Monday, December 31, 2012


Remember when you used to say that to people as you began your smoking journey.  "I just smoke because I enjoy it, I could quit any time if I wanted."  Problem is you never wanted to quit, did you?

Once you are addicted to nicotine your mind will never want to quit.  It believes it needs nicotine more than oxygen.  It doesn't take long to have a full fledged addiction, in fact some studies say that after your third cigarette you can be permanently hooked.

Many factors contribute to the level of your addiction, but those who started earlier in life tend to have a stronger addiction to nicotine than those who started after their teenage years.

Take the quiz below to determine how strong your addiction to nicotine is.

  1. At what age did you begin smoking?
    1. After your 18th birthday
    2. Between age 14-18 years old
    3. Under 14 years old
  2. When do you have your first cigarette of the day?
    1. More than 3 hours after waking
    2. More than an hour after waking
    3. Within 15 minutes of waking
  3.  How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?
    1. Less than 10
    2. Between 15-20
    3. More than 20 cigarettes a day
  4. When you are not smoking you tend to
    1. Not even think about cigarettes
    2. Occasionally have a smoking thought or reminder
    3. Constantly think about your next cigarette

Now add up your score.  Each answer has a point value 1, 2, or 3.  If you answered 1 (after your 18th birthday) to question 1 you would receive 1 point.

10-12 points -  You have a very strong addiction to nicotine. 
6-10 points - You are moderately addicted
5 or below - You have a low level of addiction.

No matter what level of addiction you have, you can quit smoking and remove nicotine from your body in 72 hours.  I was so addicted I would have my first cigarette within 3 minutes of jumping out of bed. In fact it was the only reason I jumped out of bed.  For those of you strongly addicted, take notice, the quit for you is so much more amazing.

Start today, tomorrow is a new year.  Don't let another year go by without quitting.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Nicotine in it's natural form is a chemical that attaches to tobacco plants to protect it from insects.  It is a deadly chemical that if taken in strong enough doses will kill a human.  Amazingly, tobacco has just enough nicotine to make you addicted but not kill you.   What a great addiction!!!


Nicotine creates pathways in your brain and receptors that have one function, to ask for more nicotine.  Once these pathways are created they will immediately tell you that you need more nicotine.  About every 30 minutes the nicotine depletes and you will find yourself needing another dose.  Pay attention to smokers, you will notice that if given the opportunity they will smoke a cigarette about every 30 minutes.

The only way to stop this cycle is to remove the nicotine from your body and eventually all of these pathways you created will close and your brain and body will no longer ask for nicotine.  The problem is the process is not immediate so you have to have faith - the cravings will stop!!!!


There is a lot of misinformation out there making it difficult for smokers to understand the addiction they are up against.  Nicotine withdrawal has a very limited physical withdrawal.  Think about it, you can sleep for 8 hours without being awaken by nicotine addiction.  There really isn't any strong physical withdrawal to the drug, it is primarily mental.  You will not have shakes, vomit, or experience fever or sweats like a heroin addict would when they quit.  You will have some mild uncomfortable feelings but really nothing serious.


Stopping nicotine is just a matter of you realizing the pattern that you are trapped in.  If you stop the nicotine the withdrawal (psychological) will eventually stop.  It varies by person but within a few weeks you really won't even think about smoking.

I'll use an analogy to make you realize how nicotine works.  If you had a headache you would look for an aspirin or some type of pain relief to eliminate the headache.  You find a miracle pill that eliminates your headache but then it comes back in 30 minutes.  So you take another magic pill and your headache goes away.  Eventually you realize that every 30 minutes you are getting these headaches but luckily you have these magic pills that make it go away and relieve the pain.  Then one morning you are watching the news and you see that this pill you have been taking actually causes headaches.  If you stop taking it the headaches will eventually disappear on their own.  You get your next headache in 30 minutes, but this time you don't take the pill.  The headache drags on for several days but after 3 days you wake up and realize your headache is gone.  Without taking any pills!!!!

This is the same process that will happen if your remove nicotine from your system.  The pill is the cigarette, and if you stop taking them you will eliminate the cravings (headache).


The time to eliminate nicotine from your body is today.   By tomorrow you will be 33% of the way home.  It takes 72 hours to eliminate the nicotine from  your body.  Drink fruit juices like cranberry juice to help speed the process.  Try and get natural that doesn't have too much sugar in it.

Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking.  And enjoy your new nicotine free lifestyle that comes complete with a calm peaceful demeanor, more money, better concentration (eventually), better smell, better breath, and a new improves zest for life.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


What happens you you quit smoking?  A lot, and it's all good.  Almost immediately your health begins to benefit.  Smoking increases blood pressure so you will immediately realize a reduction in blood pressure  and with that, stress.  Most smokers think that smoking relieves stress, but in reality it actually increases stress.

Unfortunately, a lot of the great things that happen when you quit smoking are not immediately noticeable.  Even though it only took a few cigarettes to become a nicotine junkie, it takes  a little longer to get all the chemicals inhaled over the years out of your body.

