Nicotine Addiction Fact or Fiction Part Three

Smokers are in an addiction class all by themselves.  If you have read the previous two blogs you now know that smokers, in general, are dopamine deficient and are “psychologically” addicted to the “feeling good” effects of the dopamine release stimulated by nicotine.  You are also aware that will power has very little to do with the ability to stop smoking – because addictions tend to be regulated by the Subconscious Mind and the Right Brain.  The Subconscious Mind (which is like the hard drive on your computer) and the Right Brain set up set up the automatic and associative responses in the body.  In the case of a smoker, he or she has physical associations, like associating drinking alcohol and smoking, or taking a break and smoking, in addition to the addictive compulsions.  On top of this, the smoker over time also develops a subconscious belief or program that “smoking is the ONLY way that I can feel good”.  Everyone is entitled to feel good – including smokers, of course – but the smoker’s mind is playing a trick.  If smoking is the only way that I can feel good, all other ways that could provoke the feeling good response become secondary.

For a smoker to quit smoking permanently, the individual must become a non-smoker (no

addiction) and an ex-smoker (no habitual associations).  In order to do this, the Subconscious Mind must be involved – since it creates these associations in the first place.  Will power for the chronic smoker, in my opinion, is useful but has very little to do with quitting in the long term.  The easiest way to access this part of the mind is to use the natural mind state called hypnosis.  It is a state that we use daily, but no one teaches you how to use it to our advantage.

Most smokers need subconscious help to quit permanently – since they have often tried to quit multiple times and failed.  Reprogramming must occur around self-esteem, creating health and motivation.  If someone has a faulty program, it must be identified and updated, or deleted and replaced in the Subconscious Mind- and this is especially true with smokers.  Everything that they believe smoking “gives” them is a lie.  Smoking has never given them anything that the non-smoker doesn’t already have.  If you have the conscious desire to give up the psychological addiction to smoking, or you know someone you care about who smokes, please consider the program that I have created called “Stop Killing Yourself:  21 Days to Your Last Cigarette”. It uses self-hypnosis to access the Subconscious Mind and establish new healthier programming.  It is time for smokers to reclaim their health.  It has recently come to my attention that many medical doctors are refusing to take on a new patients who smoke.  Is this because medical doctors consider patients who smoke to be on borrowed time?  Your body is a miracle.  Give it a fighting chance. Take the steps to quit smoking now.

Until next time…

Dr. Gatis

Nicotine Addiction Fact or Fiction Part 2

In the first installment of “Nicotine Addiction – Fact or Fiction”,  I mentioned the following information about smokers which I believe are backed up by research in the area:  1)  Smokers are psychologically-addicted to the effects of nicotine rather than physically-addicted to nicotine – due to the effect on the neurotransmitter dopamine (the “feeling good” neurotransmitter);  2)  most chronic tobacco users who have trouble quitting are deficient in dopamine and were probably dopamine-deficient before they started smoking, and 3)  attempting to quit smoking soley by reducing the amount of nicotine over time – without taking other measures to increase dopamine levels – is almost impossible as a dopamine-deficient smoker will experience withdrawal symptoms in proportion to the lack of dopamine e.g., anxiety, irritability, depression.  We have all heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  When it comes to dopamine, however, the consumption of beets has been shown to raise increase the production of serotonin and dopamine.  Perhaps a beet-a-day would keep the psychiatrist away – and help smokers to quit.

There is another side to the smokers dilemma.  All smokers associate cigarettes with Quitting smoking - male hand crushing cigaretteother activities like eating, drinking coffee or alcohol, driving and so on.  These are habitual associations.  As a Bio-medical hypnotherapist as well as an ND, I am aware that the subconscious mind has everything to do with creating and maintaining addictions and these habitual associations.  The Subconscious Mind is very strong.  In fact, the Subconscious Mind via its Right Brain Hemisphere connections runs all the “automatic” actions in the body below your conscious control. In other words, actions that you don’t have to think about that happen automatically.  The problem with the right brain is that it is based on emotions, not logic. The right brain and subconscious mind are like the hard drive on your computer.  It has all your beliefs about yourself and life, as well as the associations between thought forms and actions, but these beliefs and associations are not often logical and get acted upon anyway.

