Call Me A Quitter

Joel
Joel

April 19th, 2001, 7:10 pm #11

For Melissa G:

Melissa wrote that reading people who were off 6 months or more was a real help to keeping her motivation up. Many people find this helpful, to hear the experience of people off a long time. The reason being that many people are skeptical of their chances of long-term success, actually believing that people can't quit for a long time or that if they do, they suffer miserably and feel deprived most of their life. Neither fear is true.

It actually will get to the point that not smoking is a habit, relatively easy in fact and not thought about for most of the time. But even though this is true, not smoking should never be taken for granted. It will get easy to stay off but is also very easy to go back, and may be impossible to quit again in that eventuality.

As far as the possibility of long-term success, in America today we have as many ex-smokers as we do current smokers, around 50 million of each. Half the people who used to smoke have quit illustrating that long-term quitting is possible. All of these ex-smokers will be able to stay that way as long as they all understand once simple concept now. Many of them don't know it yet, so never think it is unnecessary to spread one of the lessons you have all learned here to ex-smokers you know. Most ex-smokers are receptive to your quitting questions and support; they are already on your side. The lesson to share, which not only helps them but also will help you reinforce your quit, is that if they want to remain smoke free, they must always remember to never take another puff!\

Joel
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Joel
Joel

November 19th, 2001, 7:25 pm #12

I saw where one of our newest members was writing with great enthusiasm of how much better life was since quitting just two weeks ago, I just thought this one illustrates how some people feel the same enthusiasm for many years if they just keep reminding themselves of what life was truly like when smoking and comparing it to how things improved once they quit. The more accurately you remember what it was like to be a full-fledged smoker with all is expenses, smell, social problems, hassles, and medical risks the more likely you will stay happy and enthused to never take another puff!

Joel
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childofnite GOLD.ffn
childofnite GOLD.ffn

January 8th, 2002, 3:24 am #13

Hmmm... never saw this one before. This guy sure believes in you Joel, as do all of us. It's great that people that have been off that long care to come and post, and share their experiences. It's very encouraging.

Now, having said that - EVERYONE reading this should replace the word "HABIT" that was repeatedly used in the course of this letter with "ADDICTION", for that is what it is. VERY IMPORTANT to remember, folks. A person who repetedly uses the word 'habit' instead of 'addiction' is a prime candidate for complacency, and we all know what might happen if we allow ourselves to become too complacent in our quits.

In order to avoid relapse, always remember you are an addict, and cannot change the laws of addiction to suit you. One puff is never enough for any addict. Remember also to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!!!!!!

Yqs, Diana
5 months, 1 week, 6 days.
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Joel
Joel

April 7th, 2002, 6:37 am #14

I saw where Bill W thought the board had a tone of gloom and doom. Thought I would bring up some posts showing that people can actually be happy and excited to have quit smoking--even years later seeing it as a big deal and a great accomplishment. John here exemplifies this feeling 12 years post quit. You can all achieve the same kind of success as long as you always remember the importance of knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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DebD (GOLD)
DebD (GOLD)

April 7th, 2002, 7:08 am #15

Thank you, Joel for posting this! 12 years!! I have difficulty imaging myself at 1month due to past failures but I know I can do this due to the education and support I get here and because I'm taking it one day at a time and will never take another puff! Congrats to the "Quitter"!
Diana, I agree with you re: being addicts but you have to understand 12 years ago, smoking wasn't look at as an addiction, it was only a "HABIT".
Thank you, Joel and everyone for being here for my journey to a new, healthier life. Hope to be around in 12 years to post that I have remained nicotine free and that there won't be any newbies or lurkers to encourage only oldbies keeping in touch! DebD 2wks,3days,5hrs,12min!
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Joel
Joel

April 7th, 2002, 8:13 am #16

Hello Deb:
I guess I should point out, John in this letter learned that nicotine was an addiction when he was in the clinic 12 years ago. I called it an addiction and treated it as such since 1976. I was just out on a limb and often criticized as being a renegade for making such wild claims. Here is a piece I wrote back in 1982 on the issue. Are you a nicotine junkie?
Prior to 1982 I didn't write much, just lectured live. I started writing the letters in December of 1981 and from the very first letter the concept of addiction was the underlying message--that and the way to stay in control was to know to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 14th, 2009, 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DebD (GOLD)
DebD (GOLD)

April 7th, 2002, 1:52 pm #17

Thank you, Joel!
I just being in my nicotine haze, I've lost track as to how long it's been considered an addiction and not just habit. Thank you, Joel, for the continued education, that is why I am here making this my first and final educated quit because I've learned to take it one day at a time and never take another puff. Also that a dose of nicotine is not going to resolve any problems. All the assistance is much appreciated. DebD
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Joel
Joel

April 7th, 2002, 8:27 pm #18

Hello Deb:

You are not in a haze. I think it's been just about 12 years since they finally categorized nicotine as an addiction. I was just commenting on how when John wrote his original piece, while the scientific community had not yet really accepted the reality that nicotine was an addiction, John himself did. The clinic he was in taught him in no uncertain terms he was an addict.

