How does your program compare to...

Welcome to Freedom, a support group dedicated to educated cold turkey nicotine dependency recovery. Prior to applying to join, it is critical that you read: (1) The Law of Addiction (2) Our Mission Statement (3) Relapse Policy and (4) Rules.

How does your program compare to...

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Oct 2003, 20:50 #1

I saw a new member who just put up her first post who wrote that she has tried everything else to quit smoking. I thought this letter I wrote back in 1989 about my live clinics would add some perspective to this thought. I often think people kick themselves for wasting so much time with multiple previous attempts utilizing methods that proved to be less than successful. It may in fact have been necessary to do these other quick fix or easy quitting methods first. The same principles that applied to my live clinic participants apply to our members and readers here at Freedom too.

How does your program compare to...

"How does your program compare to hypnosis or acupuncture?" "Do you know anything about the single session treatment program advertised on the radio?" "I hear they have in patient treatment program at another hospital, what do you think of that for quitting smoking?" "My doctor said I should try nicotine gum, do you agree?" "I hear there are programs which promise no withdrawal or weight gain." "How about the shock treatments with money back guarantees?" "Why should I choose you over the free program offered at...?" Almost daily we will receive calls asking at least one of these questions. It seems everyone wants us to compare what we do with that of other "treatment" strategies. While the specific questions vary, my advice is inevitably the same. If you are considering us or another program, go to them first.

People seem to be surprised at this advice. I think some wonder whether or not I am receiving a kickback from the other organization. But money is not the factor influencing the advice to seek help elsewhere before attempting us. Or maybe they think I can't defend our program over the other "proven" method. This assumption is also incorrect. Why then, am I willingly turning away potential customers to the local competition?

Anyone who has gone through our clinic will attest that participation in our program requires a 100% effort and commitment to attempt quitting. That is not to say that every participant must know before hand that he is going to stop. The person must be resolved to the fact that he will try as hard as he can to stop for just two weeks, a day at a time. Then, once past the initial withdrawal syndrome, he can decide whether or not he truly wishes to smoke. We want him reach the point where he has a free choice. But he must base his decision on his true options, smoke nothing or everything, there is no in-between.

Anyone coming into our program with a backup method in mind, is not normally willing to give the 100% necessary to break the initial grip. When things start getting tough, which they almost inevitable do, the person just throws in the towel and takes a puff with the idea that it is no big loss, he will just try the other program next time. But his assessment is grossly mistaken--taking that first puff may very well be the biggest mistakes he ever made in his life--one that may in fact cost him his life. He may never again have the desire, strength, or opportunity to quit again.

What of his hypothesis that the other program will probably work better for him. Well, let it suffice to say, that when I suggest that a smoker goes to another program to quit before coming to ours, I am not really worried about losing potential income. I am just postponing when I may actually meet and work with the individual. In fact, the odds are, our price will increase significantly by that time and they are usually willing to pay. In the interim, they spent hundreds to thousands of dollars trying all these magical programs or feeding their addiction.

But money is not the major factor which needs to be considered. Smoking an extra five years, 10 months, or even a few weeks carries a potential risk. You just don't know which cigarette may be the one to initiate an irreversible process, such as cancer or a fatal heart attack or stroke. Every day you puff these risks remain high. But the day you stop, you begin to reduce your risks, and eventually, they can drop to that of a person who never smoked a day in his life. Then, to keep your risk as low as possible and to never again have to go through the quitting process, simply NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 May 2004, 07:41 #2

I see the topic of hypnosis was brought up today. I thought this article seemed appropriate to bring up in lieu of this.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jul 2004, 19:02 #3

Image If a person is determined to use NRT's or other pharmaceuticals or cut down approaches or hypnosis or any other gimmicks there is not much that you can do about it. Trying to get a person to go cold-turkey who already has a back up plan in their head may be undercutting their chance of long-term success. As long as they have a back up method they are not likely going to put in the 100% effort necessary to succeed in quitting. You almost need to let them use their alternative approach so that they recognize that it does not work for them. Then IF they get to a point of wanting to quit again they may be more ready to do what really needs to be done which is simply to stop the administration of nicotine. For time sake I am lifting a section from above:

Anyone coming into our program with a backup method in mind, is not normally willing to give the 100% necessary to break the initial grip. When things start getting tough, which they almost inevitable do, the person just throws in the towel and takes a puff with the idea that it is no big loss, he will just try the other program next time. But his assessment is grossly mistaken--taking that first puff may very well be the biggest mistakes he ever made in his life--one that may in fact cost him his life. He may never again have the desire, strength, or opportunity to quit again.

