Prolonging Withdrawal Symptoms

Joel
Joel

January 10th, 2003, 12:55 am #21

For Annette
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Joel
Joel

March 30th, 2003, 12:11 am #22

I am not attaching the story below to blame or vindicate the makers of the product in question. I am not looking to discuss or debates the merits of the case. What I think is significant about this article for this board is that it shows the plight and struggles of a man who obviously wanted to quit smoking and reduce his health risks, but who did not realize that quitting was possible without the use of a drug. It also shows the sadness to the family of a man caused by smoking.

Back in January I had a woman in my clinic who was on NRT products for over ten years. She had actually relapsed many years earlier by taking a piece of nicorette gum after being off smoking a pretty significant time period. She said that she was on the gum almost the whole time after that, except for one brief time period when she switched to a patch to quit the gum. She estimated that she spent over $10,000 in NRT products over a 10 year period. She is doing fine now, last time I got an email from her she wrote that she was still, "very confident and committed to being a non-nicotine abuser."

The story below is sad, and it is impossible to say what the actual cause of the illness may have been. Smoking in fact does increase the risk of esophogeal cancer. But what we know is that this man was in some form of withdrawal for five years and constantly fighting an active addiction. To keep this quit simple, cheap, withdrawal free, and never having to worry about the potential of future findings of future long-term usage of nicotine just always remember to get and stay smoke is as easy as just knowing to never take another puff!

Joel

A Good Fight By KEN LEWIS
Staff Writer The St. Augustine Record

Pat Greenfield's husband was an intellectual and a sociologist, but he could not think his way out of an addiction to nicotine. He died of esophageal cancer in April 2000 at the age of 66.

Greenfield blamed her husband's death on the Nicorette gum he chewed compulsively for five years in his attempt to quit smoking. She proceeded in 2002 with the Herculean task of suing the corporation that markets Nicorette, doing it without an attorney.

Her case was promptly dismissed, on a technicality, from federal court in Jacksonville. She had failed to breach the legalese and make a jury listen. She said she could not afford an attorney.

Now she's exhausted, consumed by the case, still brimming with the memory of her beloved husband. She guards her inch-thick pile of legal documents as if it was a living being.

Her story is about failure and hopelessness in the mystifying world of law. It's about her conviction that Nicorette is dangerous, though officials say it is not. It's about her love for Robert Greenfield, her grief, and her wish to fight what she calls "the good fight."

Nicorette

Nicorette is produced by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, L.P., which makes over-the-counter drugs for the huge pharmaceutical corporation, GlaxoSmithKline.

The gum is touted as a "stop smoking aid" to be used for 12 weeks. A user is supposed to quit smoking, then chew the gum to relieve the cravings and discomfort. The instructions say to chew once or twice, then "park" the piece between the gums and the cheek.

Nowhere on the box or in its directions does GlaxoSmithKline say the product could cause cancer or be addictive.

On the upper right hand corner, in blue, is the seal of the American Cancer Society.

GlaxoSmithKline pays the American Cancer Society $1.5 million yearly for use of the seal, said ACS national spokesman Shawn Steward. The money is used for research and lobbying. The relationship benefits both groups, and began in 1996, Steward said. That was the year Nicorette became an over-the-counter drug.

Steward said there is no clinical evidence that nicotine replacement therapy, such as Nicorette, causes cancer.

He said that cigarettes cause cancer because of toxic chemicals in the smoke other than nicotine.

"We're not aware of any connections between nicotine and increased cancer risk," Steward said.

Melissa Dunn, a Glaxo-SmithKline spokeswoman, said "no" when asked if there were carcinogenic effects from Nicorette.

"We certainly encourage people to follow the directions that we've worked so hard with the (Food and Drug Administration). . . to put on those boxes," she said.

In the lawsuit, Greenfield cited an article written in 2000 by Stephen Hecht and colleagues of the Minnesota Cancer Center. Basically, the article stated that tobacco users could be producing a carcinogen in their own bodies after metabolizing nicotine. The carcinogen he discovered is known to lead specifically to lung cancer, Hecht wrote.

He wrote that the carcinogen could be formed inside the body "during nicotine replacement therapy, particularly under conditions of long-term therapy."

