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Most overlooked quitting method: understanding

John R. Polito

What learning takes place by swallowing a quit smoking pill called Chantix, Champix or Zyban? What understanding or new skills flow from chewing Nicorette nicotine gum, sucking on a Commit nicotine lozenge, slapping on a Nicoderm CQ patch, by being hypnotized or stuck with needles? Running from promise to promise, half of all adult cigarette smokers are scheduled to lose an average 13 years of life, most because they never took time to discover what they were up against.

Iris, a 20 year-old Marlboro Light smoker holds a sign reading I can't run.  I can't breathe.Knowledge truly is power, and not just with smoking cessation but in all walks of life. Whether a gardener or farmer, parent or teacher, patient or nurse, driver or auto mechanic, mastering any subject area, including nicotine dependency recovery, makes development of skill in performing the associated activity vastly more likely.

Are you a slave to cigarettes, cigars, a pipe, chewing tobacco, dip, snuff or snus, the nicotine lozenge, gum, inhaler, spray or the newest entry, the first true nicotine designer drug, Chantix or Champix? The below nicotine dependency recovery questions may hint at your level of understanding of the highly do-able challenge of breaking nicotine's grip upon your mind, health and life.

Test Your Nicotine Dependency Understanding

1.   Whether an external chemical's dopamine high is accompanied by a sense of numbness, drunkenness, stimulation or alertness, the common thread between all true chemical addictions is that the addict's brain reward pathways, their mind's priorities teacher, has been taken hostage. That next mandatory chemical feeding is now their #1 priority in life. What chemical enslaves the greatest percentage of regular users?

A.   Alcohol
B.   Nicotine
C.   Cocaine
D.   Heroin
E.   LSD

2.   According to a 1990 study, what percentage of quitters who lapse and sneak just one "taste," or one little puff, will thereafter experience full relapse and complete failure?

A.   93.5%
B.   73.5%
C.   53.5%
D.   33.5%
E.   13.5%

3.   A common complaint upon quitting is an inability to concentrate or think clearly. This symptom ...

A.   is caused by too much oxygen to the brain
B.   is usually unavoidable
C.   results from a decline in brain dopamine output
D.   normally indicates low blood sugar
E.   is permanent

4.    Far from quitting smoking being nearly impossible, here in the U.S. we now have more ex-smokers (47 million) than current smokers (45 million). Most selling quitting products seek to do so by destroying smoker confidence in their natural quitting instincts. According to the U.S. government, what percentage of successful U.S. ex-smokers quit smoking cold turkey, without resort to any quitting product or undergoing any procedure?

A.   Less than 3%
B.   Less than 5%
C.   About 25%
D.   Nearly 50%
E.   Almost 90%

5.    Which of the following statements is/are true?

A.   Nicotine dependent users grow millions of extra nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors in at least eleven different brain regions, a process known as "up-regulation" or tolerance.
B.   Nicotine is a natural poison and super-toxin that, drop for drop, is more deadly than diamondback rattlesnake venom, arsenic, strychnine or cyanide.
C.   The amount of nicotine entering the bloodstream each time nicotine is smoked is about 1mg, an amount sufficient to kill a one pound rat.
D.   Whether entering the bloodstream by being smoked, chewed, patched, swallowed or sucked, recent studies suggest that each hit of nicotine arriving in the brain destroys additional brain gray matter.
E.   All of the above

The correct responses are: (1) B, (2) A, (3) D, (4) E, (5) E. Want explanations? The Internet is loaded with powerful knowledge-based quitting tools and your favorite search engine is your passport to discovery and wisdom. We may want to build a skyscraper but if we don't know how it can prove rather challenging. Quitting in ignorance and darkness is frightening, and makes as much sense as trying to land a plane without putting the wheels down. It can be done but why try? It's amazing how mastering the recovery process destroys needless fears. Turn on the lights. Yes you can!

Questions complied by John R. Polito, Nicotine Cessation Educator and Editor of WhyQuit.com, a free online nicotine dependency recovery forum, primarily using research available online through the National Institutes of Health (www.PubMed.gov).

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WhyQuit.com Joel's Library Turkeyville
Written 07/13/07.
Reformatted 08/16/2018 by John R. Polito