Stop Smoking?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by floonoIdeogue, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Faulty premise, faulty pharmacology

    Nicotine is, of course, a drug - an alkaloid (contains nitrogen) that is ionized in acidic (the mouth), but absorbed in alkaline environments, e.g., the alveolar epithelium. Since, as a general rule, pipe and cigar smokers do not inhale, and, since smoke is acidic, it is cigarette smokers (who inhale) who tend to become addicted to smoking. One is able to get a quick fix from smoking because inhaled smoke (or more properly stated, the ingredients which constitute smoke) is immediately absorbed by the lungs and it is estimated that nicotine reaches the brain within ten seconds of inhaling.

    In the brain, the active form of nicotine apes acetylcholine, i.e., it is an acetylcholine agonist that binds to cholinergic receptors desensitizing them for protracted periods. The receptors (which are known as nicotinic receptors) subsequently exist in a state of heightened stimulation which the brain is not wont to tolerate. As a result, the number of active nicotinic receptors is reduced which mollifies the psychotropic (a generic term meaning acting on the CNS) effect of the nicotine. At this point, it is said that one develops a tolerance, i.e., needs more nicotine (smoke) to maintain an even keel.

    The nicotine in the brain has a concomitant effect: it raises the levels of dopamine - the mediator of pleasure, among many other pharmacological properties. A growing body of evidence indicates that while we know nicotine increases the levels of dopamine, it also seems that nicotine prevents the metabolism of dopamine in the brain, essentially doubling the effect of smoking. The nicotine/dopamine relationship was fully understood when it was learned that nicotine also reduces the number and/or sensitivity of dopamine receptors. All this means is that one needs increasing amounts of nicotine (smoke) to achieve pleasurable levels of dopamine.

    After a very brief period, the level of nicotine in the blood drops and the brain allows more of the receptors to become active again. Since levels of nicotine are reduced, i.e., the agonist is no long present, and the level of dopamine is reduced, the receptors become too active (or too many are active) and one feels that old familiar feeling: time for a cigarette.

    Yes, Virginia, nicotine is a drug but not harmful, per se (although some maintain that it could be a carcinogen). The problem with cigarette smoking is that one not only inhales nicotine, one also inhales tar (a known carcinogen) and a host of other chemicals that have a variety of deleterious effects.

    There is one interesting aspect of smoking cessation that is not talked about very much (likely being dwarfed by discussions of the neuropathology associated with smoking and its withdrawal) and that is the drop in blood sugar ubiquitously associated with smoking cessation. This post is already long enough so I will omit the pharmacological basis for said drop but suggest that, if one wants to quit cigarette smoking, then one may be able to do so successfully by substituting a piece of candy (say, one square of a chocolate bar) for a cigarette each time one gets the urge for a cigarette. I quit cigarettes a long time ago and was able to do so by using this method. For a two-week period, I consumed - one square at a time - two 8-ounce Hershey bars a day; at the end of two weeks, I lost the urge to have a cigarette. It took me a year or so to get over the psychological effects (things like coffee, beer, meals in general are incomplete without a cigarette) but the urges were gone.

    Today, I smoke my pipe every two days, at least, and have an occasional cigar - not entirely vegetarian but less CV distress. And, yes, I still don't wear a helmet.

    Once a smoker always a smoker - no. However, I was not able to quit smoking cigarettes for other people's reasons. Indeed, unless we are talking about blue lights in my rear-view mirror, there is not much I do for other people's reasons. Growing up in the inner city, I started smoking cigarettes when I was nine; quit when I was 25. Regularly, during the latter intervening years, I quit smoking cigarettes every three or four months - for three or four days - because "they" said I should not smoke cigarettes. Finally I quit because I wanted to (developed chronic bronchitis - three packs a day - which seriously compromised make-out sessions).

    Is cigarette smoking in moderation OK? Well, I guess it depends on what moderation is and to what degree one wishes to try to eliminate all of the "don'ts" in one's life. Between my pipe and cigar, I suck in "secondhand smoke" but I am armed with the knowledge (suppressed by the WHO) that secondhand smoke is not a hazard. What, you didn't know about the WHO study? Sorry. Go to http://www.davehitt.com/facts/who.html where you will find some facts and further links (some are broken).

    Monk
     
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  2. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Secondhand F/U

    If one is interested in the secondhand smoke and mirrors game, following is a few sources that may be of interest:

    1. Here is a link to a PDF that details a 38-year CA study (60-98) that suggests the concerns about environmental smoke are, at best, premature. http://www.data-yard.net/43/1057.pdf

    2. Here is a 2001 FOXNEWS opinion piece that details institutional shenanigans vis-à-vis secondhand (environmental) smoke. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,26109,00.html

    3. Here is a collection of sources on the issue. http://www.forces.org/evidence/evid/second.htm

    4. Here is another summary of WHO data. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9776409?dopt=Abstract

    By the way, the original WHO study is MIA.

