Category Archives: Nicotine

Tell me lies about nicotine

by Chris Holmes

When I was growing up in the 1960s smokers did NOT think they were drug addicts. Smoking was a habit – perhaps a dirty one, but just a habit nevertheless – and the concept of nicotine replacement products like gum and patches did not exist. But the concept of nicotine replacement did!

The idea of substituting one form of nicotine for another was not conceived originally as ever leading to a saleable product to help people quit, but as “proof” that tobacco smoking was a drug addiction and that the “need” was specifically a need for nicotine. And it was not conceived by any special expert in addiction studies, but by a Scottish General Practitioner called Lennox Johnston.
Now I know that you’ve probably never heard of Lennox Johnston – hardly anyone has – but through the 1930s, 40s and 50s he was busy driving the British Medical Association mad by being well ahead of his time on the subject of tobacco and lung cancer. In 1942 he published an article in The Lancet which declared tobacco smoking to be the main cause of lung cancer, long before it was finally established as the truth in 1969.

The Medical Establishment don’t like being told things by underlings, and Johnston was by no means a member of the Establishment. He wasn’t even English, for God’s sake! So they weren’t going to listen to him or allow him to have credit for anything. He was repeatedly refused funding to conduct research into the link between smoking and lung cancer, which was given instead to Richard Doll and Bradford Hill.

Meanwhile Johnston was also experimenting with pure solutions of nicotine, regularly injecting himself with the stuff and twice nearly dying as a result because nicotine is extraordinarily poisonous even in tiny quantities. Later he assembled 35 “volunteers” who were habitual smokers and gave them regular injections of nicotine whenever they felt a desire to smoke. Some of them came, in time, to prefer the injection to the cigarette – just as we see some smokers, today, coming to prefer the vape stick to the cigarette, or the nicotine lozenge, or the mouth spray or whatever.

So: case closed! Nicotine is what smokers desire and any form of nicotine will do – right?

Trouble is, it doesn’t work. In January 2012, Harvard University published a study that confirmed my own published claims from five years before, namely that Nicotine replacement therapy DOESN’T WORK AT ALL. They looked at the success rates of all the nicotine products at the one year mark and found that the success rate (6%) was exactly the same a willpower alone. This is because smoking isn’t a drug addiction, it’s a compulsive habit.

Gum, patch, lozenge, microtab, spray… strip?

by Chris Holmes

If nicotine gum works, why did they need to invent the patch? Well okay, maybe some people don’t like chewing gum, fair enough. But if the patch works, why did they invent the lozenge? And what is the difference, really, between the lozenge and the microtab?

If all these products do what they are supposed to do – which is to deliver nicotine a different way, so there is no urge to smoke tobacco – why does anyone need a spray? And the latest new-fangled nicotine product from GlaxoSmithKline is the nicotine strip! Surely that’s SLOWER than the spray? Are we going backwards in development now?

Try the NEW version of Nicotine!

Let me explain what is really going on. If a product does what it is supposed to do, it doesn’t need reinventing. That’s why wheels have remained the same shape over centuries. That’s the shape that works. If something doesn’t work, or doesn’t work for very long, you have to keep reinventing it in order to sell the idea again to the same people who tried it before, which is why there is always a new diet book out: Have you tried the new Fat Only Diet? (The madder it sounds, the more likely people are to hear of it, and therefore more people try it!) You ONLY eat fat. That’s ALL you eat. You can have as much as you like, every day, but you mustn’t eat anything else for three weeks. And you ONLY drink milk. Then, you see, your body gets used to ONLY burning fat for energy, and it just carries on doing that after you go back to normal food so it burns up all the fat off your body! It really works!

No it doesn’t!

No it doesn’t, don’t try it. Sounds plausible though, doesn’t it? And once the idea of nicotine replacement was established as a plausible idea, the mere fact that it doesn’t work at all has never got in the way of the marketing or the sales, for the simple reason that smokers don’t want to die so they’re willing to try anything that might help them quit. Now, not so very long ago the drug companies were telling smokers that using nicotine products meant you were “four times more likely” to quit than by merely using willpower. Then an NHS trust was rapped over the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Agency for repeating this claim in their literature, because it isn’t true. Then, in January 2012 Harvard University published research which proved that nicotine replacement products do not produce any better results, if you look at the results at one year, than willpower alone. They don’t work AT ALL.

Nicotine Replacement products are BOGUS!

Did this news prompt the NHS to stop wasting money on these useless products? No! Did they get banned or withdrawn? No! Are doctors still prescribing this rubbish? YES!! Believe it or not, this still qualifies as “evidence-based medicine”, even though it is NOT medicine and the evidence is very clear now that it doesn’t work at all. It is business as usual for the drug companies, the BMA, N.I.C.E. and the chemist – not to mention all the other outlets who sell this trash over the counter.

