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Title: OTC Products
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Joel_Spitzer
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From: USA
Registered: 11/14/2008

(Date Posted:11/19/2008 08:35 AM)
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The post here covers a question I got about a specific OTC product called "SmokeAway." The comments written below though can apply to any OTC product marketed as a stop smoking aid. 

From a Freedom post back in 2003

I just saw where a new member brought up that she had a recent quit that she started by using SmokeAway. She was using the product before finding Freedom. She wrote that it was a good jump start for her to start her quit, although she goes on to say that she relapsed three times within a week or two after starting the product. I think the more she reads at Freedom the more she will recognize that this was not a particularly good start to a quit by our members standards. Anyway, I thought she would benefit from the email below I sent to a person who wrote me asking why we didn't talk about SmokeAway at Freedom. That person wrote me back in April of this year. The person didn't say how long he or she was off smoking, just that he or she was happy because he or she was able to quit and to still be able to maintain his or her sanity. I never got a reply to this email so I cannot report any further detail of how this person's quit is going or whether he or she had any thoughts on my comments.

Joel

Dear xxxxx:

I know of SmokeAway only by their cheesy commercials that have been played around the Chicago Area. I actually think it has been around for many years, sometimes advertised more than other times and right now being advertised quite heavily. As far as its known effectiveness, I haven’t seen any published reports on the product. That simple fact doesn’t really mean much to me though, for I have seen tons of published reports talking about how great patches and gums are and I happen to know that they don’t work in the real world. How people quit in the real world is what I base my recommendations on.

I have worked full time in smoking cessation for 30 years. I personally deal with thousands of people a year. People who know of who I am and of my work come up to me all the time to share their quitting experience and stories. Tonight I will be meeting with 300 people alone. I will bet that not one of them will come up to me and tell me that they have quit smoking and are now long-term ex-smokers because they used SmokeAway. I feel safe in saying this because to this date I have never had one person come up to me and tell me that they have quit by using SmokeAway. That’s right, not one. Not only do I meet people live, but also I have kind of a big Internet presence. I get people writing me regularly sharing their success stories with me. If I add up all of the people who have written me about their great success stories with using SmokeAway, and I add yours to the total, I have a grand total of one. That’s right, you are the first. Congratulations.

As far as quitting in a week, by my standards it took you six days too long to quit. My people quit in a day. As far as for their cravings, some people I deal with have minimal cravings too, some have a miserable time, but all of the people who ever quit smoking in my programs found it manageable. I say this because they quit smoking so of course it was manageable. Most people find quitting will be better than they think it will be though if they have the right motivation and understanding of the quitting process. As far as still having your sanity, understand that we have over 40 million ex-smokers in this country. An infinitesimal small percentage of these people quit with SmokeAway. It is not like we have 40 million ex-smokers out there who are insane. The vast majority of long-term ex-smokers who quit without this product or any other product are just as sane now as they ever were. More sane in fact considering they are not participating in an addictive and self-destructive behavior like smoking.

Now with all that being said let me say I am glad you are not smoking. You quit by a method that likely has a pretty lousy success rate for most people who use it. But that is neither here nor there now, the important thing is that you have quit. Now your focus needs to be on staying off of smoking. I will tell you right now that there is no product that you need to buy or any product you need to take to stay off cigarettes now. Read the materials at www.whyquit.com/joel and focus on the relapse prevention materials at http://www.whyquit.com/joel/Joel_Index_04_Relapse.html.

I am going to attach a few other suggested articles below. They are not really that important to you now. You are off, the trick is working at staying off now. But since you thought that I didn’t address your product I thought I would show you where I have my blanket recommendations about quit smoking products. After reading the relapse prevention materials if you are ever bored and just want to do a little reading you can read the section on How to quit smoking at the site, but again, this information is no longer important to you and will never be important as long as you always remember now from this point on to never take another puff!

 

Joel

 

Other readings:

http://www.whyquit.com/joel/Joel_03_19_compare_magic.html

http://www.whyquit.com/joel/Joel_03_09_easy_way_out.html

http://www.whyquit.com/joel/Joel_03_02_cold_turkey.html

http://www.whyquit.com/joel/Joel_03_23_every_quit_different.html

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Joel_Spitzer
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Rank:none
From: USA
Registered:11/14/2008

RE:SmokeAway
(Date Posted:11/19/2008 08:43 AM)

From: John (Gold)  (Original Message) Sent: 8/12/2005 7:31 AM
FTC: 'Smoke Away' ads are deceptive

By Mike Hoyem
MHoyem@News-Press.com
Published by news-press.com on August 11, 2005

A Naples company that tells smokers they can kick the habit in a snap with "Smoke Away" has been fined $1.3 million by the federal government for false and deceptive advertising.

