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Title: Obama Article 


Reply
Recommend (1 recommendation so far) Message 1 of 36 in Discussion 
From: John (Gold)  (Original Message)Sent: 2/7/2007 9:34 AM
 
For readers outside the U.S., Senator Barack Obama is a young Chicago politician running for President of the United States.  As you read the below story try to pick-up on all the factors that are contrary to the lessons taught here at Freedom.  Start with the story's title and the reporter's obvious beliefs about true chemical dependency.   Whether famous or not, the law of addiction treats all equally.  Still just one guiding principle  ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!
 
John (Gold x7)
 

Obama tries to drop dirty little vice 

His smoking will either humanize him
or hurt his image in a presidential run, experts say
.

By BILL ADAIR, Times Washington Bureau Chief
St. Petersburg Times, February 7, 2007

WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama is trying to snuff out a habit before it hurts his run for president: He's trying to quit smoking.

The Illinois Democrat, who will formally launch his campaign Saturday, said his wife, Michelle, persuaded him to quit.

"My wife wisely indicated that this is a potentially stressful situation, running for president," he said Tuesday. "She wanted to lay down a very clear marker that she wants me healthy."

The stakes are high for Obama not just because of the health hazards but because voters might be wary of a presidential candidate hooked on cigarettes.

"For many people, smoking is seen as a sign of weakness and lack of willpower, " said John Banzhaf III, a law professor at George Washington University and executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, a group opposed to smoking. "A presidential candidate would not want to be seen as lacking strong will or lacking determination."

But others say Obama's smoking and his struggle to quit could enhance his image.

"I think it humanizes him," said Chuck Todd, editor of the Hotline, a political Web site. "He's got a vice. We all have vices."

Obama has said he often smoked as a response to stress, particularly during campaigns and while writing books. Asked about it in 2005, he invoked a biblical phrase: "The flesh is weak."

But he emphasized Tuesday that he was discreet about his smoking.

"I've never been a heavy smoker and don't smoke in front of folks or in the house," he said.

Like many smokers, he has been unable to quit.

"It's one of those habits you can quit for a while and then you start back up," he said.

Obama's effort was applauded by antismoking activists.

"Whenever you have high-profile people do this, it has a secondary effect in encouraging others to try," said Stan Glantz, director of the tobacco control research center at the University of California at San Francisco.

Obama said Tuesday he was making progress and was being helped by Nicorette, a gum that provides a small dose of nicotine. It "works pretty well," he said.

But antismoking activists said Obama should not rely on the gum alone. They urged him to seek counseling for behavior modification.

"He needs to look at the stresses in his life that would have prompted him to have a cigarette," said Bill Blatt, manager of tobacco control programs for the American Lung Association. "What is he going to do instead? Some people squeeze a stress ball. Some call a friend."

Glantz suggested that Obama call one of the toll-free help lines, such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Joel Spitzer, who runs smoking cessation programs in Chicago and is educational director of WhyQuit.com, said Obama should skip the gum and go cold turkey.

"He needs to understand that once he quits, he's dealing with a drug addiction," Spitzer said. "If he administers that drug in shape or form a cigar, a cigarette or Nicorette he's introducing nicotine back in his system."

Banzhaf said the senator should be patient.

"Most smokers who try don't succeed the first time. But the more you try, the more likely you are to succeed."

 Bill Adair can be reached at adair@sptimes.com or 202 463-0575.


Story source:   http://www.sptimes.com/2007/02/07/Worldandnation/Obama_tries_to_drop_d.shtml

Copyright:     © 2007 • All Rights Reserved • St. Petersburg Times

 



Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:12 PM

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Reply
Recommend  Message 2 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 9:53 AM

I am going to attach a number of articles and links to this string. We want to be careful with how this string is used, because by our very design, we keep out of political issues here at Freedom.

As far as we are concerned, the reason that this story is noteworthy here at Freedom is not because it is a person from one political party who is considering a candidacy for the presidency of the United States, but rather because it is the story of a high profile figure who is trying to quit smoking.

We suspect that he is getting from his advisors and family members what is considered the best state of the art advice on how he should quit smoking. Unfortunately, the best state of the art advice on smoking cessation is often a recipe for a prolonged withdrawal state and often results in failure. The articles and links I will attach below will be addressing these issues.


Reply
Recommend  Message 3 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 9:55 AM
Quote from the above article:

"Most smokers who try don't succeed the first time. But the more you try, the more likely you are to succeed."

If this is your first time quitting ...

You can quit your first time. You will hear lots of material to the contrary; that you have to quit over and over until it finally takes. It is a common misconception being perpetrated by many sites and even professional clinics and organization basically explaining why people quitting using such programs or approaches don't often seem to succeed.

The idea that you "can't" quit the first time is absolutely wrong. The only reason it takes most people multiple attempts to quit is that they don't understand the addiction to nicotine. How could they, no one really teaches it. People had to learn by screwing up one attempt after another until it finally dawns on them how each time they lost it, it happened by taking a puff. If you understand this concept from the get go, you don't have to go through chronic quitting and smoking.

So learn from other people's mistakes, not your own. Going through a quit once is bad enough, going through it over and over again is horrible and should be avoided at all costs. The way to avoid it is to always remember to never take another puff!.

Joel


Reply
Recommend  Message 4 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 9:58 AM
...his wife, Michelle, persuaded him to quit.

"My wife wisely indicated that this is a potentially stressful situation, running for president," he said Tuesday. "She wanted to lay down a very clear marker that she wants me healthy."

Quitting for Others



 

"My husband can't stand it when I smoke - that is why I quit."  "My wife is trying to quit, so I will stop just to support her."  "My kids get sick when I smoke in front of them.  They cough, sneeze, and nag me to death.  I quit for them."  "My doctor told me not to smoke as long as I am his patient, so I quit to get him off my back."  "I quit for my dog."

All these people may have given up smoking, but they have done it for the wrong reason.  While they may have gotten through the initial withdrawal process, if they don't change their primary motivation for abstaining from smoking, they will inevitably relapse.  Contrary to popular belief, the important measure of success in smoking cessation is not getting off of cigarettes, but rather the ability to stay off.

A smoker may quit temporarily for the sake of a significant other, but he will feel as if he is depriving himself of something he truly wants.  This feeling of deprivation will ultimately cause him to return to smoking.  All that has to happen is for the person who he quit for to do something wrong, or just disappoint him.  His response will be, "I deprived myself of my cigarettes for you and look how you pay me back!  I'll show you, I will take a cigarette!"  He will show them nothing.  He is the one who will return to smoking and suffer the consequences. He will either smoke until it kills him or have to quit again.  Neither alternative will be pleasant.

It is imperative for him to come to the realization that the primary benefactor in his giving up smoking is himself.  True, his family and friends will benefit, but he will feel happier, healthier, calmer and in control of his life.  This results in pride and a greatly improved self-esteem.  Instead of feeling deprived of cigarettes, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction.

So, always keep in mind that you quit smoking for you.  Even if no one else offers praise or encouragement, pat yourself on the back for taking such good care of yourself.  Realize how good you are to yourself for having broken free from such a destructive addiction.  Be proud and remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


My Support Group is Responsible!


 

Case 1: Case 2:
“How do you expect me to quit smoking? All of my family, friends, and work associates smoke. Whenever I try to quit they all try to sabotage my efforts. With support like that, I can't quit smoking!” “I know I will quit. Nobody wants me to smoke. My kids beg me to stop, my husband hates it when I smoke, and we're not allowed to smoke at work. I feel like a social outcast wherever I go. With all those people on my back, I know I won't fail in quitting!”



In both of the above cases, the smoker is wrong in their assessment of whether or not they can actually quit smoking.  Success in quitting smoking is not primarily determined by significant others.  It is based on the strength of the smoker's own desire to quit.

In case one, the smoker is blaming his failure on lack of support and actual sabotage attempts by others.  But not one of these people physically forced a lit cigarette into his mouth and made him inhale.  Considering that the only way he could reinforce his nicotine addiction is by inhaling a cigarette, none of his smoking associates had the final say on his success or failure.

Case two, on the other hand, was working under the false assumption that quitting smoking would be a breeze since everybody would support her because they hated her smoking.  Not once, though, did she say that she actually wanted to stop for herself.  She was stopping because everyone else wanted her to.  In essence, she was depriving herself of her cigarettes to make everybody else happy.  While she may not have lit up when surrounded by others, sooner or later she would be alone.  With no one around, what personal reason does she have to strengthen her resolve not to take a cigarette?

When you joined our clinic, you may have initially blamed others for your failure or erroneously credited the clinic and others with your success.  No one failed or succeeded for you.  You did it.  While significant others can influence how easy or difficult quitting will be, your own personal resolve is the major determinant of success or failure.

If you failed when you tried in the past, stop blaming others.  Realize that your personal desire to stop was not strong enough to overcome the powerful grip cigarettes exerted on you.  Rather than making one half hearted attempt after another, make a personal assessment of why you smoke and why you wish to stop.  If your personal reasons are good enough, then try to stop.  As long as your ammunition is strong, no one will be able to make you smoke.

On the other hand, if you quit, don't feel that the clinic or any one else made you do it.  You broke free from a powerful addiction.  You did it by making up your own mind, throwing out your cigarettes, and refusing to take another one no matter how much temptation you faced.  For this you should be proud. And to maintain that pride for the rest of your life - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!




Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:13 PM

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Reply
Recommend  Message 5 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 9:59 AM
"My wife wisely indicated that this is a potentially stressful situation, running for president," he said Tuesday."
 

