Diversions

Welcome to Freedom, a support group dedicated to educated cold turkey nicotine dependency recovery. Prior to applying to join, it is critical that you read: (1) The Law of Addiction (2) Our Mission Statement (3) Relapse Policy and (4) Rules.
Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Sep 2002, 22:48 #21

I saw where Dave just mentioned that he sometimes thinks as Freedom as a "Social Club." This post is the one we use in the event that the board is ever pushed into that direction. We strive to be more focused than a social club--I think the post above this one from Carl from just last week spells out exactly how important this effort is.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Nov 2002, 21:41 #22

Image I edited out some political commentary from a post of a newer member who may not have known how serious we are at keeping this site focused on smoking cessation. I am bringing this thread up so that every member here understands why we feel the importance we do on keeping the board discussions on smoking cessation and on nothing else. No matter how popular or politically correct a topic might be, if it is not related to quitting smoking it has no purpose on the board.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 06:18 #23

We are going into what has historically been our slowest time of the year at Freedom. Don't let the quiet times discourage you and don't let the slower times make you think that we need to bring in extra content to keep the board seeming lively. Posts that are designed to keep people motivated to quit smoking and stay free are lively enough. More important than keeping our board lively though, they are helping to keep our members and lurkers alive. Our members have a much better chance of staying alive and well as long as they are constantly reminding themselves why they are totally committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Mar 2003, 08:09 #24

Our standard response for how to keep your focus during major world eventgs that often create stressful times. You will see that we relied on it heavily during the September 11 events back in 2001. I am going to attach the comments we put up just a few days after that event. I think it clearly spelled out the importance of people coming here to Freedom staying focused on what Freedom can do to help during any kinds of tragedies. What Freedom can do is make sure that our members and lurkers know that the only way to stay smoke free even during disasters and tragedies of any kind, which translates to preventing very personal tragedies for them and their loved ones down the road is to always stay focused on the importance of remembering to never take another puff!

I am bringing this one up again because I want to reemphasize the importance of keeping Freedom focused on not smoking. We appreciate that most of the rest of our members from other countries are behind America at this terrible time, but in fact we are not an American board, and we are not a board focused on any political or ideological issues, no matter how popular they may be. We are a truly international site whose members share one purpose--to break free and stay free from tobacco.

People come here to focus their attention on the importance of their quits. It is not that we are trying to be an escape here from other world issues. We all suspect most of our members are absorbed a good part of their days now on other issues and keeping apprised of such matters are likely of great importance. But I would suspect that if anyone here went to a bulletin board designed for supporting victims of terrorism and started writing about quitting smoking issues, you'd either be ignored or ridiculed by the majority of members there.

I would hope neither situation would happen, that instead of being ignored or ridiculed you'd be directed to go to a support group whose interest was helping you to quit smoking. That is what we feel here, that if any of our members feels the need to let out feelings on terrorism or support of America, spend time at sites dedicated to those premises. But spend your time here supporting your quit or helping others support their quits.

We are Freedom from Tobacco, and our members here are fighting to sustain their health and enhance the quality and lengths of their lives. They accomplish these goals by continuing to reinforce their focus and resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Apr 2003, 22:11 #25

Yesterday there was a post up for a little while that was deleted. We really try not to delete posts often here, actually we go pretty good periods of time where we don't have posts that are pulled. Generally if people follow our guidelines set out in Our Courtesies posts are pretty safe here. There were actually two reasons that this particular post was pulled. First it had an external link to another site and we clearly spell out that we want such links cleared before being shared on the board. In events where external links are posted, the post will generally be pulled. There are times when if a manager has time he or she may edit the post taking out the link, or, if the link is from a good source we have been known to let it stay. It's hard at times to determine a good source, meaning one that is credible as well as a link which is not sending our members to commercial sites or to sites that may actually be delivering information that may actually be deleterious to an individual's quit.

