Crutches to Quit Smoking

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Feb 2005, 06:10 #41

Some people turn to a healthy alternative as a crutch, like jogging or swimming. These activities carry low risk and, in fact, often result in physical benefits. But if they are being done as a direct crutch in maintaining abstinence, they pose one major threat. As with drugs, alcohol, or food, when the day comes that one must stop the activity, the seemingly successful ex-smoker will often relapse. Sometimes a minor ankle sprain will temporarily end a jogger's running, or an ear infection will interfere with swimming. What should be a temporary minor inconvenience ends in a tragic result - relapse to cigarettes. Again, the ex-smoker believes that only one of two states exist for him or her - either smoking or mandatory exercise. But, in actuality, a third choice exists, not smoking and doing nothing. This is not to say an ex-smoker should not take up physical activities after quitting. But exercise should be done for the enjoyment and for the true benefits derived from it. The ex-smoker should do it because he or she wants to, not because he or she has to. The above paragraph gave a couple examples of how a minor injury or illness can effect our ability to do certain activities and how dangerous that can be if the activity is in any way viewed as a cruth. Being in the heart of cold and flu season, it is important for people to know that there may be some limitations encountered in day to day activities if you get any kind of these common infections. Just know that over time you will be less likely to get infections and more likely to recover from them quicker when you do by simply sticking to your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Apr 2005, 21:59 #42

Yes, even exercise can be a crutch
I received the below email on April 9, 2005 and Heather consented to my sharing it here at Freedom.

I started smoking at age 15, and quit finally at 27 to run a marathon. After the marathon, I had some injuries and had to stop working out. I also started smoking again--Amazing how strong the devil is! I can't believe it, but I was a smoker again for another 3 years. Smokers always feel like outcasts, but I felt even more ashamed by my smoking, because see firsthand how devastating smoking is.
My mom has been smoking for 30 years, and has COPD. She's so out of breath that sometimes it takes her nearly the whole day to even just comb her hair. She also has stools placed a few feet apart throughout her house. This is so she can stop, rest, and catch her breath every few steps when trying to walk from one end of the house to the other (it's a small house!). She's not even 60 years old. : (
Fed up, I quit cold turkey again, and often look at WhyQuit for encouragement. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing here; I often refer friends who still smoke here for information and support.

Best wishes,
Heather
Last edited by John (Gold) on 14 Apr 2009, 13:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Apr 2005, 00:00 #43

Even drinking water when ever you have an smoking thought can be an ill advised crutch. Sure it poses a minimum risk of any health problem or any weight issues, but what happens of going for a drink of water is what you believe you need to do to stave off an urge? What happens if one day you are alone in a forest preserve, a desert or some other isolated place and you come across a pack of cigarettes and a lighter and all of a sudden it looks tempting. You look north, south, east and west and there is not a water fountain or any other source of water in sight. You can panic and now think that the way you sustain your quit is by drinking water, there is no water around and you now have to smoke.

Again, as it says above:
If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Last edited by Joel on 15 Feb 2010, 16:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 May 2005, 21:41 #44

I just saw a post suggesting a nice way to celebrate being successfully off smoking for a year is to buy a bottle of wine to share with friends and loved ones. It made me think of the original article here and the commentary I attached the other day.

The casual suggestion of celebrating successfully not smoking for a given time period with an alcoholic beverage of any kind really does not belong at a site dealing with treating a drug addiction. Are there people who may celebrate this way here at Freedom? Sure there are--I suspect that a lot of our members drink occasionally. But there are some members and readers here who don't drink to celebrate either by personal choice or, because they can no longer drink to celebrate without having to drink all of the time whether there is anything to celebrate or not. These are people who are recovering alcoholics and who hopefully know their own limitations. I suspect that some of these people may be put off by the suggestion of using alcohol to celebrate quitting smoking. Also, there are likely members and readers here who while they may not be alcoholic themselves, they may have family members and friends who are and who may think that buying wine to share with these people is not an appropriate method of celebrating breaking free from the nicotine addiction.