I Will Quit When...




"I will quit when my doctor tells me I have to."  "I can't quit now it's tax season."  "Maybe I will quit on vacation."  "School is starting and I'm too nervous to quit."  "I will quit in the summer when I can exercise more."  "When conditions improve at work, I will stop."  "Quit now, during midterm, you must be nuts!"  "Maybe after my daughters wedding."  "My father is in the hospital. I can't quit now."  "If I quit now, it will spoil the whole trip."  "The doctor says I need surgery.  I'm too nervous to try now."  "When I lose 15 pounds, I will stop."  "I am making too many other changes to stop now."  "I have smoked for years and feel fine, why should I stop smoking now?"  "I'm in the process of moving, and it's a real headache.  I can't stop now."  "It is too soon after my new promotion, when things settle down I will stop."  "When we have a verifiable bilateral disarmament agreement, I will consider quitting."  "It is too late.  I'm as good as dead now."

Amazing, isn't it, how so many people can come up with so many excuses not to stop smoking?  If any of these were valid reasons why now is not a good time to quit, when did 47,000,000 ex-smokers in our country stop?  They must have been experiencing at least one of these situations during the initial quitting process.  The only difference between successful ex-smokers and the smokers making these statements is that the ex-smokers were bright enough to recognize that smoking was not really necessary to deal with any of these situations.

The best time to quit is NOW.  No matter when now is.  In fact, many of the times specifically stated as bad times to quit may be the best.  I actually prefer that people quit when experiencing some degree of emotional stress.  In most cases, the more stress the better.  This may sound harsh, but in the long run it will vastly improve the chances of long term success in abstaining from cigarettes.

When people quit at an easy time in their lives, they begin to feel comfortable as ex-smokers as long as no problems surface.  But there is always the fear that when things get difficult they will not be able to cope without cigarettes.  Many, when facing their first real catastrophe, return to smoking because they were not equipped to deal with real stress as ex-smokers.

If, on the other hand, they had quit during a difficult time, they would have realized that even under severe emotional stress life goes on without smoking.  They will be secure in the knowledge that they can deal with crisis, any crisis, as non-smokers.  Once they overcame the initial quitting process they found they were able to deal with stress better.  They were able to meet the physical and emotional demands in their lives more efficiently than when they were smokers.  They were truly better equipped for survival in our complicated world without the "help" of cigarettes.

So, no matter what is going on in your life, quit smoking.  When things get tough - show yourself how tough you are.  And once off smoking, deal with all future problems in as constructive a manner as you possibly can, always keeping one essential stress management technique foremost in your mind - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Reply
Recommend  Message 6 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:02 AM

"A presidential candidate would not want to be seen as lacking strong will or lacking determination."

From the string Stronger or smarter?

 
From: Hillbilly(Gold)  (Original Message) Sent: 7/21/2002 3:39 PM
I just had a conversation with a fellow ex-smoker about being stronger than our addiction, and it got me to thinking.
 
I don't think I will ever be stronger than my addiction to nicotine.  This really bothered my fellow ex, but here is what I mean.  There were several times early in my quit when I stormed out the door headed for a grocery, gas station, bar, etc. to buy a pack of smokes.  I'd  had it, was through, this isn't going to work, I can never quit, you name the relapse excuse, I made it.  One night I even called Joel at home to tell him.  Thank goodness he wasn't home, I would have never heard the end of it.
 
Each time, before I got to the point of buying a pack, my education kicked in and I calmed down and went back home.  Each of these times, if there had been a pack lying in front of me, I probably would have smoked, and would still be smoking today, in full relapse. 
 
That's what I mean by being smarter than the addiction.  By not having them handy, I had to leave, thus giving myself time to think things through rationally.  I had come that far, why not give it another day.  I can always start back tomorrow, I'll just not smoke today, etc.
 
Nicotine cessation is not like dieting.  I've done both and trust me, it's not the same.  I lost 56 pounds over a three year period.  All through that dieting stage, I would always look forward to Friday night.  On Fridays I could eat and drink anything I wanted.  It kept me from feeling too deprived, and it worked.
 
The difference is, with nicotine there can be  no Friday nights.  One puff turns into 60 smokes a day.  There is no feeling deprived, there can be no relapse.  For the first few weeks, that's tough, real tough.  No one is that strong, so we have to be smarter.  Smart enough to not carry temptation around with us, smart enough not to go to smoke-filled bars if we're not ready, smart enough to avoid smoking friends if we're not ready. 
 
After a while, when the baby steps get longer, we go to our favorite bar, meet our smoking friends, look temptation in the eye and defeat it when we're ready, on our own terms.  That's what I mean by being smarter.  When we've been quit for five years and the temptation hits one night to just have one for old times sake, education tells us it won't/can't work--one puff equals 60 per day, for the rest of our lives.
 
Nicotine addiction can be defeated, but not by being stronger.  We can be stronger MOST of the time, but not ALL of the time.  That's what I mean by we have to be smarter.
 
 Dave

Also, a comment I wrote in that original string of Dave's:

Reply
Recommend  Message 5 of 92 in Discussion 
From: Joel. Sent: 7/22/2002 5:58 AM
Hello Dave:
 
I actually wrote a few responses to other people's posts on this very issue in the past but for the life of me I can't remember when or to who. It may very well have been here before you were ever a member. The fact is that you overcome nicotine addiction by being smarter than nicotine not stronger than nicotine. If a person were stronger than his or her addiction he or she would have controlled smoking at a level of one or two a day or one or two a week. People here lost their ability to do that--most years or decades ago. It is because they crossed a line of addiction and now nicotine became much stronger than the individual.
 
But no smoker is doomed to be a smoker because they are weaker than nicotine for if they become educated and then stay smarter as you say, they have the tools to in place to keep control over their addiction. Every one of our members prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt every day they stay smoke free.
 
The other important point you raised here is that nicotine cessation is not like dieting. In a way though it is easier--for the battle line between total success and total failure is much more clearly defined. The string Why so hard on cheating? addresses this discrepancy.
 
Hang in there Dave. These little self realizations help clearly define the problem of nicotine addiction. The more you learn and realize about what smoking really was, the better equipped you will stay to make this quit the last quit you will ever have to do because you will happily stick to your commitment to never take another puff!
 
Joel


Reply
Recommend  Message 7 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:04 AM
"Obama has said he often smoked as a response to stress, particularly during campaigns and while writing books. "
 

I Have to Smoke
Because of All My Stress!




Stress is considered a cause for smoking by many people.  Actually, smoking is a cause of stress.  Recent correspondence dealt with reasons people give for going back to smoking: social situations, parties, alcohol consumption and stress.  This month I wish to amplify on stress.

In January of 1979, Chicago and vicinity was devastated by a major blizzard.  Heavy snows fell just after the New Year crippling the area.  Additional snowfall continued throughout the week.  During this time period I was barraged with phone calls from participants of the November, 1978 clinic claiming to be terribly nervous, upset and anxious from "not smoking."  Curiously, most of them were feeling well during the month of December.  They had occasional urges which lasted only seconds and were quite easy to overcome.  What they were experiencing in January was different.  Many felt that they were on the verge of cracking up.  To them life was "just no good" without their cigarettes.  Was the anxiety they were now experiencing really a side effect from giving up smoking?

To any outside observer the answer to the mysterious intensification of perceived withdrawal was obvious.  In fact, if our ex-smokers listened to radio or television or read the front page of any newspaper, they would have encountered a story on cabin fever.  By simply comparing their symptoms with those accompanying cabin fever they would understand what was happening.

Attributing the anxiety to smoking cessation was transference of blame.  In fact, they were having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation - confinement due to the blizzard.  They would have had the same anxiety whether or not they had given up cigarettes.

The above story illustrates an atypical time period in which numerous people experience similar complaints.  In everyday life inherent problems exist.  Work, family, friends, and money can all contribute to daily distress.  Ex-smokers often think that if they just take a cigarette during a stressful episode the situation will be solved.  For example, consider a person who finds he has a flat tire in a parking lot during a freezing rain.  When encountering this kind of misfortune, the ex-smoker's first reaction often is, "I need a cigarette."  What will actually solve this problem is changing the tire, and driving off in a warm car.  What would a cigarette do to help this situation?  It only makes the person see the flat tire longer and freeze more.  This adds up to greater frustration. The first puff will probably reinforce the addiction to cigarettes which is a much greater crisis than the flat tire ever was.  In fact, taking the first puff almost always results in a bigger problem than the crisis that "caused" them to take the puff.  Even in a real catastrophe, such as a death in the family, injuries, illnesses, flooding resulting in major property loss, bankruptcy and so on, a cigarette will not solve the problem.  It will just add another major problem to the originally bad situation.

Remember, smoking cannot solve problems of daily living.  No matter what the problem, there is a more effective way of solving it than smoking.   In fact, a smoker's health risks are a real problem that can only be solved if they - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


While most smokers actually believe that smoking was an effective stress treatment strategy (a drug that calmed them down), when it really comes down to it, smoking never truly calmed them down. All it did was administered nicotine alleviated nicotine withdrawal that was induced by stress. The illustration and text below covers this point.

The one true step that people are doing here to control their stress is getting rid of a product that should cause any thinking person a lot of worry and to stop the vicious cycle of drug feeding and drug withdrawal by always knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel

In the illustration above you can see on the left how a non-smokers reacts to stress. Without it they are happy and comfortable, when encountering stress they lose this comfort and depending on its severity they can get either mildly annoyed or really upset. The resolution of the stress will normally bring the non-smoker back to the original state of comfort, after a little time of cooling down of course.

