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

Joel
Joel

March 18th, 2003, 11:12 pm #61

For Rick
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

March 19th, 2003, 5:51 am #62

Thought I'd try to repair a little of the damage I did to the "Good news, our members don't relapse anymore" thread.

I know people who seem to be able to smoke only once in a while--you know, the "exceptions". But I am also only 23 years old, and most of those "exceptions" are younger than I am. Therefore, there is still plenty of time for them to bear out the one=all philosophy.

I also know plenty of people who had good, long quits going--2, 3, 4 year quits--who started smoking again as a result of a misbegotten cigarette at a party, or with a smoking friend. I've seen it happen. In fact, a good friend of mine is now a major league smoker, and when I first met him, he didn't smoke at all--he had quit for two years.

Personally, I have never quit for nearly as long as I have now, which in my opinion really proves to me that I'm decidedly living under the law of addiction. No question. Every time I've quit before I thought after a couple of days that I could socially smoke, now that I had broken my habit of smoking 15/day. Well, it didn't work then and I am not deluding myself any longer. I will never be a social smoker, just, in the words of O'Bob (or Hillbilly. . .can't remember which), a "plain old regular smoker".

The road of a thousand miles begins with one step. The road of a thousand cigarettes begins with one puff. If you don't want to go down the road, don't take the puff and you KNOW you never will.

Alex
1 month 4 days
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madisonsmom(DBLGREEN)
madisonsmom(DBLGREEN)

March 29th, 2003, 3:50 am #63

I had to share my story since I have lost a long-term quit. I quit smoking when I turned 30 and after a few months I felt better than I ever had in my entire life. I started working out, ran my first 5k and 10k and was loving every minute of it. I eventually reached the point where I could not be around cigarettes at all; breathing in other's smoke made my throat hurt and I could not stand the smell of it. I thought that I would never smoke another cigarette in my life - I never wanted to.

Well, close to three years later, I had a few drinks and was hanging with my old smoking buddies and decided to have one just to see what it would be like. The next day I bought a pack and smoked a couple and threw the rest out. I repeated this for a few days until I decided to go ahead a smoke a whole pack - didn't want to waste any money! Of course within two weeks I was smoking a pack a day again.

Well, here I am after smoking again for the last two years. Hopefully a little more educated than before and very determined to get that feeling back again! I have my sites set on an early winter 5K!

MM

One week, six days, 13 hours, 49 minutes and 28 seconds. 298 cigarettes not smoked, saving $58.24. Life saved: 1 day, 50 minutes.
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

May 12th, 2003, 10:11 am #64

Joel. . .I am really wondering about something. My housemate had one cigarette yesterday at a party and she insists that it was just that one and that she's never going to smoke another one again. She quit two days before I did. I talked to my dad on the phone today and he said that a year after he quit he had one cigarette and he will always remember that one because it was so disgusting he realized that he never wanted to smoke again. And he hasn't for about 30 years, although now he smokes a cigar once in a while.

I am incapable of thinking about smoking just one cigarette. When I visualize it I can feel myself instantly wanting to go to the gas station and buy myself a pack. It's almost like I can feel the relapse process in my head before it even happens. So I know that smoking just one would never work for me, which actually makes it much easier for me to remain nicotine-free.

You can delete this post if you want because I know that it's not great to have examples of people who seem to fly under the radar of addiction but I just don't get it. I don't get why my father has a cigar once in a while and doesn't become a full-fledged smoker. I know I can't do that, there is not one doubt in my mind that I can't do that, but I don't get why other people seem to be able to do it.

Alex
2 months 3 weeks 7 days
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Joel
Joel

May 12th, 2003, 10:47 am #65

Read these posts, especially the comments I wrote in them today:
The relapse of a "social smoker" 38 5 IrishLotus (Silver) 5/11/2003 9:45 PM
The Lucky One's Get Hooked! 16 Joel. 5/11/2003 9:17 PM
Last edited by Joel on January 31st, 2011, 5:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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KereGreen2
KereGreen2

June 3rd, 2003, 11:19 pm #66

Joel,

I was having some difficulty seeing how these other people had quit for so long and then gone back. Reminds me, Never Take Another Puff.....

