How Would You Deal With the Following Situations?

The emotions that flow from nicotine cessation

How Would You Deal With the Following Situations?

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Oct 2000, 20:03 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

How would you deal with
the following situations?

Your 2-year-old is having a temper tantrum because he wants a new toy. Would you;
  1. Leave him alone until he calmed down
  2. Give into his demands
  3. Give him a tranquilizer
Your 7-year-old is anxious about next weeks' Little League tryouts. Would you;
  1. Assure him that he can do it
  2. Practice with him and tell him to try his best
  3. Give him a valium every three hours until the game
Your 14-year-old is crushed when she is not asked to the sophomore dance. Would you;
  1. Fix her up with one of your friend's children
  2. Tell her to go anyway
  3. Give her cocaine to pick up her spirits
Your 15-year-old is self-conscious about being 5 pounds overweight. Would you;
  1. Cook lower calorie meals
  2. Enroll her in a diet or exercise program
  3. Put her on appetite suppressants

All of these young people are experiencing what adults would consider "growing pains." A little time, patience and positive reassuring will help them overcome all of these difficult situations.

The fact is, as long as anyone continues to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, professionally or spiritually, they too will experience growing pains. Adults are prone to hurt, pain, sadness, depression and anxiety just as children are. These feelings are all necessary if we wish to continue to develop our minds and bodies. Without such growth, we would not experience happiness, satisfaction, contentment or purpose to their full extent.

The third choice in each of the above situations was, of course, ridiculous. We would not subject our children to chemical hazards to overcome such trivial problems. However, as adults we are fully capable of practicing such dangerous behaviors for our own relief. Take cigarette smoking as an example.

When you were still a smoker, how many times would you say you had to smoke because you were lonely and sad without your friendly cigarettes? How many times did you say that you had to smoke because of all the stress in your life? How many times did you tell yourself that many social activities were just not fun without your cigarettes? How many times did you say that you would gain too much weight if you quit smoking? All you were saying was that you needed nicotine, a drug, to overcome everyday life problems.

It was not until you were off cigarettes that you realized you could overcome such problems without smoking, and in most cases more effectively than when you were a smoker. Once you had quit you realized just how much a source of stress the habit was to you. You were caught by a socially unacceptable and physically deadly addiction and were quite often aware of it. This is when you had the desire to give them up, but thought the pain of quitting too great to even attempt it.

Even today, you probably still desire an occasional cigarette. It may be in a stressful situation, at a party after a few drinks, or at a time when you find yourself alone with nothing better to do. The fact is, there is nothing worse you can do than take a cigarette. One cigarette will not help you over the problem. In reality, it will create a new problem, a disastrous situation of a reinforced addiction, with all the physical dangers and associated dirty habits.

So, next time you have the desire for a cigarette, sit back and take a few moments to reflect upon what you are setting yourself up for. Do you need that drug? Do you want that addiction? If not, simply remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

© Joel Spitzer 1982, 2000
Last edited by Joel on 29 Jul 2009, 01:50, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

07 Oct 2000, 03:49 #2

Thank you, Joel. I needed to hear this right about now. OK, so I need to hear pretty much everything right about now, but you know what I mean... Smiles (regrettably, I am at the moment, gifless, sniffle) Peace Nomad Refusing to be seduced by the enemy for Six days, 14 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds. 264 cigarettes not smoked, saving $52.93. Life saved: 22 hours, 0 minutes.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

07 Oct 2000, 05:02 #3

Of course we would never "help" our children in a difficult situation by giving them any kind of drug - funny that we were so willing to do it to ourselves. And I would be lying if I said that a cigarette doesn't pop into my mind when I encounter something difficult or troubling even now . I hope that feeling eventually disappears. Until then...................
One month, two weeks, one day, 15 hours, 7 minutes and 0 seconds. 1165 cigarettes not smoked, saving $204.01. Life saved: 4 days, 1 hour, 5 minutes.
Last edited by Joyce on 29 Jul 2009, 01:52, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

25 Feb 2001, 23:32 #4

Some problems and feeling happening here are just life going on without smoking. Hold cigarettes accountable for what they did to you, they were controlling you, costing you a small fortune, crippling you and killing you. But they didn't cause all of lifes problems. Life itself causes its own sets of obstacle and problems. You will survive them all though as long as you remember to never take another puff!


Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:41

27 Feb 2001, 01:09 #5

Wow, that article is a great way of putting the foolishness of smoking into perspective. Thanks Joel!