As it says above:

...do not use this site to glamorize drinking. There are people here who are recovering alcoholics who find posting about the fun and glamour of drinking to be quite disconcerting. Also, the frequent use of the emoticons, portraying a mug or a champaign toast are really seen as poor taste to these people. Put yourself in their place--if you belonged to a site that was on a totally different topic, and people came in touting the joys of recreational smoking, you would feel the need to enlighten the group or could be offended and annoyed with the casual way the subject was being portrayed. You could then either feel the need to take it head on and stir up debate with the group, or just leave the group. Neither of these options is acceptable to us at Freedom--for we have strict policies about diversional posts, and the idea of a person leaving because of an issue that is really unnecessary is abhorrent to us. Because the people who are here trying to secure their quits are here because they are fighting for their lives. Their needs then take precedent over people who are here for more social or fun reasons. Freedom is a quit smoking education and support site. We try to get the message out that life goes on without smoking--things you could do before can still be done after quitting. Things that could not be done before, such as safe or controlled drinking for a recovering alcoholic cannot be done now either. So as a general rule of thumb now, we are asking members to minimize the amount of time they are posting about drinking at this site. We have ample strings to cover alcohol issues. We will continue to bring them up as holidays come up, and around weekends where drinking situations are often encountered more frequently. But we ask that people who are regular users of alcohol not to raise the issue over and over again.


All posting members need to stay cognizant of this concept. It is not saying that issues involving drinking cannot be discussed. Again, if a person finds him or herself in a social drinking situation and it creates smoking thoughts, or if a person is nervous about how to get through a party or gathering where he or she will be drinking, it is totally legitimate to raise these concerns and for others to explain how they deal with such circumstances. Suggesting or encouraging the use of alcohol though to others who you do not know their full histories on is a risky proposition.

As we discuss in the thread The Freedom Classroom:

Since December of 2002 we have had over 1,056,000 distinct hosts view pages at www.whyquit.com. If only 10% of these people find their way to Freedom it would still be over 100,000 people. The numbers may be higher. While we don't know the exact numbers of people who do read we know it is a lot. Every person posting at Freedom has an awesome responsibility because every word you are writing is capable of influencing hundreds or even thousands of people. Considering what we are trying to influence them to do, which is to quit smoking and to save their lives, it is easy to see how why we feel that this is indeed an awesome responsibility.


So everyone be aware and stay cognizant to the fact any advice written on this board is being read by hundreds to thousands of people. Make sure that any specific suggestions that you are sharing is sound advice for all people. Offering celebratory drinks to all people is an unwarranted suggestion in the event the people who you may be making the offer to are people in recovery from alcohol.

It is similar to our members getting offered a cigar to celebrate the birth of a baby or other special occasions. While the act may seem acceptable to some people in some social circles, I think most of our members and readers would feel that this act would be uncomfortable to say the least, and in poor taste if the offer was being made by a person who knew you had quit smoking, and that you had made it clear to that person that you realize that you are a nicotine addict and cannot smoke without relapsing.

Be prepared that such offers may occur from others. Offers for drinks will likely happen at times even if you are a person who is in recovery from alcohol. Understand that if you are a person in recovery that the reason that you have maintained your sobriety up to this point is that you have worked out some sort of response to deal with such offers and the bottom line is that it is your responsibility to stick to your commitment not to drink.

The same concept holds true for all of our members regarding smoking. I hope most of our members and readers never find themselves feeling that there is a right time to pass along a cigar or any tobacco product to another person to celebrate any event. All members and readers must be aware though that offers of tobacco products to you can occur over time. Once again, it is the personal responsibility of each member and reader to sustain his or her own quit even at such times by remembering that in spite of the nature of these offers that the only way to sustain your own quit and truly have something to celebrate is to stick to your own personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
Last edited by Joel on 15 Feb 2010, 16:40, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jul 2005, 00:46 #45