What it does mean, though, is that the drug companies have to be careful what they say in their advertising now, which is why the campaign last year pushing NiQuitin patches resorted to: “No other patch is more effective!” True enough: none of them work. Pretty dishonest lot, aren’t they?

New NiQuitin Oral Strips

So now we have the latest pointless reinvention of nicotine gum: the oral strip from GSK, “the first and only stop smoking aid in a strip” (try to contain your excitement, now!) What they are hoping is that all the smokers that have tried the gum, the patches, the lozenge, the microtab and the spray – all to no avail – will be able to suspend their disbelief somehow that THIS will be the delivery system that will save them. And although the science says quite clearly that it won’t, the drug company gets around that awkward fact by the ingenious wording of the latest claim: “All designed to double your chance of quitting compared to willpower alone.”

“All designed to.” It doesn’t say it will, it says it is designed to. What a crock of shit.

Real help to quit smoking

Success with nicotine products

by Chris Holmes

A full eighteen months after Harvard University proved that nicotine replacement therapy “is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long term than trying to quit on one’s own”, we might wonder why smokers are still being prescribed these useless products at the taxpayers’ expense. This is no longer an “evidence-based” medicine – in fact it is not a medicine at all and never has been. There is no such thing as “therapeutic nicotine”.

“Therapeutic” means it does you GOOD!

Nicotine is a poison. All the effects of nicotine are toxic, but the drug companies that produce nicotine replacement products have been funding research for years now, trying to find another application for the products because they know it won’t be long before all smokers know it doesn’t work at all. Every now and then stories pop up in the press reporting that “research suggests” that nicotine patches “might be useful” for this, or “could be helpful” for that.

The problem with “research”

Let us not forget that it was “research” which suggested in the first place that nicotine replacement poisoning “might be” helpful to smokers. The trouble is, they only looked at the short-term effects. This is what passes for “science” nowadays because research like this is organised and funded by the companies that make the products, and all they’re after is a licence. So those short-term effects don’t have to be impressive, they only have to be slightly better than a control group using a placebo. This is easy to organise: you just run several groups at the same time, some with placebos and some with the product, using only small numbers of people within each group.

Cherry picking

Why small numbers? Because when you convert that number into a percentage later, you magnify it. Then you cherry pick both ways: you take the placebo group with the lowest number of successes, and the product group with the highest. The difference in real numbers of successes may be no more than a random anomaly really, but as soon as you convert both figures into percentages it looks like a very clear and positive result. Sometimes they even stop clinical trials early because they have achieved that already and they don’t want to blunder on long enough to run into nasty side effects or relapses that may occur in the long term. It is okay for the end-user to blunder into that sort of thing, but we don’t want it mussing up the trial data.

Exclusions

Did I mention that we exclude anyone from the trials who might be fragile in any way mentally or physically? Just in case they don’t respond very well or have a bad reaction that might mess up the trial and make the drug look dangerous. Of course the end-user isn’t protected by being excluded. Doctors will prescribe it with confidence to anyone, because they fondly imagine that it has been proven in the trials to be effective and safe. It hasn’t.

The truth about NRT

The cruel truth is that nicotine replacement products are still being fraudulently funded by public money and recommended to smokers because it creates the impression that the government is doing something about smoking but in reality it does not reduce the tobacco tax revenue by being effective in stopping people smoking. In fact that official endorsement legitimises a bogus product which can also be bought over the counter, and the government collect Value Added Tax (meaningless phrase that, isn’t it?) from the sale of those products. Also, promoting methods that actually work – such as hypnotherapy, for example – would save lives, meaning that more people would live to retirement age and start claiming a pension when there are frankly too many people doing that already…

The truth about the Department of Health

So that is why, when the science proved that every penny of public money spent on nicotine products is completely wasted, the government pretended not to notice, just as they did when their own research came to the same conclusions in 2005 (the Borland Report). I hate to break this to you, smokers, but your government doesn’t want you to realise that NRT doesn’t work because they don’t really want you to stop smoking. They want you to smoke, then try the nicotine gum, then smoke, then try the patches, then smoke, then try the lozenges, then smoke, then try the microtab, then smoke, then try the nicotine spray, then relapse into smoking again and hopefully this will have taken so many years that you ALMOST get to retirement age but not quite.

And then they want you to die. That is what “success with nicotine products” means to them.

Stopping Smoking: Knowledge is Power

by Chris Holmes

This message came in this week:

“Hi Chris, I went on the NHS Stop Smoking programme 11 months ago. They gave me Champix [Chantix in the USA]. Felt odd and stopped taking it after 4 days. Then read excerpts from your book, which made me realise I wasn’t addicted. I have never wanted a cigarette since then.