Smokers are much more complex. Stress has an affect on all people--it makes the urine acidic. Both smokers and non-smokers experience this phenomena. In non-smoker smokers, the urine acidity has no real visible or perceivable effects--smokers are much more complicated. After the initial stress a smoker will feel like a non-smoker encountering stress, for a few seconds. But then the delineation occurs, the smoker's nicotine level depletes because of the urine acidity induced by the stress, and the smoker is kicked into a drug withdrawal state. The smoker has four ways to deal with the situation now.

First, the smoker can just smoke a cigarette. Well low and behold if the smoker does this he or she will feel "better." He or she will not feel good; he or she just won't be feeling withdrawal for the moment but still be feeling the initial stress. In essence, he or she will feel like a non-smoker under stress, not great, but not in withdrawal either.

The second way a smoker can handle the stress is to solve it and also smoke a cigarette. This results in one happy smoker. No stress now and no withdrawal, life is good at the moment. The feeling of bliss is basically the same feeling a non-smoker has who resolves his or her stress.

But then there are the other two scenarios. The smoker can solve the problem but not smoke. Here is the kicker here, the problem is resolved but the smoker is still in withdrawal, the nicotine level has dropped and problem resolution has no way to stop the nicotine depletion, only a cigarette can do that.

The worst of all situations is the smoker who cannot solve the problem and also cannot smoke a cigarette. This is a miserable situation to ever be in. You normally don't want to be around a smoker in this situation let alone being one yourself. Many smokers find themselves facing this dilemma daily since many jobs and social settings do not allow smoking yet constantly force the smoker to face stresses.

When you quit smoking these last four reactions to stress become a thing of the past. You still face stress, but you no longer have to face drug withdrawals induced by it. In essence you deal with stress in a totally different way when you don't have chronic drug withdrawals exaggerating it.

To stay in the position of being able to handle stresses with greater clarity and minimal discomfort always know that no matter what the stress, to avoid it having any long lasting and life threatening complications always remember to never take another puff!

Joel

Video version explaining the graphic here:

Video Title
Dial-Up
HS/BB
Audio
Length
Added
Why do smokers smoke? 2.65mb 5.70mb   18:08 11/07/06

Another video that deals with this issue:

"I'll be a nervous wreck forever if I quit smoking" Dial up
3.87mb
HS/BB
11.55mb
Audio
0.81mb
10:30 11/29/06



Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:14 PM

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Reply
Recommend  Message 8 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:07 AM
"But he emphasized Tuesday that he was discreet about his smoking."
 

The Closet Smoker




"I can't come to the rest of the sessions.  Nobody in my family knows I've relapsed and if I have to come here the next five nights, I will have to tell them where I'm going.  I couldn't face them after that."  I've had a number of past clinic participants who had relapsed and came to the first night of the clinic to tell me they were going to try on their own, without the support of the group and the rest of the sessions, solely to avoid the embarrassment of admitting their relapse.  While some do quit after staying for the first session, others just continue smoking because they just can't seem to muster up the motivation to get through the initial stage of withdrawal on their own.

What follows for these closet smokers are lives complicated far beyond that of the potential life threatening health risks from smoking.  More immediate of a risk is living a lie that places them in constant fear of being exposed.  This will drastically reduce the amount smoked.   The closet smoker will only smoke when the opportunity permits.  But that means spending numerous hours every day, and possibly even entire days in a state of constant withdrawal.  When they do get a chance to sneak a cigarette, what if someone sees them?  What will that person think of them?  Who else will they tell?  Even if not seen, what about the smell?  For a while the smoker may claim that the smell is from second hand smoke, but that just puts them deeper in the deception. If they do eventually get caught everyone will know that all the other times that they were being accused by some significant other, who thought they smelled it, that their denial then was a blatant lie too.

While some who are reading this may think, "Who cares what other people think," you should understand that to this kind of individual, others' opinion of the smoker's strength or integrity is extremely important.  If it were not, they would not have faced the initial dilemma of how to come to the clinic without admitting the failure.  They are stuck in chronic withdrawal and the chronic anxiety of being caught, all for the luxury of sneaking a cigarette here and there to temporarily alleviate withdrawal whenever possible.  It is obvious that the closet smoker is not smoking for enjoyment.  They can't enjoy it during the act because they're afraid of being caught.  The reason for lighting any given cigarette is plain and simple - the nicotine addict is getting their much needed drug fix, a fix that would not be necessary if they would just quit smoking and end the vicious withdrawal cycle.

The only logical solution to this problem is to quit smoking.  And while the closet smoker may eventually be successful in quitting smoking, since they were already supposed to have quit, how will they then explain the serious mood swings and other physical withdrawal symptoms (including why they seem so irritable or maybe even irrational), during the first few days of withdrawal?  While it may be embarrassing to confess, it is in all probability the best solution.  Admit to relapse and find the time needed to get involved in a smoking cessation support group.  Also, let people around you know what you are going through.  Those closest to you can often be extremely supportive and understanding, but only if they know that their help is needed.

Once you do quit, do everything in your power to avoid ever having to go through quitting again.  Smoking will be more expensive than you remember, more socially unacceptable, just as unhealthy and it could cost you your life  It may effect your social status, making many question your general sensibilities as well as your lack of concern for all non-smokers and ex-smokers around you.  If you try to hide the fact that you relapse, you expose yourself to being caught and then viewed as a liar and a cheat, all for the "joy" of a nicotine fix.  Never forget what each day was like when you were a smoker and it will make it much easier to always choose to - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!



Reply
Recommend  Message 9 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:09 AM

"Like many smokers, he has been unable to quit."

I Can't Quit or I Won't Quit


 

"I don't want to be called on during this clinic. I am quitting smoking, but I don't want to talk about it. Please don't call on me." This request was made by a lady enrolling in one of my clinics over 20 years ago. I said sure. I won't make you talk, but if you feel you would like to interject at anytime, please don't hesitate to. At that she got mad and said, "Maybe I am not making myself clear-I don't want to talk! If you make me talk I will get up and walk out of this room. If you look at me with an inquisitive look on your face, I am leaving! Am I making myself clear?" I was a little shocked by the strength of her statement but I told her I would honor her request. I hoped that during the program she would change her mind and would share her experiences with the group and me but in all honesty, I wasn't counting on it.

There were about 20 other participants in the program. Overall, it was a good group with the exception of two women who sat in back of the room and gabbed constantly. Other participants would turn around and tell the two to be quiet. They would stop talking for a few seconds and then start right up again with just as much enthusiasm as before. Sometimes, when other people were sharing sad, personal experiences, they would be laughing at some humorous story they had shared with each other, totally ignorant of the surrounding happenings.

On the third day of the clinic, a major breakthrough occurred. The two gossips were partying away as usual. There was one young woman, probably early twenties who asked if she could talk first because she had to leave. The two gossips in back still were not listening and kept up with their private conversation. The young woman who had to leave said, "I can't stay, I had a horrible tragedy in my family today, my brother was killed in an accident." Fighting back emotions she continued. "I wasn't even supposed to come tonight, I am supposed to be helping my family making funeral arrangements. But I knew I had to stop by if I was going to continue to not smoke." She had only been off two days now. But not smoking was important to her. The group felt terrible, but were so proud of her, it made what happened in their day seem so trivial. All except the two ladies in the back of the room. They actually heard none of what was happening. When they young woman was telling how close she and her brother were, the two gossips actually broke out laughing. They weren't laughing at the story, they were laughing at something totally different not even aware of what was being discussed in the room. Anyway, the young woman who lost her brother shortly after that excused herself to go back to her family. She said she would keep in touch and thanked the group for all of their support.

A few minutes later I was then relating some story to the group, when all of a sudden the lady who requested anonymity arose and spoke. "Excuse me Joel," she said loudly, interrupting me in the middle of the story. "I wasn't going to say anything this whole program. The first day I told Joel not to call on me. I told him I would walk out if I had to talk. I told him I would leave if he tried to make me talk. I didn't want to burden anyone else with my problems. But today I feel I cannot keep quiet any longer. I must tell my story." The room was quiet.

"I have terminal lung cancer. I am going to die within two months. I am here to quit smoking. I want to make it clear that I am not kidding myself into thinking that if I quit I will save my life. It is too late for me. I am going to die and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. But I am going to quit smoking."

"You may wonder why I am quitting if I am going to die anyway. Well, I have my reasons. When my children were small, they always pestered me about my smoking. I told them over and over to leave me alone, that I wanted to stop but couldn't. I said it so often they stopped begging. But now my children are in their twenties and thirties, and two of them smoke. When I found out about my cancer, I begged them to stop. They replied to me, with pained expressions on their faces, that they want to stop but they can't. I know where they learned that, and I am mad at myself for it. So I am stopping to show them I was wrong. It wasn't that I couldn't stop smoking- it was that I wouldn't! I am off two days now, and I know I will not have another cigarette. I don't know if this will make anybody stop, but I had to prove to my children and to myself that I could quit smoking. And if I could quit, they could quit, anybody could quit."