In the case of a chronic smoker, the primary associative belief is often “smoking is the ONLY way that I can feel good”.  If this associative belief remains active, unchallenged and unchanged, the right brain/subconscious mind has no choice but to continue the internal drive to smoke.  This is why the natural mind-state we call “hypnosis” can be beneficial – because it allows access to the subconscious mind and can eliminate these unwanted associations and beliefs.  I will have more to say about this in the final installment.

Until next time….be miraculous!

Dr. Gatis

Nicotine Addiction: Fact or Fiction?

This week is National Stop Smoking Week.   I have worked with many smokers and have some views on smoking that may be useful for those of you who currently smoke and would like to quit.  To this end, I will blog several times this week in order to give you information that you will find useful.

Addiction is defined by compulsive drug-seeking and abuse, even in the face of Healthy lung shape world design logo concept idea with love heart shape symbolic sign of women human hands on blur green natural clean air greenery background: Element of this image furnished by NASAnegative health consequences.  Smokers would definitely fall under this category – but what are they actually addicted to, and how are they addicted?  Smoking addiction is in a class by itself, in my opinion.  Smokers assume that they use tobacco products on a regular basis because they are addicted to nicotine.  The truth, however, is that they are not physically addicted to the effects of nicotine. They are addicted to the psychological effects of nicotine.  I first became aware of this fact when a woman who routinely smoked at least 2 packs a day got pregnant.  She immediately stopped smoking for the entire pregnancy with no cravings and no side-effects from stopping.  How is this possible?  If she had been addicted to heroin instead, it would have been virtually impossible without severe physical withdrawal symptoms.

Research indicates that nicotine acts on the brain’s reward pathways – and those involving the neurotransmitter dopamine.  Nicotine increases dopamine in the “reward” circuits.  All the effects that smokers attribute to nicotine are actually the result of dopamine stimulation in the brain.  Nicotine is rapidly distributed to the brain with peak levels occurring within 10 seconds of inhalation.

Nicotine is also rapidly eliminated from the body, so the nicotine-stimulating effect on dopamine is short.  In order to maintain the drug’s effects, the smoker has to take another nicotine “hit”.

The problem with smokers is that they are usually dopamine deficient to begin with – and nicotine makes them feel “good”. The unfortunate thing about most current treatments for nicotine addiction is that they concentrate on the supposed physical Cigarette stub with smokeeffects of nicotine withdrawal.  Take the patch, for example.  The patch is designed to give decreasing nicotine doses over time assuming that this will allow a smoker to “wean off” nicotine.  The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t give the smoker more dopamine I.e., it doesn’t address the dopamine deficiency.  A chronic smoker will actually experience symptoms relating to “not enough” dopamine  (irritability, craving, depression, anxiety, cognitive and attention deficits, sleep disturbances) rather than nicotine “withdrawal” symptoms. In order to quit smoking, the dopamine deficiency must be addressed.  If we can get the smoker’s brain to make more dopamine or find another way to stimulate dopamine release, then

Stopping smoking can become relatively easy – and I have never met a smoker who really didn’t want to quit.

Until the next installment…

Dr. Gatis

Stop Smoking Forever Now

My name is Dr. Robert Gatis.  I am a Naturopathic Doctor, Certified Biomedical Hypnotherapist and Fellow in Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine (FAARFM).  My company name is Mind & Body Miracles and my office website is   I am speaking to you today for only one reason – to help you use the power of your own Mind to STOP SMOKING FOREVER NOW. This Word Document is a hardcopy of the audio-recording or CD of Part One of my Two-Part Workshop called STOPPING SMOKING FOREVER NOW.

The Hypnotic state is a natural mind state that is one of the main ways that people like you who HAVE BEEN SMOKING  UP UNTIL NOW  can release yourself from your addiction permanently  – once you understand what smoking addiction actually is – and what hypnosis is really is, for that matter.    Rather than explain about hypnosis and smoking addiction during the first part of the workshop – which is what I usually do – I have decided to have you read a Word Document or listen a CD or audiofile ahead of time so when you come to the workshop you will already have the knowledge and the preparation to use the Hypnotic state and  other Mind Technologies that are available to come to the workshop and free yourself of your addiction as you STOP SMOKING FOREVER NOW.

Long-term smokers have trouble believing that this is possible.  So the goal of Part One of this presentation is to:

  • Explain to you what  Smoking Addiction is and some of the Myths and Illusions of the Smoker;
  • Have you understand the basics of how the Mind works, and the differences between the Conscious and the Subconscious Minds;
  • Explain about Neurotransmitters and their role in addictions – especially the role of Dopamine, and
  • Explain to you what Hypnosis is and what it isn’t and its application for you to STOP SMOKING FOREVER NOW;

So let us go over the basics:

You have two minds:  A Conscious Mind and a Subconscious Mind.

