Because smoking tobacco,
unlike other drugs, causes no immediate serious mental or physical
disturbances, which affect normal everyday activities, people become addicted to it very
easily believing they are strong enough to survive any future ill effects and
can stop whenever they like. However, once the brain has become addicted to receiving nicotine on a very
regular basis it refuses to behave normally when nicotine is removed and slowly
the smoker loses control of their will. Addiction can take hold within one week
of smoking daily.
start at a very young age, when their brain is still in the development stage.
their brain becomes permanently accustomed to working with the presence of nicotine and this
makes it even more difficult to stop the habit. The mental torment
that users go through, when trying to live without nicotine, is so intense and the ease of acquiring a tobacco fix legally
and quickly means
many never give up entirely for the whole of their lives.
The only way to stop
is to change daily habits, which are connected with smoking, completely but this
is not easy. Cutting out coffee, alcohol, associating with friends who are
smokers, stressful situations and all activities which can be done whilst
smoking then reintroducing them one by one as the addiction to nicotine
subsides, is almost impossible, but is the only way that the brain can
be retrained to exist without nicotine.
The longer the user
goes without smoking the more the brain will become accustomed to having to work
without any nicotine input. Then the ex-user may be able to deal with stressful
situations, temptation and even drinking alcohol without reaching for a tobacco
thoughts caused by alcohol leads the ex-smoker into believing they can just
smoke one or two cigarettes and no more. Alcohol and certain drugs reduce the
conscious mind's resolve and the drinker forgets that which they were determined to do
when sober and does not remember the consequences until the intoxication of the
This then leads to a
feeling of failure which causes too much stress for the smoker
that is desperately longing for the nicotine 'fix' and many go right back to smoking even more than they did before they stopped.
They even convince themselves they really enjoy smoking and this eliminates the
worthless feeling they had for being unable to stop. They also convince
themselves they can give it up anytime but this becomes much more difficult each
time they fail.
It is for this reason
that, psychologically, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and lighters and other
smoking paraphernalia become a
smoker's most prized possessions or 'closest friends'. They feel life is not worth living without the tools
that provide such great relief and this wonderful sigh of relief from inhaling
nicotine is mistaken for pleasure. Relief even extends to finding these
'tools' when they are lost or being given them as a reward after they have been
taken away from the smoker. Most smoker's private nightmare is the fear of
running out of their drug in the middle of the night or in a place where they
cannot obtain more.
Such is the hold of nicotine addiction.
See also: Addictions
NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
The reason nicotine replacement therapy does not work, in most cases, is because
the brain has not been retrained to work without any input of nicotine. It may
help to make the regular cravings for tobacco less intense in the early stages,
but the yearning is not just for nicotine but the entire smoking experience and
the amount of nicotine which provides an instant 'hit' that the smoker controls
when they inhale tobacco smoke. It is more the buzz of the relief of nicotine
flooding the brain that smoker's are addicted to than the nicotine itself. Their
mind and body becomes so accustomed to the 'hits' they are oblivious to the
dangers similar to the heroin addict.
The most important factor involved, when a person is trying to stop a lifetime
habit, is for them to think deeply of all the reasons why stopping is vital for
them personally. These reasons should be written down and kept somewhere very
visible to constantly remind the person why they have stopped indulging in this
habit. Some powerful reasons to stop are as follows:
1. Children - whether it is the smoker's own children or those of family and friends or even stranger's children, tobacco smoke is extremely harmful to their sensitive developing brains and lungs. Not only that, children copy adults and a child who sees an adult smoking is more likely to try it themselves and end up also addicted and enduring a life of torment and ill health.
2. Loneliness -
smoking can cause isolation and affects relationships with friends and partners
now that smoking has fallen 'out of fashion'. Smoker's must now retreat outside
buildings to stand alone in all weathers making them look and feel even more
ridiculously addicted. This, in turn, causes great mental discomfort and a
feeling of low self esteem and the smoker begins to withdraw from attending
places where they cannot smoke freely. A home smelling of stale tobacco smoke is
a very unpleasant environment which the smoker ignores but eventually non
smoking friends visit less and less.
3. Respect for
Others - Inflicting the smell of stale tobacco and throwing cigarette butts on
the pavement or out of the car window shows a distinct lack of respect for other
people. People are just too polite to point this out to a smoker or do not want
the confrontation and will drift away instead. So the smoker becomes oblivious
to their affect on others and behaves in a self righteous way convincing
themselves their habit is not adversely affecting anyone.
