Five Years

The ramblings of a former smoker.

Well, it’s been five years for me. What have I really learnt?

Well, I’ve read a staggering amount of data, learnt why we smoke, learnt that we’re exploited more as quitters than we are as smokers and I’ve even applied for, and been rejected for, a job with ASH.

I can’t help you quit, no-one can. All anyone can do is present a smoker with the tools and hope that they choose one that works for them.

If quitting smoking was eating a boiled egg then there are lots of little guys offering teaspoons, plastic spoons, toasty soldiers and the like to get the job done. Alas the bully boys from NRT shove all the best stuff out the way and present an axe, a spade, a chainsaw and a scythe. They lie about their effectiveness and they finance their way to the front of the queue. You CAN eat a boiled egg with a spade but you’re complicating what is in effect a quite simple task. That’s NRT for you.

Despite what you will read to the contrary, from those with a vested interest of course, of 100 quitters giving it a go less than 10 will still be smoke free a year later. Even scarier, less than 15 make it to week five!

When we started smoking we did something that our bodies opposed with every means at its disposal.

The inhalation of smoke contradicts everything that our lungs evolved to do and the natural response is to gag and retch, turn green and reject it totally. When we smoke fag number 100,000 our body's reaction is just the same as that first one. The fag tastes just as awful but we have simply learnt to accept it.

The smoking hasn't changed, it is our perception of smoking that's changed.

Luckily there's a switch in our heads that can be changed from smoker to non-smoker; unfortunately it's not labelled and finding it is not always straightforward.

Some people quit instantly and painlessly, often due to some external stimulus. Pregnancy, a smoking related death or a Doctor's grave warning are often the catalyst required to quit smoking. Often a smoker will simply wake up one morning and no longer wish to smoke. Sometimes they start the day as normal but by bedtime have ditched the habit.

Call it an epiphany, a light-bulb moment or finding the switch, either consciously or unconsciously, it doesn't matter what you call it but it's an essential goal.

Almost everyone who manages a year smoke-free achieves it. I say almost because some 12 month quitters get there by sheer gritty determination and still teeter on the edge of the precipice despite all that time quit.

It's also a massive beacon that needs to illuminate anyone thinking of quitting, struggling with a quit or thinking of leaping off the wagon. Its message is obvious; lots of people quit "just like that", no side effects, no major withdrawal, no real hassle, done, dusted.

So what are they doing?

Often we labour with our quits, day after day, slowly easing the spring-loaded switch from on to off only to have it leap back to the on position the moment we lose focus. We're told quitting is hard. Non smokers think quitting is hard. Even school kids think quitting is hard. It's easy then to assume it must be hard and that we should somehow accept a titanic struggle if we're to succeed.

Quitters who don't have a hard time are therefore regarded as somehow freakish.

It's easy to forget, ignore or disbelieve the fact that of every 100 smokers approaching their GP for help 93 will be smoking 12 months later.

If that system sits comfortably with you feel free to jump on the bus; you may be one of the lucky 7.

Of course, having read this you've now more chance of being one of the 7 as it could be that the other 93 will never know we all have a switch!

It would be fabulous if the switch was operated by our conscious and had a big neon label saying, "off". Sadly it doesn't. Consciously we may be totally committed to quitting the fags and that's by far the usual way. We make a conscious decision to try to stop and then follow the path to the best of our ability. If we struggle we already know it's not meant to be easy and if we fail it just confirms our initial thought that quitting is hard.

Reinforcement of a tough quit is unlikely to make the next one any easier!

We quit in the subconscious. At some point in our conscious quit the subconscious picks up on the message that smoking is no longer an option and the struggle lessens.

The good bit is that it's not just some wild theory; we can all find people who've quit totally painlessly and they tend to be one of the examples shown above.

The bad bit is that even armed with the knowledge it's hard to find the switch.

There is no point in quitting if your subconscious wants to smoke.

No matter how serious your conscious decision to quit is and how big a bag of drugs you have you will not stay off the fags when the willpower runs out (because it will) unless you deal with your subconscious.

The subconscious doesn’t talk to or listen to the conscious mind.

The subconscious learns without the conscious mind knowing.

Confuse quitting smoking with cessation of nicotine use and the task become incredibly hard.

Quitting nicotine is easy and ever so slightly uncomfortable; never make it a challenge, it's not.

We learnt to smoke like we learnt to drive or ride a bike. We made conscious actions to accomplish specific tasks until our subconscious autopilot took over. An experienced driver can compose letters, listen to the radio, have deep meaningful conversations in the conscious whilst the subconscious drives the car. We do it all the time without thinking about it.

That's how we smoked too.

You have to learn how not to smoke and when you do life is just so much better.

Trust me. ;)

111 Replies

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  • Wonderful post as usual Austin, now if you will excuse me I am off to eat my boiled egg aided by a chainsaw!!

    Congrats on 5 years as a missing member would say:

    Keep on keeping on!

  • "At some point in our conscious quit the subconscious picks up on the message that smoking is no longer an option and the struggle lessens."

    Totally. That's what happened to me. I kept making the conscious choice and eventually my subconscious caught up.

    Congratulations on five years of eloquent awareness!

    Helen

  • Austin, what can I say, very inspiring, thank you

  • Very big congratulations on 5 years. I'll be 5 months tomorrow. Looks like such a tiny step compared to 5 years but I'm proud of it. Great post!!!

  • Hi Austin

    Just came on and saw your thread, OMG 5 years that's fantastic, well done you.

    You have been an inspiration to me since i found this site so i wanna say thank you :)

    Here's to the next 5 and beyond :) Well done x

  • 5 Years is a major quit and also great that you have given 5 years of great support too so many on this site, helping them to get free of the nasty nicco demon, I hope that your life will continue to be smoke free and that you will keep on giving out your words of wisdom.

  • In the words of that intellectual giant Nicole Scherzinger...

    "Two words; Awe Some" :D

  • Congratulations Austin, 5 years is brilliant! I would also like to say what a fantastic post :)

  • I'd love to know where you get your facts from Austin.'' i went to my gp for help and got it and im still quit 13 months on. I dont beleive it is a fact that 93 out of a hundred will start smoking again, how do u know it is. i think you are probably right when u say you cant help people to quit but with posts like this u might encourage people to give up a perfectly good quit by quoting dodgy facts and implying people havnt really got a cat in hells chance if they have used nrt. Trust you. not on your nellie:D:p

  • Interesting post Austin and well done on five years....not a fan of NRT I take it?? I have had no experience with it yet so shouldn't comment probably but I always have a funny feeling about the NiQuitin minis ads, like they're keeping you on the fags for a bit longer, but I might be missing the point having never tried them.....

  • Congrats on ur 5 years of giving up the fags.. Sorry didn't read alm ur post as I get bored after reading a few lines of very long posts.. :o

    Well done just hope I'm a 5 years quitter and forever x

  • Success on giving up.

    On the net there are numerous statistics referring to people giving up. I've posted one of them below. However, I think that statistics are measuring outcomes only ( after all that's the limiting feature of statistics; they can only show what can be measured ) and for that reason are of little real use to a quitter.

    Statistics don't tell us anything about the motivational mind set of the person trying to quit - that can't be measured. The statistics are always going to be low since they'll include those who haven't given much thought to the process. On the other hand there are those who will quit regardless of what method they choose since they're mentally "ready."

    For the reasons above, I have to agree with Austinlegro in that it's all in the subconscious and anything else is a side show. On a persons journey of quitting maybe there has to be some failures in order for them to learn how to quit smoking - again, that's in the statistics. I don't think that Austinlegro's quoting of the failure rate will hinder people quitting; it's important they have all the information available so that their journey of quitting is an authentic one.

    I have a feeling that age may make the rate of quitting more successful since, according to psychotherapists, the subconscious is more accessible as we age and the ego recedes more into the background.

    Some statistics - there are variations as well - the figures do change.

    Study compares Zyban, nicotine replacement

    and a combination of both treatments

    •A large recent study of 900 patients compared Zyban and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone, and in combination.

    •

    •

    •With the prescription anti-depressant Zyban, the initial success rate was 36% upon completion of therapy. A follow-up study showed a 30% success rate for Zyban, after one year. Zyban is by prescription.

    •

    •

    •With Nicotine Replacement Therapy the initial success rate was less -- 23%, and only 15% after one year. Nicotine replacement products like the patch and gum are sold over-the-counter, except the nicotine inhaler.

    •

    •

    •When NRT and Zyban were used in combination under a physician's care, the success rate was 39%, and 35.5% at one year. This study was published in the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE in March, 1999 was funded by the makers of Zyban.

    •

    •

    Remember: with no program, there is only a 5% success rate after one year. With a program, your chances will at least triple (to 15% success rate, with nicotine replacement).

    This Cochrane Review study done in 1996 and updated in November, 2007, found that nicotine replacement therapies like the patch, gum or inhaler increased chances of quitting by 50% to 70%.

    Bear in mind that with no program, only 5% of quitters are still smokefree at the end of 12 months. A 50% increase in the quit rate would mean that 7.5% of those using NRT were successful after 12 months.

    Also, congratulations on being quit for 5 years Austinlegro and thank you very much for taking the time & effort to post on this forum. All road lead to your beliefs eventually.

  • Karri - it appears that, like Austin, you believe that there are no physical symptoms of withdrawal or, at least, that they are of little significance. That is to say, physical symptoms such as craving, aching, tension etc, which arise from nicotine withdrawal. Have I understood you correctly?

    On the subject of the right mind state, personally I think this is the decisive factor in a quit. However, have you considered that this may not be a binary phenomenon, and may in fact be a continuum.

    When people talk about "getting your mind right" for a quit, there is an unstated implication that this is a total state of the entire mind. However, it may be the case that there is a "good enough" state of mind. In a "good enough" state of mind someone has enough mental impetus to quit, while still having some of their mind not participating (and even opposing the quit).

    If the entire mind is totally supportive of a quit, then presumably the quitter will not experience a single thought suggesting they should have a cigarette. Not a single thought: would you agree with this statement?

