insane.139 As such. make a few progress notes. Ask them how long the challenge lasted and what it felt like. A word of caution. As your journey continues. Know Where to Refuel Challenge and time can erode and wear-down dreams and desires but opportunities abound to reinvigorate our recovery and add wind beneath our wings.88 Freedom from Nicotine .com/topic/11406. about ex-users. J. they may look back at breaking free as having been common sense. 139 Spitzer. Imagination is the only limit in identifying sources of motivation and support. Give yourself a little relapse insurance. Their memories of the challenges of early recovery have likely been suppressed.ffn. How intense was it? Then ask them about the time before that. expensive. no big deal. Most ex-users we know already reside here on Easy Street. a pad or an e-mail that we send to ourselves. progress lulls or complacency. a non-event or easy. Others will look back upon their years of nicotine use as having been “vile. The mind suppresses negatives and forgets. http://www. our record can provide us with an accurate perspective of how far we’ve come and can help calm any concerns that recovery’s final leg isn’t moving fast enough. “I don't know if I have another quit in me”. disgusting. Permanently preserve and pack core your recovery motivations and a bit of what life in bondage was like. . the rose bud is still opening. though. 2002. Ex-users . Ink on paper or words typed into a computer do not. While most will have forgotten the bad. wondering if it’s going to remain this way for good. where we no longer sense improvement. Doing so has likely kept associated “aaah” sensation memories teasingly alive. A few follow-up questions and I think you’ll discover that the event was really a non-event. if the rose bud has stopped opening. Again. Like having a medical chart during a hospital stay. March 3.

com & WhyQuit. Carefully watch their gestures and posture. July 4. keep in mind that they are not replenishing to tease you. Reflect upon the honesty of each.000 plastic-like cellulose acetate fibers. have they conditioned their subconscious to expect nicotine replenishment when driving? Could it be that traffic anxieties are turning their body fluids more acidic.com 89 Ask what they like most about being free.com. Watch that first deep puff. How did it change their life? Did their success influence others still using? Ask what they think about while watching others use nicotine. They do so because they must. Watch it arrive in their brain within 10 seconds. . Watch them at the store counter when re-supplying. Notice the smokers standing around outside of buildings in the cold. wind or rain. Sometimes we are able to identify them by smell even before seeing them light up. While doing so. Reflect on how this ex-user succeeded even though they refused to let go of this rationalization. If already in recovery yourself. Are they buying a one-day supply or more? Are you witnessing a daily event in their life? Reflect upon their choices. Current-users . It’s almost as if they want all who see them to believe that the only reason they are outside is to enjoy the wonderful health benefits of the great outdoors. heat.© 2009 FFNicotine. once replenishment is complete?140 Society is increasingly treating those of us still in bondage us as social outcasts. What do they miss most? Try to identify any lingering romantic fixations. If a smoker. WhyQuit. But smoke’s toxic cloud betrays us. what might have motivated this nicotine feeding? Like Pavlov’s dogs. night.Carefully watching users can be motivational. 2002. Imagine life inside their mind if they had. what are the odds that this person might be envious of you? According to a 2007 140 Polito JR. Watch for windows rolled down in surrounding vehicles if you find yourself suddenly stopped in traffic. Cigarette Butts. Think about how it may place them at greater risk for relapse. Where does their non-biodegradable cigarette butt go. Watch their arm extend out of the vehicle’s window to try and keep toxins from burning their eyes. causing more rapid depletion of reserves of the alkaloid nicotine? It’s the same acidalkaloid interaction seen during anger or when consuming alcohol. with its bundle of 12.

In fact it’s nearly impossible to locate any dependent user who awoke one day and said. and we didn’t want to remind you and make you keep thinking about smoking. we’ll likely have family. Their encouragement and delight was uplifting but then it suddenly ended. if willing to share our decision. I had leaned upon them far too much for encouragement. 74% of those polled said they would like to give up smoking and 67% consider themselves addicted. They wear their chemical addiction. or to make their praise or comments a crutch. to lean on them. Both were mistakes.141 The beauty of using unsuspecting current-users to recharge our motivational batteries is that they won’t disappoint us. “Dad. motivation and my drug.” My girls taught their dad that it isn’t fair to expect someone who has never been chemically addicted to appreciate the recovery process. or it may be more appropriate to say that it wears them. None awoke this morning and decided to put it on. See their support as dessert. never the main meal.S. Gallup. They would walk 10-15 feet in front or behind me to avoid my smoke. Invite never-users to be part of your support team but be sure to educate them. smokers. we didn’t want to bring it up anymore because we thought that you’d already quit. They had constantly been on my back about stopping.com . 2008. Smoking Rate Still Coming Down. Their simple words of praise can inspire and make us look forward to more of the same. Let them know that helping you stay focused for the next 90 days would be fantastic but don’t count on them being there. July 24. mistakes that left me feeling deprived of support. Why had they abandoned me? After relapsing I confronted them.S. My daughters were both excited the first couple of days during the attempt prior to my final recovery effort. U. friends and possibly co-workers offering support and encouragement.Store tobacco marketing becomes sadly laughable to the 141 Saad. L. But be extremely careful not to develop support expectations of them. “Hey! Today I’m going to get hooked on nicotine!” Never-users . Industry marketing .90 Freedom from Nicotine . http://gallop.The Journey Home Gallop Poll of U.When first starting out. but now I felt more abandoned by their lack of support than I did when they wouldn’t walk with me. I had also made their desire that I stop one of my core motivations.

it’s a multi-purpose facade through which educated eyes can easily see. It is not only flexed here but making significant campaign contributions inside our legislature. window signs.com 91 trained eye. The pacifying part is to provide justification to dependency-ignorant users as to why they’ve returned to purchase more. tied to lamp posts. Look closely. The growth portion of its aim is to tease. which is because we must. for adventure. cool.© 2009 FFNicotine. inflame and contribute to relapse. it all but wraps itself around them while trying to purchase fuel. signs on top of gas pumps. to be true. When are our conscious and subconscious minds first assaulted by use invitations? Are there roadside signs. door signs. What subliminal message does each ad or display attempt to pound into the subconscious mind? Where does the “responsible” nicotine merchant provide notice that this chemical may be more addictive and harder to beat than heroin or cocaine. pleasure. because mounting nicotine depletion anxieties begin to hurt when we don’t. entice and invite youth experimentation. signs surrounding us as we make our purchase. Think like a tobacco company. stir. or on the door as we exit? . our gateway to friendship. it shouts that we stand at that counter for every reason except the truth. Look closely.com & WhyQuit. rebellion or unbelievable prices. yet not require equally prominent display of the truth? What tobacco company won the bidding war at this location? Look at row after row of the same packs or cartons. Its aim is to penetrate. The winner’s products are usually the ones on top and most visible. exterior building wall signs. And then there are those seeking freedom. It not only proclaims why they shouldn’t. or that it may only take smoking nicotine once or twice to hook us for life? Feel the industry’s economic muscle. signs hanging above candy racks. Why would society and its laws allow the nicotine addiction industry to suggest all these reasons for using. Extremely effective. Flavor. food or medicine.

outdoor sporting events. on beaches. Convenience Stores . use it as another motivation for staying free. that it is what “real” grown-ups do. March 18. in hotel rooms.The Journey Home What is the real purpose of the large yellow “We Card” or other similar sign at the checkout counter announcing that the store requires age identification before selling tobacco? Once secret industry documents suggest that the carding sign’s primary purpose is to clobber neighborhood youth with the ongoing tease that tobacco use is a sign of adulthood. Many parents are increasingly confronted with the choice of buying food for their children or nicotine for their addiction.92 Freedom from Nicotine . turn the page. Science is awakening to the realization that there may not be a living cell in the entire human body that isn’t somehow touched by tobacco toxins. 2005. In case you haven’t noticed.143 Instead see a vast array of different doses of nicotine. You’re looking at bait and it works. visitation and child abuse determinations. and even in company or government owned vehicles. J. cans. We’ve now seen proposed legislation attempt to ban smoking in all vehicles transporting a child and increasingly it is factoring into family court child custody. cartons. 143 Polito. Instead of being used by it. Social controls . after affording them a period of time to break-free. WhyQuit. engineered to penetrate human tissues at varying rates of speed.com. We’re seeing stories of smoking being banned on all hospital property. a rite of passage. or otherwise tune out? The news stories that once fed our anxieties and creative use rationalizations now offer us a potential source of motivation to help keep us clean and free. 2006. February 7. pouches and tubes. playgrounds.How did you react to anti-smoking news stories or to stories about new tobacco health concerns? Did you instantly change the channel. tins. the fancy packaging and the almost 700 documented tobacco flavor additives. WhyQuit. there is a movement sweeping the globe as workers and nonsmokers reclaim their indoor air. in parks. boxes. Strip away the rainbow of colors.Nicotine Addiction Central. They also face tobacco tax increases by governments that place coercion and force above 142 Polito. Fuel and living costs are now rising faster than income. bags. We’re now watching employers not only discriminate in refusing to hire tobacco users but some actually firing employees testing positive for nicotine. Carcinogens and Chemicals. Cigarette Additives. . Collectively they ooze the impression that users can’t wait to awaken each day so we can run down to the store and try a new flavor.142 Look at the hundreds of brightly colored packs.com. Turn store marketing on its head. J.

You! . this journey is packed with emotion and we need to anticipate significant memory suppression.com & WhyQuit. Again. consider dropping by your local library as most now offer free Internet access. Yes. and 3. dip or chew? Who will share in our recovery celebrations? Internet refueling . where can we turn for support when our world thinks that we don’t smoke. If you are able to go online I do hope you’ll visit www. our family and friends either never knew we were hooked.com. long ago. we can now not only celebrate self-honesty but also the tremendous relief and joy of at last being honest with those we love. Personally I find it offensive that “most” politicians seem to either accept tobacco industry campaign contributions or see those still enslaved as a dependable source of tax revenue. Aside from all the lies each of us told ourselves to rationalize that next mandatory feeding. a keyboard and mouse will allow you to explore a vast array of empowering recovery tools. If a recovering ex-closet-user. the closet user lives and breathes the need to constantly deceive the world around them. there is hopefully a library staff member who delights in teaching library patrons how to explore the Internet and print their discoveries. the free forum I founded in July 1999. Your reasons for wanting to be free. If a closet ex-user. Having lived in near constant fear of being exposed. whether or not we at last come clean and share our secret. These sources are available to us whether our nicotine use was heavy or light. Even if we have never touched a computer in our entire life. Accurate memories of early recovery challenges that will allow you to quickly see how far you’ve come.If you don’t own a computer or are not online.WhyQuit. news of the latest assault upon them no longer need be an assault upon us too.© 2009 FFNicotine.Think about the closet nicotine addict.Clearly. the emotional rewards of no longer living a lie can themselves be extremely supportive. Once online. . or were told that we successfully broke free long.com 93 education and support. there are some who seem to understand and want to help but they are far too few. Whether we accept or deplore the way society treats those still in bondage. If a secret user. long or short. out in full view for the world to see or the best kept secret on earth. your most dependable source of support is you! Your three most valuable motivational assets will be: 1. Finding quality ways to preserve these memories and having them available during any significant challenge is like owning the finest battery re-charger the world has ever known. Your memories of life as an actively feeding nicotine addict. 2. Closet users .

sells nothing. The site is totally free. the center column contains links to educational materials and the right column is the gateway to free online support.94 Freedom from Nicotine . The left column contains links to motivational articles.com! As this partial screen shot shows. declines donations and is staffed entirely by volunteers. .The Journey Home Welcome to WhyQuit. WhyQuit’s home page is broken down into three categories.

Those applying for membership must certify that they stopped cold turkey without use of any product or procedure. The policy encourages members to take recovery seriously. Roughly one-quarter of smokers are claimed by their addiction during middle age. that they've remained 100% nicotine free for a minimum of 72 hours. It must. While many choose not to join they still often feel like part of the family and gain the same insights and master the same lessons as those who actively participate. including celebration of birthdays. and makes sure that the forum’s seasoned volunteer educators are not overwhelmed. The forum’s posting rules prohibit mention of any . Freedom functions as a virtual classroom with enormous windows where there are more students outside than in. The center education column is home to all of Joel’s materials and to some of my articles. Here. the forum takes its mission seriously. We discovered very early that a forum’s ability to support and sustain recovery in a purely pep-rally type environment is poor. more than 100 short articles on nearly every recovery topic imaginable. Maintaining positive control over the number of admissions ensures a classroom type learning experience. While the initial excitement of interacting with other ex-users is often tremendous. You’ll also find links to his free electronic e-book "Never Take Another Puff" and his 64 video counseling lessons (most formatted as audio files for listening as well). The right column provides support links and transports visitors to “Freedom. anniversaries or holidays. With millions of tobacco related deaths annually. Clearly.© 2009 FFNicotine. applicants must agree to abide by Freedom’s relapse policy. As it does.com 95 WhyQuit’s motivation column includes stories of the ordeals endured by young tobacco victims and their families. the forum’s value and effectiveness in supporting successful recovery diminishes. and although it may sound harsh. Its objective is simple: aid visitors in remaining nicotine-free today. Freedom isn’t a forum to join if seeking to socialize or make new friends. Clearly. It does so in an attempt to get visitors to appreciate that predicting whom tobacco will harm and at what age is like playing Russian roulette. Visitors to Freedom discover that they do not need to join in order to read any of the materials available there. One final point deserves mention. There must be at least one place on planet earth where nicotine has no voice. General socialization is not permitted. The forum limits the number of new members admitted to the group each day to just a handful.com & WhyQuit. prevents chaos. Here you’ll find every lesson shared in Joel’s book. education always comes first. it eventually begins to wane. Every message posted at Freedom must relate to recovery.5 years early. WhyQuit intentionally shares stories about the youngest of the young. With no education to fall back upon.” the Internet’s most serious and focused peer support group. each an average of 22. group relapse rates were horrible. It states that should any member relapse that they will permanently lose message board posting privileges.

including this book. As such. online users already have access to the free PDF version and any reference to the printed version will be deleted. the purchase price and the day we stopped). It’s to stay sufficiently motivated to allow the time needed for recovery. The only limit to identifying additional ways of keeping our recovery dreams fueled and vibrant is the limits of our imagination. including links to where each lesson is already shared at WhyQuit or Freedom. most will calculate the number of days. our freedom and healing will continue so long as we abide in one guiding principle … no nicotine today! .The Journey Home commercially sold book. But whether today is good or bad. Our objective is simple. product. they’re a fun way of tracking. Links to free meters can be found at both WhyQuit and Freedom. the amount of money we’ve saved. The forum was built around the concept that every recovery lesson is made freely available to all without cost or obligation. whether we feel motivated or not. once we type in our tobacco use history (how often we smoked. diet or procedure. the published version of this book may never be referenced or mentioned. While its publication is an attempt to connect with the more than 99% of nicotine users who have never heard of WhyQuit. and if a smoker the total number of cigarettes we have not smoked and either the amount of life expectancy that we have so far reclaimed or the amount of time not spent smoking. Freedom. Support limits – The above recovery support suggestions will hopefully stir your thinking.96 Freedom from Nicotine . the forum will not permit any suggestion that any reader need spend any money or make any purchase in order to succeed. months and years we’ve remained smoke-free. marking and measuring our journey home. Like a car’s odometer. or designed for use while online. These are small computer programs that are either downloaded to and installed on our computer. In either case. Most meters allow us to copy their calculations to our computer’s clipboard for transporting and pasting into e-mails. documents created with our word processing program or for sharing on Internet message boards. While free to share particular lessons. Joel Spitzer or the Law of Addiction. Recovery meters – WhyQuit and Freedom offer visitors links to free stop smoking meters.

we grew accustomed to playing mind games with our addiction. Whether located in a pocket of your clothing hanging in your closet. Feeling a need to tempt and toy with impulsiveness in order to prove conscious strength reflects abandonment of intelligence. The smart move is to destroy all remaining nicotine. Don’t forget to empty the ashtray in the garage. destroy it.com 97 Destroy All Remaining Nicotine As nicotine addicts. to check for cigarettes that may have fallen under furniture. hidden in the yard. Keeping nicotine in your life is contrary to learning to live life without it. in a desk drawer at work. One such game is to keep nicotine on hand after we stop for the purported purpose of proving we are stronger than our addiction or just in case we need it. but not one that saves. Reaching for that one hit of nicotine will cause us to trade places with our arrested . Our weapon is our intelligence.com & WhyQuit. or in a vehicle. However this practice often contributes to relapse. Some carry their nicotine delivery devices with them while others knowingly keep a stash within quick and easy reach. It is a straight jacket. in your other purse. all right. Why carry a gun while waiting on the urge to use it? We’ll never be stronger than nicotine but then we don’t need to be. beneath sofa or chair cushions or under the car seat. Imagine someone on suicide watch carrying a loaded gun. If we truly wish to reclaim our life then why toy with quick access to nicotine as though it is some life jacket? It’s a jacket.© 2009 FFNicotine. and throw out all old nicotine replacement products in the bedroom or bathroom.

” 1988. play at being smart! Crush. do it by admitting you can function without having cigarettes as a worthless and dangerous crutch. will be stronger than you again.The Journey Home dependency. A bit of delay may be all that’s needed to sense anxieties begin to diminish and destroy another nicotine use association. Cigarettes were stronger than you before.98 Freedom from Nicotine . One puff today will lead to the same tragic results as it would have the day you quit.com. “Don't ever forget how cigarettes once controlled your behaviors and beliefs. If you want to show you are now in control. one more piece of the puzzle is ours.WhyQuit. we’re coming home! 144 Spitzer. throw-out or flush all remaining nicotine. J. “I'm going to have to carry cigarettes with me at all times for me to quit smoking. cigars. Mind games involving conscious temptation are within our ability to control. That was not an irrational fear. It simply means that you will learn to adapt to those situations more quickly than those who do not face them. If you want to play mind games. You were literally afraid that one puff could put you back. Yes. www.” writes Joel. again landing us behind bars. that. It’s an excellent means of proclaiming that the time for games is over. .”144 You’ll do just fine even if your employment requires you to be near or handle nicotine products. “When you quit smoking you admitted cigarettes controlled you. dip. Throwing out all sources of nicotine buys you a few minutes of time to think about what you are about to do as you consider heading to the store to buy a new supply. Cue triggered crave episodes peak within a couple of minutes. Joel’s Library. and. or if you live with someone who insists upon leaving their cigarettes. chew or NRT lying around. if given the chance. at last.

et al. a thousand never enough. Addictive Behaviors. the thousands upon thousands that would follow. Chapter 11 provides insights in 145 Brandon. Rather. “Don't say that we don’t want one when we do. It’s fantasy versus reality. fiction versus truth. because we do. Early Alcohol Use A 1990 study found that nearly half who relapsed to smoking (47%) consumed alcohol prior to doing so. just once” is a relapse tease often entertained by the uneducated mind. Postcessation cigarette use: the process of relapse.© 2009 FFNicotine. As Joel says. Volume . What we don’t want and don’t recognize are the thousands upon thousands of others that come with it. Early alcohol use is clearly the most avoidable relapse risk of all. It also found that another 5% had been under the influence of “recreational” drugs. 1990. Just Once It’s a basic tenant of drug addiction that “one is too many.com & WhyQuit.com Chapter 6 99 Preparing for Common Hazards and Pitfalls Just One. TH.” Yet fixating upon the thought of “just one. It isn’t fair either to say that we don’t really want one. acknowledge the desire but then ask yourself. 145 Using an inhibition diminishing substance while in the midst of physical withdrawal is far too often a catalyst for relapse. So why torment yourself with such an extremely destructive rationalization? When “just one” or “just once” enters your mind try to picture all of them. do I want all the others that go with it?” According to the “Law of Addiction” we can’t have just one.

Sept-Oct. 2006. as reviewed in Chapter 2. hearing perks up and stored fats and sugars are pumped into our bloodstream to provide an instant source of energy. which produces a sedating effect147 while impairing muscle (motor) control. Nicotine stimulates the body’s central nervous system while alcohol depresses it. alcohol use causes our urine to turn more acidic.The Journey Home how to confront and extinguish alcohol related nicotine use cues once peak withdrawal has passed. in-born “fight or flight” neuro-chemical response is fooled into believing that danger is present and begins to stimulate an alcohol sedated body. stimulating adrenaline and noradrenaline release. Our pupils dilate. Pages 339-345. “Bartender. Effect of transdermal nicotine replacement on alcohol responses and alcohol self-administration. 148 Hanchar HJ. The more we drink. Volume 42(5). thus more rapidly drawing out and depleting reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. Not only are we starting to feel tipsy. Kellar. February 2008. GABA production is stimulated and we soon begin noticing gradual sedation and anesthesia type effects. 146 Tizabi Y.DrugAbuse. Digestion is shut down so that extra blood can be diverted to our muscles.There are a number of nicotine/alcohol interactions including the combined effects (or synergy) of both alcohol and nicotine stimulating our brain dopamine pathways. focus improves. et al. Our heart pounds faster and our breathing rate increases. et al. the more sedated our nervous system becomes. Biochemical Pharmacology. A third interaction may leave us feeling intoxicated sooner.149 This is why alcohol induced feelings of becoming sedated or even sleepy can be diminished by stimulating the body with nicotine. Addicted to Nicotine. The more we drink. Volume 8(3).100 Freedom from Nicotine . Adrenaline. our newfound sense of alertness instead emboldens us ask for another round. Why ex-users may feel alcohol effects sooner . article updated May 19. Neuropharmacology and Biology of Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors. Alcohol and Alcoholism. noradrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream. 147 Koob GF.146 Additionally.gov. Pages 189-200. An alcohol-depressed nervous system has just experienced some degree of stimulation. 150 McKee SA. Just one powerful hit of nicotine and in addition to an exaggerated dopamine “aaah” our automatic. October 2004. . March 2005. Combined effects of systemic alcohol and nicotine on dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell.150 When drinking alcohol. Alcohol-induced motor impairment caused by increased extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptor activity. I’m ready for another drink!” 15(2). Psychopharmacology (Berlin). Pages 1515-1525. Alcohol stimulates GABA production (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Volume 196(2). 149 Kenneth J. Page 413-416. our nicotine reserves are now declining faster than normal. Nature Neuroscience.148 Nicotine stimulates fight or flight pathways. the more acidic our urine becomes and the quicker our kidneys eliminate the alkaloid nicotine from our bloodstream. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Volume 68(8). Pages 105-114. KJ. www. A role for GABA mechanisms in the motivational effects of alcohol. We’re far too vulnerable during withdrawal to chance using a substance that relaxes resolve or inhibits judgment. 2007. No saber tooth tiger to fight or flee.

Alcoholism and smoking. Volume 82(2). What should we do if alcohol use and its inhibition diminishing effects seem to be key factors in preventing us from breaking nicotine’s grip upon our mind and life? If unable to drink in a controlled manner or if drinking is adversely affecting our life.153 The basic insights and skills needed to arrest any chemical dependency are amazingly similar. 2006.”154 Unfortunately. Pages 130-135. 2006 Volume 29(3). WhyQuit.” says Joel. October 2005. et al. Because we don’t need to drink as much to feel the same effects it’s less expensive being an ex-user. they are in effect problem drinkers.Amazingly. with an increasingly sedated body gradually becoming less responsive to nicotine-induced stimulation. work. Research shows that while those with alcohol problems appear to make fewer smoking cessation attempts. 153 Gulliver SB. Smoking cessation and alcohol abstinence: what do the data tell us? Alcohol Research & Health. Do smokers with alcohol problems have more difficulty quitting? Drug and Alcohol Dependence. What significance does this have to a recovering addict? It may mean that without nicotine periodically slapping you awake that you may feel alcohol’s effects sooner or after fewer drinks. Can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol? Joel’s Library. “Many if not most alcohol recovery programs will inadvertently or very purposely push a new ex-smoker entering the program to smoke. As Joel sees it. you may be dealing with problem drinking or even alcoholism. The solution can be as simple as learning to drink a bit more slowly. 151 DiFranza JR. et al. 152 Spitzer. have you conditioned your mind to use and expect alcohol too often or too much? Even social drinkers need to take extreme care when attempting to extinguish alcohol related nicotine use cues. Recovering alcoholics schooled by quality treatment programs are already skilled in their use. they are “as able to quit on a given attempt as smokers with no problems. for they have now put their health on the line in order to drink."152 If alcohol use seems to be your recovery roadblock then you need to know that smoking cessation may actually enhance the likelihood of long-term alcohol sobriety. alcohol recovery programs have a tendency to actually destroy nicotine cessation attempts. Pages 91-102. "If a person says that they know that their drinking will cause them to take a cigarette and relapse back to smoking. J. .com. and if then they take a drink and relapse.com 101 The cycle can be repeated again and again.com & WhyQuit. Pages 208-212. March 1990. spacing drinks a bit further apart or simply drinking less. Over the years I have in fact had actively drinking alcoholics in smoking clinics – people who made it abundantly clear that they knew they had drinking problems and smoking problems but wanted to treat the smoking first.151 Has alcohol become central to your life? Are you chemically dependent upon it? If not an alcoholic. relationships or health. Co-Dependency Concerns . 154 Hughes JR. Volume 51(2). Journal of Studies on Alcohol. roughly eighty percent of alcoholics smoke nicotine. April 28. Look on the sunny side.© 2009 FFNicotine.

The Journey Home “I really do try to get them into alcohol treatment concurrently but cannot force them to do it. “you can’t administer any nicotine.157 pounds that can be shed as quickly as they arrived. 2003. In fact. Weight Gain Before going further. J.”156 For many. to try and replace missing nicotine generated dopamine “aaah” sensations with “aaah”s from extra food.”155 Many of the lessons in this book can be applied to arresting alcohol dependency. WhyQuit. and no longer feeling nicotine’s stimulant effects in making our body’s organs work harder (primarily our heart).ffn.com. National Institute of Health.yuku. As a nicotine addict. .” says Joel. you should probably take heroin for a while until you get alcohol out of your system. only to be assigned a smoking sponsor who tells the person that he or she can't get off smoking and drinking at once. Metabolism is all the chemical processes that occur within a living cell that are necessary to keep it alive. so if you have been off heroin for six months and now want to quit drinking.” “Note the sequence here.102 Freedom from Nicotine . August 2006. The ex-smoker has been off nicotine for an extended time period but the smoking sponsor says that the person can't quit both at once. You will have to eat for the rest of your life. Some substances are broken down to create food energy while other 155 Spitzer. As Joel teaches. http://www. It is normal to notice food starting to taste better as early as day three. It is also normal to think about or attempt to use food as a replacement crutch. 157 Weight Control Information Network. Eating is more complicated. a number of them. and finally get into AA. weight gain associated with nicotine cessation is of critical concern. “You will not often see an AA sponsor say that you can't give up drinking and heroin at once. October 2005. and who actually encourages the person to smoke again. It is unfortunate that most alcohol and drug treatment programs just don't recognize smoking as another drug addiction. it is important to understand that as a smoker you would need to gain at least 75 additional pounds to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack of cigarettes a day. It is also entirely normal to experience a minor metabolism change associated with our body no longer needing to expend energy in attempting to expel scores of tobacco toxins. Can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol? Joel’s Library.com/topic/11636 April 24. There is no gray area here.” Joel uses heroin to show the insanity of such advice. On more than one occasion I have seen the person successfully quit smoking. 156 Spitzer. such as a “one day at a time” recovery philosophy have deep roots in alcohol recovery programs. J. recovery’s battle line is extremely easy to see. It isn’t unusual to see up to 5 pounds of water retention weight gain during the first week. stay off for months and sometimes longer. Patience in weight control issues. NIDDK.

Volume 32(2). 161 U. 1990. “Basal Metabolic Rate” or BMR is the rate at which the body expends energy while at complete rest.164 hand to mouth oral gratification replacement. Pages 289-295. Physical inactivity and obesity: a vicious circle. Surgeon General in his 1990 report on “The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. also see.000 grams or 2. New England Journal of Medicine. Surgeon General. et al. Thus.d. International Journal of Obesity.2 pounds] or per square meter of body surface per hour. Retrieved August 06.).2 lbs in men and 3.” “The average weight gain among subjects who continued to smoke was 1 pound. et al. Waller K.000 people and although “four-fifths of smokers gained weight during recovery.com & WhyQuit.d. the average weight gain was only 5 pounds (2.8 kg or 6. One long-term study followed weight change and body mass index (BMI) for 36 months.S. and the end result is nearly the same body weight as a comparable never-smoker. also see. Smoking and its effects on body weight and the systems of caloric regulation. et al. Volume 32(2). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. 158 metabolism. (n. improved senses of smell and taste (most notably sweets and salts). et al. A 1991 study which found slightly greater weight increases than reported by the Surgeon General (2. .). Retrieved August 06. Associations between long-term physical activity. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. et al. et al. “they weighed nearly the same” at one-year follow-up.”159 Were we ever really at complete rest while addicted to a stimulant? Does addiction’s impact upon BMR account for nicotine cessation weight gain? Most studies examine short-term weight gain with little or no attempt to determine if the gain is due to diminished BMR. from Dictionary. Pages 353-361.8 kg or 8. It is expressed as “the calories released per kilogram of body weight [1 kilogram equals 1. Pages 409-414.S.© 2009 FFNicotine.3 lbs in women) also found that while smokers weighed less than never-smokers prior to quitting. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language.3 kg). March 14. 164 Pietiläinen KH.162 If true.com 160 John U. (n. June 2005. Fourth Edition. Volume 324(11). Pages 353-361. 2008.com 159 basal metabolic rate. 163 Wack JT. waist circumference and weight gain: a 30-year longitudinal twin study. a report of the Surgeon General. Volume 35(2). Volume 16(2). 1991. Waller K. 2008. Smoking cessation and severity of weight gain in a national cohort.”161 The report examined 15 studies involving 20. waist circumference and weight gain: a 30-year longitudinal twin study. International Journal of Obesity.158 These processes themselves consume energy. Volume 14(3). Obesity (Silver Spring). February 2008. February 2008. Pages 739-745.” The Surgeon General also found that less than 4% gained more than 20 pounds. February 1982.”160 Most shorter studies report weight change results similar to those shared by the U. The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. 162 Williamson DF. It found that the “contribution of smoking cessation to the BMI increase was practically negligible with “no considerable long-term weight gain. Associations between long-term physical activity. extra food or less exercise. Fourth Edition. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. smoking cessation produced a four pound greater weight gain than that associated with continued smoking.com 103 substances necessary for life are synthesized or created. February 2008. from Dictionary. Pages 366-380. No considerable long-term weight gain after smoking cessation: evidence from a prospective study. is weight gain inevitable? Are we simply returning to our “natural” body weight? Theories as to potential causes are many163 including genetics.

Over-eating cannot replace the stimulation effects of missing nicotine without leaving us as big as a house.104 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 2200-2210. which the study attributed to metabolic change.The Journey Home diminished exercise (isolation).Once recovery heralds an end to nicotine’s arrival and to the dopamine “aaah” sensations it produced. How to gain lots of extra weight . about half of smokers believe that smoking nicotine aids in controlling weight.165 Using these figures. with zero change in diet or activity. stimulation from normal eating may no longer feel sufficient. Addictive Behaviors. while actually declining for some. Pages 573-576. some try. While normal healthy eating stimulates dopamine. it’s about stealing the brain’s pleasure chemicals. et al.166 It also suggests that education may help correct exaggerated weight control beliefs. Volume 32(3). Why do up to 4% of us continue such destructive behavior to the point of outgrowing our wardrobe? We do so because that’s what drug addiction is all about. According to the Surgeon General. What is the required energy deficit per unit weight loss? International Journal of Obesity. It isn’t easy pinpointing the cause for consuming or burning an extra calorie. as most of us used nicotine to steal unearned dopamine every waking hour of every single day. especially when our metabolism slows as we age. and binge eating. . making recovery more inviting. A study of 6. The obvious question becomes. Volume 32(10). Still.500 calories to shed one pound. it would take 34 days without nicotine before metabolic changes resulted in one pound of weight gain. Also keep in mind that study weight findings reflect averages. the cessation weight gain math usually doesn’t add up. Also not reflected by averages is the fact that body weight remained unchanged for many. 166 White MA. some find themselves camping out inside the refrigerator or in a bag of potato chips while “aaah”ing themselves sick with food. during the first few days of recovery. While it is natural for the rationalizing “junkie mind” in its quest for relapse justifications to want to blame cessation weight gain entirely on metabolic changes or genetics. October 2007.569 middle-aged men who stopped smoking found that at one year they had consumed an average of 103 fewer calories per day. As a general rule it takes 3. Smoke and mirrors: magnified beliefs that cigarette smoking suppresses weight.500 extra calories to add one pound of body weight and it takes burning 3. up to 4% clearly went overboard with food during recovery. Instead of allowing the brain time to restore natural pleasure pathway 165 Hall KD. something we can pretend is totally beyond our ability to control (not increased eating or lack of activity). Turning to and adopting food as a dopamine replacement crutch is a sure fire means of adding weight gain. do “weight-concerned smokers endorse exaggerated beliefs in the ability of smoking to suppress body weight?” Research suggests they do. As seen above. changes in diet. March 2008.

Volume 5(4).Binge eating reflects a loss of control. Food reward in the absence of taste receptor signaling. March 2008. Instead of extra pounds being counterbalanced by greater self-esteem and self-worth at having broken free. again engaged in the gradual self-destruction of their body’s ability to receive and transport oxygen. Loss of control is central to psychological disturbance associated with binge eating disorder. March 27. 170 Vanderlinden J. thus less likely. and food intake during ad libitum smoking and abstinence. Binge eating . Effects of disordered eating and obesity on weight. Binge eating can feel like attempting to satisfy hunger with a shovel.167 it’s as if the up to 4% gaining more than 20 pounds attempt to make their brain’s dependency wiring operate on taste’s “aaah” influence instead of nicotine’s. the significantly heavier relapsed smoker feels the effects of an oxygen-starved bloodstream that is once again occupied by large quantities of toxic carbon monoxide. less healthy. Which factors do provoke binge-eating? An exploratory study in female students.© 2009 FFNicotine. craving. and likely more depressed. et al.168 Clearly there is significant overlap in how food and nicotine affect brain reward and craving pathways. et al. et al. being unable to stop eating or control what or how much is consumed. 171 Saules KK. repeatedly doing so could result in binge eating becoming hunger’s conditioned response. Volume 2(1). Pages 353-63. But there’s also one massive distinction. It allowed us to eat one or two larger meals each day and then use nicotine to release stored reserves. April 2008. Neuron. It pumps stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream via the body’s fight or flight pathways. So. As nicotine addicts we use nicotine as a spoon. 168 de Araujo IE. Volume 84(4). that is. November 2004.169 The primary psychological binge-eating cue is waiting too long before eating and sensing the onset of hunger. 169 Colles SL.170 Although it may feel like the only way to satisfy a hunger craving is to eat as much food as quickly as possible. Eating Behaviors.com 105 receptor counts and sensitivities. Progress in Neurobiology. the extra pounds usually remain following relapse. Now. Pages 608-614. Volume 57(6). Spring 2001. Obesity. what happens when nicotine is no longer there? Can the addition of hunger cravings atop early nicotine withdrawal result in binge eating? Research suggests that it may be more of a concern for those having a high BMI. et al. the relapsed addict is heavier.com & WhyQuit. It is not "either/or": activation and desensitization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors both contribute to behaviors related to nicotine addiction and mood. .171 167 Picciotto MR. Pages 930-941. Pages 329-342. it thrives! The sad part about attempting “aaah” replacement using large quantities of food is that once the demoralizing weight increases are adopted as the addict’s relapse justification. instead of the former smoker’s bloodstream being filled with oxygen reserves sufficient to allow prolonged vigorous physical activity. Volume 16(3). Pages 79-83. Eating Behaviors. That 20+ pound bag of rocks they are carrying makes daily exercise more difficult. the brain doesn’t die without nicotine. 2008.

Are you feeling it now? Take your normal walk. Non-fat “aaah”s . our gateway to freedom. into a prison. This will speed digestion and help satisfy hunger sooner. into small pieces. Controllable withdrawal symptom – Some researchers assert that increased eating can be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Picking mealtime . Knowledge is power. The most important factor in controlling recovery weight gain is understanding the potential causes. Don’t allow fear to transform recovery. Do you feel the “aaah” while exhaling? Drink a glass of cool and refreshing water when thirsty. It is our survival instinct’s teacher and we each have a hefty collection of durable “aaah” memories. while the number of calories consumed remains the same or increases. Demoralizing weight gain is fertile ground for destroying freedom’s dreams. Pages S3-10. .106 Freedom from Nicotine . Body weight is likely to climb if the amount of daily energy expended substantially declines. Remember. Volume 121(4 Suppl 1). Do you feel the “aaah” that arrives when satisfying thirst? Give your favorite person a big. big hug. The American Journal of Medicine. How many calories are burned while lying in bed watching television or setting at a computer and clicking a mouse? Yes. The only activity we need end during recovery is the use of nicotine. whether we eat with a toothpick or a shovel we will need to wait for digestion to satisfy our hunger. Neurobiology of nicotine addiction: implications for smoking cessation treatment. 172 Benowitz NL. eat slowly as it’s not so much a matter of how much we consume or how quickly we consume it but about being patient in allowing time for digestion to satisfy hunger. They have to eat food and then wait for digestion to turn off the body’s hunger switch. for without adequate nutrition we die.Understanding our food focus cycles can make excess temptation manageable. Do you feel the accomplishment “aaah”? Dopamine “aaah” sensations are the mind’s way of motivating behavior (anticipatory “aaah”s) and rewarding it. Non-users who get hungry can’t do that.Imagine being so consumed by fear of failure that you withdraw from life.Take a slow deep breath.The Journey Home The problem is that an active nicotine addict is able to quickly satisfy the onset of hunger by using nicotine to release stored energy. Fear’s unburned calories . even if just around the yard but this time go a little further or quicker than normal. some nicotine addicts take the term “quitting” literally and withdraw from life entirely. We are only talking about the “excess” food. It is critical that we quickly re-learn how to properly fuel our body. April 2008. When eating we need to chew our food well. Once we become non-users. We should fully expect to confront hunger if we insist on skipping meals.172 If true. Doing so allows a mouth enzyme (salivary amylase) to begin the breakdown of carbohydrates. Reach for zero calorie “aaah”s like those described above if you want to sense dopamine pathway stimulation without weight gain. it is clearly one within our ability to minimize.

thus reducing risk of “aaah” eating binges.740 fewer monthly calories). Ending Mealtime . a crutch that delays psychological healing and can threaten recovery.com & WhyQuit. there may be no clear signal to our brain that our meal is complete. which by definition ends. doing extra house or yard work. Greater appetite control associated with an increased frequency of eating in lean males. reaching for a toothpick. Now. taking a lap around the block.500 during a single session of activity or exercise may leave us tired and sore. . It may result in reaching for additional food. why not become dedicated to a small but deliberate addition to our normal level of physical activity. Diminishing body weight . stepping outside. It may discourage us from being active again tomorrow. December 1999. et al. The key to sustained weight control isn’t dieting. What if we add to that a modest change in eating patterns? If we consume 58 fewer calories per day we would experience a total monthly decline of roughly 3. standing and stretching.© 2009 FFNicotine. clearing the table. By doing so you’ll likely diminish any blood-sugar swing type symptoms and avoid hunger pains.500 calories and the loss of one pound per month. Using food as an oral hand-to-mouth substitute for tobacco is reaching for a crutch.Many of us conditioned our minds to believe that eating was complete and that mealtime was over by putting a cigarette between our lips or oral tobacco into our mouths. burning just 58 extra calories per day will cause our body weight to decline by half a pound per month (1. visiting or caring for a neighbor. or brushing our teeth. Instead. going on a bike ride or any other activity that expends energy. try fueling your body with small healthy food portions at least five times a day. Volume 33(3). Healthy meal completion cues may be as simple as pushing away or getting up from the table. Consider gardening. doing the dishes. Although making a minor daily activity adjustment may seem insignificant.500 calories. There are a number of healthy options if you feel the need to teach your mind that mealtime is over. attempting to burn all 3. walking your favorite path. It's in committing to minor changes in our daily calorie intake or activity level that become part of the fabric of our lives. Appetite.A “diet” is a temporary program for losing weight. a few less calories. Eating more frequently could result in consuming up to 27% fewer calories. just one ounce at a time! 173 Speechly DP. Pages 285-297.com 107 Instead of eating large meals. giving a hug or kiss. without a new cue. taking a slow deep breath. Learning to sustain these minor lifestyle adjustments could mean 12 fewer pounds within a year! How do we lose 12 pounds? Baby steps … another moment of activity. It can be an exercise session or a bit more of any physical activity that we love and enjoy. eating little and often can enhance appetite control.173 During the first two weeks of your recovery. If the removal of one pound of body weight requires the expenditure of 3.

using a tad less butter. We’re waiting for a crutch.174 Get excited about climbing from the deep ditch in which our addiction forced us to live. cooking a bit less food. . your endurance potential will slowly increase. one cookie versus two. over time. maintain the body size we desire. learning to cut out after dinner snacks or trading empty carbohydrates for long lasting ones. choosing baked instead of fried. Whether realized or not. Waiting for another nicotine dependent person to join us in recovery is a delay tactic. in a wheelchair or bed. Take pride in the fact that you’re standing on your own. Partnering newly recovering 174 The Glycemic Index. Be brave and explore the world that our next fix and withdrawal prevention kept hidden. even if done while on oxygen. Why lean heavily upon some person. taking a few less bites. 2002.com.The Journey Home Small adjustments can be made anytime. Savor the richness and flavor of life beyond.People can serve as crutches. we lacked the ability to build cardiovascular endurance . glycemicindex. Even if already disabled by smoking.108 Freedom from Nicotine . to their sympathies or indifference? While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying their support when it’s there.not any more! Aging gracefully does not require “dieting” but the determination to make minor adjustments. friend or co-worker. As smokers. which when adhered to. significant other. picture your recovery standing entirely on its own. family member. thing or activity? Why risk its sudden removal? Why allow our freedom. healing and possibly our life to rest upon the significance given to a source of support whose reliability is beyond our ability to control? Recovery buddies . Your breathing and circulation will improve with each passing day. website accessed August 9. drug recovery programs such as AA do not partner two new ex-drinkers together. Should you find yourself gaining extra pounds during recovery don’t beat yourself up. While it’s great when our expectations are fulfilled. without crutches. 2008. Picture your core motivations and resolve actually strengthening during moments when those who we thought would be supportive are not. Consider eating more often but consuming less. While it is wonderful when able to share our experience with a spouse. place. University of Sidney. In a way. we are turning back the clock to a time when we had greater ability to engage in prolonged vigorous physical activity. our physician will likely be able to assist us in developing an increased activity or exercise plan that’s appropriate. Crutches A crutch is any form of reliance we lean upon so heavily in order to support or motivate recovery that if suddenly removed would significantly elevate risk of relapse. what happens when they are not? Why tie our fate to the actions or inactions of others. Creating and leaning heavily upon the expectation that some other person will behave in a supportive manner is dangerous. Such programs understand that during early recovery the risk of relapse remains high.

Romeo and Juliet is the tragic tale of a man and women whose love for each other is so great that they would rather die than be separated.© 2009 FFNicotine.United States.S. Volume 51. Cigarette smoking: an epidemiological overview.. What are the odds that nicotine addiction won’t be the cause of ending a marriage or other long-term relationship in which both are smokers and both refuse to stop unless the other stops too? Roughly half of adult smokers are smoking themselves to death.com & WhyQuit. I relapsed too. as they had never been addicted to any chemical in their life.5 years of life expectancy.2 years. He attended a 2002 recovery seminar I presented at 175 Polito. British Medical Bulletin. 2002. I recall two things about that experience. Does the Over-the-counter Nicotine Patch Really Double Your Chances of Quitting? WhyQuit. I waited. and Economic Costs . It’s about taking an honest and informed look at where we were and the choices we made. 177 Centers for Disease Control.com 109 addicts creates a greater likelihood that should one relapse. April 12. serious recovery programs partner new ex-users with stable long-term ex-users. Statistically. 1995–1999. Smoking is blamed for 20% of all deaths in developed nations. In fact. It isn’t love reaching for a deadly chemical. There were a number of times during my thirty-year struggle where I wanted others to pick me up and carry me home. 2002. at Page 301. It isn’t dependent on being able to lean on a person who ended nicotine use with us but understanding what is required to succeed or fail.com. Instead.7 who attempt recovery will succeed in remaining nicotinefree for six months. Volume 52(1). Finally. But the story had a healthy ending. JR. Years of Potential Life Lost. It’s physical and psychological dependence upon a chemical that shatters lives.176 Here in the U. and waited and waited for dear friends to stop with me.175 That does not mean that two new ex-users navigating recovery together can’t both succeed. April 8. . I also recall that within an hour of learning that he’d relapsed. the other will follow suit. The death toll is staggering. I got my wish. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 176 Wald NJ and Hackshaw AK. Pages 3-11. It was the only time during our friendship that we’d ever yelled at each other. while the average males loses 13. Each year millions surrender life itself rather than stop smoking it. January 1996. the average female claimed by smoking loses 14. I wanted rock solid support from two daughters who couldn’t possibly understand my challenges. Pages 300-303. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality. But this isn’t Romeo and Juliet being played out on some grand scale. Some might make the same comparison to their relationship with nicotine. as long as neither allows nicotine back into their body it is impossible for either to relapse. My best friend and I became “recovery buddies” in 1984. roughly 1 in 8. Successful recovery isn’t about coming together to commiserate or share addiction war stories. We see it all the time. One partner needs to go first and blaze a trail home that the other can eventually follow.177 Waiting on our partner to be our “recovery buddy” can prove deadly. Number 14.

