Maybe this isn't the best time to quit?

Joel
Joel

September 14th, 2001, 11:38 pm #1

I just hung up with a smoking clinic graduate of mine who was telling me that she had two friends signed up for the clinic I was supposed to start on Tuesday but that had gotten postponed because of the events that day. She had noted that they both seemed relieved that they didn't have to quit now until October. There were over 40 people registered for this clinic and I suspect many of the people felt the same way.

It reminded me of a clinic I did for a major insurance company about 18 years ago. The company had 6,000 employees in one site and offered an onsite smoking cessation clinic just after work hours. The employees had to pay $25 which the company would reimburse if they successfully graduated the clinic, come on their own time, and were still responsible for their normal daily work.

The company was expecting 20 to 30 employees to show, because they had done a pre-clinic interest survey. But only 6 people showed up. Most had chickened out at the last minute. But even the six who showed up were happy when they realized that with only six people the company would never pay for a whole clinic. But much to their surprise, management said that they were going on with the program anyway. You should have seen it--the six people who paid $25 and came on their own time--were all their trying to talk management into postponing the clinic. They thought they had a reprieve and they didn't.

What is impressive about this story though is that 5 out of those 6 people quit smoking and one year later, four of them were still off cigarettes. Even though they though they had an out, they still ended up quitting and I will bet that a year later each and everyone of those who quit were thankful for the companies original decision and to themselves for taking advantage of it.

I would have conducted the clinic this week if the Civic Center where we were conducting the clinic had been opened that night. But as this was not the case we were forced to postpone. All involved understood and hopefully they will all come to the program in October. Maybe some of them even stuck to their original plans and have quit on their own. Actually I had one woman, who had smoked for over 60 years who had flown in from New Mexico for the clinic--who did quit 7:00 pm Tuesday night and is still doing fine. I am maintaining regular phone follow-up with her.

The point is, even under the worst of circumstances, life goes on and smoking cessation is fully possible under any conditions. To survive smoke free and to come through such times stronger than you ever thought possible--stay focused on the fact that you have the strength, desire and resolve to prove that you will never take another puff!

Joel
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notamoment (gold)
notamoment (gold)

September 16th, 2001, 11:49 am #2

There is no good time to quit when you're an addict ... or maybe EVERY time is a good time to quit. Just depends on how you look at it. I do believe that people reach their own point where they're ready, where they want NOT to smoke more than they want TO smoke. When you reach that point, I don't think it matters even if the earth goes backwards in its orbit around the sun... when you reach that state of mind, nothing will stop your quit.

I have been sickened, saddened and horrified by the events of this week but I have not once seriously considered smoking again. I'm in Canada and when I found out that my husband had to leave by car yesterday to travel to Los Angeles for business, I had two separate quick thoughts about getting a pack and having a smoke. Those thoughts lasted a grand total of about a minute and half.... because I really don't want to smoke, I just pushed them aside. After watching pictures of so many people gasping for air in the smoke and dust filled atmosphere of lower Manhatten, I feel that smoking would be disrespectful to them as well as unhealthy for me.

Joel thanks for your posts, they always help me to keep my focus... through good times and bad.

Susan
55 days, 1104 cigarettes not smoked, saving $265.18. Life saved: 3 days, 20 hours, 0 minutes.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

September 16th, 2001, 11:48 pm #3

Tomorrow?
"Tomorrow" is today's excuse to keep using nicotine and avoid our fear of withdrawal. I rarely bought more than a one day supply of nicotine at a time, as "tomorrow" was my lifelong excuse to live in a state of perpetual relapse.
Baby steps - just one hour and crave at a time! You can quit for an hour, we all can! Let the hours build into a full day of glory! You deserve to live free, we all do! You're not fighting an entire carton, pack or even one who cigarette - just one little puff! You're not quitting smoking FOREVER, for a year, a month, a week or even until tomorrow - just for today! If you're not successful today then tomorrow isn't important. Focus on today! It's how we all did it!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long, YQB John
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Joel
Joel

September 20th, 2001, 8:58 am #4

I just brought up a post about a program I did today titled, Why I don't speak at more site." I thought this one added a little clarity to the same issue.
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Joel
Joel

October 30th, 2001, 8:19 pm #5

Last week I finished the clinic that was originally scheduled to begin September 11. Of the 41 people signed, 31 showed up that first night, which was October 9. Actually, 10 people not showing up was not bad, that would likely have happened even if we had started on the 11th as originally scheduled. Three came only to the introductory session and dropped out. Of the 28 who came to more than one session, 24 quit and graduated and were still off as of last week (16 days smoke free), one I am not sure of because I have not been able to reach her (not a good sign but still giving her the benefit of the doubt), and three are smoking. Many of them noted at graduation how relieved they were when they did not have to quit on September 11, how they did not think they were going to quit in October either, how initially they were not even sure they wanted to quit, and how thrilled they were to finally be nicotine free.

