Stories & experiences


An addiction by any other name . . .

Posted in Reasons to quit 15 Oct 2016

Every time I hear someone refer to smoking as a bad habit, it irritates me. Make no mistake about it, smoking is not a habit . . . it is an addiction . . . and calling it by a name that makes it appear comparatively innocuous, less harmful, less dirty, or just plain less evil than it actually is, is dangerous and can prove fatal to you and to others! Ingesting nicotine by any means is harmful. Regardless of whether you smoke, chew tobacco, dip snuff, or chew nicotine gum, you are courting a lady far more dangerous than Mata Hari. The addictive ability of nicotine is on a par with Crack Cocaine.

My favored form of nicotine ingestion was smoking and it hooked me for 53+ years. I have a friend who used nicotine gum to kick the smoking habit and has been hooked on that for 23 years. Now considering the fact that the use of nicotine gum beyond 12 weeks is considered long-term or excessive use . . . do you still doubt the addictive ability of nicotine in any form? Having been addicted to nicotine for 53 years, having lost a brother and a sister-in-law to lung cancer, having watched a friend lose his father to emphysema caused by smoking, having suffered and nearly died from a severe heart attack myself brought on by prolonged nicotine use, and still dealing with an aortic aneurism likely caused by prolonged nicotine use, I feel perfectly qualified and justified to throw stones at nicotine use. As an individual who can now refer to himself as a recovering nicotine addict, I feel qualified to tell you that YOU CAN also become a recovering nicotine addict.

I refer to myself as a recovering nicotine addict because as with any other addiction, it will only take one use of my preferred drug (nicotine) to set my recovery back . . . possibly to day 1 again. Therefor I will proudly refer to myself as a recovering nicotine addict until the day I die! Here is the key to becoming a recovering nicotine addict rather than a current nicotine addict: you need to understand nicotine withdrawal. The urges brought-on by nicotine withdrawal are recurring. How frequently these withdrawal incidents occur, how long they last, and how strong they are when they occur depend on several things: (1) How long you used nicotine, (2) How heavily you used nicotine, (3) How long since your last use of nicotine.

Now here are some things (keys if you will), that work in your favor i.e. important pieces of factual knowledge. Here is important piece #1 of that knowledge: The nicotine withdrawal incident will go away whether you ingest nicotine or not. I use to believe that you had to light-up or ingest nicotine in some form to stop the nicotine craving – I have learned that this is simply not true at all. Here is important piece #2 of that knowledge: as the number of days since your last ingestion of nicotine increases, the frequency, strength, and duration of withdrawal incidents decrease. Here is important piece of knowledge #3: YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR NICOTINE ADDICTION IN THE PAST regardless of how long you used nicotine or how heavily you used nicotine. I am living proof that YOU CAN! I was a nicotine addict for 53+ years and smoked anywhere from a pack a day to 3 packs a day over that time-frame and I quit cold turkey. Only you can convince yourself that you cannot do it and only you can use the common sense you were born with and look at me and say “If TheOldPhart could do this, I can do it too” . . . and YOU CAN!

Believe in yourself as much as I believe in you. I will guarantee you that if you really want to break free from your nicotine addiction, YOU CAN!

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  • CF October 15, 2016 | 13:09
    Great Post! Thanks YouOldPhart, Very Informative and inspiring.
  • Lia October 15, 2016 | 22:25
    Hi OldPhart. Always enjoy your perspective on our dilemma. Clever and really commonsense. Too bad it takes a lifetime to discover this... That is why certain individuals are able to express ot so eloquently... Live long enough, we finally get it...
  • Steve01 October 16, 2016 | 2:41
    Brilliant mate...thanks for taking the time to share your valued insight.
  • WendyOhNo October 16, 2016 | 10:28
    I so love you and am so very appreciative of you! You're right about nicotine replacements. My brother-in-law had been chewing the nicotine gum for 12 years now! I wish that everyone knew about the brutal realities of difficult withdrawals. I'm on the WhyQuit site on Facebook. I really like Joel Spitzer and appreciate how much he has done to advance the cause of not smoking cold turkey. The site on Facebook is designed to get people through their first three days. The problem is, they will not allow users to tell the newbies that hard times will come. Nobody is out of the woods in three days, bit that's what newbies believe. They also will not allow anyone to make any suggestions on how to cope. Because of that, you have a bunch of folks who hit day three and hit a wall. Most people who quit are feeling the pain for, at least, the first 21 days and then, and only then does it start to get better. I'm at 54 days, still tired often! I don't believe it's fair to not present the truth about this addiction and withdrawal. I appreciate your honesty! Thank you!
  • Crasher October 17, 2016 | 11:51
    Well said and couldn't agree with you more. Its all about choice in the end isn't it? We all have the choice to light up or not. I chose NOT.
    Thank you for your wisdom OldPhart
  • Lia October 28, 2016 | 9:42
    Hi OldPhart. Always enjoy your perspective on our dilemma. Clever and really commonsense. Too bad it takes a lifetime to discover this... That is why certain individuals are able to express ot so eloquently... Live long enough, we finally get it...

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