When it comes down to it though, a high percentage of ex-smokers back then knew they were addicted. They may not have known to use the word addiction, they may not have even been particularly well versed in addiction understanding for other drugs--but they knew for themselves that if they took a puff they would lose their quit. You would often hear people say that there were times that they would kill for a cigarette but that they would not take one--the reason being that they knew if they took one it would be all over for them. These people understood addiction even if they never heard the word. They basically knew without ever reading it that the way to stay free was to never take another puff!
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Joel
Joel

May 18th, 2002, 7:42 pm #19

You can see from the post above that even after years and decades, the appreciation of being smoke free can still be as important and significant as it is the very first days if you keep remembering where you once were as an actively using nicotine addict and how you never want to be trapped in such an existence again. To avoid chronic withdrawal, further destruction and initiation life threatening illnesses always remember why you originally committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

July 30th, 2002, 4:04 pm #20

For Darby:

Just wanted you to know you are not the only one to be happy to be able to call yourself a quitter. John is a quitter for over 13 years now, and is every bit as happy and enthused to be able to use this term about himself today as he was when he first quit. I actually received a lengthy email from him a couple of days ago again expressing his appreciation for having quit and reaffirming his commitment to stay a quitter by always knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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DubiouslyDos
DubiouslyDos

July 30th, 2002, 11:50 pm #21

I really appreciate seeing this today - my grandfather Charlie started smoking when he was 9 and got up to 3-4 packs daily, as did this gentleman. He passed away at home when he was only 66. What idiots we all were to feel relief that it was his heart, and not cancer that ended his life. We were thankful he ended peacefully because he was coughing so much.

For years I used his death as an example that a smoker does not only die of cancer - what a messed up way to think. When I met rude non-smokers who confronted me with the possiblity of quiting - I called it "slow suicide" with a smile on my face. Sick now to think of how messed up that was or to imagine how horrified the person who confronted me must have been by my response. Too bad cigarette manufactures don't put true life stories on their packs - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Dos (Dubious)
9 Weeks 51 Minutes
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Joel
Joel

September 26th, 2002, 9:51 pm #22

I saw a discussion up today about people not seeming to know who they are since they quit smoking. It is true that most smokers do not know what it is like to be an adult without cigarettes--they took up cigarettes in their childhood or adolescents, and had cigarettes incorporated into many of their adult thoughts, rituals, and daily practices. They may never have drove to a job in their life without a cigarette. They may never have gone on a job interview without a cigarette. They may never have gone out on their own to buy a home without a cigarette. Cigarettes became a constant companion.

But once a person quits he or she will quickly learn who he or she is without smoking. The truth be known, the ex-smoker is now the real person that he or she was always meant to be. So many adult decisions and lifestyle adjustments were designed to accommodate smoking. Yes the person may have established a successful existence, but cigarettes still may have held him or her back from reaching his or her maximum potential--not to mention his or her maximum life expectancy.

To find out who you really are and to have more time to spend with that person always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

May 6th, 2003, 12:33 am #23

Thanks so much, Joel! I hope I'm still excited and proud about never taking another puff many decades from now! I hope I always see it as a major accomplishment of my life, something still worthy of guarding carefully and smiling about. I hope I never look back on all of this work I did educating myself as just a fad, and I love seeing and hearing about proof that it can be done, and that others have gone the path that I hope for myself.

Alex
2 months 3 weeks
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Joel
Joel

June 27th, 2003, 6:14 pm #24

This letter illustrates how even people who were once die hard smokers, people who thought they could never quit, can actually quit smoking and stay off over the long haul. It simply comes to a point where a person must recognize that quitting smoking is a fight for ones life and that to win that fight is as simple as just knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

September 15th, 2003, 6:21 am #25

Even people who are sure they are "hopelessly addicted" can succeed over the long-term. It takes the realization that they are indeed addicted but taking control over the addiction is not a hopeless venture. Quitting is possible and staying free is doable for any person as long as he or she understands that to stay smoke free is as simple as sticking to his or her commitment to never take another puff! Joel
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Joel
Joel

July 22nd, 2004, 11:50 pm #26

From: Joel. Sent: 9/26/2002 7:51 AM
I saw a discussion up today about people not seeming to know who they are since they quit smoking. It is true that most smokers do not know what it is like to be an adult without cigarettes--they took up cigarettes in their childhood or adolescents, and had cigarettes incorporated into many of their adult thoughts, rituals, and daily practices. They may never have drove to a job in their life without a cigarette. They may never have gone on a job interview without a cigarette. They may never have gone out on their own to buy a home without a cigarette. Cigarettes became a constant companion.

