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The Secret of Smoking Revealed! A new treatment program based on insight…

If you do an internet search under “smoking” and then continue researching at a large university library, the one thing that you won’t find is a cogent explanation as to why people smoke. Take, for example, Alan Carr’s bestselling book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” (Sterling, 2005). Mr. Carr honestly states: “In fact, one of the many conundrums about smoking is that when we are actually smoking a cigarette we look and wonder why we are doing it…The whole business of smoking is an extraordinary enigma.” (Carr, pp. 32, 38) What is even more puzzling, as Mr. Carr points out, is that smoking does not relax us. On the contrary, it make us more nervous.

Famous actor in cigarette ad

Mr. Carr is among the thousands of perplexed doctors, scientists, psychologists, and researchers who are finally reduced to saying something along the lines of: “Well, people smoke because other people smoke.” Are we, then, left in the dark? There is, fortunately, a clue to be found in Mr. Carr’s book. He states that the withdrawal we experience, when the nicotine leaves our body, is not a physical pain but a feeling of emptiness. That makes sense. After all, it takes, approximately, three days for the nicotine to leave our body. Why, then, is that feeling of emptiness still there months latter, if not years after quitting? It must, therefore, be entirely psychological.

In truth, the emptiness was always there, from the moment we were born. It was free-floating, before we attributed it to needing a cigarette. We become hooked into believing that smoking a cigarette is the answer to that emptiness. Similarly, when we fall in love, we imagine that a certain person is the answer to that emptiness. When we feel powerless, we believe that money is the answer. When we feel invisible, we imagine that fame is the answer to that emptiness. It is, therefore, the promise of an answer — false though that answer may be may be — that hooks us. The emptiness is so painful that we insanely try again and again to end it, by the same means, even though, on a conscious level, we know our answer to be hopeless.

But how is it, then, that we imagine smoking, of all things, to be an answer to the emptiness? After all, it does seem rather odd — as Bob Newhart pointed out in a famous comedy routine — to roll up tobacco leaves, stick them in our mouth, light them on fire, and then inhale those burning leaves. How is that supposed to end our emptiness? According to philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, smoking is a symbolic action. As strange as it may sound, the tobacco symbolizes the world, in all of its limits, the world with which we are constantly struggling. That struggle is what is meant by work. Sartre contends that smoking is a destructive act, one in which we destroy the world by symbolically sucking it into ourselves, as we take a drag. If Sartre is correct, smoking is, therefore, a way of seeking freedom from the world’s limits. After all, no world means no limits. Naturally, this ludicrous symbolic activity doesn’t give us the freedom that we crave, and the feeling of emptiness — of which Mr. Carr speaks — returns, and so we try it again with another cigarette. And so it is that repeated failures never stopped us from trying something again and again, till our last desperate breath.

There are a number of well-known treatments for cigarette addiction — recommended by well-meaning organizations like The American Heart Association and The American Lung Association — none of which address its fundamental cause. That is why long term treatment success is very disappointing. The real answer to curing cigarette addiction involves addressing the initial emptiness that first inspired the act of smoking (and many other symbolic activities a well). That, of course, is a philosophical pursuit. Are you ready, then, to delve deeper? Dr. Dillof can help you to illuminate the symbolic meaning of smoking, in your own life. Hopefully, then, you will be free from the habit, and it will liberate your spirit in the process.

Can’t hack it anymore? Dr. Dillof offers philosophical counseling, by phone and in person. For information, call him at: (502) 458-7171 or e-mail him at mdillof@me.com. The telephone can allow for an intense conversation. Why, then, drive to a session — in the rain, snow, cold and dark — spending money on fuel?

No matter what part of the globe you inhabit — from New York City (NYC) to Los Angeles CA, from London to Tokyo, from Boston MA to Chicago IL, from Brooklyn to Queens, from Binghamton to Ithaca, from Scranton PA to Syracuse NY, from Vestal to Endicott, from White Plains to Westchester, from Rochester to Buffalo, from Nassau to Suffolk, from Louisville KY to Cincinnati OH, from Indianapolis IN to Hartford CT, from Hollywood CA to Miami Beach FL, from Minneapolis MN to Madison WI, from Portland OR to Washington DC, from Seattle WA to the Bronx NY, from Toronto Canada to Vancouver, from San Francisco to Houston — distance is no barrier to an illuminating counseling and life coaching session!!