17 September 2008

In Time

Plenty of time left to quit? Such thoughts are very likely to prove both deadly and wrong. Nicotine addiction ignorance costs half of all smokers an average of 13 years of life. Try to imagine nearly five millions tobacco victims each year. Imagine having a 50% chance of already knowing the cause of death that will appear on your death certificate.

Bryan started smoking at age thirteen. A 34 year-old Marlboro Light smoker, Bryan thought that because his mother still smoked that he had plenty of time left to quit. He was wrong. This is a photo of Bryan with his two year-old son, Bryan Jr. It was taken on March 29. The photo below was taken just 63 days later on June 3, the day Bryan died. It shows the aggressiveness of smoking induced small cell lung cancer. In Bryan's hands is a copy of the picture of him with his son.

In Time Quit Smoking

In Time Stop Smoking

Nicotine has physically rewired your brain growing millions of extra acetylcholine receptors in eleven different regions. Your mind is now de-sensitized to its own natural neuron-chemical flow. Quitting is a temporary journey of readjustment where you allow the time needed to restore natural sensitivities, where you break subconsciously conditioned links to smoking triggers and where you allow your conscious mind time to move beyond the years of smoking rationalizations you created in order to justify that next nicotine fix. When quitting there is no such thing as smoking just one. Like alcoholism, it is all or nothing.

Although your nicotine induced dopamine and adrenaline high reflects alert intoxication, chemical dependency upon nicotine is every bit as real, deep and permanent as alcoholism, crystal meth, or heroin addiction. Once hooked the remaining questions become, on which side of the bars will you spend the balance of life, what quality will your life have and how long will it last?