Quit Smoking Research and Web Pages. Also Some General Substance Abuse Programs (research.html)

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Researching Quitting Smoking and Tobacco Issues and Some Other Web Sites

Below is a list of various web sites that contain information about quitting smoking. Most web sites listed below (and unless otherwise noted) contain medical, technical, and statistical information about tobacco, nicotine, quitting smoking, etc.

LINK

DESCRIPTION

The official Nicotine Anonymous web site at http://www.nicotine-anonymous.org/   (NicA)

Nicotine Anonymous primarily is made up of about 450 weekly meetings world wide. As far as I know, it is the only quit smoking or quit nicotine use program that has ongoing face - to - face meetings. Nicotine Anonymous is not a web site for researching tobacco and nicotine medical or technical issues, but lacking a separate category for web sites, I put it here. Rather, Nicotine Anonymous has a program and tips for adjusting to life as a non-nicotine user, and for dealing with the mental and emotional factors that led us to smoking in the first place, and that kept us hooked for so long. So as to reduce the likelihood of relapsing. Many of us found that we were dealing with situations that angered us or frightened us by smoking, and now have been learning to deal with these situations directly.

The American Cancer Society at http://www.cancer.org

Of the "big three" (American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association) I prefer the American Cancer Society for quit-smoking and nicotine research. The page is fast loading and the search engine returns results "relevancy - ranked", i.e. best matches first.

American Lung Assn at http://www.lungusa.org

The main page is very slow loading due to excessive large graphics. However, it is a very comprehensive site of information, at least judging from the number of articles returned by a search on "nicotine".

American Heart Assn at http://www.amhrt.org

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The quit-smoking web site at about.com (formerly the Mining Co.) It has several "Netlinks" -- about 20 subject areas. See to the right for a list of netlinks. Each subject area has links to about 12 sites that explain these topics well. If you have a problem with the above link, try the main page at http://quitsmoking.about.com/

  • Acupuncture
  • Anti-Tobacco Activism
  • Cigars
  • Genetics
  • Health and Medical
  • Heart Disease
  • Impotence
  • Lung Cancer
  • Nicotine Gum
  • Nicotine Inhalers
  • Nicotine Nasal Sprays
  • Nicotine Patches
  • Organizations
  • Pregnancy
  • Quitmeters
  • Quitting
  • Second-Hand Smoke
  • SIDS
  • Smoking in Movies
  • Spit Tobacco
  • Teen Smoking
  • Weight Control
  • Women
  • Zyban

The alt.support.stop-smoking web site

The alt.support.stop-smoking newsgroup (known as the AS3 newsgroup) mentioned above supports a very good Web site at http://www.swen.uwaterloo.ca/~bpekilis/as3/ with a lot of links to other Web sites.

The AS3 FAQ: This marvelous FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) comes in 4 parts and there are 40 "questions and answers (Q&A)" total. Part 1 is Q&A 1 thru 21. Part 2 is Q&A 22 thru 27 (partial). Part 3 is Q&A 27 (continued) thru 28. Part 4 is Q&A 29 thru 40. (This info on parts is just in case you are concerned whether you got it all or not). (This breakdown is true as of 2/15/98). The FAQ is available from the alt.support.stop-smoking web site.

Q&A 19 (in part 1 of the FAQ) has a good section on online resources.

The Quit net web site's library at http://www.quitnet.org/ library/

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The Nicnet web site at http://tobacco.arizona.edu

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Places To Post Medical Questions


alt.support.stop-smoking and Deja News


The best place to ask questions of other people going through the quit-smoking process is the alt.support.stop-smoking newsgroup. Its also a good place to do research, e.g. find what other "quit-smokers" are saying about Zyban.

To follow this newsgroup, it is best to have a newsreader, like Free Agent (free) available for download at www.download.com.

For research or asking a question, Deja News at www.dejanews.com is great, and you don't need a newsreader. But DejaNews puts only one message on a page, and you have to click and wait to get the next message.

For research, you will find that you need the Power Search feature at http://www.dejanews.com/home_ps.shtml.

NOTE TO MYSELF: DESCRIBE AN EXAMPLE SEARCH OR TWO

Web-Based Forums


Some of the more active Web-based forums listed in groupsa.html are also good places to post questions to other quit-smokers.

