Wednesday, December 9, 2015

20 YEARS Smobriety!!! 
As of yesterday (Dec 8, 2015) I have been nicotine FREE for twenty years; for One Day at a Time, sometimes 15 minutes at a time!!!
What a great freedom it is. 
A person cannot fully appreciate freedom unless they have been hopelessly enslaved. 

I will soon publish:
"Nicotine Fiend" 
I will outline all the steps I took in my emancipation from cigarette addiction.

(I will add more to  this post later and find a way to pin it to the top)

BLOGGER NOTES: Remember: The craving stops... whether you smoke or not. So DONT!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

E-Cigarettes: The vapor this time? | TRDRP

E-Cigarettes: The vapor this time? | TRDRP:

'via Blog this'

BLOGGER NOTES:Remember: The craving stops... whether you smoke or not. So DONT!
BLOGGER NOTES: Remember: The craving stops... whether you smoke or not. So DONT!

Project SCRAP findings:

Handbook for Assessing and Treating Addictive Disorders - Google Books

Handbook for Assessing and Treating Addictive Disorders - Google Books:

'via Blog this'

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yoga Cobra

Yoga Cobra

The above link is to my Yoga Blog.

I recommend non-smokers take a Yoga class and focus on especially the breathing exercises.
Smokers need to relearn how to breathe. The only time we would breathe deeply; was when we were inhaling smoke. It hurt my lungs and throat to inhale deeply.

Now be good to yourself!

(The light in me honors the light in you)

Dont Hate Yourself!


Dont hate yourself. Hate your disease.

We have a disease that is cunning, baffling and powerful!

One thing it is not, though? It is NOT hopeless.

Use the experience, strength and hope of others who have beaten it. Then, someday, you can help others to win their own battle. Nobody can fight the fight for you, but it cant hurt to use the same techniques and tools that worked for others.

I have been Nicotine Free for 4907 days (13.5 years) ** (Since December 8, 1995)

I am not bragging, its by the grace of a loving God, the fellowship of Nicotine Anonymous and the set of tools outlined in this journal. The obsession to smoke was removed in a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition (see: AA Big Book pg 85)

Remember: The craving stops... whether you smoke or not. So DONT!

Nicotine Addiction - Nicotine and Dopamine

Nicotine Addiction - Nicotine and Dopamine

"Imagine three jumbo jets filled to capacity crashing in the United States every single day, 365 days a year, killing everyone on board. Horrific to think about, but this example represents the number of precious lives lost to tobacco day in and day out in the United States alone. Unfortunately, cigarette smoking still tops the list as the most preventable cause of death in the United States today, accounting for 438,000 deaths annually. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control for 2007 tell us that 20.8% of the U.S. adult population, or 45.3 million people, currently smoke cigarettes.

Nicotine is Highly Addictive
The nicotine in inhaled tobacco smoke moves from the lungs, into the bloodstream and up to the smoker's brain within 7 to 10 seconds. Once there, nicotine triggers a number of chemical reactions that create temporary feelings of pleasure for the smoker, but these sensations are short-lived, subsiding within minutes. As the nicotine level drops in the blood, smokers feel edgy and agitated -- the start of nicotine withdrawal. So, in order to relieve the discomforts, smokers light up another cigarette...and then another..and another. And so it goes -- the vicious cycle of nicotine addiction. One cigarette is never enough, a fact that every smoker knows all too well.

In order to quit smoking successfully for the long term, it helps to understand the nature of nicotine addiction and what it takes to break free of it. In fact, smokers are often surprised to learn that they are addicted to a substance. Many of us believed that smoking was just a bad habit; something we could stop easily when we decided it was time.

Let's take a look at how nicotine affects brain chemistry and begin the educational process that will help us battle this addiction to the ground, once and for all.

