Are the drugs that cause the greatest addiction illegal?

No! Scientific literature shows that nicotine is the most widely used and most readily available addictive substance worldwide …and it is completely legal!

Potency is not the only factor that plays a role in addiction; availability and frequency of use are also important. Addiction to nicotine is extremely difficult to overcome, firstly due to its intrinsic characteristics that allow it to interact with the most important endogenous receptor systems, meaning that it is the key that opens all the doorways to pleasure. Secondly, because tobacco is available everywhere and can be purchased in the majority of countries all over the world without breaking any laws.

But is smoking an addiction or a pleasure?

Smoking begins as a pleasure and ends with the consumption of the mediators involved, something that causes the smoker to persevere with smoking in order to experience new pleasure but at a much higher price. The multi-systems involvement leads to side effects which, although not directly sought, increase proportionally with the extent of smoking. Over time, nicotine takes over from the other sources of gratification and ends up by being the only way to seek pleasure.

Every time I go to my cardiologist for a check-up he asks: "Have you stopped smoking? No? Then why have you come to see me?” According to him my problem is simply a question of willpower…..And since I’m not able to stop smoking, what should I do? …. Stop also going to the doctor?

Let’s start by saying that smokers have the same right to good health as everyone else. We mustn’t judge them or make them feel guilty. In fact, the problem is not their willpower but rather, the series of obstacles that create a barrier to the fulfillment of the decision-making process. These obstacles must be identified and removed one at a time so that the patient can experience satisfaction and become more motivated. Motivation then fuels willpower. It is a simple yet effective vicious circle. And it also works in those cases where it is absolutely impossible to stop smoking, so harm reduction strategy will be taken even just to help the subject limiting the addiction problem!

I am 34 and work as a clerk. Every day I have to deal with the frustrating attempt to stop smoking. Even the mere thought of facing my day without smoking makes me panic. On the rare occasions when I have tried to stop smoking in the past I’ve become depressed, agitated, irritated, restless and suffered from mood swings and always had the constant desire to light up a cigarette. Am I going to be a slave trapped for the rest of my life ?

All your symptoms can be attributed to a well-known syndrome typical of subjects who are addicted to nicotine when the circulating levels of this substance start to drop in their system.

In the hands of a therapist guide, all these physical and psychological problems that you find impossible to face up to and overcome, will be alleviated thanks to the help of multiple approaches that are adopted step by step depending on each individual case. The fear of not being able to face a day without smoking is nothing more than an "addiction thought” which once identified melts like snow in the sun.

I’ve made up my mind, I want to stop smoking, I’m ready for anything… but I don’t want to put on weight, I care about my health and my image but I can’t afford to get fat! How can I do this? Is it possible to stop smoking without gaining weight?

There are various reasons why you put on weight when you stop smoking. However, this does not happen to everyone. In this case food can turn into a real ally instead of an enemy. There are a few precautions to be taken however; the right choice of food and a few tricks that will help keep your weight down and regenerate your body’s natural well being while ridding it of the effects of smoking.

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