We have updated our Privacy Notice, you can read the updated document here
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

I'm sure you all know this...

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 266 ✭✭ froosh69


    I'm studying neurophysiology and we are studying the effects nicotine has on your mental and physical state. I'm sure you all know about the mental side i.e. mood swings, finding it difficult to concentrate, difficulty sleeping etc. but the physical side is the interesting one.

    when you have been a regular smoker for a few weeks, your body becomes used to having a constant amount of nicotine in your blood. Therefore, if the nicotine levels are dropped, your body does not know what to do. So it gives you a craving to tell you something aint right.

    It takes a full three days at least for all the nicotine in your body to be flushed out in urine, sweat and feces (it is, after all, a toxin).
    The interesting thing is, the lower the nicotine levels in blood, the stronger the craving.
    Alcohol, believe it or not, is a cleanser of blood. it washes alot of salts, fatty acids, proteins, water and nicotine out of your system, alot of which are vital to a healthy body (hence a hangover). This is why most people crave something fatty and salty(a kebab for example) and also cigarettes after a night on the sauce.
    Nicorette and patches work by supplying a small amount of nicotine to the blood. This is why these methods do not work for many people. Remember, if there is a small level of nicotine in the blood, there will be a strong craving. Using an aid to give up smoking can be comforting because you believe that you are being helped, and it works for many people. After about a week of going cold turkey, all nicotine should be out of you system and its just a psychological battle from then on.
    Good luck to you all,
    Smoker

    P.S. I stand to be corrected on any of the above points.


«13

Comments

  • #2


    Interesting if true.

    Any chance you could delve a bit deeper into this for us?


  • #2


    Terry wrote: »


    Any chance you could delve a bit deeper into this for us?
    +1


  • #2


    ok, here's another fun fact.
    According to most studies, nicotine is more addictive than heroin, cocaine and alcohol.
    Even thought the withdrawal is more severe with these class A's, it is the potency that makes nicotine so addictive.
    To illustrate my point, a Marlboro light contains .5mg of nicotine, this is a tiny amount. Coupled with the fact that most nicotine is destroyed in your heart, only a fraction of this gets to work in your system. If you were to inject a syringe full of pure nicotine or snort a line of it, you would instantly fall into a coma and suffer severe brain damage.

    Nicotine is absorbed through your skin very easily (as with patches) and I read a true story about a farmer that accidently spilled some pesticide on a bench and sat down on it. He started feeling nausous and dizzy and three minutes later he passed out and went into a nicotine-induced coma. He came out of it and put on the same work clothes without being washed and it happened again.

    Its as dangerous as rat poison in high enough doses.


  • #2


    Didn't really mean the fun facts, but they are welcome nonetheless.

    What I was asking was if you could use your position to look into the withdrawal side of things a bit further.

    It would be nice to get some clarification on the amount of time it takes nicotene to leave your system and other such facts.

    If you want to, of course.


  • #2


    no problem, im kinda busy with exams and stuff at the minute but i'd love to help. Im new to boards but i can see myself becoming an active poster in this forum. Is there a thread where there are interesting facts about smoking and/or tips to help people rather than people's stories?Ive tried every method under the sun (exept councilling and hypnotherapy) and knowing the facts, although interesting, hasnt helped me give up.


  • #2


    There is the sticky at thye top, but feel free to start a new thread and we'll see where it goes.


  • #2


    Froosh69--how does Zyban tie into all this.Like yourself I tried every product out there in 2007 to give up the smokes--hypnosis,acupuncture,gum,patces,inhaler etc etc etc.Cost me more in trying to give them up than I was spending a week on smoking.

    I had used zyban 4 years ago and stayed off the smokes for 2 years with it and tried again 13 weeks ago--Its a scary drug because literally within 10 days all my cravings were gone even though I was still smoking (this is the way that you take zyban)

    Im off them 13 weeks now but the thoughts of a drug messing around with your neuroreceptors always frightened me.

    Apologies for thread hijacking but I always wanted an answer and most doctors dont even know how it works.Maybe someone studying neurophysiology might have an answer.

    Thanks
    Richie.


  • #2


    Using an aid to give up smoking can be comforting because you believe that you are being helped, and it works for many people. After about a week of going cold turkey, all nicotine should be out of you system and its just a psychological battle from then on.

    has any one had a go of giving up, using patches and cold turkey at different times in their life??
    If so was there any difference in ways of feeling better or worse etc? I am talking after that intial week, when all the nicotine is flushed out of your body..
    Because if you wore a patch wouldn't that mean you would still have nicotine amounts in your body? and by going cold turkey there should be nothing.... anybody has any suggestion on this matter...?


  • #2


    Hey Lance,

    I smoke 30+ ciggs a day & I tried them all: hypnosis,microtab, acupuncture, zyban, gum,patches,inhaler and cold turkey. I stayed off them longest (five weeks) by going cold turkey but it was HELL for the first week, I had the shakes, sweats and couldn't sleep at night! I found that the patches took the edge off the craving but you are still supplying your body with nicotine, therefore the cravings last for longer. I never finished a course of patches though, I always gave up and started smoking again. I am going off them again tomorrow and the plan now is to wear the patch for 3 days, then use will power


  • #2


    Hey good luck this time! Keep going..
    I was reading and everybody says that after 72 hours you are clean! So that would mean that's it, no more cravings only mental battle, but with the patches gum etc giving you a small dose into your blood stream this could make the craving worse and keep them going for longer , so suffereing becomes longer lOL Rather than struggle out over the 72 hours and after that its all down hill..


  • #2


    froosh69 wrote: »
    It takes a full three days at least for all the nicotine in your body to be flushed out in urine, sweat and feces (it is, after all, a toxin).
    The interesting thing is, the lower the nicotine levels in blood, the stronger the craving.
    Alcohol, believe it or not, is a cleanser of blood. it washes alot of salts, fatty acids, proteins, water and nicotine out of your system, alot of which are vital to a healthy body (hence a hangover).

    That is interesting. When I quit a few years ago - I took a week off work - and every evening to take the edge off - I went down to the off-licence and bought some beer. Obviously the initial hurdle was the association with drinking and smoking together, but beyond that - I didn't find the withdrawl all that bad - and subsequently had no problem drinking and not smoking.

    Of course a bit of planning and fore-thought (i.e. getting it all square in my mind beforehand), picking a date etc. was key.

    D.


  • #2


    ok well as I have stated in a previous thread im off them two weeks.
    This is my third time trying. The first time I used gum, the second time I used patches. First two times I lasted about three months and went back on them. Both times I went back on them I was drinking.
    This time I'm going cold turkey. I'm just really worried that I will start again when I'm locked.

    Martin


  • #2


    hey Martin,
    I'm off them eleven days now, going cold turkey and doing ok so far. I had a few drinks at home with my sisters saturday night who both smoke, soon enough I was smoking too. I must've chain smoked ten cigs in about an hour, along with a fair few cans of cider. The result?.....me being Violently sick for about five hours!! It was horrible, I just kept throwing up, sorry to be so detailed but I tore my throat and everything I got sick so much. Was'nt well all day Sunday and even the smell of a cigerette turned my stomach.

    Moral of the story is, I know It would've been better if I had been able to say no in the first place but because I went to town on it and was so sick I know for a fact I wont be making a repeat performance of saturday night ;) Next time I want a cig when I'm drinkin I'll remind myself of the horrible night I had saturday night and the pain I was in on Sunday


  • #2


    Hey,

    Thats sounds prity bad. But if it puts ya off the next time your drinking then its well worth it.
    Best of luck anyways.

    Martin


  • #2


    Its largely true that nicotine leaves the body completely after 72 hours (3 days), and it is laregly the case that once your over those three days, quitting is a peice of piss.

    The mistake people make I think is associating the very minor withdrawal symptoms of nicotine, with the incredibly major, physically painful withdrawal one experiences from something like heroin.

    Nicotine withdrawal is a mild feeling of physical and mental discomfort that can be largely dissipated by eating some food, having sex, or going for a walk, or doing something else pleasurable.

    The difference is that most smokers choose never to go through those symptoms cause they can easily go to the shop on the corner to buy some fags to make 'em go away.

