Since we have so many new members over the past week, thought I would bring this up to give some background to who we all are and how we got to where we are today. As you have seen, Freedom evolved over time. As we got more and more experience, we started to get a better sense of how to help people in a virtual world. We had a few growth spurts with growing pains.
First when we went to an exclusive cold turkey site, then when we went to a private site where membership applications were required. Both moves caused many people to at first be angered because we were trying to set up a more exclusive membership. But we were not trying to be elitists, looking for richer, stronger, smarter, better, or not even nicer people. We were not trying to set up a site that was even appealing to one country or continent.
We were trying to establish a site that disseminated real concrete quit information and support that we saw from ongoing experience was working to help more people quit. Not necessary the largest number of people, there are bigger sites with more people. But we were trying to set up a site that had a higher percentage of people who joined actually succeed. We wanted the absolute maximum percentage of people to succeed at quitting as possible. We truly see this as a fight for health and a fight for very life.
There are two aspects of our site that we believe help us accomplish this goal. First, the cold turkey methodology, which minimizes the time period that people experience physiological withdrawal. While mass media advertising makes it look like other methods are superior, if one looks in their real world of family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances they will almost always find that the long-term quitters (one year plus) they encountered through their lives the vast majority of the times had quit cold turkey.
The second factor that makes us unique and controversial in many circles is our relapse prevention policy. The one that Zep labeled as tough love policy in an earlier post today. Most professional literature ever produced on smoking cessation has advice in it with a variation of the statement, "Don't let a slip put you back to smoking." We feel that comment makes as much sense as telling an alcoholic not to let a drink put you back to drinking," or a heroin addict, "don't let a little injection put you back to using," or for a more graphic depiction, "don't let unprotected sex with a HIV infected individual or a person with other kinds of sexually transmitted disease let you get pregnant or infected."
These messages are ridiculous. The message should not be don't let these transgressions follow their natural tendency to result in major consequences, the message needs to be don't allow yourself to do these things because natural consequences are likely going to happen. In other words instead of saying "don't let a slip put you back to using," the message needs to be, "DON'T SLIP!" There is no slipping, or cheating, or just, or puff, or accident, or mistake. These words need to be thrown out of your vocabulary when used in conjunction toward smoking or any drug addiction. They all mean RELAPSE!
While the above paragraph may anger many, we believe that it is the real make or break point of understanding that is going to make this quit the last quit any of you will ever have to experience. It all translates to what runs through every piece of material I have produced in the last 30 years of working with people quitting. First in face to face live encounters, and now in the virtual world setting here at Freedom. If you want to quit smoking and stay nicotine free over the duration of your life, always remember to never take another puff!