I saw toothpicks and sunflower seeds mentioned in a "gold" post. I am bringing up a few posts addressing how new quitters don't need to start in on these or any other products to quit--in a way they all carry a certain risk. In the case of toothpicks, they can become a crutch as talked about in this article--and for sunflower seeds, besides just being a crutch they can lead to excess calorie consumption and weight gain. All that a person must take in order to sustain a quit is some simple advice--which is simply to stop administering nicotine and then to stick with a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jan 2006, 07:30 #46

Rubber bands...an age old technique of putting a rubber band around your own wrist so that when you get a smoking thought you snap it and hurt yourself. Supposed to be a form of aversion therapy. You see, it can make a person think that if they take a puff they will get a sudden sharp pain in their wrist.

I do suspect that it will work if you are trying to get your pet rodent to quit smoking. They will learn to associate smoking with pain and be afraid that if they take a puff a sudden sharp pain will come out of no where.

I feel this technique has limited use on people though--at least people who are smart enough to realize that the pain they are feeling in their wrist isn't really coming from the cigarette at all. It actually just came from that awful rubber band that makes that loud snapping sound when ever the person himself or herself pulls on it and lets go.

If the person really thinks about it he or she will recognize that he or she can actually take a puff and not snap the band and thus avoid any real pain or damage.

Problem is, that last statement isn't true. Oh yes, the person can take a drag and avoid inducing a wrist pain by skipping the rubber band trick. But he or she is still going to be inducing lots of damage to many tissues throughout his or her body whether he or she feels it or not.

As you can tell, I am not a big fan of the technique. I want people to work on a cognitive level--really putting thought into why they don't want to be a smoker as opposed to going for a quick aversion technique.

If a person spends a little time and focuses on seeing smoking for what it really is and the kind of pain, suffering and destruction it really can cause he or she will walk away from any smoking thought with his or her resolve reinforced to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Mar 2006, 01:20 #47

I saw where one newer quitter expressed the thought that exercise is the greatest ally that a person can give themselves.

There are some people that due to physical limitations or injuries cannot exercise. These people are just as able to quit smoking as anyone else, for exercise is not the ally that is going to make or break a quit. If I had to narrow it down to one thing that can really help a person to stay quit it is understanding of the addiction that he or she is fighting. Although, there are even plenty of ex-smokers out there in the real world, most of them him in fact who quit without even having the education that are readers have here.

There are things that some individuals may take on that do indeed help them when they quit. No one though should feel that he or she needs to do the same thing as other people have done.

From above:

Some people turn to a healthy alternative as a crutch, like jogging or swimming. These activities carry low risk and, in fact, often result in physical benefits. But if they are being done as a direct crutch in maintaining abstinence, they pose one major threat. As with drugs, alcohol, or food, when the day comes that one must stop the activity, the seemingly successful ex-smoker will often relapse. Sometimes a minor ankle sprain will temporarily end a jogger's running, or an ear infection will interfere with swimming. What should be a temporary minor inconvenience ends in a tragic result - relapse to cigarettes. Again, the ex-smoker believes that only one of two states exist for him or her - either smoking or mandatory exercise. But, in actuality, a third choice exists, not smoking and doing nothing. This is not to say an ex-smoker should not take up physical activities after quitting. But exercise should be done for the enjoyment and for the true benefits derived from it. The ex-smoker should do it because he or she wants to, not because he or she has to.

If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jun 2006, 10:36 #48

Turning to food, especially high calorie sweet foods, will usually result in a psychological need with a subsequent weight gain. The risk of weight gain is insignificant in comparison to the dangers associated with cigarettes. The ex-smoker would have to gain over 75 pounds to create the equivalent health hazard of cigarette smoking. But weight gain often results in a state of panic and frustration which can lead the ex-smoker to conclude that he or she would rather be a skinny smoker than an obese ex-smoker. The fallacy which causes the ex-smoker to reach this conclusion is that only two options exist for him or her - smoke or eat more. In fact, other choices exist. One is not smoking and eating in a manner similar to when he or she was a smoker. Another is increasing activity levels to compensate for the added caloric intake when eating extra amounts.

