Nicotine-free body is an important stage in the quitting-smoking process. Not understanding it may actually thrust you back into the addiction.

As I am writing this, it has been 86 hours since my last cigarette. My body is now nicotine free.

How do I know? Because after any nicotine intake, it takes the body 72 hours (3 days) to get rid of all traces of nicotine. This can be sped up by drinking cranberry juice, which I did not do (while it speeds up the process, it also makes the withdrawal stronger).

And since it has been more than 72 hours, my body now is nicotine free. Any craving for a cigarette after this time can only come from my mind.

So, how can not understanding this thrust you right back? If you feel craving for a smoke after 72 hours of quitting, and do not realize it is your mind and not your body that is craving, you can make the serious mistake of using a nicotine "replacement" product, such as a nicotine patch, or nicotine gum.

These products are not "replacements" despite their name. They do contain real nicotine (which their manufacturers' ads refer to as "medicine"!). What happens if you use any of these products? They re-introduce nicotine to your system. If your system already was nicotine free, it no longer is. It does not matter how the nicotine got in. In other words, it does not matter you did not smoke, all that matters is that your body got a dose of nicotine.

That leaves you at square one!

Please understand, I am not saying that no one should ever use a patch or chew Nicorette gum (though I personally never did). What I am saying is that if you have not introduced nicotine to your body for 72 hours or more, you should not use any of these products under any circumstances because you will have to go through the entire withdrawal process all over again!

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