Freedom from Nicotine – The Journey Home

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

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 &


Freedom from Nicotine
The Journey Home
John R. Polito
Copyright © 2009 &

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 or 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 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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polito Nicotine Cessation Educator .com or FFNicotine. live long! John John R. hug hard. If someone has gifted you a copy of this book. Consider handing or e-mailing it to a friend or loved one still trapped in active dependency. If just starting out.12 Freedom from Nicotine . Being deprived of the insights needed to save our life is a horrible reason to die.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. 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. you can visit to download the book's most recent electronic version.

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

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

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

we quickly grew to believe that we could not function comfortably without it. Volume 4(2). The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. Addiction: Pay Attention. As our body slowly metabolized and rid itself of the nicotine we introduced via our method of delivery. Psychiatric News June 4. Rewarded by dopamine and punished by an endless need for more nicotine. depression and anger. They soon begin burying all remaining memory of life without it. Nicotine not only fosters dopamine flow by crossing the blood-brain barrier and docking with a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors. Volkow May Have Uncovered Answer to Addiction Riddle. helps us to cope. Cigarette-derived nicotine is not a medicine. J. Psychology Today Magazine. We quickly “forget” that it was ever possible to function without it. Rosack. 8 McGowan. We did so to replenish rapidly falling nicotine reserves. Nicotine “aaah”s became as important as food “aaah”s. Nicotine cravings became as real as food cravings. Yes. 9 Parrott AC.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. we are punished with anxieties and hunger pains when we wait too long between feedings. pay attention to this!”8 Continued nicotine use causes these extremely salient memories to quickly pile up. Nov/Dec 2004.9 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. 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. Think about how short-lived the “aaah” sensation is following a bite of your favorite food. Our rewarded and punished mind was left totally yet falsely convinced that nicotine use was essential for survival. we gradually experienced increasing mood deterioration and escalating distress. . Page 32. 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. April 2003. 2004. we experienced the same anxiety beatings. Our mind is essentially told. K. that it defines who we are. also see. The need to replenish one’s nicotine supply gets recorded in what may be the highest definition memory the mind can produce. Pages 49-55. what goes up must come down.16 Freedom from Nicotine . it somehow turns off a key killjoy enzyme that prevents normal dopamine clean up. and the greater our dependency the more unstable our moods. We each endured greater extremes in daily mood swings than non-users. Nearly indistinguishable. Article ID: 3571. “Hey. the same dopamine rewards. gives us our edge. and that life without it would be horrible or even meaningless. Volume 39 Number 11. punctuated by insula driven anxiety.

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

it attempts to diminish the influence of nicotine by more widely disbursing it. We call it the "Law of Addiction. Upregulation of [3H]methyllycaconitine binding sites following continuous infusion of nicotine. Physiological resistance to a poison. Findings indicate that average intake per cigarette is 30% greater in African Americans at 1.41 10 tolerance.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). miss-out on time with family. It does so by growing or activating millions of extra nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors in as many as eleven different brain regions. November 2002. without changes of alpha7 or alpha6 subunit mRNA: an autoradiography and in situ hybridization study in rat brain. We are drug addicts in the truest sense. or 4.18 Freedom from Nicotine . especially over a period of continued exposure 2. Pages 1633-1646. Abide by it and failure becomes impossible. but we would not forget or fail to respond to the bell for our next nicotine feeding. Decreased responsiveness to a stimulus.The Journey Home Nicotine addiction is about living a life of lies. deceit and denial. Knowledge is power! Tolerance Definitions of tolerance include: 1. 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 website: http://dictionary. Retrieved September 14. The capacity to absorb a drug continuously or in large doses without adverse effect 3. The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary." Break the law and you lay to waste all of your effort and dreams of a life free of nicotine. friends or romance. some form of ongoing support and an appreciation of the truth that just one powerful hit of nicotine all but assures relapse.d." toying with true chemical addiction as though it were some "nasty little habit" is a recipe for relapse. 11 Mugnaini M et al. We may forget to take our vitamin or medicine.). Like an alcoholic pretending they can have "just one sip.reference. (n. As you’re about to learn. from Dictionary. Volume 16. Knowledge. Diminution in the response to a drug after prolonged use. there is only one rule that governs recovery. The European Journal of Neuroscience. the average nicotine intake per cigarette varies significantly. procrastinate regarding work.10 The brain attempts to fight back against its toxic intruder. Knowledge is key in our quest to return home. As if it somehow knows that too much dopamine is flowing. skip meals. obtaining that next fix. .

the more damage nicotine inflicted upon our still developing brains. Volume 30.09 milligrams per cigarette. Gender-specific effects of prenatal and adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke on auditory and visual attention. et al. Nicotine metabolism and intake in black and white smokers. Pages 152-156. June 2003. Neuropsychopharmacology. If nicotine is a developmental neurotoxicant in animal studies. the younger we were when we started smoking.14 As Duke University’s Professor Slotkin puts it. Volume 280(2). Two a day. Pages 1-19. Pages 368-373. Research suggests that damage to dopamine and serotonin pathways is significantly greater in males than 19 milligrams per cigarette than for Caucasians at 1. 16 Slotkin TA.12 Tolerance ever so gradually pulls us deeper and deeper into dependency’s forest. most of us require more nicotine in order to match last month’s or last year’s “aaah” reward sensation. Alpha-5/alpha-3 nicotinic receptor subunit alleles increase risk for heavy smoking. I know. et al. Adolescent nicotine treatment changes the response of acetylcholine systems to subsequent nicotine administration in adulthood. Pages 2453-2464. Over time. holding the smoke longer. “nicotine alters the developmental trajectory of acetylcholine systems in the immature brain. smoked during pregnancy. I came into this world as nicotine’s slave and likely spent the first few days in withdrawal. assaults which commenced three to four weeks following conception. you’re probably thinking. like mine. April 2008. May 15. Brain Research Bulletin. dare we recommend nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant women and adolescents? Neurotoxicology and Teratology. we know that genetics probably explains most differences. Pages 152-165. Volume 32(12). January 2008. 15 Slotkin TA. I was born with my brain wired for nicotine. Volume 111(6 Pt 1): Pages 1318-1323. or smoking more nicotine in order to achieve the desired effect. Volume 76 (1-2). a female advantage that disappears if the female brain is exposed to both prenatal and adolescent nicotine. Issue 1. three. 2008. 13 Berrettini W. & WhyQuit. I needed that much more in order to achieve the same remembered effect. et al. with vulnerability extending from fetal stages through adolescence. 17 Jacobsen LK. Smoking during pregnancy and newborn neurobehavior. While we don’t yet fully understand wide variations in levels of nicotine use. 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. our brains gradually grow additional nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors. My “aaah”s were no more powerful smoking five cigarettes a day at age fifteen than when smoking 60 per day at age forty. et al. Molecular Psychiatry. four smoked hard. We find ourselves sucking a wee bit harder. . Pediatrics. Volume 13(4). December 2007. 14 Law KL.13 There is also the fact that some of our mothers. they were about relapse to a condition my brain had known since those very first developing acetylcholine receptors were attacked by nicotine.”15 For me. those first few cigarettes at age 15 were not about initial addiction.17 12 Péérez-Stable EJ et al.16 In addition to genetics and prenatal nicotine exposure. July 1998. Journal of the American Medical Association.© 2009 FFNicotine.

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

Whether the brain’s current daily level of tolerance is one nicotine fix or twenty does not alter its status as slave. liquid organic-based alkaloid in the same family as cocaine. Once confident of victory. While this may seem like a curse it gradually becomes our biggest peace of mind. gum and lozenge. we know exactly what it takes to stay free. Journal of the American Dental & WhyQuit. 21 The brain makes substantial progress in reversing tolerance-induced de-sensitivities within 72 hours of ending all nicotine use. dip or chew of nicotine and we will find our brain again begging for more. including nicotine in nicotine replacement products such as the patch. morphine. . it comprises 1. Withdrawal anxieties will peak. Volume 125. Just one powerful puff. The pharmaceutical industry competes with the tobacco industry in purchasing tobacco from tobacco farmers. somehow tolerance’s wiring paths become permanently etched into our brains. It slowly yellows when exposed to air.21 19 Cornell University.© 2009 FFNicotine. we cannot cure.19 When holding dry tobacco in your hand. New Zealand Public Health Report on Nicotine. quinine and strychnine. begin to diminish and the worst will be behind you. 20 Blakely T et al. Assessing the Nicotine Content of Smokeless Tobacco Products. Pages 590-594. the weight of nicotine within it will vary depending upon the type of tobacco. May 1994. is bitter tasting and gives off a slight fishy odor when warmed. April 1985. permanently eliminate or destroy it. It’s why nicotine dependency recovery is an all or nothing proposition. While nicotine’s weight averages about 3% in cigarettes20 and moist snuff. 21 Tilashalski. May 27.6% of a tobacco plug’s weight and about 1% of the weight of chewing tobacco. But although the brain gradually restores natural sensitivities. We each remain wired for relapse for life. 1997. Nicotine is a colorless. Although we can arrest our chemical dependency. odorless. K et al. that ruled our lives for so long? Nicotine I was surprised to learn that all nicotine comes from the tobacco plant. Nicotine (Black Leaf 40) Chemical Profile. Nicotine is not created in the laboratory. So what is this chemical.

Memorandum. dizziness. January 17. IPSC INCHEM. March 1991. which also has a minimum adult LD50 of 30mg. JH. vomiting. Pages 123-125. 30 Benowitz NL. 26 Borges. ranging from 0. 31 Philip Morris. nicotine (Black Leaf 40) Chemical Profile.26 and more deadly than arsenic (50mg). diarrhea. The implications for tobacco regulation. 2001. April 7. 23 Roy TS.22 Freedom from Nicotine . It represents the amount of the chemical needed to kill 50% of humans weighing 160 pounds. July 1996.5 mg/kg versus .31 It results in the average smoker introducing 1.24 Today nicotine is touted in organic gardening as a means for killing insects. ANP. JH.22 nicotine is a fetal teratogen that damages the developing brain.29 Although the average American cigarette contains 8 to 9 milligrams of nicotine. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.The Journey Home One of the most toxic of all poisons. confusion progressing to convulsions. Volume 287(3).2 mg of nicotine 22 de Landoni. abdominal pain. some escapes through cigarette ventilation and the filter traps some. Nicotine evokes cell death in embryonic rat brain during neurulation. March 1991. 24 Cornell University. 28 van Heijst. Volume 93(2). Media Presentation . a mixture that was 40% nicotine sulfate.89mg/kg). hypertension and coma. JL. A et al. February 1988. weakness.27 or cyanide (50mg). et al. nausea. 1994. Bates Number: 2064334296. July 14.3 to 3. Volume 331(2). April 1985. it helps protect the plant’s roots.30 some is burned. IPSC INCHEM. IPCS INCHEM.25 Drop for drop.5 mg/kg versus 1. 25 Cornell University.23 A natural insecticide formed in the roots of the tobacco plant.17 to 1. et al. Arsenic (PIM G042). . December 1998. New England Journal of Medicine. Prior to death. Nicotine (PIM 373). IPSC INCHEM. IPCS INCHEM. Nicotine (Black Leaf 40) Chemical Profile.9mg/kg) and at least three times deadlier than diamondback rattlesnake venom (. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 27 Benedetti. Cyanides (PIM G003).Draft Outline. Pages 1136-1144. Pages 134-138.28 Nicotine kills by eventually paralyzing breathing muscles.37 milligrams of nicotine into their bloodstream with each cigarette smoked. 1998. The lungs absorb nearly 90% of inhaled nicotine. stalk and leaves from being eaten by insects and animals. 32 Jarvis MJ. Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction. LD50 is an abbreviation for the lethal dose of a toxic chemical. It was sold as an alkaloid insecticide in America under the brand name Black Leaf 40. 29 de Landoni. Nicotine. symptoms include salivation. March 1989.32 Average intake can vary significantly from smoker to smoker. et al. that makes nicotine as deadly as strychnine. Pesticide Management Education Program (PMEP). Nicotine’s minimum adult LD50 is 30mg (milligrams) and if in ingested in liquid form death could occur within 5 minutes. Strychnine (PIM 507). April 1985. Nicotine yield from machine-smoked cigarettes and nicotine intakes in smokers: evidence from a representative population survey. How deadly is nicotine? It’s nearly twice as deadly as black widow spider venom (.

36 Jacobsen LK. Pages 80-84. Effects of transdermal nicotine on episodic memory in non-smokers with and without schizophrenia. January 1. 38 Gallinat. over an entire day.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. Don’t believe it.36 Visualize nicotine’s neuro-toxic effects upon the human brain slowly destroying it. Neuropsychopharmacology. even the thought of going without nicotine may be sufficient to generate anxiety. Caffeine’s lethal dose is 10 grams or 10. et al. Try to remember what it was like to go weeks and months without once craving nicotine. bringing enough nicotine into their body to have killed a 160-pound human if the entire 30mg had arrived all at once. et al. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2004. also see also see Counotte DS. 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. A smoker smoking 30 cigarettes per day is. September 2006.000 milligrams compared to 30mg for nicotine. Smoking and structural brain deficits: a volumetric MR investigation.33 Picture the largest rat you have ever seen. et al. Psychopharmacology. also see. 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. The implications for tobacco regulation. aren’t they! Now. Pages 77-84. et al. Pages 89-98. July 2008. Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction. . Pages 123-125. 34 Brody. Those pre-addiction memories are gone. Nicotine is at least 166 times more toxic than caffeine. Vol.35 studies of the long-term (chronic) effects of smoking nicotine report decline and impairment of attention. Volume 199(1). It would weigh about a pound. 1744–1750.37 while damaging what remains. Biological Psychiatry. Picture a substance more toxic than rattlesnake or black widow venom being fed to your brain day after day after day. Volume 57(1). Differences between smokers and nonsmokers in regional gray matter volumes and densities. Long-Lasting Cognitive Deficits Resulting from Adolescent Nicotine Exposure in Rats. The 1mg of nicotine that entered your bloodstream from your last nicotine fix would be sufficient to kill that rat. J. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. Effects of smoking and smoking abstinence on cognition in adolescent tobacco 23 per cigarette. 35 Jubelt LE. and the accuracy of working and verbal memory. February 2007. 24. January 1. As for those selling a growing array of nicotine products. Think hard. Volume 55(1). 37 Gallinat J. AL et al. et & WhyQuit. Volume 331(2).et al. June 25. pp. New England Journal of Medicine. Biological Psychiatry. 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. Abnormal hippocampal neurochemistry in smokers: evidence from proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 T. Those pushing a growing array of nicotine products often falsely assert that they are as safe as caffeine. 1994. Volume 27(1). concentration.© 2009 FFNicotine. 2005. Pages 56-66. July 14.

while ignoring the big picture. The alcoholic’s comes with drunkenness and the cocaine addict’s is euphoric. “WARNING CIGARETTES ARE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE . the harms inflicted by nicotine upon those addicted to it. Their marketing will never attempt to value the loss of personal freedom to chemical addiction. 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. and behind the counter at the corner drug store. sold legally in the presence of children.39 Canada’s cigarette pack addition warning label reads. Surgeon General warned that nicotine was as addictive as heroin and cocaine.” But how on earth can nicotine possibly be as addictive as heroin? It is a legal product. while the methamphetamine or speed addict’s dopamine high is fast or racing. in a fair and honest manner. 1988.Studies have shown that tobacco can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine.S. pastries and chips at neighborhood convenience stores. sodas. Heroin addicts describe their dopamine high as accompanied by a numb sensation. . near candies. 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. nor discuss. Their goal is to make money by selling us nicotine.24 Freedom from Nicotine . 1988 the U.The Journey Home the more than 200 neuro-chemicals that nicotine controls (usually the stimulants). May 17. supermarket or gas station. not to free us from requiring it.

6 fortyhour work weeks per year to smoking nicotine). P. Evaluating the validities of different DSM-IV-based conceptual constructs of tobacco dependence. D. Definitions of nicotine dependency vary greatly. 3. with the price dropping to about $2 in less secure pre-release facilities. that we too are drug addicts. 41 Hendricks. Spending significant time using nicotine (note: a pack-a-day smoker spending 5 minutes per cigarette devotes 1.40 Under DSM IV.5 hours per day.C. Withdrawal when attempting to end nicotine use. 2. 4th edition (DSM IV). Difficulty controlling nicotine use or unable to stop using it. & WhyQuit. a person is dependent upon nicotine if at least 3 of the following 7 criteria are met: 1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Addiction. Imagine not 40 American Psychiatric Association. functioning yet have our nervous system stimulated. Avoiding activities because they might interfere with nicotine use or cutting activities short so as to enable replenishment. Volume 103. Nicotine use despite knowledge of the harms tobacco is inflicting upon your body. It can explain how the ashtray sitting before them became filled and their cigarette pack became empty without them realizing it was happening. et al. Tolerance . But the fact that a nicotine dopamine high allows us to remain fully alert. In February 2008 I finished presenting 63 nicotine cessation seminars in 28 South Carolina prisons that had recently banned all tobacco.5 hours per week or 13. 5. A 2008 study found that 98% of chronic smokers have difficulty controlling use.over the years gradually needing more nicotine in order to achieve the same desired effect. Imagine paying $8 for a hand-rolled cigarette filled with tobacco from roadside cigarette butts. 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. Using nicotine more often than intended.© 2009 FFNicotine. 1994. blinds most of us from making connections and associations with those addicted to illegal chemicals. In medium and maximum-security prisons $8 per cigarette was pretty much the 25 inside the brain. 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. 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. Washington. July 2008. . The captive mind can invent a host of excuses for avoidance of activities lasting longer than a couple of hours. 7. 10. One of the most widely accepted is the American Psychiatric Association’s as published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. tobacco now wrapped in paper torn from a prison bible.41 Although often criticized. Pages 1215-1223. 4. 4th edition.

1984. also see. "They got them some cigarettes. Bertone ER. My mentor since January 2000. bumming and digging through ashtray after ashtray in search of long butts. for cigarettes. during 1998 tobacco killed 25 times more Americans than all illegal drugs combined (418. I spent two solid months begging. clothing. sitting on top of a urinal. "Point well taken. all this now recovered 42 Roza MR. of smoking while pregnant. 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. November 2007. Even worse was losing both of my dogs to cancer. I was horribly wrong. Toxicolology and Applied Pharmacology. Tennessee ended a six-hour standoff in February 2007 when they traded their hostage. while we nicotine addicts openly and legally purchase our drug at neighborhood stores. Pages 1171-1176. and a lighter. As discussed in the introduction." Over the years. Billy. of lighting their car. Some will do anything." I’ve stood before thousands of inmates whose chemical addictions to illegal drugs landed them behind bars. et al. It wasn’t until after breaking free that I read studies suggesting that smoke from my cigarettes may have contributed to their early deaths. During each program I couldn’t help but comment on the irony that those caught using illegal drugs found their way to prison. ex-users have shared stories of leaving hospital rooms where loved ones lay dying of lung cancer so they could smoke. My own dependency admissions are horrible. 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. According to a prison official. Pages 268-273. Two inmates housed in a smoke-free prison near Johnson City. hair or dog afire. also Brazell RS et al.42 If so. Joel then asked the man. 2003. One of them.26 Freedom from Nicotine . American Journal of Epidemiology. Pages 152–158. 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. Environmental tobacco smoke and risk of malignant lymphoma in pet cats. Environmental tobacco . The irony is that. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. that was his brand. died at age five of lymphoma.926). according to the CDC.690 versus 16. Volume 73. “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. He thought to himself how easy it would have been to smoke it. The dog as a passive smoker: effects of exposure to environmental cigarette smoke on domestic dogs. Volume156 (3). Plasma nicotine and cotinine in tobacco smoke exposed beagle dogs. 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. Volume 9(11). I heard horrific stories about the lengths inmates go for a nicotine fix. they smoked them and went back to their cell and locked themselves back in. a correctional officer. also Bertone-Johnson ER et al. Joel Spitzer may well be the world’s most insightful nicotine cessation educator.

http://legacy.ucsf. September 2008. Volume 30(4). http://www. cigarette market in 2007.© 2009 FFNicotine.”49 Philip Morris USA (PM) is America’s largest tobacco company. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic. control their alcohol intake. Merit.46 Collectively they paint a disturbing picture of an industry fully aware that its business is drug addiction. 1978. I often think about the alcoholic’s plight in having to watch 90% of drinkers do something the 10% who are alcoholics cannot do. PM brands include Alpine. Pages 205-208. WhyQuit’s Smoking Initiation Survey. Bates Number: 94671153. Yes.47 Contrary to “corporate responsibility” image campaigns. Virginia and founded in 1854. Basic. roughly 27% of new smokers have been age 13 or younger.philipmorrisusa.library. March 2008. www. 27 addict can do is keep them alive in his heart while begging forgiveness.S. English Ovals. Benson & Hedges. Bristol. Commander. San Francisco. Prevalence of tobacco dependence and withdrawal. 43 Kendler KS. while 87% of students smoking at least 1 cigarette daily were found dependent under DSM-IV standards. Again. “The base of our business is the high-school student. A population-based twin study in women of smoking initiation and nicotine dependence.WhyQuit. University of 2008. As a Lorillard executive wrote in 1978.50 Based in Richmond. & WhyQuit. Geneva.43 will never lose the ability and autonomy to simply turn and walk Financial Information. et al. Pages 319-332. Volume 106(3).com 48 World Health Organization. Dave’s. Players. June 3. Cambridge. et at http://tobaccodocuments. Volume 29(2).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. holding a 51% share of the 70 billion dollar U. smoke and canine urinary cotinine level. with nearly five million annual tobacco related deaths worldwide. March 1999. 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. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Pages 299-308. June 2005. JR. Switzerland: World Health Organization. But I am clearly not one of them and odds are. Psychological Medicine. Pages 361-364. http://legacy. Nicotine’s dependency rate situation is almost the exact 47 Polito. JR. 80% age 17 or younger and 92% under the age of 19.library. American Journal of Psychiatry. August 30. Roughly 90% of daily adult smokers are chemically dependent under DSM-III44 standards.48 the industry knows it must entice each new generation of youth to experiment and get hooked on nicotine or face financial ruin. On the Measurement of Nicotine Dependence in Adolescence: Comparisons of the mFTQ and a DSMIV Based Scale. 49 Lorillard. 45 Kandel D. there are social smokers called “chippers” who. Lark. 46 Legacy Tobacco Documents . Environmental Research. L&M. 60% age 15 or under. Chesterfield. 50 Philip Morris USA. February 1987. 2008. The industry cannot ignore that historically. also see TobaccoDocuments. Volume 144(2). 44 Hughes. to take it or leave it. probably in large part due to genetics. Saratoga and Virginia Slims. neither is anyone looking for information on how to get off of nicotine. 2005.

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

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

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

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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; 58 Brown & Williamson, Memorandum: Future Consumer Reaction to Nicotine, June 24, 1978, Bates Number: 665043966; 59 Brown & Williamson, Internal Correspondence, Project Recommendations, March 25, 1983, Bates Number: 670508492; 60 Lorillard, Present Status of the Nicotine Enrichment Project, April 13, 1977, Bates Number: 83251103; 61 Lorillard, Letter, November 3, 1977, Bates Number: 03365541;


Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

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; 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; 66 British American Tobacco, Brainstorming II, April 11, 1980, Bates Number: 109884190,

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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.


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

have a disagreement.© 2009 FFNicotine. every day. They were always there and always yours. Everything you did while using nicotine can be done as 35 each symptom and challenge as a sign of the depth to which nicotine had infected our mind. to finish a meal. you won’t be leaving anything of value behind . travel.nothing. when freedom ended and that next fix became life’s primary focus. Every brain chemical that nicotine caused to flow is still present. it recognizes the symptoms and celebrates each new challenge as an opportunity to reclaim yet another aspect of a life once drenched in nicotine. What was it like being you? What was it like to function every morning without nicotine. Buried Alive by Nicotine “Aaah”s Try to remember. Nicotine dependency recovery presents an opportunity to experience what may be our richest period of self-discovery ever. Although nearly impossible to believe right now. talk on the phone. I ask you. 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. But it might be helpful to reflect upon when the real “quitting” took place. you cannot seem to get off your mind. 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. senses awaken and the brain’s neuro-chemicals again flow in response to life not nicotine.” All of the neurochemicals once controlled by nicotine were present before we started using and will gradually return to pre-nicotine levels. Captive . “What was it like being you?” Why fear coming home? Slave to the world of "nicotine normal." we were each provided a new identity. then rare? Again. 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. It’s a common thread among all drug addicts. It’s a period where each challenge overcome awards the recovering addict another piece of a puzzle. 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. a puzzle that once complete reflects a life & WhyQuit. When knowledge based. We’ll discuss this in more detail later but I pose this to you now. It’s a time when tissues heal. vocabulary or this book.

