Although created to help adults dependent on nicotine,
this assessment is of equal value to people who no longer or
never used it. The same unknown resistance to sufficient awareness of truth, denial, that disables and destroys cigarette smokers threatens adults with other addictions or dangerous levels of stress or body fat.
This test for the unrealized defensiveness commonly
called "denial" and as it relates to lifestyle health is a recent addition to this author's list of health-improving, wellness-promoting
assessments. Please keep in mind that no results of such testing tell absolute
facts. They indicate important possibilities for you to consider.
Twelve truthful statements
Based on his 40 years of first-hand
clinical health care experience and study, done when hardly anyone else
was doing something similar, the author of the program Nicotine Dependence
Relief and Recovery is entirely convinced that the following statements
are true. Those four decades of experience and study allowed him to discover and be the first to tell the essence of what each statement reveals. Please read all of them before going further.
- The addicting drug, nicotine, in cigarettes, chew (chewing tobacco) and dip* is a naturally occurring insecticide used to kill both insects and animals. Any poison at all is too much and no matter
the source or how it's taken. That includes "nicotine replacement therapy" products such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum.
* In addition to smokeless spit tobacco products, nicotine delivered by dipping tobacco includes “snus” (Swedish for snuff) and "dissovables” (candy-like strips, orbs or lozenges and sticks) that are smokeless and don’t require spitting.
- Current "best practice" scientifically-researched efforts to end cigarette smoking aren’t working. A 2006 National Institute On Drug Abuse research report said, "Unfortunately, only about 6 percent of people who try to quit are successful for more than a month.” That research finding clearly suggests that at the end of one year the rate of quitting is maybe 2 or 3 percent. Intending no disrespect, anyone who thinks otherwise or that the quit-rate has improved significantly since 2006 is in denial.
- People don't puff on cigarettes; they suck cigarettes. Puffing is blowing as in, "I'll huff and puff
and blow your house down." Puffing seems more agreeable and so less
health-risky than sucking (inhaling).
- Psychological stress not only isn't the essential cause of smoking -- stress is not an important contributor. If
it was, adults wouldn't smoke about as much when the opposite of stressed
. . . for example, out socializing with friends.
- What basically makes people smoke
enough to risk harming themselves and others is nicotine dependence, addiction. That consists of a physical craving for nicotine and some associations made with activities and circumstances. However, that dependence consists primarily of a few false ideas people have
and don't realize they do when those "nicotine notions" are thought
and hurt them by blocking motivation to become and remain abstinent, completely free of nicotine. Only the presence and persistence of those unknown untrue notions can reasonably explain ex-smokers relapsing after their craving for nicotine has ended and having broken associations made with its use.
- The portion of the human brain
that helps make better decisions and avoids needless risks isn't sufficiently
formed or connected until we're in our early 20's. Another part of the brain and
some of the ideas, nicotine notions, associated with it keep people sucking,
dipping, chewing insecticide (nicotine) and get them to go back to using
it. That part is "primitive" (much less directed by experience)
and sometimes makes adults behave like teenagers. Smokers aren't dumb, inadequate, or uncaring. Unknowingly, they have a teenager-like part of their brain that's gotten control of nicotine-use earlier and consequently continues to very hurtfully influence their health.
- The "big push" to get Americans
to stop smoking began over 40 years ago. Powerful health and public
policy officials and organizations failed to approach chronic smoking as
symptomatic of nicotine dependence. Smokers weren't helped to safely become abstinent and achieve recovery from nicotine. Pushing smokers to quit rather than providing root cause-based programs (example) fostered the nicotine addiction symptom substitution that made many ex-smokers fat and so didn't improve their health. They just switched to "smoking" food and encouraged, by modeling, their children to overeat junk ... hence, our "childhood overweight and obesity epidemic."
- "Stopping" is NOT a meaningful
measure of success. (A popular writer used to say that stopping smoking
was very easy. It was so easy that he stopped every day.) Being unwilling
to smoke cigarettes (dip, chew) even
when tempted to and without substituting anything unhealthy (overeating junk
food, for instance) is the measure of success that counts.
- It's very important to avoid, as much as possible, identifying smoking (dipping, chewing, patching) as a habit ... even as being a bad habit. The smoking people call "habit" is done long enough to injure, disable and kill because of a "denial disease," addiction, and NOT because of having done it long enough to become habitual. Besides, most behaviors we call "habits"
are useful, such as carrying car keys in the same place. Thinking of nicotine-use as a habit makes it seem less important to get and stay free of and so blocks the crucial strong subconscious motivation. Releasing that powerful determination ends using nicotine safely, even if NOT consciously wanted.
- Adult smokers explain to themselves or justify continuing to smoke (deny they're drug-dependent) by unknowingly, in an elementary way, "hypnotizing" themselves into believing smoking helps (for example, with stress), when it doesn't, by repeatedly suggesting to themselves that it helps.
- To better avoid obvious and especially subtle attempts from others to sabotage abstinence and stay unwilling, it's important to avoid most talking about smoking and subjects related to
it for at least the first three weeks after getting rid of cigarettes. The exceptions are talking to personal physicians and other health care professionals offering assistance.
