Joel
Joel

November 13th, 2003, 4:58 am #21

Next week will be the 27th Annual Great American Smoke Out. The media blitz is likely beginning to happen in many areas now, although next week will likely be worse. I thought we had better get our readers prepared for the onslaught of information and misinformation that is abundant at this time of year. Also read the string on The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom. There is likely going to be a lot of conventional wisdoms being shared in the media over the next few days and we want to make sure that none of it shows up here and is mistaken as factual and helpful information.
Last edited by Joel on April 12th, 2009, 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

November 13th, 2003, 7:17 am #22


Below is WhyQuit's press release for the 27th Great American Smokeout. It will be released for publication on November 14 at 5 am EST and we wanted to put it out for those of you who may want to email us with any problems you see or correction that are needed. Feel free to submit it to your local newpapers should you so desire. Also, a big thanks to Marty and Alyson for contributing to this year's GASO release.

Great American Smokeout Hijacked
When the American Cancer Society held the first Smokeout in 1976 it was to make smokers aware of the importance of quitting, to provide a firm date for getting started, and to share literature on how to succeed. Twenty-six Smokouts later it has been transformed from a national quitting day into a day for selling new methods to replace the nicotine within the bodies of those addicted to it.

(PRWEB) November 12 2003--The 27th Great American Smokeout is this Thursday, November 20. If you are a smoker then get ready to be bombarded by a flood of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) commercials. They'll likely imply that quitting cold turkey requires mountains of willpower or Herculean strength. They'll tell you that by buying and using the nicotine gum, patch, lozenge or inhaler that you won't have to be some super hero to quit.

Even while unknowingly inviting the fox (nicotine) into the hen house (filled with nicotine addicts), a 1997 American Cancer Society press release assured the world that its new NRT pharmaceutical industry partnership was toward "efforts to expand its education of products and methods relevant to smoking cessation."

A visit to the American Cancer Society's online "Guide for Quitting Smoking" reveals just how far education expansion has come. Visitors will find 250 lines of type devoted to a growing array of NRT products, followed by one lone vague reference to quitting cold turkey.

Once the staple of quitting and cornerstone of the Society's cessation program, the sale of its trusted name and logo to NRT pharmaceutical interests may have brought it millions of dollars but not without cost.

This week we'll likely again watch as its name and credibility is invoked in a cold turkey bashing campaign designed to cause those addicted to nicotine to shy away from their natural inclinations.

Pharmaceutical industry literature, websites and commercials proclaim that few cold turkey quitters succeed and that the gum, patch or lozenge has been proven to double your chances of quitting for good. But is it true?

Are cold turkey success stories few and far between? Are most successful quitters quitting with the help of the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge?

Not according to Joel Spitzer, a 26 year Chicago quitting programs director and director of education at the internet's oldest cold turkey quitting forum, hosted by WhyQuit.com. "Contrary to the bill of goods being sold to smokers, most quitters are still quitting cold turkey and more importantly the vast majority of successful quitters also quit by going cold turkey," says Spitzer.

Surprisingly, the Society's own research appears to support Spitzer's contentions. Surrounded by almost mandatory NRT use recommendations, page 25 of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2003 report contains a table indicating that 81% of current quitters and 91.2% of former successful quitters quit entirely on their own without any resort to quitting aids.

"Save your hard earned money," says Spitzer, "quitting should cost you nothing. Don't trust me but instead do your own survey by talking to family and trusted friends who have successfully have been off of all nicotine products for at least a year. Ask them how they did it."

If 91.2% of successful quitters did not use the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, hypnosis, acupuncture, Zyban, Wellbutrin, Smoke-Away, magic herbs or any formal quitting program, what are their secrets, why are they not being shared and why constantly undermine the world's most productive means of quitting?

"Most people succeed by coming to grips with the idea that to stay smoke-free they cannot take a puff on a cigarette," says Spitzer. "Try to find one person who once had quit but are now smokers again who didn't take a puff. Finding one such person is going to take you the rest of your life."

There have been a few important study developments since the last Smokeout that quitters might want to contrast with the American Cancer Society's website assertion that "about 5%--16% of people are able to quit smoking for at least 6 months without any medicine to help with withdrawal."

A March 2003 study published in Tobacco Control combined and averaged the results of all seven over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum studies and found that only 7% of participants had not relapsed to smoking within six months. But it might be even worse.

A just released November study, also published in Tobacco Control, found that as many as 7% of all nicotine gum users and 2% of patch users are still using NRT at six-months. When combined, the two studies present a legitimate concern - are any gum users actually breaking free from nicotine while using it?

"Historically, the literature has seldom examined dependence on NRT," asserts the November study whose primary authors were Saul Shiffman of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. J.R. Hughes of the University of Vermont. "We estimate that 36.6% of current gum users are engaged in persistent use."

Confused yet? Don't feel alone. As the November study suggests, part of the variance stems from the fact that NRT studies defined quitting as quitting smoking but not necessarily breaking nicotine's grip.

If you've already given your share of quick-fix magic cures a try, you may want to consider an invitation to return to the Smokeout's 1976 roots -- a day to quit, actually quitting for a day, and reading some solid nicotine dependency recovery information.

Marty, a London, England ex-smoker of three years recently extended a caring hand across an ocean of doubt and denial in posting a Smokeout invitation to Americans. "One day, one moment, one simple decision was all it took to change my life forever ... one simple click to WhyQuit.com.

Another online quitter of a year and a half, Alyson from Brooklyn, New York, shared Marty's invite in asking that you reflect upon whether "you smoke because you want to or because you have to?" "Try not smoking for a day to find out," encourages Alyson.

According to Spitzer, "our members and the vast majority of long-term ex-smokers have learned what they need to do to successfully stay smoke-free which is simply knowing to never take another puff!"

