Monday, February 25, 2013


Every day 5000 people quit smoking.   Do you want to know how they quit?  Then this article is for you.  You may be surprised at how most people quit.

I remember as a smoker I found the thought of quitting so incredibly impossible that I couldn't believe anyone could ever rid themselves of this horrible addiction. 

I wrote this article to show you that yes indeed people actually do quit smoking.  Not just people  who smoke a cigarette here and there, or people who have only smoked for a few years, but people just like you who have smoked for 10, 20, 30 years and more.  People who wake up in the morning and run to their pack of cigarettes as fast as they can,  barely extinguishing one before they light another.  Real people, who really quit smoking, just like you!!!

I decided to complete a market research study.  This study is made up of 100 people who have successfully quit smoking for 1 year or longer. 

The survey group included:
  • 62 men and 38 women
  • Average age when quitting smoking = 40.2 years old
  • Average number of years smoking = 21.4 years
  • Average number of times attempting to quit smoking  = 6.2
  • Average number of cigarettes smoked per day = 18.8
Included in this group were 5 people who were struck down with a smoking related disease which was the great motivating factor for them to quit.  Everyone else had many reasons for quitting smoking, but the # 1 reason for all was to improve their health and live a longer life.

What method was used by these 100 people to quit smoking?

91 quit using the cold turkey method
5 quit using Chantix
4 quit using hypnosis

The study reinforced the fact that cold turkey is the most common method used for those successfully quitting smoking.   91% of the quitters used this method.

The reason cold turkey is so successful is that you experience all the pain early on in the quit, and if you can make it through that period, you are home free.  Other methods such as nicotine replacement just drag on the  pain, albeit in smaller doses, but you never really cure your addiction to nicotine.  Remember, it only takes 72 hours to rid your body of nicotine,  as long as you don't put more nicotine back in your system.

I was intrigued by the 4 people using hypnosis to quit smoking.  All 4 of the people were heavy smokers  who had smoked for more than 15 years.  Having tried hypnosis myself, twice, I couldn't believe that this method could work for anyone.  But all 4 people told me when they left their session they did not have the urge to light up and never felt the urge again.

Chantix was used by 5 of the people surveyed, and I have no doubt that this drug can be a successful aid in quitting.  But it is worth mentioning,  4 of the individuals who quit by using Chantix were all diagnosed with smoking related illnesses, so their motivation to stop smoking was probably pretty high.  In any case, 5% of the people in this survey did quit using this method.

Take note, not one person credited nicotine replacement therapy as a method used to quit smoking.   More than 40% of the people had tried using some form of nicotine replacement therapy during one of their quitting attempts but none were successful quitting long term with this method.   I am a strong opponent of this method and believe that it only inhibits ones ability to quit smoking by placing the drug you are trying to quit back in your body.   This may be one of the greatest scams of the last 20 years.

I just added a Quit Smoking forum so you can talk with others trying to quit smoking. Great place for support or to give some support to new quitters.

If you use the cold turkey method, please read my post on quitting cold turkey

Also please see my posts on dealing with craves both physical and psychological

And once you stop, make sure you never relapse.  See my post on relapse prevention below.

Good luck on your  quit!!!!  I know you will be successful!!!

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Friday, February 22, 2013


Chantix also know as Champix in Europe was released as a wonder drug to quit smoking in 2007.  Pfizer released the drug claiming a 44% success rate in smokers quitting using this new drug. 

Before I get into how Chantix works, it's important that you understand the addiction to nicotine and why you crave a cigarette every 30 minutes or so.   Before you started smoking, you didn't crave a cigarette.  You were not addicted to nicotine and so there was nothing in your body or mind that told you it needed a cigarette.

After your first few cigarettes, you began generating receptors in your brain.  These receptors are ports where the nicotine travels to your brain and you get that good feeling when you smoke.  The more you smoked over the years, the more receptors opened in your brain and the more nicotine your body craved.  This is the part of the brain that keeps telling you that it wants a cigarette, and in most cases you obliged by smoking.  Once this pattern began you were trapped and no longer making decisions on your own, you were a slave to these receptors. 

