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Still not addicted?

Hey guys,

For the past few months I've been smoking cigarettes every now and then. Not each and every day, but more like 3 to 4 times a week. Let's say I smoke around a pack a week. After all these months I still don't have any signs of addiction. Each time I light up a cigarette I get pretty dizzy. Most of the times I smoke a couple of cigs, so not just one, but with a pause of 20 minutes between them, I mostly smoke around 4 when I smoke. Is addiction only a psychological thing or is it also for the need of a cigarette? I mean, I don't feel like I need them, since I don't have any problems when not smoking for a couple of weeks.. Does addiction really acquire one to smoke a couple of cigarettes a day?

Consistency

Start...in my decidedly non-clinical opinion, addiction will set in after a few weeks of smoking every day...when your system always has at least some nicotine which is replenished a little each day, your body will acclimate to the drug.

The signpost of addiction is feeling a craving one day, lighting up and then feeling that craving subside almost instantly. To verify it, don't smoke for about 12 hours and see how you're feeling at the end of that time.

If you're thinking you can't wait to smoke by the end of the 12 hours, then you have probably become addicted at some level. The more you smoke after that, the deeper the addiction and the greater the feeling of relief when you smoke again.

My experience was that like you, I could knock off for weeks and not really think about it. But that one summer where I smoked 3 or 4 per day, every day, made the difference. I tried to back off from smoking that autumn, but this time my body would have none of it...I was hooked for sure.

In sum, I think the psychological addiction is some inexplicable attraction to the idea of smoking and is what keeps drawing you to try it...but smoking every day will morph that into a very physiological reality.

Thanks for your reaction

Thanks for your reaction Alpineman,

I must say that I indeed think that I'm not addicted, since I don't really have the idea that I have cravings for cigarettes. You know, smoking is nice and I like watching smoke coming out of my body, it is kind of strange but beautiful as well.

I however do think that I have kind of a psychological addiction, because of the fact that I want to see the smoke coming out of me. That is the reason why I sometimes smoke. I wish that the dizziness wouldn't be there, since it can be a little bit irritating sometimes. Not sure if I want to do it on a daily basis, since right now I don't really get a "relief" feeling when I smoke, that is the kind of thing I'm thinking about right now...

thesmartguy89's picture

It's a mental state

Addiction is influenced by your mind, almost in my personal experience: with certain people and in certain places I don't smoke (for exmple in my room, but here all my family smoke and I must open the window for change the air!) but it's also a mental condition!

Do you want become a badass and totally addicted smoker or do you prefer enjoy your cig in certain moments (for example with your friends, after a coffee .... )?

low level desire, will it advance?

Many people become lower level cigarette users and can stay so for years. There is some possibility that if you can unexpectedly experience the urge to inhale more deeply and smoke more frequently, cigarettes will suddenly start demanding your attention. You will find the desire to smoke much harder to resist and you will choose to smoke more. In the meantime, enjoy.

Psychological addiction

There is a lot to the notion of psychological addiction...what else explains why some keep trying smoking even though it doesn't necessarily agree with them at the outset.

When I was first trying smoking, I really liked blowing out smoke...and still very much do...along with many other aspects of the activity...obviously psychological and not physical...but I would often think about those aspects and would get the urge to smoke.

I enjoyed inhaling very early on...never had an issue with dizziness after a few attempts...and once I was able to smoke daily I think physical addiction took hold. At first it bothered me when I couldn't stay away from cigarettes...but then I reasoned that since I had always wanted to be a smoker, what difference did it make? I love making the craving go away with a couple of deep inhales.

You seem to be in that gray area and you need to make your decision or the cigarettes will make it for you. If you want to avoid cravings or addiction, then you have to address the psychological aspects...I can't help you there since I eagerly chased smoking. But if you find yourself irresistibly drawn to watching your exhales or simply holding a cigarette, then you're likely on the way to addiction.

Brand?

What brand are you smoking and do you smoke as soon as you get up in the morning?

Thanks for all the responses!

First off I'd like to thank you for all the responses, never expected this!

Thesmartguy, I must say that I mostly like a cigarette every now and then, so not sure if I want to take the plunge and become a permanent smoker, kind of afraid for that to happen to be honest.

Spaceneedleboy, I think you're right. Right now I'm definitely one of the lower level cigarette users. I do enjoy them every now and then, but it would be kind of strange to smoke everyday and quite a lot..

Alpineman, be happy that you weren't dizzy when smoking at first, because it can be, as I said before, pretty irritating IMO. I would like to experience cravings, but not sure what it would do with me. Ofcourse it means that I would be addicted then, but as I told Thesmartguy, I'm kind of afraid for that to happen.

Gettintrapped, I'm smoking reds right now, and never smoked anything else except for the first two packs, I smoked marlboro golds because those are light cigarettes, but I must say that I enjoy the reds a lot more, the taste is a lot better!

What do you guys think? I hope you do understand that I like to be a lower level cigarette user at the moment. I think that that would be fine. Right now my parents aren't at home, so I'm smoking cigarettes on a daily basis for the next days, and I'll see what it does..

thesmartguy89's picture

I understand

@Thestart: I understand your fears (I am not a permanent smoker too) but don't worry: a cigarette can also a little reward for yourself in certain moment of the day!
the important is enjoy the moment with the cigarette in the lips and feels the pleasure sensation of the nicotine in the brain!