Medical Web Sites


There are some web sites where you can post a question, and a real medical doctor will answer it. For example, how long does nicotine stay in the bloodstream? Or are the symptoms I'm having (whatever they are) normal for people quitting smoking, or is there something else wrong?

On Yahoo (www.yahoo.com), I did a search:

[ physician questions ]
and got a number of relevant hits. The best page was: http://www.yahoo.com/Health/Advice/ which listed several web sites where you can ask a question and a doctor will answer.

One I've heard about is the Dr. Steve website at http://www.DrSteve.org, which states that you can ask questions about addiction, including nicotine. It seems particularly strong in this area.

Another ask-a-doctor web site I'm familiar with is The Flora web site at www.flora.org/ask-doctor/ . It is not that strong on smoking, but do search on "smok*" and then on "nicotine". There is a succinct but thorough list of quit-smoking suggestions from a doctor at http://news.flora.org/ask-doctor/answers/2886.

Answers To Common Questions


(Sorry that this isn't more comprehensive. Right now, it is just one question and answer).

Question 1 - How long does nicotine stay in the system?

Answer Nicotine is a short-acting drug that is eliminated from the body relatively quickly (i.e., within a day or so). However, the effects of acute nicotine withdrawal can be felt for as much as two weeks or more. In addition, the byproducts of nicotine can be detected in the blood for up to a month after you stop smoking. This is only of concern if you are in a situation where someone else might want to test you for the presence of nicotine or nicotine byproducts in your system. - Source: Blair's Newsletter, 7/10/00. Unfortunately, he didn't cite a source. Blair's web site is at http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com.

Jim Larson Comment 1: I've read elsewhere that nicotine can be detected in the hair indefinitely -- any hair that grew while you were a smoker. So after being quit for a few months, and if you are worried about a hair sample being tested, think about getting your hair cut!

Jim Larson Comment 2: The "How long does nicotine stay in the bloodstream?" question is a very common question on quit-smoking message boards. People seem to think that things will get much easier as soon as they eliminate nicotine from the bloodstream. In their minds, they think of nicotine addiction as being similar to heroin addiction -- just get over the agony of "physical withdrawal", and then cravings should be a lot less, and just "mental" instead of "physical". Well, that's not the experience of most people, at least not mine nor the hundreds of people I've spent hundreds of hours with on message boards and chatrooms. Most people say that days 2 and 3 (hours 24 - 72) are the worst. After that, it slow-w-w-w-ly gets easier, day by day, week by week, month by month.

The idea that getting nicotine out of the bloodstream is the express way to easy street leads many to prematurely quit using nicotine replacement aids like the patch. Rather, I believe that quitting smoking is a lot like quitting alcohol. Nobody who quits drinking for more than a day says, "Oh good, I no longer have alcohol in my bloodstream, so its going to be a lot easier now". Rather, getting through the first day or two that is required to get alcohol out of the bloodstream is only a very small first step in quitting drinking. Likewise, I believe that getting nicotine out of the bloodstream is a fairly small part of the battle to quit smoking.

So the next time you are thinking of getting off the patch or the gum prematurely, think more of the alcohol model of addiction (where getting the addictive substance out of the bloodstream does not reduce cravings much) and less of the heroin model of addiction. I believe that quitting smoking is primarily a mental battle against old learned patterns (we've learned hundreds of times a day for years that a puff brings relief, so it will take a long time to unlearn that). This slow unlearning of "a puff brings relief" is a much larger and longer battle than restoring the brain chemistry to nicotine-free equilibrium.  

Some Substance Abuse And Other Self-Help or Support Group Programs

Most of these deal more with alcohol and drugs rather than nicotine. Besides the 12 step program used by Nicotine Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and every other ___ Anonymous program, I found the alternative approaches to addictions offered by Rational Recovery and S.M.A.R.T. to also be very helpful. The books I describe in Methods For Quitting Smoking, "When AA Doesn't Work For You -- Rational Steps To Quitting Alcohol" and "Rational Recovery, The New Cure For Substance Addiction" are the basis of the S.M.A.R.T program and the Rational Recovery program respectively. Here are a few of many substance abuse and various other kinds of programs:   www.green5.org/minnhelp.html#nonminres


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