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

also. Volume 10(6). Once we permit ourselves to begin looking closely. Pages 257-261 (2 mg gum average increase of 5 beats per minute [bpm]. while making us home to smoke’s more than 4. Smoking it diminished lung function while gradually destroying the ability of our blood vessels to transport and deliver life-giving oxygen. 4 mg gum 10 bpm. Whether smoked. tobacco diminished the accuracy of smell and taste.75 that accelerates our breathing. June 2003. Hypertension. May 1999 Volume 144(1). it becomes hard to find any aspect of life that wasn’t. smoking nicotine 17. perks our senses.5 bpm)Houlihan ME. Food and Chemical Inc. nicotine’s intake increases when its elimination is accelerated. Nicotine’s presence altered our body’s natural sensitivities and diminished our ability to relax. to some degree. A double blind study of the effects of smoking on heart rate: is there tachyphylaxis? Psychopharmacology (Berlin). Nicotine chewing gum (2 mg. 1949-1955. 72 Smith CJ et January 1997. Page 79.76 Nicotine’s & WhyQuit. Volume 11(3). Nicotine and sympathetic neurotransmission. chewed or sucked. 37 Nicotine is eliminated from the body at a rate of approximately one-half every two hours. 2003. . nicotine also activates these pathways. Pages 807-817.550 chemicals.000 chemicals or unadulterated oral tobacco’s more than 2. 1989. http://tobaccodocuments. 70 Spitzer. Elimination is accelerated by encountering stress.. Volume 89. June 2006. 75 Lorillard Tobacco Company. 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. 71 U. Surgeon General.S. Psychopharmacology (Berlin). In addiction to stimulating the release of dopamine. 74 Parrott AC et al. WhyQuit. Pages 336-341.74 that elevates blood pressure. dilates our pupils. restricts extremity blood flow causing the temperature of our fingers to drop up to seven degrees. Pages 38-44 (max increase of 15 bpm). et al. J. up to 81 potential carcinogens when smoking72 and up to 28 carcinogens in oral tobacco73. Acute cardiovascular and sympathetic effects of nicotine replacement therapy. et al. Killian Research Laboratories. Volume 47(6). 4 mg) and cigarette smoking: comparative effects upon vigilance and heart rate.70 Driven by the need to maintain a comfortable level of nicotine in our bloodstream.71 It brought scores of cancer causing chemicals into our body. et al. Never Take Another Puff.5 beats per minute faster. Volume 41(6). Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobaccospecific N-Nitrosamines.© 2009 FFNicotine. Volume 97(2). Najem B. Our body’s response to sensing danger or sudden stress is activation of the “fight or flight” pathways of the sympathetic nervous system.html 76 Haass M. 73 IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. affected by our addiction. drinking alcohol or consuming vitamin C. IARC carcinogens reported in cigarette mainstream smoke and their calculated log P values. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy. It changed priorities and consumed precious time. 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. Pages 1162-1167 (average increase of 7 bpm). shuts down digestion. September 1997. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General: 1989. Pages 657-665.

orange juice 3.3 to 2. and 7 being neutral.. Pure drinking water has a pH of 7 and fresh milk about 6. get out and look at the flat. But why? Have you ever watched a liquid baking soda solution.81 and whisky a pH of about 5. 14 the strongest base. Approximate pH of Foods and Food cranberry juice has a pH of 2.. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. On the acid side. including our urine. with 0 being the strongest acid.merck. April 78 International Programme on Chemical Safety. March 1991. AJ.5. What’s it like to stop beating a tired horse.4. This accelerates removal of the alkaloid nicotine from our bloodstream. a cigarette. Disorders of Nutrition and Metabolism. We’ll talk more about this later. http://www. http://www. They stop.murphyandson.3 to 4. to stop responding to non-existent saber tooth tigers. The rate of elimination of un-metabolized nicotine from the bloodstream depends in part on 77 The Merck Manuals Online Medical 79 FDA.7. 80 Pandell.1. INCHEM. Nicotine. and fear cause some of the body’s fluids to become more acidic.. 81 Murphy and Son Limited. The never-smoker sighs then immediately reaches for a jack to change the tire.3 to 3. Acid-Base Balance. July 4. February 2003. Emotional stress. 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.7 to 4. The pH of Beer.inchem. The measure of the acidity or base (alkalinity) of a solution is known as its pH. A fluid with a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than a fluid having a pH of 6. the movement of hydrogen atoms as an acid and a base neutralize each other. anger. http://www.79 table wine 3. which in turn causes more than 100 neuro-chemicals to prepare the body to run for its life or fight. Both human blood77 and nicotine78 are weak bases (alkaloids) having a pH of about 7.1. 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.38 Freedom from Nicotine . Yet nicotine addicts will tell you that they need nicotine to relax! Fight or flight is anything but a state of relaxation.The Journey Home arrival in the brain causes the release of noradrenaline (norepinephrine). That’s right.80 beer 3. vinegar a pH of 3. A never-smoker and a smoker both experience flat tires while driving in a freezing rain. worry. 2008 . try to imagine what it is like to go hours or an entire day without having adrenaline being pumped into your bloodstream. The Acidity of Wine. For now. It forces the stressed nicotine addict to service their addition and engage in replenishment before turning their attention to the underlying stressful event. The smoker reaches for a .

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. an increase in urine acidity from a pH of 5.82 In one study. 82 Schachter. Volume 234(1). Volume 106(1). . vitamin C or alcohol use. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapy.83 While we cannot avoid all stressful situations or prevent them from causing chemical interactions within body fluids. Early withdrawal is added to every stressful situation encountered. Although it sounds totally 39 the pH of our & WhyQuit. whether or not they cover the filter ventilation holes with their lips. Pages 153-155. odorless toxic gas produced when any carbon-based material is burned. Carbon monoxide is a colorless. It’s a matter of availability of sufficient oxygen to keep vigorously working muscle well fueled and alive. the more acidic our urine. When smoking. July 1985. Effects of urinary pH on cigarette smoking. to play full-court basketball.© 2009 FFNicotine. the literature suggests that it has to do with how the kidneys function. What was it like to run like the wind. 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. there will be no impact upon nicotine reserves if nicotine isn’t present in our bloodstream. 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. 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. Whether caused by sudden emotional turmoil. This is but one example of how nicotine addicts are at a disadvantage. including tobacco. Pages 13-19. S et al.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. 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. What they don’t seem to appreciate is the tremendous strain they subject their heart and body to when doing so. March 1977. 83 Benowitz NL et al. What a wonderful problem to have. 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. the greater the rate of nicotine depletion.6 to a pH of 4. Nicotine renal excretion rate influences nicotine intake during cigarette smoking. Studies of the interaction of psychological and pharmacological determinants of smoking: II.

The number of alveoli in the human lung. 1999. Think about that last puff. Volume 296.87 Imagine traveling through life with lungs so marinated and caked in toxic tars that it significantly diminishes lung function. It's too little oxygen and too much gunk. when smoking. Pages 77-79. 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. The chemical attraction between carbon monoxide and hemoglobin is 200–250 times greater than with oxygen.The Journey Home and the particular brand smoked. This exchange of gases takes place within an estimated 480 million84 thinly walled air sacs called alveoli. 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. once attached to hemoglobin.5 hours86 destroys the ability of red blood cells to engage in transporting oxygen. It's the same absorption rate as nicotine. Ninety-seven percent of inhaled nicotine is not exhaled. and to then transfer carbon dioxide from our bloodstream back out into the atmosphere. Ninety-seven percent of NNN (possibly the most potent lung cancer causing chemical of all) is not exhaled but remains within the lungs. British Medical Journal. WHO. Without oxygen the body’s cells suffocate and die. .Carbon Monoxide (Second Edition). The problem is. Inhalation Toxicology. The primary function of our lungs is to allow the entry of life-giving oxygen from the atmosphere into our bloodstream. Environmental Health Criteria 213 .000 chemicals the tobacco industry collectively refers to as tar. February 2007. A new method for estimating the retention of selected smoke constituents in the respiratory tract of smokers during cigarette smoking. Volume 19(2). Pages 169-179. if both an oxygen molecule and a carbon monoxide molecule arrive at an air sac at the same time. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. But sucking large quantities of carbon monoxide into our lungs changes the playing field. 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. ISBN 92 4 157213 2 (NLM classification: QV 662). One-half of the carbon monoxide in that puff will still be circulating inside your blood stream four hours later.40 Freedom from Nicotine . January 1. Geneva. We daily paint the inside of our lungs with the 4. the carbon monoxide molecule always wins and the oxygen molecule is left behind. 86 World Health Organization. Imagine allowing all still functioning air sacs (alveoli) time to clean and heal. Pages 120-124. carbon monoxide’s long chemical bloodstream half-life of 2 to 6. What would it be like to experience a significant increase in overall lung function? Imagine gifting yourself 84 Ochs M et al. We like to think that most of what we suck into our lungs is exhaled but it just isn’t so. Carbon monoxide poisoning. 87 Feng S.85 What’s worse. January 1988. 85 Meredith T et al. ISSN 0250-863X. 2004. Volume 169(1).

November 2007. et al.91 glutamate. Nicotine treatment regulates neuropeptide S system expression in the rat brain. Pages 137-144. Nicotinic receptors mediate increased GABA release in brain through a tetrodotoxin-insensitive mechanism during prolonged exposure to nicotine. [Epub ahead of print]. anger and depression. to have nearly all your hemoglobin again transporting life-giving oxygen. impulse control.93 antiapoptotic XIAP. 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. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. nicotine has command and control of serotonin. Acute effects of nicotine on serum glucose insulin growth hormone and cortisol in healthy smokers.© 2009 FFNicotine.94 epinephrine and norepinephrine. 2002. 2008.92 neuropeptide S. Volume 28(6). What is it like to navigate nicotine dependency recovery. to decide which neuro-chemicals your personality and awareness will sense? Forgotten Senses We sometimes hear tobacco users tell us that they smoke. 94 Zhang J. March 12. 90 Zhu PJ.89 GABA. August 1. 89 Yu G. et al. et al.90 glucose. Pages 907-916. Volume 115(1). not nicotine. Pages 705-724. If you haven’t heard others say it you certainly heard the tobacco industry marketing suggest it.88 our stress busting neurotransmitter. Pages 578-582. Pages 1129-1135. 1989. Role of the glutamatergic system in nicotine dependence. It isn’t that the basic person and personality underlying nicotine dependency is somehow different. May 2004. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. Neurotoxicology. 91 Morgan TM. 92 Liechti ME. Volume 22(9). Volume 13(6). Pages 2773-2782. CNS Drugs. It’s that their addiction has the wrong chemicals flowing at the wrong times. Nicotine Induces Resistance to Chemotherapy by Modulating Mitochondrial Signaling in Lung Cancer. Aside from dopamine. chew or dip for the flavor or aroma.2008. 93 Lage R. arrive home and for the first time in a long time allow life. et al. mediates or regulates are acetylcholine. 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. with ties to mood. The truth is that powerful tobacco toxins rob users of the ability to accurately smell and taste. 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. 88 Rausch JL et al. 2008. Journal of Neuroscience. Nicotine self-administration differentially regulates hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor and arginine vasopressin mRNAs and facilitates stress-induced neuronal activation. Volume 28(11). 41 the ability to build cardiovascular & WhyQuit. Volume 53(5). Metabolism. arginine vasopressin. Effect of nicotine on human blood platelet serotonin uptake and effluxm. . Among the estimated 200 neuro-chemicals that nicotine controls. et al.

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

per year. Oral tobacco users can blend in and hide where those bellowing smoke cannot. I endured a number of hypoglycemic-type symptoms including mind fog and an inability to concentrate. leaving it in your mouth far longer. it all adds up. to fuel your body on a regular basis. But back to our theme. 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). where and what might you become if not chained to regular nicotine feedings? 95 Willi C et al. That’s 365 smoking hours per year. An utter mess. Active smoking and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 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. spitting or swallowing juices. I would normally eat just one large meal at the end of each & WhyQuit. 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. A portion of that meal was stored and the next day I’d use nicotine to release it. I repeatedly tried to navigate early recovery without awareness that nicotine had become my spoon. 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. Smoking 60 cigarettes per day.298(22). what was it like to feed yourself. that’s nine full workweeks. delivering more nicotine than consumed by smokers. . It made recovery vastly more challenging than it needed to be. Volume 12. The consequences of torturing my body this way were many. about one every 15 minutes.95. Journal of the American Medical Association. extra pounds. The result was always the same: needless cravings. and disposing of used tobacco or 43 stored sugars and fats into my bloodstream. Broken down into 40-hour workweeks. Imagine giving yourself a two-month vacation from work each year. Usually they require fewer nicotine fixes too. relapse and failure. December 2007. parking periods. Not only did I endure nicotine cravings. Waiting for nicotine to slowly penetrate cheek and gum tissues while replenishment anxieties build. I had few hunger cravings and little experience satisfying them. 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. I tried to eat my way out of food craves. spent servicing our chemical dependency.© 2009 FFNicotine. Pages 2654-2664. anxieties. I added hunger cravings.

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

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

Passion. August 2002. USA Gold. Sundance. Best Value. Class A. Rosebud. using honesty to demolish and destroy smoking rationalizations. and even less about nicotine dependency recovery and the path home. Pride. 1985. We do so because escalating anxieties begin to hurt when we don’t. Roger. Rave. 2006 at age 72. Windsail. Allen’s book focuses almost exclusively on a single aspect of recovery. . Natural American Spirit. Sterling Publishing Company. 20. 98 Sanderson CL. 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. Tobacco industry marketing is designed to feed the addict’s mind in supporting drug use rationalizations. tobacco companies spend at least $14 billion annually to keep us convinced that we use their products for every reason imaginable. Kool. some of my own early writings actually suggested such rubbish before Joel taught me otherwise. Eagle. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Wildhorse. Basic. Cambridge. I must confess. Newport. except the truth: that we do so because we must. Riviera. Misty. Wildfire. Parliament. Springwater. Triumph. Think about the image. Quality. We can only stay afraid for so long before growing numb to it. Grand Prix.46 Freedom from Nicotine . Lark. Viceroy. Southern Harvest. Vantage. Ending his five pack-a-day dependency likely contributed to buying him another 26 years of life. Signature. Let’s explore a few of the more common rationalizations. to be cool. while fear can motivate action. and Yours. Players. Wild Geese. Issue 16. Tempo. rebellious or make new friends.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. Virginia Slims. pleasure. Passport. yet more than 40 times he teaches readers that successful recovery involves killing “monsters” that reside within. Maverick. Pages 3461-3469. Lucky Strike. Main Street. Now. Monarch. Savannah. Tourney. Tobacco use outcomes among patients with lung cancer treated for nicotine dependence.The Journey Home bit later. Allen was a former thirty-year smoker. Camel. Merit. Austin.S. True. Champion. status and message conveyed to both youth never-smokers and hard core smokers by cigarette brand names such as: Alpine. Bronson. Prince. Allen. aroma. Flavor. Satin. Jade. 2004 Edition. Bucks. Wave. Like me. Vol. Sport. Sonic. Pyramid. Marlboro. Chemical to Demon It is not unusual for those addicted to nicotine to invent destiny controlling monsters and demons inside their bodies and minds. Palace. Knights. U. Belair. who we lost to lung cancer on November 29. Eclipse. Inc. Liberty. it has little sustaining power. Pure Natural. Gold Coast. et al. The most famous smoking rationalization book is “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking99” by the late Allen Carr of England. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. 99 Carr. price.

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

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

S. He knew he would get you sooner or later.” My search on August 29. gum or lozenge was the means by which nicotine entered our bloodstream. also see. socially unacceptable. 2008. In case you were too strong to succumb to this. Long-lasting teratogenic effects of nicotine on cognition: Gender specificity and role of AMPA receptor function. telling him what a great friend he is while you desperately gasp for air. It’s increasingly common to see those hooked on nicotine replacement products treat their form of nicotine delivery as though a “friend. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. or its ability to chemically addict the human brain. The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. He considers this disease great. in any form.” Joel reminds us.205 journal articles having nicotine in the title. 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. which pose their own risks. Anadolu Kardiyol Dergisi. He picked all the top killers in society and did everything in his power to ensure you would get one of them. family. cigar.” If anything they are closer to being the enemy. brain. Learning & Memory.15(8).gov. nicotine’s continued & WhyQuit. Pages 603-610. “He decides he no longer wishes to have your company. also see Huang YY. et al. et al. Chronic nicotine exposure induces a long-lasting and pathway-specific facilitation of LTP in the amygdala. Search the word “nicotine. he has been plotting your death since the day you met him. Baykan 49 cripple you . et al. In the footnote below I cite titles to a few of the papers published during August 2008. You will just sit home and caress him. dip.© 2009 FFNicotine. he decides to kill you. activities – everything. he constantly exposed you to cancer causing agents. He overworked your heart and lungs. And it certainly isn’t a friend controlled by demons and monsters residing within us. But in truth. He has a wonderful arsenal of weapons behind him. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. the form of delivery does not alter the super-toxin nicotine’s risks. 2008. If you have Internet access. August 2008. August 1. pipe. Instead of letting you go your separate ways. Zhang J. asks Joel? They are “expensive. It is no more a friend than is a stainless steel spoon. et al. August 2008. Expense and increasing social unacceptability are common to all forms of nicotine delivery. et al. and every other part of your body. you will give up all your other friends. go to www. However. Volume 6.102 It isn’t necessary for anyone 102 Vaglenova J. In fact. produced 10. Friend.” writes Joel. Volume 8(4). Nicotine Induces Resistance to Chemotherapy by Modulating Mitochondrial Signaling in Lung Cancer.” Our cigarettes. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. The protective effect of melatonin on nicotine-induced myocardial injury in newborn rats whose mothers received nicotine. “But eventually your friend tires of you. also see. Ultrasensitive detection of nicotine and cotinine in teeth by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. addictive. also see. Marchei E. American Journal of Respiratory Cell & Molecular Biology. Once he gets you to have this.PubMed. Somm E. government’s medical study search engine. Endocrinology. August 12. PubMed is the U. Pages 243-248. our form of nicotine delivery is not our friend or the enemy. While each method of delivery comes with other emphysema. August 7.” The risks posed by the nicotine alone are likely significantly less than those faced by smoking it. chew. also see. He clogged up the arteries to your heart. August 6. and deadly. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. is NOT safe. . career goals.

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

© 2009 FFNicotine. J. When valuing replenishment is it fair to ignore the urges and escalating anxieties that often immediately precede the “aaah”? The two are tied together. “where are my cigarettes” feeling? Do you recall the emotions that accompany the “I have to have a smoke.” February 21.yuku. 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. http://www. Usually they will offer up the first one or two they have when they wake up. “I smoke because I like smoking. 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. “Ignorance is bliss. I must really love smoking They say.” But for those addicted to smoking nicotine it is likely .ffn. If we wait longer prior to replenishing. 2001. But even here the rationalization relies heavily upon selective & WhyQuit. every nicotine-induced dopamine/adrenaline high will have a corresponding anxiety and depression riddled low. “First I ask them to tell me which cigarettes stand out in their mind as being really great cigarettes on any given day.” He then watches as they try to think of other good ones but none seem to come to mind. and the emotions that accompany the “I need a nicotine fix AND NOW!!!” feeling. Remember the.104 104 51 Logical Yet False Reasoning • • • I don’t do things I don’t like to do I smoke lots and lots of cigarettes Thus. Every nicotine addict knows the “where is my nicotine?” feeling. 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. the ones after meals and maybe one or two others that they have on certain breaks.

“Boy. To one degree or another. even the good ones are killing them. we are left falsely convinced that nicotine use defines who we are. “all of them.52 Freedom from Nicotine .something like maybe. http://www.” As Joel notes.. attempting to run and being left with a throbbing heart that seems to want to explode. do we like devoting an hour and a half each day to feeding our addiction? What about often feeling hurried.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... are we saying we like them too?105 Furthermore. a few lousy cigarettes and a whole bunch of what now seem to be insignificant cigarettes. the dirty brown film on the inside of the car windshield. 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. “So here we have a few good cigarettes.The Journey Home “I simply point out that we have a mathematical problem occurring here. rush hour anxieties depleting nicotine reserves quicker. 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.yuku. If we can no longer remember and explain what it felt like to reside inside our mind prior to nicotine taking control. They have come up with five to seven good cigarettes yet they are smoking forty or more cigarettes a day. J. "How much do you like smoking? Do you like smoking more than you like something like. while there may be some good ones.. oh. or standing in line to buy more nicotine.ffn. they have to be accompanied by all of the mediocre and miserable ones. I don't know.” Joel poses a follow-up question. if we cannot recall the calm and quiet mind we once called home. 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. Where are those other cigarettes?” As Joel points . that ending its use is akin to starving ourselves to death. and when it comes down to it. do I miss smoking!” March 9.” Regarding the few identified as “good cigarettes. 2001. being unable to smoke while at work.

http://legacy. Whether smoked. 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. 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. the nicotine addict still is not going to feel good. 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.library. even if the flat tire or other stressful situation is tackled and resolved. which accelerates depletion of blood serum reserves of the alkaloid nicotine. Conflict resolution does not ease withdrawal. According to a once secret 1983 Brown & Williamson research memo. How could we not believe it? We felt it happen hundreds or maybe even thousands of times. replenishment’s relief is temporary. implying a smoker smokes more in times of stress due to withdrawal. that it calms us during crisis. If some event made us angry. not nicotine withdrawal too. as they only need to endure the stressful event.ucsf. While it calms for the moment. But as reviewed in the previous chapter. not to relax. The crutch and nicotine’s 106 Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. Unlike total nicotine elimination. Nicotine’s false calming effect quickly becomes a rationalization crutch reached for during stressful 53 lows? As real drug addicts in every sense. Internal Correspondence. chewed or dipped. 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. Joel makes one final yet important point. nicotine does not relieve anxiety but only its own absence. stress relief is one the biggest rationalization shams of all.© 2009 FFNicotine. nicotine replenishment totally ignores the event. 1983. Like taking the time to calm ourselves by counting to . Without replenishment. Bates Number: 670508492. with blind obedience to a true chemical dependency. “People smoke to maintain nicotine levels” and “stress robs the body of nicotine. March 25. Only re-administration of nicotine or navigating withdrawal and the up to 72 hours needed to eliminate nicotine from the body can bring relief. When does nicotine ever resolve the underlying crisis? If the tire was flat. it was still & WhyQuit.”106 Stressful events turn body fluids more acidic. Feeling the physiological effects of stress causes kidney urine acidification.

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

an addiction minimization rationalization that keeps you behind bars. MNWS. But if any are ever soaked in nicotine. M-NRQ and HONC. being a little bit addicted is like being a little bit pregnant. stand back as we’ll likely want to chew or set them on fire too. The only lasting solution to anxieties brought on by rapidly falling nicotine reserves. We may discover that we need to learn to address the root causes of once suppressed anxiety or anger in positive and healthy ways. existence and depth of nicotine dependency. This rationalization totally ignores the hundreds of flavor additives that the tobacco industry uses to engineer an amazing spectrum of smells and tastes. ." It also recommends appleflavored cigarettes. 2004. our level of tolerance.” why pretend superiority once a full-fledged nicotine addict? See pretending superiority for what it really is. “I’m just a little bit addicted” With nicotine dependency diagnostic standards bearing official looking acronyms such as DSM-IV. 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. having lost the ability to simply say “no. and today shared on Yuku's Freedom from Nicotine forum on the site's Rationalizations message & WhyQuit.. or if not and we really are addicted that we’re just a little bit addicted. anxieties that interfere with healthy conflict resolution. Not Much of a Smoker. is to bring active nicotine dependence to an end..108 The easiest dependency comparison standard is how frequently we use nicotine. Kathleen. or if we do that it’s just some “nasty little habit”. “Apples connote goodness and freshness and we see many possibilities 108 Craig. But as to how deeply we’ve walked into dependency’s forest and measuring just how lost we’ve become. It also ignores the fact that hundreds of other plants.© 2009 FFNicotine. Whether our brain demands a single nicotine fix daily or thirty. It's a well-known fact that teenagers like sweet products. A 1972 memo from Brown & Williamson consultants entitled “Youth Cigarette – New Concepts” recommends the company use a "sweet flavor cigarette. 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. none! We blame continuing use on what we describe as tobacco’s wonderful smells and tastes. As we climb back into our mind’s driver’s seat we need to listen to our feelings and emotions. But let’s stop kidding ourselves. It is normal to want to rationalize that we don’t have a problem. It’s our problem. Honey might be considered. FTND. “I do it for flavor and taste” Taste? Taste? How many taste buds are inside human lungs? Answer: 55 stimulated dopamine “aaah” sensation or hiding from life is an answer or solution. much is being made of the validity of research standards for assessing the onset. Originally posted at MSN’s Freedom from Tobacco’s on February 29.

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

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

Boredom can be a productive emotion. a source of delight. and each averages five minutes. Why would they? Escalating nicotine depletion anxieties demand replenishment. If we engage in nicotine replenishment ten times per day. Pleasure rationalizations sink their teeth into nicotine’s dopamine high while ignoring the anxieties of nicotine’s low. With the single act of replenishment we satisfied both. the onset of early nicotine withdrawal is another matter. Never-users get horribly bored too but most don’t think about nicotine replenishment as a means of relief. “I do it for pleasure” “I smoke for pleasure. Tobacco industry store marketing almost daily crams pleasure suggestions down our throats and into our subconscious minds.” Pleasure? It’s the Newport sales cry and it’s highly effective. Playing upon dopamine's "aaah. Nuisance boredom anxieties suggest that we find something to do. It’s sad to think that the mind views successful nicotine replenishment as a form of accomplishment. We are true drug addicts. Recovery will clearly add additional free time to each day. productive and joyful ways. The pictures associated with pleasure marketing almost always depict smokers laughing. Recovery presents a substantial increase in opportunities to call upon our boredom rationalizations. over and over again. we now have nearly an extra hour each day to either fill with some new activity or to sense boredom’s anxieties. Pleasure is defined as a state of gratification. As such. our subconscious is always listening. While we can endure boredom. We didn’t smoke. Wowsers! Maybe that’s why we make such a powerful association between nicotine use and boredom. we steal them.The Journey Home with anticipating completion and completing each task. looking carefree and having fun. Hopefully we will spend it in healthy." they tout satisfaction as why smokers smoke. chew or dip due to boredom. do we seek nicotine’s high for pleasure or due to chemical obedience. 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 .58 Freedom from Nicotine . While the conscious mind may not be noticing them. satisfaction or joy. Instead of earning the rewards that boredom’s anxieties seek to motivate.