“In many of these cases the end result will be a more significant problem than just the original problem.” writes Joel. the advice should not be ‘do whatever it takes to quit smoking.” Joel recalls. “Does the comment smoke crack cocaine. Standing on the auditorium stage. I remember sharing this crutch and “quitting buddy” lesson and our mutual failure 18 years earlier. Buddy Systems.” Using alcohol.ffn. Joel’s Library. no matter how ludicrous or dangerous that activity might be.” “Just 24 hours earlier I had made a special point of mentioning the dangers of replacing one addiction with another. And let’s not forget the risk of establishing a chemical dependency upon them. . “In quitting smoking one should not start using any other crutches which might be dangerous or addictive. “Take heart … your primary focus needs to be on your own quit now.” writes Joel. The new addiction can cause the person's life to end in shambles.” “Many programs use the phrase.110 Freedom from Nicotine . or participate in any activity. “No where is this more true than when dealing with addictions. to her being bombed out of her mind was a safe alternative to the deadly effects of cigarettes. 180 Spitzer. “Do whatever it takes to quit smoking” March 19." one participant enthusiastically proclaimed. It can also create psychological associations that can present problems when unable to obtain or use them.” “As far as quitting smoking goes. As Joel’s “Buddy Systems” article proclaims. and trading one addiction for another. 2000. or administer lethal dosages of arsenic or cyanide make any sense to anyone as practical advice to quit smoking? If not.com. J.The Journey Home the high school from which my daughters graduated. or drink as much alcohol as it takes. "Boy did I ever drink my brains out. J. “I guess that can be translated to taking any food. “Two whole days without smoking a single cigarette. I recall hoping that as a seasoned ex-user that I could now show him the way home. As Joel notes.yuku. ’” says Joel.Joel’s crutches article tells the story of one of his clinic participants turning to alcohol. 2003. you have to give it away. http://www.”178 Alcohol or other drugs . ‘To keep it.’ but rather. Advice such as this is disturbing.” “Soon you will be the seasoned veteran. and when it comes time to deal with the new dependence he or she will often relapse to cigarettes. any drug. J. 1987. illegal drugs or addictive prescription medications as nicotine cessation crutches elevates the risk of relapse due to diminished inhibitions while using them. "But I did not smoke!" “She was so proud of her accomplishment. today. ‘do what it takes to quit smoking.com/topic/12760 179 Spitzer.’” writes Joel. or shoot up heroin. Replacing Crutches. April 29. legal or illegal. “What it takes to quit smoking is simply sticking to your commitment to Never Take Another Puff!”180 To be a 178 Spitzer. smoking. WhyQuit.”179 On the Internet a number of sites teach users to "do whatever it takes" to stop. the comment of “do whatever it takes” loses any real concept of credibility. After the seminar he succeeded and he’s still free today.

com & WhyQuit. In fact. Exercise programs . “make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. “If you are going to develop a crutch.com/ . see your recovery remaining strong with or without it. any new emotion producing activity or significant lifestyle change can be leaned upon as a crutch. What if our computer’s motherboard goes bad and the repair bill exceeds the computer’s value yet at the moment we can’t afford a new computer? Imagine our Internet service provider’s servers crashing for an entire week. as can other oral hand-tomouth substitutes for cigarettes. consider an exercise program that was started on our first day of recovery. be sure to print or save a copy.As discussed earlier.Never Take Another Puff!” We need to build our recovery so as to enable it to stand entirely on its own. e-cigarettes. What would happen if our exercise facility suddenly closed.com 111 bit more inclusive. pipes. Worse yet.yuku.http://www. one that carries no risks and can be done anywhere.yuku. what if the company hosting the online support site goes bankrupt or abruptly discontinues service? Picture your recovery and resolve remaining strong and firm through the loss of your computer. Imagine our mind so tying the program to successful recovery that we were totally convinced that it was the only reason we had so far been able to succeed.© 2009 FFNicotine. Consider printing your favorite articles. diary or log. If you now realize that you have developed a crutch. However.Some crutches appear rather harmless. Dip or Chew. Internet support .” writes Joel. anytime. Never Take Another Puff.ffn. take care not to lean too heavily upon them. food can become an “aaah” crutch. Create dependability and longevity by preserving what you deem valuable. For instance. About the only crutch that comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. While online support groups such as WhyQuit’s Freedom from Nicotine forum181 can be extremely supportive. the weather made attendance impossible or if we were to develop an illness or sustain an injury that made exercise impossible? Exercise is always beneficial and I am in no way trying to discourage those in early recovery from beginning an exercise program. In your mind. But until that day.ffn. while surely beneficial it is not a requirement.The Internet too can become a crutch. The day you have to stop breathing. smoking will be of little concern. to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is . cigars. Food . Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.com/topic/12855 181 Freedom from Nicotine . and your ability and willingness to exercise as a benefit rather than a requirement. Remove as much risk as possible from all sources of support. oral tobacco or replacement nicotine products. View your program in terms of the benefits that it provides. the Internet or even loss of electrical service. If keeping an online recovery journal. not as a primary source of recovery motivation. picture continuing on and succeeding even if it is http://www.

smoking rate decline had stalled at 21% during 2005. . or to use a product which poses risk of death when our objective is longer life? Cold turkey is fast.com. Yet. 2006. The CDC’s report stated. never has the pressure upon smokers to stop been greater. the U. cold turkey prevails and is king. effective and smart . It is likely taking a toll in lives. Government's Quitting Policy Killing Smokers? WhyQuit. on October 27.S. 2006. Many have felt the economic pinch as government attempts to tax cigarettes to death. JR. or that we have to be a super-hero to do so. Those in bondage are increasingly feeling the effects of the smoke-free indoor air movement that’s now sweeping the globe. An endless stream of new health studies on the negative effects of smoking. There are three key points that need making. adult cigarette smoking data.112 Freedom from Nicotine . once outside of placebo controlled clinical trials. that out here in the real world.S. Billions in marketing have been spent during the past two decades on getting us to fear our natural recovery instincts. The next few minutes are all we can control and each is entirely do-able. Quitting Aids Open lies and hidden truths Over the years I’ve written much on this topic. On November 14. You’ll be fine. Probably the most damaging and deplorable lies of all are being told by those seeking to increase the market share of their product or procedure by falsely suggesting that few nicotine addicts successfully quit cold turkey. Never in history have a greater array of approved quitting products promised to double cessation.We nicotine addicts have been lied to by so many for so long that it's growing harder and harder to believe anyone.182 Two additional years would pass before the pharmacology era could pretend that it was somehow responsible for a modest decline. October 26.The Journey Home suddenly removed. Is the U. Lastly.S. “After 3 years during which prevalence in current cigarette smoking among adults remained virtually unchanged 182 Polito. any quitting product manufacturer whose marketing suggests that few smokers succeed in quitting on their own has already lied to us. what logic is there in paying money to extend nicotine withdrawal for weeks or months when it takes less than 72 hours to rid the body of nicotine. 2008 the CDC unveiled the latest U.S. Department of Health was forced to report that the U. free. Second. First.

com & WhyQuit.000 new U. and 20. nicotine gum. It’s the reason for this book.184 quit smoking shots invented by a quack who is now doing hard time for fraud.9% in 2004.”183 Significantly lower? Here in the U. behavioral therapy. Even in the face of a sea of magic cures that include an array of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) devices. 184 Polito. 2006. the prevalence in 2007 (19. But could we make the statistics for success while using our butter look vastly better than 10-11% by surrounding it with quality recovery tools known to double or even triple cessation rates? Tools such as ongoing group or telephone support.com 113 (20. Adding them to our Butter is a means to ensure more newsworthy results and is a practice which occurred in almost all early NRT. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults .United States. JR. April 8. JR. 2002.8%) was significantly lower than in 2006.© 2009 FFNicotine. coping skills development.9% in 2005. 45.8% in 2006). It found that 88% of all successful ex-smokers did so by going cold turkey. JR. youth smokers daily. It’s why so many of us are eventually claimed by our addiction. risky designer drugs such as varenicline. and group or individual counseling all have their own proven effectiveness. Page 25. Cancer Facts & Figures 2003. Does the Over-the-counter Nicotine Patch Really Double Your Chances of Quitting? WhyQuit.com. we must not close our eyes and minds to actual results in an arena where the most ridiculous or even fraudulent quitting scheme imaginable should statistically generate success testimonials from 10-11% of users at six months and 5% at one year. August 25. magic herbs.185 A 2006 Australian study followed smoking patients of family practice physicians. November 28. 186 Polito.S. these statistics are the odds of successful recovery that an uneducated “on-your-own” quitter. 2007. and every gimmick and ploy imaginable. 183 CDC. hypnosis. 20.187 Yes. . While normal to dream of painless cures. cessation education programs. bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix or Champix) clinical studies. Pretend that together we concoct a new magic quitting product called Billy Bob's Lima Bean Butter. acupuncture. to share the insights needed to turn darkness to light. No one will be able to convince them otherwise. 185 American Cancer Society. What's amazing is that the 10-11% who should be able to quit for 6 months while eating our magic product (unless it somehow undercuts their own natural odds of success) will each deeply believe that our butter was almost entirely responsible for their success. and that those going cold turkey were twice as likely to succeed as those using the nicotine patch. quality self-help materials. It's almost a waste of breath to even try. 187 Polito.186 We nicotine addicts make extremely easy prey. WhyQuit. 2008. No. the cigarette industry successfully enslaves more than 2. “Will Chantix really help me quit smoking?” WhyQuit. nicotine inhaler or Zyban (bupropion).com. Table 3.com. Cold Turkey Twice as Effective as NRT or Zyban. I hate to think how bad things would be if natural nicotine cessation wasn’t still out there producing the vast majority of success stories.S. lasers. MMWR Vol57. 2006. 80-90% of all successful long-term ex-users are succeeding without resort to products or procedures. May 19.

194 Smoking status of Australian general practice patients and their attempts to quit. National Cancer Institute Survey of 8. Volume 31(5).114 Freedom from Nicotine . 193 Ferguson J. [see Figure 14]. Yet marketing awards all credit to varenicline. 2002. Nicotine replacement therapy use among a cohort of smokers. Such stop smoking method surveys are relatively inexpensive. Pages 162-168. in-home. Tobacco In London. Pages 101-113. Page A1. May 2006 May.The Journey Home Imagine regular AA meetings where alcoholics come together to educate and support mutual successful ongoing recovery. Volume 38(5). 2008. 192 Alberg AJ. How long would it take for allegations of consumer fraud to start flying once it was noticed that 93% buying and trying the program were relapsing to alcohol within six months? Pfizer’s five varenicline studies (Chantix and Champix) broke records for the number of counseling sessions. September 11. May 2004. 2003. April 16. What should be dismissed as unscientific is any clinical trial whose validity is grounded in use of placebos. et al. and those successful have absolutely no reason to lie about how they had finally achieved success. personal recovery tool by falsely representing that users would experience the exact same odds of recovery as those attending live AA meetings. et al. 196 UK NHS. Volume 100 Suppl 2. Nov-Dec 2002 Volume 21(6). Pages 59-69 [see Table 6]. Imagine the group’s support dynamics achieving some rather impressive recovery rates in the 20 to 40% range at six months. 195 2006 Unpublished U. Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England. Addiction. 191 SmokeFree London.195 and England. with up to twenty-five. 189 Boyle RG.200 quitters.188 Minnesota. Does insurance coverage for drug therapy affect smoking cessation? Health Affairs (Millwood).192 Nottingham. Preventive Medicine. April to December 2007 [see Table 6]. Impact of Over-the-Counter Sales on Effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Aids for Smoking Cessation.Let me ask you this.S. M. Now imagine someone trying to package and sell the program over-the-counter to alcoholics for $200 as a stand-alone. But NRT stakeholders quickly dismiss such surveys as "unscientific. how long will it take you to tell me whether 188 Pierce JP. February 8. quick and easy to generate. Pages 758-766. November 26. 190 Gomez-Zamudio. Pages 662-667. Facts and Issues. Addictive Behaviors. April 2005. Role of pharmacological aids and social supports in smoking cessation associated with Quebec's 2000 Quit and Win campaign. real-world performance has been dismal.189 Quebec. While quitting pharmacology products clobber placebo users inside clinical trials rich in support and counseling. If I hand you a piece of nicotine gum or a nicotine lozenge. Journal of the American Medical Association. as reported in the Wall Street Journal.196 it should bother all of us that after more than two decades of widespread use that real-world quitting method surveys continue to show that those buying and using cessation pharmacology products fail to perform better than those quitting entirely on-their-own.193 Australia. et al. California. Volume 24(1). it isn’t cold turkey . .194 the United States." They content that we can’t trust those who recently attempted recovery to correctly remember the method they used and whether or not it brought them success.191 Western Maryland.190 London. et al. Journal of Addictive Diseases. Pages 1260-1264. Placebo isn’t a quitting method. 2007. The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. et al. 2005. Volume 288.

2008. Volume 179. as far too many study participants correctly guessed their assignment. March 12.”198 You cannot fool cessation savvy drug addicts as to whether or not their brain dopamine pathways are being stimulated or withdrawal anxieties are present. . those wanting to stop smoking cold turkey were never invited to compete in clinical trials against self-selecting smokers seeking months of free replacement nicotine.” It’s why using placebo controls in drug addiction studies have acted as a license to steal. Meta-analysis rooted in expectations not science.com 115 or not it really contains nicotine or is instead a nicotine-free placebo? Not all can do it but 3 to 4 times as many of us will be correct as will be wrong. Addictive Behaviors. what if they simply give up too? What validity will there be in the study's ultimate finding that twice as many nicotine gum users succeeded in stopping smoking as those chewing placebo gum? Imagine the lack of intellectual integrity required to label victories grounded in frustrated expectations as having been “science-based. Flawed research equates placebo to cold turkey.3 times as many correctly determined assignment). and a follow-up e-letter rebutting pharmacology meta-analysis editors' suggestion that blinding issues in drug addiction studies are no different than concerns seen in other studies. “pharmacologic treatment of chemical dependency may be the only known research area in which blinding is impossible. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. A June 2004 study was entitled “The blind spot in the nicotine replacement therapy literature: Assessment of the double-blind in clinical trials. 71% of NRT studies attempting to assess the integrity of their study’s blinding failed their own assessment. There is only one catch. Polito JR. E-Letter.200 Unlike those going cold turkey. Will we stick around and allow ourselves to be toyed with for the next 12 weeks if convinced that we have been assigned to receive placebo gum instead of the real thing? Neither did they. their 197 Dar R. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. half signing up for the study will be randomly assigned to receive nicotine-free placebo gum instead. attempts that have taught them to recognize the onset of full-blown withdrawal? Frustrated by recognizing assignment to the placebo group. et al. April 2005. 2009. 2007.com & WhyQuit. Why cessation blinding concerns differ from other clinical trials. November 9. 200 Polito. Polito JR. JR. bupropion or varenicline. As I wrote in a letter to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Precessation treatment with nicotine patch significantly increases abstinence rates relative to conventional treatment. Canadian Medical Association Journal.197 Pretend for a moment that we hear about a nicotine gum “quitting” study at the local hospital that is offering participants three months of free nicotine gum. where 4 times as many placebo patch users correctly determined placebo assignment as were wrong. not enduring.© 2009 FFNicotine. Pages 673-684. 199 Mooney M. also see Rose JE. The blind spot in the nicotine replacement therapy literature: Assessment of the double-blind in clinical trials. July 17.”199 It teaches that anyone asserting that NRT studies were blind is not being honest. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2008. November 2008. In fact. et al. Assigned versus perceived placebo effects in nicotine replacement therapy for smoking reduction in Swiss smokers. published in November 2008. Contrary to industry marketing hype. June 30.com. Pages 1037-1038. Smoking cessation trials. What if a significant percentage of other placebo group members have a history of prior recovery attempts. WhyQuit. Volume 29(4). June 2004. Volume 73(2). Pages 350-353 (3. 198 Polito JR. those seeking free “medicine” joined in hopes of diminishing. also see original online e-letter selected for publication. E-Letter.

202 How many study participants have smoking cessation researchers needlessly killed? Do any of them care? One of the reasons researchers use placebo controls instead of the “best current proven intervention” is that placebo promises the biggest margin of victory possible and the largest news headlines.The Journey Home withdrawal syndrome.gov. Finland. This way. Helsinki.116 Freedom from Nicotine . Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. risks. when all agree that placebo affords study participants the worst possible odds of success. They know that if their comments or work should ever cause the industry financial harm that they can forget participating in any pharmaceutical industry funded study again.201 Why not use the most effective proven treatment as our control and see how the newest method compares? How many study participants assigned to placebo groups are looking at their final cessation opportunity before experiencing a smoking induced heart attack or stroke. They have become dependent upon pharmaceutical industry financial interests. Smoking cessation clinical trial research is increasingly void of scientific integrity. Most calling themselves researchers are little more than glorified salesmen. Pharmaceutical companies avoid risk of defeat in meaningful head-to-head product competition by use of a control that isn’t a real quitting method. visited December 2008. Today the National Institute of Health’s clinical trials registry identifies more than 200 new smoking studies that are using placebo controls. www. search: placebo + smoking 202 World Medical Association.I believe that clinical cessation pharmacology studies reflect the worst junk-science ever perpetrated upon humans. no company’s economic interests are hurt. or being diagnosed with terminal cancer or advanced emphysema? Principle 32 of the World Medical Association's (WMA) Declaration of Helsinki commands that the "benefits.ClinicalTrials. October 2008." And why silence when seeing apples compared to oranges? Does it make sense to compare the accomplishment of those who have re-adjusted to natural brain dopamine stimulation to those using external chemicals that continue artificial 201 National Institute of Health. burdens and effectiveness of a new intervention must be tested against those of the best current proven intervention" and that placebos should not be used unless "compelling and scientifically sound methodological reasons" are demonstrated. What “Big Pharm” doesn’t want us to know . and last amended by the 59th WMA General Assembly. I submit that if honest competition had occurred that there would be no need for these words and explanations. We have now seen more than 200 placebo-controlled smoking cessation pharmacology studies. June 1964. They remained silent as the pharmaceutical industry re-labeled a natural poison "medicine" and termed its use "therapy. true science turned its collective head as stakeholders redefined "quitting" as quitting smoking while continuing to use nicotine. Also. Seoul. Declaration of Helsinki. pitting cessation products against each other means that one product must win while another loses. Regretfully. Adopted by the 18th WMA General Assembly. . Are the lives of clinical trail participants being intentionally sacrificed by an ethic-less smoking cessation research industry? It certainly looks that way.

Why would we hide this data? 203 Hughes. S. I challenge you to locate any government or health organization sharing an answer to this question.com & WhyQuit. conducted by paid NRT industry consultants. A meta-analysis of the efficacy of over-the-counter nicotine replacement. Shiffman.204 Obviously these were two entirely different studies but even so the math leaves you wondering if anyone actually breaks free from nicotine by chewing it. et al. That’s right. British Medical Journal. The pharmaceutical industry. 1995 Volume 311. education or support. also see Gourlay S. Pages 363–366. Recycling with nicotine patches in smoking cessation. the odds of success for the repeat NRT user dramatically decline with subsequent use. where each failed quit attempt actually increase the odds of eventually self-discovering the Law of Addiction and power of one hit of nicotine to foster relapse. Pages 21-27. intelligent and reasoned decisions? What percentage of over-the-counter (OTC) NRT users is still not smoking at six months? Would this be important to know? I challenge you to try to locate an answer to this question at any government. commercial or health website advocating NRT use. A March 2003 study. government health agencies and health non-profits have known since as early as 1993 that if we have already tried quitting once with the nicotine patch that our odds during a second patch attempt drop to near 0%. Addiction. et al. What are the odds of success during a second or subsequent NRT attempt? Do the user’s odds improve or get worse the second time around? As with the 7% OTC NRT six-month rate. .. September 2003.com 117 stimulation? But who has greater fault. March 2003. or government agencies and health organizations which continue to hide critical cessation pharmacology study findings that would allow nicotine addicts to make informed. Tobacco Control. Volume 12(3). Volume 12. Pages 310-316. G. The same industry consultants conducting this study also published a November 2003 study that found that as many as 7% of successful gum users and 2% of patch users were still hooked on the gum or the patch at six months. Volume 88(4). Researchers found that only 7% of OTC study participants were still not smoking at six-months. a product with a 93% failure rate. It's actually worse. et al. Tobacco Control. 205 Tonnesen P. combined and averaged all seven OTC NRT patch and gum studies. Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample. Page 533-539.205 Unlike cold turkey. et al.© 2009 FFNicotine.. We walked into the store. April 1993. those who have knowingly engaged in nicotine shell games. Double blind trial of repeated treatment with transdermal nicotine for relapsed smokers.203 OTC studies are important because their design is as close as possible to the way these products are used in the real world. JR. and used it without any formal counseling. purchased the product. 204 Shiffman S.

delivering up to 25% more nicotine. What can be asserted with confidence is that varenicline is not the magic cure or nearly as effective in real-world use as marketing suggests. The glory is 100% yours! Varenicline . May 2. Volume 12(3). the nicotine lozenge fully dissolves. Tobacco Control. Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample. It’s testimony to our drive and determination. September 2003. Pages 310-316. “I'm a 24 year old male who smoked cigarettes for about 6 years until quitting 2 years ago.118 Freedom from Nicotine . including death. also see Bartosiewicz. 206 Shiffman S. We cannot accurately predict who will and will not sustain harm. we'll eventually be free to award full credit to any product or procedure we desire. 2004. But should this book serve as a tool that aids you in your recovery.6% of all current nicotine gum users are chronic long-term users of greater than 6 months. . adrenaline and serotonin pathways adjusted to fully function without nicotine at the exact same time that we are feeding them nicotine. As long as we keep our day #1 dreams vibrant and alive long enough to allow ourselves to again become entirely comfortable within nicotine-free skin. we should not grow discouraged as we are in some wonderful. In a horror story I'm sure you've heard dozens of times.The Journey Home Nicotine addicts are also not being told that at least 36.” If we are able to get our brain's dopamine.Chantix & Champix . which traps some nicotine. Core dreams and desires for freedom are not altered by standing in front of any weaning product or even Billy Bob's Lima Bean Butter. I decided to quit back then by switching to Nicorette. wonderful company. A Quitter's Dilemma: Hooked on the Cure. P. it is “you” who put the lessons to work. et al. or among the nearly 100% who fail during a second or subsequent attempt.A few words of caution about varenicline (Chantix and Champix). we should be extremely proud of ourselves because we are in fact super-heroes. New York Times. But if among the 93 out of 100 first time OTC NRT users who quickly relapse. Let me share the first paragraph of an email I received yesterday. It is "us” doing the work. We are not breaking free because of weeks or months spent toying with pharmacology products but in spite of having done so. Unfortunately. I'm now horribly addicted to the gum.206 Unlike the gum. We have no reason to believe that the number of NRT users getting hooked on the cure isn't at this moment climbing higher. Never in the history of cessation products have we seen such a wide array of serious side effects.

flatulence x4.3 times greater.5. with 2. April to December 2007 [see Table 6].6% vs. 2008. It 207 Aubin HJ. headaches x2. 208 UK NHS.com 119 A 2008 study was the first to pit the nicotine patch against varenicline. Addiction. without significantly offsetting benefits? England’s Stop Smoking Services may offer the highest caliber government sponsored cessation services of any nation. It found that among 376 Chantix users and 370 patch users that the likelihood of a Chantix users experiencing vomiting was 5. Volume . disturbances in attention x4. keep in mind that these are four-week results and that both varenicline and NRT users still face another 4-8 weeks of treatment before trying to adjust to living and functioning with natural brain dopamine stimulation. gum or lozenge. April 2005. The only long-term English evidence is from an April 2005 study that examined one-year success rates. 209 The study did not include varenicline as it wasn’t yet on the market. diarrhea x2.1%) or one year (varenicline 34. August 2008. Services include free individual or group counseling and support. Thorax.com & WhyQuit. Pages 717-724. Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England.5 times greater than among nicotine patch users. Does it make any sense to assume significantly increased risks. patch 31. et al. dizziness x2.4%). 209 Ferguson J. Participants were asked at both six months and one year whether or not they had smoked any cigarettes in the past seven days. including risk of death.207 The study notes that two varenicline users experienced severe depression.208 While at first blush it might appear that varenicline has the lead. April 16. that decreased sense of taste was 5.© 2009 FFNicotine. Volume 63(8). abdominal pain was x5. Varenicline versus transdermal nicotine patch for smoking cessation: results from a randomised open-label trial. et al.8% vs. with suicidal ideation causing one to be hospitalized 11 days after ending Chantix use. The authors report that there "were no significant differences" between Chantix and nicotine patch users at either 6 months (varenicline 38. and 51% who stopped smoking without use of any quitting product. A 2008 study analyzing program performance found that at four weeks after starting varenicline treatment that 63% of varenicline users were still not smoking as compared to 48% using nicotine replacement products (NRT) such as the nicotine patch. patch 34. constipation x3. The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. nausea x4.3 times as many Chantix users complaining of fatigue.

Joel’s basic pharmacology lessons .Who to Believe? Joel’s Library. He finds it curious because that’s when pharmacology products started experiencing widespread use. four patches were approved for prescription use.120 Freedom from Nicotine . that only 15.. In 1991 and 1992.211 He encourages us to believe our own survey findings. In 1996 all controls broke loose--the gum and two of the four patches went over-the-counter and Zyban (bupropion) was just coming into the fray. J. Doing so would produce a cold turkey victory that would seriously damage a massive golden goose. 212 Spitzer. As early as 1984 he was warning about nicotine gum’s ability to foster relapse or become a crutch. Joel’s Library. 2004. 40 Years of Progress? Joel’s Library. It is then and there that the rule for staying free becomes the same for all . J. by prescription only.5% of those who attempted recovery without using any pharmacology product at all were still smoke-free at one year. J.. In fact.” writes Joel. nicotine patch delivers the nicotine equivalent of smoking seven cigarettes a day. 100 Suppl 2. 210 Spitzer. Don’t expect any researcher to ever provide a copy of this book or Joel’s as part of any fair. Quitting Methods .The Journey Home found that while 25.2% of NRT users and 14. Bringing together all we so far know suggests that after one year varenicline will most likely finish slightly ahead of NRT but behind cold turkey. Joel reminds us that smoking declined from 42% to 23% over the past 40 years. “Nicotine gum was first approved for use in America in 1984. Pages 59-69 [see Table 6].210 He encourages those contemplating using pharmacology products to take their own poll of all successful long-term ex-users who have remained nicotine-free for at least a year. In the end. 211 Spitzer. but that the drop-off stalled in the 1990s. 1984. Pharmacological Crutches. The researcher bold enough to conduct the study would never receive pharmaceutical industry funding of any study ever again. no nicotine just one day at a time.Joel has also written extensively on pharmacology cessation products.” Why delay and extend physical withdrawal and neuronal re-sensitization for weeks or months? Keep in mind that a 7mg. .212 “Lets hope not too many miracle products for smoking cessation get introduced in the future as it may result in skyrocketing smoking rates. all drug addicts who successfully recover must give-up their drug. 2003.4% of bupropion (Zyban) users were still not smoking. open-label study pitting varenicline against those wanting to quit cold turkey. all who successfully arrest their dependency eventually go cold turkey.

and who is in a really bad mood due to hair loss. look.” writes Joel.213 According to Joel. tell me I’ll fail and offer me smokes. the comment won't be made.” "If this is what you are like not smoking. a pretty positive statement about parenthood. it is usually from a spouse. if analyzed by any real thinking person. 2001. The smoker did it him or herself. “is that quitting smoking too is an effort to save the quitters life. the smoker had to quit for him or herself and stay off for him or herself.com 121 Negative Support “You’re such a basket case. most of the time the person making comments such as those above have not considered the implications of the statement. Because in reality. February 15. a friend. while the comment is made often. that he or she should get off that stuff because he or she is so irritable that he or she is ruining your day. they have experienced them since they were infants. the person quitting has to know it for him or herself. The natural parental instinct is not to hurt them when they are in distress and lash out. “Of course.© 2009 FFNicotine. but to try to protect them. Well if you don't quit for them. because most people recognize that chemotherapy is a possible last ditch effort to save the other person's life. It is much more uncommon that the person expressing it is a parent or even a grandparent. a child of the smokers. “It is comparable to you telling someone on chemotherapy. you should just give up!” “I’m trying but my smoking friends laugh.” he says. So we put up with the bad times to help support the patients effort to save his or her life. “Parents are often used to their kids outbursts and moods. go back!" No person’s comment. in a less than happy mood. laugh or stare can destroy our freedom. The decision to stop the treatment is a decision to die. You quit for yourself and you stay off for yourself.com & WhyQuit. I think it often carries into adulthood. http://ffn.” “One thing I did notice over the years though.” says Joel. and hence.” he explains. “What family members and friends often overlook. I think that says something. Only we can do that. and other possible horrible side effects. “But you know what? He or she didn't do it. Negative Support from Others.” he explains. “Sometimes the family member then feels great guilt and remorse for putting the person back to smoking. a coworker or just an acquaintance. but the person quitting has to.yuku. While others may not immediately appreciate that fact.” But Joel has seen where people have encouraged friends or loved ones to relapse and then months or years later the smoker died from a smoking related disease. nausea.” 213 Spitzer. J.com/topic/23019 . you don't relapse for them either. no matter what any person said. How many times did a family member ask you to quit as a smoker and you never listened. Others may never really appreciate the concept. for Gods sake.

I recall grinding disappointment and loud brain addiction chatter that seized upon frustrated support expectations as fuel during some rather intense internal relapse debates. I recall thinking them insensitive and uncaring. casinos. How can I quit surrounded by smoke and smokers at every turn?” Imagine the total number of ex-smokers who successfully navigated recovery while working in n bars. This is our time. Embrace challenge.The Journey Home “I can’t quit. Only we can do that. and Virginia Slims. bowling alleys. I use them during presentations and have had cigarettes within arms reach for years. While most tried. What is it like to hold these packs sitting before me yet feel no crave or urge? Maybe I’ll have one tomorrow but it’s been so many years. I’m not sure I’d recognize it. just one moment at a time. Although it may sound strange. try to enjoy and savor reclaiming your mind and life. but not before initially spending some time away from them. smoke and smoker cues almost immediately. . in order to get my recovery legs under me first. around me are a number of packs of cigarettes: Camel. But if a family member or best friend smokes or uses tobacco. Don’t misconstrue this. Marlboro Lights. Extinguish cues. “I’m a bartender. or our place of employment sells tobacco or allows smoking around us. Recovery is about reclaiming. During my final attempt. Instead of expecting them to change their world for me. the smart move would have been for me to want to extinguish my brain’s subconscious feeding cues related to being around them and their addiction. Why fear our circumstances when we can embrace them? They cannot destroy our glory. And we can do it! Thousands of comfortable ex-users handle and sell tobacco products as part of their job. Imagine the total number who broke free while their spouse or significant other smoked like a chimney. don’t fear it. Salem. or as much of it as I wanted. It is not a smart move for someone struggling in early recovery to keep cigarettes on hand. Instead of fighting or hiding from our world. take it back.122 Freedom from Nicotine . it usually wasn’t long before they forgot. The smart move would have been to take back my world.” I recall attempts where I hoped smoking friends would be supportive in not smoking around me. and not leaving their packs lying around to tempt me. I did. Why allow our circumstances to wear us down? Small steps. Use honesty to filter conscious thoughts of wanting. As I sit here typing in this room. My husband still smokes and leaves his cigarettes lying around. we may have no choice but to work toward extinguishing tobacco product. convenience stores and other businesses historically linked to smoking.

com & WhyQuit. or through the oral mucosa if not inhaled. http://www. The benefit of researchers looking at cotinine levels in saliva. cotinine. et al.214 Ng/ml stands for nanograms per milliliter. Smoking and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. The half-life of cotinine is 17 hours. American Journal of Public Health." “Contrary to popular opinion or misconceptions.com/reply/255814#reply-255814 . Page U1931. however. He concluded that at this low level of absorption nicotine is unlikely to be a hazard to the nonsmoker. April 21.215 Let me quote from a 1979 Surgeon General report: “Several researchers have attempted to measure the amount of nicotine absorbed by nonsmokers in involuntary smoking situations. Volume 88(10). 2001. Despite very low levels measured in the air (15 to 32ug/ma). in the urine of smokers and nonsmokers exposed to a smoke filled environment and reported that nonsmokers excreted less than 1 percent of the amount of nicotine and cotinine excreted by smokers. Cano. Page 24.ffn. blood and urine. Although they experienced an 8-fold increase in cotinine levels. The New Zealand Medical Journal. it can't do that. their total average increase was still only 0. October 1998. the amount excreted was still less than 1 percent of the amount excreted by smokers. Harke measured nicotine and its main metabolite. Pages 1503-1509. November 21. A sufficient quantity of nicotine would be absorbed through the lungs. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in New Zealand bars: results prior to implementation of the bar smoking ban. 216 US Surgeon General. A 2006 study used spectrometry to analyze cotinine levels of non-smokers spending 3 hours in smoke filled bars.66 ng/ml or a little more than half of a nanogram. Misclassification rates for current smokers misclassified as nonsmokers. et al.yuku. instead of nicotine. making it a more stable indicator that nicotine was present. 214 Wells AJ. The average of three studies reporting cotinine levels in saliva was 260 ng/ml in women and 337 ng/ml in men.”216 But this is much different from inhaling a puff of smoke from a lit cigarette or even taking a puff into one’s mouth without inhaling. Volume 119. Withdrawal again? Quotting from Second Hand Smoke. the risks of second-hand smoke exposure are nothing compared to actually smoking yourself.” writes Joel. The trace amount of nicotine that can be absorbed from second hand smoke exposure is usually under 1% of what a smoker gets from smoking. As far as causing a relapse to needing nicotine. 2006.© 2009 FFNicotine. studied urinary excretion of nicotine by persons on a submarine. is that nicotine has a relatively short elimination half-life of about 2 hours. 1979. A nanogram is one billionth of a gram and a milliliter is one thousandth of a liter.” The primary metabolite that nicotine breaks down into is called cotinine. J. Chapter 11. to cause a fullblown relapse. nonsmokers showed a small rise in nicotine excretion. 215 Fowles J. 217 Spitzer.com 123 Breathing Second-Hand Smoke "I have to breathe smoke anyway so why not just go back to smoking.217 There is a significant difference in the amount of nicotine absorbed when puffing on a cigarette and breathing second hand smoke. et al.

" Why allow negative support or smoke screens to obscure our view of the path home? See through it just one challenge at a time. What this addict is really saying is. British Medical Bulletin. Cigarette smoking: an epidemiological overview. What such junkie-thinking is saying is that. "I'm going to again become part of the problem and at times expose others to the smoke. smells and chemicals that my once again badly damaged senses will by then no longer find offensive. Such relapse logic could only make sense to an addict. According to Joel. . yes I am saying over 4 days to get the equivalent dose of nicotine delivered to a smoker from one cigarette. Pages 3-11. January 1996.The Journey Home A critical fact that bears repeating is that just one puff of mainstream nicotine is sufficient to stimulate up to 50% of brain receptors believed associated with nicotine addiction." "I'm so concerned about a risk that is many times less than I used to face. you would have to be in a smoke filled room. Archives of General Psychiatry. hydrogen cyanide and some other noxious chemicals that can reach levels that are well above OSHA standards for safety. Volume 52(1). But as we may soon discover. Cigarette smoking saturates brain alpha 4 beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our brain will soon be begging us to steal more." Such thinking makes you wonder why it never occurs to non-smokers to take up smoking for such reasons. being forced to breathe second-hand smoke during recovery can be demoralizing and actually provide a source of junkie thinking during times of challenge. Pages 907-915. August 2006. 219 Wald NJ and Hackshaw AK. smoke that I know will cause far greater harm. in minutes not days." Such nonsense rationalizations are the relapsing addict's refuge. Bad Days Ex-users should expect to experience bad days but should keep in mind that never-users have bad days too. “as far as second-hand smoke and nicotine goes. that I'm going to relapse back to the greater risk and take a 50% chance219 that I’ll smoke myself to death 13 to 14 years early.218 Once we ring that bell it cannot be un-rung. non-stop for 100 hours.124 Freedom from Nicotine . "I'm so concerned about the lesser harms of secondhand smoke and the damage it inflicts that "I'm going to suck main-stream smoke into my lungs and bloodstream. "I have to breathe it anyway so why not just go back to smoking. Volume 63(8). The side effects felt from being exposed to second-hand smoke are from carbon monoxide. The association would never have crossed our mind if we’d had a bad day during the week prior to ending nicotine use. 218 Brody AL et al. When a bad day occurs early in recovery it can become ammunition inside a mind toying with relapse excuses.” explains Joel. But now the absence of nicotine becomes a magnet for blame.” “Other chemicals in second-hand smoke can reach some pretty toxic levels much quicker than that.

” Joel cautions. Acknowledge the bad while savoring the good. which may include: irritability. adult male smokers claimed an average of 13 years early or 14 years early for women.220 Regardless of how we feel. and emotional symptoms related to their menstrual cycle. April 12. if the bad day happens during the first week after ending nicotine use then blame recovery as “it is probably the reason. 220 Centers for Disease Control. As Joel teaches. It announces the first day of a woman’s cycle. Before you know it. fatigue and cramping.S. having ended nicotine use will play a diminishing role in bad days. Years of Potential Life Lost.” writes Joel.© 2009 FFNicotine. “but they pass and at the end of the day. 2002. The severity of symptoms can range from mild to disabling. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. psychological. depression. So how does a woman experiencing significant menstrual symptoms successfully navigate nicotine dependency recovery? The menstrual cycle can be broken down into two primary segments. includes the period of menstrual bleeding and normally lasts in the neighborhood of two weeks.United States. “in the greater scheme of things. “They are having bad weeks. at Page 301.” As you gradually navigate recovery. An estimated 80% experience premenstrual symptoms. it was a good day. Pages 300-303. restlessness.” Staying free means that. you’ll be going entire days without once thinking about wanting to use nicotine. The luteal phase commences at ovulation. The follicular or pre-ovulation phase is when significant hormonal changes occur. unless they again break free.com & WhyQuit. 1995–1999. If a smoker. Acknowledge bad days but allow this gift of freedom and healing we’ve given ourselves to live on.” writes Joel.com 125 Would it ever occur to a never-user to reach for nicotine if having a bad day? It’s a thought process peculiar to nicotine addicts. Imagine all the bad days they’ll force loved ones to endure if they are among the 50% of U. anxiety. Volume 51. every hour these minds and bodies are allowed to heal is good. “Sure there are some tough times. ”you need to be a little more discriminating. headaches.” “But as time marches on. Menstrual Cycle Considerations A complex interaction of hormones cause many women of childbearing years to experience physical.” If we want to hear about a horrible day we need to talk to someone who relapsed after having remained clean for a considerable length of time. they will likely face a day when their doctor tells them they now have a serious smoking related disease. months and years. . the follicular and luteal phases. you can still be free. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality. normally lasts two weeks and ends the day before her next period. Number 14. tension. and Economic Costs .

Addiction. American Journal of Epidemiology.ffn. In fact. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. 222 Bertone-Johnson ER. adding the onset of early withdrawal to premenstrual symptoms clearly makes navigating each month’s menstrual cycle more intense. success is achievable even if commencing recovery during the follicular phase. Menstrual phase effects on smoking relapse. et al.the first 72 hours -. Hormone related stress and tension might actually accelerate nicotine elimination by turning urine more acidic. the free message board support group where he serves as education director.221 A total of 202 women were assigned to either commence recovery during the luteal phase or the follicular phase.http://www. the authors found that "current smokers were 2. It may be that hormonal related symptoms are so profound for some women that it is best to navigate the most challenging portion of recovery -. next month’s cycle may very well stand on its own. Subconscious recovery can also be aggressively pursued. The smoking woman’s unconscious mind has likely been conditioned to reach for a cigarette during specific menstrual cycle hormonal or symptom related events.223 “Go back one month and see how many of the 221 Allen SS et al. The more nicotine use cues encountered and extinguished during the luteal phase.during the luteal phase.The Journey Home A 2008 study tried to determine if the menstrual phase during which a woman attempts to stop smoking affects the risk of smoking relapse." The study concludes. during significant premenstrual symptoms. Cigarette Smoking and the Development of Premenstrual Syndrome. the fewer remaining to trigger crave episodes during the follicular phase.968 reporting no diagnosis of PMS. As these 14% demonstrate. the question now being asked is. “Smoking. 223 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 809-821.1 times as likely as never-smokers to develop PMS over the next 2-4 years. The beauty of recovery is that next month’s cycle will not be affected by the heightened stresses associated with rapidly declining reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. especially in adolescence and young adulthood. unaffected by either early withdrawal or cue related crave triggers. While quicker elimination is desirable while engaged in recovery. Also. Joel encourages doubters to stroll through the hundreds of thousands of indexed and archived member posts at Freedom from Nicotine. 34% of women who started during the luteal phase were still not smoking versus only 14% of women who started during the follicular phase. is addiction to smoking nicotine a cause of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? A ten year study published in 2008 followed 1.com/ . Volume 103(5).057 women who developed PMS and 1. commencing recovery during a period of significant anxiety increases the odds that excess anxiety will never again serve as our relapse excuse. August 13. may increase risk of moderate to severe PMS.126 Freedom from Nicotine . thus causing the kidneys to draw the alkaloid nicotine from the bloodstream faster (see Chapter 8).yuku. with only minimal menstrual symptoms. After 30 days. May 2008.” When is it best to face challenge? Early on or delay it? As Joel often states.222 After adjustment for oral contraceptives and other factors.

to their original commitment to Never Take Another Puff! Pregnancy The awe and excitement of a new life growing inside. Pages 327-333. 2008. et al.com. news of pregnancy can be an emotional waterfall. nicotine replacement and neurobehavioural development. 1984. Doing it “for the baby” may as well be an open declaration that this baby will have an actively feeding drug addict for a mother. Volume 85(11). Acta Paediatrica.com/topic/12132 225 Tong VT. Joel’s Library. Let me share quotes from a few e-mails I’ve received: • “I am 33 years old. the birth of life. http://www. 2004. . J. often within minutes. 226 George L. October 2008. She decides to “quit for the baby.227 It can mean an entire pregnancy spent either feeling deprived of nicotine or gradually growing numb to the fears of harm it would inflict. Upon confirmation. is a formula and recipe for relapse. PMS and Quitting September 14. Smoking patterns and use of cessation interventions during pregnancy. et al.ffn. Pages 1331-1337.© 2009 FFNicotine. 227 Spitzer. J.” How could something that sounds so right be so wrong? Only about half of women claim to be successful in ending nicotine use after learning they are pregnant. Researchers conducting third trimester blood tests on women claiming to have succeeded found that 25% had been untruthful. Self-reported nicotine exposure and plasma levels of cotinine in early and late pregnancy. Instead of savoring life’s richest moment. WhyQuit.” 224 Joel closes by reminding women concerned about menstrual symptoms. Acta Obstetricia Gynecologica Scandinavica. Quitting for Others. also see. June 12. 2006. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The fact is there are no such posts on the board because after the first few months. Maternal tobacco smoking. the real figure is probably closer to one-third. and eventually surrendering to it. Volume 35(4). the fear and horror that our chemical dependency may damage or kill it. Epub ahead of print. including the unborn. the mother-to-be makes the biggest mistake of her entire pregnancy. she’s plotting the act she knows may bring an early end to motherhood and life.yuku. I started smoking at age 13 and of course never thought I 224 Spitzer.226 Why do so few succeed? Quitting for others.com & WhyQuit. Quitting “for the baby” will likely make her pregnancy objective vastly harder than need be.225 Sadly.com 127 woman at our site seem to have panicking posts complaining of intense smoking thoughts month after month after month on any kind of regular pattern. Pauly JR. not smoking becomes a habit even during times of menstruation. even during tough times. the precious seconds after having given birth are often soured by thoughts of relapse. What logic is there in making this “the baby’s” quit instead of its mother’s recovery? Quit for the baby? Is it the baby who needs help or its mom-to-be? No longer in harm’s way. that to keep their recovery on the course of getting easier and easier over time is still just as simple as staying totally committed.