“Many friends of mine asked me how I gave up. They didn’t really believe me at the time, but out of thirty or so smokers, around 15 had given up with no difficulty within 3 or 4 weeks of talking to me! Just from realising they weren’t addicted! I write because I am on the verge of starting a Quit Smoking Club in North East London, and I would very much like your blessing to quote your researches (with full acknowledgement, of course!) I would also like your permission to give people links to sales points for your books.

“I think you’ve done wonderful work – if it were not for you I would probably still be smoking, or at the least still wanting to smoke! I tried a cigarette 4 months ago to prove to myself I wouldn’t get “re-addicted”; but I only
managed two draws before my will to smoke failed!”

Permission granted, of course! This is why I called the second volume of the book “A Change Of Mind”. I stopped smoking in 1999 because my perception of it changed. It was easy. Since then I have helped thousands of smokers do the same, through my work as a therapist specialising in the area of tobacco, drugs, alcohol and gambling habits.

If you would like to read excerpts from my work, click on the ‘Read The Book’ button above – but give it thirty seconds to load! Or you can click on Buy The Book and get the paperback version, or download the ebook.

more info

NHS: Scrap NRT NOW!!

by Chris Holmes

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was originally passed as if it were an effective medication on the basis of its performance at just six weeks.

Since 2001 the UK government has spent hundreds of millions of pounds every year on the free or subsidised provision of NRT through the NHS.

Many scientific studies have shown that willpower alone produces a long-term stop smoking success rate of anywhere between 2% and 8%.

In 2005 the government learned from the Borland Report that NHS Smoking Cessation Services had a long-term success rate of just 6.5%. This is well within the normal placebo range, proving that those methods don’t work.

Promoters of NRT then adopted the fraudulent tactic of selecting only trial studies with a particularly low success rate for willpower – such as 2% – for comparison with NHS Services, to make it look as if the 6.5% figure boosts smokers’ chances of success.

The Borland Report did the same thing: slyly comparing the success rate of smokers trying to quit with their doctor’s help (2.6%) with those going to the hugely expensive NHS Smoking Cessation Services (6.5%) and concluding: “Where suitable services exist, we recommend that referral [to NHS S.C.S.] become the normal strategy for management of smoking cessation in general practice.”

The Royal College of Physicians have actually argued that 6.5% is “cost effective” if you treat million of smokers, because then, even that puny percentage would clock up a few hundred thousand successes!  Barmy, eh?  Never mind the fact that we needn’t spend a dime on NRT because willpower clocks up the same result anyway.

In 2007 I published Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was (Volume I) – a book that blew the whistle on the NRT scam.

In 2009 I published the second volume, and meanwhile the cost of NHS Smoking Cessation Services rose to £84,000,000.  Just for that one year.

In 2010 my original claim that smokers’ cravings have nothing to do with nicotine was confirmed by research at the University of Tel Aviv.

In January 2012 my original claim that NRT has NO benefit was confirmed by research at the University of Harvard.

The Truth Will Out Campaign has been calling for the NHS to drop NRT since March 2008 because it doesn’t work at all.  The science backs this campaign but the BMA, the Department of Health, the MHRA, A.S.H. and N.I.C.E. all continue to recommend nicotine replacement products and public funding for them.  They are wilfully ignoring the facts.

My books made three controversial claims.  The first two claims have now been independently verified.  The third – that nicotine is not a drug at all, and that smoking is not drug taking – will inevitably be verified as well because it is all true.  But how many smokers have died since 2007?  More than half a million in the UK alone.  How many of them tried NRT on the advice of government and medical authorities, unknowingly wasting their precious time?

How much NHS cash has been wasted already on these bogus products since 2001?  Anybody’s guess, but since the Borland Report first gave the Blair government the bad news in 2005, it will certainly have topped £500,000,000 just in the UK.

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CASH SHOULD BE DIVERTED NOW TO OPERATIONS AND EQUIPMENT THAT ACTUALLY WORK, PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK, ANYWHERE… NRT is a massive global con and YOU are paying for it.

Son Of Champix! The Jab

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

Ok, we knew it was bubbling away in the cauldron somewhere, the demented brainchild of one pharma giant or another, but now we’re at the pre-hype stage where the suggestion first appears in the press that there is a new ‘scientific’ way to stop smoking.   Never mind that they said that about Zyban, which turned out to have a lousy 13% success rate, and then they said it about Champix/Chantix, which fares little better but kills and hospitalises smokers far too often to be tolerated.  Just forget about that – NOW we’re working on something totally, totally new!