(I see this version of the article said that you would have to gain 100 pounds to add the strain on the heart that smoking could cause. I thought I fixed this to read 75 pounds quite a while ago. I don't remember where I first read the original figure but I know all of the recent ones I have seen have said 75 pounds. Just wanted to keep things accurate here.)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Aug 2006, 04:40 #49

A crutch is any form of dependency recovery reliance that becomes so great that if removed could result in relapse.
If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Sep 2006, 06:02 #50

No one should be increasing alcohol consumption while quitting smoking.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:17

04 Feb 2007, 03:14 #51

I've been thinking about this "crutches" idea.

#1 on control:
In the fall I tried to stop. I told myself that I could have anything I wanted except a cig. I would go to my favorite grocery store and wander around for a long time and collect things I thought would help - cupcakes, cheeses, lotions, magazines, etc. Although it was sort of fun, and I did manage to stop (for awhile? mostly?) I think the result was that I still felt totally out of control. And eventually I was back to smoking just as much, not even trying to stop, hating it just as much and being a little more disappointed in myself. And I got a little fatter too. :)

I like this new plan of just one simple idea, not taking another puff. It doesn't require any substitutes or gimmicks. I'm dependent only on myself.

I went to the store this morning and wanted to "treat" myself and settled on a little tube of lip balm that has a fun flavor. I think it's a nice treat, because I'm happy and proud and particularly fascinated by this newfound sense of smell and taste. But it's not an attempt to replace something that I feel I need.

#2 on this site:
I spend a lot of time here lately. I feel that I have a "love/un-love" relationship with my use of this site. I have such admiration and respect and love for all these people who are doing something positive for themselves and those around them. But there are sad stories here. And when I look up from my computer, I see all my colleagues, working away, productive, presumably most of them free to do so without the weight of an addiction. I'm envious of that. I wish I didn't have to spend so much time on this site. I felt good when I was outside in the street and in the sun today. Here I'm always confronting something that, although we are wonderfully optimistic and cheerful, is deadly serious. I'd like to find a way to spend just enough time here to feel comfortable and strong in my quit, but no more than that. I'd like to be more productive, out and about more.

Thanks Joel and everyone for being deadly serious.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Apr 2007, 19:59 #52

We seem to have a couple of members who are experiencing problems because they started eating and drinking more when they quit smoking. We make it very clear at Freedom that eating more is going to cause a person to gain weight and that drinking more after quitting is going to result in weight issues also, along with a host of other problems that are beyond the realm of this board. No one should be using food or drink as a substitution for cigarettes. No one. Any one who is going to use food and alcohol as a crutch is doing so on their own. We are not going to be able to deal with or fix the problems that these people induce by their crutch replacement.
From the string "Do whatever it takes to quit smoking"
As far as using "whatever it takes," I guess that can be translated to taking any food, any drug, legal or illegal, or participate in any activity, no matter how ludicrous or dangerous that activity might be. Does the comment smoke crack cocaine, or shoot up heroin, or drink as much alcohol as it takes, or admininster lethal dosages of arsenic or cyanide make any sense to anyone as practical advice to quit smoking? If not, the comment of do whatever it takes loses any real concept of credibility.
As far as quitting smoking goes, the advice should not be "do whatever it takes to quit smoking," but rather, "do what it takes to quit smoking." What it takes to quit smoking is simply sticking to your commitment to never take another puff!
Joel
Also see the string Alcohol - can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol?, and if you are having problems that you believe to be alcohol related read the sections on problem drinkers and active alcoholics.
Last edited by Joel on 14 Apr 2009, 13:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Jun 2007, 21:39 #53

Video Title Dial Up HS/BB Audio Length Added
"What bad habit should I replace it with?" 1.86mb 18.4mb 0.75mb 05:04 10/02/06
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Sep 2007, 07:51 #54

I saw a suggestion being made of getting up to brush your teeth after eating. This indeed is a good suggestion when it comes to the weight control aspect of cessation. As it says below:
Another very good solution is getting up and brushing your teeth. This can become the new cue for the end of the meal as well as improve dental hygiene. The clean feeling in your mouth may be a new pleasurable experience for an ex-smoker. While smoking, brushing of the teeth was often followed by a cigarette, compromising the overall cleansing process.