.” “I am concerned about my neighbor’s smoking.228 Adding it all up.” “I started smoking at 13 (well I couldn't draw back like all the other girls) but by the time I was 14 I was smoking at every opportunity.128 Freedom from Nicotine . Then I got pregnant with my daughter and stopped chewing the gum. Then as soon as my babies weaned I started again!” “When I was pregnant with my first child I gave up smoking as soon as I found out. Three months later. stopping when pregnant only to re-light within hours of giving birth. these women were able to temporarily suspend nicotine use. and after pregnancy among women and their spouses. I was back to smoking a half a pack to a pack a day. I'm stopping smoking today even though I'm about to wean my daughter. The only time I stopped smoking is whilst I was pregnant and breastfeeding. 228 Kaneko A. Now I'm stuck on the gum again. My mother died right after my daughter was born. Although not mentioned. . 39 year old professional yuppie turned new mom who has been hiding it and in the closet for many years. She is pregnant again but still smokes.. Pages 367-375. I quit smoking and started chewing the gum. and a pack to a pack and a half each day.no pun intended. June 2008. Actually I don't know how much she smokes. I was totally nicotine free for about 18 months when my sister-in-law gave me a cigarette.” Roughly half of women who claim to have stopped smoking during pregnancy admit to relapse after giving birth. Volume 50(3). The reasons given to try and justify having relapsed after giving birth vary greatly: • • “I am an attractive. For someone who is trying to be so protective of her unborn child she isn't.. so I started smoking again. Smoking trends before.The Journey Home • • • • • • would still be a smoker 20 years later. the same for the second pregnancy.. it’s unlikely that drug relapse improved either situation.” “I quit smoking each time I found out I was pregnant but it was right after they were born I was back to a pack a day. I quit the cigarettes and started with the gum again. She was smoking while pregnant with her 1st son who is 4 years-old now and deaf. The minute I was home from the hospital I started again. I figured I could handle just one” “I bought a pack the next day. it means that only about 1 in 5 women who smoked at conception will experience the joys of smoke-free motherhood. She is an intelligent person but putting her baby at risk.” Driven by significant and very real risks. Pediatrics International.” “My daughter is 5 months pregnant and still smokes occasionally. I quit for nine months while I was pregnant and could not wait the entire pregnancy for just one cigarette. postpartum depression and a mother’s death were used as reasons for relapse. et al.” “I’m 38 years old with three children and have smoked since I was 17. Then. I finally quit the gum in January of 2003. during.” “I am addicted to nicotine gum. I quit successfully when I found out I was 2 weeks pregnant and then started during a brief bout of postpartum depression when my baby was 6 weeks old and I had stopped nursing. My mistake is I started back up .

I am worried about my baby and I have smoked through the whole thing. at least long enough to permit themselves that next fix..” • • “I am 8 weeks pregnant and have been struggling with quitting for some time. But gripped by worry of harm to the developing life inside. reason and common sense. I have tried to quit smoking 3 times now. I am down to about 3-5 cigarettes a day.and blown it every time.com & WhyQuit. she likely had her own dream of someday becoming nicotine-free at a time. The risks are so huge that fears flowing from them consume logic. and a growing sense of self-deprivation that she will attempt to satisfy soon after having given birth. place and manner of her choosing.” There’s also the rationalization that “Quitting for the baby is just too hard. Although short-term safety concerns caused these women to forget about their own longterm glory. she abandoned it in favor of self-sacrifice for the growing life inside.© 2009 FFNicotine. roughly 4 out of 5 women who smoked at conception spend their pregnancy somewhere between the grips of penetrating guilt over the harms that continued use inflicts on the developing life within her womb. It has been about . a period during which a mind. Is it dangerous to go through withdrawal cold turkey?” “I am 26 years old. I have smoked a pack a day for 11 years. it became a forgotten dream. The risks of harm are so significant that it isn’t a matter of whether or not nicotine will damage the fetus but how bad the damage will be. body and life are reclaimed in anticipation of the calmness and cleanliness of nicotine-free motherhood. Society’s distain only increases her focus upon “quitting for the baby. Think about the day to day agony and anxiety endured by these women. in 4 weeks. Instead. She was going to just stop but then a midwife told her that if she did. Imagine the disapproving stares and verbal abuse by those who notice a pregnant woman smoking. I am 9 weeks pregnant. Instead of seeing here and now as the time to revive and live her dream. her fetus would go into shock and that she should just taper off. at least they made an effort.” “I did attempt to quit when I found out I was pregnant the first time. • • “My daughter just found out that she is pregnant and she smokes. it likely made them worse. Prior to news of her pregnancy. but after thinking about all the people I knew who smoked while pregnant and had normal kids I kept right on smoking.. The scariest part for me is the anxiety that quitting creates.com 129 Whether recognized or not. Even before the pregnancy I was trying to quit.” “I kept my mouth shut as I had lied to Dr. The challenge truly is far greater when attempting to stop for others. Here are more quotes from e-mails I received. I am trying to quit again. and the hospital about smoking. Pregnancy is a golden opportunity to make a wonderful journey home. Many women reach for nicotine use rationalizations to bury fears of fetal harms.” She’s absolutely correct.

• • “Unfortunately. They will compel her dizzy and disrupted mind to turn its focus to her failed objective. my daughter would lose her mother.” As mentioned.130 Freedom from Nicotine . and formaldehyde striking her tissues will also burn her unborn baby. make impossible to forget. If this isn’t your recovery but instead a temporary pause for the baby. relapse will not match expectations. I hated myself for failing. Not convinced? Let me share some of the work and findings of those who have devoted their lives to the study of nicotine toxicology and pharmacology. there is nothing missing. Yes. I hated "sneaking" a smoke to get through the day. they belonged to an actively feeding drug addict whose blood-serum nicotine reserves were always on the decline. arsenic. For her. After two weeks. I feel that the reason why I haven't quit is just that! I am deathly afraid of the feeling of withdrawal. with the exception of 9 months when I pregnant (started right up again the day after she was born). her focus will turn to the sensations felt when scores of cigarette toxins strike healing tissues and carbon monoxide invades an oxygen rich mind. and nothing in need of replacement. “stopping for the baby. sulfur. I hated the way I smelled. unless I could find the strength and courage to quit. rain or shine. how long before a growing sense of feeling deprived overwhelms fears of harming an unborn child? How much anxiety and guilt would follow? If the expectant mother has gone two weeks without nicotine. hydrogen cyanide. I have given in and I had my first cigarette in 10 months yesterday. in the short term. The “aaah” may go almost unnoticed.” We can only live in fear for so long before growing numb to it. ammonia. it isn’t a matter of whether or not nicotine will damage the fetus but how noticeable the damage will be.” “I am a 22 year-old female who is currently 32 weeks along in my pregnancy.” “I am 41 years-old and smoked a pack a day since I was 15 years old.The Journey Home • 12 hours without a smoke. I hated the disgusted looks of people walking by me as I huddled outside my office building sucking on that disgusting thing. I hated myself for hurting my daughter .thinking for sure. Once nicotine is inside relapse is almost assured. Although her mind contains thousands of old nicotine replenishment memories.” She’ll wonder whether the burning sensations produced of carbon monoxide. her brain has already substantially completed restoring neurotransmitter sensitivities. I had another today and now I'm feeling absolutely horrible about it. with more assaults and guilt to follow. there will be an underlying “aaah” explosion that her brain’s pay attention pathways will. But she was not in a state of withdrawal. Instead. . cold or hot. I am breastfeeding and I would like to continue to breastfeeding without harming my child. But it’s too late.

affective and behavioral disorders in children born to mothers exposed to nicotine during pregnancy. calmness and beauty that’s “you!” Dr. the infant and the adolescent? Journal of Health Psychology.com & WhyQuit. et al.com. Ginzel’s make the expectant mother’s failure to place her recovery above “quitting for the baby” almost understandable. Listen carefully to his message: “To set the stage.” “Such impairment can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms depending on the site.”230 While warnings such as Dr. standards may decline in the offspring. They share concerns over “fetotoxicity and neuroteratogenicity that can cause cognitive. this decline may not be readily discernible. Pages 215-224. . with displays of unruliness and aggression. KH. Critical review: nicotine for the fetus. realize that the primary reason these harms occur is because the woman convinced herself she had to “give-up” her drug for the “sake of the baby. or NRT will impair their normal development.Q. 229 Ginzel KH.com 131 But before doing so. 2007. i.. Ginzel’s medical journal articles use language that tends to speak over-the-heads of most expectant women.” Allow your own dreams and desires to transport you home to the freedom. the nicotine the mother is exposed to from smoking. time and intensity of nicotine action. March 2007. Dr. intelligence expressed by I.e. When these systems are formed during fetal life. As a consequence. one has to recognize that nicotine interacts with the very basic functions of the peripheral and central nervous system. Nicotine exposure is responsible for cognitive and learning deficits in children as well as affective and behavioral problems such as "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder". reflect upon the truth that the only way the baby’s time with its mother will not be constantly interrupted by the need to replenish missing nicotine is if she embraces recovery for the “sake of the mother. Volume 12(2). pregnant women smokers who used to quit at least during pregnancy may begin using NRT throughout pregnancy.” “Neonatal nicotine exposure impairs so-called auditory learning.© 2009 FFNicotine. a very specific lifelong handicap. Wrongly believing or “being told that NRT is risk-free.” Instead. but as larger segments of the population are affected. Here are a few examples: The notorious "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome" or SIDS has been traced to prenatal and/or postnatal nicotine exposure. ADHD. solid and lasting foundation.”229 But he has also written aiming directly at pregnant women. they also remind us of the critical importance of building a lasting recovery upon a firm. the nerves supplying organs and tissues of the body and the vital command stations in the brain. Prenatal nicotine also primes the developing brain for depression and for nicotine addiction in adolescence. 230 Ginzel. secondhand smoke. Why do you smoke? WhyQuit. February 6. Heinz Ginzel is a medical doctor and retired University of Arkansas pharmacology and toxicology professor who has devoted decades to the study of nicotine.

Professor Slotkin wrote in 2008 that. 232 Slotkin. I know in my heart that I probably caused these problems but I keep finding other excuses. now my second son is two and a half with developmental delays.232 The patch’s continuous delivery of nicotine is believed to somehow overwhelm and saturate the ability of the placenta to perform limited nicotine filtering. 233 Slotkin. pus-like shade of yellow. instead of a healthy red color. as would be the case with the nicotine patch. I had taken lightly my responsibility to him and I will always regret it. and notably. June 1998. may actually worsen some of the critical outcomes. He is deeply concerned that nicotine. My child has allergies and catches bronchitis very easily.132 Freedom from Nicotine .” And what will the child say? • “I hate. e-mail from Professor Slotkin to John R. Volume 285(3). Fetal nicotine or cocaine exposure: which one is worse? The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.” • “So. TA. With my second child I quit smoking during pregnancy.”233 Ponder the collective regret of the millions of mothers whose intense focus on protecting the baby actually resulted in harming them. Jan-Feb 2008. especially by transdermal patch. was a sickly. that is not to say that the other components are not injurious. January 8. second hand smoke and smokeless tobacco! 231 Slotkin TA. may cause as much or more harm to the developing fetus than crack cocaine. but in my mind it bothers me. When I began breastfeeding after the birth it became another concern for me. but tapered and became thinner toward where it was attached to him." Studies have found that the brains of fetal mice wound up with 2. . I tell myself that its not hurting the baby. TA.” • “I smoked very little during my first pregnancy.” • “My son was born at a comparatively low birth rate. with extreme emphasis on the hyperactivity part.231 According to Professor Slotkin. Volume 30(1). My husband began smoking again and so did I. hate. “nicotine by itself is able to reproduce the net outcome from tobacco smoke exposure. and my four year old has Attention Hyperactivity Disorder.5 times higher nicotine concentrations than found in the mother's blood when on a slow continuous nicotine feed. the replacement of tobacco with NRT is likely to produce less improvement than might otherwise be thought. hate cigarette smoking. It was not thick and healthy. dare we recommend nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant women and adolescents? Neurotoxicology and Teratology. Pages 931-945. and as shown above. but rather. 2006. “NRT. If nicotine is a developmental neurotoxicant in animal studies.The Journey Home Duke Medical University Professor Theodore Slotkin is probably the world’s leading nicotine toxicology researcher. Polito. his umbilical cord. including replacement nicotine. Pages 1-19. Slotkin. delivers more nicotine to the fetus than smoking does. • “I learned first hand the results of smoking during pregnancy.

I was still in post acute withdrawal. So I guess.000 (that US $27. I kept smoking.5% among 1. elevated by smoking. After each quit. and read. I visited WhyQuit and read.” Exchange all fears of fetal harm for the celebration of using pregnancy as your time to come home to “you. Envision the rich calmness of nicotine-free motherhood.” Regarding postpartum depression.” Imagine the ability to fully bond with your baby without nicotine coming between the two of you. even when pregnant with me. who has a smoke-free mom.584 Swedish women at 8 weeks. Now I was much older and this baby was counting on me to not just quit during my pregnancy like the sisters.9% of 280 new moms in Israel reported postpartum depression at 6 weeks (Glasser 1998).com & WhyQuit. That's exactly what was put on the coroner's report. and read..most of the costs have gone. Try to reach back and seize upon your own pre-pregnancy dream of freedom and make recovery your gift of “you” to “you. and a nicotine-free wife. I have started to workout three times a week. but I still get the benefits. which declined to 8. I was born with a head tumor which continues to give me trouble after two surgeries and more than 35 years of life. Best of all. and 3.” “Now although I still know I am an addict.com 133 • My mother smoked while she was pregnant (both times) and smoked until I was 17 years old. I feel better. Studies analyzing how often it occurs vary significantly depending on where the women studied lived. I am so glad that I quit. But this pregnancy scared me. but I picked the habit right back up again with ferocity. My house and car are cleaner. I finally learned WHY every time I picked them back up again in my postpartum periods. .” “My mother smoked. I did not approach my quit with a recovery mind-set but with a 'suspended sentence' on smoking. I gave my husband another daughter . Smoking is expensive in the UK." Compared with the first days of my quit. One thought I find very heartening is that I am doing "easy time.8% among 465 Wisconsin women between months 1 and 4 (Chaudron 2001). and so far I have saved £14.” Picture your new baby basking in liberty’s blessings. the standards used to assess depression. I concentrate on keeping my quit alive by celebrating my freedom. ready yourself for the possibility. • • • “I am very happy to say that I have been nicotine free for six months now. 12.500)! I save so much I can easily justify a weekend away every quit anniversary. Most people tell me I look a lot better. 6. My kids have not missed any days of school this year.” “I had quit with my previous pregnancies (three older daughters). At 2 to 2 1/2 packs a day I saw not much hope for an end. it is so easy for me not to smoke today . For our fifteenth anniversary.7% of 403 Minnesota woman during the first year following childbirth (Bryan 1999). I've always been addicted to nicotine. I have a 10 week old son. my mother died of a sudden and massive stroke caused by hypertension.3% by 12 weeks (Wickberg 1997).© 2009 FFNicotine. and whether or not the results included women experiencing depression prior to giving birth. Even then. Riddled with anxiety. 5. being born that way. I increased my nicotine intake more and more. but for the rest of my life. Among studies reporting new cases of depression arising after childbirth.” “At age 22..

Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology.” Remember. placebo is not a real-world quitting method. electronic letter.. Volume 59(2). Meta-analysis rooted in expectations not science. . http://cmaj. But it certainly has proven effective in allowing the pharmaceutical industry to make mountains of money.The Journey Home If depressed following childbirth be sure and let your doctor know. Smoking cessation in pregnancy: why.238 Also. Volume 51(2). Pages 419-435. July 29. JM. et al. CNS Drugs. 235 Nemeroff CB. July 31. Understanding the pathophysiology of postpartum depression: implications for the development of novel treatments. Pharmacotherapy for Smoking Cessation. mends and repairs while the developing life inside you grows..234 Emerging research suggests that these receptors could be a path to effective treatment. Pregnant women would be wise to accept that knowledge is an extremely effective recovery tool. which may have significant effects on GABA A receptors. Volume 59(2). look closely to see if the pregnancy pharmacology cessation study examined cotinine levels (the primary chemical nicotine breaks down into) to see if women were truly able to get off nicotine. how. 2008. electronic letter. 2008. Let this be your loving gift of “you” to “you. 2008. skin and clothing. GABA(A)R plasticity during pregnancy: relevance to postpartum depression. Volume 21(12). If cotinine levels were ignored. The highest known pregnancy cessation rates are associated with “counseling and behavioral interventions. even its most vocal advocates are forced to admit that. Picture your new baby bonding to its mother’s natural skin fragrance instead of the more than four thousand chemicals that cigarette smoke would have deposited upon your hair. 236 Coleman T. It’s believed to be associated with a large increase in progesterone-derived neuro-steroids during pregnancy.134 Freedom from Nicotine . Neuron. 2007.”239 It’s what we’re doing now.” Watch the magic unfold as your nicotinefree body heals. and what next. reviewing the knowledge. Neuron. 2008. Postpartum depression is not some character flaw or weakness but as real as the nose on our face. insights and skills needed to embrace and celebrate nicotine-free motherhood.235 What no physician will suggest as a treatment course is relapse to the highly addictive. it tells us that those conducting the study were probably more interested in selling nicotine not preventing fetal harm. Pages 983-993.237 There’s no such thing. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 237 Brewster. Recommendations for the use of pharmacological smoking cessation strategies in pregnant women. June 2008. J. July 31. As for replacement nicotine.ca/cgi/eletters/179/2/135#19879 238 Polito. Pages 207-713. “there is no evidence that NRT is actually effective for smoking cessation in pregnancy. fetal teratogen nicotine. Yes you can! 234 Maguire J.ca/cgi/eletters/179/2/135#19781 239 Crawford JT.”236 Keep your eye on the placebos and nicotine should some future “placebo” controlled pregnancy study proclaim NRT “effective. Pages 185-186. et al. July 29. http://cmaj. and its sharp decline following childbirth.. Canadian Medical Association Journal.

which by happenstance is able to unlock and activate the same brain cells and pathways as the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.com Chapter 7 135 The Roadmap Home The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of recovery.United States 2005. 4. Understandably.com & WhyQuit. But just because science cannot yet tell us when most oral tobacco and NRT recovery benefits occur doesn’t mean they are not happening. Using it allowed us the ability to over-stimulate the mind’s priorities teacher . Once home. the depths to which it took us. Volume 55(42). Continued use caused the brain to desensitize itself to nicotine’s presence while conditioning the mind to expect more. MMWR.at will. Physical Recovery Emotional Recovery Subconscious Recovery Conscious Recovery Nicotine addiction is the result of the introduction of a chemical into the body. of engaging life as “you. Why? Here in the U. frantic or nightmarish. The objective is to diminish needless fears and anxieties by removing as much mystery as possible from each of these phases: 1. An awakening is at hand: seeing the lie. Any attempt to stop was met with the same anxieties we felt when deprived of food. Such awareness itself can be frightening. as fundamental as eating. But why spoil healing with fear? Why fear arrival of a calm and comfortable day where not once do thoughts of using enter our mind? Recovery Timetable Most but not all benefits listed below are related to smoking.” But that’s only a hope. a love fest. 240 Centers for Disease Control.our dopamine pathways . whether our journey is best characterized as having been a cakewalk. Pages 1145-1148.S. .240 By far. 3. smoking reflects the greatest health risks of any form of nicotine delivery. the only thing that matters is that each challenge and each day remained do-able. and where we now stand. Educated recovery is about understanding both the lie and dependency’s effects upon us. It left us falsely convinced that nicotine was core to our existence. 2. 2006. there are ten times as many smokers as oral tobacco users. October 27. Weekly. until now the vast majority of research has focused on smoking. a start to finish look at four distinct yet overlapping phases. Understanding where we are is the window to where we’ve been. a non-event. Tobacco Use Among Adults .© 2009 FFNicotine. water or affection. It is my hope that any remaining fears of life without nicotine will become so insignificant that it becomes impossible not to notice the beauty that recovery unfolds before you. It’s my hope that you’ll sense the full glory of again standing on our own.

JR. 12 hours .Our body is 100% nicotine-free and over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals it breaks down into) have been ionized or excreted via urine.241 • • • • • • • • • • • • 20 minutes . Although we may not be “average” and although serious cessation time distortion can make minutes feel like hours. it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Pages 1829-1835. difficulty concentrating. within . March 2007.Blood circulation in our gums and teeth are now similar to that of a nonuser. et al.25% reduction. Volume 48(11).The “average ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day. Department of Health and Human Services. each less than 3 minutes.Our blood pressure. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. restlessness and depression have ended. 242 Mamede M. 24 hours . impatience. 5 to 8 days . Volume 21(6). 21 days – Brain acetylcholine receptor counts up-regulated in response to nicotine’s presence have now down-regulated and receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. (3) O'Connell KA. . 10 days to 2 weeks . The number of cue induced crave episodes will peak for the “average” ex-user. 10 days .Anxieties peak and within two weeks should return to near precessation levels. Symptoms of withdrawal have peaked in intensity. 8 hours . Effects of abstinence from tobacco: valid symptoms and time course.. et al.Recovery has likely progressed to the point where our addiction is no longer doing the talking. 2 to 4 weeks .The ex-smoker’s blood oxygen level will have increased to normal while carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal.Damaged nerve endings have started to re-grow and our sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Pages 315-327.The “average” ex-smoker will encounter an “average” of three cue induced crave episodes per day. insomnia. 2 weeks .Cessation related anger.242 241 Primary sources for this recovery benefits timetable are: (1) U. including restlessness. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. a 93. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. November 2007. December 1998.Remaining nicotine in our bloodstream will have fallen to 6. Coping in real time: using Ecological Momentary Assessment techniques to assess coping with the urge to smoke. heart rate and the temperature of our hands and feet return to normal. Keep a clock handy and time them. Research in Nursing and Health.25% of normal peak daily levels. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician. Pages 487-497. We are beginning to catch glimpses of where freedom and healing are transporting us. (2) Hughes.136 Freedom from Nicotine . Cessation anger and irritability peaks.S.The Journey Home When ending all tobacco and nicotine use. 48 hours .. Volume 9(3). 2004. anxiety. Breathing is becoming easier and the lungs functional abilities are starting to increase. 72 hours . Temporal change in human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor after smoking cessation: 5IA SPECT study.

bupropion and varenicline). keep our lungs clean and reduce infections. our risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half. We will have relapsed. We will reside inside a nicotine-free body and stand atop withdrawal’s mountain within 72 hours of ending nicotine use. Expect to be teased during the climb and descent by those selling chemicals that stimulate brain dopamine pathways (nicotine. Walking has become easier. few of us have the stamina of purpose needed to make back-to-back climbs.Any smoking related sinus congestion. Although we could have rested and rejuvenated once at or over the top.If an ex-smoker. The most challenging portion of recovery will be behind us. 15 years . 1 to 9 months . While our climb to the summit was quick. We’ll either resume life as an active addict or face another climb to the top. The hours between 24 and 72 may well be the most intense period of healing our mind has ever known. Clearly they want . Cilia have re-grown in our lungs. hereby increasing their ability to handle mucus.com • • 137 • • • • • 2 weeks to 3 months .com & WhyQuit. The balance of the journey is primarily an exercise in patience. If coughing persists contact your physician. 3 weeks to 3 months . Any chronic cough has likely disappeared. that the mind begins to experience overlapping recovery on four levels at once: physical. excess risk of coronary heart disease has dropped to less than half that of a smoker. 10 years . subconscious and conscious. The body's overall energy level has increased.If an “average” ex-smoker (one pack per day). emotional.Our risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked. circulation has substantially improved. Listen for the false implication that few of us will succeed in stopping on our own. the slope of the journey down the other side.just one powerful hit of nicotine . risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker. Remaining levels become so small within 24 hours that healing and re-sensitization have no choice but to commence. Ending Nicotine Use Once all nicotine use ends. The price of each climb is further depletion of core dreams and desires. it’s how the vast majority will succeed this year. within 24 hours. and then celebrate! It is here.If an ex-smoker. Risk of cancer of the mouth. 1 year . Truth is. Yet.© 2009 FFNicotine. 5 to 15 years . is continuous yet ever so gradual. one challenge at a time. Expect them to try to discourage us. heart attack risk has started to drop and lung function continues to improve. it is eliminated from the bloodstream at a rate of roughly onehalf every two hours.If an ex-smoker.and forget about any gradual down slope.If an ex-smoker. throat and esophagus has also decreased. Just one hour. fatigue or shortness of breath have decreased. although initially brisk. violate the “Law of Addiction” .

Even N. not foster them. 2008. Although Chapter 9 provides a detailed list (and discussion) of possible withdrawal symptoms. et al. et al. recent studies have found that some symptoms. Expect their tease to falsely suggest that their product makes the climb easy. While the bulk of physical recovery is generally recognized as occurring within two weeks. some or many. primary emotional and possibly related to brain neuron sensitivity restoration in some brain regions. Physical Readjustment The brain needs time to re-adjust its equilibrium or homeostasis to again functioning without nicotine. Aside from the brain. Such lists have a tendency to transform a sensation that may have been barely noticeable into a full-blown worry. the withdrawal symptoms experienced may be none. April 2008. 244 Parker SL.The Journey Home our money. It delays it. As it does. Don’t listen. the body needs time for its physiology to adjust to again functioning without nicotine and other chemicals introduced by our method of delivery. If needed. This book’s primary objective is to destroy fears. Up-regulation of brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the rat during long-term selfadministration of nicotine: disproportionate increase of the alpha6 subunit. it will work around-the-clock restoring acetylcholine receptor counts and neurotransmitter sensitivities. That’s right. As Joel says.138 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 611-622. If allowed time. Nicotine caused both activation and deactivation of nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors. October 8. That’s why advertising the product’s cessation results on the day product use ends. don’t read it. it’ll be there. Pages 1545-1550. physical withdrawal’s climb isn’t fully underway until use of the product ends. Volume 19(15). few. also see.243 A significant increase in the number of receptors (upregulation) may have occurred in as many as eleven different brain regions. is not about science but salesmanship. It is not "either/or": activation and desensitization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors both contribute to behaviors related to nicotine addiction and mood. while still under the chemical’s influence. Pages 329-342. Regional differential effects of chronic nicotine on brain alpha 4containing and alpha 6-containing receptors. we’d only have ourselves to blame for intentionally extending what should have been a couple of days of withdrawal into weeks or months. Molecular Pharmacology. most appear willing to lie to get it. Progress in Neurobiology. March 2004. . The product does not aid recovery. 243 Picciotto MR.244 Our brain needs for us to develop the patience necessary to allow time to remove defenses and restore natural sensitivities. Volume 65(3). may persist for up to four weeks. Sadly. If the product stimulates dopamine flow. Not only do users face the side-effect risks posed by each product but the need to someday adjust to living without the dopamine stimulation they provide. Volume 84(4). I encourage you to skip it. Neuroreport.

in the yard or garage. the finish line marking completion of emotional recovery. But waiting to long to replenish after a cue or simply delaying could sound anxiety alarms. Once inside our bloodstream. anger. But never once did nicotine let us down. sad.com 139 Both online at Freedom and during live two-week. six session clinics (each session being two hours). many report no noticeable physical symptoms at all. it takes significant time to fully expel toxins and carcinogens and heal from their assaults. finished. Normally we simply obeyed. It’s over. while traveling. Denial. we may not have liked the flavors accompanying it. Subconscious recovery is about meeting.© 2009 FFNicotine. while drinking. Aside from expected anxieties and emotions. Subconscious Readjustment Nicotine’s two-hour half-life compelled us to select replenishment times and patterns. around friends. within seconds we experienced replenishment: arrival of nicotine’s high and a stimulated dopamine “aaah. Emotional Readjustment Although chemical in nature. a long and intense relationship is ending. done. Each time we extinguish a cue we are rewarded with the return of another aspect of life. circumstances and emotions during which we replenished nicotine. It simply reacts to input.com & WhyQuit. when happy. with the time needed for deep tissue healing and purging of tobacco tars. our subconscious recorded the times. in most instances a single encounter will sever and break the nicotine use association. we watched. triggering a full-blown crave episode. on the telephone. If we say “no” during what’s normally a less than 3 minute crave episode (which time distortion may cause to feel far longer). Also. When did you replenish? Upon waking. bargaining and depression. greeting and extinguishing each conditioned use cue. read or looked into faces. plan or conspire. extinguishing the cue that caused it. It became conditioned to expect replenishment during these events. Encountering a use cue would trigger a gentle urge reminding us it was time to feed. before bed. just one . crave episodes are good not bad! It’s how we take back life. places. And as with ending any long-term relationship we must navigate the sense of loss emotions flowing from it. in the bathroom.” But now that’s all behind us. don’t confuse the time needed for the mind and body to adapt to functioning without nicotine’s influence. As suggested by the above recovery timetable. If our fix was bummed or borrowed. each emotion overcome brings us closer to acceptance. stressed or mad? Whether or not we were aware of our use patterns. surrounding meals. That’s right. For many of us it was the most dependable relationship we’d ever known. surrounding work. the time needed to produce the desired effect or the degree of control over the precise amount that arrived in our brain. The subconscious mind does not plot.

the easiest yet longest phase of recovery is reclaiming normal. irritability. did we really smoke for taste? Remember how that first cigarette tasted prior to tobacco toxins diminishing our sense of smell and taste? What is the conscious mind really asking for when it yearns for more nicotine? What explanation is provided for wanting it? Chapter 12 is about using logic. How long can we keep our mind focused upon our favorite food? Look at a clock and give it a try. Letting go of other use explanations may be more challenging. We need to examine them honestly and realistically. (2) we will always be able to handle up to three minutes of anxiety. Some use rationalizations can be laughed away. We didn’t continue using nicotine because we liked it. with zero taste buds inside human lungs. there was only one reason we didn’t stop using nicotine long. For now. overwrite or suppress all the lies we created to justify that next feeding. “I smoke because I like smoking. It can also be a shorter period of time during which we grab hold of each rationalization. and (3) the reward at the end of each episode is worth vastly more than the price of enduring it. Conscious Readjustment By far. expose it to honest light. understand that: (1) there is no force or circumstance on planet earth that can compel us to bring nicotine into our body. Others may benefit from honest reflection once two weeks have passed and out from under nicotine’s primary influence. everyday thinking. reason and science to accelerate this final phase of recovery. the conscious mind can fixate upon a thought of wanting nicotine for as long as we are able to maintain concentration and focus. For example.140 Freedom from Nicotine . and recast it using truth.The Journey Home extinguished use cue and slice at a time. anger and depression to begin building if we waited too long between feedings. www.245 245 Spitzer.com . Can you taste it? Does it make your mouth water? Feeling an urge? Now think about your favorite nicotine use rationalization.WhyQuit. What were your top three use justifications? Conscious recovery can be the period of time needed for new nicotinefree memories to gather. if a smoker.” 1983. Contrary to industry marketing. We did so because we didn’t like what happened when we didn’t use it. It is not necessary to destroy drug use memories in order to alter their impact upon us. In Chapter 11 we’ll explore a host of crave coping techniques. long ago. Unlike a less than three-minute subconscious crave episode. Our new addiction quickly conditioned us to expect anxiety. J.

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Arriving Home
What would it be like to go the entire day without once thinking about wanting to smoke, dip or chew nicotine? What would it be like to be "you" again? Don’t feel alone if you can no longer remember. That’s what drug addiction is all about, quickly burying nearly all remaining memory of the beauty of life without the chemical. Trust in your common sense and dreams. Believe in you. Don't be afraid. We leave absolutely nothing of value behind. In fact, every chemical that nicotine controlled already belonged to us. As recovering addicts, we can do everything we did while enslaved and do it as well as or better once free. Why fight and rebel against recovery when it can be savored, hugged and loved? Why see challenge as frightening when it provides indisputable evidence of just how infected our life had become and lights the path home? My prior attempts failed because I fought recovery, and did so in ignorance and darkness. Yes, every now and then I’d get lucky and land a punch. Not this time. This time Joel and his insights effectively turned on the lights. Now my opponent couldn’t be clearer. My eyes and mind were opened to exactly what it takes to fail or succeed. Joel burned an extremely bright line into my mind, one I’ll do my best to keep clean and clear for all my remaining days. He taught me that I get to stay and live on the free side of that line so long as it’s never crossed, so long as all the world’s nicotine remains on the other, so long as complacency isn’t allowed to obscure it. Freedom is our birthright and there was always only one rule to reclaiming it ... no nicotine today. The next few minutes are all that we have the ability to control and each will be doable. Baby steps to glory, just one moment, challenge, hour and day at a time!

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Chapter 8

Freedom from Nicotine - The First 72 Hours

Are you all packed, map in hand and aware of
common hazards up ahead? Are you ready for that first step? Are you still a bit apprehensive? It’s totally understandable. Still, I encourage you to try to relax, to take slow deep breaths and ponder this: when going cold turkey, without use of any product or procedure, nearly everything felt during the first three days is evidence of what may be the most beautiful healing your body has ever known. It is good not bad. If you have decided in favor of educated “on-your-own” recovery, rest assured, you will not experience any quitting product side effect or adverse event. Instead you will witness and experience the response of your body and mind as they navigate a temporary period of deep and profound healing. If a smoker, it will likely be your body’s most intense healing ever. Picture 100 trillion cells246 receiving far more oxygen and far fewer toxins. Psychologically, the first 24 hours are usually the biggest hurdle of all. It’s here, during these early magic moments that we re-discover how to breathe, move about, eat and go to sleep without introducing nicotine back into our bloodstream. The minutes will pass whether we sit on pins and needles while intensely focusing upon each passing second, or attempt to relax, make ourselves as comfortable as possible or keep ourselves occupied. A clock or watch will soon announce the passing of an hour. When it does, celebrate! You’ve taken that first giant step home. Congratulations! A new supply of the super-toxin nicotine did not arrive. Its absence likely diminished destruction of surviving brain gray matter,247 allowed more unhealthy cells throughout the body to die natural deaths (apoptosis),248 diminished nicotine’s influence in preventing bone regeneration,249 and permitted a decline in nicotine induced angiogenesis which causes plaque build-up within arteries to harden and accelerates tumor growth rates.250
246 National Institutes of Health, Human Cells 101, NICHD, http://www.nichd.nih.gov - page last updated 9/18/06. 247 Brody, AL et al, Differences between smokers and nonsmokers in regional gray matter volumes and densities, Biological Psychiatry, January 1, 2004, Volume 55(1), Pages 77-84. 248 Cucina A, et al, Nicotine Inhibits Apoptosis and Stimulates Proliferation in Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells Through a Functional Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, The Journal of Surgical Research, November 26, 2007. 249 Zheng LW, et al, Changes in blood perfusion and bone healing induced by nicotine during distraction osteogenesis, August 2008, Volume 43(2), Pages 355-361. 250 Cooke JP, Angiogenesis and the role of the endothelial nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, Life Sciences, May 30, 2007, Volume 80(24-25), Pages 2347-2351; also see, Heeschen C, et al, Nicotine stimulates angiogenesis and promotes tumor growth and atherosclerosis, Nature Medicine, July 2001, Volume 7(7), Pages 833-839.

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Most importantly, we arrested our dependency for an entire hour. We were the jailor and it was our prisoner. Forget about forever, forget about tomorrow, and forget about two hours from now. All we control are the next few minutes, minutes during which nicotine need not enter our bloodstream.

Nicotine’s Half-life
Contrary to marketing suggestions of those selling quitting chemicals that stimulate brain dopamine pathways, the only way to restore natural stimulation and sensitivities is to remove the chemicals. The speed and beauty of natural recovery can be seen within just one hour of remaining 100% nicotine-free, as the concentration of nicotine in our bloodstream declines by 25%. “Half-life” is defined as “the time required for half the quantity of a drug or other substance deposited in a living organism to be metabolized or eliminated by normal biological processes.”251 Most older cessation literature firmly fixes nicotine’s elimination half-life at about two hours.252 But nicotine’s half-life can vary based upon genetic, racial and hormonal factors.253 Let’s ignore genetic differences, as we have no idea which genes we have or don’t have. As for racial variations, a 1998 study found an average nicotine half-life of 129 minutes in Caucasians and 134 minutes in African Americans.254 A 2002 study compared Chinese-American, Latino and Caucasian smokers. It found that Latino’s had the shortest half-life (122 minutes), Chinese-Americans the longest (152 minutes), with Caucasians in the middle (134 minutes).255 Nicotine’s half-life was found to be shorter in women (118 minutes) than men (132 minutes), and even faster in women taking oral contraceptives (96 minutes). This was thought to be associated with estrogen.256 Its half-life has been found to be shorter during pregnancy (97 minutes) than after giving birth (111 minutes).257 Sadly, new born babies whose mothers smoked endure a nicotine withdrawal period five times longer than what their mother’s would have been. Instead of a 2-hour elimination half-life it
251 half-life. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved
August 22, 2008 from Dictionary.com. 252 Benowitz NL, et al, Interindividual variability in the metabolism and cardiovascular effects of nicotine in man, The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, May 1982, Volume 221(2), Pages 368-372; also see Feyerabend C, et al, Nicotine pharmacokinetics and its application to intake from smoking, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, February 1985, Volume 19(2), Pages 239-247. 253 Benowitz NL, Clinical pharmacology of nicotine: implications for understanding, preventing, and treating tobacco addiction, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, April 2008, Volume 83(4), Pages 531-541. 254 Pérez-Stable EJ, et al, Nicotine metabolism and intake in black and white smokers, Journal of the American Medical Association, July 8, 1998, Volume 280(2), Pages 152-156. 255 Benowitz NL, et al, Slower metabolism and reduced intake of nicotine from cigarette smoking in ChineseAmericans, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, January 16, 2002, Volume 94(2), Pages 108-115. 256 Benowitz NL, et al, Female sex and oral contraceptive use accelerate nicotine metabolism, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, May 2006, Volume 79(5), Pages 480-488. 257 Dempsey D, et al, Accelerated metabolism of nicotine and cotinine in pregnant smokers, Journal of Pharmacology Exp Therapeautics, May 2002, Volume 301(2), Pages 594-598.

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increases to 11.2 hours.258 If considering breast-feeding, nicotine’s breast milk half-life averages 97 minutes.259 Interestingly, a 1993 nicotine patch study found that when nicotine was administered directly into the bloodstream (intravenously) it had a 2 hour elimination half-life but when administered through the skin via nicotine patch (transdermally), once the patch was removed nicotine’s elimination half-life was 2.8 hours.260 This finding is confirmed by a second patch study that found it to be a minimum of 3.3 hours.261 The liver is the primary organ in eliminating nicotine from the bloodstream, and does so by breaking it down into other chemicals, its metabolites. Although studies are limited, it makes sense that any activity which increases blood flow though the liver (exercise or eating) should tend to accelerate nicotine depletion. One study reports that liver blood flow increases by 30% after meals, with a 40% increase in the rate that nicotine is cleared from arriving blood.262 As suggested by the above half-life data, most of us had sufficient nicotine reserves to comfortably make it through 8 hours of sleep each night (4 half lives leaving us with 6.25% of our normal daily supply). But within 24 hours of ending all nicotine use our remaining reserves will become so small they may be difficult to detect (.02 or just 2/100ths of our normal daily level). It is here that surgery is nearly complete and true healing begins in earnest. Within three days, with absolute certainty, we again inhabit a nicotine-free body and mind. As for detection, we often get the question, for how long after I stop using it will my insurance company or employer be able to detect nicotine in my system? As seen above, unless examining hair, which permanently records nicotine use, measuring nicotine in blood, urine and saliva is easy to beat and rather useless. But one of nicotine’s longerlasting metabolites (the chemicals in breaks down into) is cotinine, which has a generally recognized half-life of 17 hours.263 Hopefully you’re not trying to tick, fool or beat the system but sample the full flavor and wonderful aroma of freedom from nicotine.
258 Dempsey D, et al, Nicotine metabolism and elimination kinetics in newborns, Clinical Pharmacology
Therapeutics, May 2000, Volume 67(5), Pages 458-465. 259 Luck W, Nicotine and cotinine concentrations in serum and milk of nursing smokers, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, July 1984, Volume 18(1), Pages 9-15. 260 Gupta SK, et al, Bioavailability and absorption kinetics of nicotine following application of a transdermal system, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, September 1993, Volume 36(3), Pages 221-227. 261 Keller-Stanislawski B, et al, Pharmacokinetics of nicotine and cotinine after application of two different nicotine patches under steady state conditions, Arzneimittel-Forschung, September 1992, Volume 42(9), Pages 1160-1162. 262 Hukkanen J, et al, Metabolism and disposition kinetics of nicotine, Pharmacological Reviews, March 2005, Volume 57(1), Pages 79-115. 263 Swan GE, et al, Saliva cotinine and recent smoking--evidence for a nonlinear relationship, Public Health Reports, Nov-Dec 1993, Volume 108(6), Pages 779-783.

confusion. Pages 949-957. Volume 11(1). warmness. (n. November 1991. 267 Wilson T. Cranberry juice is excellent. normal-calorie cranberry juice (280 calories) upon blood sugar. Make sure it’s 100% natural juice. the heart pumps about 20% of our blood 264 hypoglycemia. increased activity or exercise and excessive alcohol. Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers.© 2009 FFNicotine. difficulty speaking and blurred vision.d. 03–3926.com/hypoglycemia 265 National Institutes of Health. March 2008. One of recovery’s greatest challenges is learning to again properly feed and fuel our bodies. Retrieved August 22 2008 from http://medical-dictionary. Symptoms of acute insulin-induced hypoglycemia in humans with and without IDDM. weakness. it will aid in accelerating removal of nicotine from our blood.). Diabetes Care. that normal-calorie cranberry juice resulted in significantly higher blood glucose concentrations within 30 minutes. 266 Hepburn DA. trembling.com 145 Natural Fruit Juices If our health permits. NIH Publication No. nausea.”264 Causes of low blood sugar in non-diabetics include skipping or delaying meals. March 2003. et al. Pages 46-54. et al. why not devote the money we would have spent purchasing nicotine. dizziness.266 We reviewed in Chapter 6 how each hit of nicotine served as our spoon pumping stored glucose into our bloodstream via our body’s fight or flight pathways. A 2008 study examined the effects of drinking 480 milliliters or 16 ounces of unsweetened. drowsiness. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hypoglycemia. no sugar added and avoid fruit drinks and aides.thefreedictionary. Spectrometry analysis found that while low-calorie cranberry juice (38 calories) and water produced no significant changes in blood sugar levels.267 As for fruit juices accelerating nicotine removal.com & WhyQuit. sweating. we recommend sipping on natural fruit juices the first three days unless diabetic or otherwise inappropriate due to other health conditions (such as acid reflux). hunger. eating too little. (2007). Juice will not only help stabilize blood sugar levels. It’s not a matter of consuming more calories but learning to spread them out more evenly over our entire day by eating smaller portions of healthy foods more frequently. anxiety. Human glycemic response and phenolic content of unsweetened cranberry juice.265 Warning signs include an inability to concentrate. It allowed us to skip breakfast and lunch without experiencing low blood sugar or hypoglycemic type symptoms. But don’t over do it or go beyond three days as juice tends to be rather fattening. toward purchase and use of some form of natural fruit juice for the first 72 hours. Hypoglycemia is a fancy word for what occurs when our “blood sugar (or blood glucose) concentrations fall below a level necessary to properly support the body's need for energy and stability throughout its cells. As an aid in blood sugar stabilization. Volume 14(11). Journal of Medicinal Food. . Factor-analysis approach. which were no longer significant after 180 minutes.

