Nicodemon's Lies or Our Lies?

TerrysDaughter Green
TerrysDaughter Green

September 19th, 2003, 7:18 pm #11

Thank you for this insight. I can see that this information will be helpful to me in any weak moment that I might feel like smoking. I can't blame it on some evil force that is more intelligent than I am. It is my choice.

It is a comfort to know that nicotine has the I.Q. of zero. I have always given it much more credit than that. It helps to see the addiction in this light.

Thank you for all of the information. Educating myself has been my number one line of defense.

TerrysDaughter
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Joel
Joel

September 19th, 2003, 7:27 pm #12

You are welcome TD. I found a piece I wrote back in February that further elaborates on the concept. Hope you find it helpful.

Joel

Earlier today I referred to the use of the term "Nicodemon." My comment was that when I see terms like "Nicodemon," or "Hellweek," or "Nicomonster," I generally assume that the person writing has been on other sites and have picked up lots of cute terms and conventional wisdoms about quitting smoking. This concept always makes me nervous though, for somehow many people have trouble separating fact from fiction in things that they read elsewhere.

Nicodemon seems to give the impression of an evil persona associated with the chemical nicotine. Nicotine is no more evil than arsenic or carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide--all chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Although nicotine is unique among the thousands of other chemicals that comprise tobacco smoke because it is the addictive chemical in tobacco.

Even so, the idea that nicotine is somehow calling to a smoker who is off smoking for weeks or months is quite inaccurate. It is the person himself or herself whose own mind is creating the desire from triggers that he or she is experiencing. Those triggers are also not evil, they are just life events being experienced for the first time.

I think the problems I have with the terms is they make nicotine seem to have more power than it actually does. The personification given to it can make an individual feel that nicotine has the potential of tricking him or her into smoking. An inanimate object such as a chemical has no such power. As John has said often nicotine has an IQ of zero. People do not overcome the grip of chemical addictions by being stronger than the drug but rather by being smarter than the drug.

Lets not give nicotine more credit than it is due. Lets not make it some cute and cuddly or evil and plotting entity--it is a chemical that alters brain chemistry. It is no different than heroin, cocaine or alcohol. These drugs don't have cute names given to them either and giving them to nicotine can start to make it seem different than these other substance--more trivial or less serious in a way. Nicotine is not more trivial than other drugs of addiction and in fact kills more people than all other drugs of addiction combined.

I think the only place where I think I have ever appreciated the term "Nicodemon" is in this one string. Because in this one post the lies that people make up in order to secure their continued use of a deadly drug are all dispelled in one quick swoop. It has a short, simple and catchy title that seems to fit the logic used in this piece very well--Nicodemon Lies. But anyone reading this whole article and the associated links quickly will realize that these are not the lies of a demon, these are the lies made up by an addict rationalizing, legitimizing, defending and protecting his or her drug use. They are the lies that people make up and tell themselves to defend the otherwise un-defendable.

People cannot rationalize the reason that they smoke with truths; they can only do it with lies. More important for people here though is that a person cannot secure his or her quit by telling himself or herself lies either, but he or she can secure his or her quit by telling himself or herself the truth. The truth is that the only way to keep yourself smoke free is to simply accept the truth that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 23rd, 2004, 11:02 pm #13

I've seen the "demon" word kicked around a few times recently. The original post and the above commentaries explain the problems of using such words or more importantly in believing or being intimidate in such a fictitious figure.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

March 3rd, 2004, 3:45 am #14

I think the problems I have with the terms is they make nicotine seem to have more power than it actually does. The personification given to it can make an individual feel that nicotine has the potential of tricking him or her into smoking. An inanimate object such as a chemical has no such power. As John has said often nicotine has an IQ of zero. People do not overcome the grip of chemical addictions by being stronger than the drug but rather by being smarter than the drug.

Lets not give nicotine more credit than it is due. Lets not make it some cute and cuddly or evil and plotting entity--it is a chemical that alters brain chemistry. It is no different than heroin, cocaine or alcohol. These drugs don't have cute names given to them either and giving them to nicotine can start to make it seem different than these other substance--more trivial or less serious in a way. Nicotine is not more trivial than other drugs of addiction and in fact kills more people than all other drugs of addiction combined.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

April 16th, 2004, 2:16 am #15

There is no Nicodemon
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screechwinter
screechwinter

