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Never Take Another Puff (quit smoking)

Never Take Another Puff by Joel Spitzer (quit smoking)

   Joel Spitzer has been a leading authority in the development and implementation of smoking cessation and prevention programs for over 30 years. Far from just following and teaching the commonly held beliefs of the day, he has been a visionary who recognized early on that nicotine was an addiction while the rest of the medical and scientific community contended it was simply a habit. His unique insight allowed him to develop and implement nicotine prevention and intervention strategies that were decades ahead of their time. Participants in his clinics have success in quitting at rates that far exceed the national average for such programs.
   Mr. Spitzer has been providing smoking cessation and prevention services since 1972, first as a volunteer speaker and then a member of the professional staff of the American Cancer Society, and later as the smoking programs coordinator for the Rush North Shore Medical Center’s Good Health Program.
   Never take another puff. It seems so simple. If you want to quit smoking all you need to do is to never take another puff. There you have it-a roadmap for breaking free from one of the deadliest scourges ever to hit mankind. Nearly five million people a year die from smoking. Many knew the dangers and wanted to quit but didn’t feel as if they knew how to break away from such a complicated and powerful addiction. Truth be known, this is not a complicated addiction and while on the surface it may seem powerful, in truth, it is not. Yes there are lots and lots of people who smoke until it kills them but it is not that they couldn’t quit. It’s that they didn’t have the understanding of what was needed to quit, and more importantly, what they needed to do to stay quit. Again, the answer to both is to never take another puff.
   Some people would argue that smoke-a-holic is just a cute euphemism which should not be compared to what they consider degrading syndromes. Contrary to this belief, nicotine addiction can be equally as strong and deadly as any of these other conditions. In fact, if you total the number of people who die yearly of all these other conditions combined, they would not add up to the number of premature deaths attributed to cigarette smoking.
   Until recent times, the idea of nicotine being a physiologically addictive substance was controversial in the world-wide medical community. For a drug to be considered addictive, it must meet certain criteria. First, it must be capable of inducing physical withdrawal upon cessation. Nicotine abstinence syndrome is a well documented, established fact.
   Second, tolerance to the drug usually develops. Increasingly larger doses become necessary to achieve the same desired effects. Smokers experience this phenomenon as their cigarette consumption gradually increases from what probably was sporadic occasional use to a required daily consumption of one or more packs.
   Ask almost any current smoker why she continues to indulge in such a dangerous activity and she will normally reply, “Because I like smoking.” While she may say this in all honesty, it is a very misleading statement, both to the listener and to the smoker herself. She does not smoke because she enjoys smoking, rather she smokes because she does not enjoy not smoking.

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