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Good morning everyone.
I just finished reading Allen Car's book on quitting smoking. First of all, thank you to everyone who suggested reading it. I believe much of the material was beneficial to myself, and certainly to others who have read it.
Happiness, I believe it was you who got me rolling on the concept of "hating the cigarette"; the idea that we are not actually giving anything up, we are instead, gaining freedom. Carr's book greatly emphasizes this. Now in my fourth day of quitting, I took these words and used them as encouragement to continue going in the direction I'm going. I am taking deep note of the things that I'm already enjoying, clearer breathing, and a better sense of taste among them, and I am feeling sadness for those that I see still light up, seemingly without a thought. I entirely agree with him on the notion that the relief and calming effect of cigarettes is just an illusion.
However, all this being said, I feel compelled to offer one criticism of Mr. Carr's philosophy, and this is his complete condemnation of NRT. The reason I feel I must criticize this is because I feel that there are those, like myself, that NRT is legitimately the best solution for. I fear these people may read the book, try it without the NRT's, and come into some severe withdrawal symptoms like I've experienced, and fail.
I believe that since Mr. Carr experienced minimal physical withdrawal symptoms, he is predisposed to think that others will be the same. However, I know for a fact that some people are more physiologically hooked on the nicotine than others.
My last quit attempt was essentially cold turkey (took the patch off after one day because I wanted to quicken the process). After 7 days without nicotine I became a monster, I would weep in the shower and I would scream at those who I love. Mr. Carr suggests that actual physical withdrawal symptoms are minimal, but they were not for me. I experienced "brain shakes" when I slept. If you have not heard of these, they are like a minuscule stroke that makes your brain feel like it is being mildly shocked. Not much is known of these, but it is believed that they are caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. I also experienced night sweats, and insomnia, these do not come from simply "missing smoking". I know others who have presented other physical symptoms.
I would still encourage others to read this book. However; if you have the self awareness, or past experiences to know that you need a quit aid, then I would encourage you to be critical of the parts where he condemns NRT's. Everyone is different, and I have no doubt that this method is great for a lot of people. However, I think it is wrong to assume that all can get through without physical withdrawal symptoms.
For those that need to use NRT's, I would still read this and glean the attitude and decisiveness of quitting smoking that is found in it's pages.
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