Crutches to Quit Smoking

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Feb 2002, 04:32 #11

For all our members and lurkers considering the use of "natural" or herbal remedies to quit smoking. The physiological need for nicotine will not be broken or influenced by taking another product, it is broken simply by not taking nicotine. It is no more complicated or expensive than that. I think a lot of people are getting a false sense of needing another product or method to make quitting possible. The vast majority of people who have quit smoking have not used such methods and equally important, the vast majority of people who use such products don't actually quit smoking. Save your money and risk of unnecessary complications and just know that the way to quit smoking and stay free from smoking only entails knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Mar 2002, 21:50 #12

I had a member bring up in an email to me a few days ago that she thought she may have started drinking more alcohol after she had stopped smoking. I can't say it strong enough that this is a dangerous practice. Taking up any other behavior at a higher level after quitting smoking can easily be indicating a possible substitution behavior and thus carries an implication of being a crutch replacement. This is bad enough with a pattern that may be habit forming but when dealing with a substance that has an addictive potential in its own right, it can be downright dangerous.

Again, this article spells out the pitfalls of crutch replacement. Be cognizant of any new establishing patterns and just recognize that the reason you are not smoking days, or weeks, or months or even years after you quit is not by activities you have done and not by things you have put in your mouth. The way you have stayed off cigarettes is by what you have not put in your mouth--a cigarette.

To continue to stay smoke free still only requires that you never administer nicotine from any source again, or stated more clearly, that you never take a swig of nicotine water, stick nicotine on your skin to be absorbed, inject nicotine into your arm, inhale nicotine through a nicotine inhaler, put nicotine in your mouth via a cigar or pipe, **** on nicotine in the form of a lollipop, stick nicotine up your nose in the form of snuff, plant nicotine in your cheek in the form of chewing tobacco, and of course--never stick nicotine in your mouth in the form of a cigarette and basically just knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Mar 2002, 08:05 #13

As in the post above, comments are coming to me via email that many of our posts have a heavy drinking influence about them. It appears that some people may get the impression that drinking is condoned as an alternative behavior to smoking. It used to be where you would go to AA meetings and it would appear that everyone was smoking. I personally encountered numerous people who went into alcohol treatment programs as never smokers and who came out of treatment heavy addicted smokers. It was obvious that their encouraged behavior was a direct crutch replacement. We don't want anyone to get the same impression about drinking as a replacement to smoking. I want this statement to be perfectly clear...DO NOT INCREASE DRINKING OF ALCOHOL IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM NOW THAT YOU HAVE QUIT SMOKING.

Also, do not use this site to glamorize drinking. There are people here who are recovering alcoholics who find posting about the fun and glamour of drinking to be quite disconcerting. Also, the frequent use of the emoticons, portraying a mug or a champaign toast are really seen as poor taste to these people. Put yourself in their place--if you belonged to a site that was on a totally different topic, and people came in touting the joys of recreational smoking, you would feel the need to enlighten the group or could be offended and annoyed with the casual way the subject was being portrayed. You could then either feel the need to take it head on and stir up debate with the group, or just leave the group. Neither of these options is acceptable to us at Freedom--for we have strict policies about diversional posts, and the idea of a person leaving because of an issue that is really unnecessary is abhorrent to us. Because the people who are here trying to secure their quits are here because they are fighting for their lives. Their needs then take precedent over people who are here for more social or fun reasons.

Freedom is a quit smoking education and support site. We try to get the message out that life goes on without smoking--things you could do before can still be done after quitting. Things that could not be done before, such as safe or controlled drinking for a recovering alcoholic cannot be done now either. So as a general rule of thumb now, we are asking members to minimize the amount of time they are posting about drinking at this site. We have ample strings to cover alcohol issues. We will continue to bring them up as holidays come up, and around weekends where drinking situations are often encountered more frequently. But we ask that people who are regular users of alcohol not to raise the issue over and over again.

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Apr 2002, 20:50 #14

One of the cardinal principles here at Freedom is that in order to break free from nicotine all we need to give up is nicotine - nothing else! There may be some situations or risks that we may want to go slow with, or even delay for a bit, but the only thing causing any user's brain to grow or activate millions and millions of extra nicotinic receptors, and keeping them chemically dependent, is nicotine itself!