Nicotine and Adrenaline
When a person inhales cigarette smoke, the nicotine in the smoke is rapidly absorbed into the blood and starts affecting the brain within 10 seconds. The result is the release of adrenaline, the "fight or flight" hormone. Physically, adrenaline increases a person's heart rate, blood pressure and restricts blood flow to the heart muscle. When this occurs, the smoker experiences rapid, shallow breathing and the feeling of a racing heartbeat. Adrenaline also instructs the body to dump excess glucose into the bloodstream.

Nicotine and Insulin
Nicotine also inhibits the release of insulin from the pancreas, a hormone that is responsible for removing excess sugar from a person's blood. This leaves the smoker in a slightly hyperglycemic condition, meaning he has more sugar in his blood than is normal. High blood sugar acts as an appetite suppressant, which may be why smokers think their cigarettes reduce hunger.

Nicotine and Dopamine
Nicotine activates the same reward pathways in the brain that other drugs of abuse such as cocaine or..... "


No wonder it seems impossible at first.... use my POWER TOOLS!!
(But not instead of an honest appraisal of our condition)
There is no "Magic Bullet", you will need to avail yourself of every possible weapon and defense system for THIS battle. Just remember: Nobody dies from quitting... it only seems like it at first. The craving stops... whether you smoke or not. So DONT!
Nicotine Withdrawal - What Happens When You Quit Smoking - Smoking Cessation Video -

What Happens When You Quit Smoking?
Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes and it is the reason people experience withdrawal when trying to quit smoking. Learn more about how nicotine affects the body.

Watch this 2.5 minute video for a better understanding of the craving smokers experience.

The First step in recovery is acceptance of your true condition.

You cannot change what you do not accept/admit!!

The List of Additives in Cigarettes

The List of Additives in Cigarettes

The list of 599 additives approved by the US Government for use in the manufacture of cigarettes is something every smoker should see. Submitted by the five major American cigarette companies to the Dept. of Health and Human Services in April of 1994, this list of ingredients had long been kept a secret.

Tobacco companies reporting this information were:

American Tobacco Company
Brown and Williamson
Liggett Group, Inc.
Philip Morris Inc.
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products - InfoFacts - NIDA

National Institute on Drug Abuse

NIDA InfoFacts: Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Between 1964 and 2004, cigarette smoking caused an estimated 12 million deaths, including 4.1 million deaths from cancer, 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 2.1 million deaths from respiratory diseases, and 94,000 infant deaths related to mothers smoking during pregnancy.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 400,000 premature deaths each year—about 1 in every 5 U.S. deaths.2

How Does Tobacco Affect the Brain?
Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, including cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, and chewing tobacco, contain the addictive drug nicotine. Nicotine is readily absorbed into the bloodstream when a tobacco product is chewed, inhaled, or smoked. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs on a cigarette over a period of 5 minutes that the cigarette is lit. Thus, a person who smokes about 1/2 packs (30 cigarettes) daily gets 300 “hits” of nicotine each day.

Upon entering the bloodstream, nicotine immediately stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. Glucose is released into the blood while nicotine suppresses insulin output from the pancreas, which means that smokers have chronically elevated blood sugar levels.

Like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, nicotine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects the brain pathways that control reward and pleasure. For many tobacco users, long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction—a condition of compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative consequences. Studies suggest that additional compounds in tobacco smoke, such as acetaldehyde, may enhance nicotine’s effects on the brain.3 A number of studies indicate that adolescents are especially vulnerable to these effects and may be more likely than adults to develop an addiction to tobacco.

When an addicted user tries to quit, he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms including powerful cravings for tobacco, irritability, difficulty paying attention, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite. Treatments can help smokers manage these symptoms and improve the likelihood of successfully quitting.

