Twisted Truth

Thursday, December 1, 2005 Letter to the Editor – Stockton Record

As professionals who frequently treat smokers wanting to quit, we would like to remind your readers that the tobacco industry expends great effort in misinforming the public. Here is an excellent example of how the truth is twisted.

Ever hear, “Nicotine is more addictive than heroin?” The tobacco industry is behind this statement because their hope is that it will discourage smokers from even trying to quit. But let’s present this theory more honesty by putting it another way: “It is harder for some people to stop using nicotine than to stop using heroin.”

If this is so, the question is why, and the reason has nothing to do with the substance in question! The reason it is “harder” for some who want to stop using nicotine than for those wanting to stop using heroin is simply that tobacco is legal, openly and widely promoted, less expensive than heroin, and readily available!

In helping hard core drug addicts kick the habit, we emphasize the need for them to stay away from other users. That’s easier for them than for non­smokers to stay away from others smoking in public — although, thankfully, more and more social and legal restrictions are being imposed upon them.

Misery loves company and so does guilt. Just as drug users find solace in association with other users, smokers find it easier to justify their own bad habit when others share it. We caution new nonsmokers that there are two groups of people who hope they will fail — SOME smokers who only care about themselves, and the tobacco industry that depends on smokers for its existence.

Smokers should not let twisted truths stop them from stopping.

Ginny & Frank Lucas