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|08-04-2004, 08:48 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
SMOKING - one addicts view
People say all the time: â€œsmoking never made me...â€? But the fact of the matter is, it did make lots of stuff happen. I know if I still smoked my kid would go from a happy meal to bologna sandwiches because my nicotine addiction comes first.
Besides stealing the allocated funds from my loved ones to support my addiction, cigarette smoking is one of the few addictions that DIRECTLY kill others when I engage in it around them. Second hand smoke kills, and the nicotine addict is just as apathetic and disrespectful as the coke, heroine, and speed addict.
Addiction is a behavioral pattern of drug use characterized by the compulsive use of a drug coupled with obsessive thinking. This often results in the securing of its supply and a high tendency to relapse after or during withdrawal. There are three hallmarks of addiction present in the habitual use of nicotine; these are self-administration, tolerance, and withdrawal. Adding to the insanity of self-destructive behavior, it is estimated that despite a heart attack, seventy percent of those afflicted continue to smoke and despite cancer surgery forty percent persist. When comparing quit-rates of other addictive drugs to nicotine: of the heroin and cocaine addicts per year there is a thirty percent success rate, of nicotine addicts there is a less than three percent success.
As mentioned earlier, tobaccoâ€™s main ingredient is nicotine, which is widely believed to be addictive. Barring the fact that hundreds of other toxins or carcinogens are introduced to the body when smoking, nicotine seems to be the most sought after and researched. To take a closer look at nicotine: â€œNicotine is a powerful pharmacologic agent that acts in a variety of ways at different sites in the body. After reaching the blood stream, nicotine enters the brain, interacts with specific receptors in brain tissue, and initiates metabolic and electrical activity in the brain. In addition, nicotine causes skeletal muscle relaxation and has cardiovascular and endocrine effectsâ€?
Some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that tobacco use causes more than 430 thousand deaths annually in the United States alone. Of our estimated forty-seven million adult smokers in the US, more than half will die or become disabled as a result of smoking. According to the American Lung Association, smoking is the direct cause of eighty-seven percent of lung cancer cases and a direct link to most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis among smokers. The American Council on Science and Health states smoking causes irreversible damage to virtually every organ in the human body
Smoking can cause serious damage to the body even if one is not a smoker. People exposed to second-hand smoke become passive smokers and succumb to the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). According to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, secondhand smoke may be even more dangerous because it contains twice as much tar and nicotine per unit volume as does drawn and inhaled smoke. One reason for this is, as oxygen is drawn across a smoldering fire it increases its heat, as the heat increases, more and more of the carcinogens are burned in the process. The cooler the smoldering item is, the less byproducts are incinerated in the process.
The un-inhaled smoke from a cigarette can have five times as much carbon monoxide, three times as much benzpyrene (which is cancer-causing), and up to fifty times as much ammonia. Another astonishing statistic is that smoking kills more people than alcohol, infections, poisons, gun shots, AIDS, car wrecks, cocaine, and heroin combined.
Did you know??? Did you know that asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, and many other related disorders are directly linked to children living in the home of a smoker? My child spent his first couple years in a smoke filled house. During those years he was afflicted with many problems and now has chronic repertory problems. Heâ€™s sentenced to a life of restrictions and complications, quite possibly as a direct result of someone elseâ€™s addiction.
Just for today, Iâ€™m grateful for the freedom from active nicotine addiction given me by God. The obsession has never returned. I did not taper, nor did I seek a helping device such as the patch. I made a decision, prayed, meditated and took direction from God as to what I was to do next. My last cigarette was on June 20, 1995. I received this freedom from practicing the principles of 12 Steps in my life as a design for living. I have not had to fight it off nor have I been afraid. This is my experience, this is how I get to live so long as I keep in fit spiritual condition.
|The Following User Says Thank You to andyaddict For This Useful Post:|| |
|08-05-2004, 06:23 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: That's what I'd like to know.
Wowzer! Thanks for that thoughtful and info packed post Andy. I just passed the one year mark on the 27th of July. I "just quit" too... but I had been working up to it, playing about with patches and tapering and such. One of the strongest motivators for me was thinking about how embarassing it would be to acquire a smoking related illness. Everybody knows smoking makes people sick, there I would be lamenting the fact that I just didn't have the chutzpa to stop. So I decided I did, and stopped.
But now I want to wander away from the point for a moment and ask you where you found those quitting stats? The reason I ask is that the cocaine and heroin quit stats I've read are considerably lower and my heart leapt with optimism when I read yours. I like yours better. LOL
It is better to have loved and lost than to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.
