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  • Writer's pictureCarol Williard van Ginkel

Nicotine Replacement Therapy – A Big FAT Myth

For those who smoke or vape and are looking for a cure from their dependency on the nicotine in cigarettes and e-cigarettes, I have some harsh, bad news for you. There is no cure, and there is no such thing as nicotine replacement therapy.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, as if not more addictive than cocaine. Nicotine is a poison. It is used as an insecticide. It is lethal. One drop of nicotine can kill a person weighing 140 lbs. There is such a thing as nicotine toxicity when people ingest more nicotine than their bodies to handle. Interestingly, this happens more with vapers than with smokers, as oftentimes the nicotine found in one hit from a vape is more than a hit from a tobacco cigarette.

What, therefore, is nicotine replacement therapy? The idea behind this notion is that by taking nicotine in another form, the addict will wean off the desire to smoke, and after a while, they will no longer associate with the need to smoke. But that is not how addictions work. When inhaled, nicotine causes a deficiency in the body, and at the same time it causes a dopamine rush to the brain that gives a false sense of elevation. Initially, most folks find the initial hits of nicotine to be dizzying, and that is more accurately what is happening. But smokers get used to it, and the dizziness is supplanted with what they experience as euphoria due to the dopamine flashing across the synapses in the brain. Simultaneously, those relief experiences get recorded in the brain, which explains why folks associate certain environments, times of day, and rituals as times to smoke or vape. So, when a smoker or vaper pops another form of nicotine in place of the e-cigarette or cigarette, they are satisfying the need for nicotine in another way. But the need for nicotine doesn’t ever really go away because the addict is still getting their fix in another form. They have not gone without the nicotine upon which they are hooked, and they have never developed any skills for dealing with their desires to smoke or vape. There is no therapy taking place. Put another way, how does one recover from nicotine if one is still ingesting nicotine?

The use of nicotine is still being used addictively. Every time one wants to smoke, one takes a pill, chews some nicotine gum, or slaps on a patch. The behavior hasn’t changed at all. Similarly, when one substitutes another substance in place of the cigarette, they end up transferring their need for nicotine into a need for something else such as, sugar, caffeine, salty substances or even celery. But, again, the behavior hasn’t changed.

When we resist the experience of wanting to smoke or vape it ends up chasing us because what we resist, persists. The way to dissolve the need for nicotine is by experiencing it. It will not kill you. It will not require hospitalization or medication. Urges to smoke and the temporary experience of withdrawal are survivable. I and thousands of other are living proof! How to do this so that one isn’t miserable along the way? Book a free half hour consultation with me and I will outline how without pressure or hype.

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