Almost every morning, I wake up early needing a pee. I get out of bed and go to the loo. I then get back into bed and go back to sleep. At no point in that process to I feel the need to light a cig. And yet, the first thing that I do, when I decide to get up, is sit on the edge of the bed and light a cig. According to the Fangstrom Test, I am hopelessly addicted.
And yet, when I go on one of my holiday trips, that is not what I do. I set the alarm for, say, 9 am and when the alarm goes off, I get out of bed, throw some clothes on, have a pee if necessary, rinse my face to wake up a little, and head for breakfast. At no point in that procedure do I feel the need to light a cig. I may light a cig when I return to my room, but what I really, really want to do is get back in bed for another couple of hours. For some reason or other, that desire to get back to bed for a couple of hours does not conflict with my enjoyment of breakfast. When I get up to go for breakfast, I become alive and am really, really awake – for an hour or so. But it is wonderful to plop back into bed for a couple of hours after breakfast.
I contest that there is no such thing as a ‘nicotine hit’.
A ‘hit’ implies some sort of sudden change of mood.
I remember once being in a night club standing at the bar. There were not many people in, and so it was easy to observe the behaviour of those people who were in. I noticed these two women, sitting at a table, but they did not seem at all happy. Some bloke walked up to their table and handed them something and walked away. Immediately, the two women went to the loo, and, on their return, they were immensely cheerful. One can only assume that they were miserable until they got their ‘fix’ and then relaxed and cheered up.
That is what I would call ‘a hit’. But it might not be so much the substance itself which creates ‘the hit’ – it might be the anticipation and expectation, along with the substance.
When I light a cig, I do not expect a ‘hit’. I expect a pleasure from the taste of the smoke. But, yes, there is something else.
I think that the ‘something else’ is unknown, and will probably never be known. But the word ‘addiction’ is totally inappropriate to define the pleasure and usefulness of smoking. Just as bad is the word ‘dependence’. In fact, that word is worse than addiction. I am shortly going to go to Spain and will have to refrain from smoking for around three hours or more during the flight and consequently during off-loading. For that period of time, I am in no way whatsoever ‘dependent’.
The problem that Tobacco Control has is that it cannot realistically point to harm done by tobacco. It cannot produce even one person who is proven to have suffered illness precisely because he smoked. That is the reason that words like ‘dependence’ and ‘addiction’ have been necessary.
Erm… Precisely what is wrong with being ‘addicted to and dependent upon’ water?
There is no ‘hit’ from the nicotine in cigs. The quantity is too small. But that small quantity is enough to create a mild euphoria which might counter worries.
Creating a mild euphoria is not creating ‘a hit’.