What Other Adverse Effects Does Tobacco Have on Health?
Cigarette smoking accounts for about one-third of all cancers, including 90 percent of lung cancer cases. In addition to cancer, smoking causes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and increases the risk of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, vascular disease, and aneurysm. Smoking has also been linked to leukemia, cataracts, and pneumonia. On average, adults who smoke die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.2

Although nicotine is addictive and can be toxic if ingested in high doses, it does not cause cancer; other chemicals are responsible for most of the severe health consequences of tobacco use. Tobacco smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde, cyanide, and ammonia—many of which are known carcinogens. Tar exposes the user to an increased risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. Carbon monoxide increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Smokeless tobacco (such as chewing tobacco and snuff) also increases the risk of cancer, especially oral cancers.

Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes run an increased risk of miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants, or infants with low birthweight. Maternal smoking may also be associated with learning and behavioral problems in children. Smoking more than a pack of cigarettes per day during pregnancy nearly doubles the risk that the affected child will become addicted to tobacco if that child starts smoking.

Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, consists of exhaled smoke and smoke given off by the burning end of tobacco products. According to CDC, approximately 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke.2 Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent4 and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.2 In addition, secondhand smoke causes respiratory problems in nonsmokers, such as coughing, phlegm, and reduced lung function. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma.

Although quitting can be difficult, the health benefits of smoking cessation are immediate and substantial, including reduced risk for cancers, heart disease, and stroke. A 35-year old man who quits smoking will, on average, increase his life expectancy by 5 years.5

Are There Effective Treatments for Tobacco Addiction?
Tobacco addiction is a chronic disease that often requires multiple attempts to quit. Although some smokers are able to quit without help, many others need assistance. Generally, rates of relapse for smoking cessation are highest in the first few weeks and months and diminish considerably after about 3 months. Both behavioral interventions (counseling) and medication can help smokers quit; the combination of medication with counseling is more effective than either alone.

Behavioral Treatments
Behavioral treatments employ a variety of methods to assist smokers in quitting, ranging from self-help materials to individual counseling. These interventions teach individuals to recognize high-risk situations and develop coping strategies to deal with them. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) national toll-free quitline, 800-QUIT-NOW, is an access point for any smoker seeking information and assistance in quitting.

Nicotine Replacement Treatments
Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), such as nicotine gum and the nicotine patch, were the first pharmacological treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in smoking cessation therapy. NRTs deliver a controlled dose of nicotine to a smoker in order to relieve withdrawal symptoms during the smoking cessation process. They are most successful when used in combination with behavioral treatments. FDA-approved NRT products include nicotine chewing gum, the nicotine transdermal patch, nasal sprays, inhalers, and lozenges.


I want to add at this point:
I did NOT use these "Nicotine Replacement Treatments" (last paragraph above)in my recovery process... And I have very strong opinion against them.
This is like switching from Scotch to Brandy for the Nicotine Addict. Get yourself a CLEAN DATE and KEEP it. You are still ingesting your drug of choice when you use the patch or the gum. I know a man who was addicted to the gum for 5 years!!! That cost more than cigarettes and he was still an addict IN THE DISEASE. Break away as fast as you can. A wino cant switch to beer....

It is important to have a FULL, honest awareness of our condition.
My next post will have a list of tobacco ingredients.
Joel's Library - Smoking's Impact on the Lungs

The most well known smoking induced COPD is emphysema. This is another one of those diseases that primarily happen to smokers. Over 90% of the cases are smoking induced. There are cases in some families where there does seem to be a genetic predisposition, where non-smokers get it too. This is from a rare condition, a lack of a blood enzyme called alpha1antitrypsin. This again is rare, but if you do have family members who never smoked a day in their life get emphysema there may be a genetic tendency. But again, over 90% of emphysema cases are simply caused by smoking. Eradicate smoking and you eradicate the risk of the disease.

To get a sense of how a lung is altered by smoking to cause emphsema look at the pictures below. The first is a picture of an inflated non-smoker city dweller's lung.

As in the normal picture of a lung above, you can see carbon deposits collected throughout from pollution effects. But when contrasted with a smoker's lung with emphysema...

