I am smoking, I do not remember when I began to smoke, and maybe when a student in middle school was, it is a long time, and no one needs to tell me how bad it is. I want to quit it, and I had tried several times to do it, finally I was failure. Why havenít I quit? Why hasnít everyone?
Because smoking feels good. It stimulates and focuses the mind at the same time that it soothes and satisfies. The concentrated dose of nicotine in a drag off a cigarette triggers an immediate flood of dopamine and other neurochemicals that wash over the brainís pleasure centers. Inhaling tobacco smoke is the quickest, most efficient way to get nicotine to the brain. Nicotine isnít equally addictive for everyone. A lot of people do not smoke because they never liked it to begin with. Then there are chippers, who smoke occasionally but never seem to get hooked. But most people who smoke will eventually do it all day, every day.
New discoveries in genetics may explain why certain people take to smoking with such gusto and end up so addicted. Some people, for instance, produce a gene-encoded enzyme that clears nicotine from their bloodstreams rapidly, so they tend to smoke more and develop stronger addictions. Others possess special receptors in the brain that bond extra tightly with nicotine, giving them an especially intense high that makes it harder to quit.
Drug makers are exploiting the science of addiction to create novel treatments to help smokers quit. Meanwhile, experts continue to recommend the old standbys: nicotine replacement gums, patches, nasal sprays, inhalers and lozenges, which have been proved to be safe. Still, no treatment works for everyone. And even with the most successful treatments, only about 30 percent of attempts to quit last more than six months. Compared with willpower alone, however, that is a huge improvement. Fewer than one in ten smokes who go it alone manages to go six months without a cigarette. Most do not make it past a week.
When longtime smokers finally do quit, they soon realize that not smoking doesnít necessarily make them non smokers. That is what counseling is for-learning to function without nicotine and to cope with the cues that trigger smoking urges. Most important, former smokers have to rediscover that it is possible to enjoy life without cigarettes, although the yearning may never die completely.
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