    DO you think those smokers would go through the same privations as heroin users to get their fix? **** no. I wouldnt have broken into a shop or commited a major crime to get fags when I was addicted to them. After 15 minuts the craving goes away anyway.

    If your trying to quit you will experience roughly 2 or 3 major cravings a day for the first 3 days. These last about 15 minutes each and then simply slink away. Find something to do for those 15 minutes: Anything at all, punch something, jerk off, whatever it takes.

    But dont beleive you are gonna spend those 3 days in a sweat-soaked junkie delerium, cause you are'nt. Your body will largely be sending you big waves of thanks for releiving it off the years of stress you've been putting it under by smoking.


  • #2


    LaVidaLoca, great post and very true representation as to what happens when your tackling the Nicotine addiction. As the Carr man would say, the cigarettes are the easy part. it's the craving from nicotine that’s only challenging thing really. Being honest. it's a piece of piss


  • #2


    LaVidaLoca wrote: »
    Its largely true that nicotine leaves the body completely after 72 hours (3 days), and it is laregly the case that once your over those three days, quitting is a peice of piss.

    The mistake people make I think is associating the very minor withdrawal symptoms of nicotine, with the incredibly major, physically painful withdrawal one experiences from something like heroin.

    Nicotine withdrawal is a mild feeling of physical and mental discomfort that can be largely dissipated by eating some food, having sex, or going for a walk, or doing something else pleasurable.

    The difference is that most smokers choose never to go through those symptoms cause they can easily go to the shop on the corner to buy some fags to make 'em go away.

    DO you think those smokers would go through the same privations as heroin users to get their fix? **** no. I wouldnt have broken into a shop or commited a major crime to get fags when I was addicted to them. After 15 minuts the craving goes away anyway.

    If your trying to quit you will experience roughly 2 or 3 major cravings a day for the first 3 days. These last about 15 minutes each and then simply slink away. Find something to do for those 15 minutes: Anything at all, punch something, jerk off, whatever it takes.

    But dont beleive you are gonna spend those 3 days in a sweat-soaked junkie delerium, cause you are'nt. Your body will largely be sending you big waves of thanks for releiving it off the years of stress you've been putting it under by smoking.

    True. But really true? I'm not so sure.
    I've certainly gone through a fair bit of humiliation for cigarettes. Haven't quite mugged anyone but have chosen to spend money on cigs before food, bummed off strangers, stood outside in the rain... Nicotine is a very serious addiction. People with emphysema still go on smoking... Yeah 'slight feelings of discomfort...' so why is it so difficult?
    ...On day 4. Have tried about 8-12 times before, longest I lastest was seven months. But I have a good feeling about his time :)


  • #2


    I too did the "getting out of bed at 2 am to go to the petrol station to buy some fags in the rain" thing.

    I would class nicotine addiction as rather like wearing a pair of painfully tight shoes so that you have the pleasure of taking them off at the end of the day.

    You know when you have an itch and you get that "Aaaaahhhh" feeling when you scratch it? Would you call that feeling pleasure?

    Well, sort of, yeah. But we know that it's not pleasure in the real sense. I.e. if the itch hadnt been there in the first place, there'd be nothing to releive. Inherently, even the most addicted smoker knows that real pleasure, (a sunny day, a kiss from a loved one, that bit where the guitar solo kicks in on "Stairway to Heaven") is about far more than just relieving discomfort.

    I dont think Heroin is quite in that piddling leauge. Heroin is a chemical isomer of endorphins, the chemicals that flood your brain whenever you're happy or in love. It has been described to me by a user friend of mine (now alas dead), as being like the first time you fall in love mutiplied by a thousand. A feeling of absolute and total peace, love and serenity fills your entire body and soul, and you feel that this is the way that your body was 'designed to feel'.

    As a result it eventually takes over your entire life, your body stops producing 'natural' enorphins, and you become more interested in heroin than in anything else. After a while, if you cant get it you will do 'anything'. You will sell you body, commit crimes, steal an old ladies handbag, the need is that strong. Even if you were once a normal nice guy who wouldnt say boo to a goose.

    I challenge anybody to tell me a cigarette has ever made them feel this way, or ever taken over their soul to such a degree.

