Scarecrow 9 17
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

29 Oct 2007, 21:40 #31

I had to respond here, Joel. Coincidentally, my neighbor shared his story with me yesterday. You see, I apologized for snapping at him over a week ago, explained I had quit smoking and he just happened to be the one to set me off that day (I am fine, now, Sal-Gold sent me some great articles!! Thank you Sal!!Image)

Then he told me HIS story. He started smoking @ 14 (same as me) and quit @ 34. Great, except 13 years later, he took a puff of his cousin's cigarette. You know what happened next - his addiction was back to full blown after a THIRTEEN YEAR QUIT!!! What a waste of a good quit! 3 years later @ 50 he was diagnosed with esophagus cancer. (So from what Joel wrote, this would not have happened had he held onto his quit.) The Dr.s removed his esophagus, 1/3 of his stomach and stretched up his remaining stomach to form a 'new' esophagus. He endured 18 mos of radiation & chemotherapy and has now been cancer free for 7 years. He explained how his incision started in the front in his belly and went up through his chest, across his shoulder and around down his back. I, of course already had the mental image of Kim's Lung cancer surgery scar in my mind's eye, so I could picture his scar pretty well. My point? Well, I was personally moved enough to REALLY understand the importance of Holding on to your Quit - there is nothing more important you can do for yourself. Simply (not easily) Never Take Another Puff!!

On a quick upbeat note: A girl that I've been talking to about quitting since I quit (she's only 22) was thinking of quitting and I have been genlty leading her to your websites - I saw her yesterday and she informed me she was 7 days into her quit!! I was so proud and happy I almost cried!! I, of course told her to come here and READ, READ, and then READ some more!! Joel & Mgrs, I cannot thank you enough for helping me to learn how to save my own life and hopefully a few others along the way!ImageImage

Proud to say I am Lisa J - I have not puffed poison for One Month, Eleven Days, 21 Hours and 9 Minutes, I saved 2 Days and 21 Hours of my life, by choosing to NOT PUFF on 838 Death Sticks which saved me $230.75. I proudly reclaim my Good Health and my Life!!! Peace. Out.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Dec 2007, 23:11 #32


I just want to ad to this sad story about John my own experience of how "past failures" can rob you of the present.
My dad died of emphysema last year in September.
Throughout my childhood we endured my fathers quits and relapses.
He was a pharmacist and he worked with addicts of other substances in both his business and in community. He understood about consequences of relapses. Over the decades he smoked cigarettes, then pipes, then cigarettes again; quitting for weeks, sometimes years. He went onto chewing gum, sticking on patches and who knows what else before he finally quit too late to enjoy his retirement.
He was free from nicotine for about 5 or so years and on his first trip to Europe with mum he caught a flu virus that turned into emphysema.
After they returned my wonderful dad's life contracted to a couple of rooms in our family home and to the beautiful views that he slowly became afraid to go outside as he struggled to breath. He knew what was happening more than me, he hid it from us as best he could. My mum was his sole care taker in the last few years, we had to sell the country home, move closer to town for doctors,etc.
I am so sad he is not around for my little boy who turned 3 this October.

Past failures do rob you of the present, I am holding onto my quit for dear life.

Moira- smober - 4 weeks, 1 day, 22 hours - free forever

JoeJFree Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Aug 2008, 11:38 #33

Most other boards and most other people would take offense at that past line, referring to the last lost quit as a failure. But for all practical purposes that is what it was. Even quits that last for years or decades are failures if a person loses it. We don't want anyone minimizing this fact, for those who do often have the attitude that if they relapse they will simply quit again. The fact is you don't know that the person will quit again, or that they will quit in time to save his or her life.

JoeJFree Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Sep 2008, 04:59 #34

Strengthen your understanding of recovery and why you relapsed in the past (you did not know or believe the Law of Addiction applied to your use of nicoitne) by reading this and many of the great articles on the Prevent Relapse message board.

Once you become nicotine free your future success as an ex-smoker is assured by never taking another puff.

