NRT's The quitters crutch. A true addiction crime story!


July 8th, 2005, 5:37 am #1

I was in my neighborhood supermarket last weekend and I came across a scenario that both shocked then humoured me and then made me feel a little sad. I just wanted to share this experience with everyone. This experience fortified the teachings of cold turkey quitting for me and the false hope of making quitting easier for the recovering nicotine addict with the use of NRT's.

I was in the baby section of the supermarket shopping for diapers and baby wipes. I reached my hand out to grab one of the large refill packs of baby wipes. As I pulled the pack from the shelf I was surprised to see hidden behind, four torn open boxes of Nicoderm (the Patch).

It was obvious to me right away that somebody had taken the boxes of Nicoderm from the neighbouring isle, tore them open, pocketed the contents of the boxes and then stashed the boxes in the next isle over behind the baby wipes.

This is definitly an extreme example, but nevertheless it is an example of how powerful the addiction to nicotine can be. I can only speculate what has going through that Nicotine junkies mind to behave in this manor. To risk getting caught and ruining their life with a criminnal record, not for food for their children or something else like that, but to satisfy their bodys need for nicotine.

The value of the stolen products was about $65 CAN. per box! So that works out to be about $260 worth of merchandise. I can imagine the supermarket would have punished the individual to the full extent of the law if they were caught. I am sure if they keep up with this crazy junkie driven behaviour they will probably be caught eventually or maybe they will relapse as many NRT users do and they will switch back to stealing cigarettes!

All kidding aside though, the sad thing is that if this person knew the truth about nicotine addiction and recovery they would realize that they would never have to risk ruining their life by stealing NRT patches. The sense of emotional loss and desperation they are feeling because of nicotine withdrawl are temporary if they knew all they had to do to quit is to NTAP and just get through those first 72 hours the effects of chemical withdrawl would eventually subside forever. And also very importantly... NO JAIL TME REQUIRED!!!

Craig - Free from nicotine for Six Months, Two Days, 17 Hours and 58 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 6 Days and 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1857 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $655.11.


July 8th, 2005, 10:02 am #2

From the string Being locked-up to quit smoking
From: John (Gold) Sent: 6/7/2005 1:56 PM

County Jail quitting cold turkey June 7, 2005

BY []FRANK MAIN[/url] Crime Reporter - Chicago Sun Times

Sheriff Michael Sheahan is ordering that Cook County Jail become smoke-free, deciding the health benefits outweigh the possibility of creating a lucrative black market for cigarettes or prompting inmates going through nicotine withdrawal to take out their frustration on guards.

On Aug. 1, the jailhouse commissary will stop selling tobacco products and matches. Both prisoners and guards will have to go cold turkey in the sprawling 100-acre complex near 26th Street and California Avenue.

"It's a tough decision," said Dr. Sergio Rodriguez, medical director for Cermak Health Services at the Cook County Jail. "But this is an important health initiative."

Detainees suffering from asthma and emphysema will no longer breathe secondhand smoke, which exacerbates their medical problems, Rodriguez said. And the ban on matches should curtail fires set by inmates, both accidentally and intentionally, he said.

About half of inmates smoke

The nation's biggest jail complex, Rikers Island in New York City, bans smoking, as do the prison systems in California and Texas, Rodriguez said.

"We're behind the curve," he said.

About half of the more than 10,000 daily inmates in the jail are smokers, said Bill Cunningham, a spokesman for the sheriff. Jail officials started warning them about the upcoming ban on May 30.

On June 15, inmates will be limited to buying five packs of cigarettes a week along with matches. Or for those who roll their own cigarettes, inmates can only purchase five kits that include loose tobacco, rolling papers and matches. On July 1, they will be limited to buying three packs a week or three roll-your-own kits. On July 15, they will be down to one pack. And on Aug. 1, tobacco products and matches will become contraband.

Sheahan said he is aware of the potential for correctional officers to smuggle cigarettes to inmates for a tidy profit. Last weekend, a correctional officer was charged with smuggling cell phones and drugs into the jail.

"As far as smuggling goes, we take that serious," the sheriff said. "If it's our people, we will be prepared to discipline them and fire them."

But Sheahan said his medical staff convinced him that benefits of a smoking ban outweighed any negative consequences.

Cunningham said the union that represents correctional officers has not filed any grievances challenging the ban. A lawyer for the union did not return a call seeking comment.

Charles Fasano of the John Howard Society, an independent monitor of jail conditions, said his organization supports the ban.

"I am a smoker, so I am not unsympathetic," he said. "But they have some compelling information at the jail about health effects and fires."

Rodriguez said 30 inmates were sent to outside hospitals for treatment of asthma in 2004, which he attributed in part to the smoking in the jail. There are smoke-free tiers in the jail complex, but asthmatics and others with breathing problems are not always assigned to them, he said.

Some fear increase in violence

Once the ban takes effect, the jail will arrange for counseling of those undergoing nicotine withdrawal, but detainees will not be given nicotine patches or gum, Rodriguez said.

"It's cost-prohibitive," he said, adding that the smoke-free corrections systems in New York and Texas did not find much benefit from those products.

