Nicotine, Addiction, and Stopping Smoking

Michael Hadfield

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Nicotine is an interesting substance. It is an alkaloid - this is a bitter tasting poison manufactured by plants and stored in their leaves and stems to stop them being eaten by animals. It is a friendly warning from the plant world to the animal world saying ‘don't eat this it will make you ill’.

Humans are well known for living out of harmony with their natural environment.

I've yet to treat a smoker who isn't surprised when I tell them that nicotine is a highly toxic poison. They don't know that they are smoking something that is three times as toxic as arsenic and more lethal than strychnine. They are also surprised that nicotine is used as a pesticide and is so toxic that a few drops of the pure substance on the skin can be fatal. This is quite important. Nicotine does not have to be ingested to kill you.

A lethal dose can be quite easily absorbed via the skin.

But of course it is obvious that nicotine can be absorbed through the skin because otherwise nicotine patches would be a waste of time - wouldn't they?

And of course there is that other favourite - the nicotine gum; so you can spend hours exercising your jaw muscles and get your poison absorbed through the lining of your mouth, throat and stomach.

The real problem is that smokers are treated like addicts who are so addicted that it is a complete waste of time even bothering to even attempt to wean them off the substance they are ‘addicted’ to. All that modern medical science can do for these poor addicts is to separate out the toxin from all the other nasty stuff in the tobacco leaf and give it to them in a pure form.

In its pure form it takes just 60mg of nicotine to turn a 150lb adult into a corpse.

And it does it very rapidly. So it seems like a really good idea to chew this stuff and stick it in close contact with your skin - doesn't it?

I get smokers coming to see me for help in quitting. A significant number have tried patches or gum. Quite often they tell me they ended up using the gum, or the patches, and smoking as well. That was when they realised they needed some real help if they were to succeed in stopping.

About 600 years ago the very best minds on this planet had no doubts at all that what we know as planet Earth was as flat as a pancake. They were mistaken. Those minds were just as intelligent as the minds we use today. We just have greater knowledge and more recorded history. About 500 years ago the very best minds on this planet thought the sun revolved around the Earth. They were mistaken too.

Some of the very best minds on the planet today believe that nicotine is addictive in the same way that heroine is addictive.

They are mistaken.

Most cigarettes are smoked in response to environmental stimuli e, g, a glass of beer, a cup of coffee, food (afterwards, not during), driving, getting off an aeroplane, telephone calls, sex (afterwards, not during), commercial breaks. . .

This is not an addiction it is training.

Hypnosis interferes with the automatic (i. e. without thought) responses that trigger lighting up.

Hypnosis makes giving up easier than it can be otherwise.

Michael J. Hadfield MBSCH is a registered clinical hypnotherapist, with many years’ experience in the treatment of smoking, weight problems, stress, anxiety, phobias, and other psychological problems. If this article interested you then visit for more details about stopping smoking and treatment for a variety of other problems.


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