Cigarettes: A Programmed Addiction

In this day and age, few are unaware how deadly cigarettes are to health. So, why are people still smoking? What is the cause of this addiction that keeps them puffing all the way to the grave?   In 1950, when a friend got me to try a cigarette, nobody knew at the time that cigarettes were harmful. I experienced terrible nausea with my first drag…but my friend encouraged me to stay with it. It did stop and I wound up smoking cigarettes for 10 years, before I gave them up the first time in 1960.

How did I stop smoking? I was at a health resort called Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. I met a lady who saw me lighting up and she said something that really motivated me to quit. She said that I obviously was interested in health or I wouldn’t be at this health resort. She also said that I was exercising, trying to eat right, but with every step forward I was taking two steps backward, because I was smoking. Her simple words got me thinking and I wound up throwing every pack I had into the trash. I didn’t have an addiction problem, even though I was smoking a pack-a-day. Mind over matter!

In 1968 I had a health crisis (through a wacky diet) and wound up in a very nice mental hospital called Gateways. I am not joking. It was so nice and progressive that I didn’t want to leave there. The people who ran it didn’t want to take me, but my husband insisted. It turned out to be an interesting two months. They had current event groups to start the day. They also had a wonderful class, where I worked on interesting art projects. I also had one-on-one dialogs with different staff members- who didn’t believe in locking up the ” inmates“. Years later, one of the psychiatrists there, became a medical advisor to Brian Wilson (one of the Beach Boy’s.) And small world, this doctor happened to have graduated from the same high school I went to, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, this doctor did me a great disservice.

Dr. Landy asked, “Do you drink?” I said, “No.” “Do you smoke?” I said, “No.” “Do you chew gum?” Again, I replied, “No.” Then he said that my problem was, I was too uptight and needed to start smoking. Unfortunately, I took his advice and got back to smoking again in 1968. It’s kind of interesting that my husband who didn’t smoke, encouraged my smoking. Particularly, since a doctor suggested it.

In the 1950s and 1960s doctors were promoting cigarettes as healthful. They thought that they were relaxing. They didn’t realize the chemicals in them were zapping people’s energy; not helping them. In fact cigarettes wipe out the B vitamins in the human body, which promote relaxation and mental health. B vitamins and other nutrients are destroyed by the chemical intake of the smoke and the tars which wind up coating the lungs; and these tars affect the ability of the heart to receive the oxygen it needs to beat. This is one of the causes of heart disease. Who knew this over sixty years ago, when I started smoking?

I enjoyed smoking and by 1973, I was smoking a pack a day, again. I was operating under the delusion that cigarettes were helping me to keep my weight in check. Ha! Ha! Live and Learn. I was still struggling to keep my weight down by radical dieting. I wasn’t bulimic, but I would eat and gain, then I would cut back too low on calories, until I dropped a few pounds. I was not feeding my body or my brain right. In March of 1973, I came across a book entitled Health Secrets from Europe by Paavo Airola, N.D, PhD. After I finished reading it, the information convinced me to stop smoking, stop drinking coffee and stop eating meat, fish and chicken. I said a prayer and asked the Creator to “please take these addictions off of me,” Overnight they were gone. I had no craving at all.

I was 39 years old and wanted to slow down the aging process. Dr. Airola wrote about the harm that cigarettes were doing to the face and body – and how they were great at aging women. He said that you could always tell a woman smoker, when you looked at her skin. What woman wants to get old faster? His words inspired me to stop everything that was stressing my body. My energy really started increasing, after I got rid of my addictions; particularly to cigarettes. In 1981
I did my first marathon. I ran 4 hours and 25 minutes without stopping. I was 47 and never had energy like that before. Since then. I have done three more marathons. The last marathon I did was in 2004 at the age of seventy.

Cigarette smoking took away the energy I needed to exercise at a level, where I could burn more calories. When I changed my diet and stopped smoking, I started seeing a great change in my body.  I had a great bathing suit photo taken of me in 1981, when I was 47 (after having had four children). I weighed 117 pounds at the time. Doing what I did, took years off my body and rolled back the hands of the clock by simply eliminating foods and cigarettes that were impairing my health. It proved to me that it could be done and in 1982 I opened my holistic health center in order to help others achieve similar results.

It is a fantastic feeling not to feel compelled to run to the store to get cigarettes. I have totally gone 100% the other way.  I can’t abide the smell of cigarette smoke anywhere near me. I know that second-hand smoke is as dangerous as smoking. I have had friends who didn’t smoke die from cancer from being exposed to their spouse’s second-hand smoke. Smokers very rarely consider the damage that they are inflicting on those they love with their nicotine habit. When I see people smoking in cars with their children in a small confined place, it disturbs me. It also bothers me to see how thoughtless some smokers are – as they casually throw cigarette butts on the ground. I did this one time as a smoker…and my conscience kicked in. Today, I spend time picking up cigarette butts, when I take out the trash. I know our waterways are being affected, because too many cigarette butts are winding up in our streams, rivers and down into the ocean, where marine life is affected. I spent two days last October picking up cigarette butts and trash for Make-a-Difference Weekend around the area, we live in.  Cigarette butts are harmful to the environment.

Fifteen years of smoking did damage my face, I developed major wrinkles around my mouth from pursing my lips, while smoking. Women spend a fortune on creams and treatments in order to look good, but many are not aware of the damage that cigarettes do to their skin. One step forward – and two steps backward, because they smoke.