Emerson Direct Inc., which does business as the Council on Natural Health, also has been ordered to stop telling people it can help them quit smoking in seven days or less "effortlessly, permanently" and with no withdrawal symptoms, no weight gain and no insomnia.

The company — which has run national television and radio commercials and infomercials since January 2003 — has said its "Smoke Away System" is more effective than nicotine patches, nicotine gum and prescription medications that help people quit smoking.

The Federal Trade Commission says the company's advertisements violate the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair, deceptive and false advertising.

The commission says the "Smoke Away System" packages sold by the company for as much as $150 apiece contain nothing more than vitamins, herbs and other ingredients.
The government says Sherry Bresnahan, who is billed as the company's expert on nicotine addiction, "is not an expert in nicotine addiction or smoking cessation."

Numerous examples of Smoke Away's advertisements were included in a complaint filed Tuesday along with a stipulated final agreement in the case.

"I smoked for 40 years and I quit in three days with Smoke Away, and if I can do it after trying every other method there is, I know Smoke Away will work for anyone," a woman named Betty said in one of the ads.

"I quit smoking the very first day," added a man named Brian.

According to the order, the Federal Trade Commission plans to use money from the fine to compensate Smoke Away users who file complaints against the company.
The government based the amount of the fine on financial records provided to the government by Emerson Direct.

If the government finds evidence it wasn't given a full accounting of the company's finances, the fine will automatically increase to $61 million, the order said.

Emerson Direct President Michael J. Connors said he will change his ways, but he won't quit advertising Smoke Away.
"I haven't admitted to any wrongdoing," Connors said. "We just settled it for a fine because litigation would be more expensive.

"I can continue to advertise, but not that way," Collins added. "We'll come out with new ads."

Federal Trade Commission spokeswoman Claudia Bourne Farrell had little comment on the case.

"The FTC has not made any statement about this case except in the court documents," Farrell said. "We have no comment on it at this time."

Online story source:
http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/NEWS01/508110415/1075

Copyright 2005 , The News-Press
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Joel_Spitzer
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Rank:none
From: USA
Registered:11/14/2008

RE:SmokeAway
(Date Posted:11/19/2008 08:44 AM)

From: John (Gold) Sent: 8/13/2005 9:26 PM
Suit: Chiropractor duped smokers in infomercial

August 11, 2005

By Steve Patterson, Staff Reporter
spatterson@suntimes.com
Chicago Sun Times

With a wide smile and without hesitation, Dr. Sherry Bresnahan repeatedly gave ringing endorsements to a product she swore had helped her patients quit smoking.

But the Algonquin chiropractor had no patients she was helping quit smoking, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission.

Numerous times on late-night infomercials and in radio ads, Bresnahan misrepresented herself and her practice, acting as a salesman for the Smoke Away System, the FTC claims in its lawsuit against her, Emerson Direct, the Florida company that makes the Smoke Away System, and others.

The FTC is now asking a judge to order Bresnahan to pay back those who bought her message and to stop the deceptive sales pitches it claims led to many purchases.

Bresnahan did not return calls.

In the lawsuit filed in Florida's U.S. District Court, the FTC also seeks compensation from the company's president, Michael Connors, and Dr. Thomas DeBlasio, a New Jersey doctor who also endorsed the $60 program that includes pills and vitamin supplements.

Bresnahan, in her ads, described her "patients" as "ecstatic," as they kicked decades-long smoking habits thanks to the program, urging viewers "ooh, try Smoke Away."


Copyright 2005, Digital Chicago Inc.
Online Source Link:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-doc11.html
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Joel_Spitzer
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Rank:none
From: USA
Registered:11/14/2008

RE:SmokeAway
(Date Posted:11/19/2008 08:46 AM)

Recommend Delete    Message 9 of 10 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 8/13/2005 10:34 PM
I am copying a post from another string below that was talking about different gimmicks to quit smoking. Same principles apply.
 
Reply
Recommend  Message 5 of 5 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 10/4/2004 6:57 AM
 
 
I am sorry that this one got popped up to the top again this morning. I suspect that we have some new readers here because of a show that was on yesterday--people who are now exploring options on how to quit smoking. I don't want people wasting their time exploring all of the gimmicks that are out there reporting to help people to quit smoking.
 
