The in-depth view of why we don't embrace the term of "Nicodemon."
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!
Originally in the string Nicodemon's Lies?
New video addressing this issue added August 5, 2012