Kere
Two weeks, three days, 23 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds. 359 cigarettes not smoked, saving $111.45. Life saved: 1 day, 5 hours, 55 minutes.
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BubblyDoodlebug Gold
BubblyDoodlebug Gold

June 3rd, 2003, 11:36 pm #67

I had quit for over a year once. I was miserable the whole time. I always wanted to smoke even if I was not around smoking. I felt as if I lost a love one. I grieved. This quit is not like that at all. I will be honest I have had moments where I felt like that but this time I understand my quit. Actually I don't remember why I started back, I don't even remember my cig when I started back. How weird is that??? The quit before this one I went back because I was told I was a nicer person when I smoked. That hurt my feelings so bad. I got in my car drove a block away and bought a pack. If I was told that now I would tell them "Go make new friends". Katherine
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jeanne
jeanne

June 4th, 2003, 10:47 am #68

I hope it's not too late in the day to respond to this post. I know I've mentioned my long term quit before in my 1st post probably, but after reading some of the posts here it got me thinking about my former quit of 10 years. It really is true about the education fact, the MAJOR difference between that quit and this one is knowledge. I had never quit before, and I was ignorant enough to believe because of that lack of knowledge, that I could have a few cigarettes and be o.k. It wasn't even a stressful situation that got me started again. I was away with a good friend on a trip to San Francisco, and I never knew she was a closet smoker for the 8 years I had known her at that time. We were having a bottle of wine on our hotel veranda, and she said want a cigarette?? After I got over the initial shock of realizing that she smoked, I said sure why not, I'll probably hate it. Well, I didn't like it too much at first, but then over the next few days of our trip, we had a couple more together. I didn't really start smoking right away on a regular basis when we returned home. About a month or so later, I encountered a stressful situation, and now I knew she smoked, it was the first place I went. If I knew then what I know now, not only about smoking addiction but about my self being an addict, I never would have accepted that first cigarette. Quitting truly comes from within yourself, you have to truly want it, but it is such an easier and safer process with knowledge. Thank you freedom!!! Jeanne F. 4 months 4 days and 8 hours
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Joel
Joel

February 9th, 2004, 6:31 pm #69

I had one member in the group that I am graduating tonight who once had a 20 year quit. The group we have did very well, we only lost four members out of the original 28. (We had a few people who were not officially in the group, but who I was working with one on one because of travel and time issues making clinic attendance impossible.) Sadly, one of the four we lost was the person who once had the 20 year quit. No matter how long you have quit for the only way to keep this quit going and never have to face dealing with "trying" to quit again is to stick to your commitment this time to never take another puff! Joel
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Rhiannonsky
Rhiannonsky

May 18th, 2004, 10:54 am #70

Thank you for this string. It is so appropriate for me as I have lost several long term quits because I thought that I could somehow control my addiction to nicotine. I thought that I really could "just have one". However, I realize now that this is completely impossible. If I have one, I will have a pack and then I will be back to smoking full time. NTAP!!

Jen
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Joel
Joel

July 21st, 2004, 5:54 am #71

For HVillari
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Joel
Joel

August 6th, 2004, 6:48 pm #72

I was recently informed that a friend of mine referred his friend over to www.whyquit.com and Freedom. His friend was off of smoking for 20 years and recently relapsed. I wanted to pop this one to the top in the event he is reading here.
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Rickrob53 Gold
Rickrob53 Gold

September 10th, 2004, 1:38 am #73

(for anyone who has lost a quit before, and doesn't want to lose this one)


"Nicotine is nicotine is nicotine. Nicotine is stronger than you are, it has controlled you for years and maybe even decades. Even though you knew it was harming you and possibly killing you, nicotine made you keep delivering it over and over again day by day. You will not win this battle by being stronger than it, you will win it by being smarter than it. Use your intellect in this effort. Know your enemy inside and out. To stay in control, give up the idea that you can control nicotine. You can't control quantity. Your options are to smoke nothing or to smoke everything. This translates to you can stop delivering nicotine and live, or deliver it once and use it over and over again till it cripples and kills you. If you prefer the former, stay focused on to stay free of tobacco products and stay in control you must never take another puff!"

Joel
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CKay87
CKay87

September 15th, 2004, 2:09 am #74

Wow, this was a good one for me right now. I almost never come on here anymore because I am a year and a half into what feels like a very successful quit. Every now and then I'll be in a situation where others are smoking and inevitably I'll think - "hey, I could join them in just one." I never do because of the education I've received here from articles such as this one. I'm going to hang on to it - thanks so much.
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Joel
Joel

November 19th, 2004, 11:07 pm #75

One almost gold member just wrote that she had once lost a 10 year quit. Most clinics I do have at least one person who once lost a ten or more year quit. My last group had one man who had lost an 18 year quit. I have had two people in the past three years who had both lost 35 year quits. Any person can lose their quit no matter how long they have been off if they ever drop their guard. On the same token though, any person who has quit can maintain that quit forever if he or she simply keeps his of her ammunition reinforced and sticks to his or her commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Rickrob53 Gold
Rickrob53 Gold

March 16th, 2005, 2:31 am #76

(be sure to go to the beginning by clicking on First down below)
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ivanochiki007
ivanochiki007

May 18th, 2005, 8:30 am #77

" What I always thought was the greatest indicator of the addictive nature of nicotine is not how hard it is to quit. I think what better illustrates it is how easy it is to go back. That after being off for months, years, or even decades does not render a person "cured.""
The words above are so very true. I didn't find quitting that difficult. I have quit several times, for periods up to three years. So why go back?? Because it is an addiction and I will never be completely cured.
But this time I am not giving up. It is not difficult. I don't want to become a smoker again, so I will NEVER take another puff.
And why should I? It is not worth dying for! Ivano - free since April 6
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Joel
Joel