...there is a very dramatic visible difference. Not only is the discoloration the issue, but the lungs have literally been ripped out of shape making breathing extremely difficult and eventually impossible. To get a sense of what it feels like to breathe with emphysema take a deep breath and hold it. Without letting out any air, take another deep breath. Hold that one too. One more time, take one more breath. Okay let it all out.

That second or third breath is what it feels like to breathe when you have advanced emphysema. Emphysema is a disease where you cannot exhale air. Everyone thinks that it is a disease where you cannot inhale but in fact it is the opposite. When you smoke you destroy the lungs elasticity by destroying the tissue that pulls your lung back together after using muscles that allow us to inhale air. So when it comes time to take your next breath it is that much more difficult, for your lungs could not get back to their original shape.

Imagine going through life having to struggle to breathe like those last two breaths I had you take. Unfortunately, millions of people don't have to imagine it, they live it daily. It is a miserable way to live and a slow painful way to die.

Hopefully when you breathe normally today you are not in pain and you are not on oxygen. If you don't smoke you will continue to give yourself the ability to breathe longer and feel better. Never lose sight of this fact. To keep your ability to breathe better for the rest of your life always remember to - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel's Library - Smoking's Impact on the Lungs

You can start to see how the smoker’s lungs below became so discolored. Smokers don't just put a total of a few hundred cigarettes in their system; they literally deliver hundreds of thousands of cigarettes over their shortened lifetime. This discoloration effect is more than just aesthetically unpleasant--it is in fact deadly.

Above: Normal city dwellers lung.
Note black specks throughout indicative of carbon deposits from pollution.
Compare this to the lung below.

Smokers lung with cancer. White area on top is the cancer, this is what killed the person. The blackened area is just the deposit of tars that all smokers paint into their lungs with every puff they take.

I highly recommend this website, click the link at top.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 Marlboro Man Death Marlboro Man Death

Quitters Pack

Quitters Pack includes:
Quitters Handbook
Quitters Contract
Quitters Logbook
Quitters Bands ("Breathe", New Freedom and New Happiness, etc.)
Quitters List of Ingredients (Arsenic, Carbon Monoxide, Pesticides)
Quitters Pen(chewable?)

Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smokers tend to experience cognitive dissonance because it is widely accepted that cigarettes cause lung cancer, yet virtually everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. In terms of the theory, the desire to live a long life is dissonant with the activity of doing something that will most likely shorten one's life. The tension produced by these contradictory ideas can be reduced by quitting smoking, denying the evidence of lung cancer, or justifying one's smoking.[2] For example, smokers could rationalize their behavior by concluding that only a few smokers become ill, that it only happens to very heavy smokers, or that if smoking does not kill them, something else will.[3]

This case of dissonance could also be interpreted in terms of a threat to the self-concept.[4] The thought, "I am increasing my risk of lung cancer" is dissonant with the self-related belief, "I am a smart, reasonable person who makes good decisions." Because it is often easier to make excuses than it is to change behavior, dissonance theory leads to the conclusion that humans are rationalizing and not always rational beings.

I like that last sentence, it has this:
"Because it is often easier to make excuses than it is to change behavior, ...."

If a pig like me can quit....


1) STOP saying "I need a cigarette" There is not a single human being on the planet that "Needs" a cigarette. Our disease tells us we need it. That is a lie. Do not perpetuate this particular myth any longer. From now on you may say "I WANT a cigarette" and later, after your "smoke-free date" you can add "...; But I would rather not smoke. Just for right now". While you are in the weaning off stage, DO NOT smoke indoors. Go outside and avail yourself of at least SOME fresh air. Throw away (or at least put them away) any lighters, this will reduce the number of AUTOMATIC cigarettes. Use matches. The automatic cigarettes need to be identified, make a note of them. Put down the time, this makes them less mystical. We are trying to make an irrational habit visable to the rational side of the brain. Auto-pilot is our enemy. The cigs in the car while in traffic, for instance can be avoided... remove the ashtray and take out the car lighter. Make your vehicle another off limits 'indoor' place.

