Electronic cigarettes are becoming popular in mainstream society and people are using them as an attempt to quit smoking. Before I start my rant I want people to understand that I am an Addiction Counsellor and I believe in harm reduction, so when it comes down to it, I would rather see someone smoking an e-cigarette than a real one. However, my ultimate goal as an Addiction Counsellor is to liberate people from addiction and I think the e-cigarette gets in the way of this goal. Let me tell you why...
When people engage in addictive behaviors the reward centre of the brain over-develops and this is what we classify as the "addictive mind or personality". In my practice I encourage my clients to name it. I call mine IGOR. Every time you engage in these pleasurable activities you are essentially feeding IGOR and giving him control over you. When you quit you are starving IGOR and he will create a major fuss (cravings). If you give into IGOR you continue the vicious cycle of addiction.
IGOR is like a small child throwing a tantrum at the grocery store because he wants candy. If you give-in he learns that throwing a tantrum will give him what he wants. IGOR is no different, he wants nicotine and if you give into a craving he continues to tell your mind to crave. My motto when it comes to quitting smoking is to JUST QUIT!!!
I believe Nicorette gum, patches, champix, zyban, and e-cigarettes are keeping IGOR alive. They keep you in the mindset that you are not okay without cigarettes. You are inevitably drawing out the process of starving IGOR. Why would you want to do that to yourself?
When quitting smoking most people fear not having "something to fill the void". I hear that a lot from my clients, but guess what, it is all an illusion because when you step back and look at the big picture you are really being controlled by your own addictive mind and the illusion is that you are playing a trick on yourself. You first need to recognize the language your addictive mind uses and the cues in your environment that stimulate your addictive mind. Once you have this awareness you can be prepared to deal with IGOR and become smarter and stronger than him/her.
Life is so much more enjoyable when you surrender and let go of the illusion that you need the outside world to have inner happiness. It is a constant state of manipulating variables in your environment in an attempt to find peace. It is no where to be found outside because it is already inside you, you just need to tune into it.
If you require support with addiction please don't hesitate to contact me to set up a free consultation.