At the same time though, people must be careful not to use any activity, even healthy ones, as a crutch to quit smoking. As it says above:
If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Losing a tooth brush or a roll of dental floss can throw a person into a state of panic who thinks that the way he or she doesn't smoke is to brush his or her teeth or to floss. Be careful not to feel that your quit is contingent on any device or utensil. All that your quit is contingent on to insure success is sticking to your personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joined: 04 Apr 2005, 07:00

25 Oct 2007, 00:56 #55

If all of the ex-smokers were to take up straw chewing, it would do nothing to help them remain nicotine free but would make the manufacturers of plastic straws very happy.

We never smoked cigarettes because there were no straws to chew. We smoked because we are nicotine addicts. Believing that they are an effective deterent to smoking or somehow lessen the cravings for nicotine, may encourage the manufacturers of NRT to start including a supply of straws in their packages.

Buy your stock now as the price of straws is bound to increase with the demand.
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Joined: 21 Apr 2009, 02:43

08 Jul 2009, 17:09 #56

So is this website tailored just for me???

It certainly seems that way some times. This is a situation I am presently dealing with (successfully I think).

I have two items to talk on.

First, I was just reading :

"A flood of recent studies teach that nicotine addiction is about living a lie. It's about an external chemical taking the minds priorities teacher hostage. It's about the brain's "pay attention" pathways compelling us to believe that that next nicotine fix is as important as eating when hungry or drinking fluids when thirsty. We all know what food cravings feel like. We also know the dopamine "aaah" sensation that arrives following obedience to them. Imagine your brain being fooled into seeing nicotine as food: food cravings, nicotine cravings - food dopamine "aaah" sensations, nicotine "aaahs."

I haven't had a nicotine "aaah" for three months but I did have a food dopamine "aaah" , actually it was coffee, less than a minute before reading the above passage. Although I have read it, I have never until now, put a nicotine "aah" remotely close to a food "aah".

Today I have felt and recognized these sensations as the same. Fortunately, I have never experienced food or water withdrawal mode so I can't attest to that one but today, I truly felt the dopamine sensation is the same for "maintenance purposes".

Now to the second topic. Addiction substitutions.

I hadn't read this thread recently but I knew I had strayed from the program and so the last few days had just started to search information about addiction substitutions. Started to find something of possible interest regarding carbohydrates and seratonin highs.

Sorry to say, I didn't find any website anything like our wonderful website.

So in a nutshell, for the first month I used food alot and then in the second month I believe I started to substitute the food by having a couple of beer every night. Rationalization, hey, the weather was turning nice, the nights are longer and beer and nice weather go hand in hand. As I typed, hand in hand, I had a thought, am I partially dealing with a hand/oral thing??? Regardless, that's a whack of extra calories and now I am having to deal with it.

I had been happily looking forward to my three month quit on Friday July 10 but when I started to take away the beer substitution I found myself falling lower on my "happy nicotine quit".

Early on, for a few weeks, I did find having a piece of gum after a meal was an excellent signal to stop and got rid of the after eating trigger. I do have coffee several times a week now, which I never drank before. For a few weeks, I drank large bottles of calorie free pop.

So please, all you guys who are starting out, I know it's seems hard but avoid the addiction substitution trap because just like our nicotine addiction, you may not get the chance to fix it later.

Think I am going to investigate the hand thing and see if I can find something....one which is calorie free....or is this just my addictive personality looking for another crutch. Part of me says, maybe I should delete this post..... just digging myself in deeper. I'm such a loser. LOL Yeah I know, use positive self-talk.

No, we are supposed to keep a journal of our recovery so I won't delete.

I am going to shut-up now and get ready to go to work.