    The significance of the "good enough" state of mind is apparent when the "not quite good enough" state of mind is considered. The "not quite good enough" state of mind is slightly down the mind continuum from the "good enough" state of mind. Without help the "not quite good enough" state of mind will not be able to quit. This is where NRT, champix, support etc ie any type of external help would be critical for a successful quit.

    Further, I propose that the "not quite good enough" state of mind is most likely to cave in during the early stages of a quit - the physical withdrawal stage - where cravings are at their most intense and are more or less continuous.

    Thus, I propose that for some people, who have a "not quite good enough" state of mind, NRT may be critical for their quit.

  • Biggrin, I don't wish to be involved in the debate but I am simply curious. I'm tempted to deduct from the structure and tone of your writing that you have studied either philosophy, psychology or law - am I right?

    H

  • When people talk about "getting your mind right" for a quit, there is an unstated implication that this is a total state of the entire mind. However, it may be the case that there is a "good enough" state of mind. In a "good enough" state of mind someone has enough mental impetus to quit, while still having some of their mind not participating (and even opposing the quit).

    This certainly chimes with me. If you look back at my early entries, I logically knew that I had to stop for health reasons, but in every other way, I was entirely resistant and conflicted. In truth, it was only this forum with some very kind, very calm people talking me down off the walls at critical moments who helped me move along the continuum through to "good enough".

  • To Karri

    Karri

    Good to see you still around, and still debating, thinking and waiting for the time to be right.

    I so hope that the time is right soon. :o

    Billy xxx

  • Never, never, never

    From one who has been there. ;)

  • Hi Karri, thanks for you reply. :)

    I agree that quitting symptoms - like your "my neck hurts" example - can easily be identified when the "symptom" has nothing to do with quitting, and would have happened anyway. I'm finding my quit to be like a hall of mirrors with symptoms regularly appearing, changing and then disappearing. I don't know which way is up sometimes!

    It also seems likely that some people will suffer much stronger physical witdrawal symptoms than others, and I note the care with which you state that you are not trivialising anyone's symptoms.

    The reason that I am emphasising the "physical withdrawal" aspect of quitting is that I think that some posts on the forum, particularly from some who have been members for a long time, tend to trivialise the physical withdrawal side of a quit. It's all and only about the mind, they claim.

    Certainly, the mental side is critical and i consider comments addressing that side of the quit as valuable.

    What bothers me is that for some people (I am one) the physical side is significant. When I smoked, if I did not have a fag for a while I would get unmistakable symptoms - tension in head/neck, irritable backdrop to my mood, teeth aching(!), a feeling of being pressurised, and so on. The same symptoms would happen every time. The longer I didn't smoke the more intense the symptoms would get until they were difficult to deal with. At some point I would cave in, i just couldn't put up with it any more. It was the urge to escape the symptoms which caused me to cave in. Thus the symptoms of physical withrawal are significant.

    My own experience (and I can not be the only one) shows that for some people at least, physical withdrawal is a significant and important aspect of the quit. I know from my own experience that NRT does significantly reduce these symptoms, so claims that NRT has no effect are, in my experience, ridiculous! I also know that it is possible to gradually wean yourself off NRT over a period of weeks, thus avoiding severe symptoms while still achieving a quit from nicotine itself.

    I once achieved this over a 6 week period using an inhalator. I had stopped using it. One day I just felt tempted, bought some fags and that was it, back on the smoking. Thus I know that the mental side is critical. It was the tempting thoughts and not a physical craving that got me hooked again on that occasion.

    The point I am trying to make is that quitting is not only about the mental. It is not only about the physical either. It is about both. Overemphasis on one, and particularly an accompanying denigration of the other has the effect of confusing people. It also makes the poster appear to be partisan in some way, and to have an axe to grind, which can devalue their words in the mind of the reader. This is a shame since I think there are some excellent posts on here, which are a great help to quitter.

  • Helsbelles, I studied Engineering. However, recently I have had to deal with quite a few legal matters and so have had considerable exposure to legal speak.

  • NRT - pros and cos

    Hi Biggrin

    I took particular note of your comment here:

    I once achieved this over a 6 week period using an inhalator. I had stopped using it. One day I just felt tempted, bought some fags and that was it, back on the smoking.

    I found the same thing - on NRT I would still crave cigarettes and was always tempted. In essence, I think this is what Austinlegro is saying. We crave the cigarettes not the nicotine. I don't think Austinlegro has ever down-played the physical side of quitting: he just sees it for what it is - withdrawal from cigarettes not from nicotine - that is a very important distinction.

    Yes, for some people NRT is beneficial as a means to an end. However, it is a means to an end - do we consider the people on NRT as having quit or as on the way to quitting? At a certain level, I think we're getting bogged down with semantics; for some the definition of quit is the subconscious shift to becoming a non smoker & everything else is just part of the journey.

  • OK I am not going to try to be as eloquent or write as Intelligently as the previous posters, but are we not over complicating things here? I realise by joining in I have set myself up for a fall but this is how I see it in my experience, and I have experience because I have smoked for 40 years I have the same physiological make up as any other smoker and I have given up. So the way I see it is this... You decide to quit and for the first few days/ weeks you suffer physical withdarawals 'fact'. Then you get over the physical withdrawals and have to deal with the psycological ones which are the ones that take longer. NRT helps relieve the physical withdrawals which enables the smoker to quit and not suffer the effects which can be very uncomfortable, too strongly. The smoker has to then wean themselves off the NRT which should be easier to do because the ex smoker has become accustomed to a new routine which does not involve lighting a cigarette. It takes will power in the beginning and learning a new mindset to achieve it.

  • I for one couldn't have managed without NRT. I tried CT and failed miserably. It isn't hard coming off the NRT and seems that a lot of newbies are worried about that. You can always cut the patches up or half the lozenges.

    I still remember the withdrawals and NRT definitely helps. So it takes longer to get the nicotine out of your system but does it really matter. You aren't smoking and that is the main thing.

    The psychological effects stay behind a lot longer and perhaps that's why longer term quitters talk about them. The nicotine withdrawals are in the past.

  • I for one couldn't have managed without NRT. I tried CT and failed miserably. It isn't hard coming off the NRT and seems that a lot of newbies are worried about that. You can always cut the patches up or half the lozenges.

    I still remember the withdrawals and NRT definitely helps. So it takes longer to get the nicotine out of your system but does it really matter. You aren't smoking and that is the main thing.

    The psychological effects stay behind a lot longer and perhaps that's why longer term quitters talk about them. The nicotine withdrawals are in the past.

    I agree!:)

  • Hi nonico

    For me it was not craving that meant I started smoking again after NRT. (I understand the word crave to mean a physical sensation). It was purely weasely thoughts saying "have a smoke, why not, etc". As I have already stated, I consider this to have been a purely mental experience involving thoughts only (I had no physical sensations). I included this in the post to show that I am not dismissing the mental side!

    Cigarettes contain nicotine. Both contribute to the problem of smoking. To me, quitting is about quitting cigarettes and nicotine. The nicotine part is largely physical, the cigarette part is largely mental.

  • Hi nonico

    For me it was not craving that meant I started smoking again after NRT. (I understand the word crave to mean a physical sensation). It was purely weasely thoughts saying "have a smoke, why not, etc". As I have already stated, I consider this to have been a purely mental experience involving thoughts only (I had no physical sensations). I included this in the post to show that I am not dismissing the mental side!

    Cigarettes contain nicotine. Both contribute to the problem of smoking. To me, quitting is about quitting cigarettes and nicotine. The nicotine part is largely physical, the cigarette part is largely mental.

    Again I say I agree!:)

  • Mind or matter?

    Hi Biggrin

    Many would say that the fact that your mind could pester you with those thoughts is based on a chemical i.e. physical need. I don't know if the cigarette part is purely mental. There are some highly sophisticated chemicals in there all designed to make the body crave more cigarettes. I don't believe that nicotine is the only chemical we crave when we smoke cigarettes.

    From what I've read over the years, research into the manufacture of cigarettes has included free-basing ammonium compounds ( not only nicotine ) designed to maximise the craves.

    I think the NRT pharmaceutical companies want us to believe that it is all about nicotine whereas it's probably much more complex than that. Yes, there are many success stories with NRT as there are with CT too. For me, I used Champix and found it worked for me; I also know nothing would have worked for me if I wasn't determined to start with.

  • I certainly agree with that. Who knows what these chemicals do to us and I'm quite sure they are designed to keep us smoking. Nicotine is a small part of the addiction. I occasionally get what feels to me like a withdrawal and I haven't had any nicotine for weeks. It isn't a crave because it doesn't make me want to smoke.

  • Fao Karri.

    ''If quitting smoking was eating a boiled egg then there are lots of little guys offering teaspoons, plastic spoons, toasty soldiers and the like to get the job done. Alas the bully boys from NRT shove all the best stuff out the way and present an axe, a spade, a chainsaw and a scythe. They lie about their effectiveness and they finance their way to the front of the queue. You CAN eat a boiled egg with a spade but you’re complicating what is in effect a quite simple task. That’s NRT for you.

    Despite what you will read to the contrary, from those with a vested interest of course, of 100 quitters giving it a go less than 10 will still be smoke free a year later.''

    quoted from Austins pst. it looks very clear to me that he has a downer on Nrt. He also states as a fact in his post that 93 out of a 100 who use nrt will fail. read it yourself .

    In my opininion people need as much help as possible when quitting smoking and if that means nrt then thats valid if it helps someone quit.

    M.

  • Wow 5 years - that amazing xxx and well done for still being part of this forum xxx

  • OK I am not going to try to be as eloquent or write as Intelligently as the previous posters, but are we not over complicating things here? I realise by joining in I have set myself up for a fall but this is how I see it in my experience, and I have experience because I have smoked for 40 years I have the same physiological make up as any other smoker and I have given up. So the way I see it is this... You decide to quit and for the first few days/ weeks you suffer physical withdarawals 'fact'. Then you get over the physical withdrawals and have to deal with the psycological ones which are the ones that take longer. NRT helps relieve the physical withdrawals which enables the smoker to quit and not suffer the effects which can be very uncomfortable, too strongly. The smoker has to then wean themselves off the NRT which should be easier to do because the ex smoker has become accustomed to a new routine which does not involve lighting a cigarette. It takes will power in the beginning and learning a new mindset to achieve it.

