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

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

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 May 2003, 19:40 #1

Only our ex-members do!

We had a previous string that discussed this issue, but it was written at an earlier time when our policies were a lot more lenient. We felt it best that to avoid confusion we update that string. We don't have to use it often, but there are times when people apparently have not read Freedom's Relapse Policy and probably not much of Freedom's other materials and it ends up costing them their membership, as well as their quit.

To put in clearly and simply, post a relapse and we will pull the post and permanently pull your membership. There are no second chances at Freedom. Everyone made an agreement when applying to Freedom, that they were going to quit cold turkey and were dedicated to never take another puff! Well that is the price of staying a member now. Again, post a relapse and your membership is permanently pulled.

We bill ourselves as a no-nonsense board. We mean it. We are not right for everyone and we don't want to hold anyone here who thinks we are too serious. There are plenty of Internet sites that will support your quits. People who think relapses are understandable under the right situations are not going to be happy here.

If you think our policies are too stringent go to There you will find links to other online support groups that will not enforce such stringent policies. We completely understand and we will harbor no ill feelings if you feel the need to leave us. But posting a relapse is trivializing the importance of quitting for anyone else here and that bothers us, for you are trivializing people's efforts who are fighting for their life. This we do take seriously and will rectify it quickly.

We are not here to coddle people who relapse. We are here to help people stay quit. Again the price of membership is total commitment. Considering this is a fight for your life, it is not too high of a price for anyone to pay. Failure at quitting is a relapse to a drug that has every potential to kill you. This is too high of a price to pay for a drag on a cigarette.

So if you want to feel better about a relapse, or help others feel better about their relapse, move on to another site. If you want to secure your quit and help all who are members here, you must never take another puff!


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!

Freedom's New
No Relapse Policy
(Implemented November 2002)

Freedom's relapse policy is about to undergo additional evolution. Athough every visitor to the site will have 100% access to Freedom's over 130,000 archived posts, to Joel's entire library and to all of our resources at WhyQuit, any future relapse will disqualify that member from again participating in the group. The rule applies across the board, to me as well as you. Not only will this destroy any junkie thinking that my mind might have been able to muster in time of crisis about being able to return, the new policy will not permit me to return if I should relapse.

Not only is there no legitimate excuse for relapse at Freedom, there is no relapse at Freedom. This isn't a matter of asking members to value their group participation and use that as justification for not relapsing. That's akin to a quit crutch. It's a matter of asking each of us to value this forum as a serious site, to honor the principles upon which its built, and to respect the right of others to find sanctuary in one little corner of the earth where nicotine has no voice.

If any of you have questions about our new policy please send us an email. Thanks!

Freedom's Managers

All of Freedom's management team thought this one out long and hard. This policy may seem intimidating to someone just thinking about applying. But for our existing members this policy should pose no threat or inconvenience. After all, the primary vow that people have when joining up at Freedom, and the primary principle that keeps our members nicotine free is the promise that each and every makes to himself or herself each and every day not to take a puff. As long as this promise was made in good faith, if each and every member keeps the promise he or she has nothing to be afraid of.

We want people first thinking of applying though to think long and hard of whether we are in fact the best support group to sign up for. If a person does not feel totally one hundred percent committed to make this quit be the last quit he or she is ever planning on having to make, he or she might be better off exploring other support groups before joining in. As John has stated, a person lurking has access to all of the materials at, my library and even the Freedom message board itself. The only difference is that members can post and non-members cannot.

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!


Just for the record, if a member loses his or her posting privileges, he or she still has the ability to read ALL of our message boards and ALL of the materials at He or she can still put through the effort to quit and get ALL the information he or she needs from these sites, he or she just cannot actively participate at Freedom again. The way for a relapsed smoker to once again gain Freedom and to keep it is to never take another puff!
Last edited by Joel on 23 Apr 2011, 13:11, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 May 2003, 20:20 #2


[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Other videos related to relapse:[/font]


[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Don't let a slip put you back to using"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Get right back in the saddle?"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I know I will quit again"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I'll come for reinforcement when I need it"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I've got my smoking under control"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"If I relapse I'll smoke until it kills me"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Maybe a puff isn't that big of a deal"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"The only time I think of smoking is when I get one of your stupid letters[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Are you ready for Freedom?[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Is relapse a natural part of the quitting process[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]The law of addiction[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]The lucky ones get hooked[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Who wants to go back to smoking?[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]You smoke because you're a smokeaholic[/font]
Last edited by Joel on 20 Mar 2013, 22:23, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Jul 2003, 19:43 #3

Image I was contacted by a person who has not been around for over eight months who did not know of this policy.

Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 00:13

13 Jul 2003, 01:41 #4

Of course your members relapse. You just kick them out of they admit it, so they just stop posting. It's just a matter of semantics.

qwerty (green)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jul 2003, 02:00 #5

Perhaps this will get deleted, since it probably falls under the category of debating the policies of this board. Even so, I felt it was important to make a point. No, CarolynH, it is not semantics at all. In fact, it is a critical definition of membership in this group. You cannot relapse and still be a member (without lying to yourself and everyone else). You are no longer a member at the moment of relapse. It is not semantics when you lose your quit.

82 days (2m, 3w, 0d, 12h)

NTAN (Never Take Any Nicotine)

janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

13 Jul 2003, 02:07 #6

Believe it or not, CarolynH, there are people who lose their quits who do rescind their membership. Perhaps, there are members who relapse and pretend it never happens. But please don't disrespect those past members who gave up their membership due to relapse and who were extremely pained, disappointed and upset that they had to leave this community and have lost all chance to regain entry. They were and are my friends.

I respect the people at this site way too much to lie to them. If I lose my quit, I'm out. It would be disrespectful of the other members for me not to do this. And I have way too many people at this site that I care deeply about to do that.

One Year Seven Months

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

13 Jul 2003, 04:28 #7


Relapse not only can cost us our membership, but it can cost us our lives. It is not a matter of semantics. It's a matter of statistics. One out of every two people who never quit smoking risk losing their lives to a smoking related illness.

Relapse, even one puff, can change the course of our lives forever. There are many here that can very well attest to that fact as well as people whom we come in contact with in our every day world.

But none of us here including managers, members and even lurkers, ever have to fear losing either our ability to post or improve our health as long as we remember why we cannot ever take another puff.
3 and a half years free and not about to throw this freedom away for anything or anyone.

OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jul 2003, 04:56 #8

Hi Carolyn,

Your brief post has DANGER written all over it. As I read, "if they admit it", I'm getting that you think there's a whole lot of choice about whether to admit a relapse or not. My perception is that you may believe that it would be possible for a member to maybe have a cigarette, simply not admit it, and then go on posting as if nothing had ever happened.

Truth time. If one didn't have a full understanding and acceptance of the nature of nicotine addiction, I could see how they might think this would be so. Freedom doesn't have spy cameras in the homes of its members, or informants skulking in alleyways. How would Freedom know?

The answer is irrelevant. The truth is that nicotine is FAR less forgiving than Freedom's managers. A puff, and it's over (one puff files, the). The quit is gone. For some, it's slower than for others (the lucky one's get hooked!), but for something like 97%, (John, I couldn't find the exact number, and I know you have it somewhere), one puff leads directly to a return to smoking at former levels of consumption or higher.

So, Freedom's policy is irrelevant. Ask yourself.... why would somebody who had returned to smoking - taking on the health risks, the financial costs, and the damage to their self-esteem - spend their time hovering over their keyboard chatting away to a bunch of people who had found freedom from that addiction. The relapsed member is separated from the group by far more than simple posting priveledges. The relapsed member is in a different place entirely. They're a smoker; Freedom's membership is not. They're influenced at regular intervals throughout every day by the relentless cycle of withdrawal - fix - withdrawal - fix - withdrawal - fix.... Freedom's membership is not. The relapsed member is a recommitted slave to a deadly drug. Freedom's members are not. What smoker, in their right mind, would hang around a serious group of ex-smokers, chatting away about how great it is not to smoke, or offering advice to those that don't smoke?

The policy is pretty simple. Actively-using nicotine addicts are absolutely the worst people from whom an ex-smoker can seek support. Hence, we don't have actively-using nicotine addicts on the board. Yes, it's possible for an actively-using nicotine addict to lie and defy the rule, but I can't imagine the actively-using nicotine addict who would.

Stick to your commitment to remain nicotine-free... the commitment that brought you here in the first place, and for which you put yourself through the difficulties of withdrawal..... and you'll never be faced with watching your membership in the community of freed nicotine addicts (whether Freedom members, or not), slip away with each ensuing puff, each ensuing pack, each ensuing year....

ImageBob (18 months as a FREE addict)

OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Jul 2003, 06:10 #10

In your own words, Carolyn:

"Accepting that we are nicotine addicts is the key to our freedom. If we ever forget that, we can become complacent and think we can have just one."