Here is what happened when I quit smoking.  I began to cough a lot, all of the gunk in my lungs began working itself out.   I coughed up a lot of weird looking stuff, but within a couple days I could feel my breathing improve.  And the most noticeable improvement was in my nose.  For as long as I can remember I couldn't breathe very well out of my nose, it was like I had a perpetual cold.   Within the first few days, I found myself breathing easy through both nostrils and smelling some incredible smells that I had almost forgot existed.

The other immediate thing I noticed when I quit smoking was my taste buds.  On day one I could taste my can of coke and my food just like I remember as a kid.  It's amazing how quickly some of your senses are repaired. 

As the weeks and months went by I continued to experience great benefits.  My skin was always dry, especially my hands while I was a smoker.  But within weeks I noticed my skin had much more moisture from my hands to my legs and feet.


I have always worn glasses or contact, even before I started smoking.  But as a smoker my eyes became worse almost every year I went for my annual exam.  At one point I began to wonder if I was going to go blind.  Since I quit smoking 4 years ago, my prescription has not changed.  It has not worsened at all which is amazing given that the 20 years I smoked my eyesight deteriorated every year.

Understand that you are slowly releasing a lot of toxins and crap from your body over the first few months of quitting smoking.  There were several things that happened to me during the first 90-180 days of quitting that made me ask "If this is what happens when I quit smoking, do I really want to quit?"

After about 4 months of quitting I started getting a lot of pimples.  I was well past puberty and hadn't had a pimple for years.  But I imagine the toxins bleeding out of my body were to blame for this.  I got pimples in areas I didn't even know you could get pimples.  The most painful was in my arm pits.  For months I would get pimples in my arm pits and they would remain for weeks at a time.  I have heard of others having terrible break out in their faces.  Just remember, this is a good thing, your body is healing and you are removing the things you don't want in your body. 

As a smoker I had so much phlegm all the time.  I was constantly spitting and never realized it had anything to do with smoking.  I could probably have filled an 8 ounce glass every day with the amount of phlegm I excreted.  Almost instantly when I quit smoking, my phlegm went completely away.  Amazing!!!!

As a smoker I drank between 8-10 cups of coffee daily.  I would spend most mornings smoking and drinking coffee until the pot was dry.  When I quit smoking, my coffee tasted a lot better, but I was amazed that I almost never wanted more than 1 cup.  There is something in cigarettes and nicotine that makes your body not be able to absorb caffeine.  You'll really notice this immediately when you quit.  You will cut your caffeine intake way down but enjoy your coffee so much more.  Nothing I enjoy more now that my one cup of coffee with the morning newspaper.

All I can say is that you know how much you spend a day on cigarettes.  That savings adds up really quickly.  I can't tell you how relaxing and stress free it is to have extra money.  My monthly budget had included $300 for cigarettes.  I now have that money going into a savings account that had grown to enormous proportions.  Probably my favorite benefit of quitting that I didn't even think about as a smoker.

There are so many health benefits to quitting smoking.  What happens to you when you quit smoking will be very similar to my experience.  And I can tell you that when you look back you will truly appreciate the decision you made.

Don't wait for tomorrow, next week or next month to quit.  Do it now, and enjoy all that is great about being a non smoker.

Good luck on your journey, it is the greatest journey you will ever embark on!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


If you really want to quit smoking, you have to convince your unconscious mind that it doesn't want or need a cigarette.  Your conscious mind already knows it doesn't want to smoke, it knows it is detrimental to your health, but your unconscious keep thinking differently.

There is tremendous power in positive thinking.  Have you ever heard the phrase "if you believe  you can achieve, then you can."  This is a very true statement, you will never be able to accomplish anything that you don't think you can.  Whether it is at work, home, athletics, etc. 

Often times we focus on the negatives, what bad things smoking is doing to us.  Instead start focusing on the positives of what not smoking will do for you.  Don't say I'm going to quit smoking, say I'm going to start taking care of my healthy body.  I'm going to enjoy the sweet smell of mother earth through my new improved sense of smell.

Every day, and especially every night before bed, repeat to yourself how much you enjoy not smoking and how great you feel.  Remind yourself that smoking will keep you from achieving what you want in life.  Remind  yourself that smoking is bad and you don't enjoy it or need it.  Repeat out loud to yourself as many times a day as possible.  Even if it is a whisper under your breath.  You have to reprogram your unconscious mind to understand it doesn't want or need a cigarette and that you truly will enjoy life so much more without them.

Repeat those positi ve affirmations as often as possible.  Eventually your unconscious will get the message and you will no longer have that inner battle of conscious versus unconscious thoughts.  They will both be in agreement.

Good luck on your journey!!!  And congratulations on quitting smoking!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


When you quit smoking, the first 72 hours are the most difficult part.  The reason is that your body is rapidly depleting and eventually completely removing all nicotine from your body.  The beautiful thing about quitting smoking is that it really doesn't take that long to rid your self of the drug you are addicted to. 