For all our new members, as well as our lurkers who may never become members but are quitting anyway, don't worry about concepts like "I don't know whether I can do this," or "I am not even sure I want to do this." Things just fall in place as you get nicotine out of your system and as you begin to understand just what smoking was doing to you and what quitting smoking can do for you. As long as you stay focused on what both ways of life really entail, being a smoker with all its inherent risks or staying an ex-smoker with all its benefits, your decision will always remain to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

December 22nd, 2001, 7:51 am #6

This was originally posted in response to September 11th events. Some people were likely feeling that with the state of affairs of the country, if not the world at that time, conditions made it a less than right time to quit. Well, some people feel this about less significant issues too, like quitting around the holidays. Anytime is a good time to quit. The fact is, there is just no good time to smoke when it really comes down to it. So whether conditions seem optimal to quitting or terrible in nature, know you can survive through anything smoke free as long as you remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

December 31st, 2001, 12:14 pm #7

In case anyone who was thinking about quitting at New Years is now getting cold feet, thinking this isn't the best time to quit--it is the best time--not because it is or is not a holiday--it is the best time because it is now. Now is always the best time to quit, no matter when now is. So forget the cold feet syndrome and go for the cold turkey. You can save your health and your life if you simply set your goal and keep in practice your continued resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 28th, 2002, 11:51 am #8

Which puff on which cigarette contains the spark that gives birth to that first cancerous lung cell, that kills your heart, or that seriously strokes your brain? Which one?
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 13th, 2010, 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

January 31st, 2002, 1:26 am #9

I'm in-between phone calls. I had to run a breakdown for the city of who showed up yesterday. I had mentioned we had 41 pre-registered and 43 people show up. But when analyzing who was there, it turns out that 19 of the preregistered people didn't show up. We had a number of walkins though make up the difference. I figured just in case any of the people who didn't join and were thinking that somehow this wasn't a good time to quit happen to stop by Freedom it would be good to get this one up for them. Today is a great day to quit and a great day to stay off of nicotine. The way to accomplish both goals is by always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 1st, 2002, 7:31 am #10

For an update. Twenty-two people showed up last night. There were a few more who had quit but weather conditions stopped them from traveling in. I think 24 people actually ended up joining, not sure of two others yet. I had mentioned I lost one of them earlier today; the lady who had relapsed after a three year quit and now has smoked over 30 years.

You would be amazed to see the people who don't join. I will get people in who are emphysema patients, cancer patients, people who have been ravaged my many diseases who still don't stop. One person in this group had a father who had Buergers Disease and eventually died very young from other smoking complications. I had one person who was a lung cancer patient who didn't quit. A couple in the group have a strong familial history of emphysema and other chronic obstructive lung diseases, and are starting to face similar consequences themselves. It is really amazing to see so much devastation at all one time all in one group, and yet, it is basically the normal experience in most clinics I see. Normal-but still amazing.

Never lose sight that this mission you have set out on to become smoke free is truly a fight for your life. I think people some times forget this. But forcing yourself to remember smoking for what it is will help insure that you stay on your set path to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 6th, 2002, 4:32 pm #11

For Laura and anyone else who is worried about how to overcome the next few days, for what ever reason thinking this may not be the best time to quit or the best time to stay off of smoking. This is as good a time as any not to smoke for a multitude of reasons--longer life and better health being the most important, but by no means the only benefit of not smoking.

One other note--just a few day ago I talked to the 78 year old women who had flown in for the clinic in this post that was postponed because of the September 11 tragedies. She was still doing great, it is almost eight months for her now. Everyone can make it through every thing as long as they stay focused on sticking with their goals to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 30th, 2002, 6:21 pm #12

Which excuses are you using?
We were no different!
All of us had great excuses!

If you're just arriving then the title to this thread can seem rather inviting but please notice the question mark at the end. You'd be well advised to spend a couple of minutes reflecting upon the honesty of such an assertion. Whether you just found out that you need surgery, are starting school, having serious problems with a relationship, face a challenging week, have a loved one with failing health, are encountering mounting financial problems, have some traveling coming up, are worried about your weight, you're facing important deadlines, or all of them are happening at once, there is never a better time to reclaim your life than before the very next puff of that enslaving substance called nicotine, those 44 known carcinogens, and the over 4,000+ chemicals, that are present in every burning cigarette.