But Robert Greenfield died from cancer in his esophagus, not in his lungs.

42 years togetherGreenfield, 71, talks about her husband of 42 years with all the enthusiasm of a new crush.

"What do you say? How do you describe the perfect man?" she asked.

They knew each other for six weeks before getting married. From then on, they were together constantly, first in California, then in Florida, raising two sons and a daughter.

"He was extremely intellectual, a very, very brilliant man," Greenfield said.

He taught sociology at several universities in California, then worked as a criminologist for the state of Florida, she said. They lived in Tallahassee and Jacksonville, moving to St. Augustine Beach for retirement in 1992. Greenfield had been a special education teacher in Duval County.

She said her husband had a knack for understanding "gray areas" and ideas that were not clear. As a criminologist, he could see things that others could not.

He was a passionate man, she said. And he was a smoker. His mother smoked while she was pregnant with him. He started at the age of 13. After more than 50 years of cigarettes, he quit in the mid-1990s, on advice from a doctor. He started chewing Nicorette and could not stop for five years.

In early 2000, a doctor diagnosed esophageal cancer.

Greenfield said her husband asked her to lock up their firearms because the pain was going to be intense. He had 12 weeks to live.

"For months and months and months, I screamed at God, 'Why me?'" she said.

She spent more than a year in profound grief, weeping in church, weeping in Wal-Mart, weeping daily wherever she went.

Then she tried to sue. Greenfield said she talked to at least 30 attorneys, but could not afford their services.

In 2002, she took matters into her own hands, filing a wrongful death suit against GlaxoSmithKline.

She became obsessed with the case and said she devoted at least 1,000 hours of work to it.

U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. dismissed the case in May. He concluded that Greenfield could not bring the wrongful death action because she was not technically her husband's "personal representative."

She wants to appeal, but she doesn't know how. She wants to try again. For now, she'll take a little rest.
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Joel
Joel

April 19th, 2003, 9:57 pm #23

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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

April 21st, 2003, 8:17 am #24

NRT makes me mad. Madder than tobacco companies. I feel that they are preying on innocent peoples' most basic vulnerabilities by outright lying about their product. I believe that within a few decades many, many people will be suing pharmaceutical companies with overwhelming results, as more and more people die of esophagoal cancer or just continue smoking.

Most basic vulnerabilities? Just try telling anyone who is using NRT to quit smoking how very ineffective it is, and stand back for the rage that is sure to follow. Nobody gets that defensive unless they are vulnerable. And why shouldn't they be vulnerable? They truly believe that they have "quit". Tell them they haven't really quit anything and you've shattered their bubble. . .what? Do you really mean that to quit, I have to go through the pain of quitting?

It is almost useless to try to explain that with NRT they are actually making the pain of quitting worse. They feel they could never quit smoking without NRT. They feel that NRT is much cleaner and safer than smoking, so why should someone tell them they aren't making progress?

It is so hard to lead people to the understanding that:
  • Nobody smokes for the additives and the chemicals that you are so proud of "quitting". Nobody is addicted to smoking. It is not the smoke that is the addiction.
  • Everyone smokes for the nicotine. Therefore, injesting nicotine via another route does not end your addiction. The patch does not make nicotine any less addictive, or any less poisonous.
  • Nicotine is a poison that can kill a full grown man via only one drop on the tongue. It is a carcinogen and a vasoconstrictor. Taking it into your body in any way, shape, or form is dangerous.
I love the people who remark about being allergic to the adhesive in the patch. Ha! How many people are allergic to Band-Aids? Or Masking Tape? IT'S THE NICOTINE, O THEE ADDICTS!

Just venting. . .

Alex

I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Months 1 Week 2 Hours 48 Minutes 39 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1057. Money saved: $264.47.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

May 3rd, 2003, 12:43 pm #25

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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

June 23rd, 2003, 4:21 pm #26

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Joel
Joel

June 24th, 2003, 1:10 am #27

For Bill's sister:

The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. Thet are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Robin Lady Di
Robin Lady Di

August 5th, 2003, 1:10 am #28

Before I quit smoking, I did a lot of reading and research on ways to quit. I decided that the cold turkey quit was the way for me to go. I think nicotine replacement is really a way to lie to yourself. If I were a drug user shooting up and changed to snorting the drug instead then I wouldn't have quit using the drug but just change the way I put it into my body. It's the same with nic replacement. If you're going to quit, then just quit. Get it over with. Don't prolong your withdrawal symptoms.