A little trick I found during the early days was to gather a baggie filled with pennies, 72 pennies to be exact.  Each penny represents an hour.   When you start your quit you want to have 2 baggies, one with 72 pennies in it and the other completely empty.  As you begin your journey to a healthy and happier you, use the pennies to show your progress.

Each hour that passes you will take a penny from the bag filled with 72 and place it in the empty bag.  In 72 hours you will have emptied the bag of 72 pennies into the other bag.  The great thing about this exercise is you can see the progress, very slow at the beginning but eventually the bag that started out as empty will have more pennies that the bag that started with 72.

As each penny is transferred think about that representing nicotine leaving your body.  Think about you excreting the drug and taking in oxygen.  Think about your body healing and all the good that you will now be able to do - now that you are no longer a drug addict.  Celebrate every penny transferred, because it is a major accomplishment.  And as you are transferring the pennies, think about how awful it would be to have to start all over again.

After you empty your bag completely, enjoy your new nicotine free body.  And don't ever forget how hard it was.  You never want to do that exercise again.

Congrats!!!  And good luck on your journey!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I'll bet you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day.  Maybe a few more or less.  It's easy to predicate since nicotine affects everyone in the same way.  Nicotine has about a 30 minute half life, which means that after you have a cigarette, within 30  minutes your body and brain will tell you that it needs another.

Depending on occupation, lifestyle, etc.  you may find yourself smoking a few more or a few less, but given the opportunity you would smoke a cigarette about every 30 minutes.   Those who have jobs that don't allow them to smoke for much of the day end up choking down 2 at a break or lunch, but one way or another everyone finds a way to smoke about a pack a day.

That is not a mystery, it is by design.  Understand that is how the drug nicotine reacts in your body.  Right now Tobacco companies are coming up with new and creative ways to increase the amount of nicotine absorbed by your body so that your addiction will grow stronger.

Realize that you are no different than anyone else who has tried to give up this evil drug.  We all smoked a pack a day, we all enjoyed the first cigarette of the day the most, and we all felt beaten down by cigarettes.

I want you to know that you are no different from any other smoker who has quit, you do not possess some evil inner demon that nobody else does.  You smoke for the same reasons that I did and you can quit just like i did and millions of others did as well.

Read the materials on my blog, dig into why you started and why you smoke now and realize that all you have to do is commit to quitting smoking and 95% of the battle is already won.

Good luck on your journey.  I'm rooting for you!!

Monday, December 10, 2012


You've  put quitting smoking off long enough.  If your like most people you have picked tomorrow to quit a number of times, but somehow your plan gets derailed as early as 5 minutes after you get out of bed in the morning.

I'm going to have a stressful day at work today, or I have a dinner party that drinks will be served and I know this isn't a good day to quit smoking.  I'll start tomorrow. 

You can find an excuse almost every minute of every day not to quit smoking.  The addict in you, the one who is addicted to nicotine, will keep reminding you how much you enjoy smoking and what a sacrifice it will be to give it up.

Remember one thing, once you are no longer addicted to nicotine, smoking cigarettes will no longer be pleasurable, or even something you  ever think about.  It is simply a matter of getting over that bridge to the other side where you can clearly see that.  As an addict, nothing is clear in your mind, nothing matters but the next injection of your drug, nothing is more important than the almighty smoke.  I controls every aspect of your life, and until you decide to consciously make a change, you will continue to travel down the same road.

A wise man once said, "If you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get what you've always got." 

Make today the day you draw that line in the sand and say no more, no matter what I do, no matter how bad my brain thinks I need a cigarette, I will not have one.  I will take control of my thoughts, my destiny, and my life.

Good luck, and I hope today is the day you start your new life!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Quitting smoking has several phases, but none are more important or challengiing than the first few days.  Have you ever seen one of those signs on the highway as you drive home that says "If you lived here you'd be home already".  I remember seeing one of those signs every day as I traversed my 50 mile commute and  thinking, that makes a lot of sense.  Why do I put myself through this misery every day when I could be home in 15 minutes.

When you quit smoking, the first few days are the days you aren't really sure if you made the right decision, the devil voice in your head keeps telling you it wants a cigarette and at times it takes every ounce of strength you have to stay on course and remain quit.  But what if you quit last week?  You would already be done with the most challenging days and enjoying life as a non smoker.  Think about it next time you light up, what if you quit last week?

If you did quit last week, here is what you would be experiencing

  • Less than one crave per day on average
  • Your body would be nicotine free
  • Carbon Monoxide levels in your blood stream would be back to normal
  • Improved lung function
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • You would have an extra $40 - $50 or more  in your pocket
  • Most importantly you will feel better about yourself and what you accomplished
Think about that each weekend as you prepare to quit.  If you had quit last weekend, you wouldn't be going through what you are going through now.  You wouldn't be counting your cigarettes to make sure you have enough to get through the night and morning.  You wouldn't be worried about that pain in your chest or throat, you wouldn't be living in a constant state of withdrawal.  And  you wouldn't be addicted to nicotine which is the whole reason you believe you need to smoke. 

Good luck on your journey!!!  And congratulations to those who have already decided to stop smoking.