Programmed addiction? I was hooked on nicotine 15 years of my life, but feel blessed that I was able to give a pack-a-day habit up easily. I simply asked the Creator to please take away my addiction… it was gone. I asked for help so I didn’t have to waste more time being addicted to  food and substances that were destroying my health. This worked for me. It could work for anyone who believes in our Omnipotent (all powerful) Maker.

Many people have lost faith in a Higher Power and few realize that help is available for the asking. I believe there isn’t an atom or molecule that exists that our Creator didn’t create.  Therefore if one asks for help and trusts -addictions can be overcome. I know when I asked for the addictive substances in my body to be removed – I had no more craving for a cigarette, coffee, meat, fish or chicken. Faith and trust in our Maker is incredibly powerful.

599 additives can be found in cigarettes – and cigarette smoke contains 4,000 chemicals. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. Smoke containing nicotine is inhaled into the lungs and within six seconds reaches your brain. Nicotine in small doses acts as a stimulant to the brain. In large doses, it’s a depressant. In larger doses, it is a lethal poison, affecting the heart, blood vessels, and hormones. It is a fallacy that nicotine makes a smoker calm. It simply robs the smoker of energy. As a cigarette is smoked, the amount of tar inhaled into the lungs increases, and the last puff contains more than twice as much tar as the first puff. Carbon monoxide makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Tar coats the lungs preventing oxygen from getting into the bloodstream. Without oxygen hemoglobin can’t form – and this contributes to future heart problems and shortens one’s life by at least ten years. Many long-term smokers aren’t quite the beautiful people who are pictured in cigarette ads. If you could see an emphysema victim who is attached to an oxygen tank in order to breathe, perhaps this picture would help smokers quit or how about seeing massive tumors forming on the body. I’ve seen them.

Think about these ingredients, the next time you reach for a cigarette:

Ammonia: toilet bowl cleaner

Arsenic; poison and carcinogen

Benzene: Linked to leukemia; used in making dyes, synthetic rubber

Butane: gas used in lighter fluid

Cadmium: Linked to lung and Prostate Cancer

Cyanide: deadly poison

DDT:  Banned insecticide

Formaldehyde: Used in Embalming

Fungicides and Pesticides: cause many different cancers and birth defects

Lead: Poisonous to the brain and body: Causes Lowered I.Q.

Methyl Isocyanate: Accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India in 1980s

Napthalene: Found in Mothballs

Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element

Purposely added, 599 ingredients to addict people to cigarettes doesn’t speak well for the cigarette industry. A tobacco industry saying goes: “An addicted customer is a customer for life, no matter how short that life is.” These ingredients are added without regard to peoples’ health and with the intent of keeping them addicted. Tobacco addicts are shortening their lives; deteriorating their health and beauty. Perfume or cologne doesn’t cover the nasty smell of tobacco. It invades smokers’ homes and clothing. Is smoking worth it? It is a costly proposition paying for expensive cigarettes now –  with a deadlier price in the future… a shorter lifespan. Please check out:   or

Many of the chemicals inhaled in cigarette smoke remain in the lungs. Two cigarette daily can do damage. Ten a day can be deadly over the course of time. Filters don’t work. 
They     don’t remove enough tar to make cigarettes less dangerous. They are simply a marketing ploy to convince people that smoking can be safe. I thought I knew a lot about the dangers of tobacco, before I did this blog. I learned a great deal more by also checking out: Google: Dangers of Tobacco :

“Nicotine Crack“ can’t be removed from cigarettes. There are NO safe cigarettes. Nicotine is one of the most addictive ingredients in cigarettes. Nicotine is a lethal poison in higher doses. American Spirit Cigarettes, owned by R,J. Reynolds, is the world’s second largest tobacco company. I guess this corporation wanted to make sure it would cover all bases by taking over  the “health-oriented” cigarette market. RJR also owns Camels, Winston, Salem, Kool, Pall Mall, and more. Santa Fe operates as an independent subsidiary of RJR. There is no connection to the American Indians. American Spirit, the only U.S. brand made of “100% certified organic tobacco,” clearly states on its homepage: “No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette.” Few know that American Spirit cigarettes contain 36% free base nicotine, compared with 9.6% in a Marlboro, 2.6% in a Camel, and 6.2 percent in a Winston. The very popular Marlboro – contains 10 to 20 times higher percentages of free base nicotine than other brands. But the brand with the most free-base nicotine? The “Natural American Spiritcigarette, marketed here as “100% Chemical Additive-Free Tobacco.” Many think organic tobacco is safer, but nicotine itself, is lethal.

It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to run flights of stairs without huffing and puffing or to fast walk for five miles or more. I never dreamed I’d feel as good at 78. Being nicotine-free is one good reason I can say this.  If I was able to quit smoking with the method mentioned above, you can too. It doesn’t cost any money to give it a try…and it will save you a fortune in medical bills. Who wants to age faster? Who wants to lose their looks? Who wants to spend money to accelerate time and lose ten years of life? I wish you a long, healthy. prosperous life through being nicotine-free.

Healthfully Yours,

Barbara Charis

P.S.  The Health Freedom Expo is being held at the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend (March 2nd-4th). Many interesting health speakers will be there (included in the price of admission)  For more info:   It is one of the best health conventions available.

2 thoughts on “Cigarettes: A Programmed Addiction

    1. Barbara Charis Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I did 119 blogs, then started on another writing project and have not had the time to do more. Hoping to get another book going in the near future.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *