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We may not think that this story applies to us but being a little bit addicted is like being a little bit pregnant. Like alcoholism our dependency is permanent and each of us only have two considerations: tolerance and how much nicotine it will take in order to die an addict's death or recovery and how much healing our bodies will experience, how rich our comfort becomes, and the number of extra sunrises we'll get to experience.
We cannot quit or we will not quit? Is this really even a challenge when compared to what looms in relapse? There was always only one rule, no nicotine today. The next few minutes are doable. Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
| Comparing reduced exposure tobacco products with nicotine patches |
Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist
A new study compares carcinogen exposure with smokeless tobacco, reduced exposure cigarettes and nicotine patches.
While it's the nicotine in cigarettes that gets people hooked, most of the health risk comes from the carcinogens in tobacco smoke. Some manufacturers are now making products that contain fewer carcinogens like nitrosamine or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota now report on carcinogen uptake in a group of 54 users of smokeless tobacco, and 51 smokers switching to either reduced exposure cigarettes or nicotine patches. They measured nitrosamines in urine four weeks after making the switch and also levels of a biomarker for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon uptake.
All had reductions in nitrosamines after making the switch and this was greatest for those on the nicotine patch. And only those on the nicotine patch had a reduction in biomarker level for polyaromatic hydrocarbon uptake. Therefore, for smokers who are unable or unwilling to give up, the nicotine patch offers the best option for those who want to reduce their risk of smoking-related disease.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2nd June 2004 Volume 96 pages 844-852
Squeezed artery of a 32 year-old smoker
We can't quit or we refuse to quit? Is nicotine dependency recovery really even a challenge when compared to what looms ahead should we relapse? There was always only one rule, no nicotine today. The next few minutes are doable. Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John (Gold x5)
4 years 7 months and 5 days ago I chose to stop smoking. (I still have my "quit counter" running on my computer which is now just a reminder!)
I gave up at age 39 after watching my elderly mother successfully quit and deciding some years later that I could finally do it too. At 70, she had walked out of the doctor's office, thrown her cigarette pack in the rubbish bin and never smoked again.
She didn't find it easy for the first week or so but had made up her mind and never went back on that choice. This was after more than 50 years of smoking.
That I have also managed the task is a tribute to her, my own resolve and this web site.
We lost mum last year. If she had not stopped smoking when she did, the years between would have been far, far fewer. In one year, our family fiction of having "good genes" and thus no ill effects from smoking, ended suddenly.
We lost our mum young. In my family, non smokers die in their 90's .
In 2006 - a year before my mother's death from emphysema - she and dad had their 50th wedding anniversary. Attending that party was mum's 93yo aunt and 91yo uncle.
My mum died at 77 soon after her uncle. Mum's aunt is still with us at 95.
Mum died on the 9th April 2007 with her husband and children there until the end.
(My brother - who we never thought would quit- gave up the next day and a year later has not had a cigarette) Seven months after mum's death we were again seeing a parent die from smoking. Dad developed lung cancer which spread rapidly through his body. He was lost without his wife and never really recovered from watching her die. Despite this and his own illness, he was insistent about wanting to smoke (his "gaspers") until only weeks before his death when he was too ill to move from his bed.
I look at the cigarettes in the shops and wonder how many more mothers and fathers the makers of these drugs will kill in the coming years. However the sad truth is that while they sell the stuff - we choose every day whether to buy it or see it for what it is. Smoking is not a treat, is not a reward and brings no true comfort to you.
Everyone dies. This is a truth I can understand and accept with much more peace now.
However we should not die before it is our true time.
My mum and dad never saw their grandson finish school, become an adult nor see him now go into the world on his adventures.
Please don't smoke anymore.
Perth Western Australia
This has always been one of my favorites. Not only because of her courage at the end, but for my own horrible reasons. During my 30 years of bondage I didn't give much thought at all to the influence of my addiction upon my children, nieces and nephews, or upon the thousands of young people who must have seen me sucking down smoke in public. As a 17 year-old nicotine addict and senior class president I fought for and won the right to have a student smoking area at my high school. Inside those ropes, I recall seeing a number of students cough through those first puffs.Insulated by the scores of use rationalization lies I lived and breathed, my mind was miles from reflecting upon the message and image my chemical dependency conveyed to young people. Now I find myself asking, if this truly is as addictive as heroin, what have I done? What have I done? How many young minds did I play a role in helping fool? I can't go back in time. I can't undo influence done. My only excuse is that I did so in ignorance. What I can do is, like this mother, try to set the record straight, to share the right lessons with the time that remains.
Just one rule ... none today!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Gold x9)