The other side of the coin is equally important. It's a cardinal principle here at Freedom that in giving up only our nicotine that members not pick up any new crutches either, as once that crutch is removed the risk of falling is increased. Additional food can be an oral crutch that, if allowed, may demoralize your incentive to continue this wonderful journey of healing! Leaning too heavily on a quitting buddy or heavy reliance on loved ones for motivation can be a dangerous crutch should your buddy relapse or your family not appreciate the length of this temporary period of re-adjustment. Even something as wonderful as a new exercise plan can be a crutch in that should it end you'll again be on your own!


Joel wrote a piece yesterday about quitting being a lonely journey that really struck a chord in me. As he noted, one of the wonderful things about Freedom is that we have each other and a growing wealth of wisdom to turn to. It's ok to go on a health kick, to find hightened food flavors exciting or engage in new activites and it's also ok to fall in love with food and decide that you wouldn't look so bad in an extra 40 pounds but if you're a new member we encourage you to consider the wisdom of holding off on any new campaigns for just a couple of weeks, at least until you get the ten days to two weeks of primary physiological re-adjustment behind you! That way your recovery won't be to blame and the risks will be substantially diminished!


Baby steps and patience to glory! We can all make it!

John - The Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on 08 Jul 2009, 11:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Apr 2002, 20:56 #15

Here is the post John is referring to: Quitting can be a very lonely experience
Last edited by Joel on 14 Apr 2009, 13:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 May 2002, 02:42 #16

For Tash:

Relying too heavily on anything, even Freedom itself can become a crutch. Don't see us as a crutch to quit, rather see us as a tool to help you understand what you have to do to keep your quit. You are the only important variable making or breaking your attempt. You will succeed forever as long as you always remember why you have chosen to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jun 2002, 20:33 #17

For Dos:

There is a danger of using anything as a crutch, even Freedom itself. For as you are experiencing, during times of technical difficulties where you cannot post you can start to feel that your quit will not stick since you don't have your crutch--Freedom. We need to be seen as a tool, a source of information of how to quit and how to stay off even more than a source of support. In the technological world a particular website may not always be going 24 hours a day 365 days a year without interruption, or your computer capabilities may not be able to get here at some points in time. But if you have learned our lessons, keep reinforcing your own primary reasons for first wanting to quit, keep reminding yourself why you still don't want to go back and keep our one simple message with you that even if you can't read it at the moment it is easy enough to remember you will do fine--the message is that no matter what seems to go wrong in life that to stay free during it only requires keeping in practice your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

11 Jun 2002, 19:20 #18

Joel, what you and I have discussed more than once has actually happened to me. Two weeks ago I suffered a groin pull playing tennis. I hadn't played since 1975.

Yeah, it was stupid, but I felt so good just being able to play that I kinda overdid it. Anyway, point to this post is the doctor told me to lay off all exercise for a while. No walking, no biking, complete rest.

We had talked about this in abstract in the last few weeks, and I got to find out for real what the answer is. Is exercise a crutch for me?

The answer is, maybe it was a cane, but not a crutch. Yes, I missed it, and yes my mood was not the best, but no I did not relapse or even want to. Like a lot of things, I went to the edge and looked over but exercise was not a crutch.

I did come close enough to realize how easy it would be to make exercise, or anything else for that matter, a crutch for nicotine. Just one more reminder that each of our quits is a very fragile thing, not something to be taken lightly. Overconfidence can be a dangerous attitude.

I have to remember how tough the first two weeks were. I don't need to totally forget about smoking and I need to keep my guard up. If I totally forget, then a suprise crave will only remind me of the good ones, not all the rest.

But I digress. Or is it rambling? Bottom line, be very careful of crutches.

Dave

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 3 Weeks 3 Days 9 Hours 20 Minutes 42 Seconds. Somewhere there are 1903 extra cigarettes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Jul 2002, 03:24 #19

Tottally agree. No way. No adding a problem. But then again, the nature of the problem is so different, that one does not notice it. The reading of these texts has made me realize a couple of crutches, i have been holding on to. Why call it crutches, look to me like unknotted ropes to the sky? I am so down, feeling like starting again.

Juan
I have been Quit for: 1M 6D 16h 23m. I have NOT smoked 942, for a savings of $141.31. Life Saved: 3D 6h 30m.
will not take another puff.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

29 Sep 2002, 21:34 #20

Joel, you are , of course, absolutely right. I do not want to be beholden to any addiction or crutch. I will be ss severe on my vague yearnings as I am on my desire to smoke. Not tomorrow when I may feel better but today when I don't want to face them. O,K, Lilac
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Oct 2002, 01:35 #21

I just tackled the sunflower seed crutch that I have heard used often on the Internet and for even longer from people coming into clinics.