    You have probably heard discussions encompassing the "art of medicine." It is an art, but hardly a science, i.e., while, in classic terms, it takes one calorie to raise the temperature of one gram of water from 14.5 C to 15.5 C at sea level, statins may or may not help avert CV disease. Do you know that 60% of heart attacks occur in people with normal lipid profiles? So why is everyone awash in statins?

    My point is simply this: medicine is, at best, an inexact science. Coffee, yesterday's bane, is today's APC. Statins are big business and anti-smoking claims/suits have enriched towns, cities, states, and trial lawyers. In the end, we are all going to die of something. Steve Jobs is apparently fighting the effects of endocrine pancreatic cancer and its treatment. He might have been better off contracting the more common exocrine adenocarcinoma which is almost always fatal within one year.

    I hearken back to Reginakempher's admonition, above, to wit: life is to be lived, not avoided. Each of us must decide on how that living is carried out. Me, a pipe and a good book or chewing a cigar while tooling down the highway on my scooter (Harley Low Rider) without a helmet. To let "they," or worse yet, the government, tell us how to live is just plain silly.

    By the way, in January 1990, the FDA instituted its ban on the use of red dye no. 3 because it was found to cause cancer in rats when ingested in sufficient quantities. If you recall, one of the first uses that the ban was applied to was in the production of maraschino cherries. Eventually the ban continued to the point of effecting pesticide producers of some rat poisons used in grain elevators (rodents consume 15-20% of stored grains). The rat poisons were colored with red dye no. 3. Apparently the FDA did not want the rats to die of cancer.

    Time for my pipe.

    Monk
     
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  3. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    May 6, 2007
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    “Once a smoker is always a smoker. nicotine addiction is more severe than drug addiction”

    This is a cop-out, no need to state one anyway. I smoke as well………

    Most of the people think:

    Smoking = nicotine, nicotine = responsible for all the ugly matters.

    Nicotine is a colourless to pale yellow, volatile, very hygroscopic oily liquid which gradually becomes brown on exposure to air. It’s soluble in water, ethanol, ether and chloroform. It’s one of the most toxic substances known. The lethal dose in man is from 40 to 60 mg. It’s also in the milk of lactating women who smoke.
    It is rapidly absorbed through the skin and most cases of poisoning are due to its careless handling when employed as a insecticide. So if you want to kill somebody just put a bit of nicotine onto the toilet seat and make sure the right one is the next who has to take a sh**…….

    Nicotine is metabolised by oxidation at position 5 of the pyrrolidine ring to yield cotinine which may be further metabolized by hydroxylation or demethylation or cleavage of the pyrrolidine ring
    Nicotine is a DRUG that acts at the CNS. The addiction to nicotine is weak, measured by its abstinence phenomenon. Usually after 2-3 days the withdrawal is finished after you’ve quit smoking. Compared to the amount of nicotine you are inhaling when you smoke its toxicity is low……..
    To become dangerous you have to eat some cigarettes.

    Why is it ‘difficult’ to quit anyway and why is smoking harmful?

    Well, just ask a few smoker when (at what situations) they like to smoke.

    They will answer:

    -when I have stress / to relax
    -after meal
    -at specified times / holyday
    -together with a good cup of coffee
    -when I’m drunk (at least have consumed some ethanol)

    When is it most difficult to quit smoking? It’s when you are faced with these situations.

    You’ve linked the consume of a cigarette with these situations and in combination to the action of the drug nicotine you think you feel better after the cigarette……hahaha!!!
    Do you know the pavlovian reflex ?
    If you are faced with one of the situations you immediately feel your low nicotine level. You remember the pleasure of refilling the nicotine, nothing more. After you’ve refilled it, you feel ‘better’.
    But ‘better’ is just ‘normal’ to someone who doesn’t smoke at all.

    If you want to break out of this circuit, just quit!!!
    Sweat it out, just make clear your behaviour is crackbrained and stupid.
    Or relax and smoke, be sure you are a pavlovian dog, oh yes we are…not only the smokers are, every time your reward system is acting, you are…….

    Why is smoking harmful? (At least harmful to your wallet?)

    It’s using a dirty mechanism, the reward system. Additionally its reuptake is linked to a special situation, a situation suggested by the large advertisement companies. (Marlboro man---->freedom, Gauloises---->a man who can get every beautiful women, Lucky Strike---->you are something special, extraordinary). The smoke contains cancer suspect agents, definitely.

