Have you noticed some of these "lost" long-term quits?

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:28

08 Aug 2000, 02:00 #11

HEAR ME WHEN I SAY" NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!" Stef
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:29

08 Aug 2000, 02:15 #12

I just caught this post, wasn't here the first time that it was posted. Can I just say "Wow"? I know this is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, and this most definatly reinforces it! Joel, you have given me so many different things to think about. I would have never thought about most things you write about, I'm so thankful for this site! reading the posts I think has kept me sane through the cruical first two days. Today is my thrid day, and if I had not found this site, I would have probably already gone back. But thanks to the information and support, I'm still here, and I have not taken another puff since I quit! THANK YOU!

Carrie
---
2d 18:34 smoke-free, 51 cigs not smoked, $6.38 saved, 4:15 life saved
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Aug 2000, 02:31 #13

Way to go Carrie. We will try to keep you thinking. Here is a letter to address this issue of how to think of not smoking today, tomorrow and the rest of your smoke-free life.

Joel

"I'm not going to smoke today!" During the quitting process, you most likely woke up thinking of this concept, either with great determination or incredible trepidation. Either way, it was imperative that you aimed a high degree of focus at this lofty goal. The incredible cravings elicited by the addiction required that you had all the motivation and ammunition to squelch the seemingly irresistible need to take a cigarette. Whether or not you understood it, immediately reaffirming your goal not to smoke upon waking was crucial during your initial quitting phase.

The fact is, restating the simple concept of "not smoking today" is not only important when you first quit. You should restate this upon waking for the rest of your life. Each day you should start with "I'm not going to smoke today." Equally important, each day you should end congratulating yourself and feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment for achieving your worthwhile goal.

For even years and decades after successful cessation, every day you continue to breath and think a relapse to smoking is an inherent risk. The addiction to nicotine is as powerful as the addiction to alcohol or any illicit drug. The habituation of smoking permeated almost every area of your day to day existence. You may allow complacency to fill the void left by your old addiction and habits by disregarding the monumental effort and achievement which accompanied overcoming them. Complacency causes your guard to drop and you may begin to forget the reasons you wanted to quit. You will no longer recognize the many vast improvements in the quality of your physical, social and economic well being which accompanied smoking cessation.

Then, one day when smoking seemed to be a part of an obscure past which had no real relevance to your current status, a thought for a cigarette is accompanied by an opportunity to "innocently" reach for one. Maybe it is under an insignificant social circumstance, or maybe a major life crisis. Either way, all the elements seem to be in place. Motive, cause and opportunity are present, reasoning and knowledge of addiction are conspicuously absent. A puff is taken.

New rules are now in place. Your body demands nicotine. A preordained process is now set in motion, and, even if you don't realize what has happened, a drug relapse has occurred. The wants and desire to take back the action are overpowered by the body's demand for nicotine. You will have no control of the physiological process set in action. Soon your mind bows to your body's dictates.

You will very likely feel great regret and remorse. An overriding feeling of failure and guilt will haunt you. You will soon find yourself longing for the days when you had hardly thought of cigarettes at all. But those days will slowly become a fading past image. Weeks, months or even decades may pass before you once again musters the resolve to attempt a serious quitting process. Sadly, you may never again have the appropriate strength, initial motivation, or, tragically, the opportunity to quit again. A terminal diagnosis or sudden death may preclude the well-intentioned future attempt that may never have a chance to be realized.

Don't take the chance of becoming entrapped in this kind of tragic and dismal scenario. Actively strive to successfully remain smoke free and maintain all the associated perks-the physical, emotional, economic, professional and social benefits of not being an active smoker. Always start your day off with the statement "I won't smoke today." Always end your day with a self-affirmation and sense of pride and accomplishment for once again winning your daily battle over your addiction. And always remember between your waking up and the ending of your day to Never Take Another Puff!

Joel

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Aug 2000, 17:46 #14

If a puff can undo a quit of 25 years, take a guess at what it can do to a quit of 25 hours, minutes or seconds. Your quit will last as long and only as long as you never take another puff! Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:04

30 Aug 2000, 19:10 #15

Thanks, Joel, for bringing up this page again. This points out a lesson that I never knew before finding Freedom, that is, that I am an addict. Before, I always thought that I could just quit, put down the cigarettes, get used to being without them, and I would get over it. Now I know that I must be on guard always and forever and never take another puff.

I am now a non-smoker, but I will be an addict forever.

I have booted Nicodemon out of my life for Two weeks, one day, 7 hours, 6 minutes and 59 seconds. 764 cigarettes not smoked, saving $50.09. Life saved: 2 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes. Vivian
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

30 Aug 2000, 20:56 #16

I agree, this post needs to be up-top!!! I agree with what's been said by the other members ... it's always that "ONE MORE PUFF" that gets you!!! (living proof here) ... I also agree that here at FREEDOM I have found the truth about being "addicted" ... with that in mind I can proceed ... this is the only habit I have "stopped" that KEEPS ON NAGGING AT ME !!! It's true - the only way to quit is cold-turkey and to NEVER TAKE (EVEN) ONE MORE PUFF !!!
-robert-
Four weeks, one day, 8 hours. Life saved: 12 hours, 10 minutes.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:17

30 Aug 2000, 21:27 #17

Oh how well I know what just one will do. I have more than one addiction and realize the value of this lesson. Thanks for bringing this back to the top so that I never forget that I CAN'T HAVE JUST ONE PUFF

Dodie

One week, two days, 15 hours, 42 minutes and 7 seconds. 144 cigarettes not smoked, saving $38.01. Life saved: 12 hours, 0 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Aug 2000, 21:45 #18

Hello Vivian:

Your comment, "I am now a non-smoker, but I will be an addict forever" reminded me of a letter I wrote once for Darcy on what she should call herself in regards to having quit smoking. I brought up a version of that letter. It is call "What should I call myself?" I thought you would relate to it considering the comment. Your comment showed great insight.

Hang in there Vivian. You will be an addict forever, and as long as you remember to Never Take Another Puff you will be able to stay a non-smoker forever too. Just do it one day at a time.

Joel
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WWW
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:26

31 Aug 2000, 01:55 #19

Thanks Joel for my new mantra

"MY QUIT WILL LAST AS LONG AND ONLY AS LONG AS I NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF"

Wendy

One week, six days, 12 hours, 55 minutes and 52 seconds. 541 cigarettes not smoked, saving $67.69. Life saved: 1 day, 21 hours, 5 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

31 Aug 2000, 12:08 #20

Thanks Joel for these postings. I always read and reread them although I have only replied to a couple. I do want you to know they are appreciated.

Keep them coming!

Nora
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

20 Oct 2000, 23:28 #21

i too know all too well the brutal truth that we are all a hair's breath away from relapse-it takes just one single puff and all our work is totally obliterated. i remember i stopped for 2 years when i was pregannt and breastfeeding my children. the day i stopped breastfeeding, i lit up one. for a while that was fine-my husband would nag at me and i would say 'its only one cigarette,what harm can that do?" pretty soon it was 3 a day, then a 10 a day. i thought i was healthy as long as i smoked under 10 a day, well years later i was up to 2 1/2 packs (or50 cigarettes a day at one point) isnt it scary how easily our bodies can fall right back into that enslavement??? it frightens me to know that if i just picked one up and lit it- my quit would be literally up in smoke! theres no such thing as just one puff-its all or nothing. i look at it as a long term choice. when i am wanting one i will tell myself "will this be something i am proud of months from now? will this further my goals in life"? obviously NOT.

thank you for this life affirming, enlightening, and much needed post.

starla smoke free for One month, three days, 14 hours, 23 minutes and 35 seconds. 1175 cigarettes not smoked, saving $158.76. Life saved: 4 days, 1 hour, 55 minutes.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:26

07 Nov 2000, 14:19 #22

Truth, thanks again Joel.
Today I will not smoke
I have fought and won another day against the nicodemon
Freedom is mine
Six months, four weeks, 11 hours, 13 minutes and 25 seconds. 5286 cigarettes not smoked, saving $925.17. Life saved: 2 weeks, 4 days, 8 hours, 30 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Nov 2000, 19:24 #23

For everyone, nicotine free or not. It is so much better to learn from other people's relapses than from having to learn from your own.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

27 Nov 2000, 00:18 #24

This topic is sooo important. I was one of those people who has gone back to smoking after long quits... once after a full year!! This was my thought process and it is a very dangerous one: I was at an annual camp that I had never been to as a non-smoker (big trigger!!) and thought "Oh well, obviously if I quit successfully a year ago I will just quit again on Monday when I go home, I did it before so I can do it again." Well, obviously not because I am here and there have been thousands of cigarettes smoked between that day and this!!. I just pray that I have gotten here on time...that the damage done is not killing me as we speak.. Joel is so right when he says that not every quit is the same. Right now, the scariest thing to me is that not every quit is possible...or in time...or even ever attempted. I am very lucky to be here. And because quitting is not always an option... NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF

