Smoking: Addiction or Habit?

Katherine - posted on 07/29/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/201...

Smoking Mind Over Smoking Matter: Surprising New Study Shows Cigarette Cravings Result from Habit, Not Addiction. Ok so we're NOT addicted to the nicotine? It's all mind over matter? It doesn't say how many people this doctor studied, how many cigarrettes they smoked etc...but an interesting article nonetheless.

What do you think?

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[deleted account]

OH, Katherine....don't even get me started! I could easily blow hundreds of thousands of dollars a day if I had it!

Katherine - posted on 07/31/2010

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Some people are like that. They can smoke, drink, whatever and quit on a whim. I've ALWAYS had an addictive personality. My worst now being shopping LOL.

Tara - posted on 07/31/2010

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I agree for the most part with these findings. I am a smoker. I can go to a family picnic, sit through a wedding and reception, go to someone's house etc. and not have nor think about having a cigarette the whole time I am unable to have one, but the minute I am able I light up. But if I know I can't have one for say the whole day I don't feel any side effects of not having one, and I don't sit there craving a smoke.
I know that I smoke because of associations I have like coffee and smoking, drinking and smoking etc. I also know I smoke because most people around me smoke and so it is a kind of social comradeship as the article pointed out. Most people I know choose to smoke as a lifestyle choice, like drinking etc. they don't feel they are physically addicted.
I do know however when I have quit in the past, the patch did not help. the gum did not help the only thing that made me quit was telling myself I didn't need a cigarette I only wanted a cigarette and I could choose not to smoke.
I obviously chose to smoke again at some point, I had quit for 3 years but started again due to my ex husband starting again and stress. I told myself that I could relieve that stress by smoking. I made that stupid choice.
Sounds all very hypocritical of me huh? Yep I know.
Still I know I can quit if I tell myself I want to.
tara

Katherine - posted on 07/31/2010

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Oh, maybe I should lock it then?









PS: That's how I feel about the alcohol threads too.

[deleted account]

Haha! Thanks ladies...I don't have any cigarettes and I'm too poor to buy any even if I wanted to.

Sara - posted on 07/30/2010

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Dana...you're in a forest...you're in a forest with and you're warm...you're very warm....

[deleted account]

I think I kind of agree - yes there are physical withdrawals from smoking but the habits are the hard part. It is the same as losing weight (my personal comparison) to be successful you need to chnage those bad habits for life!

Rosie - posted on 07/30/2010

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yeah, it's both. getting over the physical symptoms is super hard to do, but the habit IMO is harder once you can actually make it through the physical part!! i have quit for the third time about 5 months ago, and this time i am having MAJOR trouble with the habit part. someone starts talking and smoking while outside BBQing i want one to join in on the comraderey (sp?), i have certain social issues that make me want one. i'm almost giving in this time, it's that bad. the last time i quit i was done for 2 years and didn't care if i had one or not. then a friend of mine said she only smoked when she was in a bar (we could still smoke in bars at the time) not at home. i thought i could od that to!! WRONG, lol!! i should've never gone back that time, it was perfect until i fucked it all up again...sigh. :(

[deleted account]

My husband smoked for 21 years before he quit 3 years ago. He attempted to quit numerous times after he met me and before our son was born, but nothing worked for him.

We read somewhere (I don't remember where) that the physical withdrawal from nicotine only affects the body for 3-5 days, but that most people associate the behavior of smoking with so many parts of their lives that they continue to crave cigarettes long after the withdrawal is over.
My husband swears this is true. He craved cigarettes at what he would call "trigger moments" (completely his term :P) like when he would take a break at work, he would walk outside and want a cigarette simply b/c he didn't have anything else to do.
Or he would walk to the mail box, and want one simply b/c he had always smoked on the way to the mailbox (I never allowed him to smoke in our home, but after our son was born, I didn't even allow clothing he had smoked in into our home, so he would change in the garage, walk to the mailbox, and change again before he came inside).

For him, to succeed at quitting, he had to develop new habits. At work, he brought a puzzle to work on during break, or a book to read. He put an MP3 player in the garage where he used to change before checking the mail. Only after altering these habits (and several others as well) was he able to quit for good.

So, I think the study has some merit, but I also think it simplifies quitting too much.

LaCi - posted on 07/30/2010

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Addiction.

