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

JoeJFree Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Nov 2007, 11:38 #91

"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!


JoeJFree Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Feb 2008, 21:46 #92

You can't simply 'lose' your Freedom from nicotine.
You - and only you - must first decide  to give it away.
Freedom from nicotine is a priceless gift that we give ourselves.
Choose to retain your Freedom by never taking another puff.......and be free.
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 03 Aug 2011, 20:02, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 May 2008, 09:51 #93

From above:

From: Joel. Sent: 1/26/2003 10:20 PM

I saw where a new member wrote that she was getting intimidated by reading about all of our lost long-term quits. I think she might have read this thread. Please look at the original dates of this thread, it refers to what Freedom was like when we didn't have our current policies in place. People did indeed relapse in numbers. That does not happen anymore because we have got our membership understanding from the day they join that the only way they can keep their membership, and more importantly, the only way they can keep their quit is to stay 100% committed to never take another puff!


Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 01:37

31 Dec 2008, 13:19 #94

this post needs to be up top for the holidays.i have to get up every morning and tell myself no nicotene today.i always go to bed at nite thankfull i am still free from nicotene.everybody have a great new year and ntap.ed 10 weeks free from nicoteneImage

Joined: 15 Jan 2011, 18:31

09 Feb 2011, 18:37 #95

One that scares me , but makes me remember to keep my guard up and NTAP

Joined: 18 May 2012, 15:22

19 May 2012, 19:46 #96

I relapsed after approximately 7 years quit, I thought I could do it, be a 'social smoker'.  I didnt think of smoking all the other cigarettes, just the one I 'wanted' at that time (a new year party).  I can understand why people may be disheartened by peoples stories of relapse, but I think like Joel says, we can learn from them, so I really think it is scary and if this is your first quit learn from those of us who have failed before and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.  It is easy to become complacent after a few years of a quit, you think you couldnt possibly be hooked! You have quit for this long one little smoke isnt going to set you back again!  IT DOES!  all the way back.  Something which is really helping me this time is 'yes I want one, but I DONT want all the others that go with it, no thanks!'  Dont be to proud to learn from other people

4days 21hrs 45mins 49 not smoked £15.91 not spent!

Judy Anderson
Joined: 03 Jul 2013, 14:10

12 Aug 2013, 20:07 #97

After 18 years of smoking 2 packs of Lucky Strikes a day I quit for 20 years and took one puff in 2000. I smoked again for 13 years 1 - 1 1/2 packs, filters this time. I thought after 20 years I could just be a social smoker, or at least just see what it was like, never thinking I would "revert" back to the old "habit". Well I learned it was more than a habit and that I was an addict, and that was the proof. The last 13 years I have wanted to quit, I tried many times, it seemed harder. I found this Freedom website through the YouTube videos by Joel while searching on line for quitting smoking "tips". Through my own experience, this website and Joel's videos I have been armed and educated. I will  never take another puff because I now know that I am an addict for life and 1 cigarette = all.

I quit nicotine 7 weeks and 2 days ago with the help of Freedom and all the education and posts I found and have been reading here. Every day is so much easier. I have gone more than half a day without even thinking of a cigarette, and when I do the thought is usually about surprising myself that I have not thought of one, no craves but occassionaly a want which I immediately throw out. I used to think of smoking every 20 minutes or so. I like not smoking better, plus I feel richer! 

Joined: 31 Aug 2013, 20:23

20 Sep 2013, 14:50 #98

I'm 40 + days into my quit. I think it's the longest I've ever gone without a smoke in my 35 years of the addiction. In this thread I found what I needed to see as it relates to relapsing. Thanks for the letter Joel and to all the folks before me who give me the inspiration to carry on.


Joined: 21 Oct 2013, 05:23

16 Nov 2013, 06:07 #99

I like Ben above am in the second month of my quit (by a wiska!). In my many previous attempts I could never manage even 24 hours! I am finding that I reinforce my quit every morning when I wake up because the thought of being Nicotine free excites me and the thought of the prospect of losing my quit would destroy me. I mean seriously if I could convince myself on more than 50 instances over the last 40 years to take another puff within 24 hours of giving up I would have to be insane to let this achievement be destroyed!
Frank - NTAP

Kara Free
Joined: 25 Sep 2013, 04:35

16 Nov 2013, 23:26 #100

I too am entering my 2nd month (today) without nicotine.  I realised a couple of days ago that I had gone a whole day without a crave. That was amazing.  This morning I nearly forgot to renew my daily vow to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! So I thought it was time to check in and get some reinforcement.  I need to keep remembering how awful it was to be a slave to my addiction, so that I can continue to enjoy this wonderful FREEDOM that I have been experiencing for the past one month, twenty nine days and 24 minutes. I am more grateful than words can express for Joel's videos, the Whyquit.com website, this Freedom message board & all the people who have walked this path before me and left behind their wisdom and encouragement.