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

Chantix / Champix – Let the Lawsuits Begin

By hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

At the end of this short post is a link to a report from Bloomberg.com about Pfizer paying off the widow of a Minnesota man who killed himself whilst taking Chantix.  The out-of-court settlement was to prevent the case from going to trial.  According to this report, however, this is only “the first of more than 2,500 Chantix cases pending in federal court in Alabama set for trial”, which makes you wonder a) how many there are in the USA all told, and b) how many there are worldwide.

But that is nothing compared to the number that there should be.  I believe that everyone this drug has caused injury or suffering to should have their day in court, because Pfizer knew that there were safety concerns from 2006 onwards, if not before – and even though they are now starting to pay off victims with a tiny crumb of the enormous profits they have made from this over-hyped, failure of a “wonder drug”, they are still aggressively promoting it everywhere.

Pfizer are still denying any proven link and suggesting that the “benefits” (to them) “outweigh the risks” (to you).

After the report, someone calling themselves “Brewlady” posted this comment, which I entirely agree with so I am reproducing it in full here, and if you follow the link at the end, and scroll down to the end of Bloomberg’s report, you will see the original post there.

Brewlady:

 Smoking is bad for your health, but taking Chantix can be fatal.  Anti-tobacco groups continue to tell smokers to turn to pharmaceutical products to attempt to quit smoking, even though the success rate is dismal, less than 10% at one year.  Which means the smoker is still either buying cigarettes or buying Chantix, the patch, nicotine gum, etc.  Funny that anti-tobacco groups don’t tell smokers that their funding comes from both Big Tobacco and Big Pharma.

Tobacco Harm
Reduction is a concept that allows a smoker to continue to use nicotine while eliminating the dangers of smoking.  Swedish snus are proven to be safer than cigarettes, and the cancer statistics in Sweden offer documented proof of this.  Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco, only propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings, and nicotine.  The amount of nicotine varies from zero to about 2% of the mixture, and many smokers are able to completely stop smoking by turning to this safer alternative.  Unlike smoking, the vapor that an e-cig user exhales does not cause harm to bystanders. 

  I stopped smoking over two years ago, and my health has improved tremendously.  But some insurance companies and employers are penalizing adults who are turning to these safer alternatives.  Refusing employment to someone who tests positive for nicotine is discriminatory, especially when there are accurate ways to test for smoking instead.  

So why have all the anti-tobacco groups suddenly become anti-nicotine?  It’s a sad, simple answer.  Money.  These groups are running scared of e-cigs.  They are lobbying “Public Health” to ban a product that has been shown to have an impressive success rate when tested on smokers who didn’t even want to quit!  All over the country, well-meaning but ill-informed public health officials are implementing bans on products that offer smokers a much better success rate.  North Dakota has a ballot question that will ban electronic cigarette use OUTDOORS, similar to the bans passed in cities like Boston.

It’s time for the lies to stop.  We do know what’s in e-liquid, we do know that the vapor isn’t harmful, and we do know that smokers who turn to this product are able to quit.  Personally, the most impressive milestone I reached wasn’t my one year vaping anniversary, or even my two year vaping anniversary, it was the day I realized that I no longer WANTED a cigarette.  This was huge for 36-year smoker who had given up on quitting.  This was something no pharmaceutical product had been able to do.  This was my ticket to becoming smoke free.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-18/pfizer-settles-first-chantix-suicide-case-set-for-trial.html?cmpid=yhoo

 

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

 

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

Tobacco’s healing properties

by Chris Holmes

This message came in by email the other day:

Austrian Smokers rights wrote:
Tobaco is a wonderful indian ritual and healing plant: would you please take this skul and bones of “nicotine”; and replace it by Chmapix or NicVax the killing vaccines.

thanks
chritsine

Now, Austrian Smokers’ Rights have had a little pop at me before, for the same reason that the Ashtray Blog bloke did, who is a devotee of the electronic cigarette… because I had the temerity to suggest that nicotine is just a useless poison.  Poisons are usually denoted by the symbol of the skull and crossbones, so it seems appropriate.  True, the same symbol should be on the Champix packaging in my view – I’ll suggest it to Pfizer’s Head of Marketing next time we meet up for a beer.  NicVax I know nothing about – yet.  But the idea that a vaccine will fix a compulsive habit like smoking seems very dubious to me.

As for tobacco being “a wonderful indian ritual and healing plant”, that is an unusually positive view of it nowadays, to say the least!  But if Christine is assuming that I am anti-tobacco or anti-smoking, she hasn’t read much of this site and has missed the point of it.  I’m not pro-tobacco, but I am very liberal about what people do to themselves, even if it kills them.  Mountaineering kills people, but I wouldn’t sign a petition to get it banned, would you?

