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Psychological counseling and support :

Precilla (53 year) - Nationality: Mexican/American - June 15, 2004

"Both of my parents smoked and I started at age 17. At first it was an occasional cigarette at a dance or after a movie with friends. I did not smoke for some time after graduating from high school, and definately not when I was pregnant with my son. Once he was born I would induge in one cigarette a few times per year in social situations. From age 21-27 I lived in Seattle, Washington and practiced yoga and was semi-vegetarian. I abstained from alcohol and tobacco. When my father was diagnosed with cancer in 1978 I bought cigarettes from time to time to handle the stress and guilt of not living closer to home to help my mother and sister. I did not realize then that I was using nicotine to supress my feelings and emotions. From that time on I have smoked not more than 10 cigarettes per day and have quit numerous times anywhere from 2 weeks to 3-1/2 years. I now admit that my addiction to nicotine is for the sole purpose of supressing emotions and avoiding certain situations and people. My desire to stop using nicotine is so strong that I am spending much time now educating "myself" and searching for resources to assist me in stopping the insanity. I am seriously considering attending Nicotine Anonymous meetings once I find where they are held in my area. I am prepared to attend them for the rest of my life because, like alcoholics, we nicotine users need ongoing support with our addiction. I read "Rosemarys" story and I want to let her know that crying is acceptable, and necessary. You have suppressed your emotions by smoking cigarettes and it is time for you to allow yourself to cry, yell, and laugh as much as you want. Your concerns about weight gain can be remedied by walking, exercising, and good nutrition. I support your efforts, Rosemary, and be patient with yourself-you deserve it. Precilla. "

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