    Really, giving up smoking is about as hard as giving up biting your nails.

    Sure it's hard in a way, and you may fail. But dont put yourself in the wrong mindset by thinking it's "more addictive than heroin".

    Once you've really decided you dont want to be a smoker anymore, it's largely about goin through those tough first couple of days, and then simply, enjoying how it feels to not be a smoker:

    Taking great big lungfuls of fresh clean air every day, feeling the sun on your face, enjoying your heart beating a nice warm throb in your chest, not banging against your ribs in an insanely stimulated state all the time. Watching your skin get better, those stress lines on you face melt away. And ultimately the wonderful JOY, of REAL relaxation filling you body: Watching a sunset without the desire to ruin it with a smoke. Playing with your kid, or playing a sports game without the evil part of you thinking: "Cant wait till this is over so I can have a smoke."


  • #2


    I know where you're coming from with the tight shoes things.

    And yeah heroine is much more enjoyable than a cigarette.
    But in my younger years I took heroine (but without ever getting a habit or drug problem), also every other drug from hash to horse tranquilliser. Yet cigs are the only one I've ever struggle to do without. I know several other former drugs users who feel the same way. What's that all about?


  • #2


    To answer my own question (upon reflection), I think the prob is you can get away from other drugs, but its much harder to do that with cigarettes, when the evil dealer is the government.


  • #2


    Ok I gave em up for 2 years while living abroad (smoked for a few years previously) then went back on em when I came back to Ireland this was ironically partly down to the smoking ban :D was out in pubs and every 5 minutes all my mates would leave me alone while they went for a smoke so I ended up walking outside for the craic this was fine but after a few nights of this and while on the piss I gave in and started "smoking when I'm drinking" which lasted for a few months before I cracked and went back on em full time up until about 3 months ago when I realised how stupid I'd been after lasting for 2 years previously so went cold turkey. (the only method that ever worked for me) and doing ok don't think I'll go back on em again but unlike the previous poster have a harder time with the class A's :eek: so no cigs (nicotine) are not harder to give up than other more fun drugs (at least they do something) btw not into H but everything else :rolleyes:


  • #2


    You know when you have an itch and you get that "Aaaaahhhh" feeling when you scratch it? Would you call that feeling pleasure?

    Well, sort of, yeah. But we know that it's not pleasure in the real sense. I.e. if the itch hadnt been there in the first place, there'd be nothing to releive.

    I like that!!!!


  • #2


    You'll like this, then... :)

    z_CraveGrafBW.gif


  • #2


    ha, I started this a year ago and forgot about it! It is quite interesting, don't ya think...Terry asked for more info on how nicotine leaves the body...well hope this helps!

    Cigarette smoke is less acidic than pipe or cigar smoke, therefore, we need to inhale and from the lungs its taken into the blood and up to the brain. Cigar and pipe smoke can enter the blood through the mouth so no need to inhale.

    Depending on the type of cigarette (light or regular) about 15-30ng per ml concentration is reached. This is very quick and accounts for the "rush". However, this drops to about half within 10 mins, even quicker if youre drinking/eating or putting any other chemical in your blood at the time...(how many times have you been out at the pub and chain smoked 3 fags in 15 mins??)

    Nicotine is metabolised is the liver within 1-2 hours of smoking. Another substance is formed called "cotinine". Its inactive but stays in your blood for a long time and is used as a measure of ones smoking habits.
    Soooooooooooo...

    An average nicotine patch will give ya roughly 10-20 ng per ml of blood over a six hour period. It will stay this much for about 20hrs. Keep in mind that this is LOWER than your average cigarette, although provided with the constant amount, you may not crave anything...or will you?


  • #2


    ok, time to meet Anne. Anne is a regular woman average weight/size that smokes on average a pack a day of marlboro lights. She smokes 20 but doesnt CRAVE 20. If asked only to smoke when she craved she would only smoke about maybe 10 a day. this means on a 16 hr waking day, her liver metabolises 150 ng of nicotine per ml of blood (at 15ng per ml every time she finishes a fag ten times a day). She buys patches that give her a constant nicotine:blood concentration of 20ng per ml...which, over 20hrs is 400ng per day.

    with me?

