Having Asperger's make one more susceptible to nicotine?

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Azureth
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27 Apr 2013, 4:18 am

I admit I am a smoker, about a pack a day. I know it's really bad but I do it anyway. I, of course, do realize quitting smoking is very difficult for NTs, but I am curious if having asperger's makes it even more addictive? If not the nicotine itself, just the routine you get in. For example, I have a routine wherein I will get a soda, open it and put it on the counter, then go outside for a ciggaerte and once done come back in grab my soda can and head to my computer. susceptible.



TheTackyShirt
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27 Apr 2013, 6:01 am

Not for me. The dreadful smell of smoke keeps me from being near any smoke since I dislike it so much. But I suppose you could say I routinely avoid smoke so I dont see why not for you.


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The_Hemulen
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27 Apr 2013, 6:20 am

I know a guy with AS who smokes and he says it helps him calm down from the anxiety associated with everyday situations. I also know someone with OCD who smokes a lot because she says it is the only thing that makes the constant buzz of obsessive thoughts go away. A lot of people with mental health problems do self-medicate through smoking because it can help in the short term through the effects it has on your brain chemicals. However, it's really going to do you no good long term!

Given the resistance to routine change a lot of people with AS have, I am guessing it might be more difficult to quit. However, maybe that Aspie single-mindedness in pursuit of a goal would also help them to quit?



eric76
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27 Apr 2013, 6:23 am

Azureth wrote:
I admit I am a smoker, about a pack a day. I know it's really bad but I do it anyway. I, of course, do realize quitting smoking is very difficult for NTs, but I am curious if having asperger's makes it even more addictive? If not the nicotine itself, just the routine you get in. For example, I have a routine wherein I will get a soda, open it and put it on the counter, then go outside for a ciggaerte and once done come back in grab my soda can and head to my computer. susceptible.


I suspect it is rather unlikely.

The act of smoking is nothing. The addictive thing about smoking is due to the effects of chemicals in the smoke on your brain. And that everyone.



NarcissusSavage
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27 Apr 2013, 6:23 am

I smoke too. Yes, I have a number of routines and OCD like behaviors wrapped up in my smoking.

The way I make coffee is even more routine... exact same movements even... so caffeine too.

But at work, for example, I will get up from my computer, walk down the hall and tap the top/front of the metal shelves on my way to the door, open the first door with my right hand while stepping forward and leaning into the door with my shoulder (It is heavy), over extend my normal gait slightly to just clear the gap/crack of the floor tiling pattern, step onto the next tile crack/gap landing square on it with the ball of my right foot, catching the handle of the second door with my left hand while turning slightly and backing into the door to open it fully, then taking 17 steps to the same spot I always smoke tapping the walkway rail three times on the way.

I don’t do any of that like that consciously, or because it needs to be done like that… it all just ends up being that way every time. It is OCD-like… but if something gets in my way or otherwise makes it not efficient to do it the same, I just go with it. So it isn’t a compulsion, really…

But certainly a habit.



boywonder
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27 Apr 2013, 6:30 am

aspegers makes me masturbate 3-4 times a day



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27 Apr 2013, 6:40 am

Smoking stimulates adrenaline and dopamine production so this does balance feelings of anxiety and/or depression, as other people have already said.

The only direct effect on Aspegers is that since giving up I have realised that I used to smoke when I reached a point of procrastination, the more stressed or confused, the more I smoked. I think my idea was that by the time I finished the smoke it should trigger me into action but that was not always successful.

After 30 years of, mostly, heavy smoking, hand rolled without filters, I'm very happy to be a non-smoker even though I have not yet been able to restructure my behaviour to account for it. If you can give up, please do.



