The Myth of Nicotine Addiction (Encore)

From April 11, 2012 by Nathan Weidmann — (

As if smoking doesn’t take up enough time at work, some co-workers and I were discussing the effects of smoking and nicotine addiction.
Someone remarked that his doctor had said it could be harder to get off of nicotine than heroin. As a smoker, one could believe this.
However, after being nicotine free for three months now, I no longer agree. Nicotine withdrawal does not induce seizures or vomiting. In fact, in my experience, nicotine withdrawal is barely noticeable, and is easily neutralized.
Of course my co-workers scoffed at me. Even non-smokers believe that nicotine is a little demon ready to catch them if they let their guard down.
I’m only thirty, what did I know? I know that I smoked cigarettes regularly for nearly half of my life. Fifteen years of ever increasing amounts of tobacco and nicotine, I was no amateur. I could smoke with the best of them.
Certainly I knew that smoking was bad but this was full on cognitive dissonance. I would decry the toxic effects of fluoride, or artificial sweeteners, while puffing on a cigarette.
At 14, I would deride my friends for smoking; by 15, I was puffing away alongside them.
I could blame my parents’ divorce or Holden Caulfield, but it goes back even further than that. A childhood friend and I would imitate our parents. Passing me his crayon he would say, “wanna ‘moke?” I would accept, and we sat around puffing crayolas.
By the time I would successfully quit, I had felt that perhaps I would just choose a different day to quit: “Now is not the right time; what will I do at coffee break?”


Continues …

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.