    Haze, I think you've put it much more clearly than me, nice one!

  • Many would say that the fact that your mind could pester you with those thoughts is based on a chemical i.e. physical need.

    Hi nonico. I don't know about you, but my mind is capable of pestering me with absolutely anything, the more irrelevent the better!

    The general feeling I have about thoughts which are suggesting "have a smoke" is that I am somehow missing out on something. Smoking is an ingrained habit for me, so it doesn't surprise me that during the first few months of stopping my mind is behaving as if to say "Hey, why aren't we doing that any more"

  • I don't know where to start with this really, but here goes ...

    My one year anniversary was last weekend. I couldn't bring myself to post a celebratory 'penthouse' message because I am still using lozenges.

    I've replaced one habit with another. The rational/intellectual part of me understands that if I just took the b....y plunge, I'd have a bit of discomfort to contend with, but then I'd be fine. And free. And much happier. The point is that to move forward from here, my head needs to be in the right place. And obviously it is not....

    I will never, ever, ever smoke again. I knew that from the day I quit. My mind WAS in the right place in some respects. I was sure. I was determined. And it has NOT been an epic battle which I am still fighting. My battle with smoking is over, finished, done. My battle with nicotine is on going.

    I am still proud of my quit. I have no desire to smoke. However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would never have reached this point without NRT. My determination to succeed was underpinned by the security that I believed NRT could provide. I am, indeed, Austin's nightmare!

    But I WILL get there.

    And I have been smoke free for a year.

    And it is wonderful. Truly, truly wonderful.

    NRT can work for some.

    Sue

    x

  • For me, you haven't smoked for a year so you deserve entry to the Penthouse. Very well done.

    If i had to choose between either smoking or taking lozenges, even if it was for the rest of my life, I would choose lozenges every time.

    I'm sure you've considered gradually cutting down on the lozenges, so what are your views on that? (I think it was xShortxStuffx on here who was suggesting breaking the lozenges up into bits and rationing them, as one way of cutting down.)

    Congratulations once again, you've done really well.

  • Just wanted to make this clear as reading back I think my posts may have been taken in an NRT V cold turkey context. They definately were not written with that view x x

    Fair comment Karri. On reflection I think I should have started a new thread rather than tack my post onto yours.

  • Grief, 5 pages on...

    Thanks guys. :)

    No-one's my 'nightmare' I'll support even the most NRT fixated quitter as we are really all on the same side!

    ...and seeing a Mash didn't trust me...

    Here’s some lovely reading material. Some of it positively scary

    The Ferguson Health Inequalities Reduction Paper

    The Evaluation Report (Smoking Treatment Services in England: Implementation and Outcomes)

    The Shiffman Report

    The Cochrane Reviews

    The Hughes Report

    The Borland Report

    It’s also worth reading the very report that gave us the Stoptober strapline, “quit for 28 days and you’re 5 times more likely to stay quit.” Its graphs use a 52 week figure of 6%.

    Clinical and public health significance of treatments to aid smoking cessation.

    As I’ve said on many occasions, I’m not anti NRT in the same way I’m not anti lottery or X Factor. If people want to buy it and use it then it’s a free country.

    There may be number of quitters for whom NRT might be the only difference between success and failure.

    I object strongly to it being funded on the NHS when there’s no evidence that it helps smokers quit and the £84 million could be better spent elsewhere.

    It doesn't matter how much you bash the numbers and cajole the data there is a stark conclusion waiting at 12 months. Arguing over percentage points or cherry-picking highs and lows to muddy the waters is fine if it was just for generating random statements (or marketing a product) that fall apart under scrutiny but they’re also being used to sell the entire service.

    The fact that lying and manipulation is necessary is the real indicator. :rolleyes:

  • Here is the Cochrane summary on nicotine replacement therapy:

    summaries.cochrane.org/CD00...

    A key quote from the summary is as follows:

    "This review includes 132 trials of NRT, with over 40,000 people in the main ****ysis. It found evidence that all forms of NRT made it more likely that a person's attempt to quit smoking would succeed. The chances of stopping smoking were increased by 50 to 70%."

    Austin, it appears that Cochrane have concluded that NRT does help people quit smoking, contrary to what you are claiming. How do you account for this?

  • At the end of the day we all know there are lies, damn lies and statistics. I'd also like to say that now that ive acomplished a lifelong ambition you can be sure that no amount of scary stats or opinions are going to threaten my quit reading all of this has only served to strengthen my quit. my best ally is my stubborn-ness and i will never let any weed seed blow its way into my mind and sprout. i've quit and im bloody well holding on to it coz i love it. 13 mths quit for me is a miracle and stats cant touch miracles.. so well done Austin on 5 years. how could i forget to say that in my original post. well i didnt really but my original post disappeared coz it was too long so i did a shorter version and forgot to put it in . honestly.i hope i didnt come across as war-like ,im just passionate about my quit and hanging on to it.

    Mike. aka a Mash x

  • Austin

    I haven't read a book in months because I've been glued my IPad reading this forum since my quit, it's a fab place to come for inspiration and everyone's great:)

    Obviously I haven't quite covered the whole Forum, but to date, I have to say there are about a dozen people on here who are my absolute heroes, those whose threads/posts/stories/advice have inspired me immensely. You are one of those persons Austin:)

    However, I really did get the impression that you were Anti NRT. So I was pleased to read in your last post that this not the case. I go quiet on debates on quit methods because I don't like confrontation. I just think we're all unique, different strokes for different folks, but with one this in common, which we'll all agree on for sure, the ultimate goal is to successfully abstain from smoking.

    I'm quitting using NRT (Patches), and that's what works for me. Having said that my mindset in this quit is a milillion times removed from previous failed attempts. This is definitely 'the one':)

    Fi x

  • At the end of the day we all know there are lies, damn lies and statistics. I'd also like to say that now that ive acomplished a lifelong ambition you can be sure that no amount of scary stats or opinions are going to threaten my quit reading all of this has only served to strengthen my quit. my best ally is my stubborn-ness and i will never let any weed seed blow its way into my mind and sprout. i've quit and im bloody well holding on to it coz i love it. 13 mths quit for me is a miracle and stats cant touch miracles.. so well done Austin on 5 years. how could i forget to say that in my original post. well i didnt really but my original post disappeared coz it was too long so i did a shorter version and forgot to put it in . honestly.i hope i didnt come across as war-like ,im just passionate about my quit and hanging on to it.

    Mike. aka a Mash x

    Mike

    You too are one if my Heroes:)

    Fi x

  • Austin

    I too forgot to say well done on 5 years:)

    Fi x

  • Like the words "learning how not to smoke" .... 5 years is a very good quit, not even a quit anymore, i suppose just a way of life now hey Austin? :)

    Just been reading the posts, with interest, and just sort of like to say. yes NRT is a money making con.... BUT for me if NRT didnt exist, I perhaps would never have felt brave enough to even try! .... mentally it was a stepping stone into being a non smoker! I have tried many times to quit, maybe my head wasnt in the right place, maybe i didnt know enough, maybe it was the NRT to blame, I got addicted to NRT, smoked why using NRT, you name it I probably did it! .... This occasion, i used it briefly, and here I am 14 months later ..........MY point is (to get there ;) is that without NRT being around the thought of quitting would have only been a thought.. So I am a believer in it! whether it is the thing that makes you have that quit that sticks, then that is another matter! but it gave me that belief that i can go just one day without smoking.

  • inspiring..............

    The ramblings of a former smoker.

    Well, it’s been five years for me. What have I really learnt?

    Well, I’ve read a staggering amount of data, learnt why we smoke, learnt that we’re exploited more as quitters than we are as smokers and I’ve even applied for, and been rejected for, a job with ASH.

    I can’t help you quit, no-one can. All anyone can do is present a smoker with the tools and hope that they choose one that works for them.

    If quitting smoking was eating a boiled egg then there are lots of little guys offering teaspoons, plastic spoons, toasty soldiers and the like to get the job done. Alas the bully boys from NRT shove all the best stuff out the way and present an axe, a spade, a chainsaw and a scythe. They lie about their effectiveness and they finance their way to the front of the queue. You CAN eat a boiled egg with a spade but you’re complicating what is in effect a quite simple task. That’s NRT for you.

    Despite what you will read to the contrary, from those with a vested interest of course, of 100 quitters giving it a go less than 10 will still be smoke free a year later. Even scarier, less than 15 make it to week five!

    When we started smoking we did something that our bodies opposed with every means at its disposal.

    The inhalation of smoke contradicts everything that our lungs evolved to do and the natural response is to gag and retch, turn green and reject it totally. When we smoke fag number 100,000 our body's reaction is just the same as that first one. The fag tastes just as awful but we have simply learnt to accept it.

    The smoking hasn't changed, it is our perception of smoking that's changed.

    Luckily there's a switch in our heads that can be changed from smoker to non-smoker; unfortunately it's not labelled and finding it is not always straightforward.

    Some people quit instantly and painlessly, often due to some external stimulus. Pregnancy, a smoking related death or a Doctor's grave warning are often the catalyst required to quit smoking. Often a smoker will simply wake up one morning and no longer wish to smoke. Sometimes they start the day as normal but by bedtime have ditched the habit.

    Call it an epiphany, a light-bulb moment or finding the switch, either consciously or unconsciously, it doesn't matter what you call it but it's an essential goal.

    Almost everyone who manages a year smoke-free achieves it. I say almost because some 12 month quitters get there by sheer gritty determination and still teeter on the edge of the precipice despite all that time quit.

    It's also a massive beacon that needs to illuminate anyone thinking of quitting, struggling with a quit or thinking of leaping off the wagon. Its message is obvious; lots of people quit "just like that", no side effects, no major withdrawal, no real hassle, done, dusted.

    So what are they doing?

    Often we labour with our quits, day after day, slowly easing the spring-loaded switch from on to off only to have it leap back to the on position the moment we lose focus. We're told quitting is hard. Non smokers think quitting is hard. Even school kids think quitting is hard. It's easy then to assume it must be hard and that we should somehow accept a titanic struggle if we're to succeed.