21st century proverb
|08-24-2004, 05:54 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: North Royalton, Ohio
Gosh you are just what I needed today.
Just someone tell me this.....HOW can something that does absolutely NO good be legal??
It's disgusting to me that because of money hungry politicians, people can legally smoke.
Hugs and sweet breath to all......
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons because, to them, you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
|11-16-2004, 06:59 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
Tobacco’s history can be very interesting as well as shocking. Tobacco had its first introduction into the chronological time line in 1492 where sailors accompanying Christopher Columbus obtained tobacco and took it back to Europe. Over the next century, tobacco began filtering into societies around the globe. Interestingly enough, Jamestown Virginia finds it way atop the timeline with its first successful commercial tobacco crop in 1612. Within seven years, tobacco became Virginia’s chief export, mushrooming from two thousand pounds in 1615 to a half-million pounds in 1628. One thing some might find interesting, yet disturbing, was the name John Rolfe. John was the driving force behind Virginia’s tobacco success. In 1613 an Indian woman was captured and brought to Jamestown. Within one year, John had developed a relationship with her and they were married. Her name was Pocahontas.
Cigarettes were first manufactured in the United States in 1868 and by the year 1880 the US consumes over one billion cigarettes annually. Dr. John H. Kellogg first identifies smoking as a cause of lip, throat, and mouth cancer in 1922, while two years later, cigarette sales exceed seventy-three billion. As more and more doctors publish findings that smoking is unhealthful, litigation slowly takes place in the US, curbing tobacco’s massive growth. In 1975 a landmark decision was made in the US, it was the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act which restricted smoking in most buildings open to the public. At around the same, time cigarette sales in the US rose to over six hundred billion.
What seems to be behind the massive influx of cigarette consumption is the effect it has on the smoker. From the start, it was no secret that smoking tobacco, later found to be the nicotine in the tobacco, created a mild intoxication. Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes mentioned that among practices of (American) Indians, one seemed especially harmful, the inhaling of a certain kind of smoke which they call tobacco, in order to produce a state of stupor. This was a revelation from 1526, not long after Columbus took the first tobacco product back to Europe.
These facts are staggering and have been slowly but painstakingly driving their way to the forefront of political agendas within the United States. In a high courts ruling in favor of finally regulating tobacco as a drug, President Clinton pronounced it “a historic and landmark day for the nation’s health and children.” In the same article is the statement: “In what tobacco foes called a monumental defeat for the industry, a federal judge ruled for the first time that the Food and Drug Administration can regulate tobacco as a drug” ( OC Register A1).
Less than a year and a half after the ruling in favor of the FDA, a federal appeals court overturned the ruling saying that it has no authority to regulate nicotine as a drug. The Los Angeles Times is cited: “A two-to-one ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed a lower court decision, represents a major set back for the administration’s efforts to restrict tobacco use.” The article goes on to say: “The decision’s effect on Congress is more difficult to assess. In the nearly thirty-five years since the surgeon general’s report found that cigarette smoking is a health hazard, Congress has imposed almost no tough regulation on the tobacco industry. The single exception was the smoking ban on airline flights which benefited members of Congress, who are frequent fliers” (LA Times A1)
Many argue that the tobacco giants intend on fighting for their right to produce a product that people freely and willingly consume knowing that it may be detrimental to their health. Many others will argue that the costs to the public are easily surpassing the benefits ever gained from tobacco sales and consumption in the first place. In recent years, states are implementing tougher, more stringent measures to insure that people have the protection they need in relation to the consequences of tobacco use. This litigation and legislation in the US may be what is promoting such aggressive marketing abroad.
It is now believed that tobacco use worldwide has reached the proportion of a global epidemic. In the early nineties, tobacco caused about three million deaths a year around the world. If the current trend stays its course, by the year 2020 there could be a toll of over ten million a year.
In conclusion, the history of an evolving deadly trend has surpassed what nearly anybody could have imagined during the first commercial crops of tobacco in the United States. Though there still may be some that resist, many will now agree that not only is primary and secondary smoke unhealthy, but also that the nicotine contained in it is addictive. While there are some new litigation defending the unknowing and naive, there are many more customers being born today that will potentially fall into the trap of active cigarette addiction and often even die as a result.
|11-28-2004, 06:18 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Gaston Oregon
i as well prayed for this influence of tobacco to be diminished and i give God all the Glory. i have been smoke free for 3 years now without even a craving .. as a matter of a fact i can't even stand the smell praise god
|11-29-2004, 05:12 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2002
I had a year cigarette/nicotine free in sept. it is awesome to have such freedom after 20+ years, to think every twenty minutes I was sucking on those smokes for dear life. Fixing just like any junkie does. Totally unacceptable way for me to live my life today. The same principles so many use to kick drugs or booze can easily be used to stop smoking. But as always a person has to want it.