Corrections officials in Oregon, where smoking was phased out in 1995, have said there was an increase in assaults on guards in the months after its ban. One former Cook County Jail inmate who now provides job counseling to ex-offenders was leery about taking away smoking privileges here.

"People smoke because it relaxes them," Ahmad Sanders said. "If you want to cut down on riots and smuggling, let the inmates smoke. You're opening up a can of worms if you do that."

Rodriguez, however, said concerns about increased violence were not borne out at other prisons.

"There is really no compelling reason to continue tobacco consumption on our grounds," he said.

Source Link:
Copyright 2005, Digital Chicago Inc.

Note: As for Mr. Sanders assertion that "People smoke because it relaxes them," nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant. It is impossible for any smoker to know true extended relaxation while riding a two-hour chemical half-life of adrenaline highs and lows.

Another risk that people need to understand if they ever resort to crime in order secure their nicotine source. Another article that touches on people resorting to desperate acts in order to get nicotine is Are you a nicotine junkie?

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 8th, 2005, 6:33 pm #3

NRT theft is likely far more common that we might appreciate. Consider GlaxoSmithKline's November 2003 study admission following detailed examination of long-term UPC store purchase code data. It stated,"We estimate that 36.6% of current gum users are engaged in persistent use." They defined persistent use as at least six months (see, Shiffman S, Hughes JR, et al, Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample, Tobacco Control 2003 November; 12: 310-316. Link to study abstract - ).

What's even more troubling is the pharmaceutical industry's failure to openly acknowledge extremely high nicotine dependency rates among nicotine gum users who the industry declares to have "successfully quit." In the same study, Shiffman and Hughes, found that up to 6.7% of nicotine gum quitters are still using nicotine gum at six months. Although oversimplified, I picture a river of gum quitters (6.7%) flowing into an ocean (36.6% of chronic gum users).

But back to GSK's study assertion that 6.7% of quitters still using gum at six months. Hughes and Shiffman, both GSK consultants, published another seperate study just 8 months earlier that combined and averaged seven different over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum studies and found that only 7% of study participants were still not smoking at six months (see Hughes JR, Shiffman S. et al, A meta-analysis of the efficacy of over-the-counter nicotine replacement, Tobacco Control 2003 March;12(1):21-7. Full text link - ... o5/Oz4yutI ).
Imagine that - only 7% of nicotine qum quitters were still not smoking BUT up to 6.7% still hooked on the gum. If these figures are anywhere near accurate then we can't help but wonder how many gum users truly were able to successfullywean themselves off of all nicotine by chewing nicotine. Talk about being a superhero!

With continuing nicotine delivery refinement as to increased speed of arrival at the brain's dopamine pathways (by using alkaloids to speed penetration into the bloodstream or abrasive compounds for quicker mucal penetration), increasing the size of the hit or bolus (4mg gum or >), and enhancements in adding more acceptable flavor and taste additives (latest marketing - "it now actually tastes like gum"), we should expect to continue to see more and more stores begin to secure their NRT products or surrender to watching them walk out the door at alarming rates.


July 8th, 2005, 9:39 pm #4

Wow! This information is mind boggling to say the least.

Another experience I should mentioned that I gained last night.

Now GlaxoSmithKline is getting extremly clever with their marketing style.

Last night I went to the Beer Store. Here in Ontario we have government regulated stores that sell our beer. All you can get at these stores, is simply beer, ice and beer related shirts or baseball caps and..... are you ready for this?.... individual pieces of nicorette chewing gum for a dollar a piece. Thats right! it is right at the counter beside the interac machine. For a dollar you can have a refreshing new improved mint flavoured piece of nicorette after your beer. The last time I checked, mint flavoured things go horribly with beer! So now at my neighbourhood beer store you can get beer, ice, a molson canadian t-shirt and a piece of nicorette gum.

Simply marketing genius!

Craig - Free from nicotine for Six Months, Three Days, 10 Hours and 6 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 6 Days and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1864 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $657.50.

forza d animo
forza d animo

July 8th, 2005, 10:16 pm #5

The most significant lesson I learned here at is that we smoke for one reason and one reason only - We are addicted to nicotine. Despite suffering through our first few drags, the discomfort of inhaling hot smoke, the cough reflex, the carbon monoxide poisoning which made us feel light headed and the nausea, we decided it was something worthwhile - Or did we? Whether the reward of nicotine had already begun to influence our decision making process after one or two hits from a cigarette or whether the peer pressure of our friends made us pick up another is debatable but one thing is certain, in the end it was nicotine that kept us coming back for more.

Seeing what cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing had done to others, we built a wall of denial that would allow us to continue to "enjoy" smoking despite how it affected others. We would not be affected because we exersised regularly, we took vitamins, we drank green tea, we were young, we ate all the right foods, there is no history of cancer in my family etc.

Nicotine in any form is dangerous. The idea that the way to get people to quit smoking is by feeding them a steady dose of nicotine over a 3 month period is perposturous. It is evidence at how deperate tobacco users are to quit, how little faith they have in their own ability quit, and their lack of knowledge about their addiction.

I know because I was one of them.

268 days of freedom using the only replacement therapy necessary - knowledge.