    Quitters who don't have a hard time are therefore regarded as somehow freakish.

    It's easy to forget, ignore or disbelieve the fact that of every 100 smokers approaching their GP for help 93 will be smoking 12 months later.

    If that system sits comfortably with you feel free to jump on the bus; you may be one of the lucky 7.

    Of course, having read this you've now more chance of being one of the 7 as it could be that the other 93 will never know we all have a switch!

    It would be fabulous if the switch was operated by our conscious and had a big neon label saying, "off". Sadly it doesn't. Consciously we may be totally committed to quitting the fags and that's by far the usual way. We make a conscious decision to try to stop and then follow the path to the best of our ability. If we struggle we already know it's not meant to be easy and if we fail it just confirms our initial thought that quitting is hard.

    Reinforcement of a tough quit is unlikely to make the next one any easier!

    We quit in the subconscious. At some point in our conscious quit the subconscious picks up on the message that smoking is no longer an option and the struggle lessens.

    The good bit is that it's not just some wild theory; we can all find people who've quit totally painlessly and they tend to be one of the examples shown above.

    The bad bit is that even armed with the knowledge it's hard to find the switch.

    There is no point in quitting if your subconscious wants to smoke.

    No matter how serious your conscious decision to quit is and how big a bag of drugs you have you will not stay off the fags when the willpower runs out (because it will) unless you deal with your subconscious.

    The subconscious doesn’t talk to or listen to the conscious mind.

    The subconscious learns without the conscious mind knowing.

    Confuse quitting smoking with cessation of nicotine use and the task become incredibly hard.

    Quitting nicotine is easy and ever so slightly uncomfortable; never make it a challenge, it's not.

    We learnt to smoke like we learnt to drive or ride a bike. We made conscious actions to accomplish specific tasks until our subconscious autopilot took over. An experienced driver can compose letters, listen to the radio, have deep meaningful conversations in the conscious whilst the subconscious drives the car. We do it all the time without thinking about it.

    That's how we smoked too.

    You have to learn how not to smoke and when you do life is just so much better.

    Trust me. ;)

    That is scary and inhspiring all in one! Cold turkey all the way.....its astate of mind that counts. I'm going to be one of those 7!

  • Austin, it appears that Cochrane have concluded that NRT does help people quit smoking, contrary to what you are claiming. How do you account for this?

    I like to find the information to allow others to read for themselves and delve into the fascinating world of NRT. I don't present merely a report that justifies my own view and ignores others. The list provided was that of contemporary reports used to try and justify the "four times more likely" NHS Smokefree publicity.

    The cochrane review collates results from a many different trials without much expansion of the trials themselves.

    As it states:

    "The absolute effects of NRT use will depend on the baseline quit rate, which varies in different clinical settings. Studies of people attempting to quit on their own suggest that success rates after six to 12 months are 3-5%. Use of NRT might be expected to increase the rate by 2-3%. If however the quit rate without pharmacotherapy was estimated to be 15% then another 8% might be expected to quit."

    That's not something I'd put on a neon sign!

    We've known for years that taking something usually produces a better result than taking nothing.

    I'm sure that quitters who believe the hype would be astounded to discover that all these statistics apply to figures under 10% and the perceived success depends on minimising the unaided results rather than maximising the assisted results.

    In my opinion a quitter should be offered something where they've got a reasonable, let's say >25%, chance that they'll still be quit a year later.

  • WOOPEEE 5 YEARS IS WICKED

    You are certainly one of my heroes Austin and i know this place wouldnt be the same without your input or the reactions to some of your posts :p

    the fact that you helped me to think beyond just quitting and to question my mindset and approach to my quit and achieve staying smoke free and knowing that im never going to allow that part of me the chance to try and claim back the control and power over my life again

    its not going to happen and you along with afew others helped me to find that eureka moment to stay smoke free forever yep that word forever would have certainly got me thinking no way and run from the room thinking i need a ciggy now :eek:

    but i can use that word forever now and it actually comforts me it gives me a sense of relief and the freedom to live without fear

    someone said if you only had a matter of days or hours left to live would you smoke i used to think yep i would because im going to die so why not

    not anymore now i say no way all i would want is to be with the people that i love and care for and not thinking i need a ciggy and sneaking of to smoke and then being a stinky person

    i wouldnt want to miss out on one second of being with those i love

    ive got my freedom/power back and intend to keep it :)

    so once again

    Bravo on reaching 5 years Austin

    :D

  • Hi Austin

    Huge congratulations on your 5 years, it only seems like yesterday that we started posting on the same threads.

    Speaking of which I've heard a vicious rumour the old school mistress is back on the weed ;)

    Keep posting as you seem to be helping/inspiring wave after wave of new quiters and I'm still waiting for my signed copy of your book;)

    Permanently Switched off since 2007

  • Speaking of which I've heard a vicious rumour the old school mistress is back on the weed ;)

    Keep posting as you seem to be helping/inspiring wave after wave of new quitters and I'm still waiting for my signed copy of your book;)

    Yeah I did notice that she'd succumbed but I'm sure she's clean again now.

    I hope so anyway 'cos underneath that titanium coating she was a soft squishy sort of person I'm sure.

    It's been a swift 5 years, that's for sure.

    I'm a trifle sad that so little has changed mind. You may have noticed I'm developing a militant streak... :rolleyes:

  • As it states:

    "The absolute effects of NRT use will depend on the baseline quit rate, which varies in different clinical settings. Studies of people attempting to quit on their own suggest that success rates after six to 12 months are 3-5%. Use of NRT might be expected to increase the rate by 2-3%. If however the quit rate without pharmacotherapy was estimated to be 15% then another 8% might be expected to quit."

    That's not something I'd put on a neon sign!

    In my opinion a quitter should be offered something where they've got a reasonable, let's say >25%, chance that they'll still be quit a year later.

    If NRT increases the unassisted quit rate of 3-5% by 2-3%, this suggests that the quit rate with NRT is 5-8%. Taking the average of 3-5% (4%) and adding 2% (the lower end of the range) gives 6%. So NRT is suggested to increase the quit rate from approximately 4% to approximately 6%. This is an increase of 50% in the quit rate.

    If the unassisted quit rate is 15% and with NRT it increases by 8% to 23%, that is an increase of 8/15 x 100, or 53%.

    The use of NRT increases the quit rate by 50% and 53%. In what way are these figures insignificant?

  • re: good to read

    Hi Austin, I'm back on here again after a years break. Really pleased for you...five years is very cool. I read your original post this morning. It was great to read, whatever the ensuing debate re NRT, because it s-i-m-p-l-i-f-i-e-s everything. Maybe that's the problem, it's so simple. I quit for 13 years with ct and alan carr back in 1997, after millions of attempts over 6 years with nrt various. Somehow i found my "off" switch. Stopping was pretty easy. I didn't get all the physical symptoms (i was a bit spicy) like i did with all the other attempts. Basically, yes, my subconcious got in line with my conscious. And, sure, I knew after a year i was never going to smoke again. I'm living proof you can never ever have just one, which i did a couple of years ago...no, it wasn't stress...i'd been through heaps of than and never even thought about cigarettes. It was a combination of end of stresses, being able to be irresponsible, having a new (smoking) man in my life...so, here i am again, going through the whole damn mental arguement with myself.

    So, after all that....it was really good to read your post, because that's the bottom line for me...getting rid of all that subconscious/concious conflict...hasn't happened yet! And when that happens, yes, it is easy, because there isn't a big bit of you fighting it! Off to find a shovel to beat my subconcious into submission (i know, that's completely counterproductive). PS HOW ARE THE BEEEEES!

  • err, and that's meant to read spacey....not spicy! how i wish...

  • If NRT increases the unassisted quit rate of 3-5% by 2-3%, this suggests that the quit rate with NRT is 5-8%. Taking the average of 3-5% (4%) and adding 2% (the lower end of the range) gives 6%. So NRT is suggested to increase the quit rate from approximately 4% to approximately 6%. This is an increase of 50% in the quit rate.

    If the unassisted quit rate is 15% and with NRT it increases by 8% to 23%, that is an increase of 8/15 x 100, or 53%.

    The use of NRT increases the quit rate by 50% and 53%. In what way are these figures insignificant?

    That maths only shows a percentage increase in the increase not an increase in the rate which doesn't really mean a lot:rolleyes:

    The increase is clearly stated at 3-5% more however its based on the current methods of which members here have said over the years are not good enough and tantamount to making sure that the majority stay hooked! If there were more of a cognitive approach, as there is with virtually every other type addiction/compulsion then many (probably most) of us oldies firmly believe that the figures for successful quits would be much higher.

    As it stands even the figures show that more than 3 in 4 quits with NRT aren't successful so why are we labouring on with such an unsuccessful method, its as if the companies that make the NRT "want"people to end up in a cycle of quit, fail, try again :rolleyes:

  • That maths shows a percentage increase in the increase not an increase in the rate. :rolleyes:

    :rolleyes:

    Hi NicFirth

    This is a comparison of two different quit rates. Taking the second example from Austin's post, I understand the figures to express the following:

    The unassisted quit rate is 15%

    The NRT quit rate is 23%

    Do you disagree with this? If so, please state what you believe the correct figures should be.

  • no the 50/53% figure doesn't mean a lot, that is the percentage increase in the increase.

    Giving big percentage rates like that distracts from the fact that most quits following the NHS's preferred methods will fail

  • In what way are these figures insignificant?

    Is pretty much the entire argument regarding NRT.

    Cherry picking statistics and the use on 'might' or 'suggests' is never what I'd call a convincing argument.

    There are many more reports and studies outside of the Cochrane review and the more you read the more it becomes obvious that you can't really put a fag paper between any of them.

    It strikes me as desperate that you need to find the worst ever placebo result and compare it to the best ever NRT result to come up with '4 times more likely' and that there are a good number of results where no significant differences were recorded.

    Sadly we're quite a trusting lot. When some smooth voice on the TV says we're more likely to quit; 4 times actually, or 3 or maybe double our chances, we don't think that they're talking about teeny weeny percentages.