Just because something is used in a ritual doesn’t mean it has any useful aspect to it.  Humans and animals have both been sacrificed in rituals in the past, but that doesn’t make human or animal sacrifice a worthy thing.  Rituals are not necessarily a good thing anyway, because they are simply repetiton of an act without questioning it, which can lead to all kinds of mad mucking about: look at that daft nonsense with Black Rod and the opening of the English Parliament – how silly is that?

Tobacco might possibly inhibit the development of Alzheimers, and prevent endometrial cancer.  But the list of diseases it causes is far longer than that, so it certainly isn’t healthy to smoke tobacco, and the vast majority of the tobacco smoked in the world is certainly not part of any ritual, indian or otherwise.  It’s just a dirty and rather pointless habit, but if anyone wants to smoke it that’s fine by me.

The whole point of this site is to denounce Nicotine Replacement Therapy as a scam which the Department of Health already know from their own research doesn’t work any better than willpower in the long run.  I’m also calling for Champix to be banned, because anyone with half a brain can easily see that it should be.

My book is the first to explain what cravings really are, and why they have no connection to nicotine whatsoever.  It also explains how we hypnotherapists routinely shut down all kinds of cravings without any difficulty just about every working day of our lives, including smokers’ cravings.

I didn’t write the book for the Austrian Smokers’ Rights group, though.  I wrote it for any ordinary smoker who would like to quit but hasn’t found that easy, and anyone who is interested in hypnotherapy and the Subconscious mind.  So the skull and crossbones stay, no apologies.

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

 

 

This Blog is about Nicotine, Not Champix!

by Chris Holmes

OK it is time to get focussed! When I launched the Truth Will Out Campaign back in March 2008, it was to blow the whistle on the Global Nicotine Scam, not to spend the rest of my working life discussing Champix… or Chantix to give it the alias it goes by in the United States.  Varenicline.  Doesn’t matter what you call it, it still doesn’t work very well unless what you’re after is a mental breakdown and the loss of everything that is dear to you.

That drug is based upon the notion that smokers smoke because of nicotine – an idea which doesn’t stand up to any serious scrutiny, it’s just that no-one was scrutinising it until I published Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was in 2007.

Since then, a study done by Dr Reuven Dar from Tel Aviv University’s Psychology Department (link follows) has confirmed exactly what I was saying in that book: namely that smokers’ cravings are not withdrawal symptoms, and indeed are not related to nicotine levels in any way. Smoking is NOT a drug addiction, it just looks like one if you don’t know the difference between an addiction and a compulsive habit. And doctors currently do not, which is why I wrote the book. To understand the difference, you need to understand how the human Subconscious mind organises and repeats compulsive habitual behaviour. As a hypnotherapist, I’ve spent more than a decade shutting down habits like that with hypnotherapy, usually in one session.

I have done that with thousands of individuals, one at a time. It is not a trick. It is not a parlour game. It is a process of communication and anyone can respond to it if they choose. It is all explained in the book – available as a paperback (£16.95) or a download (£5).  The fact is, both Champix Chantix and Nicotine Replacement Products are all based on a myth in the first place, and that is why they usually fail.  Shame that smokers usually blame themselves for that failure, when they should be blaming those lousy methods!

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

The Science

more about hypnotherapy
…and then there is this!  We are quite simply right about this.  Sorry, Doc! Sorry, NiQuitin!  The Nicotine Tale turned out to be an embarrassing medical error leading to a collosal global scam.

Volume II of Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was

Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was (Volume II) A Change of Mind has just become available today.

Read what the critics thought of Volume I:

“The author’s case is simple: nicotine is not addictive, and he makes a
strong case in support of his argument… Numerous asides to various issues
undoubtedly made for a more entertaining read… It’s not often that parts
of a book on a very serious subject have me by turns howling in laughter and
clapping in appreciation of the author’s attention to detail – this one did
both. This has the potential to be a landmark book, and as such deserves a
wide audience.”
Michael O’Sullivan, Hypnotherapy Articles

“Holmes provides “Case Mysteries” as interludes between his chapters and
these are highly entertaining and illuminating. One such interlude
de-constructs the work of Allen Carr, a British smoking cessation guru. By
the time Holmes is done with Carr, there is not much left; it’s a great read
that made me laugh out loud… in the end, the arguments make sense. Just as importantly, they are presented in an entertaining and insightful way,
making this book useful to hypnotists and those who would like to stop
smoking. I’d like to check out Volume II when I get a chance.”
James Hazlerig, RealHypnosisReviews.blogspot.com

Well here it is, James – and only two years late! Enjoy.

If you just want to quit smoking in two hours, read this.