"I enrolled in the clinic to pick up any tips that would make quitting a little easier and because I was real curious about how people who really were taught the dangers of smoking would react. If I knew then what I know now- well, anyway, I have sat and listened to all of you closely. I feel for each and every one of you and I pray you all make it." Even though I haven't said a word to anyone, I feel close to all of you. Your sharing has helped me. As I said, I wasn't going to talk. But today I have to. Let me tell you why." Then she turned to the two ladies in the back of the room, who actually had stayed quiet during this interlude. Suddenly she flared up, "The only reason I am speaking up now is because you two BITCHES are driving me crazy. You are partying in the back while everyone else is sharing with each other, trying to help save each other's lives. She then related what the young woman had said about her brother's death and how they were laughing at the time, totally unaware of the story. "Will you both do me a favor, just get the hell out of here! Go out and smoke, drop dead for all we care, you are learning and contributing nothing here." They sat there stunned. I had to calm the group down a little, actually quite bit, the atmosphere was quite charged with all that had happened. I kept the two ladies there, and needless to say, that was the last of the gabbing from the back of the room for the entire two-week clinic.

All the people who were there that night were successful at the end of the program. At graduation, the two ladies who had earlier talked only to each other were applauded by all, even the lady with lung cancer. All was forgiven. The girl who lost her brother also came for the graduation, also smoke free and proud. And the lady with lung cancer proudly accepted her diploma and introduced one of her children. He had stopped smoking for over a week at that time. Actually, when the lady with cancer was sharing her story with us, she had not told her family yet that she had even quit smoking. It was a few days later, when she was off a week that she told her son. He, totally amazed said to her that if she could quit smoking, he knew he could and stopped at that moment. She beamed with joy. Six weeks later she succumbed to the cancer. I found out when I called her home just to see how she was doing and got her son on the line. He thanked me for helping her quit at the end. He told me how proud she was that she had quit and how proud he was of her, and how happy she was that he had quit also. He said she never went back to smoking, and I will not either." In the end, they had both given each other a wonderful gift. He was proud her last breath was smoke free- she NEVER TOOK ANOTHER PUFF!

Epilog: I normally say you can't quit for someone else, it has to be for yourself. This incident flies in the face of this comment to some degree. The lady with lung cancer was quitting smoking to save her children from her fate, to some degree undo the lesson that she had taught years earlier. The lesson that she "could not stop." It was that at the time she "would not stop." There is a big difference between these two statements. It holds true for all smokers. The lady in this story proved years later she could quit-too late to save her life, but not to late to save her sons. Next time you hear yourself or someone else say, I cannot stop, understand it is not true. You can quit. Anyone can quit. The trick is not waiting until it is too late.

 

© Joel Spitzer 1986, 2000

When I wrote out many of my clinic stories I had to abbreviate many of the details, to keep the letter sizes relatively small. They were originally written for letters I was mailing to people and we had to stick to one sheet of paper. Even in its shortened state we had to print on both sides.
 
This video format has no such limits. Below is a link to the entire story about this incident. It is 22 minutes and 15 seconds long.
 
Video Title                        
Dial-Up
HS/BB   
Audio   
Length 
Added    
"I can't quit or I won't quit" 6.33mb 28.58mb 3.29mb 22:15    10/16/06
 
I hope you find this story inspiring and that helps you to realize that no matter how impossible you once believed quitting was that now you know that you are fully capable to make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.
 
Joel 

Reply
Recommend  Message 10 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:12 AM
"It's one of those habits you can quit for a while and then you start back up," he said."
 
 
Are you a nicotine junkie?
 
 
The one attribute that shows the addictive nature of nicotine
is not how hard or how easy it is to quit, nor is it
how hard or easy it is for an individual to stay off smoking.
The one true property that shows the power of the addiction
is that no matter how long a person is off, one puff and that
quit can go out the window.
 
Don't ever try to prove to yourself that you were not addicted.
You were addicted to nicotine all of the years you used it and
you are addicted to it today too. But as an ex-smoker the
addiction becomes asymptomatic. To keep it that way and
to basically stay in control always remember to
Never Take Another Puff!
 
Joel

Reply
Recommend  Message 11 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:17 AM

"Obama said Tuesday he was making progress and was being helped by Nicorette, a gum that provides a small dose of nicotine. It "works pretty well," he said."

My best response to this one is the following video:

Video Title
My first encounter with NRT
Dial Up
3.99mb
High Speed
16.11mb
Audio
2.13mb
Length
14:37
11/16/06

Unfortunately, I never wrote out this story. If anyone here is a really fast typest and wants to transcribe it to a written format feel free to attach it here.

Other related links though:

Prolonging Withdrawal Symptoms

Pharmacological Crutches

The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way to Quit Smoking

 



Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:15 PM

----------------------------------------------
Reply
Recommend  Message 12 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:24 AM

"But antismoking activists said Obama should not rely on the gum alone. They urged him to seek counseling for behavior modification."

I suspect he will be getting lots of advice from smoking cessation experts. Unfortunately, this may not be in his best interest for quitting:

 

Whatever you do don't quit cold turkey!


Most medical professionals believe that the way to quit smoking is to use pharmacological aids. They think that pharmacological aids are an effective tool for smoking cessation. Why do they believe this? They believe it because almost all of the smoking professionals of the world tell them that they work. Even the Surgeon General of the United States says that they work. If almost all world experts believe that they work, and the Surgeon General says that they work, well then they must really work. Right?

Well, I look at it like this. Lets say I see a published story come out that says a specific pill prevents colds in 100% of the cases in human trials. Then another study verifies it. In fact, every expert in the world comes out and says colds no longer exist -- the pill has eradicated them.

But most people I knew who took this miracle pill still got colds. Worse than that, I took the pill myself and all of my friends who were on the pill kept giving the cold to me. Pretty soon I would dismiss those studies and no matter how many times I see it I would not believe it. Sooner or later I would have to believe my own eyes and ears, basically my own instincts,  more than expert opinion.

I have seen people use the argument of who should they believe, the Surgeon General of the United States or me. I somehow get the idea that people think that the Surgeon General is a person who has spent  years and decades working with nicotine addicts. That somehow being an expert in smoking cessation is a prerequisite for being the Surgeon General.

I have been running stop smoking clinics since 1976. Back in 1976 I told my second group that they were nicotine addicts. If the people in my 1976 clinics were skeptical and wrote the Surgeon General and asked him if it were true that nicotine was a drug addiction he would have answered no it was not.

It was clearly spelled out in the 1964 Surgeon General's Report that cigarette smoking was not an addiction. In the report of the Surgeon General back in 1979 the Surgeon General was starting to say that maybe it was an addiction, but still had put the emphasis on the habit of smoking being the primary problem. In 1988 the Surgeon General finally issued a report stating once and for all that nicotine was an addictive substance.

In all of the programs I did from 1976 through 1987 I was constantly criticized and attacked for saying that cigarette smokers were drug addicts but I had too much first hand contact with smokers trying to quit that was making it abundantly clear that the Surgeon General was wrong. So I accepted the fact that the Surgeon General and most of the experts of the world were not going to agree with me. For eleven years I was wrong that smoking was an addiciton because the Surgeon General said I was wrong yet today I am no longer wrong on this fact.

The same thing is happening now when it comes to issues like the effectiveness of all of the quitting aids available today. The Surgeon General and most of the world experts say that these products increase success and that people should not quit cold turkey. Again, I have still have too much first hand contact with people who are trying to quit using these products as well as too much contact with people who are actually quitting and succeeding without their use. It is still all too obvious that in real world settings these products do not increase success and that people have a much greater chance of success by disregarding the experts advice.

So I think I am going to just take a wait and see attitude on what the Surgeon General will say ten years or twenty years from now on what is the most effective way to quit smoking.  Maybe he or she will have come around by then, maybe not.  But I know one thing for sure. That all of the people who decided to follow my advice on how to quit, and then stay committed in the interim to the advice that I gave them on how to remain smoke free, that all of these people will still be successful ex-smokers.

My advice to them, that is so controversial today, is simply that to quit smoking and to stay smoke free is no more complicated than just knowing to Never Take Another Puff! 

 

Quitting Methods - Who to Believe?




Who should you believe on what is the most successful technique for quitting smoking - the government and most smoking cessation experts in the world and the professional health organizations of the world and the pharmacological industry and almost anyone whose career seems to be based in smoking cessation or me?

I guess using this standard it would be best not to believe me. But before jumping ship there is one other important group of people that you may find that will back me up and who are already quite credible to you. It's the people in your family and your friends in your real world who have successfully quit smoking and been off all nicotine products for at least one year or longer.

Find out how the people you know who are long-term ex-smokers actually stopped smoking. By long-term I mean people who are currently off all nicotine for at least a year or longer. You'll  likely find that few if any of them have ever heard of me. You will see that many of them had previous quits and relapsed, using all sorts of methods that are endorsed by professionals and maybe even a few of them had professional help with previous attempts. You will find that almost all of them did not follow what is considered the standard recommended advice on how to quit yet they did quit and are still going strong.  You'll find that they most likely quit by simply stopping smoking one day for one reason or another and then have been able to stay off by sticking to a commitment that they made to themselves to not take a puff.

Talk to every long-term ex-smoker you know. Do your own surveys. While you are at it, talk to the current smokers you know too. See how many of them have used  products and followed the advice of the professionals. Keep in mind, most professional literature will advise people to use pharmacologic aids like nicotine replacement products. Try to see how many long-term successful quitters in your real world encounters actually followed this advice.

Another piece of advice written in most literature produced by smoking cessation experts is something to the effect that temporary slips are common and that you should not let a slip put you back to smoking. People who write advice like this do not understand addiction. A person needs to understand that taking a puff is likely going to kill a quit.