2)Set a "Smoke-Free Date", not too soon and not too far away. I suggest a week, thats what worked for me. Put that date on your calendar and on a Contract with yourself....

3) Contract with myself. Use wording like I _________ have just smoked my last cigarette at _______ o'clock on the ________ day of ___________.

I am now free.
You will be able to honor this contract because you have been preparing for this day. You have taken steps that set you up for success, rather than the failures you may have experienced in the past.

4) Start taking vitamins and eating healthy snacks. Drink fruit juices and water instead of sodas. Eat seeds and nuts instead of candy.

5) Buy a few things:
a)Buy a small Note Pad. About the same size as a cigarette pack,. Keep them together with a rubber band.
b)Get a rubber band for your wrist
c) Get Orange Juice (If you ALWAYS smoke with coffee, I suggest switching to decaffeinated; or stopping coffee altogether. Coffee is a trigger for me. I stopped drinking it for the first few Smoke Free days. I drank Orange Juice instead, because cigarettes tase BAD after cigarettes (for some reason).
d) Get sunflower seeds (in the shell) this helps with the oral fixation. I remember at the end of my first week tobacco free, my lips would quiver involuntarily... I think they were lonely for their old friend. The next items helped with that...
e) Plastic drinking straws or stir straws for chewing.
f) Hard candy like Jolly Rogers, and peppermints.
g) New Toothbrush. Brush your teeth OFTEN. Cigarettes are not desirable right after brushing.

6) Ration Cigarettes. Smoke in EXCESS the first day you begin your approach to freedom. And keep track of each cigarette! The day should be ONE WEEK before your "Contract Date" to quit. Smoke like a freaking pig addict, because if you get nauseous it will help you to hate them. It is necessary for you to hate cigarettes 1% more than you love them or you will FAIL at quitting. The next day (after "Pig Day")you will begin a strict regimen of controlled smoking. The tobacco companies have their product down to a science. You are controlled by nicotine dosages that are measured for optimum benefit to them and their bank accounts. Your body remembers how many cigarettes you gave it yesterday, and it will DEMAND the same amount tomorrow. We know this in advance, so we use this to our advantage. After "Pig Day", on Day 2, you will smoke the amount you usually smoke (It was 2-3 packs a day for me, more back when I was drinking)

7) Tell everyone you are going to quit, ESPECIALLY those who smoke. Tell them not to give you anymore cigarettes. That you you are less likely to not just stop buying cigarettes; but have an escape hatch after you smoke your last one. The psychology is as important as the action. Are you serious? Or do you still think you "NEED" cigarettes? Work toward your freedom, not your disease. Avoid places where ther is a lot of smoking and the commaraderie of fellow smokers. Hang out with smober people. Find new "playmates". You may be surprised how many good people will want to be around you that didnt want to before. I actually had sex with non-somokers, WOW!!! My dating pool doubled!!

8) Step One, above, needs to be expanded a bit. "STOP saying "I need a cigarette"" is the first irrationality that needs to change. Take an inventory of each cigarette you smoke and put down the time of day. Cigarette after dinner seems very natural and rational because it is something we have done out of habit, without really thinking much of it; its a food trigger. Cigarettes smoked in commeraderie are also very attractive, there is a connection to your fellow man, you may feel perfectly comfortable about smoking and striking up a conversation with a stranger outside a theater or restaurant. These are social triggers that you want to be aware of after your quit date. Alcohol and coffee are strong triggers, you may tell yourself 'a cigarette takes the edge off' or it makes you feel balanced. Thats the empty promise of a hard narcotic. A cigarette tells us it is the solution for all our ills. If you are an addictive personality like myself, you will have dozens of rationales. Tobacco has a perfect excuse for you to continue in your addiction, but you can respond to these in a calm and rational voice. If you need a sharp mental/physical distarction from a particularly difficult craving, put a rubber ban around your wrist and snap it while telling yourself "A Cigarette will hurt me a lot more than this!"