I know three people that are close to me who have quit nicotine. Two were smokers and one dipped. When they quit, they each used the cold turkey method. Now one has been nic free for a year, one for 3 1/2 years and one for 10 months. The one who has been quit for three months is going through her second bout with cancer. If started as breast cancer and she beat it then it came back to her breast and her liver. She is currently going through chemo again. She has been my best friend for 34 years.

Anyway these three people have really been a motivation for me in my quit. Each of them have been encouraging and helpful.

If you're thinking about quitting, cold turkey is the way to go.
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Robin Lady Di
Robin Lady Di

August 5th, 2003, 1:13 am #29

I meant the one who quit for ten months, not three months. Sorry
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Joel
Joel

September 26th, 2003, 5:22 pm #30

The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. They are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel


I am lifting the post below from our Quit Cold Turkey string:

I read a comment somewhere in a post yesterday that cold turkey quitting was the ONLY way to quit. This is not a totally accurate statement. It is not that cold turkey is the only way to quit; it is just that cold turkey is actually the easiest way to quit. It is also the method that the vast majority of long-term ex-smokers in the world have used to quit smoking.

There are people who have quit using alternative approaches. There are some people who cut down gradually and actually pulled off a final quit. For every person who did it like this and succeeded, there are many many many many multiples of others who tried it and failed. The individual who used the method will think it is great because it worked for him or her, but since it works for so few people it will generally be recognized as a pretty ineffective technique by most people who do real world research into how to quit.

By real world research I mean by going to long-term ex-nicotine users who you know personally and finding out how they all got off nicotine. Again, you will very rarely find any who did it by gradual withdrawal. If you find a person like this who is now off years, you should never minimize the person's success. He or she quit smoking, likely doing it in a way that made it much more difficult than it needed to be, but still he or she did pull off the quit. The only advice that I would encourage that you share with the person is that now to stay off he or she must understand the bottom line method of sustaining his or her quit. That message is staying cognizant of the addiction and that the only true guaranteed method to stay off now is knowing never to administer nicotine again.

The same principle here applies to people who use NRT products. There are people who have quit this way. Again, it is a small percentage of the long-term ex-users out there, but they do exist. An individual who pulled it off this way will also feel that it is a great method for quitting. But again, this method works for a small percentage of people who try it and if you look into real world long-term quits you will have a very hard time finding many people who actually got off nicotine this way.

I feel it necessary to use that phrase, "got off nicotine," as opposed to saying, "got off smoking." There are some major experts coming out and advocating that people should be given nicotine supplements forever to stay off of smoking. Can this work? Of course it can. If you can give people enough nicotine via supplements it will satisfy their need for nicotine. After all, this is the primary reason they were smoking at the end--to feed a nicotine addiction. If the smoker can just get nicotine for the rest of his or her life via another route, he or she will avoid going through the three days of nicotine withdrawal.

The question needs to be though, why should anyone have to pay what is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars to avoid a few days of withdrawal. On top of this, these people will never be totally free of the moderate withdrawals that such usage is likely to keep going. These people will in fact tout the use of the product as a great aid, but when compared to what people who are totally nicotine free are experiencing, this victory over cigarettes is just a bit hollow.

There are a few people though whom you may encounter over your lifetime that did quit using NRT's as intended, weaning down for week after week and eventually quitting. If the person is now off for years, he or she is pretty much in the same state as a person who had quit cold turkey. He or she is nicotine free, and he or she should be thrilled by that fact. In some ways I look at people like this with a bit of awe, for they in all likelihood stuck with a process that was pretty much a gradual and prolonged withdrawal and yet they succeeded.