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

truth is. Our addiction fathers our drug feeding habits. not the other way around. like call waiting." I truly do. Volume 298(5).smoke more nicotine or prepare for withdrawal. But. May 2008. It limited uninterrupted driving time. There were only two choices . reminding me of my need to feed.60 Freedom from Nicotine .” we reside in a pretend world where some day we’ll awaken and at last discover how to control. stop cracking our knuckles or when we learn to keep our temper in check. stop using cuss words. Nicotine dependency is extremely dependable. Hooked from the first cigarette. Our blood-serum nicotine level always declines by roughly half if we fail to replenish within two hours. . Even food refueling would take a backseat to nicotine replenishment if the meal lasted much longer than 30 minutes. so as to allow us to use or not use nicotine as often as we please.113 Adoption of the “habit” rationalization is also disabling to those already enslaved. work. we will not experience physical withdrawal symptoms if we start using turn signals. 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. Failing to use turn signals while driving is a "nasty little habit" and so is using too many cuss words. The phrase "nasty little habit" is just more junkie thinking. At three packs-a-day. Instead of learning and living on the right side of the “Law of Addiction. then. learning. Yes. ” or so we dream. living and nearly every aspect of my life. Calling nicotine addiction a habit is like calling a young child a parent. if I was on the phone and had not filled my nicotine tank in the past 15 to 20 minutes. cracking our knuckles or maybe even losing our temper too often. At last we’ll discover how to have our cake and eat it too. But. Comfortably. it was almost always nearing time for another fix. I developed habits but not just for the sake of having habits. romance. Scientific American. It didn't take any two hours for my mind to generate the anxieties needed to compel me to smoke more. I wish it were just a "nasty little habit.The Journey Home establish a habit. modify or manipulate our nicotine use. 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." a means to sugarcoat relapse and failure. 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. exercise (if you can call it that). It’s much easier to tell yourself that all you have is some "nasty little habit. my name is John and I’m a recovered nicotine addict. I live just one puff away from three packs a day. Such soft fuzzy words are used to self minimize the hard cold reality of being chemically married to and dependent upon nicotine. research suggests that “experimenting” with smoking nicotine just once may be sufficient to begin fostering a loss of the autonomy to stop using it. a second message from my brain’s insula arrived. 113 DiFranza JR. Pages 82-87. Yes. mold." The warmth of the phrase is akin to that found in the word "slip.

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

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

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

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

Why? We need not guess as to what happens inside a human brain that’s subjected to nicotine during recovery. “Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance. what they do not know is “how. 2002. 119 Brody AL et al. Volume 63(8). November 14.© 2009 FFNicotine. and (3) that once arrested.United States. 118 U. regardless of how long we have remained nicotine & WhyQuit.S.” Key to breaking free and staying free is an understanding of the "Law of Addiction. The evidence seen on brain PET scans is undeniable. failure to self-discover or to be taught this law is a horrible reason to die. It states. Pages 1221-1226. Pages 642-645." The Law Defined According to the World Health Organization. The “Law of Addiction” is not man-made law. Sadly. Weekly MMWR." Mastering it requires acceptance of three fundamental principles: (1) that dependency upon using nicotine is true chemical addiction. “In the 20th century. 2007. it could kill one billion.United States. (2) that once established we cannot cure or kill an addiction but only arrest it. 2000. The MPOWER Package. 2008. Volume 57(45). Fresh and Alive. The Law is rather simple. that just one hit of nicotine will create a high degree of probability of a full relapse.”116 Year after 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." Whether users know it by name or simply understand the basic premise. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults . 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. Centers for Disease Control. 2008. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic. the tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide.S. Volume 51(29). July 26.119 116 World Health Organization. During the 21st century. 117 U. Archives of General Psychiatry. It is as fundamental as the law of gravity and refusal to abide by it may result in serious injury or death. at least 70% of surveyed smokers say they want to stop. . cocaine or heroin addiction. Pages 907-915. Weekly MMWR.117 and 40% make an attempt of at least one day.118 There is no lack of desire or effort. captivating the same brain dopamine reward pathways as alcoholism. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults . Centers for Disease Control. August 2006. Forward by WHO Director General. Cigarette smoking saturates brain alpha 4 beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

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

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

the greater likelihood there is of learning the wrong lesson. a lesson that for far too many smokers proves deadly. Eventually he will become hooked again. He may quit for a week. “The Lucky Ones Get Hooked. total adherence to a personal commitment to not violate the law of addiction provides a 100% guarantee of success. while nearly half who smoke nicotine will experience full relapse within one day. the law is clear. at a party or under stress or just out of boredom he will try one again. Those who quickly experience full relapse increase the likelihood of . dip or chew are fortunate in that the experience offers potential to self-teach them the most critical recovery lesson of all. the critical lesson of the power of using nicotine just once. maybe not. "I know I can have one if I really want to. “He thinks he can take one any time he wants and not get hooked.The Journey Home it were. Joel makes the important point that those who experience full relapse within days of taking a puff. Unlike “quitting” products.” 123 Spitzer. 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. Joel’s Library. One day he too may try to quit and actually succeed. As Joel Spitzer has now burned into my brain. But always in the back of his mind he feels. not one puff. dip or chew! Missed Lessons In 1984 Joel wrote an article with the heartless sounding title. J. 1984.” writes nicotine today. In it. One day. month. right away. After all. “The ex-smoker who takes a drag and doesn't get hooked gets a false sense of confidence. Usually. Maybe this time he will get hooked. 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. or even years.68 Freedom from Nicotine . he will become hooked. The Lucky Ones Get Hooked. “The Law of Addiction. I did it last time and didn't get hooked right away.” But as the Brandon study teaches. http://whyquit. Although obedience may not always be easy. there’s just one controlling principle determining the outcome for all. concise and simple . within a short period of time sneaking a drag here and there.”123 It’s anything but callous. Our greatest weapon has always been our infinitely superior intelligence. But the more time and distance there is between that first use and full dependency resumption.

126 Polito. ending nicotine use abruptly. It has no idea -. 2007. Cold turkey had cornered the recovery market. Thus. Yes. Polito JR. 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. policy. March 12. Does updated tobacco treatment "Guideline" reflect sham science? WhyQuit. the chances of self-discovering the Law of Addiction were significant.” 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. Nicotine Fix . 2007. the pharmaceutical industry teaches that nicotine is “medicine” and that nicotine's use is “therapy. 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. But self-discovery of the Law of Addiction has become increasingly difficult with each passing year and arrival of each new magic “quitting” cure. and again. It has no bank account. JR. prior to arrival of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and nicotine gum.S. hundreds of millions of ex-users have been able to discover the power of one puff. Industry assaults falsely paint stopping nicotine use abruptly or cold turkey as nearly impossible and with very few succeeding. Wall Street Journal .com 69 Living a series of perpetual relapses.Behind Antismoking Policy. WhyQuit. K. Over the years.124 Industry influence was soon writing national cessation policy. 2008. 2008. The industry’s attacks. Flawed research equates placebo to cold turkey. Think back to U. Influence of Drug Industry. having to quit again. it’s no way to live life.S.” writes Joel.worse yet it doesn’t seem to care -. also see. quit smoking policy integrity drowns in pharmaceutical influence. economic muscle or political clout. May 13.125 many former smokers continue to be 124 Polito. was effectively outlawed and blacklisted by official U. “Taking the first drag is a no-win situation. The likelihood of any particular attempt being a cold turkey attempt was substantial. dip or chew of nicotine totally on their own. Instead of teaching the Law of Addiction and the power of nicotine to foster relapse. marketing intentionally designed to shatter confidence in our natural instincts and abilities.126 Amazingly.© 2009 FFNicotine. When NRT arrived the pharmaceutical industry saw no alternative but to attack. to meaning an end to smoking nicotine while replacing it with pharmaceutical nicotine. each time enduring a two-week withdrawal & WhyQuit. May 5. 125 Helliker. and 8. WhyQuit. Cold turkey is free. JR. Page A1. Absent was the negative influence of pharmaceutical company marketing.S. representations and its makeover of cessation literature have gone largely unchallenged. the method responsible for generating almost 90% of all long-term successful . cessation policy was rewritten so as to make use of pharmaceutical industry cessation products mandatory unless the user’s medical condition prohibited it. the traveling hypnotist came to town every now and then. by June 2000 its muscle had grown so powerful that U.

” there is zero wiggle-room for those of us who fully take it to heart. Assume that their brains had almost fully re-sensitized. It is impossible to fail so long as no nicotine enters our bloodstream.. 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. each who lapsed during the Brandon study had already succeeded in fully navigating physical withdrawal.The Journey Home dependent upon pharmaceutical forms of nicotine delivery at study’s end or have turned to oral tobacco. But still. Assume that at two weeks into recovery. disability or death. We knocked them dead.“No nicotine today!” While there are scores of stop smoking books and and quick-fix magic cures promising near painless and sure-fire success. We confronted and extinguished all but our remote. there is but one principle that affords a 100% guarantee of success to all adhering to it . Years of hard to suppress dopamine “aaah” replenishment memories keep teasing us. 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. “The Law of Addiction. we have days where our mind becomes occupied with thoughts of lighting a fire between our lips. How does the recovering. brain and body of all nicotine. or of chewing “nicotiana tabacum” (the tobacco plant’s biological name) or of a quick dip in nicotine’s pond.” 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. “No nicotine today.70 Freedom from Nicotine . We stuck with it for the full 72 hours it took to empty our blood. Just one rule . Reflect on the fact that the addict’s sense of “nicotine normal” no . 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. The study also documented the primary emotion felt immediately following smoking nicotine. infrequent or seasonal subconscious crave triggers.. 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. and tasted that very first day of total and complete comfort where we never once thought about wanting to use nicotine.” 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.

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

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

com Chapter 5 73 Packing and Planning for the Journey Home When to Start Home . February 2006. this kind of action plan is rarely seen in real-world quitters. but to pick some future date such as our birthday. If he were committed to it he would just do it – not plan & WhyQuit. Volume 11(7). They failed because we failed to understand and master the core principles underlying our dependency upon nicotine. and (3) those who became sick with a cold. Pages 827-832. Joel has long shared an article he calls "Setting Quit Dates. July 2009. or today. When it comes down to it.S." In an email to me Joel wrote. I think the difference between planned and unplanned is that a person who is planning to quit isn't really committed to quit. New Years or our nation’s national stop smoking day and then to plan around it.© 2009 FFNicotine. 128 Ferguson SG." He asserts that. Volume 332(7539). "Catastrophic" pathways to smoking cessation: findings from national survey. the flu or some 127 West R. setting quit dates and following stringent protocols until the magic day arrives. who threw their cigarettes over their shoulder and never looked back. no packing at all! The study’s authors were shocked to learn that unplanned attempts were 2.128 According to Joel Spitzer. Most people think that when others quit smoking that they must have put a lot of time into preparations and planning. and this is not news to them. the real experts are millions of long-term successful ex-users. That’s right.6 times more successful in lasting at least six months than attempts planned in advance. British Medical Journal. et al.127 A 2009 study confirmed increased odds of 2." he says.” 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.Now or Later? None of our prior recovery attempts failed because we selected the wrong date. (2) those given an ultimatum by their doctor "quit smoking or drop dead". "Rarely do those with the longest initials for credentials do real research on how people stop smoking. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. "conventional wisdom in smoking cessation circles says that people should make plans and preparations for some unspecified future time to quit. “My gut feelings here. et al. Experts advise smokers that the "key" to successful recovery is to not stop using now. 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. sample of smokers and ex-smokers.6. . Pages 458-460. Unplanned quit attempts--results from a U.

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

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

to a tranquility long forgotten. It’s about protecting the juice of desire. But it takes keeping those motivations vibrant and on center-stage. One way to do so is to sit down and write ourselves a caring (or even loving) letter that we can carry with us. motivate and fuel our journey home. we risk allowing our core recovery motivations. It’s about combining well-protected and remembered core motivations with an understanding of the Law of Addiction. 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. to flee. doesn’t it.The Journey Home minds and lives. invigorated and available at a moment's notice. Our core motivations aid in fostering the patience needed to transition an up to 3 minute subconsciously triggered crave episode. it won’t seem silly or childish then to reach for one final resource -“you” -. to an inner quiet and calm where addiction chatter goes silent. be sure to bring along the thousands of negative nicotine use memories that motivated you to begin reading this book. 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. so that they can both consciously and unconsciously stimulate. By forgetting to pack bad and ugly dependency memories. it sounds a bit silly. desire has the amazing ability to fuel change. and about keeping the memory and details about living the daily nightmare of nicotine dependency remind you why victory here and now is oh so important. the energy and desire to engage in honest reflection about the validity of thoughts of using that linger in our mind. 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. When packing. We somehow kept them robust. When our most challenging moment of recovery is upon us and an anxiety riddled mind is seriously considering throwing it all away. Without our core . pull out during challenge and use as a front-line defense. to try and leave recovery behind. Our instincts may tell us to run. I know. This temporary period of re-adjustment called recovery is about dreams and desire. 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. But let me tell you something. It allows this journey to transport us home. Those of us successful in navigating recovery found creative ways to protect and safeguard our dreams and desires. Doing so will provide all the wind your dream’s wings will need. and the dreams they fuel to be gradually eroded by challenge and die. They also provide resistance to conscious fixation.76 Freedom from Nicotine .

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

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

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. But fear suffers from a lack of sustainability. our core motivation is allowed to grow instead of serve as a source of increasing temptation. 2 months and 11 days I’ve saved $25. The cost of satisfying the brain’s demand for nicotine continues to rise as governments use tobacco tax increases as motivation to induce cessation. But if the cost of today’s supply of nicotine is our primary recovery motivation. In reality. not daily cost The final motivation we may want to consider shifting and recasting is cost. tin. 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. 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? .632 once mandatory nicotine feedings. pinch. Do it for total savings.” at $2.) by skipping 201. those tissues not yet destroyed will mend and repair. I rationalized that purchasing an entire carton would force me to continue smoking. It may have been what motivated you to start reading this book. As such. initially fear is an extremely positive force. during the past 9 years. I was one of those smokers who always thought that tomorrow would be quitting day. If given the opportunity to heal. cigar. what is the actual price of relapse? How much does it cost to bum or be offered a cigarette. my savings have been significantly & WhyQuit. wad or piece? What’s the cost of a single pack. South Carolina continues to have the lowest cigarette taxes and cheapest nicotine in America). We can only look at so many photographs of diseased lungs or mouth cancers before growing numb to them. 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.203. I just glanced and according to my computer’s desktop “quitting meter.00 (U. We can only remain afraid for so long.50 per pack (an addict’s paradise.S. as this hard core addict could not fathom seeing such waste. As to noticeable tobacco related health concerns.© 2009 FFNicotine. Nicotine’s lifetime loyal slave. Put your body’s ability to heal to work for you. Fewer smokers mean that the tobacco industry must charge remaining smokers more money in order to satisfy profit-concerned shareholders.

Aside from physiological foundations. nicotine users suffer from the fact that stimulation of dopamine pathways by external chemicals appears to somehow foster impulsiveness. practicing and developing patience can aid us in navigating any moments of challenge during the time needed to complete our journey home. Chapter 12 shares tips associated with navigating periods of conscious thought fixation. patience is the "quality of being patient in suffering. Retrieved July 27. It may be associated with our thinking rational mind learning to say “no” to our primitive impulsive mind. 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. including being told I have early emphysema.The Journey Home When calculating savings don’t forget the price of fuel if travel was necessary to re-supply. It may be an internal debate within our rational mind and developing the patience to allow honesty and reason to prevail. We smokers became conditioned to expect to sense satisfaction of nicotine urges and craves within 8-10 seconds of inhaling a puff of smoke. Practice & Pack Patience Derived from the old French word “pati. encountering an un-extinguished subconscious crave trigger. July 2006.60(1)."134 Ironically. in order to stimulate dopamine pathways that are sensing some degree of nicotine deprivation.d. psychologically conditions us to develop varying degrees of impatience when it comes to satisfying our website. As we embark upon this temporary journey of re-adjustment. Dream about the big picture and total savings.135 the opposite of patience. the madness ended after arresting my dependency. we must develop the patience to navigate challenge. I can’t begin to guess at my medical savings but clearly they’ve been significant. Amazingly.80 Freedom from Nicotine . 2008.). not just what you’d spend for tomorrow’s or next week’s supply. While at three packs a day I lived with chronic bronchitis and respiratory illness. Chapter 11 is loaded with coping techniques for handling subconscious crave episodes. What about the value of time? And don’t forget tobacco use related doctor visits. et al. confident and skilled at saying “no” to nicotine use impulses and rationalizations? 134 Patience. (n. the speed with which each of us are able to introduce a new supply of nicotine. Critical involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission in impulsive decision making. Online Etymology Dictionary. or fixating on conscious thoughts about using. Biological Psychiatry. But how do we do that? Patience is the ability to navigate anxieties when confronted with challenge. Prior to my final recovery I had pneumonia two Januarys in a row and six root canals in two years. Volume 1. from Dictionary. .Whether confronting a physical withdrawal symptom.” which means to suffer or endure. Pages 66-73. Challenge patience . struggling with a recovery emotion. 135 van Gaalen MM. Is it any wonder then that it may take a few victories before growing comfortable.

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. USDA. "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.Recovery is a journey not an event. Journey patience . Why intentionally foster anxieties about the length of recovery or the risks associated with failure? “One day at a time. instead of repeatedly looking down at the ground far below.© 2009 FFNicotine. It is wise when climbing the cliffs of a steep mountain to focus on gaining a solid hold upon the rock beneath our hands. LDPM13502. It took years to walk this deeply into dependency’s forest. It is wise to focus on where we’ll next place our foot. Outlook Report No. or in some even longer. Find contentment in today’s freedom and healing. Some will cling to varying aspects of it for months. Picture yourself sitting down at the dinner table and having to eat 67 pounds of beef.136 Why create needless anxieties by picturing 136 Davis CG et al. How many times have we said. Have patience! The next few minutes are all that are within our immediate control. Imagine the anxieties associated with thinking we need to eat a large portion of a 81 We are climbing back into our mind’s driver’s seat and taking over the wheel. some will let go and put their relationship with nicotine behind them far sooner than & WhyQuit. The decisions made during those minutes are ours to command.S. doesn’t it? Yet the average American consumes 67 pounds of beef annually. Factors Affecting U. I like to think of it in terms of the time needed to heal a broken bone. After only a few weeks we see them pose such concerns as.” “Baby steps.” 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. . “One day at a time” is a patience development skill that once mastered causes “big bite” anxieties to evaporate. It sort of destroys the image of a nice juicy steak. Every recovery is different. It’s been a while since we were in full control. In regard to the psychological aspects of recovery. “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. instead of looking far up the mountain toward the dangerous climb ahead. but with greater variation from person to person as to the time need for the fracture to fully mend. Online at Freedom’s support message boards we often see those in early recovery grow impatient. Beef Consumption.

fear." Pack a Positive Attitude Can we make ourselves miserable on purpose? No doubt about it. 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. just one hour or challenge at a time. 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. often the .000 pounds of beef that the average American consumes during their life? I start each seminar with the same two questions. just "one day at a time. Although I often dreamed about freedom. our greatest hurdle of all can be moving beyond the influence of memories of the “aaah” side of our world of “nicotine normal. I then ask. we bounce between slowly escalating anxieties and stimulated "aaah" sensations. ever smoke another cigarette for the rest of your life. For we nicotine addicts it's about daily survival inside our chemically induced world of "nicotine normal. I’d reach for that next fix instead. "I need an honest show of hands. How many of you deeply and honestly believe that you'll never.” Nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life creates an endless struggle to remain in that energized “aaah” zone of comfort. safe and diminishing anxieties fostered by constantly falling levels of the addictive drug within our bloodstream and brain. It is a daily battle of trying to avoid the inevitable letdown associated with constantly declining reserves. "How many of you deeply and honestly believe that you can go one hour without smoking nicotine?" Every hand goes up. Throughout our lives we've experienced worry. Addiction isn't about intoxication but about feeling normal." It’s a world where.82 Freedom from Nicotine .The Journey Home ourselves sitting down and needing to eat the 5. I ask everyone to look around and to never forget what he or she is seeing. only to find out later that our worries. When it comes to recovery. My single greatest source of self-inflicted anxiety was from failing to confront my addiction. 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." Usually not one hand goes up. like some ping-pong ball. anger and irritability.

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

Many of us genuinely believe that our time is running out and that disaster is about to strike. 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. Now picture all of your subconscious nicotine feeding cues being wired directly into the lamp's on-off switch. break our bones.84 Freedom from Nicotine . Reflect on how a positive can-do attitude can reduce self-inflicted stress. make us bleed. But that doesn't mean we should fear their arrival or that we cannot relax and do the backstroke until they are encountered. The more knowledgeable and skilled we become the greater our chances of completing this swim called recovery. Reflect upon how repeatedly telling ourselves that recovery "is too hard. worry. 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. this gut instinct is correct and bad news truly is just around the corner. Yes. For far too many. that no crave episode will ever harm us. 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. anxiety and panic. Put each under honesty’s microscope. Instead. But sadly. we may find recovery to be the most amazing period of self-discovery we’ve ever experienced. greet and extinguish nicotine use conditioning? What if we know that each . cut us.” “endless” or “near impossible” can eat away at our dreams and desires to live nicotine free. If I had been a skilled swimmer would I have panicked? Of course I wouldn’t. If we know that we are going to encounter a nicotine use cue that will trigger an anxiety packed crave episode. and that soon the sometimes deep waters of recovery will no longer produce panic. Picture yourself intentionally sticking your finger into the bulb socket and leaving it there. almost half of all smokers are failing to learn to navigate recovery’s waters before their addiction costs them their lives. 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. what if we know for certain that when a shock comes that it will always be tolerable. there may be a few big waves along the way. but we don't know when it will next occur. For if we learn to do so. It’s my hope that you will learn to swim.The Journey Home Remember when we were first learning to swim and found ourselves in water over our head? Did you panic? I did. Evaluate negative thoughts that attempt to penetrate and infect your positive recovery outlook.

your day’s worth of freedom will have been no longer. and diminish anxieties. destroy fears. understanding.” Allow yourself to grow stronger. that nicotine will no longer define who you are. marvel in the glory of taking back your mind and life! Know How to Measure Victory Today vs.© 2009 FFNicotine. can rob us of victory. with more free time to spend it.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. We both achieved full and complete victory today. that you will control your remaining time on earth. logic and dreams. 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. Although I’ve remained 100% nicotine-free for nearly a decade. . deep. and tranquil inner calmness that resided inside our mind prior to nicotine taking control. if a new ex-user. your day likely brought you significantly greater recovery challenge than mine. planning and attitude make the time and distance between challenges more relaxed? Alternatively. not thought. forever . 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. Replace it with the assurance that many subconscious nicotine use cues are extinguished after a single encounter. Why allow a negative attitude to breed thoughts that can culminate in relapse? Instead. Look forward with confidence while knowing that nothing of value is being left behind. not weaker. shorter or less real than mine. Fight back with reason. 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. if we both remain 100% free tomorrow. Only 85 nicotine use cue extinguished will reward us with the return of another aspect of our life? Can honesty. When our heads hit our pillows. we were equals in results. Picture your brain and tissues healing. this adventure as a beginning. Embrace recovery as a wonderful journey back to the rich. certainty. not “the end. Replace it with total confidence that we can navigate any three-minute crave episode. Let honesty silence addiction chatter. Replace it with the beauty of again seeing what life is like with us in the driver’s seat. not some addictive chemical. Still. See the cup as full not empty. extra money in your pockets. & WhyQuit. We will have been equals in remaining just one hit of nicotine away from relapse.

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

and what the first two weeks of recovery were like. Our 138 Davis PJ. Joel cautions us not to abandon it. now and then ex-users have horrible days too. calmer. 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. A growing sense of complacency could also leave us toying with temptation in social situations. including the gift of memory. a healthier life. anger. Science July 13. in earning each daily victory. January 1987.138 It makes sense that the mind should remember and replay the good times while forgetting the bad. Create Relapse Insurance While “one day at a time” is an excellent victory yardstick. We tend to repress and inhibit negative emotional memories and emotional experiences in general. crave episodes. jotting down a few calendar notes or diary entries about the challenges overcome. and the recurring wish to break free. It is wise to write down and make a record of both our reasons for wanting to break nicotine’s grip upon us. fuller and. 2007. anxiety and hurt of all our yesterdays would be a heavy burden to bear.” Once residing here on “Easy Street. However. . A vivid picture of all the pain. Repression and the inaccessibility of affective memories. bargaining and sadness? Going back a bit further. may prove extremely beneficial to you later. It may feel like our “one day at a time” recovery philosophy has done its job and outlived its & WhyQuit. We can carry our reasons list with us and read it during challenges. why should we want to recall the daily emotions associated with being an actively feeding drug addict.” occasional thoughts of wanting to use nicotine may become so brief and mild that they seem almost laughable. reflect upon the one guiding principle that made breaking free possible. Volume 52(1). when confronted by serious temptation to introduce nicotine into the bloodstream. a principle that if followed guarantees continuing freedom … no nicotine today. in all of its fullblown glory. which might reflect a blend of frustrations. including possibilities of significant stress at home or work. Volume 317(5835). Pages 155-162. Why should we want to vividly recall the first few days of recovery. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. the worries about our health. et al." It’s hard to imagine a situation where it rings truer than when applied to drug relapse. Prefrontal regions orchestrate suppression of emotional memories via a two-phase process. Regardless of our emotions or the situation. the feelings of bondage. that there is life afterwards and that “it is a cleaner. Pages 215-219. We’ve all heard that "those who forget the past are destined to repeat 87 ex-user were wrong. He warns that like never-users.© 2009 FFNicotine. we can take steps to enhance our chances of staying free. also see Depue BE. et al. most importantly. anxieties.

though. Others will look back upon their years of nicotine use as having been “vile. A word of caution. http://www. Ink on paper or words typed into a computer do not. expensive. Ex-users . Again. no big deal. Most ex-users we know already reside here on Easy Street. about ex-users. that is a promise. progress lulls or complacency. . Imagine being able to then and there look back and read our own progress notes of what each day was like. Ask ex-users how long it has been since their last significant challenge. J. 2002. the rose bud is still opening. where we no longer sense improvement. some have continued to believe in a few of their old nicotine use rationalizations. that it left very little impression. We may feel stuck in conscious thought fixation. Ask them how long the challenge lasted and what it felt like. if the rose bud has stopped opening. 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.88 Freedom from Nicotine . stupid. make a few progress notes. a pad or an e-mail that we send to ourselves. 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. Like having a medical chart during a hospital stay. disgusting. Their memories of the challenges of early recovery have likely been suppressed. They can provide support and perspective during challenge. How intense was it? Then ask them about the time before that. Although at times nearly impossible to see. try to get them to be accurate in dating and describing it.The Journey Home record of the first two weeks of recovery may be as simple as a few notes on a calendar. March 3.ffn. wondering if it’s going to remain this way for good. Permanently preserve and pack core your recovery motivations and a bit of what life in bondage was like. a non-event or easy. While most will have forgotten the bad. As your journey continues. The mind suppresses negatives and forgets. Imagination is the only limit in identifying sources of motivation and support. 139 Spitzer.Ex-users can serve as an experienced source of support. “I don't know if I have another quit in me”. they may look back at breaking free as having been common sense.yuku. Try to get them to put a date on it. Doing so has likely kept associated “aaah” sensation memories teasingly 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. Give yourself a little relapse insurance. A few follow-up questions and I think you’ll discover that the event was really a non-event. Between months one and three it isn’t unusual to hit a period where recovery seems to have reached a plateau.139 As such. crazy” or insane.

