Self-Test for Unknown Denial of Lifestyle Risks to Health

Smoking (also dipping, chewing, patching) nicotine, abusive use of alcohol & other drugs, chronic mental stress & too much body fat

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 subconscious resistance to the sufficient awareness of truth, denial, that kills cigarette smokers and so disables their families 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.

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.

  1. The addicting drug, nicotine, in cigarettes, chew (chewing tobacco) and dip* is a naturally occurring insecticide used to kill both insects and animals such as horses. 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.
    • * Nicotine delivered by dipping tobacco includes “snus” (Swedish for snuff) and "dissovables” (breath freshener-like strips, candy-like orbs or lozenges and toothpick-like sticks) that don’t require spitting.

  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. What basically makes people smoke (dip or chew) enough to risk harming themselves and others is nicotine dependence or addiction. That consists somewhat of a physical need that causes craving nicotine and some habitual behaviors but 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 not-smokers'-fault nicotine notions can reasonably explain ex-smokers so often relapsing days, weeks and even months after physical need for the drug has ended.
  6. 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 more "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.
  7. 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 (one example that's also free) fostered the nicotine addiction symptom substitution (see # 8) that made many ex-smokers fat or abuse alcohol and so didn't improve their health.
  8. "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 (eating junk food, for instance) is the measure of success that counts.
  9. It is important to avoid thinking of smoking (dipping, chewing) as a habit . . . even as a bad habit. The smoking people confuse with and call "habit" is addiction. 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 rid of and so blocks the required strong desire or motivation.
  10. To explain their smoking/deny they are dependent, smokers, in an elementary way, unknowingly hypnotize themselves into believing smoking helps (for example, with stress), when it doesn't, by repeatedly telling themselves it does help. 
  11. 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.
  12. 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 more than physical need and associating smoking with activities such as driving and drinking coffee. Improving individual and public health and having improvements in health that last require having help with the 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 different or new and believable

A. Now, 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 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).

Choose a number:

Overall, Not Essentially Different / New to Me ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... Overall, Essentially Different / New to Me

Before going further, please type the number you choose here ___

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 to Me

Type the number you choose here ___


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 dependent on 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 on (addicted to) 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 denial.

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.