S.3 . Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition. Effect of grapefruit juice on cytochrome P450 2A6 and nicotine renal clearance. Your Kidneys and How They Work.268 The word “renal” means “of or relating to the kidneys.272 the below fluids have the following pH ranges: • • • • • • • • • Cranberry juice Grapefruit juice Pineapple juice Orange juice Apple juice Prune juice Vegetable juice Tomato juice Milk 2.6.4. This results in removal of about two quarts of waste products and extra water. 268 National Institutes of Health.1 . 271 Hukkanen J.3. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.4 . 270 Tucker GT.3 .4.3 4. et al.4.3. Volume 12(6). Volume 80(5).com website.0 3.2 3.146 Freedom from Nicotine . According to the FDA. Measurement of the renal clearance of drugs. NIH Publication No.). from Dictionary. November 2006. 272 U. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. as compared to when drinking 1 liter of water (231 milliliters of nicotine-free blood produced per minute using grapefruit juice vs. which pass to the bladder as urine.2.9 . A 2006 study found that drinking one liter of full-strength grapefruit juice (34 ounces or about 2 pints) will increase the rate by which the kidneys remove nicotine from blood plasma by 88%.4 . 07–3195. NKUDIC. (n. April 2007.271 The study found that even if the grapefruit juice was halfstrength that nicotine’s renal clearance rate increased by 78% (219 milliliters per minute).3 . The higher a substance is above 7.269 A controlling factor in determining renal clearance rate is the pH level of urine produced by our kidneys.6 6.4. Retrieved August 20.8 But don’t overdo it.4. Food & Drug Administration. the greater its acidity.270 The more acidic our urine. the quicker nicotine is removed from the bloodstream. 269 renal clearance.9 . Approximate pH of Foods and Food products. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language.” “Renal clearance” is defined as the volume of blood from which a chemical such as nicotine is completely removed by the kidney in a given amount of time (usually a minute). December 1981. 2008. Our kidneys filter approximately 50 gallons or 189 liters of blood daily. Pages 761-770.The Journey Home through our kidneys. Remember. The further below 7 a substance is. August 2007. our primary objective is to keep blood sugar as stable as possible during the most challenging portion of recovery. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.6 3. Pages 522-530. .3 3. the greater its alkalinity. Fourth Edition.9 .0 3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.d. 123 milliliters of blood when drinking water).5 2.

nervousness (anxiety). Text Version. rambling flow to thoughts and speech. “continuous caffeine consumption with smoking cessation has been associated with more than doubled caffeine plasma levels.com 147 Caffeine Use Caffeine is a mild central nervous system stimulant found in coffee beans. et al. decreased energy. What’s that mean? It means that if we were drinking 2 cups of coffee while using nicotine. Page 232. increased urination and gastrointestinal complaints. fatigue.274 Symptoms of caffeine intoxication have been seen with as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine daily.© 2009 FFNicotine. Pages 575-579. JanFeb 1997.275 Many of us can handle a doubling of our daily caffeine intake without getting the jitters. once nicotine use ends. The impact of caffeine use on tobacco cessation and withdrawal. Addictive Behavior.” and that “three weeks after cessation. 274 Joeres R. But how can we tell whether the anxieties we feel are related to nicotine cessation or too much caffeine? It isn’t easy. Pages 55-68. Fourth Edition. Be careful not to reduce normal caffeine intake by more than 50% unless you want to add the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal to those of nicotine withdrawal. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can include headache. that the stimulant effect of those two cups of coffee might now feel like 4 cups.” The study found “a significant linear increase in caffeine sputum levels across 3 weeks post cessation. Volume 8(3). According to a 1997 study. and may include restlessness. Experiment with an up to 50% reduction in daily caffeine intake if at all concerned. May-June 1988. 275 American Psychiatric Association. irregular or rapid heartbeat. Caffeine Intoxication. Hepatology.com & WhyQuit. . Intoxication symptoms seen when more than 1 gram of caffeine is consumed per day include muscle twitching. Influence of smoking on caffeine elimination in healthy volunteers and in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. tea leaves and cocoa beans. a flushed face. Such concentrations may be sufficient to produce caffeine toxicity symptoms in smoking abstinence conditions. The question during recovery is whether or not we can handle a doubling of our normal daily caffeine intake without experiencing “caffeine jitters” or other symptoms of over-stimulation? Nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine. concentrations reached 203% of baseline for the caffeine user. irritability and psychomotor agitation.”273 An earlier study found that the clearance rate of caffeine from blood plasma averaged 114 milliliters per minute in nicotine smokers and 64 milliliters per minute in non-smokers. excitement. 273 Swanson JA. insomnia. Volume 22(1). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Consider a modest reduction of up to one-half if experiencing difficulty falling to sleep. We get twice the stimulation for half the price. Volume 176(1).148 Freedom from Nicotine . drowsiness. National Toxicology Program.niehs.8 ounces percolated espresso .nih.8 ounces brewed tea . and a foggy mind. Symptoms typically begin 12 to 24 hours after caffeine use ends. Recovery Sensations .8 ounces drip brewed “energy drinks” coffee .1 ounce iced tea .The Journey Home decreased alertness.8 ounces dark chocolate . incidence.html . http://cerhr. decreased contentedness. Not bad The early days of recovery will be a significant challenge for some of us. Caffeine. reach peak intensity at 20 to 51 hours. and normally last 2 to 9 days. Psychopharmacology. Look at it this way. within reason.8 ounces instant baker’s chocolate .1 ounce servings tea .Good. Although it may sound strange.8 ounces chocolate mild beverage chocolate flavored syrup coffee – decaffeinated The stimulant effects of a 24mg soft drink before bed or a 20mg chocolate bar could now feel like two sodas or two chocolate bars. depressed mood.1 ounce cola beverage .8 ounces some soft drinks . hug it. et al. A critical review of caffeine withdrawal: empirical validation of symptoms and signs. Hug it hard. Pages 1-29. difficulty concentrating. if we were a big caffeine user it’s cheaper now. 277 National Institute of Health. October 2004.gov/common/caffeine.276 The following is a sampling of the number of milligrams (mg) of caffeine “typical” in various substances:277 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 85mg 80mg 75mg 40mg 40mg 28mg 26mg 25mg 24mg 20mg 6mg 5mg 4mg 3mg coffee . severity. 276 Juliano LM. and associated features.semi sweet . irritability. everything we feel as we climb to the point where withdrawal’s symptoms peak is beneficial and good not bad. What more honest signs of healing could we have? Does it make sense to fear healing? Why fight coming home to a place where entire days pass without ever once wanting nicotine? Don’t fight recovery. webpage updated 04/23/08.

There are so many unfed receptors that normal species survival activities (eating. Early recovery puts us face-to-face with hard physiological evidence of nicotine’s influence and standing among the brain’s pre-programmed priorities. normal and expected. Volume 48(11).7% within ten days of ending nicotine use and then “decreased to the level of non-smokers by around 21 days of smoking cessation. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Temporal change in human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor after smoking cessation: 5IA SPECT study.5%.© 2009 FFNicotine. It’s enough to know that we are sensing and feeling what is happening inside our brain as it adjusts to functioning without nicotine. Again. Don’t fear it.278 It found that within four hours of ending nicotine use that acetylcholine receptor binding potential had already declined by 33. It is a scan during which a radioactive substance is put into the bloodstream and can be followed as it works its way through the body and into the brain. SPECT stands for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography. What we do know is that once nicotine use ends we temporarily have far too many active receptors. A 2007 study used SPECT scans to follow dynamic changes in acetylcholine receptor down-regulation binding during smoking cessation. peer acceptance and sex) are temporarily unable to provide adequate brain dopamine pathway stimulation. Almost as quickly as we notice our sense of smell and taste being enhanced.” We don’t need to put radiation into our bloodstream or do a SPECT scan of our brain to know that the de-sensitized period experienced during recovery is temporary. the emptiness and emotional collision we may temporarily sense is good not bad. accomplishment.com & WhyQuit. our brain is working to restore natural sensitivities by down-regulating receptor counts. It compared those finding to receptor activity inside the brains of non-smokers. The good news is that binding potential rebounded by 25. Pages 1829-1835. 278 Mamede M.Temporarily Numb Exactly how and why the brain diminishes the number of active a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors (down-regulation) after nicotine use ends is still poorly understood. . nurturing. drinking water. A camera capable of detecting gamma radiation is then rotated around the body or head taking pictures from many angles. et al.com Chapter 9 149 Physical Recovery Neuronal Re-sensitization . in terms of healing. A computer is then used to put the images together to create a picture of activity within a specific slice of the body or brain. Our brain is working its “butt off” to diminish the number of active receptors and restore sensitivities. savor it. November 2007.

Volume 9(3). 279 Hughes.150 Freedom from Nicotine . if going cold turkey it is fairly safe to blame withdrawal for most effects felt during the first three days. Pages 315-327. Do not rely upon any information in this book to replace individual advice from your physician or other qualified health care provider.279 Even so. nicotine replacement products (NRT) or any other quitting product. Wellbutrin. JR. Champix. Within reason and common sense. IMMEDIATELY contact our physician should you experience any condition or symptom that causes you CONCERN or ALARM. Although physical withdrawal symptoms normally peak within the first three days. moods or behavior. . in some instances. The variety and intensity of effects experienced during recovery varies from person to person. March 2007. a 2007 study reviewed all symptom studies and found that within two weeks they had passed for most but not all. The below information is intended to support. including continuing depression. how frequently they occur and how long they last. I am a nicotine cessation educator. not replace. Carefully review warnings and potential side effects noted on or inside product packaging if using any quitting product. the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. but not always. As we just learned. brain dopamine pathway sensitivities can take up to three weeks before fully restored. It suggests that if symptoms remain “slightly elevated” beyond two weeks that they will fully resolve within 3 to 4 weeks. While reviewing the symptoms below. including changes in thinking. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Effects of abstinence from tobacco: valid symptoms and time course. and even between each person's own cessation experiences. They are not intended for those using Chantix. if any. By understanding some of the symptoms. Zyban. Every recovery is different. Pay close attention to what your body is telling you and if at all concerned call your doctor. to minimize their impact by action or thought. it may be possible.The Journey Home Symptoms WARNING: The below symptoms relate to cold turkey cessation only. keep in mind that I am not a physician. while others were confronted with multiple symptoms. WARNING: The list of symptoms below is NOT MEDICAL ADVICE but simply an outline of documented recovery symptoms. Over the years we’ve seen thousands of new ex-users surprised to find that they experience few symptoms. Immediately consult your health care provider or pharmacist if any symptom or possible side-effect causes you or your loved ones concern.

Volume 33(7).com 151 within two weeks the ongoing process of restoring and fine-tuning natural sensitivities reach a point where most of us begin experiencing confidence building glimpses of the full flavor of being free. Most starting home do NOT experience the majority of the symptoms listed below. secondary. eat smaller yet healthy portions of food more 280 Weinberger AH. thus increasing our odds of success.like trying to watch a rose bud open . This phenomenon . and to motivate you to communicate with your doctor regarding any symptom. abandon unrealistic victory standards such as "quitting forever". Knowing how often they occur and how long they last brings potential to diminish anxieties. July 2008.© 2009 FFNicotine. that is causing you concern. dump irrational fears. how long they last.”280 They provide a “junkie-mind” looking for relapse justifications a rich source of fuel for accentuating or highlighting something that may otherwise have remained minor.it almost becomes impossible to notice change.is very real. keep our reasons for wanting to break free in the forefront of our mind. Relationship of perceived risks of smoking cessation to symptoms of withdrawal. whether listed or not. our focus immediately shifts to what was our secondary concern. challenge or day. We do the same type of primary/secondary focusing with the effects of withdrawal and the phases of recovery.known as psychological overlay . the one that will receive the most attention and focus is the one generating the greatest pain or discomfort. et al. maintain a positive attitude. mental expectations are capable of generating physical symptoms. The list is shared to educate you regarding symptoms normally seen. adopt realistic victory standards such as celebrating after the next hour. craving. As soon as the discomfort from our primary concern falls below that of our secondary concern. the mind of the uneducated drug addict is impatient and likely looking for relapse justifications. But how can we not notice symptoms? If we have a toothache at the same time as a headache. suppressed or ignored. . and depression during short-term smoking abstinence. In fact. Pages 960-963. Reading symptom lists may tend to cause the mind to look for and expect symptoms to occur. Sometimes we don't even notice a particular symptom until the discomfort of a prior one subsides. So why even share this list? You may very well experience one or more symptoms.com & WhyQuit. recovery remains continuous yet at times may be so gradual that . Do not sell your mind on the belief that starting our new life needs to be painful or intense. Upon decline of the overall symptoms and effects experienced within the first 72 hours. Although the intensity of each remaining effect is likely far less significant than the one that preceded it. If we learn to relax. A serious concern with symptoms lists such as this is that “smokers with higher levels of perceived risk may find it more difficult to quit and remain abstinent due to higher levels of anticipated or experienced withdrawal symptoms. Addictive Behaviors.

152 Freedom from Nicotine . Belief in addiction’s primary deception can result in anxieties that overwhelm us. from Dictionary. measure and quantify all cessation sensitivity interplays. As seen earlier. While it may take science decades to untangle. sip on some form of natural fruit juice for the first three days. Retrieved July 12.com website: http://dictionary. if a big caffeine user consider a reduction of up to one-half of our normal daily intake. The abstinence phobias: links between substance abuse and anxiety. An addict could easily sabotage his or her own recovery by purposefully focusing on the negative. fuel and feed anxieties on purpose. Homeostasis is defined as “the ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes. they are also using brain imaging studies and other non-invasive exams to discover how the brain is physically altered by nicotine’s absence. it is impossible to fail so long as no nicotine enters the bloodstream. allowing emotions to fester and build. We can also generate. Addictive Behaviors. Pages 613-631 283 Brown RA. The American Heritage Science Dictionary. One study suggests that much of the underlying current of anxiety felt during the first seven days appears to be the product of a mind preoccupied with risk of relapse.283 Remember. Anxiety . et al.reference. It takes action.com/browse/homeostasis 282 Hall SM. avoid skipping meals. . Volume 26(6). and the time needed for the mind to physically adapt to functioning without it. anxiety is a common recovery symptom among many drugs of addiction. 281 Homeostasis. Pages 887-899. alcoholism or nicotine addiction.Whether dealing with heroin dependency.”281 Our enslaved mind had adjusted to functioning within a sphere of nicotine normal. The primitive limbic mind has been fooled into associating nicotine use with survival. Anxiety sensitivity: relationship to negative affect smoking and smoking cessation in smokers with past major depressive disorder. The brain isn’t just downregulating acetylcholine receptors associated with dopamine pathway stimulation. September 1984.The Journey Home frequently. Now that nicotine’s arrival has ended the brain’s grand design in trying to keep things the same by maintaining homeostasis is a critical part of our ticket home. 2008. Volume 19(6). this adventure home to a nicotine-free life can turn out to be the most deeply satisfying personal experience of our entire life! Many withdrawal symptoms have roots in the absence of nicotine. including adrenaline and serotonin pathways. Thinking and dreaming about nicotine use do not cause relapse. The International Journal of the Addictions. It is resuming full control of the flow of all neuro-chemicals that were influenced by nicotine. . We can then intentionally crash our emotions in hopes of providing sufficient justification to relapse. It may see ending its use as akin to starving ourselves to death.282 Recovery anxiety can have many sources. researchers are already cataloging subjective symptom reports by tens of thousands who have attempted cessation. Nov-Dec 2001.

it’s wreckage that’s quickly cleared. yet brain function seems to be getting better not worse. According to the study. Pages 311-327. A 2001 study by Ward entitled "Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation. Limiting sugar intake may have a calming effect.com 153 Withdrawal symptoms peak within 72 hours as the undercurrent of anxieties begin to subside. If we remain 100% nicotine-free for just 72 hours. emptying the mind of nicotine can feel like an emotional train wreck. the good news is that it only takes a couple of days of 284 Ward. . MM et al. unless in the grips of self-induced fears. May-June 2001. Slow. Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation. or cessation anger simply reflects the boiling point of anxiety driven fears. within two weeks return almost to pre-cessation levels. as the brain works around the clock to restore homeostasis. both begin hovering back around pre-cessation levels within two weeks. keep an eye on caffeine intake as caffeine intoxication can foster anxieties. As mentioned in Chapter 8.© 2009 FFNicotine. I do appreciate that it is easier said than done. Yes. oxygen rich blood serum. and provides fascinating recovery symptom insights. Anger . It’s during this period that our mind is forced to accept the fact that all nicotine is gone. For some. By then. Early healing is rapid. deep breathing while intentionally working to relax and reassure a frightened mind may help diminish anxieties. and about there being no need to be afraid of coming home after years or even decades of chemical captivity. you may still feel disconnected and foggy for a while (as discussed below) but overall brain function is now on the mend.seems to peak at about 48 hours while restlessness peaks at 72 hours.often anxiety's aftermath -. Oh.Anger apparently peaks for the average quitter at about 48 hours (day 2) and within 72 hours is beginning to return to near pre-cessation levels. anxieties peak on day one (within 24 hours) and. While simple to sit here writing about the benefits of dumping needless anxiety generating fears. billions of brain neurons are basking in nicotine-free. for most. Volume 26(3). as early as three days and homeostasis sensitivity re-adjustments can be felt bearing fruit. on average.284 The Ward study found that. Although adrenaline was a non-addictive element of our nicotine high. Eating small portions of healthy food more frequently will help stabilize blood sugars and avoid having to deal with anxieties associated with the onset of hunger. we should begin noticing the underlying current of anxieties begin to ease off. If so. Irritability -. It also can’t hurt to use physical activity or exercise to stimulate blood circulation. whether the rational mind uses anger to invoke the body’s fight or flight response." may be the most detailed withdrawal symptom study ever. Addictive Behaviors.com & WhyQuit.

Here nicotine passed through each alveoli membrane and into the bloodstream’s pulmonary veins. When smoked. Systemic absorption and effects of nicotine from smokeless tobacco. Volume 11(3). Volume 169(1). Find ways to vent frustrations that won't cause needless hurt to family. neither do those using chewing tobacco and snuff. Advances in Dental Research. friends or other support network. anger and restlessness is subject to debate. It then crossed the blood brain barrier. craves and anxieties? 285 Benowitz NL. Pages 120-124. We smokers didn’t need patience. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Inside the bloodstream. Once inside each lung it would descend down ten smaller bronchial tubes before striking an estimated 240 million286 thinly walled air sacs called alveoli.Whether impatience is an independent recovery symptom or simply an expected result of anxiety. The amount of nicotine from that first puff would be sufficient to occupy up to 50% of our brain’s a4b2type acetylcholine receptors. September 1997. Share your feelings with family. run. January 1. . We could quiet any urge within 8-10 seconds of a puff. Pages 336-341. find a punching bag. loved ones. down four inches of trachea or windpipe. past our larynx (housing our vocal cords). The number of alveoli in the human lung. or bite your lip if need be. As active users. If sucked.285 Impatience conditioning is even worse among smokers. 2004. The next beat would pump it through the left ventricle before being ejected upward into the aorta. Increasingly. the oral nicotine user’s impatience is satisfied in a minute or two.154 Freedom from Nicotine . These receptors would stimulate our brain dopamine pathways creating a powerful dopamine “aaah” sensation. Nicotine laden smoke would travel into our mouth and throat. the entire journey took less than 10 seconds. Impatience . 286 Ochs M et al. chewed or dipped. Walk. we were each conditioned by our dependency to be extremely impatient when it came to satisfying urges and craves. we were each in full control in responding to and quickly satisfying those early urges announcing it was again time for replenishment. bend a piece of steel. friends or co-workers. Nicotine delivery engineering is mastering use of alkaline pH buffering to shorten the time needed for nicotine to penetrate oral mouth tissues and enter the bloodstream. where it branched and traveled to the brain via either the carotid or vertebral arteries. What isn’t debatable is the fact that as nicotine addicts. and then branch into our left and right lungs via our two main bronchial tubes. vent into a pillow. depending on pH buffers or added abrasives Is it any wonder that we nicotine addicts have very little patience when it comes to satisfying depletion related urges.The Journey Home recovery patience to begin seeing improvement. nicotine was pumped over to our heart where between beats it collected in the left atrium.

288 Ernst M. Remember. focus and an inability to think clearly can be associated with low blood sugar. Not only will it aid in helping stabilize blood sugar. As discussed in Chapter 8. which reduces brain oxygen and impairs concentration. Continuing to attempt to skip meals will cause decline in blood sugar (glucose) levels. life-giving oxygen is a far healthier brain stimulant than a super toxic chemical that likely eats brain gray matter287 and destroys memory. the feeling that our concentration is not as good or that our mind now lives in a fog is experienced. It isn't necessary to eat more food but to learn to spread our normal daily food intake out more evenly over the entire day.© 2009 FFNicotine. Once we stop putting nicotine into our body the adrenaline feedings end. other physical exercise or slow deep breathing may deliver additional focus by increasing oxygen to the brain. AL et al. or the duration patience needed to allow new nicotine-free memories time to bury reminders of years of bondage? The primary answer is just one moment and challenge at a time. it is acidic and may slightly accelerate elimination of the alkaloid nicotine. which in turn could impact concentration. Brisk walks. Pages 313-319. by almost two-thirds of recovering nicotine addicts. It's why we were able to skip breakfast and/or lunch and yet not feel hungry.com 155 So how do we develop the patience to navigate the up to three days needed to achieve peak physical withdrawal. Poor concentration. The return of our clearness of mind and concentration may seem ever so gradual but within two weeks most begin experiencing concentration levels very close to those of never-smokers. Pages 77-84.com & WhyQuit. Nicotine use caused our brain to release adrenaline which in turn activated "fight or flight" pathways. September 2001. unless diabetic or our health care provider recommends otherwise. . which pumped stored fats and sugars into our bloodstream. the up to 3 minutes needed to outlast a cue induced crave trigger. Nicotine is no longer our spoon. 2004. consider drinking some form of natural fruit juice during the first 72 hours.288 287 Brody.According to the Ward study. You may want to temporarily reduce or avoid alcohol. Differences between smokers and nonsmokers in regional gray matter volumes and densities. Smoking history and nicotine effects on cognitive performance. Even if unable to entirely stabilize blood-sugar fluctuations the symptom is temporary and relief on the way. Inability to concentrate or a foggy mind . Volume 55(1). January 1. Women would be well advised to put a very small amount of fuel into their stomach about every three hours and men at least every five. Volume 25(3). Neuropsychopharmacology. et al. It's important to understand that nicotine force-fed us stored fats and sugars with each new puff. Biological Psychiatry. to one degree or another. Cranberry is excellent.

2008. Internet article last reviewed April 3. et al. feelings of guilt. persistent aches or pains. or appetite loss. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).S. your family or caregiver notice agitation.291 There are many types of depression and no one single cause. First. headaches. cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment. During nicotine withdrawal. both temporary neuro-chemical desensitization and normal psychological emotional loss can give rise to sadness and depressive-type symptoms. remembering details and making decisions. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. or excessive sleeping. agitation. While we continue to see evidence suggesting that adolescent nicotine use may contribute to causing depression.The following depression discussion is intended for cold turkey quitters only. environmental and genetic. 2008. biochemical. Some patients using Chantix and Champix (varenicline) have experienced changes in behavior. fatigue and decreased energy. suicide attempts.289 researchers report no difference in either short-term (less than 3 months) or long-term cessation recovery rates (greater than 6 months) between smokers with a history of depression and those without. December 17. But should moods fostered by a healing brain or due to normal and expected sadness be classified as clinical depression and mental illness? 289 Iñiguez SD.290 According to the U. including sex. overeating. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. we all occasionally feel sad or blue but normally such feelings pass within a couple of days. If using any quitting medication do not rely upon this book regarding any symptoms but instead present any and all concerns to your treating physician or pharmacist. Volume 71(4). Nicotine Exposure During Adolescence Induces a Depression-Like State in Adulthood. Depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking among teens. Depression. NIMH states that symptoms of depression may include persistent sadness. et al. October 2000. . Pages 657-663. If either you.S. Some experienced these symptoms when they began taking varenicline. or changes in behavior that is not typical for you. Sadness and depression are commonly seen in association with withdrawal from most addictive substances. Neuropsychopharmacology. History of depression and smoking cessation outcome: a meta-analysis. also see. It likely results from a combination of factors including psychological. Pages 748-755. Goodman E. restlessness. 290 Hitsman B.156 Freedom from Nicotine . not for those taking cessation medications. feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism. and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after they stopped taking it. National Institute of Mental Health. depressed mood. anxious or "empty" feelings. insomnia. Pediatrics. 291 U. worthlessness and/or helplessness. thoughts of suicide.The Journey Home Sadness and depression WARNING . irritability. depressed mood. stop taking varenicline and call your doctor immediately. August 2003. the good news. or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions. difficulty concentrating. Volume 106(4). and suicidal thoughts or actions. accessed July 19. et al. early-morning wakefulness. loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable.

”293 Dr. “And certainly if someone is felt to have a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one or a stressful situation.” said Dr.org 294 Wakefield JC. during which he discussed a new study he coauthored that sheds light on the question of whether or not the DSM-IV "bereavement exclusion" should extend to “other types of losses. but not when the loss is associated with ending a long and intense chemical relationship? Dr. in order to fall under the “bereavement exclusion” for normal.” He was asked about treatment of those experiencing normal and expected sadness. or induced by alcohol or drug use. expected and temporary depression. 2008.S.292 Dr.com & WhyQuit. 2007 www. Archives of General Psychiatry. Fourth Edition) provides standards for diagnosing depression.” says a leading U. Extending the bereavement exclusion for major depression to other losses: evidence from the National Comorbidity Survey.” “For instance it would not include symptoms such as suicidal ideation or severe slowing down in the way you talk. a loss of a job. The Clinical Definition of Depression May Change.npr.” he notes. First.com 157 “Probably not. So why exclude drug induced depression but not depression related to ending drug use? Why is it normal to experience depression related to the loss of a loved one. Michael First is a physician and psychiatry professor at Columbia University Medical Center and was editor for the DSM-IV standards.© 2009 FFNicotine. But even if a patient otherwise meets the criteria to be diagnosed with depression. the severity of the symptoms play an important role. Pages 433-440. updated 2005. viewed July 24. So it was a mild version of depression that occurred following a loss such as divorce and other things like that. . The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV manual (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. they are excluded and denied the diagnosis if their depression is a normal reaction to the death of a loved one. First.” 292 Columbia University Medical Center. April 3. “When a clinician makes a decision about whether to use psychotherapy or mediation or some combination.”294 “So it really raises questions about whether or not these individuals should be considered normal in the same way someone who has normal grief would be considered normal. those can be just as traumatic as the loss of a loved one. Faculty Profile. First’s new study. First did an interview with National Public Radio in April 2007. et al. All Things Considered. Volume 64(4). the depression has to “last less than two months and be relatively mild. April 2007. Michael First MD. which reviewed a national mental health survey. probably the clinician would err on the side of being less aggressive with respect to treatment. suddenly.” where it is normal to expect temporary depression to be seen. expert. Department of Psychiatry. was able to demonstrate that “25% of people who were diagnosed with major depressive disorder in the study looked just like the people who we would consider to have normal grief. According to Dr. “For some people a very messy divorce. 293 National Public Radio.

Addictive Behaviors. Some degree of sense-of-loss sadness is common and expected. As the brain restores sensitivities physiological. October 4. MM et al. Brain Research. It can seem like the death of a friend or loved one. and possible chronic organic depression. "Which came first. As with the end of any long-term relationship. Amazingly. Cigarette-derived nicotine is not a medicine. 19% of never-smokers in the control group were then experiencing depression. Some may not sense improvement when quitting and may actually feel worse. In the Ward "abstinence effects" study. just one percentage point above the rate of non-smokers in the control group. We should also note that some nicotine users suffer from underlying organic depression that is both chronic and significant. or the end of a destructive chemical relationship. Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation. Recovery reflects an end to a long and intensely dependent chemical relationship. Dr. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. But how do we tell the difference? 295 Ward. Pages 311-327. and have reports from adults who stop of "enduring mood improvements. Adolescent nicotine administration alters serotonin receptors and cell signaling mediated through adenylyl cyclase. We need to keep in mind that the real quitting took place when nicotine assumed control. the period of cessation mourning and grieving can be as long or short as we need. But new research is asking. 2002. Pages 49-55. This journey isn’t about quitting. nicotine addiction or depression."297 Education and self-honesty may be the quickest means of putting any sense of loss blues behind us. May-June 2001. which is normal. We know that youth who take up smoking report increased levels of anxiety."296 We now know that an escalating sense of depression is part of each low felt between each nicotine fix as escalating depression accompanied increasing anxiety and frustration. 297 Parrott AC. Volume 26(3). when we lost the sense of normal that defined how and what we felt while interacting with life. psychological and emotional bonds are broken. only 20% of ex-smokers were reporting depressive-type symptoms by day twenty-eight. 39% of smokers entering the study reported experiencing depression on the day prior to commencing recovery. 296 Xu Z.The Journey Home Although normal sadness might benefit from medication. and fell to 33% (6 points below their starting baseline) by day seven. The problem is in recognizing the difference between depression associated with a sense of loss. First reminded listeners that “medications have side effects” and any potential benefits must be weighed against them. that to some degree may have been partially masked by nicotine use and now needs treatment. . Volume 4(2). The percentage of quitters experiencing depressive type symptoms peaked at 53% on day three. Pages 280-292.158 Freedom from Nicotine . April 2003. It is normal to feel a sense of loss and normal to navigate grieving. expected and will soon pass. Volume 951(2). stress and depression. By comparison. It’s about recovering the real us. et al.295 It was once thought that those with depression smoked in order to self-medicate.

First. April 2005. May 2006. Varenicline is what’s termed a partial agonist. et al. et al. which is marketed in the U. depressed mood.com 159 Self-diagnoses can be dangerous. Page A1. .302 This reduced level of stimulation may be insufficient to keep some having certain pre-existing underlying disorders (such as depression or other mental health disorders) from experiencing the onset of serious depression and behavioral changes. Although we have no reported case or medical journal article discussing any cold turkey quitter having ever attempted suicide. 2007 300 U. et al. while at the same time blocking nicotine’s ability to occupy the receptor and induce stimulation. Addiction. as reported in the Wall Street Journal.S. National Cancer Institute. The drug may cause an existing psychiatric illness to worsen.299 it doesn’t mean that bupropion does not benefit those experiencing depression. suicidal ideation and suicide. in arguments intended to help salvage varenicline from the FDA recall chopping block. A physician's depression treatment resources include scores of non-nicotine and non-addictive medications. Pages 758-766. Chantix Full Prescribing Information. or your family is noticing mood changes. Volume 48(10). Show #74. The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. including Wellbutrin (whose active chemical is bupropion). February 8.S. which is marketed as the quit smoking medication Zyban. I also want to briefly mention varenicline.S. FDA Patient Safety News.298 including a 2006 survey by the U. as Chantix and elsewhere as Champix. Pages 59-69 [see Table 6] 299 Unpublished 2006 U. New Safety Warnings About Chantix. The symptoms may occur even after the drug is discontinued. www.© 2009 FFNicotine. also see Ferguson J. National Cancer Institute Survey of 8. It stimulates dopamine pathways via the exact same a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors that nicotine would have occupied. Addictive Behavior. 2008 the U.301 But receptor stimulation by varenicline is significantly less than with nicotine (35 to 60%).S. Although long-term results from real-world quitting method surveys that have included Zyban have found those quitting without it actually do better than those using it. get seen and evaluated as soon as possible by your medical provider or at the nearest emergency medical facility.200 quitters. including changes in behavior. varenicline not only blocks nicotine from stimulating dopamine pathways but 298 Doran CM. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.”300 I mention varenicline for two reasons.com & WhyQuit. May 2005. or an old psychiatric illness to recur.S. The best advice I can give is that if you sense you are experiencing depression that isn’t lifting. April 2008 301 Pfizer. Food and Drug Administration. Volume 31(5). on April 1. Varenicline: an alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor partial agonist for smoking cessation. agitation.com 302 Coe JW.Chantix. Food and Drug Administration reported that: “Chantix has been linked to serious neuropsychiatric problems. Pages 3474-3477. May 2008. Volume 100 Suppl 2. Remember. Smoking status of Australian general practice patients and their attempts to quit. Pfizer (the pharmaceutical company marketing varenicline) has come dangerously close to suggesting that depression in cold turkey quitters can become so great that they too commit suicide.

there is absolutely no reason why anyone with a mental health condition cannot break free from nicotine too. Climb out. Loneliness or feeling cooped up . The problem is that varenicline’s elimination half-life is 24 hours. Push your body a bit harder than normal and sample the healing within.PubMed. May 2008. deep rut we once called home and taste the flavor of nicotine-free life.160 Freedom from Nicotine . A July 2008 search of the term “smoking cessation” returned 15. It’s time we gifted ourselves a new companion. loneliness is natural anytime we leave behind a long-term companion. that even if they stop now they’ll only reduce its influence by half after a full day without it. Climb from the ditch. 303 Pfizer. What we know for certain is that smokers attempt to break nicotine’s grip upon their mind in order to save and extend their life.Akin to the "sense of loss" felt with depression. alter your outlook and head in directions once avoided. Many of us smokers severely limited the activities we were willing to engage in. even if a supertoxin. What we do know is that no chemical such as varenicline.Chantix. not end it. the only way they see to bring their suffering to an end is to contemplate ending life itself. it may be that for some small percentage of users. Lonely? Get to know the gradually emerging you. If feeling overwhelmed by feelings of depression and sadness get help immediately. was blocking their a4b2 receptors.gov website. Chantix Full Prescribing Information. at the nearest emergency medical facility if necessary. www.The Journey Home life as well. sample and enjoy. the only results focusing upon quitting and suicide were associated with quitting medications. or because our body could not muster the stamina needed. which indexes and allows searching of the summaries (abstracts) of nearly all medical journal articles and studies. due to carbon monoxide’s fourhour half-life robbing our blood of the ability to receive and transport oxygen. either because they either were too long or interfered with our ability to smoke nicotine. a healing and healthier “us!” Climb from the deep. But when the two terms were combined into a single search (“smoking cessation” suicide). We know that they each had an alternative to continuing depression. The National Institute of Health maintains the www.165 studies. Why isn’t there any medical journal article documenting that any cold turkey quitter has ever attempted suicide? We can only speculate. while a search of “suicide” located 46.com . Given proper treatment.317 studies. So long as those pills keep arriving. look around. One of the most fascinating aspects of recovery is exploring life as an ex-user.303 It means that even if the user realizes that the medication is affecting mood or behavior. having a 24-hour elimination half-life. that just one puff of nicotine and 8-10 seconds later they could steal the dopamine “aaah” that would induce relapse.

304 National Institutes of Health. eating does. If we should find ourselves reaching for food as a temporary early oral substitute (which is NOT recommended). doing the dishes. our meal complete. or even a nice extra deep breath may be all it takes.gsa. the “aaah” from anticipating or eating food is extremely short lived.© 2009 FFNicotine.S.pueblo. we need to be mindful that short-lived bursts of food-stimulated dopamine can quickly become a destructive crutch with potential to drink recovery’s dreams and desires dry. It was a conditioned signal to our brain that eating was over. They seemingly try to eat their way out of hunger pains or food cravings. We may need to find a new cue that our meal is over. we should see water retention return to normal within two weeks. It required us to eat chip after chip. web page visited August 26. Not smoking or using oral nicotine does not cause weight gain. Upon cessation. or cookie after cookie to keep the “aaah”s coming. Its absence may lead to continued eating after our normal meal would have ended. General Services Administration. in order to create what they believe will be easily acceptable relapse excuse for them or their loved ones. Others have yet to re-learn to properly fuel their body now that nicotine is no longer their spoon. Additional food can serve as a hand-to-mouth oral crutch used to replace primarily cigarettes but also oral tobacco and NRT.gov/cic_text/health/w8quit-smoke/#1 . significant weight gain can gradually destroy motivations to the point of making a 50% chance of losing 14 years of life look more appealing to the recovering ex-smoker than that next extra pound. Yes. low calorie foods like fresh vegetables. it is common to see 3 to 5 pounds of weight gain during the first week due to water retention associated with physiological changes. A toothpick. a stick of sugarless gum. this cue no longer exists. reach for healthy. and weight gain . hunger. While true that minor metabolism changes can account for a few extra unburned calories each day (a slower beating heart) they can be easily offset by enhanced cardiovascular abilities resulting from healing that includes a significant increase in overall lung function. Even without extra food.304 If so. Some seek to replace missing nicotine induced dopamine “aaah” sensations with dopamine “aaah”s from extra food. A few do all of the above. Regardless of our motivation for taking extra bites. 2008 http://www. brushing our teeth. walk. Many of us smoked or used oral nicotine to mark the end of meals. Some admit to consuming large quantities of extra food in an attempt to intentionally gain extra weight. The foundation of our dependency was a nicotine-induced flood of unearned and stolen dopamine. Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.com 161 Increased appetite.com & WhyQuit. Many reach for extra calories and probably for a combination of reasons.It’s easy to attribute a newfound desire to consume large quantities of additional food to our rapidly healing taste buds and revived sense of smell. NIDDK. But as most of us realize. You Can Control Your Weight as You Quit Smoking.

Volume 133(2). Gradually. Mental relaxation can be as simple as slowly clearing our mind of all other thoughts by focusing exclusively on a single object or color. lung healing. consider a reduction of up to one-half of normal caffeine intake to avoid over-stimulation. Addictive Behavior. But if not. et al. Over time we may find that we don't need nearly as much sleep as we did while using nicotine.306 Our sleep’s sense of "nicotine normal" becomes completely disrupted and “sleep fragmentation” is not unusual. Remember. if we continue to consume the same amount of caffeine. Relaxation through mind clearing and slow deliberate breathing can help induce sleep. and if you were a smoker. or lung disease. February 2008. or we may find that our body requires more. depression or somehow related to coughing. .88(4-5). Pages 427-432. 306 Page F et al. Would we rather be a bit bigger and alive or a bit smaller but dead? Is life worth a few temporary extra pounds? Absolutely. Don’t allow sleep disruption to become another lame excuse to sabotage recovery and destroy your freedom. July 2006. be careful as 305 Zhang L. stress. JanFeb 1997. Some evidence suggests it alters EEG monitored brain waves during sleep. turn to your physician or pharmacist for assistance. Trouble sleeping or insomnia . Chest tightness .162 Freedom from Nicotine . Volume 30. or if a heavy user. it isn’t unusual to hear chest tightness complaints from quitters. If sleep continues to be fragmented or is affecting your health. we should expect to find twice as much caffeine circulating in our bloodstream. Power spectral analysis of EEG activity during sleep in cigarette smokers. Pages 6S67-6S77.The Journey Home I encourage you to accept early on that should some weight gain occur that the extra pounds are acceptable. with no nicotine in the bloodstream to accelerate caffeine elimination. safety or performance. Volume 23(3 Suppl). the benefits of enhanced physical endurance will increase your ability to do so. Take a close look at caffeine intake if sleep is disrupted. Whether arising from tension. June 2006.Although rarely mentioned in symptom studies. Physiology and Behavior. Pages 55-68. 307 Swanson JA. There are many sleeping aids available. it would take gaining at least an extra 75 pounds during recovery in order to equal the health risk associated with smoking 20 cigarettes a day. There will be plenty of time later to shed them.307 During recovery. The effect of transdermal nicotine patches on sleep and dreams. Volume 22(1). Chest.Nicotine is a nervous system stimulant known to affect subconscious thought. If you normally drink a cola prior to bed imagine drinking two and how the additional caffeine might affect your ability to sleep. Rev Mal Respir. Nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body eliminates caffeine. If we can handle doubling our caffeine intake without disrupting sleep then this isn’t an issue. Cigarette smoking and sleep disturbance (article in French). The impact of caffeine use on tobacco cessation and withdrawal. Pages 425-432.305 and diminishes the percentage of deep REM sleep (our high quality sleep) while increasing REM dream imagery. new or pre-nicotine sleep patterns will emerge. also see Underner M et al.

If at all concerned. MM et al. J. Clary-Meinesz C. A perfusion system for in vitro measurement of human cilia beat frequency. Pages 692-697 [11 cycles per second]. Volume 111(3).com 163 chest tightness can also be a sign of more serious health problems. Some will be spit out in phlegm or mucus but most will be swallowed. toxins and particulate. A chronic cough can be a warning sign of disease. up and out of our lungs. 309 Selwyn DA. A thorough examination that includes a simple chest x-ray can bring piece of mind. Cilia inside lung bronchial tubes linking air sacs (alveoli) to our windpipe oscillate in unison at a rate between 5 to 11 cycles per second. also see. yet according to the Ward study many experience neither. As tissues re-sensitize and heal they may feel temporarily irritated. our windpipe (trachea) and bronchial tubes. Years of tar build-up are loosening.310 Tobacco toxins inflict extreme damage on and near total destruction of a smoker’s cilia. Pages 311-327.© 2009 FFNicotine. et al.com & WhyQuit. if mouth or throat pain or discomfort persists. including serious heart conditions. Slightly sore mouth or throat . Journal of Aerosol Medicine. It results in roughly 50% developing a chronic cough (chronic bronchitis). et al. Mucus and coughing are common. ice or cool liquids may provide soothing and cough drops may generate moisture and temporary relief from minor discomfort. pick up the phone and contact your doctor. The good news is that within three days of commencing recovery our cilia begin regenerating and within six months have fully recovered. Ciliary beat frequency in human bronchi and bronchioles. Volume 19(1). the smart move is to get seen and have it medically evaluated. March 1997. British Journal of Anaesthesia. Powerful toxins numbed them to tobacco’s daily assaults. mucus or nasal drip .According to the Ward study roughly 60% in recovery reported coughing on day two. 33% by day fourteen.6 cycles per second]. WhyQuit. as inflamed bronchial tubes and lungs fight to expel trapped mucus containing pathogens. 48% by day seven. Joel’s Library.Study results are mixed on whether recovery actually causes sore throats. Smoking’s Impact on the Lungs. May-June 2001. 311 Spitzer.308 Consider making an appointment to have a thorough check-up if still coughing after having stopped smoking for one month. 308 Ward. Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation.311 They will soon be engaged in cleaning and clearing gunk from the lungs. containing trapped contaminants. Volume 26(3). Pages 111-115 [4. a warm shower. If related to anxiety or tension. Cilia are microscopic hair-like projections that line nasal passages. and 15% by day twenty-eight. Ciliary function and the role of cilia in clearance. 2001. Volume 76(1).com. If so. slow deliberate breathing or moderate exercise. . Spring 2006. including lung cancer. Years of tobacco use clearly damaged and irritated tissues. But as a site of other more serious diseases. Chest. Coughing. 310 Stannard W.309 They act as a wave-like broom or slow moving carpet that sweeps secreted mucus. Addictive Behaviors. Get seen immediately should a cough ever produce blood in sputum. Pages 110-1155. January 1996. it may benefit from relaxation exercises.

