Joel quoted in Senator Obama quitting story

Joel quoted in Senator Obama quitting story

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2007, 23:34 #1

For readers outside the U.S., Senator Barack Obama is a young Chicago politician running for President of the United States. As you read the below story try to pick-up on all the factors that are contrary to the lessons taught here at Freedom. Start with the story's title and the reporter's obvious beliefs about true chemical dependency. Whether famous or not, the law of addiction treats all equally. Still just one guiding principle ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!

John (Gold x7)

Obama tries to drop dirty little vice
His smoking will either humanize him
or hurt his image in a presidential run, experts say

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2007, 23:53 #2

I am going to attach a number of articles and links to this string. We want to be careful with how this string is used, because by our very design, we keep out of political issues here at Freedom.

As far as we are concerned, the reason that this story is noteworthy here at Freedom is not because it is a person from one political party who is considering a candidacy for the presidency of the United States, but rather because it is the story of a high profile figure who is trying to quit smoking.

We suspect that he is getting from his advisors and family members what is considered the best state of the art advice on how he should quit smoking. Unfortunately, the best state of the art advice on smoking cessation is often a recipe for a prolonged withdrawal state and often results in failure. The articles and links I will attach below will be addressing these issues.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2007, 23:55 #3

Quote from the above article:
"Most smokers who try don't succeed the first time. But the more you try, the more likely you are to succeed."
If this is your first time quitting ...

You can quit your first time. You will hear lots of material to the contrary; that you have to quit over and over until it finally takes. It is a common misconception being perpetrated by many sites and even professional clinics and organization basically explaining why people quitting using such programs or approaches don't often seem to succeed.

The idea that you "can't" quit the first time is absolutely wrong. The only reason it takes most people multiple attempts to quit is that they don't understand the addiction to nicotine. How could they, no one really teaches it. People had to learn by screwing up one attempt after another until it finally dawns on them how each time they lost it, it happened by taking a puff. If you understand this concept from the get go, you don't have to go through chronic quitting and smoking.

So learn from other people's mistakes, not your own. Going through a quit once is bad enough, going through it over and over again is horrible and should be avoided at all costs. The way to avoid it is to always remember to never take another puff!.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2007, 23:58 #4

...his wife, Michelle, persuaded him to quit.
"My wife wisely indicated that this is a potentially stressful situation, running for president," he said Tuesday. "She wanted to lay down a very clear marker that she wants me healthy."
Quitting for Others

"My husband can't stand it when I smoke - that is why I quit." "My wife is trying to quit, so I will stop just to support her." "My kids get sick when I smoke in front of them. They cough, sneeze, and nag me to death. I quit for them." "My doctor told me not to smoke as long as I am his patient, so I quit to get him off my back." "I quit for my dog."

All these people may have given up smoking, but they have done it for the wrong reason. While they may have gotten through the initial withdrawal process, if they don't change their primary motivation for abstaining from smoking, they will inevitably relapse. Contrary to popular belief, the important measure of success in smoking cessation is not getting off of cigarettes, but rather the ability to stay off.

A smoker may quit temporarily for the sake of a significant other, but he will feel as if he is depriving himself of something he truly wants. This feeling of deprivation will ultimately cause him to return to smoking. All that has to happen is for the person who he quit for to do something wrong, or just disappoint him. His response will be, "I deprived myself of my cigarettes for you and look how you pay me back! I'll show you, I will take a cigarette!" He will show them nothing. He is the one who will return to smoking and suffer the consequences. He will either smoke until it kills him or have to quit again. Neither alternative will be pleasant.

It is imperative for him to come to the realization that the primary benefactor in his giving up smoking is himself. True, his family and friends will benefit, but he will feel happier, healthier, calmer and in control of his life. This results in pride and a greatly improved self-esteem. Instead of feeling deprived of cigarettes, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction.

So, always keep in mind that you quit smoking for you. Even if no one else offers praise or encouragement, pat yourself on the back for taking such good care of yourself. Realize how good you are to yourself for having broken free from such a destructive addiction. Be proud and remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

My Support Group is Responsible!

Case 1: Case 2:
"How do you expect me to quit smoking? All of my family, friends, and work associates smoke. Whenever I try to quit they all try to sabotage my efforts. With support like that, I can't quit smoking!" "I know I will quit. Nobody wants me to smoke. My kids beg me to stop, my husband hates it when I smoke, and we're not allowed to smoke at work. I feel like a social outcast wherever I go. With all those people on my back, I know I won't fail in quitting!"

