Cigarette Smoking is as physically addicting
as hard drugs like heroin.
The reason you cant stop the behavior is because
you are addicted to nicotine.
Quitting smoking is always hard because
all addictions take a long time to break.
Once you have been a smoker you will always want cigarettes
even after you have quit.
Lie #1 and Lie #2 are directly related to people's ideas about nicotine and how nicotine relates to the fact that it is difficult to stop smoking. First let me ask you a question and be honest, I want you to get in touch with your own unconscious programming and also your unconscious resources. Do you believe that you are addicted to nicotine? Yes or no. 95% of smokers who want to quit (but find that they cant) believe that they are addicted to nicotine.
There are a lot of different kinds of addictions and a lot of different ideas that people have about nicotine and how it is affecting their body. This is one of the main reasons that so many people find it so difficult to quit. I will explain. One kind of addiction is a physical addiction. A physical addiction is a result of using drugs like morphine and heroin. When someone gets off those drugs, physically their body can not function pain free; their body goes through severe physical withdrawals, and typically the person needs to be hospitalized when recovering from a physically addictive drug. It doesnt matter how much willpower or positive attitude they have because the pain is physically created as the drug leaves the body, its not psychologically created.
There are also psychological addictions, which are different from physical addictions. Psychological addiction is when psychologically the person likes something gets good psychological feelings or emotions from the drug (or the behavior), and then they like it and when they dont have it, they miss it. Many behaviors and even some drugs that are considered "hard" drugs are only psychologically addictive and not physically addictive. Psychological addictions can be just as hard to break for the individual person suffering from it as a physical addiction but there are very important differences between the two especially as these facts relate to smoking. People who have psychological addictions can stop doing the behavior once they handle the psychological part of their mind that wants the drug or the behavior substituting another alternative or otherwise satisfying the underlying need in some other way and stop without any physical pain or withdrawal. Therapists work with these cases every day, and even in the case of a psychologically addictive drug, the client can stop using the drug without physical withdrawals because in the case of this kind of addiction, the body can tolerate the drug leaving the system. If the psychological need was not handled, however, the mind could miss the feelings and could experience psychological withdrawals, cravings, etc. This is why thousands of people seek assistance from professionals who know about these things; NLP Practitioners, Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists.
Have you ever-used nicotine: nicotine gum, nicotine patches, or nicotine prescription from your doctor. Drug companies have isolated the substance, nicotine, so that it can be sold separately, because doctors used to believe that the reason that people smoked was to get nicotine, so now everyone can go out and try it (unfortunately, there are still Doctors who perpetuate this misconception). First of all, when you smoke, there are certain benefits (or feelings) you get from smoking: pleasure, satisfaction, relaxation, it calms you down if you are upset, and helps you to feel better and get your mind off whats bothering you if you are experiencing a crisis or a problem.
Was it the nicotine you wanted
The question is: When you used nicotine (gum, patches, etc), did it give you these same good feelings and pleasures that you get when you smoke? Yes or No.
I have asked this question to more than 3,000 smokers in-group and individual sessions; the answer is always the same. The answer no. Of course nicotine did not give them the same feelings that they get when they smoke, the feelings that they smoke to get. Most people say that it didnt give them any pleasure at all, in fact, most people find it repulsive. Nicotine raises the heart rate and the blood pressure. It is a stimulant that simply causes nervousness. It has no power in and of itself to give you pleasure, cause you to relax, calm you down when youre upset, or give you any kind of satisfaction. It gives you a kind of a buzz, a stimulation. Your body gets used to this fix and begin to associate it with the other feelings the behavior (not the cigarette itself) brings you. Self-control, peace of mind, etc. But it is not the nicotine relaxing you.
Assumption: People smoke to get nicotine
Yet for years, we have been told by the media that the reason people smoke is to get nicotine. Our medical history is full of assumptions like that, assumptions that were based on inadequate or erroneous information. Many many years ago a doctor discovered that there was a substance in the tobacco that could be considered a drug because it raises the heart rate and blood pressure. The doctor having very little knowledge about neurology or psychology assumed: People have a hard time quitting smoking, and since there is a drug in here, it must be the nicotine which causes people to not be able to quit. It sounds logical if you dont know anything about behavior and if you fail to look at a few obvious facts.