" Really? Is there scientific evidence for "8 x 8"? American Journal of Regulatory. It isn't uncommon to see a significant increase in lung function within 6 months. Picture layer after layer of cells slowing dying and being replaced. November 2002 Nov. It’s 312 Valtin H. Depending upon how long. I’m a bicycle rider. I’m like Joel. Advised that I have early emphysema. Although the “8 x 8" water drinking rule is under attack for not having any studies to back it (drinking 8 ounces of water 8 times daily). Continued healing. . I thought I'd damaged these lungs beyond repair. our gums are feeling the impact of tobacco and nicotine-free living too. Pages 115-122. Volume 114(1). July 1976. time.Healing senses of smell and taste may find it hard not to notice horrible odors and tastes rising-up from healing lungs or oozing from tobacco marinated gums and mouth tissues. Integrative and Comparative Physiology. oxygen rich blood. those not yet destroyed clean up nicely. Aside from the impact of brisk brushing that attempts to whiten tar stained teeth. frequently and intensely we used tobacco it could take some time for these tastes and odors to fully dissipate. Bleeding gums . Bad breath and nasty tastes . not less.” Ice can sooth and moisten healing tissues. Although destroyed air sacs can never be replaced. Pages R993-1004. Surprisingly. But I do run-walk a few hundred feet at a time now and then and I’m not nearly as winded when the running stops and the walking phases starts. throat and respiratory tissues on the road to maximum recovery. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that actually constricts and diminishes blood flow. it isn’t like I’m some big runner now. "Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Volume 283(5). the ex-user’s gums are more prone to bleeding. like never-users.312 as often said.The Journey Home Clearly our lungs will benefit from fluids to aid with cleansing and healing. Sometimes it’s nice being wrong. “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Clearly the tissues and capacities I didn't destroy have cleaned up rather well. Cough syrups or decongestants may also bring temporary relief from coughing or irritation. and fluids will keep mouth. I did not discover the extent of my lung healing until I looked up the street and saw my dog out of our yard. The effect of smoking cessation and modification on lung function.164 Freedom from Nicotine . in the street and threatened by an approaching car. nasal. Brushing a bit more frequently and mouthwash should help control any odors released from slowly healing tissues. But don't hesitate to get seen should your cough persist. 313 Buist AS.313 I couldn't run 200 feet prior to quitting and truly thought I would never do so again. The American Review of Respiratory Disease.Gum bleeding is not unusual during recovery. Guess what? This is what it was like inside your mouth while still using but your senses were so dulled by tobacco toxins that they couldn’t notice.

depression or anxiety. While the Ward study notes a slight day-three increase.gov/medlineplus/headache. Medical Encyclopedia. Pages 311-327. Volume 31(4).S. They are often related to stress. neck.© 2009 FFNicotine. Headache.S. May-June 2001. as a primary culprit. Pages 267-272. 319 National Institutes of Health and U.317 Ward’s finding of greater incidence of headaches in active smokers is supported by other studies.314 According to a 2004 study. National Library of Medicine. keep in mind that according to the U. Pages 41-45. and declined to a low of just 11% by day fourteen.nih.nlm. Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation.com 165 thought that this may account for smokers having thicker gum tissues. a known vasoconstrictor.318 Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of blood vessels with restriction or slowing of blood flow. and tooth loss. web page updated January 22. scalp and jaw. National Library of Medicine. dropped to 17% on day seven. http://www. It found that 33% of smokers reported having headaches immediately prior to recovery. MM et al. Interestingly. 316 Krall EA. gingival (gum) blood flow rate was "significantly higher at 3 days" into recovery.”320 Relaxation and slow deep breathing. “the most common type of headache is a tension headache. it also provides evidence that recovery may actually reduce headaches. Medline Plus. Jan-March 2003. 317 Ward. 318 Payne TJ.316 so be it. Medline Plus. 2008. Addictive Behaviors. a warm bath or shower. web page updated July 18. Headache.No study has yet identified headaches as a significant recovery concern. which suggest nicotine. Should a day three headache occur. Journal of Clinical Periodontology.315 But if it takes a bit of bleeding to begin gradually reversing the risk of experiencing 240% greater tooth loss than a non-smoker. Pages 1653-1659. Vasoconstriction.html . Medical Encyclopedia.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/002338. mind clearing with thought focusing exercises.319 But nicotine’s arrival has ended and brain blood-oxygen and carbon monoxide levels have returned to normal within twelve hours of commencing recovery. Pesqui Odontol Bras. those reporting headaches peaked on day three (72 hours) at 44%.htm 320 National Institutes of Health and U. National Institutes of Health. Volume 76(10). Aspirin and a host of other over-the-counter headache medications are available. October 1997. smoking cessation. May 1991. Smoking. 2007.S. Volume 17(1). Tension headaches may be due to tight muscles in our shoulders. Smoking cessation increases gingival blood flow and gingival crevicular fluid. rest. Volume 26(3). caused by contraction of the vessel’s muscular wall. Within 5 days the liquid sticky plasma proteins normally released by healthy gums had significantly increased and within 2 weeks were comparable to those of nonsmokers. Smoking influences on the thickness of marginal gingival epithelium. April 2004. 314 Villar CC et al. 315 Morozumi T et al. Volume 31(5). Call your dentist if at all concerned about gum bleeding.nih. or physical exercise may help relieve tensions and bring relief. Pages 329-332. Journal of Dental Research. http://nlm.com & WhyQuit. Headaches . The impact of cigarette smoking on headache activity in headache patients.

and 4% on day twenty-eight. 325 Lagrue G. Effects of abstinence from tobacco: Valid symptoms and time course.S. Volume 9(3). 2008. NIDDK. such as cheese. 16% on day seven. Stopping smoking can cause constipation. Thorax. 9% at two weeks. It found that constipation levels peaked at about two weeks. http://www. “Muscle contractions in the colon then push the 321 National Institutes of Health and U. Varenicline versus transdermal nicotine patch for smoking cessation: results from a randomised open-label trial. Constipation . eggs. Usually it isn’t serious and benefits by avoiding solid foods for at least six hours.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipation/ .nih. Volume 35(2 Pt 1). Nicotine & Tobacco Research.S. et al. the NIH recommends plenty of water.323 The lone exception appears to be the Ward study which found that while 16% reported nausea on day one (as compared to 2% at precessation baseline). National Library of Medicine. A 2003 study found that one in six new ex-smokers developed constipation and that in one in eleven the problem became severe (“very or extremely constipated”). 326 National Institutes of Health.” explains NIH. Presse Medicale. July 2007. [Article in French]. et al.gov/medlineplus/nauseaandvomiting. National Institutes of Health (NIH) “the most common causes of constipation are poor diet and lack of exercise. less fats and increased activity. Volume 63(8). 07-2754.”325 Aside from adjusting to nicotine’s absence. November 2003.nlm. but need not.” Regarding diet. But constipation is correctable and we need not suffer. http://digestive. the colon absorbs water from the food while it forms waste products. what other factors contribute to constipation? According to the U.324 According to a 2006 study. or stool. appears remarkably effective in correcting this disorder. March 2007.niddk. The article indicates that “magnesium salts are the first-line treatment for this problem. neostigmine. NIH Publication No. If they fail. Constipation. Pages 1563-1567. Nausea and Vomiting. August 2008. an anticholinesterase with parasympathomimetic activity. Addiction. making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. web page updated July 28.322 except in association with use of cessation medications such as varenicline (Chantix or Champix). which was recently found to cause nausea in 37% of users. Medline Plus. Pages 246-248. 324 Hajek P. which may worsen constipation. Medical Encyclopedia. the rate dropped to 11% on day three.”326 Aside from more fiber. February 2006.Constipation can. Volume 98(11).Nausea is “an uneasy or unsettled feeling in the stomach together with an urge to vomit. The digestive system needs time to adjust to functioning naturally without it. JR. Stopping smoking and constipation.html 322 Hughes. become a factor motivating relapse. it’s caused by “a diet low in fiber or a diet high in fats. juice or other liquids free of alcohol and caffeine.”321 Nausea usually is not identified as a recovery symptom.166 Freedom from Nicotine . nicotine interacts with digestive tract smooth muscle contractions (peristalsis). “Liquids add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools.” “As food moves through the colon. 323 Aubin HJ.The Journey Home Nausea .nih. and meats. et al. Pages 3215-327. Pages 717-724.

© 2009 FFNicotine. July 19. blood sugar drugs. “Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft.ffn. get seen and find out why. exercise induced fatigue has been found to be a symptom of smoking. gel-like texture in the intestines. We experience a metabolism reduction. and others may need to get re-evaluated for proper dosages.” NIH defines “constipation” as “having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week. Our heart beats slower. the body is working less not more. JR. It is not normal to feel physically tired or fatigued. Pages 217-230. and exercise-induced fatigue. “Often when people quit smoking they may find that medications that were adjusted for them while smoking may be altered in effectiveness. As a result. tobacco. Why extra fiber? “Fiber is the part of fruits. While early recovery may leave us feeling emotionally drained. If it occurs.com 167 stool toward the rectum.The majority of studies conclude that physical fatigue is not a normal withdrawal symptom.328 The body is shedding the effects of years of dependence upon a stimulant. depression. 329 Spitzer. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.” writes NIH. Volume 9(3). contains thousands of chemicals.” “The first few days. 328 Hughes JR. Insoluble fiber passes through the intestines almost unchanged.” says NIH.” According to NIH. stools can become hard and dry. some of which may have interacted with medications we were takings. 2001. Pages 3215-327. June 1984. vegetables. and grains that the body cannot digest. Physical fatigue not a symptom . et al. both oral and smoked. thyroid. an endless stream of arriving toxins. normal stool elimination may be three times a day or three times a week. Medication Adjustments.yuku. depending on the person. causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly.329 “People on hypertensives. our breathing becomes shallower and our body is no longer feeling the effects of. dry stools that are difficult to pass.com/topic/23017 . Effects of abstinence from tobacco: Valid symptoms and time course. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. “some people think they are constipated if they do not have a bowel movement every day. March 2007. http://www. The bulk and soft texture of fiber help prevent hard. because most of the water has been absorbed. Possible Medication Adjustments As noted. However.327 In fact. smoking.” “Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water or if the colon’s muscle contractions are slow or sluggish. Volume 7(2). and working to expel.” Consult your physician or pharmacist and obtain relief should constipation concerns arise. If anything.com & WhyQuit. it can be difficult telling the difference between ‘normal’ withdrawal 327 Hughes. Physical activity. By the time stool reaches the rectum it is solid.” writes Joel. physically we should soon be feeling much better with more energy than we’ve felt in years. J.

168 Freedom from Nicotine . including symptom possibilities. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General: 1989. if a person who is on medications for medical disorders finds him or herself having physical symptoms that just seem out of the ordinary.The Journey Home symptoms and medication dosage issues. At the time. cholesterol and breathing.” A big cheer went up. your question. “Yes. Key to quality and effective medical treatment is effective communication between patient and physician. “I don’t have a question but a comment. he or she should speak to the doctor who has him or her on the medications. when they were first felt. Let’s take a closer look at one that if it should occur. what aggravates them and the medications you’ve been taking. I am a cessation educator who teaches recovery. When I receive them. . “I knew this policy change was coming and I quit a month ago. Now I’m down to just two. Surgeon General. Old symptoms can disappear. change or discontinue medications. Be sure to accurately describe any symptoms. could be noticed within the first 72 hours. my initial thoughts are outrage and sadness.” Don’t think only in terms of new symptoms. I am not a trained and skilled physician. I was on eight different medications for my heart.” I asked. A mini-pharmacy. how long they last. concerns such as this are not uncommon. Possible Underlying Hidden Conditions Stay alert for the possibility of medical conditions that were being masked and hidden by our dependency. A complete picture will greatly aid our doctor in determining whether there is a need to increase.” notes Joel. they are capable of hiding a host of medical conditions. how could I possibly know the actual cause? I’d be guessing. hypertension. blood pressure. qualified to evaluate.330 Burning cigarettes give off more than 4.550 chemicals into their body. that 330 U. “Why am I having trouble breathing?” “It’s like I need to keep breathing in deep. “But once through the first few days. how frequently they occur. Oral tobacco users bring more than 2. including those which may have been caused by tobacco use. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath is not normal. Although well intended. difficulty breathing.” she replied. one lady in the back raised her hand. Still. decrease.” Rarely a day passes in overseeing our Internet sites (WhyQuit and Freedom) without arrival of an email inviting us to play Internet doctor.S.000. Page 79. Even though the symptom being described may sound like normal recovery. During a 2008 question and answer session before roughly 200 inmates at a woman’s prison that had recently gone tobacco-free. diagnose and treat actual conditions. breath after breath after breath. Point out to the doctor that you have recently quit smoking and started to notice the specific symptoms just after quitting and that they haven't improved over time.

Theobromine within cocoa accounts for 2. It is suggested that this might allow more nicotine-laden smoke to penetrate deeper and faster. a disorder that was likely caused by years of smoking. The bronchodilator effect and pharmacokinetics of theobromine in young patients with asthma. http://old. heart attack (myocardial infarction). I tell them it isn’t normal. . How might cigarette engineering contribute toward hiding symptoms of early asthma or emphysema? Although disputed by the tobacco industry. as brought to my attention by Schwartz.htm 332 ASH. inhalation of a foreign object. asthma. it is reported that cocoa may cause cigarette smoke to act as a breathing nebulizer. Pages 703-077. or pollen).org.ffn. Carmines.yuku. 1999. panic attacks. How wrong and damaging could guessing be? Shortness of breath can be caused by “lung disease. pulmonary hypertension. 2002. obesity. Pages 1261-1270. http://www. Tobacco Additives. cigarette engineering and nicotine addiction. October 18.335 But Philip Morris argues that it is “unlikely” 331 National Institutes of Health and U. 335 Simons FE.ash. But neverusers develop hernias too. “I'm an ADDICT! Hooray!” March 2. emphysema. But again.com/topic/115 333 Philip Morris USA. maximum concentrations of cocoa can be up to 5%. theobromine. rapid ascent to high altitudes.S. Medline Plus.com & WhyQuit.nih. dust-laden environment. Breathing difficulty. theobromine compared favorably in improving breathing in young asthma patients. what are the odds of someone in the first few days of recovery developing pneumonia or noticing a hiatial hernia? Probably pretty small. Journal of Applied Physiology. interstitial lung disease.6% of its weight. In theory. Instead. L. or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). TMA Presentation on Cocoa to the Department of Health. They also catch colds. heart arrhythmias.331 Hidden conditions aside. compression of the chest wall. 2007. Keep in mind that coincidental illnesses and condition could happen during recovery have nothing to do with it. is known to relax airway muscles and expand bronchial tubes. and that in competition against theophylline. National Library of Medicine.333 The tobacco industry knows that cigarette smoking constricts lung bronchial tubes. web page updated April 12.334 that theobromine relaxes bronchial muscles. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Bates #2505520057 334 Hartiala J.© 2009 FFNicotine. Medical Encyclopedia. allergies (such as to mold. November 1985. If a cigarette contains 5% cocoa it also contains up to 1 milligram of theobromine. I’d just be guessing. July 14.uk/html/regulation/html/additives. de-conditioning (lack of exercise). According to Philip Morris. coronary artery disease. et al. this could keep the user loyal to their brand and coming back for more. the flu and get sick.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003075.html. a chemical used in breathing nebulizers. congestive heart failure (CHF). dander. October 1984. resulting in a bigger hit or bolus of nicotine assaulting brain dopamine pathways sooner. Volume 76(5).332 A chemical within cocoa. http://nlm. pneumonia. that they need to get seen by a doctor as soon as possible. with less oxygen in the air. Cigarette smoke-induced bronchoconstriction in dogs: vagal and extravagal mechanisms. hiatial hernia.com 169 this person probably has a breathing disorder that tobacco industry cigarette engineering kept hidden from them. airway obstruction. 1999.

338 Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. Tareyton Lights.340 and ulcerative colitis. 1979. Salem Lights. 339 chronic depression masked by nicotine. 2007. 336 Philip Morris USA.337 Although additives have likely changed significantly since. Volume 43(9). Camel Lights. The impact of smoking on thyroid volume and function in relation to a shift towards iodine sufficiency. Benson & Hedges. Volume 13(46). TMA Presentation on Cocoa to the Department of Health.5% cocoa included: Belair.170 Freedom from Nicotine . But Philip Morris says its research shows that licorice extract is “pyrolyzed extensively” (decomposed due to heat). European Journal of Epidemiology. nearly all recovery symptoms are now behind us. December 14. Pall Mall Lights. Bates #2505520057 337 Carmines EL. 2008. Bates #680224319 339 Vejbjerg P. Smoking in inflammatory bowel diseases: good. by the up to 900-degree temperatures found in cigarettes. et al. possibly also somehow suppressed. nicotine is not medicine. Licorice extract contains glycyrrhizin which some contend is another means by which cigarettes act as bronchodilators. Marlboro Lights. Marlboro Lights. a 1979 Brown & Williamson report documents that cigarette brands then containing more than 0. Brands then containing more than 0. Merit. June 12. Vantage. overcoming the influence of years and piles of use rationalizations and memories associated with them.”336 Once secret industry documents evidence ongoing industry monitoring of both cigarette cocoa and licorice extract levels for at least three decades. .5% licorice included: Belair. Now. Pages 1303-1322. hidden or controlled by nicotine. Pages 6134-6139. Camel Lights. our physical addiction is no longer doing the talking. Viceroy Lights and Winston Lights. It is a natural poison. 1999.The Journey Home theobromine in cocoa added to cigarettes can produce “a clinically effective dose. Doral. et al. We’ve traveled far enough to begin sampling what it will be like arriving home. October 18. 341 Lakatos PL. Kool Super Lights. Cocoa & Licorice Contents of Competitive Hi-Fi Cigarettes. Merit. Food and Chemical Toxicology. during which we do not entertain thoughts of wanting to bring nicotine into our body. Major depression following smoking cessation. September 2005. Celebrating Two Weeks of Healing! The beauty of two weeks is that while recovery is still ongoing. February 1997. Pages 423-429. the vast majority of subconscious use cues have been extinguished and we are now focusing more on the final leg of recovery. The number of minutes each day.338 Other possible once hidden health conditions include thyroid problems masked by tobacco iodine. The body and mind are nicotine-free. Volume 23(6). Tareyton Lights. Vantage. Salem Lights. Volume 154(2). Parliament. 340 Covey LS. American Journal of Psychiatry.341 Remember. bad or ugly? World Journal of Gastroenterology. are beginning to grow. Benson & Hedges. Pages 263-265. Viceroy Lights and Winston Lights. Carmines. Toxicologic evaluation of licorice extract as a cigarette ingredient.

com & WhyQuit. Be proud of yourself.. Still just one rule . with each passing day the challenges continue to grow fewer.. there is absolutely no guarantee that any of us could come this far again. whether appreciated or not. Whether measurable or not. generally less intense and shorter in duration. You’ve come far and invested much.com 171 Our body has adjusted to functioning without nicotine and we’re standing on our own two feet. no nicotine today! . Remember.© 2009 FFNicotine.

full and meaningful lives. aggressive. contempt. 343 Mosca. Rising and falling blood-serum levels of the psychoactive chemical nicotine impacted dopamine. dreadful. Harvard Review of Psychiatry. contented. Pages 1061-1086. et al. Volume 52(6).343 Primary emotions include surprise. Although not easy. Psyche. . Emotion knowledge: further exploration of a prototype approach. 342 Quattrocki E. disgusted. curious. our mind’s unfeeling night sky would be empty and dark. bewildered. serotonin. acetylcholine. dejected. gamma-aminobutyric acid. et al. while reviewing the following list. sadness and disgust. cowardly. anticipating. appreciated. although appearing as just a list of words. 6(10). bitter. 344 Libkuman TM. et al. cruel. our addiction infected nearly all of our emotions. May 2007. Our emotions range from accepting. composed. awed. bold. fear. September 2000. alert. caring. Pages 99-110.172 Freedom from Nicotine . also see Shaver P. Volume 8(3). blissful. Volume 39(2). A truly dynamic being. Yet. cautious. defeated. June 1987. joy. alarmed. apprehensive. subconscious and conscious awareness to create an intuitive emotional richness that rivals the stars. confused. (2) secondary emotions and (3) background emotions. bored. norepinephrine. aggravated. constrained. varying emotions are the product of neuron and chemical interactions. Biological aspects of the link between smoking and depression. October 2000. It means that to varying degrees and frequency. Behavior Research Methods. distant. amazed.344 The common thread is that each reflects an almost instant reaction as seen in facial expressions. compassionate.342 Emotion can be broken down into three overlapping categories: (1) primary emotions. detached. amused. reflect on how life as a nicotine addict may have touched upon each. delighted. The structure and function of these beautiful minds combine with instinctive. annoyed. Volume. disrespectful. A. and glutamate.The Journey Home Chapter 10 Emotional Recovery Feelings reflect emotional awareness or how we feel about the emotions stirring within us. That isn’t to say that as nicotine addicts we didn’t have emotionally rich. affectionate. courageous. with no processing or routing inside the frontal lobe of the brain. depressed. Pages 326-334. Secondary emotions are all other emotions and result primarily from frontal lobe and intellectual processing and analysis of the influence of primary emotions. A Review Essay on Antonio Damasio's The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. if the only emotions remaining were those untouched by our addiction. anger. the seat of intelligence and thought. disappointed. Journal of Personalty and Social Psychology. agitated. cheerful. anxious. competent. Multidimensional normative ratings for the International Affective Picture System.

troubled. resentful. exhilarated. The brain’s well-stocked arsenal of defense mechanisms includes denial. . free. repulsed. independent. thrilled. panicky. nervous. loving. resistant. mysterious. embarrassed. pitiful. expecting. overwhelmed. indifferent. hostile. insulted. spiteful. enthusiastic. distressed. emotional recovery isn’t only about navigating the feelings and emotions brought on by recovery. or homeostasis. interested. hysterical. lustful. satisfied. shocked. malicious. displacement. secure. melancholy. fond. raptured. regretful. optimistic. infatuation. lonely. woeful. hateful. uncomfortable. tender. shameful. exhausted. tormented. gleeful. nicotine impacted primary emotions via the body’s fight or flight pathways. mortified. innocent. about brightening the stars that fill life’s sky. isolated. Understanding the emotional journey allows greater control. gloomful. While the symptoms of recovery have physiological associations and were covered in the prior chapter. irritated. guilty. sentimental.com 173 dismayed. sympathetic. humiliated. homesick. reluctant. A central nervous system stimulant. intellectualization. hopeful. How does the human mind protect and insulate itself from anxiety or psychological pain? It does so by employing defense mechanisms that work by distorting or blocking reality and natural instincts. happy. Imagine a life where satisfaction isn’t stolen every thirty minutes by ingesting an external chemical. grumpy. about recovery’s growing impact upon pride and self-esteem. jealous. jolly. stressed. passionate. prohibited. terrorized. when the onset of early nicotine withdrawal isn’t piled on top. As with physical. obligated. displeased. revulsion. incomplete. rejected. grieving. proud. weary.com & WhyQuit. secondary emotions on a host of levels. enjoying. ecstasy. glad. relieved. lost. enthralled. subconscious and conscious recovery. as is obvious. dramatic. many are also rooted in emotion and would fit well here. unhappy. sluggish. pleasured. insecure. too. It includes healing many of the above emotions after years of chemical abuse. stress or horror. and background emotions were ridden hard by an endless roller-coaster ride of neuro-chemical lows and highs ranging from urges to “aaah”s. While withdrawal compels the body to commence physical healing. envious. timid. horrified. impatient. Background emotions reflect feelings present when at rest. to a great extent we control the rate of emotional healing. loathing. riled. scornful. uneasy. tense. grouchy. euphoric. miserable. ferocious. triumphant. gaiety. modest. interested. greedy. relaxed. suffering. longing. generous. jubilated. elated.© 2009 FFNicotine. smug. The final category of emotion is background. neglectful. eager. Think about the flood of emotion associated with never having to quit again. familiar. Imagine relief being earned. vengeful. hopeless. outraged. worried and zealous. painful. How could we expect to know total calm or experience full relaxation with nicotine making our heart pound faster? Imagine the real flavor of agitation.

345 Kübler-Ross grief cycle . suppression. compensation.” Depression: “This is never going to end. that’s 80 times a day that we puckered our lips up to some nasty smelling butt spewing forth scores of toxins and thousands of chemicals.com/joel .174 Freedom from Nicotine . "On Death and Dying. fantasy. Joel’s Library. Unlike when hunting for a lost pet or when our parents were angry with us.” Anger: “Have I really had my last nicotine fix? “This just is not fair!” Bargaining: “Maybe I can do it just once more. 1982. Seeing and understanding each stage’s roots will hopefully help empower a smoother and quicker emotional transition home. 345 Defense mechanism. 347 Spitzer. repression. As we review each stage keep in mind the fact that the Kübler-Ross’s grief cycle of emotional loss is not etched in stone.The Journey Home projection.” It’s important in navigating emotional recovery to not get stuck in a stage prior to acceptance. identification. dissociation. In 1982 Joel Spitzer applied the Kübler-Ross grief cycle model to the emotional loss encountered when quitting smoking.The Kübler-Ross model identifies five discrete stages in the grief cycle when coming to terms with any significant emotional loss. Some phases may be absent while others get revisited. never once did it let us down. and withdrawal. 2008. undoing. I’m feeling pretty good!” “I can do this!” “This is good.” “I’ve earned a little reward. I’ll just pretend and see how far I get. http://newworldencyclopedia. Unless wet and it wouldn’t light." 1969. rationalization. dependency upon nicotine may have been the most intense and dependable relationship in our entire life.346 Albeit chemical.org/entry/Defense_mechanism 346 Kübler-Ross. New World Encylopedia. April 3. sublimation. Understanding the Emotional Loss Experienced When Quitting Smoking. What human on earth did we kiss 80 times each day? Who did we depend upon 80 times a day? How many times each day did we write or say our name? Imagine being closer to our addiction than our own name. ISBN 0415040159. regression. nicotine’s “aaah” was always there. If we smoked nicotine ten times per day and averaged 8 puffs per cigarette. Routledge.347 The five stages of emotional recovery include: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Denial: “I’m not really going to quit. http://whyquit. reaction formation.” What’s the use?” “Why bother?” Acceptance “Hey. J. Elizabeth.

escapes. They insulate them from the pain and reality of captivity. from Dictionary. minimizations.). Denial is the unconscious defense mechanism .com . It operates unconsciously to diminish anxiety by refusing to perceive that recovery will really happen. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.© 2009 FFNicotine. which used distortion and blocking techniques to provide cover and insulation that enabled us keep our nicotine relationship ongoing. Although we may say we are ending nicotine use.just below the surface . If convinced. next up would have been anger. why do so many of us initially treat recovery as though some secret or hide in isolation? Why do we need an escape path? If convinced. why take comfort in knowing where that one hidden cigarette rests or the location of that last pouch.348 Most nicotine addicts we'll see today are well insulated by a thick protective blanket of unconscious denial rationalizations. Clearly I hadn’t made it beyond denial. While a positive force in allowing this journey to commence -. But if I had.including allowing you the courage to reach for this book – it can also forecast relapse. It almost seems as though I’d endured the worst of withdrawal just to renew and invigorate lame “it’s too hard” rationalizations for continued smoking. while embarking upon a journey from which there should be no return. those same anxiety defense tools will now distort reality to buffer and aid transition to a nicotine-free life. along with the ashtray or spit can? The denial phase protects against the immediate emotional shock of leaving the most intense relationship we may have ever known. on a host of levels the mind isn’t yet convinced. tin or pack? Why not throw them out. (n.d.com 175 Denial The denial phase of emotional recovery is associated with ending a long and intense chemical relationship. intellectualizations and delusions. while suppressing most anxieties associated with doing so. But here. fault projections.that allows us to resolve the emotional conflict and anxiety that would normally be felt by a person living in a permanent state of self-destructive chemical bondage. 348 Denial.com & WhyQuit. It is the flip-side of active dependency denial. or create the illusion that the problem is somehow being solved. Fourth Edition. It’s a shock buffer that allows us time to come to terms with where we now find ourselves. 2008. Retrieved July 21. during recovery. It hurts to recall the number of times I went three days and then “rewarded” myself with that one puff that spelled relapse.

any excuse. underlying anger anxieties can be used to intentionally fuel rage. and the world around us? The next Chapter on subconscious recovery provides a number of techniques for navigating a crave episode which may not peak for three minutes. The anger phase of recovery is a period of healing where we begin to awaken to the realization that it may be within our ability to pull this off and succeed. Is it any wonder that anger would be the mind’s reaction? It is now being struck with the very real prospect that a high priority relationship has come to an end. freedom or feed-em. But there are fine distinctions between anger felt during the emotional recovery stage and using anger as an adrenaline crutch or sick relapse ploy. which ignores all positives while focusing only on negative. If allowed. While this high-energy phase of the emotional stage of goodbye is a normal step in recovery. That just maybe. any spark. our last puff. ever. dip or chew. Sadly. the educated quitter both recognizes its arrival and understands anger’s roots. Recognition is critical as it provides a protective seed of reason inside a mind looking for a spark. It knows that the spark is not the issue. But knowledge’s seed of reason knows that breaking nicotine’s grip upon our mind and life is not a logical reason to fight. It is a mind sick with tunnel vision. It knows that an exaggerating mind is not an honest mind. fear of the unknown. But emotional recovery has now transported us from fear of quitting to fear of success. and create so much turmoil among those I loved. to turn a molehill into a mountain. to let it all out. is already behind us. It is also a means to experience the flow of missing adrenaline. now all the quitter needs is some excuse. risk of succeeding.The Journey Home Anger Anger is a normal and expected emotional recovery phase. become enraged or flee. and an overwhelmed and exaggerating mind stands primed to lash out. Conflicting motivations. and envy of those still using? Knowing the root cause. once part of our nicotine high. that I could convince them that I needed my cigarettes back. I take no pride in recalling that I could intentionally became so nasty. that spark will activate the body’s fight or flight response. just one spark. The issue is emotional recovery.176 Freedom from Nicotine . a loaded mind in which intense exaggeration is poised to abandon rational thought. Durable nicotine use memories flowing from captive dopamine pathways elevated that next fix to one of life’s top priorities. releasing a cascade of more than one hundred chemicals and hormones. So how does a mind trained in recognizing and understanding recovery anger prevent it from harming both us. lash out. to vent. Is it at all surprising that anger can foster resentment at leaving. In that anxiety underlies both .

Mounting inner recovery frustrations have just encountered a spark. Fears. June 2007. even in never-users. anger’s causes may overlap and get tangled. or upon the sensations associated with inhaling and exhaling that next breath. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Realize that unless being physically assaulted that only bad can come from unleashing our body’s fighting chemicals.com & WhyQuit. reason and calm. We also need to remember that normal everyday life can produce anger too. Feel the cool air entering and its warmth while slowly exhaling. conscious and emotional well-being. But even then. Focus all concentration on your favorite color or object. an addict’s relapse ploy or feeling a sense of loss. there is limited evidence of some forms of meditation diminishing blood pressure. AHRQ Publication No. At times. just one second at a time. cycling emotions. we have it within us to fully control anger impulses. leaving emotional wounds that may never heal. Baby steps. Slowly open your eyes as you begin to sense that your body’s fighting chemicals no longer flow.349 How long will the anger phase last? As long as allowed. just one micro-second at a time. non-destructive ways. Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research. But if not. where does the mind turn next? What is anger’s solution? Why not try to cut a deal to keep our cake while having eaten it too? But this isn’t about cake. Let me leave you with one exercise in creating the patience needed to move beyond anger. don’t be disturbed as each step reflects deep and profound emotional healing. sit down. Hopefully understanding and acceptance will help accelerate emotional recovery. Can in-depth understanding of the emotional journey allow us to skip it altogether? Possibly but we have no studies. .© 2009 FFNicotine.com 177 crave episodes and anger episodes they’ll serve you well. 07-E010. Once things calm. Slowly close your eyes while taking a deep breath. Take another slow deep breath while maintaining total inner focus. It’s what anger management is all about. subconscious. It brings strong potential to harm both us and innocent victims. Recognize the anger building within. Have patience. Clearly knowledge can provide the insights needed to recognize transitions and hopefully react in healthy. without harm to innocent bystanders or us. It’s about a highly addictive chemical with tremendous impact upon our physical.S. Hopefully it is now safe to respond to the spark with logic. If possible. It reflects primitive instincts that are out of control. 349 While debate abounds about meditation’s ability to heal the body. Understand what’s happening and why. see U. Anger is almost never a solution. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 155. recovery offers plenty of opportunities to encounter anger. and study quality to date has been horrible. Feel the sense of calm and inner peace as it begins to spread.

Instead of buying into relapse. with us. Sharing “averages” and “norms” will naturally generate tons of ammunition for those whose dependency or recovery traits are just beyond “average. without letting go. the emotional conflict of wanting to say “hello.178 Freedom from Nicotine . or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions.The Journey Home Bargaining “Maybe I’m the exception to the Law of Addiction. your family or caregiver notice agitation. depressed mood. If allowed. as long as 100% of the planet’s nicotine remains on the outside it’s impossible to fail. here bargaining’s focus isn’t so much on justification for remaining nicotine’s slave. or at least visiting now and then. or changes in behavior that are not typical for you. They are the wind beneath our wings.” Key to navigating conflicted feelings is in demanding honesty while keeping our primary recovery motivations vibrant and strong. agitation. it wants more “aaah”s but wants freedom too. the book itself will provide an abundance of fuel for the bargaining mind.” “this just isn’t the right time to stop!” Although a large portion of this book is about bargaining. Some experienced these symptoms when they began taking varenicline. remember. “Just one. Its aim is the impossible feat of letting go. Bargaining can be with our particular nicotine delivery device.” “Maybe I can do it just once!” Chapter 3 reviewed arguments used by the still feeding addict to attempt to justify that next fix. If using varenicline or any other quitting medication do not rely upon this book regarding any symptoms but instead present any and all concerns . Instead of grief simply accepting an end to nicotine use. While reaching for many of the same rationalizations. depressed mood. If either you.” “things are getting worse not better. Every user and every recovery are different.” “too long.” while saying “goodbye. and suicidal thoughts or actions.” “just once” can easily evolve into “this is just too hard. Some patients using Chantix and Champix (varenicline) have experienced changes in behavior. it’s more about continuing this journey of recovery yet somehow bringing our dependency along with us. loved ones or even our higher power. Allowing freedom’s desire to die invites destructive and intellectually dishonest deals to be made. and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after they stopped taking it. But what happens to a grieving mind once it realizes that it can’t arrest its dependency while enabling it too? Depression WARNING . stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor immediately.” can easily culminate in relapse. not for those taking cessation medications.The following depression discussion is intended for those ending nicotine use cold turkey.

medication).g. et al. The above warning was necessary because depression is not some fixed and interchangeable emotion. many qualifiers. (4) a lot of trouble sleeping or sleeping too much. drugs. depression is emotional surrender. a person must exhibit at least 5 of the following 9 symptoms for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed as having “major depressive disorder” or MDD: (1) feeling sad. Extending the bereavement exclusion for major depression to other losses: evidence from the National Comorbidity Survey.com 179 to your treating physician or pharmacists. blue. also see Wakefield JC. It reflects a wide spectrum of varying degrees of hopelessness where anxieties often subside. The Clinical Definition of Depression May Change. tearful.” As reviewed in the prior chapter under “Symptoms.” it is the expert opinion of the editor of the DSM-IV standards that depression that is a normal and expected reaction to a significant emotional loss is exempt under the DSM-IV "bereavement exclusion" from being classified as depression. The word depression can range from a short period of normal and expected sadness to full-blown clinical depression with suicidal thoughts. 350 National Public Radio. (7) feeling worthless or excessive guilt about things we did or didn’t do. so long as the symptoms are relatively mild and it doesn’t last longer than two months. (9) feeling we’d be better off dead or having thoughts about killing ourselves. Volume 64(4). or other important areas and may not be caused by substance use (e. must cause great distress or difficulty in functioning at home.com & WhyQuit. (3) appetite much less or greater than usual.npr. the “bereavement exclusion. do not use the following list to attempt to self diagnose yourself as the DSM-IV standards have other depression definitions too. (2) losing interest or pleasure in things we previously enjoyed. April 2007. planning or attempts. So what’s the difference between a period of normal sadness and full-blown major clinical depression? Let’s look at the symptoms of major depression. (6) being tired without energy. But in regard to cold turkey nicotine cessation there may be an overriding consideration.350 What I’d like to focus upon here is “why” is sadness or depression a normal step in the emotional grieving process? What is the purpose of depression? While the anger phase of emotional recovery is fueled by anxiety. (8) trouble concentrating. Like the word “wind” it can range from a soft gentle breeze to a full-blown hurricane. the symptoms cannot indicate a mixed episode. restless or slowed down that others begin noticing. It’s why we have and need psychiatrists.© 2009 FFNicotine. Generally. All Things Considered. alcohol. 2007 www.org. (5) becoming so agitated. work. as though some license plate that would fit every car. . which include many. Pages 433-440. Archives of General Psychiatry. But even if a person exhibits 5 of the above 9 symptoms. April 3. accompanied by weight loss or gain. thinking clearly or making decisions. But before doing so. under the DSM-IV standards..

The Journey Home Psychiatrist Paul Keedwell’s book entitled “How Sadness Survived” asserts that depression is part of what it means to be human. increased productivity and richer lives. Radcliffe Publishing. It’s likely you still have work to do in reclaiming conscious thinking.” It may or may not have been pretty getting here.180 Freedom from Nicotine . How Sadness Survived. if you’ve been able to let go and fully accept letting go then the emotional journey is complete. Acceptance The victory phase of the Kübler-Ross grief recovery cycle is acceptance. nor improves within 60 days. Keedwell contends that depression forces us to pause and evaluate loss. and that upon reflection and recovery we often experience greater sensitivity. But in regard to your emotional journey. It’s the “this is doable” moment of emotional journey that often marks the transition from “quitter” to “exsmoker.” is “relatively minor” in nature. ISBN-10 1 84619 013 4 . While successful nicotine dependency recovery demands a degree of reflection. Dr. Congratulations! 351 Keedwell. it seems logical that it resides between anger and acceptance. the evolutionary basis of depression. don’t wait. obviously not all depression falls within the "bereavement exclusion. 2008. Get seen and evaluated. if at all concerned about depression. You may still be encountering un-extinguished subconscious feeding cues now and then. that it’s a defense rather than defect. to change or alter damaging situations or behavior. Paul. Regardless of definitions or exclusions.351 If the mind uses depression to force reflection and change.

© 2009 FFNicotine. cues meaningless to conscious awareness? Dumb? When typing on a keyboard. The Unconscious Mind. et al. rebellion and affordability marketing. While this is our self-perception. locating and striking the correct key? While operating a vehicle. what part of the mind and level of awareness is thinking about. Automatic mental associations predict future choices of undecided decision-makers. Twice the traveling hypnotist sold me a couple of days of unbelievable hypnotic bliss before I tested it and relapsed. 2000. why can our subconscious see subliminal messages invisible to the conscious mind or feel the influence of tobacco marketing that our consciousness thinks has been ignored? Why can it react to triggering cues written upon it by hypnotic suggestion. science is still in the early stages of discovery in understanding the scope of its involvement in dayto-day life.354 352 Abbot NC. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Science. 354 Galdi S.” 353 Bargh JA. pleasure. But it’s every bit as real as the never seen portion of an iceberg. that our behavior was our idea. Pages 73-79. or doing the driving as we read billboards. friendship. while ignoring our conscious ability to retrain it. . Think of Disney World and awareness of the magic above ground.353 Now it’s time to knowingly teach it how to function without it. if so dumb. Volume 3(1). that it causes our actions after careful deliberation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. a growing body of evidence suggests that like Disney’s puppets. Even here. unconscious or preconscious. the conscious mind is not the primary source motivating behavior.com & WhyQuit.352 But looking upon our subconscious mind only in terms of being the playground of others cheapens and makes it look dumb. aroma. including using nicotine. adventure. which examines 9 hypnotherapy studies and concludes: “We have not shown that hypnotherapy has a greater effect on six month quit rates than other interventions or no treatment. (2):CD001008. while an unseen city beneath brings the magic to life. et al. talk on the phone or daydream? Our conscious mind has unknowingly aided in teaching our subconscious skills and how to perform activities. who is really controlling which foot needs to push on which peddle and how hard.com Chapter 11 181 Subconscious Recovery The Unconscious Mind Endlessly hammered by flavor. et al. January 2008. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. It is normal for us to deeply believe that our consciousness is the one doing things. Whether referred to as our subconscious. that our subconscious has already made up our mind for us. our subconscious was the nicotine addiction industry’s subliminal message board.

a little teamwork. past personal preferences. Retrieved August 31. Pages 1100-1102.Operant conditioning is a process that operates to modify behavior (in our case nicotine use) through positive or negative reinforcement (dopamine aaahs or anxieties of early withdrawal). as reviewed in Bargh JA. Pages 1004–1027. Pages 649-659. Drug addiction reflects a conflicts war zone. October 2004. goals hidden from awareness. Volume 81. The Unconscious Mind. punishment and associations. 356 Bargh JA. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Behavioral Brain Science. Hundreds or thousands of annual nicotine use repetitions created strong subconscious associations between using nicotine and the adrenaline stimulated dopamine “aaah” sensations that August 22. so that we come to associate the pleasure or displeasure produced by the reinforcement with the behavior. Volume 3(1). from Dictionary. But after conditioned by years of nicotine dependency rewards. Perspectives on Psychological Science.com website. 2008. both reinforcement (operant) and association (classical). December 2001. It’s likely your subconscious does too. 357 operant conditioning.356 Reading these words is clear evidence that “you” want to break free. January 2008. et al. Volume 27(5). or be the product of conditioning. et al. it could use your help in coming home.The Journey Home It’s suggested that the subconscious mind has evolved as a highly adaptive “behavioral guidance system” which acts on impulse. Our subconscious has its own behavioral goals. Volume 321(5892). (n. 2008. and that the real role of our consciousness is as impulse gatekeeper.355 Sources of subconscious impulses can include evolutionary motivations. Reinforcement & Crave Episodes Operant conditioning .).182 Freedom from Nicotine . that our consciousness then seizes upon the idea as its own. Pages 73-79. how others in the same situation are currently behaving. It’s becoming more widely accepted that the impulse for behavior flows from our subconscious. family values.357 Drug use behavior conditioning reflects unintended expectations training of the subconscious mind. and trying to make sense after the fact of behavior that it allowed to occur. Précis of the illusion of conscious will. . The automated will: Unconscious activation and pursuit of behavioral goals. past experiences in similar situations. 355 Wegner DM. Multiple sources of subconscious behavioral impulses make conflicts inevitable. cultural norms. The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary.d.

and that life without it would be boring.© 2009 FFNicotine. Trapped in a perpetual cycle between emotional beatings and dopamine rewards. While likely still anxious and alert.358 Operant conditioning associated with “aaah” pleasure seeking was only one aspect of subconscious control. from . soon has the subconscious begging for more. So long as all nicotine remains on the outside. empty or nearly impossible? The good news is that within 72 hours of ending nicotine use the subconscious has no choice but to begin noticing that peak withdrawal has been achieved. chew or hit somehow revives old “aaah” memories. The good news is that while we can’t erase “aaah” memories. irritable and depressed our mood.As it relates to nicotine. Volume 86(5). that replenishment was as important as eating. we quickly discovered that delaying replenishment for too long made us anxious. 359 classical conditioning. is it any wonder that both our subconscious and conscious grew to deeply believe that nicotine use defined who we were. May 1991. We were also controlled by displeasure and fear conditioning associated with the consequences of ignoring nicotine’s two-hour half-life.. an endless string of mandatory replenishments during active drug addiction. Pages 605-609.com 183 followed. a person. conscious honesty and dependency understanding enable us to see them for what they truly reflect. through repetition. dip. no nicotine today! Classical conditioning . the solution will always remain simple . While negative reinforcement operant conditioning is quickly snuffed-out and extinguished by diminishing punishment for not using nicotine.d. Although not always easy. Inter-relationships between conditioned and primary reinforcement in the maintenance of cigarette smoking.359 358 Rose JE. But even if we go years without nicotine.). the behavioral influence of “aaah” memories associated with positive reinforcement take time to overcome. fears and anxieties associated with the onset of withdrawal will never be encountered again. 2008. place. (n. the most intense period of recovery is over. whether wanted or not. Retrieved August 31.com & WhyQuit. the effects of just one powerful puff. positive reinforcement operant conditioning and. the anxiety consequences of having waited too long between feedings operated to condition us to void anxieties by engaging in replenishment early and often. Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. until encountering the conditioned use cue alone becomes sufficient to trigger urges and cravings for nicotine.. Once hooked. time or emotion (a conditioned stimulus or use cue) becomes so paired with using nicotine. classical or Pavlovian conditioning is conditioning in which. and is now gradually beginning to subside. et al. Recasting them in truthful light can diminish or destroy their current influence upon us. Like being beat with a whip or receiving an electrical shock. British Journal of Addiction. thing. activity.

360 Lazev AB. The posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex mediate the anticipatory allocation of spatial attention. Volume 58(2). If crave episodes feel real and physical in nature there’s good reason. et al. They also found that the amount of blood flow (perfusion) positively correlated with the intensity of the cue induced cigarette cravings in both the prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate. Volume 32(11).362 regions associated with “aaah” rewards and anxiety. The Journal of Physiological Sciences. medial thalamus. . 363 Small DM. an autonomic response.The Journey Home Subconsciously triggered anxieties are the mind's means of commanding that we once again bring nicotine into our body. February 1999. et al. they trigger physiological responses within the body and mind. we each conditioned our subconscious to expect arrival of a new supply of nicotine in specific situations. March 2003. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Volume 18(3). Like Pavlov's dogs. 362 Franklin TR. which he conditioned to expect food and begin salivating upon the ringing of a bell. et al. Researchers have successfully used sight. Pages 2301-2309. and left insula. Classical conditions of environmental cues to cigarette smoking. NeuroImage. who obviously had fewer existing cues than heavy smokers. Pages 56-63. Although nicotine-feeding cues are psychological in origin. Limbic activation to cigarette smoking cues independent of nicotine withdrawal: a perfusion fMRI study. hippocampus.363 Dictionary.361 Using brain scans. researchers found that encountering a visual nicotine use cue will increase pupil size. Researchers found it easier to establish new cues among light smokers. motivation and expectancy. smell and hearing to establish new conditioned use cues in smokers. Pages 139-145. 361 Chae Y. April 2008. with an increase in pulse rate. amygdala. Neuropsychopharmacology. Not only does using nicotine increase pupil size. regions known to control attention. researchers discovered increased blood flow during cue-induced cravings in the brain’s ventral striatum. Subjective and autonomic responses to smoking-related visual cues. orbitofrontal cortex. November 2007.360 Encountering the new cue triggered use expectations and an urge to smoke.184 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 633-641. Volume 7(1).com website.

sound. and personality on craving. location or emotion during which we had conditioned our subconscious to expect nicotine.com 185 Years of subconscious conditioning had us reaching for a nicotine fix and conducting replenishment without recognizing that our mind had sensed a cue (conditioned stimulus) and often without realizing that replenishment was underway.com & WhyQuit. NH. may act as a control center able to alter the intensity of anxiety commands in response to encountering a time. combined with nicotine’s half-life to compel each of us to decide when during each day we would engage in replenishment in order to avoid experiencing early withdrawal anxieties. .364 The intensity of a particular crave episode appears to be influenced by a number of factors. Damage to Insula Disrupts Addiction to Cigarette Smoking. Pages 79-84. 315 (5811). Pages 531-534 365 Zilberman ML. It was watching and remembering as use cues arriving via sight. place. It’s here that fear of failure and fear of success come face to face. January 2007. 2007. Recent findings suggest that the insula. it is very likely that the drags we’ll watch being inhaled will be taken while their unconscious mind is in full control. Now that same trait sees relapse as a quick-fix 364 Naqvi. et al. As if on autopilot. Our dependency’s level of nicotine tolerance (the amount of nicotine required daily in order to overcome acetylcholine receptor up-regulation and desensitization). They could arrive as fullblown crave episodes if replenishment was way overdue. depression. touch and emotions were quickly followed by arrival of new nicotine. As for impulsivity. smell. Crave episode intensity . Possibly unaware we were doing so. Vol. Sometimes the urges were noticeable and sometimes not. things slowly start getting better not worse. in the brain’s limbic region. Study the next smoker you see. we each established daily replenishment patterns that taught and conditioned our subconscious when to expect more nicotine. Science. that once all nicotine is out of our system.As we navigated our day our subconscious recognized use cues and issued gentle commands letting us know it was again time for replenishment. taste. Not only is it functioning it’s thriving! If there is a moment of subconscious awakening it’s here.365 The longer without nicotine the longer fear driven anxieties have to build. Volume 26(1). it’s the trait that played a key role in many of us experimenting with using nicotine in the first place. The Journal of Addictive Diseases. The impact of gender. A 2007 study found that the two most significant were how recently the person had used their drug and their level of impulsiveness. The magic period seems to be when the mind finds itself 100% nicotine-free yet still alive and functioning. I can’t begin to count the number of times I looked down and was forced to explain why the ashtray was full and the pack empty. et al. All levels of awareness are confronted with the reality that they’ve been living a lie.© 2009 FFNicotine.

