Sadly, although smoking is the leading cause of premature death in nearly all developed nations, most will die knowing very little about either smoking or quitting.
Knowledge is power. Key to dramatically increasing a quitter's odds of success is in becoming more dependency recovery savvy than their addiction is strong.
Please share this short ten question quiz with every smoker you know. The correct answer is presented immediately after each question. Answering at least 7 of 10 correctly suggests that the smoker knows the key lessons needed to succeed in quitting. Should they score poorly, encourage them to visit and explore www.WhyQuit.com, a totally free education oriented quit smoking site that sells nothing, is staffed entirely by volunteers and declines donations.
1. After quitting, what percentage who cheat and try to smoke just one cigarette will experience relapse, failure and a return to smoking?
A. Less than 5%
B. Roughly half.
C. About 90%
Correct Answer: C - According to smoking relapse studies, lapse and relapse are nearly one in the same.
2. Which statement is false?
A. Alcohol use is associated with roughly half of smoking relapses after quitting.
B. Smoking calms the central nervous system and reduces stress.
C. When quitting, rarely will any crave episode last longer than 3 minutes.
False Answer: B - Smoking is a central nervous system stimulant that activates the body's fight or flight response and actually makes the heart pound faster. Stress is an acid producing event within the body which accelerates the rate by which the kidneys remove the alkaloid nicotine from the bloodstream. Smoking following stress does not alter the underlying stressful event. If caused by getting a flat tire, the tire is still flat. What smoking more nicotine does is to relieve the onset of early withdrawal caused by accelerated elimination of nicotine from the bloodstream.
Regarding choice A, using alcohol while in early withdrawal is a recipe for relapse. A quitter would be wise to not use alcohol until after moving beyond peak withdrawal and even then using extreme caution.
Regarding choice C, while time distortion is an extremely common quitting symptom that can make a less than 3 minute crave episode feel like 3 hours, subconsciously triggered crave episodes normally last less than 3 minutes. Keep a clock or watch handy to maintain an honest perspective on time.
3. Which quit smoking method will produce more successful long-term ex-smokers during 2013 than all other quitting methods combined?
A. Cold turkey
B. Use of approved quit smoking products: nicotine gum, nicotine patch, nicotine lozenge, nicotine spray, nicotine inhaler, Chantix / Champix and Zyban.
C. Undergoing quitting treatments (hypnosis, acupuncture, laser therapy, quit smoking shots).
Correct Answer: A - Depending upon the country in which you live, cold turkey is again expected to account for 60 to 90% of all successful quitters during 2013. This is important as those selling quitting products do their best to falsely convince smokers that quitting cold turkey is nearly impossible.
4. What is the maximum length of time it takes after ending all nicotine use before the body becomes 100% nicotine free and withdrawal peaks in intensity?
A. Up to 72 hours
B. Up to one week
C. Up to one month
Correct Answer: A - The amount of nicotine remaining in the bloodstream is reduced by one-half every two hours unless replenished. The body has no choice but to become nicotine-free in less than 72 hours. Withdrawal intensity will by then peak and begin to gradually decline.
5. Which statement is false?
A. Unplanned quit smoking attempts are twice as likely to succeed as planned ones.
B. An inability to concentrate after quitting is likely related to low blood sugar and can often be corrected by eating.
C. Most quitters who cheat and take just one puff after quitting for an entire month are able to get away with it without relapsing to smoking.
False Answer: C - While normal for nicotine addicts to hope, wish and dream otherwise, just one powerful puff and up to half of the brain's a4b2-type dopamine pathway receptors will become occupied by nicotine. While roughly half walk away from having smoked just once believing and thinking that they have gotten away with it, they soon find their brain begging for more.
Regarding choice A, two recent studies found that unplanned quitting attempts are twice as successful as planned ones. It may be that anticipation anxieties while waiting on quitting day to arrive gradually eat away and destroy initial quitting motivations, desire and resolve.
Regarding choice B, nicotine activated the body's fight or flight response pumping stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream. This allowed smokers to skip meals without experiencing low blood sugar symptoms such as an inability to concentrate, anxiety, craves or the shakes. Many smokers must re-learn to properly fuel their body after quitting by more evenly spreading their normal daily calorie intake out more evenly over the entire day. Eat little, healthy and often.