It’s a jab, and according to Richard Alleyne, writing in The Telegraph yesterday:  “Just one injection could provide lifelong protection from the cravings of  nicotine and prevent the physical effects of smoking such as relaxation and lowering of the heart rate.”

Er, excuse me – cravings are nothing to do with nicotine, and anyway, nicotine RAISES heart-rate and blood pressure.  The notion that smoking relaxes people is a myth.  It causes heart attacks and strokes, for Christ’s sake.  It gets worse:

“It could be used to “vaccinate” children from ever smoking and help smokers to quit.  Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York have tested the vaccine on mice but could soon start human trials.”

“Scientists”?  Or researchers working for the company with the patent?  Are they working with smoking mice or non-smoking mice?  Or do they give it to the children of smoking mice to see if they don’t start smoking themselves, as adolescent mice?  Look!  It works!  NONE OF THEM started smoking!  This isn’t science, folks, it is an attempt to fake a trial that will get this stupid vaccine rolled out not just to smokers everywhere (Ch-ching!) but to all children everywhere to “prevent them ever starting to smoke”.  That’s a vaccine for everyone, repeated every generation, and “proved effective” by the natural decline of tobacco which has been going on since records began.

This next bit is factually incorrect:

“Mice which had been given the jab stayed just as active as previously, while those not administered with the vaccine relaxed and their blood pressure and heart activity lowered – classic signs nicotine had reached the brain.”

This is completely false, unless of course mice react to nicotine differently from humans, in which case the whole exercise is pointless.  In people, nicotine increases both blood pressure and heart rate.  Smokers generally do not know this, because the fact that they usually smoke at moments of repose or recreation gives them the false impression that smoking relaxes them, when in fact they are simply smoking at the same time as they are at play, winding down or socialising.  So why is this bullshit appearing in The Telegraph?

But here’s the creepy bit:

“The vaccine works by genetically engineering an antibody that filters out nicotine when it enters the blood.  The body then replicates the antibody – creating a never-ending supply of immunity.”

This is genetic engineering.

“Dr Ronald Crystal, professor of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and research leader said the jab could help committed quitters beat physical nicotine cravings. He said: “They will know if they start smoking again, they will receive no pleasure from it due to the nicotine vaccine, and that can help them kick the habit”.

Forgive me, but Dr Ronald Crystal is a numpty.  An idiot.  Champix was supposed to work by stopping smokers from getting pleasure from nicotine, but no-one gets pleasure from nicotine anyway.  Try putting a nicotine patch on, or chewing the gum.  What was your first cigarette like?  No-one abuses nicotine replacement products because there is no pleasure to be had from them.  No-one wants them, go into any pub and try giving nicotine patches away.  Offer the gum around.  See if you can get anyone to try it.  If they do, ask them how much pleasure they’re getting out of that nicotine, there?  Get them to score the experience on a scale of 1 to 10, then ask them if they would need a vaccine to help them resist the pleasure of nought-to-one?

There IS no pleasure in smoking.  Our first cigarette taught us that.   Later on, when we are accustomed to smoking, the ‘pleasure’ is in the moment, it isn’t coming from the cigarette!

“Dr Crystal said: “As far as we can see, the best way to treat chronic nicotine addiction from smoking is to have these Pacman-like antibodies on patrol, clearing the blood as needed before nicotine can have any biological effect.  Our vaccine allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine, and in that way, develop a workable immunity.”

That’s as far as you can see, is it?  “Pacman-like antibodies on patrol”?  Do you think we’re children?  ‘Immunity’ to what?  Nicotine?  Nicotine is a deadly poison.  Nobody smokes for the effects of nicotine.  Ask any smoker: If nicotine is a drug, and you are smoking for its effects, WHAT ARE THEY?  What are the effects of nicotine?

I’ve asked thousands of smokers individually, and they don’t know.  Neither does Dr. Crystal, evidently. He seems to think relaxation and a lower heart rate are “classic signs” of the effects of nicotine!  Epic fail, there, Doc!

“Dr Crystal says the vaccine could be rolled out to non-smokers to prevent them starting in the first place, just as jabs are used to prevent infections.  He added: “Just as parents decide to give their children an HPV vaccine, they might decide to use a nicotine vaccine.”

There you go.  The aim of this exercise is to get parents to give their children a vaccine that genetically engineers their body to clone antibodies against something they might never find appealing in the first place, with unforseeable results.  But we have Zyban and Champix as precursors to this which demonstrate just how greedy, dishonest, stupid and damaging these business enterprises can turn out to be.  This is not science.