September 17th, 2005, 7:10 pm #78

Nicotine is nicotine is nicotine. Nicotine is stronger than you are, it has controlled you for years and maybe even decades. Even though you knew it was harming you and possibly killing you, nicotine made you keep delivering it over and over again day by day. You will not win this battle by being stronger than it, you will win it by being smarter than it. Use your intellect in this effort. Know your enemy inside and out. To stay in control, give up the idea that you can control nicotine. You can't control quantity. Your options are to smoke nothing or to smoke everything. This translates to you can stop delivering nicotine and live, or deliver it once and use it over and over again till it cripples and kills you. If you prefer the former, stay focused on to stay free of tobacco products and stay in control you must never take another puff!

Joel
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Gormo Gold
Gormo Gold

September 17th, 2005, 10:24 pm #79

Thanks Joel

Most appropriate for me today at Gold times three.

Gormo
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Joel
Joel

October 17th, 2005, 10:38 pm #80

Being that I am bringing up a few posts relating to Peter Jenning's experience, I thought that this string seemed very appropriate to pop up. Peter Jennings had a 20 year quit that he lost during.

s it said in a Newsweek article just after the time of his death:
On April 5, 2005, he appeared, haggard and hoarse, for the for final time on television and explain what happened. "Yes, I was a smoker until about twenty years ago and I was weak and I smoked over 9/11." It is unclear how much he relapsed in the year since but he was still addicted and known to retreat into the bathroom for a furtive smoke. He began coughing and feeling fatigued last fall, but was not diagnosed until March. His cancer was inoperable, though he tried chemotherapy and experimental radiation.
Peter Jennings example here was the most high profile case I can remember of a famous person relapsing after being off for many years. No one should think though that this is a rare occurrence. At almost every clinic I do I will get multiple year quitters who relapsed, and people who are off for 5, 10, 15 or 20 year time periods are not uncommon. Since 2000 I had two people who were once off for over 35 years before relapsing.

No matter how long a person has been off, it is crucial that he or she understands that to continue to be able to stay off he or she must continue to stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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CindyL 106
CindyL 106

February 15th, 2006, 7:44 am #81

Joel....thanks for pulling this one to the top today. For me, this concept is one of the most powerful doses of truth that I've learned here at Freedom.....I previously lost a 4 and 1/2 year quit by not understanding this fundamental principle. But yesterday when I conquered one of my strongest craves during this quit, I did it by reminding myself that

"Your options are to smoke nothing or to smoke everything"

And in my mind I could just see that nasty picture of all the butts overflowing the ashtray. NTAP.
So simple and so important. Thanks!!

Cindy

I have been quit for 1 Month, 1 Week, 6 Days, 6 hours and 44 minutes. I have saved $166.04 by not smoking 1,107 cigarettes. I have saved 3 Days, 20 hours and 15 minutes of my life.
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Kristie
Kristie

March 11th, 2006, 1:27 am #82

Thanks for this Joel,
I was taking a walk this morning and thought about a cigarette. I felt aggravated that I had the thought and wondered if I would still be having these thoughts twenty years from now. However, I reasoned that I only have these thoughts once or twice a day now (after only three weeks of being nicotine free) as opposed to the constant thought of wanting to quit for who knows how many years. Even if I have to have one or two craves a day for the rest of my life, it is worth the trade of never being addicted to nicotine again. You are, so right when you say NTAP.

Kristie - Free and Healing for Twenty One Days, 14 Hours and 56 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 432 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $70.12.
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quitforgood
quitforgood

June 4th, 2006, 11:21 am #83

Thanks Joel for this post. You are right - there are only two choices, to smoke all or to smoke none. I choose none. Brenda
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chel
chel

June 4th, 2006, 6:51 pm #84

Thanks for this post I am going for lunch with my prtner who is a smoker and this is an excellent reminder that I am an addict who has no wish to be ruled by nicotine again!
I have been quit for 2 Months, 3 Weeks, 1 Day, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 51 seconds (83 days). I have saved £216.43 by not smoking 832 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Days, 21 hours and 20 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 13/03/2006 06:00
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Joel
Joel

June 4th, 2006, 8:38 pm #85

For Mary:

My guess is that lots of the people in these examples had reached the point that they "almost" never thought about smoking anymore. The operative word here is "almost." Obviously, one day they did and being that they had not had to talk themselves out of taking a puff in a long time, they were unprepared when a thought came out of nowhere. That lack of preparation cost them their quits, and in some cases, it may very well have ended up costing them their lives.

The more you can reinforce your memory of why you quit and why you wish to stay off is to continue to read and remind yourself of why you first quit and why you should still be committed to never take another puff.

Joel
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