Sunflower seeds are not that particularly low in calories. One ounce worth which can easily be eaten in a serving would be 162 calories. Lets day you "treat" yourself to one serving a day at one ounce each as a kind of crutch replacement to quitting smoking. In one month you would have consumed 4,860 extra calories which will translate to almost 1.4 pounds of fat. In one year this replacement behavior if not stopped would translate to over 16 pounds of extra fat. Be careful with food as a substituted behavior, no matter how natural the food may be.

The only crutch that involves no risk or implications is breathing. You can do it any time and any where you want to and the day you have to stop breathing, well smoking probably wouldn't make a difference that particular day. Except even on that dreadful day taking a drag would rob you of your final victory to have proven to yourself and the world that you were a person of your word--for the day you joined here and quit smoking you had made a promise to yourself that you were personally committed to never take another puff!

Joel

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Mar 2003, 23:49 #22

I saw where one member wrote to another member that he or she should do what ever it takes to quit smoking. The example specifically given was drink water or eat ice cream. I have to say, if someone plans on going the ice cream route they had better be ready to go buy a whole slew of complete wardrobes, of ever increasing sizes. If your crutch for smoking thoughts are going to be any high caloric food weight gain of massive amounts should be expected.

As far as using whatever it takes, I guess that can be translated to taking any food, any drug, legal or illegal to quit smoking or any activity, no matter how ludicrous or dangerous that activity may be. Does the comment smoke crack cocaine, or shoot up heroin, or drink lethal dosages of arsenic make any sense to anyone as practical advice to quit smoking? If not, the comment of do whatever it takes loses any real concept of credibility.

The comment needs to be do what it takes to quit smoking. What it takes is simply sticking to your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Aug 2003, 03:12 #23

This is an issue to be aware of. The question you need to ask yourself:
"am I doing whatever it is I'm doing as a REPLACEMENT for my nic-fix?"
Not every new behavior is a replacement. Some are healthy adjustments we make when we realize that we've been substituting nicotine for various normal activities like drinking water, or taking naps (see Recognizing needs). Some things we do are simply comforting activities that help us cope with the anxiety that often surrounds quittng (back rubs, a walk on the beach, a cool glass of water....). Only you know whether something has crossed the line, and become a replacement; it's a question you need to ask yourself.
Last edited by OBob Gold on 14 Apr 2009, 13:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:57

12 Dec 2003, 11:38 #24

People who have never had a cigarette and won't ever have a cigarette--non-smokers, do things. They jog, exersize, eat chocolate, diet, stress, drink alcohol and on and on and on. When is it wrong for a recovering nicotine addict to do these things and normal for a non-smoker? Debra Flower - Free and Healing for Thirteen Days, 20 Hours and 8 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 415 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $64.39.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Jan 2004, 22:04 #25

Fear of Bad Health vs. Hope of Good Health
Bad or even failing health is often a powerful motivator in causing the actively feeding nicotine addict to contemplate engaging in nicotine dependency recovery but the amazing ability of the body to heal and mend itself, at least those bodily functions most visible to us (like smell, taste, improved breathing, and an obviously slower heart rate), can quickly leave the once wheezing quitter feeling that their primary concern was vastly overblown. When it comes to relapse it can almost feel like your crutch (fear of failing health) has been pulled out from beneath you as healing causes your primary motivation to seem to gradually evaporate before your very eyes.
Clearly we don't correct years of lung damage (

Smoking's Impact on the Lungs
Last edited by John (Gold) on 14 Apr 2009, 13:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2004, 22:12 #26

Turning to food, especially high calorie sweet foods, will usually result in a psychological need with a subsequent weight gain. The risk of weight gain is insignificant in comparison to the dangers associated with cigarettes. The ex-smoker would have to gain over 100 pounds to create the equivalent health hazard of cigarette smoking. But weight gain often results in a state of panic and frustration which can lead the ex-smoker to conclude that he or she would rather be a skinny smoker than an obese ex-smoker. The fallacy which causes the ex-smoker to reach this conclusion is that only two options exist for him or her - smoke or eat more. In fact, other choices exist. One is not smoking and eating in a manner similar to when he or she was a smoker. Another is increasing activity levels to compensate for the added caloric intake when eating extra amounts.