I'll be fine, I'll be fine, I'll be fine..................................LOL
The intelligent quitter's strategy combines an understanding of the Law of Addiction
with well-protected core motivations.

Nobody ever graduates from Addiction

Cathy, Gold

[Quit April 10, 2009]
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Joined: 04 Apr 2005, 07:00

08 Jul 2009, 17:44 #57


Cathy,
In Massachusetts we have a saying for an "Ah Ha" moment - "The sun shines on Marblehead ..." No need to feel guilty. It's a journey that we are on as long as we keep our mind open we can continue to learn. Yes, this website was tailored just for you and for anyone else who has has made up their mind to never take another puff.
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Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

08 Jul 2009, 21:36 #58

I join Joseph, Cathy, in agreeing that all of this was put here for you
In all frankness, brain reward pathways science is still in its infancy, with nicotine clearly being the most studied receptor agonist of all. Although we should be careful to distinguish between normal, natural and healthy stimulation, and stimulation via addictive chemicals, you're right, when ending nicotine use we should be extremely careful about using extra food, alcohol or caffeine in order to try and replace nicotine's "aaah" sensations.

As for the current state of nicotine science, let me close by sharing with you a few quotes from the most recent dopamine pathway study. Be proud of you Cathy as you've come far. Still just one rule ... none!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John



Nicotine-induced Upregulation of Nicotinic Receptors: Underlying Mechanisms and Relevance to Nicotine Addiction

Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 June 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Govind AP, Vezina P, Green WN.
Department of Neurobiology, University of Chicago, 947 E 58(th) street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

A major hurdle in defining the molecular biology of nicotine addiction has been characterizing the different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes in the brain and how nicotine alters their function. Mounting evidence suggests that the addictive effects of nicotine, like other drugs of abuse, occur through interactions with its receptors in the mesolimbic dopamine system, particularly ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons, where nicotinic receptors act to modulate the release of dopamine. The molecular identity of the nicotinic receptors responsible for drug seeking behavior, their cellular and subcellular location and the mechanisms by which these receptors initiate and maintain addiction are poorly defined. In this commentary, we review how nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are upregulated by nicotine exposure, the potential posttranslational events that appear to cause it and how upregulation is linked to nicotine addiction.


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00062952



Below is a sample of just one topic within the full text of the above study. Although few if any of us will be able to follow it, it gives a bit of the flavor of where things are in cutting edge dopamine pathway research. Upregulation is the growing or activation of new or additional acetylcholine receptors (referred to below as nAChR) in response to nicotine's presence. The above image is not from this study but suggests nicotine induced upregulation changes. Recovery is about returning counts to as normal as possible.

1.4. Nicotinic-induced upregulation of high-affinity nicotine binding

A slow acting change in nicotinic receptors caused by long-term exposure to nicotine is an increase or ''upregulation'' of high affinity nicotine binding sites in the brain. By comparing the brains of smokers to those of non-smokers, chronic exposure to nicotine was shown to cause an increased number of 3H-nicotine binding sites in postmortem human brains [92-94]. Similar increases in 3H-nicotine binding were observed in mouse [95] and rat brains [96,97] in response to repeated administration of nicotine. This upregulation in response to nicotine is posttranscriptional because no change in receptor subunit mRNA levels is observed for upregulation of high-affinity nicotine binding sites in vivo caused by nicotine exposure as long as 10 days [51]. The nicotine-induced
upregulation of binding sites has been interpreted as an increase in the number of nicotinic receptors and, consequently, an increased sensitivity to nicotine [98,99]. It is important to note that 3Hagonist binding is not necessarily an exact measure of the number of nicotinic receptors. Because agonist binding alters receptor conformation and nAChR affinity for the agonist, as discussed above, it is possible that nicotine exposure changes the receptor's affinity for nicotine. Equilibrium binding measurements were performed and there appeared to be no change in affinity for agonist after nicotine treatment [95]. However, equilibrium binding does not necessarily detect large changes in the receptors' affinity for agonist [76,100].

