Photograph by Arek Socha
What are the Criteria of addiction?
Back in 1964 in the USA when the general surgeon of the country made his report that smoking is dangerous for our health, smoking was characterized as a bad habit and not an addiction, and the reason he did that was that back in 1964 for something to be called an addiction it had to fulfill three criteria.
Criteria Number One.
First, you must have withdrawal if you stop using it, that was in existence, and it was recognized, and it even had a name which was nicotine abstinence syndrome.
Criteria Number Two.
The second criteria were tolerance, the longer a group of people use a substance the more they need in time because their body is getting more efficient in removing it faster, so you need to introduce more of the substance to have the same ah effect on you.
Criteria Number Three.
Third criteria were an antisocial and deviant behavior to acquire the material, and that was impossible in 1964 where doctors were smokers too, and half of USA population were smokers. The surgeon general that prepared the report was himself a smoker, and he only stopped smoking a few days before the release of the report.
An antisocial behavior like stealing or threading someone to give you money so you can buy your drugs is not an issue for smoking because it’s not illegal to purchase and sell.
Plus no one back then would label half the population of USA as antisocial and deviant because he or she were smoking, that’s why they end up naming it a habit and not what it is in reality a drug addiction.
That’s one of the reasons that many people back then and sadly until today assume that smoking is just a bad habit. Because tobacco cigs are legal to buy and sell, they hypothesize that the government will never allow a product that is deadly to be available!
I remember when I was in the army, and I was stationed the last two month of my tour in a secluded post. Where food water and other supplies were only available once a week and sometimes once every ten days, we would walk around the camp site looking for cigarette buds that had a few puffs on them. We would pick them off the ground and smoke them!!! Now for me, these memories clearly show that I had a severe drug addiction!
Other memories are me fishing cig buds from ashtrays when I didn’t have the time or the money to buy cigs and smoked them!
Another example that showed how many addicted persons are is people that quit the first day they walk down the street, and they see cig buds down on the street, and they have this urge to pick them up! I hope if you have the same urge to control yourself!
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Joel Spitzer in one of its first clinics recalls stories that were told to him by consecration camp survivors, they said that when cigs were available in the camp, they will trade food for cigs! Now if this event doesn’t prove that cigs are addictive I don’t know what else will. I mean think about it, Second World War two Nazi consecration camps where food most of the time was not existent and they were trading it for nicotine!
That’s why it’s important to destroy your cigs and remove them entirely from your life not just throw them in the garbage. I bet you anything you want when you get the urge and you know there is cigs in your garbage even if there are layers of garbage above them, you will go through that garbage like an earthworm and dig them out. So remove them completely from your life, give yourself a chance to calm down and let the urge fade away.
Another example especially in countries where starvation is a daily reality, there are people that they also trade food and even the little money they have for cigs, instead of using that food to feed their kids and themselves or use that money to buy clothes or food they are trading them for nicotine! Now if that is not antisocial behavior I don’t know what is.