Nicotine addiction & vaping

Nicotine’s strength is in the speed with which it hooks its victims, one puff of a cigarette, cigar, or vape is all it can take.

two teenagers vaping
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Some people compare “mildly addictive” nicotine with coffee consumption

I don’t think there is any similarity between Allen Carr’s Easyway’s understanding of nicotine’s “addictive qualities” and those claiming it is no more addictive than a cup of coffee.

It’s perfectly consistent for us to say that nicotine is one of the most highly addictive substances on the planet – whilst also maintaining that it can be easy to escape from the addiction…as long as you understand how the addiction works.

How nicotine addiction works

Nicotine’s strength is in the speed with which it hooks its victims, one puff of a cigarette, cigar, or vape is all it can take. Another strength is the subtlety with which it addicts people. The physical withdrawal is so slight most addicts are not aware that they’re addicted until they attempt to stop and realise that they cannot.

During the initial, often lengthy period of blissful ignorance (in advance of the addict’s first quit attempt) they subconsciously begin to believe that nicotine does make them feel better each time they smoke or vape. When they smoke or vape, rather than realising that the slight sense of relief they experience is simply the ending of a barely noticeable, mildly dissatisfied feeling (caused by nicotine withdrawal) they associate the sense of partial relief as adding something to a social occasion, a cup of coffee, a drink in a pub, or the easing of their general stress level. The longer the addict remains addicted – the more powerful this phoney belief system appears to be.

The belief system develops every time the addict attempts to quit…they confuse the craving caused by their brain’s flawed belief that they have “given up” something which enhanced every aspect of their lives (an entirely mental process) with the physical withdrawal from nicotine – which remains extremely mild even amongst heavy smokers/vapers.

Why quitting nicotine can be hard

When they attempt to quit – most nicotine addicts brace themselves in the hope that they can battle the temptation to smoke or vape – not realising that the driver of the battle is entirely mental. The habit of having a vape as they step off a bus or take a break from work can trigger this thought process causing immense discomfort, as can the mild sense of nicotine withdrawal. It’s the mental process that causes unpleasant physical discomfort – not nicotine withdrawal. Note the physical discomfort caused by a spoilt child whose favourite toy is suddenly taken away: red face, bulging eyes, high blood pressure, a horrible wailing sound coming out of their mouths. These are real physical symptoms, with no physical cause.

Once a nicotine addict understands how their moods, feelings, emotions, and behaviour has been manipulated by a flawed belief system – and realise that it is easy to dismantle that belief system – they’re left with the mild, barely noticeable feeling of nicotine withdrawal to deal with. Every time they experience a moment when they remember that they previously smoked or vaped – it becomes a moment of enjoyment and celebration instead of a moment of concern or struggle.

The extent to which smokers or vapers are constantly told that quitting is very, very hard, the more powerful the flawed belief system appears.

Escaping addiction is a little like being trapped in a room with a combination lock standing in the way of freedom…if a 10 number combination is required to open the lock, then the addict might get free by repeatedly entering random combinations of numbers – but the chances of success are slim, the task appears impossible, and each failed attempt becomes increasingly disheartening. However, something that appears impossible can suddenly become extremely easy, when you are given the correct numbers, in the correct sequence. This is how Allen Carr’s Easyway helps addicts to quit easily.

We always advise against over confidence, or having “just one”, because just one puff of a cigarette or vape is all that’s needed to put the flawed belief system and addiction back into play. An essential part of being free from addiction is to never allow the drug back into your body.

Misinformation surrounding nicotine and vaping

There is already lots of misinformation surrounding vaping: it’s harmless, fun, stylish, sophisticated, sexy, social, relaxing, rebellious, grown up, helps with stress, helps with focus/concentration, tastes good, smells good, and it’s buzzy. These are the reasons youngsters give for taking up vaping and guess what? They are no different to the misinformation that existed when I cured my first ever nicotine addict in 1998. Combine those beliefs with the interaction described above with the physical withdrawal from nicotine and you have the perfect storm.

The people who should have protected our kids from vapes have failed to protect an entire generation against a potential lifetime of nicotine addiction along with the financial burden it imposes and the medium to long term ill-health effects. No doubt, within a few years the government will also tax them to the hilt.