Carrying Cigarettes

Joel
Joel

March 17th, 2002, 10:25 pm #21

Hello Ingrid:

You are not the only exception to this rule-I am sure there are others around here. We put out guidelines that enhance an individual's chance of success. Some people may get by with doing things differently, but they often had put themselves at greater risk than should have been necessary. In clinics I sometimes find out people had kept emergency stashes, some for years, yet got away with it and pulled off the quit. But I encounter many more people who lose their quits early on, and when I ask where they got the first cigarette from it turns out that they had kept an emergency stash "just in case." Well just in case kind of events surfaced and the easy availability ended up costing these people their quits. I have been in this field long enough to witness these people later losing their lives from such actions.

So does everyone have to follow everything we say to guarantee success? No, not really. But do people have a better chance following the advice and life lessons of hundreds or thousands of people as opposed to a few exceptions? I will let each and every one of you be the judge of that.

But one rule has no exceptions-the rule that says to stay smoke free and guarantee that this quit the last quit you will ever have to do requires always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 17th, 2002, 10:40 pm #22

I lifted this post off the Buddy System thread. It adds a little more perspective to the previous post here.

Joel

I thought it would be a good time to point out that we really are different than most other boards out there. I am not saying it is better or worse, just different. People come in here that have often been at other boards first where the rule of the day is everyone has good ideas of how to quit. The fact is, many people come with their old techniques and understanding of how to quit. That is why many if them are current smokers. Their old techniques failed them. We on the other hand are trying to share methods ands approaches that are tried and true. Not methods that one person used and it seemed to work for them, but that you can find dozens of people who used the exact same method only to have it basically undercut their quits. We are trying to highlight the methods that enhances the vast majority of members and even ex-smoking non-members overall success.

It is not that we are not against newbies offering support, but just that they should hang around a while first, read all of our philosophies and try to understand what we are doing here and why we have some of our guidelines in place.

If a person has a difference of opinion with our technique, which is basically quit cold turkey, don't carry cigarettes and never take another puff, they should not post about it on the board. If they want to discuss it with management, we can each be emailed and we will explain why we don't advocate a specific piece of advice. Or maybe we will see your point and modify our approach.

But if a new member reads it in their first days of a quit, before we have a chance to point out the pitfalls, they may think that this advice is accepted strategy for enhancing smoking cessation. The fact is for most people, if the advice in contradictory to our basic premise, it is probably going to be counterproductive to the person's quit. People just quitting who are hanging on for dear life will often grasp onto things that are written in our posts and responses. The addiction would love to get some support from a basically bad piece of advice that makes the potential for relapsing seem a bit easier.

Also, we need to keep focused on the real danger of the buddy system. The buddy may have the best advice in the world, and the other buddy may really count on the person to get them through thick and thin. But there is no guarantee that the buddy will be available when needed or worst, there is no guarantee that the buddy won't be a smoker next time contacted. Stranger things have happened.

Count on yourself first. You can count to some degree on the group after that, but there have even been times where due to technical difficulties the whole group disappears all at once. Again, that is where counting on yourself is paramount. Print out your own reasons for having initially quit. Print out materials here that struck a personal chord helping you at a critical moment. Have alternative resources of support established. But don't count on one individual, no matter who they are. The stakes are too high to gamble on one person helping you when he or she may not be able to do this for him or herself.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 1st, 2002, 7:51 pm #23

My gosh, I have not brought up this one in a long time. Ex-smokers should never carry cigarettes--not from day one of a quit. One reason is for the real risk of smoking it, and the second reason is that as long as a person keeps cigarettes he or she is also keeping a mindset that he or she is a smoker trying not to smoke as opposed to being an ex-smoker. Ex-smokers and never smokers never keep cigarettes--why would they? It serves no purpose to them.

As long as a person feels like a smoker trying not to smoke, he or she is going to have the psychological problems and play the little mind games of a smoker trying not to smoke. When you cross over to the frame of mind that you are not a smoker trying not to smoke but rather you are now an ex-smoker--and that is what you want to be--the psychological benefit can be both powerful and profound.

