I wish I knew how to quit you”
-Brokeback Mountain, 2005
Webster defines “vice” as “an abnormal behavior pattern in a domestic animal detrimental to its health or usefulness.” Evil as it may sound, vice is coupled with another evil, which comes in the form of what we call “withdrawal symptom.” It starts as soon as you stop a vice, therefore making it difficult for you to take control over it.
Smoking, being one of the most widely practiced vices, is one jealous lover… It haunts the smoker, making it almost impossible to part with puffing. The nicotine in it creeps through the bloodstream, much like a poison, controlling and defeating the host.
Nicotine, by the way, is a poisonous alkaloid that is the principal active ingredient in cigarettes. It is addicting, habit forming and is responsible for negative emotions such as depression, anger and lack of concentration.
But the God of the 21st century – technology – has given hope! Recent studies have found ways to neutralize the luring effect of withdrawal symptoms, completing every long-life-and-healthy-living advocate’s fight force against the ill effects of smoking. Every aspiring quitter’s inherent want to stop smoking is now made easier by the wonders of nicotine patches.
I am talking about a skin patch much like a topical sticker, which contains a pad of nicotine. Because the skin is a natural absorbent, once the nicotine patch is applied, the skin absorbs the nicotine from the pad to the bloodstream. Over a period of time, the nicotine patch maintains and ensures the presence of nicotine in the blood, therefore, avoiding the onset of withdrawal symptoms. But nicotine levels are kept low enough so that it won’t substitute cigarette smoking. The patches just supply a minimum amount of the substance in the body to combat the withdrawal symptoms while the person recuperates. It acts as a stop smoking aid that provides a dose of nicotine that’s gradually lowered over a period of a few weeks to eliminate dependency.
In an article written by Jarred Mitchelle in an emagazine, he further pointed out that, “Nicotine patches come packaged under varying trade names – most popular being Habitrol which are predominantly round in shape and are available in varying strengths – twenty one, fourteen or seven milligrams of nicotine per patch and the efficacy period of any particular Habitrol patch being twenty four hours. Conversely Nicoderm CQ patches are rectangular in shape and come in are available in varying strengths of twenty one, fourteen or seven milligrams of nicotine per patch with a efficacy period of twenty four hours which makes the two patches but a variant of identical concepts and the efficacy spectra could well be identical – there being little to choose one over the other.”
But let it be known that these patches are not the absolute treatment. It only aids and lighten up one’s burden during the adjustment period. In the end, it has to work hand in hand with self-help groups, other treatment modalities, professional counseling and most of all, one’s inner desire to break smoking habits.