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

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

inflame and contribute to relapse. door signs. or on the door as we exit? . 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. our gateway to friendship. stir.© 2009 FFNicotine. to be true. tied to lamp posts. because mounting nicotine depletion anxieties begin to hurt when we don’ & WhyQuit. entice and invite youth experimentation. When are our conscious and subconscious minds first assaulted by use invitations? Are there roadside signs. It is not only flexed here but making significant campaign contributions inside our legislature. Why would society and its laws allow the nicotine addiction industry to suggest all these reasons for using. it’s a multi-purpose facade through which educated eyes can easily 91 trained eye. it shouts that we stand at that counter for every reason except the truth. pleasure. Extremely effective. Its aim is to penetrate. The growth portion of its aim is to tease. The winner’s products are usually the ones on top and most visible. It not only proclaims why they shouldn’t. Flavor. it all but wraps itself around them while trying to purchase fuel. The pacifying part is to provide justification to dependency-ignorant users as to why they’ve returned to purchase more. Look closely. 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. which is because we must. Think like a tobacco company. signs on top of gas pumps. Look closely. food or medicine. 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. rebellion or unbelievable prices. signs surrounding us as we make our purchase. exterior building wall signs. And then there are those seeking freedom. window signs. for adventure. cool.

How did you react to anti-smoking news stories or to stories about new tobacco health concerns? Did you instantly change the channel.142 Look at the hundreds of brightly colored packs. that it is what “real” grown-ups do. 143 Polito. Many parents are increasingly confronted with the choice of buying food for their children or nicotine for their addiction. in parks. cartons. WhyQuit.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. In case you haven’t noticed. Cigarette Additives. visitation and child abuse determinations. Convenience Stores . turn the page. outdoor sporting events. there is a movement sweeping the globe as workers and nonsmokers reclaim their indoor air. the fancy packaging and the almost 700 documented tobacco flavor additives. Social controls .143 Instead see a vast array of different doses of nicotine. boxes. 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. J. We’re now watching employers not only discriminate in refusing to hire tobacco users but some actually firing employees testing positive for nicotine. tins. We’re seeing stories of smoking being banned on all hospital property. cans. and even in company or government owned vehicles. . March 18. WhyQuit. pouches and tubes. 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. use it as another motivation for staying free. Carcinogens and Chemicals. playgrounds. on beaches. in hotel rooms. engineered to penetrate human tissues at varying rates of They also face tobacco tax increases by governments that place coercion and force above 142 Polito. 2005. a rite of passage. Turn store marketing on its head. You’re looking at bait and it works. bags. Fuel and living costs are now rising faster than income. 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. after affording them a period of time to break-free. February 7.92 Freedom from Nicotine . 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.Nicotine Addiction Central. Strip away the rainbow of colors. J. Instead of being used by it.

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

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

including celebration of birthdays. We discovered very early that a forum’s ability to support and sustain recovery in a purely pep-rally type environment is poor. 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). Every message posted at Freedom must relate to recovery. The policy encourages members to take recovery seriously. anniversaries or & WhyQuit. The right column provides support links and transports visitors to “Freedom. It states that should any member relapse that they will permanently lose message board posting privileges. and although it may sound harsh. Those applying for membership must certify that they stopped cold turkey without use of any product or procedure. prevents chaos.© 2009 FFNicotine. Maintaining positive control over the number of admissions ensures a classroom type learning experience. The forum’s posting rules prohibit mention of any .5 years early. 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. Freedom isn’t a forum to join if seeking to socialize or make new friends. The forum limits the number of new members admitted to the group each day to just a handful. Here. it eventually begins to wane. applicants must agree to abide by Freedom’s relapse policy. each an average of 22. Freedom functions as a virtual classroom with enormous windows where there are more students outside than in. It 95 WhyQuit’s motivation column includes stories of the ordeals endured by young tobacco victims and their families. The center education column is home to all of Joel’s materials and to some of my articles. While the initial excitement of interacting with other ex-users is often tremendous. that they've remained 100% nicotine free for a minimum of 72 hours. education always comes first. WhyQuit intentionally shares stories about the youngest of the young. With no education to fall back upon. Its objective is simple: aid visitors in remaining nicotine-free today. Roughly one-quarter of smokers are claimed by their addiction during middle age. There must be at least one place on planet earth where nicotine has no voice. the forum takes its mission seriously.” the Internet’s most serious and focused peer support group. more than 100 short articles on nearly every recovery topic imaginable. Clearly. the forum’s value and effectiveness in supporting successful recovery diminishes. As it does. group relapse rates were horrible. General socialization is not permitted. With millions of tobacco related deaths annually. Visitors to Freedom discover that they do not need to join in order to read any of the materials available there. 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. Clearly. and makes sure that the forum’s seasoned volunteer educators are not overwhelmed. One final point deserves mention. Here you’ll find every lesson shared in Joel’s book.

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

we grew accustomed to playing mind games with our addiction. Our weapon is our intelligence. destroy it. Feeling a need to tempt and toy with impulsiveness in order to prove conscious strength reflects abandonment of intelligence. It is a straight jacket. The smart move is to destroy all remaining nicotine. Don’t forget to empty the ashtray in the garage. or in a vehicle. Keeping nicotine in your life is contrary to learning to live life without it. 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 97 Destroy All Remaining Nicotine As nicotine addicts.© 2009 FFNicotine. However this practice often contributes to relapse. all right. Reaching for that one hit of nicotine will cause us to trade places with our arrested . 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 & WhyQuit. but not one that saves. to check for cigarettes that may have fallen under furniture. in your other purse. Some carry their nicotine delivery devices with them while others knowingly keep a stash within quick and easy reach. hidden in the yard. Imagine someone on suicide watch carrying a loaded gun. 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. beneath sofa or chair cushions or under the car seat. Whether located in a pocket of your clothing hanging in your closet. and throw out all old nicotine replacement products in the bedroom or bathroom. 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. do it by admitting you can function without having cigarettes as a worthless and dangerous crutch. One puff today will lead to the same tragic results as it would have the day you quit. throw-out or flush all remaining nicotine. that. “I'm going to have to carry cigarettes with me at all times for me to quit smoking. dip. chew or NRT lying around. That was not an irrational fear. “Don't ever forget how cigarettes once controlled your behaviors and beliefs. Yes. If you want to show you are now in control. if given the chance. If you want to play mind games.” writes Joel. “When you quit smoking you admitted cigarettes controlled you. A bit of delay may be all that’s needed to sense anxieties begin to diminish and destroy another nicotine use association. Cue triggered crave episodes peak within a couple of minutes. Mind games involving conscious temptation are within our ability to control. we’re coming home! 144 Spitzer. or if you live with someone who insists upon leaving their cigarettes. again landing us behind bars. and.98 Freedom from Nicotine . Joel’s Library. will be stronger than you again. www.” 1988.”144 You’ll do just fine even if your employment requires you to be near or handle nicotine products.The Journey Home dependency. one more piece of the puzzle is ours. at last. cigars. . You were literally afraid that one puff could put you back. Cigarettes were stronger than you before. It simply means that you will learn to adapt to those situations more quickly than those who do not face them. It’s an excellent means of proclaiming that the time for games is over. J. play at being smart! Crush.

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

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

153 Gulliver SB. Pages 208-212. Recovering alcoholics schooled by quality treatment programs are already skilled in their use. spacing drinks a bit further apart or simply drinking less. Volume 82(2). Co-Dependency Concerns . 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 April 28. J. et al. WhyQuit. 151 DiFranza JR. 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. 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. October 2005. Because we don’t need to drink as much to feel the same effects it’s less expensive being an ex-user. 154 Hughes JR.151 Has alcohol become central to your life? Are you chemically dependent upon it? If not an alcoholic. "If a person says that they know that their drinking will cause them to take a cigarette and relapse back to smoking.”154 Unfortunately. work. and if then they take a drink and relapse. The solution can be as simple as learning to drink a bit more & WhyQuit. 152 Spitzer. “Many if not most alcohol recovery programs will inadvertently or very purposely push a new ex-smoker entering the program to smoke. .com 101 The cycle can be repeated again and again.© 2009 FFNicotine. Do smokers with alcohol problems have more difficulty quitting? Drug and Alcohol Dependence. March 1990. Pages 91-102. 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. Volume 51(2).153 The basic insights and skills needed to arrest any chemical dependency are amazingly similar. Research shows that while those with alcohol problems appear to make fewer smoking cessation attempts. relationships or health. Can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol? Joel’s Library. 2006 Volume 29(3). 2006. with an increasingly sedated body gradually becoming less responsive to nicotine-induced stimulation.” says Joel. Look on the sunny side."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. for they have now put their health on the line in order to drink. they are in effect problem drinkers. you may be dealing with problem drinking or even alcoholism. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. they are “as able to quit on a given attempt as smokers with no problems.Amazingly. Alcoholism and smoking. As Joel sees it. Pages 130-135. roughly eighty percent of alcoholics smoke nicotine. Smoking cessation and alcohol abstinence: what do the data tell us? Alcohol Research & Health. et al.

http://www. 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 April 24. You will have to eat for the rest of your life. NIDDK.” says Joel.”156 For many. “You will not often see an AA sponsor say that you can't give up drinking and heroin at once. so if you have been off heroin for six months and now want to quit drinking. weight gain associated with nicotine cessation is of critical concern. and finally get into” Joel uses heroin to show the insanity of such advice. 156 Spitzer. 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. 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. It isn’t unusual to see up to 5 pounds of water retention weight gain during the first week.The Journey Home “I really do try to get them into alcohol treatment concurrently but cannot force them to do it. October 2005.ffn. recovery’s battle line is extremely easy to see.” “Note the sequence here. J. to try and replace missing nicotine generated dopamine “aaah” sensations with “aaah”s from extra food. stay off for months and sometimes longer. and who actually encourages the person to smoke again. only to be assigned a smoking sponsor who tells the person that he or she can't get off smoking and drinking at once. Weight Gain Before going further. and no longer feeling nicotine’s stimulant effects in making our body’s organs work harder (primarily our heart). As a nicotine addict. There is no gray area here. a number of them. you should probably take heroin for a while until you get alcohol out of your system. In fact. such as a “one day at a time” recovery philosophy have deep roots in alcohol recovery programs.yuku. 157 Weight Control Information Network. Eating is more complicated. National Institute of Health. 2003.102 Freedom from Nicotine . As Joel teaches. August 2006. “you can’t administer any nicotine. WhyQuit. Some substances are broken down to create food energy while other 155 Spitzer. J.”155 Many of the lessons in this book can be applied to arresting alcohol dependency. Can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol? Joel’s Library.157 pounds that can be shed as quickly as they arrived. . Metabolism is all the chemical processes that occur within a living cell that are necessary to keep it alive. 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. Patience in weight control issues. On more than one occasion I have seen the person successfully quit smoking.

the average weight gain was only 5 pounds (2. et al.2 lbs in men and 3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. is weight gain inevitable? Are we simply returning to our “natural” body weight? Theories as to potential causes are many163 including genetics.). International Journal of Obesity. also see. 158 metabolism. 2008. International Journal of Obesity. February 2008. Physical inactivity and obesity: a vicious circle. “they weighed nearly the same” at one-year follow-up.d. from Dictionary. Smoking and its effects on body weight and the systems of caloric regulation.S. Volume 35(2). 1991. Volume 32(2). Surgeon General in his 1990 report on “The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. February 2008. Obesity (Silver Spring). Surgeon General. waist circumference and weight gain: a 30-year longitudinal twin study. One long-term study followed weight change and body mass index (BMI) for 36 months. Volume 14(3). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. It is expressed as “the calories released per kilogram of body weight [1 kilogram equals 1.162 If & WhyQuit.3 lbs in women) also found that while smokers weighed less than never-smokers prior to quitting. European Journal of Cancer 103 substances necessary for life are synthesized or created. (n. also see. No considerable long-term weight gain after smoking cessation: evidence from a prospective study.” The Surgeon General also found that less than 4% gained more than 20 pounds. et al. Pages 160 John U. Fourth Edition. Pages 409-414. a report of the Surgeon General. “Basal Metabolic Rate” or BMR is the rate at which the body expends energy while at complete rest. February 1982. New England Journal of Medicine.2 pounds] or per square meter of body surface per hour. et al. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Associations between long-term physical activity. et al. Volume 324(11). and the end result is nearly the same body weight as a comparable never-smoker. 1990. 162 Williamson DF.3 kg). Thus.” “The average weight gain among subjects who continued to smoke was 1 pound. June 2005. The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. Retrieved August 06. 164 Pietiläinen KH.”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. March 14.000 people and although “four-fifths of smokers gained weight during recovery. waist circumference and weight gain: a 30-year longitudinal twin study.000 grams or 159 basal metabolic rate. February 2008.158 These processes themselves consume energy. et al. Associations between long-term physical activity.”160 Most shorter studies report weight change results similar to those shared by the U. et al. Volume 16(2).d. Pages 366-380. from Dictionary. Pages 739-745. It found that the “contribution of smoking cessation to the BMI increase was practically negligible with “no considerable long-term weight gain.). Fourth Edition. 163 Wack JT.8 kg or 6. Pages 289-295. Volume 32(2). Smoking cessation and severity of weight gain in a national cohort.”161 The report examined 15 studies involving 20. extra food or less exercise.8 kg or 8. . Pages 353-361. 2008.164 hand to mouth oral gratification replacement. improved senses of smell and taste (most notably sweets and salts). 161 U. smoking cessation produced a four pound greater weight gain than that associated with continued smoking.S. (n.© 2009 FFNicotine. Waller K. Waller K. Retrieved August 06. A 1991 study which found slightly greater weight increases than reported by the Surgeon General (2.

The obvious question becomes.166 It also suggests that education may help correct exaggerated weight control beliefs. some find themselves camping out inside the refrigerator or in a bag of potato chips while “aaah”ing themselves sick with food. especially when our metabolism slows as we age. something we can pretend is totally beyond our ability to control (not increased eating or lack of activity). . Volume 32(3). during the first few days of recovery. the cessation weight gain math usually doesn’t add up. as most of us used nicotine to steal unearned dopamine every waking hour of every single day. How to gain lots of extra weight .500 extra calories to add one pound of body weight and it takes burning 3. making recovery more inviting.The Journey Home diminished exercise (isolation). up to 4% clearly went overboard with food during recovery. Also not reflected by averages is the fact that body weight remained unchanged for many.Once recovery heralds an end to nicotine’s arrival and to the dopamine “aaah” sensations it produced. Instead of allowing the brain time to restore natural pleasure pathway 165 Hall KD. about half of smokers believe that smoking nicotine aids in controlling weight. and binge eating. March 2008. It isn’t easy pinpointing the cause for consuming or burning an extra calorie. some try. 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. A study of 6. Pages 573-576. et al.104 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 2200-2210. As seen above. October 2007. while actually declining for some. with zero change in diet or activity.165 Using these figures. 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. it would take 34 days without nicotine before metabolic changes resulted in one pound of weight gain. Over-eating cannot replace the stimulation effects of missing nicotine without leaving us as big as a house. What is the required energy deficit per unit weight loss? International Journal of Obesity.569 middle-aged men who stopped smoking found that at one year they had consumed an average of 103 fewer calories per day. stimulation from normal eating may no longer feel sufficient. Smoke and mirrors: magnified beliefs that cigarette smoking suppresses weight. Turning to and adopting food as a dopamine replacement crutch is a sure fire means of adding weight gain. Also keep in mind that study weight findings reflect averages. Still. Volume 32(10).500 calories to shed one pound. 166 White MA. According to the Surgeon General. do “weight-concerned smokers endorse exaggerated beliefs in the ability of smoking to suppress body weight?” Research suggests they do. Addictive Behaviors. changes in diet. As a general rule it takes 3. which the study attributed to metabolic change. it’s about stealing the brain’s pleasure chemicals. While normal healthy eating stimulates dopamine.

Volume 84(4). Binge eating can feel like attempting to satisfy hunger with a shovel. Effects of disordered eating and obesity on weight. Eating Behaviors. It pumps stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream via the body’s fight or flight pathways. Volume 57(6). 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. again engaged in the gradual self-destruction of their body’s ability to receive and transport oxygen. Pages 353-63. 169 Colles SL.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. April 2008. the extra pounds usually remain following relapse. Obesity. Pages 329-342. March 2008. Volume 2(1). the relapsed addict is heavier. Neuron. and likely more depressed.170 Although it may feel like the only way to satisfy a hunger craving is to eat as much food as quickly as possible. November 2004. repeatedly doing so could result in binge eating becoming hunger’s conditioned response. et al. less healthy. So. Instead of extra pounds being counterbalanced by greater self-esteem and self-worth at having broken free. March 27. Binge eating . It allowed us to eat one or two larger meals each day and then use nicotine to release stored reserves. Pages 608-614. Spring 2001. et al. . 2008.© 2009 FFNicotine. 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. That 20+ pound bag of rocks they are carrying makes daily exercise more difficult. being unable to stop eating or control what or how much is consumed. et al. and food intake during ad libitum smoking and abstinence.171 167 Picciotto MR. Which factors do provoke binge-eating? An exploratory study in female students. Eating Behaviors. Food reward in the absence of taste receptor signaling. that is. & WhyQuit. thus less likely. 168 de Araujo IE. But there’s also one massive distinction. 170 Vanderlinden J. It is not "either/or": activation and desensitization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors both contribute to behaviors related to nicotine addiction and mood. instead of the former smoker’s bloodstream being filled with oxygen reserves sufficient to allow prolonged vigorous physical activity. 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. Pages 79-83. Volume 16(3). Progress in Neurobiology. Loss of control is central to psychological disturbance associated with binge eating disorder. Volume 5(4). craving.Binge eating reflects a loss of control. Pages 930-941. As nicotine addicts we use nicotine as a spoon.169 The primary psychological binge-eating cue is waiting too long before eating and sensing the onset of hunger.168 Clearly there is significant overlap in how food and nicotine affect brain reward and craving pathways. 171 Saules KK. the brain doesn’t die without 105 receptor counts and sensitivities. et al.

Demoralizing weight gain is fertile ground for destroying freedom’s dreams. into small pieces. Neurobiology of nicotine addiction: implications for smoking cessation treatment. How many calories are burned while lying in bed watching television or setting at a computer and clicking a mouse? Yes. They have to eat food and then wait for digestion to turn off the body’s hunger switch. Fear’s unburned calories . . This will speed digestion and help satisfy hunger sooner. Pages S3-10. The only activity we need end during recovery is the use of nicotine.Imagine being so consumed by fear of failure that you withdraw from life. for without adequate nutrition we die. while the number of calories consumed remains the same or increases. Non-fat “aaah”s . Reach for zero calorie “aaah”s like those described above if you want to sense dopamine pathway stimulation without weight gain. April 2008.106 Freedom from Nicotine . Do you feel the accomplishment “aaah”? Dopamine “aaah” sensations are the mind’s way of motivating behavior (anticipatory “aaah”s) and rewarding it. 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. It is critical that we quickly re-learn how to properly fuel our body. Body weight is likely to climb if the amount of daily energy expended substantially declines. 172 Benowitz NL.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.172 If true. into a prison. We should fully expect to confront hunger if we insist on skipping meals. Volume 121(4 Suppl 1). some nicotine addicts take the term “quitting” literally and withdraw from life entirely. The American Journal of Medicine. Non-users who get hungry can’t do that. It is our survival instinct’s teacher and we each have a hefty collection of durable “aaah” memories. When eating we need to chew our food well. Don’t allow fear to transform recovery. We are only talking about the “excess” food. Picking mealtime . Knowledge is power. our gateway to freedom. Doing so allows a mouth enzyme (salivary amylase) to begin the breakdown of carbohydrates. whether we eat with a toothpick or a shovel we will need to wait for digestion to satisfy our hunger. Remember. The most important factor in controlling recovery weight gain is understanding the potential causes. Do you feel the “aaah” while exhaling? Drink a glass of cool and refreshing water when thirsty.Take a slow deep breath. Once we become non-users. it is clearly one within our ability to minimize. Controllable withdrawal symptom – Some researchers assert that increased eating can be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. big hug. Are you feeling it now? Take your normal walk. even if just around the yard but this time go a little further or quicker than normal. Do you feel the “aaah” that arrives when satisfying thirst? Give your favorite person a big.Understanding our food focus cycles can make excess temptation manageable.

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

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

Years of Potential Life Lost. Volume 51. while the average males loses 13. One partner needs to go first and blaze a trail home that the other can eventually follow. JR. It’s physical and psychological dependence upon a chemical that shatters lives. The death toll is staggering. In fact. Cigarette smoking: an epidemiological overview. at Page 301. April 8. Pages 300-303. We see it all the time. Statistically. and waited and waited for dear friends to stop with me. Does the Over-the-counter Nicotine Patch Really Double Your Chances of Quitting? WhyQuit. 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. British Medical Bulletin. April 12. and Economic Costs . Each year millions surrender life itself rather than stop smoking it. 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. serious recovery programs partner new ex-users with stable long-term ex-users. 2002.177 Waiting on our partner to be our “recovery buddy” can prove deadly. as they had never been addicted to any chemical in their life. I also recall that within an hour of learning that he’d relapsed. I waited. 177 Centers for Disease Control. But the story had a healthy ending. Pages 3-11.176 Here in the U. Annual Smoking-Attributable 109 addicts creates a greater likelihood that should one relapse. I got my It was the only time during our friendship that we’d ever yelled at each other. Instead.United States. January 1996. Smoking is blamed for 20% of all deaths in developed nations. It isn’t love reaching for a deadly chemical. 1995–1999. 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. . Successful recovery isn’t about coming together to commiserate or share addiction war stories. I recall two things about that experience. I wanted rock solid support from two daughters who couldn’t possibly understand my challenges. He attended a 2002 recovery seminar I presented at 175 Polito. Volume 52(1). as long as neither allows nicotine back into their body it is impossible for either to relapse. 2002. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. My best friend and I became “recovery buddies” in 1984. But this isn’t Romeo and Juliet being played out on some grand scale.2 years. Some might make the same comparison to their relationship with nicotine.5 years of life expectancy. I relapsed too. It’s about taking an honest and informed look at where we were and the choices we made. Finally.175 That does not mean that two new ex-users navigating recovery together can’t both & WhyQuit.7 who attempt recovery will succeed in remaining nicotinefree for six months. There were a number of times during my thirty-year struggle where I wanted others to pick me up and carry me home.. 176 Wald NJ and Hackshaw AK.S. the average female claimed by smoking loses 14. roughly 1 in 8. Number 14. the other will follow suit.© 2009 FFNicotine.

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

consider an exercise program that was started on our first day of recovery. Consider printing your favorite & WhyQuit. pipes.The Internet too can become a crutch. The day you have to stop . and your ability and willingness to exercise as a benefit rather than a requirement. not as a primary source of recovery motivation. Worse yet. to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is . smoking will be of little concern. While online support groups such as WhyQuit’s Freedom from Nicotine forum181 can be extremely supportive. anytime. However. oral tobacco or replacement nicotine products. What would happen if our exercise facility suddenly closed. Internet support . diary or log. In your mind.ffn. Exercise programs . “make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. But until that day. while surely beneficial it is not a 181 Freedom from Nicotine .Never Take Another Puff!” We need to build our recovery so as to enable it to stand entirely on its own. as can other oral hand-tomouth substitutes for cigarettes. one that carries no risks and can be done anywhere. cigars. If keeping an online recovery journal. 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. the Internet or even loss of electrical service. Dip or Chew. For instance. In fact.yuku.© 2009 FFNicotine. any new emotion producing activity or significant lifestyle change can be leaned upon as a crutch. 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. be sure to print or save a copy. If you now realize that you have developed a crutch.As discussed earlier. 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. picture continuing on and succeeding even if it is http://www. View your program in terms of the benefits that it provides.ffn.yuku. Never Take Another 111 bit more inclusive. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.http://www.Some crutches appear rather harmless.” writes Joel. About the only crutch that comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. “If you are going to develop a crutch. 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. take care not to lean too heavily upon them. Remove as much risk as possible from all sources of support. see your recovery remaining strong with or without it. food can become an “aaah” crutch. e-cigarettes. Create dependability and longevity by preserving what you deem valuable. Food .