May 8th, 2004, 9:49 pm #16

"It's something to do with my hands - So is playing with a loaded gun and they both have the same potential for harm. If you really need something for your hands, try doodling with a pen, playing with coins, squeezing a ball or using strength grippers. You might get ink on yourself, rich or strong wrists, but at least you won't be destroying your body and substantially shortening your life. "
Last edited by screechwinter on February 15th, 2009, 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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forza d animo
forza d animo

March 10th, 2006, 6:00 pm #17


3. My spouse, close friend or family member smokes. I'm waiting for them to quit with me
- Nicotine tells this junkie that they can't quit until their friend or loved one quits too as they're around their smoke, smells, cigarettes, breath and ashtrays, and quitting is thus impossible. Nonsense! How long will you continue to destroy your body while waiting for a human crutch? A lifetime? If and when they do quit with you, what will you do if they relapse? Will "love" cause you to do the same? One of you needs to lead the way. It's okay to have hope for a loved one but you must quit for YOU or it's doomed from the very start. Don't make your health or life dependent upon another person's decision! As for being around smokers, we all do it. It's just a matter of degree. Are you hoping that planet earth's 1.2 billion nicotine [users] will disappear once you quit?
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

March 24th, 2006, 10:07 pm #18

I'll cut down or quit and smoke just one now and then - You are addicted to a substance that is five times as addictive as cocaine. You may be strong enough to cut back a bit but you'll remain addicted, the decay will continue and a recent study indicates that your health risks will remain unchanged. If you were a pack-a-day nicotine smoker and after quitting you decide to smoke just one cigarette, you might as well get ready to smoke the other 7,300 for the year too as full and complete relapse is virtually assured. The Law of Nicotine Addiction is simple - one puff of new nicotine and it's over! Your addiction has permanently transformed your brain into a highly efficient nicotine processing machine. It may take a few cigarettes or even a few packs before you're back to your old level of intake or higher, but just one puff of nicotne awakens and revives thousands of feeding memories and re-establishes at least one nicotine feeding cue.
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GreenSolveg
GreenSolveg

April 11th, 2006, 6:50 am #19

RIGHT ON!!!
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

July 19th, 2006, 10:13 am #20

# 21 - It's too late now to heal these lungs -

Nonsense! If you have not yet caused permanent lung damage you should expect to experience an almost one-third increase in overall lung function within just 90 days of quitting! It's amazing how much damaged lungs can repair themselves unless disease or cancer have already arrived. Even with emphysema, although destroyed air sacks will never again function, quitting now will immediately halt the needless destruction of additional tissues! You only have two options - decay or heal. Which cigarette in which pack will carry the spark that gives birth to that first cancerous cell?
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chel
chel

August 29th, 2006, 4:23 pm #21

Great reading I still need this site to keep me constant!

I have been quit for 5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days, 3 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds (169 days). I have saved £439.77 by not smoking 1,691 cigarettes. I have saved 5 Days, 20 hours and 55 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 13/03/2006 06:00
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Rayne
Rayne

August 30th, 2006, 1:15 am #22

Every day I find another thread here that reinforces my quit. I am still so new but I feel like I have learned so much allready. this thread is one of the best I have read yet . Awsome I think I am finally starting to " get a Clue"
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

March 17th, 2007, 8:52 pm #23

  1. It's my choice and I choose to smoke! - It's a lie and you know it! You lost all "choice" and the ability to simply walk away the day that nicotine feedings became mandatory. The only choice now is how EARLY you feed the beast within. The ignorant nicotine addict still believes the "choice" myth. It has been pounded into their brain by an endless stream of highly effective tobacco company marketing with all the pretty colored boxes, the displays and a sea of ads. How often have you seen any smoker switch brands? It's a well set trap for teens and a way to keep you from looking at the man behind the curtain - a chemical called nicotine. The uneducated smoker associates smoking with the newspaper, coffee, travel, stress, other smokers, telephone calls, meals, celebrations, romance, or even as a necessary step prior to walking into a store. The educated nicotine addict sees all nicotine fixes as either mandatory, or an early feeding, in order to avoid the onset and discomfort of chemical withdrawal. You smoke nicotine after a meal because it's time for a nicotine feeding and you smoke before a meal because it isn't polite to feed yourself nicotine and food at the same time.
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forza d animo
forza d animo

April 17th, 2007, 10:04 pm #24

Beware the temptation to demonize tobacco, to give a personality or a purpose to your addiction - It has no agenda and can not think, "It has an IQ of zero." There is no one who lives inside of you trying to get you to smoke except you.

