NRT and Quit Meters

NRT and Quit Meters

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Aug 2002, 02:07 #1

I received an email question from a newer member who asked about how to set a quit meter considering she had started using   nicotine patches five days before actually joining up at Freedom. She had not smoked 120 cigarettes in that time period and she did not feel she wanted to   reset her quit meter for it would not accurately reflect how many cigarettes she had not smoked nor how much money she had saved. She also seemed to feel   that because she had suffered so much those first five days that they must have to count for something, or that her whole quit was invalid because we seemed   to act as if we felt tha the first five days somehow did not count.

I tried to email her back a reply but her email box was full and the message got kicked back to me. So I am posting the   response here for in fact the message is important for other people who may have had a similar experience of finding Freedom after they had already had an   NRT quit going.

Here is the response I had written:

 
A high percentage of people I run through clinics have actually tried NRT products in the past-actually over 85% of people who went through my clinics last year had tried NRT products and have now basically written off the experience as a waste of time. They don't try to hang   on to past failures but rather now are focused on maintaining current and future success.

I think most people at Freedom are here now too because they are also of the mindset that the day they quit using nicotine is the day they stopped using nicotine. As far as you thinking now that the first few days of using patches is now making your whole quit invalid-your   ten-day quit is perfectly valid. The first five days though you just transferred how you delivered nicotine. I think you are somehow working with the idea   that the first five days have to be valid and important to your quit because you suffered so much during them. Suffering is not the benchmark that makes a   quit valid-getting off nicotine is what makes breaking the addiction valid. People suffocating with emphysema are suffering plenty from cigarettes but if   they are still smoking I don't think you would say that the suffering is a good thing or some kind of great accomplishment.

The money saved issue is pretty much a moot point too-you likely spent more on the patches than cigarettes would have cost   you-especially considering you probably spent close to $50 for the box of patches and only used a few. So to say you saved money by that purchase is really misleading too.

As far as cigarettes not smoked in the meters, I think our group mindset is not really cigarettes not smoked as much as it   is nicotine not used. Cigarettes are just the unit of measure for nicotine. To most of our members counting the time that a patch was used would be like an   alcoholic who used to drink whisky exclusively now saying they successfully gave up drinking because all they have daily now is scotch. Alcohol is alcohol   and nicotine is nicotine.

Our board is unique. Almost no other site on the Internet would agree with this stand and will gladly welcome you in and allow you to use whatever numbers you want. But people are here because they are done playing games like trying to make themselves feel better about their   past ways of maintaining nicotine addiction and are now trying to make themselves actually get healthier by actually taking control of their addiction. I   hope you do the same.

If you can come to grip with the concept of measuring from the day you stopped the patch you will likely be happy and successful here, but if this concept is too much of a stumbling block you will likely find yourself happier elsewhere. While you may be happier elsewhere, I   am not so sure you are going to be as successful elsewhere-but the choice of what groups fits you best has got to be yours.

One last point, the 120 cigarettes difference is not going to seem important when the number of cigarettes not smoked read 10,000 or 50,000 or 100,000, and maybe more. Those numbers will be real one day if you always remember from now on that to stay smoke free simply requires   always staying committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Aug 2002, 02:17 #2

Our application for joining states:

The only exceptions to the above are:   (1)  those who have used NRT or e-cigarettes for at least 6 months, and now realize that NRT or the e-cigarette simply transferred their delivery system for nicotine, and who are now quitting NRT or e-cigarettes cold turkey


It is important to note that as far as for quit meters--We measure cessation not from the date that you changed your method of nicotine delivery but from when all delivery ended.


Related NRT videos:




Why Freedom is a cold turkey site?

My first encounter with NRT

The President and nicotine gum

Keeping NRT in case of emergency

Nicotine is nicotine is nicotine

Comparing quits with others

Reading at other quit sites




Original 2002 post in this string:


While I am on the topic of quitmeters, I thought I would attach the following post here. It was originally in our string of "Good news, our members don't relapse anymore... ".




From: Joel.

Sent: 3/12/2002 7:18 PM




I pulled a string earlier from a person who wrote her first post at Freedom saying she had recently relapsed and now asking if she should reset her quit meter. Boy did she pick the wrong group of quitters to ask that question. I thought I better bring this one up in case anyone else ever faces a similar dilemma.