I have been nicotine free for: 4W 1D 2h. I have NOT smoked 582, for a savings of $87.31. Life Saved: 2D 30m.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

27 Feb 2001, 02:02 #6

Thanks for posting this one....needed to hear it! I am getting ready for my smoking husband to come back. He knows I quit and is VERY supportive, I just don't want to cave. I know I won't just that first initial night is going to be hard, but I know I will be fine! The problems we have during smoking are there, wether we like it or not and having a cig didn't make it any better, it made it worse! Thanks Joel!
2 weeks today!!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

27 Feb 2001, 02:10 #7

Glad I saw this thread. I couldn't post this weekend because I messed up my computer and I think deleted Netscape. It's there just can't bring it up. Anyway had a really hard time this weekend, junkie thinking and all and thought a cig would help. Knew it wouldn't and I had a vivid dream last night that I smoked and kept counting the cigarettes that I smoked. I woke up this morning really upset. But this too shall pass. NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, those four words got me through the weekend. Thanks Freedom I have been Quit for: 1M 3W 1D 14h 32m 44s. I have NOT smoked 1608, for a savings of $241.22. Life Saved: 5D 14h.
Last edited by improud (golder) on 29 Jul 2009, 01:53, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Apr 2001, 21:09 #8

I am bringing this up because of the depression and medicine discussions today. I am not saying medicines are not sometimes necessary, but at the same time, I don't want people to think they are always necessary either. For initial down times encountered from quitting the feelings will normally adjust, especially if your resolve is strong and your mindset is positive. But, for some people, there are other issues that may need attention.

Again, nobody at the board can truly assess anyone else as to what they need for their specific problem. It is just improbable to really hear and understand with any accuracy the full extent of a persons feelings on line, and basically impossible to diagnose the organic basis of anything, no matter how educated a person may be.

If questions of medical or emotional issues are raised, the best advice is still for the person to seek live professional medical or psychological attention. Never feel that advising this is passing the buck, it is doing the person the best favor possible. Again, as this text talks about, some feelings in life are normal, but others may need attention and if you are ever questioning which category your specific feelings are in, get checked out by your medical professional to get an objective opinion.

To stay healthier and happier over your lifetime, stay on top of your life to the best of your own devices, seek help when things are beyond your grasp or control, and as far as smoking goes just always remember to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Jul 2001, 11:17 #9

We must be careful not to assume all bad days or feelings are from not smoking. Life too goes on and has its moments. The important thing is to recognize how to deal with times of adversity as an free and independent adult, as opposed to an addict uising a drug to escape dealing with lifes pitfalls.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Jan 2004, 22:07 #10

  • Is there any guarantee that you'd ever come this far again?
  • Your brain was tuned and conditioned to function around nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life. What would be different next time?
  • How much more time do you have before risking being among the one-quarter of adult nicotine smokers who fail to live beyond middle-age, or the half for whom a birthday near their 60th is the last they'll ever see?
  • What chemical is worth surrenduring up to one-third of your functional lung capacity and a substantial portion of your ability to smell and taste?

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Aug 2005, 02:08 #11

From the string "If they ever cure lung cancer, I am going back to smoking!"
From: Joel Sent: 8/16/2005 12:59 PM
I am typing in the following paragraph from the current issue of Newsweek:
Talking about Peter Jennings:
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 an operable, though he tried chemotherapy and experimental radiation.
I thought the following strings would be appropriate to attach here in lieu of the phrasing of the highlighted sentence:

Law of addiction
Words that translate to "r e l a p s e"
The relapse of a "social smoker"
Past failures
Closet smokers - a hidden or secret addiction
I went back to smoking when I was in the hospital with pneumonia"
"Was I addicted?"
We understand why you relapsed
Is relapse a natural part of the addiction process?
Relapse - the one puff files
Relapse - there is no legitimate reason
What should I call myself

We will likely never know for sure whether or not Peter Jenning's RELAPSE was responsible for his going on to develop cancer and dying prematurely from the disease. It is relatively clear though from the comments above that his actions on September 11, 2001 resulted in him RELAPSING and that for some unspecified amount of time he continued to fight an active addiction.
Last edited by Joel on 29 Jul 2009, 02:16, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Apr 2008, 03:36 #12

I saw where a newer member was admiring another member who was quitting while dealing with a rather stressful time period. It worries me when I see comments like this because it makes me think that the person possibly feels that he or she may not be able to quit or stay off when encountering such stresses, or that it takes some extraordinary effort for people to quit or stay off under stressful times. That is not a philosophy that is really accepted here at Freedom. We feel that people can quit and stay off of smoking no matter what other situations they may encounter over their lifetime.