Don't worry!

Addiction

Psychological addiction does not require a certain number of cigarettes a day. If you wanted to test if you were psychologically addicted to cigarettes, try not smoking for a week or two.

For me, I started to feel physical withdrawal (and thus addiction) after a period of three days where I smoked every day. I was only smoking lightly- as little as 2.and as many as 5 but I definitely felt relief when on the last day I abstained for a number of hours then smoked a cigar in the evening.

Some people can do this no problem, but alas I was not one who could smoke lightly or occasionally without addiction.

I'd suggest keeping your smoking the way it is if you are afraid of addiction, although addiction isn't as terrible as I feared it would be. Cravings are not much different than being hungry, only you aren't hungry for food, it is nicotine you want in the form of a cigarette.

A path I never traveled

Your description of being "lower level" is hard for me personally to grasp...I wanted to be a smoker and would thus do it whenever the chance arose to the max extent possible...I remember parental absences being just such an opportunity.

If you can actually smoke on a daily basis for a while and not feel cravings of any sort, that would not square with my experience or that of any of my smoking friends. Your body will likely adapt to having nicotine on a daily basis...then you'll feel a kind of emptiness in your chest which will grow in intensity...and there's only one thing in the world that will scratch that itch.

If you're smoking daily, you're about to cross the proverbial Rubicon in my view...but as noted, that view is colored by what for me would have been the utter impossibility of being a part-time smoker.

However it falls, good luck to you,

Matt Lombardi's picture

every day is key if you want to get addicted

Thestart,
The fact that you smoke everyday now with parents gone, might just put you over the edge. When they get back and all that, you typically would still want to smoke every day as you have been doing the last n days. That's very typical low grade addiction at play.

So if you want to be a badass smoker, dont fear addiction and smoke a min of 5 everyday (preferably at the same time too everyday). Watch your numbers go up and your cravings grow strong.

If you don't want to be addicted, don't smoke every day and keep your numbers down.

Are your parents still gone and are you smoking every day now? What is it like?

I agree with Matt.

I agree with Matt. Consistency is important. Five or six a day should do the trick, if they're evenly spaced and you stick to a regular schedule. The other thing I'd add though is how you smoke plays a part too. If you want to get hooked and start getting cravings, you need to start smoking the few you do smoke like a more seasoned smoker. You can teach yourself those basic things by practicing taking longer drags, deep inhales and slow exhales (pausing before you exhale if you can). At first it will take some thought but soon that will just be the normal way you smoke a cigarette.

Here's a simple schedule architected around some common craving times that can help set a pattern to get you that lined up with a more experienced smoker, but at a level a new smoker can handle: 1 when you wake up, 1 after breakfast, 1 before you eat your lunch, 1 right after lunch, 1 after dinner, 1 right before bed. Spaced like this you should be able to work in the enhanced smoking techniques without overloading yourself. Once you commit to smoking like this you basically have put in place a "set it and forget it plan." If you stick to it it isn't a question of if you'll be hooked, only a matter of when. Everyone's body is different, but under this approach I'd say in two weeks or so, you'll establish a regular habit.

Hope this helps and that you find the tips here enjoyable.

This is what my girlfriend

This is what my girlfriend had me do. Made me promise to keep her schedule for just two weeks. Now I see why! So glad I listened to her.

Sounds like it worked well

Sounds like it worked well for you GIT. Now that you've accepted yourself as a smoker, are you still sticking with your girlfriends schedule or have you leveled off at an amount unique to you?

I don't really stick to her

I don't really stick to her schedule. Think she just wanted to tie me down to that for a few weeks to make sure I gave the nicotine a chance to do its job. There are for sure certain times of the day that are automatic without thinking about it. Is kinda nice not having to plan it out anymore.

I was an occasions smoker for

I was an occasions smoker for many year. Always Marlboro menthol and sometimes camel menthols. I was happy with just smoking occasionally. Little less than two months ago me and my girlfriend went away for a weekend and I didn't have any of the cigarettes I would normally smoke occasionally and she wouldn't let me stop to get any and told me to smoke some of her Newports since she just got herself a carton anyway. Those things got me into a full out nicotine addiction so fast I actually didn't even notice what was happening till it was already done. I was freaked out about it at first but as time went by and I realized I was fighting against something that there was zero chances of beating things did get better.

Typical

Occasional smokers very often have some life event where they enjoy smoking just a little bit more than usual, then slip into the dependency and compulsive desire to smoke regularly. At that point, you can try to quit if you really want to but you'll become a "dormant smoker". You may find that after some quit attempts you realize that you really don't want to quit.

thesmartguy89's picture

My final advise

Thestart as I write be forse I am an occassional-social-on-off smoker! I am not additeced (in a topic I write that I am not a nicotine's slave, but that we are on-off lovers!) but for me is not a problem!
Don't see yourself as a "wrong smoker" because the idea of addiction scare you! Enjoy your fags when you want (alone or with friends) and stop!

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