Sheila
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

27 Nov 2000, 00:26 #25

You sound like you have a great appreciation for your quit this time Shiela, i think that is what is meant SOMETIMES when a long time quitter relapses. You appear to be becoming one of the lucky ones. God Bless You!! Guard your quit with your life!! Why? Cause it is. YQS with care and concern Christiana
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Nov 2000, 21:31 #26

Hello Everyone:

Due to numerous circumstances I have been very limited on the amount of time I have at Freedom this week. I noticed a few people have relapsed and it may seem to some that they are dominating the board. This shifts the mood to the appearance that most people who are regulars here don't make it. Well the fact is that this has been a particularly bad few days here. Most days and even weeks we don't see any one relapsing let alone two or three people at once. We also have people jumping in saying they understand the relapse. I understand the relapse too, all too well in fact. Should the person feel better that now it is understood why they relapsed. That depends I guess. If the person is here to feel better about smoking, sure they should be quite relieved. If the person is here because they are trying to save their lives I don't think they should be getting much comfort in these well wishes.

I guess it is like someone standing on a ledge of a building. Do you want people standing on the ground giving them reasons not to jump or people hearing all the woes in the individual's life and saying, "Gosh, I understand what you are saying. I feel that way too. I guess if I were in your shoes I would jump too. Don't feel guilty though, we understand."

I don't want this statement to be read as a mockery of the people trying to help. I am trying to make an illustration here. It is obvious that the difference is if they jump they will die. But please understand, that if a person relapses and doesn't quit, they are likely to face the same fate, just time delayed. Yes if you saw a person on a ledge, you would try to use empathy. But the empathy would be in for form of explaining that you understand their plight but you disapprove of their current tactic to deal with it. There are better ways to resolve their problems than killing themselves. The same concepts hold true for taking a puff. You may understand the feelings the person had, you may have even felt them at some point. But you don't give into the feeling because the implication is smoking and that can lead to death.

I saw some responses here that there are other boards that are more accepting of relapse, in fact they see it as a normal and acceptable process. This is a very accurate statement and I do think that if anyone here feels we are too tough they should look at the other sites. I do believe the majority people who are here came to us because they are looking for a niche group, a kind of understanding and support that is not available elsewhere. If you are dead serious about quitting smoking I think you have found the right place to be and I hope you stay. But if our philosophy is too restricting, why try to change us. Trying to alter our premise is as unfair as our members going to other sites and trying to change them. We don't do it, we are very tolerant of the other sites and understand that some people will be happier there. But deep down we are not very hopeful that they will be more successful there.

I do know for a fact that we have a few members who actively participate at other sites. I also know that they got quite burned when they tried to espouse our logic at these other sites and I have personally advised them to limit their commentaries endorsing our logic at the other boards. They may want to reply here about how to coexist at more than one place at a time. But I feel everyone here should extend the same courtesy to our members that I asked them to give the other boards members.

Don't tie up the boards in how to quit controversies. Every entry level to out site says we are a cold turkey site, no nicotine replacement. With this statement as ubiquitous as it is, there is no reason to be debating it here. People are here now because of this disclaimer.

I am going to bring up a number of posts this morning addressing many of these issues. Again, please don't take these articles as personal slams, I am trying to make sure everyone understands are principles here. To be honest I almost don't want to bring up a lot of these situations at the moment because I don't have the ability to be posting follow-up discussions to issues raised. Please don't take my lack of response today as some kind of admission that I can't defend these stands. Other demands are taking time that I just can't dismiss at the moment. But our other managers and staff have a pretty good insight to our ways.

I did start a group last night, we had 30 people come. One was Bradley from Freedom. I always enjoy meeting people live who I met here first. Bradley is off for I think 4 months now and just came in for reinforcement. He currently has no computer access but said he would try to get here as soon as he is up and going again. He looked and sounded great. Also one man stopped by from a clinic 18 years ago who was off and jsut wanted to say hello. That is always great to see. Numerous people had quit for a year or longer and had relapsed, one lady was off for 20 years when she relapsed. That was 8 years ago and is still smoking up to yesterday.

