Good news, our members don't relapse anymore...

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

07 Dec 2003, 17:23 #26

For Joel. You and the other management do such a great job....This is a great policy. It works!!!!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

10 Dec 2003, 10:17 #27

I'll have to say that originally I thought this relapse policy too strict and almost cold. It almost makes one feel that if they relapse, what's the use of trying to quit again? Where will the support come from?

As I have gone further into my quit and have seen some discussion of other support groups with more lenient relapse policies I have been tempted to check them out. I haven't because, bottom line, I am afraid that in face of a real hard time someone will inadvertantly support a relapse. In other words, I have grown to understand the need for the "tough love" approach to this support group. Relapse is not OK. Besides, you are not turning them out completely, they can still benefit quite a bit from lurking (I did for about a month).

For what it's worth, I support the policy.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Dec 2003, 11:06 #28

As a person who has been a member long enough here to remember before this relapse policy was put in place, I'd like to share a few comments.

When this policy was put in place, I wasn't sure it was such a good idea. I admit I thought it might prove discouraging to some very sincere people. There were a few people on the boards before this policy who relapsed and then came back with a vengeance, and I certainly benefited from their presence and contributions. There were many before this policy who relapsed and didn't come back posting at all, and I'm certain that this was because of the strict and focused purpose of this board. Truly, it took a special breed of person to admit relapse here and humbly ask for help again.

As time has gone by, I've grown to accept and even find comfort in this policy. It is not exclusive, as I had feared at first. Anyone can read and learn here. And the only person who suffers from this policy suffers by their own actions, namely relapsing and losing membership.

Since this policy has gone in effect, I've had the opportunity to interact with a few folks who've since relapsed. I can tell you that you cannot predict who they will be either. When they joined and participated they were as hopeful and sincere and scared as the rest of us starting out. And they still deserve every resource to help them succeed in quitting smoking. Only here, as a requirement of membership, the first and lasting way we show our dedication to keeping out quits is by not actively using nicotine.

Everyone of us who posts and all the good folks who read here, member or not, can take away so very much valuable information! I challenge you to find a topic that has not been addressed, an experience that is not shared by at least one other person, an insight that does not support or further another person somehow.

But maybe Freedom isn't for everyone. Maybe the strictness and focus feels confining to some. Maybe some long for more social or personal interaction. No system, support or style is going to be everything to everyone. Luckily, there is a whole world beyond here to have these other needs addressed. I take was serves me from here, contribute hopefully in a meaningful way within the structure, and go on with my smoke-free life. A small matter for all the priceless education, support and honesty I've been blessed with here.

Freedom has given me the tools to live beyond my addiction! I can honor that by abiding by the rules.

30 months

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

10 Dec 2003, 13:23 #29

I'm with Melissa....

This policy is harsh on the relapser.... or those harbouring thoughts of relapse.

But I know for a fact, it's very existence has prevented relapse of at least a large handful of members.

Along with Melissa, I've also "lost" some friends on here.... long time (gold) quitters who have relapsed - who know all the laws of addiction... and, even in the face of Melissa and I and others offering support outside of Freedom's confines..... are still under nicotine's control. I've also "welcomed back" a few (two I recall), who relapsed and quit again before the policy was in effect..... as Melissa says, a rare breed indeed (by the way... they're both now "GOLD").

If this policy, as it has shown often to do, prevents the early or seasoned quitter from taking that first puff...... it is wholly justified.

There are countless less serious quitting sites littering the internet....

I'm glad, especially after 21 months membership, that I stumbled across this one first.... (even if toast does come burnt or unbuttered from time to time).... through it I KNOW I'll never take another puff...... and have no fear of this policy.

Oh, and did you know England won the world cup

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Dec 2003, 20:02 #30

Richard is right, this site is going to be hard on a relapser. They are going to likely feel real bad that they lost their membership posting privileges . But lets face it, smoking is going to be much harder on them than we are. We can only take away their right to post--smoking over time is likely going to take away their right to breath and their right to live.