The second reason this post was a problem that belonged in this string was that it was a news story which while centered around smoking was not a story that was necessarily conducive to helping people quit. The article was about an incident where there was a murder of a bouncer in a New York establishment because he was doing his job of enforcing the new ban on smoking cessation in public places that is now a policy throughout the state. The slant that some of the news media is spinning on the story is how bad the new policy is that it can lead to smokers having to resort to murder to smoke. I guess this means that the idea of a smoker not being able to smoke predisposes normal and otherwise law abiding individuals to fits of anger and criminal behavior and even justifying or explaining the need to murder. After all as the articles point out, smoking is a drug addiction.

Is it true that smoker's are addicted to smoking? You bet, smoking is a drug addiction. Do people resort to murder when trying to get drugs to feed addiction? Yes this is known to happen. But here is the catch--these people are not excused for their actions because they are addicts and the laws are not changed to just give everyone access to the drug. Also, most of these crimes do not happen because the person is denied a particular place to dose him or herself, meaning, that the person is not allowed to shoot up in a public place but he or she can step outside into an alley to shoot up freely. This of course is the option that almost all individuals have who cannot smoke indoors have--they can simply go outdoors and deliver their nicotine fix.

I wanted to comment on this story clearing up the misconception that a smoker being deprived of nicotine for a time period of being indoors is generally going to be so out of control that it is likely that the person is going to resort to violence and even to murder. I don't think legislation should be adjusted on the basis that smokers are going to murder others if they can't smoke. This particular argument is not valid and should quickly be dismissed. This leads to the question though of whether or not there are then there valid reasons for not having smoking policies enforced?

We could spend time discussing these other issues, and some of them will not be so clear cut so that every single person reading here will share the same opinions. This can lead to some very lively debates. But when it comes down to it how is this debate really going to help any single individual quit. If any of us are pulled into these policy debates it leaves the opportunity for us to alienate or offend people of the opposing viewpoint. Why risk such confrontation when the issues at hand are not really crucial in helping secure any specific individual's quit?

There is another group of people who I worry about though even more than our regular members. It is people who are first looking into our site who are wanting to get help to quit smoking. What if the first post they saw was a string developing on smoking restriction laws being too permissive or being to prohibitive. What impression are they going to have of what Freedom from Tobacco is. Will they see this as a site where people are working at quitting smoking or may they conclude that we are a site set up and designed to enforce anti-smoking laws? Will we be viewed as their advocates or as anti-smoking policy enforcers? To a person who is off smoking for weeks or months a group working at strengthening such policies may not be seen as a bad thing, but to a person who is still using we can easily be viewed as a fanatical group trying to enforce smoking regulations to protect our rights to not have to breath polluted air.

This is an issue I have been very cautious about for over 30 years. I am often asked to speak at certain forums where second hand smoke and smoking restriction issues are the agenda. I have a very good track record of avoiding all of these engagements. In my first few years of lecturing I did do presentations to a few groups that were anti-smoking advocates. I never refused any groups that asked me to talk back then. These were of course easy lectures--I would talk about the dangers of smoking and everyone there would agree that people should not smoke. What could be easier? I never joined these groups but I would sometimes get written up in local papers as an expert coming out to push their cause.

The truth be known though is that their cause was not my cause. I have never focused my efforts to make people quit smoking. My desire has always been to help people who want to quit smoking to accomplish their goals. I do smoking prevention programs too, where I speak to kids about the dangers of smoking. Even in these programs I don't push the concept that they should not take up smoking because of social or moral implications but rather because of the long-term effects it is going to have on them specifically as opposed to the effects that it is going to have on others around them. I guess the only group that I will take a stand with is when lecturing to pregnant women but even then I point out that if the quit is going to last over the long-term the women are going to have to personalize their reasons for quitting to themselves and not to the children.

I feel the need at times to discuss second hand smoke issues here at Freedom but only on the point that second hand smoke will not cause a person to relapse, that nicotine cannot be delivered in a sufficient dosage to cause a person to go into withdrawal from exposure. If anyone raised the point that second hand smoke is going to put his or her quit on the line I will make it clear that this is not the case. I can also point out that there are health implications of second hand smoke exposure and that our members should avoid such exposure whenever possible for the benefit of their health. I will even come out stronger and say that if a person has specific allergies to tobacco smoke or COPD or cardiac conditions that they may need to make a real concerted effort to limit their exposure at all times and may even have to make a clear stand at a workplace or maybe even leave places because of the real immediate risks that are posed to them by second hand smoke exposure. Again, this is to protect people who are in a clear and present and immediate danger from such exposure and I feel like I am shirking an important responsibility if I do not address this group of people and even to help people who smoke realize that there are people out there at great risk from such exposure.