With nicotine levels achieved by smokers, the acute effect of nicotine following smoking is to activate and then desensitize receptors. Because nicotine is eliminated with a half-life of 2-3 h, blood nicotine levels accumulate to levels of 100-200 nM during the hours of repeated smoking, and even higher levels are achieved immediately following each cigarette [101-103]. Nicotine levels, thus, reach and are maintained at levels at which receptors should be upregulated. There is considerable evidence based on behavioral studies in rats that repeated exposure to nicotine causes sensitization of locomotor activity and DA overflow in the NAcc because the dopaminergic VTA neurons become more responsive to nicotine. A possible mechanism for the increased response to nicotine is the upregulation of the nicotinic receptors on the dopaminergic VTA neurons. This link between receptor upregulation and the sensitization has been interpreted as an increase in receptor numbers in response to the desensitization of the receptors by nicotine [99].

Nicotine-induced upregulation of high-affinity nicotine binding also occurs when a4b2 or a3b2 receptors are expressed in cells other than neurons. This indicates that the upregulation is a property intrinsic to the receptor as opposed to a regulatory property specific to the neurons in which the receptors are normally found. The nicotine-induced upregulation has been studied using chick a4b2 receptors stably expressed in mouse fibroblasts (M10 cells; [100,104-107]), human a4b2 receptors stably expressed in HEK cells [75,108] and rat a4b2 receptors transiently expressed in HEK cells [109]. The level of upregulation of a4b2 high-affinity ligand binding varied from a 2.5-fold increase in the M10 cells up to a 15-fold increase in one of the HEK cell lines [108]. In most studies, the increase in binding was interpreted as an increase in the number of receptors. In two studies, an assay of receptor number was performed in parallel with the nicotine-induced increase in binding. In the first study [104], less than a 2-fold increase in surface receptors was measured using 125I-mAb 299 (anti-a4) binding after 3 days of treatment. However, the nicotine-induced upregulation saturated much sooner, specifically 10-24 h after nicotine treatment [104,108]. In the second study [109], the binding of antibodies specific for a4 and b2 subunits increased, but less than the increase in upregulation assayed with agonist binding. When our laboratory repeated these experiments, we found that there was very little Ab binding because of cell fixation [88]. When repeated using living cells, there was no significant change in Ab binding in parallel with the 4-5-fold increase in agonist binding. A more recent study [110] using radio-immune assays with mAb 290 (anti-b2) showed increased antibody binding after nicotine exposure of HEK cells stably expressing human a4b2 receptors. Radio-ligand binding was not performed in parallel so that comparisons cannot be made.
Last edited by FreedomNicotine on 08 Jul 2009, 22:12, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 12:01

27 Dec 2009, 01:17 #59

Free and Healing for Twenty Six Days, 6 Hours and 7 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 525 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $157.70.
I have become very worried because I find myself eating constantly and I am almost 4 weeks into this. It actually seems to be getting worse. I have increased my cardio workout at the gym from 40 minutes to 60-90 minutes like 5-7 days a week.trying to combat the weight gain. When I can't get there I get very bumbed out because I have already gained 10 lbs. I have even taken meds for anxiety recently which I never took in the past. I guess I am wondering after reading all of this info here tonight if I am just replacing my terrible nicotine addiction with many other bad habits that may lead to worse problems. If I have been nicotine free for almost a month then why am I feeling such levels of anxiety (heart racing, extremely fast speech etc). I am wondering if I possibly have an anxiety issue I was treating with nicotine. Would appreciate any support and advice! Thanks!
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Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 12:01

27 Dec 2009, 01:31 #60

Hi Ccathy!
I am so glad you did not delete your post.....5 months later and here I am in my 26th day and feeling exactly what you wrote in your post and wondering how you have dealt with all of the substitutions in the past 5 months since your posting. I have tried gum, sugar-free candy..side effects of this were not very pleasant:), food, exercise. I wonder if this behavior will ever stop or is it something that is just part of my personality and I will always need some sort of "vice".
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Joined: 21 Apr 2009, 02:43

09 Jan 2010, 17:11 #61

Hi,

I was looking for something else and came upon your post/question.