We've used "life" as an excuse to damage these bodies long enough! The next few minutes can be 100% smoke and nicotine free regardless of life's circumstances. Encountering one of the habit feeding triggers fathered by your chemical dependency upon nicotine may bring a very brief anxiety type attack that we call a crave. Never longer than three minutes - - but be sure and look at a clock as your mind may try and convince you the minutes are really hours -- the anxiety of the moment would be the same regardless of what's happening in the background - life!

There may never be a better moment to start your new life than when life's challenges seem great. The clock is the same, three minutes are still three minutes, and after successfully encountering, reconditioning and breaking all your major smoking habit cues, your mind will never again fear an upcoming challenge, or be able to use the normal challenges of "life" as an excuse to fail, relapse or delay. You'll know it's just another lie!

It takes a maximum of 72 hours to reside inside of a nicotine clean body. How do you face each hour? Just a few minutes at a time and then celebrate! You've under house arrest for a long time. Isn't it time that you traded places and put your dependency upon nicotine under arrest! It's your birthright to be free and the next few minutes are doable!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
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Joel
Joel

September 29th, 2002, 8:12 pm #13

For Lilac
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Lilac (Bronze)
Lilac (Bronze)

September 29th, 2002, 10:05 pm #14

whoa---------I am convinced. I already was convinced but a little renewal never hurts especially if the person is complaining loud and long.. My husband always told me that my persistence in pointing out to him the detrimental effects of nicotine after his heart attack finally drove him to quit. I have never completely believed him. I think I do now. Lilac
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 26th, 2002, 10:58 pm #15

There is no better time to begin this temporary journey of adjustment called quitting than before the next puff. If this is a high period of stress in your life that makes it even better because success now will permanently deprive your mind of using stress as an excuse to relapse
Which puff on which cigarette contains the spark that gives birth to that first cancerous lung cell, that kills part or all of your heart, or that blocks bloodflow to a portion of your brain? Which puff of nicotine? Which cigarette?
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 13th, 2010, 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

December 12th, 2002, 10:59 pm #16

For Marvin
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Joel
Joel

January 13th, 2003, 6:32 am #17

For Angela
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Joel
Joel

January 26th, 2003, 7:10 am #18

One more for TrickyKnees
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Joel
Joel

March 4th, 2003, 8:10 am #19

I may be around a little more this week than I thought I would be. I am supposed to start a clinic tomorrow night. There are 33 people registered to come. Actually the number of people registered to come is not the best predictor to the number of people who will actually show up. Usually we have a few more people who say they are going to come, usually about 40 or so. When the day of the clinic actually arrives--well it is anybody's guess how many people actually show up.

I have had times where if 40 register 25 will show and I also have times where if 40 register 50 will show. There are even times when 40 register and 40 show but it is often a different 40 people than we think, meaning 10-15 people who said they were going to come do not show up and pretty much the exact same number of people walk in. As I said, what normally happens is anybody's guess.

But I just heard the weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon and evening and they are predicting a possible four to eight inches of snow. The last time this happened on an opening day of a clinic in disseminated the numbers. If it happens the second or third day of the clinic things are usually salvageable for people already have the core information they need, have already started the quit and often stick with the quit even if they miss the specific session. But when inclement conditions occur on the first day it can be ominous.

So I may be around a little more this week than I thought, or if the weather works to the clinic's favor, meaning the snow holds off till the second day of the clinic I am going to be doing a lot of one on one telephone mini-lectures and not around Freedom a whole lot. Just for the record, when I am doing clinics I often do not get time to read the whole board. If people want me to address certain issues drop me an email at [url=mailto:quitsmoking@joelspitzer.com]quitsmoking@joelspitzer.com[/url] and let me know that there is an issue at the board you would like me to address. I'll be sure to catch the post then.

Hope everyone has a healthy and safe week. Just know that every week will be healthier and safer than it would be if you were still a smoker and will stay that way as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 12th, 2003, 5:15 am #20

For CF and anyone else who is worried about how to overcome the thoughts for a cigarette they are having today and for what ever reason thinking this may not be the best time to stay off of smoking. This is as good a time as any not to smoke for a multitude of reasons--longer life and better health being the most important, but by no means the only benefit of not smoking.

I guess the question that a person thinking that maybe this isn't the best time to stay quit needs to as himself or herself is, "Is this the right time to relapse to a full-fledged nicotine addiction that if I am really lucky will lead to another full-blown withdrawal process one day soon, or, if I am not lucky is going to end up costing me tens of thousands of dollars, cost me my health and one day cost me my life."