I am going to attach a comment below I wrote when another member wrote asking about a certain quit aid that he or she saw a commercial for and was wondering what we thought of it. The comment applies to this and any other method anyone could ask about:
 

I have seen the XXXXXXXX ads in my area for quite a while. If I am not mistaken, I think I saw those same ads resurface over and over again over a pretty long time period—maybe years. It’s hard to keep all of the shams straight—they really do all look alike after a while. It is amazing what wild claims you will see for products to help you to quit smoking or lose weight too. It’s ironic that you don’t see such ads for alcoholism or heroin or crack dependencies. Why do you think that is? Because if someone made such wild claims about beating a real drug addiction they would likely be held accountable to back up those claims. It seems though that no such accountability is enforced with tobacco use. It’s a shame though, especially when considering we are dealing with the drug which is every bit as addictive as any of these others—actually more so except maybe for crack, and kills more people than all of them combined. But again, it is not like society really takes cigarettes seriously.

I could spend a lot of time researching each and every product that becomes available and makes wonderful claims but in all honesty, I have zero interest in any of them. You know when I will actually look into a product in depth. It is when I am out in the real world and all of a sudden encounter a few people, maybe five in a short time period who tell me that they actually have quit smoking and have been off for a solid year by using some product. This shouldn’t be hard for me to find considering I ask at least 50 new people a month, and sometimes hundreds of new people a month how they quit smoking and how the people they know who have quit smoking and have been off for at least a year, had actually first stopped. Well, this year I asked several thousand people—many of them physicians and dentists who also in turn deal with hundreds to thousands of people. You know how many times XXXXXXXXX was brought up? Zero. Do you know how many times somebody has emailed a question about xxxxxxxxx? Counting your email—one. Kind of gives you a clue to what kind of word of mouth this miracle product is getting from its users.

I am going to attach my introductory letter to my Stop Smoking Clinics here. It kind of covers the area of what I think of people using any kind of products that offer to make a person quit smoking.

Joel


Clinic Introductory Letter

By the time you walk out of this room tonight, you will have a better understanding of why you smoke and why you should quit. But understanding alone will not make smoking go away. Smoking is a true form of drug addiction, and, if you are going to beat it, you will have to treat it as such.

If you really want to quit, you will have to totally abstain from smoking from day one. Beating cigarettes will require a 100% effort on your part. Considering that you may be fighting for your life, it’s worth the trouble. Giving a 99.9% effort will be a guaranteed failure. If you think we are joking or exaggerating our position on cold turkey—think again. If you take a puff anytime in the next 24 hours, we don’t want you to return tomorrow. You can lie when asked if you smoked or not, but the loss will be yours. You are not ready for this clinic and you will be wasting your time and your money foolishly. In all probability, you will need that money to support your addiction.

Maybe you think there is some other program that will treat you kinder, be more tolerant and let you smoke between sessions. Just go to your local yellow pages, you will find numerous programs that will be glad to take your money.

Some will be cut down programs, others will say cold turkey but tell you not to let a slip discourage you. Some will offer hypnosis or acupuncture, others will be mysterious and elusive of specific therapy and costs, but will promise medical treatments taking away all withdrawal. They will all be very friendly, courteous, and much more accommodating than we are. If you are looking for a promise for an easy way out, go to any of them. If you have thousands of dollars of spare cash you wish to dispose of, try them all.

As long as you feel that there is some magic approach out there taking away all of the effort and responsibility from yourself, you are not ready to make the commitment necessary to succeed in our program. If, on the other hand, you have tried all the alternatives, or you are realistic enough to recognize that you are an addict, and you totally refrain from smoking for the next 24 hours, you are ready for our program. We will help you beat your addiction. We will offer you all the help humanly possible. But the ultimate success or failure is your responsibility. 

If you have any problems, questions, or just want to say hello, you can call me 24 hours a day. Call the pager number on my card. When asked to leave a message, dial in the number where you can be reached followed by the "#" sign, or, if you are at a rotary phone, dial the same number and leave a voice message with your phone number With either of these paging methods I will get back to you in minutes. But please call before taking a puff. You can call after you take a puff, but all I will say then is that you blew it, you are back to square one, and think about joining another clinic in the future. Since you already know what I will say, save the 50 cents for the call and put it toward your next pack.

Good luck through your first day. Again, if I can be of any assistance, don’t hesitate to call. We are out there behind you. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.


Final note: We are not a site for exploring all the different ways that people can attempt to quit. We are a site that is designed to help people who have picked their plan of action and now want to know how to accomplish their goal. We are a site for people who have realized that they want to quit smoking and who have finally recognized that quitting is as simple as making and sticking to the commitment to never take another puff!

Joel

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