In both of the above cases, the smoker is wrong in their assessment of whether or not they can actually quit smoking. Success in quitting smoking is not primarily determined by significant others. It is based on the strength of the smoker's own desire to quit.

In case one, the smoker is blaming his failure on lack of support and actual sabotage attempts by others. But not one of these people physically forced a lit cigarette into his mouth and made him inhale. Considering that the only way he could reinforce his nicotine addiction is by inhaling a cigarette, none of his smoking associates had the final say on his success or failure.

Case two, on the other hand, was working under the false assumption that quitting smoking would be a breeze since everybody would support her because they hated her smoking. Not once, though, did she say that she actually wanted to stop for herself. She was stopping because everyone else wanted her to. In essence, she was depriving herself of her cigarettes to make everybody else happy. While she may not have lit up when surrounded by others, sooner or later she would be alone. With no one around, what personal reason does she have to strengthen her resolve not to take a cigarette?

When you joined our clinic, you may have initially blamed others for your failure or erroneously credited the clinic and others with your success. No one failed or succeeded for you. You did it. While significant others can influence how easy or difficult quitting will be, your own personal resolve is the major determinant of success or failure.

If you failed when you tried in the past, stop blaming others. Realize that your personal desire to stop was not strong enough to overcome the powerful grip cigarettes exerted on you. Rather than making one half hearted attempt after another, make a personal assessment of why you smoke and why you wish to stop. If your personal reasons are good enough, then try to stop. As long as your ammunition is strong, no one will be able to make you smoke.

On the other hand, if you quit, don't feel that the clinic or any one else made you do it. You broke free from a powerful addiction. You did it by making up your own mind, throwing out your cigarettes, and refusing to take another one no matter how much temptation you faced. For this you should be proud. And to maintain that pride for the rest of your life - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2007, 23:59 #5

"My wife wisely indicated that this is a potentially stressful situation, running for president," he said Tuesday."
I Will Quit When...

"I will quit when my doctor tells me I have to." "I can't quit now it's tax season." "Maybe I will quit on vacation." "School is starting and I'm too nervous to quit." "I will quit in the summer when I can exercise more." "When conditions improve at work, I will stop." "Quit now, during midterm, you must be nuts!" "Maybe after my daughters wedding." "My father is in the hospital. I can't quit now." "If I quit now, it will spoil the whole trip." "The doctor says I need surgery. I'm too nervous to try now." "When I lose 15 pounds, I will stop." "I am making too many other changes to stop now." "I have smoked for years and feel fine, why should I stop smoking now?" "I'm in the process of moving, and it's a real headache. I can't stop now." "It is too soon after my new promotion, when things settle down I will stop." "When we have a verifiable bilateral disarmament agreement, I will consider quitting." "It is too late. I'm as good as dead now."

Amazing, isn't it, how so many people can come up with so many excuses not to stop smoking? If any of these were valid reasons why now is not a good time to quit, when did 47,000,000 ex-smokers in our country stop? They must have been experiencing at least one of these situations during the initial quitting process. The only difference between successful ex-smokers and the smokers making these statements is that the ex-smokers were bright enough to recognize that smoking was not really necessary to deal with any of these situations.

The best time to quit is NOW. No matter when now is. In fact, many of the times specifically stated as bad times to quit may be the best. I actually prefer that people quit when experiencing some degree of emotional stress. In most cases, the more stress the better. This may sound harsh, but in the long run it will vastly improve the chances of long term success in abstaining from cigarettes.

When people quit at an easy time in their lives, they begin to feel comfortable as ex-smokers as long as no problems surface. But there is always the fear that when things get difficult they will not be able to cope without cigarettes. Many, when facing their first real catastrophe, return to smoking because they were not equipped to deal with real stress as ex-smokers.

If, on the other hand, they had quit during a difficult time, they would have realized that even under severe emotional stress life goes on without smoking. They will be secure in the knowledge that they can deal with crisis, any crisis, as non-smokers. Once they overcame the initial quitting process they found they were able to deal with stress better. They were able to meet the physical and emotional demands in their lives more efficiently than when they were smokers. They were truly better equipped for survival in our complicated world without the "help" of cigarettes.

So, no matter what is going on in your life, quit smoking. When things get tough - show yourself how tough you are. And once off smoking, deal with all future problems in as constructive a manner as you possibly can, always keeping one essential stress management technique foremost in your mind - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2007, 00:02 #6

"A presidential candidate would not want to be seen as lacking strong will or lacking determination."

From the string Stronger or smarter?