4. Self Esteem
- the smoker becomes selfish and pretends to ignore what their habit is doing to
their friends or family who care for them. Deep down, however, they are
perfectly aware of their self centred addiction. Smoking simply takes over their
life and is put first before many other important considerations and
commitments. This then leads to a further lack of self esteem and secret misery
which the smoker becomes adept at hiding. Regaining ones self esteem and self
respect and ending the constant secret misery should be a strong incentive.
5. Health - the
affect on health is so subtle and gradual and can mimic the effects of aging and
other conditions so the smoker ignores it and convinces themselves that it is
not the smoking that is causing the ill health. Even when the illnesses being
suffered are directly caused by smoking, still the smoker will ignore the truth
so that they do not have to suffer the pain of withdrawals from nicotine and the
many other chemicals in tobacco smoke. For many, the withdrawal of nicotine is
more painful, because it affects the mind, than the actual illness itself which
is something doctors should be more aware of. When a smoker becomes ill, the
nicotine 'fix' becomes a comforter.
6. Self Control
- The brain is a clever manipulator of the mind and if the host has indulged in
powerful chemicals, initially for self gratification or for feelings of being
'grown up' or 'part of the crowd', as is often the case for first time smokers,
the subconscious side of the brain will take over and make sure this practise
continues. Exposure to any chemicals will alter the brains wiring and the more
the chemical is present in the blood and brain the stronger the need for them
becomes. To consciously ignore the psychological influence is very difficult and
made more so by outside influences such as peer pressure, reduced resolve from
alcohol and other drugs, stressful situations, anxiety and depression.
Smoker's convince themselves that they are smoking because they want to and not
because an inner voice in their brain is commanding them to provide the next
nicotine 'fix'. Positive thinking and constantly saying out loud 'I do not need
to smoke' can help some get over the initial strong cravings.
7. Energy - the
metabolism of the smoker reduces over time. As it slows down the ability to keep
up with others is reduced. This then puts limits on the quality of life whether
it be sharing in physical activities with friends or children or taking part in
sports events or dancing. This should be an incentive for those that like
socialising or want to be able to provide good parenting.
8. Time - the
amount of time a smoker wastes by stopping what they are doing for their 'fix'
will become apparent when they stop smoking. They will suddenly accomplish
everything faster and have the energy to do so. Having more precious time can be
a strong incentive.
9. Money - as
tobacco prices increase it becomes more difficult to afford to smoke and some
even fall into debt due to their habit.
Money saved can be a good incentive for some.
10. Quality and
Length of Life - the smoker has a greatly reduced quality of life health wise,
physically, financially and socially. Smoking causes early aging and menopause,
receding gums, tooth decay, halitosis, thin skin and wrinkles, thinning hair and
hair loss, breathing difficulties, reduction of physical abilities,
weight gain which lead to illnesses and conditions which can cause an early
death. Cancer is the most prevalent, debilitating, painful and fatal outcome of
With all these
points taken into consideration, if a long term smoker can still carry on with
their deadly habit, it should be obvious how dangerous a poisonous drug tobacco
really is, especially for children.
The reason smoking is so difficult to give up are the many uncomfortable and
unpleasant side affects experienced. Some appear immediately and some after many
weeks. A healthy diet, gentle regular exercise and Cleanse and Detoxifying
regime can help to overcome many of these symptoms. The balance of microbes in
the body will be changed after stopping the inhalation of all the chemicals from
Some people experience little physical affects but others experience powerful
changes which can cause illnesses often misdiagnosed as IBS or other terms used
universally to cover all kinds of symptoms. It can take up to two years to
completely recover from the affects of long term smoking so a great deal of
patience is required. Most doctors will not tell patients or are unaware that
giving up smoking tobacco can cause such radical changes to the ex-smoker's
The symptoms that can appear after stopping
The cravings to smoke can quickly get replaced by unhealthy cravings for food,
drugs or alcohol so must be carefully ignored. Using anything which is healthy
to distract the mind during these moments such as exercise, a shower or bath,
cleaning teeth or sipping water can help recover from them and avoid gaining
weight or an even worse addiction.