So now being a non smoker I can truly grasp how sick a person who still smokes is. A true form of their not accepting and admitting the harm a behavior does to one life and doing something to change. A healthy person does not desire to do things to themselve that are unhealthy. For me to continue to do things that are proven to be so harmful means I really have to look inward and the beauty is today I know in my heart I don't want to live my life like that anymore. Thanksgivin.
|01-01-2005, 11:00 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
I often feel troubled when I see fellow suffers succumb to the apparent easier, softer way. I was offered freedom from active addiction not by the heroine patch or methamphetamine gum, but by pure determination and suffering. I found the suffering necessary as a future deterrent to temporary whims or fleeting thoughts.
As of yet, I have rarely crossed an alcohol detox offering near-beers to their clients to "taper" with. To the best of my knowledge, alcohol is the most dangerous to detox from and the only one with potentially lethal withdrawal symptoms.
This may sound harsh to some, yet this is often a battle for life and death to many. I have seen dozens of chippers gain the hope of actually quitting while substituting, just to see their hope crash when their chipping on patches and gum only lead to picking up again.
Prayer, meditation, and action. The elevator to abstinence is broken, if you really wanna get there you might do well to take the steps.
|01-01-2005, 07:55 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Our house.
This is obviously a way that has worked for you and that is brilliant.
However, i feel that we all have our own ways and many ways can work. I have been in residential treatments for heroin + methodone which have involved cold turkey detox. In this very protected environment this was fine. The suffering of detox was never a particular deterrent to me a year down the line when i used again though.
The last time i decided to clean up i was taking care of an 8yr old child and an 80yr old grandmother. A cold turkey detox did not feel a realistic option at that time and i chose instead to give myself the space of a 18mth methadone detox. With utter determination and the support of a few people in NA who believed in me and despite many that didnt, i completed that 2yrs ago. I dont believe it was either a softer or harder route, it was simply a different one.
Whilst i hold a different outlook to you on this issue i took a lot from your opening posts. Thank-you.
|07-03-2005, 10:37 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
You know, it took over half a year to respond to this last post. Though I've wanted to, I feel as if I were caught with my pants down.
It wasn't until just now I felt I had anything to add to this discussion without compromising the principles I so much espouse. I believe the conflict arises with the differences between nicotine and opiate detoxification. Nicotine, though a very uncomfortable and irritable detox, seems small in comparison to the painful debilitation from opiates. Although I would seldom advise a methadone detox plan, I am strongly against excluding addicts who have chosen it from being accepted amongst others with a desire to stop using.
It is just because I have not seen very good results in the substitution arena for nicotine, as it impacts a person with deep rooted characteristics of an addict. Using, in my opinion, has very little to do with the "drug," so much as it has to do with the feelings of fear and escape.
I hope this makes more sense and that my abrasiveness has not deterred anyone from trying this way of life, free from chemical influence.
|07-04-2005, 06:22 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So California
though some of us are slow learners and some of us discover our OWN methods to quit..
I say whatever works,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,works!!!!!!!!!!!!
I may not be able to follow your path, but if your path works for you, then that is all that matters!!!!
Time it was, and what a time it was, it was: A time of innocence, a time of confidences ; Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph ; Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you
|10-27-2005, 06:44 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
Thanx for the kudos mates.
As for the Native American theory, I would find it hard to believe that there was actually any resistance to nicotine; however I would be more inclined to believe that "motive" and "spiritual tradition" played a far greater role.
Here, let me play a twist on a writing from an old Doctor friend of ours:
We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of nicotine on these chronic addicts is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average occasional smoker. These allergic types can never safely use nicotine in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve. ...
Men and women smoke essentially because they like the effect produced by nicotine. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their addict life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drags - ones which they see others (seemingly) taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to smoke again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of their recovery.
Then a twist on some literature from another book:
The physical aspect of our disease is the compulsive use of nicotine: the inability to stop using once we have started. The mental aspect of our disease is the obsession, or overpowering desire, which leads us to smokin even when it has destroyed our lives. The spiritual part of our disease is our total self-centeredness. We felt that we could stop whenever we wanted to, despite all evidence to the contrary. Denial, substitution, rationalization, justification, distrust of others, guilt, embarrassment, dereliction, degradation, isolation, and loss of control are all results of our disease. Our disease is progressive, incurable and fatal. Most of us are relieved to find out we have a disease instead of a moral deficiency.