###

About the Author: John R. Polito is a South Carolina nicotine cessation educator and the 1999 founder of www.WhyQuit.com


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Joel
Joel

November 20th, 2003, 6:45 pm #23

Even articles I am in can have confusing information. This is a article that I was told by the author was sent out to 40 newspapers nationwide yesterday in preparation for the Great American Smoke Out. You will see that she had very little luck in finding other professionals who would agree with my view. I am not surprised by that fact. It is not easy to find professional who agree with cold turkey being a particularly effective means at quitting. It is however relatively easy to find lots of people who would agree that cold turkey is the most effective method to quit. The people I am referring to are the ex-smokers of the world. They will often advocate cold turkey because it is the way that the vast majority of the millions of ex-smokers worldwide quit. For the record, it would be good to read the two articles Who Should You Believe? and Quit Cold Turkey. They add additional insights to issues discussed in this article.

Joel

How Best to Quit Smoking? Research Data Are Elusive

BY DRU SEFTON
c.2003 Newhouse News Service

You're a smoker. The 26th annual Great American Smokeout is Thursday. You'd like to participate and you want to use the single most effective way to quit, the one method that the majority of former smokers used with the greatest success rate.

Sorry. That information doesn't exist.

For all the decades of surveys and polls on smoking, identification of the best way to stop remains elusive -- and controversial.

"It's amazing how much research is done and amazing how little we know about how successful smokers quit," said epidemiologist Stephen Marcus of the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute. "The more we get into it, the more complex it is."

Such as: What, exactly, is a former smoker -- someone who hasn't smoked after six weeks, six months, six years? How about a smoker who hasn't taken a puff in 20 years, then suddenly smokes for one week but quits again. Is that person a failure? And what about smokers who quit before nicotine replacement therapy came into use -- might they have quit more easily and faster with a patch or gum?

Most former smokers go cold turkey, meaning they just stop. About 91 percent of ex-smokers used that method, according to the National Health Interview Survey 2000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And yet the American Cancer Society advocates a combination of "pharmacological interventions and community/behavioral support" in its Cancer Facts & Figures 2003 report.

"If everyone could quit by willpower, we'd have far less smoking," said physician Michael Thun, chief of epidemiological research for the society. "For many people, quitting is extremely difficult."

Nicotine replacement and other drug therapy, Thun added, "aid in the increased chances of successful quitting."

Joel Spitzer disagrees. As a nicotine cessation counselor for nearly 30 years, he's conducted thousands of cold-turkey workshops. He's currently the smoking prevention and cessation consultant to health departments of Evanston and Skokie, Ill., and a founder of www.whyquit.com.

He insists cold turkey works best. Period.

Spitzer has witnessed countless people quitting, some cutting back gradually or using nicotine replacement, others going cold turkey. "It's probably harder withdrawal the first few days going cold turkey," he said, "but then in the fourth day, it's a lot easier for them," while others continue to struggle.

Smokers who quit cold turkey are consistently more successful, he added.

"Over 85 percent of people who went through my clinics last year had tried nicotine replacement therapy products and have now basically written off the experience as a waste of time," Spitzer said.

The problem, he added, is that the cold turkey method has no public advocate. "There's no money to be made if you're just telling people to stop smoking" without offering a drug or product to help, he said.

But it's more complicated than that, said Daniel Seidman, clinical director of the Columbia University Tobacco Cessation Clinic in New York City.

"I've treated a lot of strong-willed people who are still not able to quit," Seidman said. "I think there are great medicines to help make it easier, but that's not meant to be the whole story."

Seidman, co-editor of the book "Helping the Hard-core Smoker: A Clinician's Guide," added that "people may put too much emphasis on medicines."

What's needed, he and others said, is more guidance on how to use the drugs properly, as well as counseling and support.

"Drugs without behavioral support are not nearly as effective," said Glen Morgan, a program director at the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute.

When quitting smoking, Morgan added, "there are many roads to mecca. If one method doesn't work, go back and look at what you can do differently."
Last edited by Joel on April 12th, 2009, 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

December 23rd, 2003, 12:11 am #24

With the upcoming New Years just a little over a week away it is time to be prepared for the onslaught of promotion for the latest and greatest gimmicks to quit smoking. My AOL New alert popped up two this morning, about how much hope there is for people quitting now because of the advancements in science.

Here is my personal favorite of the two "news" items from this morning:
Smokers Get Cutting Edge Technology to Fight Age Old Habit in the New Year



RESTON, Va., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of smokers attempt to kick their habit cold turkey, or by using nicotine replacement therapies and herbal elixirs, but quickly learn that quitting is not easy. This year, they can count on technology to get them through the rough spots with a handheld computer called QuitKey(TM). The QuitKey approach to quit smoking culminates 20 years of research. It was developed and proven effective with grants from the National Institutes of Health and
builds on the enormous success of LifeSign(TM), a first generation smoking cessation computer that uses the same gradual reduction technology. QuitKey first tracks the smoker's habit and then tailors a gradual quit plan that is just right for the smoker....
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Joel
Joel

December 30th, 2003, 2:40 am #25

I just got the following Public Service Announcement in my AOL news alert:

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop Commemorates 40th Anniversary of the First Report on Smoking and Health with American Lung Association PSA"America's Family Doctor" Encourages Smokers to Celebrate Public Health Milestone by Quitting NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/29/2003 -- Today, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, often called "America's Family Doctor," joins the American Lung Association in unveiling a public service announcement (PSA) campaign commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health. Released on January 11, 1964, the report represented a seminal moment in public health, as it was America's first widely publicized official recognition of smoking as a cause of cancer and other deadly diseases.

The PSA, entitled "Remember 1964," began airing on television stations nationwide in December. In the PSA, Dr. Koop reminds smokers of the Report's impact and issues a powerful call to action, urging smokers to celebrate the anniversary event by quitting.

"Although there have been great strides made in smoking cessation, there's still more work to be done," said Dr. Koop. "Approximately 46 million American adults still smoke, and the introduction of so-called 'reduced risk' tobacco products may pose a serious threat to public health if they have the effect of delaying or changing a smoker's decision to quit, increasing the exposure to risk of contracting a smoking-related disease. Fortunately, the past 40 years have brought new help and new hope for those who want to quit smoking. There are now FDA-approved tools available to help, including nicotine replacement therapies like the patch, gum and lozenge, as well as counseling, support programs and quitlines, all of which can increase a smoker's chances of becoming smoke-free."