Irritability, insomnia and depression
Because the brain is so used to functioning with its regular fix of nicotine, when that is taken away there will obviously be a reaction. Exercise, bathing and sipping water and fruit and vegetable juices can help to alleviate
Gum disease can be masked by smoking as nicotine restricts the blood vessels so
bleeding gums is a common symptom. It is important to visit the dentist to have
the teeth cleaned of nicotine and plaque and the gum disease treated. Try
cleaning the teeth with bicarbonate of soda in between using a natural herbal
toothpaste using a high quality electric toothbrush and always clean teeth after
eating or drinking anything containing sugar especially alcohol. Also use the small brushes that can fit in between the teeth regularly. See
and Gum Disease.
Some people may experience constant infections and inflammation especially of
the chest. Breathlessness and mucus may also appear. This is because the lungs are
repairing themselves and can take two years to completely recover. Check Respiratory Disorders for natural remedies.
The metabolism is lowered when nicotine is removed from the body. This can cause
a sluggish and problematic digestive system with bloating, constipation,
diarrhoea, flatulence, acid reflux and stomach pains. It may also be due to the
fact that nicotine is a fungicide and so the body's natural flora is upset when
it is removed and the body's own defence to fungi takes time to reactivate.
Consume probiotics foods like organic live yoghurt and plenty of grain fibre and
coconut which will help to readdress the balance of bacteria and other microbes
in the intestines. It may take quite some time for this to settle down.
THE NATURE CURES STOP SMOKING GUIDE
First of all,
remove or give away all sugary and salty snacks, ready meals, processed packaged
foods, premade sauces, soups, refined foods (including table salt, white flour,
white rice and sugar) from the kitchen. All these foods are unhealthy and when a
smoker stops they may need snacks to replace the nicotine. If no unhealthy foods
exist in the home they will find it easier to eat nutritious natural foods that
will help them recover.
Shopping can be a stressful situation so it is wise to stock up on all that can
help before the day planned to break the habit.
1. Buy extra
cleaning solutions for clothes, bedding, soft furnishings and curtains etc
2. Purchase a
powerful (900 watt) vegetables juicer and a blender. Raw Juicing is an excellent
way to gain high nutrients and detoxify the body and provides a new activity to
replace smoking. See the
Raw Juicing page for recipes.
3. Stock up
with the following:
Also choose a wide selection of the following to consume daily, (organic and
fresh wherever possible).
It is important to consume one of each colour of fruit and vegetables daily
to gain all the nutrients and minerals required to recover quickly and fully
from the damage of smoking tobacco. See
For main meals consume far more fish and seafood than meat. Choose game birds,
rabbit and venison and organically farmed beef or free range poultry and organ meats which
have higher concentrates of essential nutrients. Daily consumption of protein
should never be larger than the size of the fist of the person consuming it.
Alternate protein from meat and fish with legumes, pulses, grains, dairy, nuts
It is important to consume organic
food wherever possible to avoid powerful toxic pesticide, herbicide and fungicide residues. See Pesticides.
The lacto acid produced when pickling vegetables, herbs, spices
and fruits, using just unrefined sea salt and water, provides extra probiotics to the diet which are
essential for a healthy digestive system. These pickles can be produced easily at home
and will preserve these foods for up to one year.
Brine Pickling page.
NATURE CURES GUIDE TO THE FIRST DAYS OF ABSTINENCE
The smoker must learn to ignore the brains electrical impulses telling the mind
that it cannot work without nicotine. Fighting these strong regular subconscious
very difficult even without outside influences. Some methods that can help
during the initial hours and days of nicotine abstinence are as follows:
1. Remove stress. Try to give up during a weeks holiday from work. Don't answer
the telephone. Tell family and friends to make life quiet and peaceful for just
one week to allow you to get over the initial strong yearnings. Don't be tempted
to drink alcohol or go out socialising for this important week.
2. Stay away from anything that was associated with smoking for a few days. Coffee, computer, TV, telephone, alcohol, smoking friends etc.
3. Remove clutter. Tidying up, clearing out unwanted and nicotine damaged items
and cleaning the home can be very therapeutic in the first days of not smoking.
Clean all clothes, soft furnishings and any possessions that smell of tobacco smoke or throw them away.
Redecorate the home.
4. Whenever the nicotine yearning pops into the brain take a very long deep
breath, get up and stretch the body, arms and legs and shake the hands.
5. Drink bottled mineral water or juice when cravings hit. This also helps to flush out
the toxins that have built up in the body from years of smoking and mineral
water helps provide extra minerals. Investing the
money saved in a juicer and blender so that pure fruit and vegetable juices can
help revitalise the tobacco damaged body.