What of his hypothesis that the other program will probably work better for him. Well, let it suffice to say, that when I suggest that a smoker goes to another program to quit before coming to ours, I am not really worried about losing potential income. I am just postponing when I may actually meet and work with the individual. In fact, the odds are, our price will increase significantly by that time and they are usually willing to pay. In the interim, they spent hundreds to thousands of dollars trying all these magical programs or feeding their addiction.

But money is not the major factor which needs to be considered. Smoking an extra five years, 10 months, or even a few weeks carries a potential risk. You just don't know which cigarette may be the one to initiate an irreversible process, such as cancer or a fatal heart attack or stroke. Every day you puff these risks remain high. But the day you stop, you begin to reduce your risks, and eventually, they can drop to that of a person who never smoked a day in his life. Then, to keep your risk as low as possible and to never again have to go through the quitting process, simply NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Apr 2005, 05:27 #4

Image I see where a new member recently got hypnotized to quit. I thought it was important for all others reading here today to realize that there are alternative methods used to quit. It is also important to know that most people who use these alternative methods do not end up succeeding over the long-term.
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Lottie381
Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 00:18

30 Apr 2005, 15:51 #5

Thanks Joel for the reminder that positive reinforcement (hypnosis) *and*
cold turkey may not work for me or anyone else. It really helped me on day
eight of my nicotine free life.

Is there a significant downside to spending 20 mins a day listening to a
tape that encourages me to relax and also educates me on the ravaging
effects of smoking while I quit with no NRT no other pharmaceutical
assistance?

Regardless, I will never take another puff.

Best to all

Lottie
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Apr 2005, 19:42 #6

Hello Lottie:

I actually have never listened to the any of the tapes that have been developed for smoking cessation and I am not sure what they all say in them. There are so many different type of conventional wisdoms shared in most smoking cessation literature--concepts that may very well undercut a quit if taken to heart. See the post The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom

In almost all professional print literature produced on smoking cessation there is the concept stated that if a person "slips", he or she should not let it undercut his or her quit. In essence, that one piece of advice has given the person the permission to slip and not relapse. I do not know if your tape has that kind of advice or concept shared, or any other kind that may be contraindicated. If it does and you take the advice to heart it could very well undercut your quit one day.

Another reason that we do not endorse tapes or books or other services is that we don't want any of our members or readers to feel that they need to spend a penny on anything to quit smoking. There may be some members that have used tapes or went for hypnosis, but the vast majority of people at our site did not. When it comes down to it the vast majority of long-term successful ex-smokers in the world did not use these techniques either. Also, the majority of people who did utilize these products or services as their sole support failed in their attempts. Under these conditions I see many of these services and products as a waste of money and we do not want any of our members or readers wasting any of their money by concepts that they learn here at Freedom.

The last thing I think is worth pointing out is that I would advice any person who is allocating 20 minutes a day to support his or her long-term success to spend that time reinforcing his or her resolve at a thoroughly conscious level reinforcing his or her understanding as to why he or she quit and why he or she still wishes to remain smoke free. I think reading at Freedom and www.whyquit.com is much more likely to accomplish this goal than listening to the ocean.

The concept that you need a tape to relax after quitting is likely perpetuating the myth that you are going to be more nervous because of quitting. The majority of people who successfully get nicotine out of their body and keep nicotine out end up being calmer for they are no longer experiencing the active addiction that they had sustained for years or decades while using. See I have to smoke because of all my stress

The way to keep your quit alive and well, and likely, you along with it, is to continue to reinforce your understanding of nicotine addiction and your reasons for having quit and to keep reminding yourself of the benefits that you continue to derive from sticking to your personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Aug 2008, 23:39 #7

I see where a newer member once used acupuncture to quit. I thought it was important for all others reading here today to realize that there are alternative methods used to quit. It is also important to know that most people who use these alternative methods do not end up succeeding over the long-term. See "Is cold turkey the only way to quit"
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Aug 2008, 23:45 #8

Last edited by Joel on 07 Nov 2009, 13:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Sep 2008, 02:31 #9

From above:
I see where a newer member once used acupuncture to quit. I thought it was important for all others reading here today to realize that there are alternative methods used to quit. It is also important to know that most people who use these alternative methods do not end up succeeding over the long-term.
Related readings:
Is cold turkey the only way to quit?
So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?
Last edited by Joel on 07 Nov 2009, 13:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

23 Jan 2011, 14:28 #10

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