Try to find one smoker who once had quit but are now smokers again who didn't one day take a puff. Finding one such person who fits this criteria is going to take you forever. On the other hand finding current smokers you know who had once had quits that actually lasted for months, years or decades who lost  their quits by taking that first puff are quite easy to find. Understand, some of these people had heard comments like, "don't let a slip make you go back to smoking," but sadly, found out from experience that they had little control of the matter once they took that puff.

Our advice if to successfully quit smoking is to simply stop smoking. Our advice for staying off cigarettes is simply to stick to a commitment to never take another puff. So talk to long-term ex-smokers and find out how they quit and hear how they have managed to stay off. Pretty soon you will see it is not a matter of pitting all of the world professionals against me. It becomes a matter of pitting every long-term ex-smoker you know who has successfully quit against the world's professionals. Do the surveys and then I will just become another voice in the crowd of real people who have proven to you that they way to quit smoking and to stay smoke free is to never take another puff!

So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?


If you look around the Internet or even request information from professional health organizations on how to quit smoking you are likely to find that the standard advice given is to use a pharmacological approach, i.e., nicotine replacement products and or Zyban. Each time you see this advice you will also be told that these approaches double your chances of quitting. Some sites and groups come out and almost say, point-blank, do not go cold turkey--basically leaving the reader with the impression that nobody could possibly quit this way.

American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2003, Table 3The American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2003 report contains the chart to the right which shows the percentage of current smokers who have tried different routes at quitting smoking and also indicates the percentage of current ex-smokers who quit by different techniques.

The numbers that are highly telling are the percentages that indicate how former smokers had actually quit. Keep in mind that this chart is limited. It does not tell us how long they had quit or other key pieces of information, such as, did the people who used quitting aids such as NRT ever actually get off the NRT. But I am not concerned about that at this moment.

According to the American Cancer Society report, how did former smokers actually quit? Those using drug therapies and counseling had a 6.8% quitting rate while those using other methods 2.1%. The remainder quit cold-turkey or cut down. In that it is generally accepted that cutting down techniques do not work, we can safely assume that they had an extremely limited impact upon the overall number. So, approximately 90% of the people who are successfully classified as former smokers quit cold turkey. On the same page as Table 3 is located you will find the following recommendation:

"All patients attempting to quit should be encouraged to use effective pharmacotherapies except in the presence of specific contraindications."

You have to ask yourself how many of the successful ex-smokers in the world today would have actually succeeded if they sought out and listened to "professional" advice such as this.

If you are trying to determine what is the best way to quit, you have a choice. You can go with the "experts" or you can go with what 90% of successful quitters have done.

Take Your Own Survey

So how do most people really quit smoking? Don't take our word for it, or the American Cancer Society's, but instead talk to every long-term ex-smoker you personally know. See how many of them fall into one of the following three categories:

1. People who woke up one day and were suddenly sick and tired of smoking. They tossed them that day and never looked back;

2. People who get sick. Not smoking sick, meaning some kind of catastrophic smoking induced illness. Just people who get a cold or a flu and feel miserable. The feel too sick to smoke, they may feel too sick to eat. They are down with the infection for two or three days, start to get better and then realize that they have a few days down without smoking and decide to try to keep it going. Again, they never look back and stuck with their new commitment; or

3. People who leave a doctors office given an ultimatum. Quit smoking or drop dead--it's your choice. These are people who some sort of problem has been identified by their doctors who lays out in no uncertain terms that the person's life is at risk now if they do not quit smoking.

All of these stories share one thing in common--the technique that people use to quit. They simply quit smoking one day. The reasons they quit varied but the technique used was basically the same. For the most part they are clear examples of spur of the moment decisions elicited by some external, and sometimes unknown circumstance.

I really do encourage all people to take their own survey, talking to long-term ex-smokers in their real world: people who you knew when they were smokers, who you knew when they were quitting and who you still know as being successful long-term ex-smokers. The more people you talk to the more obvious it will become how people quit smoking and how people stay off of smoking. Again, people quit smoking by simply quitting smoking and people stay off of smoking by simply knowing that to stay smoke free that they must Never Take Another Puff!

40 Years of Progress?



I am attaching an article below from the January 19, 2004 issue of TIME magazine. It talks about the decline in smoking rates in America since the original release of the U.S. Surgeon General's report in January of 1964. The author was apparently led to believe that a whole lot more quitters would be successful if they would just stop trying to go cold turkey and use the many quitting aids available that can "double a person's chance of success."

One thing I want to comment on is how the article points out that smoking declined from 42% to 23% in the past 40 years, but how the drop-off stalled in 1990. The dates are interesting.

The article is saying is that there are a whole lot more effective ways to quit than by going cold turkey. It is basically talking about NRT products and Zyban. What is interesting is that almost all of these products came into widespread use in the 1990's--the years where the rapid decline in smoking cessation actually stopped.

Nicotine gum was first approved for use in America in 1984, by prescription only. In 1991 and 1992, four patches were approved for prescription use. In 1996 all controls broke loose--the gum and two of the four patches went over the counter and Zyban was just coming into the fray.

So now we have all of these miracle products available, many without prescription. If these products were so good at increasing success, and if they are being used by so many people you would think that smoking rates would be plummeting now when compared to when people just had to rely on their own resolve to quit.

Again, read the following line from the article below:

"The drop-off in smoking stalled in 1990 and has hardly budged since then."

Lets hope not too many miracle products for smoking cessation get introduced in the future as it may result in skyrocketing smoking rates.

The real way to once again increase the long-term success rate of people trying to quit is to help them to understand that they are fighting an addiction to nicotine and that to win that fight and to stay free forever is as simple as making and sticking to a commitment to Never Take Another Puff!

 

Joel

© Joel Spitzer 2004
Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on October 15, 2004

Y O U R T I M E / H E A L T H
Stub Out That Butt!
But don't try to go it alone. Here are some tricks that make it easier to quit
By CHRISTINE GORMAN

Monday, Jan. 19, 2004

More than 42% of adult Americans smoked when the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health was published. Today, 40 years later, fewer than 23% do. That's good news, but it could be better; a lot better. The drop-off in smoking stalled in 1990 and has hardly budged since then. Surveys show that 70% of tobacco users want to quit, but kicking the nicotine habit isn't easy.

What a lot of smokers don't realize is that the most popular method of quitting; just stopping, a.k.a. going cold turkey; is the least effective. Studies show that getting intensive short-term counseling, taking drugs like Zyban (an antidepressant) or using one of the many nicotine aids (gum, patch, inhaler, nasal spray, lozenge) all double the chance of success. Preliminary results suggest that combining these methods will increase success rates even more.

The trick is to find out what works best for you. For counseling, you don't have to go into full-fledged psychoanalysis; you can pick up practical strategies from various quit-smoking telephone hotlines (for a list of numbers as well as tips, visit smokefree.gov). As for nicotine products, make sure you're using them the right way. You need to chew the gum slowly, for example, not swallowing the saliva until the nicotine can be absorbed through the cheek, says Dr. Elliot Wineburg, who has used everything from drugs to hypnosis at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City to help hard-core smokers quit. Many people try to make do with as little nicotine as possible, which is a mistake. "You don't want the brain to go into withdrawal," Wineburg says.

It's never too late to quit. As the years go by, an ex-smoker's risk of heart disease and stroke diminishes until it's essentially the same as that of a person who has never smoked, says Dr. Corinne Husten of the Centers for Disease Control's Office on Smoking and Health. Alas, the risk of lung cancer never quite gets down to what it would have been without smoking. "Even with cancer, people respond better to chemotherapy if they quit," Husten says. Best of all, of course, would be not to take up the habit in the first place.


Reply
Recommend  Message 13 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:29 AM
Related videos to the comment:

"But antismoking activists said Obama should not rely on the gum alone. They urged him to seek counseling for behavior modification."

I suspect he will be getting lots of advice from smoking cessation experts. Unfortunately, this may not be in his best interest for quitting:

Addiction - the Surgeon General says ... Dial Up
4.42mb
High Speed
13.2mb
Audio
1.77mb
Length
12:00
10/09/06
Criteria of addiction 4.09mb 12.2mb 1.64mb 11:06 10/09/06


Reply
Recommend  Message 14 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:38 AM
I am almost done here. He is trying an approach that is making his quit more difficult and success more unlikely. This does not mean that he will not succeed though. He is in a precarious situation by making his quit so public. Here is a video that addresses the advantage he has by having made his quit so public:
 
Telling others that you have quit smoking Dial Up 2.53mb High Speed
7.58mb
Audio
1.30mb
Length
08:57
10/17/06
 
The article that I think is important to add here is addressing the issue of what he needs to understand if he does quit even though he is using a technique that may be undermining his chances. He still needs to understand the importance of understanding the addiction to nicotine to be able to stay off. This article addresses this issue:
 

Is cold turkey the only way to quit?




I have seen it written that we have said that the ONLY way to quit smoking is to quit cold turkey. This is not a totally accurate statement. It is not that cold turkey is the only way to quit,; it is just that cold turkey is the method which gives people the best chance of success. It is the method that all but a small percentage of long-term ex-smokers in the world used to successfully quit smoking.

There are people who have quit using alternative approaches. There are some who cut down gradually and actually succeeded at quitting. For every person who did it like this and succeeded, there are many many many many others who tried it and failed. The individual who used the method will think it is great because it worked for him or her, but since it works for so few people it will generally be recognized as a pretty ineffective technique by most people who do "real world" research into how to quit.

