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If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, our approach and process may be exactly what you are looking for. Working with either one of us, either through our phone and online health coaching service, or in person, could be an ideal opportunity for you to quit your use for good and recover the life you enjoyed before nicotine. Nicotine addiction is about living a life of lies, self-deceit, and distorted priorities. We addicts might forget to take our vitamins or skip meals because we are too busy, but we would never forget to get our nicotine fix. I know.
I lived that way for 22 years. The addiction won’t let us go without. Yet I had the illusion that cigarettes were enriching my experience of life, not disrupting it. According to a 1998 report from the Center for Disease Control, tobacco killed 25 times more Americans than all illegal drugs combined. It is appalling to me that with nearly five million annual tobacco related deaths worldwide, the industry knows that it must entice each new generation of youth to experiment and then become hooked on nicotine.
So it markets aggressively to its future business base: the high school student. In the United States, as of 1998 27% of new smokers were 13 and under; 60% were 15 or under; 80% were age 17 or under; and 92 % were under the age of 19. Prior to quitting in 1970 I had been in denial that cigarettes were dangerous. No one could have convinced me that smoking was bad for my health. I smoked while nursing my babies.
I smoked when I was in the hospital right after delivering them with the nurse holding the lit cigarette for me so I wouldn’t accidentally drop it and cause a fire. I was annoyed when non-smokers wouldn’t let me smoke in their cars. I was annoyed I couldn’t smoke in my classroom or dormitory room in college, or in movie theaters. I felt somewhat annoyed at friends who didn’t smoke. I married a smoker, and when he gave up smoking before I did, I was annoyed at him.
In retrospect, I am proud of my ability to quit back then, given the limited information and support systems available at the time, and given the far wider acceptance and use of tobacco in our society then. Social events and public places were full of smoke and largely accepted as a simple fact of existence. If you were a non-smoker, you were the one who needed to adapt. It was no wonder that my addiction was held in place as long as it was. What did help me, though, were several critical factors.
First, I read an article by a doctor who was well ahead of his time. In it he cited research that after 22 years of smoking (which happened to be the exact number of years I had been puffing), one’s lungs were nearing irreplaceable damage. Also, at the time a local radio station was sponsoring a “Great Smokeout”, led by staff committed to quitting, and enrolling thousands of listeners while promising strong group support. The attraction of this community event finally gave me pause about continuing to ignore the pleas and criticisms from my young children and I made the choice to stop. What I have since learned, of course, is the full danger of tobacco products – that nicotine is a natural insecticide that is formed in the roots of tobacco plants.
It helps to protect the plant’s roots, leaves, and stalk from insects and animals. According to the book Freedom from Nicotine – The Journey Home, by John Polito, nicotine is amost twice as deadly as black widow spider venom and three times deadlier than diamondback rattlesnake venom. A lethal dose of nicotine for a 160 pound person would be 30mg. The average American cigarette has 8-9 mg. and although some of that gets burned off or escapes through the filter or in other ways, the amount introduced into the blood stream with every cigarette is about 1.
17 -1. 37mg. In other words, A 160 lb person smoking 30 cigarettes a day over an entire day would bring enough nicotine into his or her body to die, if the entire 30 mg. had arrived all at once. Nicotine is also an addictive chemical.
As a stimulant it releases dopamine into your system which gives you the high after the first drag. However, this high, in the form of an “Aha! ” moment, is not destined to last. Instead what remains is the need to repeat that high, every hour or two for most, even sooner for some. That need, that requirement for another such moment, actually defines addiction, and in that respect cigarettes are in the same category as other addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or alcohol.
As for myself, I can remember times when I ran out of cigarettes and went around the house checking out ashtrays scavenging for possible discarded cigarettes in order to get a drag. That is what addiction is all about. Besides, nicotine creates all kinds of “stinkin’ thinkin” that can twist your logic and persuade you that nicotine is your friend in need and impel you to build your daily routine around the refills. Some kind of friend, nicotine, whose continued use has been estimated to shorten the average life span of an addicted user by 10 to 13 years, depending on how long the period of use. Because information such as what I’m citing came to me decades after I had even stopped thinking about smoking, I have always felt both proud of my will power at the time and also conscious that beside accurate information, there were other important factors such as family support, strong emotional motivation (I wanted to be alive and well to enjoy my children and grandchildren), and my creative ability to replace smoking with positive physical and mental activities.