I am going to kick up a few other posts with this comment that all apply to this concept. It is crucial for all who read here to accept the fact that they will be able to stay off smoking under all times as long as they make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Aug 2008, 07:04 #13

Nobody should get the impression that the majority of people become clinically depressed or need medications to deal with the normal depression phase that accompanies initial smoking cessation. The fact is that only a small percentage of people will have a full-blown organic depression occurring just after quitting smoking.

But that fact is not important if you are one of these individuals. What is important is that if you believe you are organically depressed get checked out by your doctor.

Especially if you are a person with a past history of treatment for depression or if your depressive episode is lasting more than a week and is causing a real disruption in your life, get checked out. You may indeed benefit from treatment or maybe your physician will just give you the reassurance that you are really okay. Either way it doesn't hurt to get the situation professionally assessed.


Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 06:57

19 Nov 2009, 13:11 #14

Why do I smoke?

You smoke because you're a smoke-a-holic

Junkie thinking.....

Romancing the drug, recognizing the junkie

"Smoking IS easier than not smoking"


Smoking nicotine is not the answer to any of life's challenges or problems. Nicotine smoking IS a problem, a deadly one. Work your way through this temporary period of adjustment and learn again to live free of the boundary that chemical dependency upon nicotine place on your life. It really is better to live comfortably free than live in constant withdrawal and active dependency. Decide to not take a puff today. Allow your brain to normalize and Restore volume control in your reward pathways. You'll be forever grateful that you held true to your personal promise to not allow nicotine into your life again - One day at a time .

JoeJ Free - Recovered Me Four Years, Ten Months, Eight Days, 21 Hours and 56 Minutes ago. I've now reclaimed 320 Days and 6 Hours of my life's time, by choosing to not use of 46122 death delivery devices and accumulated $12,413.40 in the 'freedom dividend' account.

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

19 Nov 2009, 14:55 #15

From above:

"I used to use cigarettes to "pull myself together", to get that little break that spikes up concentration/awareness, get focused."

Other related resources:

Smoking Breaks

It is amazing what the logic of a smoker is in regarding these little breaks. It starts with a smoker popping into drug withdrawal, breaking his or her train of thought or physical stride, and then saying or thinking to himself or herself, "Oh, I think I need a break, I better go get a cigarette."

What you will soon realize after quitting is that you will all of a sudden start projects and then follow them through to completion without taking these breaks. You will generally get them done significantly faster and more accurately for you won't have those constant breaks distracting you from the projects. Soon you will realize the truth of what smoking was doing to you time wise all those years.

It was never that you were needing a break and thus going for cigarettes. It was that you were NEEDING cigarettes and then having to take breaks. The week you quit your efficiency may suffer, but you will make up for that lost time in a matter of days, and soon you will find yourself a more efficient person for the rest of your life.

To keep this newfound efficiency, as well as all of the other benefits of no longer being controlled by cigarettes is as simple as always remembering now to never take another puff!


Related video:

Video Title Dial Up High Speed MP3 Audio Length Created
"I'll never be as productive again if I quit smoking" 2.95mb 08.8mb 3.63.mb 08:01 11/24/06

I have to smoke because of all my stress
I Have to Smoke
Because of All My Stress!

Stress is considered a cause for smoking by many people. Actually, smoking is a cause of stress. Recent correspondence dealt with reasons people give for going back to smoking: social situations, parties, alcohol consumption and stress. This month I wish to amplify on stress.

In January of 1979, Chicago and vicinity was devastated by a major blizzard. Heavy snows fell just after the New Year crippling the area. Additional snowfall continued throughout the week. During this time period I was barraged with phone calls from participants of the November, 1978 clinic claiming to be terribly nervous, upset and anxious from "not smoking." Curiously, most of them were feeling well during the month of December. They had occasional urges which lasted only seconds and were quite easy to overcome. What they were experiencing in January was different. Many felt that they were on the verge of cracking up. To them life was "just no good" without their cigarettes. Was the anxiety they were now experiencing really a side effect from giving up smoking?

To any outside observer the answer to the mysterious intensification of perceived withdrawal was obvious. In fact, if our ex-smokers listened to radio or television or read the front page of any newspaper, they would have encountered a story on cabin fever. By simply comparing their symptoms with those accompanying cabin fever they would understand what was happening.

Attributing the anxiety to smoking cessation was transference of blame. In fact, they were having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation - confinement due to the blizzard. They would have had the same anxiety whether or not they had given up cigarettes.