As the nicotine travels to the receptors, you received a dopamine rush that gave you that good feeling when you smoked.  This is why you continue to smoke and believe that you enjoy smoking.  The release of dopamine provides a nice feeling, feelings of great pleasure.  Of course you think you enjoy it!!!!

A doctor who happened to smoke invented the drug Chantix or Champix as it is known in many countries.  The idea behind this magic pill to quit smoking, is that it blocks those nicotine receptors in your brain, and doesn't allow you to receive the nicotine to that part of the brain any longer.  That is the reason that it is recommended to smoke the first week while you are on the drug.

By eliminating the pathway and not allowing the nicotine to reach these receptors, you no longer will get the same dopamine rush and good feeling sensation when you smoke.  In time all the receptors will be blocked and no longer scream for nicotine.

The theory behind the drug is sound, this is the part of smoking that is difficult to get beyond, especially during the early days of quitting smoking.  In fact, Pfizer boasts an amazing quit rate of 44% on their website for Chantix.

I took Chantix during one of my first quitting attempts.  I followed the instructions exactly as they were recommended and I was able to quit smoking after a week of taking the medication.  I know many others that this drug has helped to cure the smoking addiction, and I know many that it did not.

I did experience side effects while on Chantix.  I had the craziest dreams you could ever imagine, and I found myself sleeping much more than I had prior to taking Chantix.  It definitely has an effect on your brain and there have been a lot of incidences of people acting in strange ways and even taking their own lives while on this drug.  I don't know the facts behind the stories and I can't tell you whether Chantix played a major role, but it is worth noting that a drug of this magnitude can have side effects - severe in some cases.

Unfortunately for me, Chantix was not the end of my smoking days.  I relapsed back to smoking several months after quitting and when I did finally quit smoking for good it was using the cold turkey method.  I don't know how many of the 44% successful quitters using Chantix are still non smokers, but my guess is the number is much less than 44%. 

In my opinion cold turkey is the best method to quit smoking, and by eliminating nicotine from you body, you will slowly start shutting down those receptors in your brain in a natural manner.  By not feeding them nicotine, they will close on their own, guaranteed

I will be writing soon about relapsing when you quit and how to avoid that pitfall.  It is an important topic and certainly something all people who quit smoking need to understand.

Good luck on your decision to quit smoking.  5000 people quit every day.  In fact you quit every time you put a cigarette out.  Make the one you just smoked your last!!!



Saturday, February 16, 2013


If you are considering using a nicotine patch, gum, lozenge or any other type of nicotine replacement therapy, you must read this article before you begin. 

The nicotine patch was first invented in 1984 and introduced to the marketplace in 1992.  Nicotine patches were all the rave convincing smokers that there was a new breakthrough technology that was going to help them quit smoking once and for all.  The idea behind the nicotine patch was that you could provide nicotine to a smoker (the substance that they were addicted to) and relieve those awful withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.
Smokers rushed to their doctors to get a prescription for this new wonder drug and sales of the nicotine patch in 1992 reached 900 million dollars.   Today global sales of nicotine replacement therapies (gum, lozenges, patches, etc.) exceeded 2.4 billion dollars in 2011.

There is no doubt that this technology has become a big money maker for pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and retail pharmacies that sell the products.  But does it do anything to help smokers quit the terrible addiction to nicotine?

I first tried the nicotine patch in 1996 when prescriptions were no longer needed and you could buy the patches at any over the counter pharmacy.  On day 1 I was so excited to have quit smoking I put the patch on and celebrated my victory throughout the day.  I had thoughts of smoking all day but knew that this magic patch would keep me from wanting a cigarette.  On day 2, after making it almost 24 hours without a cigarette, I broke down and bought a pack.  My quit lasted less than one day on the nicotine patch.  Unfortunately the story is the same for may want to be ex smokers who have attempted using nicotine replacement to quit smoking.

The fact is that when you quit smoking you are attempting to end your addiction to nicotine.  Placing the drug you are trying to quit into your body makes no sense at all, and if the FDA truly cared about helping people quit smoking, they would never have approved such a drug as a smoking cessation product.  If you were trying to quit drinking alcohol because you were a raging alcoholic, would it make sense to put an IV drip of Whiskey in your body?   Of course not, and it makes no sense to pump nicotine into your body when you are trying to quit your addiction to nicotine.