9) Sometimes a simple act that was destructive before can be your greatest asset, Procrastination is a WONDERFUL tool. That way you can forestall your next cigarette for many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. Especially in the beginning. If you can NOT smoke for 7 minutes the craving will magically disappear. Big Tobacco has the addiction down to a science. Nicotine has a built in alarm system that lets you know, in NO UNCERTAIN terms, when its time for your next dose. AND it will screammmm and screach until you satisfy it. It will make you think this desperation will NEVER go away, not without another dose. Just one more dose. Thats the lie it tells you and it is very cunning. Procrastination is one of the strongest tools in your toolbox. As long as you know the secret code, that the craving to smoke goes away, WHETHER YOU LIGHT UP OR NOT. Thats right, your disease wants you to think the only solution is MORE tobacco, its not true. That strong craving is only temporary. Dont cave in and it stops. Early on when you are weaning off or after your Quit Date, you may have more cravings within about an hour; but these too are manageable. Just dont pick up that first smoke, no matter what comes down the pike....and the craving dissolves into another victory. All these little victories add up into hours and days of smobriety. You will want to reward yourself. Go for a walk and breathe fresh air, you are free.

10) Positive reinforcement. Reward yourself. You may have experienced some self loathing for your past weaknesses. Stop beating yourself up. You are a valuable member of the Universe, no less than the trees or the stars (See Desiderata for more wonderful inspiration)

11) I make a gratitude list. Put down all the benefits of not smoking. Dont forget the money you save. Food tastes better. You will be getting more oxygen to your brain because the celia in your lungs wont be plastered down with cigarette tar, it takes a while but it doesnt start getting better until you stop smoking.

To be continued.

My AA Sponsor

I want to share a bit about the man who help me the most to quit smoking.
We, Bob Slater and myself, started a Nicotine Anonymous meeting in the Fall of 1995.
Bob had been battling Lung Cancer for some years. He had been sober for about 25 years at that time. I rented a room from him in his apartment in Escondido. I managed to stop smoking and stay stopped by applying the techniques I will outline here in this journal. Bob was not so fortunate. He would die a long, painful and drug addled death. His death was directly caused by his addiction to cigarettes. The poisons took away his freedoms first. He was connected to an oxygen bottle and nebulizers. I remember when he lost his license, he ran over a curb and almost hit a pedestrian. He was on strong pain meds. I have to tell you I had great admiration for Bob. He was my mentor. He was a retired fire fighter, when I first met him he was a drug and alcoholism counselor... MY counselor. That was perhaps 10 years before I came to AA on the right terms... because I wanted to be there, not because I was there on a court card. Bob worked for a state mandated DUI program. I was a multiple offender.

More later,....

If I can quit, ANYBODY can quit!

I have managed to stay smober since December 8, 1995.
I think I am done, but I have to be careful how I percieve my 'smobriety'.
I have a daily reprieve that is contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition. Honesty is the first step in recovery from nicotine addiction. I had to change my vocabulary, to reflect the truth. I stopped saying "I need a cigarette" before I could actually quit. The truth is, nobody EVER "NEEDS" a cigarette. The human life form needs oxygen, not smoke.

There are many little tricks and tips and theories and treatments that I applied to my condition, to help me overcome what seemed like a hopeless battle. I had lost my free will. Tobacco OWNED me. I was not the master of my own life and it was hard for me to consider myself a spiritual person on a human path. When I finally did quit smoking; it was only after 16 months of sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. I applied the principles and the steps that helped me stop drinking and drugging. I also started a Nicotine Anonymous meeting in a side room of the local AA meeting hall, with some eager, like-minded friends.

I hope my own experience can help others. There is no greater feeling than freedom, for those who were once slaves.

Dont forget to breathe.

Smokers never inhale deeply, except when they are puffing a cigarette.

Breathe deeply.