All of the ideas set forth in John Polito's essay lay bare the denial, the lies and the misconceptions we had and others have about why they smoke and why they can not quit. But it can be done. We have proven it. Education is the key, not creating a mythological demon that we must chastise to keep at bay or that we must slay. It is a physiological change that we must come to accept and with which we must learn to live.

On any given day, whether we are free for one day or 1000 days, we can create a craving from a thought. We only have to caress the thought and to nurture it. Often we wonder, "Why now?" and do not realize that we reacted to the thought in such a manner that encouraged it to persist and to grow. That is not the result of any demon living within us. It is an example of how much power we have over our own ability to heal or not.

Read my friends, and grow.

Joseph
2 years 6 months.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

July 27th, 2007, 7:03 am #25

  1. I'd quit but withdrawal never ends! - False! If you remain 100% nicotine free for just 72 hours, your blood will become nicotine free, your withdrawal anxieties will peak in intensity and the number of psychological craves will peak in number. The greatest challenge will be over. Within 10 days to two weeks, actual physical withdrawal is substantially complete as your mind has physically adjusted to the absence of nicotine and accustomed to natural brain dopamine levels. What then remains will be to encounter and recondition your remaining psychological habit crave triggers and to learn to live with the millions of smoking memories stored deep within your mind. You will experience your first day of total quit comfort, where you never once even "think" about a cigarette or smoking, by at least day ninety. The sad part is that you won't even realize that it has happened. After the first such day, they grow more and more frequent until they become your new norm. The deep sense of lasting comfort and calmness that awaits you is probably beyond your comprehension. The real "you" is in total control!
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

October 25th, 2007, 12:18 am #26

4. It reduces my stress and helps calm me down - It's a lie.

15. It's my choice and I choose to smoke! - It's a lie and you know it!

28. I'll cut down or quit and smoke just one now and then

30. Ok, I'm going to quit! Now I can enjoy my smokes until then! - If you've done this more than once, isn't it just more junkie head games ?
Whatever the denial justification, blame transference, or self-deceit you can come up with it has been covered by all of us and then some. We're all addicts too. We've told ourselves these lies too. It's time to come clean. It's time to be honest with ourselves. It's time to take control ......by making and keeping a personal pledge to live in control and free by staing nicotine free - naturally - for the rest of today. NTAP.
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forza d animo
forza d animo

November 5th, 2007, 9:17 am #27

4. It reduces my stress and helps calm me down - It's a lie. When we experience stress it makes our urine become more acidic. As the stressed smoker's urine turns acidic it causes the nicotine in their blood to be metabolized and removed at an accelerated rate. The more stressed the smoker becomes the quicker their blood nicotine level drops. The stressed smoker's rapidly declining blood nicotine level causes them to begin experiencing the discomfort of early nicotine withdrawal. It is here that the stressed smoker says, "I NEED A CIGARETTE!" Within seconds after smoking, their blood nicotine level rises, the anxieties associated with early nicotine withdrawal subside, and the nicotine addict is left with the false impression that smoking helped reduce their stress and calm them down. All non-smokers experience stress in life. The difference is that non-smokers don't have early nicotine withdrawal amplifying their stress. Rising and falling nicotine levels keep all smokers on a life-long anxiety filled roller-coaster ride. In truth, stress nicotine depletion causes smokers to experience far more anxiety than non-smokers.

12. Dad just died, this isn't the time! - Smoking won't bring dad back nor cure any other ill in life. Success in quitting during a period of high stress in life insures that future high stress situations won't serve as your excuse or justification for relapse. If you think about it, if we continue to live we will all see someone we love die. Such is the cycle of life. It's extremely sad but serious illness, injury, or the death of a loved one are the most convincing justifications that quitters sell themselves on, in order to justify keeping their drug. There is no better time to quit than before your next mandatory feeding. Don't allow finances, work, illness, education or relationships to serve as your excuse to remain an active addict. There is no legitimate justification for ever putting nicotine back into our body - none, zero, never!
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

November 15th, 2007, 6:56 am #28

But the craves last for hours! - Just like the lingering thought of a nice juicy steak, lobster in butter sauce, or fresh baked hot apple pie, you can make yourself "think" about having a cigarette all day long, if that's what you really want to do. Unlike thoughts, crave anxiety attacks last for less than 3 minutes. It's important that you look at a clock and time them as your mind can make those minutes seem like hours. The bulk of the anxiety surrounding each crave is self induced. Such "thoughts" can be controlled with honest answers and through the power of positive thinking. Strip away all the self-inflicted anxiety and what remains on Day 3 for the "average" quitter is just 18 minutes of true crave anxiety (an average of six craves each less than three minutes in duration).
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