"We are honored to be working with Dr. Koop, whom we have long admired and considered a pillar in the public health community. We are committed to helping people stop smoking and preventing young people from starting. This is the only way that tobacco-related lung disease will be eliminated for future generations," said John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO, American Lung Association. "We've made big strides over the last 40 years, but we still have work to do. We are proud to count this PSA among our many efforts to reduce the death and disease caused by smoking."

[I deleted a paragraph here with links to the Lung Association website and phone number.]

For more information about the Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health or FDA-approved stop smoking products, please visit xxxxxx.

It seems to me now that the anniversary of the Surgeon General's report is what is being hijacked this time. (see message 32 in this string for reference to that comment.) Basically this news release is a commercial for quit smoking aids. You know what that first report did 40 years ago. It made the public aware that smoking caused lung cancer. It made the public aware that smoking was deadly. It made the public aware that they should quit smoking to save their lives. This commemorative press release briefly mentions this and spends the bulk of the message telling people that there are now products you can buy with nicotine to help you break free from cigarettes or even the "so-called 'reduced risk' tobacco products" that they refer to.

If anyone wants to find the original article or the links involved it will be easy. Just type Koop into any search engine that has listing for recent new reports. I am not however going to put the links up here. What I am going to do though is highlight some of the appalling comments you will find at that site linked at the end of the article where I have put the "xxxxxxxxx."

Comment one:
Sure, quitting was hard. But as you know by now, staying off cigarettes forever is every bit as difficult. The good news? It is possible!

First, you need to be aware that physical cravings will continue to pop up from time to time. That's why it pays to keep a stop-smoking Quit Aid like Nicorette®, NicoDerm® CQ® , or Committtm on hand long after you quit.

You'll also need to continue to fight off the temptation of being in certain situations without a cigarette. Don't smoke - not even a puff! Who knows how far that will set you back.
Comment two:
4. Get a stop-smoking Quit Aid

  • It's an undeniable fact - stop-smoking Quit_Aid products can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge.
These are some of the Quit Aids the FDA has approved:
  • Nicorette®- available over-the-counter
  • NicoDerm® CQ®- available over-the-counter
  • Committ TM available over-the-counter
  • Zyban® - available only by prescription

    Other, non-proven therapies include herbal remedies, acupuncture and hypnosis.


Comment 3:
5. Be prepared to relapse

Most relapses occur within the first 3 months. But don't be discouraged. Remember, most people try 7 times before they finally quit.


Comment 4:
The dreaded relapse

Any ex-smoker knows, quitting is so difficult that many have tried 7 or more times before succeeding. So if you relapse, you're not alone.

But you don't have to feel like a failure. In fact, you can learn from your current quit attempt and more likely stay a non-smoker in the future. And, by keeping a Quit Aids like Nicorette®, NicoDerm® CQ®, or CommitTM handy, you can help fight off the physical cravings

The source for the widely distributed press release is GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline makes Nicorette®, NicoDerm® CQ®, and the CommitTM lozenge.

I normally try not to go on an offensive with any industry, as we have written in our Freedom's mission statement:
We are hostile to nobody. Not even to the tobacco industry or pharmaceutical companies who have different agendas than ours. They exist because they want you to use their products. We exist because you want to stop using their products. We are not here to try to make anyone stop using their products either. We are here to help people quit using nicotine because they have already decided to do so.
I feel that I am would be being negligent now though if I did not point out a tactic that I have not seen so blatantly used before by the pharmaceutical industry. The idea that you should keep any source of nicotine on hand just in case is absolutely ludicrous. It gives the impression that people have to have some nicotine around in case they have an urge. The fact is ex-smokers don't have physical urges they have psychological . Taking a dose of nicotine to deal with a psychological trigger will basically start the physical process of withdrawal again. If a person does it he or she had better be prepared for three more days of withdrawal. He or she had better have a good supply of his or her quitting aid on hand again to get through the following days for he or she has started up an active need again.

I think the other way that this comment needs to be looked at is the idea that an ex-smoker has to have something on hand "just in case" the ex-smoker finds himself or herself wanting a cigarette. What might happen if a person gets a thought and has no aid? Will he or she stop breathing? Will his or her heart stop? Will he or she burst a blood vessel unless he or she takes nicotine product? None of these things will happen. For the record, most ex-smokers are going to get an occasional thought and if they have a nicotine product in hand and have a feeling that it is better than smoking, or that it is an either they are either going to take this NRT product or they are going to smoke, they are going to take the product. The bottom line is there was and always will be a third option, which is not to take the product and not smoke. The person will get through the event with their quit totally intact.

We are seeing a new level of nonsense now. Every one of our members are living proof that all you need to have with you to keep your quit strong and secure in times of major crisis, minor emergencies, or just plain random thoughts is a personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel

I am attaching the first letter I ever wrote on a nicotine replacement product, written almost 20 years ago now. Its message is as pertinent now as it was back then:


Joel's Reinforcement Library



Pharmacological Crutches




Due to the recent release of Nicorette®, a chewing gum containing nicotine, I feel it is necessary to issue a special warning to all clinic participants who may be considering experimenting with this product. The gum is intended to be used by smokers to ease the severity of symptoms encountered during initial smoking cessation.

But the ex-smoker occasionally desires a cigarette months and even years after quitting. He may feel that the urge is due to a physiological residual effect of withdrawal. This thought may lead to the idea that trying the gum may help get rid of the desire. But, the actual cause of the thought for a cigarette is due to a psychologically triggered response. Some situation, person or event is causing the thought for a cigarette. While these occasional triggers may be annoying, they pass in seconds and may not occur again for hours, days or even weeks.

If the ex-smoker tries the gum, the end result will be tragic. For once he takes the first piece, his addiction to nicotine will be established. Once again he will be in nicotine withdrawal. Then he will have to make a choice--either relapsing into full fledged smoking or once again encountering the two week nicotine withdrawal. All this because he wanted to ease a thought for a cigarette which would have only lasted seconds.