How Pfizer ‘lost’ hundreds of bad reactions to Champix including 150 suicides

The truth about nicotine

Nicotine is not a drug

by Chris Holmes

Let me explain why the nicotine story is the biggest case of mistaken identity in medical history:

The early promotion of tobacco in Western Europe was based on two simple things: belief in medicinal properties it doesn’t really have, and the age-old phenomenon of people copying one another and trying to make an impression, otherwise known as ‘fashion’.

The tobacco plant’s Latin name is Nicotiana Tabacum, named after the French Ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain.  In 1560 he was sending tobacco and tobacco seeds to Paris from Brazil, and promoting their medicinal use – mistakenly, as we now know.  At the time, lots of plants were reckoned to be beneficial to health and according to a book published by Spanish physician Nicolas Monardes in 1571, tobacco was widely credited with curing 36 ailments including toothache, worms, lockjaw and cancer.

So originally, tobacco was supposed to be good for you.  Gradually, over the years everyone realised that it did not cure worms, lockjaw or anything else – in fact it was just a filthy habit.  No-one imagined or suggested at the time that this was recreational drug use or intoxicating in any way, because it obviously isn’t.  That is why, even today, people are allowed to smoke tobacco and then drive cars or operate heavy machinery – even pilot an aircraft.  If smoking tobacco was recreational drug use, would that be permitted?  Of course not!

When any individual first tries smoking, it is because they want to sample something they have not been permitted to try before.  As a smoking cessation specialist, I have asked thousands of smokers why they picked up a cigarette in the first place, and the answers are predictable:

because my mates were doing it

because I wasn’t allowed to

because I thought it was cool

because I wanted to be all grown up…

In twelve years, no smoker has ever said to me: “I started smoking for the effects of nicotine.”  Not one.  But most of them can easily recall what that first experience of tobacco was like:

it was revolting

it made me feel dizzy and sick

I felt faint, had heart palpitations and then threw up…

All very common experiences.  So, whatever it was that made us pick up the second cigarette, it wasn’t because we enjoyed the experience of smoking the first one.  It was the same thing that made us pick up the first one: mischief, rebellion, peer pressure, a rite of passage, trying to grow up quick – any of those.  The fact is, we weren’t doing it for the effects of nicotine, AND WE KNEW THAT, THEN.  Curiosity, a bit of devilment… but we were also doing it for appearances, how we imagined it made us look: older, tougher, cooler, less like a kid.

It was only later that we came to believe it was all about nicotine, because we were TOLD to believe that.  But believing that is no different from believing that it cures worms or lockjaw, isn’t it?  That misinformation also came from Doctors.

Nicotine Receptors

Smokers are told that their cravings are a result of the nicotine receptors in their brains “going crazy for nicotine” as the nicotine replacement advert puts it.  [Hint: those guys are trying to sell you nicotine!]  But nearly all smokers will have noticed that their cravings switch on and off automatically, depending upon what they are doing.  They switch on in the morning having been off all night long, they switch off when the smoker boards a bus or a train, back on when a smoking opportunity arises then off again when they walk into a hospital or a cinema.

A small number of smokers struggle with these everyday restrictions, but that is only because they have personally chosen to resent the restriction.  The vast majority of smokers accept the new restriction pretty quickly, and then after that it doesn’t bother them.  Most smokers tell me that they can manage journeys by aircraft surprisingly easily, but then immediately add: “But as soon as it gets near the time to land, I’m thinking of having a cigarette…”  Nevertheless they are puzzled as to why their “nicotine receptors” seemed to be remarkably well-behaved for most of the seven hours on the flight!

Question: how could the nicotine receptors in your brain possibly know that you just stepped on to an aircraft?

Answer: they don’t, and they would have no way of understanding that social restriction anyway. So why aren’t they “going crazy” right throughout the flight, Doc?

From this, it is obvious to any clear-thinking individual that there is AN OBSERVANT INTELLIGENCE governing the switching on and off of craving signals, which is also why they don’t pester you whilst you’re busy at work, playing sports or gardening.  That observant intelligence is called the Subconscious Mind, and it controls all habitual behaviour and the craving system, which is basically a reminder system.  It has nothing to do with tobacco or nicotine specifically: we get lots of cravings, they’re not all about tobacco.

Why Nicotine is Not a Drug 

So we can see that cravings are not related to falling nicotine levels, or else air travel would drive all smokers to distraction and none of them could sit through a movie.

Now, there are only two types of drug: medicinal drugs and recreational drugs.  Tobacco was supposed to be medicinal originally, but now we know it’s not, and so tobacco is not prescribed for any medical condition anywhere in the world, not ever.  Nor do tobacco companies claim that it has any beneficial or medicinal effects.  If it did, and that could be proven scientifically, you could bet your life they would use that in their marketing.  The fact that tobacco contains nicotine does not make it any more beneficial to health: tobacco is not a medicinal product, in fact the modern medical consensus is that tobacco is bad for you, and smokers are routinely advised by medical personnel to stop smoking it.