Up until the introduction of the nicotine patch, smoking was on a steady decline in the United States dropping from a high of 45% of the population down to about 20% in the early 1990's.  20 years after the introduction of the nicotine patch, 20% of the population still smokes.  Do you see the correlation?

Look, everyone is making money off the patch.  Doctors, pharmacies, drug companies, and even the governments by reaping tax dollars.  They are all big proponents of this medical marvel because  they are getting rich while they watch you struggle to give up smoking.

This information is important, it is hard enough to quit smoking without everyone working against you to keep you hooked on a drug.  The success rate for nicotine replacement therapy is likely around 2%.  That means the failure rate is 98%.  There have been hundreds of studies published by the pharmaceutical industry showing success rates as high as 50% using nicotine replacement therapy.  Keep in mind, this is all part of the machine that is trying to keep you hooked on cigarettes.

Do not believe the hype.  Do not let your smoker brain get tricked into thinking that this makes sense, that placing nicotine in your body will help you quit nicotine.  Take a step back and think logically about what they are trying to tell you.  If you want to quit smoking, you need to quit nicotine, and it only takes 72 hours (3 days) to remove the nicotine from your body.  Don't be foolish enough to place it back in your body.

Check out our new Quit Smoking forum!!! You can talk with others trying to quit smoking. Great place for support or to give some support to new quitters.

Good luck on your journey to quit smoking forever. 



Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Every day I receive emails and comments from readers asking questions about quitting smoking.  Typically most readers have many of the same questions so I created this page to respond to each inquiry in hopes that it will help everyone.  The reality is that we all experience very similar effects when we quit smoking.

I will update this page daily as new questions are asked.  I prefer this method of providing information over a forum because often in forums readers give answers that are not correct and lead people down the wrong path.  Quitting smoking is difficult enough with all the misinformation out on the web and in the media.


You probably don't even know what normal is anymore if you have been smoking for over 20 years.   It will take you 72 hours to remove all the nicotine from your system, but you won't feel normal for 20-30 days.   Once you reach that point,  cigarettes will only come into your mind when you see someone smoking or do an activity for the first time since quitting that you used to regularly smoke while doing.  You will be amazed at what "normal" feels like and what you have been missing all these years.


The first cigarette of the day was always the most difficult for me when I quit.  The reason is that your coming off of 8 or more hours of abstinence from nicotine while you  sleep.  You wake and your body is screaming for a dose.  Try this on your next quit attempt, don't try to quit at the beginning of the day, wake up have your coffee and cigarette and try and quit mid morning or at noon.  Once you put out that last cigarette, drink a lot of cranberry juice and water to help flush out the nicotine.  Once you wake the next morning you will have made it almost 24 hours.  It won't be a lot easier the next morning but you know that if you can make it a few hours you will have passed your first 24 hours and are only another day and night away from being nicotine free. 


This was one of the myths that kept me smoking for many years.  I heard the same thing and thought to myself what is the point of quitting if I will just spend the rest of my life craving a cigarette?  That is completely false and I've actually realized that those people probably have not actually quit smoking.  If you speak to people that have quit smoking for more than a year you will get the same response over and over again, "it's the best thing I've ever done and I would never ever go back!"  Don't believe the lies, once you beat the addiction you will be glad you did and you will enjoy your life in such a wonderful way.


No, don't give up anything when you quit smoking, except cigarettes.  The key to quitting is to continue to live your life like you have, enjoy the activities, the food and drink that you always have.  The last thing you want to do when you quit smoking is put other stress on your body.  Quitting caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms and you don't need to add any more stress to your first days of quitting.  One word of caution, smoking has a strange effect on the way your body absorbs caffeine, it doesn't allow your body to absorb it as well as a non smoker.  When you quit, your body will absorb much more caffeine so limit your intake to a cup of coffee on the first day.  I went from a pot of coffee a day when I was a smoker down to a cup or 2 as a non smoker.


