Cigarette Addiction

Cigarette Addiction Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for you. Since the mid-1960’s, the popularity of cigarettes has declined by half. Even so, millions of Americans – as many as 45 million or 20 percent of the country – still smoke cigarettes. More accurately, they have a nicotine addiction. Despite everything we now know about how cigarettes affect a person’s health, thousands of new people begin smoking each year. While the message is reinforced in schools, public health campaigns, hospitals, and just about everywhere, it’s still important to continue to remind people: Cigarettes kill.

The Disease of Addiction

In relatively recent years, we’ve also learned that addiction is a disease; it’s a medical condition and a mental illness. There are physical differences in the brain of someone with the disease of addiction as compared to one without, and so far it cannot be cured. Nicotine addiction should be discussed in the framework of addiction as a disease. Nicotine causes your body and brain to release adrenaline and dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that gives us feeling of pleasure and reward. Nicotine actually changes your brain chemistry in such a significant way that it won’t take long before a casual smoker is experiencing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

How are Cigarettes Bad for You?

Even though nicotine can be as addictive as drugs like heroin, hardly anyone would argue that cigarette smoking has more negative consequences than shooting up. However, the danger is still severe. In the long-term, smoking cigarettes can lead to many forms of cancer, emphysema, heart and lung diseases, deterioration of eyesight, sexual dysfunction, weakened bones, and more. Cigarette smoking causes more preventable deaths than anything else.

Cigarette Smoking in Recovery

Cigarette smoking is even more prevalent in recovering addicts and alcoholics than in the general population; approximately 85 percent of people in recovery smoke cigarettes. Many started smoking cigarettes long before they quit doing drugs or drinking alcohol, and people in recovery often consider cigarette smoking to be the least of their addiction worries. There are many other viewpoints among people in recovery regarding cigarette smoking. Some people believe that you’re not truly in recovery if you’re still addicted to nicotine. Some people think that smoking cigarettes is just a “crutch.” Some people think that without their cigarettes, it’d be a lot harder for them to stay sober.

Beating Nicotine Addiction

Each year, only 5 percent of smokers successfully quit smoking. The vast majority of people who try to quit smoking will start again in 6-12 months. For most people who quit, it takes two, three, or more attempts. Among people with the disease of addiction, there are few detox, rehab, or treatment centers that require them to quit smoking cigarettes, too. There isn’t a significant push for addicts and alcoholics to quit smoking. Drug or alcohol addiction resources rarely address the seriousness of nicotine addiction, even though most of the tactics that apply to quitting drugs or alcohol and sustaining recovery can apply to cigarette smoking, too. What are your thoughts on cigarette smoking in recovery?

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Comments

  1. Dave Young says

    Congrats on your success in quiting smoking , the only thing I would say different is the matter of respect, we do not disrespect people that relapse after however long they have been clean, so why would smokers be any different ? I have been sober for 5 1/2 years and cannot seem to quit smoking, which is very frustrating and definetly makes me feel less then, I have seen people over the years quit smoking, I have not as of yet been able to quit, although I plan to keep trying it does not help when you hear comments like I don’t respect you because you still smoke even with all the knowledge I have about the effects of smoking. I would just say this I will keep coming back , keep trying, and if I am blessed with being able to quit, it will have nothing to do with self-knowledge, that didn’t help me quit drugs & alcohol and I am sure it will be the same with smoking. We are only able to achieve sobriety, by the grace of God and help from people in the fellowship. I am sure I am not struggling with this alone, so I will be praying for you and I know the same is being done for me. I am also hoping that during our struggle we, don’t meet with disrespectful people, as that negative comments never help the situation, I have developed a pretty thick skin over the years, but can still be hurt and have anxiety about others expectations when someone with as much clean time as yourself and others like you thinking that the program means less or that I don’t believe in it as much as I should or could because of not being able to quit smoking as of now, I have very much respect for you and your success as I understand how hard of a struggle you have had with all your addictions. Being able to overcome your addictions is a true testament that the program does work when we work it, but negative comments such as yours can, and will make people feel less then, and possibly doubt that the program can work for them no matter how hard and well they know it. I hope this does not become the case with anyone. God Bless to all, and keep working the program, I have great faith that we will be free from another addiction, as God will releave us from the bondage of self, we just need to keep taking the steps, and the actions necessary for this to take place. It is only by fallowing threw on the decision we made in step 3 and by living the steps that we have a chance at freedom. Self-knowledge will have nothing to do with it. PEACE ALWAYS

  2. says

    I have just under two years sober and by the grace of god will continue. Have to agree about negative comments on smoking I to know the health risks, but just like the previous person CANNOT seem to quit smoking. Believe me I want to but just can’t seem to get it. I was told during detox/rehab that smoking was the least of my worries and quitting all at once would most likely be to much it’s been hard enough to stay off the pills let alone quit smoking. I have an amazing friend who has 28 years clean/sober and he to struggles with a nicotine addiction so once again even with long term sobriety it’s still a hard addiction to break.

  3. says

    I have just under two years sober and by the grace of god will continue. Have to agree about negative comments on smoking I to know the health risks, but just like the previous person CANNOT seem to quit smoking. Believe me I want to but just can’t seem to get it. I was told during detox/rehab that smoking was the least of my worries and quitting all at once would most likely be to much it’s been hard enough to stay off the pills let alone quit smoking. I have an amazing friend who has 28 years clean/sober and he to struggles with a nicotine addiction so once again even with long term sobriety it’s still a hard addiction to break.

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