Patience standing up to impulsivity fosters confrontation anxieties as our hopes and dreams of a lasting solution to dependency anxieties are pitted against the prospect of instant “aaah” gratification. If there’s no joy in your day get seen and evaluated by a physician skilled in treating depression. study after study finds little or no difference between male and female success rates. Feel the urge? Now picture your particular nicotine delivery device. and if she stays clean she’ll soon never need face them again. Volume 27(3). Pages 305-313. and doing each as well or better without using. The phenomenology of food cravings: the role of mental imagery. Addiction. Give it a try. Pages 501-518. . pride and increasing self-esteem. within 2-3 weeks brain sensitivities should be about back to normal. et al. May 2003. Don’t allow treatable depression to bring you to the brink of relapse Don’t use it as an excuse to continue use of the very chemical that may have contributed to causing it. Focus upon the truth. Picture your favorite food. Also. Volume 45(3). Put impulsiveness to work on the right team. There is no aspect of nicotine use conditioning that cannot be extinguished. Now make the mental image as vivid and detailed as possible. Prenatal cocaine and/or nicotine exposure produces depression and anxiety in aging rats.186 Freedom from Nicotine . 368 Tiggemann M. 367 Sobrian SK. positive impulses that instantly respond to protect us from challenge. Volume 97(6). Picture the brand and imagine holding it. December 2005. Gender differences in the psychological determinants of cigarette smoking.367 Instead. as though some skilled firefighter arriving on the scene and ready to extinguish the blaze.368 Go ahead. Although the image of a depressed woman enduring more intense crave episodes is disheartening. Picture a permanent solution to replenishment urges and craves. Make impulsiveness guardian over the next few moments and remaining 100% nicotine-free! Let it serve as a vigilant ally in protecting our freedom. Pages 733-743.The Journey Home solution. et al. Imagine the creation of healthy. June 2002. Feel the urge? Why not use recovery imagery as a subconscious re-training tool? Why not flash our own subliminal messages? Picture yourself engaging in every activity during which you used nicotine but now comfortably doing so without it. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. The same 2007 study noted that the level of depression among women. Picture fully reclaiming every activity you did while using. keep in mind that episodes are extremely short lived. Appetite.366 But do not ignore or make light of ongoing depression. While some find the first few days to be the biggest emotional roller coaster ride of their life. the bigger and lasting yet delayed reward. especially if fear driven. Notice how each activity 366 Etter JF. put a physician on the team! A food craving study found that vividness of imagery associated with food influenced craving intensity. but not men. was capable of impacting crave episode intensity. no aspect of life that cannot be reclaimed. et al.

et al. that we can be what we expect. Allen does the same thing Joel does in the first two chapters of his free PDF electronic book “Never Take Another Puff. .” Each time the book is opened the subconscious is hit with the message that stopping can be easy. It’s that it only addresses a single aspect of recovery on a single occasion. it’s time to change expectations. Addictive Behavior. Controlling expectations . Quiet all chatter inside your mind by focusing to the exclusion of all other thought upon an image of your favorite place.370 Think about the traveling smoking cessation hypnotist using their conscious mind to relax our conscious mind. Pages 103-108. See such days soon becoming your new sense of normal. April 2006. invite the enslaved mind to see through the lies our addiction forced us to accept.com 187 is done as well as or better than before. Draw near and talk to it. Picture the pureness of that first full day where the thought of “wanting” never crosses your mind. Inside. the subconscious. Smoking expectancy mediates the conditioned responses to arbitrary smoking cues. 369 Field M. They also noted increased salivation.© 2009 FFNicotine. Listen as the noise of addiction chatter comes to an end. Pages 323-334. June 2001. 370 Dols M. while ignoring the ongoing negative influence of conscious stimulation and years of nicotine use related thoughts. We don’t need to be trained hypnotists to use our conscious mind to calm.A 2001 classical conditioning smoking study teaches two important lessons about the influence of conscious expectations upon cravings. Can conscious expectations control both subconscious expectations and craving intensity? It appears so. sooth or create subconscious expectations. The problem with single-session cessation hypnosis isn’t that it does not or cannot work. Think about the repeated subconscious impact of the title of Allen Carr’s book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Try engaging in slow deep breathing while progressively relaxing your body. Amazingly. it’s listening. Smokers can learn to influence their urge to smoke. et al. Feel the beauty and emotion of a brain responding to life instead of nicotine. Behavioural Pharmacology. 371 Anbar RD. It means that what we think and believe is critical. Researchers found that upon encountering and noticing the smoking cue that the intensity of cravings increased. their craving responses were eliminated after retraining them not to expect to be able to smoke when the cue was encountered. Volume 25(1). American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. Subconscious guided therapy with hypnosis. Volume 50(4). reassure.com & WhyQuit. Jan-Feb 2000. Volume 12(3). and shared here in Chapter 3. so as to allow them to rewrite subconscious expectations. Pages 183-194.369 During the study smokers were educated to expect to be able to smoke during a specific situation and encouraged to identify the situation when it occurred. skin conduction and increased craving in answers to crave assessment questions. Taste the natural flavor of a mouth reclaimed. at least briefly.371 Once relaxed.

that challenge is good not bad as it reflects true healing. the end of the workday. Our morning activity triggers may have been associated with climbing out of bed. the feel of placing our dinner plate into the sink. arriving. reading the paper. without our drug. Help the unconscious mind bask in freedom’s glory. television. drinking coffee. And then there’s the workplace where nicotine replenishment may have been associated with rewards for having accomplished work tasks.The Journey Home Reassure your subconscious. getting dressed.188 Freedom from Nicotine . think about how relaxed the conscious mind and body become immediately prior to slumbering off into sleep. . If so. cues may be associated with waking your children. caring for a pet. But initially. Invite it to feel the delight of ongoing victory and mounting self-esteem.Each of us had conditioned our mind to expect nicotine in association with certain activities. Calm subconscious fears as you slumber into sleep. or getting them off to school. Encourage your subconscious to join forces in embracing recovery. but often not without a price. While necessary that the children get off to school during early recovery. Travel to work. Celebrate today’s victory and picture tomorrow being your most fruitful day of recovery yet. Seize upon and use these precious seconds when our conscious and subconscious draw near. A dirty house or tall grass may breed their own escalating internal anxieties or cause needless family frictions. or the sound of a bottle or can opening. we have a pretty good feel for most situations during which we engaged in replenishment. This is the greatest period of healing our brain has likely ever known. Let it know there is absolutely nothing to fear in coming home to entire days where we never once think about wanting nicotine. talking on the phone. Teach it that contrary to the lies. Slide off into sleep feeling free and proud. or ice cubes filling a glass? While few of us appreciated the precise cue recognized by our subconscious. Deep relaxation may be challenging during the first 72 hours. using the computer or walking outside. taking a break. Imagine so tying nicotine use to using the bathroom that once use ends we are briefly left wondering whether we’ll ever be able to have a bowel movement again. brushing our teeth or even using the bathroom. a lack of nicotine induced “aaah” rewards may combine with a fear of encountering crave triggers to cause postponement of nonessential activities such as housework. Common Use Cues When during each day did our subconscious expect nicotine? Was its cue the smell of morning coffee. making the bed. If parents. either nicotine-use breaks or using while working. surrounding breakfast. Housework. Activities . stepping outside. Throw out the lies. conditioning can make a task seem worthless or even impossible. daily planning. feeding them. everything we did while slaves can be done as well as or better once free.

bar. Instead of fullblow cravings. outdoors. workplace. Just seeing them could trigger a craving. Even then. there can be multiple cues related to alcohol use. a television program or the hour when its time to prepare for bed. bus stop. some of us so tied nicotine use to work that we can’t imagine ever being able to be productive workers again. In fact. at a time of diminished “aaah”s. garage. preparing dinner. Delay in confronting and extinguishing work associated conditioning can add needless pressure and anxiety to recovery. Unless we have co-dependency issues. people present. Cues could be related to the hours or minutes appearing on a clock or watch. hopefully it’ll be more like a few seconds of stiff breeze.com & WhyQuit. How often did we use in association with a place of worship.Think about the locations you frequented that may have become conditioned use cues. Mandatory activities such as eating and sleeping compel us to quickly meet. winter or that frost. a doctor’s office. backyard. these are non-mandatory activities that can be delayed for a few days. Take that first step. greet and extinguish any associated cues. at least until though the most challenging portion of recovery. leisurely activities. extinguishing eating cues early. or entering or leaving a store. using additional food as a crutch brings potential to create weight gain anxieties. They may be associated with the time that our workday ends. pub or restaurant. acquaintances or co-workers. bicycle. movie theater or concert? If we established cues. fall’s cool temperatures. and celebration.© 2009 FFNicotine. Hopefully.Conditioning could be associated with waking.com 189 travel home. the garden. If so.We may have established cues associated with specific friends. falling leaves. your smoking room. a vehicle. when will you see them next? Then there are those people whose personalities somehow increased our anxieties. The only use cues we encourage delay in encountering are associated with using alcohol or other inhibition diminishing chemicals. can have us consuming greater quantities of food in an attempt to replace missing nicotine “aaah”s with food “aaah”s. We used nicotine in some locations more than others. arrival of summer heat. Obviously. But don’t be surprised if by then your crave generator seems to have lost its punch. just a tiny one. walkway. the evening news. Locations . What will happen the next time they visit and then leave? Times . and the step that follows becomes easier. the presence of cigarettes or other users. hobbies. . Then there are possible cues associated with arriving home. And don’t forget those who didn’t use nicotine and tended to visit and stay longer than our unfed addiction could tolerate. mealtime or break-time. work area. bathroom. preparing for bed or having sex. including the location. Times of the year may serve as conditioning: spring and blooming flowers. It may be best to break them down into smaller challenges. when might they next be encountered? People . Entering the house. a hospital.

resulted in each person's list of cues being almost 372 Niaura R. touching your nicotine delivery device. we miss the mark. or the death of a loved one. Pages 209-224. Events – There were some events that served as cues for most of us. Addictive Behavior. wouldn’t it be fascinating to have full and accurate awareness of all nicotine use conditioning prior to commencing recovery? Although conventional wisdom suggests we attempt to discover our cues beforehand. even when we think we’ve identified the exact cue adopted by our subconscious. birthdays.Overlaying operant conditioning expectations over craves associated with classical conditioning. Weddings. Individual differences in cue reactivity among smokers trying to quit: effects of gender and cue type. Instead of frustrations associated with being unable to accurately predict subconscious cues. Emotions . tasting your favorite drink. which has been linked to suicide and it makes you wonder whose interests government health officials are trying to protect. New Year’s. funerals. Research has found that seeing and smelling a burning cigarette will cause a cue induced craving during early recovery. were ripe for cue establishment. Add in products like Chantix (or Champix). recovery is about taking back our life. each has the potential to generate a craving if it was associated with past nicotine use. . Volume 23(2). it’s probably best to remain calm yet fully prepared to react on a moment’s notice. Withdrawal cues . as is the subconscious mind’s ability to use our spectrum of emotions as feeding cues. a sense of accomplishment or defeat. Achieving peak withdrawal within 3 days. just one piece at a time. seeing a smoking friend.The range of human emotion is tremendous. The smell of morning coffee. worry or calmness. frankly. It’s why watching pharmaceutical companies sell expensive products which drag withdrawal out for weeks or months is so disturbing. atop physical withdrawal and emotional recovery. et al. holidays. Laughter.372 Would watching another oral tobacco user put tobacco into their mouth trigger a craving in most oral users? Although no studies.190 Freedom from Nicotine .The Journey Home lengthy and still growing periods of calm between challenges will make entertaining the suggestions posed by a remote triggers seem almost laughable. March-April 1998. injury. I wouldn’t be surprised. the birth of a baby and offer of a cigar. sorrow. serious illness. The number and types of cues selected and formed by endless compliance with the mind's chemical demand for more. hearing laughter. the “real” battle against physical addition is over within a matter of hours. brings potential to foster a somewhat intense initial 72 hours. Addictive Behaviors. Ongoing emotions such as those associated with financial strain.

like concentrating on your favorite food or fantasy. While we have substantial direct control over the duration of conscious thought fixation. The ability of smokers who had not smoked for 24 hours to estimate the passing of 45 seconds was also impaired when compared to estimates made by non-smokers. and significant control over how the conscious mind reacts when a subconscious cue is encountered. why do the minutes sometimes feel like hours? Time distortion . While possible that more than one un-extinguished subconscious cue may be may encountered within minutes of each other. Although natural to want to run and hide from conditioning. While at a loss to explain why. which. Smoking Abstinence Impairs Time Estimation Accuracy in Cigarette Smokers. within three minutes you should sense craving anxieties.com 191 unique. researchers found that time estimation accuracy was significantly impaired (300%) in smokers who had not smoked nicotine for 24 hours. as compared to estimates made while smoking.A 2003 study found that distortion of time perception is one of the most common nicotine dependency recovery symptoms. May 2003. can last as long as the conscious mind has the ability to maintain concentration and focus. years of online discussions suggest it isn’t as common as we might think. Keep a watch or clock handy . The importance of the distinction is the recovery confidence provided in knowing that the worst will pass within 3 minutes. Pages 90-95.com & WhyQuit. psychological or some combination. anxiousness and/or panic peak and begin easing off. Their time estimates were also compared to a control group of non-smokers. Although amazingly little research in this area. 373 Klein LC. Psychopharmacology Bulletin. . But if cue triggered crave episodes peak and begin to subside in less than three minutes. What we do see now and then are descriptions of conscious thought fixation.373 Smokers were asked to estimate the passing of 45 seconds both while still smoking nicotine and during a second session after which they had not smoked any nicotine for 24 hours. our subconscious controls the duration of cue-triggered cravings. Volume 37(1). cues are our stepping-stones to reclaiming the activities of life.© 2009 FFNicotine. Whether cessation time distortion is ultimately found to be physiological. The primary distinction between the two is control. But timing estimates were found to be similar between non-smokers and smokers while smokers were allowed to smoke nicotine. Are crave episodes really less than 3 minutes? Yes.What the study did not assess was time estimation during occurrence of an anxiety generating crave episode. it is a recovery lesson widely taught across the Internet and shared both at WhyQuit and our online support group Freedom from Nicotine.

Don't let time distortion deprive you of your dream of again comfortably engaging life as “you. Panic Disorder. Not only will your recovery remain alive and well.The Journey Home knowing that it exists allows us to turn to a clock or watch during a crave episode in order to bring honest perspective to time. immediately look at your watch or a clock and note the time. at the end of the episode you’ll likely receive a reward. All of us are capable of handling a few brief moments of anxiety. all of us. the return of yet another aspect of life.” How often do crave episodes occur? The best we can do in answering this question is to share study averages. A 1998 real-time crave coping 374 American Psychiatric Association. fear.374 Turn to your training in handling nicotine cessation panic attacks. The obvious problem with averages is that we may not be average. fourth edition. The anxiety rush. It’s important to note that for the 1. When a crave hits. that DSM-IV criteria indicates that panic attacks may not peak for up to 10 minutes. 1994 . panic and/or deep seeded belief that the only way to make the crave end is to bring nicotine into your body will soon peak and then pass. Being able to accurately determine how long we've endured any challenge will prevent time distortion from making time appear 300% longer than it is.7% of adults diagnosed with panic disorder under diagnostic standards such as the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV manual.192 Freedom from Nicotine . Hopefully you’ll find this aspect of nicotine dependency recovery the easiest of all. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

375 It found that with an average of 6. work. There are lots of theories. the recovery day on which we choose to fully engage life and confront the bulk of our normal daily subconscious cues is very much within our control. And what about the celebration that turns sour. What we do know is that 12 minutes of significant challenge on day seven.© 2009 FFNicotine. Joel always started his clinics on a Tuesday night. that’s a total of 18. Just up to three minutes at a time and then take a break. If each crave episode is less than 3 minutes in duration.com 193 study closely followed smokers for two weeks and appears to have collected excellent data. Was nicotine use part of your celebrations? It was mine.6 minutes of total crave episode anxiety on your most challenging day. like when everyone but mom forgets our birthday? Again. Is there any doubt whatsoever that you handle 40 challenging minutes in order to reclaim your mind and life? You won’t be asked to do it all at once. we can only guess. followed by 6 minutes on day eight. Coping in real time: using Ecological Momentary Assessment techniques to assess coping with the urge to smoke. thinking that it will help them avoid work pressures. is entirely doable. By day ten the average fell to just 1.3 minutes of crave anxiety on your most challenging day of recovery. We should also prepare you for the possibility of a small spike on day seven. Did you notice how both physical withdrawal and the average number of subconsciously triggered crave episodes peak on day three? Coincidence? Not necessarily. If so. day three was when most crave episodes were encountered. and the average on the most challenging day is 6. While the average study participant was down to just over 2 episodes per day by day six. One is that life is measured in weeks and a full week of freedom provided the first significant reason for celebration. more fully engaging life and confronting our normal daily nicotine use conditioning. Volume 21(6). But what if you are not average? What if you have conditioned your subconscious to have twice as many cues as the average user? That would mean that you could experience a maximum of 36. day seven brought an average of 4 cravings.5 and by day five it was 3 craves per day.4 episodes per day. Can you handle 18. many programs have encouraged users to start on the weekend. Although no real evidence. We can only guess as to why. Monday brings day three. Pages 487-497. While we have little control over nicotine’s half-life. Day four’s average was 3. 375 O'Connell KA. If celebration was one of our conditioned feeding cues we might expect another episode. Research in Nursing and Health.1.1 craves. Historically.3 minutes of serious challenge in order to reclaim your life? Absolutely! We all can.com & WhyQuit. et al. December 1998. before returning to 2 on day eight. I suspect that most users decide to commence recovery over the weekend. .

during which the conscious mind tells the subconscious mind. cartons.yuku.” This does not mean that encountering the same nicotine use reminders day after day won’t cause the conscious mind to focus on “thoughts” of wanting. television. Alcohol and Quitting. “Two packs of Marlboro Lights.com/topic/11776 .194 Freedom from Nicotine . where the subconscious learns that our consciousness will no longer respond to the cue is usually sufficient to break the use association and end the minipanic-attack type crave episodes that followed. eating. While literally surrounded by cigarette packs. holding off too long can intimidate us into feeling that we can never do it again. please. Imagine your livelihood requiring you to repeatedly reach for and handle cigarettes. Joel cautions us that aside from threatening our livelihood and making us look like a slob. we may begin to feel intimidated that we will never be able to engage in one or more of these activities ever again. Recovery is the process of re-learning to engage in every activity we did as users. “No. ” he said.. Then there are non-mandatory activities such as partying. no more. You could feel his pride. The clerk behind the counter asked if it were true. dating. or proper personal hygiene can sometimes be delayed. As Joel notes. J. It means that the first encounter. http://www. June 9. sports.376 Confronting nicotine use conditioning tied our job and getting back to work. performing household chores. oral tobacco products and cigars he asked.The Journey Home Cue Extinguishment Empirical evidence suggests that most subconscious nicotine use cues can be extinguished after a single encounter. While heading out the door I heard the lady who had been behind me say.” I said. The only way to extinguish use cues associated with an activity is to engage in the activity.ffn. Recovery anxieties caused by delay in reclaiming life are totally within our ability to suppress. sleeping and using the bathroom. at least briefly. confront the cue and reclaim that aspect of life. but without nicotine. 2001. if we attempt to hide and avoid confronting use cues associated with non-survival activities for too long. nurturing relationships.” Think about his first day on the job after his last nicotine fix. ending all nicotine use almost immediately compels us to confront and extinguish all nicotine-use conditioning related to survival activities such as breathing. a conditioned cue for 376 Spitzer. “Did you really quit?” “Yes. “After thirty years and being up to three packs-a-day.” “I haven’t had a cigarette for a week. Again. hobbies and games. Why not quickly reclaim as many aspects of life as possible! Last night I walked into a convenience store to pay for gas while wearing my “Hug me I quit smoking” tee shirt. the Internet.

But be careful here. Some conditioned use cues are so similar to others that we fail to grasp their distinction. would be beyond our ability to reproduce. Volume 7(6). how do we distinguish between true subconscious classical conditioning (an uncontrollable response) and conscious thought fixation (a controllable situation)? It isn’t always easy. Cue exposure therapy . We can fear and delay encountering these use work related use cues or target them for extinction. Can you smell it? Imagine that first bite. It’s the best photo of it that you’ve ever seen. or seek out and extinguish use cues as quickly as we desire. Pages 705-13. Even after nearly all of our subconscious nicotine use cues have been extinguished. We can either wait for time and life to bring nicotine use cues to us. If so. the difference was the absence of an uncontrollable anxiety episode.Cue exposure therapy or CET is intentional exposure to drugrelated use cues in order to more quickly extinguish learned associations. Nicotine craving and cue exposure therapy by using virtual environments. Cyberpsychology & Behavior. For example. while Sunday’s paper is much thicker and may have required replenishment two or more times to read. It oozes and drips with flavor. the Monday through Saturday newspaper may have only been associated with smoking nicotine once. December 2004. what are the chances he was so busy that it peaked and passed prior to an opportunity to take a break and quiet it by relapse? While subsequent sales may have caused urges associated with conscious thoughts of wanting. We can’t possibly know all the use cues adopted by the subconscious mind. Still. . some situations. we need to accept that some cues will survive and arrive when presented by time or life. Savor the flavor and sense the dopamine “aaah” sensation that follows. when encountering what appears to be a use cue. it is normal and natural for our senses to notice old use situations. CET is.com & WhyQuit. it can be our tool too. the intensity and duration of the experience was substantially within his ability to control. Our problems in using CET are the same confronting researchers and drug treatment programs. Yes.com 195 nearly all of us. Also. Even if we did. While I controlled the imagery cues. it’s likely that nicotine use cues are associated with our daily work schedule or chores. at best. only a partial tool.© 2009 FFNicotine. intentionally confronting as many as possible will foster confidence and help prepare us to eventually extinguish all of them. Try to imagine and picture a high quality photograph of your favorite food. the first time may have triggered a cue induced mini anxiety attack. Although we have the ability to boldly and quickly reclaim most aspects of life. The difference is that now we are in full control of our mind’s response. you controlled the intensity and 377 Lee J. This time.377 Although a tool of modern drug treatment programs. such as changing seasons or holidays. For example.

“Stay away from what tempts you. April 2003.379 How can we reclaim driving or our favorite television program if taught to fear and avoid it? Sadly. These are signs that your body is getting used to life without nicotine. greet and extinguish nicotine use conditioning is contrary to historic cessation lessons.. Pages 436-440.” Page 9 tells readers to stay away from places smoking is allowed. It usually only lasts a few weeks. nicotine inhaler. nicotine lozenge. They are told to drive a different route to work or not drive at all and take the train or bus for a while. It can help you stay away from things that tempt you to smoke. 379 National Institutes of Health. Addictive Behavior.” There are medicines that can help with feelings of withdrawal: .” like not sitting in their favorite chair or watching their favorite TV show. tense. Volume 17(5). While researchers have discovered that young smokers respond to CET better than long-term smokers. . Clearing the Air. The title of page 9 reads.. For example. Pages 103-108. and not yourself. it can’t.” Which is it. Volume 25(1). nicotine nasal spray. Jan-Feb 2000. right! But then the first two sentences on page 9 state. our national quitting booklet is loaded with serious conflicts.” The page tells readers.S. Younger users often have established fewer nicotine use associations and their memories house significantly less dependency baggage.” Readers are then told to “Stay away from things that you connect with smoking. “Knowing your triggers is very important. Back to cue extinguishment.196 Freedom from Nicotine . Sep-Oct 2008. Smokers can learn to influence their urge to smoke. The American Journal on Addictions. thus allowing a possible avenue by which we can avoid a particular crave episode altogether. nicotine patch. “Meet those triggers head on. 380 Dols M. Page 17 is entitled. 03-1647. CET and intentionally trying to meet. it is wise to stay away from nonsense booklets like “Clearing the Air” as they will only cloud it further. the U. You were free to stop at any time. the remnants of which can still be found at some Internet sites.378 they fail to grasp the obvious. et al. What if we could extinguish some of our conditioned cues without experiencing any cravings? Research suggests that through conscious thought and its subconscious influence that we have the ability to create new expectations conditioning that overpowers old use conditioning.The Journey Home duration of any desire or urge you may have felt. Let me share one more serious conflict. “Medicines that help with withdrawal. how does the body get “used to life without nicotine” by feeding it “nicotine?” Obviously. “meet those triggers head on” or “stay away” from them? Clearly. NIH Publication No. Assessing craving in young adult smokers using virtual reality. “nicotine gum.380 Think about how the single-session traveling hypnotist is able to briefly interrupt use 378 Traylor AC. and stay away from people that smoke. The title of page 24 reads. et al.” The obvious question becomes. government’s leading cessation booklet is 37 pages and called “Clearing the Air.” Sounds great. “You may feel dull.

I feared the same result and delayed the after-work gang for three weeks. thirty or so after-work buddies tackling the day’s events. Imagine their first time driving a car. while harboring dreams of reclaiming that aspect of my life. zero. a free message board forum. I found myself thinking about my still healing lungs every time sunlight pierced the smoke filled room. had taught me about cues triggering craves and I expected a big one. Nashville. Had it always been this bad? Indirect sunlight highlighted a thin indoor cloud that swirled as the door closed behind me. a cold beer. 2002. It isn’t magic. a month or so later.com & WhyQuit. Scanning the room I was shocked to discover that all of them. beside smokers puffing away and yet no urge? I’m sure I could have stayed and drank another but I’d been in there for nearly a half hour. were either smoking a cigarette or had a pack and ashtray within reach. Tennessee. We are what we think. A 2002 study found that 97% of inmates forced to stop smoking while in prison had relapsed within 6 months of release. There they were. How could I be standing here.com). walking into a bar or running 381 Tuthill RW et al.” This time. A crave didn’t come. none. and I wanted it back. my healed sense of smell was immediately struck by an overpowering stink. “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Looking back. How could this be? Was it coincidence? I was prepared to turn and run if needed but it didn’t happen. Increasingly. Upon opening the door. it’s likely that I’d given so much thought to my biggest fear. I kept thinking how I missed my friends. Think about the impact upon the subconscious mind of the title to Allen Carr’s book. They relax our consciousness and then create new expectations. . heading into my fourth week. our discussions. Our conditioning patterns mirrored how we lived life. online peer support at Blairsville (QuitSmokingSupport. with the same result. What was going on? This was my most feared situation of all and yet no craves. I was now discovering that the vast majority of my friends were nicotine addicts. without exception. I’d lost my longest cessation attempt ever by combining alcohol with a false belief I could handle “just one.381 When arrested they were still active nicotine addicts.com 197 urges and craves. as we debated and solved the world’s problems. Why hadn’t I noticed this before? While only one-quarter of Americans smoked. We cannot reclaim life by avoiding it. that desire somehow severed nicotine use associations. October 21. "Does involuntary cigarette smoking abstinence among inmates during correctional incarceration result in continued abstinence post release?" (poster). After a couple of minutes I grew brave and ordered a beer. My most dreaded use cue was walking into the pub after work and having a couple of beers with the guys. But I’d punished these lungs long enough and it just didn’t seem right. 26th National Conference on Correctional Health Care. Finally. I mustered the courage. I felt a slight burning sensation.” Don’t underestimate the ability of your conscious thinking mind to influence your subconscious. I went back again. My lungs didn’t deserve this. It was time to leave.© 2009 FFNicotine. It still didn’t happen.

tasting that first swallow or beginning to sense the onset of alcohol’s inhibition diminishing effects.” They mark the path home. alcohol use is associated with roughly half of all relapses. you may be facing alcohol dependency concerns as well. hearing ice cubes hit a glass or the sound of a bottle or can opening. it’s prudent to allow ourselves a few days to get our recovery legs under us and move past peak withdrawal before attempting to use it. today. “meet those triggers head on. Although entirely possible to arrest either dependency alone. Can you handle nicotine-free alcohol consumption when unaccompanied by other possible nicotine-alcohol use cues? If not. all but a handful of my closest friends are either comfortable ex-users or never-users. cigarette packs and lighters within easy reach. singing karaoke.The Journey Home into an old smoking buddy once released. They were hit head-on by conditioned nicotine use cues associated with a host of situations that their arrest and imprisonment had prevented. Regarding alcohol. We may have developed nicotine-alcohol use associations where the use cue is encountering a drinking acquaintance. the situation isn’t hopeless. away from other potential use associations. acceptance. due to diminished inhibitions. nine years later. If so. picking up a drink. You may find that there are some aspects of life that you no longer desire but it’ll be your choice. joy. the smart move is to consider breaking drinking down into more manageable challenges that present fewer crave triggering cues. fear. . seeing a cigarette machine or visible packs or cartons for sale behind the bar. being around lots of other users. dancing.198 Freedom from Nicotine . flirting. partying. So how do we tackle alcohol-nicotine use associations? Consider the benefit of learning to use alcohol and extinguishing our primary alcohol-nicotine use associations in the safest environment available (usually our home). friend or another nicotine user. Use associations between alcohol and nicotine can involve multiple cues. seeing alcohol containers. sadness or beginning to feel drunk and turning to nicotine to stimulate the body’s nervous system. We may have nicotine use cues associated with entering a drinking location. As the correct portion of “Clearing the Air” states. Confronting alcohol related crave triggers – As mentioned. or even sight of a jug filled with free matches. research suggests that there is benefit in arresting co-dependencies at the same time (see Chapter 6). seeing ashtrays. rejection. Impaired judgment and diminished inhibitions may have established nicotine use cues associated with hearing music. It is an exception to the rule that we should try to quickly extinguish learned nicotine use associations. sitting down. By the way. Use cues could be associated with engaging in conversation while drinking or having conversation shift gears into debate or argument after alcohol’s inhibition diminishing effects begin to be felt. feeling the beat. Even then.

Assume that on day 17 you encounter a subconscious crave triggering cue that wasn’t part of normal daily life. As the crave episode chart a few pages back shows. It also shows that the number then begins to gradually decline. that they too are being swallowed by a fast moving tsunami of rising anxieties. by the 10th day the average exuser was experiencing just 1. not better. The thought of throwing in the towel and giving-up suddenly begins . let’s pretend that during recovery days 14. Although unlikely you’d have noticed. You feel as if you’ve been sucker-punched hard by the most intense crave ever. or laid up in a hospital room. space drinks further apart or drink water or juice between alcoholic drinks. That translates to less than five minutes of significant challenge. It catches you totally unprepared. wouldn't it be normal to begin to relax a bit and slowly lower your defenses and guard? And then it happens. your preparedness. The number and frequency of early challenges kept us on our toes and prepared to swing into action and confront challenge on a moment’s notice. The Bigger the Better Although the above crave episode chart reflects averages of quitter data from a specific study of a unique population. Combine your intelligence with baby steps. we have no choice but to meet and extinguish the bulk of our subconscious feeding cues within the first week. Have an escape plan and a backup plan and be prepared to deploy both. or limit alcohol use so as to allow yourself greater conscious and rational control. It feels endless.com 199 Once able to drink alcohol without using nicotine it’s time to extinguish other nicotinealcohol use associations.4 crave episodes per day.com & WhyQuit. that you did not encounter any un-extinguished feeding cues. Your conscious thinking mind tells you that things are getting worse. off-guard and surprised. I’d like to spend a moment focusing upon natural consequences associated with the decline. But what about the days that follow? What would be the natural and expected consequences of beginning to go entire days without once encountering an un-reconditioned crave trigger? What will happen to anticipation. make sure that driving a vehicle is not part of the plan. it shows two factors common to every recovery.© 2009 FFNicotine. your defenses and battle plans once you experience a day or two without serious challenge? For purposes of discussion only. Consider not using any alcohol during your first encounter with other potential alcohol-nicotine use situations. You scramble to muster your defenses but it’s as if you can’t find them. 15 and 16 that although you remained occupied in dealing with what at times seemed like a steady stream of conscious thoughts about “wanting” to use nicotine. Since half of all fatal vehicle collisions involve alcohol use. Unless following the bum advice portion of “Clearing the Air” and hiding in a closet in order to avoid temptation. Drink a bit slower than normal. It evidences the fact that the number of daily crave episodes quickly peaks. if you do drink. locked up in prison.

but better. You panicked.. Trust your dreams to your vastly superior intelligence. Why fear being able to finish work. Still just one guiding principle. Things are not getting worse. like putting together a puzzle. a principle that no matter how far we travel or how deep our comfort becomes will always remain our common bond . your limbic mind with its dopamine “aaah”s and insula driven anxieties. Moments of subconscious healing are good not bad. reflect and then celebrate. It’s just that you’d taken off your life jacket and you couldn’t quickly locate it and put it on. None of us will ever be stronger than nicotine but then we don’t need to be as it’s simply a chemical with an IQ of zero. I encourage you to stop. Crave Coping Techniques How do we successfully navigate a less than three minute crave episode? We’ve already discussed a few methods. Extinguishing each conditioned nicotine use cue rewards us with the return of another aspect of life. your greatest weapon of all. Recovery is about rewards not punishment. If such an event should happen to you. Now it’s time for a mind schooled in nicotine dependency and recovery to save the day and arrest an established dependency. a meal. It did its job. Your chemically enslaved survival instincts teacher. it will reflect a life reclaimed. another slice of life about to be freed. You’ve reclaimed so many once conditioned aspects of a nicotine dependent life that serious challenges are beginning to grow rare.. you will have reclaimed so many aspects of life that. Crave episodes reflect both evidence of where we’ve been and the aspect of life now being reclaimed. Let’s take a look at a few additional coping . exit a store or drive without experiencing an urge or crave commanding nicotine replenishment? When a crave hits. was fooled. Soon. Remember to keep a clock handy so as to defend against time distortion.200 Freedom from Nicotine . when things seem worst. It is then. shorter in duration and generally less intense. that we need to briefly pause and reflect upon what we’re really seeing. Think about how long it’s been since your last significant challenge and how relaxed you’d allowed yourself to become. Reward Try to reverse your mind-set. Oh you’ll still encounter remote or even seasonal triggers but with the passing of time they’ll grow further apart.The Journey Home sloshing through a horrified mind. It’s likely that this episode is no more intense than prior ones. try to reflect upon the prize at the end. no nicotine today.

sense it. But possibly for the very first time. most have never done so. While tobacco's deadly cargo is clearly a killer. fears and thoughts so that you can sense and appreciate the episode's level of raw anxiety.com 201 techniques. worries. Embrace recovery don't fear it. hide or fight instincts. it's a person you will once again come . Can we hide from cravings or will they find us? Can we runaway from them or will they catch us? It's the same with going toe to toe in battle. While capable of mentally embracing and wrapping our arms around the energy associated with anxiety. hug it hard. Now feel as the crave episode's energy slowly begins to subside. take slow deep deliberate breaths and in your mind reach out and wrap your arms around the crave's energy.Upon sensing danger. what about craves? Can a crave that lasts a couple of minutes kill us? Will it cut us. Instead of listening to run. stop. make us bleed or send us to the emergency room? Can it physically harm us? If it cannot harm us then why fear it? How much of the anxiety associated with recovery is self-induced? Why agonize over the anticipated arrival of that next crave? Once it does arrive.our natural instincts on how best to achieve that objective may not be the easiest path to travel. it’s how we destroy use expectations and reclaim life. Instead. What approach will you use? Will you duck and run or turn and fight? While the objective is clear . it is not being fed and fueled by you. Yes. You're witnessing a moment of the most profound healing your mind may ever know. drop your guard. isn't it? Can we beat-up our craves and make them surrender or cry "uncle"? Can we scare them away? I think not. Only we can do that.© 2009 FFNicotine. Continue taking slow deep breaths as you clear your mind of all chatter. be brave. there is anxiety. Wrap yourself around and feel the true level of the anxiety of healing. It's normal to be afraid but try to be brave for just one moment.to not use nicotine . The anxiety associated with a craving for nicotine is as real as our arms and hands. Your birthright. Touch it. There's a special person waiting down the road. our survival instincts tell us to either prepare to stand and fight or get ready to run. It won't injure or hurt you.com & WhyQuit. what we feel is a tremendously inflated experience driven by fear. Encountering our use cues and extinguishing each crave trigger is true healing. Try this just once. and possibly tense due to a history of prior relapse. Doing so will not make it any more intense than it otherwise would have been. why immediately begin feeding our mind additional anxieties that only fuel the fire? Let's not kid ourselves. You've won. Embracing crave episodes . You've taken back another piece of life and did so with hugs not dread. fueled by anticipation. You will have learned that the greatest challenge presented by natural recovery cannot hurt you.

Distraction coping . Calm and settle your mind by focusing exclusively upon the feelings and sensations of breathing. Instead of focusing upon breathing. Take food for example. Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research. Most forms of meditation use breathing and focus to attempt to foster inner peace and tranquility. Gently close your eyes.” 382 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. a brief period of physical exercise or something as simple as brushing your teeth. The pillow won’t scream back. When a thought arises don’t chase it but instead breathe it away. Continue focusing upon each breath. Alphabet or counting association schemes demand some degree of focus and concentration and provide an instant means of occupying the mind. Research confirms their ability to calm anxieties. other forms of meditation. An alphabet association scheme can be as simple as going through the alphabet while trying to associate each letter with person. Straighten yet relax your spine. Now allow your breathing to slow and deepen. animal or food. panic attack coping and mindfulness based stress reduction encourage exclusive focus upon your favorite color. As challenge subsides. “C” is for a rich and moist chocolate cake.Embracing crave episodes is one means of increasing relaxation by preventing the addition of self-induced anxieties.The Journey Home to know and enjoy.382 Comfortably sit in a chair or on the floor. AHRQ Publication No. Focus entirely upon that next breath. June 2007 . Physical distraction possibilities include turning to your favorite non-nicotine activity. place. Feel the cool air entering your nostrils and its warmth as you slowly exhale. 07-E010. person or that “special place. I doubt you’ll hurt the tree and lips heal. Relaxation coping . I doubt you’ll ever arrive at the challenging letter “Q” before three minutes have passed and the challenge subsides.Another means of navigating challenge is to engage in a mental exercise or physical activity which occupies the conscious mind long enough to allow challenge to pass. “B” is for a nice crispy piece of warm bacon. allow yourself to become increasingly aware of your surroundings as you slowly open your eyes. Meditation is another tool for navigating a cue induced crave episode.202 Freedom from Nicotine . lay one hand in the palm of the other with thumbs slightly touching. Activities such as screaming into a pillow. squeezing a tree or biting your lip are available should you feel a need to vent. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 155. The letter “A” is for grandma’s hot apple pie. Near the level of your naval.

moments of challenge are spent focusing upon and analyzing the situation. Why not put them to work in keeping your motivational batteries fully charged. Laughter and Health Outcomes. as cited in Bennett MP. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Pages 623-628. Embracing a crave episode fits nicely here too. Volume 5(1). make sure it isn’t fattening and something you’d feel comfortable doing anywhere for years to come. Volume 66(1). what’s your best guess? What activity.© 2009 FFNicotine. I fell in love with cold water but not just during challenge. Effects of laughter on muscle tone. 384 Fry W. 1932. Journal of Biological Psychology.com 203 We also should mention laughter. March 2008. Using food as an oral crutch may add extra pounds.383 Laughter also induces sporadic deep breathing. Like medical records. They make interesting reading. Research shows that laughter activates various muscle groups for a few seconds each. Volume 28. It is capable of fostering use conditioning which causes continuing use of the crutch long after challenge has ended. as cited in Bennett MP. this is conditioning that you yourself created. Humor and Laughter May Influence Health: III. et al. For some reason. Psychological Reports. Laughter and Health Outcomes. Imitating dependency related behavior is contrary to “coping” as it actually invites nicotine use fixation and relapse. Pages 51-58. 385 Yovetich NA.Oral coping is a form of crutch substitution. Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry. Volume 19. emotion. 1977. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. What do you have to lose? Analytical coping – Here. This can be invaluable once our focus is able to intensify upon the final stage of recovery conscious recovery . March 2008. Pages 37-40. February 1990. conditioning now commanding you to bring nicotine into your body and relapse. place or time might you be rewarded with once this craving is over? Look at a clock and time the episode. How long did it take before anxieties peaked? Is that shorter or longer than your last challenge? How long had it been since your last significant challenge? Consider keeping a crave episode log. If you find yourself reaching for more than a toothpick or toothbrush. Oral coping . Volume 5(1). Give laughter’s potential calming effects a try. throughout the day. Pages 39–50. that laughter and smiling may result in diminished anxiety and stress. et al. So does pulling out and reviewing your list of reasons for commencing recovery. The respiratory components of mirthful laughter.com & WhyQuit. person. . What cue triggered the episode? While we can’t know for certain. which immediately after the laugh leads to general muscle relaxation. We discourage oral coping. Benefits of humor in reduction of threat-induced anxiety.384 There’s also evidence suggesting that among those with a sense of humor. which can last up to 45 minutes. especially handling of any object that imitates your nicotine delivery device. they allow us to quickly look back and see how far we’ve come. 383 Paskind J. Pages 37-40. et al. Humor and Laughter May Influence Health: III.385 Remember.as the pace of noticeable change naturally seems to slow.

consider eating healthy. a seven inch carrot that’s 1 1/4 inch in diameter is 40 calories. a medium cucumber is 45 calories. they likely increased their consumption quickly in an effort to get their nicotine levels where they needed to be to stave off withdrawal. funeral. wedding. The change in status from feeling ill to feeling normal is a new trigger circumstance for the person. Oh. no nicotine today. It may not be so much so when they first get sick. Five asparagus spears are 20 calories. nearly all nicotine use cues will have been extinguished.” he reminds us. meeting an old friend or even illness. one medium peach is 40 calories. one medium stalk of broccoli is 50 calories. less intense and further apart. with a few exceptions. you’ll still have conscious thoughts now and then but even they are becoming shorter. Seasonal. Again. two medium stalks of celery total 25 calories.” “This phenomenon could easily result in a person getting increased thoughts for cigarettes the first time they get an infection after quitting. Soon most become laughable. Can you eat an entire apple in 3 minutes? If so.” During your second nicotine-free lap around the sun. . Keep in mind. “Their rate of smoking was likely affected by these infections. holiday and infrequent cues having not yet been encountered. Let them remind you of how far you came. eight medium strawberries are 70 calories. and one medium tomato is 35 calories. seven radishes total 20 calories. But take heart. it is only new the first time a person goes though this kind of change of physical status. They were likely experiencing increases in withdrawal symptoms whenever they had such infections. they likely cut back their amount of smoking to a bare minimum. one-sixth of a medium head of cauliflower is 25 calories. When illness symptoms were peaking. death. Infrequent cues can be associated with a vacation..” writes Joel. but more likely when they first start to get well after being sick. according to the FDA.204 Freedom from Nicotine ..” writes Joel. “Not smoking will become a habit for a sick or recovering person. “When people catch colds or a flu for the first time after quitting. Lots of words but just one rule . a medium orange is 80 calories. that’s 80 calories and 4 grams of fiber. When the cold or flu symptoms finally started to dissipate. an occasional reminder of the amazing journey you’ve made can discourage complacency from taking root.The Journey Home If you do reach for food. meaning when their throats were really raw and their breathing difficult. don’t fret over them. Holiday and Infrequent Cues Expect to arrive home with a few seasonal. every other time they had colds or flu during their adult years they were smokers.

© 2009 FFNicotine.com & WhyQuit.com Chapter 12

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Conscious Recovery - Journey Thinking

As teenagers, what most of us thought would be a brief rebellious experiment was
quickly transformed into a powerful lifelong chemical addiction as occasional nicotine feedings became regular, and optional feedings mandatory. New studies confirm that for some of us it only took coughing and hacking our way through one or two cigarettes before slavery’s shackles began to tighten.386 Five, ten, fifteen nicotine fixes a day - when would enough be enough? "Tomorrow, tomorrow" became the lifetime cry of millions. Welcome to the realities of true chemical dependency, a world built upon lies. Science calls our lies denial. Denial is an unconscious defense mechanism - just below the surface - for resolving the emotional conflict and anxieties that naturally arise from living in a permanent state of self-destructive chemical bondage. Three primary areas of denial relied upon by nicotine addicts are dependency denial, cost denial and recovery denial. In each area, truth is sacrificed in exchange for either piece of mind while remaining hostage in an artificial world of “nicotine normal” or to justify relapse. Most nicotine addicts you'll see today are almost completely insulated by a thick blanket of subconscious denial rationalizations, minimizations, fault projections, escapes, intellectualizations and delusions that hide the pain of captivity or create the illusion that the problem is somehow being solved or is non-existent. The average addict musters the confidence to challenge their addiction about once every three years, at which time roughly 1 in 20 succeed in breaking free for an entire year. With respect to smoking, by far the most destructive and deadliest form of nicotine delivery, these horrible recovery statistics eventually result in half of us dying by our own hand. Our senseless self-destruction is irrefutable evidence of the depth of the denial that insulated us from the extreme price being paid with each puff - a little more of life itself.