We all found out that tobacco has no recreational use the first time we ever tried it, and the fact that a smoker can lean on his car smoking tobacco, keys in hand, chatting to an officer of the law, then freely get in and drive away legally proves that no-one is suggesting that he or she is getting high on that.  In fact throughout the entire history of tobacco consumption in Europe over the last 400 years, no-one has ever suggested that it is a form of recreational drug use.  When you see office workers standing around outside the office building on a smoking break, they’re not “getting high”, are they?  Everybody knows that.  When they go back in, no-one says: “Forget asking George to do anything complicated for the next half hour, he’s just been smoking tobacco!”  Smokers would be unemployable if tobacco got you stoned or wired, and they certainly wouldn’t be entrusted with heavy goods vehicles, coaches or buses.

No medicinal use, no recreational use.

But what does nicotine actually DO?

First of all, nicotine is only one of thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke.  When it was first isolated from the tobacco plant in 1828, it was regarded by the team that did that as a poison, not a drug.  This was perfectly reasonable because this alkaloid acts as a natural insecticide – it kills the bugs that try to eat tobacco leaves.  Once isolated it was widely used as an insecticide, and even now nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid continue to be widely used.  Why “nicotine” should have been named after the plant itself is unclear: no-one was suggesting at that point that this particular poison was the key to tobacco’s popularity or the thing that smokers were after.  And indeed it wasn’t, but about 115 years later, someone would start vehemently insisting that it was.  That someone was Doctor Lennox Johnston, and he was a real lone voice: his suggestion that tobacco smoking was actually a drug addiction was regarded as nonsense by medical authority and the wider profession alike.

Over the last twelve years, I have asked thousands of smokers: “What does nicotine do?  If it IS a drug, and you are smoking tobacco for the effects of this drug, what ARE those effects?”  Not one smoker has ever answered that question correctly.  “I think it relaxes me” is the most common guess.  In fact, nicotine makes the heart race, blood pressure rise, blood fat levels rise and there is an increased risk of thrombosis (blood clots). All those effects are toxic, hazardous and largely unnoticeable, but if the first two reached noticeable levels they would be uncomfortable.  If the last one reached a noticeable level, you would be dead or on your way to a hospital.  In short, no-one is smoking for the effects of nicotine, which is why smokers cannot tell me what the effects of nicotine are.

But then we never were smoking for the effects of nicotine right from the beginning.  In fact back then, the effects of nicotine knocked us sick, as did many other chemicals in the smoke.

Lennox Johnston was WRONG!

Smokers smoke because of cravings – that’s true – but cravings are nothing to do with nicotine, or anything else in the smoke.  Before Lennox Johnston came along, no-one ever thought they were.  I first realised that this was a fact when I started doing hypnotherapy and found that cravings can be shut down by the Subconscious mind upon request, provided the smoker is happy for that to be the outcome.  Then I wrote the book Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was in order to explain all the details and how we use hypnotherapy to eliminate the smoking habit, cravings and all.  Since then, a study from Tel Aviv University has confirmed what I stated about cravings being unrelated to nicotine levels and another from Harvard University has confirmed that Nicotine Replacement products don’t work at all, just as I have argued for years.

I wonder how long it will be before Science confirms my third and final point: that nicotine isn’t a drug at all.

Cue the links to exciting new studies suggesting that nicotine may help with…

Yeah, we know.  For years now, the drug giants that make nicotine replacement products have been desperately searching for some new application for the poison gum and the poison patches.  They know the game is almost up, and that soon everyone will realise that those products are based on a myth.  But the poison factory is already there, and it would seem a shame to lose all that revenue…

Spurious new ‘uses’ for nicotine!

A Song for Nicotine Manufacturers!

More about Lennox Johnston 

Central Hypnotherapy

 

NRT: Biggest Quack Therapy in History

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

Now that the latest research from Harvard University  has found that:

“…using NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long term than trying to quit on one’s own.”

– exactly as The Truth Will Out Campaign has been stating since May 2008 based on the UK government’s own research

… it is time for all interested parties in this debate to demand that the NHS drop this worthless poison nicotine, which has never been “therapeutic” and stop lying to smokers about its supposed efficacy.  This global fraud is still being marketed, promoted and sold all over the world with the blessing AND recommendation of Medical Authorities and parties CLAIMING to be ‘scientific’ in principle and in practice, and these products have been wrongly labelled: “Evidence-based medicine”, when in fact they are neither medicine NOR evidence-based unless we are to allow the most blatantly misleading, shameless marketing spin to be regarded as evidence.