6. Which quitting method prevailed in producing the highest percentage of successful quitters at 9 months in the only known quitting method survey conducted by U.S. Government health officials since 2000, a 2006 survey of 8,200 smokers conducted by the National Cancer Institute?
A. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (nicotine patch or gum)
C. Cold turkey
Correct Answer: C - While quitting products almost always prevail against placebo quitters inside clinical trials, they have failed to prevail against cold turkey quitters in nearly every real-world quitting method survey conducted to date. Why? First, placebo isn't a real quitting method. Second, clinical trials were not blind as claimed. They were loaded with experienced quitters who had become experts at recognizing exactly how their withdrawal syndrome felt. Would you have been able to tell if your nicotine-gum was instead a nicotine-free placebo? So could they. Clinical trials measure participant frustrations and satisfaction, not product worth.
7. According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse ...
A. ... cigarette smoking is an adult free-choice activity.
B. ... cigarette smoking may be habit forming.
C. ... chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine is a mental illness and disease that is as real and permanent as alcoholism.
Correct Answer: C - Full acceptance that nicotine dependency is a disease that cannot be cured helps protect quitters against relapse. It teaches us that, for the balance of life, one will always be too many and a thousand never enough. As with the alcoholic being unable to have just one sip, dependency acceptance also helps simplify the rules to comfortably living the remainder of life nicotine-free. In fact, there is really only one rule ... no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time!
8. Which statement is false?
A. After quitting it is normal to experience one or more extremely vivid dreams during which you are totally convinced you have smoked.
B. Study evidence indicates that your odds of success are substantially enhanced by making major changes in your daily routine on quitting day such as taking a different route, listening to a new radio station, and staying away from things you connect with smoking.
C. Nicotine doubles the rate by which the body eliminates caffeine. Blood caffeine levels will double if the exact same daily caffeine consumption is maintained after quitting.
False Answer: B - Although response B reflects "conventional quitting wisdom" seen on most quit smoking sites, these suggestions are historical in nature and there is no study evidence indicating that major life style changes or that avoiding smoking cues/triggers enhances success rates. Other than going slow and being extremely careful with alcohol, we need not give up any activity when quitting other than ending nicotine use.
Regarding vivid dreams choice A, horizontal healing lungs containing rapidly healing cilia (the tiny fibers that sweep mucus out of the lungs) and a healing sense of smell and taste may combine to produce one of the most vivid smoking dreams you have ever experienced. It is a wonderful sign of intense healing, and it is good not bad.
Regarding answer C and a doubling of caffeine levels after quitting, you'll be fine so long as you can handle a doubling of caffeine intake without experiencing symptoms. But if experiencing elevated anxieties or difficulty sleeping you may want to consider a caffeine intake reduction of up to one-half.
9. Unless something changes, what percentage of current adult smokers are expected to smoke themselves to death?
Correct Answer: C - Here in the U.S., roughly half of adult female smokers are expected to lose 14 years of life-expectancy while half of male smokers are expected to lose 13 years. One-quarter of adult smokers are expected to die during middle-age, each an average of 22.5 years early. It isn't that smokers are stupid but that they suffer from a brain wanting disorder in which nicotine has taken their mind's priorities teacher (their dopamine pathways) hostage. It has left them totally yet falsely convinced that that next nicotine fix is as important as eating. Think about it, craving food, craving nicotine, hunger pains, nicotine withdrawal. Who should smokers believe, their loved ones screaming the insanity of smoking that next cigarette or their brain screaming the need for more nicotine?
10. Which quitting philosophy is honest and will likely make recovery most manageable?
A. Keep telling yourself that smoking isn't an option.
B. Keep reminding yourself that you are quitting forever.
C. Adopt a "one day at a time" mindset.
Best Answer: C - Adopting a one hour, challenge and day at a time mindset keeps you focused and grounded in here and now, without worrying about how far we've come or how long remains before substantial comfort arrives.
Regarding answer A, truth is that smoking and relapse is always an option. As for answer B, why make the task before you bigger than need be? Forever is like sitting down to the table thinking you need to eat an entire cow or steer before getting up. Why not have one nice juicy steak per day instead?
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