Duration and Quantity of Exposure to Tobacco
More is bad
- The younger you are when you start to smoke, the greater the risk of smoking more and for longer.
- The longer you smoke, the more cigarettes you consume.
- The more cigarettes you smoke:
- the greater the danger associated with the effects of toxic products on the body’s functions (physical addiction and diseases);
- the stronger the link between cigarettes and all the events in your life: this is what creates psychological dependency. In other words, it’s as if each cigarette adds another brick to the walls of your prison; it increases the weight of your dependency
Lots is worse
The psychological and physical addiction to tobacco is so strong that some people relapse even after many years of not smoking. How can this be?
- A “puff” carries nicotine to the brain in less than 10 seconds. The effect is satisfying: the brain releases endorphins and other neurotransmitters, which induce a sense of well-being.
- Each cigarette provides 10 to 12 puffs. Each of those puffs injects a drug (nicotine) which gives the smoker an almost immediate sense of well-being, primarily because of the feeling of relief that nicotine brings to a brain that is suffering withdrawal symptoms.
- How many times each day and each year has your well-being depended on this drug? Figure it out: if you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, that 100 puffs a day, 36,500 a year. If you smoke 20 a day, that’s 200 puffs/day, 73,000/year. Now, multiply that by the number of years you’ve been smoking…
Each of those hundreds of thousands of puffs has registered in your brain (linked with the accompanying situations and emotions) and in your body (repetition of the same gesture). What’s wrong with this? Each of those puffs has been linked in a positive way to whatever you were experiencing at that time.
Whether the situation was pleasant, unpleasant, or boring, a cigarette was always there to make you feel good.
As a result, you may say things like: “A cigarette goes so well with a cup of coffee, with a nice cold beer”, “I enjoy smoking!”, “When I stopped smoking, it was like I lost my best friend”, and so on.
In fact, there is no real link between smoking and those situations and feelings. It’s just a form of conditioning or programming. But this programming can trip you up and lead to a relapse, projecting you back into the grip of cigarettes after months or years of freedom. A relapse often occurs during a joyful social event, but more often during stressful or unpleasant times. Your former “best friend” will pop up automatically because you’ve used it to face so many similar situations in the past.
The good news is that programming, however powerful it may be, can be changed!
Ending It Once and For All
Based on the information above, it doesn’t really make sense to talk about lack of willpower, about being stupid, or about other “character flaws”. Stop banging your head against the wall!
If you bear in mind the explanations we’ve given, it will allow you to avoid many traps. Awareness and knowledge are very effective tools to help you deprogram yourself.
You may agree, and yet still say “I’ll never be able to do this! My genetic baggage and the weight of my memories and familiar gestures await me at every turn. What can I do?”
You’ve just given the answer: “do”!
Even if it sounds too good to be true, it’s real.