Sidenote: The quantity of weight that needs to be gained to pose a similar risk to your heart as smoking is 75 pounds. The numbers were revised after I originally wrote this.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

16 Jan 2004, 09:07 #27

Quitting by crutch replacement carries varying degrees of risks. Turning to any other addictive substance, even legal or prescribed drugs, carries the risk of a new addiction. In many of these cases the end result will be a more significant problem than just the original smoking. The new addiction can cause the person's life to end in shambles, and when it comes time to deal with the new dependance he or she will often relapse to cigarettes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 May 2004, 21:47 #28

Be careful forming a support system with any other specific person on the board or even in your real life. Here is a link to the post on the potential pitfalls of a buddy system. Every person here needs to be independent of any other specific individual in regards to your quit. You can use the entire board as a support network, but don't be tied into any one individual. And you also should have some computer independent ammunition ready in those time where computer access becomes limited too.
The reason you must be careful of having your quit tied into another person's quit is that you do not know that that a specific individual will be there in a time of need or worse yet, that they will still be smoke free when you are in a weak moment. You can quit at the same time as other people but your quit must be for you and their quit must be for them. Both of you can make it though as long as you both understand the bottom line premise that to stay free you must never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on 14 Apr 2009, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Jun 2004, 19:25 #29

I saw where one newer member wrote to another longer term member that the newer members needed him or her here. This is not the case. This string talks about how even Freedom itself should not be used as a cructh, let alone any specific member. It is dangerous to feel that your quit is contingent on any specific person or group. Your quit is only contingent on one person and one person only and that person is you. Your quit will continue to succeed as long as you stay totally committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Jun 2004, 22:39 #30

I see a few people are experiencing technical difficulties while trying to post. There is a danger of using anything as a crutch, even Freedom itself. For if you ever experience tough times during times when we are experiencing technical difficulties, either reading or posting at Freedom may not be possible, you can start to feel that your quit will not stick since you don't have us as a crutch. We need to be seen as a tool, a source of information of how to quit and how to stay off even more than a source of support. In the technological world a particular website may not always be going 24 hours a day 365 days a year without interruption, or your computer capabilities may not be able to get here at some points in time.

If you have learned our lessons, keep reinforcing your own primary reasons for first wanting to quit, keep reminding yourself why you still don't want to go back and keep our one simple message in your mind at all times, even if you can't read it at the board at the moment, just remembering it will insure that you will do fine. The message is that no matter what seems to go wrong in life that to stay free during it only requires keeping in practice your commitment to never take another puff!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Jul 2004, 23:00 #31

Sometimes activities like running are options that opens up to people once they quit smoking. For the record though, running is something that a person may be able to do now because they want to, not because they have to. This article discusses the importance of always keeping that distinction. The only exercise a person has to do to sustain his or her quit is to always exercise his or her option to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Aug 2004, 19:10 #32

The reason a person will have been smoke-free for a week, or a month, or a year, or a decade is not because of some other activity he or she has repetitively done or some other substance he or she had put in his or her mouth, but rather he or she will still be successfully smoke free because of one thing he or she has not put in his or her mouth--a cigarette. To keep this quit going is as simple as sticking to your personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Sep 2004, 19:35 #33

Could Articles from Joel's Library Form a Crutch?
As Joel points out above, not only can Freedom become a crutch that could be quickly removed by storm, server down time, a computer crash or finances, but written words printed upon paper can be formed into a crutch that if leaned upon too heavily and unavailable at a moment of challenge could threaten recovery.
A crutch is any activity, person, place or thing that you tie to success in quitting and lean upon so heavily that if suddenly removed or unavailable could increase the risk or likelihood of relapse.
If you should forget to carry your list of reasons with you one day, or your favorite Joel article isn't in your pocket or purse when that next challenge strikes, you'll do just fine so long as you maintain a bit of perspective (a subconscious crave episode will last less than three minutes but be sure and look at a clock as recovery time distortion can make the minutes feel like hours) and remember that it is impossible to lose so long as no nicotine finds its way into your bloodstream. No nicotine just one challenge, hour and day at a time ... Never Take Another Puff! John (Gold x5)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 14 Apr 2009, 13:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Oct 2004, 07:24 #34

weight gain often results in a state of panic and frustration which can lead the ex-smoker to conclude that he or she would rather be a skinny smoker than an obese ex-smoker. The fallacy which causes the ex-smoker to reach this conclusion is that only two options exist for him or her - smoke or eat more. In fact, other choices exist. One is not smoking and eating in a manner similar to when he or she was a smoker.

If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 Nov 2004, 03:02 #35

As I learned last night, let nothing be your crutch! That crutch may not be there when you need it most, that person, this board, whatever, and then you will be left with nothing to lean on, nobody to turn to except for yourself and your knowledge...educate yourself and prepare for anything...be ready, be alert, and then you just never take another puff, period.

Sue
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