So nobody gets the same feelings that they want (the ones they get from smoking) when they us straight nicotine. When you used straight nicotine, did it give you all those good feelings that you get when you smoke? So, was it the nicotine that you wanted? Based on your experience with nicotine (or these facts about nicotine if you havent tried straight nicotine), is it the nicotine that youre after when you smoke? Is it the nicotine that causes you to smoke?
New controversy: Why cant they prove that nicotine is why people smoke?
Fact: If nicotine was really that addictive and if nicotine was the reason that people smoke, if it was what was giving smokers these good feelings that theyre after, if nicotine was the reason that people are psychologically addicted to smoking, then they would sell nicotine gum in vending machines and they would sell billions of dollars of nicotine gum, patches, prescriptions, etc. just the way they do cigarettes. Millions of people would get their fix this way rather than through cigarettes, besides, it wouldnt cause lung cancer, right? But then, why dont they? The reason is: There are very few repeat purchases of pure nicotine products! Very few people use it for very long. And no one can congruently say that for them, it totally replaced smoking. If what has been said in the past about nicotine was true, then millions of people would be addicted to nicotine gum and patches! Because it is known that in truth, these products do nothing to alter the behavior, it is required by law that all the packages have printed the following: "This product is designed to be used as one part of a comprehensive smoking cessation program including behavior modification."
Is smoking addictive
Yes smoking is addictive psychologically addictive. Is it the nicotine that causes you to smoke? Of course not, its obvious when you look at the facts. Does nicotine, however, play a part in the overall formula of smoking that people become psychologically addicted to? Yes, it does. It does have an effect on the body and that, combined with all the parts of the formula (that I will explain in later chapters) is linked to the feelings that the behavior generates, to which the smoker is psychologically addicted. Nicotine, like the flavor of the smoke, the brand, the way you hold the cigarette, and your favorite time to have a smoke, are all a part of the formula. But it is not the nicotine itself any more than the color of the smoke makes you addicted.
Breaking a psychological addiction
There is no prescribed time that it takes to break a psychological addiction. The psychological change happens instantaneously. However, if you dont know specifically how to generate that change, and if you go about it at random (the way some counselors and therapists do) then it could take some time until all the elements are in place and the client changes. Neurologically, the change takes a fraction of a moment. As soon as the part of your unconscious mind realizes that it can get what it needs in a better way, and is willing to let go of the old behavior in place of the new behavior, then the client has changed. And if the changes are integrated and are ecological, which means that all unconscious parts needs are met and it is in the best interest of the client (at an unconscious level) then the change becomes permanent. The only reason a change doesnt become permanent is because all the unconscious needs were not met, and that part responsible for smoking (or any other behavior) was not totally convinced that it prefers the new behavior.
In my seminars and private therapy, I teach my clients to be responsible for providing themselves with what they need. For example dealing with stress, upset, and unpleasant emotions. If someone is irritating them, they deal with their feelings and actions. If the symptom, in this case a desire to escape the unpleasant feelings by smoking, then that is simply an important message from their unconscious that they are not being responsible for themselves and are letting someone or something get to them. If and when they ever do feel an urge to have a cigarette once they become non-smokers, they know that they need to stop, take a deep breath, relax, take a break and ask themselves what they could do (that is positive and healthy) to satisfy the need that is the underlying reason (that they used to use cigarettes as a substitute for) that they feel they feel they need at that moment for their happiness and well being. The part of them that used to cause them to smoke now becomes a very important and integral part of their unconscious mind that now motivates them to take responsibility for their feelings and their experience so that they are happier, healthier and more positive and productive human beings. And of course, once they reach this point, they never want to go back to smoking. Once change occurs, and you experience how wonderful it is to be a non-smoker, and you integrate that part (the information in this book will allow you to do this), then you will never want to go back to smoking.
You are reading the 10 Lies About Smoking Book by Brett Thomas
Copyright ©2002 by e-onlinepublishing and Brett Thomas