The Conscious Mind is the one we are all most familiar with.  It is our logical, analytical mind and It is related to our will power, our voluntary actions, and our habits or conscious choices.  For the Conscious Mind, time passes in a linear fashion and can recognize past versus present time.  It may surprise you to know that the Conscious Mind accounts for only 10% of your overall mind’s action and has virtually nothing to do with your emotions or your emotional state.  I will say this again.  Your Conscious Mind has nothing to do with your emotions.  The Conscious Mind is logical not emotional.

What about the Subconscious Mind, then?  The Subconscious Mind in many ways is the exact opposite of the Conscious Mind.  It is emotional rather than logical and is concerned with associations or the relationships between things.  It is correlated to your Imagination,   The Subconscious Mind has a non-linear time orientation. In other words it doesn’t separate out moments of time but experiences things in “all time” or “all-at-the-same-time”.  It creates automatic actions and movements.  Therefore, the Subconscious Mind is the  mind creating your addiction – and it runs 90% of you.  The Subconscious Right-Brain Mind creates the addictive or automatic behaviours.  This is why the logical or Conscious Left-Brain Mind has a very difficult task – if it tries to override your smoking addiction.  The Subconscious Mind created your smoking addiction not your Conscious Mind – and what is created in the Subconscious Mind is often below your Conscious Mind’s control.   You all “know” from your Conscious Mind’s  perspective that you shouldn’t smoke – given all the medical data available and all your own reasons –  yet you continue to do so.  To be fully free of the smoking addiction you must get your Subconscious Mind on side – because it is the Mind in charge of the emotions and the automatic responses.

Let’s talk about the Illusions (or as I call them the delusions) of you, the smoker.   Cigarettes are only considered precious to the smoker when the he/she is prevented from smoking.  When smoking, a smoker will consciously say…”I can take it or leave it” or “I can quit anytime I want to”.  This is Conscious Mind bravado.   Often smokers are barely even aware that they are automatically lighting up again because it is a below Conscious or a Subconscious phenomenon.  It is only when smokers can’t smoke or are prevented from smoking that it seems appealing.  This makes nicotine unique in the field of drug addiction.  Alcoholics, heroin addicts, cocaine addicts and pot smokers like the effect their drug gives them and they enjoy these effects for their own sake.  In other words, these addicts get “high” on their drugs.  A smoker’s “high” is very mild compared to these other drugs.  So what makes the difference?

The difference is in the speed of delivery of the drug.   Nicotine is one of the fastest-acting drugs and the mild “high” produced by inhaling it in cigarette smoke happens almost instantaneously.   The removal or withdrawal of the nicotine from your system is equally as fast.  Another way to say this is that nicotine withdrawal is created almost as quickly as its effects.  The only thing that the smoker ever does by lighting up again is to remove (temporarily, at least) the feelings of withdrawal created by the previous cigarette.  You get to temporarily feel like a non-smoker again until the moment you stop inhaling.  When you do stop inhaling, you are in an immediate state of withdrawal.



This brings us to the Myths About Smokers:


  1.  The first myth is that you are physically-addicted to nicotine.  This is perhaps the hardest  truth to understand since we are bombarded with advertisements and beliefs to the contrary.  You are not physically-addicted to nicotine.  I will say this again.  You are not physically-addicted to nicotine!   If you were, then we would have institutions dedicated to controlling the physical withdrawal symptoms when a smoker quits, or a pregnant woman could not choose to stop smoking for her entire pregnancy.  More times than I can count, a former smoker who is NOW A NON-SMOKER – AS YOU WILL BE following Part Two – the hypnosis session –  comments for months and even years after how they don’t yet fully (Consciously) understand how they could quit cold turkey with no cravings or side-effects from quitting.  If they were truly physically-addicted to nicotine this would not be possible.  Smokers are psychological addicts, rather than physical addicts, to the effects of nicotine.


Truly understand what I am telling you and you are well on the way to FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR SMOKING ADDICTION NOW.