I think it was Edzard Ernst who said that there is no such thing as alternative medicine, there is only medicine:  it either works or it doesn’t.  His friends in The Nightingale Collaboration seem to agree: on their website they tell us that:

“We have set up The Nightingale Collaboration to enable us to share our knowledge and experience in challenging misleading claims in healthcare advertising and encourage anyone who is concerned in protecting the public from misinformation in healthcare promotion to join us in challenging it.  Together we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.”

Right – so that’s ANY kind of healthcare, right?  So that would include all the misleading claims about nicotine replacement poisoning of the sort I’ve been exposing for years, surely?  Now that we have numerous independent scientific reports that consistently show long-term effects mirroring the long-term outcome for willpower alone at around 6%, there is clearly NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS for the endorsement or promotion of these products and especially not at taxpayers’ expense, and the NHS – a public service – has no business pretending that has not been clearly established.

So all those supposedly ‘scientific’ individuals who style themselves “quackbusters” have a bit of a dilemma here, don’t they?  They have designed their website carefully to make it look as though they are being all-inclusive in their bid to protect the public from lies and misinformation in the field of healthcare, but Martin Robbins’ “Lay scientist” piece in The Guardian annnouncing the launch of The Nightingale Collaboration completely gave away their real agenda: “A new skeptical campaign [which] aims to put the screws on alternative medicine.”

Question: Why be so coy about that on the Nightingale Collaboration website, then?  Answer: To appear objective, mislead the public and pay lip-service to the notion that the same ‘rigorous’ standards of scientific enquiry into safety and efficacy should be applied to both conventional medicine (ConMed) AND alternative methods, when in fact thay are not investigating ConMed at all.

But to have any real credibility over your stated aim to be trying to protect the public regarding misleading claims in healthcare, Collaborators, you surely cannot ignore the biggest medical scam ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.  NRT was originally approved on the basis of its performance at only 6 weeks.  The manufacturers were even allowed to quote that short-term result on the packaging as if it were the actual success rate of the product, which I KNOW you would be up in arms about if it were a herbal remedy, or something like that.  So come on:  we’re challenging you, here, to demonstrate that what you loftily declare on your website isn’t just meaningless cant.

The UK government have known since The Borland Report was published in 2005 that the long-term outcome of NRT is the same as willpower, and yet they have carried on regardless with the purchase and endorsement of these products – fraudulently, with taxpayers’ resources – for a further seven years, deliberately wasting smokers’ time with products that they KNOW will not actually help them – and in that time something like a further 770,000 smokers in the UK have died.  For you to wink at that, Collaborators, whilst getting all outraged about what some homeopath says on their website would prove you to be utterly insincere and fantastically petty, would it not?

This latest damning research from Harvard clearly proves Nicotine Replacement to be the biggest Quack Therapy in history and now this hideously corrupt boil on the face of healthcare must be lanced, so I’m sure, Collaborators, that you will feel that you must – for the sake of your credibility alone, if not your honour – join me in demanding that the NHS now DROP NICOTINE REPLACEMENT  PRODUCTS AND ADMIT THEIR FAILURE AND USELESSNESS so that “we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.”

No need to thank me for drawing this massive fraud and human disaster to your attention – after all, we’re working together here to protect the innocent – right Collaborators?

The easiest way to quit smoking

The Nicotine Myth Exploded

New Studies Back the Truth Will Out Campaign on Nicotine

By hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

Tel Aviv University and Harvard University Studies Back Up Truth Will Out

Ready for the proof?  Back in May 2008, I launched this public awareness campaign and made three controversial announcements: first, I said that smokers’ cravings are NOT connected to nicotine – that smoking was a compulsive habit, not a drug addiction.  Secondly, that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was bogus and doesn’t work any better than willpower if we look at the results at six or twelve months, so it should be completely discredited and scrapped.  Thirdly – and perhaps most controversially of all – that nicotine is NOT A DRUG AT ALL, just one of the many toxins in the smoke and the wrong explanation of compulsive smoking behaviour.  Craving signals drive smoking behaviour; no-one is really smoking for the effects of nicotine, even if they currently believe that they are.

Some interested parties tried to insist that numerous studies had shown NRT to be effective, so we obtained those studies from the UK
Department of Health.  They showed no such thing.  What they actually revealed was that the quit-rate for NRT at one-year follow-up was a mere 6%, and that it stayed about the same across every independent study (and is accepted as such by the Royal College of Physicians), but the figure for willpower alone varies from 2% to as high as 8% or more, depending on which study you look at.