If the answer to that questions is no, that today is not a good day to relapse, then remember for today that to stay smoke free is going to require a one hundred percent commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 21st, 2003, 8:12 am #21

I thought this string fit rather well in here.
Recommend Delete Message 1 of 4 in Discussion
From: Millie (Original Message) Sent: 3/20/2003 12:21 PM
As we are now at war with Iraq a thought did cross my mind that "If we are going to get attacked by terorists I might as well have a cigarette!"
But I have decided to think of my nicotine addiction as Sadam and I will beat him.
Good luck to all of you that has family in the Gulf, hope they return safely.
Millie

England
2 weeks
First Previous 2-4 of 4 Next Last Delete Replies
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Recommend Delete Message 2 of 4 in Discussion
From: smokefreeJD (Bronze) Sent: 3/20/2003 12:27 PM
I live in the Washington DC area, so you can imagine the tremendous stress we've been under from 9/11 to anthrax to the DC sniper. Now we're on "not quite red" alert here and all area folks are being asked to have an evacuation plan ready.

But... like allllllllllllllllll the posts on this board remind us... life goes on without smoking. Losing my quit will not affect world events nor will it help me cope better with everything that's going on. In fact I'm much calmer smoke-free.

And if the sirens do go off and I have to evacuate then I have much more room in my bags for essentials and I wouldn't have to spend a minute worrying about cigs.

Jill
5 Months 2 Weeks 1 Day - Despite what's happening in the rest of the world!
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Recommend Delete Message 3 of 4 in Discussion
From: John (Gold) Sent: 3/20/2003 1:18 PM
Let's Stay Focused on Our Odds of Staying Alive !

As I'm sure you realize, Millie, as upsetting as they can be, world affairs have absolutely nothing to do with any of us remaining nicotine free today. The junkie mind is amazing. Imagine being worred about dying in a car accident when the risk of dying 14 to 15 years early from smoking is roughly 40 times greater.

Millie all the deaths in all the wars around the world during the past decade do not come close to approaching the numbers killed by tobacco. Even in the horrors of 9/11 and the 3,000 who perished in New York, the state of New York alone lost over 30,741 lives to tobacco during 2002, who, according to the U.S. CDC, collectively lost 417,206 years of life!

One day at a time
There is no legitimate reason to relapse
"I have to smoke because of all my stress"
How would you deal with the following situations?
Bad days
Caring for our recovery
Anger - new reactions to anger as an ex-smoker

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Recommend Delete Message 4 of 4 in Discussion
From: improud (golder) Sent: 3/20/2003 2:57 PM
Thanks for those stats John makes you wonder why people aren't out on the streets demonstrating against tobacco and the tobacco companies huh? I'll join one of those demonstrations while I listen to what's going on in the world and never taking another puff Cathy ~ GOLD
Last edited by Joel on November 24th, 2014, 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Christine06516
Christine06516

March 21st, 2003, 10:43 am #22

You know, if you think about it, if we had to wait until their was nothing going on in our lives to give up smoking, then we would all have to wait until we were dead!!! Because we use cigarettes for so many excuses - as "rewards", to celebrate, to calm our nerves, as our buddy, etc, etc, would there ever be a time when we are alive that would be the perfect time to quit? You just have to want to quit, that is all it comes down to, desire, and education, and of course all the great support from Freedom never hurt no one either.....lolol.
So, isn't while you are alive the best time ever to quit??? Hmmmm...

Christine I have chosen not to smoke for 5 Days 21 Hours 12 Minutes 30 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 117. Money saved: $23.53.
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Joel
Joel

March 30th, 2003, 11:14 pm #23

I saw where we has some good examples of members quitting and staying smoke free while facing real adversity. The strength and resolve of these members should serve as an example for all that no matter what traumas life may throw at you staying free is possible as long as you always remember the commitment that you made to yourself to never take another puff! Joel
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Joel
Joel

April 6th, 2003, 8:05 am #24

I guess the question that a person thinking that maybe this isn't the best time to stay quit needs to as himself or herself is, "Is this the right time to relapse to a full-fledged nicotine addiction that if I am really lucky will lead to another full-blown withdrawal process one day soon, or, if I am not lucky is going to end up costing me tens of thousands of dollars, cost me my health and one day cost me my life."

If the answer to that questions is no, that today is not a good day to relapse, then remember for today that to stay smoke free is going to require a one hundred percent commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

April 11th, 2003, 2:43 pm #25

"Is this the right time to relapse to a full-fledged nicotine addiction that if I am really lucky will lead to another full-blown withdrawal process one day soon, or, if I am not lucky is going to end up costing me tens of thousands of dollars, cost me my health and one day cost me my life."
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