But once a person quits he or she will quickly learn who he or she is without smoking. The truth be known, the ex-smoker is now the real person that he or she was always meant to be. So many adult decisions and lifestyle adjustments were designed to accommodate smoking. Yes the person may have established a successful existence, but cigarettes still may have held him or her back from reaching his or her maximum potential--not to mention his or her maximum life expectancy.

To find out who you really are and to have more time to spend with that person always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

April 14th, 2005, 11:01 am #27

For Carroll / freeforlife46,
Just know that you should substitute compulsive behavior or conditioned response for the word habit. Cause we all know our thinking it was just a "Nasty Little Habit" helped to keep us trapped and not able acknowledge our addiction to nicotine.
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on April 14th, 2009, 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

June 11th, 2005, 7:02 pm #28

From above: John was in pretty poor health when he joined up. He really felt it was probably too late when he quit. But as you can see 12 years later he is still alive and well.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

April 22nd, 2006, 4:27 am #29

But once a person quits he or she will quickly learn who he or she is without smoking. The truth be known, the ex-smoker is now the real person that he or she was always meant to be. So many adult decisions and lifestyle adjustments were designed to accommodate smoking. Yes the person may have established a successful existence, but cigarettes still may have held him or her back from reaching his or her maximum potential--not to mention his or her maximum life expectancy.

To find out who you really are and to have more time to spend with that person always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

November 23rd, 2006, 9:36 pm #30

From above:

I saw a discussion up today about people not seeming to know who they are since they quit smoking. It is true that most smokers do not know what it is like to be an adult without cigarettes--they took up cigarettes in their childhood or adolescents, and had cigarettes incorporated into many of their adult thoughts, rituals, and daily practices. They may never have drove to a job in their life without a cigarette. They may never have gone on a job interview without a cigarette. They may never have gone out on their own to buy a home without a cigarette. Cigarettes became a constant companion.

But once a person quits he or she will quickly learn who he or she is without smoking. The truth be known, the ex-smoker is now the real person that he or she was always meant to be. So many adult decisions and lifestyle adjustments were designed to accommodate smoking. Yes the person may have established a successful existence, but cigarettes still may have held him or her back from reaching his or her maximum potential--not to mention his or her maximum life expectancy.

To find out who you really are and to have more time to spend with that person always remember to never take another puff!

Joel


Also, if you want to get a real sense of the actual program John went through, these indexes will help:

Using these videos to quit smoking
Starting day one of your quit
Starting day two of your quit
Starting day three of your quit
Starting day four of your quit
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

August 21st, 2014, 12:54 pm #31

I haven't popped this one up for several years. What made me think of it today is I got an email from another one of my clinic panelists who I have not heard from in probably over 14 years. He was just writing me to tell me that today was his 30th anniversary since having quit smoking. If I remember correctly, Barry was a four pack a day smoker. His entire group was watching him from day one believing that he was going to either crack or experience the worst withdrawal of any one in his group. His experience was quite a bit different though--he simply said to a member of his family that he was quitting smoking and asked him to clear out all of his ashtrays, which I believe he had over 40 strewn throughout the house. He proceeded to quit and experienced minimal side effects. He shocked everyone who knew him. Fits under the concepts covered in the video Amount smoked.

So just taking this opportunity to say congratulations to Barry for being smoke free for 30 years. 


The way for all of our current members and readers to accomplish the same goal is still by a day at a time sticking to your own personal commitment to never take another puff.


Joel


 
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Mommiana
Mommiana

August 21st, 2014, 2:08 pm #32

Way to go, Barry! 

And Joel, having a 30 year quitter from your classes... ??? Just wow! I'm hoping I make it to say Freedom was my key to success 30(!!!) years ago!

~ Christy
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

August 22nd, 2014, 5:49 pm #33

I just had a short phone conversation with Barry. I needed to fact check something I had written--about him having over 40 ashtrays throughout the house. The actual count was 52. 

New video discussing Barry: A thirty year success story






Related video: Amount smoked
Last edited by Joel Spitzer on August 22nd, 2014, 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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