With each drag of your cigarette...
The temperature in the red tip of a cigarette rises to 900C, which causes some of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco to change their compounds, including around 60 cancer-related carcinogens. As you inhale the rush of hot air and smoke, it enters and attacks your throat, lungs and other vital organs. It is important to note that cigarettes are merely a very fast delivery mechanism (about 10 seconds) for the harmful effects from nicotine to be absorbed into your body. (Did you know that the auto-ignition of gasolene is around 400C, hence the smoking ban at petrol pumps!).
Within seconds, the nicotine enters your bloodstream, travels around your veins and arteries and reaches the receptors in the part of your brain (the amygdala) where pleasurable feelings/emotions and addictions are initiated. So, the moment the nicotine hits the brain, the smoker feels better and in many cases, describes this as pleasure!
That, at least is how the smoker sees it!
However, at the same time the carbon monoxide content of your blood rises and your oxygen levels are reduced, your heart beats a lot faster and your blood pressure rises, causing all your small blood vessels to constrict. These are exactly the responses which occur when an individual suffers from stress!
But hey, you say smoking helps you relax!
Lighting up your cigarette has simply helped alleviate the irritation (craving) which is really a compulsive urge, sent as a signal by your unconscious mind to your brain as a prompt. The exact aim of prompt is:
- To spur you to act immediately.
- To remind you that it is something you usually do about now.
- That it might be useful or gratifying according to your current beliefs.
- The cigarette or inhaled smoke has done nothing whatsoever to relax you or provide you with pleasure, yet smokers universally believe this to be true.
It is your perception of your habit as an immediate vehicle to put things right and present you to those around you as a sound, dependable sort of person who is in control of themselves. Think again, you're just dependent on your next cigarette, which incidentally is controlling you and in no way puts things right in your world at all! Deep down you know that.
Change your perception and your smoking habit will change too!
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