It should also be noted that nicotine is often a source of self medicating and withdrawal may vary depending on the underlying condition. I quit twice, using chantix-which is amazing by the way. I used chantix for about two weeks, was off the sticks, and felt fine. It wasn't until a couple months later each time that I completely lost my mind, and still didn't have any craving for a cigarette, until it was pointed out to me that I had been getting increasingly anxious, ditzy, and hyperemotional since quitting. I started smoking again, problem solved. I could think straight, I wasn't emotional, and most of my anxiety was gone. So, in my opinion, if theres something else going on it has to be addressed before you're going to be clean for good.

Sara - posted on 07/30/2010

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I used medication to quit, I took Wellbutrin. I actually started to have withdrawls before I even stopped smoking, so that kind of sucked, but it did work. So, when I finally did quit actually smoking, I mostly had to deal with the habit portion because I had already done most of the physical withdrawl.

[deleted account]

I agree, there are definitely physical withdrawal symptoms.....not that I'm not always cranky and irritable, walking around with a headache but when I quit it was 100X worse for about 3 weeks before I started to feel somewhat normal again.

Katherine - posted on 07/30/2010

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Loureen, I think you are right on. That is crap, I have withdrawals after a ertain amount of time andthey don't start until about 24 hours after you haven't smoked. So the study is bunk IMO.

Meghan - posted on 07/29/2010

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I have heard herion is easier to quit than smoking...since I have never tried herion I dont know if that is true or not.

Jocelyn - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think it is both. Well, for me it is anyways lol. I've be an on again off again smoker for years (currently on...bad Jocelyn lol) and I've always found that after I am done going thru the physical withdrawals (which DO exist), I keep wanting to do the physical actions (flick lighter, bring smoke to lips, inhale etc)

Charlie - posted on 07/29/2010

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Nicotine induces structural as well as functional changes in the brain of smokers. When nicotine is suddenly withdrawn, physiological functions in the brain and other parts of the body are disturbed causing withdrawal symptoms .

How could something that physically changes the brain making it think its needs more NOT be addictive aside from the fact nicotine is as highly addictive as heroin and cocaine does this "study" mean that those drug habits are only habit ?

A smoking addiction means a person has formed an uncontrollable dependence on cigarettes to the point where stopping smoking would cause severe emotional, mental, or physical reactions , it doesn't mean they cant stop just that it is more difficult to stop once your addicted of course habit is part of the problem but addiction is the biggest hurdle .

I think this is a real cop out to people who struggle giving up cigarettes .

[deleted account]

I agree with the other ladies....once your body physically withdraws from the chemicals it becomes more about battling the habits.

Joanna - posted on 07/29/2010

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The first time I quit smoking, I started drinking coffee instead. Then when I started smoking some 6 months later, I was a smoker AND a coffee drinker.



The second time I quit smoking I took up those brain puzzle books to keep my hands and mind busy. Then when I Started smoking again I liked to sit at Starbucks and have my coffee, smoke, and do brain puzzles.



Now this time I quit was thanks to the morning sickness, but I took up sewing to keep me busy and stop thinking about it. I don't think I can take my sewing machine to Starbucks, so I think I'm set.

Jodi - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think it is both, but I agree that the physical addiction is much easier to conquer than the habits. Nicotine withdrawals can last up to 3 months (more commonly 2-4 weeks), whereas the psychological withdrawals can last a lifetime. i gave up just on a year ago, after 20 years of smoking, and every now and then I still crave one (and am disgusted at myself for thinking like that, LOL), and that craving has nothing to do with a nicotine addicition.



However, I do have to comment that I went on Champix to give up (hubby and I did it at the same time and we are both still not smoking), it was much easier because we never had to go through ANY nicotine withdrawals. What that does is blocks the brain from acknowledging the withdrawal, so while your body IS in fact going through nicotine withdrawal, you don't notice it, so you only have to focus on the psychological aspects. By the time you come off the medication, you have already withdrawn from the nicotine, your body has cleansed itself and you are only dealing with the habit.



I have heard it said that if you want to break a habit, you need to replace it with another. I replaced mine with taking more of an interest in cooking :)

Sara - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think it's both. When you're trying to quit though, I found the habit to be harder to break than the physical addiction. I had to take up knitting just to have something to do with my hands.

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