- No one smokes
enough cigarettes to do or risk doing physical harm unless he or she is
dependent. Nicotine dependence is the root cause. That is the subconscious denial of risk (nicotine notions) that blocks motivation to end nicotine-use and remain abstinent without unhealthy replacements much more than physical craving and the learned urge to ingest nicotine from associating doing so with activities such as drinking caffeine and circumstances like being with others who smoke it. Improving individual and public health and having improvements in health that last require having help with that root cause. That essential assistance almost never is available because non smokers, those who might offer or support providing addiction-appropriate help, are as much in denial as smokers about what's the basic or root cause of health-risking smoking.
Rate how new or different and believable to you
A. Please answer this question.
Overall, how new to you or different from what you've seen and heard before,
discovered and told by some other source, were the core or essential messages in those 12 statements? For example, the essential message in statement #1 is that besides being addictive nicotine is a poison to be entirely avoided ... including products such as patches sold supposedly to help smokers quit permanently. The inference is that thinking it's potentially helpful for smokers to take that highly addictive poison, by any method, clearly shows subconscious denial of smoking's root cause and so considerable threat to individual and public health.
Lump together and average those
statements on a scale from one (1) to seven (7) . . . with seven (7) being
essentially, not entirely, new or different. You haven't seen or heard the essence of what they say originating
from (uncovered and told by) someone other than the author of this test.
A rating of one (1) means there's essentially no difference. You've seen
or heard the essence of all of them, and they were discovered and said by another source.
Of course, feel free to choose a number between one (1) and seven (7).
Overall, Not Essentially Different /
New to Me ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... Overall, Essentially
Different / New to Me
B. Next do this rating of overall
believability by choosing a number from 1 to 7. Feel free to choose a number
between 1 and 7.
Overall, Not Believable
to Me ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... Overall, Believable
Results of this test for exceedingly dangerous health risk denial
The 12 statements read and rated are essentially, not totally, new or different and
believable. Ratings of 7 (seven) are the best answers.
The higher the numbers you chose, the less
of the honestly unknown denial you have that threatens you and helping to save the lives of
adults and children you love.
- If you are NOW obviously dependent on (addicted to) nicotine (now
a chronic or binge user), the lower the numbers you picked -- especially the FIRST of the two ratings
(part A) -- the greater the likelihood you are denying lifestyle risks to your health.
- If you were NEVER dependent, at least not obviously, on nicotine, the lower
the numbers you picked in the one-to-seven ratings -- especially the SECOND
of the two (part B) -- the greater the likelihood you suffer with lifestyle health risk
Most respectfully, you could not have seen or heard the core or essential messages in the statements and originating from someone else.
You may have read or been told things that seemed like them, but that's not what you were asked to rate. Given the real-world and specialized clinical healthcare experience, published insights
and 40 years of study that went into those 12 truthful statements they would
be highly believable.
A rating of 6 or less says defensiveness. Truthful statement # 6 briefly introduced a teenager-like part of
the human brain that starts, almost always before the age of 25, and keeps
people smoking, dipping, chewing or patching nicotine. When they stop, it makes them relapse. It does that by denying (resisting enough awareness of) the true cause of unhealthy smoking and so the presence of present or potential
risks to their health. That part is more "primitive" (far
less directed by what's learned from experience) and sometimes
unknowingly makes adults behave like adolescents.
A rating of 6 or less strongly suggests you're telling yourself and don't realize it that using this Web site's information won't help because you already know, when you don't, the more useful information here. At a subconscious level of thinking (if 6 or less), the very important but teenager-like part of your brain is already dismissing even the lifesaving elements of what the truthful statements reveal. That takes away
much of the considerable potential to help make and keep you and the people you care about healthier and happier.
Teenagers and the teen-like part of adults can easily
and understandably confuse something different and new that makes sense
for what they already know. They subconsciously figure something such as,
"What I just read (heard) is reasonable and probably accurate. That
means it's not original and different from what I've been told. So few
things are new that I must have heard or read it somewhere else."
There is more. If you have any experience attempting to give a new driver advice about how to avoid accidents, you can relate to this. The teenager-like element of we adults
that uses subconscious denial of causation and risk to get and try to keep control of using nicotine (also alcohol and other drugs and what makes unhealthy excess stress and bodyweight) resists believing what other adults found that has repeatedly proven to
be true. That includes learning gained
from many years of first-hand and applicable unique experience.
What's the point? If you already know or suspect these results probably
apply to you, don't waste this opportunity. Please avoid allowing
an important but more primitive (less experience-oriented) portion of your brain to get away with risking your health and happiness. Continue and learn as
much as possible from what you find here. Become unwilling to keep so much of this needless and honestly unknown resistance to awareness of truth that keeps you from better protecting your health and helping to save the lives of our children and grandchildren: lifestyle health risk denial.
Please highlight, copy and paste the following safe link (to this self-test) into an email message you create and send to one or more people you care about and will hopefully use what they learn to protect themselves and others.
<http://www.truthforhealthyliving.org/Test Health Risk Denial.html>
End LEGAL NOTICE