There are other sites out there to deal with these issues in depth and there are other experts out there who are not working at helping people quit but working instead on the legislative front. My only hope is that people who feel strongly on any side, if they are smokers themselves and one day realize that they want to quit, that they see us as a resource and people who are going to be their advocates in helping them to achieve their goal to never take another puff!

Joel
Last edited by Joel on 26 Apr 2009, 06:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Nov 2003, 20:24 #26

I know that it may appear to many that I am popping this post up today because of a specific post that is on the board but that assumption would not be accurate. In all honesty it is one of the reasons but not the only one nor the most important one. We are likely to have a lot more readers looking in on us over the next week. The Great American Smoke Out is likely going to generate a little interest on people looking for ways to quit smoking. John's press release and the subsequent interviews with news organizations is likely to bring in more readers. We are going to get a lot of one shot opportunities to really influence people just considering trying to stop smoking. If we have lots of posts on lots of different issues dominating our board we may lose the opportunity really grabbing the attention of people looking in who are seriously looking for information and help to quit smoking.

This would have been enough of a reason to bring this post up but in fact there was even a better reason. We have a member who has not been around for a few weeks. She wrote the following comment in an email to one of our managers yesterday.
"I haven't been to Freedom in a couple weeks because I had my baby on November 4th. Despite a long labor and emergency C-section, everything is absolutely wonderful and we have a healthy little boy named Kevin Michael.

I didn't know if I should start a post on this at Freedom (I didn't want to create a diversion--it's a fine line I guess) but you had asked me a few months back to report on my post-partum feelings and if there were any triggers present. I'm delighted to report that I've had no post-partum depression in the slightest, and the only time I've thought about cigarettes is when my husband comes back inside after smoking and I make him wash his hands!

It is true that we don't want people to jump in and share every birthday or anniversary or job promotion or numerous other events. Because we have so many members if everyone were to share every event we would have major celebratory threads everyday. The board would be cluttered with such posts and more substantive posts would soon be buried in the fray.

For the record, I would not have categorized the email above as having been in that category of a post. The event being discussed is very significant and truly smoking related. I suspect I will be adding more comments to this member's thread if and when she reports it to the board. I am sorry if I am pulling some steam out of the announcement but again, I know from the comment that she wrote in her email that she is very cognizant and concerned that she helps people on the board and never detracts from the focus of the board.

So we are going to be a bit more aggressive this week in making sure that people first looking in are getting focused information on smoking cessation. In all likelihood, this is the way the board was when you first looked in. It was likely the serious treatment of smoking that made you realize that you wanted to join up with a site that on the surface did not seem like a whole lot of fun. Actually, I think the feelings that are generated when you realize that you are helping to save people's health and lives can make you feel a lot happier and satisfied than by sharing fun. To really touch and help people help them to see that there life is going to be more fun if they work at sustaining their Freedom, their health and their lives by staying committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Feb 2004, 10:54 #27

If we were to begin celebrating, births, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries of hundreds of members the seriousness and effectiveness of this forum would dramatically diminish. We ask all members to read and respect our courtesies.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Apr 2004, 03:11 #28