Last edited by neilson_wheels on 27 Apr 2013, 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

KF2M
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27 Apr 2013, 7:48 am

Former smoker here (30+ years of smoking). Picked it up when I was in the Army. I don't smoke analogs (cig's) anymore, but I do Vape (e-cig's). Tried many times to quit (longest was a year). Since switching to vaping two years ago I haven't touched much less want an analog anymore. My blood pressure dropped from being borderline hypertensive (170/90) to nearly normal (130/70), blood O2 sat went from 78% up to 96%. I can now smell things again (including all the nasty smells of NYC), and climb stairs without sucking wind after the second flight. Plus I don't stink like an ashtray.

If those who smoke and are looking to quit or at least get your nic fix without all the nasties check you the Electronic Cigarette Forum. Great bunch of folks there who are willing to help, and guide you to being analog free.

If anyone would like help, or information you can PM me as well. I would be happy to answer your questions.



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27 Apr 2013, 9:20 am

I feel having Aspergers has nothing to do with it. It would be like saying "I pick my nose; could that be because of Aspergers"?



Nambo
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27 Apr 2013, 10:14 am

I used to smoke until I had a reason to give up and did so just like that, in one day, no cravings nothing, I really feel I do not have an addictive personality and that nicotine doesn't really effect me much, the same as I don't really get much of a buzz from Marijuana.

After 9 or 10 years off, I took it up again, mainly from boredom, I like having something to do when I take a break for a few minutes, as I have nobody at home to talk to it makes me feel like I have some reason to stop and contemplate what I am doing.
I have recently started getting bronchitis like symptoms so might just stop again, knowing that whilst I might crave one for the routine, I will not get a chemical craving.



briankelley
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27 Apr 2013, 10:19 am

I've smoked cigarettes, cigars and pipes here and there for 35 years without ever getting hooked. Ironically, I can't stand the odor of secondhand smoke.



briankelley
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27 Apr 2013, 10:22 am

Aspinator wrote:
I feel having Aspergers has nothing to do with it. It would be like saying "I pick my nose; could that be because of Aspergers"?


I know what you mean.



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27 Apr 2013, 11:01 am

I am currently addicted to nicotine (cigarettes) and find it based both on an addiction to psycho-active effects of nicotine, and also a "stimming" type reliance on the act of smoking a cigarette.

I find that my depression and anxiety make me a bit prone toward substance addictions as I seek to modify by brain chemistry for some relief. To the extent that dealing with my ASD contributes to anxiety and depression, then there is an indirect causality. I can effectively address this by substituting nicotine gum or patches as part of a smoking cessation plan. But what patches and gum do not address is the "relief" I get from the physical act of fiddling around with cigarettes while smoking them.

So my latest smoking cessation plan incorporates electronic cigarettes. I get the nicotine and the "enjoyment" of handling a cigarette-type thing. So far it seems quite promising, and during this time I am at least avoiding all the many other nasty things included in true smoke.



matt
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27 Apr 2013, 11:01 am

Actually, years ago, LabPet posted that autistic people are significantly less likely to smoke.

LabPet wrote:
A fact (& of significant research interest) that those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are notably far less likely to smoke.

I've never smoked and never wanted to smoke.


I have never smoked. Just being around people who are smoking or in areas where people have smoked is sensory hell.



alakazaam
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27 Apr 2013, 11:06 am

I smoke half a pack every day. I enjoy cigarettes during these times-after breakfast and all meals, while drinking coffee, taking a dump, driving, and my favorite is while listening to music. Any other time is just for the nicotine or if I am stressed. I know I would quit smoking if music didn't exist. I have to listen to a song while smoking a cigarette. I also believe that smoking for us is very stimulating. Anybody else wouldn't know because they don't crave cigerattes but once your hooked, it's hard to stop because of the pleasure we receive from it. .



MjrMajorMajor
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27 Apr 2013, 11:17 am

Smoking was very much wrapped in routines for me, so I'm sure this added to the difficulty in quitting. When and where I smoked was a constant, and how I timed it around coffee and mealtimes. It was also distressing when those rituals would get sidelined during the day too, so maybe that cancels it out. I don't miss having to worry about when I could sneak a smoke in some situations anymore.