Even the intended use of nicotine gum presents certain problems. Many hope the gum will be a panacea for the truly addicted smoker. But caution must be given to the non discriminate use by any smoker who feels that this new aide will help him break free from cigarettes. For while the gum may reduce the severity of initial withdrawal, it does so at a cost.

Normally, when a smoker quits, physical discomfort will peak within 72 hours and totally subside within two weeks. While the first three days may be traumatic, with proper support any smoker can successfully get through this period.

Use of the gum may reduce the initial severity of withdrawal when quitting. The ex-smoker may continue chewing the gum for months, never reaching peak withdrawal. But because blood nicotine never reaches the levels maintained by cigarettes, nor totally leaves the body, he feels minor withdrawal symptoms on a chronic basis. When he finally quits using the gum, he will probably experience the same withdrawal he would have originally encountered when quitting cigarettes.

The gum may help an addicted smoker break some of the psychological dependence and conditioned responses before experiencing potential difficult withdrawal. But the cost for this easing of initial symptoms is a prolonged chronic withdrawal followed by peak symptoms when giving up the gum. This is a lot of long term discomfort which could be avoided by simply ridding the body of all nicotine by quitting cold turkey.

When you quit smoking, you broke free from the addiction to nicotine. As long as you keep all nicotine out of your body you will never again have to worry about the health consequences of smoking or deal with the withdrawal of quitting. If you wish to stay free, don't try the gum, and as for cigarettes, cigars or pipes - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

NOTE: I originally wrote this in 1984. Since then, a number or similar products, (e.g., patches, gums, other devices are currently under development), have been introduced as over the counter cessation aids. The same principal applies to them all - they are transferring the delivery system of the drug nicotine. If the smoker simply stops, withdrawal will peak and start to subside within 72 hours. Use of the agents will unnecessarily prolong the cessation process as well as add to the expense.
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Joel
Joel

January 16th, 2004, 12:46 am #26

I just saw an email from a gold member who was alerting us to an article in the current issue of Time Magazine. I am going to attach the article here and add a few comments at the end of the article:

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.

From the Jan. 19, 2004 issue of TIME magazine

No one should ever be surprised when they see reports in the popular media about how quitting smoking by cold turkey is so ineffective. Strings that we have covering this issue are "What ever you do don't quit cold turkey!", Who Should You Believe?, So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit? and Is cold turkey the only way to quit? Also make sure to read post the 36th post in this string.

The one new thing I want to comment on this particular article is how it 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 existence 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 above: "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. They may result smoking rates skyrocketing again.

Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 12th, 2009, 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Devla13
Devla13

January 16th, 2004, 12:55 am #27

Joel, you nailed it! It's always frustrating to read vague reports of "studies" and "preliminary results" with no supporting data. It's REALLY frustrating when these vague reports refer to life and death issues such as nicotine addiction! Thank goodness there's the reality check offered here at Freedom and WhyQuit.com.

Janet

78 days ago, I quit smoking to save my life. BTW, I've also saved $355.10 by not smoking 1,578 cigarettes.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 16th, 2004, 1:11 am #28

Sorry about my above deletion but had to clean up all those crazy codes ....
I couldn't help myself, Joel, I just had to respond.
Below is my "Letter to the Times Editor"
It's Guy & Robert's fault for for egging me on ; )
[url=mailto:letters@time.com]Letters to the Editor of TIME Magazine[/url]

To: [url=mailto:letters@time.com]letters@time.com[/url]
Dear Times Editor,

The "Stub Out that Butt" story correctly notes that national cessation rates stalled in 1990 but erroneously lays blame upon cold turkey quitting, which is labeled "least effective." The assertion that nicotine replacement therapy products (NRT) like the nicotine patch or gum doubles the chance of success is, simply, hogwash!

The American Cancer Society's 2003 Cancer Facts and Figures report indicates that 91.2% of all successful long-term quitters quit entirely on their own. A March 2003 study by NRT industry consultants combined all over-the-counter NRT research and found that 93% of NRT users had relapsed to smoking within six months.

If cold turkey's six-month historical rate of 10% still holds true, then it is actually more effective than NRT.

John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Instructor

Address/Phone
[url=mailto:john@whyquit.com]john@whyquit.com[/url]


References:

1. American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2003 (PDF Document) , see Table http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAF ... ecured.pdf

2. Hughes, JR, Shiffman, S, et al., A meta-analysis of the efficacy of over-the-counter nicotine replacement , http://tc.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/12/1/21, Tobacco Control, March 2003;12:21-27.

3. Polito, JR. , Does the Over-the-counter Nicotine Patch Really Double Your Chances of Quitting? http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_OTCPatch.html, WhyQuit, April 2002.

4. Polito, JR, Is cold turkey quitting more productive and effective than NRT? http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Cold_Turkey.html, WhyQuit, July 2003.


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TOM DPLN1 GOLD
TOM DPLN1 GOLD

January 16th, 2004, 2:12 am #29

WAY TO GO JOEL AND JOHN. AS ALWAYS YOU GUYS ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY.
I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE BEHIND
THIS TIME ARTICLE.

I FELT COMPELLED TO RESPOND TO THIS POST BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT SHOUL
STAY CURRENT.

TOM D
FREE AND HEALING FOR 7 PLUS WEEKS
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Joel
Joel

January 16th, 2004, 2:47 am #30

I am lifting the following post out of the string I Liked My Other Support Group More:
From: Joel Sent: 6/9/2003 7:14 AM
I am attaching a link here to a quick post put up by Pelenope today: In it Pennie talks about her experience with a real world support group she was in. John responded in that thread about a study that was being done in Malta evaluating the effectiveness of their smoking cessation programs. Here is the link John put up to that study: http://home.um.edu.mt/med-surg/mmj/15_01_7.pdf

There are many that would be shocked by the conclusions drawn from the study. For what the study showed was that the six month cessation rate for the groups being examined was just about 10%. Of those who quit, eight of the ten went cold turkey. I don't know what the usage status was of the two using NRT, meaning, were they still using NRT at the six month mark or not? Giving them the benefit of the doubt that they had gotten off the NRT, it would still mean that 80% of the success stories were cold turkey quitters.

