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Smoking a real drag, say queens

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  1. John R. Polito 26 Jun 2007, 12:46pm

    Quit Smoking TipsLaw of Addiction – The law of addiction states, “administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.” Yes, just one powerful puff and you’ll be faced with again enduring up to 72 hours of nicotine detox, by far the most challenging period of recovery. We’re not that strong. Adherence to a simple four word restatement of the law of addiction guarantees success to all. No nicotine just one day at a time … “Never Take Another Puff.” Be Honest With Yourself – Nicotine dependency is every bit as real and permanent as alcoholism. Why play games with yourself? Treating a true addiction as though it were some nasty little habit is a recipe for relapse. There is no such thing as “just one.” It truly is an all or nothing proposition. Calm the Deep Inner Mind – the primitive subconscious mind sees ending all nicotine use as though you were committing suicide, as though starving yourself to death. It does not think, plan or plot against you but simply reacts to the years of input it has received from the the mind’s priorities teacher, the brain’s dopamine reward pathways (pathways taken hostage by nicotine) and input it receives from you, via the conscious thinking mind. Calm and reassure it, especially in the fleeting seconds before dosing off into sleep. Measuring Victory – Forget about quitting “forever.” Like attempting the seemingly impossible task of eating an entire cow or steer, it’s the biggest psychological bite imaginable. Instead, work hard at adopting a more manageable “one steak at a time” or better yet “one day at a time” recovery philosophy for measuring victory. If you insist on seeing success only in terms of quitting forever then on which day will you celebrate? Who is coming to that party? Recovery Phases – When quitting, the amount of nicotine remaining in your bloodstream will be cut by half every two hours. Within 72 hours all nicotine and 90% of the chemicals nicotine breaks down into will have passed from your body. Physical withdrawal peaks by day three and is substantially complete within 10 days to two weeks. Subconscious trigger reconditioning normally peaks during the first week and all but your remote, infrequent or seasonal triggers should be reconditioned within a month. Conscious thoughts of wanting will gradually grow fewer, shorter in duration and generally less intense. Within a few months they’ll become the exception not the rule, as you’ll gradually start to develop an expectation of going your entire day without “thinking” about wanting to smoke nicotine. Withdrawal Symptoms – As strange as this sounds, withdrawal symptoms are good not bad for they are true signs of healing. Within reason it’s fairly safe to blame most of what you’ll feel during the first three days on quitting. But after that you need to listen closely to your body and if concerned give your doctor a call. If you must, don’t blame your symptoms on where you’re going but, on where you’ve been. Possible Hidden Conditions – Each puff of smoke contained more than 500 different gases and 3,500 different particles. One or more of these 4,000 chemicals may have been masking an underlying hidden health problem such as a thyroid condition (iodine), breathing problems including asthma (bronchiodialiators), or even chronic organic depression (nicotine). Your cigarette’s chemicals may also have been interacting with medications you were taking and an adjustment may be necessary. Stay alert and contact your doctor or pharmacist if at all concerned. Emotional Phases – Chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine is one of the most intense, repetitive and dependable relationships you’ve likely ever known. It has infected almost every aspect of your life. Be prepared to experience a normal sense of emotional loss. Expect to travel through and experience six different emotional phases: (1) denial, (2) anger, (3) bargaining, (4) depression, (5) acceptance, and (6) complacency. Quitting Methods – Contrary to less than honest pharmaceutical industry marketing hype which for two decades has painted cold turkey quitting has almost impossible with few succeeding, nearly 90% of all long-term ex-smokers quit smoking cold turkey. Take your own poll. They must think smokers either terribly stupid or extremely desperate. Not only is it our most productive quitting method, it’s fast and free. But quitting cold in ignorance and darkness is extremly frightening. When cold turkey quitting is combined with education, skills development and ongoing support it’s by far the most effective quitting method of all. It allows quitters to avoid medication side effects and avoid getting hooked on the cure (nearly 40% of all nicotine gum users are chronic long-term users of at least 6 months). All pharmacology products delay