December 26th, 2007, 7:32 am #29

I can't quit alone. I'll need nicotine gum, the patch, hypnosis, acupuncture, magic herbs or other wonder drugs! - Wrong! The simple truth is that no magic cure has ever "made" any smoker quit smoking nicotine. The key to permanent abstinence is education and understanding not hypnosis, not acupuncture and not a 93% chance of relapsing with six months while using some over-the-counter nicotine product that teaches nothing while robbing you of a valuable opportunity to master the core principles underlying years of nicotine dependency. Remember, should all else fail, you always have you!
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

May 19th, 2008, 8:03 am #30

I tried quitting but my family stopped supporting me or was giving me such a hard time that it caused me to throw in the towel - It's a lie. You gave up because you used your family as a cheap excuse to get your drug back. You exaggerated everything they did or didn't do. You're the drug addict yet you expect them to understand the weakness and thinking of a drug addict's mind. How could they know what it's like to go through chemical withdrawal themselves? Is it fair to expect them to appreciate the magnitude or duration of your challenge? They just want you to be normal and don't know how to react. Feeling unappreciated, picking fights and creating confrontation are tools of the addict's mind used to reclaim their drug. Some know that if they inflict tremendous stress on loved ones that they may even convince them to offer to buy their relapse cigarettes for them. That way they can blame their relapse on their loved one. "They just couldn't handle my quitting." "Maybe next time!"
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

August 6th, 2008, 7:58 am #31

It's one of my few pleasures in life - Does that mean that it's better than the pleasure of having a throat to deliver fresh air and great food, two lungs with which to laugh, a healthy heart to feel love, or an undamaged mind which dreams of a wonderful tomorrow? Pleasure from your addiction or pleasure in committing slow suicide at the hands of a mind that thinks it can only live with the aid of a powerful stimulant? What do they call someone who derives pleasure from self-inflicted harm or who slowly puts themselves to death? Pick your own label! Which nicotine fix out of the last 5,000 was the one that brought you tremendous pleasure? Which cigarette out of the next 5,000 may be the one that sparks permanent damage or disease, or that carries death's eternal flame? If bad news arrives tomorrow will "pleasure" cross your mind? Your only pleasure is in postponing the challenge of the initial 72 hours that it takes to remove all nicotine from your blood.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

October 8th, 2008, 5:59 am #32

If I quit, I'll just start back again. I always do. - The truth is that you don't have to relapse. We relapse because we rewrite the law of addiction, we forget why we quit, or we invent lies and stupid excuses, such as those that fill this page. Your next quit can be your last but you need to learn how to care for your quit, while always applying the only rule that you'll ever need to obey - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF OF NICOTINE!
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

October 25th, 2008, 5:29 am #33

Quitting causes weight gain and it's just as dangerous - Quitting doesn't increase our weight, eating does. As far as a few extra pounds being "dangerous," you'd have to gain over one hundred additional pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack a day. Keep in mind that your general health, physical abilities and lung capacity will all improve dramatically. If patient, you will have the physical and mental tools necessary to shed any extra pounds. Remember, smoking was your cue that a meal had ended. Unless you develop a new cue there may be fewer leftovers.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

November 19th, 2008, 8:47 am #34

I get bored. It helps pass the time - Tobacco does not control any clock on earth but it does control you. For the pack a day nicotine smoker it takes about 30 minutes before their blood's nicotine level to drop to the point where their mind sends them an "urge" of discomfort to remind you that it's time for a feeding. It doesn't matter where they are or what they're doing. Depending upon your daily nicotine requirements, the voice inside your head will let you know when it's time. All you're doing when bored is being alert enough to what lies ahead, so that you keep topping off your nicotine tank before the next message of discomfort arrives.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

December 30th, 2008, 8:55 am #35

I enjoy smoking - The difference between heroin and nicotine is that one chemical delivers a tremendous high while the other is far more addictive. Studies have long ranked nicotine as a more addictive substance than either heroin or cocaine. Cocaine's generally recognized addiction rate among regular users is 15% while nicotine's is over 70%. Imagine convincing your mind that it "likes" being addicted to the drug that most addiction scientists now rank as the most addictive substance on earth. We are nicotine addicts. A pack a day smoker smokes 7,300 cigarettes each and every year. How many of your last 7,300 smokes did you really enjoy? How many of the next 7,300 will bring joy to your life? Isn't the true joy of being a well fed nicotine addict in not having to feel the discomfort associated with withdrawal?
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