Joel teaches that stress is an acidic event within the body that accelerates renal elimination of the alkaloid nicotine from the bloodstream. That smoking does not satisfy the underlying stress factor but only nicotine's absence. To show just how contrary Joel's basic stress lesson is from what nearly all others are teaching, this is what's currently being taught at the United States government's leading quit smoking site:
Sadly, most of the lessons taught at government quitting sites are the exact opposite of what's taught here at Freedom and WhyQuit. Most damaging of all is the lesson that quitters should not be hard on themselves for "slipping" and smoking a cigarette now and then. It's the use rationalization the nicotine addict who wants to have their quitting cake and eat it too is dying to hear. It evidences that those writing U.S. quitting lessons have little or no experience in actually working day to day with smokers and quitters.The stress-smoking link "Stress is a reason why many people smoke. When you have a bad day, it can seem like your cigarettes are your only friend. Cigarettes can help you calm down, relax, and feel like you are pampering yourself. Sound familiar?"
Other contrary lessons include government assertions that planning is key to success (when industry studies show unplanned attempts are twice as successful), that you need to pick a memorable quitting date like your birthday, the Great American Smokeout or New Years, that it's nearly impossible to quit cold turkey (when in fact cold turkey will produce more successful ex-smokers this year than all other quitting methods combined), that key to quitting is changing your entire life (drinking tea instead of coffee, watching different television programs, and creating a host of quitting crutches), and hiding from your use cues (taking different routes home and avoiding smoking friends).
More than 400,000 US smokers will run out of time and chances this year. With 40 percent of U.S. smokers making a serious quitting attempt of at least 24 hours each year, it isn't matter of not wanting to quit but of not knowing how. I've tried this past year to motivate government health officials to make their quitting web pages reflect the truth about how most ex-smokers succeed, and to incorporate the latest study findings. I've failed. It doesn't mean I won't keep trying.
Recent events have many questioning the competence of government officials in regard to safety issues associated with deep sea oil drilling and coal mine safety. I have similar concerns that those in charge of both national smoking cessation policy and youth smoking prevention either lack competence, leadership skills or the desire to get it right. How many more must die before someone in government cares that what we taught them during their final attempt before disaster struck was flat out wrong? Am I holding out hoping that that someone stumbles upon this Freedom post? You bet but I'm not holding my breath.
My greater hope is that Joel's lessons are someday soon so widely shared across the Net by successful long-term ex-smokers that government health officials begin paying for studies to prove Joel wrong. I believe it may already have happened more than once ; ) If so, how many more times must Joel be proven correct before they update their web site's quitting advice? That part continues to have me baffled.
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Gold x11)
on perceived stress levels
Authors: Hajek P, Taylor T, McRobbie H.
Queen Mary, University of London, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
Aims: Many smokers believe that smoking helps them to cope with stress, and that stopping smoking would deprive them of an effective stress management tool. Changes in stress levels following long-term smoking cessation are not well mapped. This longitudinal project was designed to provide more robust data on post-cessation changes in perceived stress levels by following a cohort of smokers admitted to hospital after myocardial infarction (MI) or for coronary artery bypass (CAB) surgery, as such patients typically achieve higher continuous abstinence rates than other comparable samples.
Design: A total of 469 smokers hospitalized after MI or CAB surgery and wanting to stop smoking were seen in the hospital and completed 1-year follow-ups. Ratings of helpfulness of smoking in managing stress at baseline, smoking status (validated by salivary cotinine concentration) and ratings of perceived stress at baseline and at 1-year follow-up were collected.
Findings: Of the patients, 41% (n = 194) maintained abstinence for 1 year. Future abstainers and future smokers did not differ in baseline stress levels or in their perception of coping properties of smoking. However, abstainers recorded a significantly larger decrease in perceived stress than continuing smokers, and the result held when possible confounding factors were controlled for (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: In highly dependent smokers who report that smoking helps them cope with stress, smoking cessation is associated with lowering of stress. Whatever immediate effects smoking may have on perceived stress, overall it may generate or aggravate negative emotional states. The results provide reassurance to smokers worried that stopping smoking may deprive them of a valuable coping resource.
Source Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20528815