How to Quit Smoking: Know Your Enemy

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The poster against smoking: the person behind a lattice from cigarettes

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Cigarettes are a formidable opponent, but they can be conquered.

In order to stop smoking, you must know what you are up against.

This means understanding the physical and psychological aspects of smoking addiction.

Once you understand why cigarettes have a hold on you, you can begin to release yourself from its grip.

WHY you become addicted

Smoking addiction has physical and psychological components.

Physical addiction

Nicotine, one of the main ingredients in tobacco, is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in existence. It is also one of the most addictive, and (as you already realize) is known to be significantly detrimental to health.

The addictive nature of nicotine includes psychoactive effects, drug-reinforced behavior, compulsive use, relapse after abstinence, physical dependence, and tolerance.

Cigarettes are a very efficient and cleverly engineered nicotine delivery system. A smoker can get nicotine to the brain very quickly with every inhalation. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs over a 5-minute period. For a person who smokes about one-and-a-half packs (30 cigarettes) each day, this equals 300 daily nicotine hits to the brain.

Within 10 seconds of entering your body, the nicotine reaches your brain, causing it to release adrenaline. This creates a buzz of pleasure and energy.

But that buzz fades quickly and makes the user crave that feeling again.

The smoker lights up the next cigarette, and the cycle of addiction continues.

Because the body is able to build up a high tolerance to nicotine, the user needs to smoke more and more in order to get those pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

When I said that cigarettes are a cleverly engineered nicotine delivery system, I wasn’t kidding.

They are designed to be that way.

Here’s the ugly truth: the tobacco industry has been engaged in a conspiracy to defraud you for over 50 years. This fact was first exposed by industry insiders in the 1990s.

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  • http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/political_reading_room/ disqus_3BrONUAJno

    Having quit on the first try, cold turkey, back in the late 70’s, after smoking for over a decade, I know with certainty that the only way to quit smoking is to quit smoking.

    • Reverend Draco

      I smoked for over 30 years. . . and when I was done – I was done.

      No problems, no withdrawals, no nothing.

      So much of what we “know” about smoking is precisely what we used to “know” about masturbation causing blindness. It was “common knowledge” with no basis in fact.

      • http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/political_reading_room/ disqus_3BrONUAJno

        I didn’t know you were that old:-)
        One tip for quitters: don’t have the first cigarette or dip of the day and subsequent cravings are easier to ignore.

        • Reverend Draco

          Born in ’64 – started smoking at age 13. . . quit 15 months ago.

          As the celebrity alien said. . . There is do, or do not – there is no try.

    • lazWbiPdit

      It is easy to quit smoking…..I did it dozens of times.

      • http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/political_reading_room/ disqus_3BrONUAJno

        Practice makes perfect.

  • I forgot

    There’s about 700 ingredients in cigarettes, when burned they create more than 7,000 chemicals. So, it would appear as though what we are talking about is pharmakeia,

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/political_reading_room/ disqus_3BrONUAJno

      So there are 7000 chemicals in the 700 ingredients in cigarettes, they not getting out of the standard conditions involved in the conservation of matter? If the presence of chemicals is proof of pharmakeia, everything is pharmakeia, being of necessity, chemical.

  • lou

    To those who can’t quit, enjoy the fact that smoking is possibly one of the only things that prevents Alzheimer’s.

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/political_reading_room/ disqus_3BrONUAJno

      The best way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to find another doctor if the one you go to tries to put you on statins, the most common cause, although not widely known, of most neurological diseases for those that take it. My diet is strongly carnivorous and my cholesterol was just fine in the CBC that I got a week ago. My consumption of nutrients is not coexistent with my diet.

  • lou

    I get this from my bud who is doing a Neuroscience PHD (dementia / Alzheimer’s) here at our university. Of course, it’s at the theory stage but the research is promising. Of course, no one wants people to continue smoking so let’s leave at that for now.