“After 3 years during which prevalence in current cigarette smoking among adults remained virtually unchanged 182 Polito. Government's Quitting Policy Killing Smokers? WhyQuit. free. or to use a product which poses risk of death when our objective is longer life? Cold turkey is fast.S. Quitting Aids Open lies and hidden truths Over the years I’ve written much on this topic. that out here in the real world. First. An endless stream of new health studies on the negative effects of smoking. October 26. once outside of placebo controlled clinical trials. any quitting product manufacturer whose marketing suggests that few smokers succeed in quitting on their own has already lied to us. 2006.182 Two additional years would pass before the pharmacology era could pretend that it was somehow responsible for a modest decline.S. 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.S.The Journey Home suddenly removed. Those in bondage are increasingly feeling the effects of the smoke-free indoor air movement that’s now sweeping the globe. 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. Is the U. or that we have to be a super-hero to do so. Billions in marketing have been spent during the past two decades on getting us to fear our natural recovery instincts. 2008 the CDC unveiled the latest U. on October 27. You’ll be fine. Second. the U.We nicotine addicts have been lied to by so many for so long that it's growing harder and harder to believe anyone. Lastly. 2006. . adult cigarette smoking data. There are three key points that need making.S. Many have felt the economic pinch as government attempts to tax cigarettes to death. Department of Health was forced to report that the U. smoking rate decline had stalled at 21% during 2005. It is likely taking a toll in lives. Never in history have a greater array of approved quitting products promised to double cessation. On November 14. The CDC’s report stated. Yet. effective and smart . cold turkey prevails and is king. never has the pressure upon smokers to stop been greater. The next few minutes are all we can control and each is entirely do-able.112 Freedom from Nicotine .

bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix or Champix) clinical studies.187 Yes. the cigarette industry successfully enslaves more than 2. and that those going cold turkey were twice as likely to succeed as those using the nicotine patch. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults . No.9% in 2004. Pretend that together we concoct a new magic quitting product called Billy Bob's Lima Bean 113 (© 2009 FFNicotine. youth smokers daily.9% in 2005. JR. 185 American Cancer Society. Table behavioral therapy. November 28. acupuncture. 187 Polito. MMWR Vol57. Even in the face of a sea of magic cures that include an array of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) devices. 20. It's almost a waste of breath to even try. coping skills development. and group or individual counseling all have their own proven effectiveness.000 new U. the prevalence in 2007 (19.8% in 2006).186 We nicotine addicts make extremely easy prey. “Will Chantix really help me quit smoking?” WhyQuit. magic herbs. and 20. 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 every gimmick and ploy & WhyQuit.S. risky designer drugs such as varenicline. Cold Turkey Twice as Effective as NRT or Zyban.185 A 2006 Australian study followed smoking patients of family practice physicians. 2006. It’s the reason for this book. No one will be able to convince them otherwise. Cancer Facts & Figures 2003. 183 CDC. 186 Polito. It’s why so many of us are eventually claimed by our addiction.United States. 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. hypnosis. to share the insights needed to turn darkness to light. 184 Polito. 2007.S. Adding them to our Butter is a means to ensure more newsworthy results and is a practice which occurred in almost all early NRT. nicotine gum. 80-90% of all successful long-term ex-users are succeeding without resort to products or procedures. 2008. 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. these statistics are the odds of successful recovery that an uneducated “on-your-own” quitter. Does the Over-the-counter Nicotine Patch Really Double Your Chances of Quitting? WhyQuit. While normal to dream of painless cures. WhyQuit. 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.184 quit smoking shots invented by a quack who is now doing hard time for fraud.”183 Significantly lower? Here in the U. April 8. August 25. It found that 88% of all successful ex-smokers did so by going cold turkey. JR. 45. JR. nicotine inhaler or Zyban (bupropion). 2002. . Page 25. May 19. cessation education programs. 2006. quality self-help materials.8%) was significantly lower than in 2006.

Volume 100 Suppl 2. National Cancer Institute Survey of 8. 191 SmokeFree London. Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England. et al. et al. Volume 38(5). quick and easy to generate.S. Volume 288. 2003. If I hand you a piece of nicotine gum or a nicotine lozenge. with up to twenty-five. Does insurance coverage for drug therapy affect smoking cessation? Health Affairs (Millwood). 193 Ferguson J.191 Western Maryland. Nicotine replacement therapy use among a cohort of smokers. in-home.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. 196 UK NHS. 194 Smoking status of Australian general practice patients and their attempts to quit. May 2004. Pages 1260-1264. California. 192 Alberg AJ. Addiction. Yet marketing awards all credit to varenicline. Addictive Behaviors. 2002. Pages 101-113. Facts and Issues. The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. Journal of the American Medical Association. et al. [see Figure 14]. Pages 162-168. Volume 31(5). April to December 2007 [see Table 6]. Pages 758-766. While quitting pharmacology products clobber placebo users inside clinical trials rich in support and counseling.188 Minnesota. Pages 662-667.190 London. personal recovery tool by falsely representing that users would experience the exact same odds of recovery as those attending live AA meetings. M. September 11.114 Freedom from Nicotine . 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. Role of pharmacological aids and social supports in smoking cessation associated with Quebec's 2000 Quit and Win campaign.192 Nottingham. April 16. What should be dismissed as unscientific is any clinical trial whose validity is grounded in use of placebos.189 Quebec.200 quitters. Pages 59-69 [see Table 6]. et al.195 and England. Journal of Addictive Diseases. 189 Boyle RG. real-world performance has been dismal. et al. Impact of Over-the-Counter Sales on Effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Aids for Smoking Cessation. May 2006 May." 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. as reported in the Wall Street Journal. 2008. it isn’t cold turkey .The Journey Home Imagine regular AA meetings where alcoholics come together to educate and support mutual successful ongoing recovery. Preventive Medicine. But NRT stakeholders quickly dismiss such surveys as "unscientific. 190 Gomez-Zamudio. Imagine the group’s support dynamics achieving some rather impressive recovery rates in the 20 to 40% range at six months. 2007. Placebo isn’t a quitting method. Page A1. February 8. Such stop smoking method surveys are relatively inexpensive.194 the United States. . Nov-Dec 2002 Volume 21(6). 2005. 195 2006 Unpublished U. April 2005. Volume 24(1). Tobacco In London.193 Australia.Let me ask you this. and those successful have absolutely no reason to lie about how they had finally achieved success. Now imagine someone trying to package and sell the program over-the-counter to alcoholics for $200 as a stand-alone. how long will it take you to tell me whether 188 Pierce JP. November 26.

WhyQuit. “pharmacologic treatment of chemical dependency may be the only known research area in which blinding is impossible. attempts that have taught them to recognize the onset of full-blown withdrawal? Frustrated by recognizing assignment to the placebo group. . JR. Polito JR. 198 Polito JR. Contrary to industry marketing hype. Pages 350-353 (3. 2007. 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. also see original online e-letter selected for publication. 2008. et al. Canadian Medical Association Journal. As I wrote in a letter to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Volume 179. Pages 673-684. Assigned versus perceived placebo effects in nicotine replacement therapy for smoking reduction in Swiss & WhyQuit. where 4 times as many placebo patch users correctly determined placebo assignment as were wrong. et al. Pages 1037-1038.”199 It teaches that anyone asserting that NRT studies were blind is not being honest. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.”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. as far too many study participants correctly guessed their assignment.© 2009 FFNicotine. April 2005. 199 Mooney M. 2009. 71% of NRT studies attempting to assess the integrity of their study’s blinding failed their own assessment. Canadian Medical Association Journal. A June 2004 study was entitled “The blind spot in the nicotine replacement therapy literature: Assessment of the double-blind in clinical trials.200 Unlike those going cold turkey. half signing up for the study will be randomly assigned to receive nicotine-free placebo gum instead. E-Letter. bupropion or varenicline.” It’s why using placebo controls in drug addiction studies have acted as a license to steal. In fact. Precessation treatment with nicotine patch significantly increases abstinence rates relative to conventional treatment. Flawed research equates placebo to cold turkey. Polito JR. their 197 Dar R. What if a significant percentage of other placebo group members have a history of prior recovery attempts. 2008. July 17.197 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 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. E-Letter. 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. Addictive Behaviors. not enduring. Volume 29(4). 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. March 12. June 2004. There is only one catch. November Smoking cessation trials. The blind spot in the nicotine replacement therapy literature: Assessment of the double-blind in clinical trials. those seeking free “medicine” joined in hopes of diminishing. November 9. 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. also see Rose JE. Volume 73(2). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.3 times as many correctly determined assignment). June 30. Why cessation blinding concerns differ from other clinical trials. Meta-analysis rooted in expectations not science. 200 Polito. published in November 2008.

Most calling themselves researchers are little more than glorified salesmen. search: placebo + smoking 202 World Medical Association. We have now seen more than 200 placebo-controlled smoking cessation pharmacology studies.116 Freedom from Nicotine .The Journey Home withdrawal syndrome. Today the National Institute of Health’s clinical trials registry identifies more than 200 new smoking studies that are using placebo controls. true science turned its collective head as stakeholders redefined "quitting" as quitting smoking while continuing to use nicotine. 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. Regretfully. pitting cessation products against each other means that one product must win while another loses. Helsinki.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. visited December 2008. They remained silent as the pharmaceutical industry re-labeled a natural poison "medicine" and termed its use "therapy. 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. www.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. This way." 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. Seoul. I submit that if honest competition had occurred that there would be no need for these words and 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. Adopted by the 18th WMA General Assembly. . risks. October 2008. and last amended by the 59th WMA General Assembly. when all agree that placebo affords study participants the worst possible odds of success. Declaration of Helsinki. Are the lives of clinical trail participants being intentionally sacrificed by an ethic-less smoking cessation research industry? It certainly looks that way. Also. no company’s economic interests are hurt. June 1964. Finland. Smoking cessation clinical trial research is increasingly void of scientific integrity. Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects.I believe that clinical cessation pharmacology studies reflect the worst junk-science ever perpetrated upon humans. What “Big Pharm” doesn’t want us to know .ClinicalTrials. 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. They have become dependent upon pharmaceutical industry financial interests.

Researchers found that only 7% of OTC study participants were still not smoking at six-months. That’s right. Why would we hide this data? 203 Hughes. 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. Pages 21-27. Tobacco Control. 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.. The pharmaceutical industry. combined and averaged all seven OTC NRT patch and gum studies. Page 533-539. or government agencies and health organizations which continue to hide critical cessation pharmacology study findings that would allow nicotine addicts to make informed. 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. We walked into the store. A March 2003 study. It's actually worse. et al. 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%.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. Volume 12. A meta-analysis of the efficacy of over-the-counter nicotine replacement. 204 Shiffman S. Tobacco Control. British Medical Journal. Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample. et al. also see Gourlay S. 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. Double blind trial of repeated treatment with transdermal nicotine for relapsed smokers. commercial or health website advocating NRT 117 stimulation? But who has greater fault. September 2003. education or support. Pages 363–366. and used it without any formal & WhyQuit.. 1995 Volume 311. March 2003. 205 Tonnesen P. a product with a 93% failure rate. Volume 12(3). G. Addiction. JR. the odds of success for the repeat NRT user dramatically decline with subsequent use. April 1993. conducted by paid NRT industry consultants.203 OTC studies are important because their design is as close as possible to the way these products are used in the real world. et al. those who have knowingly engaged in nicotine shell games. Volume 88(4). purchased the product. et al. I challenge you to locate any government or health organization sharing an answer to this question. Recycling with nicotine patches in smoking cessation. S. Shiffman.205 Unlike cold turkey.© 2009 FFNicotine. . Pages 310-316.

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

5. Pages 717-724. Volume 63(8). The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. constipation & WhyQuit. 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. It found that among 376 Chantix users and 370 patch users that the likelihood of a Chantix users experiencing vomiting was 5. Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England. April 16. and 51% who stopped smoking without use of any quitting product. et al. August 2008. April 2005.208 While at first blush it might appear that varenicline has the lead. It 207 Aubin HJ. disturbances in attention x4. Participants were asked at both six months and one year whether or not they had smoked any cigarettes in the past seven days. The only long-term English evidence is from an April 2005 study that examined one-year success rates.1%) or one year (varenicline 34. Does it make any sense to assume significantly increased risks. 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 31. abdominal pain was 119 A 2008 study was the first to pit the nicotine patch against varenicline.3 times as many Chantix users complaining of fatigue. 209 The study did not include varenicline as it wasn’t yet on the market. 209 Ferguson J.5 times greater than among nicotine patch users. dizziness x2.4%).6% vs. 208 UK NHS. April to December 2007 [see Table 6]. without significantly offsetting benefits? England’s Stop Smoking Services may offer the highest caliber government sponsored cessation services of any nation.8% vs. gum or lozenge. The authors report that there "were no significant differences" between Chantix and nicotine patch users at either 6 months (varenicline 38. Volume . diarrhea x2.© 2009 FFNicotine. Varenicline versus transdermal nicotine patch for smoking cessation: results from a randomised open-label trial. et al. flatulence x4. with suicidal ideation causing one to be hospitalized 11 days after ending Chantix use. Addiction.207 The study notes that two varenicline users experienced severe depression. with 2. Services include free individual or group counseling and support.3 times greater. including risk of death. that decreased sense of taste was 5. nausea x4. 2008. headaches x2. patch 34. Thorax.

2% of NRT users and 14.210 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. He finds it curious because that’s when pharmacology products started experiencing widespread use. four patches were approved for prescription use. 210 Spitzer.120 Freedom from Nicotine . 1984. no nicotine just one day at a time. 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. but that the drop-off stalled in the 1990s.Who to Believe? Joel’s Library. Don’t expect any researcher to ever provide a copy of this book or Joel’s as part of any fair. 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. The researcher bold enough to conduct the study would never receive pharmaceutical industry funding of any study ever again. J. J.5% of those who attempted recovery without using any pharmacology product at all were still smoke-free at one year. 211 Spitzer. Doing so would produce a cold turkey victory that would seriously damage a massive golden goose. Joel’s basic pharmacology lessons . nicotine patch delivers the nicotine equivalent of smoking seven cigarettes a day.211 He encourages us to believe our own survey findings. “Nicotine gum was first approved for use in America in 1984. In fact. 40 Years of Progress? Joel’s Library. by prescription only. 2003. Joel’s Library. 100 Suppl 2.The Journey Home found that while 25. all drug addicts who successfully recover must give-up their drug. As early as 1984 he was warning about nicotine gum’s ability to foster relapse or become a crutch. In 1991 and 1992. Quitting Methods . 2004. J. It is then and there that the rule for staying free becomes the same for all . open-label study pitting varenicline against those wanting to quit cold turkey.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 Spitzer.” writes Joel. that only 15.212 “Lets hope not too many miracle products for smoking cessation get introduced in the future as it may result in skyrocketing smoking rates. Pharmacological Crutches. In the end. all who successfully arrest their dependency eventually go cold turkey. Pages 59-69 [see Table 6]..4% of bupropion (Zyban) users were still not smoking. Joel reminds us that smoking declined from 42% to 23% over the past 40 years. .

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

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

http://www. nonsmokers showed a small rise in nicotine excretion. 1979. Page 24. Harke measured nicotine and its main metabolite. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in New Zealand bars: results prior to implementation of the bar smoking ban. 2001. Page U1931.© 2009 FFNicotine. Volume 119. et al. Misclassification rates for current smokers misclassified as nonsmokers. The benefit of researchers looking at cotinine levels in saliva. et al. the risks of second-hand smoke exposure are nothing compared to actually smoking yourself. As far as causing a relapse to needing nicotine. studied urinary excretion of nicotine by persons on a submarine.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. Withdrawal again? Quotting from Second Hand Smoke. Chapter 11. 215 Fowles J. American Journal of Public Health. Volume 88(10).” The primary metabolite that nicotine breaks down into is called cotinine. A sufficient quantity of nicotine would be absorbed through the lungs. Despite very low levels measured in the air (15 to 32ug/ma). 217 Spitzer. 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 .” writes Joel. The half-life of cotinine is 17 hours. instead of nicotine. A 2006 study used spectrometry to analyze cotinine levels of non-smokers spending 3 hours in smoke filled bars. A nanogram is one billionth of a gram and a milliliter is one thousandth of a liter. Cano.”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. however. 2006. Smoking and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. to cause a fullblown & WhyQuit. their total average increase was still only 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. October 1998. J." “Contrary to popular opinion or misconceptions.214 Ng/ml stands for nanograms per milliliter. April 21. making it a more stable indicator that nicotine was present. Although they experienced an 8-fold increase in cotinine levels. The average of three studies reporting cotinine levels in saliva was 260 ng/ml in women and 337 ng/ml in men. Pages 1503-1509. 216 US Surgeon General. 214 Wells AJ. November 21. it can't do that.ffn.66 ng/ml or a little more than half of a nanogram. 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. or through the oral mucosa if not inhaled. cotinine. et al.yuku. is that nicotine has a relatively short elimination half-life of about 2 hours. He concluded that at this low level of absorption nicotine is unlikely to be a hazard to the nonsmoker. blood and urine. the amount excreted was still less than 1 percent of the amount excreted by smokers. The New Zealand Medical Journal.

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

” writes Joel. tension.” As you gradually navigate recovery. psychological. The luteal phase commences at ovulation. 220 Centers for Disease Control. An estimated 80% experience premenstrual symptoms. if the bad day happens during the first week after ending nicotine use then blame recovery as “it is probably the reason.” Staying free means that. Before you know it. Pages 300-303. you can still be free. Imagine all the bad days they’ll force loved ones to endure if they are among the 50% of U. fatigue and cramping. which may include: irritability.” “But as time marches on. 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. depression.© 2009 FFNicotine. April 12. “in the greater scheme of things. you’ll be going entire days without once thinking about wanting to use nicotine.” 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. and Economic Costs . at Page 301. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality. adult male smokers claimed an average of 13 years early or 14 years early for women. “but they pass and at the end of the day. Volume 51. Years of Potential Life Lost.220 Regardless of how we feel. “They are having bad weeks. unless they again break free. it was a good day. Acknowledge bad days but allow this gift of freedom and healing we’ve given ourselves to live on. anxiety. restlessness. “Sure there are some tough times. As Joel teaches. 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.” Joel cautions. 1995–1999. ”you need to be a little more discriminating. Menstrual Cycle Considerations A complex interaction of hormones cause many women of childbearing years to experience physical. having ended nicotine use will play a diminishing role in bad & WhyQuit. they will likely face a day when their doctor tells them they now have a serious smoking related disease. normally lasts two weeks and ends the day before her next period. Number 14. It announces the first day of a woman’s cycle. months and years.” writes Joel. every hour these minds and bodies are allowed to heal is good. The severity of symptoms can range from mild to disabling. the follicular and luteal phases. and emotional symptoms related to their menstrual cycle. . The follicular or pre-ovulation phase is when significant hormonal changes occur.S. headaches.United States. Acknowledge the bad while savoring the good. If a smoker. includes the period of menstrual bleeding and normally lasts in the neighborhood of two weeks.

126 Freedom from Nicotine . success is achievable even if commencing recovery during the follicular phase. Subconscious recovery can also be aggressively pursued.223 “Go back one month and see how many of the 221 Allen SS et al.ffn. especially in adolescence and young adulthood.1 times as likely as never-smokers to develop PMS over the next 2-4 years. While quicker elimination is desirable while engaged in recovery. “Smoking. may increase risk of moderate to severe PMS. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. As these 14% demonstrate. Also. unaffected by either early withdrawal or cue related crave triggers. the authors found that "current smokers were 2. Pages 809-821. Volume 103(5). In fact." The study concludes. After 30 days. with only minimal menstrual symptoms. May 2008. Cigarette Smoking and the Development of Premenstrual Syndrome. Hormone related stress and tension might actually accelerate nicotine elimination by turning urine more . is addiction to smoking nicotine a cause of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? A ten year study published in 2008 followed 1.during the luteal phase. The smoking woman’s unconscious mind has likely been conditioned to reach for a cigarette during specific menstrual cycle hormonal or symptom related events. 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. Joel encourages doubters to stroll through the hundreds of thousands of indexed and archived member posts at Freedom from Nicotine. August 13.yuku.968 reporting no diagnosis of PMS. commencing recovery during a period of significant anxiety increases the odds that excess anxiety will never again serve as our relapse excuse. 34% of women who started during the luteal phase were still not smoking versus only 14% of women who started during the follicular phase. the free message board support group where he serves as education director. adding the onset of early withdrawal to premenstrual symptoms clearly makes navigating each month’s menstrual cycle more intense.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. et al.” When is it best to face challenge? Early on or delay it? As Joel often states. 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 -. the fewer remaining to trigger crave episodes during the follicular phase. 223 Freedom from Nicotine . Menstrual phase effects on smoking relapse. American Journal of Epidemiology. thus causing the kidneys to draw the alkaloid nicotine from the bloodstream faster (see Chapter 8). during significant premenstrual symptoms.222 After adjustment for oral contraceptives and other factors. 222 Bertone-Johnson ER. next month’s cycle may very well stand on its own. The more nicotine use cues encountered and extinguished during the luteal phase. Addiction.221 A total of 202 women were assigned to either commence recovery during the luteal phase or the follicular phase. the question now being asked is.http://www.057 women who developed PMS and 1.the first 72 hours -.

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

.” “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. The reasons given to try and justify having relapsed after giving birth vary greatly: • • “I am an attractive.” “I am addicted to nicotine gum.128 Freedom from Nicotine . Pediatrics International. . it’s unlikely that drug relapse improved either situation. I figured I could handle just one” “I bought a pack the next day. I was totally nicotine free for about 18 months when my sister-in-law gave me a cigarette. The minute I was home from the hospital I started again.The Journey Home • • • • • • would still be a smoker 20 years later.” “I am concerned about my neighbor’s smoking.” Roughly half of women who claim to have stopped smoking during pregnancy admit to relapse after giving birth. and after pregnancy among women and their spouses. For someone who is trying to be so protective of her unborn child she isn't. Then.228 Adding it all up. Actually I don't know how much she smokes. I'm stopping smoking today even though I'm about to wean my daughter. 228 Kaneko A.” Driven by significant and very real risks. 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. during. Although not mentioned. et al.. the same for the second pregnancy. I quit the cigarettes and started with the gum again. I was back to smoking a half a pack to a pack a day. Then I got pregnant with my daughter and stopped chewing the gum. Smoking trends pun intended. I quit for nine months while I was pregnant and could not wait the entire pregnancy for just one cigarette.” “My daughter is 5 months pregnant and still smokes occasionally. I quit smoking and started chewing the gum. Now I'm stuck on the gum again. My mistake is I started back up . She is an intelligent person but putting her baby at risk. these women were able to temporarily suspend nicotine use. She is pregnant again but still smokes. and a pack to a pack and a half each day. it means that only about 1 in 5 women who smoked at conception will experience the joys of smoke-free motherhood. Pages 367-375. Volume 50(3). My mother died right after my daughter was born. The only time I stopped smoking is whilst I was pregnant and breastfeeding. 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. June 2008. so I started smoking again.” “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.. 39 year old professional yuppie turned new mom who has been hiding it and in the closet for many years. Three months later. postpartum depression and a mother’s death were used as reasons for relapse. I finally quit the gum in January of 2003. She was smoking while pregnant with her 1st son who is 4 years-old now and deaf.” “I’m 38 years old with three children and have smoked since I was 17. stopping when pregnant only to re-light within hours of giving birth..

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

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

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

Pages 931-945. including replacement nicotine. With my second child I quit smoking during pregnancy.” • “I smoked very little during my first pregnancy. delivers more nicotine to the fetus than smoking does. It was not thick and healthy. When I began breastfeeding after the birth it became another concern for me. was a sickly. the replacement of tobacco with NRT is likely to produce less improvement than might otherwise be thought.” • “So. June 1998. 233 Slotkin. may actually worsen some of the critical outcomes. . and my four year old has Attention Hyperactivity Disorder." Studies have found that the brains of fetal mice wound up with 2.5 times higher nicotine concentrations than found in the mother's blood when on a slow continuous nicotine feed.” • “My son was born at a comparatively low birth rate. Slotkin. especially by transdermal patch.”233 Ponder the collective regret of the millions of mothers whose intense focus on protecting the baby actually resulted in harming them. as would be the case with the nicotine patch. 2006. “NRT. My child has allergies and catches bronchitis very easily. second hand smoke and smokeless tobacco! 231 Slotkin TA.” And what will the child say? • “I hate.231 According to Professor Slotkin. I had taken lightly my responsibility to him and I will always regret it. Polito. He is deeply concerned that nicotine. with extreme emphasis on the hyperactivity part. but in my mind it bothers me.The Journey Home Duke Medical University Professor Theodore Slotkin is probably the world’s leading nicotine toxicology researcher. hate cigarette smoking. that is not to say that the other components are not injurious. • “I learned first hand the results of smoking during pregnancy. Volume 285(3). “nicotine by itself is able to reproduce the net outcome from tobacco smoke exposure. and as shown above. My husband began smoking again and so did I. hate. TA. 232 Slotkin. I know in my heart that I probably caused these problems but I keep finding other excuses. Pages 1-19. pus-like shade of yellow. Fetal nicotine or cocaine exposure: which one is worse? The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. and notably.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. TA. may cause as much or more harm to the developing fetus than crack cocaine. e-mail from Professor Slotkin to John R. Volume 30(1). dare we recommend nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant women and adolescents? Neurotoxicology and Teratology. January 8. Jan-Feb 2008. If nicotine is a developmental neurotoxicant in animal studies.132 Freedom from Nicotine . but tapered and became thinner toward where it was attached to him. instead of a healthy red color. but rather. now my second son is two and a half with developmental delays. I tell myself that its not hurting the baby. his umbilical cord. Professor Slotkin wrote in 2008 that.