    I remember the infamous 2008 press release;

    "Long term quit rates for the services show that 15% remain quit at 52 weeks which is comparable with earlier clinical trials"

    The use of the phrase “remain quit” could easily go unnoticed, but it really refers to the number of smokers who reported not smoking after four weeks. (as the DoH put it “successfully quit (based on self-report), 53% of those setting a quit date”.)

    So what looks like a 15% success rate at first glance is actually much lower, because on average, 53% had quit at four weeks, but only 15% of that group – not 15% of the total number of smokers using the services - remain quit at 52 weeks, which works out at just under 8%.

    So why word it like that unless you're already on the back foot? Why not just say “At 52 weeks, 7.8% of smokers succeed with the NHS?

    In fact, why not not just scrap the whole thing?

    . PS HOW ARE THE BEEEEES!

    They've all gone to bed for the winter. Not a good year actually. We ended up at one stage with only 2 hives and both of them queenless so the honey flow has been a bit pants too.

    Good to see you back on the old wagon! :)

  • Hi NicFirth

    Firstly, can I assume that you agree with the figures as stated in my previous post? (please indicate if you disagree).

    Secondly, the figures show that someone has an approximately 53% (lets say 50%) better chance of quitting using NRT than not using it.

    Putting it another way:

    If a group of 100 people attempt a quit unassisted, 15% might be expected to succeed: 15 people

    If a second group of 100 people attempt a quit using NRT, 23% might be expected to succeed: 23 people

    So 8 extra people will be expected to succeed using NRT compared to the unassisted group. That is 50% more people.

    Please clarify why you consider this to be insignificant.

  • Is pretty much the entire argument regarding NRT.

    Cherry picking statistics and the use on 'might' or 'suggests' is never what I'd call a convincing argument.

    There are many more reports and studies outside of the Cochrane review and the more you read the more it becomes obvious that you can't really put a fag paper between any of them.

    It strikes me as desperate that you need to find the worst ever placebo result and compare it to the best ever NRT result to come up with '4 times more likely' and that there are a good number of results where no significant differences were recorded.

    Sadly we're quite a trusting lot. When some smooth voice on the TV says we're more likely to quit; 4 times actually, or 3 or maybe double our chances, we don't think that they're talking about teeny weeny percentages.

    I remember the infamous 2008 press release;

    "Long term quit rates for the services show that 15% remain quit at 52 weeks which is comparable with earlier clinical trials"

    The use of the phrase “remain quit” could easily go unnoticed, but it really refers to the number of smokers who reported not smoking after four weeks. (as the DoH put it “successfully quit (based on self-report), 53% of those setting a quit date”.)

    So what looks like a 15% success rate at first glance is actually much lower, because on average, 53% had quit at four weeks, but only 15% of that group – not 15% of the total number of smokers using the services - remain quit at 52 weeks, which works out at just under 8%.

    So why word it like that unless you're already on the back foot? Why not just say “At 52 weeks, 7.8% of smokers succeed with the NHS?

    In fact, why not not just scrap the whole thing?

    Hi Austin

    Please note that I have based my calculations on figures provided by you in your own post. As you state in that post, your figures come from Cochrane, which is a highly respected independent body.

    In that post you claim that the figures show that the use of NRT is not a significant aide to quitting. In fact the figures show that a smoker is 50% more likely to quit using NRT compared to an unassisted smoker.

    Personally, I consider a 50% improved chance of quitting to be significant.

  • Statistics

    Hi Biggrin

    I may be looking at this wrong, but the statement:

    If however the quit rate without pharmacotherapy was estimated to be 15% then another 8% might be expected to quit."

    just seems to come from nowhere!!! They stated at the beginning that the unassisted quit rate is 3-5%. The statement... "IF, however ... does not seem to be backed up with figures. It's merely a rhetorical statement. The actual quit rate is not 15% it is more than treble the actual rate. Or, have I interpreted it wrong? Where are the figures for the 15%?

    I think that there are so many variables in studies like these, which we aren't privy to, so it's very difficult to reach any substantial conclusions.

  • I think the NHS know the figures are low long term and that's why they give you a certificate after 4 weeks. Stoptober was for 4 weeks as this is probably the general time frame for failure.

    Biggrin I'm curious why you are so pro NRT but used Champix? Mash will fight for NRT to the death because he was really successful using it. I don't quite get your strong feelings on the subject.

    Karrie, it may suprise you, but I am not pro NRT!

    There are several members, some well respected, who, in my view, show a distinctly anti-NRT bias in their postings.

    This has clearly been noticed by other members, one of whom even sought assurances that there was in fact no such bias.

    The reason why I am challenging what I perceive to be an anti-NRT bias is that I feel there are some people who achieve success with NRT. An anti-NRT bias will, I believe, have the effect of undermining the attempts of such quitters. This is particularly the case if it comes from well respected members.

    People are of course free to express their views. However, when they start to talk as if their view is a proven, unassailable fact, then they need to back it up.

    I feel I have shown that NRT does help people quit.

    Personally, I feel that NRT is valuable part of the quitters armoury, to be drawn on as required.

    Finally, I would point out that NRT can and does help with a quit. It does not promise to do the quitting for you. There is not as yet any quitting method which offers a 100% success rate, or anything like it.

  • Hi Biggrin

    I may be looking at this wrong, but the statement:

    If however the quit rate without pharmacotherapy was estimated to be 15% then another 8% might be expected to quit."

    just seems to come from nowhere!!! They stated at the beginning that the unassisted quit rate is 3-5%. The statement... "IF, however ... does not seem to be backed up with figures. It's merely a rhetorical statement. The actual quit rate is not 15% it is more than treble the actual rate. Or, have I interpreted it wrong? Where are the figures for the 15%?

    I think that there are so many variables in studies like these, which we aren't privy to, so it's very difficult to reach any substantial conclusions.

    Hi nonico, I took the figures from Austin's post.

  • Hi NicFirth

    Firstly, can I assume that you agree with the figures as stated in my previous post? (please indicate if you disagree).

    Secondly, the figures show that someone has an approximately 53% (lets say 50%) better chance of quitting using NRT than not using it.

    Putting it another way:

    If a group of 100 people attempt a quit unassisted, 15% might be expected to succeed: 15 people

    If a second group of 100 people attempt a quit using NRT, 23% might be expected to succeed: 23 people

    So 8 extra people will be expected to succeed using NRT compared to the unassisted group. That is 50% more people.

    Please clarify why you consider this to be insignificant.

    Well the stats in Austin's post post don't make a lot of sense but assuming they are correct then the fact remains that 77% will fail with and 85% will fail without so basically which ever way you go with the NHS's chosen methods the overwhelming odds are that you will fail. That is the significant statistic IMO

    A quick look around the web suggests that the success rate using NRT is really about 17% while going CT is about 10% which in percentage term is a significant increase but its still a pitiful success rate. It doesn't account for the fact that of the extra 7% of people who are successful with NRT many may have also succeeded if they had gone CT. I'm a point in fact, I used lozenges initially but it wasn't they that secured my quit, I had used NRT several times to stop but I always started again, it was learning about the addiction and changing my mindset which worked.

    They already use a cognitive approach in other fields of addiction (within the NHS) so why when many many people succeed using the kinds of methods Allen Carr espoused does the NHS just poo poo it. Typically such clinics claim a success rate of 40-55% and even allowing for over reporting that is still a lot more impressive than the best the NHS claims.

    In any other realm of medicine an overwhelming failure rate would be considered unacceptable and lots of work would be done to try and find better methods, but not in smoking cessation. :rolleyes:

  • Confusion

    Hi Biggrin

    Yes, I realise that you took the figures from Austinlegro's post. It's the context in which they're worded that I'm questioning. The fact that the statement ha .....If, however, .... at the start of it makes me wonder if it is simply a hypothetical statement only and one not meant to base any true statistics on.

  • Personally, I consider a 50% improved chance of quitting to be significant.

    If I buy 2 lottery tickets instead of 1 then my chances of winning are improved by 100% but the odds are still stacked against me. That is all we are saying :p

  • Hi nonico, I took the figures from Austin's post.

    Which in turn were figures from the Cochrane review which was the study referred to by Biggrin.

    You can pick whichever study you wish depending on the argument you're trying to justify.

    There's a lovely one where placebo gum scored a 13% quit rate compared to 8% for the real thing. If I worked for Wrigleys there's an entire marketing campaign there for the taking! :D

    The rate of decline in smoking has remained somewhat constant, 1% per 2 years (1982-1990) or 0.4% per year (1992 -2002) depending on which figures you look at and that is despite all those lovely prescriptions and the introduction of NHS stop smoking programme.

    NRT, like any stop smoking method should simply be assessed on its success, where's the problem with that?

    When it can be clearly demonstrated to be viable option to assist with those wishing to quit smoking then surely it deserves to be prescribed to the masses. Until then, in my opinion, it should simply remain another option for those wishing to try another method along with e-cigs, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and homoeopathy?

    Some of those approaching their GP for quitting advice will generally be offered NRT and will become a successful statistic as a matter of course. They may have been just as successful if they'd been offered sherbet dib-dab therapy.

    Sadly there are far too many parties trying to sell their products and not enough trying to get people to stop smoking.

    The dead horse flogging is starting to look a little creepy now. :(

  • If I buy 2 lottery tickets instead of 1 then my chances of winning are improved by 100% but the odds are still stacked against me. That is all we are saying :p

    Fair enough, I agree that the odds are not good. However, that is a statement about quitting smoking. Whatever method is used the chances are not good that someone will succeed. Thus there is nothing uniquely unsuccessful about NRT. Far from it, using NRT improves your chances significantly.

  • Hi Biggrin

    Yes, I realise that you took the figures from Austinlegro's post. It's the context in which they're worded that I'm questioning. The fact that the statement ha .....If, however, .... at the start of it makes me wonder if it is simply a hypothetical statement only and one not meant to base any true statistics on.

    Hi nonico

    As I understand it when scientists say "might...." and "suggests... " this can be interpreted to mean "it is reasonable to say that.......". Also, these statements will be based on some evidence, and will not simply be idle speculation.