I'm glad you asked this question because it is the downfall of every person who has relapsed back to smoking.  You can not have one cigarette, in fact you can not have one puff or you will quickly fall right back into the smoking trap.  Believe me, I know.   When we quit we all think how wonderful it would be to just have a cigarette now and again.  Listen to me, you can not ever have a cigarette, nor should you convince yourself that you even want a cigarette.  That is your addiction still speaking to you, don't listen to it.   Any former smoker who has even a puff of a cigarette will soon fall back to smoking their old level.  Maybe not the first day but within time you will be right back to a pack or more a day.  It takes almost no time, especially as a former smoker, to become addicted again.  First you have a cigarette once a week, then you start smoking every couple days, and soon you are smoking as soon as you wake up and all  day long.  This is the only guarantee I will make to you, do not try and fool the smoking gods, they will grab you and drag you back into the awful world of addiction to nicotine.


It's funny how much gunk is in your body after smoking 10, 15, 20 years.  All those toxins you put in your body have to come out, and when they do it creates a lot of different reactions.  Yes, it is normal to experience some acne, it is all part of the wonderful healing process.  In a short time when all the bad stuff gets out of your body you will have the most beautiful glowing skin you could ever imagine.  I had pimples break out in my arm pits which was incredibly painful but only lasted a short while.


This is completely normal and will happen to most of us when we quit smoking.  This is primarily caused by the removal of tar and nicotine from your lungs.  During this excretion process it creates dreams of smoking.  It is part of the healing process and is a good sign.   Almost everyone will experience this.  Just be glad when you wake that it was only a dream!!!


If you are on the patch, gum, lozenge or any other type of nicotine replacement therapy, the cravings will never end.  The reason is that you are still feeding your addiction to nicotine which creates the cravings for more nicotine.  The nicotine replacement therapy was created by pharmaceutical companies to make money off of your addiction.  The only way to beat your addiction to nicotine is to remove the nicotine from your body.  Take off those patches and you will see the cravings slowly disappear within a few days.  Leave it on and you will experience more cravings and eventually fall back into smoking again.  This has been the biggest scam of the last 20 years and has inhibited more people from quitting than anything else.


This is a very normal reaction as your body is going through some major changes, fortunately they are all good changes!!  Try to eat a lot of fruit and foods rich in fiber to help with your bowel movements.  Within a few weeks you will be back on a normal schedule.  Smoking effects much more than your heart, lungs, and blood flow.  It affects almost every organ in your body including your kidneys, liver and pancreas.


Congratulations on your decision, it's the best one you have made in a long time!!  To prepare for  your quit keep reminding yourself how much you don't enjoy smoking each time you light up your next cigarette.  Ingrain in your mind that smoking is not fun, it is an addiction and it will be a wonderful day when you don't have to stop  every 30 minutes to feed your addiction.  Go grocery shopping and get some cranberry juice, some fruits and some healthy snacks to eat during the first week.  Read, read, read, every day a couple hours spend some time reading about the dangers of smoking and why you want to stop.  Have one really good reason that you want to stop, write it down and remember it every time your brain tells you it wants a cigarette.  Do not cut down on the amount of cigarettes you are smoking from now until your quit date.  Cutting down only makes each cigarette you smoke seem that much more pleasurable due to the time between cigarettes.  Smoke as you normally would and when you put down that last cigarette know that you will never  turn back.  Make the commitment and never look back.  Congratulation and keep me updated on your progress.


I wish they were but the cold harsh reality is that they are not.  If you  look at historical data you will see a strong pattern of increased cases of lung cancer about 30 years after smoking became prevalent in the United States.  Women didn't start smoking until much later than men, and if you look at the data you will see a stark increase in the number of lung cancer cases in females about 30 years after women began to light up.  You are not guaranteed to get lung cancer from smoking, but there are so many other diseases that have nothing to do with the lungs that affect smokers and kill smokers.  COPD is one of the diseases that you are almost guaranteed to get if you smoke cigarettes long enough.  In fact if you don't die from a cancer related to smoking, or a heart attack, you will most certainly experience COPD and wish you had died from another disease.  It is a terrible disease.  The short answer to your question is no, the dangers are not exaggerated, in fact they haven't been publicized enough or nobody in their right mind would ever light a cigarette again.