By "real world" research I mean by going to long-term ex-nicotine users who you know personally and finding out how they all got off nicotine. Again, you will very rarely find any who did it by gradual withdrawal. If you find a person like this who is now off years, you should never minimize the person's success. He or she quit smoking, likely doing it in a way that made it much more difficult than it needed to be, but still he or she did pull off the quit. The only advice that I would encourage that you share with the person is that now to stay off he or she must understand the bottom line method of sustaining his or her quit. That message is staying cognizant of the addiction and that the only true guaranteed method to stay off now is knowing never to administer nicotine again.

The same principle here applies to people who use NRT products. There are people who have quit this way. Again, it is a small percentage of the long-term ex-users out there, but they do exist. An individual who pulled it off this way will also feel that it is a great method for quitting. But again, this method works for a small percentage of people who try it and if you look into real world long-term quits you will have a very hard time finding many people who actually successfully got off nicotine this way.

I feel it necessary to use that phrase, "got off nicotine," as opposed to saying, "got off smoking." There are some major experts coming out and advocating that people should be given nicotine supplements forever to stay off of smoking. Can this work? Of course it can. If you can give people enough nicotine via supplements it will satisfy their need for nicotine. After all, this is the primary reason they were smoking at the end--to feed a nicotine addiction. If the smoker can just get nicotine for the rest of his or her life via another route, he or she will avoid going through the three days of nicotine withdrawal.

The question needs to be, why should anyone have to pay what is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars to avoid a few days of withdrawal.? On top of this, these people will never be totally free of the moderate withdrawals that such usage is likely to keep going. These people will in fact tout the use of the product as a great aid, but when compared to what people who are totally nicotine free are experiencing, this victory over cigarettes is just a bit hollow.

There are a few people though whom you may encounter over your lifetime that did quit using NRT's as intended, weaning down for week after week and eventually quitting. If the person is now off for years, he or she is pretty much in the same state as a person who had quit cold turkey. He or she is nicotine free, and he or she should be thrilled by that fact. In some ways I look at people like this with a bit of awe, for they in all likelihood stuck with a process that was pretty much a gradual and prolonged withdrawal and yet they succeeded.

Again, debating the merits of their method with them is pretty much a moot point. It worked for them and you are going to have a pretty hard time convincing them that it is an ineffective method. But you do have a message that you can share with them that they do need to know. That message is that even though they are off nicotine for years, they still need to recognize that they are not cured of nicotine addiction and never will be. No matter how they had stopped, they must still understand the bottom line message, that the only way to stay free now is staying totally committed to never administer nicotine again via any nicotine replacement source and to never administer nicotine again from the original source that likely started the whole process by knowing to never take another puff!


Reply
Recommend  Message 15 of 36 in Discussion 
From: Joel Sent: 2/7/2007 10:41 AM

I forgot to add this one:

Related to the comment, "I've never been a heavy smoker and don't smoke in front of folks or in the house," he said"

Not much of a smoker

Not Much of a Smoker

The fog lifts as the day breaks here in Quitsville. I see some things clearly for the first time. Worse than the Holier Than Thou Ex-Smoker, for years I was "Not Much of a Smoker". Please forgive me and my big, fat ego.

I smoked a lot in the late 70s and 80s. Around 1988 they implemented laws against smoking in the workplace here. That cut into my smoking time somewhat.

In 1988 I also took a Behaviour Modification psychology course. I did my personal term project on 'Nicotine Fading'. The professor advised me against quitting as a project because he wanted me to study something that had a "better chance of success". I spent four months systematically alternating between my brand of cigarettes and brands with less nicotine and tar until I was down to the Canadian brand with the least of both. I also 'faded' down from about a pack a day to about 10. I documented it beautifully, wrote a tremendous paper and got an A.

Afterward whenever I wanted to quit, I would marvel to my doctor, "How can it be so hard for me to quit? I barely smoke compared to most people I know!" She would say, "Someone who uses 5mg of heroine a day is just as much an addict as someone who uses 200mg a day."

I enjoyed every cigarette all these years, or so I thought. I didn't understand the chain smoker except for the nights I played cards and smoked like crazy. Then I would wake with such a headache the next day, and I thought I understood them less. Those heavy smokers never seemed to enjoy their cigarettes like I did; they lit one after another unconsciously. Almost all of mine were an event. I did not know that I was psychologically reinforcing smoking behaviour with every single 'event' as well as maintaining the physical addiction.

Since I waited between each smoke, I was allowing my craving for the physical fix to build up and build up. The enjoyment I thought I felt was relief to the torture I was putting myself through, being in almost constant withdrawal. I was in fact reinforcing the addiction by making each cigarette special. For the addict, it is as fabulous a relief to smoke after waiting a few hours, as it is to finally stop after you have been banging your head against a brick wall for a while.

I am embarrassed to confess but I will. I really enjoyed my unspoken status amongst smokers as the one who was Not Much of a Smoker. My smoking friends knew I could hang on longer than they could. I think some secretly had contempt for me and my high horse, suspecting (rightfully) that I had a little contempt for their hard core addictions.

Funny things happened. One - the last few years I have increasingly become a binge smoker. Although maintaining my regular pattern most days, I started smoking more and more in the evenings. I've suffered great insomnia from time to time with longer bouts the last few years. I would smoke and smoke in the night. I wasn't enjoying them all so much any more. I have had cyclic energy problems for some time and when my energy was low, I would smoke and smoke. What was causing what here?

Secondly - it seems that all around me most of the hard core smokers I knew have managed to quit the last few years with me having at least as hard a time, if not harder. You would have thought that I, here on my high horse, would have had it easy, would have been one of the first to quit. I am one of or the last to quit in each of my social circles.

And lastly - I have not escaped the physical deterioriation being Not Much of a Smoker. I have weakened my lungs and reduced their capacity by smoking. I have coughed and hacked every day for years like a sick person. I should be in top form at just 41, not wheezing up a single flight of stairs, not wondering if I have developed Bronchitis each winter. I am fatter than I should be because as my lungs have gotten weaker, I have walked less and done less other exercise because it is so uncomfortable.

Yes, the fog is lifting as the day breaks here in Quitsville. I've retired my high horse to pasture. I am humbled and grateful to finally understand what has happened and what I have been doing to myself all these years. And once again I ask of myself, forgive me and my big, fat ego. I am an addict. I am in recovery. And now I understand.

Thank you Freedom for giving me a place to work it out.

~ Kay ~
Celebrating 2 Months, 6 Days, 16 Hours and 12 Minutes of Freedom.
Forsaking 1354 doses of poison has liberated $434.33 and 4 Days and 16 Hours of my life.

 



Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:19 PM

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Reply
Recommend  Message 12 of 36 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 2/7/2007 10:24 AM

"But antismoking activists said Obama should not rely on the gum alone. They urged him to seek counseling for behavior modification."

I suspect he will be getting lots of advice from smoking cessation experts. Unfortunately, this may not be in his best interest for quitting:

 

Whatever you do don't quit cold turkey! 


Most medical professionals believe that the way to quit smoking is to use pharmacological aids. They think that pharmacological aids are an effective tool for smoking cessation. Why do they believe this? They believe it because almost all of the smoking professionals of the world tell them that they work. Even the Surgeon General of the United States says that they work. If almost all world experts believe that they work, and the Surgeon General says that they work, well then they must really work. Right?

Well, I look at it like this. Lets say I see a published story come out that says a specific pill prevents colds in 100% of the cases in human trials. Then another study verifies it. In fact, every expert in the world comes out and says colds no longer exist -- the pill has eradicated them.

But most people I knew who took this miracle pill still got colds. Worse than that, I took the pill myself and all of my friends who were on the pill kept giving the cold to me. Pretty soon I would dismiss those studies and no matter how many times I see it I would not believe it. Sooner or later I would have to believe my own eyes and ears, basically my own instincts,  more than expert opinion.

I have seen people use the argument of who should they believe, the Surgeon General of the United States or me. I somehow get the idea that people think that the Surgeon General is a person who has spent  years and decades working with nicotine addicts. That somehow being an expert in smoking cessation is a prerequisite for  being the Surgeon General.

I have been running stop smoking clinics since 1976. Back in 1976 I told my second group that they were nicotine addicts. If the people in my 1976 clinics were skeptical and wrote the Surgeon General and asked him if it were true that nicotine was a drug addiction he would have answered no it was not.

It was clearly spelled out in the 1964 Surgeon General's Report that cigarette smoking was not an addiction. In the report of the Surgeon General back in 1979 the Surgeon General was starting to say that maybe it was an addiction, but still had put the emphasis on the habit of smoking being the primary problem. In 1988 the Surgeon General finally issued a report stating once and for all that nicotine was an addictive substance.

In all of the programs I did from 1976 through 1987 I was constantly criticized and attacked for saying that cigarette smokers were drug addicts but I had too much first hand contact with smokers trying to quit that was making it abundantly clear that the Surgeon General was wrong. So I accepted the fact that the Surgeon General and most of the experts of the world were not going to  agree with me. For eleven years I was wrong that smoking was an addiciton because the Surgeon General said I was wrong yet today I am no longer wrong on this fact.

The same thing is happening now when it comes to issues like the effectiveness of all of the quitting aids available today. The Surgeon General and most of the world experts say that these products increase success and that people should not quit cold turkey. Again, I have still have too much first hand contact with people who are trying to quit using these products as well as too much contact with people who are actually quitting and succeeding without their use. It is still all too obvious that in real world settings these products do not increase success and that people have a much greater chance of success by disregarding the experts advice.

