Tobacco is the world’s most popular addiction , far outweighing all other drugs combined. Of course, when something is legal, it greatly reduces the perception of danger among users.
Beyond this, there are some uncomfortable truths about tobacco use, such as
Tobacco kills about half of the people who use it.
More than 8 million people die from tobacco use every year. Of these, just over 7 million deaths are caused by direct consumption, and about 1.2 million are indirect deaths resulting from involuntary exposure to cigarette smoke.
This is data from the World Health Organization. In addition to these truths, there are a number of lies that tobacco profiteers use to keep people hooked and continue to make money at their expense. In this article I will tell you some of the most popular misconceptions about tobacco.
The 4 lies of tobacco that keep you in addiction
If you smoke, you probably believe these myths about tobacco addiction.
1. You like to smoke
This is undoubtedly the most widespread lie of all. Millions of people all over the world certainly believe that they enjoy the action of smoking . However, if someone asks them if they would buy their children their first pack of tobacco, they all answer no.
The Hollywood film industry has also promoted and perpetuated the belief that smoking is enjoyable. As you read this, you will surely recall a multitude of mythical characters who used tobacco during their adventures, associating ideas such as success, strength, sensuality with tobacco…
However, if we put aside all that decoration and misleading advertising, we find that the cigarette itself contributes absolutely nothing to the person who uses it (except emptying his pocket and filling his lungs with poison). It is an addictive process disguised as pleasure.
2. It relaxes you
Cigarettes are filled with a multitude of stimulating substances that encourage addiction. From a chemical point of view, smoking tobacco is only more stressful .
It is true that many people experience a subjective feeling of relaxation. But this does not happen because tobacco relaxes them, but because nicotine withdrawal is calmed.
Nicotine is the addictive substance that keeps people smoking nonstop. Within 30 minutes of lighting up and administering the drug dose, the levels of nicotine in the blood begin to decrease, because the body begins to eliminate this substance from the body.
Our brain, upon detecting that nicotine levels in the blood decrease, activates the withdrawal syndrome or “monkey”. These are unpleasant body sensations (similar to hunger) to motivate the person to seek more nicotine than to administer it (in the same way that the brain moves us to seek more food when it detects low blood glucose levels).
By giving ourselves nicotine, we do not feel relaxation from daily stress or a bad day at work. We only feel relief from the withdrawal or monkey effect of the previous cigarette. And with each cigarette, the process begins again . This is explained by the addiction caused by nicotine.
That’s why most smokers can’t go much longer than an hour or two without taking their drug. They seek relief from the physical discomfort they continually cause for themselves .
3. You will get fat if you stop
Quitting smoking does not harm your metabolism. On the contrary, it heals it. The reason why some people gain weight by quitting smoking is simple: they feel the discomfort of withdrawal the first few days, this makes them feel stressed, and they eat more food (or with more fat) to calm that subjective feeling of stress.
People get fat because they use food to relieve stress: it’s not quitting smoking that makes them gain pounds.
4. I can stop smoking whenever I want
If this were true, smokers would no longer exist.
Smokers use this excuse to maintain a feeling and image of control . The reality is that they do not feel they have the resources to succeed in quitting smoking, and they often feel afraid and ashamed of the possibility of trying to quit and failing.
That’s why they prefer to say they don’t really want to quit. The sad reality is that they often feel helpless.
Quitting smoking is simple, if you know how
Will power is not enough , otherwise there would be no smokers left in the world. The best thing you can do is contact a professional to guide you through the process and help you take the steps that are best for you.
I am a psychologist specializing in addictions, and I work every day with people who want to feel free from tobacco addiction again. I also offer an online course to stop smoking, which only my subscribers have access to. To find out more about my services, visit my website luismiguelreal.es