Again, debating the merits of their method with them is pretty much a moot point. It worked for them and you are going to have a pretty hard time convincing them that it is an ineffective method. But you do have a message that you can share with them that they do need to know. That message is that even though they are off nicotine for years, they still need to recognize that they are not cured of nicotine addiction and never will be. No matter how they had stopped, they must still understand the bottom line message, that the only way to stay free now is staying totally committed to never administer nicotine again via any nicotine replacement source and to never administer nicotine again from the original source that likely started the whole process by knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

October 22nd, 2004, 9:09 pm #31

I see a few of our members are watching friends and family members who are "attempting" to quit by using NRT products. I thought this string would add a little insight as to what to watch for when dealing with such individuals.
The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. They are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

July 20th, 2005, 9:37 pm #32

The One Great Truth that I found at this site was the Law of Addiction.
This Law is not Nicotine specific. It applies equally to all addictive substances.
I vividly remember reading and then re-reading and then reading again The Law of Addiction.
The Law of Addiction
The administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of dependence upon the addictive substance.
I didn't get it at first, it took a while to sink in.
Removal of the addictive substance was the answer.
Reintroducing any form of the substance by any alternate delivery method was not just prolonging withdrawal. By FURTHER ALLOWING ingestion of the addictive substance, in this case nicotine, by any method I WAS PERPETUATING ADDICTION!
To get free YOU must Disconnect the Cycle!
TO STAY FREE YOU JUST SIMPLY
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
JoeJ - Free & Silver, always a nicotine addict & a 40-year puffer, now thankfully an X-Smoker 6 months, 9 days, 23 hours, 17 minutes and 16 seconds (190 days).
Refused to use 4774 death sticks and reallocated $950.36 to more pleasureable means.
Most importantly I've recaptured 33 days, 3 hours and 42 minutes to live as I CHOOSE
.
NTAP!
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Joel
Joel

March 2nd, 2006, 11:51 am #33

The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. They are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

April 18th, 2006, 5:28 am #34

The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. They are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

August 24th, 2006, 9:16 pm #35

While this letter was about the limitations of the use of NRT, its opening paragraphs highlights another problem. Here is what it says:
""I could ring your neck! What is this 72 hour garbage you are preaching about. It is not getting any better! You lied to me from day one!" This warm greeting was thrust upon me on a Sunday night by an irate clinic participant. Sure, she had reason to be mad. After all, being in constant withdrawal for five days is enough to make any person lose their composure.
While she had every right to be angry, it was aimed at the wrong person. She had only herself to blame for this prolonged agony. For unlike the majority of people in her group, she did not throw out her cigarettes during the clinic session Tuesday night. Instead, she had a couple of cigarettes that evening."
There are people who think that they should start counting their easing of physical withdrawal (the first 72 hour period) from the time that they began their quits, even in the event that they smoked a few her and there after they said they had quit. Any measurement of time needs to be based on the moment the person last took nicotine--whether it was by a cigarette, cigar, pipe, chewing tobacco, or any NRT product.

Another post that ties into this concept is Quitting by gradual withdrawal.

Here is how that article explains this same problem:
Quitting by Gradual Withdrawal





Quitting by the gradual withdrawal method. I discuss this method quite extensively in my seminars. I always tell how if there is anyone attending who knows a smoker who they really despise they should actively encourage them to follow the gradual withdrawal "cut down" approach. They should call them up ever day and tell them to just get rid of one cigarette. Meaning, if they usually smoke 40 a day, just smoke 39 on the first day of the attempt to quit. The next day they should be encouraged to smoke only 38 then 37 the next day and so on. Then the seminar participant should call these people every day to congratulate them and encourage them to continue. I must reemphasize, this should only be done to a smoker you really despise.

You see, most smokers will agree to this approach. It sounds so easy to just smoke one less each day. Thirty-nine cigarettes to a two pack a day smoker seems like nothing. The trick is to convince the person that you are only trying to help them. For the first week or two the one downside is you have to pretend to like the person and you have to talk to them every day. They won't whine to bad either. When they are down to 30 from 40, they may start to complain a little. You really won't be having fun yet. When the payoff comes is about three weeks into scam. Now you've got them to less than half their normal amount. They are in moderate withdrawal all the time.

A month into the approach you've got them into pretty major withdrawal. But be persistent. Call them and tell them how great they are doing and how proud you are of them. When they are in their 35th to 39th day, you have pulled off a major coup. This poor person is in peak withdrawal, suffering miserably and having absolutely nothing to show for it. They are no closer to ending withdrawal than the day you started the process. They are in chronic withdrawal, not treating him or herself to one or two a day, but actually depriving him or herself of 35 to 40 per day.

