Caveat: Venter

Think about all of the things that make your brain itch. These are mine.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Doubting The Experts

When I was a student at Bellevue Community College, I spent three years as an officer in the Student Health Awareness Committee (SHAC). We held four events each year, one being The Great American Smokeout. We SHAC members put together great programs each year, full of assistance and information. Sadly, a decade and a half later, I am questioning the approach that we, taking our lead from the American Cancer Society, took in those years.

Check all the facts and get ready to (p)rattle them off if you like, but is it good? Nicotine goes to the brain twice as quickly as mainlined heroin. Nicotine is twice as addictive as heroin. Cigarette smoke contains, by most counts I have seen, over 60 carcinogens. Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to be involved in automobile accidents. There is, of course, much more, but there is a problem with all of it.

Smokers are being bombarded with the message that there is no tougher addiction to break than the addiction to nicotine. Failing to quit, then, becomes almost OK. After all, it's one thing to quit using other drugs, but nicotine is the tough one, right? I spent a little over seven years as a smoker, quitting once for a three-week period. Last week, I quit again. I didn't quit with the idea that nicotine is the most addictive substance out there; rather, I quit in spite of that information.

The quitter, we used to explain, should avoid situations in which he or she was accustomed to smoking, should avoid stress, should go where smoking is prohibited. I went everywhere I smoked and at the times I smoked. I flew up to Seattle on a Saturday and returned on a Monday (connecting through SFO on the return). I dealt with finals in three classes that same afternoon I flew into LAX. I delivered finals again on Friday and Saturday mornings. I got snarky, but I reminded myself why and reined it in. In short, I tossed out the damned quit-smoking guidebook that had failed me numerous times and




I recommend it. Highly.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger jo(e) said...

I think you've got the right idea.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Kass said...

When did you start smoking? ( I know when you quit--ha) When was the last time I saw the late 90's? You a cigarette smoker? really? I am shocked!

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Andrew Purvis said...

October 1998.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger academic coach said...

Good for you. And for "going public" with your project.

BTW, thanks for your addition to my Oy Vey translation sheet. LOL

There do seem to be a lot of students lately asking for special tx so that they can get into good grad schools. You'd think that they'd realize that it'll ruin their chances of getting a good recommendation.


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