Saturday, July 17, 2010

Understanding Triggers

I am 100% against tobacco in its current disease causing form. This includes cigarettes and much smokeless tobacco. There may be nicotine containing nontraditional tobacco products do not cause harm and I will keep a lookout for them. As it stands now, I am against smoking. I find the act and the emissions from it to be quite rebarbative. Smoking harms everyone who is exposed to it. It is bad for the environment and the individual.

I support all smoking bans and I want to tell you why. Other peoples' smoke is a significant trigger to light up or relapse to a nicotine addict. Even seeing tobacco products acts as a trigger to smoke. This trigger is something that manifests itself physically – it is NOT a controllable factor or an absence of willpower. It is a physiological response to access or availability. Let me provide a non-tobacco example so those of you who have never used tobacco can understand – really understand.

Imagine that you have to use the bathroom – to urinate. You have a subtle urge to go, maybe this feels like a 3 on a scale of 1-10. You say, “Well, I can wait a bit.” “I may even be able to wait an hour. Yes, I can wait an hour.” The first half hour the “urge” is steady at 3 or 4. The second hour, the “urge” is beginning to feel like pressure. Now you are at a 5 maybe a 6. (You should absolutely think about this the next time you have to go to the bathroom, so you really get what I am explaining). Okay time to find that bathroom – or that rest stop. You are getting physically closer to the bathroom and then you are there – you SEE the toilet – the “urge” is now an acute, pain in your bladder, at least an 8. You did not do anything, you did not THINK, you saw the toilet and your body, your mind, your neurotransmitters, reacted to it. That is what happens when someone is trying not to smoke and he or she sees cigarettes or people smoking. The smoker or quitter goes from not really thinking about a cigarette to “I must have one.”

Anything that we can do to make smoking harder, WILL make quitting easier.

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