If you want to go in for the kill, when you got them down to zero, tell them don't worry if things get tough, just take a puff every once in a while. If you can get them to fall for this, taking one puff every third day, they will remain in withdrawal forever. Did I mention you really should despise this person to do this to them? It is probably the cruelest practical joke that you could ever pull on anyone. You will undercut their chance to quit, make them suffer immeasurably and likely they will at some point throw in the towel, return to smoking, have such fear of quitting because of what they went through cutting down, that they will continue to smoke until it kills them. Like I said, you better really despise this person.

Hopefully there is no one you despise that much to do this to them. I hope nobody despises themselves enough to do this to themselves. Quitting cold turkey may be hard but quitting by this withdrawal technique is virtually impossible. If you have a choice between hard and impossible, go for hard. You will have something to show at the end of a hard process, but nothing but misery at the end of an impossible approach. Quit cold and in 72 hours it eases up. Cut down and it will basically get progressively worse for weeks, months, years if you let it.

I should mention, this is not a new technique. It has been around for decades. Talk to every long-term ex-smoker you know. Try to find one person who successfully used the cut down approach, gradually reducing to eventual zero over weeks or months. You will be hard pressed to find even one person who fits this bill. One other perspective that should help you see the flaw in the approach. Look at people here who had once quit for months or years and then relapsed. One day, after such a long time period, they take a drag and are smoking again. If one puff can do this after years or decades, guess what it will do after days or hours of being smoke free. It puts the smoker back to square one. All that any ex-smoker has to do to avoid relapse or chronic withdrawal is to - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

November 20th, 2006, 3:19 am #36

I saw where a member was writing about his daughter and her husband quitting now at the same time--the husband using the patch while the daughter was going cold turkey.


The difference of a cold-turkey withdrawal period in contrast to a NRT based withdrawal period will be obvious to any of our members who had quit at the same time as another family member, coworker or friend who started using a nicotine replacement product at the same time that they had just quit smoking. When comparing notes the first few days of the quit you will likely see a lot of similarities in the complaints. But as the days progress, it usually will become obvious that there will be a divergence in experiences, withdrawals easing up and quickly ending for the cold-turkey quitter, while the NRT user still is complaining of constant desires and symptoms, or as Bill has seen--they are still supplementing nicotine delivery with cigarettes.

Our members have got nicotine out of their systems. They are at the point that they finally have gained control over their addiction, their health and their lives. They know now to keep that control all they need to do is keep all forms of nicotine out of their system by never administering it again via chewing, absorption through their skin, through their nasal passages, injecting it, and avoiding the most direct route of administering nicotine to the brain-by smoking it-by just knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel


Another resource discussing this issue is this video:
Title Dialup Highspeed Audio Length Date added
My first encounter with NRT 3.99mb 16.11mb 2.13mb 14:37 11/16/06
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 10th, 2007, 1:29 am #37

From: JoeJFree-Gold- Sent: 7/20/2005 9:37 AM
The One Great Truth that I found at this site was the Law of Addiction.
This Law is not Nicotine specific. It applies equally to all addictive substances.
I vividly remember reading and then re-reading and then reading again
The Law of Addiction
The administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of dependence upon the addictive substance.
I didn't get it at first, it took a while to sink in.
Removal of the addictive substance was the answer.
Reintroducing any form of the substance by any alternate delivery method was not just prolonging withdrawal. By FURTHER ALLOWING ingestion of the addictive substance, in this case nicotine, by any method
I WAS PERPETUATING ADDICTION!
To get free YOU must Disconnect the Cycle!
TO STAY FREE YOU JUST SIMPLY
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

JoeJFree 729 todays
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 10th, 2007, 5:19 am #38