So I think I am going to just take a wait and see attitude on what the Surgeon General will say ten years or twenty years from now on what is the most effective way to quit smoking.  Maybe he or she will have come around by then, maybe not.  But I know one thing for sure. That all of the people who decided to follow my advice on how to quit, and then stay committed in the interim to the advice that I gave them on how to remain smoke free, that all of these people will still be successful ex-smokers.

My advice to them, that is so controversial today, is simply that to quit smoking and to stay smoke free is no more complicated than just knowing to Never Take Another Puff! 

 

Quitting Methods - Who to Believe? 




Who should you believe on what is the most successful technique for quitting smoking - the government and most smoking cessation experts in the world and the professional health organizations of the world and the pharmacological industry and almost anyone whose career seems to be based in smoking cessation or me?

I guess using this standard it would be best not to believe me. But before jumping ship there is one other important group of people that you may find that will back me up and who are already quite credible to you. It's the people in your family and your friends in your real world who have successfully quit smoking and been off all nicotine products for at least one year or longer.

Find out how the people you know who are long-term ex-smokers actually stopped smoking. By long-term I mean people who are currently off all nicotine for at least a year or longer. You'll  likely find that few if any of them have ever heard of me. You will see that many of them had previous quits and relapsed, using all sorts of methods that are endorsed by professionals and maybe even a few of them had professional help with previous attempts. You will find that  almost all of them  did not follow what is considered the standard recommended advice on how to quit yet they did  quit and are still going strong.   You'll find that they most likely quit by simply stopping smoking one day for one reason or another and then have been able to stay off by sticking to a commitment that they made to themselves to not take a puff.

Talk to every long-term ex-smoker you know. Do your own surveys. While you are at it, talk to the current smokers you know too. See how many of them have used  products and followed the advice of the professionals. Keep in mind, most professional literature will advise people to use pharmacologic aids like nicotine replacement products. Try to see how many long-term successful quitters in your real world encounters actually followed this advice.

Another piece of advice written in most literature produced by smoking cessation experts is something to the effect that temporary slips are common and that you should not let a slip put you back to smoking. People who write advice like this do not understand addiction. A person needs to understand that taking a puff is likely going to kill a quit.

Try to find one smoker who once had quit but are now smokers again who didn't one day take a puff. Finding one such person who fits this criteria is going to take you forever. On the other hand finding current smokers you know who had once had quits that actually lasted for months, years or decades  who lost  their quits by taking that first puff are quite easy to find. Understand, some of these people had heard comments like, "don't let a slip make you go back to smoking," but sadly, found out from experience that they had little control of the matter once they took that puff.

Our advice if to successfully quit smoking is to simply stop smoking. Our advice for staying off cigarettes is simply to stick to a commitment to never take another puff. So talk to long-term ex-smokers and find out how they quit and hear how they have managed to stay off. Pretty soon you will see it is not a matter of pitting all of the world professionals against me. It becomes a matter of pitting every long-term ex-smoker you know who has successfully quit against the world's professionals. Do the surveys and then I will just become another voice in the crowd of real people who have proven to you that they way to quit smoking and to stay smoke free is to never take another puff!

So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?


If you look around the Internet or even request information from professional health organizations on how to quit smoking you are likely to find that the standard advice given is to use a pharmacological approach, i.e., nicotine replacement products and or Zyban. Each time you see this advice you will also be told that these approaches double your chances of quitting. Some sites and groups come out and almost say, point-blank, do not go cold turkey--basically leaving the reader with the impression that nobody could possibly quit this way.

American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2003, Table 3The American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2003 report contains the chart to the right which shows the percentage of current smokers who have tried different routes at quitting smoking and also indicates the percentage of current ex-smokers who quit by different techniques.

The numbers that are highly telling are the percentages that indicate how former smokers had actually quit. Keep in mind that this chart is limited. It does not tell us how long they had quit or other key pieces of information, such as, did the people who used quitting aids such as NRT ever actually get off the NRT. But I am not concerned about that at this moment.

According to the American Cancer Society report, how did former smokers actually quit? Those using drug therapies and counseling had a 6.8% quitting rate while those using other methods 2.1%. The remainder quit cold-turkey or cut down. In that it is generally accepted that cutting down techniques do not work, we can safely assume that they had an extremely limited impact upon the overall number. So, approximately 90% of the people who are successfully classified as former smokers quit cold turkey. On the same page as Table 3 is located you will find the following recommendation:

"All patients attempting to quit should be encouraged to use effective pharmacotherapies except in the presence of specific contraindications."

You have to ask yourself how many of the successful ex-smokers in the world today would have actually succeeded if they sought out and listened to "professional" advice such as this.

If you are trying to determine what is the best way to quit, you have a choice. You can go with the "experts" or you can go with what 90% of successful quitters have done.

Take Your Own Survey

So how do most people really quit smoking? Don't take our word for it, or the American Cancer Society's, but instead talk to every long-term ex-smoker you personally know. See how many of them fall into one of the following three categories:

1. People who woke up one day and were suddenly sick and tired of smoking. They tossed them that day and never looked back;

2. People who get sick. Not smoking sick, meaning some kind of catastrophic smoking induced illness. Just people who get a cold or a flu and feel miserable. The feel too sick to smoke, they may feel too sick to eat. They are down with the infection for two or three days, start to get better and then realize that they have a few days down without smoking and decide to try to keep it going. Again, they never look back and stuck with their new commitment; or

3. People who leave a doctors office given an ultimatum. Quit smoking or drop dead--it's your choice. These are people who some sort of problem has been identified by their doctors who lays out in no uncertain terms that the person's life is at risk now if they do not quit smoking.

All of these stories share one thing in common--the technique that people use to quit. They simply quit smoking one day. The reasons they quit varied but the technique used was basically the same. For the most part they are clear examples of spur of the moment decisions elicited by some external, and sometimes unknown circumstance.

I really do encourage all people to take their own survey, talking to long-term ex-smokers in their real world: people who you knew when they were smokers, who you knew when they were quitting and who you still know as being successful long-term ex-smokers. The more people you talk to the more obvious it will become how people quit smoking and how people stay off of smoking. Again, people quit smoking by simply quitting smoking and people stay off of smoking by simply knowing that to stay smoke free that they must Never Take Another Puff!

40 Years of Progress?



I am attaching an article below from the January 19, 2004 issue of TIME magazine. It talks about the decline in smoking rates in America since the original release of the U.S. Surgeon General's report in January of 1964. The author was apparently led to believe that a whole lot more quitters would be successful if they would just stop trying to go cold turkey and use the many quitting aids available that can "double a person's chance of success."

One thing I want to comment on is how the article points out that smoking declined from 42% to 23% in the past 40 years, but how the drop-off stalled in 1990. The dates are interesting. 

The article is saying is that there are a whole lot more effective ways to quit than by going cold turkey. It is basically talking about NRT products and Zyban. What is interesting is that almost all of these products came into widespread use in the 1990's--the years where the rapid decline in smoking cessation actually stopped. 

Nicotine gum was first approved for use in America in 1984, by prescription only. In 1991 and 1992, four patches were approved for prescription use. In 1996 all controls broke loose--the gum and two of the four patches went over the counter and Zyban was just coming into the fray. 

So now we have all of these miracle products available, many without prescription. If these products were so good at increasing success, and if they are being used by so many people you would think that smoking rates would be plummeting now when compared to when people just had to rely on their own resolve to quit. 

Again, read the following line from the article below: 

"The drop-off in smoking stalled in 1990 and has hardly budged since then." 

Lets hope not too many miracle products for smoking cessation get introduced in the future as it may result in skyrocketing smoking rates.

The real way to once again increase the long-term success rate of people trying to quit is to help them to understand that they are fighting an addiction to nicotine and that to win that fight and to stay free forever is as simple as making and sticking to a commitment to Never Take Another Puff!

 

Joel

© Joel Spitzer 2004 
Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on October 15, 2004

Y O U R T I M E / H E A L T H
Stub Out That Butt!
But don't try to go it alone. Here are some tricks that make it easier to quit
By CHRISTINE GORMAN

Monday, Jan. 19, 2004

More than 42% of adult Americans smoked when the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health was published. Today, 40 years later, fewer than 23% do. That's good news, but it could be better; a lot better. The drop-off in smoking stalled in 1990 and has hardly budged since then. Surveys show that 70% of tobacco users want to quit, but kicking the nicotine habit isn't easy. 

What a lot of smokers don't realize is that the most popular method of quitting; just stopping, a.k.a. going cold turkey; is the least effective. Studies show that getting intensive short-term counseling, taking drugs like Zyban (an antidepressant) or using one of the many nicotine aids (gum, patch, inhaler, nasal spray, lozenge) all double the chance of success. Preliminary results suggest that combining these methods will increase success rates even more. 

The trick is to find out what works best for you. For counseling, you don't have to go into full-fledged psychoanalysis; you can pick up practical strategies from various quit-smoking telephone hotlines (for a list of numbers as well as tips, visit smokefree.gov). As for nicotine products, make sure you're using them the right way. You need to chew the gum slowly, for example, not swallowing the saliva until the nicotine can be absorbed through the cheek, says Dr. Elliot Wineburg, who has used everything from drugs to hypnosis at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City to help hard-core smokers quit. Many people try to make do with as little nicotine as possible, which is a mistake. "You don't want the brain to go into withdrawal," Wineburg says. 

