07 November 2006

Why might a person quit, and then start again?

About 70 per cent of smokers want to quit, but smokers have a much higher rate of depression and anxiety than those who don’t smoke. There’s also growing evidence that the longer you smoke, the more likely you are to develop some of these negative emotional states. Each year, 34 per cent of smokers try to kick the habit. But only about five per cent of those attempts are successful.

When you quit, in some sense it’s like mourning. Nicotine stimulates some brain regions stimulated by interaction with a loved one. So when smokers say, “I feel like I lost my best friend,” neurologically, they have. Don’t be too optimistic about what quitting is going to be like; that will make you better prepared. As opposed to mourning a loved one who is gone forever, here the loved one is available at the nearest convenience store. Once a person has a single puff, the odds are 80 to 85 percent they will go back to full-time smoking.

The most characteristic way people relapse is that they encounter an upsetting stressor — an argument, anger or anxiety. Negative mood inflates the incentive value of drug use: expectations that smoking will soothe that negative mood increase. But as soon as the body’s nicotine level starts to drop, they start to go through withdrawal again, so smokers are most likely to quit only in their third, fourth or fifth attempt. Nothing predicts success like failure.


UCanQuit said...

What also puts a person into the mourning stage when they quit smoking is the re adjustment period the brain goes through to it's own sensitvity to acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is what nicotine mimics to reach the reward path of the brain. This in turn releases large amounts of un earned dopamine that gives the smoker that Aaaahhh sensation.

The problem is, is that the brain needs to regulate how much dopamine is being released. It cannot regulate nicotine because it is a foreign substance(poison) so it must turn down it's own sensitivity to acetylcholine.

This is one of the reasons that smokers rely so much on a cigarette to feel good or more accurately, feel nicotine normal.

Once you remove all nicotine from the bloodstream and brain serum. This is when the brain can start re adjusting itself back to normal function. This can leave a person quitting temporarily feeling blue. This is only temporary.

That's why it is important to get all nicotine out of your system A.S.A.P. That means any form of it. Not just the nicotine in a cigarette.

There are many reasons that people releapse and smoke again. You could write pages and pages on the reasons, but it really comes down to this.

The reason people smoke again after quitting is that they are still under the illusion that cigarettes do something for them. As long as a person is under this illusion, there will be danger in their quit.

Understand that smoking does not relieve stress. It actually creates stress. This is just one example of what cigarettes don't do. I will post more on this.

All a cigarette can do is relieve a false anxiety that the previous cigarette created in the first place. It is a false sense of accomplishment though. It is a cruel trick onto the smoker. A smoker smokes a cigarette to get back to that feeling of inner peace. The smoker believes that the cigarette helped calm them, when it reality all it did was get them back to an inner peace that non smokers are already at.

A smoker must do this 20, 30, 40+ times a day to temporarily get back to this so called "normal" feeling.

A good example to show you that cigarettes really can't do anything but relieve an anxiety that the previous cigarette created in the first place is to ask someone who smoked a cigarette after not smoking for an appreciatable amount of time.

Ask a person who has not smoked in a long time that relapsed how that first cigarette was. Did they get that AHHHHHHH sensation or did they feel sick and depressed? I bet you will hear that they either felt nothing or felt sick and depressed. The problem though is that now they started the cycle back up again.

This is why there is no " just one", there is only the first one.

UCanQuit said...


The act of smoking is a viscious cycle. It is an addiction that no matter how much we feed it, it cannot ever be satisfied.

We have all heard the saying . One Puff= All Puffs. Why is that though? It is because smoking is basically the act of temporarily relieving anxieties of withdrawals that cigarettes create in the first place.

When a smoker smokes a cigarette. Nicotine enters the brain mimicing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This enables nicotine to reach the reward center of the brain where it releases large amounts of unearned dopamine. This is where the smoker gets that AAAHHHH sensation we are all so familiar with. But what happens when nicotine starts to metabolize and leave the body? Nicotine also has the ability to fit the smoker's adrenaline locks, creating another chemical reaction causing us to have anxieties that are the same as if we were in a fight or flight situation. It is a false anxiety though. It is a lie. There is no outside variable creating this. It is only our brain and body being fooled into thinking that something is wrong. Thiis is when an active smoker smokes. This act not only releases more unearned dopamine but also creates a chemical reaction that turns off the fight or flight mechanism. It is a viscious cycle that the smoker must perform ritually. A smoker doesn't even smoke to get "High" in the traditional sense of a drug. A smoker smokes to just feel so called "Normal".

At the same time ,everytime a smoker smokes a cigarette it raises the heartbeat byabout 20 beats a minute. It raises the blood pressure and makes the arteries constrict. This effect makes the heart have to work harder and the body releases its own stored fats to try and find the extra energy.

This is where a catch 22 happens. The heart now has to work harder to overcome these affects, but to do this, it needs extra oxygen to work harder. The problem is, the carbon monoxide from smoking is basically poisoning the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry. This in turn has to make the heart work harder to get more oxygen to itself to work harder, because it is allready working harder. LOL Make sense? It is just a viscious circle, over and over.

Here's the capper though. Everytime someone smokes to relieve those false anxieties, the body goes through the physical strain mentioned above. The mind might be temporarily calmed, but the body is not.

As the nicotine starts to metablolize, the body for a short time, gets to recover from the affects of that last cigarette. The problem though is that the fight or flight mechanism starts turning on creating false anxieties again. Now the active smoker must now smoke and once again this viscous cycle starts all over.

Imagine how much stress this causes the smoker. Doing this day in and day out. 20 ,40, 60 times+ a day for years.


When people, (smokers and non smokers), are under stress. What happens, is a chemical reaction causes the persons urine to turn acidic. To the non smoker this is really not an issue, but to the smoker, this chemical reaction becomes their biggest issue.

When a smoker's urine turns acidic. What happens is that this chemical reaction actually causes the nicotine to get pulled from the bloodstream into the urinary tract and into the bladder. The nicotine doesn't even really get metabolized. It just literally just gets pulled out. This will quickly put the smoker into withdrawal. So now not only is the smoker under stress because of a certain situation , but they are also going into withdrawal at the same time. This doubles the anxieies that the smoker is now dealing with. So the active smoker, smokes a cigarette, relieves the anxieties from withdrawal, "Feels better" and then thinks that smoking helped "relieve" their stress. When all it did was relieve the anxieties from withdrawal. The original problem is still there, but now the smoker is able to deal with it, because they don't have their minds occupied with drug withdrawal. Now they are able to focus on resolving the problem.

The sad thing is, is that the smoker has performed this "stress relieving" ritual for so long. That they don't differenciate the difference bewtween relieving drug withdrawal and relieving stress.

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