Melissa is right too, that we are not the right site for everyone. We are fully aware of that. There are sites where many smokers wanting to quit will feel much more comfortable. There are lots of other sites where people who are pretty sure that they won't be able to make their quit last will find themselves much more at home and much happier, at least in the short-term. The post

I Liked My Other Support Group More

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:47

10 Dec 2003, 22:22 #31

Joel, I fully understand! Right On. jery

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

10 Dec 2003, 22:47 #32

I too want to say that I support the policy. It has more than once deterred me from slipping, cheating, or what ever else we want to call a relapse. Freedom is not for everyone, neither is cold turkey, but it's working for me. There are plenty of other sites out there with more lenient relapse policies that also support alternative methods of quitting. I must admit I've looked at some of them. They were not for me.

What has made this quit possible for me is the realization that I am ADDICTED to nicotine. That really is what it's all about here. For an addict to reintroduce an addictive substance into his or her body is just not acceptable. There IS no excuse for relapse.

Wilson - Free and Healing for Two Months, 11 Hours and 47 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 8 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2460 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $219.46.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

10 Dec 2003, 23:55 #33

Yes indeed.
Current member.
A year and a half of surprising myself. NTAP, Ni una calada más.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

01 Jan 2004, 00:21 #34

We apologize for pulling a string today with numerous responses because we just realized that it was a person whose membership had been accepted last January, relapsed and had just begun a new quit .

That person is now 7 days into a new quit. For that we are very happy and we hope that the person continues to read here and at and continues to find us a valuable resource.

Everyone made an agreement when applying to Freedom that they were going to quit cold turkey and were dedicated to never take another puff! That is the price of staying a member now. Again, post a relapse or begin a new quit and your membership is permanently pulled.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jan 2004, 01:17 #35

To the new arrival our relapse policy may seem harsh but please know that we do work behind the boards with a number of relapsed members, that each of them are still just as free as you to read, learn and grow from all happening here at Freedom, and that each and everyone of them now fully understands the law of addiction and what it takes to remain free today.

Yes we take recovery by every member very seriously but if you think that we play hardball then you need to stop and think about just how hard smoking plays. If it takes depriving a nicotine addict of posting privileges to help briefly focus them on smoking's potential to deprive them of life itself then that's a pretty solid trade. With expectations conditioning playing such an important part of recovery we can not allow this forum to serve as a revolving door to relapse.

The next few minutes are entirely doable and there is only one rule, no nicotine today! John


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Jan 2004, 08:19 #36

The following text lifted from the old thread discusses the advantages of our no relapse policy, both for a group as a whole as well as each individual member. Saying that if you relapse that we want you to come back again is taking away a major incentive not to relapse. Everyone reading such a message will think that we don't take relapsing too seriously so why should they? Read the text below, I think you will get the idea of how the relapse policy protects everybody.


I saw where a member wrote tonight that because of a tragic situation she was thinking she should just smoke and quit again once she got through the bad time period. We have designed Freedom to take care of such logic. You cannot relapse with the intention that you will just come back and quit again. Relapsing is a commitment to smoke and forever forgo participating at Freedom again. Harsh you may say. Well yes it is, but it is because you have to be harsh with yourself if you are going to keep on top of this addiction. Give cigarettes and inch and they will take your life. If you want to stay smoke free always remember why you first committed and are still committed to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Jan 2004, 07:02 #37

We've had a flood of new members over the past few days. I know from an email I got from one member that the person relapsed and was hoping that he or she could become a member again in the future when he or she was ready to quit. As you can see from our policy membership at Freedom needs to be viewed as a chance of a lifetime.

Just for the record I am going to reiterate the closing comments of this post here:
This policy offers up two big advantages. The first is to the group as a whole. Every person coming here is now guaranteed that the board is always going to be focused on people who are successfully off smoking. There will be no need to spend time consoling relapses or trying to help a person rationalize a relapse. Again we had the advantages of that principle already covered in our There is no legitimate reason to relapse thread.

But the primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.

Again, for the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!

One other point I want to make. The person had written to a number of other new members making the offer to support them in succeeding at keeping their quits. This kind of overture is an attempt at making a classic kind of buddy system. Hopefully all will realize the limitation of this system for if any member's quit was in any way contingent on this member's success, those people would be in real trouble now. Hopefully this is not the case and all of our newer members here know not to lock in their quits with other newer members. Because of the importance of this concept I am going to copy the whole text from our Buddy Systems thread:

Buddy Systems

You often hear about buddy systems in substance abuse programs. AA and NA and CA heavily utilize this highly effective and supportive technique. But it is important to understand something about the term "buddy system" These programs are generally "buddying" the newbie with a sponsor more than a buddy.