Let’s go over this again.  Nicotine is a fast-acting drug – both in action and its elimination from the body.  In other words, it produces its effects on the body and mind quickly and is eliminated almost as quickly.  The “high” from the cigarettes is mild and short-lived compared to the other major addictions like heroin or cocaine.  And here is the take-away:


The real reason why a smoker lights up again is to relieve the rapid withdrawal of the nicotine effects from the system – the empty, insecure, anxious feeling caused by the rapid nicotine withdrawal.  The rapid withdrawal of the almost immediate mild “feeling good” sensation produced by the drug action of the nicotine creates an immediate state of Anxiety.  ALL SMOKERS HAVE ANXIETY DISORDER.  YOU SMOKE TO RELIEVE THE ANXIETY PRODUCED BY THE FIRST CIGARETTE.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “JUST ONE” CIGARETTE.


  1. The second myth of the smoking is that Smoking gives you something and that by being a non-smoker you will be deprived of something that only smoking can give you.


Were you deprived before you started smoking?  The truth is that that you were a non-smoker first and smokers are being deprived of being non-smokers.  The Subconscious Mind creates associations regardless of whether they make sense logically.  In your case the Subconscious Mind has created the association…”I need to smoke to feel good”.   With every  cigarette that followed this was re-enforced to the point that the Subconscious Mind created another even deeper association – that “Smoking is the only way I feel good”.  It is a trick of the Right Brain and Subconscious Mind – an illusion. You have been programmed with the belief that there is no other way to feel good but to smoke – and herein lies the problem and the root of your psychological addiction.  From a logical point-of-view, you know that you don’t “need” to smoke to “feel good” or to alleviate anxiety – but you have been subconsciously programmed to “feel” that you do and you haven’t been given any other options!

You are suffering from an Anxiety Disorder created by your first cigarette– not a physical addiction to nicotine.  You are psychologically-dependent – not physically-dependent.  Having that first cigarette created the immediate withdrawal anxiety reaction that the following cigarettes felt like they relieved  – when, in fact, they just created more anxiety.


Anxiety is anxiety – whether it is caused by life or nicotine withdrawal.  This is why someone who has quit smoking for years may in times of high-stress  crave a cigarette.  As you dissociate or dissolve the Subconscious Association or Illusion of “need” between smoking and feeling good  permanently  now this can never happen to you.


The whole process of psychological addiction is so subtle that most smokers are completely unaware that they are “hooked” and now consider the state of withdrawal or anxiety to be their natural state.  They tell themselves that they enjoy smoking and state emphatically that they can “quit anytime they want to” – until they attempt to quit and fail because they (or you) didn’t know until now what smoking addiction actually is – a psychological addiction driven by a subconscious  illusion of need.


The sad truth is that smokers believe on some level that they are sacrificing something or depriving themselves of something when they quit smoking.  The fact of the matter is that smoking doesn’t help you focus, doesn’t relax you, and doesn’t relieve boredom.  It doesn’t give you anything good at all!


If your car breaks down, your pet dies, your mother or father-in-law comes to visit, you lose your job or have a bad hair day, does smoking a cigarette improve the situation or solve the problem?  Of course not!  Cigarettes give you only one thing…..NOTHING.  Cigarettes have created the anxiety-void in the first place and continue to create the void, they don’t fill it.  There are no advantages to smoking.  In their heart of hearts, all smokers want to be non-smokers.  SMOKING GIVES YOU NOTHING SO THERE IS NOTHING TO GIVE UP.  Everything in your life feels better and goes better as a NON-SMOKER NOW!




  1.  The third myth of the smoker is that there are going to be withdrawal symptoms to quitting smoking.  The truth is simple.  Since the smoking addiction is psychological rather than physical, there can be no physical withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking NOW.  It is important to note, however, that the body may be toxic from years of smoking (since cigarette smoke has over 200 toxic chemicals in it not including the nicotine – and it is always recommended that the potential non-smoker begin the process of detoxing the body  – if at all possible – before we detox the mind at the workshop.


  1. The fourth myth of smoking and smokers is that Stopping Smoking is difficult and requires Willpower.  Yes you can quit using willpower – but willpower is a Conscious Mind function and is not needed to quit smoking.  For YOU to HAVE THE DESIRE, THE INTENT AND THE EXPECTATION TO BE A NON-SMOKER NOW is all that is required.  Part of you must be ready to free from the effect of cigarettes and take your life back when to you come to Part Two of the Workshop.  Once we eliminate the fears and delete the  illusionary associations, it is deceptively simple to STOP SMOKING FOREVER NOW.


