I had a question posed in comments asking how the use of marijuana ties into this issue. Here are comments from the Freedom from Nicotine board regarding using marijuana as an aid to help with quitting cigarettes or other nicotine products:
For the benefit of all who read here I am reattaching comments from above addressing the marijuana issue. I want it to be clear here that we are in no way endorsing the idea of using marijuana in any way, shape or form as a substitution or in lieu of smoking tobacco. It was something you were doing before as a cigarette smoker and apparently continued to do after quitting smoking. I will also attach links to articles and videos explaining why no one should take up the use of marijuana or any other recreational drug after quitting or increase previous usage in any kind of a substitution manner for the prior tobacco product usage:
Below is a response that I wrote back over two years ago to a member who asked about the consequences of her boyfriend smoking marijuana after he had quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. The message is still as pertinent today as it was back then. We are dealing with nicotine addiction here at Freedom, even more than we are dealing with dangers associated with smoking. It is true that marijuana and tobacco smoke have many similar chemicals and thus many similar dangers. But there is one significant difference and that is the presence of nicotine. Tobacco has nicotine in it and marijuana does not. Marijuana cannot cause a person to relapse on nicotine. But with that being said, the message below should not be ignored or overlooked either. I always want the message below to be read by anyone reading this thread.
In response to the implication of my boyfriend who has quit smoking cigarettes but still smoking marijuana:
First, he should not in any way shape or form substitute one drug for another, whether it is pot, alcohol, coffee, tranquilizers, stimulants, or whatever. The concept of substitution is a crutch and a crutch is going to have its own inherent problems.
OK, so what about smoking pot as its own issue. I always tell my groups that quitting smoking, or I guess for clarity sake here, getting off nicotine requires one thing only, that is getting off nicotine. Everything a person does as a smoker they can do without smoking. I mean this when I say it. Everything. Things that are good for them and they enjoy, they can do after they quit smoking. Things that are good for them and they don’t enjoy they can do after they quit smoking. Things that are not good for them and they enjoy they can do without smoking. And things that are not good for them and the do not enjoy they can do too. Basically the message I want everyone to understand is anything they could do as a smoker, they can now do as an ex-smoker. Anything.
I am not trying to give an endorsement to an illegal product, one that has many of the same chemicals at tobacco smoke and so have some of the same health risks. But while the chemical structure of the two are similar, marijuana actually having higher concentrations of some of the poisons than even tobacco smoke, there is one big difference between the two. It is the active drug that is not shared. Tobacco contains nicotine, marijuana contains Tetrahyrdocannibinol (THC) (the spelling might be wrong). So can marijuana be smoked without relapsing to cigarettes, yes. Should it be used as a substitution, definitely not. If you were not using it before there is no way it should be incorporated into your life now.
If you were using it before, well for legal and for some medical risks, you should not have been. For those same reasons you should stop now. But as far as it causing a nicotine relapse, it won’t, at least no more than alcohol will. What I mean by that is alcohol can lower a persons resolve and make them more vulnerable to relapse. Same with marijuana, maybe even more so. But the actual act of smoking marijuana is not going to cause a relapse to nicotine, only administration to nicotine can accomplish that feat.
I wrote to someone yesterday who wasn’t sure of us at Freedom yet that we have no hidden agendas here. I meant that when I wrote it. We are not trying to force any changes in a persons life. The only area we are working on as our stated objective is breaking the nicotine addiction. This is why I am trying to make it clear that other activities can be done, but again, I am not saying it should, that it is safe or that it is right. On many fronts marijuana use is dangerous, from legal, and medical issues, but it is up to each and every individual here to decide what is right or wrong for them.
Hope this answers your friends questions. I am going to bring up the article on crutch replacement now for further elaboration of the substitution risk.
To stay in control of your nicotine addiction, which is all we are asking of everyone here, remember as for tobacco cigarettes, never take another puff!
One additional side note here. Many people mix marijuana with tobacco. If a marijuana cigarette is blended with tobacco then it will indeed induce a relapse to nicotine dependency. Just an added note of caution that you need not concern yourself with if you do decide to take the route that as far as for any burning plant product that you are committing to never take another puff!
Alcohol – can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol? (similar issues addressed)