6. Eliminate sugar and sugary snacks and big heavy meals. This makes the brain sluggish and less
alert meaning it will be harder to be positive and wilful. Eat little and often,
healthy nutritious fruit especially berries and grapes, vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains throughout
the day to give your brain a different constant reward. Once the body starts
feeling revitalised and detoxified by these healthy foods, the brain will begin
to reduce the desire for nicotine naturally.
7. Clean the teeth with bicarbonate of soda when the urge to smoke hits you.
This will help to readdress the acid/alkaline balance in the body, kill the
pathogenic bacteria in the mouth caused by the chemicals from smoking and clean
off the nicotine deposits on the teeth.
8. Take a shower or a long soak in an aromatic bath when the urge to smoke is
9. Do some exercise, walk fast or run around the block or ride a bicycle as fast as possible
until the feeling subsides. This also helps to flush out the toxins in the body.
10. Make a diary plan and book tickets to visit non stressful places you would
not normally go and where smoking (and alcohol) is prohibited such as museums,
galleries, zoos, garden centres, stately homes, sports events and other places
that interest you.
11. Start something physical that was never associated with smoking such as
gardening, dancing, swimming, a sport or start training for a marathon to raise
money for charity. The mind needs a positive activity to channel all efforts
into. Idle time can make it much more difficult to abstain.
NATURE CURES DAILY ESSENTIALS
FIRST UPON WAKING
One tablespoon apple cider vinegar, juice of half a lemon, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4
teaspoon turmeric in a cup of warm water, stirred and sipped slowly. Detoxifies the liver.
teaspoon of psyllium husks in freshly squeezed fruit juice followed by a large
glass of mineral water.
Clean teeth with bicarbonate of soda mixed with coconut oil or a natural toothpaste containing aloe vera, fennel or tea tree oil. Avoid mouthwash
BREAKFAST AND SNACK CHOICES
Oats with goat's milk, coconut and pinch of pink Himalayan salt crystals.
Eggs, two poached or scrambled with a pinch of turmeric and cooked tomatoes.
Berries with organic probiotic yoghurt.
Tomatoes on rye or oatmeal toast with basil and rapeseed oil.
Sardines or mackerel on rye or oatmeal toast with chopped fresh dill and lemon juice.
Homemade oat flapjacks (see
Home made muesli with dried fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut, oats and bran flakes with goat's
milk or plain yoghurt with live cultures and honey.
Fresh or freshly squeezed or juiced fruits from the list above.
THROUGH OUT THE DAY
Always have fresh berries, grapes, green tea with lemon and bottled mineral
water to hand. Drink one litre of bottled mineral water per day.
The juice of one lemon; which can be added to teas, salads, snacks,
Green tea with freshly squeezed lemon juice (and half teaspoon of honey if
required). Drink three cups per day.
Herbal teas - peppermint, mint, fennel, aniseed, ginger and cardamom are good for
Aniseed, fennel and cardamom is an excellent detoxifying tea which will speed up
the eradication of chemicals which have built up in the body from smoking. Drink three cups per day.
Ginger and pine bark extract can thin the blood as well as aspirin without causing stomach lining damage. This is important for smokers and ex-smokers so should be consumed daily.
Make snack pots
to keep in the refrigerator with raw chopped up vegetables and add dried seeds,
nuts, herbs and spices of choice. Add live probiotic yoghurt for a creamy snack.
Mix nuts, seeds
and dried fruits in jars to snack on anytime. Place in sealed bags to take out
for snacks whenever leaving the house along with bottled mineral water.
Roast garlic and parsnips using a sprinkle of rapeseed oil until dry and crispy.
Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and eat as snacks.
Each day, consume at least one of the following: an apple, a root
vegetable, a green leafy vegetable, a citrus fruit and berries.
Eat as much fresh and juiced fruit and vegetables as desired. Always add a
sprinkle of fish, nut, seed or vegetable oil to vegetables containing fat-soluble
carotenoids or consume avocado with them.
Tea and green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, have oxalates that block the absorption of iron. To assist the body in the absorption eat
vitamin C rich fruits such as a couple of
if having green leafy vegetables or tea with a meal or snack.