I gave my husband another daughter . Studies analyzing how often it occurs vary significantly depending on where the women studied lived. and so far I have saved £14. and 3. I concentrate on keeping my quit alive by celebrating my freedom." Compared with the first days of my quit. My house and car are cleaner. the standards used to assess depression. Now I was much older and this baby was counting on me to not just quit during my pregnancy like the sisters. elevated by smoking.” Exchange all fears of fetal harm for the celebration of using pregnancy as your time to come home to “you. For our fifteenth anniversary.” Imagine the ability to fully bond with your baby without nicotine coming between the two of you. Most people tell me I look a lot better. Best of all.” “Now although I still know I am an addict. At 2 to 2 1/2 packs a day I saw not much hope for an end. I've always been addicted to nicotine. Smoking is expensive in the UK. and a nicotine-free wife.9% of 280 new moms in Israel reported postpartum depression at 6 weeks (Glasser 1998). and whether or not the results included women experiencing depression prior to giving birth. Try to reach back and seize upon your own pre-pregnancy dream of freedom and make recovery your gift of “you” to “you. I finally learned WHY every time I picked them back up again in my postpartum periods. Among studies reporting new cases of depression arising after childbirth. even when pregnant with me.” “At age 22. ready yourself for the possibility. 6.” “My mother smoked. I have started to workout three times a 133 • My mother smoked while she was pregnant (both times) and smoked until I was 17 years old. • • • “I am very happy to say that I have been nicotine free for six months now. One thought I find very heartening is that I am doing "easy time.. but for the rest of my life. Envision the rich calmness of nicotine-free motherhood.3% by 12 weeks (Wickberg 1997).” Picture your new baby basking in liberty’s blessings.5% among 1. Even then. I am so glad that I quit. 12.000 (that US $27. I kept smoking. Riddled with anxiety.7% of 403 Minnesota woman during the first year following childbirth (Bryan 1999). That's exactly what was put on the coroner's report. but I still get the benefits. my mother died of a sudden and massive stroke caused by hypertension. I have a 10 week old son.584 Swedish women at 8 weeks. I feel better.most of the costs have gone. but I picked the habit right back up again with & WhyQuit. it is so easy for me not to smoke today . who has a smoke-free mom. I increased my nicotine intake more and more. I was born with a head tumor which continues to give me trouble after two surgeries and more than 35 years of life. I visited WhyQuit and read.500)! I save so much I can easily justify a weekend away every quit anniversary.© 2009 FFNicotine. and read. .” Regarding postpartum depression..8% among 465 Wisconsin women between months 1 and 4 (Chaudron 2001). So I guess. But this pregnancy scared me. I was still in post acute withdrawal. My kids have not missed any days of school this year.” “I had quit with my previous pregnancies (three older daughters). 5. being born that way. and read. After each quit. I did not approach my quit with a recovery mind-set but with a 'suspended sentence' on smoking. which declined to 8.

which may have significant effects on GABA A receptors. Volume 21(12). As for replacement nicotine. Smoking cessation in pregnancy: why.. http://cmaj. 2008. and what next. Neuron.238 Also. 237 Brewster.. http://cmaj. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 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. Pages 207-713.234 Emerging research suggests that these receptors could be a path to effective treatment. 236 Coleman T. Pages 983-993. 2007. it tells us that those conducting the study were probably more interested in selling nicotine not preventing fetal harm. Let this be your loving gift of “you” to “you. Recommendations for the use of pharmacological smoking cessation strategies in pregnant women. reviewing the knowledge.”236 Keep your eye on the placebos and nicotine should some future “placebo” controlled pregnancy study proclaim NRT “effective.. J. Pharmacotherapy for Smoking Cessation. GABA(A)R plasticity during pregnancy: relevance to postpartum depression. skin and clothing. Yes you can! 234 Maguire J.”239 It’s what we’re doing now. electronic letter. placebo is not a real-world quitting method.” Remember. electronic letter. 235 Nemeroff CB.237 There’s no such thing. Understanding the pathophysiology of postpartum depression: implications for the development of novel treatments. Pages 185-186. July 31. even its most vocal advocates are forced to admit that. If cotinine levels were ignored. mends and repairs while the developing life inside you grows. fetal teratogen nicotine. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology.” Watch the magic unfold as your nicotinefree body heals. Neuron. Pregnant women would be wise to accept that knowledge is an extremely effective recovery tool. insights and skills needed to embrace and celebrate nicotine-free motherhood. et al. Meta-analysis rooted in expectations not science. Volume 59(2). . et al. JM. “there is no evidence that NRT is actually effective for smoking cessation in pregnancy. June 2008. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2008.The Journey Home If depressed following childbirth be sure and let your doctor know. July 31. Volume 59(2).ca/cgi/eletters/179/2/135#19781 239 Crawford JT. Volume 51(2). 2008. 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. It’s believed to be associated with a large increase in progesterone-derived neuro-steroids during pregnancy.235 What no physician will suggest as a treatment course is relapse to the highly addictive. Postpartum depression is not some character flaw or weakness but as real as the nose on our face. 2008. But it certainly has proven effective in allowing the pharmaceutical industry to make mountains of money. July 238 Polito. July 29.134 Freedom from Nicotine . The highest known pregnancy cessation rates are associated with “counseling and behavioral interventions. Pages 419-435. how. and its sharp decline following childbirth. CNS Drugs.

com Chapter 7 135 The Roadmap Home The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of recovery. and where we now stand.S. of engaging life as “you. Understanding where we are is the window to where we’ve been. It left us falsely convinced that nicotine was core to our existence. Such awareness itself can be frightening. until now the vast majority of research has focused on smoking. Tobacco Use Among Adults . Continued use caused the brain to desensitize itself to nicotine’s presence while conditioning the mind to expect more. But just because science cannot yet tell us when most oral tobacco and NRT recovery benefits occur doesn’t mean they are not happening. the depths to which it took us. 240 Centers for Disease Control. 3. frantic or nightmarish. 2. . 2006. the only thing that matters is that each challenge and each day remained do-able. Physical Recovery Emotional Recovery Subconscious Recovery Conscious Recovery Nicotine addiction is the result of the introduction of a chemical into the body. which by happenstance is able to unlock and activate the same brain cells and pathways as the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Weekly. MMWR. a start to finish look at four distinct yet overlapping phases.” But that’s only a hope. smoking reflects the greatest health risks of any form of nicotine delivery. there are ten times as many smokers as oral tobacco will. Educated recovery is about understanding both the lie and dependency’s effects upon us. Using it allowed us the ability to over-stimulate the mind’s priorities teacher . It’s my hope that you’ll sense the full glory of again standing on our own.240 By far. An awakening is at hand: seeing the lie. 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. a love fest.United States 2005.© 2009 FFNicotine. Volume 55(42). Any attempt to stop was met with the same anxieties we felt when deprived of food. The objective is to diminish needless fears and anxieties by removing as much mystery as possible from each of these phases: 1. as fundamental as eating. a non-event. Why? Here in the U. whether our journey is best characterized as having been a cakewalk. Once home. & WhyQuit.our dopamine pathways . 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. Pages 1145-1148. water or affection. Understandably. October 27.

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

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

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

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

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

© 2009 &


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!


Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

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, - 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.

© 2009 &


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 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.


Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

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.

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

According to the FDA. November 2006. Retrieved August 20. Remember. .4.3 .d.2 3. which pass to the bladder as urine.146 Freedom from Nicotine .9 . Volume 80(5). The further below 7 a substance is.3.268 The word “renal” means “of or relating to the kidneys. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 270 Tucker GT.3 4.” “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).3 .1 .6 6. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English website. the quicker nicotine is removed from the bloodstream.9 . Approximate pH of Foods and Food products. Your Kidneys and How They Work.8 But don’t overdo it.2.270 The more acidic our urine. the greater its alkalinity. our primary objective is to keep blood sugar as stable as possible during the most challenging portion of recovery. the greater its acidity. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.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.S.4. 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%. Food & Drug Administration. as compared to when drinking 1 liter of water (231 milliliters of nicotine-free blood produced per minute using grapefruit juice vs.3. December 1981. Our kidneys filter approximately 50 gallons or 189 liters of blood daily.6. 123 milliliters of blood when drinking water). 272 U. The higher a substance is above 7. (n.6 3. from Dictionary.3 . Pages 522-530. 2008.5 2. Fourth Edition.9 .4.3 3. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.4. Pages 761-770. 271 Hukkanen J.0 3. 07–3195. et al.0 3.269 A controlling factor in determining renal clearance rate is the pH level of urine produced by our kidneys. Volume 12(6). 268 National Institutes of Health. 269 renal clearance. Effect of grapefruit juice on cytochrome P450 2A6 and nicotine renal clearance.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).4 . NIH Publication No. NKUDIC. August 2007. Measurement of the renal clearance of drugs. Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition.).4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.4 .The Journey Home through our kidneys. This results in removal of about two quarts of waste products and extra water. April 2007.

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

8 ounces percolated espresso .8 ounces some soft drinks . and associated features.8 ounces brewed tea . difficulty concentrating. if we were a big caffeine user it’s cheaper now. and a foggy mind. National Toxicology Program.html .gov/common/caffeine.nih. webpage updated 04/23/08. within reason. hug it. decreased contentedness. Hug it hard. A critical review of caffeine withdrawal: empirical validation of symptoms and signs.1 ounce servings tea . Pages 1-29. Consider a modest reduction of up to one-half if experiencing difficulty falling to sleep. Symptoms typically begin 12 to 24 hours after caffeine use ends. October 2004. irritability.8 ounces dark chocolate .1 ounce cola beverage . Although it may sound strange. severity.1 ounce iced tea . incidence.148 Freedom from Nicotine . Volume 176(1). Look at it this way.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 . Psychopharmacology. 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.niehs. reach peak intensity at 20 to 51 hours. Recovery Sensations . 277 National Institute of Health. Caffeine. and normally last 2 to 9 days. http://cerhr.semi sweet . depressed mood.Good.8 ounces drip brewed “energy drinks” coffee . everything we feel as we climb to the point where withdrawal’s symptoms peak is beneficial and good not bad. Not bad The early days of recovery will be a significant challenge for some of us.8 ounces instant baker’s chocolate . 276 Juliano LM. et al.The Journey Home decreased alertness.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. drowsiness. We get twice the stimulation for half the price.

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

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

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

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

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

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

focus and an inability to think clearly can be associated with low blood sugar. Even if unable to entirely stabilize blood-sugar fluctuations the symptom is temporary and relief on the way. Cranberry is excellent. 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. Brisk walks. Neuropsychopharmacology. other physical exercise or slow deep breathing may deliver additional focus by increasing oxygen to the brain. Once we stop putting nicotine into our body the adrenaline feedings end. to one degree or another. Biological Psychiatry. unless diabetic or our health care provider recommends otherwise. which in turn could impact concentration. Nicotine use caused our brain to release adrenaline which in turn activated "fight or flight" pathways. consider drinking some form of natural fruit juice during the first 72 hours. Nicotine is no longer our spoon. which pumped stored fats and sugars into our 155 So how do we develop the patience to navigate the up to three days needed to achieve peak physical withdrawal. 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. You may want to temporarily reduce or avoid alcohol. As discussed in Chapter 8. Volume 25(3). 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. Continuing to attempt to skip meals will cause decline in blood sugar (glucose) levels.© 2009 FFNicotine. the feeling that our concentration is not as good or that our mind now lives in a fog is experienced. Poor concentration. by almost two-thirds of recovering nicotine addicts. January 1. Pages 77-84. . 2004. Remember. et al. Not only will it aid in helping stabilize blood sugar. Volume 55(1). AL et al. life-giving oxygen is a far healthier brain stimulant than a super toxic chemical that likely eats brain gray matter287 and destroys memory. which reduces brain oxygen and impairs concentration. the up to 3 minutes needed to outlast a cue induced crave trigger. 288 Ernst M. September 2001.According to the Ward study. Inability to concentrate or a foggy mind . 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. Differences between smokers and nonsmokers in regional gray matter volumes and densities. Pages 313-319. it is acidic and may slightly accelerate elimination of the alkaloid nicotine.288 287 Brody. It's important to understand that nicotine force-fed us stored fats and sugars with each new puff. It's why we were able to skip breakfast and/or lunch and yet not feel & WhyQuit. Smoking history and nicotine effects on cognitive performance.

During nicotine withdrawal.The Journey Home Sadness and depression WARNING . 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. Depression. 2008.289 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. et al. First. Pages 657-663. While we continue to see evidence suggesting that adolescent nicotine use may contribute to causing depression. National Institute of Mental Health. remembering details and making decisions. Volume 71(4). August 2003. History of depression and smoking cessation outcome: a meta-analysis. Some patients using Chantix and Champix (varenicline) have experienced changes in behavior.The following depression discussion is intended for cold turkey quitters only. feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism. your family or caregiver notice agitation. agitation. or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions. depressed mood. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. early-morning wakefulness. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). also see. both temporary neuro-chemical desensitization and normal psychological emotional loss can give rise to sadness and depressive-type symptoms.156 Freedom from Nicotine . Sadness and depression are commonly seen in association with withdrawal from most addictive substances. Internet article last reviewed April 3. or appetite loss. depressed mood. thoughts of suicide. 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. If either you. October 2000. insomnia. difficulty concentrating. biochemical.S. suicide attempts. loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable. Pages 748-755. 291 U. the good news. Volume 106(4).290 According to the U. feelings of guilt. overeating. NIMH states that symptoms of depression may include persistent sadness. irritability. 2008.S. stop taking varenicline and call your doctor immediately. or excessive sleeping. we all occasionally feel sad or blue but normally such feelings pass within a couple of days. environmental and genetic. Pediatrics. . persistent aches or pains. et al. and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after they stopped taking it. anxious or "empty" feelings. cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment. It likely results from a combination of factors including psychological. et al. Some experienced these symptoms when they began taking varenicline. fatigue and decreased energy. Goodman E. December 17. and suicidal thoughts or actions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 290 Hitsman B. or changes in behavior that is not typical for you.291 There are many types of depression and no one single cause. including sex. not for those taking cessation medications. Nicotine Exposure During Adolescence Induces a Depression-Like State in Adulthood. worthlessness and/or helplessness. Depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking among teens. restlessness. accessed July 19. Neuropsychopharmacology. headaches.

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

As with the end of any long-term relationship. which is normal. Pages 280-292. 297 Parrott AC. Cigarette-derived nicotine is not a medicine."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. Recovery reflects an end to a long and intensely dependent chemical relationship. It can seem like the death of a friend or loved one. 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. But new research is asking. We need to keep in mind that the real quitting took place when nicotine assumed control. This journey isn’t about quitting. It’s about recovering the real us. But how do we tell the difference? 295 Ward. By comparison. psychological and emotional bonds are broken. . April 2003.295 It was once thought that those with depression smoked in order to self-medicate. Volume 26(3). The percentage of quitters experiencing depressive type symptoms peaked at 53% on day three. Addictive Behaviors. Some degree of sense-of-loss sadness is common and expected. et al.The Journey Home Although normal sadness might benefit from medication. that to some degree may have been partially masked by nicotine use and now needs treatment. The problem is in recognizing the difference between depression associated with a sense of loss. We know that youth who take up smoking report increased levels of anxiety. May-June 2001. It is normal to feel a sense of loss and normal to navigate grieving. and have reports from adults who stop of "enduring mood improvements. Adolescent nicotine administration alters serotonin receptors and cell signaling mediated through adenylyl cyclase. Some may not sense improvement when quitting and may actually feel worse. "Which came first. Volume 951(2). Amazingly. MM et al. Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation. Volume 4(2). October 4. and fell to 33% (6 points below their starting baseline) by day seven. expected and will soon pass. First reminded listeners that “medications have side effects” and any potential benefits must be weighed against them. Pages 49-55. In the Ward "abstinence effects" study. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Pages 311-327. only 20% of ex-smokers were reporting depressive-type symptoms by day twenty-eight. or the end of a destructive chemical relationship. stress and depression. 2002. and possible chronic organic depression.158 Freedom from Nicotine . 19% of never-smokers in the control group were then experiencing depression. 296 Xu Z. the period of cessation mourning and grieving can be as long or short as we need. Brain Research."297 Education and self-honesty may be the quickest means of putting any sense of loss blues behind us. when we lost the sense of normal that defined how and what we felt while interacting with life. nicotine addiction or depression. 39% of smokers entering the study reported experiencing depression on the day prior to commencing recovery. As the brain restores sensitivities physiological.

Food and Drug Administration. May 2008.200 quitters. The drug may cause an existing psychiatric illness to worsen. . depressed mood. agitation. Varenicline is what’s termed a partial agonist. 2008 the U. Show #74.S. National Cancer Institute Survey of 8. Although we have no reported case or medical journal article discussing any cold turkey quitter having ever attempted suicide. as Chantix and elsewhere as Champix. It stimulates dopamine pathways via the exact same a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors that nicotine would have occupied. Smoking status of Australian general practice patients and their attempts to 302 Coe JW. May & WhyQuit.S. Pages 59-69 [see Table 6] 299 Unpublished 2006 U. Varenicline: an alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor partial agonist for smoking 159 Self-diagnoses can be dangerous. which is marketed in the U. First. as reported in the Wall Street Journal.S. April 2005. et al.Chantix. Pages 758-766. including Wellbutrin (whose active chemical is bupropion). also see Ferguson J. which is marketed as the quit smoking medication Zyban.298 including a 2006 survey by the U. National Cancer Institute.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. or an old psychiatric illness to recur. Page A1.© 2009 FFNicotine. suicidal ideation and suicide. February 8. in arguments intended to help salvage varenicline from the FDA recall chopping block. get seen and evaluated as soon as possible by your medical provider or at the nearest emergency medical facility.S. Addiction. on April 1. The best advice I can give is that if you sense you are experiencing depression that isn’t lifting. varenicline not only blocks nicotine from stimulating dopamine pathways but 298 Doran CM.”300 I mention varenicline for two reasons. et al. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. www. Volume 100 Suppl 2. or your family is noticing mood changes. Chantix Full Prescribing Information. The symptoms may occur even after the drug is discontinued. FDA Patient Safety News.301 But receptor stimulation by varenicline is significantly less than with nicotine (35 to 60%).S. Volume 48(10). Food and Drug Administration reported that: “Chantix has been linked to serious neuropsychiatric problems. et al. New Safety Warnings About Chantix. 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. 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. A physician's depression treatment resources include scores of non-nicotine and non-addictive medications. while at the same time blocking nicotine’s ability to occupy the receptor and induce stimulation. Remember. April 2008 301 Pfizer. May 2006. The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. 2007 300 U. including changes in behavior. Pages 3474-3477.299 it doesn’t mean that bupropion does not benefit those experiencing depression. Volume 31(5). I also want to briefly mention varenicline. Addictive Behavior.

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

it is common to see 3 to 5 pounds of weight gain during the first week due to water retention associated with physiological changes. walk.304 If so. or cookie after cookie to keep the “aaah”s coming. Some admit to consuming large quantities of extra food in an attempt to intentionally gain extra weight. doing the dishes.S. They seemingly try to eat their way out of hunger pains or food cravings. Not smoking or using oral nicotine does not cause weight gain. this cue no longer exists. in order to create what they believe will be easily acceptable relapse excuse for them or their loved ones. Regardless of our motivation for taking extra bites. hunger. But as most of us realize. Additional food can serve as a hand-to-mouth oral crutch used to replace primarily cigarettes but also oral tobacco and NRT. low calorie foods like fresh vegetables. brushing our . our meal complete. the “aaah” from anticipating or eating food is extremely short lived. Upon cessation. A toothpick. Many of us smoked or used oral nicotine to mark the end of meals. and weight gain . Some seek to replace missing nicotine induced dopamine “aaah” sensations with dopamine “aaah”s from extra food.gsa. web page visited August 26. A few do all of the above. 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. Even without extra food. Yes. Its absence may lead to continued eating after our normal meal would have ended.© 2009 FFNicotine.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. a stick of sugarless gum. If we should find ourselves reaching for food as a temporary early oral substitute (which is NOT recommended). It required us to eat chip after chip. 304 National Institutes of Health. Federal Citizen Information Center of the U. we should see water retention return to normal within two weeks. You Can Control Your Weight as You Quit 161 Increased appetite. 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. General Services Administration. eating & WhyQuit. or even a nice extra deep breath may be all it takes. Many reach for extra calories and probably for a combination of reasons. reach for healthy. 2008 http://www. It was a conditioned signal to our brain that eating was over. We may need to find a new cue that our meal is over. Others have yet to re-learn to properly fuel their body now that nicotine is no longer their spoon. The foundation of our dependency was a nicotine-induced flood of unearned and stolen dopamine. 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. NIDDK.pueblo.

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

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

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

Volume 76(10). a warm bath or shower. Volume 26(3).gov/medlineplus/headache.”320 Relaxation and slow deep breathing. National Library of Medicine. Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation. Volume 17(1). Jan-March 2003.nih. Pages 41-45. The impact of cigarette smoking on headache activity in headache patients. gingival (gum) blood flow rate was "significantly higher at 3 days" into recovery. it also provides evidence that recovery may actually reduce headaches. Vasoconstriction. scalp and jaw.S.html . those reporting headaches peaked on day three (72 hours) at 44%. 315 Morozumi T et al. rest. web page updated January 22. 2007. 2008. It found that 33% of smokers reported having headaches immediately prior to recovery. Tension headaches may be due to tight muscles in our shoulders. Pages 267-272. a known vasoconstrictor.318 Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of blood vessels with restriction or slowing of blood flow. mind clearing with thought focusing exercises.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. Call your dentist if at all concerned about gum bleeding.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. Smoking cessation increases gingival blood flow and gingival crevicular fluid. Headaches . National Library of Medicine. http://nlm.nih. Volume 31(5). MM et al. 317 Ward. 318 Payne 165 thought that this may account for smokers having thicker gum tissues.S. Medline Plus. 319 National Institutes of Health and U.© 2009 FFNicotine. dropped to 17% on day seven. Smoking.317 Ward’s finding of greater incidence of headaches in active smokers is supported by other studies. Medline Plus. neck. National Institutes of Health. May-June 2001.nlm. Addictive Behaviors. Should a day three headache occur. and declined to a low of just 11% by day fourteen. Medical Encyclopedia. Pages 1653-1659.314 According to a 2004 study. “the most common type of headache is a tension headache. Headache. Headache. 314 Villar CC et al. May 1991. Pesqui Odontol Bras. They are often related to stress. April 2004. or physical exercise may help relieve tensions and bring relief. caused by contraction of the vessel’s muscular wall. Medical Encyclopedia. smoking cessation. Aspirin and a host of other over-the-counter headache medications are available. http://www. Pages 329-332.htm 320 National Institutes of Health and U. web page updated July 18. which suggest nicotine. Interestingly.No study has yet identified headaches as a significant recovery concern. depression or anxiety. as a primary culprit. 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. October 1997.316 so be it. Smoking influences on the thickness of marginal gingival epithelium. While the Ward study notes a slight day-three increase. keep in mind that according to the U. and tooth loss. Pages 311-327. Journal of Clinical & WhyQuit. Journal of Dental Research. 316 Krall EA. Volume 31(4).S.

“Liquids add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools. Stopping smoking and constipation. 323 Aubin HJ. which was recently found to cause nausea in 37% of users.niddk. July 2007. Constipation. National Library of Medicine. 9% at two weeks. February 2006. et al.” “As food moves through the colon. March 2007. 16% on day seven. but need not. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. But constipation is correctable and we need not suffer. et al. 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”). Volume 98(11). Presse Medicale. Varenicline versus transdermal nicotine patch for smoking cessation: results from a randomised open-label trial.S. NIH Publication No. the rate dropped to 11% on day three. et al. 324 Hajek P.”321 Nausea usually is not identified as a recovery symptom.”325 Aside from adjusting to nicotine’s absence. making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Addiction. Nausea and Vomiting. August 2008. neostigmine.166 Freedom from Nicotine . Pages 3215-327. National Institutes of Health (NIH) “the most common causes of constipation are poor diet and lack of exercise. and 4% on day twenty-eight. Volume 9(3).Constipation can.nlm.nih. Usually it isn’t serious and benefits by avoiding solid foods for at least six hours. such as cheese. Constipation . Medline Plus. Pages 246-248. Effects of abstinence from tobacco: Valid symptoms and time course. and meats. Volume 35(2 Pt 1).” explains NIH. juice or other liquids free of alcohol and caffeine. eggs. 2008. become a factor motivating relapse. the colon absorbs water from the food while it forms waste products. 07-2754. 325 Lagrue G.The Journey Home Nausea .322 except in association with use of cessation medications such as varenicline (Chantix or Champix). The article indicates that “magnesium salts are the first-line treatment for this problem. Pages 1563-1567. 326 National Institutes of Health.324 According to a 2006 study. Pages nicotine interacts with digestive tract smooth muscle contractions (peristalsis). [Article in French]. appears remarkably effective in correcting this disorder. it’s caused by “a diet low in fiber or a diet high in fats. what other factors contribute to constipation? According to the U. web page updated July 28. less fats and increased activity. http://digestive.html 322 Hughes. JR. The digestive system needs time to adjust to functioning naturally without it. Volume 63(8).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). Thorax. or stool.nih. which may worsen constipation. Medical Encyclopedia. It found that constipation levels peaked at about two weeks. NIDDK. http://www.”326 Aside from more fiber. the NIH recommends plenty of water. Stopping smoking can cause constipation.” Regarding diet. November 2003. If they fail. an anticholinesterase with parasympathomimetic activity.Nausea is “an uneasy or unsettled feeling in the stomach together with an urge to . “Muscle contractions in the colon then push the 321 National Institutes of Health and U.S.

