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Below is a portion of an e-mail we received and a portion of my reply:
"I still get on my soap box when my husband and friends smoke around me. I recite stories from WhyQuit and tips from the forums. I am mostly trying to encourage them to join me in my freedom."
"So far my quit has motivated a good friend and her husband to quit and my husband's best friend has just told me he has set his quit date. I am hoping that this will be the motivation my husband needs to finally quit. He has tried a few times over the last 6 months, just not succesfully."
As for working with smokers around us, do you remember what it was like when those who used to smoke around us somehow managed to quit and were throwing it in our face, encouraging us to quit too? Somehow they seemed the worst. I believe our feelings toward them involved multiple factors.
First, they appeared to be doing something that deep down we may have then felt that we couldn't. Their excitement did little for us other than possibly generate acid producing anxieties that had us needing to smoke even more. Didn't they realize that they were toying with our personal dream of quitting, at a time of our choice and in the manner we saw fit? Why should we cast our own dream aside and take this person's advice? On top of that, if we succeeded while using their advice then they would have likely taken credit for our quitting, for the rest of our life. It would be like them having two birthdays, theirs and ours.
A drug addict's rationalizations are for the most part totally irrational but they are also totally theirs. The smart friend searches for subtle ways to allow them to include resources like Joel's Library, WhyQuit, Freedom and Ask Joel into their dream instead of replacing it. Maybe just an article printed and left for them to read, maybe an entire copy of Joel's Library (or his Never Take Another Puff book - http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf ). If you feel resistance then back track a bit by letting them know that knowledge is simply a tool to be used or ignored, that you cannot endure a single crave for them and that any victory will be 100% theirs.
Although I've never taken your seminar, you have undeniably helped me and 7 other people quit smoking in the past 38 days.
Caroline - Free and Healing for One Month, Seven Days, 18 Hours and 21 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 8 Hours, by avoiding the use of 969 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $359.15.
I decided to quit smoking to buy my brand new baby : a 2008 electric blue car. The ticket price was high, but I wanted it. I wanted it more than I wanted smoking and I knew it. I had to find $150.00 a month that I was already spending - smoking. I actually spent more than that as you can see above…
I had been a smoker for over 4 years.. not nearly the stretch as some others but I was one of those smokers. Kind of like the poster child of smokers. I was addicted - horribly addicted - I have one of those personalities… I've worked my way out of every time of addiction in my life… I mean every. I did them all alone. But smoking was different - I could buy smokes anywhere, any time. I needed help.
The first day I quit I knew I didn't want to smoke and that I wasn't going to - I just didn't know how. I didn't have a clue in fact. So I googled "how to quit smoking" and came across whyquit.com. It was exactly what I needed! I read, and read, and read. I couldn't focus, my head was in a fog, I was restless and exhausted. Then I found the timeline about how I would feel in the first 72 hours. It all became clear to me about what I had to do to ease those first 3 days and what was happening.
I'm an analyst, I love information and numbers. I saturated myself with the information, suggestions and lessons in your articles. I took them on like a new religion. I have been quit for 38 of the best days of my life because of your website.
Where do these other 7 people come in? Like I said, I took it on like a new religion. I was inadvertently preaching to the closest smokers to me. They were all in shock and awe that I had quit. I never told anyone until I was two days in. knowing myself I would had slapped anyone if I had to hear "way to go! Keep it up!!" in those first 48hrs…. These 7 people were like you describe, they didn't smoke because they wanted to but because they had to. On some level most smokers want to quit, but think they can't or don't know how. They all have confided that I just made it seem easier. They saw that I was happy and coping with not smoking, so I broke their irrational thought process of "I need to smoke because…".'
So Thank you Joel. Thank you 8x over, from all of us. Soon there will be 4 more,at least, I'm positive of it. I have started something at my company - they have no incentive policy for those who quit smoking, but human resources has started talking about it. They just never dealt with this before - an employee who quits, and gets a whole bunch more to quit too! Honestly, I don't care about incentives, I care about the people in my life and who work with me. But if this starts a movement within my company, I will be proud of not only the people who I have directly helped quit but everyone who will indirectly quit because of me.
It was never even a thought when I was going through my "Glory Week"…. People quitting because of me? Again, I never took your clinic, but your article "Come Share Your Strength Come Recognize Your Vulnerabilities" has made me want to share my story with you. So I kindly request that you share mine with those who are lucky enough to take part in your clinics in person.