People who smoke do so as an automatic response to a trigger. The person ingesting the smoke is conditioned through the brain and repetition to associate cigarettes with something pleasurable.
Nicotine activates the brain circuits associated with pleasure, increasing dopamine in the reward pathways. Combine this with all the health warnings that cigarettes are bad for you and the smoker is bombarded with mixed messages. Once the cigarette is finished the pleasurable effect of reward diminishes quickly which leave the person open to smoking again to regain the good feeling. The best news is that nicotine also leaves the body very quickly and though cravings, anxiety or irritability can occur, these can be overcome with assistance for those who are ready to gain back control.
There are over 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke in the form of gases and particles. Including over 60 cancer-causing chemicals such as Arsenic and toxic Carbon Monoxide found in the car exhaust and Ammonia found in toilet cleaner.
The question is why would people deliberately allow these harmful substances into their body daily, slowly poisoning themselves through cigarette smoking. Sometimes when the tell-tale signs of wheezing and coughing really begin to accelerate, help is finally sought. Or when the smoker comes to the frightening realisation they are out of control. Even then the pleasure pathways in the brain sometimes win over a brief flash of awareness that this habit is harmful and not a good path to be on. Then there is the cost not only to the health of a smoker but their finances. Most smokers over a lifetime smoke away the cost of a house. Contributing to the cigarette companies profits and existence.
Inhaling cigarette smoke is allowing those 4000 harmful substances into the lungs that deserve the utmost respect as they give life to humans through the gift of breathing. The irony is that smoking cigarettes utilises this gift of life to sustain its destructive habit. Within 10 seconds of the first puff, the harmful substances reach the brain and other organs and begin to do damage including narrowing the veins and arteries.
If a food manufacturer placed the chemicals in cigarettes into a pre-packaged food and didn't give the consumer the information through mandatory labelling of ingredients there would be outrage. Immediate complaints and a food recall and possible litigation would follow. Yet cigarette companies aren't required to advise the ingredients in cigarettes or the smoke by-product on the packet even though it is an ingested product.
Prior to 2006 labelling of tar and nicotine yields was included on cigarette packets, however this practice ceased in 2006 as the Commonwealth review determined it was misleading consumers.
Health warnings have become mandatory. Quitline says 'Under the Regulations most tobacco product packaging manufactured in, or imported into, Australia has been required to be printed with graphic health warnings since 1 March 2006'. Do the fear tactics work? Department of Health say smoking is on a decline.
Ingredients in cigarettes and including smoke which is a harmful by-product should be on the packet. Having the information available on a website doesn't send the message to those who need it most. Most smokers say they don't think about smoking, it is automatic.
Knowledge of what is in the cigarettes and smoke through awareness empowers smokers to start to say no to the delusion they feel trapped in and therefore a big resounding NO to the cigarette companies. Gaining back control of their lives and their money.
Pleasure is found in new habits, new goals, creating new experiences and having a healthy body and healthy finances. And this is a step onto a new pathway to living.
If you need assistance to stop smoking there is help available. Visit your Doctor or Quitline or one of the many successful Hypnotherapy practices in Australia.
For our Hypnotherapy Stop Smoking Treatment Program in Central Victoria visit www.hypnotherapies.com.au