What do you really need to know about nicotine if you want to stop smoking?
It’s important for you to read the following thoroughly, carefully and closely, because your understanding needs to be built up progressively and systematically.
There are 6 blog posts in this series and by the time you’ve read them all, you will understand some key aspects of smoking and see how you will be able to quit.
These articles are not a stop smoking therapy in themselves. You will not be able to stop smoking merely by reading them.
However, the information presented here is essential background knowledge that will help you to escape from the smoking trap easily, painlessly and permanently.
So, let’s look at some of the myths about nicotine. You need to understand how the addiction works so that you can learn how to avoid suffering withdrawal pangs. Don’t worry, it’s easy and you can enjoy the process right from the start!
THE 5 BIG MYTHS
1 Smoking is a habit
2 Once a smoker, always a smoker
3 You have to suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you quit
4 The physical addiction to nicotine makes it difficult to stop
5 Nicotine is not harmful
Before we start discussing each myth one by one, let’s find out more about how the nicotine trap works.
Nicotine, a colourless, oily compound, is the drug contained in tobacco that addicts you to smoking. It’s the fastest addictive drug known to mankind, and just one cigarette can get you hooked.
Every puff on a cigarette delivers, via the lungs to the brain, a small dose of nicotine that acts more rapidly than the dose of heroin the addict injects into his veins. If there are twenty puffs for you in a cigarette, you receive twenty doses of the drug with just one cigarette.
Nicotine is a quick-acting drug, and levels in the bloodstream fall swiftly to about half within thirty minutes of smoking a cigarette and to a quarter within an hour. This explains why most smokers average about twenty per day.
This information is so important that you should read it again and absorb it fully.
As soon as the smoker extinguishes the cigarette, the nicotine rapidly leaves and the body withdraws from the drug.
At this point I must dispel a common illusion that smokers have about withdrawal pangs. Smokers think that withdrawal pangs are the terrible trauma they suffer when they try or are forced to stop smoking. In reality, these are mainly mental – the smoker is deprived of his pleasure or prop. I will explain more about this later.
The physical withdrawal from nicotine is so subtle that most smokers have lived and died without even realising they’re drug addicts. When we use the term ‘nicotine addict ’ we think we just ‘got into the habit’.
Within seven seconds of lighting a cigarette fresh nicotine is supplied and the pangs end, resulting in the feeling of relaxation and confidence that the cigarette appears to give to the smoker.
In the early days, when we first start smoking, the withdrawal pangs and their relief are so slight that we’re not even aware of their existence. When we start smoking regularly we think it’s because we’ve either come to enjoy them or just got into the ‘habit’. The truth is we’re already hooked but don’t realise it. We’ve created a little nicotine monster inside our stomach and every now and then we have to feed it.
All smokers start smoking for stupid reasons. Nobody has to. The only reason anybody continues smoking, whether they be a casual or a heavy smoker, is to feed that Little Monster.
In the next edition we will start to break down the five most common myths associated with smoking.