For the record, it is said often at most sites that whether or not you reset your quitmeter is up to you. We agree--if you relapse it is up to you whether or not you reset your quit meter. If you want to fool yourself and try to fool the rest of the world that you are successfully smoke free go right on ahead. But don't waste Freedom's time with such foolishness. Post your relapse and your message will be gone in a flash along with your membership.




Here are some related readings on the topic:




We understand why you relapsed 

There is no legitimate reason to relapse

Is relapse a natural part of the addiction process?

Past FAILURES

If you fall down just pick yourself up and dust yourself off

Relapse Policy




It is probably a pretty good idea that everyone knows our Mission Statement so that they see how we are different than most other groups.




Mission Statement




Also, we hope everyone has read our membership application below. Post 10 in it addresses how important actually reading at our site is before applying to avoid any confusing and awkward situations such as this.




Is Freedom membership right for you?




To stay a member and to have your meter really mean anything always remember to stay successful always entails knowing to never take another puff!




Joel







Video related to concept of slipping discussed in original 2002 post of this thread:

"Don't let a slip put you back to using"
Last edited by Joel on 07 Jan 2014, 14:53, edited 5 times in total.
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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

20 Aug 2002, 02:32 #3

Good one Joel.

Yup, I don't even look at my quit meter any more. At this point, I'm counting months, and I know that on September 5, it'll be 8. Until then, it's usually too much hassle to bother with exact days, and I just type some form of "more than 7 months" when posting stats.

I terms of gaining freedom from addiction, you'd actually (not that I'm recommending this; I'm not) be better off rolling up oregano in cigarette paper, and smoking it, than you would be using a different nicotine delivery device. Nobody here is addicted to smoking stuff. For that reason, none of us uses rolled oregano as a crutch -- "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that kick", and oregano doesn't.

A heroin addict doesn't celebrate switching from the pipe to the needle. Similarly, in terms of addiction, he'd be better off injecting glucose solution than continuing to use heroin in a different form.


I still occassionally find nicotine gum around the house, and I throw it out, because in terms of my freedom, that gum is as dangerous as a cigarette. If I picked up a piece of nicotine gum, did the requisite 15 chews until I got the tingly flavor, and pressed it as hard as I could against my gum, actually spreading the gum out over my entire gum to give it more surface area to deliver more nicotine (as I used to do when I tried the gum), I'd be right back to square one. My addiction would be reestablished just as quickly as if I enhaled off a lit Marlboro. And 7 + months would be flushed down the toilet.

Don't worry so much about stats. Remember, as far as our recovery is concerned, there's only one stat that matters.... TODAY. Keep yourself free for another today, and those stats will take care of themselves.

ImageBob
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Toast (GOLD )
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Aug 2002, 03:03 #4

Boy, I remember how motivating it was to watch the minutes and hours and days roll off my quit meter! Those first days and weeks, I needed every indication that I was progressing through the rough days I was having. So, I know it can be disappointing to appear to lose ground statistically speaking.

But as Joel so rightly points out, an alcoholic doesn't get to count days s/he only had beer instead of whisky. We nicotine addicts don't get to count the day we had our last cigarette if we keep chewing nicotine gum or wearing the patch ...

Please don't take it personally or be disappointed or be angry with us or yourself. You just didn't understand this bit about nicotine addiction yet ... now you do! This is a good thing!

It's true that before long in your quit, the number of cigarettes you haven't smoked will become academic. You won't keenly be aware of each one anymore. For me, the number I "haven't smoked" is an intangible thing now, except that I know if I hadn't quit I'd have smoked that many or more.

Keep the quit! Keep healing regardless of the numbers!

Image Melissa
Gold Club
1 Year 2 Months 3 Weeks 6 Days 16 Hours 2 Minutes 47 Seconds Free
9073 Less
$1,315.64 More
2 Mos 2 Days 13 Mins 43 Secs Added
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SandyBob GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:08

20 Aug 2002, 04:01 #5

I've got to agree with the policy - being a former NRT user. I don't think I ever truly understood the addictive nature of nicotine until I had entirly eliminated its use.

I had used the patches, took it off, smoked. As long as I was still using nicotine - I was feeding my junkie mind. Eventually, after using patches and lighting up here and there, and reading a lot of information here at Freedom, I decided to go cold turkey. I got sick. really sick! My mind and body had become accustomed to the CONSTANT LEVEL OF NICOTINE in my system. At least when I was smoking I was only getting the nicotine feed when I lit up.