We are not responsible for our disease, but we are responsible for our recovery. Most of us tried to stop smoking on our own, but we were unable to live with or without nicotine. Eventually we realized that we were powerless over our addiction.
Many of us tried to stop smoking on sheer willpower, and this turned out to be a temporary solution. We saw that willpower alone would not work for any length of time. We tried countless other remedies-psychiatrists, hospitals, patches, gum, inhalers. Everything we tried, failed. We began to see that we had rationalized the most outrageous sort of nonsense in order to justify the mess nicotine had made of our lives.
Until we let go of all our reservations, the foundation on which our recovery is based is in danger. Reservations, no matter what they are, rob us of obtaining all the benefits a nicotine free life has to offer. In ridding ourselves of all reservations, we surrender. Then, and only then, can we be helped to recover from the disease of addiction.
How does this stuff read to you guys?
|10-28-2005, 07:34 AM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: out there...
sounds familiar to me Andy
My good friend quit just last week after a bout with pneumonia. Her doctor asked her how she would like struggling to breathe like that for the rest of her life. She said no way and he said Thats as close to the condition of emphysema as you will ever come to it without having it.
This last week she had a heart attack and will probably have a least a triple bypass. She is 44 years old and her heart doc said the majority of damage to her circulatory system was from smoking .. both nicotine and marijuana.
Talk about running headlong into unmanagability.
I don't come to this board all that much because I am not quite ready but I am going to need all the help I can get soon. I'm getting to a stage where I'm not so far ahead of catastrophic consequences from smoking. I probably consider or discuss cessation on a near daily basis.
Good job to everyone who has beaten down the habit. Your leading the way for those of us on the fence.
|03-06-2006, 12:54 PM||#16 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
find a God
clean up the past/make ammends
pray / meditate
be of help/service to others to maintain self-esteem and be in agreement with the God of your understanding
|03-07-2006, 05:06 AM||#17 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
However, those tools only provide an opportunity to change our smoking behaviors. Once more, smoking is similar to an ice berg. The tip of the berg-the part we can see - is the addiction part. The part of the berg under the water - the largest part of it - is a series of behaviors associated with or manifest by smoking. The patch, gum, zyban or anything else is something to use to help us through while we work on the underlying behaviors.
To suggest that these tools do not work is not a truth. Alone, nothing works. Smoke cessation is difficult. But, with the decision to quit, and the willingness to work on changing those behaviors, these tools do indeed increase the odds of a successfull quit.
I am now Three months, six days, 2 hours, 2 minutes and 38 seconds smoke free. That's 3923 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,078.93. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 14 hours, 55 minutes.
I used zyban; the patch; and gum, (while driving - that's where I got really strong urges.) I also took advantage of free smoke cessation counseling. And I never want another cigarette. Because I never want to have to quit again. But, as I say, there's no prize for the most suffering. If something works for you -- use it! Any of these tools, used temporarily for the purpose of effecting the change in smoking, sure beats the heck out of a cigarette!
|08-29-2006, 07:45 AM||#18 (permalink)|
Certified NA Counselor
Ya, well... I guess if it were as simple as any "one" of us share, there wouldn't be any need for "us" to congregate for our success eh?
What about this philosophy: I guess I could admit that even I used a crutch (sugar free gum, bananas, sunflower seeds) to help me through my issues, nevertheless, I did not attempt to eliminate the discomfort attributed to my quitting nor did I seek a similar "using" euphoria from my crutches.
Maybe the difference is not in "what" we use to aid in the quit, but in the motives behind the using thereof? Guess more will be revealed.
|04-25-2008, 09:03 PM||#20 (permalink)|
If you are lost, stand still
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: James Island, SC
Blog Entries: 4
Glad it is - good info.
I have asthma, and my parents have always smoked. I stopped staying with them at holidays since they couldn't refrain from smoking in the house while I was there.
My dad's lung collapsed when he was in his twenties - his doctor said smoking wasn't the cause, and he kept smoking. He now has emphysema, and he's still smoking. My mom is also still smoking, and wonders why her colds persist longer than a week or so, and why she had bone loss severe enough to need a metal plate and screw implanted in her hip at the age of 60.
After reading the secondhand smoke stats, I feel a bit more justified in being anxious around anyone who is smoking.
The things they taught you
They're lining up to haunt you
They've got your back against the wall
I've been down the very road you're walking now
It doesn't have to be so dark and lonesome
The Shins - It's Only Life
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