    Because the nicotine supplied to her by the patch is equal to or above her nicotine intake, she will get no PHYSICAL withdrawal symptoms because she PHYSICALLY has the same amount of nicotine in her body...so, with a bit of will power, Anne can stop smoking and live happily ever after!

    Now meet Dave. He's an overweight man who smokes 40 a day. His body craves at least 30ng of nicotine per ml which means he often chain smokes as even a marlboro red wont satisfy that(remember, he has a lot more blood than Anne). The poor mans liver is going through 1200ng of nicotine per ml of blood per day! Trying the same patches as Anne (his wife) after seeing how easily she gave up, he starts his journey. But oh no! Annes patches only give 20ng of nicotine! he needs 30ng, at least! so, poor dave goes through severe physical withdrawal...headaches and lack of concentration (insert personal symptom here)...even though he's sure he has a stronger willpower than Anne, he just can't do it...

    so, my point is, think about how many you smoke before starting on patches (gum, spray and all that are applicible to the above too). Try to figure out how much you actually NEED to smoke before going on one of these aids and try to cut down to bare minimum.then. choose the right product...keep up the good fight!


  • #2


    That's some really great information there.

    I'm gonna sticky this thread.

    Just one more question, what is ng?


  • #2


    + 1 Great Info alright.

    So whats the general concensous?. Give up cold turkey or with smoking aids?.

    Personally any of the times I have given up has been with patches for a week or two and then go cold turkey.

    My thinking on this is that while using aids, yes you are supplying the body with nicotine but your not supplying it with the other 4000 harmful chemicals. With the likes of patches you are also breaking the habit of the morning smoke, or the smoke after a meal. So its not that bad.

    Is there anyone here that has managed to stay off the fags for 12 months plus after using patches or gum??


  • #2


    ng means "nanograms"

    Think of a kilogram-divide by 1000 and you have a gram (g)

    Divide a gram by 1000 and you have a miligram (mg)

    Divide That by a 1000 and we have a micro gram (µg) (one millionth of a
    gram)

    divide a µg by 1000 and we have a nonogram (ng)!

    its equal to 0.000000001 g
    Feelgood wrote: »
    So whats the general concensous?. Give up cold turkey or with smoking aids?.

    Personally any of the times I have given up has been with patches for a week or two and then go cold turkey.

    My thinking on this is that while using aids, yes you are supplying the body with nicotine but your not supplying it with the other 4000 harmful chemicals. With the likes of patches you are also breaking the habit of the morning smoke, or the smoke after a meal. So its not that bad.

    Is there anyone here that has managed to stay off the fags for 12 months plus after using patches or gum??

    the general consensus was to be clever about using aids, if the patches arent supplying enough nicotine for you, dont go near them, they will only make you worse, so beware!

    I tried cold turkey a few times and failed, then tried the gum and i failed spectacularly- vomiting, headaches the works...that gum was NASTY.

    its been 10 weeks or so since i bought fags and I did it cold turkey. Its easy when you genuinly believe that the last cigarette was actually the last!

    And yes, the your thinking is right that you are supplying the body with nicotine but your not supplying it with the other 4000 harmful chemicals. But I'm not criticizing aids, I'm saying they don't work for all people!Nicotine on its own only speeds up the cancer and promote it rather than actually cause it...thats for the tar and carbon monoxide


  • #2


    Feelgood wrote: »
    So whats the general concensous?. Give up cold turkey or with smoking aids?
    [...]
    Is there anyone here that has managed to stay off the fags for 12 months plus after using patches or gum??
    Nice to see this thread ressuscitated. I'm now 18 months off them after quitting cold turkey. Gained about a stone, but what the hey... :P


  • #2


    froosh69 wrote: »
    I'm studying neurophysiology and we are studying the effects nicotine has on your mental and physical state.
    Dang....are you looking for subjects for experiments? I'm particularly adept at finding cheese in a maze of any size after twenty Rothmans.

    But seriously kids, if you are quitting the weed, think 'letting go' rather than 'giving up' as your brain will automatically crave anything that's denied to it.


Society & Culture