Nature Cures Recipes for main meals that can provide all the nutrients
required to cleanse the blood and brain, strengthen the immune system and heal
the vital organs which may have been damaged by the chemicals from tobacco
To prevent cancer in those that smoke
Consume the following regularly:
apples, bell peppers,
carrots, corn, egg yolk,
grape seeds, limes, mango,
papaya, persimmons fruit, peaches, orange rind,
To reverse lung damage due to smoking
Making teas from the following herbs and inhaling the steam while they steep for ten minutes and drinking one cup two or three times a day can help to break-up the phlegm and remove the tar from lungs after years of smoking.
To flush out the toxins ingested and nutrients reduced through smoking
Anchovies are rich in the newly discovered omega-7 fatty acids that are protective of the heart and lungs and can prevent metabolic syndrome and diabetes that smoking tobacco can cause but they also contain a lot of sodium so are not advised when high blood pressure is an issue. Soaking anchovies in cold water for 30 minutes then rinsing well and patting dry with kitchen paper can reduce the sodium level a little.
Broccoli can help to protect the lungs from damage and provides vital nutrients lost through smoking tobacco.
Carrot juice are rich in carotene and vitamins A, B, C, and K that help to eliminate nicotine from the body. Carrot juice also helps to replenish the nutrients vital for eye, hair and skin health which nicotine can destroy. Always consume with a little oily foods such as avocado, coconut, fish, nut seed or other cold-pressed plant oils so that the fat-soluble nutrients can be absorbed.
Citrus fruits help to flush out toxins from the kidneys and liver caused by smoking tobacco and replenish many vital vitamins. Always include the zest of half a lemon or lime in the daily diet.
Kiwi fruit is rich in vitamins A, C and E that smoking reduces.
Lungwort is a herb related to borage that can help to protect and repair lungs that have been damaged by tobacco smoking.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation and keep cells healthy which smoking tobacco can compromise. Often the western diet is too high in the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids compared to the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming a selection of the following daily can help to readdress this balance.
Highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids in milligrams per 100 grams
Krill oil 36000 mg
Flaxseed oil 22813 mg
Chia seeds 17552 mg
Walnuts 9079 mg
Caviar (fish eggs) 6789 mg
Cloves (ground) 4279 mg
Oregano (dried) 4180 mg
Marjoram (dried) 3230 mg
Tarragon (dried) 2955 mg
Mackerel 2670 mg
Herring 2365 mg
Salmon (wild) 2018 mg
Lamb 1610 mg
Basil (dried) 1509 mg
Sardines 1480 mg
Anchovies 1478 mg
Soya beans 1433 mg
Trout 1068 mg
Pecans, sea bass 986 mg
Pine nuts 787 mg
Bell peppers (green) 770 mg
Oysters 740 mg
Radish seeds sprouted 722 mg
Purslane 400 mg
Basil (fresh leaves) 316 mg
Rabbit 220 mg
Kidney beans 194 mg
Wakame seaweed 188 mg
Pomegranate juice can improve circulation and reduce plaque on artery walls that smoking causes.
Sulforaphane: The precursors for sulforaphane production are found in brassicas and regular consumption can boost the immune system, prevent spina difida in newborns (if consumed during pregnancy) and prevent heart disease and many forms of cancer as well as flush out heavy metals ingested through smoking tobacco and pollution. A selection of the following should be consumed daily: bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, cress, daikon, horseradish, kale,
kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, rapeseed, rocket, shepherd's purse, Swede, turnip, wasabi and watercress.
Sunflower seeds are rich n vitamin B1 and E that smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can reduce levels of.
Sweet potatoes have components that rejuvenate the respiratory system and prevent emphysema because of the high amounts of carotenoids that they contain. 100 g tuber provides
19218 µg of vitamin A and 8509 µg (micrograms) of beta-carotene. Consume sweet potatoes three times a week with a little oily foods to help protect and heal the lungs. Most smokers have a lack of vitamin A and have problems with emphysema (air sacs damage). Vitamin A is vital for eye health.
Vitamin D levels can be compromised by smoking as the skin becomes less adapt at absorbing the suns rays to produce vitamin D through smoking tobacco.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed
Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU
Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU
Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU
Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU
Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU
Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU
Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU
Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU
Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU
Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU
Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU
Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU
Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU
Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU
NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
Water is essential for smokers as nicotine dehydrates the body. Drink at least six glasses per day. Coconut water and pineapple juice are rich in electrolytes that also help to rehydrate the body.
See also Respiratory Disorders
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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