Dignity’s Denial
During the final phase of nicotine dependency recovery we have two options in overcoming the mountains of denial garbage we constantly fed ourselves over the years. We can allow sufficient time to pass so that thoughts of wanting to use nicotine gradually fade away and stop haunting and replaying over and over in our mind. We can also attempt to accelerate the process by seeing the arrival of each “thought” as a golden opportunity to set the record straight. Imagine residing inside a chemically dependent mind but not realizing it had grown or
386 DiFranza JR, Hooked from the first cigarette, Scientific American, May 2008, Volume 298(5), Pages 82-87.

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activated millions of extra acetylcholine receptors, de-sensitized itself or that nicotine now controlled the flow of more than 100 chemicals inside our body. Many of us didn’t need to know those details. We’d already felt punishing anxieties after waiting too long between feedings. We knew we’d lost the autonomy to simply turn and walk away. Even though we’d tried to tune it out, we also couldn't help but hear the dull roar of the endless stream of new study findings telling us that each and every puff not only destroyed more of our body’s ability to receive and transport life-giving oxygen, but that with it came a greater accumulation of the 81 potential carcinogens identified in cigarettes or the 28 found in oral tobacco. Deep down we each knew we were slowly building cancer time-bombs inside us. What we didn't know was how to turn things around and begin diffusing them. While clinging to the security blanket that all we suffered from was some "nasty little habit," deep down we knew we were hooked solid. So how did our conscious thinking mind cope with the sobering reality that our brain was a slave to its own senseless selfdestruction? How did we look in the mirror each morning and maintain any sense of dignity, self-worth or self-respect while constantly being reminded that we were prisoners to dependency, decay, disease, and that today we smokers would move closer to completing the act of committing our own chemical suicide? It was easy - we learned to lie. We each called upon our intelligence and conscious mind to help build a thick protective wall of denial that not only insulated us from the hard, cold realities of daily dependency but behind which we could hide when those on the outside felt the need to remind us of who we really were, and what we were doing. Our basic tools for building the wall were conscious rationalizations, minimizations and blame transference. A pulsating stream of reoccurring urges reminded us that nicotine use was no longer an optional activity. Those urges forced us to explain to ourselves our involuntary obedience to them. We needed to save face. Although nicotine’s two-hour half-life was the basic clock governing mandatory feeding times, we became creative in inventing alternative justifications and explanations. In our pre-dependency days (if there were any, as some of us were born hooked), we may have found honest pleasure in stealing a nicotine induced dopamine “aaah” sensation accompanied by a rush of adrenaline. But once the feedings became mandatory it didn't matter how we felt about them. Choice was no longer an issue. Even if we didn't fully appreciate our new state of permanent chemical captivity we rationalized the situation based upon what we found ourselves doing.

Tearing Down the Wall
In Chapter 3 we reviewed dignity’s wall of illusion, a number of Nicodemon’s lies. We learned that Nicodemon does not exist, nor are there any other monsters, internal or

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external, that drive us to use nicotine. It is a chemical addiction, pure and simple. Nicotine is not a friend and using it is not about love, flavor, pleasure, boredom, concentration, coffee or stress reduction. It isn’t about some cute “nasty little habit” but full-blown drug addiction. Our rationalizations were our defense, insulating us from a harsh world that was often in our face and just wouldn’t let up. They were bricks in a wall made thicker by each empty pack, tin, pouch, tube, box or cartridge. Our only wall building limitation was our imagination. But now, here in the final phase of recovery, we must wade back through untold thousands of memories of having rationalized why that next nicotine fix should be administered. It is here that a simple sight, sound or smell may cause old use rationalizations to surface and at times become so thick as to leave us feeling overwhelmed by self induced desires flowing within our conscious, thinking mind. Have you ever noticed just how challenging it is to coax a smoker or oral user out from behind their wall? After years of construction it tends to be a secure place to hide from those seeking to impose their will upon us. Frankly, it is not necessary that any of us set out to intentionally dismantle our wall of denial. Time will eventually wear it down so long as we keep our dependency fully arrested. But because the wall is simply a reflection of rationalizations that we ourselves created, we have it within us to rethink each, thus diminishing or even destroying their influence upon us. “Just think about something else” - Our natural instinct is to tell ourselves that we need to try and ignore or suppress “junkie thinking” when it tries to take root and play inside our mind, that we need to try and think about something else. Research shows that attempts at thought suppression may actually have the reverse effect of causing the thought the to-be-suppressed to intrude into our consciousness with greater frequency.387 Trying to think about something else will likely only make things worse. As Joel notes, at the core of each internal debate you'll probably find fixation on the thought of having “just one”, "one puff," "one cigarette" or "one fix." As Joel notes, "It's hard to think about something else because one puff seems like such a wonderful concept. They are often reminiscing about one of the best cigarettes, or more accurately, about the sensation around one of the best fixes they ever had. It may be one they smoked 20 years earlier but that is the one they are focused on." "So what about thinking about something else? Well, it's hard to think of something else that can deliver such pleasure as this magic memory," writes Joel. "Even if they successfully think of something else and overcome that urge, they walk away from the moment with a sense of longing or sadness with what they have just been deprived of
387 Rassin E, et al, Paradoxical and less paradoxical effects of thought suppression: a critical review, Clinical Psychology Review, Nov. 2000, Volume 20(8), Pages 973-995.

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again." So, what is an ex-user to do? “Change the tactic," advises Joel. "Instead of trying (often unsuccessfully) to think of something else, acknowledge the desire. Don't tell yourself you don't want one, you do and you know it. But remember there is a catch. To take the one you have to have all the others with it. And with the others, you have to take all the problems that go with ‘them.’ The smell, the expense, the embarrassment, social ostracization, the total loss of control, and the health implications." Joel encourages us to see "just one" for the falsehood it reflects. By thinking about the entire spectrum of dependency that comes with "just one" we can walk away from the encounter feeling good about no longer using. We won't feel deprived but grateful. The more vividly we recall full-blown dependency the less we'll think about it. "In a sense forcing yourself to remember will help you forget,” he notes. “Not forget using, but the fantasy, the appeal of a nicotine fix."388 Instead of trying to run or hide from use rationalizations that enter your mind, grab hold of each. Don’t let go until you’ve turned it inside out. Think about the enslaved mind that created it. How much did any of us know about nicotine dependency back then? Examine each use rationalization that enters your mind. Do you recall where it came from? Is that how you felt the very first time you used nicotine? Does tobacco industry store marketing play to it? Would relapse somehow make the rationalization permanently go away or only guarantee its survival? Can you say with certainty that it’s true and honest, or was it invented by a mind that needed justification for answering nicotine’s next dinner bell? Whether you choose to attempt to destroy rationalizations or wait for new memories to bury the old, the day is approaching when you'll awaken to an expectation of going your entire day without once wanting to use nicotine. Oh, you'll still have thoughts now and then but with decreasing frequency, shorter duration and declining intensity. They'll become the exception, not the rule. They say that "truth shall set us free" but we have an even better guarantee. It is impossible to lose our freedom so long as we refuse to allow nicotine back into our body. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely do-able. Thoughts or no thoughts, there was always only one rule ... no nicotine today ...never use nicotine again!

More Lies
In Chapter 3 we examined key nicotine use rationalizations. Let’s look at a few more. Why? Because nicotine so invaded nearly every aspect of our thinking that unless we learn to laugh at our excuses they may tend to linger far longer than need be. As mentioned earlier, conscious rationalizations usually fall into one of three categories:
388 Spitzer, J, “Just think about smoking else,” August 31, 2002, http://www.ffn.yuku.com/topic/12581

Cost Rationalizations • “I use smokeless tobacco and it’s far safer” – We have little current appreciation for what “safer” really means. sucking the smoke deeper and holding it longer. It has become an issue in determining which parent obtains custody of the children in divorces and determining parental visitation rights and duties and increasingly. lied about how much they used or if addicted that they were somehow better than other users because they used less frequently. don’t look now but they’re evaporating rather quickly. Overdue research into health risks associated with long-term oral tobacco use is finally receiving attention. squeezing a ball or using strength grippers may be habit forming but are nonaddictive. it’s your chemical obligation. How much more visible could denial be? • “I smoke because it gives me something to do with my hands” . • “It's my right to blow smoke!” . Social controls to protect the rights of non-smokers are sweeping the globe. We may smoke fewer cigarettes but compensate by smoking each harder. We are drug addicts and it’s as real and permanent as alcoholism. • Then we had closet smokers like my grandma Polito who constantly tried to convince us that the thick cloud of smoke rolling out of the bathroom behind her simply wasn't there.Rationalizations such as this treat chemical dependency as if some nasty little habit capable of manipulation and modification.© 2009 FFNicotine. But as far as rights are concerned. become rich or develop forearms but your chances of serious injury or death are almost zero. If nicotine truly is as addictive as heroin.Whittling wood. knitting and juggling are also things to do with our hands and none of those activities create a 50% risk of life ending more than a decade early. employers are refusing to hire those dependent upon nicotine.Truth is.com & WhyQuit. cost or recovery.com 209 dependency. This weak addiction rationalization ignores that doodling with a pen.How many of us chew cinnamon or fruit flavored nicotine gum five to ten times a day because fruit and cinnamon are good for you? How many chew the new cappuccino flavored gum because of our love for the taste of coffee? • "I'll cut down or smoke just one now and then" . playing with coins. Dependency Rationalizations • Some rationalized that they used too little to be addicted. But results will arrive . Using less than our level of tolerance demands will likely leave us in a perpetual state of low-level withdrawal. will society continue to tolerate its use around children? We are already seeing smoking banned on beaches and in parks. You might get ink on yourself. • “These new nicotine gum flavors are fantastic!” . But the need to reason and justify their use of nicotine with such minimizations is proof that their chemical servitude is just as profound.

" Try to imagine any other activity in which we would willingly participate if there were a 50% chance of getting killed. “Lots of smokers live until a ripe old age” – Old vibrant smokers are rare. adenocarcinoma. For example. Smokeless tobacco and the risk of stroke. If you do find old smokers almost all are in poor health or in advanced stages of smoking related diseases. How should they explain your death? Was it an accident? Were you murdered? Was it stupidity? Did you intentionally kill yourself? "A cure for cancer is coming soon" . "We have to die of something" .Between Europe and North America. Look around. Some apply the cup half-full rationalization that smoking’s 50% adult kill rate391 really means that there is a 50% chance “smoking won’t kill me. British Medical Bulletin. Smokers tend to think only in terms of dying from lung cancer but tobacco kills in many ways. Some point to actor George Burns who smoked cigars and lived to 100. it was false hope. 390 Buist AS. Pages 115-122.Lights and ultra-lights are capable of delivering the same amount of tar and nicotine as regular brands depending on 389 Hergens MP. Epidemiology. Pages 794-799. Volume 52(1). Which type of lung cancer are you waiting for hoping they’ll cure. tobacco is expected to claim more than one million victims this year. November 2008. But how long would George have lived and how healthy would he have been if he hadn’t smoked cigars? What's wrong with living a healthy life until death? “I’m only hurting me!” . "There’s still plenty of time left to stop". The effect of smoking cessation and modification on lung function. How many of them thought that a cure was on the way? Sadly.Reflect upon the emotional pain and financial loss your needless dying and death would inflict upon loved ones.The Journey Home • • • • • • • slowly and it may be decades before will be have an accurate risk profile. squamous cell. oat cell. with many on oxygen.390 Even with emphysema. But try to locate even one terminal lung cancer patient who wasn’t horrified at learning that they’d actually succeed. 391 Wald NJ and Hackshaw AK.Nonsense! Tissues not damaged beyond repair will heal and provide substantial increase in lung function. Cigarette smoking: an epidemiological overview. One 2008 study found that the odds of a smokeless tobacco user experiencing a fatal ischemic stroke were 72% greater than for non-users.389 “It's too late now to heal these lungs” . each an average of 22. quitting now will immediately halt the needless destruction of additional tissues. Pages 3-11.Keep in mind that one-quarter of all adult smokers are being claimed in middle age. January 1996. strokes and emphysema. Volume 19(6).This rationalization all but admits our own intentional slow-suicide. although destroyed air sacs will never again function. et al.210 Freedom from Nicotine .5 years early. “I smoke lights and they're not as bad” . or one of the less common forms? Even if the right cure arrives. The American Review of Respiratory Disease. circulatory disease caused by smoking kills more smokers each year than lung cancer. . what will be left of your lungs by the time a cure is discovered? If gambling on "how" tobacco will kill you. Volume 114(1). don't forget to consider heart attacks. July 1976.

Compared to what? Imagine a diagnosis of lung cancer and having your left lung ripped out. Doing so would always make today’s nicotine fixes far more tolerable. “I don’t even know if I’m hooked. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.Some of us never made a serious recovery attempt. Early reports suggest that more than 80% of vaccinated participants are relapsing to smoking within 9 months.Some of us pretended that we’d be quitting soon. October 2008.This intellectual denial pre-assumes a large weight gain and then makes an erroneous judgment regarding relative risks.392 A cure? Let’s 392 Rose. Four to five vaccine shots over six months will cause the body’s immune system to create large antibodies which quickly bond with nicotine molecules.© 2009 FFNicotine.The next generation of pharmaceutical products will be the vaccines. “Quitting causes weight gain and that’s just as dangerous” .Oh really? Can you count on both hands and all your toes how many times you've lied to yourself with such nonsense? And which pack. “I’m waiting on a painless quitting cure” . next carton. carton. Disrupting nicotine reinforcement: from cigarette to brain.com & WhyQuit. deeper drags that may mean more tar and more nicotine not less. The day science can make our mother’s death painless. but why? What easier way of never having to admit chemical dependency or experience defeat than pretending that evidence of a problem simply doesn’t exist? “I’ll stop next week” . Pages 233-256 . Volume 1141. followed by chemotherapy. is the day it will be capable of erasing the emotional loss associated with ending the most dependable chemical relationship we’ve likely ever known. In fact. my next birthday or New Years' day” . “The vaccines are coming!” .Don’t hold your breath. Some went so far as to actually set a date. eating does. The problem appears to be that there are simply not enough antibodies and up to one-third of nicotine fails to bond and crosses the blood-brain barrier. “It's too painful to quit!” .com 211 • • how they're smoked. Recovery Rationalizations • • • • • “I'll stop after the next pack." you'd have to gain an additional 75 pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack-a-day. They do not reduce most health risks including the risk of heart disease or cancer. I’ve never tried stopping” . JE. Imagine years of trying to recover from a serious stroke or massive heart attack. Quitting does not increase our weight. next month. their smokers often take longer. making them too large to cross through the blood-brain protective filtering barrier and stimulate dopamine pathways. or fighting for every breath through emphysema-riddled lungs as you drag around an oxygen tank for the balance of life. month or birthday will give you the best chance for success? Why did I limit myself to always purchasing only a one-day’s supply? Because tomorrow was always going to be quitting day and I couldn’t see me throwing away a carton. Some assert that metabolic changes primarily associated with the heart not having to pound as fast could account for a pound or two but as far as being " dangerous. so as to avoid our sense of emotional loss.

go first. issue or train of thought. success during a period of high stress insures that future high stress situations won't serve as justification for relapse. This recovery is absolutely guaranteed to be our last so long as nicotine never again finds its way into our bloodstream. or we invent lame excuses such as those that fill these pages. other smokers. discover the path home and allow his or her significant other to witness freedom's full glory. remain focused and stay absorbed. “My family can’t handle my quitting” . It’s a key reason I’ve written this book. “If I stop. a relationship. As Joel teaches. our pre-frontal cortex (the lobe above our eyes). We relapse because we rewrite the Law of Addiction. or that we won’t be able to go around them.If we failed we could always reach for this blame transference brick and lay the cause for our defeat upon family members. Imagine convincing ourselves that if we arrest our chemical dependency that our friends won’t want to be around us. I always do” . to become completely engrossed. as they may face increased risks by needing to smoke more cigarettes harder in order to overcome the vaccine’s partial blocking effects.The “I’ll be all alone” rationalization shows the depth of dependency. “I'd quit but withdrawal never ends!” . so long as we continue to live on the right side of the “Law. I'll just start back again. absorbed and preoccupied with a single subject. fixation by the conscious mind can last as long as our ability to concentrate. Often someone has to be brave.Clearly false.The Journey Home • • • • • • hope researchers have the integrity to carefully study the post-relapse smoking patterns of those vaccinated. What if our friend or loved one never stops? How many ride this waiting rationalization all the way to their grave? In relationships. Here we claim that we were unable to succeed because our loves ones could not cope with our recovery anxieties and exaggerated behavioral outbursts. now just isn't the time" . it takes a bit of practice getting comfortable around users but extinguishing all “other user” cue conditioning is a necessary part of recovery. Yes. “My friends all use and I’ll lose them if I stop” . Unlike a less than three-minute cue triggered crave episode which is the product of subconscious conditioning. “I won’t be able to stop unless someone stops with me” . alcohol or even our job. We could also blame our relapse on friends. "Mom just died.” Conscious Fixation Conscious fixation is the ability of the rational thinking mind. This procrastination brick allows use to continue until someone else takes action. we do not have to relapse. stressful times. a lack of support.Many argue that they cannot succeed because their using loved one or friend won't stop too. financial hardship. it's great when both users can navigate recovery together.Smoking won't bring back mom or dad nor cure any other ill in life.Truth is. The “I smoke for love” rationalization is really rather sad. to provide readers a map home that’s as accurate as possible. . forget why we stopped.212 Freedom from Nicotine .

• • • • • • • When was the last time you experienced an urge to use? What thoughts went through your mind? How long did it last? How intense was it? Prior to that urge. Like eyes on a potato. Some will disclose that they still think about using and have recently found themselves doing so more frequently. If so.© 2009 FFNicotine. will you fixate upon them or instead see the moment as an opportunity for conscious healing? When it happens. Reflect upon the total number of times as users we reached for and relied upon a particular rationalization. If willing to be brutally honest about where we once lived. Only acting upon those thoughts can destroy the freedom for which many of us fought so hard. fit any such remaining attractions into the bigger picture. Instead of an addict’s use memories becoming fuel for fixation. neither fixation nor devoting time to analyzing nicotine use related thoughts can harm us. and move on but in doing so. analyze and recast an addict’s thinking is that we are not just painting a single memory with truth and insight but possibly thousands of them. we have the ability to paint them with honesty and insights. Such memory recasting can diminish their influence upon us. In your mind there may be one or more attractions to nicotine use that truth and insight fail to impact. Don't worry. it's impossible to relapse by thinking. don’t allow any remaining junkie thinking to become a stumbling block to contentment.com 213 When thoughts of “wanting” a nicotine fix begin bantering about inside your mind. when was the previous urge? If you don’t mind sharing. for now. accept them. A few questions may aid in helping them regain perspective. The beauty of using each moment of potential fixation as an opportunity to seize. little will likely remain to embrace. Although unable to erase our drug use rationalizations and memories. any lingering romantic use rationalizations will be surrounded by tasty and edible truths. a now free mind is granted a chance to analyze the honesty of thoughts and memories created by a drug addict in denial. In fact. as Joel often reminds us.com & WhyQuit. Although repainting or recasting of an addict’s memories may accelerate our homecoming. Staying focused on dependency’s bigger picture can help keep the influence of any remaining eyes in proper perspective. But once home and residing here on Easy Street take care not to grow too complacent as those remaining eyes have potential to sprout growth. We sometimes encounter long-term ex-users whose remaining use rationalizations are beginning to combine with growing complacency and elevate their risk of relapse. what did you like most about using? What did you dislike? Do you understand that there’s no such thing as just one? Almost always. truth and knowledge can transform them into laughable reminders of how far we’ve traveled. those in the first few days of recovery would laugh at what the long-term .

In regard to any romantic nicotine use notions that may remain after having bathed them in honesty and understanding. I want to do it once!” The most fatal conscious fixation of all is the fraud of "Just one. an ex dipper or non-dipper? And when is it proper to start doing so? Focusing upon smokers. is slowly grows in significance.” “Just once!” A primary maxim of drug addiction is that "One is always too many and a thousand never enough. consider this often quoted recovery mantra: “I'd rather be an ex-user who sometimes thinks about using than a user always thinking about quitting. . a distinction the term non-smoker keeps hidden. But it doesn’t have to be. try to picture all of them." Instead of picturing just one or just once. ex-smoker or nonsmoker. Never-smokers need not be concerned with relapse. It may have gone unchallenged and now.The Journey Home ex-user considered an “urge. almost all can recall the rationalization they fixated upon in the seconds prior to relapse. the return of our entire dependency and the endless chain of feedings that would follow. Why pretend the fiction that we are stronger than nicotine? We don’t need to have superhuman strength to overcome our addition. 10 or even 20 years and then smoked one." "Just one little puff. just once? “What should I call myself?” While the exact moment of transition from use to recovery is clear." “Just once. one dip. Chemical dependency has not permanently grooved and wired their brain for nicotine.214 Freedom from Nicotine . Even more frightening. and soon found themselves smoking more than ever. what do we call ourselves once we stop using? Are we an ex-user or non-user.” Normally it’s a brief passing thought that lasts seconds and is quickly abandoned. We need normal human intelligence. You’ll sometimes meet current smokers who’ll tell you that they stopped once for 5. “one chew. if asked. the choices include non-smoker or ex-smoker. Clearly. Why ignore the fact that just one hit of nicotine will cause up to half of our mind’s addiction circuitry to be activated? Why lie to ourselves that our brain won’t soon be begging for more? Why waste time being dishonest with ourselves by pretending that although a true drug addict that we can have just one. Amazingly. Some label nicotine dependency a chronic relapsing condition. many still believe in the validity of the rationalization that cost them their freedom. non-smoking applies and once quit we are non-smokers. Digging deeper may allow identification of the particular rationalization that was never directly confronted during recovery. like a cancer. But there is a major distinction between being a never-smoker and non-smoker.

a deeply personal moment that’s different for each of us.© 2009 FFNicotine. Arthur and Denise. I lived a journey of confidence that transported me from “just one day at a time. I would take comfort in one sure-fire fact. Failure to fully disclose our prior user status could result in legal or coverage problems. I will always refer to myself as an ex-smoker or former smoker as doing so reminds me that I remain just one powerful puff of nicotine away from relapse to three packs-a-day. your talkative co-worker. If staying free is important. the crossing of a self-defined threshold. I love my freedom. Cindy. you watch as your good friend Bill lights-up and sucks down a deliciously deep puff. I had surrendered three decades of control to smoking this chemical.com & WhyQuit. nasal and transdermal nicotine users. such as life or health insurance policy applications. then why wouldn’t I want to remind myself of what it takes to stay here? If you want to consider yourself a non-smoker or non-user that’s fine. If true. I love residing on this side of the bars. I would not die with my true killer still circulating inside me.com 215 The critical distinctions between never-user. blows smoke your way while gloriously waving her cigarette like a conductor’s baton. While both a non-user and ex-user. remembering we are different can serve as a protective self-reminder of our vulnerability to relapse. two smoking strangers. non-user and ex-user apply equally to oral. Now. It was if I felt I’d earned the right to hide among them. you truly are. even if tomorrow I were diagnosed with lung cancer. But be careful not to totally entrench your thinking in non-smoker-hood as certain legal documents. no nicotine today” to a deep seeded conviction that I will “never use nicotine again!” The Joy of Smoking? Out on the town. Initially my mind rebelled against the thought that I was not fully “cured” and not the same as the average never-smoker. gravitate toward one another and engage in light-hearted conversation while guarding a store’s . But the time prior to such conscious conviction was not some dress rehearsal. it occurred when my fears subsided to the point that every fiber of my being knew that this recovery was a keeper. For me. there was no magic moment in the future that would define this recovery as real. But Joel’s online analysis compelled critical thinking. and then lays the pack on the table between the two of you. A related question is when should we see ourselves as an ex-user or non-user? When do we cross the line from “trying to quit” to having done so? It’s one of the most wonderful self-realizations of our entire journey. I’d already told the world I’d quit but the difference now was that I actually believed it. may demand disclosure that we are ex-smokers. Soon resistance and disappointment passed and I found myself wanting to embrace both the term ex-smoker and the world of ex-smoker-hood. Starting out. It was then that I knew I wasn’t going back. The moment that defined things was when I stopped putting nicotine into my body.

Before leaving town. Ellen has done very well financially. As he sits rolling coins to purchase his next 46 mg. they never walk together. she stops to fill up with gas while managing three quick puffs. to blow. Struggling for each breath. She skips making breakfast to ensure that the boys will demand that they stop to eat along the way. with the last one putting him in bed for 6 days. "to puff. Over the next two years he will battle hard to save his life.216 Freedom from Nicotine . While stopped at a light. she constantly smells like a walking tobacco factory and often turns heads and noses when walking into a room. A three pack-a-day smoker. he just doesn’t want to know. they make her want to crawl into a hole as they both start coughing and gagging as if dying. Bill stepped in a pile of dog dung but failed to notice until he turned around and was puzzled by the strange brown tracks across his sky blue carpet that seemed to lead to his right shoe.The Journey Home entrance. he’s experienced two cases of pneumonia over the past 3 winters. A pack and a half a day smoker. When it does. Arthur. the ashtray on the table is smoking one too. A serious chain-smoker. of mandatory daily nicotine needed to stay inside the comfort zone. The slow growing tumor is now almost five months old and a little bigger than an orange. She feels far more secure after stuffing two new packs into her purse. "Oh but to again share in the joys of smoking. Two will have to do. She dreads the seven hour drive to her parent’s house next week. he quickly dismissed it both times. Although he has twice coughed up a small bit of bloody mucus. Deep .nicotine induced death. discouragement fills his mind. Frankly. a 54-year-old two pack-a-day smoker. Cindy knows that they’ll pass three rest areas along the interstate but it will be difficult to fib about having to go to the bathroom at all three. Bill still managed to smoke a couple each day. Ellen inhales a deep and relaxing puff in the car beside you. His doctor has pleaded with him to stop but after a half dozen failed attempts. to taste." The joys of smoking? Joy? Joy? Yesterday. Cindy shakes her head after coming back in from loading up the car." you think to yourself. Not only does she have a cigarette in her hand. Her life seems to have everything except for companionship. Additional thick bloody mucus will soon scare Arthur into a doctor visit and a chest x-ray. but she can no longer make excuses for visiting only once in 3 years. There is a bit of chest pain but that’s nothing new. she tells those around her that she enjoys her cigarettes. it’s either ahead or behind for lonely mom. he does not yet know he has cancer. has large cell lung cancer in the right lobe. When smoking. Bill’s sniffer has been almost useless for more than 20 years. The delay will cost him a lung. His fate is the same as what half of all smokers will experience . Cindy’s two teenage sons are onto her almost daily about her smoking. then relax. In the end Arthur will lose. as chest tightness has occurred on and off for the past couple of years. A workaholic. They can’t walk anywhere as a family without her cigarette smoke finding the boys. The date for the trip arrives.

There. All that matters are the next few minutes and each is entirely doable. she is about to become a regular user of anti-depressants. a single tear works its way down her cheek. The joy of smoking? Joy? Fortunately for Denise. Her boss just posted a new non-smoking policy at work. She will successfully arrest her addiction. all the new weight remains with her. Feeling like a hopelessly addicted social outcast. a caring friend will tell her about a free online nicotine cessation education and support forum called Freedom. the government recently banned smoking in all public buildings. There will always be only one rule that has a 100% guarantee of success for each of us . They'll find comfort in sharing their addictions. and develop the mental skills and healthy body needed to successfully tackle her unwanted pounds. Denise will discovery the core principles underlying her almost two decades of chemical dependency upon nicotine. Ellen has a date next Friday. reclaim her selfconfidence. Smoking lines and wrinkles above and below her lips have aged a once attractive face far quicker than its 32 years. Fifteen pounds over weight to begin with. The headline in the local paper she is holding is about the city proposing a ban on smoking in the park across the street.no nicotine today! .com 217 down. and still depressed over her defeat. a year ago Denise successfully quit for almost 2 months by exchanging cigarettes for a new crutch called food. Denise started smoking at age 13 while her lungs were still developing. develop the patience and outlook needed to navigate the temporary period of re-adjustment called recovery. she knows that she is a drug addict and believes that she just can’t quit. Considered "cool" when she became hooked. month by month her breathing capacity continues to slowly deteriorate.com & WhyQuit. house blinds and forehead continually share a common guest . Three months following relapse.© 2009 FFNicotine. a two pack-a-day smoker named Ed. Already on high-blood pressure medication. Constantly clearing her throat. just one ounce at a time. She threw in the towel when she had outgrown her entire wardrobe. Her car windows.a thin oily film of tar and other chemicals.

I did believe in the new nicotine-free me! ." After the first such day they become more and more common.218 Freedom from Nicotine . "gee. enjoy it.none. within 2 to 4 months the adjustment process transports most in recovery to a point where they experience that very first day where they never once "think" to themselves. Soon." "a piece of nicotine gum. It's where hundreds of millions of comfortably recovered ex-users reside today." "a lozenge. they become our new norm in life. While feeding myself large doses of positive thought I also confronted and analyzed those remaining thoughts that seemed to keep inviting relapse. patience. it was no longer a matter of trying to believe what I was telling myself. Soon. you know there’s a big difference between moving into a house and having it feel like home." "a chew. If longer. a few weeks earlier than most but later than some. months and after a few years. it’s coming! Long-Term Quiet and Calm Imagine entire days. maybe even years without your mind ever once feeling an urge to use nicotine. Were any of them truly stronger than nicotine? Were any of them stronger than us.The Journey Home Chapter 13 Homecoming Arriving Home How do we know when we’re home? If you’ve ever moved. shorter and generally less intense. my recovery evolved to the point of substantial comfort by about eight weeks. It was then that I experienced my last major subconscious crave episode and started to notice that the once steady stream of thoughts of wanting were ever so slowly becoming fewer. A Silent Celebration Amazingly. weeks." "a dip. zero. you are home when you feel it! Some feel at home in a couple of weeks while others need months. If it happens sooner or takes longer. or is that just another lame excuse we used? After arresting my thirty-year. Imagine living in a constant state of 100% total comfort with no nicotine use related anxieties whatsoever . with the distance between the occasional "thought" growing further and further apart. complete and total tranquility. The correct answer is. don’t fret! If sooner. nil. I'd sure like a smoke. three pack-a-day dependency. During the first few weeks I worked hard to maintain a strong positive attitude while refusing to allow negative thoughts to infect my thinking and dreams.

I saw each and every day as a full and complete victory in and of itself.© 2009 FFNicotine. But hurricane force winds are now long gone. empty pockets. nada!” Melrose 4 years: “How many seconds a year? None!!!” Laura 2 years: “I never thought I could stop smoking or that I would completely stop . a bit bigger step. extra pocket change. the birth of a baby. While most will be quick stiff breezes a few may claim the status of storms. duration and intensity of challenge is "generally" on the decline. 26 days: “once every two weeks for about 3-5 minutes. Still.” Diane 3 years. After two years of freedom I found myself going months without challenge. 3 months: “a few times in the past year the thought of smoking crossed my mind. I did my best to remain focused on the long overdue healing occurring inside this body.com 219 Although at times intense. periods of challenge may at times felt overwhelming. Eventually the minor urges and periods of thought fixation became further and further apart. two years and seven months after starting my journey. They may be associated with uncommon events such as relationships ending. 3 months: “zip. “Tell a newbie how many seconds a day you still want a cigarette. zero. The opening time period is how long the person has remained nicotine-free: • • • • • 2 months. hope. The last time I experienced anything that can be fairly called an “urge” was in December 2001. It is possible to retain romantic thoughts about using. an ash-less world.com & WhyQuit. Gradually Diminishing Thoughts and Urges During early recovery.” Joseph 1 year. The beauty of recovery is that with each passing day the frequency. the whiteness emerging in my smile. long overdue self-respect. I worked with far too many victims to have retained even one use justification." Below are representative entries made during 2008.was simply me coming home to meet me. energy. seeing the decline while living it can at times seem nearly impossible. But like trying to watch a rose bud open. One of the most popular discussions at WhyQuit’s peer support group Freedom is entitled. endurance. gradually lengthening periods of comfort. thoughts capable of fostering urge and desire for as long as our mind is able to concentrate and focus upon them. Before we know it the storms turn to breezes and then to a guest now and then. seasonal or infrequent nicotine feeding cues. it is entirely normal during the first couple of years to still be having thoughts of wanting and even encounter remote. odorless fingers. a wedding receptions or even death. crossing paths with an old friend. Am I average or normal? Probably not. pride. tastes. new found time. Today I was free and today I continued to heal! The little gifts along the way the smells. freedom and even the few extra pounds .

” Pat 18 days: “Probably about 4 minutes thinking about it.. zip. 3 weeks: “My family smokes.because I do. fleeting. 1 month: “I never think of smoking really. 2 weeks: “I sometimes get hooked into a romantic thought about smoking. but it is merely a thought and not a desire or a need or a want. I never desire it even if they’re around me smoking. glad that I didn't anymore. maybe 30 seconds with a bit of an empty feeling. 1 hour: “It's still early in the recovery process so I'm not going to say I don't think about them. Occasionally. 14 days: “Maybe 3-5 seconds every couple of days. nothing. there is a new trigger but relatively easy to deal with no that I’m no longer struggling. then a smoker stands next to me and I have to move because it smells so bad..” Jeff 4 years: “I never think about smoking. nix..220 Freedom from Nicotine .” Rochelle 32 days: I work with smokers and dippers all day. Seriously. time for a smoke and actually go for my pocket to get one out and then remember. need or crave … Passing thought? Maybe a couple times a week.” Beth 2 months: “…thought a few times of having a smoke but it’s a passing thought now. its a sense of something missing but not missed.” Ginz 1 month. none. craving something that might be nicotine.. Every time I saw someone smoking I would think Hmm .” Anne 1 year. . 12 days: “I only think about cigarettes on the weekend at a nightclub. except the occasional wish for a friend or acquaintance to know the peace that comes with never taking another puff.” Maisie 67 days: thoughts have completely dropped off to random.I can't! This went on for the first two weeks and I was wondering if this was how it was going to be for me forever.” Ilona 2 months.” Kevin 4 months. 2 weeks: “Never a want. Now after four weeks plus I think about smoking maybe 20 seconds a day and it’s never an urge to smoke. 4 months: “I think about having one on what probably amounts to about 6 seconds a week!” Annies1 3 years. 2 weeks: “…maybe six or seven seconds of “thoughts” a week. I’m one very happy camper. I had smoked a pack plus a day for 30 years it was so much a part of my life that I figured I would always feel the urge to smoke when I saw someone else smoke. but in all honesty it's not really that much.. After the 2nd week I was feeling much more confident and determined and when I thought about smoking it was that I was sooo . zero … honestly. it has little strength. The law of addiction is the first thing I think of when I think about smoking and I know that as long as I remember that I will Never Take Another Puff. my nicotinerelated thoughts are annoyance at the smell of cigarettes if I can’t avoid it.” RJW 2 years. a spit second if I choose to notice them. 1 month: “nul. it does get so much easier.” Meg 2 months..” Dave T 5 months. a memory. I think I had a fleeting thought one spring day when I was having a glass of wine and standing on the deck.The Journey Home • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • thinking about cigarettes – but I have and its wonderful!” Sally 7 years.” Moira 7 months.

” Levaser It has been years since I’ve had anything you’d consider a craving.” Doc 2 years. It’s not a craving that happens during the first 3 days.” Abu Daud1 11 months.com & WhyQuit.© 2009 FFNicotine. but they leave just as quickly.com 221 • • • • • The thoughts come quickly from time to time.” Pat 2 years. It’s just a small thought. 2 days: “I think about smoking most days but spend NO time wanting to smoke now. Maybe someday I will. But if and when it arrives I'll wear a smile during the entire brief encounter. never use nicotine again! . not an itch that goes for 1-3 weeks after you quit. as it will be a long overdue reminder of the amazing journey I once made. Welcome home! We each get to stay so long as we remain committed to a single principle … no nicotine today. It could be my old age kicking in. There is nothing I want back about nicotine and cigarettes. maybe tomorrow. 4 months: “I can truthfully say that I just do not think of smoking. but it’s true!!” Vicki 1 month. 3 days: 1-3 minutes per day on average I still want a cigarette. I never thought I would be able to say that. 1 week: “I might have had a thought about having a cigarette a few days ago but I'm not sure. They pop into my head and out again so rarely and so quickly they don't even register anymore. 2 months: “ZERO!” Melrose 8 weeks.

August 2004. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. When these factors combine with an offer of a cigar. Complacency is fueled by quickly failing memories of the daily captivity stress factors that compelled us to seek freedom. the relapse rate declines to just 2 to 4% per year from years 2 to 10. If compliant with the Law our risk of failure remains zero.222 Freedom from Nicotine . Among educated ex-users there appear to be three primary factors associated with relapse: (1) a natural suppression of memories of recovery’s early challenges. It’s also fueled by an inability to recall the intensity of early withdrawal anxieties. Volume 4(1).393 Keep in mind that these rates occurred among ex-users who generally had little understanding of nicotine dependency and no formal respect for the Law of Addiction. Addictive Behaviors. February 2002. Relapse to smoking after 1 year of abstinence: a meta-analysis. alcohol use around those still using395 or occur in an impulsive-type person. One recent study suggests that as many as 17% who succeed for 1 year may eventually relapse.The Journey Home Chapter 14 Complacency & Relapse Caring for Our Recovery First. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Impulsivity and smoking relapse. 395 Krall EA. Volume 4(1). While the relapse rate for years 2 though 10 may seem small. Pages 95-100. They do so because they lose sight of how they got there. and then falls to less than 1% after 10 years. December 2008. February 2002. But just one powerful hit of nicotine and the addict is back! While ignorance of the Law is no excuse. (2) the exuser tries to rewrite or amend the Law and (3) the ex-user thinks he/she has found a legitimate excuse to break or ignore it. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. They do so because once home they discover that life without nicotine is better than when using it. et al. et al.396 the risk of relapse is magnified. the power of cue triggered crave episodes or the duration of conscious fixation. Smoking relapse after 2 years of abstinence: findings from the VA Normative Aging Study. and the captivity they left behind. . Pages 1516-1520. 393 Krall EA. 396 Doran N. Pages 95-100. Recovery memory suppression – It’s normal to slowly grow complacent during the months and years after ending nicotine use.394 These ex-users do not relapse because they dislike being home. who they are. Volume 33(12). Volume 6(4). the good news. the risk of relapse declines with the passage of time! While roughly 95% of uneducated smokers who attempt to stop smoking relapse within a year. et al. 394 Hughes JR. Pages 641-647. most ex-users do not remain ex-users because of understanding or respect for “one puff” relapse rates seen in recovery studies. Smoking relapse after 2 years of abstinence: findings from the VA Normative Aging Study. when added together the risk becomes significant.

Why not enlist their help in revitalizing our own memories of active dependency? Talk to them. visit scores of smoking cessation support groups and find thousands of battles being fought. irritable. Think about earlier uneducated attempts. In fact. Although it may look like they’re enjoying their addiction. frustrated. Individual differences in the suppression of unwanted memories: the executive deficit hypothesis. post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is believed to reflect a breakdown in the mind’s ability to forget. We risk dying as slaves. But now. Acta Psychologica (Amst). In fact. Be kind and sincere. Encourage them to be as candid and truthful as possible. Volume 127(3). If we do. We are each blessed with the ability to forget. But just as any loving relationship needs nourishment to flourish. If not. McNally RJ. while suppressing and helping us forget life’s stressful events. Acta Psychologica (Amst). But where do we turn if our recovery memories have been suppressed and we have kept no record? Our best resource is probably our brothers and sisters still in bondage. our recovery benefits from care. Tell them the truth about where you now find yourself.© 2009 FFNicotine. It wasn't long ago that those were our shoes. hear a multitude of cries and watch hundreds struggling for survival as they dream of the calmness and quiet you now 397 Geraerts E. To do otherwise would make life inside these minds unbearable. the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Pages 614-622. faulty or doing anything wrong. we risk complacency allowing nicotine back into our bloodstream. Pages 623-635. If you feel the same then we need to nourish our desires. also see. Try hard to recall those first two weeks without nicotine. irrational thinking or emotional outbursts? Do you remember these things? Do you remember the price you paid? Do you recall the reasons you willingly paid it? We can go on-line if we have access to a computer. restless or anxious? Were there rapidly cycling emotions. Whether daily. we should not take our recovery for granted or the flame could eventually die and the fire go out. their primary objective is to stay one step ahead of insula driven urges and craves. Anderson MC. with most you’ll find their responses inspiring. it’s working as designed to preserve in as much detail as possible the joyful events of life. Volume 127(3). It isn’t that our memory is bad. the memory in which we placed our trust has failed us. most would likely have just one. angry. It’s my dream to protect my freedom until that final breath. monthly or just once a year.com 223 Most of us failed to keep a detailed record of why we commenced recovery or what those first two weeks were like. Without a record to remind us. So how does the recovered nicotine addict who failed to record their journey home revive their passion for freedom and recall liberty's price? If we forget the past are we destined to repeat it? Not necessarily. What were they like? Can you recall your mind begging to be fed? Feel the anxieties. March 2008. . Were you able to concentrate? How was your sleep? Did you feel depressed.com & WhyQuit. we win. March 2008. Let them know what you seek. anxieties. trauma and pain. Forgetting unwanted memories: directed forgetting and thought suppression methods.397 If women were forced to remember the agony and pain of childbirth. Levy BJ. Although not always the case. we are forced to rely upon our memory to accurately and vividly preserve the truth.

“Just once. do not collect $200. The most important thing you can tell them is the truth about why you came. that you devoted to thinking about using. it's been a while. Before reaching the point of throwing it all away we need to be honest about what’s about to happen. It may be that complacency has you at a point where thoughts of wanting are again taking root. all the trips to the store. Fear of the unknown is frightening. that we can now handle “just one. the buys. Tell them how comfortable and complacent you’ve grown. I’ve earned it. rekindling pride in the amazing journey you once made may silence such chatter. “Fill my world with ash. How long had you gone without wanting? If it is happening. Go directly to the addict’s prison and surrender our freedom for good. slowly harden my arteries and eat my brain. give them all back to me. If not I’d encourage you to re-read Chapters 3 and 12. Teach them what life on Easy Street is like. If still in the first few days they may be facing hurricane anxieties.” If a smoker. it’ll be ok.” “I'm stronger than them. Instead give them what they need. We put ourselves above it. If permitted. and the empties. Unless interrupted by reason and truth. my entire addiction.” “Go ahead. Amending the Law of Addiction .” “I want it all back.” “A little reward.” “just once. send a message to those in need. our period of healing and freedom may be nearing an end. They cannot begin to imagine traveling so far that remembering their turmoil becomes the greatest challenge of all. If this moment should ever arrive. We convince ourselves that we’re stronger. It isn’t that we don’t believe the Law but probably more a matter of growing to believe that we’re the exception to it. Their mind may have them convinced that their emotional storm will never end. the money. try telling yourself this before bringing nicotine back into your body: “My freedom will now end!” “I’m going back. cover me in that old familiar stench. the truth! Let them know that you’ve traveled so far that it’s now hard to relate.The second complacency factor working against us is a strong. “Take . smarter or wiser than all addicts who came before us. Don’t pretend that you can feel their anxiety.” “I can handle all of them. as I suspect that you’ve either developed a romantic fixation with using or failed to let go of one during recovery. natural desire to want to believe that we have been fully cured. all our dreams and hard work risk being flushed like a toilet.224 Freedom from Nicotine . Describe last week and how many seconds.” Such thoughts can infect the mind and feed on themselves. dip or chew and it’s do not pass go.” If an oral user. By aiding them we aid ourselves. I can handle it.The Journey Home call home. and let morning again be for coughing. But think back.” But just one puff. if any. If allowed to fester. Instead of pretending we can handle“ just one” such encounters demand truth. We amend the law.

one too many drinks with friends. revisit.”398 “Put me back behind bars.com 225 my hair. picture all of them. at least a full year’s supply. throw away the key and let me die with my master still circulating in my veins. who can blame us for ingesting highly addictive drugs upon the death of our mother. a graduation. month after month. revive and give to others.you paid the price . Imagine watching an e-cigarette instantly vaporize nicotine when sucked and seeing a little light at the end imitate a real cigarette’s heat. one dip or one chew exception to the “law” than to admit the truth. chocolate." "Fruit Chill" or "Cappuccino" flavors of nicotine gum for one penny! What about being tempted to try one of the other new nicotine delivery devices now hitting the streets? It’s exactly what those selling them are hoping will happen. strawberry. Instead of picturing just one or once. . sticks. But joyful or even stupid nicotine relapse is harder to explain to ourselves and to those we love. and put sores back into my mouth. make me an outcast. Picture fitting them into your mouth all at once because day after day. WhyQuit.you earned it! If you find yourself attempting to rewrite the law of addiction. cherry.The final ingredient is an excuse. Although everyone we love is destined to die and it will happen sooner or later. As sick as it may sound. 2008.© 2009 FFNicotine. smart chip. a wedding. Imagine being curious about the new electronic or e-cigarette with its atomization chamber.” You deserve it . be honest with you! The perfect excuse .com & WhyQuit. the easiest to sell is probably the death of a loved one. coffee. Long-term Nicorette gum users losing hair and teeth. “To thine own self be true. think. Anyone who does would 398 Polito JR. The smart addict waits for the great excuse. any excuse will do. film or candy flavored orbs. even joy! It could be a reunion with an old buddy who uses.com. destroy my teeth. for the reformed addict it’s the perfect excuse for relapse.” “I accept my fate” “I’m ready to surrender!” It’s far easier for the junkie mind to create a one puff. year after year after year that's exactly where they'll be going. the one they think will be easy to sell to both themselves and others. reflect. mint or tobacco flavored nicotine. or even a baby’s birth and someone handing you a cigar. I mean. but most important. What about a chance encounter with a self service display offering two pieces of Nicorette’s new Cinnamon Surge. stop. remember. December 1. read. For many. vanilla. lithium battery and nicotine cartridge filled with apple. You may encounter the new fully dissolvable tobacco/nicotine toothpicks.

