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Study Links Genes To Nicotine Addiction

Written by | Last Updated 04 February 2008

A study released this week indicates that there may be a gene that predisposes certain people to nicotine addiction and developing cancer.

Whilst it is believable (and probably true) that there may be a genetic predisposition towards developing cancer and other illnesses – the assertion that some people are genetically predisposed to becoming addicted to nicotine (or anything else) is a red herring.

What constitutes an addiction?

An addiction is generally held to be characterized by an inability to stop engaging in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual’s health, mental state and/or social life. The term is most frequently used in connection with drug addictions but it is sometimes also applied to other compulsions.

At Allen Carr’s Easyway we take this definition a stage further. Simply abstaining from such activity is not enough; the addict needs to be free from the desire to engage in it in order to be completely free from the addiction. We believe, for example, that it’s not enough simply to stop smoking, the ex-smoker also needs to have removed their desire to smoke otherwise they will continue to suffer the mental tug of war of all addicts. Part of the addict’s brain is telling them: “It’s killing me, costing me a fortune and controlling my life”, while another part is saying: “How can I cope with or enjoy life without my little pleasure or crutch”.

At Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, attendees start their speeches by saying: “My name’s X. I’m an addict”, although they may not have touched the drug concerned for years. Not surprising since AA and NA claim that addiction is an incurable disease. Of course our view is far less pessimistic (and as we know – true); provided that the individual stops taking the drug and that their desire to take it has been removed, then they are truly cured of their addiction, they are free. That is what Allen Carr’s Easyway is all about.

Why me? Why are some people more susceptible to addiction?

Some people believe they have some form of genetic predisposition to addiction or an addictive personality. Some scientists even claim to have discovered particular genes which they believe to be responsible.

This is in line with the theories of AA and NA and is nonsense. In the early 20th century, around 90% of UK adults were nicotine addicts. Does that mean that 90% of the population had an addictive personality/genes and the other 10% didn’t? According to recent research, 74% of people who smoke two cigarettes or more will become regular smokers. Does this mean that they all have addictive personalities whereas the other 26% don’t? Of course not.

Whether an individual who takes an addictive drug goes on to become an addict is not determined by their genes but by a combination of other factors. Some people are put off smoking for life by the foul taste of their first cigarettes. It takes willpower to persevere and some people just can’t be bothered. Some find their bodies can’t tolerate the poisoning. It’s also been established that children of addicts have a higher chance of becoming addicts themselves but this is not because of their genes but because the children are exposed to drugs early and taking them seems normal. It is nurture and not nature that causes potential predisposition to addiction.

What to do? Ways to beat addiction

Whether it be addiction to nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, or performance enhancing or prescription drugs, the key to freedom is to understand how the addiction works.

Allen Carr’s Easyway Clinics and books take around 5 hours to explain to smokers, problem drinkers, and people with weight problems how to be free and the method has also been successfully applied to cannabis, cocaine, and heroin.

Addicts fear that they won’t be able to cope with or enjoy life without their drug, that they’ll have to go through a terrible trauma to get free and that maybe they’ll never get completely free from the craving. These fears drive the addiction and it is these fears which Allen Carr’s Easyway removes. The key is to remove one side of the mental tug of war by enabling the addict to realize that they are not making any sacrifice by quitting. This does not simply mean that the disadvantages of taking the drug outweigh the advantages, this means that there are no advantages: no genuine pleasure, no genuine crutch.

The addict needs to understand that having taken the first fix of a drug, the physical withdrawal as the drug leaves the body creates an empty, insecure feeling. When another fix is taken, that empty, insecure feeling is temporarily reduced, the addict feels less unrelaxed and experiences the illusion of a pleasure or a crutch. In reality all the addict is “enjoying” at that moment is feeling how they felt before they took the first fix. It’s like wearing tight shoes just for the relief of taking them off.

The difficulty in kicking any drug is not the physical withdrawal but the mental feeling of deprivation. No pills, patches or potions can address that. Allen Carr’s Easyway method successfully removes it which is why it has become so popular all over the world.

Regardless of what studies might imply – Allen Carr’s Easyway rejects the claim that some smokers (or any other addicts) have a genetic predisposition to addiction.

We offer our money back guarantee to all smokers – regardless of their genes…

call 0800 389 2115

Our Clinics in London & Birmingham also offer seminars relating to alcohol and weight issues.