I will continue to update this page with questions as I receive them.  If you would like to ask a question either submit it in the comments section below or you can email me directly at

Good luck to all  you quitters.  And remember, there is nothing wrong with quitting!!!
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Saturday, February 9, 2013


Electronic cigarettes are quickly becoming a popular replacement for traditional cigarettes.  Many smokers have ditched their cigarettes and are using this new alternative method to get nicotine into their system.  As of right now, the FDA has not acted to promote electronic cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking.

I was involved in the initial launch of electronic cigarettes into North America back in 2007 so I fancy myself as a bit of an expert on the subject.   I remember the first time I set eyes on these devices I thought that it would revolutionize the world and put an end to filthy smoke filled rooms forever. 

The question that everyone asks is are electronic cigarettes really safe.  I can't tell you that they are completely safe,  because there has not been enough study done on the long term effects, but I can say that it is hard to argue that they are much safer than traditional cigarettes.

Traditional cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals in addition to the tobacco.  Many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, yet they continue to be key ingredients.  I won't list all of the 4000 but here are some of the items that you may not be aware are in those cigarettes you are smoking.

Traditional Cigarettes contain:

Carbon Monoxide - that's the stuff that comes out of your car exhaust
Tar - the stuff that those roads your driving your car on are made out of
Ammonia - cleaning agent
Acetone - same stuff you take your nail polish off with
Butane - the stuff in lighter fluid
Freon - works great to make your airconditioning cold, probably not a good thing to inhale
Cyanide - deadly poison but yet it makes its way into your cigarette
Arsenic - that's right, poison used to kill rats and other vermen.  Maybe you someday
Cadium - the stuff in batteries

The list goes on but you get the point.  Some of these items are naturally found in tobacco, others are added by our friends at the tobacco companies to enhance the speed and amount of nicotine absorbed into your body.

In contrast, most electronic cigarettes only contain a handful of chemicals.  Electronic cigarette manufacturers all use the same basic ingredients with a few exceptions.  The process by which the electronic cigarettes work is by using a battery which ignites a heating element when you inhale and creates a water based vapor mist with a nicotine based liquid. 

In the early days of manufacturing electronic cigarettes, the quality control was questionable at best.  Much of the nicotine solution injected into the cartridges was done by hand using a syringe.  The amount of nicotine added to each electronic cigarette probably varied greatly.  Today the process has become much more automated and the electronic cigarettes have a more consistent nicotine level.

The main ingredients in most electronic cigarettes are listed below.   This is a complete list.  As you can see it is considerably smaller than the list of items in traditional cigarettes.

Propylene Glycol

Electronic cigarettes can be found in varying amounts of nicotine from zero nicotine up to 3% nicotine.  Check out how much nicotine each brand of electronic cigarettes contains

If you truly want to quit smoking, if you want  to end your addiction to nicotine, if you want ot free yourself from a life of slavery, then electronic cigarettes will not help you.  This is just another method of injecting nicotine into your body.  While it may be cleaner, it may be safer, and it may even be cheaper than traditional cigarettes, it still produces the same result, an addiction to nicotine.

I wanted to bring out this information about electronic cigarettes, because as smokers we are always looking for the next trick that will help us quit.  At the end of the day, most every smoker wants to quit smoking.  Many of you  have tried the patch, lozenge, gum, etc. as a means to quit.  Most of you found this doesn't work because it just places the drug you are trying to quit back into your system.  Nicotine does one thing, it makes you crave more nicotine.

I've said in previous articles that using the no nicotine cartridges on electronic cigarettes would be the only way that I would promote using this product to quit smoking.   You will quickly find that you get no satisfaction from smoking a no nicotine cigarette, you only remind yourself of smoking when you  imitate smoking a real cigarette. 

Remember, it takes only 72 hours of nicotine abstinence to cleanse your system of nicotine.  Once you make it through those 72 hours you will no longer be physically addicted to this drug.  If you want to quit smoking, then put down the cigarettes, pat yourself on the back for making this decision, and enjoy your new life of better health, more money and total control of your actions.  No longer will a drug be making decisions for you.

Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking.  Every day I receive comments on success stories of people quitting and thanking me for providing these articles.  Keep them coming, I love to hear from those of you that have escaped this evil addiciton.