"I smoke because I like smoking!"
Ask almost any current smoker why she continues to indulge in such a dangerous activity and she will normally reply, "Because I like smoking."
While she may say this in all honesty, it is a very misleading statement, both to the listener and to the smoker herself. She does not smoke because she enjoys smoking, rather she smokes because she does not enjoy not smoking.
Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. The smoker is in a constant battle to maintain a narrow range of nicotine in her blood stream (serum nicotine level). Every time the smoker's serum nicotine level falls below the minimum limit, she experiences drug withdrawal.
She becomes tense, irritable, anxious and, in some cases, even shows physical symptoms. She does not enjoy feeling these withdrawals. The only thing that will alleviate these acute symptoms will be a cigarette. The nicotine loss is then replenished and, hence, the smoker feels better. She enjoyed smoking. A smoker must also be cautious not to exceed their upper limit of tolerance for nicotine or else suffer varying degrees of nicotine poisoning. Many smokers can attest to this condition.
It usually occurs after parties or extremely tense situations when the smokers finds themselves exceeding their normal level of consumption. They feel sick, nauseous, dizzy and generally miserable. Being a successful smoker is like being an accomplished tightrope walker. The smoker must constantly maintain a balance between these two painful extremes of too much or too little nicotine.
The fear which accompanies initial smoking cessation is that the rest of the ex-smoker's entire life will be as horrible as the first few days without cigarettes. What ex-smokers will learn is that within a short period of time, the physical withdrawal will start to diminish.
First, the urges will weaken in intensity and then become shorter in duration. There will be longer time intervals between urges. It will eventually reach the point where the ex-smoker will desire a cigarette very infrequently, if ever. Those who continue to smoke will continue to be in a constant battle of maintaining their serum nicotine level.
Included in this battle is the great expense of buying pack after pack and the dangerous assault on the smoker's body of inhaling the poison nicotine along with over 4,000 other toxic chemicals which comprise the tars and gasses produced from the combustion of tobacco. These chemicals are deadly by themselves and even more so in combination.
So the next time you think of how much you once seemed to enjoy cigarettes, sit back and take a serious, objective look at why you have such an idealization of this dangerous product. Consider all the consequences. You will probably realize that you feel physically and mentally better now than you ever did as a smoker. Consider all of this and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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- WhyQuit.com - WhyQuit is the Internet's oldest forum devoted to the art, science and psychology of cold turkey quitting, the stop smoking method used by the vast majority of all successful long-term ex-smokers.
- Nicotine Addiction 101 - WhyQuit's basic guide to understanding nicotine dependency.
- Nicotine Cessation Topic Index - An alphabetical subject matter index to more than a thousand nicotine cessation articles, videos and support group discussions.
- Joel's Library - Joel Spitzer began presenting stop smoking clinics and seminars in 1976. WhyQuit's education director since 2000, Joel's Library is home to his life's work. It includes Joel's "Daily Quitting Lesson Guide," more than 100 original stop smoking articles, his free ebook "Never Take Another Puff," and to his ever growing collection of more than 400 stop smoking videos.
- "Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home" - Written by John R. Polito, a former 30-year heavy smoker and WhyQuit's 1999 founder, Freedom from Nicotine shares the science underlying nicotine dependency and successful abrupt nicotine cessation.
- Turkeyville - Imagine surrounding yourself with more than 10,000 cold turkey quitters. Turkeyville is a Facebook support group exclusively for cold turkey quitters.
- Freedom - Freedom was WhyQuit's original 1999 stop smoking support group. No longer accepting members, its 453,000 archived posts continue to share recovery insights.