I am still stunned to this day about the way tobacco addiction is looked at by society.   It seems people feel the need to intervene on every addiction to save the people they love.  I think about the show Intervention and see how families and friends try to get people help with their addiction to drugs and alcohol.  It is a wonderful thing to see people do whatever they can to help.  I don’t know much about the clinics or even what goes on in them but I know that they always talk about getting someone off the drug of choice.  My guess is if I was admitted to one of these places because I was drinking a fifth of whiskey a day I probably will not get a 6 pack of beer to help me quit.

While at the gym last night I was on the elliptical and watching The Biggest Loser.  The episode last night had a contestant kicked off who in addition to dealing with weight issues is also a dipper.  I was a little disappointed they showed this man shoving his face with dip but maybe seeing him shove it in will make him want to stop but as an addict I know the only thing that will make him quit is him wanting to quit.  This man was voted off the show last night and said his goal is to lose 200 lbs but also to be nicotine free.  You might say, that’s great so what’s the problem?

At the end of the show they showed him in different scenes trying to lose weight but what got me was them showing him placing a nicotine patch on his arm.  How is this helping him become nicotine free?  I have watched this show more recently and I have seen them eat a few meals.  As you can imagine, they do not get anything but healthy food.  So, like drug addiction, these people do not get something that contributed to their weight problem.  I have seen them train and I can tell you the trainers do not allow them to give up or take short cuts.  So why a show that would not allow people to take short cuts to losing weight show someone trying to beat something the easy way makes no sense.

I can tell you from experience you can’t beat an addiction by using the drug you are addicted to.  I wish people would not comment on addictions they do not understand.  Here is a show that millions watch, my guess is some are nicotine users, will now think this actually helps.  The show is a competition but it also has people supporting others trying to accomplish the same thing.  So they know short cuts don’t work, why encourage it.

We all know to accomplish what we want, for me quitting, I had to realize there is no short cut.  It makes it harder to help others when they see an addict on television feeding their addiction in a method most of society feels is acceptable.  None of this will stop until we treat nicotine addiction the same as all other addictions, you can’t step down, you have to stop.  My message to the makers of  The Biggest Loser, if you show people using nicotine patches, does it make it ok for the contestants on your show to eat ice cream sundaes a couple of times a week?

klark – Day 812