This Article is About
cold turkey
nicotine addiction
nicotine delivery
neurotransmitter acetylcholine
impressive statistic
addictive substance
saving money
Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
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Why Smokers Smoke

Smoking is bad for you, really bad for you. About 50% of unremitting regular smokers will eventually die due to their habit. Why would anyone pursue a habit that shortens their life? In the case of smoking, the answer is simple-nicotine addiction. Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco that keeps people coming back for more. Smokers often delude themselves with ideas that smoking calms their nerves, or occupies their hands. These are minor and secondary considerations when it comes to the addiction. Nicotine is highly addictive and cigarettes are extremely effective nicotine delivery systems.

Most Smokers Want to Quit

Research has shown that most smokers want to quit and many attempt to quit. The most popular method of quitting is cold turkey. Quitting cold turkey has the obvious advantage of being cheap. In fact you actually make money. Well not exactly, but you are saving money that you would otherwise be spending on cigarettes. And let's face it, smoking is not a cheap pastime and is only going to get more expensive due to hikes in tobacco tax.

Quit Smoking is Really Hard

The major downside to quitting smoking cold turkey, is that it is not very effective. Unfortunately, for those quitters that rely on will power alone 95% will relapse within 6 months. This is not an impressive statistic and underlines the difficulty people experience when trying to quit smoking. Nicotine is probably the most addictive drug known and is more addictive than heroin. Many find this difficult to believe as smoking doesn't deliver a drug 'high'. The perceived high is subtle buts powerful none the less. Nicotine profoundly affects the pleasure and reward pathways in the brain due to its chemical affinity with the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.

It is important for the person contemplating quitting smoking cold turkey to acknowledge the difficulty of the task ahead and plan accordingly. A positive mind set is essential together with a realistic appreciation of the hold the addiction has. The power of nicotine addiction should never be underestimated.

Plan Ahead

The quitter should plan ahead. A quit date must be set. It's probably a good idea to avoid known stress triggers. It's not a good idea to quit when moving home or starting a new job, for instance. On the quit day all tobacco products should be removed from the home together with smoking paraphernalia, such as ahstrays and lighters. Friends and family must be informed. This is particularly important if they smoke. They need to respect the quitters decision not to smoke and more importantly not to smoke in their presence.

The quitter needs to be prepared to undergo the pangs of nicotine cravings. Not everyone will experience the same withdrawal symptoms or intensity of symptoms. But no one is spared. Don't be fooled, the cravings don't go away after 3 days, that's the time taken for nicotine and it's metabolites to leave your system. The addiction is deeply engraved in the smoker's brain and it will take time to readjust. The cravings do decrease with time, but it will take many months before the ex smoker can consider themselves a true non smoker.

Quitting smoking cold turkey is not an easy option and most people will fail. Those who don't quit first off shouldn't despair. Very few have the resources to quit on the first attempt. The reasons for failure need to be examined and addressed. Smokers should learn from failed attempts and apply that knowledge to the next attempt.

Quitting smoking is never easy and quitting cold turkey is a hard battle but the battle is a worthy one and can be won if you are totally committed to becoming a non-smoker.

Street Talk

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