First off, I am still nicotine free.
Yeah me! Yeah us!

I am not gaining anymore weight.
Still need to lose!! LOL
I recognized the folly of the beer substitution and put a stop to that.

I used to drink alot of tea but when I quit nicotine, my tea drinking almost went away.
My body didn't need the large amounts to meet my caffeine requirements.
Nicotine had been neutralizing most of the caffeine in my bloodstream.

Knowing that nicotine releases stored fat we are told to eat the same amount of calories but more often and in smaller amounts. So one day I said I used to receive a small amount of calories from the sugar in the tea I drank all day so I will try to return to my tea drinking. I think part of my added eating was me misreading my need for more water.

I really believe that nicotine messes up our ability to read the natural needs of our bodies. There is a post on this topic.
So I guess I am still re-learning my body. A big one for me was hydrating my body.
I do know that my body is much happier and relaxed being nicotine free.

I also feel I am making some better life choices as well. Probably a part of that improved self-esteem thing that so many oldbies talk about.

Yikes......when they used to say smoking will stunt your growth, who knew that went beyond the physical.

Arresting their nicotine addiction has been the beginning of some really big life influencing events for some people. Improved self-esteem
ie. returning to school, becoming physically active, relationship and career changes.

For sure, nobody regrets arresting their nicotine addiction.

So in closing, now I drink coffee every day, sometimes more than once(weekends).
No other substitutions that I am aware of.

Sometimes I think about self-soothing LOL, with a large bottle of diet pop, chips, etc but I recognize it for what it is and just let the thought keep on going.
I don't latch onto the thought.
Again, there is a post dealing with this as well.
The post is about thoughts of nicotine but the premise applies to any addictive type of thinking.
The intelligent quitter's strategy combines an understanding of the Law of Addiction
with well-protected core motivations.

Nobody ever graduates from Addiction

Cathy, Gold

[Quit April 10, 2009]
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Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

12 Jun 2010, 12:38 #62

Recovery is about taking back life, one nicotine use cue and slice at a time.  Some web sites teach that you need to change your entire life, including avoiding certain activities and engaging in new ones.   Such advice risks leaving quitters with altered lifestyles in which their recovery is so aligned with the recommended changes that any deviation from them brings with it increased risk of relapse.  Why lean heavily upon anything other than who we are?   If you want to engage in new activities after quitting, fantastic!  But take care never to allow any activity to become a substitute for smoking,  as its sudden removal could cost you your freedom, healing and possibly your life!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x11) 
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

27 Nov 2011, 16:56 #63

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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

23 Nov 2013, 15:03 #64

With WhyQuit being temporarily down during our site migration, these from above seem worth noting:

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"...you also should have some computer independent ammunition ready in those time where computer access becomes limited too."[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]and[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"[/font][font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]There is a danger of using anything as a crutch, even Freedom itself. For if you ever experience tough times during times when we are experiencing technical difficulties, either reading or posting at Freedom may not be possible, you can start to feel that your quit will not stick since you don't have us as a crutch.[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]We need to be seen as a tool, a source of information of how to quit and how to stay off even more than a source of support. In the technological world a particular website may not always be going 24 hours a day 365 days a year without interruption, or your computer capabilities may not be able to get here at some points in time.

If you have learned our lessons, keep reinforcing your own primary reasons for first wanting to quit, keep reminding yourself why you still don't want to go back and keep our one simple message in your mind at all times, even if you can't read it at the board at the moment, just remembering it will insure that you will do fine. The message is that no matter what seems to go wrong in life that to stay free during it only requires keeping in practice your commitment to never take another puff!"




Just want to add a note here, that there are times like today when WhyQuit.com may be down for technical reasons. When this occurs, try using the backup site www.whyquit.org.

[/font]
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Feb 2014, 19:24 #65

New video touching on this concept: Carrying mock cigarettes
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