From: Hillbilly(Gold) (Original Message) Sent: 7/21/2002 3:39 PM
I just had a conversation with a fellow ex-smoker about being stronger than our addiction, and it got me to thinking.

I don't think I will ever be stronger than my addiction to nicotine. This really bothered my fellow ex, but here is what I mean. There were several times early in my quit when I stormed out the door headed for a grocery, gas station, bar, etc. to buy a pack of smokes. I'd had it, was through, this isn't going to work, I can never quit, you name the relapse excuse, I made it. One night I even called Joel at home to tell him. Thank goodness he wasn't home, I would have never heard the end of it.

Each time, before I got to the point of buying a pack, my education kicked in and I calmed down and went back home. Each of these times, if there had been a pack lying in front of me, I probably would have smoked, and would still be smoking today, in full relapse.

That's what I mean by being smarter than the addiction. By not having them handy, I had to leave, thus giving myself time to think things through rationally. I had come that far, why not give it another day. I can always start back tomorrow, I'll just not smoke today, etc.

Nicotine cessation is not like dieting. I've done both and trust me, it's not the same. I lost 56 pounds over a three year period. All through that dieting stage, I would always look forward to Friday night. On Fridays I could eat and drink anything I wanted. It kept me from feeling too deprived, and it worked.

The difference is, with nicotine there can be no Friday nights. One puff turns into 60 smokes a day. There is no feeling deprived, there can be no relapse. For the first few weeks, that's tough, real tough. No one is that strong, so we have to be smarter. Smart enough to not carry temptation around with us, smart enough not to go to smoke-filled bars if we're not ready, smart enough to avoid smoking friends if we're not ready.

After a while, when the baby steps get longer, we go to our favorite bar, meet our smoking friends, look temptation in the eye and defeat it when we're ready, on our own terms. That's what I mean by being smarter. When we've been quit for five years and the temptation hits one night to just have one for old times sake, education tells us it won't/can't work--one puff equals 60 per day, for the rest of our lives.

Nicotine addiction can be defeated, but not by being stronger. We can be stronger MOST of the time, but not ALL of the time. That's what I mean by we have to be smarter.

Image Dave

Also, a comment I wrote in that original string of Dave's:
ImageRecommend Message 5 of 92 in Discussion
From: Joel. Sent: 7/22/2002 5:58 AM
Hello Dave:

I actually wrote a few responses to other people's posts on this very issue in the past but for the life of me I can't remember when or to who. It may very well have been here before you were ever a member. The fact is that you overcome nicotine addiction by being smarter than nicotine not stronger than nicotine. If a person were stronger than his or her addiction he or she would have controlled smoking at a level of one or two a day or one or two a week. People here lost their ability to do that--most years or decades ago. It is because they crossed a line of addiction and now nicotine became much stronger than the individual.

But no smoker is doomed to be a smoker because they are weaker than nicotine for if they become educated and then stay smarter as you say, they have the tools to in place to keep control over their addiction. Every one of our members prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt every day they stay smoke free.

The other important point you raised here is that nicotine cessation is not like dieting. In a way though it is easier--for the battle line between total success and total failure is much more clearly defined. The string Why so hard on cheating? addresses this discrepancy.

Hang in there Dave. These little self realizations help clearly define the problem of nicotine addiction. The more you learn and realize about what smoking really was, the better equipped you will stay to make this quit the last quit you will ever have to do because you will happily stick to your commitment to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2007, 00:04 #7


kattatonic1 gold4
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Apr 2007, 09:01 #8

Oh John, that's exciting! I imagine he has a lot to read, but I really hope he reads it. There could be a trickle past him personally quitting because he is seeking office.

Like Eric, earlier this month I emailed Mr Obama through the contact feature on his website. I tried to get his attention in a brief note. That's a real challenge. This is what I said:

Regarding Health Care: Dear Mr. Obama, please be aware that using nicotine gum is merely another way of ingesting nicotine, not the stop smoking aid as advertised. Does it make sense to give alcoholics an alcohol gum? Heroin addicts a heroin gum? You are in constant withdrawal. 93% of successful long-term quitters quit Cold Turkey. The first 72 hours may be challenging, but you can do it and you will save yourself months of withdrawal. Feel free to contact me for support or more information. Also, read here:, regards, Kathleen Craig, nicotine free for over 3 years and no looking back.

Maybe if he keeps hearing about the success of Cold Turkey, he will look into it.