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

could be noticed within the first 72 hours.S. “Why am I having trouble breathing?” “It’s like I need to keep breathing in deep.” she replied.The Journey Home symptoms and medication dosage issues. blood pressure.330 Burning cigarettes give off more than 4.” I asked. Old symptoms can disappear. including those which may have been caused by tobacco use. I was on eight different medications for my heart. how long they last. Possible Underlying Hidden Conditions Stay alert for the possibility of medical conditions that were being masked and hidden by our dependency.550 chemicals into their body.” Rarely a day passes in overseeing our Internet sites (WhyQuit and Freedom) without arrival of an email inviting us to play Internet doctor. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General: 1989. When I receive them. if a person who is on medications for medical disorders finds him or herself having physical symptoms that just seem out of the ordinary. A complete picture will greatly aid our doctor in determining whether there is a need to increase. At the time. I am a cessation educator who teaches recovery. Be sure to accurately describe any symptoms. “Yes. diagnose and treat actual conditions. Still. your question. including symptom possibilities. one lady in the back raised her hand. that 330 U. they are capable of hiding a host of medical conditions. he or she should speak to the doctor who has him or her on the medications. During a 2008 question and answer session before roughly 200 inmates at a woman’s prison that had recently gone tobacco-free. how could I possibly know the actual cause? I’d be guessing. hypertension. .168 Freedom from Nicotine . Key to quality and effective medical treatment is effective communication between patient and physician. “But once through the first few days. Now I’m down to just two. A mini-pharmacy. I am not a trained and skilled physician. Surgeon General. “I knew this policy change was coming and I quit a month ago.000. qualified to evaluate.” Don’t think only in terms of new symptoms. my initial thoughts are outrage and sadness. when they were first felt. breath after breath after breath. Page 79. decrease. how frequently they occur.” notes Joel. what aggravates them and the medications you’ve been taking. Although well intended. difficulty breathing. Even though the symptom being described may sound like normal recovery. change or discontinue medications. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath is not normal. Let’s take a closer look at one that if it should occur. concerns such as this are not uncommon. cholesterol and breathing. Oral tobacco users bring more than 2. “I don’t have a question but a comment. 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.” A big cheer went up.

as brought to my attention by Schwartz. dust-laden environment.333 The tobacco industry knows that cigarette smoking constricts lung bronchial tubes. October 18.334 that theobromine relaxes bronchial muscles. maximum concentrations of cocoa can be up to 5%. that they need to get seen by a doctor as soon as possible. November 1985.© 2009 FFNicotine. How wrong and damaging could guessing be? Shortness of breath can be caused by “lung disease. and that in competition against theophylline. rapid ascent to high altitudes. Cigarette smoke-induced bronchoconstriction in dogs: vagal and extravagal mechanisms. It is suggested that this might allow more nicotine-laden smoke to penetrate deeper and faster.nih. heart attack (myocardial infarction).6% of its weight. et al.S.ash. pulmonary pneumonia. They also catch & WhyQuit. Volume 76(5). compression of the chest I tell them it isn’t normal. I’d just be guessing. a chemical used in breathing nebulizers. National Library of Medicine. http://nlm. coronary artery disease. Bates #2505520057 334 Hartiala 333 Philip Morris USA. Breathing difficulty. de-conditioning (lack of exercise). Keep in mind that coincidental illnesses and condition could happen during recovery have nothing to do with it. interstitial lung disease. L. October 1984. resulting in a bigger hit or bolus of nicotine assaulting brain dopamine pathways sooner.yuku.332 A chemical within cocoa. 1999. dander. Journal of Applied Physiology. heart arrhythmias. . what are the odds of someone in the first few days of recovery developing pneumonia or noticing a hiatial hernia? Probably pretty small. 169 this person probably has a breathing disorder that tobacco industry cigarette engineering kept hidden from them. theobromine compared favorably in improving breathing in young asthma patients. congestive heart failure (CHF). allergies (such as to mold.331 Hidden conditions aside. hiatial hernia. The bronchodilator effect and pharmacokinetics of theobromine in young patients with asthma. How might cigarette engineering contribute toward hiding symptoms of early asthma or emphysema? Although disputed by the tobacco industry. http://www. cigarette engineering and nicotine addiction. asthma.htm 332 ASH.335 But Philip Morris argues that it is “unlikely” 331 National Institutes of Health and U. Medical Encyclopedia. inhalation of a foreign object. But neverusers develop hernias too. is known to relax airway muscles and expand bronchial tubes. July 14. with less oxygen in the air. airway obstruction. or pollen). But again. 2002. TMA Presentation on Cocoa to the Department of Health. If a cigarette contains 5% cocoa it also contains up to 1 milligram of theobromine. In theory. Tobacco Additives. 2007.html. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. web page updated April 12. Theobromine within cocoa accounts for 2. this could keep the user loyal to their brand and coming back for more. Instead. obesity. Pages 703-077. or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). http://old. it is reported that cocoa may cause cigarette smoke to act as a breathing nebulizer. Medline Plus. the flu and get sick. emphysema. 335 Simons FE.ffn. 1999. “I'm an ADDICT! Hooray!” March 2. Pages 1261-1270. According to Philip Morris. panic a disorder that was likely caused by years of smoking. Carmines.

Pages 423-429. We’ve traveled far enough to begin sampling what it will be like arriving home. December 14. 341 Lakatos PL.5% cocoa included: Belair. Now. 2007. Vantage. by the up to 900-degree temperatures found in cigarettes. 1979. Benson & Hedges. Pall Mall Lights. Merit. et al.170 Freedom from Nicotine . 2008. the vast majority of subconscious use cues have been extinguished and we are now focusing more on the final leg of recovery. Pages 1303-1322. Toxicologic evaluation of licorice extract as a cigarette ingredient. Volume 23(6). Viceroy Lights and Winston Lights. Salem Lights. Carmines. Tareyton Lights. 340 Covey LS. European Journal of Epidemiology.340 and ulcerative colitis. Celebrating Two Weeks of Healing! The beauty of two weeks is that while recovery is still ongoing. Volume 43(9). are beginning to grow. possibly also somehow suppressed. The impact of smoking on thyroid volume and function in relation to a shift towards iodine sufficiency. 336 Philip Morris USA. Vantage. overcoming the influence of years and piles of use rationalizations and memories associated with them. Pages 6134-6139. June 12. Pages 263-265. Major depression following smoking cessation. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Brands then containing more than 0.5% licorice included: Belair. Licorice extract contains glycyrrhizin which some contend is another means by which cigarettes act as bronchodilators. Bates #2505520057 337 Carmines EL. February 1997. during which we do not entertain thoughts of wanting to bring nicotine into our body. But Philip Morris says its research shows that licorice extract is “pyrolyzed extensively” (decomposed due to heat).341 Remember. Parliament. October 18. Camel Lights. nearly all recovery symptoms are now behind us. . Viceroy Lights and Winston Lights. Kool Super Lights. Merit. The body and mind are nicotine-free. Doral. Volume 13(46). 339 chronic depression masked by nicotine.”336 Once secret industry documents evidence ongoing industry monitoring of both cigarette cocoa and licorice extract levels for at least three decades. Cocoa & Licorice Contents of Competitive Hi-Fi Cigarettes. a 1979 Brown & Williamson report documents that cigarette brands then containing more than 0. TMA Presentation on Cocoa to the Department of Health.The Journey Home theobromine in cocoa added to cigarettes can produce “a clinically effective dose. The number of minutes each day. hidden or controlled by nicotine. Salem Lights. bad or ugly? World Journal of Gastroenterology. et al. Bates #680224319 339 Vejbjerg P. American Journal of Psychiatry. Smoking in inflammatory bowel diseases: good. Benson & Hedges.338 Other possible once hidden health conditions include thyroid problems masked by tobacco iodine. Tareyton Lights. our physical addiction is no longer doing the talking. September 2005. Volume 154(2). It is a natural poison. 338 Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation.337 Although additives have likely changed significantly since. Marlboro Lights. Marlboro Lights. 1999. Camel Lights. nicotine is not medicine.

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

reflect on how life as a nicotine addict may have touched upon each. June 1987. anger. affectionate. courageous.342 Emotion can be broken down into three overlapping categories: (1) primary emotions. cruel. Pages 99-110. caring. It means that to varying degrees and frequency. 342 Quattrocki E. bold. serotonin. blissful. et al. varying emotions are the product of neuron and chemical interactions. . subconscious and conscious awareness to create an intuitive emotional richness that rivals the stars. A Review Essay on Antonio Damasio's The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. bewildered. annoyed. detached. awed. norepinephrine. contempt.172 Freedom from Nicotine . distant. acetylcholine. anticipating. A truly dynamic being. Behavior Research Methods. Biological aspects of the link between smoking and depression. Yet. depressed. fear. defeated. Secondary emotions are all other emotions and result primarily from frontal lobe and intellectual processing and analysis of the influence of primary emotions. Volume 52(6). (2) secondary emotions and (3) background emotions. full and meaningful lives. cautious. gamma-aminobutyric acid. Volume 8(3). The structure and function of these beautiful minds combine with instinctive.The Journey Home Chapter 10 Emotional Recovery Feelings reflect emotional awareness or how we feel about the emotions stirring within us. cheerful. alarmed. delighted. amused. Pages 326-334. apprehensive. dreadful. amazed. our addiction infected nearly all of our emotions. bitter. agitated. cowardly. Multidimensional normative ratings for the International Affective Picture System. September 2000. appreciated. aggressive. A. disrespectful. compassionate. and glutamate. Pages 1061-1086. constrained. although appearing as just a list of words. October 2000. disgusted.343 Primary emotions include surprise. disappointed. with no processing or routing inside the frontal lobe of the brain. the seat of intelligence and thought. Harvard Review of Psychiatry. composed. Volume 39(2). Our emotions range from accepting. et al. Rising and falling blood-serum levels of the psychoactive chemical nicotine impacted dopamine. contented. 343 Mosca. Psyche. et al. May 2007. also see Shaver P. aggravated. curious.344 The common thread is that each reflects an almost instant reaction as seen in facial expressions. alert. while reviewing the following list. bored. our mind’s unfeeling night sky would be empty and dark. Although not easy. 344 Libkuman TM. anxious. Volume. sadness and disgust. confused. dejected. if the only emotions remaining were those untouched by our addiction. 6(10). Journal of Personalty and Social Psychology. Emotion knowledge: further exploration of a prototype approach. joy. That isn’t to say that as nicotine addicts we didn’t have emotionally rich. competent.

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

” It’s important in navigating emotional recovery to not get stuck in a stage prior to acceptance. undoing. J. reaction formation.346 Albeit chemical. New World Encylopedia. I’ll just pretend and see how far I get. 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. Understanding the Emotional Loss Experienced When Quitting Smoking. never once did it let us down. regression.” Depression: “This is never going to end. If we smoked nicotine ten times per day and averaged 8 puffs per cigarette. http://whyquit.174 Freedom from Nicotine . 347 . 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. In 1982 Joel Spitzer applied the Kübler-Ross grief cycle model to the emotional loss encountered when quitting smoking. 2008. 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. 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. repression. http://newworldencyclopedia. Seeing and understanding each stage’s roots will hopefully help empower a smoother and quicker emotional transition home." 1969.” What’s the use?” “Why bother?” Acceptance “Hey. I’m feeling pretty good!” “I can do this!” “This is good. dependency upon nicotine may have been the most intense and dependable relationship in our entire life. Unless wet and it wouldn’t light. and 346 Kübler-Ross. April 3. Some phases may be absent while others get revisited. Elizabeth. ISBN 0415040159. Routledge.The Kübler-Ross model identifies five discrete stages in the grief cycle when coming to terms with any significant emotional loss. suppression. 1982. compensation.” “I’ve earned a little reward. identification. 345 Defense mechanism. dissociation. nicotine’s “aaah” was always there.347 The five stages of emotional recovery include: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Denial: “I’m not really going to quit. Joel’s Library. rationalization. fantasy. sublimation. "On Death and Dying.345 Kübler-Ross grief cycle .The Journey Home projection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages 73-79. Automatic mental associations predict future choices of undecided decision-makers. et al. 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. that our subconscious has already made up our mind for us. or doing the driving as we read billboards. locating and striking the correct key? While operating a vehicle. friendship. science is still in the early stages of discovery in understanding the scope of its involvement in dayto-day life. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. who is really controlling which foot needs to push on which peddle and how hard. aroma. adventure. It is normal for us to deeply believe that our consciousness is the one doing things. that it causes our actions after careful deliberation. Science.352 But looking upon our subconscious mind only in terms of being the playground of others cheapens and makes it look dumb. talk on the phone or daydream? Our conscious mind has unknowingly aided in teaching our subconscious skills and how to perform activities. Whether referred to as our subconscious. while ignoring our conscious ability to retrain it. But it’s every bit as real as the never seen portion of an iceberg. what part of the mind and level of awareness is thinking & WhyQuit. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. pleasure. Perspectives on Psychological Science. . While this is our self-perception. unconscious or preconscious. Even here. 2000. including using nicotine. if so dumb. The Unconscious Mind.© 2009 FFNicotine. rebellion and affordability marketing. Volume 3(1).com Chapter 11 181 Subconscious Recovery The Unconscious Mind Endlessly hammered by flavor. our subconscious was the nicotine addiction industry’s subliminal message board. et al. (2):CD001008. et al. January 2008. 354 Galdi S.353 Now it’s time to knowingly teach it how to function without it.354 352 Abbot NC. Twice the traveling hypnotist sold me a couple of days of unbelievable hypnotic bliss before I tested it and relapsed. a growing body of evidence suggests that like Disney’s puppets.” 353 Bargh JA. Think of Disney World and awareness of the magic above ground. 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. cues meaningless to conscious awareness? Dumb? When typing on a keyboard. that our behavior was our idea. while an unseen city beneath brings the magic to life. the conscious mind is not the primary source motivating behavior.

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

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

Limbic activation to cigarette smoking cues independent of nicotine withdrawal: a perfusion fMRI study. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. with an increase in pulse rate. 363 Small DM. et al. et al. Like Pavlov's dogs. amygdala. 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. Pages 56-63. motivation and expectancy.361 Using brain scans. Classical conditions of environmental cues to cigarette smoking. 361 Chae Y. Although nicotine-feeding cues are psychological in origin. .com website. February 1999. If crave episodes feel real and physical in nature there’s good reason. Pages 633-641.184 Freedom from Nicotine .360 Encountering the new cue triggered use expectations and an urge to smoke. researchers found that encountering a visual nicotine use cue will increase pupil size. Volume 7(1). regions known to control attention. November 2007.363 Dictionary. The posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex mediate the anticipatory allocation of spatial attention. NeuroImage. 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. medial thalamus. Pages 2301-2309.362 regions associated with “aaah” rewards and anxiety. who obviously had fewer existing cues than heavy smokers. Pages 139-145. March 2003. The Journal of Physiological Sciences. researchers discovered increased blood flow during cue-induced cravings in the brain’s ventral striatum. Volume 32(11). Volume 58(2). and left insula. Volume 18(3). which he conditioned to expect food and begin salivating upon the ringing of a bell. Not only does using nicotine increase pupil size. orbitofrontal cortex. smell and hearing to establish new conditioned use cues in smokers. April 2008. we each conditioned our subconscious to expect arrival of a new supply of nicotine in specific situations. hippocampus. Subjective and autonomic responses to smoking-related visual cues. 360 Lazev AB. Researchers found it easier to establish new cues among light smokers. 362 Franklin TR. they trigger physiological responses within the body and mind. Neuropsychopharmacology. Researchers have successfully used sight. et al.

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

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

Draw near and talk to it. Try engaging in slow deep breathing while progressively relaxing your body. Smokers can learn to influence their urge to smoke. Taste the natural flavor of a mouth reclaimed.© 2009 & WhyQuit. Inside. Behavioural Pharmacology. Volume 12(3). American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. Pages 103-108. The problem with single-session cessation hypnosis isn’t that it does not or cannot work.” Each time the book is opened the subconscious is hit with the message that stopping can be easy. Jan-Feb 2000. sooth or create subconscious expectations.370 Think about the traveling smoking cessation hypnotist using their conscious mind to relax our conscious mind. and shared here in Chapter 3. Smoking expectancy mediates the conditioned responses to arbitrary smoking cues. invite the enslaved mind to see through the lies our addiction forced us to accept. It means that what we think and believe is critical.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. while ignoring the ongoing negative influence of conscious stimulation and years of nicotine use related thoughts. April 2006. Pages 323-334. et al. Volume 25(1). Can conscious expectations control both subconscious expectations and craving intensity? It appears so. that we can be what we expect. 371 Anbar RD. June 2001. Quiet all chatter inside your mind by focusing to the exclusion of all other thought upon an image of your favorite place. They also noted increased salivation. See such days soon becoming your new sense of normal. the subconscious. We don’t need to be trained hypnotists to use our conscious mind to calm. it’s time to change expectations. Listen as the noise of addiction chatter comes to an 187 is done as well as or better than before. reassure. Allen does the same thing Joel does in the first two chapters of his free PDF electronic book “Never Take Another Puff. Addictive Behavior. Picture the pureness of that first full day where the thought of “wanting” never crosses your mind. their craving responses were eliminated after retraining them not to expect to be able to smoke when the cue was encountered. . at least briefly. Think about the repeated subconscious impact of the title of Allen Carr’s book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.371 Once relaxed. so as to allow them to rewrite subconscious expectations. Volume 50(4). Pages 183-194. Subconscious guided therapy with hypnosis. 370 Dols M. et al. it’s listening.A 2001 classical conditioning smoking study teaches two important lessons about the influence of conscious expectations upon cravings. It’s that it only addresses a single aspect of recovery on a single occasion. 369 Field M. skin conduction and increased craving in answers to crave assessment questions. Researchers found that upon encountering and noticing the smoking cue that the intensity of cravings increased. Controlling expectations . Amazingly. Feel the beauty and emotion of a brain responding to life instead of nicotine.

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

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

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

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

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. The obvious problem with averages is that we may not be average. Don't let time distortion deprive you of your dream of again comfortably engaging life as “you. at the end of the episode you’ll likely receive a reward. 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. A 1998 real-time crave coping 374 American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.7% of adults diagnosed with panic disorder under diagnostic standards such as the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV manual. When a crave hits. Hopefully you’ll find this aspect of nicotine dependency recovery the easiest of all. 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. all of us.” How often do crave episodes occur? The best we can do in answering this question is to share study averages. the return of yet another aspect of life. fourth edition. immediately look at your watch or a clock and note the time. Panic Disorder. Not only will your recovery remain alive and well. fear. All of us are capable of handling a few brief moments of anxiety. 1994 . It’s important to note that for the 1. that DSM-IV criteria indicates that panic attacks may not peak for up to 10 minutes. The anxiety rush.374 Turn to your training in handling nicotine cessation panic attacks.192 Freedom from Nicotine .

© 2009 FFNicotine. et al. and the average on the most challenging day is 6. One is that life is measured in weeks and a full week of freedom provided the first significant reason for celebration. Can you handle 18. We can only guess as to why. Coping in real time: using Ecological Momentary Assessment techniques to assess coping with the urge to smoke. Research in Nursing and Health. 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. Volume 21(6). What we do know is that 12 minutes of significant challenge on day seven. Monday brings day three. is entirely doable. While we have little control over nicotine’s half-life. Pages 487-497.4 episodes per day. Day four’s average was 3. 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.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. If so.375 It found that with an average of 6. day three was when most crave episodes were encountered.5 and by day five it was 3 craves per day. before returning to 2 on day eight. If celebration was one of our conditioned feeding cues we might expect another episode. And what about the celebration that turns sour.3 minutes of serious challenge in order to reclaim your life? Absolutely! We all can. Just up to three minutes at a time and then take a break. December 1998. Did you notice how both physical withdrawal and the average number of subconsciously triggered crave episodes peak on day three? Coincidence? Not necessarily. By day ten the average fell to just 1. There are lots of & WhyQuit. followed by 6 minutes on day eight. Joel always started his clinics on a Tuesday night. more fully engaging life and confronting our normal daily nicotine use conditioning. 375 O'Connell KA.1. Although no real evidence. If each crave episode is less than 3 minutes in duration. I suspect that most users decide to commence recovery over the weekend. While the average study participant was down to just over 2 episodes per day by day six. Historically. day seven brought an average of 4 cravings. that’s a total of 18.1 craves. 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. work. thinking that it will help them avoid work pressures. Was nicotine use part of your celebrations? It was 193 study closely followed smokers for two weeks and appears to have collected excellent data.6 minutes of total crave episode anxiety on your most challenging day. like when everyone but mom forgets our birthday? Again. many programs have encouraged users to start on the weekend. we can only guess. .

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

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

thus allowing a possible avenue by which we can avoid a particular crave episode altogether. 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. our national quitting booklet is loaded with serious conflicts. it is wise to stay away from nonsense booklets like “Clearing the Air” as they will only cloud it further. government’s leading cessation booklet is 37 pages and called “Clearing the Air. NIH Publication No.” Sounds great. Pages 103-108. For example. and not yourself. nicotine inhaler. how does the body get “used to life without nicotine” by feeding it “nicotine?” Obviously. Assessing craving in young adult smokers using virtual reality. Sep-Oct 2008. et al. “Knowing your triggers is very important.” Page 9 tells readers to stay away from places smoking is allowed. Smokers can learn to influence their urge to smoke. tense. it can’t. et al. Back to cue extinguishment. April 2003. The American Journal on Addictions. nicotine lozenge. “You may feel dull.S. CET and intentionally trying to meet.” like not sitting in their favorite chair or watching their favorite TV show. Volume 25(1).” The page tells readers.The Journey Home duration of any desire or urge you may have felt. 379 National Institutes of Health.. The title of page 24 reads. Jan-Feb 2000.378 they fail to grasp the obvious. right! But then the first two sentences on page 9 state. Volume 17(5). nicotine nasal spray. “meet those triggers head on” or “stay away” from them? Clearly. Clearing the Air. While researchers have discovered that young smokers respond to CET better than long-term smokers. “Medicines that help with withdrawal. It can help you stay away from things that tempt you to smoke. “Meet those triggers head on.380 Think about how the single-session traveling hypnotist is able to briefly interrupt use 378 Traylor AC. 380 Dols M. . and stay away from people that smoke. 03-1647. It usually only lasts a few weeks. nicotine patch.379 How can we reclaim driving or our favorite television program if taught to fear and avoid it? Sadly. They are told to drive a different route to work or not drive at all and take the train or bus for a while.196 Freedom from Nicotine . “Stay away from what tempts you. Younger users often have established fewer nicotine use associations and their memories house significantly less dependency baggage. 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.” Which is it.” Readers are then told to “Stay away from things that you connect with smoking. Pages 436-440. Addictive Behavior. Let me share one more serious conflict. You were free to stop at any time. Page 17 is entitled.” There are medicines that can help with feelings of withdrawal: .. the remnants of which can still be found at some Internet sites.” The obvious question becomes. The title of page 9 reads. “nicotine gum. the U.

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

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

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

it will reflect a life reclaimed.. Still just one guiding principle. It is then. Soon. a meal. that we need to briefly pause and reflect upon what we’re really seeing. shorter in duration and generally less intense. your greatest weapon of all. when things seem worst. reflect and then celebrate. Oh you’ll still encounter remote or even seasonal triggers but with the passing of time they’ll grow further apart. Things are not getting worse. You panicked. Your chemically enslaved survival instincts teacher. It did its job. I encourage you to stop. Now it’s time for a mind schooled in nicotine dependency and recovery to save the day and arrest an established dependency. no nicotine today. You’ve reclaimed so many once conditioned aspects of a nicotine dependent life that serious challenges are beginning to grow rare.. Let’s take a look at a few additional coping . Trust your dreams to your vastly superior intelligence. Why fear being able to finish work. 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. Moments of subconscious healing are good not bad. Reward Try to reverse your mind-set. Remember to keep a clock handy so as to defend against time distortion. 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.200 Freedom from Nicotine . 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. exit a store or drive without experiencing an urge or crave commanding nicotine replenishment? When a crave hits. but better.The Journey Home sloshing through a horrified mind. your limbic mind with its dopamine “aaah”s and insula driven anxieties. It’s just that you’d taken off your life jacket and you couldn’t quickly locate it and put it on. Recovery is about rewards not punishment. another slice of life about to be freed. It’s likely that this episode is no more intense than prior ones. try to reflect upon the prize at the end. If such an event should happen to you. like putting together a puzzle. Think about how long it’s been since your last significant challenge and how relaxed you’d allowed yourself to become. was fooled. a principle that no matter how far we travel or how deep our comfort becomes will always remain our common bond .

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

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

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

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

© 2009 & Chapter 12


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.


Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

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

© 2009 &


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.


Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home

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,

• “It's my right to blow smoke!” .Truth is. become rich or develop forearms but your chances of serious injury or death are almost zero. sucking the smoke deeper and holding it longer. lied about how much they used or if addicted that they were somehow better than other users because they used less frequently. cost or 209 dependency. employers are refusing to hire those dependent upon nicotine. Dependency Rationalizations • Some rationalized that they used too little to be addicted. squeezing a ball or using strength grippers may be habit forming but are nonaddictive. How much more visible could denial be? • “I smoke because it gives me something to do with my hands” .Rationalizations such as this treat chemical dependency as if some nasty little habit capable of manipulation and modification. We are drug addicts and it’s as real and permanent as alcoholism. don’t look now but they’re evaporating rather quickly.© 2009 FFNicotine. playing with coins. • “These new nicotine gum flavors are fantastic!” . This weak addiction rationalization ignores that doodling with a pen. it’s your chemical obligation. You might get ink on yourself. We may smoke fewer cigarettes but compensate by smoking each harder. Using less than our level of tolerance demands will likely leave us in a perpetual state of low-level withdrawal. 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. • 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. will society continue to tolerate its use around children? We are already seeing smoking banned on beaches and in parks. Cost Rationalizations • “I use smokeless tobacco and it’s far safer” – We have little current appreciation for what “safer” really & WhyQuit. Overdue research into health risks associated with long-term oral tobacco use is finally receiving attention. If nicotine truly is as addictive as heroin. But results will arrive . Social controls to protect the rights of non-smokers are sweeping the globe. But the need to reason and justify their use of nicotine with such minimizations is proof that their chemical servitude is just as profound. But as far as rights are concerned.Whittling wood.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" . 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.