A quitter's cries
by Jennifer Dyck

Mar 09 2007
- Vernon Morning Star, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Sitting more than two months into my fight for freedom against nicotine and I am still finding myself saying 'ahhhh, how nice it would be to have a cigarette.'
I would have thought that by now those cravings would have disappeared. That the constant day dreaming about enjoying a cigarette wouldn't occur since I kicked smoking out of my life Jan. 1 (since then haven't smoked more than 950 cigarettes, saved more than $350 and about seven days of my life).
Instead, those cravings seem to be even harder to resist and my mind is constantly thinking about smoking, which is taking up a lot of my time.
This week seems to be the hardest yet as it is my first week off of the nicotine patch.
The patch is supposed to be an eight-week program. Everyday you slap a patch on a different spot on your upper body (and let me tell you, trying to find a different spot that you can reach and can be cover up with clothing each time is a task on its own).
The patch then over 24 hours delivers nicotine into your system. As you move through the program the amount of nicotine is reduced.
This helps you kick the habit of smoking while eliminating any nicotine withdrawals. It slowly weans you off of nicotine, like a mother getting their child off the bottle, one step at a time.
But what it doesn't do is prepare you for the withdrawals to come when you take that patch off once and for all.
So for fear of this I even prolonged the program and took the patch for an extra week.
See what gets me is the patch people make it seem like as soon as that eight weeks is over, you're a non-smoker. Poof, just like that. They even give you these little pamphlets to help you through the program but don't tell you that it's going to be quite difficult when you stop using their product (now I see why people get addicted to the nicotine patch or gum).
But I came to the realization last weekend that I have to face my life without this drug one day.
I can live nicotine free.
And so I ripped the patch off my irritated skin.
The first day was OK, only because I spent it lying around in my pajamas watching Rocky movies.
But after the first day or so it didn't take long for withdrawal to start kicking my rear end.
Hot flashes, cold flashes, irritability, restlessness, lack of energy, frustration, depression and a major lack of concentration.
All of this is very hard on a person (particularly on a person who is dealing with her fair share of personal stresses).
Therefore I find myself slipping even more often. Trying to cope with life's battles while under stress of withdrawal symptoms only makes me want a cigarette even more. Because it was my dear old cigarettes that were my crutch to lean on in hard times and now I am trying to get through without them.
I haven't completely relapsed though and am not back smoking what I would regularly smoke. On average, when I do fail to fight the cravings I will smoke one cigarette a day, which compared to the 15 a day I used to **** back, is pretty darn good. Especially considering the circumstances.
So I see all this as a rough patch. Something I can get over. Something that may see me slip many times, but it does not mean that I will continue smoking. I will beat this awful addiction. For I am a quitter.
© Copyright 2007 Vernon Morning Star

The Secret to Quitting Smoking
by [url=mailto:john@whyquit.com]John R. Polito[/url]
Sadly, millions of smokers are being intentionally deprived of the most important quit smoking lesson of all, that nicotine dependency recovery is one of the few challenges in life where being 99% successful all but assures 100% defeat.
Most quit smoking authorities teach that it takes a specified number of failed quitting attempts before the average smoker succeeds. What they fail to reveal is the precise lesson eventually learned, so that years of trial and error can be avoided. Joel Spitzer isn't one of them. A thirty-year full-time Chicago smoking cessation counselor, Spitzer calls it the "Law of Addiction," that just one powerful puff of nicotine is all it takes to foster relapse and destroy a quitting attempt.

Within 72 hours of ending all nicotine use the body and mind are nicotine-clean and withdrawal has peaked in intensity. The lesson eventually gleaned from the school of hard-quitting-knocks is that there is a bright line in the sand which says, "if I smoke just one cigarette I'll be throwing all my hard work out the window. I'll smoke another. I'll either end up back at the starting line enduring another 72 hours of nicotine withdrawal and detox, or accept the fact that I'm again a full-fledged smoker."

Although Spitzer's insights flow from and are confirmed by the more than 350 six-session two-week quitting clinics he has conducted since 1976, his clinical observations are backed by research. A 1990 study entitled "Postcessation Cigarette Use: The Process of Relapse" found that 93.5% who lapsed and "tasted" one cigarette during the first three months of quitting went on to experience full relapse to smoking.

Published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, the study found that nearly half (46.7%) who lapsed smoked a second cigarette within 24 hours of the first, that one in five (20.7%) smoked it within an hour, but that the average time between smoking the first and second cigarette was 9 days. Interestingly, the study also found that nearly half of lapses occurred after drinking alcohol.