The sponsor is not a person quitting the same day; it is a person who has likely been quit for a significant time period. Someone who is more stable in their own quit because they have a myriad of time and experiences already under their belt. They are not cured but they are more secure and probably have a deeper understanding of not only what quitting is like, but more important what it is like not to be using after an extended time period. This is the message that the person in the middle of a quit needs to hear. Not just what today is like, they know that already. Talking with people only in this stage of the game is just sharing misery. What is more important for the person in withdrawal is to understand the importance of overcoming this time period. To hang in to see what next week, next month or even next year will be like, if they just don't smoke for these time periods. Who better to deliver this message than people off these amounts of time?

Smokers who never quit smoking know what it is like to smoke. Smokers who are in the middle of their first week of quitting know what it is like to smoke and what it is like to be in withdrawal. But smokers who are off for longer time periods know what it is like to smoke, quit, and stay off. They know there is life after smoking, life after withdrawal. The people who even know more are those who have smoked, quit, went through withdrawal, stayed off months or maybe years, relapsed, quit again, and are now off a long time. They have more experience than anyone does and likely a deeper appreciation of the addiction and recognition of how precious and fragile their quit actually is. They still have to work at it, but it is among the most worthwhile work that they do any given day.

These people are here, and for you newbies. I am using "newbie" here as people in the first few days of their quit, even if they have been here in the past, this is a new quit for them. If you want real support, turn to the longer-term ex-smokers. They will help you in ways that you may not yet be able to help each other. But take heart here, this is not saying that you won't be able to help others too. But your primary focus needs to be on your own quit now.

Keep in mind, you will only be a smoker in the middle of a quit for a short time period. Pretty soon you will be the seasoned veteran. When this happens, remember how past seasoned veterans helped you and pass along the support. This community should only grow larger over time. Staying to help others will help secure your own quit too. Many programs use the phrase, "To keep it, you have to give it away." No where is this more true than dealing with addictions. And never lose sight that smoking is an addiction. Whether today is your first day, your hundredth day or your thousandth day, the trick to beating your addiction for today is the same, never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 08:08 #38

A member just put up a post asking if any member who has quit since the beginning of the year have lost their quits. The answer is no current member has relapsed since the beginning of the year. There may have been some ex-members who relapsed but since they can't answer it really serves no purpose to post the question here. Again, as it says in the title of this string--our members don't relapse here at Freedom. Only our ex-members do because they forgot to stick with the commitment that they made to themselves to never take another puff!


Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:01

08 Feb 2004, 08:47 #39

The question was asked for two reasons. I am sort of getting tired of reading about all the previous quits people have had. Obviously, when they talk about previous quits, it is a contradiction in terms. A quit is permanent. They either quit or they didn't. If they didn't, then we should not be hearing about the previous failures. We don't need to hear from people who are expert at failing. It is not encouraging and makes one thing that the majority of people are quitting over and over again. I was seeking some statistics from this website vs others methods and websites.....someone had ask me about your success rate....sorry....

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

08 Feb 2004, 08:59 #40

Hi Plover:

Freedom is at about 45% still quit at one year.... if my memory serves me right. You can pretty much verify that by going back into the
1st Post & Diary
message board, and going backwards in time over a year. You will see that many (not all) of the posters have advanced colors against their names.
For comparison, the patch and gum are about 5% still quit at six months. This compares to less than 3% for "uneducated" cold turkey quitting. The lesson of Freedom.... of Joel and the managers, is that educated, supported cold turkey quitting approaches 50%......
We sometimes bring up "previous" quits, since that is how we (now) recognize that one puff is too much. We are usually affirming the truth of Never Take Another Puff, from our own experience.
YQB BillW 2 years.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 09:21 #41

Dear Plover,

In addition to what Bill has said, it's important to remember that most smokers try to quit many, many times. It's more a testimony to addiction and lack of education about addiction than to all these people being "expert at failing." They were really only "expert" at being addicted and not understanding that.

Freedom is not a site that sells the stat about needing to try 6 times to succeed. You only need to not smoke again to succeed. Many members have tried unsuccessfully to quit in the past, and I believe their experiences are valuable. Relapse is a very real option for all of us. Pretending it doesn't happen doesn't make it any less dangerous. In fact, ignoring the failures of the past is more dangerous, IMHO. This is not to say you must focus constantly on the possibility of relapsing. I think keeping a postive outlook and balance that with real education about the dangers is really key. And also where Freedom really excels.