    Btw: I am a smoker……. (not at work, mainly at weekend) I’m stupid I know, do I really? It’s abstruse

    Most Humans are unillumined.
    The elementary form of this mechanism (to act stupid) is found everywhere in humans life……that’s why we are here…….only the mahatmas have completely lost this nescience.

    In fact there is no need to smoke………if you really get this you’ll quit! Until this will happen to me I enjoy smoking.
     
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  4. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Well said Yen . . . with one sublime addition, if I may

    Is smoking really stupid?

    In all humility I must admit that I do not know. One could ask, stupid in the abstract? Stupid per se? Stupid relative to activities deigned to be not stupid? Then one could ask, whose definition of stupid do we apply? Then we could examine the major and minor premises attendant to the definition and assess their validity. And then. . . .

    I think most would agree that smoking cigarettes: can be expensive; is the proximate cause of health issues; has been known to set clothes, bed, and house alight; pique social outcries; and culls a significant number of suitable prospects from the dating pool.

    Challenge: name me an activity that is free of these consequences.

    Most importantly, however, I learned long ago that there are many people in the world who are wont, unwittingly or otherwise, with or without good intentions, to label me, in the least, stupid because I ride without a helmet. Given the sufficiency of their numbers, I have decided not to join them in their rejoinders.

    I am your humble servant - a pilgrim in an alien world. As I traverse the road less traveled, I can be seen to commit behaviors that the huddled masses eschew. But I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul and, in the end, my pipe, cigar, or dust-covered helmet will not prevent me from going home.

    Monk
     
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  5. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    May 6, 2007
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    I think this is a perfect example being stupid:


    Tomorrow will be your school leaving examination. Your scheduling is perfect. You’ve started to learn early enough. You are prepared at best. You know that you are an excellent learner. You can be sure the examination will be no problem at all, you sure will pass with distinction. There is no reason to be worried.

    The last evening is coming, you have a talk to your family about the upcoming event, you decide to go to bed early, to be rested.

    Finally you are going to bed. But you cannot sleep. Thousands of thought are flowing through your mind: Did I learn enough? What will they ask me? Do I know the answer? What will happen if I fail?

    I’m not weary at all. Hmmm, I think to get up and to go outside to have a deep breath of fresh air will be fine. But you can’t sleep anyway.
    Hour after hour is passing by, you still can’t sleep.
    I’m sure everybody knows what I mean.
    The shorter your sleep time will be, the lesser you are rested. That’s a FACT, you know that.
    You want to give your best tomorrow at the examination, it’s very important to you to do it best.
    But you don’t sleep!!! Why don’t you sleep??? Being exhausted by a sleepless night will reduce your productive efficiency..

    That’s stupid, but you do it anyway………..

    You know there is no need to smoke, you know it’s harmful, but you DO it anyway…….the only difference is that you think smoking is enjoyable whereas the feeling to have insomnia is even unpleasant.

    But anyway you don’t sleep (well) the night before your examination…………
     
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  6. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Yes but . . .

    Yen, would you consider that your's is a perfect description of anxiety - not stupidity? I agree with you: we've all been there, done that. Leaving for a trip tomorrow morning and tonight sleep consists of staring at the ceiling. Same for a job interview, a first date, the biopsy results that are supposed to be ready tomorrow to see if I have cancer - and so on. Unless one is an automaton, future events that carry with them important or serious consequences pique anxiety. Sure, we should all accept the admonition that 95% of the things we worry about shall never come to pass or effect us in the way that we are worried about but l, for one, have not completely mastered my emotions.

    Is smoking cigarettes and riding a motorcycle without a helmet stupid? The answer - for me - resides with the realms of ignorance and indifference: I don't know and I don't care!

    Monk
     
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  7. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #27 Yen, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    I’ve consulted a dictionary to check what anxiety exactly means. It’s not only fear it’s to be worried as well.

    Yes, you can say it’s anxiety, it is anxiety that makes you act stupid, but altogether you act stupid.

    To got to bed early and to have a rest before examination is rational, intelligent, reasonable. You will be relaxed and more powerful next morning.

    This is what you really should do, this is what is best to finish examination.
    But you DO exactly the opposite. You don’t (can’t) sleep, you are decreasing your effectiveness.


    I know that smoking is stupid, but I don’t care, I’m not perfect.
    I’ve seen peoples at hospital. Their larynx has been removed because of cancer. They are still smoking outside of the hospital. Stupid?

    You are burning up a dried, fermented plant called Nicotiana tabacum and / or Nicotiana rustica, to which are added some ‘secrets’ like ammonia to increase the pH-value (makes the smoke more alkaline to increase the uptake rate of nicotine) and some hundreds of other ‘secrets’ and you are inhaling the smoke, but.........
    (I’m talking about cigarettes, not tobacco for a pipe or cigars).
    If somebody / something causes a fire you’ll immediately leave the building fearing to choke on the smoke.
    Stupid?