If you work on proper frame of mind in the beginning, you can feel this difference a minute into your quit and you will prove yourself right as long as you always remember that you are committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Slycat
Slycat

May 1st, 2002, 11:50 pm #24

Hi Joel:

I can still feel that pack of cigarettes in my hand. I use to hold it in my right hand and do everything else I was doing like driving or writing something on a piece of paper or anything. That pack of cigarettes was always in my right hand with the lighter in the pack along with my cigarettes. I would hopefully finish the first couple of cigarettes from that pack fast so I could fit my lighter in the pack. It was one nifty, condensed package that had everything I needed in it to smoke a cigarette. Sometimes I would chew on the bottom of the cigarette box. I never realized what I was doing though. Not until now.

When I first tried to quit I was having a really hard time. I thought that if I brought a pack of cigarettes and lit them up one by one and burned them in the ashtray in front of me so that the smoke would go into my face, I would be o.k. Well that just started me on smoking again besides all the second hand smoke I inhaled that weekend. Even my eyes were tearing.

How stupid. Well when I quit after that I just got rid of everything. I thought I would be looking for something to play with in my right hand but I haven't missed the feeling, although I can still feel the pack in my hand sometimes (strange). I know people that I work with here that quit (a couple of people quit for 10 years). They always kept a pack of cigarettes with them during this time. I mean 10 years is a long time to quit. Well, they both went back to smoking cigarettes after 10 years but never smoked any of the cigarettes in that pack they just held onto. One girl had a scare of thyroid cancer and that made her quit for 10 years and the other one gained too much weight so she went back. Maybe just the reminder of holding onto those cigarettes for that long was too strong for them.

Well I just wanted to get through the first week because once you do that you can keep going. If I quit for 10 years I would hopefully never want to go back. I guess the feeling of that cigarette pack in my right hand will diminish over time. I'm sure all symptons will go away.....

Thanks...Judy
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 3rd, 2002, 12:31 am #25

A quitter keeping cigarettes around just to prove they can, is akin to a person on suicide watch carrying a loaded gun. With a triggered crave being less than 3 minutes in duration (be sure and look at a clock as your mind may try to convince you that it's 3 hours instead) one of your best weapons against relapse is delay, delay, delay! Why take it away!

Each crave will end in a very short period of time whether you feed it or not. If you know where "it" or "they" are, then you'd be well advised to flush or crush your hidden stash! Baby steps to glory! This is doable! YQB John
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 6th, 2002, 12:26 am #26

A habit triggered crave will last less than three minutes before it begins easing off. Delay is your friend. Get rid of ALL your cigarettes and give yourself a real chance at lasting freedom! You've earned the right to see what it's like go an entire day without ever once WANTING or even THINKING about smoking nicotine. Baby steps, just one hour and day at a time! The next hour is doable for all of us! John
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

August 15th, 2002, 11:22 am #27

You see those little tubes with a cigarette in them. They say, "In case of emergency, break glass," or something similar. The terrible truth IS that no matter how grim the emergency, it's not so bad that a cigarette cannot make it worse (by adding a forced-suicide addiction to your troubles). These tubes are the equivalent of having a glass full of butane that says, "in case of fire, break glass."

I wonder how many quits they've cost.

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Joel
Joel

August 18th, 2002, 1:02 pm #28

It's time to clean out all of those car ashtrays.
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Puh(BRONZE)
Puh(BRONZE)

August 19th, 2002, 9:29 am #29

Its Done !

Ulrike
I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Weeks 3 Days 2 Hours 53 Minutes 50 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 342. Money saved: $68.48.
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Joel
Joel

October 13th, 2002, 12:06 am #30

By the way, this letter should read carrying any nicotine product, meaning cigarettes, cigars, snuff, patches, gum, nicotine inhalers, lozenges, drops, etc. Anyone who is carrying any or all of these products "just in case" is setting him or herself up for a relapse. There should be no distinction drawn in anyone's mind that if he or she "just" takes a NRT product in lieu of a cigarette to survive a disaster that it is a more acceptable or udnerstanding practice. It is a drug relapse clear and simple and no distinction should exist in your mind. The ONLY way to overcome the addiction is by staying NICOTINE free and the ONLY way of staying NICOTINE free is by never administering nicotine via any route--meaning through the skin, nose, mouth, or any other creative route of administration that is ever developed and of course as far as the most common and available route of delivery, to remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Nana08
Nana08

January 9th, 2003, 11:30 pm #31

Hi!

I quit 12/31/02! Found your website quite by accident & have been "addicted" every since. Just been lurking around absorbing everything I read trying to get up my nerve to start posting.