Keep in mind that one-quarter of all adult smokers are being claimed in middle age. Smokers tend to think only in terms of dying from lung cancer but tobacco kills in many ways.The Journey Home • • • • • • • slowly and it may be decades before will be have an accurate risk profile. . November 2008. “Lots of smokers live until a ripe old age” – Old vibrant smokers are rare. Smokeless tobacco and the risk of stroke. although destroyed air sacs will never again function. et al. don't forget to consider heart attacks. oat cell.Lights and ultra-lights are capable of delivering the same amount of tar and nicotine as regular brands depending on 389 Hergens MP. January 1996.389 “It's too late now to heal these lungs” . 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" . what will be left of your lungs by the time a cure is discovered? If gambling on "how" tobacco will kill you. The American Review of Respiratory Disease. 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!” .390 Even with emphysema. adenocarcinoma. 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. 391 Wald NJ and Hackshaw AK. If you do find old smokers almost all are in poor health or in advanced stages of smoking related diseases.This rationalization all but admits our own intentional slow-suicide. Pages 3-11. "We have to die of something" . Some point to actor George Burns who smoked cigars and lived to 100. For example. Cigarette smoking: an epidemiological overview. each an average of 22. quitting now will immediately halt the needless destruction of additional tissues. "There’s still plenty of time left to stop". But try to locate even one terminal lung cancer patient who wasn’t horrified at learning that they’d actually succeed. tobacco is expected to claim more than one million victims this year. British Medical Bulletin.210 Freedom from Nicotine . Look around. The effect of smoking cessation and modification on lung function. Volume 114(1). with many on oxygen. Volume 52(1)." Try to imagine any other activity in which we would willingly participate if there were a 50% chance of getting killed. squamous cell. 390 Buist AS. circulatory disease caused by smoking kills more smokers each year than lung cancer. July 1976.Reflect upon the emotional pain and financial loss your needless dying and death would inflict upon loved ones. or one of the less common forms? Even if the right cure arrives. How many of them thought that a cure was on the way? Sadly.Nonsense! Tissues not damaged beyond repair will heal and provide substantial increase in lung function. Volume 19(6).5 years early.Between Europe and North America. strokes and emphysema. Epidemiology. Pages 794-799. Which type of lung cancer are you waiting for hoping they’ll cure. One 2008 study found that the odds of a smokeless tobacco user experiencing a fatal ischemic stroke were 72% greater than for non-users. it was false hope. “I smoke lights and they're not as bad” . Pages 115-122.

deeper drags that may mean more tar and more nicotine not 211 • • how they're smoked.© 2009 FFNicotine. “I don’t even know if I’m hooked. Early reports suggest that more than 80% of vaccinated participants are relapsing to smoking within 9 months. making them too large to cross through the blood-brain protective filtering barrier and stimulate dopamine pathways. Quitting does not increase our weight. In fact. “Quitting causes weight gain and that’s just as dangerous” .Some of us never made a serious recovery attempt. next carton. JE. 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. “The vaccines are coming!” .392 A cure? Let’s 392 Rose. 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” . so as to avoid our sense of emotional loss. next month. October 2008." you'd have to gain an additional 75 pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack-a-day. my next birthday or New Years' day” . Some went so far as to actually set a date.Compared to what? Imagine a diagnosis of lung cancer and having your left lung ripped out. Disrupting nicotine reinforcement: from cigarette to brain.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. eating does.This intellectual denial pre-assumes a large weight gain and then makes an erroneous judgment regarding relative risks.The next generation of pharmaceutical products will be the vaccines. Doing so would always make today’s nicotine fixes far more tolerable. They do not reduce most health risks including the risk of heart disease or cancer. followed by chemotherapy. Imagine years of trying to recover from a serious stroke or massive heart attack. carton. their smokers often take longer. “I’m waiting on a painless quitting cure” .Don’t hold your breath. “It's too painful to quit!” .Some of us pretended that we’d be quitting soon. 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. Pages 233-256 . I’ve never tried stopping” . 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. Volume 1141. Recovery Rationalizations • • • • • “I'll stop after the next pack. or fighting for every breath through emphysema-riddled lungs as you drag around an oxygen tank for the balance of & WhyQuit. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 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. 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. The day science can make our mother’s death painless.

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

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

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

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

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

Three months following relapse. There will always be only one rule that has a 100% guarantee of success for each of us . she is about to become a regular user of anti-depressants. She will successfully arrest her addiction. the government recently banned smoking in all public buildings. and develop the mental skills and healthy body needed to successfully tackle her unwanted pounds. The headline in the local paper she is holding is about the city proposing a ban on smoking in the park across the street. Smoking lines and wrinkles above and below her lips have aged a once attractive face far quicker than its 32 nicotine today! . house blinds and forehead continually share a common guest . Denise will discovery the core principles underlying her almost two decades of chemical dependency upon nicotine. month by month her breathing capacity continues to slowly deteriorate. She threw in the towel when she had outgrown her entire 217 down. Ellen has a date next Friday. a caring friend will tell her about a free online nicotine cessation education and support forum called Freedom. she knows that she is a drug addict and believes that she just can’t quit.© 2009 FFNicotine. a year ago Denise successfully quit for almost 2 months by exchanging cigarettes for a new crutch called food. Her boss just posted a new non-smoking policy at work. Constantly clearing her throat. They'll find comfort in sharing their addictions. Already on high-blood pressure & WhyQuit. a single tear works its way down her cheek. develop the patience and outlook needed to navigate the temporary period of re-adjustment called recovery. all the new weight remains with her. reclaim her selfconfidence. Feeling like a hopelessly addicted social outcast. just one ounce at a time. and still depressed over her defeat. The joy of smoking? Joy? Fortunately for Denise. All that matters are the next few minutes and each is entirely doable. a two pack-a-day smoker named Ed. Fifteen pounds over weight to begin with. Denise started smoking at age 13 while her lungs were still developing. Considered "cool" when she became hooked. There.a thin oily film of tar and other chemicals. Her car windows.

The Journey Home Chapter 13 Homecoming Arriving Home How do we know when we’re home? If you’ve ever moved. If longer." After the first such day they become more and more common. "gee. maybe even years without your mind ever once feeling an urge to use nicotine. I'd sure like a smoke.218 Freedom from Nicotine . 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. shorter and generally less intense. you are home when you feel it! Some feel at home in a couple of weeks while others need months.none." "a lozenge. 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. with the distance between the occasional "thought" growing further and further apart." "a dip. While feeding myself large doses of positive thought I also confronted and analyzed those remaining thoughts that seemed to keep inviting relapse. 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. Soon. patience. complete and total tranquility. it’s coming! Long-Term Quiet and Calm Imagine entire days. zero. they become our new norm in life. If it happens sooner or takes longer. don’t fret! If sooner. Soon. weeks." "a chew. The correct answer is. enjoy it. or is that just another lame excuse we used? After arresting my thirty-year. It's where hundreds of millions of comfortably recovered ex-users reside today. it was no longer a matter of trying to believe what I was telling myself." "a piece of nicotine gum. I did believe in the new nicotine-free me! . three pack-a-day dependency. nil. a few weeks earlier than most but later than some. months and after a few years. Were any of them truly stronger than nicotine? Were any of them stronger than us. my recovery evolved to the point of substantial comfort by about eight weeks. A Silent Celebration Amazingly. Imagine living in a constant state of 100% total comfort with no nicotine use related anxieties whatsoever . you know there’s a big difference between moving into a house and having it feel like home.

com 219 Although at times intense. empty pockets. periods of challenge may at times felt overwhelming. 3 months: “a few times in the past year the thought of smoking crossed my mind. After two years of freedom I found myself going months without challenge.” Diane 3 years." Below are representative entries made during 2008.© 2009 FFNicotine. It is possible to retain romantic thoughts about using. 3 months: “zip.” Joseph 1 year. two years and seven months after starting my journey. I worked with far too many victims to have retained even one use justification. While most will be quick stiff breezes a few may claim the status of storms. seasonal or infrequent nicotine feeding cues. They may be associated with uncommon events such as relationships ending. energy. pride. Still. Before we know it the storms turn to breezes and then to a guest now and & WhyQuit. crossing paths with an old friend. But hurricane force winds are now long gone. long overdue self-respect. Eventually the minor urges and periods of thought fixation became further and further apart. 26 days: “once every two weeks for about 3-5 minutes. seeing the decline while living it can at times seem nearly impossible. odorless fingers. an ash-less world. I saw each and every day as a full and complete victory in and of itself. the whiteness emerging in my smile. hope. a bit bigger step. duration and intensity of challenge is "generally" on the decline. the birth of a baby. The last time I experienced anything that can be fairly called an “urge” was in December 2001. “Tell a newbie how many seconds a day you still want a cigarette. freedom and even the few extra pounds . a wedding receptions or even death. zero. Today I was free and today I continued to heal! The little gifts along the way the smells. The opening time period is how long the person has remained nicotine-free: • • • • • 2 months. thoughts capable of fostering urge and desire for as long as our mind is able to concentrate and focus upon them. One of the most popular discussions at WhyQuit’s peer support group Freedom is entitled. endurance.was simply me coming home to meet me. Gradually Diminishing Thoughts and Urges During early recovery. But like trying to watch a rose bud open. tastes. new found time. gradually lengthening periods of comfort. I did my best to remain focused on the long overdue healing occurring inside this body. 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 . Am I average or normal? Probably not. extra pocket change. The beauty of recovery is that with each passing day the frequency. it is entirely normal during the first couple of years to still be having thoughts of wanting and even encounter remote.

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

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

the good news. . December 2008.394 These ex-users do not relapse because they dislike being home. It’s also fueled by an inability to recall the intensity of early withdrawal anxieties. Complacency is fueled by quickly failing memories of the daily captivity stress factors that compelled us to seek freedom. most ex-users do not remain ex-users because of understanding or respect for “one puff” relapse rates seen in recovery studies. August 2004. Smoking relapse after 2 years of abstinence: findings from the VA Normative Aging Study. Addictive Behaviors. and the captivity they left behind. Relapse to smoking after 1 year of abstinence: a meta-analysis.The Journey Home Chapter 14 Complacency & Relapse Caring for Our Recovery First. Volume 4(1). et al. 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. Pages 641-647. the relapse rate declines to just 2 to 4% per year from years 2 to 10. Volume 33(12). who they are. February 2002. (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.222 Freedom from Nicotine . Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 394 Hughes JR. Recovery memory suppression – It’s normal to slowly grow complacent during the months and years after ending nicotine use. et al.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. 393 Krall EA. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Pages 95-100. 396 Doran N. et al. One recent study suggests that as many as 17% who succeed for 1 year may eventually relapse.396 the risk of relapse is magnified. If compliant with the Law our risk of failure remains zero. the power of cue triggered crave episodes or the duration of conscious fixation. 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. Impulsivity and smoking relapse. Pages 1516-1520. They do so because they lose sight of how they got there. While the relapse rate for years 2 though 10 may seem small. 395 Krall EA. alcohol use around those still using395 or occur in an impulsive-type person. and then falls to less than 1% after 10 years. Volume 6(4). But just one powerful hit of nicotine and the addict is back! While ignorance of the Law is no excuse. Volume 4(1). when added together the risk becomes significant. Pages 95-100. When these factors combine with an offer of a cigar. February 2002. Smoking relapse after 2 years of abstinence: findings from the VA Normative Aging Study.

their primary objective is to stay one step ahead of insula driven urges and craves. . we should not take our recovery for granted or the flame could eventually die and the fire go out. What were they like? Can you recall your mind begging to be fed? Feel the anxieties. Try hard to recall those first two weeks without nicotine.397 If women were forced to remember the agony and pain of childbirth. Be kind and sincere. If you feel the same then we need to nourish our desires. But now. irritable. McNally RJ. anxieties. If not. our recovery benefits from care. post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is believed to reflect a breakdown in the mind’s ability to forget. March 2008. Let them know what you seek. It isn’t that our memory is bad. restless or anxious? Were there rapidly cycling emotions. 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. Although it may look like they’re enjoying their addiction. we win. Acta Psychologica (Amst). faulty or doing anything wrong. frustrated.© 2009 FFNicotine. Why not enlist their help in revitalizing our own memories of active dependency? Talk to them. 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. also see. we are forced to rely upon our memory to accurately and vividly preserve the truth. trauma and pain. 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. Whether daily. Without a record to remind us. To do otherwise would make life inside these minds unbearable. with most you’ll find their responses inspiring. angry. Although not always the case. Levy BJ. In fact. visit scores of smoking cessation support groups and find thousands of battles being fought. It wasn't long ago that those were our shoes. We risk dying as slaves. In fact. it’s working as designed to preserve in as much detail as possible the joyful events of life. the memory in which we placed our trust has failed us. But just as any loving relationship needs nourishment to flourish. Tell them the truth about where you now find yourself. It’s my dream to protect my freedom until that final breath. Pages 623-635. Forgetting unwanted memories: directed forgetting and thought suppression methods. We are each blessed with the ability to forget. Were you able to concentrate? How was your sleep? Did you feel depressed. monthly or just once a year. Think about earlier uneducated & WhyQuit. Anderson MC. Individual differences in the suppression of unwanted memories: the executive deficit hypothesis. Acta Psychologica (Amst). Volume 127(3). the whole truth and nothing but the truth. hear a multitude of cries and watch hundreds struggling for survival as they dream of the calmness and quiet you now 397 Geraerts E. we risk complacency allowing nicotine back into our bloodstream. Encourage them to be as candid and truthful as 223 Most of us failed to keep a detailed record of why we commenced recovery or what those first two weeks were like. while suppressing and helping us forget life’s stressful events. Pages 614-622. Volume 127(3). March 2008. If we do. most would likely have just one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NRT. “Smoking causes lung cancer. keeping millions who would have successfully arrested their chemical dependency hooked and cycling back and forth between cigarettes and other forms of nicotine delivery. “Nicorette gum can also be used in cases in which you temporarily refrain from smoking. 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.” “safer. Comparison of toxicity of smoke from traditional and harm-reduction cigarettes using mouse embryonic stem cells as a novel model for preimplantation development. 409 Lin S. for example in smoke-free areas or in other situations which you wish to avoid smoking. Inhaling gases and particles from a burning mini toxic waste dump is inherently dangerous and extremely destructive. November 29. . Human Reproduction.” Imagine pharmaceutical companies dovetailing their marketing with that of tobacco companies in order to make continued smoking easier or more convenient. et al. oral tobacco or electronic cigarette use by ex-smokers. As for any traditional combustion-type cigarette claiming to be less harmful than other brands. They’re also concerned that harm reduction campaigns tossing about terms such as “ 231 populations. I was recently sent sample packets from Canada containing two 2mg pieces of “Fresh Fruit” and “Ice Mint” Nicorette gum with tooth whiteners. 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. 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. Although most harm reduction advocates are more optimistic and expect massive reductions. A recent study examined the effects of smoke from three brands claiming harm reduction upon normal embryonic stem cell development. 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.” or “safety” may actually entice ex-smokers to relapse.” How many fewer adult deaths would occur? We don’t yet know. don’t buy & WhyQuit. 2008 [Epub ahead of print]. Have you ever wondered why you have never once heard any pharmaceutical industry quit smoking product commercial suggest that.© 2009 FFNicotine. It found that smoke from these so-called harm-reduction cigarettes inhibited normal cell development as much "or more" than traditional brands.

PM USA internal memo dated 1/22/85. Both sides in the debate appear to be overstating their case. Back to harm reduction. Bates #2023799796. Journal of the American Medical Association. PM USA internal memo dated 10/25/84. PM USA internal memo dated 1/8/ we estimate that smoking presents a mortality risk similar to a fall of about 4 stories. mortality risk from falls and other traumatic injuries compared to smokeless tobacco use. Pages 738-744.232 Freedom from Nicotine . February 16. Harm reduction advocates have done little to quiet concerns about the impact of marketing upon youth. PM USA internal memo dated 12/16/85.413 410 Shamasunder B. messages already bombarding them with a wide array of tempting flavors portrayed as vastly safer than smoking. Nicotine 166 Times More Deadly than Caffeine? WhyQuit. or like jumping from a three-story building rather than one ten stories tall. 412 Polito. Bates #2023799801. Harm Reduction Journal.”411 “We estimate”? It is disturbing to see us stoop to educated-guessing when it comes to life or death. 2002. PM USA letter dated 5/8/91. Lacking accurate relative risk data themselves. that you need to purchase and use our product because smoking can kill you”? You haven’t and probably won’t. Bates #2064952307. They seem unconcerned by an increasing number of adolescent nicotine harm studies showing nicotine’s horrific toll on the developing adolescent brain. British American Tobacco collection letter dated 8/1/91. April 18. Bero L. Bates #2023799803.The Journey Home emphysema and circulatory disease. JR. also see the following once secret tobacco industry documents available at TobaccoDocuments. The once secret documents evidencing the agreement are many. PM USA letter dated 12/17/84. in order to sell smokers on “safer” delivery many have resorted to falsely portraying nicotine as being as harmless as caffeine. Bates #2023799804. et al. harm reductionists counter by asserting that. 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. As hard as it may be to believe. Volume 3. while mortality risk from smokeless tobacco is no worse than that from an almost certainly non-fatal fall from less than 2 stories. Financial ties and conflicts of interest between pharmaceutical and tobacco companies.410 Their partnership objective is to ensure the purchase and use of their dopamine pathway stimulation products. and they suggest that neither side may directly attack the other side’s products. Bates #2023799789. Adolescent nicotine treatment changes the response of acetylcholine systems to subsequent . 2nd PM USA internal memo dated 9/6/85. Bates #2500016765. 2006. 413 Slotkin TA.. Pages 1-5. Bates #500872678. 2006. This book exists to help you stop using them. Volume 288(6). 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 PM USA internal memo dated 7/21/82. “Based on the available literature on mortality from falls. Bates #2083785672. Deconstructing anti-harm-reduction metaphors. Bates #2023799798. Bates #2023799799. 411 Phillips CV. Bates #2023799795. et al. PM International letter dated 4/23/98. like shooting yourself in the foot instead of the head. August 14. PM USA internal memo dated 9/6/85. PM USA internal memo dated 5/7/84.412 Yet. the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries have operated under a nicotine marketing partnership agreement since about 1984. 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.

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

Food and Chemical Toxicology. diminished sense of taste. hair loss. facial reddening. recessed. Volume 41(6). June 2003. Pages 807-817. 416 IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. a lack of motivation. jaw-joint pain and damage (TMJ). canker sores with white patches on the tongue or mouth. swollen glands. online complaints among those who have used nicotine gum for one year or longer include: addiction with intense gum cravings. heart burn. elevated blood pressure.000 chemicals while oral tobacco releases 2.418 While smoking’s harms are clearly greater and more life threatening than pure nicotine’s.550 chemicals. gastritis. 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. December 1. dry mouth. stomach problems and pain. uncontrollable foul smelling gas that lingers. headaches. stomach ulcers. we have little long-term data for pure nicotine. bronchitis. tooth enamel damage.The Journey Home to pharmaceutical grade replacement nicotine? We know that cigarettes currently contribute to nearly five million deaths this year. fecal impaction from dehydration. tooth loss. and that cigarettes release more than 4. We also know that 81 potential cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in cigarette smoke415 versus 28 in oral tobacco. fifteen 415 Smith CJ et al. bleeding and diseased gums. anxiety. chronic depression. 2008. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-specific N-Nitrosamines. and serious circulatory disease as carbon monoxide combines with nicotine to destroy vessel walls and facilitate plaque buildup. 418 Polito JR. Long-term Nicorette gum users losing hair and teeth. Clearly. a rapid or irregular heart beat.234 Freedom from Nicotine . difficulty swallowing. which would make it nearly impossible to determine direct and proximate cause. . as nearly every user has years of cigarette or oral tobacco exposure. belching. achy muscles and joints. hiccups. pins and needles in arms and hands. Do Kennedy and Waxman know about electronic or e-cigarettes? WhyQuit. 2008. loss of sex drive. sleep disruption. WhyQuit. a host of breathing disorders including emphysema. a heavy Still. ringing in the ears. smokers face serious risk of many different types of cancers.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. chronic skin rashes and concerns about immune system suppression. sore or irritated throat. Volume 89. acne. nervousness. bad breath. Although we still do not know whether or not NRT user health concerns are in fact directly related to chronic nicotine use. What wasn’t known until recently were the health concerns being expressed by long-term NRT users. irritability. dizziness. scalp tingling. Smoking’s common harms and roughly 50% adult kill rate are well known. headaches. a lack of energy. IARC carcinogens reported in cigarette mainstream smoke and their calculated log P values. 2007. March 29. 417 Polito JR. severe bloating. including lung cancer. acid reflux.

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

The name of two children or teens whom I've taught the true power of nicotine: . The name of two other active user who I've taught the Law of Addiction: 8. My core motivations for wanting to end nicotine use: 3. My recovery attempt history and the real reason each attempt failed: 4. 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. A brief summary of what the first week of this recovery was like: 5. Things I want to remind myself of on my one year anniversary: 7.The Journey Home Appendix A: Recovery Journal/Diary 1. My nicotine use history: 2.236 Freedom from Nicotine .

Alcohol Use .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. burn us or make us bleed. You've earned it! Remember. 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 & WhyQuit.Most use cues are extinguished by a single encounter during which the subconscious fails to receive the expected result – nicotine. 14." It's the biggest psychological bite imaginable. consider drinking at home first without nicotine around.Nicotine doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine. Build in time delay. and be fully prepared to use both. Keep a clock handy to maintain honest perspective. Aggressively Extinguish Nicotine Use Cues .There is only one rule which if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success: no nicotine today! . job loss. Crave Coping Techniques . Fully accept chemical dependency. Three Days of Natural Juices . another use cue bites the dust and victory is yours! 12. Instead. or spacing drinks further apart or drinking water or juice between drinks. Write yourself a reminder letter and carry it with you. Avoid Crutches . 10. There is no such thing as just one.Once in the heat of battle it's normal to forget the reasons that motivated us to begin this journey home. Reward Yourself . For example. Get Rid of All Nicotine .Keeping a stash handy is asking for relapse.If your health permits and non-diabetic. Once ready. Try embracing a crave episode by mentally reaching out inside your mind. wrap your arms around the crave's anxiety energy and then sense as it slowly fizzles and dies while in your embrace. Law of Addiction . Be brave just once. Our subconscious is listening. Measure Victory One Day at a Time . "B" is for warm buttered biscuits. Attitude . Just One Rule . Cranberry is excellent.A positive attitude is important. In your mind. No Legitimate Excuse for Relapse . 4. 13. the end of a relationship. financial crisis. Record Your Motivations .Forget about quitting "forever. 5. Have an escape plan and a backup. Do Not Skip Meals . Eat little. 6. 9. going out with friends but refraining from drinking during the first outing. 8. 3.One coping method is to practice slow deep breathing while clearing your mind of all needless chatter by focusing on your favorite person. 15. Get your recovery legs under you first. including an auto accident. Quitting for Others – We cannot quit for others. consider drinking plenty of acidic fruit juice the first three days.Recognize that using nicotine cannot solve any crisis. Subconsciously triggered craves peak in intensity within three minutes. the letter "A" is for grandma's hot apple pie. It must be our gift to us. healthy and often. person or place. Quitting for others creates a natural sense of self deprivation that will eat away at you and is a recipe for relapse. Yes. Caffeine/Nicotine Interaction . Nicotine addiction is as real and permanent as alcoholism.Consider using some of the money you save to be nice to you. Cessation time distortion may make the minutes feel like hours. a terrorist attack. Another exercise is to say your ABCs while associating each letter with your favorite food.Alcohol is associated with 50% of all relapses. with drug addiction there's no such thing as just one. place or thing. Why add hunger craves to nicotine craves .Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance. or the eventual inevitable death of those we love most. falling stocks.© 2009 FFNicotine.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. Fully accept the fact that there is absolutely no legitimate excuse for relapse. 7. Think 237 Appendix B: Summary of Basic Recovery Tips 1. 16. 2. Be extremely careful with early alcohol use during. A crave cannot cut us. Take back your life one cue at a time! 11. the birth of a baby. Consider a caffeine reduction of up to one-half if troubled by anxieties or poor sleeping. a hurricane.

........................................................191 How often....... tea leaves and cocoa beans.............. Cue exposure therapy......................................................111 Food ................................ 84...........147 Nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine..........................................................238 Freedom from Nicotine ................................99 May feel alcohol effects sooner...........195 Most cues extinguished after a single encounter..............148 Found in coffee beans...................214 Joy of Smoking?................................18 Closet users...........198 Early Alcohol Use..............................................99 Half who relapsed to smoking (47%) consumed alcohol ..............147 Cold turkey............. 88% in Australian study quit cold turkey ......17........................207 Cotinine.................................................................................212 Cost Rationalizations......... 193 Panic disorder.................... 144 Crave episodes...............................237 Blood sugar....... 167 Boredom.............. I want to do it once!”........................... 145-146................................................. 89....................100 Allen Carr..........................................203 Relaxation coping..202 Embracing crave episodes ....................................................112 Effectively outlawed and blacklisted by official U............................... 207 Conscious recovery........................................... 68... 155............... 177..100 Sedation and anesthesia type effects................................204 Depression............203 Distraction coping.................................... 193.................................................. policy................................................. 82-85 Bad Days......... 187...209 Dependency Rationalizations.............11........... Bereavement exclusion.................111 Recovery buddies ...5 milligrams....17.. Average number ........... Holiday and Infrequent Cues........................................ Caffeine withdrawal symptoms...................93 Coffee................. Respond to the bell.... 191..........................................................................................................The Journey Home Alphabetical Index Alcohol.............. Conscious Fixation.. 122......... 30 minutes results in 4................. Co-Dependency Concerns ..................123..... 143.............................57p............ 190...........200 Seasonal................................148 Canada’s cigarette pack addition warning label....................194 Reward ...................................... 122 Basic Recovery Tips......................222 Chewing tobacco.57 Getting the jitters.....202 Crave episode intensity... Alcohol or other drugs ....113 Effective and smart.... 183p....................................................................185 Distortion of time perception......................... Feeding cue................................................................................ 184....................215 Recovery Rationalizations...................... 179 Definition......... 199......136............... 155...................191 Less than 3 minutes......... 46..................147 Chocolate bars.............................................................................147 (mg) of caffeine “typical” in various substances.....................57............69 Is free......... ex-smoker or nonsmoker..................................111 Internet support ........................................................................... 191..........................................................................214 “Just think about something else”...................................24 Caring for Our Recovery..................................192 The Bigger the Better.................193 Coping techniques.. 219 Pavlov..201 Oral coping .. 207 Caffeine............... 202..................101 Confronting alcohol related crave triggers ........................................36 Classical conditioning............... Coffee’s smell and taste actually improves ..............110 Exercise programs.................................................. 134....................................S.................................................................... 180..........................................211 Tearing Down the Wall...... 57...................................................157.....108 Cue extinguishment..........................206 “Just once.......................192 Keep a watch or clock handy ...... 196 Attitude........................ Analytical coping .........................................................69 Complacency......205 Ex-user or non-user...199 Crutches. Recovery memory suppression.....209 Dignity’s Denial...........222 Concentration 23............124 Bartender...179 ...... 71............... 140.............................................

© 2009 & 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


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


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 & 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.,


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.............................................................


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

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

244 Freedom from Nicotine .The Journey Home .

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