For our members and readers who also read or participate at other quit smoking sites
We have members and readers here at Freedom who also read or participate at other online support sites. Recently one of our members posed a question at the board as to why a specific member at another site was still having such a hard time even though the person was off smoking for several months. Actually, we took the post off the board at Freedom because it specifically copied and pasted the post from the member at the other site and we do not allow posts from other sites at our board without prior permission of our managers.
The question though touches on a few important concepts that would be beneficial for us to address for people who do read at other sites. There are some real limitations to reported quit times at most other boards because quit meters at other sites do not often reflect how long the person is actually off nicotine. Some people may still be on NRT or have just very recently got off the nicotine product even though their meters may show a much longer "quit" time.
Then there are the constant discussions that go on at other sites as to whether people should reset their quit meters if they only have a few cigarettes, or one cigarette, or a puff. The debate of what is a slip and what is a relapse is standard and daily fare at most sites. When it comes down to it you just don't know the accuracy of quit time periods from anyone at most sites by simply reading their quit meters.
We have a string at Freedom titled Tell a newbie how many seconds a day you still want a cigarette
. This is an extremely important string. If you go back and read through the hundreds of responses from people who are off for weeks, months, or even years and you will get a real appreciation of just how infrequent smoking thoughts really are for people who totally break free from nicotine. If you were to pose the exact same question at other sites that have the limitations of variable interpretations of what it means to be truly quit you would likely see many different answers and a wide variety of responses to this very same question.
The problem of defining what is really being quit can even pose problems to people who are not using any form of NRT or had any "slips" (relapses), for by reading the comments of other people who are "off smoking" for days, weeks, months or years and who are still complaining of this symptom and that craving can set up the expectation that quitting is really a long drawn out battle. This sets the stage for either a self-fulfilling prophecy situation or for easily blaming everything that goes wrong in an ex-smoker's life on the fact that he or she had quit smoking.
If you are you feeling stressed on a particular day weeks into your quit or having a specific physical symptom-it must be because you quit smoking. After all, look at those other people who are feeling stressed or having the same physical symptom the same day who have been off for just as long. We on the other hand try to insure that our readers recognize that if they are feeling stress or are having a physical symptom it is probably because they are just facing one or more stressful situations or are having symptoms to a problem that they had better find the real underlying reason for the cause. The string Life goes on without smoking
explores this issue.
Other sites often lack a very thorough educational component helping people to understand important concepts inspiring people to quit or reinforcing their resolve to stay off. We have four major components built into the sites of www.whyquit.com
and Freedom. We try to give our readers the understanding of why they smoke, why they should stop, how to stop, and most importantly, how to stay free from not only smoking but from the control of nicotine. The combination of having all of this information and being truly nicotine free gives our readers a real edge in sustaining their quits and of helping them to have a healthier and happier outlook on their life as a non-smoker. We help them to develop a more positive attitude and this will often minimize the emotional adjustment period people can experience when quitting. We also help them to see early on that they are not depriving themselves of a cigarette as opposed to ridding themselves of smoking. We in essence help to speed up the emotional recovery process for many of our readers.
I sometimes worry about our members participating at other sites for the conventional wisdom advice and different philosophies taught can sometimes sidetrack them in their progress. In a way though I think it can also be helpful for some to read at other sites too as long as they read at these sites with an educated and critical eye. Our members will often see people having an extended hard time and may very well be able to recognize just why these other people are in a perpetual emotional or physical withdrawal state and end up feeling more grateful and protective of their own quits. Our members will also see relapses on a regular basis and realize just how important it is to do everything in their power to make this quit stick.
By the way, we have guidelines as to how to behave as a Freedom member when at other sites. I am going to copy comments we have in Mission
string that talks about how we don't want our members stirring up debates at other sites with our materials and philosophies. What we are doing here at Freedom is controversial and we do not believe in stirring up controversies at other sites.
Also I am going to attach a few other links here that I think would be good for people who participate at other sites to read. Again, if you do read at other sites work at developing a critical eye and recognize what you are reading may not be what the person is writing. You may be reading "nicotine free," when the writer was saying "smoke free" or even "smoke free except for that one puff here and there that didn't really count."
Again, read these additional links below, They will help to prepare you to read anywhere and to recognize the real advantage you have in understanding just why you quit and why you are still totally convinced that you want to stick to your personal commitment to never take another puff.
Threads that shows how we are different than other sites:
I liked my other support group more
The teaching of conventional wisdom at Freedom
Good news, our members don't relapse anymore...
Do members of our board seem to be too happy?
Misery loves company
Quitting can be a very lonely experience
Prolonging withdrawal symptoms - NRT
NRT & quitting products