I am an addict.
No matter how I feed my addiction - I am an addict.
Recovering or Active - I am an addict.

I did not begin my road to recovery until I quit using my drug of choice.

Never Taking Another Puff

SandyBob
9wks,5days+
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Aug 2002, 08:56 #6

Image I see we have a few people who found us after starting out with NRT quits. I will bring up a few articles addressing NRT usage--we just want to make it clear that this quit is different because by going cold turkey the person quitting is actually getting nicotine out of his or her system system and will soon be totally out of withdrawal. Then to avoid ever facing withdrawal again is as simple as always remembering to never take another puff!

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

03 Oct 2002, 22:56 #7

This post represents an extremely important concept that goes to the very core of chemical dependency upon nicotine and what this forum is all about. It's fantastic when a person spares their lungs by stopping sucking in the 4,000+ chemicals present in every burning cigarette, and that fact is probably worthy of some degree of celebraton in and of itself, but if they did so by turning to chewing tobacco, or by chewing nicotine gum, or any other source in order to obtain their nicotine, what have they really quit?

It's the same with substantially cutting down on smoking and/or nicotine intake. It may be cheaper but the addict is still feeding and fueling a chemical need. Nicotine water and 27 flavors of nicotine suckers are now being marketed in some countries around the world. To say I quit smoking nicotine and started suckering, watering, or chewing it, may be quitting to some but it's not what we celebrate here at Freedom - Freedom from Nicotine!

As we've said many times, if MSN would have allowed us to change our name to Freedom from Nicotine we would have done so long ago!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long Freedom! John
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eddie d (Bronze)
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 00:33

21 Oct 2002, 18:02 #8

I am new here and also had to reset my quit meter recently resulting in a loss of a day and a half. Similar to the person above I had used nicotine at the beginning of my quit and so my days without a cigarette are actually 2 days more than my meter now shows. It was tough "losing" those two days because I had only used a very small amount of gum (5pc's one day, then 2 pc's the next) but using is using and so my quit officially began when I quit the gum. As you mentioned Joel, in the long run those first days totals won't mean diddly but boy did it ever sting to lose them so early on. Anyway, I feel better knowing I'm honest with my "actual" quit date and time now and speaking of which my meter now reads...
I quit smoking 1 Week 9 Hours 58 Minutes 51 Seconds ago.
That's 296 cigarettes not smoked and
$40.19 I didn't give the tobacco pushers!
Image
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joyous1 Bronze
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

22 Nov 2002, 18:34 #9

When I quit originally on 9/15/2002....I used the patch. On 9/20/2002 I woke up and realized what I really needed to quit was nicotine....any and all delivery methods. I have not introduced nicotine into my body since not applying that patch on the morning of the 20th. I reset my meter...then after the appropriate 72 hour time....I joined here. I had no problem resetting my meter to 9/20......I would have had a problem leaving it at 9/15. I really don't pay too much attention to how many cigarettes not smoked......I am really looking at the time nicotine free....and sometimes I really forget that too....I am not counting the minutes or even the days anymore. I have 2 months nicotine free...and I am very happy about that.
Joyce
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Feb 2003, 01:08 #10

I am not totally familiar with the Quitmeters in use out there, and this morining I saw an email from one of our newer members pointing out that one of the Quitmeters out there actually had some provision for accounting for slips.

I am going to attach a short comment I made when I first put up this string addressing this issue.

From: Joel. Sent: 3/12/2002 7:18 PM
I pulled a string earlier from a person who wrote her first post at Freedom saying she had recently relapsed and now asking if she should reset her quit meter. Boy did she pick the wrong group of quitters to ask that question. I thought I better bring this one up in case anyone else ever faces a similar dilemma.

For the record, it is said often at most sites that whether or not you reset your quitmeter is up to you. We agree--if you relapse it is up to you whether or not you reset your quit meter. If you want to fool yourself and try to fool the rest of the world that you are successfully smoke free go right on ahead. But don't waste Freedom's time with such foolishness. Post your relapse and your message will be gone in a flash along with your membership.

Lying to yourself or others will not secure your quit. Constantly reminding yourself of the truth will though. The truth is that the only way that you can guarantee that you will always be able to stay smoke free is to always remember to never take another puff! Joel
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