So what was the conclusions of the study investigators on how to improve their programs?

Well they thought that one of the problems with the approach being used was that participants were given a choice of going cold turkey or of using pharmacotherapies such as NRT. They concluded that the way to improve the program was to make NRT the cornerstone of future programs.

The original subject of this letter, Barbara was in a clinic I ran back in 1977. Again, she was in a group of people most of whom had successfully quit smoking. She did not. She was in another group at one time where she also had not quit smoking--but then again, neither did any of the people in her group. So where would she turn if she ever somehow decided that maybe she should quit again? I suspect she would have gone back to her other program.

Its amazing what kind of conclusions people can draw from different situations. Everyone here should know that there are other schools of thoughts and options out there for how to attempt to quit smoking. But always try to use the simplest level of logic when analyzing the problem at hand here. The problem is everyone here is addicted to a drug--nicotine. The way most people here got addicted to nicotine is by inhaling burning tobacco, usually via cigarettes. Inhaling burning tobacco is dangerous and basically downright deadly. The only way to eradicate the risks of inhaling burning tobacco is to not inhale burning tobacco. Once a person becomes nicotine free the physical need to inhale burning tobacco or to take in nicotine via any route of administration to stave off nicotine withdrawal will be permanently over. Your body will never need nicotine again as long as you never take nicotine from any NRT source and as long as you always remember when it comes to burning tobacco products that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff.

Joel
The closing paragraph there further illustrates just what kind of conclusions are drawn by the experts and reported to the general public.
Last edited by Joel on April 12th, 2009, 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

May 31st, 2004, 7:21 pm #31

Everyone here has to know that they are drug addicts and to stay free is contingent on never administering nicotine again-not from cigarettes, cigars or pipes, not from chewing tobacco or snuff, not from nicotine laced products like inhalers, patches, gums, lozenges, or drops.

We are not just talking about not taking these products on special days like the day of a Smokeout, or New Years, or Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or Memorial Day, or Independence Day, any other holiday or special occasion that marks a new day or special day. Holidays and special days are no different than any other of the 365 days that occur in any year when it comes to drug addiction. They must all be treated the same-to overcome the passing of every 24 hour period for successfully smoke free entails always understanding that you must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

October 22nd, 2004, 7:55 am #32

I see we had a post up questioning the logic of the use of NRT. This string has quite a bit of good information in it. The 36th post in this string had what I thought were some important insights on a newer tactic of encouraging ex-smokers to keep a supply of NRT around, "just in case" they get an urge. Here is the comment I wrote covering this concept:

I feel that I am would be being negligent now though if I did not point out a tactic that I have not seen so blatantly used before by the pharmaceutical industry. The idea that you should keep any source of nicotine on hand just in case is absolutely ludicrous. It gives the impression that people have to have some nicotine around in case they have an urge. The fact is ex-smokers don't have physical urges they have psychological . Taking a dose of nicotine to deal with a psychological trigger will basically start the physical process of withdrawal again. If a person does it he or she had better be prepared for three more days of withdrawal. He or she had better have a good supply of his or her quitting aid on hand again to get through the following days for he or she has started up an active need again.

I think the other way that this comment needs to be looked at is the idea that an ex-smoker has to have something on hand "just in case" the ex-smoker finds himself or herself wanting a cigarette. What might happen if a person gets a thought and has no aid? Will he or she stop breathing? Will his or her heart stop? Will he or she burst a blood vessel unless he or she takes nicotine product? None of these things will happen. For the record, most ex-smokers are going to get an occasional thought and if they have a nicotine product in hand and have a feeling that it is better than smoking, or that it is an either they are either going to take this NRT product or they are going to smoke, they are going to take the product. The bottom line is there was and always will be a third option, which is not to take the product and not smoke. The person will get through the event with their quit totally intact.

We are seeing a new level of nonsense now. Every one of our members are living proof that all you need to have with you to keep your quit strong and secure in times of major crisis, minor emergencies, or just plain random thoughts is a personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 6th, 2005, 7:31 pm #33

I see we have a new event happening happening later this week in what I think is a UK event called "No Smoking Day." I thought it might be a good idea to bring materials up to address much of the marketing that is going to be aimed at smokers wanting to quit over the next week. The increases in advertising and media kind of coverage that occurs over the next week may in fact result in more people starting to think about smoking cessation. Unfortunately, many are going to get side tracked into the marketing blitz of products to buy to quit as opposed to getting any real education or help in understanding how to quit and how to stay off. Being that we have the potential of having more people finding their way to Freedom this week I will be keeping many of our educational materials and information supporting cold turkey quitting near the top. For the record, quitting smoking and staying smoke free is as simple as just stopping smoking and then making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff! Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 31st, 2005, 5:56 pm #34

Today is World No Tobacco Day. Depending on where you may live you need to be prepared for an onslaught of misinformation in order to sell products and services to help you to quit smoking. The only thing people need to "buy" in order to quit is to buy into the idea that they smoke because they are nicotine addicts and to successfully break free and stay free from the nicotine addiction now is as simple and inexpensive as just knowing to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

August 9th, 2005, 11:22 pm #35

With so much media coverage happening in America and Canada at the moment because of Peter Jennings' death, I though I had better prepare our readers to be informed about conventional wisdom advice that may be given in the mainstream media.
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Joel
Joel

October 15th, 2005, 8:56 am #36

We have another month before we need to be worrying about this string in regards to the Great American Smoke Out. I am bringing it up here because it looks as if ABC News is going to be doing a story on quitting smoking. In case any of the producers actually stumble across our site, I thought it might be good to give them some insights to how we feel quitting stories often miss the mark when it comes to covering cold turkey quitting. Here is a link to the press release explaining that they are looking for people planning on quitting: ABC News Looking to Talk Hear From Smokers Wanting to Quit.
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Joel
Joel

November 4th, 2005, 6:30 pm #37

Well it is quite obvious that the ABC producers didn't stumble across our site or chose to ignored us if they did. The series recommendations are following the standard line of how almost everyone would benefit if they just used NRT or other pharmaceutical interventions. Our hope still is though that while most viewers may not get the real story, the interest being sparked in a series about quitting smoking may bring more people to the Internet and more people to www.whyquit.com and to Freedom.