Recent research has found that the brain's dopamine pathways not only produce a powerful dopamine "aaah" sensation in response to nicotine's arrival but record the associated smoking event and "aaah" in high definition memory, what researchers call "pay attention," "survival" or "salient" memories. While most memory disorders involve an inability to remember, nicotine dependency is about remembering too well - an inability to forget.

But both formal and informal discovery and mastery of the "Law of Addiction" has become increasingly difficult. In June 2000 the U.S. government turned its back on nicotine cessation by adopting a policy advocating nicotine replacement or bupropion use by all quitters unless pregnant, underage or possibly due to other health considerations. Doing so instantly destroyed the standing, credibility and backing of nearly all nicotine cessation programs.

Amazingly, the U.S. Public Health Service continues to actively discourage nicotine cessation, the quitting method it admits is responsible for producing nearly 90% of all long-term successful quitters, a finding confirmed by a 2006 Australian study. Instead it teaches those dependent upon nicotine that replacing nicotine is key to quitting, that nicotine is medicine and its use therapy, lessons that obviously interfere with and muddy a natural learning process.

Although each new magic pharmaceutical cure has promised to at least double cessation rates, the latest being Chantix or Champix (both varenicline) it simply has not happened. In October the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was forced to report that the U.S. smoking rate had failed to decline for the first time since 1997. What the CDC fails to realize is that although allowing pharmaceutical influence to write U.S. cessation policy has been highly profitable for the pharmaceutical industry it is damaging natural learning of the "Law of Addiction."

What the CDC continues to keep secret is that although replacement nicotine performed twice as well as placebo inside randomized clinical trials, that it has never prevailed over those quitting without it in any real-world performance survey conducted to date (California, Minnesota, Quebec, London, Western Maryland, U.K., and Australia). What it keeps secret is that just 7% of over-the-counter NRT users are still not smoking at six months and the success rate for second time users is near 0%.

Since June 2000 Joel Spitzer has served as education director at WhyQuit, one of the last surviving nicotine cessation programs. There Spitzer teaches all new arrivals the Law of Addiction, that their first quitting attempt can be their last so long as they make and stick to a personal commitment to ... just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
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Joel
Joel

May 9th, 2007, 3:06 am #39

I just saw a comment made in today's parade from a member who said she was feeling a bit discouraged because a number of people who quit about six weeks ago using alternative methods, ie, patches, gums, etc., all seemed to be relapsing now. (The message was since removed by the author. I had written this same response but it had a whole lot of embedded coding so I am editing out those unnecessary codes. The concept of the message though is still worthwhile.)

Yesterday I had an email from a person who was feeling discouraged because she had "relapsed" after five weeks of being on nicotine gum. The response I wrote to her applies to the people this member knows.

No one reading her who is going cold turkey should be discouraged, or at least worried or surprised that people "quitting" by using these products do not seem to succeed. Their attempt have very little in common with people who quit cold turkey. People who used NRT products have not really taken steps to break free from their addiction--all they have done is transfer their delivery methods.

Those who have actually stopped delivering nicotine are in a whole different state of being, actually breaking the grip that nicotine once exerted on them. Here is part of the response I sent to the person writing me yesterday.

XXXX, for all practical purposes you did not relapse back to an addiction five weeks into your quit, you just never really broke free from your addiction. All you did was transfer your delivery method of nicotine.

Here is a video that also discusses this issue, as well as a couple of others that touch on the topic:
Video Title
Dial-Up
HS/BB
Audio
Length
Added
My first encounter with NRT
14:37
11/16/06
Quitting by gradual withdrawal
07:13
10/18/06
How did the people you know quit smoking?
05:10
09/27/06
When you are really ready to quit I suggest you check out this video and all of the resources we have made freely available at www.whyquit.com.
Video Title
Dial-Up
HS/BB
Audio
Length
Added
11:07
11/21/06
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Just Hannes
Just Hannes

July 23rd, 2007, 10:13 pm #40

People who used NRT products have not really taken steps to break free from their addiction--all they have done is transfer their delivery methods.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

September 3rd, 2014, 2:55 pm #41

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