  • Well its all down to ones use of the word significantly isn't it. What I maintain is that moving from extremely unlikely to highly unlikely isn't in itself significant.

    My and Austinlegro's frustration is that the method we found so effective isn't even being considered in favour of methods which are proven to have a very low success rate.

  • Hi Austin

    I have become embroiled in the NRT discussion to such an extent that I have overlooked the origins of this thread, my apologies. 5 years quit is an excellent accomplishment, congratulations.

  • My and Austinlegro's frustration is that the method we found so effective isn't even being considered

    I would feel frustrated were I in your position. Personally, I feel the mental aspect of the quit is of overriding importance, and if I could find the switch I would flick it without hesitation.

  • ????

    Hi Biggrin

    Yes, I get what you're saying. That was not my question. The statement may be re-written:

    If, however, the quit rate is 15% then it is reasonable to assume...

    It's the, " If however", I'm questioning. Previously it was stated that the quit rate is 2-3% & I don't get where the 15% came from. Making a conclusion based on an if, however statement is not what I consider "good" science.

  • Hi Biggrin

    Yes, I get what you're saying. That was not my question. The statement may be re-written:

    If, however, the quit rate is 15% then it is reasonable to assume...

    It's the, " If however", I'm questioning. Previously it was stated that the quit rate is 2-3% & I don't get where the 15% came from. Making a conclusion based on an if, however statement is not what I consider "good" science.

    Hi nonico

    I don't know where it came from and I agree that the statement as its stands it does not make good science.

  • Thank you Biggrin

    Thank you for that Biggrin - I was confused as to what the statement was about.

    In my opinion, NRT will help those who believe it will help them; after all quitting smoking is all in the mind. My problem is not with NRT per se: anything that can get people over the hurdle of starting to quit is good.

    However, an industry such as the NRT industry should be held to account because it is costing tax-payers millions of dollars. Their evidence should stand up to the highest scrutiny, and I don't know if that's the case.

    I found this from Wikipedia and it's not very comforting.

    news.harvard.edu/gazette/st...

  • Hi Austin

    I have become embroiled in the NRT discussion to such an extent that I have overlooked the origins of this thread, my apologies. 5 years quit is an excellent accomplishment, congratulations.

    No apology necessary. I love a nice chewy discussion especially when it doesn't degenerate into veiled nastiness!

    It's always a fine line between trying to bring certain concepts into general focus and dissing someone's successful quit method.

    We know that short term nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be subdued by NRT and that simple action can be enough to turn a quit doomed to failure into one that succeeds.

    We also know that no-one would dream of suggesting that tapering off of fags is a good quit method yet the same people propose tapering off of nicotine as a solution.

    There's been a lot of money spent and no noticeable decline in smoking cessation as a result of it.

    Personally, if I held the purse strings, I'd throw the entire budget at stopping people starting and leave those already trapped to sort it out for themselves as cessation rates will stay the same regardless. ;)

  • We also know that no-one would dream of suggesting that tapering off of fags is a good quit method yet the same people propose tapering off of nicotine as a solution.

    Is this the process that NiQuitin Minis are designed for, that's the impression I get from those dodgily dubbed ads with the little band in the pub / meeting room?

    I haven't looked any further into it but when I saw the TV ad in my second week when I was about ready to turn green like the Hulk every ten minutes, I was all for going and getting some of these things just so I could smoke again (I posted on here about it at the time).....I didn't in the end, I don't remember why, might have been because the chemist was closed.

    Make of that what you will but I remember thinking "this ad is telling me I can smoke!", such is the addict's way of thinking. That ad nearly wrecked my quit before it started, so rightly or wrongly, I'm not a fan!

  • I watched that ad after someone else mentioned it. I don't understand what people mean as it seemed like a standard quit smoking ad to me. Am I missing something?

    I can't remember the blurb now but I'm sure it says something about cutting down one fag at a time, which I took to mean you replace them with a tablet every now and again, I might have it wrong though.....I read it that if I took these things then I could reduce my cigarette intake rather than cutting it out completely, not a viable option for an addict of my type.

    I'm only speaking for myself and as someone who had already stopped when the issue came up, I know the ad is aimed at people still smoking so I suppose they can't consider everything!

  • You might be right Karri, it was probably just how my head twisted it to read :o just so it suited my mood then, you know...

  • Only the makers really know the answer. The makers of these products seem to be tapping into other areas of not smoking ie use them on a long haul flight, if you can't smoke at work etc. Maybe they are hoping to appeal to the "I can't smoke for 7 hours" people too. It must be working if we saw it from both ways between us. Oooh how crafty.

    We're victims of advertising; some bloke in a striped shirt and braces in an ad agency office in London is thinking "my work here is done" :D

  • Oooh how crafty.

    Standard advertising technique surely?

    Constantly re-inventing your product with a smaller, cheaper, tastier, more desirable version is just normal, even for NRT.

    It's a gum, it's a spray, it's a lozenge. it's a mist, it's a fake fag, it's an ointment, it's a patch.

    Snappy strap lines that lure you to the new one;

    'therapeutic nicotine'

    'crave-busting' technology.

    If the product is entirely new then the advert will create both the problem (that you never knew you had) and the solution (that you now desperately need)

    Do people turn away when they talk to you? Perhaps you've got a sweaty tongue?

    For instant relief and fragrant conversations use new tongue towels...

    :)

  • Austinlegro's post

    I've found one of Austinlegro's posts - he mentions how there is a difference between quitting smoking and quitting nicotine. A great post - we quit in the subconscious - that is so true.

    The ramblings of a former smoker.

    Well, it’s been five years for me. What have I really learnt?

    Well, I’ve read a staggering amount of data, learnt why we smoke, learnt that we’re exploited more as quitters than we are as smokers and I’ve even applied for, and been rejected for, a job with ASH.

    I can’t help you quit, no-one can. All anyone can do is present a smoker with the tools and hope that they choose one that works for them.

    If quitting smoking was eating a boiled egg then there are lots of little guys offering teaspoons, plastic spoons, toasty soldiers and the like to get the job done. Alas the bully boys from NRT shove all the best stuff out the way and present an axe, a spade, a chainsaw and a scythe. They lie about their effectiveness and they finance their way to the front of the queue. You CAN eat a boiled egg with a spade but you’re complicating what is in effect a quite simple task. That’s NRT for you.

    Despite what you will read to the contrary, from those with a vested interest of course, of 100 quitters giving it a go less than 10 will still be smoke free a year later. Even scarier, less than 15 make it to week five!

    When we started smoking we did something that our bodies opposed with every means at its disposal.

    The inhalation of smoke contradicts everything that our lungs evolved to do and the natural response is to gag and retch, turn green and reject it totally. When we smoke fag number 100,000 our body's reaction is just the same as that first one. The fag tastes just as awful but we have simply learnt to accept it.

    The smoking hasn't changed, it is our perception of smoking that's changed.

    Luckily there's a switch in our heads that can be changed from smoker to non-smoker; unfortunately it's not labelled and finding it is not always straightforward.

    Some people quit instantly and painlessly, often due to some external stimulus. Pregnancy, a smoking related death or a Doctor's grave warning are often the catalyst required to quit smoking. Often a smoker will simply wake up one morning and no longer wish to smoke. Sometimes they start the day as normal but by bedtime have ditched the habit.

    Call it an epiphany, a light-bulb moment or finding the switch, either consciously or unconsciously, it doesn't matter what you call it but it's an essential goal.

    Almost everyone who manages a year smoke-free achieves it. I say almost because some 12 month quitters get there by sheer gritty determination and still teeter on the edge of the precipice despite all that time quit.

    It's also a massive beacon that needs to illuminate anyone thinking of quitting, struggling with a quit or thinking of leaping off the wagon. Its message is obvious; lots of people quit "just like that", no side effects, no major withdrawal, no real hassle, done, dusted.

    So what are they doing?

    Often we labour with our quits, day after day, slowly easing the spring-loaded switch from on to off only to have it leap back to the on position the moment we lose focus. We're told quitting is hard. Non smokers think quitting is hard. Even school kids think quitting is hard. It's easy then to assume it must be hard and that we should somehow accept a titanic struggle if we're to succeed.

    Quitters who don't have a hard time are therefore regarded as somehow freakish.

    It's easy to forget, ignore or disbelieve the fact that of every 100 smokers approaching their GP for help 93 will be smoking 12 months later.

    If that system sits comfortably with you feel free to jump on the bus; you may be one of the lucky 7.

    Of course, having read this you've now more chance of being one of the 7 as it could be that the other 93 will never know we all have a switch!

    It would be fabulous if the switch was operated by our conscious and had a big neon label saying, "off". Sadly it doesn't. Consciously we may be totally committed to quitting the fags and that's by far the usual way. We make a conscious decision to try to stop and then follow the path to the best of our ability. If we struggle we already know it's not meant to be easy and if we fail it just confirms our initial thought that quitting is hard.

    Reinforcement of a tough quit is unlikely to make the next one any easier!

    We quit in the subconscious. At some point in our conscious quit the subconscious picks up on the message that smoking is no longer an option and the struggle lessens.

    The good bit is that it's not just some wild theory; we can all find people who've quit totally painlessly and they tend to be one of the examples shown above.

    The bad bit is that even armed with the knowledge it's hard to find the switch.

    There is no point in quitting if your subconscious wants to smoke.

    No matter how serious your conscious decision to quit is and how big a bag of drugs you have you will not stay off the fags when the willpower runs out (because it will) unless you deal with your subconscious.

    The subconscious doesn’t talk to or listen to the conscious mind.

    The subconscious learns without the conscious mind knowing.

    Confuse quitting smoking with cessation of nicotine use and the task become incredibly hard.

    Quitting nicotine is easy and ever so slightly uncomfortable; never make it a challenge, it's not.

    We learnt to smoke like we learnt to drive or ride a bike. We made conscious actions to accomplish specific tasks until our subconscious autopilot took over. An experienced driver can compose letters, listen to the radio, have deep meaningful conversations in the conscious whilst the subconscious drives the car. We do it all the time without thinking about it.