While this string has mostly been used for short term events like the Great American Smoke Out and World No Smoking Day, I feel that it is going to get more of a workout this year while the ABC series continues to run.

I am attaching the following comment to a number of strings that address the advantages of cold turkey quitting, as well as spell out the disadvantages of pharmaceutical interventions.

I am starting to see where cold turkey quitting is starting to get bashed pretty heavily in the media. One of the techniques that is being used is having smoking experts come out and say that while everyone seems to know one person who has quit cold turkey, that most people just cannot quit this way. They are trying now to undercut the real world examples that people are inevitably exposed to since since this is the way that most people have successfully quit smoking. I would agree that if a person just seemed to know only one person who had successfully quit smoking by a certain technique, it would be a clear sign that maybe the technique was not very successful. The issue is that if people go through the trouble of finding out what technique was used by ALL of the people they know who had quit smoking, they would most likely find that most if not all of them were in fact cold turkey quitters.



Here is the standard commentary I use when addressing the issue of talking to ex-smokers: I really do encourage all people to take this 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!

Again, go talk to as many long-term successful ex-smokers (people off all forms of nicotine for at least a year or longer) in your real world that you can find and find out how they quit. I don't believe that there is a single professional smoking cessation NRT advocate who will suggest to their patients that they take a similar survey. For if they did their credibility would be called into question almost immediately when the patient starting seeing the results of their real life survey.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

November 10th, 2005, 11:13 am #38

Great American Smokeout Thursday
Here in the U.S. Thursday Nov. 17th's dawn will herald the 29th Great American Smokeout and yet another opportunity to quit smoking. But there's been a slight change since the American Cancer Society's first Smokeout in 1976. Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry was allowed to redefined the word "quitting."

Instead of the Smokeout being a day to discover that life without nicotine might actually be do-able -- and the days that follow as well -- over the next week millions in marketing will be spent encouraging smokers to spend the day toying with pharmaceutical grade nicotine, otherwise known as nicotine replacement therapy or NRT- the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge and inhaler.

The sales pitch is usually two-fold. First, it will be suggested that in the real-world use the patch, gum or lozenge will double a quitter's chances of quitting for good. Next it will likely suggest that quitting cold turkey is extremely difficult or that few cold turkey quitters succeed. Both assertions are false.

As for it being almost impossible to quit smoking cold turkey, nothing could be further from the truth. The American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts and Figures 2003 report indicates that over 90% of all long-term successful quitters quit smoking cold turkey. With 46 million ex-smokers, it means that more than 40 million Americans quit have successfully quit smoking cold turkey.

Contrary to it being almost impossible to quit cold turkey, a far more accurate and honest representation would be that it is the cessation method used by almost all successful quitters.

As for being twice as effective, only in formal clinical studies - not here in the real world. California, Minnesota, London, Quebec, Maryland, never once in any quitter survey have NRT users generated a higher six month quitting rate than those quitting entirely on their own. Never! But how can that be?

The pharmaceutical industry has known all along that nicotine is a psychoactive chemical which produces alert dopamine/adrenaline intoxication. It provides an extremely alert unearned "aaahhh" reward sensation. It makes the heart pounds faster, the fingers to grow cold and the senses perk.

In clinical studies quitters were told that they had a 50/50 chance of receiving weeks or months of free NRT products, or being assigned to a placebo group where the patch, gum or lozenge was normally nicotine free.

A June 2004 study published in Addictive Behaviors looked at blinding in clinical NRT studies and found that they were not blind as claimed, as 71% assessing blindness failed their own assessment as "subjects accurately judged treatment assignment at a rate significantly above chance."

Let's put it this way. If you were a smoker hoping to get weeks or months of free nicotine gum would you have stuck around and allowed yourself to be toyed with if your expectations were frustrated? The opposite is also true. If your expectations were fulfilled, would you have stayed around and attended the study's counseling sessions, accepted ongoing instruction and support (which each have their own independent quitting effectiveness), and have generally cooperated with those you knew were your ongoing source of free pharmaceutical grade nicotine?

What's it all mean? It means that NRT's clinical victories were not earned but by default. Contrary to marketing innuendo, never once in any clinical study did NRT quitters compete with quitters wanting to quit cold turkey - quitters with every expectation of abruptly ending all nicotine use.

There is no money to be made in on-your-own quitting and cold turkey quitting has few champions. But that isn't entirely accurate. It depends on your definition of champion, as here in the U.S. we're over 40 million strong.

John (Gold x6)

Last edited by John (Gold) on April 12th, 2009, 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

November 10th, 2005, 9:27 pm #39

I saw a new tactic performed last week on a news show that has been doing a month long series on smoking and quitting. The expert they brought in made a statement that smoking is a disease like diabetes or high blood pressure. Being a disease like these other two obviously meant that it needed to be treated like the other two, by using medications to treat the disease. I found it to be an interesting new tactic in the new spread of misinformation and misconceptions.

Smoking is not a disease like diabetes or hypertension. People with diabetes cannot wake up one day and just decide that they are not going to have diabetes or primary hypertension anymore. Many people do in fact need medications to treat those kind of illnesses or the secondary problems spawned by the conditions.

Smokers on the other hand do have the potential of one day just stopping and for all practical purposes eliminate the risk of all future damage caused by smoking. In America today we have more former smokers than current smokers, and over 90% of those people who have quit did so without the use of any medication. This statement cannot be made about diabetics or people with hypertension--where the majority of people who successfully overcame the disease did so without any medication or professional intervention whatsoever.

Smoking is not a disease like diabetes of hypertension. Smoking is a disease like alcoholism or narcotic addiction is a disease. You just don't see all of the experts in the world who deal with the diseases of addiction coming out and saying that the answer is all of the users of the world need to be put on medications to quit drinking or to get off drugs. Most people know that the way people successfully break free from addiction is to stop delivering the addictive substance. It seems that the professionals in the field of smoking cessation just cannot recognize what people have known for decades now on how to really gain control over diseases of addiction.

