Although the use of Cigarettes
(and smokeless tobacco products) have been declining for years the dependency
on nicotine  is still a “problem” for
about twenty percent of the United States
adult population.  It is claimed
by some that alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholism is not a disease, alcoholism
is a dependency and dependency is a choice. So like alcoholism nicotine is not
a dieses but a choice, so this does not fit this assignment in absolute sense
the production of smoking cessation drugs that have resulted does.

The first drugs for nicotine
dependency; the transdermal patch first hit the prescription market in the
early 1990s overtime nicotine gums hit the market and in the fullness of time
the requirement for a prescription was withdrawn by the FDA.  The patch and gum were simply replacing the
nicotine found in tobacco with an tobacco free delivery device. Non tobacco drugs
have been introduced by pharmaceutical companies, including the drug Zyban.

The marketing strategy used by
advertising agencies is that stopping smoking is hard in fact stopping smoking
by yourself is basically imposable.  The social
roles and cultural ideology in this “condition” and its intertwined with the
drugs that have been reduced to rectify the “problem”.  Smoking has become much less culturally
significant in the United States to the point that is seen as some sort of
social boogey man by the “chattering class”.  This has led to many people to wanting to stop
smoking (that and obvious health detriments). This has been combined with a
culture of a pill for everything (that may have started to rear its head in
full by the 1960s [see the idea of a happy pill]).

There is not much in the way of
doctor patient interaction because most of the products are offered over the
counter. However of one of the non-nicotine drugs such as zyban all you have do
is ask for a prescription and you will get one.

As a former heavy smoker I know
you do not need anything but a small amount of willpower for a few days.

One of the leading names in
nicotine replacement products has its own YouTube page with a variety of ads to

3 thoughts on “smoking

  1. Wow, interesting post. Please do not be offended but I do not agree with you. I know it is easy to place blame onto others, and we are often rewarded for doing so, but there are so many factors that can lead a person to addiction that exist far outside the individual. This nation has no national health care. What is the cheapest way to self-medicate for anxiety? Alcohol is used by millions of Americans for the medicinal properties that come from alcohol. Whether the person has insurance and does not want the stigma some people associate with anti-anxiety medication, or it is the uninsured citizen who has no other alternative but self-medicate, there are many factors outside the individual that can lead to alcoholism. Many other factors are involved with tobacco use as well such as the pressures in the America culture to consume and the added levels of status people are given when they consume. I won’t ever start with the psychological and biological aspects on addictive behavior.

    Like I said, I disagree with you in regards to addiction not being a disease, but I agree with you in how it has been medicalized. Similar to the way the tobacco companies made billions of dollars from consumers using their products, the pharmaceutical companies have used methods to market their products. In the 1980’s the use of nicotine gum required a doctor’s prescription. This would account for the need for pharmaceutical companies to market their products as medicine used to cure oneself from nicotine addiction. Over time the advertisements for these new medicines to treat nicotine addiction replaced the advertisements for the tobacco products. Pharmaceutical companies seemed to step in and steal the profits away from the tobacco companies. As with almost anything in America’s biomedical system, health is associated with profit. If there is a consumer base to profit from, then this will be the focus point for the industry. An example to this is how they have seemingly cured erectile dysfunction which accounts to zero deaths worldwide, but they still haven’t eliminated the malaria parasite which kills more people worldwide than any other disease.

    The video you chose was good. It was advertising the calming effect that Nicorette can bring to people suffering from nicotine withdraws. The person was stuck in traffic and the person sitting in the car next to them lights a cigarette causing them even more anxiety. I’ve used Nicorette before and found that it does ease the feeling of anxiety that is brought on during nicotine withdraws. It would be interesting to know how much of the drugs effect is brought on by the users placebo and not by the drug itself.

    • I quit smoking “cold turkey”, as did my brother, grandfather, father, uncle, and a handful of cousins. All it took a little willpower, and the ability to “suck it up” for 36 hours. I am a creepy old guy too old to be here loser don’t have health insurance now; I choose not to drink it is my choice. Same with “pressures in the America culture to consume and the added levels of status people are given when they consume” bit of left wing tripe (sorry for the jab), but that is a person giving other people agency over themselves and very willingly. This like addiction is a personal choice; and this personal choice is vile and weak. I chose not to smoke just like I just to smoke I have agency over myself and my choices.
      There is nothing wrong with profit, nothing wrong at all. The fact is Viagra was discovered by mistake and this drug was originally meant to be a heart drug of some kind (I think for angina if I can pull it off the top of my head). Malaria can was eradicated in the United States without the widespread use of drugs (yes Michigan had malaria). We once again reach to a problem with agency this time collective agency of third world countries. A vaccine would be good for malaria, but since it is a parasite not a virus I don’t know how it could be done.

  2. I don’t think we are going to agree on this one. Issues such as addiction, the market based medical system, and the disparity within our culture goes much deeper than what any one person can outline using only their personal experiences. To say that you can measure this using only personal experience indicates that everyone in the country has/had equal psychology, opportunities, support, culture, socioeconomic status, education, and life experiences. The fact is, not everyone is as common as we would like to think. There are many variables in our society that may lead people down paths in which they find very hard to overcome. During some of these paths people may find it difficult to leave and require help from the medical system. There may be psychological disturbances or even biological dependence that inhibits their “going cold turkey.” Here is a link to the definition of disease. I think addiction easily fits within the definition.

Leave a Reply