. we've only traded places with our chemical dependency and the key to the cell is that one hit of nicotine that will cause up to 50% of our brain’s a4b2 type acetylcholine receptors to again be occupied by nicotine. a flood. are all great excuses too . they stand a chance of self-discovering the law through experience and the school of hardquitting-knocks. dip or chew of nicotine with full and complete relapse. Remember. WhyQuit. the end of a relationship. when the 399 Spitzer. But either way. a terrorist attack. J. their brain’s pay-attention pathways recorded the event in high-definition memory and it will soon want more. Sooner or later it will happen.399 Why lucky? Because this group stands a far better chance of associating that first puff.com.it’s drug time again! The addict is back! Utterly terrible events will happen in each of our lives . Instead of learning the Law of Addiction from some book such as this. When it does. There are only two choices. relapse. earthquake. disease. as Joel notes. If the first choice sounds better – lifetime probation . It will create a dopamine explosion that will soon have our brain begging for more.The Journey Home have to be extremely insensitive or totally heartless! Right? Wrong! There is no legitimate excuse for relapse. Although it sounds strange. or at a higher level than before they quit. the lucky ones are those who quickly find themselves once again fully hooked. or they will quickly find themselves back using nicotine at their old level of daily intake. Losing a job. as a result. Adding full-blown nicotine relapse to any situation won’t fix. a serious illness. Joel’s Library 1984. staying clean and free may be the most positive factor during this period of darkness. It’s a lesson that’s become increasingly difficult to self-discover since 1984. Either the user will think they have gotten away with using and. at times within a matter of days. we are the jailers and our dependency the prisoner. and intentionally inflict cruel and unusual punishment upon these innocent bodies for the remainder of their time on earth.such is life. We can complete this temporary period of adjustment and enjoy comfortable probation for life or we can bring nicotine back into our bloodstream. with the passage of time a “false sense of confidence” will have them using again.then we each need only follow one simple rule … no nicotine today! Relapse The lesson learned . hurricane.One of two things happens after relapse. correct or undo our underlying concern. The Lucky Ones Get Hooked. an auto accident. Take a moment now and picture yourself fully navigating the worst nightmare your mind can imagine. financial problems. As long as we stay on freedom’s side of the bars.226 Freedom from Nicotine .

” It’s why teaching and sharing the “Law of Addiction” with those still in bondage is the most important gift we can give. They need our insights.relapse.”400 Don’t expect any serious support group or competent nicotine dependency recovery counselor to allow relapse excuses to stand unchallenged. the lesson that just one hit of nicotine spells relapse gets muddied and buried by promotion and marketing associated with ineffective nicotine weaning schemes. ‘Gosh. There is no justification for relapse. he or she is likely to face the same fate. Joel’s Library. we understand why the person relapsed. Pre-NRT generations enjoyed clean mental chalkboards upon which to record prior relapse experiences.” says Joel. They teach that instead of ending nicotine’s use that you need to replace it. There is no legitimate relapse justification . if you saw a person on a ledge you would try to use empathy to coax him or her back. there’s absolutely no legitimate justification for relapse. Obviously.com & WhyQuit.Over the years we’ve seen thousands attempt to justify their latest relapse. There are better ways to resolve these problems than committing suicide. though. I understand what you are saying. the nicotine gum. Yes. “Do you want the people standing on the ground giving the person on the ledge reasons not to jump. just time delayed. 2002. 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. Some relate the most horrific and brutal life situations imaginable and then put their back against the wall as if daring you to tell them that their nicotine use and relapse wasn’t justified. You may have even felt them at some 400 Spitzer.com 227 FDA approved the first of a now vast array of nicotine replacement products (NRT). Those standing to profit from the sale of NRT have re-labeled a natural poison medicine.” “You may understand the feelings the person had. But understand. They “violated the Law of Addiction. used nicotine and are paying the mandatory penalty . Today the chalkboards of millions are so filled with conflicting messages that identifying truth has become nearly impossible. .’” “I don't want this statement to be read like a mockery of those attempting to offer help. and describe doing so as “therapy.’ ‘I feel that way too. They can’t. We Understand Why You Relapsed. Today. if the person on the ledge jumps he or she will die.© 2009 FFNicotine. None. It’s “like someone standing on a ledge of a building. But. We also know that any excuse that the person is attempting to give for having re-awakened an active chemical dependency is total nonsense.com. we understand.’ ‘I guess if I were in your shoes I would jump too. WhyQuit. “I am trying to illustrate an important point. Guess what? Again. This generation needs us. zilch! As Joel puts it. J.’ ‘Don't feel guilty.” writes Joel. that if a person relapses and doesn't quit. as silence is a teacher too. or after listening to all the woes in the individual's life saying.

live honest to goodness drug addicts." "it's just a little slip.com. not the circumstances surrounding it.yuku. They need to appreciate that the pride they felt prior to relapse will take root anew in just a few hours as they navigate withdrawal once again. What if their now shattered dreams and desires never again become sufficient to motivate them to stop? Once sufficiently re-motivated. what are they waiting for? They are likely waiting because they’ve invented some new silly drug use 401 Spitzer.The Journey Home point yourself.”401 This excuse ignores or dismisses success up to the point of relapse. we all slip every once in a while. he rationalizes a positive feeling of accomplishment about them. During their next recovery they need to master putting those dreams into the driver’s seat of their mind within seconds of encountering a challenge.ffn. We are nicotine addicts. at least I tried." that "it’s no big deal"? No big deal? Surrendering control of life to an external chemical is a big. J. They’d be wise to review the crave episode coping techniques in Chapter 11 and arm themselves with additional coping skills for battle. If we were all heroin addicts sticking needles into our arms. 1984. 1986.com. "Well. 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.”402 As Joel notes.228 Freedom from Nicotine .” He needs to understand that claimed use justifications never cause relapse. J. nothing big" "you just keep slippin and we'll just keep huggin you each time you come back." WhyQuit." "Hey. 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. This type of rationalization all but assures failures in all future attempts. real.” writes Joel. “I know I will quit again. Obviously. at least I attempted to quit. when one of us relapsed and started again injecting heroin into their veins. http://www. it will not be sufficient to explain the fact that they find themselves still using.com/topic/22978 . “I’m just too weak to stop. they were not too weak then. 2001. “I know I will quit again. Now they need additional rationalizations to explain why their relapse justification has passed yet they have not stopped. “Well. big deal! Continuing use rationalizations . Administering another dose of nicotine is what causes relapse.While the relapsed addict may feel that their reason for relapse was sufficient. J. 403 Spitzer. Joel’s Library. 402 Spitzer. chalking the attempt up to “experience” will mean absolutely nothing unless the user “objectively evaluates what caused his relapses. Joel’s Library.” “Instead of recognizing his past attempts as failures.” February 22. “I’m just too weak to quit smoking!” WhyQuit.”403 This addict creates him or herself about continued nicotine use today by promising to endure potential withdrawal discomfort in the future. That is better than not trying at all. it's just part of life. This user would benefit by focusing upon and breathing renewed life into freedom’s neglected dreams and desires. just 3 minutes at a time. But you don't give into the feeling.

. if nobody quit then why did she like the program more? She answered.com/topic/12121 405 Spitzer. “I’ve tried everything to quit and nothing works. “Maybe I’m different. added hunger anxieties. I was lost.” Joel tells a story about one of his clinic participants. I’d made recovery far more challenging that it needed to be. Like any tool.’ I then asked her how many of the other people quit. ‘Oh. J. J. ‘When I completed the program. Likewise. I eventually came to believe that it was impossible for me “to quit. She “told me that she had once attended another clinic and liked it more than ours. “I’ve already tried cold turkey plenty of times!” What this person doesn’t yet appreciate is that education is a recovery method.”405 “Maybe I can’t quit.com.com & WhyQuit. As Joel notes. I Can’t Quit or I Won’t Quit. 1985.yuku. it is impossible to locate any person who relapsed who didn’t introduce nicotine back into 404 Spitzer.com. In fact they’re exactly the same as us. I asked her how long she had quit while in that program and she said. So was I different? Certainly not with respect to what happens once nicotine enters my brain. a lady named Barbara. I knew nothing of the body’s ability to rid itself of nicotine within 72 hours. I didn't quit at all. knowledge cannot take credit for being used or blame for being ignored. http://www. Credit for their ongoing victory will always be 100% theirs. What I didn’t realize was that I’d never once allowed my greatest weapon onto the battlefield. responsibility for allowing nicotine back into their bloodstream and brain would be totally theirs too. this book can never claim credit for having endured a single challenge for any reader. She replied. added caffeine doubling associated with at least a pot of coffee daily and leaned heavily upon quitting buddies.’ I then asked.com 229 rationalization as to why now isn’t a good time. with at least a dozen serious failed attempts of my own. that in comparison to uneducated abrupt nicotine cessation it’s like turning on the lights. my intelligence. WhyQuit. Was nicotine medicine or was it what was keeping me hooked? I had absolutely zero appreciation for the Law of Addiction. Joel’s Library. more than once I celebrated and rewarded myself with one cigarette after three days. I didn't feel bad about smoking!’“404 I often hear. “I've tried everything to quit and nothing works. once the anxieties started easing off.© 2009 FFNicotine.ffn. I’d skipped meals. I was swinging blindly at an unseen opponent. Products and procedures clearly can fail to produce as advertised. J. What I didn’t then realize was that each of those battles was each fought in ignorance and darkness. mind fog.”406 It isn’t that this person is different. 406 Spitzer. Unlike products. Relapse after relapse. But it’s a little hard to blame knowledge and understanding when our actions are contrary to them. Joel’s Library. 1986. 2002. “Maybe I’m Different” WhyQuit. Having inter-spaced cold turkey with at least four NRT attempts. Insanely. ‘I don't know if anybody quit.” February 16.” Eventually I surrendered to the fact that I was a drug addict and that I would die an addict’s death.

As far as relapse excuses are concerned.230 Freedom from Nicotine . We each have a 100% guarantee of staying free today so long as no nicotine enters our bloodstream. vehicles collide. Why Do You Smoke? WhyQuit. 2007 . terrorists attack and wars will be waged. which is highly unlikely. The remaining 90 percent of the total output from a burning cigarette is in gaseous form and cannot be seen. British Medical Bulletin. disagree. “burning tobacco . what then? What if our relapse was to the dirtiest..” writes Dr. We change. More excuses coming . then the freedom and healing of hundreds of millions of recovered users is at risk. It is impossible to relapse so long as all nicotine remains on the outside. Floods. earthquakes and hurricanes happen. diseased and die. fires. sometimes break promises. fuel and living costs continue to rise. sports teams lose. but nicotine exposure during fetal development and infancy could have alarming consequences for affected 407 Wald NJ and Hackshaw AK. and deadliest form of nicotine delivery ever devised. It would probably be lower for the adult. most destructive. Volume 52(1). But freedom’s promise is absolute. Heinz Ginzel. smoking is expected to claim more than one billion nicotine addicts by the end of the 21st century. Expect imperfect humans to do the unthinkable.407 According to the World Health Organization. “morbidity and mortality caused by nicotine itself would manifest over time and replace that of cigarette smoking. We will have friends or loved ones who will get sick.”408 Many health officials wish they could immediately transfer all smokers to less destructive forms of nicotine delivery. won and lost. the cigarette? We’re told it accounts for 20% of all deaths in developed nations. The loss of a job or inability to work may be an injury. 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. medicine. life will provide a sufficient supply for anyone looking to use one. MD writes. But if not. Cigarette smoking: an epidemiological overview. Harm Reduction What if we relapse? What then? Hopefully we’ll work toward reviving and strengthening our dreams and desires and start home again immediately. Dying is a normal part of life. Ginzel. January 1996. If the death of someone close to us is an acceptable reason for relapse. “If NRT were ever able to replace smoking.com. argue and make new relationships.. 408 Ginzel. People will fall. constituting the visible portion of cigarette smoke. disease or pink slip away. Expect financial distress as food. generates more than 150 billion tar particles per cubic inch. Some are now advocating it. droughts.The Journey Home their bloodstream. Life promises lots and lots of excuses to relapse. Pages 3-11. tornados. A respected nicotine toxicologist. February 6. KH.

Human Reproduction. for example in smoke-free areas or in other situations which you wish to avoid smoking. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. . They’re also concerned that harm reduction campaigns tossing about terms such as “safe. As for any traditional combustion-type cigarette claiming to be less harmful than other brands. NRT. Although most harm reduction advocates are more optimistic and expect massive reductions. 409 Lin S. It found that smoke from these so-called harm-reduction cigarettes inhibited normal cell development as much "or more" than traditional brands. Have you ever wondered why you have never once heard any pharmaceutical industry quit smoking product commercial suggest that. How does their continuing use of the super-toxin nicotine factor into their pre-existing cigarette use exposure risks? It may take decades before science can untangle relative risks and draw reasonably reliable conclusions about long-term disease and death risks associated with chronic long-term use of cigarettes claiming to reduce harms. 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 quitting smoking.com & WhyQuit. I was told that these sample packs were being sold at self-service checkout counter displays in Canadian beer stores for one penny.409 Many 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. their suppositions ignore the fact that most smokers in need of diminished tobacco use risks have already logged years of tobacco toxin and carcinogen exposure. Comparison of toxicity of smoke from traditional and harm-reduction cigarettes using mouse embryonic stem cells as a novel model for preimplantation development. Inhaling gases and particles from a burning mini toxic waste dump is inherently dangerous and extremely destructive.” Imagine pharmaceutical companies dovetailing their marketing with that of tobacco companies in order to make continued smoking easier or more convenient.” “safer. A recent study examined the effects of smoke from three brands claiming harm reduction upon normal embryonic stem cell development.” or “safety” may actually entice ex-smokers to relapse.” How many fewer adult deaths would occur? We don’t yet know.© 2009 FFNicotine. oral tobacco or electronic cigarette use by ex-smokers. don’t buy it. “Nicorette gum can also be used in cases in which you temporarily refrain from smoking. “Smoking causes lung cancer.com 231 populations. et al. November 29. I was recently sent sample packets from Canada containing two 2mg pieces of “Fresh Fruit” and “Ice Mint” Nicorette gum with tooth whiteners.

harm reductionists counter by asserting that. like shooting yourself in the foot instead of the head. Bates #2023799789. 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. February 16. PM USA internal memo dated 12/16/85. The once secret documents evidencing the agreement are many. the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries have operated under a nicotine marketing partnership agreement since about 1984. Volume 3. 2nd PM USA internal memo dated 9/6/85. Harm Reduction Journal. Bates #2023799799. we estimate that smoking presents a mortality risk similar to a fall of about 4 stories. Lacking accurate relative risk data themselves. Journal of the American Medical Association. et al. PM USA internal memo dated 1/8/88. PM USA internal memo dated 1/22/85. Harm reduction advocates have done little to quiet concerns about the impact of marketing upon youth. and they suggest that neither side may directly attack the other side’s products.”411 “We estimate”? It is disturbing to see us stoop to educated-guessing when it comes to life or death. They seem unconcerned by an increasing number of adolescent nicotine harm studies showing nicotine’s horrific toll on the developing adolescent brain. “Based on the available literature on mortality from falls. et al. while mortality risk from smokeless tobacco is no worse than that from an almost certainly non-fatal fall from less than 2 stories. 2006. Deconstructing anti-harm-reduction metaphors. Bero L. messages already bombarding them with a wide array of tempting flavors portrayed as vastly safer than smoking. Bates #2083785672.com. PM USA internal memo dated 10/25/84. JR.. 412 Polito. PM USA letter dated 5/8/91. Nicotine 166 Times More Deadly than Caffeine? WhyQuit. PM USA letter dated 12/17/84. It is also disturbing that no harm reduction advocate yet has been willing to provide an accurate accounting of known and suspected harms associated with chronic nicotine use. Bates #2023799804. Pages 738-744. As hard as it may be to believe. April 18. in order to sell smokers on “safer” delivery many have resorted to falsely portraying nicotine as being as harmless as caffeine.232 Freedom from Nicotine . PM USA internal memo dated 5/7/84. or like jumping from a three-story building rather than one ten stories tall. Some opposed to harm reduction have argued that the risks associated with a smoker transferring to oral tobacco is like getting hit by a car instead of a truck. Bates #2023799801.The Journey Home emphysema and circulatory disease. 413 Slotkin TA. also see the following once secret tobacco industry documents available at TobaccoDocuments.410 Their partnership objective is to ensure the purchase and use of their dopamine pathway stimulation products. British American Tobacco collection letter dated 8/1/91. Bates #2023799803. Volume 288(6). that you need to purchase and use our product because smoking can kill you”? You haven’t and probably won’t.413 410 Shamasunder B. August 14. 2006. Bates #2023799798. PM USA internal memo dated 9/6/85. Pages 1-5. Bates #2064952307. Bates #500872678. 2002. Financial ties and conflicts of interest between pharmaceutical and tobacco companies. Bates #2500016765.org: PM USA internal memo dated 7/21/82. mortality risk from falls and other traumatic injuries compared to smokeless tobacco use. Both sides in the debate appear to be overstating their case. This book exists to help you stop using them. PM International letter dated 4/23/98. Adolescent nicotine treatment changes the response of acetylcholine systems to subsequent . Bates #2023799795. 411 Phillips CV.412 Yet. Bates #2023799796. Back to harm reduction.

causes me substantial concern. Pages 1-19. resulting in greater noise and diminished sound processing efficiency. as Dr. Volume 30. 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. Prenatal and Adolescent Exposure to Tobacco Smoke Modulates the Development of White Matter Microstructure. Their focus isn’t on living but dying.com 233 Let me give just one example among many. the potential for relapse and then smoking yourself to death because relative risk had never been discussed or explained to you. 2007. . But the alternative. dare we recommend nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant women and adolescents? Neurotoxicology and Teratology.com & WhyQuit. Some have resorted to accusing cessation educators and counselors unwilling to incorporate harm reduction lessons into their recovery programs as having a “quit or die” mentality. 414 Jacobsen. It’s why putting this section here. will instead seize upon the words that follow as license to relapse.© 2009 FFNicotine. January 2008. The Journal of Neuroscience. Issue 1. also see. I worry that some new ex-smoker or oral tobacco user reading this book. et al. it would be nice if we knew the actual relative risks in contrasting oral tobacco to NRT but we don’t. nicotine administration in adulthood. If nicotine is a developmental neurotoxicant in animal studies. 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. This damage may interfere with the ability of these fibers to pass sound. to electronic cigarettes. Pages 13491-13498. What is the relative risk in comparing cigarettes to oral tobacco. is totally unacceptable. otherwise they couldn’t sell it. Ginzel notes. Pages 152-165. 2008. Volume 27(49). at the tail end of this book. December 5. Volume 76 (1-2). they also ignore the costs associated with living life as an actively feeding drug addict.414 Harm reduction advocates not only ignore the harms inflicted by nicotine. Slotkin TA. May 15. Brain Research Bulletin. a read that would have succeeded if this section had not been here. LK. They must. Still.

sore or irritated throat. online complaints among those who have used nicotine gum for one year or longer include: addiction with intense gum cravings. a lack of energy. irritability. sleep disruption. dizziness.com. anxiety. 418 Polito JR. loss of sex drive. December 1. 416 IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. tooth loss. Volume 41(6). heart burn. tooth enamel damage. canker sores with white patches on the tongue or mouth. facial reddening. smokers face serious risk of many different types of cancers. Clearly. IARC carcinogens reported in cigarette mainstream smoke and their calculated log P values. a host of breathing disorders including emphysema. ringing in the ears. jaw-joint pain and damage (TMJ).com. bronchitis. . fecal impaction from dehydration. hiccups. uncontrollable foul smelling gas that lingers. We also know that 81 potential cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in cigarette smoke415 versus 28 in oral tobacco. June 2003. bleeding and diseased gums. fifteen 415 Smith CJ et al. and serious circulatory disease as carbon monoxide combines with nicotine to destroy vessel walls and facilitate plaque buildup.418 While smoking’s harms are clearly greater and more life threatening than pure nicotine’s. Smoking’s common harms and roughly 50% adult kill rate are well known.550 chemicals. scalp tingling. diminished sense of taste. Do Kennedy and Waxman know about electronic or e-cigarettes? WhyQuit. What wasn’t known until recently were the health concerns being expressed by long-term NRT users. including lung cancer. Long-term Nicorette gum users losing hair and teeth. WhyQuit. gastritis. dry mouth. Still. acid reflux. Volume 89. Food and Chemical Toxicology. stomach ulcers. which would make it nearly impossible to determine direct and proximate cause. and that cigarettes release more than 4. acne. difficulty swallowing. we have little long-term data for pure nicotine. belching.234 Freedom from Nicotine . elevated blood pressure.000 chemicals while oral tobacco releases 2. swollen glands. chronic skin rashes and concerns about immune system suppression. a rapid or irregular heart beat. March 29. a lack of motivation.The Journey Home to pharmaceutical grade replacement nicotine? We know that cigarettes currently contribute to nearly five million deaths this year. bad breath. how do we weight and balance pure nicotine’s ongoing use harms against those associated with how smoking will kill us? How many millions of additional air sacs would these lungs have if I had successfully transferred my dependency to nicotine gum the first time I used it in 1985 or 86. Although we still do not know whether or not NRT user health concerns are in fact directly related to chronic nicotine use. 2008. nervousness.416 The only known harmful agent in both the new electronic or e-cigarettes (which uses an atomizer to create a nicotine mist)417 and replacement nicotine (NRT) is nicotine and the potent chemicals it breaks down into. 2008. headaches. achy muscles and joints. severe bloating. pins and needles in arms and hands. as nearly every user has years of cigarette or oral tobacco exposure. hair loss. 417 Polito JR. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-specific N-Nitrosamines. tiredness. recessed. stomach problems and pain. Pages 807-817. chronic depression. headaches. a heavy feeling. 2007.

the true measure of nicotine’s power isn’t in how hard it is to stop using it. no nicotine today! Yes we can! Breathe deep. John 419 Bartosiewicz. Tobacco Control 2003 November. But my dream isn’t about seeing you develop the patience to allow yourself time to adapt to and remain slave to a cleaner and less destructive form of nicotine delivery.419 would I have had the motivation to eventually break free from all nicotine delivery.. quoting. that if a non-pregnant adult that you consider attempting to adapt to a cleaner form of nicotine delivery.© 2009 FFNicotine. as an estimated 37% of U. As Joel says. wheezing.com & WhyQuit. 2004. Maybe. hug hard. Tens of thousands of words but still just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all . never forget the most important lesson of all. and have early emphysema today? How many more teeth would I have? If I had gotten hooked on the cure. 1999 when I stopped smoking? Would I have founded WhyQuit two months later. New York Times. but in how easy it is to relapse. P. I’ve done it. Hopefully you understand a bit better my reluctance to suggest that if you relapse to smoking nicotine. It’s that you develop the “one day at a time” patience needed to go the distance and taste permanent and lasting freedom from nicotine. less precise and less controllable delivery? Would I have lived with a chronic cough. There.S. Once free.. 12: 310-316. Published: May 2. developed pneumonia in both 1998 and 1999. would I have been able to adjust and adapt to gum’s slower. Hughes JR. chronic bronchitis. maybe not. A Quitter's Dilemma: Hooked on the Cure. Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample. et al. live long.com 235 years after getting hooked? If I had attempted to transfer my dependency instead of using it as a quitting product. nicotine gum users were as of 2003. would this book have been written? I don’t know. . as I did on May 15. Shiffman S.

The name of two children or teens whom I've taught the true power of nicotine: . A brief summary of what the first week of this recovery was like: 5. The total minutes daily I spent thinking about wanting to use nicotine at: 30 hours 72 hours: 1 Week: 2 Weeks: 4 Weeks: 6 weeks: 2 months: 3 months: 6 months: 1 year: 6. The name of two other active user who I've taught the Law of Addiction: 8.The Journey Home Appendix A: Recovery Journal/Diary 1. My core motivations for wanting to end nicotine use: 3.236 Freedom from Nicotine . Things I want to remind myself of on my one year anniversary: 7. My recovery attempt history and the real reason each attempt failed: 4. My nicotine use history: 2.

Alcohol Use .Recognize that using nicotine cannot solve any crisis. Caffeine/Nicotine Interaction . burn us or make us bleed. Three Days of Natural Juices . Our subconscious is listening. Avoid Crutches . financial crisis. Subconsciously triggered craves peak in intensity within three minutes. Yes. 14. the birth of a baby. falling stocks. Cessation time distortion may make the minutes feel like hours.Once in the heat of battle it's normal to forget the reasons that motivated us to begin this journey home. a terrorist attack.com & WhyQuit.Consider using some of the money you save to be nice to you. a hurricane. person or place. 7.com 237 Appendix B: Summary of Basic Recovery Tips 1. including an auto accident. Quitting for others creates a natural sense of self deprivation that will eat away at you and is a recipe for relapse.Forget about quitting "forever. No Legitimate Excuse for Relapse .Each puff of nicotine was our spoon pumping stored fats and sugars into our bloodstream. adopt a do-able “one day at a time" recovery philosophy.Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance." It's the biggest psychological bite imaginable.One coping method is to practice slow deep breathing while clearing your mind of all needless chatter by focusing on your favorite person. or the eventual inevitable death of those we love most. or spacing drinks further apart or drinking water or juice between drinks.Keeping a stash handy is asking for relapse. Take back your life one cue at a time! 11. Build in time delay. Think positively. 8. healthy and often. Get your recovery legs under you first. A crave cannot cut us. In your mind. 6.If your health permits and non-diabetic. Just One Rule . Be extremely careful with early alcohol use during. Measure Victory One Day at a Time . Why add hunger craves to nicotine craves . Quitting for Others – We cannot quit for others. 15. Have an escape plan and a backup. Aggressively Extinguish Nicotine Use Cues .Most use cues are extinguished by a single encounter during which the subconscious fails to receive the expected result – nicotine.Nicotine doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine. Once ready. Law of Addiction . and be fully prepared to use both. Record Your Motivations . 2. Reward Yourself . It must be our gift to us. Get Rid of All Nicotine . Try embracing a crave episode by mentally reaching out inside your mind. Keep a clock handy to maintain honest perspective. I think you'll find that you'll never make it to the challenging letter Q before the episode peaks in intensity and victory is yours. place or thing. consider drinking at home first without nicotine around.Alcohol is associated with 50% of all relapses. Do Not Skip Meals . 16. the end of a relationship. the letter "A" is for grandma's hot apple pie. Consider a caffeine reduction of up to one-half if troubled by anxieties or poor sleeping. consider drinking plenty of acidic fruit juice the first three days. 3. 9. Cranberry is excellent. Another exercise is to say your ABCs while associating each letter with your favorite food. Be brave just once. job loss.A positive attitude is important. Attitude . For example. You've earned it! Remember. 10. There is no such thing as just one. with drug addiction there's no such thing as just one. 4. going out with friends but refraining from drinking during the first outing. Instead. Fully accept chemical dependency. 13. "B" is for warm buttered biscuits.There is only one rule which if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success: no nicotine today! . wrap your arms around the crave's anxiety energy and then sense as it slowly fizzles and dies while in your embrace. Write yourself a reminder letter and carry it with you.© 2009 FFNicotine. another use cue bites the dust and victory is yours! 12. Fully accept the fact that there is absolutely no legitimate excuse for relapse. Eat little. 5. Crave Coping Techniques . Nicotine addiction is as real and permanent as alcoholism.A crutch is any form of reliance that you lean upon so heavily in supporting your recovery that if quickly removed would likely result in relapse.

.....209 Dignity’s Denial....................S.. 183p.........110 Exercise programs...................... 155.....11............................199 Crutches...... 219 Pavlov....................................................... Coffee’s smell and taste actually improves ........200 Seasonal......222 Concentration 23...................101 Confronting alcohol related crave triggers .............................36 Classical conditioning............179 ...................147 (mg) of caffeine “typical” in various substances................ Recovery memory suppression...... 145-146.....................................................................................................................100 Allen Carr........................ 143.....................................202 Embracing crave episodes ..................................................................................... Holiday and Infrequent Cues........................................................................................... tea leaves and cocoa beans..192 Keep a watch or clock handy .......................................... 180..................203 Relaxation coping..................... 196 Attitude................................... 177...........136....57....... 155....................204 Depression...69 Complacency............................ Analytical coping ........17........ Caffeine withdrawal symptoms.238 Freedom from Nicotine ...............................................57p.............................. 191........93 Coffee.....................................................................69 Is free..................... Bereavement exclusion.........237 Blood sugar..124 Bartender.205 Ex-user or non-user..........................147 Cold turkey..... Alcohol or other drugs ....................... 46........................................................................................ 179 Definition.198 Early Alcohol Use.....212 Cost Rationalizations.............................................................. Respond to the bell..... 191................................ 89.......................... Co-Dependency Concerns ......113 Effective and smart.............147 Chocolate bars.....157................ 71... Average number ....................................................................... 122 Basic Recovery Tips.................................The Journey Home Alphabetical Index Alcohol............. 193.............................206 “Just once.......... 184......................203 Distraction coping............................................. I want to do it once!”............................................ 144 Crave episodes..............214 Joy of Smoking?........................194 Reward .............................................................................. 134............111 Food .................................................... 193 Panic disorder..... Cue exposure therapy.....214 “Just think about something else”................111 Recovery buddies .....148 Canada’s cigarette pack addition warning label...........................................................211 Tearing Down the Wall...........................147 Nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine...........193 Coping techniques.......................57 Getting the jitters...................111 Internet support .18 Closet users..................... 187.................................................................................... 202....... 190. 82-85 Bad Days...................191 Less than 3 minutes......100 Sedation and anesthesia type effects..... 207 Conscious recovery...202 Crave episode intensity.........201 Oral coping . policy....................148 Found in coffee beans..............................................................................5 milligrams.................... 122............17..... 140.................. 207 Caffeine...........191 How often..................................... Feeding cue................................ Conscious Fixation............. 199................. 167 Boredom............... 57..192 The Bigger the Better........... 84..............209 Dependency Rationalizations................. ex-smoker or nonsmoker.............24 Caring for Our Recovery...........................................................................................112 Effectively outlawed and blacklisted by official U....... 88% in Australian study quit cold turkey .....................................185 Distortion of time perception.......................108 Cue extinguishment................................207 Cotinine.............215 Recovery Rationalizations................195 Most cues extinguished after a single encounter.............. 68.........................................................99 May feel alcohol effects sooner.... 30 minutes results in 4...............................................................................................123.222 Chewing tobacco.........99 Half who relapsed to smoking (47%) consumed alcohol ..................................

© 2009 FFNicotine.com & WhyQuit.com Dr. Keedwell..........................................180 Dr. Michael First ...................................157 DSM-IV standards.................................179 Symptoms..............................................179 Dopamine......................................................... A neurotransmitter...................................14 Accompanied by alertness.......................27 Dopamine high...................17, 24p., 27, 58 Highest definition memory (plasticity) ...14 Preprogrammed survival tool..................14 “pay attention” pathways.........................14 Dr. M.A.H. Russell.......................................33 Emotional recovery.......................................... Acceptance.............................................180 Anger ....................................................176 Bargaining.............................................178 Denial.....................................................175 Depression.............................................179 Emotion ................................................172 Emotions range......................................172 Kübler-Ross grief cycle.........................174 Fear of failure.................................8, 106, 185 Fear of quitting...........................................176 Fear of success...............................8, 176, 185 Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home. . Acknowledgments.....................................2 Contact the author......................................3 Dedication..................................................2 Medical Advice Disclaimer.......................3 Use Authorization......................................3 Freedom from Tobacco...............9p., 126, 191 Fruit juice.....................57, 145, 152, 155, 237 Harm Reduction.........................................230 Homecoming.................................................... Diminishing Thoughts and Urges..........219 Quiet and Calm......................................218 Silent Celebration .................................218 Homeostasis......................71, 138, 152p., 173 How many seconds a day you still want....219 Husband still smokes..................................121 Insula................................................................ Alert us....................................................17 Craves and anxieties................................15 Punished mind.........................................16 Urge to smoke..........................15, 184, 220 Wide range of input.................................15 Joel Spitzer....................................................... American Cancer Society..........................9 Buddy Systems......................................110 Clinics......................................................10

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Director of education...............................10 Joel’s Library...........................................11 My Cigarette, My Friend.........................48 Never Take Another Puff.........10p., 61, 95, 110p., 127, 187, 220 Setting Quit Dates....................................73 Video counseling lessons...................11, 95 John R. Polito................................................... Losing both of my dogs to cancer...........26 Seminars in 28 South Carolina prisons....25 Two solid months begging, bumming.....26 Just one, just once...........................66, 99, 214 Law of Addiction.............................................. 88% who “tasted” a cigarette relapsed....67 Brain PET scans.......................................65 Cannot cure or kill an addiction..............65 Conventional “quitting” wisdom invites relapse .....................................................66 Defined....................................................65 Fundamental as the law of gravity...........65 Is free.......................................................69 Just one rule - “No nicotine today!”........70 Law Reflected in Studies.........................66 Self-discovery of the Law........................69 The Lucky Ones Get Hooked..................68 True chemical addiction..........................65 Menstrual Cycle Considerations................125 Motivations....................................................... Negative....................................................... Daily cost............................................79 Fear of failing health...........................78 I did it for the baby.............................77 Quitting forever...................................86 Self-deprivation .................................77 Strength...............................................75 Willpower......................................47, 75 Positive........................................................ Dreams and desire...............................75 For better health..................................78 One Day at a Time..............................85 Our gift to us.......................................78 Total savings.......................................79 Nicotine............................................................ 166 times more toxic than caffeine..........23 200 neuro-chemicals that nicotine controls .................................................................41 3% in cigarettes.......................................21 Black Leaf 40...........................................22 Cigarette contains 8 to 9 milligrams........22 Deadlier than diamondback rattlesnake

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Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home Replenishment anxieties .........................43 Up to 28 carcinogens...............................37 Pharmaceutical industry................................... Influence...................................................... Nicotine's use is “therapy.”.................69 Redefined “quitting smoking” ...........69 Teaches that nicotine is “medicine” ...69 Writing national cessation policy........69 Philip Michels, PhD.....................................50 Physical recovery............................................. Celebrating Two Weeks of Healing!......170 Neuronal Re-sensitization - Temporarily Numb.....................................................149 Pharmacology products............................... WARNING........................................150 Possible Medication Adjustments..........167 Possible Underlying Hidden Conditions ...............................................................168 Potential symptoms...................................... Anger................................................153 Anxiety..............................................152 Bad breath and nasty tastes...............164 Bleeding gums .................................164 Chest tightness..................................162 Constipation......................................166 Coughing, mucus or nasal drip.........163 Depression........................................155 Headaches ........................................165 Hunger..............................................160 Impatience.........................................154 Inability to concentrate or a foggy mind ..........................................................155 Increased appetite.............................160 Loneliness or feeling cooped up.......160 Nausea...............................................165 Physical fatigue not a symptom........167 Sadness .............................................155 Slightly sore mouth or throat............163 Trouble sleeping or insomnia............162 Physical withdrawal......................................... First 72 Hours........................................142 Natural Fruit Juices................................145 Nicotine’s Half-life................................143 Sensations - Good, Not bad...................148 Planning............................................................ Challenge patience...................................80 Destroy All Remaining Nicotine.............97 Journey patience......................................81 Pack a Positive Attitude...........................82

venom......................................................22 Elimination.................................................. Alcohol use.........................................39 Kidney urine acidification..................53 Nicotine clearance...............................39 One-half every two hours.....18, 37, 137 PH of about 7.4...................................38 Stress robs the body of nicotine..........53 Stress, anger, worry.............................38 Urine acidity.......................................39 Vitamin C ...........................................39 From the tobacco plant............................21 LD50........................................................22 Liquid organic-based alkaloid.................21 Natural insecticide...................................22 Neuro-toxic effects..................................23 Nicotine has an I.Q. of zero.....................47 Use risks...................................................... Type II diabetes ..................................43 Nicotine addiction............................................ A4b2-type acetylcholine receptors..........16 Dizzy, nauseous.......................................13 False calming effect.................................53 First Subtle “Aaah”..................................13 Hijacked brain..........................................16 Important as eating..............16, 44, 52, 183 Longer than normal dopamine “aaah”.....13 Old nicotine use “aaah” memories..........17 Reward pathways being taken hostage....15 Turns off a key killjoy enzyme................16 Nicotine dependency........................................ 90% of daily adult smokers are chemically dependent.................................................27 98% of chronic smokers have difficulty controlling use.........................................25 Artificial sense of normalcy....................71 As addictive as heroin and cocaine..........24 Definition.................................................25 DSM IV...................................................25 Harder to quit than heroin or cocaine......24 Highly addictive........24, 51, 134, 177, 225 Nicotine normal......20, 35, 70, 82p., 152, 162, 205 Nicotine-free cigarette..................................33 NNN.............................................................40 Oral tobacco..................................................... 2,550 chemicals.................37, 50, 168, 234 More nicotine than consumed by smokers .................................................................43

© 2009 FFNicotine.com & WhyQuit.com Relapse Insurance....................................87 Safeguard our dreams and desires...........76 Unplanned attempts were 2.6 times more successful ................................................73 Postpartum depression................................133 Pregnancy....19, 77p., 86, 127pp., 131pp., 143 Premenstrual syndrome .............................126 PubMed................................................49, 160 Quitting "you".................................................. Ability to build cardiovascular endurance .........................................................40, 108 Calm during crisis.................................38p. Causes the release of noradrenaline.........38 Central nervous system stimulant...37, 147, 173 Emotional self-identity............................41 Heart pound up to 17.5 beats per minute faster........................................................37 Nicotine was our spoon...................42, 237 One hour per day to smoking..................43 Sense of taste...........................42, 119, 234 Stress effects more severe........................54 Quitting products & procedures....................... Billy Bob's Lima Bean Butter........113, 118 Bupropion.................................................... Zyban........................113, 120, 150, 159 OTC NRT.................................................... 36.6% of all current nicotine gum users are chronic long-term users...............118 93% failure rate.................................117 Second patch attempt drop to near 0% ...........................................................117 Pharmacology products............................... Declaration of Helsinki.....................116 Dependency may be the only known research area in which blinding is impossible.........................................115 Fail to perform better than those quitting entirely on-their-own...........114 Placebo affords study participants the worst possible odds...........................116 Placebo isn’t a quitting method, it isn’t cold turkey.........................................114 Real-world performance...................114 The blind spot....................................115 Worst junk-science ever perpetrated upon humans.....................................116 Replacement nicotine.................................. NRT........20, 31, 69, 98, 113pp., 117pp., 131p., 134p., 150, 161, 226p., 229pp.,

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233p. Varenicline......3, 113pp., 118pp., 137, 156, 159p., 166, 178 Behavioral changes...........................159 Champix 113p., 118, 150, 156, 159, 166, 178, 190 Chantix.......113p., 118p., 150, 156, 159, 166, 178, 190 Chantix .....................................118, 190 Limination half-life is 24 hours........160 Partial agonist...................................159 Serious side effects, including death.118 Severe depression, with suicidal ideation..............................................119 Varenicline........................................119 Quitting vs. recovery........................................ Definition.................................................34 Doom and gloom of bad and horrible......34 Richest period of self-discovery ever......35 Synonyms ...............................................75 Rationalizations................................................ Chemical to Friend..................................47 Monsters.................................46p., 49, 206 Nasty little habit......18, 33, 55, 59p., 206p., 209 Nicodemon’s Lies..............................45, 47 Rationalize...............................................45 “I can’t quit”............................................61 “I do it for flavor and taste”.....................55 “I do it for pleasure”................................58 “I do it to relieve boredom”.....................57 “I like it” - “I love it”..............................50 “I’ll lose my friends”...............................61 “I’m just a little bit addicted”..................55 “It helps me concentrate”........................57 “It relieves stress and anxiety”................53 “It’s my choice and I choose to”..............59 “My coffee won’t taste the same”...........56 Recovery........................................................... Arriving Home.......................................141 Embrace recovery......................76, 85, 201 Emotional Readjustment........................139 Ending Nicotine Use..............................137 Physical Readjustment...........................138 Recovery Timetable...............................135 Roadmap Home.....................................135 Subconscious Readjustment..................139 Temporary period of re-adjustment. 76, 217 Recovery Journal/Diary..............................236 Relapse.............................................................

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Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home Neighborhood convenience stores...........24 Smoking....................................................... 92% under the age of 19.....................27 Tobacco............................................................ 700 industry tobacco flavor additives......56 Five million annual tobacco related deaths .................................................................27 Nicotiana tabacum...................................70 Tobacco industry.............................................. Base of our business is the high-school student......................................................27 British American Tobacco.......................32 Brown & Williamson...........31, 53, 55, 170 Cigarette smoking is addictive................28 Few consumers are aware of the effects of nicotine....................................................31 Higher Marlboro market penetration among 15-17 year-olds............................28 Nature of the Tobacco Business..............29 Nicotine is the addicting agent................31 Nicotine is the sine qua non of tobacco products...................................................29 Philip Morris..................27p., 61, 74, 169p. Process of digging our own grave...........29 Puff of smoke as the vehicle for nicotine 28 R.J. Reynolds...........................................29 Smokeless tobacco products are addictive .................................................................28 Smokers are nicotine addicts...................32 Stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry....................................................29 Supplying nicotine in useful dosage form .................................................................30 Teenagers like sweet products.................55 Tobacco industry documents........................27 Tolerance.......................................................... A low tolerance level...............................36 De-sensitivities........................................21 Extra nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors.............................................18, 20 Fetal teratogen.................................22, 134 Increases in smoking following relapse...20 Natural sensitivities........21, 37, 138, 149p. Time and opportunities............................20 U.S. smoking cessation policy......................... Cessation products mandatory.................69 Unconscious incompetence..........................11 Weight control.................................................. 3,500 extra calories to add one pound...104

Amending the Law of Addiction...........224 Continuing use rationalizations ............228 More excuses coming ...........................230 No legitimate relapse justification.........227 The Final Truth........................................70 The lesson learned ................................226 The perfect excuse ................................225 Those "perfect" fixes...............................72 Second-hand smoke exposure....................122 Serotonin.........................19, 41, 118, 152, 172 Smoking........................................................... 1 milligram of nicotine............................36 4,000 chemicals.........................37, 40, 234 81 potential carcinogens..................37, 206 Alveoli.............................40, 136, 154, 163 Carbon monoxide........................................ Half-life of 2 to 6.5 hours...................40 Up to 25mg per cigarette....................39 Cilia...........................................40, 48, 163 Nine full workweeks, per year.................43 Zero taste buds inside human lungs.........56 Snuff................................................................. Average of 3.6 milligrams of nicotine.....36 Subconscious recovery..................................... Classical conditioning............................183 Common use cues........................................ Activities ..........................................188 Emotions...........................................190 Events................................................190 Locations...........................................189 People ...............................................189 Times.................................................189 Controlling expectations .......................187 Operant conditioning.............................182 The Unconscious Mind..........................181 Withdrawal cues....................................190 Support sources................................................ Current-users ..........................................89 Ex-users ..................................................88 Industry marketing...................................90 Internet refueling.....................................93 Negative support............................120, 124 Never-users..............................................90 Recovery meters......................................96 Social controls ........................................92 You!.........................................................93 Surrendering.........................................32, 228 Teenagers.......................................................... Conformity to peer-group norms.............28

..............© 2009 FFNicotine............11 .....” the Internet’s most serious and focused peer support group.......102 Non-fat “aaah”s . 160p.106 Weight gain..........................94 Totally free.............94 Staffed entirely by volunteers............................................................................. 211 Withdraw from life......................102pp.106 Mealtime.................. 189................................................105 Diminishing body weight ..95 Motivational website..9 Partial screen shot.... 106... sells nothing.... Google rankings..............106 243 WhyQuit..................S..............................103 Binge eating .................................94 U..............................com & WhyQuit...106 Minor metabolism change....................com Basal Metabolic Rate...............................104 How to minimize ............................................107 How to gain lots of extra weight ......................................93 Freedom...... declines donations.... Founded in July 1999.......................................

The Journey Home .244 Freedom from Nicotine .

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