THANKS FOR BEING THERE,
Carol
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Joel
Joel

March 13th, 2003, 8:47 pm #32

For Millie. I think Lulumae will appreciate this one too. They both knew to get rid of all cigarettes in the house.
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Joel
Joel

May 8th, 2003, 12:48 am #33

For OxygenAddict: Ex-smokers should never keep stashes of cigarettes around--not from day one of a quit. One reason is for the real risk of smoking it, and the second reason is that as long as a person keeps cigarettes he or she is also keeping a mindset that he or she is a smoker trying not to smoke as opposed to being an ex-smoker. Ex-smokers and never smokers have no reasons to keep cigarettes around--why would they? It serves no purpose to them.

As long as a person feels like a smoker trying not to smoke, he or she is going to have the psychological problems and play the little mind games of a smoker trying not to smoke. When you cross over to the frame of mind that you are not a smoker trying not to smoke but rather you are now an ex-smoker--and that is what you want to be--the psychological benefit can be both powerful and profound.

If you work on proper frame of mind in the beginning, you can feel this difference a minute into your quit and you will prove yourself right as long as you always remember that you are committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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CKay87
CKay87

May 8th, 2003, 1:23 am #34

Agreed - live and learn. At least I had a happy ending to the story.

I have a quitting friend (she's 2.5 months into it) who won't empty her ashtray because she likes the smell. What do you say to something like that???
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Joel
Joel

May 18th, 2003, 12:34 am #35

I see we have a lot of new people joining in all at once. I thought I had better bring up some of our advice topics applicable for new member.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 27th, 2003, 8:07 pm #36

A new quitter keeping cigarettes around just to prove they can, is akin to a person on suicide watch carrying a loaded gun. With a triggered crave being less than 3 minutes in duration (be sure and look at a clock as time distortion is a very real symptom during quitting and your mind may try to convince you that it's 3 hours instead) one of your best weapons against relapse is delay one minute, delay two minutes, delay for a third minute, if need be!

Why have a gun handy while waiting on the urge to use it? It makes no sense!

Each crave will end in a very short period of time whether you feed it or not. If you know where "it" or "they" are then you'd be well advised to flush or crush your hidden stash! Baby steps to glory! This is doable! John (Gold)
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

October 1st, 2003, 8:51 am #37

For Mankeegan:

Like cigarettes, anything containing nicotine should be destroyed. We never want to give our left-over cigarettes or nicotine products to anyone else. I've heard Joel give this advice at his clinics.

Joanne


Ex-smokers should never keep stashes of cigarettes around--not from day one of a quit. One reason is for the real risk of smoking it, and the second reason is that as long as a person keeps cigarettes he or she is also keeping a mindset that he or she is a smoker trying not to smoke as opposed to being an ex-smoker. Ex-smokers and never smokers have no reasons to keep cigarettes around--why would they? It serves no purpose to them.

As long as a person feels like a smoker trying not to smoke, he or she is going to have the psychological problems and play the little mind games of a smoker trying not to smoke. When you cross over to the frame of mind that you are not a smoker trying not to smoke but rather you are now an ex-smoker--and that is what you want to be--the psychological benefit can be both powerful and profound.

If you work on proper frame of mind in the beginning, you can feel this difference a minute into your quit and you will prove yourself right as long as you always remember that you are committed to never take another puff!

Joel

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Joel
Joel

October 2nd, 2003, 8:34 pm #38

I saw one of our newer member came across a pack of cigarettes today. I thought she would appreciate reading this one.
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DlunyGOLD
DlunyGOLD

December 8th, 2003, 6:12 am #39

The day I quit smoking I put the remaining cigarettes and lighter in on of the drawers of my nightstand. I knew that I should throw them out, had read about how they should be thrown out, but I just put them away in a drawer. I guess at that point I still wasn't certain this quit was going to "take" so wanted to hedge my bets (and besides, the pack was over 1/2 full--that was at least 80 cents I was about to throw away!).

A couple of days later I went in that drawer for something else and did not see the cigs or the lighter so I figured my wife had found them and thrown them away for me or else my stepson had found them and was smoking them himself. This latter thought was not a pretty thought but I wasn't really concerned too much at that point as they appeared to be gone.

Later I was in that drawer again and lo and behold there were the cigs and lighter--they had shifted in the drawer. For a week I left them there. I have had better weeks! Finally, this past week I threw those suckers AWAY and made CERTAIN that the trash man hauled them off! I do feel so much better knowing those things cannot harm me now.