brain neuronal re-sensitization to varying degrees. What that means is that there is almost always some degree of back-end readjustment where the quitter is left feeling de-sensitized and wanting to smoke, once treatment ends. In Champix studies, more than half who successfully complete three months of use will relapse to smoking within one year. Record Your Motivations – Once in the heat of battle, it is normal for your mind to quickly forget many of the reasons that motivated you to quit smoking. Write yourself a loving reminder letter, carry it with you, and read it often. Make it your first line of defense – a motivational tool that you can pull out during moments of challenge. As with achievement in almost all human endeavors, the wind beneath your recovery wings will not be strength or willpower but robust dreams and desires. Keep your dreams vibrant and on center-stage and no circumstance will deprive you of glory. Do Not Skip Meals – Each puff of nicotine was our spoon, releasing stored fats into our bloodstream. It allowed us to skip meals without experiencing wild blood-sugar swing symptoms such as an inability to concentrate or hunger related anxieties. Learn to again properly fuel your body by spreading out your normal daily calorie intake more evenly. Do not skip meals. Three Days of Natural Juices – Drink plenty of acidic fruit juice the first three days. Cranberry is excellent and a bottle will cost you about the same as a pack of cigarettes. The acidic juices will not only aid in more quickly removing the alkaloid nicotine but will help stabilize blood sugars. Take care beyond three days as juices can be rather fattening. Weight Gain – You’d need to gain at least 75 extra pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack-a-day. Eat vegetables and fruits instead of candies, chips and pastries to help avoid weight gain. Engage in some form of moderate daily exercise if at all concerned about weight gain. Keep in mind that you can expect a substantial increase in overall lung function of up to 30% within just 90 days of quitting. Then, it will aid you in engaging in extended periods of physical activity, in shedding any extra pounds, and in building cardiovascular endurance. Stress Related Anxieties – Recognize that contrary to popular thinking, smoking nicotine did not relieve stress but only its own absence. Nicotine is an alkaloid. Stress is an acid-producing event capable of quickly neutralizing the body’s nicotine reserves. As smokers, we added early withdrawal to every stressful event. You will soon discover an amazing sense of calm during crisis. In handling stress during this temporary period of readjustment called “quitting,” practice slow deep breathing while focusing your mind on your favorite object, place or person to the exclusion of other thoughts. Quitting for Others – You cannot quit for others. It must be your gift to you. Quitting for a child, spouse, parent or friend creates a natural sense of deprivation that will ultimately result in relapse. If quitting for another, how will an addict’s junkie-mind respond the first time they disappoint us? Attitude – A positive can-do attitude is important. Take pride in each hour of healing and freedom and in each challenge overcome. Celebrate the full and complete victory each reflects. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely do-able. Yes you can! Patience – Years of smoking nicotine conditioned us to be extremely impatient, at least when it comes to our addiction. A deprived nicotine addict could inhale a puff of nicotine and have it arrive and release dopamine in their brain within just 8 seconds. Realize the importance of patience to successful recovery. Baby steps, just one hour, challenge and day at a time and then celebrate the new found patience you just demonstrated. Keeping Cigarettes – Get rid of all cigarettes. Keeping a stash of cigarettes makes as much sense as someone on suicide watch keeping a loaded gun handy just to prove they can. Toying with a 50% chance of depriving yourself of 5,000 sunrises isn’t a game. Fully commit to going the distance and seeing what it’s like to awaken to new expectations of a nicotine free life. Caffeine/Nicotine Interaction – Amazingly, nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine. Studies have found that your blood-caffeine level will rise to 203% of your normal baseline if no intake reduction is made when quitting. Although not a problem for most light to moderate caffeine users, consider a caffeine intake reduction if troubled by anxieties or if experiencing difficulty relaxing or sleeping. Subconscious Smoking Triggers – You have conditioned your subconscious mind to expect nicotine when encountering certain locations, times, events, people or emotions. Be prepared for each to trigger a brief crave episode. Encountering a trigger cannot trigger relapse unless you take a p uff. Take heart, most triggers are reconditioned and extinguished by a single e