While smoking is not a disease like diabetes or hypertension, it does in fact result in many of the same complications as both of these diseases and others. In fact, people who do have these diseases and also smoke are magnifying the risks of a host of complications from their other preexisting condition. Again, while they may not be able to eliminate the risks and complications caused by their other diseases without medication, they can reduce the risks of problems caused from their past smoking and put an end to any future damage that smoking would cause by simply making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff. Joel
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

November 10th, 2005, 11:01 pm #40

Nicotine REPLACEMENT Therapy?
Stated Purpose - Aid in Smoking Cessation.
What does the therapy aim to replace?
Naturally occuring NICOTINE found in tobacco.
What does the 'therapy' replace Nicotine with?
Active Ingredient (in each Patch): Nicotine (21 mg). Inactive Ingredients: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate-Copolymer, Polyisobutylene and High Density Polyethylene Between Pigmented and Clear Polyester Backings.

Huh? Replace nicotine with nicotine?

The premise is flawed.

Doesn't sound like any kind of replacement is going to happen to me.

SMOKING = Inhaling the gaseous by-product of a controlled burning of tobacco funnelled through a paper tube.

Purpose of Smoking = Obtain NICOTINE through fast absorption into the bloodstream through the lung tissue.

SMOKING is not the issue.

NICOTINE ADDICTION is the issue. Nicotine in the bloodstream and in a persons brain falsely reacting with aceteylcholine receptors thereby releasing dopamine inappropritaely is the issue.

Therefore it is tantamount to fraud, in my personal opinion, to purport replacing nicotine inhaled with nicotine absorbed through the skin (or through the mouth or digestion system) is a therapy that will help anyone stop smoking or chewing or swallowing or sniffing tobacco. Confusing information indeed.

I smoked for about forty years, since I was a child. I know alot about smoking. Since I learned about how nicotine addiction works & chose to permanantly remove it from my blood serum chemistry I've learned alot about nicotine addiction. Since getting rid of nicotine I have not even considered for a second lighting a piece of paper afire, blowing out the flame and inhaling the gaseous smoke. I have not been compelled to put my face near any type of combustion or flame so that I could inhale choking smoke.

SMOKING is NOT the PROBLEM.

It's the NICOTINE. Replace the word "cigarette" with "nicotine".

Break the Cycle. Get rid of the nicotine & begin your journey back to the natural you. Celebrate an amazing period of rapid healing during a brief period of adjustment and live free of nicotine's grip forever, as long as you never allow nicotine back into your blood serum chemistry by ANY means.

The only 'Therapy' that works permanently for Smoking Cessation is Nicotine REMOVAL Therapy!
JoeJ Free 10 Months = 304 Days living smoke-free as Just Me

- No Nicotine Required thank you very much!
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on April 12th, 2009, 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Rickrob53 Gold
Rickrob53 Gold

November 11th, 2005, 6:24 am #41

I see by JoeJ's post above that one of the ingredients of the nicotine patch is High Density Polyethylene.
I wonder how many people realize that High Density Polyethylene is the same material that some sewage pipes are made of?


No one needs to stick any nicotine-laced sewage pipe material on your body to quit smoking! Cold Turkey works... Millions of people have done it... I've done it... you can do it!

Richard
21 months of freedom
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Joel
Joel

November 15th, 2005, 11:49 pm #42

With the Great American Smoke Out rapidly approaching I thought it might be a good idea to bring materials up to address much of the marketing that is going to be aimed at smokers wanting to quit over the next week. The increases in advertising and media kind of coverage that occurs over the next week may in fact result in more people starting to think about smoking cessation.

Unfortunately, many are going to get side tracked into the marketing blitz of products to buy to quit as opposed to getting any real education or help in understanding how to quit and how to stay off.

Being that we have the potential of having more people finding their way to Freedom this week I will be keeping many of our educational materials and information supporting cold turkey quitting near the top.

For the record, quitting smoking and staying smoke free is as simple as just stopping smoking and then making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 26th, 2005, 11:22 am #43

In the world of nicotine marketing, January 1, 2006 will likely mark extremes in two regards. It will in all probability be the day of the year when the fewest cigarettes are smoked and also the day when the most replacement nicotine is used.

If you successfully dodge the flood of NRT commercials this last week of the year you likely don't spend much time watching television. At least in that regard, not watching TV might be the healthiest thing a smoker contemplating a New Year's quit or an ex-smoker can do.

With more than 50% of all smokers having now tried replacement nicotine at least once, and over 95% having relapsed within a year, you'll likely notice a different tone to the commercials. They'll be bashing cold turkey quitting harder than ever but that's nothing new. What's new is that for the first time pharmaceutical companies are beginning to attack smoking.

Think about it. When have you ever heard an NRT commercial tell you that smoking was bad for you. Probably never. The tobacco industry and pharmaceutical industry have long had an agreement not to attack one and other. In fact, until last year the Philip Morris website was openly asserting that the key to successful quitting was to buy medicine (pharmaceutical grade nicotine) and use it.

But recently I've noticed that Philip Morris has demoted NRT a notch or two and GlaxoSmithKline actually issued a press release on December 5th that, aside from blasting cold turkey (my rebuttal - GlaxoSmithKline Attacks Cold Turkey Quitting ), for the first time actually attacked smoking as unhealthy (see GSK's press release ).

When Joel titled this thread I doubt he foresaw just how messy these nicotine sales messages could get, but then again, knowing Joel, maybe not. I think we're about to hear some rather wild assertions. Keep your ears open and if you are quick enough to jot down the commercials assertions we'd fit well in this thread.

What we might want to keep in mind is that all nicotine comes from the exact same plant and that it probably isn't unusual for both the pharmaceutical and tobacco industry to be buying from the same farmers.

For visitors looking in, there have only been two published nicotine patch studies looking at success rates for second time patch users and in the first (Tonnesen 1993) 100% relapsed to smoking within 6 months and in the second (Gourlay 1995) 98.4% of study participants relapsed within 6 months.