Here are some threads, among many others, that I think are relevant:
The Law of Addiction
The Relapse of A "Social Smoker"
The One Puff Files
I don't know if I have another quit in me.
Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?
Smoking IS an Option
Have you noticed some of these "lost" long-term quits?
Actions speak louder than words-or thought.

Heck, anything on this board: Prevent Relapse

Also, have a look at this, I think you'll find it interesting! ....Green Club

Ultimately, the only quit that matters is yours today, so hug it tight and congratulate yourself for making the best choice for the rest of your life!

32 months

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 10:06 #42

Geese, I hate to chime in here with bad news because I like Bill's memory better than the actual figures. Our last two six month reviews were in December 2002 and March 2003 and both generated almost identical six month rates of 38% and 39% respectively. We really need to find the time to do a new assessment.

As for OTC NRT, I think that the experts are now pretty much in agreement that it's generating about 7% at six months. Six months is quickly becoming the standard for measuring cessation programs, unless of course you look at the UK's NHS programs which amazingly continues to declare success at 4 weeks when three-quarters of those declared to have successfully quit are still actively using nicotine weaning products. Go figure!

Tonight I'll dream that you're right, Bill Thanks for the smile : )

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:01

08 Feb 2004, 10:31 #43

Thanks John, Melissa and Bill. That was good info. Sort of what my friend wanted to know and so did I. Looks like I am at the best place to be! I have a friend that says she quit smoking three years ago, but still uses NRT. She only quit the smoke chemicals and the anti-social part, but she is still a nicotine addict. I'm trying to find the information, also, that relates only to nicotine effects on the body after absorbed from patches. She is convinced that the nicotine patch is safe to use indifinitely.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 10:52 #44

Here are two more articles that shed some light on issues you have raised:
Past FAILURES 52 2 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:45 PM
If this is your first time quitting 61 2 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:43 PM

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 10:55 #45

Here are two others that address the NRT issue:
NRT and Quit Meters 33 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:54 PM
Prolonging Withdrawal Symptoms 43 5 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:53 PM

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:01

08 Feb 2004, 11:31 #46

Thanks as always, good info. I never threw away my cigarettes. They're in drawer's around the house. Must be at least a carton and a half around here. It wasn't symbolic to throw them away for some reason. I think I inititally thought I would go into a panic syndrome or anxiety attack over not having cigarettes in the house. I really didn't give that much thought. Whether the cigarettes were here or at the corner market seemed irrelevant. I never from the day I decided to quit ever touched the cigarettes, nor ever put one in my purse again. Smokers are always coming and going here and leaving cigarettes here. The presence of cigarettes in the house is something that will occur; they just will not be smoked by me. I've been having fun trying to give the cigarettes away. In order to receive a free pack they must read on this website one hour. Some have made it thirty minutes. I haven't given away the first pack yet. One person has tried for the cigarettes three times. I'm hoping some of the reading is getting through. This is surely an unconventional way to get someone to educate themselves; but hey, they're going to smoke anyway.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 11:44 #47

The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom 86 1 Joel. 2/7/2004 9:36 PM
Carrying Cigarettes 78 11 Joel. 2/7/2004 9:34 PM

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 11:45 #48

Plover, relative to smoking nicotine alone is clearly far safer but science has already generated lung cancer by using the nicotine patch on rats. In fact the last study was by the U.S. government and for the first time we actually saw friction in our governement's NRT marriage with the pharmaceutical industry when the results were first published. I think they settled on wording stating that nicotine does not cause cancer but that NNK. NNK is one of the most potent carcinogens of all and it's one of the chemicals that nicotine breaks down into as it rides out it two-hour half-life inside the human body.

Here are a few other recent concerns that your friend may want to read:

Science Daily - January 2003

National Institute for Health and Medical Research, Paris - May 2002

Stanford University School of Medicine - July 2001

Causes hardening of arteries - atherosclerosis
Stanford University School of Medicine - July 2001

University of Minnesota Cancer Center - November 2000

Causes brain damage & linked to chronic depression
by Dr. Barry Bittman, M.D. - 2000


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 17:30 #49

From: plover Sent: 2/7/2004 10:28 PM
Very good links, John. I read them all and forwarded info to my friend who has been on those patches too long. She wears the patches at night; so, her body never gets a break from nicotine.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 17:32 #50

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