    In fact it doesn’t matter if it is stupid or not, the more I’m writing the more I feel the absurdity…..
    It’s probably just absurd behaviour not stupidity.

    My bell is calling me, time to go home and have a smoke, wuff, wuff……….:D;)
     
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  8. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

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    #28 HMonk, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
    Bullseye!

    It's really true, isn't it.

    I think the challenge is that, once we decide on a particular course of action - the decision is made: now just do it! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

    In the future, as we process more data, circumstances, and our philosophies, we may revisit our past decisions. We change some, others we continue to live.

    In medicine we call this informed consent: we give one all of the treatment options, pros, cons, and costs and patients decides on a course that best suit them. There is no right, wrong, smart, or stupid.

    Enjoy your time off.

    Monk
     
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  9. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    Jun 26, 2007
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    Interesting discussion. Just a few thoughts...
    I agree with you. I even think there is no thing such as truth at all. There are just different points of view from different perspectives.

    Based on those perspectives one does decide...

    And to quote my own signature:
    "things seldom change. It's often more the way we look at things that changes." This thing has come to my mind once...
    The less words used to describe the situation the better. I've got the same feeling of absurdity now...things at least feel better when not writing too much.;)
     
  10. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Amen

    "Brevity is the soul of wit." Hamlet

    I'm still learning. :cool:

    Monk
     
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  11. azrul

    azrul MDL Junior Member

    Feb 2, 2009
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    once stop never start again!

    i did stop smoking for one whole year after been smoking for 10 years since 15 years of age.sadly..tragedy happen n start smoking again a stick for starter.
    then day by day its more than one stick per day,and end up smoking per day more than before i quit smoking. it is true what a doctor did said to me,once u start smoking again after quiting,u will smoke more than before.
    the reason is,ur body r replenish back all the nicotine,tar,rat poison(he..he..)
    that lost but not totally gone during ur quiting period.
    so..the moral of the story is..to all the kid out there..never start smoking,its not cool anymore when u grow up.u will end up trying to quit it.like me and someone i know in this forum.he..he..(just kidding bro)
     
  12. reyesburns12

    reyesburns12 MDL Novice

    Apr 1, 2009
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    Quit Smoking

    Hi floonoIdeogue,
    Quitting smoking is not a hard task now. There are various ways to quit smoking like medical treatment, artificial aids, hypnosis and other aids, etc. It gives immediate as well as long-term benefits. Visit this site: http://google.com/ where I acquired a lot of information about quitting smoking.

    EDIT by ancestor(v): removed link. Google is sufficient ;)
     
  13. izh34

    izh34 MDL Member

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    For me, smoking is bad as drugs do. You just can't stop it after you consumed it more than 3 times. The way to stop it is just by having great courage and determination. It's like when you wanted to get slimmer when you are fat. Mental strength is the key of these 2 situation. After all, being healthy gives you a happy life.
     
  14. HMonk

    HMonk MDL Addicted

    Nov 3, 2008
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    Drugs

    Substituting marijuana for cigarettes is, I guess, one approach but one that, in fact, compounds the effects of cigarette smoking. If interested, you can read about that at the NIDA at http://drugabuse.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html

    Maybe the post by Canouna is meant to be a joke. The post also serves as redounding testimony - and proof - of the pernicious effects of marijuana on chronic users. Somehow, I do not think that is at all funny.

    Monk
     
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  15. Monsta Kody

    Monsta Kody MDL Junior Member

    Jun 15, 2009
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    I always win when smoking it look smth like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. dasli

    dasli MDL Novice

    Aug 3, 2009
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    Hi, I cant stop smoking too:(
    But I believe can stop smoking is possible only by force of will...
     
  17. Machinest

    Machinest MDL Novice

    Aug 5, 2009
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    I dont think anyone is addicted to nicotine, I believe its the 600 ingredients your addicted to.

    5,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke!

    If you were to smoke a cigarette without these added poisons your couldn't stand it.

    http://www.stepupnc.com/know/ingredients.shtm
     
  18. charriot

    charriot MDL Novice

    Aug 14, 2009
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    That's really hard. I've tried it many times also but I failed!:(
     
  19. Myrrh

    Myrrh MDL Expert

    Nov 26, 2008
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    I found it extremely easy to stop smoking. Unfortunately I am still addicted to tobacco. Now, I only chew the stuff. 10000 times more addictive than cigarettes ever was for me. Yuck!
     
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  20. fluidwater

    fluidwater MDL Novice

    Sep 3, 2009
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    I am trying to do this myself for a year now. I spent the last 3 months switching from cancer sticks to cancer ecigs. From there its gum and psychotropics to a hopeful end of my addiction.