Hypnosis is one of the great tools to help Smokers become Non-Smokers again – but before we talk about hypnosis we need to discuss stress and neurotransmitters (in particular, the neurotransmitter dopamine).


STRESS is our  reaction to changes in our environment.  Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you frustrated, angry, nervous or excited.  The stress response (and the alleviation of it) is created by the effects of certain chemicals in our bodies called neurotransmitters.


A neurotransmitter transmits nerve impulses – usually from our brain to a target organ – to create a physiological effect on that organ or releases hormones that produce a particular effect in the body.  For example, if you are in physical danger, the fight-or-flight reaction, is triggered.   This releases certain neurotransmitters and hormones to increase your heart rate and redistribute blood to the muscles from the internal organs (so you can fight or run away), the senses become heightened, the pupils dilate and so on.


Different neurotransmitters create different physiological responses.  Dopamine, for example, is a neurotransmitter that is involved in the regulation of pain and pleasure, motivation and the meaning of life events.  Dopamine is the major neurotransmitter involved in addictions and – along with serotonin – in many types of depression.  An extensive body of research has shown that all drugs of addiction increase dopamine levels in the brain – especially in the regions involved in motivation, drive and pleasure.


Common signs and symptoms of dopamine imbalance include:  ADD, ADHD, restlessness, concentration difficulties, unable to relax, impulsive, trouble focusing, substance abuse (especially smoking and alcohol), impatient, low libido, obesity, depression and difficulty in feeling joy.  Why is this important to you as a smoker?  Nicotine stimulates a short-lived release of dopamine which temporarily counteracts the signs of dopamine deficiency.  It isn’t the direct effect of the nicotine that a smoker desires, it is the release of dopamine.  Therefore, in order to be a non-smoker, you must correct the dopamine deficiency first.  That way the psychological withdrawal symptoms (many of which can be attributed to a lack of dopamine rather than nicotine) can be avoided.


In Summary then:


  1.  Smokers are psychologically-addicted rather than physically-addicted to nicotine;
  2.  All Smokers are suffering from Anxiety Disorder and probably a Dopamine deficiency;
  3. Addictions are a Right Brain Subconscious phenomenon;
  4. The Smoker from years of breathing in toxic chemicals may need to detoxify before and during the Smoking cessation period;
  5. The only requirements to quit smoking are the desire, intent and expectation to quit.  Willpower is not required.  It is often to your advantage to list the benefits to you of BEING A NON-SMOKER NOW and to plan on the ways to constructively fill the amazing amount of time that you will have available to you as Non-Smoker.


The state of Hypnosis is one of the ways to access (talk to) the Subconscious Mind and make positive changes to limiting beliefs and emotions and to establish new healthy associations – which create the desired and new behaviours.



What is Hypnosis, then ?


Hypnosis is a natural, self-induced mind-state that promotes your ability to accept positive suggestions for change.  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.  It is a safe, relaxing and pleasant experience of heightened awareness call “alpha-theta” which is a mind-state that you enter several times per day.  If you have ever day-dreamed, lost track of time or had a waking fantasy then you have been in the state that we call “hypnosis”


What Isn’t  Hypnosis?


In fact, Hypnosis is…


“not  a state of unconsciousness…not being weak-minded…not a loss of self-control…not divulging secrets.  No one can be hypnotized against their will or do anything in the state of hypnosis that would violate their moral, religious or personal principles”.


(Dr. R.D. Longacre, PH.D., F.B.H.A. in his book “Visualization and Guided Imagery for Pain Management”)


Your understanding of hypnosis may be based on perceptions derived from movies, newspapers,  television or stage shows which have misrepresented the truth.


We will be using Hypnosis in combination with other Mind Technologies in Part Two – the in person segment of the Workshop.


If you are interested in detoxification before the workshop, please talk to the representatives at Nature’s Emporium for advice.  If you want advice on how to raise Dopamine levels or ways to treat anxiety states related to stopping smoking, please contact my office and we will send you a list of supplements that are reputed to do with this.  Please do your own research and take any supplements or herbs under the care of a qualified healthcare professional.


This is the end of Part One:  The Preparation for the STOP SMOKING FOREVER NOW WITH HYPNOSIS workshop.  If you have any further questions about the workshop, or any other questions about Functional Medicine or the role of the Mind (s) in modifying the disease process and restoring health, please refer to the website: or contact my office.