I AM A DRUG ADDICT !!
The cute and cuddly phrase "nasty little habit" is just more junkie thinking. Such soft fuzzy words are used to self-minimize the hard cold reality of being a nicotine addict. It's much easier to tell ourselves that all we have is just have a "nasty little habit." The warmth of the phrase is akin to that found in word "slip," a painless substitute for the word relapse.
Failing to use turn signals while driving is a "nasty little habit" and so is using cuss words too often, cracking your knuckles or even losing your temper. But, no one experiences physical withdrawal symptoms when they begin using turn signals, or stop swearing, cracking their knuckles or learn to control their temper. Physical addictions do create drug feeding patterns that ensure regular drug delivery, patterns that are correctly termed "habits." But the addiction fathered the habits (feeding cues), not the other way around! We wouldn't have developed a habit of sucking smoke into our lungs while talking on the telephone or after a meal unless something inside prior cigarettes had created the need to do so. Within 20 to 30 minutes of our last dose of nicotine, our blood nicotine level would fall to a point where we'd feel the need to replace it. That is not a habit but true chemical dependency!
It didn't matter what we were doing at the time. If we were on the phone and we had not topped off our nicotine tank in the past 30 minutes, it would happen while on the phone. If our meal lasted for more than 30 minutes then the command for nicotine would come! If we took an hour drive, spent an hour being romantic, an hour in class, an hour drinking or if we'd been awake for an hour, it was time for another fix. Yes, we developed habits but not just for the sake of having habits. We had no choice if we wanted to avoid full blown nicotine withdrawal.
I wish this was just a "nasty little habit" as this forum would not be here and many of us would be involved with other causes. But just one puff of nicotine and up to 50% of our brain's a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors would become occupied by nicotine within 8-10 seconds, creating a dopamine "aaah" sensation that would soon have it wanting, plotting to obtain or even begging for more. My name is John Polito and I'm a recovered nicotine addict. I comfortably remain just one powerful puff away from three packs a day!
John (Gold x9)