Thanks for giving us the wisdom Joel. Just wish I had followed it a little sooner.

David One month, 8 hours, 12 minutes and 13 seconds. 546 cigarettes not smoked, saving $40.96. Life saved: 1 day, 21 hours, 30 minutes.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 31st, 2003, 8:26 am #40

From: Hillbilly(Gold) (Original Message) Sent: 6/17/2002 4:17 PM
"As long as a person feels like a smoker trying not to smoke, he or she is going to have the psychological problems and play the little mind games of a smoker trying not to smoke. When you cross over to the frame of mind that you are not a smoker trying not to smoke but rather you are now an ex-smoker--and that is what you want to be--the psychological benefit can be both powerful and profound."

The above is an excerpt from Message No. 35 in the thread Carrying Cigarettes. I read it for the first time today, and have not seen that teaching concept anywhere else in Freedom. It really got my attention.

For two months now, I have been successful in my quit by telling myself that "I am not going to smoke, just for today. I may smoke tomorrow, but today I'm not going to smoke."

Lately I have not had to argue with myself each morning about this decision, and it has become much less important to me. What I am trying to say is my mindset is changing, and I begin to look more at the long range picture of not smoking for the rest of my life. That idea has been particularly scary to me, but I have to accept that my baby steps are getting bigger.

This post that I quoted above really affected me. I have been thinking of myself as a smoker who is trying to quit. I now begin to realize that is time to begin thinking of myself as an ex-smoker. This is a major step for me and I wonder if anyone else has been through a similar experience.

The one thing I don't need to forget is the fact that I will never be an ex-addict.

Dave

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 4 Weeks 2 Days 18 Hours 12 Minutes 46 Seconds. Somewhere there are 2126 extra cigarettes.

From Dave's Original Post in ...
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Joel
Joel

January 6th, 2004, 8:35 am #41

I think I saw a post earlier from a person who still had NRT's around the house. The concept here of carrying cigarettes applies to keeping NRT products around too.
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Joel
Joel

January 21st, 2004, 2:12 am #42

I am lifting a section out of the thread Be prepared to hear some confusing info (see post 36 in that string for the full text) that was addressing a recent press release from the makers of numerous NRT products. It is important that the information about this issue be attached in this string too.

Comment 4: (From the pharmaceutical company's press release)
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


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 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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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

January 21st, 2004, 5:47 am #43

I haven't read this thread in a long time. It's the first one that really got through (I bet we all have them).

I think this bears repeating as well (pulled from John's post #65 to this thread):

"Why have a gun handy while waiting on the urge to use it?"

It's heartwarming to see so many new members and also to see the same oldbies giving their sage advice and doing so well. I am still here reading tho I don't have the time to post much anymore.

MareBear

---
1 year 7 months nicotine-free, 12,033 cigs not smoked, $2,105.78 saved, 1m 1w 4d 18:45 life saved
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NoMoBacco
NoMoBacco

January 21st, 2004, 7:49 am #44

(This) Ex smoker shouldn't keep unused nicotine gum around, either. While reading this thread it dawned on my that I didn't toss the unused nicotine gum i have. Upon realizing that, I immediately craved (craved some gum). Craving nico-gum = craving nicotine. Ingetsting nicotine in *any form* will lead to a relapse. I can no more afford to chew a pice of that gum than I can afford to take a puff off of a cigarette. That's one of the big lessons I've learned this time and one of the things I have to reinforce to myself to prevent a relapse: never use nicotine, in any form, under any circumstance. If I don't throw away that gum, I'll chew some of it and relapse. So, I'm gonna toss it in a dumpster right now!

Free and Healing for Four Days, 16 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 188 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $31.32.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 13th, 2004, 5:30 am #45


A new quitter who plays mind games with their life by keeping cigarettes around just to prove they can, is akin to a person on suicide watch carrying a loaded gun. With a triggered crave episode being less than 3 minutes in duration (be sure and look at a clock as time distortion is a very real recovery symptom and your mind may try to convince you that it's 3 hours instead) one of your best weapons against relapse is delay one minute, delay two minutes, delay for a third minute, if need be!

Why have a gun handy while waiting on the urge to use it? It makes no sense!

Every crave ends whether you feed it or not. Why not bring them to a permanent end! Baby steps to glory, the next few minutes are doable! John (Gold)

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