It's never too late to quit. As the years go by, an ex-smoker's risk of heart disease and stroke diminishes until it's essentially the same as that of a person who has never smoked, says Dr. Corinne Husten of the Centers for Disease Control's Office on Smoking and Health. Alas, the risk of lung cancer never quite gets down to what it would have been without smoking. "Even with cancer, people respond better to chemotherapy if they quit," Husten says. Best of all, of course, would be not to take up the habit in the first place. 


Reply
Recommend  Message 13 of 36 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 2/7/2007 10:29 AM
Related videos to the comment:

"But antismoking activists said Obama should not rely on the gum alone. They urged him to seek counseling for behavior modification."

I suspect he will be getting lots of advice from smoking cessation experts. Unfortunately, this may not be in his best interest for quitting:

Addiction - the Surgeon General says ...Dial Up
4.42mb
High Speed
13.2mb
Audio
1.77mb
Length
12:00
10/09/06
Criteria of addiction4.09mb12.2mb1.64mb11:0610/09/06



Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:25 PM

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Reply
Recommend Message 14 of 36 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 2/7/2007 10:38 AM
I am almost done here. He is trying an approach that is making his quit more difficult and success more unlikely. This does not mean that he will not succeed though. He is in a precarious situation by making his quit so public. Here is a video that addresses the advantage he has by having made his quit so public:
 
Telling others that you have quit smokingDial Up 2.53mbHigh Speed
7.58mb
Audio
1.30mb
Length
08:57
10/17/06
 
The article that I think is important to add here is addressing the issue of what he needs to understand if he does quit even though he is using a technique that may be undermining his chances. He still needs to understand the importance of understanding the addiction to nicotine to be able to stay off. This article addresses this issue:
 

Is cold turkey the only way to quit? 




I have seen it written that we have said that the ONLY way to quit smoking is to quit cold turkey. This is not a totally accurate statement. It is not that cold turkey is the only way to quit,; it is just that cold turkey is the method which gives people the best chance of success. It is the method that all but a small percentage of long-term ex-smokers in the world used to successfully quit smoking.

There are people who have quit using alternative approaches. There are some who cut down gradually and actually succeeded at quitting. For every person who did it like this and succeeded, there are many many many many others who tried it and failed. The individual who used the method will think it is great because it worked for him or her, but since it works for so few people it will generally be recognized as a pretty ineffective technique by most people who do "real world" research into how to quit.

By "real world" research I mean by going to long-term ex-nicotine users who you know personally and finding out how they all got off nicotine. Again, you will very rarely find any who did it by gradual withdrawal. If you find a person like this who is now off years, you should never minimize the person's success. He or she quit smoking, likely doing it in a way that made it much more difficult than it needed to be, but still he or she did pull off the quit. The only advice that I would encourage that you share with the person is that now to stay off he or she must understand the bottom line method of sustaining his or her quit. That message is staying cognizant of the addiction and that the only true guaranteed method to stay off now is knowing never to administer nicotine again.

The same principle here applies to people who use NRT products. There are people who have quit this way. Again, it is a small percentage of the long-term ex-users out there, but they do exist. An individual who pulled it off this way will also feel that it is a great method for quitting. But again, this method works for a small percentage of people who try it and if you look into real world long-term quits you will have a very hard time finding many people who actually successfully got off nicotine this way.

I feel it necessary to use that phrase, "got off nicotine," as opposed to saying, "got off smoking." There are some major experts coming out and advocating that people should be given nicotine supplements forever to stay off of smoking. Can this work? Of course it can. If you can give people enough nicotine via supplements it will satisfy their need for nicotine. After all, this is the primary reason they were smoking at the end--to feed a nicotine addiction. If the smoker can just get nicotine for the rest of his or her life via another route, he or she will avoid going through the three days of nicotine withdrawal.

The question needs to be, why should anyone have to pay what is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars to avoid a few days of withdrawal.? On top of this, these people will never be totally free of the moderate withdrawals that such usage is likely to keep going. These people will in fact tout the use of the product as a great aid, but when compared to what people who are totally nicotine free are experiencing, this victory over cigarettes is just a bit hollow.

There are a few people though whom you may encounter over your lifetime that did quit using NRT's as intended, weaning down for week after week and eventually quitting. If the person is now off for years, he or she is pretty much in the same state as a person who had quit cold turkey. He or she is nicotine free, and he or she should be thrilled by that fact. In some ways I look at people like this with a bit of awe, for they in all likelihood stuck with a process that was pretty much a gradual and prolonged withdrawal and yet they succeeded.

Again, debating the merits of their method with them is pretty much a moot point. It worked for them and you are going to have a pretty hard time convincing them that it is an ineffective method. But you do have a message that you can share with them that they do need to know. That message is that even though they are off nicotine for years, they still need to recognize that they are not cured of nicotine addiction and never will be. No matter how they had stopped, they must still understand the bottom line message, that the only way to stay free now is staying totally committed to never administer nicotine again via any nicotine replacement source and to never administer nicotine again from the original source that likely started the whole process by knowing to never take another puff!


Reply
Recommend Message 15 of 36 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 2/7/2007 10:41 AM

I forgot to add this one:

Related to the comment, "I've never been a heavy smoker and don't smoke in front of folks or in the house," he said"

Not much of a smoker

Not Much of a Smoker

The fog lifts as the day breaks here in Quitsville. I see some things clearly for the first time. Worse than the Holier Than Thou Ex-Smoker, for years I was "Not Much of a Smoker". Please forgive me and my big, fat ego.

I smoked a lot in the late 70s and 80s. Around 1988 they implemented laws against smoking in the workplace here. That cut into my smoking time somewhat.

In 1988 I also took a Behaviour Modification psychology course. I did my personal term project on 'Nicotine Fading'. The professor advised me against quitting as a project because he wanted me to study something that had a "better chance of success". I spent four months systematically alternating between my brand of cigarettes and brands with less nicotine and tar until I was down to the Canadian brand with the least of both. I also 'faded' down from about a pack a day to about 10. I documented it beautifully, wrote a tremendous paper and got an A.

Afterward whenever I wanted to quit, I would marvel to my doctor, "How can it be so hard for me to quit? I barely smoke compared to most people I know!" She would say, "Someone who uses 5mg of heroine a day is just as much an addict as someone who uses 200mg a day."

I enjoyed every cigarette all these years, or so I thought. I didn't understand the chain smoker except for the nights I played cards and smoked like crazy. Then I would wake with such a headache the next day, and I thought I understood them less. Those heavy smokers never seemed to enjoy their cigarettes like I did; they lit one after another unconsciously. Almost all of mine were an event. I did not know that I was psychologically reinforcing smoking behaviour with every single 'event' as well as maintaining the physical addiction.

Since I waited between each smoke, I was allowing my craving for the physical fix to build up and build up. The enjoyment I thought I felt was relief to the torture I was putting myself through, being in almost constant withdrawal. I was in fact reinforcing the addiction by making each cigarette special. For the addict, it is as fabulous a relief to smoke after waiting a few hours, as it is to finally stop after you have been banging your head against a brick wall for a while.

I am embarrassed to confess but I will. I really enjoyed my unspoken status amongst smokers as the one who was Not Much of a Smoker. My smoking friends knew I could hang on longer than they could. I think some secretly had contempt for me and my high horse, suspecting (rightfully) that I had a little contempt for their hard coreaddictions.

Funny things happened. One - the last few years I have increasingly become a binge smoker. Although maintaining my regular pattern most days, I started smoking more and more in the evenings. I've suffered great insomnia from time to time with longer bouts the last few years. I would smoke and smoke in the night. I wasn't enjoying them all so much any more. I have had cyclic energy problems for some time and when my energy was low, I would smoke and smoke. What was causing what here?

Secondly - it seems that all around me most of the hard core smokers I knew have managed to quit the last few years with me having at least as hard a time, if not harder. You would have thought that I, here on my high horse, would have had it easy, would have been one of the first to quit. I am one of or the last to quit in each of my social circles.

And lastly - I have not escaped the physical deterioriation being Not Much of a Smoker. I have weakened my lungs and reduced their capacity by smoking. I have coughed and hacked every day for years like a sick person. I should be in top form at just 41, not wheezing up a single flight of stairs, not wondering if I have developed Bronchitis each winter. I am fatter than I should be because as my lungs have gotten weaker, I have walked less and done less other exercise because it is so uncomfortable.

Yes, the fog is lifting as the day breaks here in Quitsville. I've retired my high horse to pasture. I am humbled and grateful to finally understand what has happened and what I have been doing to myself all these years. And once again I ask of myself, forgive me and my big, fat ego. I am an addict. I am in recovery. And now I understand.

Thank you Freedom for giving me a place to work it out.

~ Kay ~
Celebrating 2 Months, 6 Days, 16 Hours and 12 Minutes of Freedom.
Forsaking 1354 doses of poison has liberated $434.33 and 4 Days and 16 Hours of my life.



Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 17:27 PM

----------------------------------------------
Reply
Recommend Message 14 of 36 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 2/7/2007 10:38 AM
I am almost done here. He is trying an approach that is making his quit more difficult and success more unlikely. This does not mean that he will not succeed though. He is in a precarious situation by making his quit so public. Here is a video that addresses the advantage he has by having made his quit so public:
 
Telling others that you have quit smokingDial Up2.53mbHigh Speed
7.58mb
Audio
1.30mb
Length
08:57
10/17/06
 


Joel_Spitzer posted on 11/24/2008 19:24 PM

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