Kay (Gold x 3)

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Apr 2007, 17:38 #9

Excellent, Excellent Kay!!!!! To reinforce your point about alcohol gum, below is an email I received yesterday. From postings here at Freedom it's clear that many are attempting to reach out to those for whom that next nicotine feeding is still their #1 priority in life. In fact it's higher than that -- off the scale -- as they know that it may cost them life itself. But to their untrained and chemically captive mind's eye, at this moment accepting all the negatives associated with that next feeding is vastly easier than the combined effect of successfully navigating withdrawal and the even more frightening prospect, the thought that they'll be leaving a massive part of who they are behind them. Their brain's "pay attention" pathways have convinced them that smoked nicotine defines who they are, gives them their edge and that life without it won't be as good.

But don't get frustrated. Until a moment of braveness, when willing to briefly venture beyond denial, connecting with them can seem nearly as impossible as to what their mind's eye worries may be impossible too. Their circular "pay attention" dopamine pathway captivy is actually feeding upon itself. If we could only let them briefly climb inside a recovered mind and feel the calm and quiet of again residing on Easy Street ...... well ....... we can't. I guess we'll just have to keep sharing copies of the ebook "Never Take Another Puff!" John


Thanks for the email and ebook. I would be a good "example" in regards to how the nicotine replacement products can actually be more Image harmful than helpful. I have been messing with the gum and patches for over 10 years now. Again, I became addicted to nicotine while chewing tobacco over a period of about 5 years. After 5 years of chewing tobacco, I wanted to quit, so I turned to what was then a new product, the nicotine gum.

I started out with the 4mg and chewed it like regular gum. I had to in order to keep the level of nicotine in my body that I was accustomed to. I have been chewing the gum now for a period of over 10 years! I can assure you that it's every bit as addictive, if not more so, than chewing tobacco was. When I would drink alcohol, I would need to increase the number of pieces of gum or even smoke a cigarette to keep the nicotine at a level that didn't make my body feel uncomfortable. Having never been a smoker, I began using cigarettes when I would drink alcohol. When I attempted to quit the gum, I went from the 4 mg to the 2mg thinking that would be a step in the right direction - I just chewed more pieces. I have attempted to get off the gum several times and have actually had to use a nicotine patch to try to calm my withdrawal from the gum. Isn't that ridiculous - having to use the patch to get off the gum?

Right now I am in my 2nd day of quitting. I am experiencing severe nicotine withdrawal including headaches, irritability, trouble with concentrating & sleeplessness. Please feel free to use this information but just use my first name of "Frank" and not my last name. Again, I would be a great case study for you if would like to check on my progress. I know that there are quite a few people addicted to the NRT products. Nicotine, no matter what form it is ingested, is simply bad news. In my case, the gum or patch is just as addictive as chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes,



Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Apr 2007, 19:25 #10

Yesterday I did a program for a school group of about 135 sixth graders. When the assistant principle was introducing me to the students, he asked the students if they knew what drug was in cigarettes. A number of students raised their hands and he called on one of them who answered with nicotine. The assistant principle said the student was right. Then, a student in the back of the room raised his hand with a follow-up question. The question was regarding whether nicotine was the drug or tobacco was the drug found in cigarettes. The assistant principle answered correctly that nicotine was the drug. The student then followed up with some sort of question about wasn't it safe though to just use nicotine gum to get nicotine. I didn't get the sense that he was asking about the gum for the sake of some adult in his life for quitting as much as for considering the gum for recreational use. I found the experience a tad chilling. I know we have seen a few articles about kids starting out their use of nicotine through NRT products, but this was the first time I have seen someone so young contemplating NRT use as a way to get nicotine without ever having to smoke.

Generally, when I have done school programs like this in the past, I don't spend much time on quitting issues for I am doing programs that are really geared at prevention. Because of this I have basically never spent any real time addressing NRT issues in school programs. Basically, nothing I say in prevention programs is controversial, pretty much the entire world wide medical community agrees about the dangers of smoking which is the material I pretty much cover in these programs. I suspect now I may have to modify my message a little and get into the potential risks of using NRT products as an entree into the life of nicotine addiction.

There are harm reductionists experts in the world today who probably would not think that this is that bad of a situation. I don't agree with them. There is no reason for any person to get addicted to nicotine, and there is always the risk that once a person gets addicted to nicotine via one source, that down the line he or she will end up transfering his or her delivery method to smoking cigarettes. I have encountered lots of kids who started out on chewing tobacco, only to transfer to smoking when chewing became too much of a hassle or when they wanted to go on to a faster hit. Initiating a child on one form of nicotine delivery is pretty much a recipe for getting them to any form of nicotine delivery over time, smoking cigarettes a very real and deadly venue that may get pursued down the line.