Still just one rule guarantees success to all ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Chew, Patch, Pinch or Lozenge.

John (Gold x6)

Last edited by John (Gold) on April 12th, 2009, 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

March 4th, 2006, 6:02 am #44

Next week the UK will once again be holding it's official "No Smoking Day." I thought it might be a good idea to bring materials up to address much of the marketing that is going to be aimed at smokers wanting to quit over the next week. I am starting to see an increase already in press releases trying to encourage potential quitters to stock up on their pharmaceutical supplies to quit smoking.

Unfortunately, many people who might actually be considering making a serious attempt to rid themselves of nicotine are going to get side tracked into the marketing blitz of products to buy to quit as opposed to getting any real education or help in understanding how to quit and how to stay off.

Being that we have the potential of having more people finding their way to Freedom I will be keeping many of our educational materials and information supporting cold turkey quitting near the top. For the record, quitting smoking and staying smoke free is as simple as just stopping smoking and then making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 5th, 2006, 7:59 pm #45

A few years back John came across a study done in Malta where they were evaluating the success of their smoking cessation programs done throughout the country so as to plan out the strategy for their future clinics. Here is the link John put up to that study: http://home.um.edu.mt/med-surg/mmj/15_01_7.pdf

There are many that would be shocked by the conclusions drawn from the study. For what the study showed was that the six month cessation rate for the groups being examined was just about 10%. Of those who quit, eight of the ten went cold turkey. I don't know what the usage status was of the two using NRT, meaning, were they still using NRT at the six month mark or not? Giving them the benefit of the doubt that they had gotten off the NRT, it would still mean that 80% of the success stories were cold turkey quitters.

So what was the conclusions of the study investigators on how to improve their programs?

Well they thought that one of the problems with the approach being used was that participants were given a choice of going cold turkey or of using pharmacotherapies such as NRT. They concluded that the way to improve the program was to make NRT the cornerstone of future programs. As soon as I read that conclusion it made me think of this article:

"I Liked My Other Smoking Clinic More!"[/size]

Almost 20 years ago when I was conducting one of my first Stop Smoking Clinics, one of the successful participants, a lady named Barbara, told me that she had once attended another clinic and liked it more than ours. I asked her how long she had quit for in that program and she said, "Oh, I didn't quit at all." I then asked her how many of the other people quit. She replied, "I don't know if anybody quit." I then asked, if nobody quit, why did she like the program more? She answered, "When I completed the program, I didn't feel bad about smoking!"[/size]

The task of any smoking clinic should be to help the participant break free from the powerful grip of the nicotine addiction. To do this, each participant needs to have a thorough understanding of both why he or she smokes and the consequences associated with maintaining use of cigarettes. Cigarettes are addictive, expensive, socially unacceptable, and deadly. How in the world can any individual or clinic realize these effects and minimize the significance to the point where a smoker doesn't feel bad smoking?[/size]

The natural impulse of most smokers is to deny the health and social implications of smoking. When he picks up a newspaper and sees a headline with "Surgeon General", he will read no further. When he hears a broadcast on radio or television about the dangers, he either totally disregards the message or maintains the false belief that the problem doesn't apply to him. But eventually, even his own body complains. He may experience physical symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, pains in chest, numbness in extremities, headaches, stomach aches, hoarseness, and a variety of other complaints. He will generally pass the blame to the weather, his diet, to his stress, to a cold or flu, to allergies or any other excuse he can muster up to protect his cigarettes.[/size]

Our clinic was designed to permanently destroy all rationalizations of smoking by the smoker. He may make up lots of excuses for smoking, but he knows that they all are lies. Our clinic will accomplish one of two goals. Either the smoker will quit smoking, or the clinic will **** up his smoking for the rest of his life. No longer will he be able to sit back at the end of a day and think to himself in ignorant bliss how much he enjoyed his cigarettes. To the contrary, if any thought of smoking is allowed to creep into consciousness, it will be anger over how stupid it was to inhale 20, 40, 60 or even more cigarettes that day, and how sad it is that he is probably going to do the same again tomorrow.[/size]

Why do we want to make the smoker miserable about smoking? Because maybe if he gets mad enough about smoking he will stop it. Sooner or later logic may motivate him to stop. Maybe he will do it on his own, or maybe he will come back to us for help. How he does it is not important; what is important is that he does quit. For, while the concepts we instill in him may make him miserable, not understanding them can cause more significant long term suffering.[/size]

If our clinic did what Barbara's first clinic accomplished--alleviating negative feelings toward smoking--it could result in the ammunition necessary to maintain smoking. Since cigarettes are responsible for over 400,000 premature deaths per year and the crippling of literally millions of others, alleviating the anxiety of smoking is not in the best interest of the smoker. Consider the physical, psychological, social, economical and any other personal consequences of smoking. Consider them all and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF![/size]


The original subject of this letter, Barbara was in a clinic I ran back in 1977. Again, she was in a group of people most of whom had successfully quit smoking. She did not. She was in another group at one time where she also had not quit smoking--but then again, neither did any of the people in her group. So where would she turn if she ever somehow decided that maybe she should quit again? I suspect she would have gone back to her other program.

Its amazing what kind of conclusions people can draw from different situations. Everyone here should know that there are other schools of thoughts and options out there for how to attempt to quit smoking. But always try to use the simplest level of logic when analyzing the problem at hand here. The problem is everyone here is addicted to a drug--nicotine. The way most people here got addicted to nicotine is by inhaling burning tobacco, usually via cigarettes. Inhaling burning tobacco is dangerous and basically downright deadly. The only way to eradicate the risks of inhaling burning tobacco is to not inhale burning tobacco. Once a person becomes nicotine free the physical need to inhale burning tobacco or to take in nicotine via any route of administration to stave off nicotine withdrawal will be permanently over. Your body will never need nicotine again as long as you never take nicotine from any NRT source and as long as you always remember when it comes to burning tobacco products that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff.

Joel
The closing paragraph there further illustrates just what kind of conclusions are drawn by the experts and reported to the general public.
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