I will try to get back later although I can't guarantee it. I hope everyone has a good day. It will be a much better day if everyone here walks away with the understanding that no matter what happens in your life, either issues of great happiness or sadness, importance or mediocrity, exhilaration of shear dullness, no matter what the circumstances the only way to sustain your quit is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

24 Dec 2000, 14:57 #27

Just quickly:

It's just this kind of discussion that keeps me terrified of myself, or more accurately of my addiction. And I have to admit, I really am still addicted!!!

I don't ever want to go back. I sometimes dream that I do. I am afraid that I will.

I know this: I own myself. I decide what I do. I know what my weaknesses are. I know where I have been. I don't like where I have been!!!

I like who I am since I got rid of smoking. I don't want to lose that. I want to know what I can be when I lose all of the other **** in my life that does me no good!!!

In the meantime: I don't smoke.

And I really like it!!

nomad
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Dec 2000, 22:04 #28

I am really happy to bring this one up today since it doesn't really apply to anything here today, actually hasn't for a while. But I thought with so many new members coming in it would be good to share this string, not just the original post, but the whole string with our new membership and our regular members alike for prophylatic purposes. Post 28 of this string I think was particulary important since I do think we have a number of new members coming in with past experieces at other sites and we do have certain unique features here at Freedom that I want everyone to understand. The other reason for bringing up this string at this time is we are approaching the new year holiday, one of the biggest days of the year for people quitting or relapsing. So having your guard and ammunition up no matter what side you are on, your first day quitting or your thousandh day off is crucial at this time of year. Actually it is crucial all year long, these next few days are just more obvious than most. Keep focused everyone. Never take another puff!

Joel
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Deb
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

01 Jan 2001, 13:20 #29

Joel,
If I remember correctly I was one of the ones that posted about relapsing after a long quit and listed the reasons why I felt I lost my quit. At at this point I see that it was due to being stubborn and most of all not quitting for myself. I relapsed after 10years and smoked for another I guess 15 years before making through to this quit. I had attemped a number of times due to the doctors telling me I needed to quit for my health. After all the attempts I made it waste untill I came to Freedom and decided that my quit had to be for myself. Which was a difficult decesion because I didn't like myself very well. But I did it, I made the decesion to quit.
I also know it was important for me to make a clean cut from the nicotin. If I was to quit it had to be cold turkey. If I would of used any other method I would of been only fooling myself. As long as the nicotin was there I was hooked. It's been and up hill fight for me. But I must say that the bravier I felt was awsome. The determination I had was outstanding. Yes there were little step backs but when they would happen I would be back on top determined for victory, and Freedom. This quit isn't going to be a long quit or a short quit for a relapse. I have found Freedom and I refuse to let it go. I breath easier, move easier, don't have to stop to take care of my nicotin addiction (fix). Saving more money ,even though I don't see it. But most important my lungs and other body parts are healing from the damage that was caused by the nicotin. Remember at the beginning of this I said I didn't like myself, well since quitting my self esteem
has soared like the eagles. I actually feel good about myself.,. This is even making me feel good. It hasn't been very long since I quit but I can already tell how and what I've benefited from quiting. What a blessing to see where I was and to see where I am now. Thank-you for helping me to realize the importance fo my quit. But also for showing me how easy it can become in our quits that we ease up and become vulnerable and loose what we fought so hard for. I have diffenently learned something about all of this. Your sword is used for fighting and it's important for and fighter to keep his eye on his enemy and keep his sword sharpen. For we don't know when the enemy will try to attack again. Please everyone keep your sword ready at all times.

Deb

I have been Quit for: 7M 1W 4D 22h 49m 49s. I have NOT smoked 9038, for a savings of $1,256.29. Life Saved: 1M 9h 10m.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:51

04 Jan 2001, 23:53 #30

Joel...thank you so much for posting this one...I am one of those that have went through long term quits..and then relapsed....I have quit 3 times before this one...each quit lasting from 9 months to a year (each one for a pregnancy)...somehow I thought this one would be different because it was for me...not a baby inside of me...thought I wouldn't have the urge after so long...this post reminds me, a relapse can happen at any time...and it's harder and harder to quit with each and every relapse...believe me I know.....

Thank you for reminding me...

