My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hammy's Public Service Message #1

I liked the public service blog post that Kimmy did a while back and had thought of doing one myself. So the public service message I'm choosing is on quitting smoking. I decided to forgo the pictures of Lung Cancer, Mouth Cancer, Throat Cancer and all the other pleasant photo's associated with this subject.

I also decided to forgo quoting from the divulged memo's of Big Tobacco directing their Marketing departments on how to hook women, minorities and teenagers. Or quoting statistics regarding the health links to cigarette use.

I'm just going to assume that most smokers know all that shit, and haven't quit because they don't know how. So, here's where I come in. Having had a variety of substantial past experience in many different things of an addictive nature (Disclaimer: although I never inhaled...and all my experience was...observatory) I think I have a pretty good idea what might help someone unentangle themselves from the snare of Big Tobacco.

First, take this simple quiz:

1. Do you have to have a cigarette first thing in the morning? Or if you get up in the middle of the night...say to pee or something? Or do you smoke right before going to bed?

2. Do you tend to smoke under the same circumstances, for example: when you first get in the car, when you are talking on the phone, when you have a drink of alcohol, when you have a cup of coffee, or after you finish eating dinner?

That's it. End of quiz. Here are the answers:

If you answered YES to the first question, then you, my friend are addicted to the nicotine.

If you answered YES to the second question, then you are a habit smoker, not a nicotine addict.

If you answered YES to both, then you have both a nicotine addiction and are a habit smoker (this is probably a really small percentage of people).

So, here's what you need to do:

Nicotine addicts - You need a patch, preferrably the highest dose which I believe is 21 mcg. Apply it before going to bed, sometime in the evening to see how it will affect you. Please don't smoke with the patch on it's really very dangerous. Make sure you increase your water intake, take a daily shower (or two) and try to eat a little ligher for the next week or so. Your going to be detoxing quite a bit and the increased water (flavor it with lemon or lime if you need to) and showers will help. Also if you can increase raw vegetables or salads, fiber or fruit it will speed elimination as well. Make sure you have some support (a good friend or someone who won't sabotage your efforts) and realize that you will be experiencing headaches (take Tylenol) irritability and maybe some insomnia (take Benadryl temporarily). Increase your exercise even just a little bit. Go for a walk around the block after dinner. If ya have a dog, take the dog. And you'll get through it...believe me. When you feel like freaking out, just take some nice deep slow breaths and remember the craving will only last you about 5 minutes. In a way, you have it easier. Once your past this you don't have those habit triggers to set you off. Your biggest hurdle will be in the short run. Keep that in mind, it may help. Know this also, your type of smoker is the type most likely to have a heart attack and more likely to end up with emphysema, so in the long run you really will benefit quite a bit. You might also want to consider Acupuncture or Hypnosis. That may help as well.

Habit Smokers - The patch won't work for you. You need the Nicotine Gum. Put the Gum where you keep your cigarettes, and when you get a trigger to smoke (You pick up the telephone, or get in your car) then reach for the Nicotine Gum instead. You have it easier in one way, you aren't addicted to the Nicotine, but the same things apply only in a lesser way.
Be warned though - Habits are strong associations. Years later you may find yerself tippin' a few too many and reach for OPC's (other people's cigarettes) If this happens, DO NOT I repeat DO NOT buy a pack of "your own". The next day you will be back to normal. Don't keep the association going. Beware of big ass triggers like BREAK-UPS, BAD DAYS AT WORK or Unusual STRESS (like the holidays, or visiting your family). Remember it's only a habit association. Find something healthy to fill the void, like Meditation, Yoga or Aromatherapy.
Consider an Aerobics class or a Spinning class. Something that will rev up your metabolism. You are definitely in danger of filling the void with food, so be careful.

Type Three - I'm not sure if you really have both of these things going on. You may just have an addictive personality, or tend to go overboard with chosen "crutches". If you have a "speedy" personality: Type A, always on the go, lots of coffee, etc. Then try the Nicotine Gum.
If this doesn't work, try a very low dose patch in combination with the Gum. I don't want to sound patronizing in any way, but you may want to consider counselling at some point. Sometimes people who have an "on the run" personality are "running from" something.
You would benefit mightily from yoga if you're open to it. Yoga tends to work the mind and spirit just as much as the body. Try to find a more kinetic type of yoga - something other than Hatha would probably work best for you. Maybe Kundalini or Phoenix Rising, or if you are lucky enough to have a Tai Chi studio around you, that would be very good.

Hope this helps. And remember this, in the BEST addiction counselling programs RELAPSE is a step in the process NOT A FAILURE. Don't beat yourself up, it's non-productive. Be nice to yourself, you're only human and you're trying your best. Make it a learning opportunity. Dissect it, figure out what happened and figure out how not to have it happen in the future.

Good Luck, and I'm pulling for Ya!


Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before starting a smoking cessation program, these statements have not been evaluated by the FDC, this post is not supported or funded by the Tobacco industry, this post is not designed to diagnose or treat. Yada, Yada, Yada.
Blah, blah, blah. Besides...I'm poor...ya can't sue me for anything...stand in line with everyone else...a pox on the house of all trial lawyers....a pox on your house, I say!!!


At Sat Feb 25, 06:53:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Vachon said...

Great advice! When I quit smoking I first gave up that first one in the morning. Then I gave up the last ones at night. Then I cut back the ones I smoked during the day. No pills no patches. Then I quit cold turkey. Then I gained 20 pounds - but I started working out and lost it all.

At Sun Feb 26, 12:20:00 AM, Blogger WDKY said...

I was actually thinkng about this yesterday. I gave up for six years once (it was the dreaded "D" that was my undoing) and I know I have to stop. The children are telling me to stop now, too.

Luckily, not everything I love is bad for you.

At Sun Feb 26, 06:25:00 AM, Blogger kimmyk said...

I wish my mom would quit. I've gotten her the patch and the far nothing. But I have learned a good trick--I had my kids talk to her.

"Mawmaw we dont want you to die"

So uh yah....I'm not above using my kids..for good of course.

At Sun Feb 26, 04:15:00 PM, Blogger nukie310 said...

I don't smoke, so I'll have to give up something else. Like maybe reading really long blogs....

At Sun Feb 26, 06:13:00 PM, Blogger Hamrose said...

Wadda ya want??? It's a public service message!

At Tue Feb 28, 12:37:00 AM, Blogger WDKY said...

Is this sibling rivalry? Anyway, Nukie, even a short f*cking post would be better than nothing (hint)...


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