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

08 Nov 2009, 13:00 #35

***Important Clarification***

I originally wrote this article before we had our current relapse policy at Freedom. People cannot relapse and simply join back up at Freedom now. All a relapsed person can do is read what we have to offer. This may not be such a bad thing though--there is a pretty good chance that if the relapsed member had spent his or her time reading the first time around he or she would never have relapsed.

The example in this story is still an important one, hitting home the point the importance of making this quit continue to succeed by simply sticking to the personal commitment you made when you joined up at Freedom to never take another puff.


At times we get past Freedom members return to quit again after they have relapsed. Some only had a few days into the last quit, others had significant time periods into quits before losing them. I am glad that they found their ways back to Freedom, but I want to make sure that they understand and that everyone else here understands the seriousness of the past failure.

Most other boards and most other people would take offense at that past line, referring to the last lost quit as a failure. But for all practical purposes that is what it was. Even quits that last for years or decades are failures if a person loses it. We don't want anyone minimizing this fact, for those who do often have the attitude that if they relapse they will simply quit again. The fact is you don't know that the person will quit again, or that they will quit in time to save his or her life.

Many years ago I had a man in my clinic named John. John was a pretty high profile public figure, in his early 40's who had many great accomplishments in his life. He came to my clinic, lasted a few days and lost the quit. He was in the middle of a high profile media situation and just decided he needed his focus and the stakes of what he was involved with at the time were just too high to deal with withdrawal. John explained this to me, and promised he would return again one day when things would be better.

Well, I have heard this hundreds of times before, and while occasionally people do return, it is not the majority and probably not even a significantly high percentage. Being that I was having 50 or more people at a time in these clinics, I couldn't spend much time dealing with those who were not quitting.

Three year later John does return to the clinic and does quit smoking. He did great his second time around. Not only did he quit, but he became a regular volunteer for me, coming to many clinics as a panelist to help people first quitting. He also sent in lots of people, probably 15 to 20 over the next couple of years.

About three years after John's quit, he was going in for a physical and to his surprise there was a small spot on his chest x-ray. When it was biopsied they found out John had cancer. He was about 48 at the time, in the peak of his career, still had children of school age and now was facing this terrible diagnosis. It was a horrible shock to many people. As is often the case with lung cancer, it was a fast deterioration. Within a year and a half John had succumbed to the disease.

I went to John's funeral--it was huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. Many I knew, some because of their high public profile, but more because John had sent in so many people to the clinic in the time period that he was off smoking. Even after the diagnosis he was still sending people in.

One of the men there was from one of the recent clinics and had told me how tragic this was that John had lost his life and how his lost quit was probably the reason. To be realistic I told him that it is possible that if John had quit the first time in the clinic it may not have made a difference. He basically found out he had lung cancer three years after he quit, and that lung cancer could be present for 5 years or even 10 years without presenting symptoms or even showing up on the x-ray. Being that the day I met him was about 6 years before the diagnosis, it was not totally improbable that at that time the cancer had already been initiated and was silently growing.

The man then proceeded to tell me that my clinic was not the first clinic John had tried. That in fact, 10 years before joining that first group with me, he and John had gone to another local clinic together to quit and both in a matter of days wrote it off as a bad time to quit--but knew they would both quit again one day.

Well John was right, he did eventually quit again one day. But it turned out to be over 16 years later. Now the odds were quite different--if he had quit that first time around he probably would never had developed the disease that ultimately cost him his life.

The lesson here needs to be once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to make it last. While you are seeing people come back who just seem to be quitting again, if you relapse you just don't know you will ever get the strength or desire to quit again, and that even if you do, you don't know whether something won't go wrong in the interim period before the next quit.

John is not the only person I know who fits this profile--I know lots of them--people who could have had extra years and extra decades who lost them by minimizing the implications of not quitting or of relapsing. Once you have a quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!


Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

28 Sep 2012, 16:11 #36

Last edited by Joel Spitzer on 16 Sep 2014, 22:52, edited 1 time in total.