THIS QUIT IS MINE!!!
~touch~
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Jan 2001, 22:09 #31

Again we are having one of those rare moments where a relapse has occurred. Thought I would bring this one up again as a reminder not to get into any pity parties or relapse fests. Not only is the original post in this string important, post 28 had some very important points. Make sure to read this one also.

By the way, I had a clinic going this week. Friday night I had my panel discussion. It was good, very good in fact. One of the people in the current group was a clinic graudate of mine who had quit for 15 years after being in my program and had relapsed last year on a cigar. One of the panelists was a person who was just off for two months, part of the clinic I started in November. She had once been off 20 years before her relapse, which had occurred many years ago. These two people, along with all the others there who had once had years under their belts only to be lost by a lapse of judgement. If a puff will put you back after 2 decades, guess what it will do after 12 days or even one day. It will turn you into an actively addicted smoker again. Then you will either smoke until it kills you or have to "attempt" quitting again. These are both lousy options, but one is a lot worse than the other.

Once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to keep it going. Your very life probably depends on it. To keep your health and your life, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:17

22 Jan 2001, 07:34 #32

Hello Everyone,

I know I've been MIA for a while. But my quit friends, I'm still quit.

I'm so glad that Joel has brought the issue of relapsing to the core here.

I for one become a little discouraged when I see and read about relapsing on the board.

Please, relapsers, maintian your integrity to yourself. Don't let nicodemon take that from you. Once he has done that, he leaves you to your death, knowing he did his job.
And please, try to visualize the Big Picture (You, Smoke Free For Life). I can see you in that Big Picture. I know you can do this.

Stay with Freedom, it works.

Interruption, my husband just lit up and man does that stinkkkkk!!!!!!!!!

Because of my strong desire to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses have I been blessed with finding Freedom. You see Quit Friends, Jehovah's Witnesses do not smoke.

I've been blessed on account of the EDUCATION backed with the TOUGH LOVE POLICY here at Freedom, and Much Much Prayer and changing of my life in connection with my spiritual beliefs, have I been able to get this far:
Two months, four weeks, two days, 14 hours, 13 minutes and 47 seconds. 2289 cigarettes not smoked, saving $544.08. Life saved: 1 week, 22 hours, 45 minutes.
I would like to just mention that My daughter wanted to post a thank you to the Freedom Staff for helping me because she is truly grateful too. When she discovered she would have to be a member to post, she being aware and appreciative of this site did not do this because she knows that its for people who want to quit smoking. So on behalf of my daughter, Thank you Freedom
Newbies, Long Lost Quits and Quit Friends, Please, Please:
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF
Sorry so long don't post.
I'll keep in touch,
Your Quit Sis,
History
Thank you guys for supporting me in my quit and for remaining quiters.
You know who you are
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

10 Apr 2001, 09:07 #33

It is funny how when I've been thinking of some pertinent issues that after checking the message board, I have all the answers i'm looking for... lately i've been thinking about my relapse (after not smoking for 15 months but not in this particular program) and wondering exactly how it happened and going through the "cheating" of I can have one cigarette a day and I'll be okay way of thinking. It was only through all the reading done here and the absolute logic of addiction that I understand all of the reasons/rationale. Oh yea I'm an addict and the cheating was my methodology to bargaining - the relapse happened because I was lacked the information necessary about this addiction. It is true; knowledge is power. I always deluded myself thinking that I was in control by only having one or two cigarettes a day. Don't know if there's anyone else reading this from Canada or has seen Canadian ads on the television....there is an effective one that shows a brain that's had a stroke caused by smoking.....of late this has been for me a very powerful reinforcement for not smoking.
Thank you for all the information. Keeps me going.
Diana
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 May 2001, 00:39 #34

Relapses are rare here, we like to keep it that way. I know bringing up all these articles can seem like overkill but when it comes to relapsing, no amount of prevention can be too much. For the sake of the relapser as well as for the sake of every other person here, the understanding and implication of a relapse must be understood in its entirety. Your very lives depend on accepting nicotine as an addiction and treating it as such. Read post number 26 here. (In some of the earlier strings it is referred to as post 28.) A number of people are new and haven't seen real relaspes here before, it gives some idea how we deal with them. To make sure we never have to deal with it for you, or more important, that you don't have to deal with it for yourself always remember to never take another puff!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Oct 2001, 21:39 #35

Thanks Joel!
It may seem like a history lesson but I'll never ever forget that I'm just one puff of nicotine away from three packs a day! Your student, John : )
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