    That's how we smoked too.

    You have to learn how not to smoke and when you do life is just so much better.

    Trust me. ;)

  • understanding why

    Thanks - great post - very helpful to see so eloquently explained.

  • in your opinion

    Its my experience too, the right mindset is the key to a relatively straight forward quit.

    I don't buy that nicotine is not addictive as there is a withdrawal and want when you stop using it both in the form of tobacco and when you come off NRT.

    However, if you can separate the physical want from the conditioned response that we have all trained ourselves to have through years of smoking then the withdrawal symptoms are easily coped with and pretty short lived.

    I don't think its in any way belittling stating that the addiction is more of a compulsion than a chemical dependency, there are many people who have eating disorders or gambling problems and they are no less of an issue to the person's life than if they were addicted to pain killers or such like.

    The reason that those of us who have succeeded keep banging on about it is not to look down on people and say FFS its all in your mind, its to try and point people onto the easier road by adopting the right mindset and realising that its your own subconscious which you have to battle with.

  • Absolutely right Smile and it is ultimately an individual journey,as long as it works-it's good.We will all get there by different routes-getting there at all is what counts ;) Certain things are beyond doubt as helping-and knowledge,other opinions,support,encouragement,incentive all play a vital role in sustaining a quit and turning it to permanent.These forums are packed full of these qualities and that is why it is a very good idea indeed to hitch your quit wagon to these forums.:cool:

    Couldn't agree more with you both.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to stop smoking, so long as we don't smoke!! Age, gender, individual circumstanes *all* affect how we do it, so one size does not fit all!!

    I'd add that comments like " There is no point in quitting if your subconscious wants to smoke." are extremely unhelpful, as it makes quitters who are a bit wobbly will think they're not able or ready to keep on with their quit.

  • I do agree with your post Austin, i am only on Day 11 and when i think of all the times i could have taken a cigg without anyone knowing - but i did'nt - then i realize i am at a good place...it did not take much convincing.

  • ...and here we see an issue endemic to us quitters.

    Facts that aren't facts but are generally regarded as facts and will be happily swallowed as facts with no justification, references or readily accessible sources.

    1. Nicotine is addictive.

    2. Nicotine is more addictive than Heroin.

    3. Nicotine leaves brown stains.

    4. Smokers are nicotine addicts.

    5. Quitting is hard.

    6. Quitting is easier with prescribed 'medicines'

    7. You're more likely to quit using prescribed 'medicines'

    8. Smokers smoke to replace diminishing levels of nicotine in the bloodstream and each cigarette tops up that level thus avoiding the onset of withdrawal.

    9. Nicotine reduces stress.

    10. Nicotine helps me concentrate.

    Facts that are actually facts that can be proven by anyone.

    1. People wake up one morning having decided to stop smoking, don't suffer withdrawal and never smoke again.

    2. People quit instantly and without 'medication' following a health scare, pregnancy or other sage advice.

    3. ex smokers walk from hypnotherapists' offices having walked in as smokers.

    4. smokers sleep 7 hours smoke-free but find it impossible to spend the day smoke-free.

    5. smoking patterns are not consistent with nicotine depletion

    6. 12 month cessation rates are consistent irrespective of quit method.

    7. Some people are weekend smokers or party smokers.

    Other facts are available...

    Continued publication of non-facts does not make them facts.

    Carpet bombing of non-facts does not make them facts.

    Weight of public opinion does not make a non-fact a fact.

    Like politics or religion you are entirely free to hitch your wagon to whichever philosophy works for you and you can ignore the opposition or exterminate them depending on your own agenda.

    As previously discussed, there are ample places of worship and grand wizards for you to follow if you choose the Church of Nic, whether as a savior or as satan in chemical form.

    Personally I'm now just a devout non smoker and capable of weighing up the evidence in my own mind and acting on that information.

    Perhaps as important I'm quite happy to change my opinion in light of new evidence, after all, I used to worship at the feet of the mighty Carr. :eek:

  • Am still waiting for a source to show nicotine isn't addictive.

    A link to a journal, a scientific website, a medical one - anything. Just saying it doesn't make it true!!

    Oh and re the "some people are social smokers" yes they are, but they don't smoke enough to get hooked on it. I used to be one, now I'm not.

    So, if nicotine is not addictive, can I have a few fags this afternoon and not have any problems afterwards?

  • <snip>

    choose the Church of Nic

    <snip>

    I am the light and the way, follow me :D

  • Am still waiting for a source to show nicotine isn't addictive.

    A link to a journal, a scientific website, a medical one - anything. Just saying it doesn't make it true!!

    Well pull up a chair and relax, you may be waiting a while!

    Who's paying for it?

    An invisible patch is one thing but a non-existent patch something else.

    Most of the non-addiction nicotine data has come as a result of odd i.e. contrary to the 'established' nicotine assumptions, findings from studies into something else. Of course the Israeli studies have produced further research but generally it's a subject that does not attract funding.

    Maybe this law change regarding ECigs might add fuel to the fire - who knows?

    I'm sure I'm repeating myself but those quitters who are sucking lozenges, chewing gum, inhaling mist and puffing ECigs yet still craving tobacco deserve a little more support than the establishment currently give them.

    So, if nicotine is not addictive, can I have a few fags this afternoon and not have any problems afterwards?

    You can have as many as you want, it's a free country. Whether or not nicotine is addictive has no bearing on it?

    I wouldn't recommend it though, it can become a habit...

  • Well pull up a chair and relax, you may be waiting a while!

    Who's paying for it?

    An invisible patch is one thing but a non-existent patch something else.

    Most of the non-addiction nicotine data has come as a result of odd i.e. contrary to the 'established' nicotine assumptions, findings from studies into something else. Of course the Israeli studies have produced further research but generally it's a subject that does not attract funding.

    Maybe this law change regarding ECigs might add fuel to the fire - who knows?

    I'm sure I'm repeating myself but those quitters who are sucking lozenges, chewing gum, inhaling mist and puffing ECigs yet still craving tobacco deserve a little more support than the establishment currently give them.

    You can have as many as you want, it's a free country. Whether or not nicotine is addictive has no bearing on it?

    I wouldn't recommend it though, it can become a habit...

    So essentially, there isn't any evidence that nicotine isn't addictive, while there is a wealth of it that states it is addictive.

  • I'm not taking sides, but I have to chip in and say that of all the people I've encountered on this site Mr Legro has done more studying of research papers and associated literature than anyone. I'm not saying his conclusions are right or wrong, just that it's not all coming off the top of his head, and I'm sure he can quote you full references from peer-reviewed academic publications if you want them!

    H

  • I'm not taking sides, but I have to chip in and say that of all the people I've encountered on this site Mr Legro has done more studying of research papers and associated literature than anyone. I'm not saying his conclusions are right or wrong, just that it's not all coming off the top of his head, and I'm sure he can quote you full references from peer-reviewed academic publications if you want them!

    H

    That's what I've been asking for her to do Hels!!

    If I'm wrong then it's good because quitting smoking should be a lot easier, but so far, nothing.

  • Like flippin twenty questions this is:rolleyes:

    Helen,the illustrious Austinlegro is he/she a lady or a chap? You know I expect.He/she said she/he was a girl.I think we should be told.;)

    He's definitely a he the last lime he looked but feel free to call me Ms Grant if it helps... :rolleyes:

    I think it's worth playing the same game..

    Where's the proof that nicotine is addictive?

    I don't want some wishy-washy, grey definition of addiction either. Where's the proof? Here's the definition

    From the Royal College of Physicians

    'Addiction' and 'dependence' are terms whose definition has a social as well as a scientific dimension. In principle, they may be distinguished, but in practice such a distinction serves little purpose and the terms are used interchangeably here. They are socially and scientifically defined in that their meaning can be, and has been, changed to reflect changing perceptions rather than to identify unequivocally an invariant, objectively definable entity. Under the current definition, the terms refer to a situation in which a drug or stimulus has unreasonably come to control behaviour.

    Even though we know the pharmacology of Nicotine very well, that cuts no ice with the above and, perhaps crucially, mention the word tobacco and the game's over.

    For many years the two were synonymous, now we have the luxury of separation of tobacco and nicotine and of course the house of cards just collapses without their union.

    Lennox Johnston may well have started the whole sad saga rolling when he was the first to use nicotine in isolation to offset the impulse to reach for tobacco.

    However, the reaction from the Honorary Secretary of the Society for the Study of Addiction, one H. Pullar-Strecker, in response to Johnston’s assertions still holds true:

    “Much as one may ‘crave’ for one’s smoke, tobacco is no drug of addiction. Proper addicts… will stop at nothing to obtain the drug that their system demands imperatively.”

    Have you missed me? :p

  • To be honest its all semantics, nicotine in the form of tobacco or NRT has a withdrawal and the ability to develop a compulsive use. There are a proportion of people who claim a reliance on nicotine gum etc and we have seen them on the forum over the years.

    After 12 weeks on NRT lozenges I experienced withdrawal symptoms when I came off them, and it came as a little bit of a surprise, they were not strong but they were there. As such I would say that in my personal experience nicotine is an addictive substance, but research suggests that amongst the 4000 or so chemicals in cigarettes there are others which are also addictive and/or interact with nicotine to increase the chemical dependency.

    So the concept of a difference between quitting smoking and quitting nicotine is valid but having seen thousands of posts over the years the level of dependency appears to me to vary according to the attitude of the quitter which implies that it is much more of a compulsion than a chemical reliance.

    So what does this really mean?

    In practical terms it means nothing!

    If believing that nicotine is addictive and that conquering that addiction is the route to freedom then so be it, follow that route and be free.

    If believing that nicotine is not addictive and all we need to do is un-train our brains from a conditioned response then again follow that route and be free.

    Personally I'm partway between the 2, I have followed the route and I am free. That is the only thing which really matters and arguing the toss isn't going to make anybody's quit any easier.

  • He's definitely a he the last lime he looked but feel free to call me Ms Grant if it helps... :rolleyes:

    I think it's worth playing the same game..

    Where's the proof that nicotine is addictive?