The above story illustrates an atypical time period in which numerous people experience similar complaints. In everyday life inherent problems exist. Work, family, friends, and money can all contribute to daily distress. Ex-smokers often think that if they just take a cigarette during a stressful episode the situation will be solved. For example, consider a person who finds he has a flat tire in a parking lot during a freezing rain. When encountering this kind of misfortune, the ex-smoker's first reaction often is, "I need a cigarette." What will actually solve this problem is changing the tire, and driving off in a warm car. What would a cigarette do to help this situation? It only makes the person see the flat tire longer and freeze more. This adds up to greater frustration. The first puff will probably reinforce the addiction to cigarettes which is a much greater crisis than the flat tire ever was. In fact, taking the first puff almost always results in a bigger problem than the crisis that "caused" them to take the puff. Even in a real catastrophe, such as a death in the family, injuries, illnesses, flooding resulting in major property loss, bankruptcy and so on, a cigarette will not solve the problem. It will just add another major problem to the originally bad situation.

Remember, smoking cannot solve problems of daily living. No matter what the problem, there is a more effective way of solving it than smoking. In fact, a smoker's health risks are a real problem that can only be solved if they - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

In the illustration above you can see on the left how a non-smokers reacts to stress. Without it they are happy and comfortable, when encountering stress they lose this comfort and depending on its severity they can get either mildly annoyed or really upset. The resolution of the stress will normally bring the non-smoker back to the original state of comfort, after a little time of cooling down of course.
Smokers are much more complex. Stress has an affect on all people--it makes the urine acidic. Both smokers and non-smokers experience this phenomena. In non-smoker smokers, the urine acidity has no real visible or perceivable effects--smokers are much more complicated. After the initial stress a smoker will feel like a non-smoker encountering stress, for a few seconds. But then the delineation occurs, the smoker's nicotine level depletes because of the urine acidity induced by the stress, and the smoker is kicked into a drug withdrawal state. The smoker has four ways to deal with the situation now.
First, the smoker can just smoke a cigarette. Well low and behold if the smoker does this he or she will feel "better." He or she will not feel good; he or she just won't be feeling withdrawal for the moment but still be feeling the initial stress. In essence, he or she will feel like a non-smoker under stress, not great, but not in withdrawal either.
The second way a smoker can handle the stress is to solve it and also smoke a cigarette. This results in one happy smoker. No stress now and no withdrawal, life is good at the moment. The feeling of bliss is basically the same feeling a non-smoker has who resolves his or her stress.
But then there are the other two scenarios. The smoker can solve the problem but not smoke. Here is the kicker here, the problem is resolved but the smoker is still in withdrawal, the nicotine level has dropped and problem resolution has no way to stop the nicotine depletion, only a cigarette can do that.
The worst of all situations is the smoker who cannot solve the problem and also cannot smoke a cigarette. This is a miserable situation to ever be in. You normally don't want to be around a smoker in this situation let alone being one yourself. Many smokers find themselves facing this dilemma daily since many jobs and social settings do not allow smoking yet constantly force the smoker to face stresses.
When you quit smoking these last four reactions to stress become a thing of the past. You still face stress, but you no longer have to face drug withdrawals induced by it. In essence you deal with stress in a totally different way when you don't have chronic drug withdrawals exaggerating it.
To stay in the position of being able to handle stresses with greater clarity and minimal discomfort always know that no matter what the stress, to avoid it having any long lasting and life threatening complications always remember to never take another puff!

Related videos:

Video Title Dial Up High Speed MP3 Audio Length Added
"I am climbing the walls because I quit smoking" 2.69mb 8.59mb 3.78mb 08:23 10/18/06
"I'll be a nervous wreck forever if I quit smoking" 3.87mb 11.55mb 4.77mb 10:30 11/29/06
Why do smokers smoke? 2.65mb 5.70mb 8.31mb 18:08 11/07/06

Joined: 17 Aug 2010, 16:35

31 Aug 2010, 16:46 #16

Another post from Joel that came along at just the right time.
Gratefully Gold

I escaped from the prison of smoking on August 14, 2010.  
[font]The best revenge is quitting well![/font] 

Joined: 07 Jan 2013, 19:17

11 Jan 2013, 01:58 #17

Thank you! This is really good for me to think about right now. I don't have a craving or desire right now, but I want to build up my defense material/education. So if I run into a battle with nicotine I'll have a really good chance of winning.

Joined: 09 Feb 2014, 01:35

11 Feb 2014, 16:26 #18

Such great ideas to keep in my head when I get the urges!!