Yet at the same time, I can readily see that, had I known then what I know now about the extent of the danger I had been exposing myself to, I might have quit years sooner and never subjected my children to my second hand smoke. I am appalled by what I now know and I hope you are also. The good news is that there are known and therefore predictable stages of withdrawal that can be managed. During the first 72 hours of cessation, for example, you can expect a certain number of 3-minute periods of intense cravings, which will be filled with powerful “reasons”, compulsive pulls to smoke. In those relatively brief periods during the critical first three days, we as coaches can help you to come up with a detailed plan to get you through.
These periods of craving will decline in frequency, duration, and intensity. You will still be vulnerable and at risk to some extent for quite a while. But you will increasingly recover the health and dignity of the life you had before you took that first long inhale. In fact, many ex-addicts like me cannot even remember the last time they wanted nicotine. Excellent, accurate, current information about nicotine and its use, whether by puffing, chewing, or sniffing, is now widely available.
For example, authoritative websites such as www. whyquit.com and www. ffnicotine.com are very helpful. As coaches, though, we are prepared to take our clients much further. We have access to an extensive personalized website full of supportive resources to assist you as a client in staying on task, reminding you why you are doing what you are doing and supporting your efforts.
And we are on call for you as long as needed, but especially in the early going. We are on call, because we know from our own coaching practice and experience that information is often not by itself enough, nor are any of the many cessation methods on the market (the patch, electronic cigarettes, hypnotism etc. ). If these were adequate, there would perhaps be no need for our work as coaches to help others who are daunted and unable to set attainable goals, to support their efforts, and to hold them accountable for creating the life and future they so deeply seek and deserve. Finally, Bruce and I have known many people, including our parents and other immediate relatives and close friends, whose lives were needlessly shortened by nicotine addiction.
We know of almost no one unaffected by the role of nicotine in their family or with friends. All of us may have adapted to and accepted these losses at some level, even minimized the impact. Yet for us personally, a sense of indignation and outrage, and an even deeper sense of compassion, has long since overridden and shrugging of our shoulders, so to speak, and fuels our firm commitment to what we do. When someone enlists us as coaches in their recovery, it is not just they who stand to benefit. It is their immediate family and all other around them as well.
While quitting may be an individual effort, the rewards are exponential and reciprocal for everyone. How Nicotine from Cigarettes Affects Nearly Every Part of Our Body Most cigarette smokers have heard and even acknowledge, whether their awareness has any impact on their behavior or not, that the chemicals delivered by tobacco smoke inhaled into the lungs put them at major risk for many conditions, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, colds, and of course lung cancer. But here are some other parts of the bodies also affected, of which you may or not be aware: Heart and Blood Vessels: When you inhale the nicotine it immediately enters your blood and is carried throughout your body. In your brain, the nicotine acts as a stimulant, signaling your heart to beat faster. This signal then raises your blood pressure.
Eventually the poisonous chemicals cause the blood vessels to narrow which then lessens the flow of blood which carries the needed oxygen to the heart and all parts of the body. Blocked vessels can lead to strokes and heart attacks and other chronic conditions like the following: None of this is surprising if you realize that the nicotine found in the roots of tobacco plants is a potent natural insecticide with the power to protect the plant by killing insects and even small animals! Our approach is a specific 6 step system through which you can successfully: We welcome anyone receptive to change and curious about their own nicotine use history and situation. We find that the more motivated and highly dissatisfied a prospective client, the more effective we can be and the better our chances of success working together. To assess your situation and readiness to take this life-changing step, we offer a free initial 30-minute consultation where you can learn more and have your questions and concerns addressed.
Interested? Please contact either of us via email or at 908-387-8270. Our services are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. We do not make any medical or psychological diagnoses or claims, nor is our role as coaches to be considered a substitute for a physician’s care.