    OK

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine - don't just bash Wiki, it is actually referenced with real sources.

    drugabuse.gov/publications/...

    whyquit.com/whyquit/linksaa...

    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/enc...

    www1.umn.edu/perio/tobacco/...

    Plus the existence of this site, and others like it of course.

    Right, now let's see the sources you've got that proves the opposite.

  • When I gave up I started sucking butter mints at bedtime.

    When I stopped I had withdrawals, does that mean that butter mints are addictive, or just perhaps, it could be the habit....

    Hmmm sounds like I might just be agreeing with Mr Legro......

  • In another thread

    OK

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine - don't just bash Wiki, it is actually referenced with real sources.

    drugabuse.gov/publications/...

    whyquit.com/whyquit/linksaa...

    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/enc...

    www1.umn.edu/perio/tobacco/...

    Plus the existence of this site, and others like it of course.

    Right, now let's see the sources you've got that proves the opposite.

    Austinlegro has already posted these links in another thread.

    pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc...

    tobaccoasia.com/previous-.....

  • Link

    I clicked on Max's link, did a search for nicotine and the link is as below.

    If the link doesn't work, go to Max's link then search for nicotine and it appears as article 7.

    tobaccoasia.com/previous-is...

  • I clicked on Max's link, did a search for nicotine and the link is as below.

    If the link doesn't work, go to Max's link then search for nicotine and it appears as article 7.

    tobaccoasia.com/previous-is...

    With respect, that's a tobacco industry magazine - hardly an unbiased source is it?

  • These are proof thatt nicotine is not addictive?

    Aren't you convinced when a tobacco industry publication says it's not addictive? :p

  • Proof???

    These are proof thatt nicotine is not addictive?

    I don't know if anything in life can be "proven". Science doesn't work that way: it works via falsification. I believe those links that Austinlegro gave does that.

    Not both links are from magazines.

  • I appreciate mine is a simplistic approach but, at the end of the day it doesn't matter much as far as I'm concerned whether my addiction was to a) tobacco, b) nicotine c) the habit of smoking or d) any combination of a), b) and c). The only thing I care about is being free of it and the easiest way as far as I can see to achieve this is to stay away from a) tobacco, b) nicotine and c) the habit of smoking - that way I must surely be safe from whatever it is I was hooked on!

    IMO it's a combination, Kat :)

    For example I'm a nicotine addict who hasn't smokd in 6 months.

    However, I've been in a foul mood all afternoon. Didn't have a clue why until I had a shower and found my bra has pulled my patch 3/4 off.

    Maybe a coincidence but I do feel awfully like someone who needs a smoke here.

    Sure the habit, and the actual smoking are a huge part of it, but it doesn't take away from the scientific fact that we are, and always will be nicotine addicts.

    Was taught in my history degree that there are very few (if any) monocausal explanations and this applies to smoking too.

  • I don't know if anything in life can be "proven". Science doesn't work that way: it works via falsification. I believe those links that Austinlegro gave does that.

    Not both links are from magazines.

    "Reasonable doubt" is for the law courts, not science.

    For example:

    "Gravity is rubbish because I don't believe in falling and my birthday balloons would fly away too"

    Does not open up a debate on gravity.

    Austinlegro has been very keen to say we're all wrong but very reticent on providing scientific or medical evidence to back up their case - which considering it flies in the face of what most of us on here will have experienced, they really should!!

  • Or does it Gemma!

    If I was 10 miles away from the centre of the Earth would I still be feeling the effects of gravity-sure I would have been vapourised long ago and my balloons long gone,but..?;)

    Let's discuss gravity!:p

    You're already more than 10 miles from the centre of the earth, you tell me ;)

    Changing the subject slightly, would "phone a friend" on Millionaire still work with Google?

  • Let's discuss what we had for dinner - anything that won't degenerate into a row and name calling! pretty please!:(

    Cheese and bacon on toast, with a crumpet afterwards :D :D

  • Ham, egg and chips, followed by frozen grapes:)

    *Is dead jealous*

  • Let's discuss what we had for dinner - anything that won't degenerate into a row and name calling! pretty please!:(

    I agree Kat. This forum has been a little tense lately....

    Well I burnt dinner (left it in the oven while doing the school run which took longer than usual) so we had a pizza delivery.

  • Let's discuss what we had for dinner - anything that won't degenerate into a row and name calling! pretty please!:(

    I haven't called anyone names!!

    Falsification is not "reasonable doubt". Science does not "prove" at most it offers support for a hypothesis.

    Karl Popper - Father of Modern Science - gave us falsification. In other words if I make the statement that "all swans are white" I don't go and find all white swans: I find a black swan.

    Making a statement like "nicotine is addictive" falls into that category. Finding more white swans doesn't help. A black swan would be looking at what that statement means by addictive. It's not merely semantics.

  • and a Magnum!:o

    *Even jealouser*

    I had some melon though *polishes halo and doesn't mention fermented grapes*

  • I haven't called anyone names!!

    Falsification is not "reasonable doubt". Science does not "prove" at most it offers support for a hypothesis.

    Karl Popper - Father of Modern Science - gave us falsification. In other words if I make the statement that "all swans are white" I don't go and find all white swans: I find a black swan.

    Making a statement like "nicotine is addictive" falls into that category. Finding more white swans doesn't help. A black swan would be looking at what that statement means by addictive. It's not merely semantics.

    Yeah, but by pretty much any measure nicotine is addicive.

    It changes the brain (increase in nicotine receptors)

    Causes withdrawals when it's removed

    Requires topping up to feel normal.

    Am slightly at a loss as to why anyone would say (without non-tobacco industry) references that it isn't. :confused:

    It's kind of why we're all here, isn't it?

    I would love for nicotine to be non-addictive, it would be fab 'cos then nobody would be hooked on fags, actually the only downside would be not meeting some of the lovely people on here that i have.

  • Peer reviewed article?

    I found the first of Austinlegro's links to have rigorous findings. It does state that its funds came from academia for this article.

    As an article it shows all reproducible methods so it can be reviewed.

    pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc...

    If the data contradict the theory, throw out the data: Nicotine addiction in the 2010 report of the Surgeon General

    Hanan Frenk1,2 and Reuven Dar1*

    I find that a lot of articles on the net re: nicotine is addictive simply beg the question & assume the addiction and then find more white swans.

  • OK

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine - don't just bash Wiki, it is actually referenced with real sources.

    drugabuse.gov/publications/...

    whyquit.com/whyquit/linksaa...

    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/enc...

    www1.umn.edu/perio/tobacco/...

    As expected, not a shred of evidence and the bond with tobacco was specifically excluded.

    It's just not out there and there's an obvious reason!

    Thankfully you don't need to be medically trained or have your own white coat to understand it though: you just need to have been a smoker.

    Just because nicotine addiction has been drummed into us doesn't make it true.

    Frankly, it doesn't really make any difference.

    We're trying to quit tobacco, we're not bothered about quitting nicotine, and if to do so means we've got to examine our own habits then it's no great chore.

    Every smoker knows that they don't smoke like a drug addict but are easily persuaded that they are.

    Even though results have shown that de-nicotinized fags offset withdrawal as well as real fags there's no point. It's tobacco use that needs curbing not nicotine.

    If RCP announced tomorrow that nicotine was a horrible little poison that you find in tobacco and your body takes a week to get used to when it's gone then it wouldn't make quitting it any easier.

    However, it would mean that quitters, in my opinion, would have a much better take-off from the starting blocks.

    A true understanding of why we smoke is paramount in approaching how we quit.

    We quit in the head.

    Ernest Dichter wrote a lovely piece on the psychology of smoking which despite being quite old is still quite thought provoking.

    Alas, he doesn't mention the 'N' word...

    smokingsides.com/docs/whysm...

    ;)

  • As expected, not a shred of evidence and the bond with tobacco was specifically excluded.

    There was tons of evidence that nicotine is addictive, but there's none so blind as those who will not see.

    No idea what your agenda is, but am no longer interested either quite frankly.

    Before I go however, I have been smoke free for 6 month and 2 weeks. I have *not* been nicotine free for any part of that.

    I crave nicotine, despite having no desire to smoke.

    That is why I find your argument that nicotine is not addictive comletely absurd - not to mention incrdibly unhelpful on a forum where the main mantra is Not One Puff Ever.

    If nicotine wasn't addictive, then everyone could social smoke, and as the majority of us here have learned to our cost that is untrue.

  • With you on this one GL:eek:

    I've said it before I'm sure, but the vast majority of posts on the forum are individual opinion rather than cold hard fact, and what works for some doesn't necessarily work for all - I know all my ramblings are just my opinion and sometimes I'll stumble upon one of my old posts and think 'good grief, did I really write that load of old tosh?' (in other words I don't necessarily agree with myself:D).

    So where was I? Oh yes - opinion. Sometimes, someone will come along with a reasonably eloquent writing style - the 'gift of the gab' - and they are able to express their opinion with such conviction that it comes across as cold hard fact. It isn't. It's just their opinion. They may express it very well, but that doesn't mean it isn't total b.s. (in your opinion, of course:)).

    I never get drawn into these arguments as they rapidly descend into mud slinging matches - I'll just agree to disagree and quietly move on.

    As a slight aside but kind of related, one celeb writer well worth reading is Joe Jackson ('smoke, lies and the nanny state' - from the pro smoking lobby). He writes a compelling argument in favour of smoking which is really worth a read. As an educated non-smoker, you can appreciate the viewpoint, spot the [gaping] holes in the argument and move on - mud slinging not required, it's just his opinion:D

  • ...No idea what your agenda is, but am no longer interested either quite frankly....

    My agenda always has been, and will continue to be, to help people ditch this awful dependency as painlessly and as quickly as possible by opening up my files of six year's research and hope that others can make the same connection that turns them swiftly from smoker to former smoker.

    If they can't do it then there are other methods to try that might help.

    Many people never question things. They accept without stopping to think.

    Some things are blindingly obvious yet ignored because they don't fit the preconceptions.

    Unfortunately you have to harvest your data from as widely as possible and be open-minded as to the reason why it's either readily available or desperately hidden in dusty files, locked on a government server.

    Best of luck with your quit.

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