Posting Freedom's Message
Posts or Links at other Forums
Creating diversions & division elsewhere Image
Every now and then we receive word that one of Freedom's messages has apparently been copied and posted at another quitting forum. It's often done by a visitor here who decides to take part of their visit home with them to share with members at their own forum but we beg all visitors and members alike to NEVER do so. Almost all other online forums are either mixed cold turkey and NRT quitters, or exclusively NRT.
Mixed forums are doing their very very best under difficult circumstances to attempt to support all quitters regardless of the method chosen. To create division or controversy within any mixed support group only weakens the effectiveness of the entire forum. This isn't some game and there are quitters at every forum who, like it or not, have, to one degree or another, invested their confidence into a particular cessation method, procedure or product. We nicotine addicts share a common bond and when one of us breaks free, regardless of how, it's time for celebration by all!
The two figures I most commonly use at WhyQuit when discussing efficacy are Dr. Hughes and Dr. Shiffman's March 2003 OTC NRT meta analysis figure of 7%, which was established by combining and averaging the results of all seven OTC patch and gum studies, and the 10% "on-your-own" six month cold turkey rate, that is at the low end for control and placebo group rates presented in all evidence tables of the June 2000 U.S. Guideline.
What we each need to keep in mind is that these figures are BOTH horrible but that they BOTH reflect unassisted, uneducated and unsupported rates and can be tremendously enhanced if either method is combined with solid support and/or education programs. To disrupt a support program or engage in divisive debate diminishes the forum's effectiveness for all quitters within the group.
We now make all applicants assert that they've read Our Courtesies prior to acceptance into the group and although not required we pray you'll apply them no matter what forum you visit, including our non-debate policy.
The following is a portion of our Mission Statement :
If we are not right for you please don't join. It would be like joining a religious group in order to convert all of their existing followers to your belief or joining a political party for the sole purpose of having all its members vote for the opposing party candidate. When a person joins a group under these terms they are not joining a group, they are trying to subvert the group. This is an act of hostility not an act of support or camaraderie.
When a member joins a mixed cessation method support group they hopefully do so dedicated to an attempt to ensure that every member within the forum receives the very best opportunity possible to break the bonds that bind them - not to divide, weaken and disrupt the forum.
Joanne, Linda and I all came from mixed forums where we worked hard to help every member break free regardless of method. Freedom started as a mixed forum as well. Although not easy, we worked hard making our NRT members as comfortable as possible within the group during our transition into the internet's first forum devoted exclusively supporting abrupt nicotine cessation.
We have lots of members who started their journey with NRT and each day of their healing and freedom from nicotine is every bit as potent as any other members. Although we treat nicotine dependency regardless of delivery device, and we measure cessation only in terms of nicotine cessation, to preach our philosophy into a mixed forum could be devastating to the moral of every quitter not going cold.
Yes, we share all the latest NRT study data both at WhyQuit and sometimes here at Freedom but we don't do so to provide a basis for dispute but so that those about to quit can make informed decisions by seeing important data that they would not otherwise likely ever see.
We beg your assistance in keeping the big picture and what's at stake in mind. Although others may choose different paths, for us there's only one rule, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 26 Apr 2009, 06:24, edited 1 time in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

02 Oct 2004, 02:16 #29

So no one here should ever feel the need to divert the board's attention from quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is why people came here originally and why they stay. To reinforce their own resolve and to reinforce everyone else's, especially our newest members. We want people to grow more secure in their quits so that they have time and resolve to face other diversions, or more accurately, time and strength to live their life. Smoking was robbing people of this time, both in the present when smoking was pulling them away from others just to keep the person ability to once again deliver another drug fix and in the long run by taking off years and decades of their actual life by prematurely killing them. So by joining up here keep in mind, we are trying to help you get more time for your life, not turn your time over to us.

So while here devote your time to focusing your attention on why you quit smoking and to helping others focus their attention on not smoking too. You will give yourself and each other the greatest gift possible--more time to live, both quality time and healthier time. In a way you can have the time of your life here but simply reinforcing your decision to never take another puff!

Joel
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

16 Dec 2004, 12:13 #30

So no one here should ever feel the need to divert the board's attention from quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is why people came here originally and why they stay. To reinforce their own resolve and to reinforce everyone else's, especially our newest members. We want people to grow more secure in their quits so that they have time and resolve to face other diversions, or more accurately, time and strength to live their life. Smoking was robbing people of this time, both in the present when smoking was pulling them away from others just to keep the person ability to once again deliver another drug fix and in the long run by taking off years and decades of their actual life by prematurely killing them. So by joining up here keep in mind, we are trying to help you get more time for your life, not turn your time over to us.

So while here devote your time to focusing your attention on why you quit smoking and to helping others focus their attention on not smoking too. You will give yourself and each other the greatest gift possible--more time to live, both quality time and healthier time. In a way you can have the time of your life here but simply reinforcing your decision to never take another puff!

Joel
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