This means it is easy enough for those promoting nicotine products or defending current government policy to compare the 6% NRT figure to
the 2% figure for willpower, and claim that smokers are “3 times as likely to succeed with NRT than without it”, or “twice as likely” if the study you select says 3% success for willpower.  In truth, any one-year-success-rate for smoking that comes in at under ten per cent is showing no statistically significant advantage, and therefore isn’t worth a dime of anyone’s money – especially not NHS cash or any other public money,
when it is so badly needed elsewhere.

Claim No. 1:  Two years after I said that craving signals are an aspect of compulsive habits, and nothing to do with nicotine, researchers at the University of Tel Aviv conducted a study which came to exactly the same conclusion:

http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=12531

Claim No. 2:  Three years after I first claimed that NRT doesn’t work any better than willpower in the long run, and is therefore medically useless, researchers at Harvard University, Massachusetts conducted a study that came to exactly the same conclusion, published this week:

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/01/nicotine-letdown/

 

What have the manufacturers of NRT tried to claim in response?  That “numerous scientific studies show that smokers are twice as likely to succeed with…”   Sorry guys! We’re on to you now.  And we also now know that NRT was originally approved on the basis of its performance at only six weeks, not six months or one year – so it was always bogus.  And here’s why it doesn’t work:

Claim No.3:  Remember where you heard it first.  Nicotine isn’t a drug, it’s a poison.  There’s no high, it doesn’t intoxicate or do
anything much at all, which is why smokers are still allowed to smoke tobacco and drive cars, or smoke tobacco and then fly an aircraft.  It’s not drug taking, it’s just a habit – as indeed Dr Reuven Dar concludes in the Tel Aviv study:

“Dr. Dar’s studies conclude that nicotine is not addictive as physiological addictions are usually defined…  it’s not an addictive substance like heroin, which creates true systemic and biologically-based withdrawal symptoms in the body of the user, he says…

“Once the habit is established, people continue to smoke in response to cues and in situations that become associated with smoking. Dr. Dar believes that understanding smoking as a habit, not an addiction, will facilitate treatment. Smoking cessation techniques should emphasize the psychological and behavioral aspects of the habit and not the biological aspects, he suggests.”

Yes – just as I said in 2008.  But it’ll be a while yet before the world comes to realise that nicotine was never a drug in the first
place.  Science has a bit of catching up to do yet.

How did I know all this, even years before this research was carried out?  Because as a smoking cessation specialist I’ve been shutting
compulsive habits down with hypnotherapy for over a decade, usually in just one session, and without any reference to ‘nicotine receptors’ dopamine levels or any of that half-baked NRT marketing woffle.  I know exactly what I’m doing, and I can explain it all easily.

*Update 18/01/12:  NiQuitin’s latest poster campaign in the UK is quite amusing, they’re not promising much!  “No other patch is more effective”!  No, that’s true.  But “No other patch is effective either” would have been less slippery, whilst being equally true.  Time for the N.H.S. to drop the poison patches, isn’t it folks?  It would immediately save hundreds of millions they could be spending on useful things like kidney dialysis machines and scanners.

If you would like to know more about hypnosis, hypnotherapy and where I’m coming from, it’s all available here.

 

Expensive Life-Saving Drugs: Would £84m-a-year extra cash help?

by Chris Holmes

Primary Care Trusts are “failing in their duty of care” in blacklisting 19 drugs on the basis of cost alone, according to a report this week in the Metro newspaper (Thursday 24th November, page 8).  Political Editor John Higginson reports that this “appears to go against the NHS constitution, which gives patients the right to receive any drug recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence if their doctor believes it is clinically appropriate.”

The list includes drugs with proven efficacy in the treatment of cancer and also epilepsy – but the PCTs concerned have decided that these drugs cost too much.

The very same Primary Care Trusts also decided it was perfectly okay to spend £84,000,000 in England alone last year (not the whole of the UK, that figure is even higher) on a treatment service which they know from their own research DOES NOT WORK any better than willpower alone when the results are assessed at one year.  I’m talking about the NHS Stop Smoking Services and particularly the nicotine replacement products which we now know for sure have a 6% success rate at the 12 month stage – exactly the same as willpower.

My suggestion is simple: Take that vast amount of money and spend it on life-saving drug therapies that have been proven to be effective, and leave smoking cessation to experts like myself.  I’m a hypnotherapist by the way, and nearly all my smoking clients have already tried willpower, nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, the little inhalator-thingy… some have tried Zyban and the latest (non) wonder drug Champix… then they come to me, convinced that they “have failed” repeatedly and that it is “really hard to stop smoking”!  No, it’s really hard if you try to do it via the NHS.  It’s really easy with hypnotherapy, provided it’s done well.

But I’m not suggesting the PCTs should fund that.  They should be funding those life-saving drugs, not wasting tens of millions every single year on a service that clearly doesn’t work at all.

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam