"Please don't smoke."

Joel
Joel

January 26th, 2002, 9:42 pm #1

I notice some people respond to other members pleas for help with comments like, "Please don't smoke." I am not saying not to do it, but I want to point out something that was once said to me by a clinic graduate that really seemed to make a difference to him in joining in my program and staying in it. He pointed out that I never once made a plea or request of him or any of the people in his clinic not to smoke.



As I thought about that after it was first pointed out to me I realized it was true. I realized that I probably never had said it to anyone, except maybe at my first clinic when I was totally clueless to what I was doing. I basically never asked people not to smoke or tell people not to smoke, which is pretty interesting since I have spent a high percentage of my life talking or writing to people about not smoking.



So why have I never made such pleas or requests of others? Well I always tell people they have to quit for themselves. I always explain that you cannot do it for your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, your employer, your society or your government. Well, if you can't quit or stay off for these other significant people, why in the world should I expect that you would quit or stay off because I am asking you politely not to smoke. You have to be quitting for you, not for me or any other caring individual.



So my tactic has always been to find out what the person really wants to do at the time of making such comments as to wanting to smoke. I make sure that they truly consider the full implications of a full-blown relapse. I try to make them recall their own initial reasons for quitting. I try to ask questions to make them remember just why they quit and why they likely don't want to go back to smoking. I try to give them one piece of advice to secure the quit, to never take another puff. Once again, that term I use over and over again is always just advice--it is never a demand or a request.



Whenever I write "never take another puff" it is prefaced by a comment of, "if you want to stay free" or "still choose not to smoke," or "want to save your health or your life," or something to the effect that it is what the ex-smoker wants to do as opposed to what I want them to do. Each and every person has to keep his or her own reasons personal of why he or she does not want to smoke.



I am not saying that no one here should not make such statements; it is kind of a personal style issue. But I would advise everyone when dealing with others here, and maybe more importantly, people in your real world, your family and friends, make sure that you come across as offering support, advice and information as opposed to making requests or demands on another person not to smoke.



We do make one request here though. We ask our members to write us and give us a little time to respond before throwing away his or her quit. When we do this we are not telling the person not to smoke or to wait for us to have a chance to tell them not to smoke. Rather we are just trying to get the opportunity to talk to the person and point out the full implications of smoking and make sure that he or she fully understands the full ramifications of a relapse.



If the person still desires to smoke after such information is fully understood, well then smoking is an option for him or her. But if he or she decides that his or her desire is to still stay smoke free, then he or she will be reminded that the only way to stay free from cigarettes is to never take another puff!



Joel


Updated August 4, 2014 to include new video version below:


"Please don't smoke"


Last edited by Joel on August 4th, 2014, 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

January 26th, 2002, 10:28 pm #2

I was going to write a great long spiel about this Joel - but I realise I don't have to. Thank you. Very important information. It's good to learn everyday

your quit sis
mirigirl
another nicotine addict
3 weeks 4 days Free.
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candy tasi
candy tasi

January 27th, 2002, 3:26 am #3

Hi Joel,

It makes sense what you are saying, especially for sometimes over-enthusiastic new quitters. It seems that as soon as one stops smoking, one immediately wants to convert all remaining smokers around him or her. And the usual mistake is interfering with other people's life and engaging one's own energy in somebody elese's process. Everybody has to do it on one's own, all we can do is be an example and offer information and support IF ASKED FOR.

For example: My cooworker quit smoking almost one year befor me. Even at that time I was considering giving up smoking and tried and failed many times, too. All these months I was puffing in front of my collegue, wich was not a nice thing to do. He never ever judged me for that and he stayed off nicotin successfully for almost one year now. When I finally quit smoking 2 weeks ago, I realized what an inspiration he was for me - just watching him quit successfully and never judging me or interfering with my smoking.

So I think the greatest achievement for an ex-smoker is just staying an ex-smoker and be an example for others, that it can be done.

Candy
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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

January 29th, 2002, 7:09 pm #4

just because I like this one

yqs mirigirl
another nicotine addict
4 weeks Free
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misledfairy
misledfairy

May 14th, 2002, 7:21 pm #5

Anyone thinking of throwing away their quit, PLEASE take notice of the 7th paragraph of Joels post, I am living proof that it does work.....on Friday last I was so fed up, I was ready to throw in the towel and reach for the cigarettes, I thought I did'nt care about being quit anymore, or at least I thought I did'nt care, some part of me must've cared enough to want to hang on because I put a post to the effect that I was sinking fast, in my diary, If I am being honest, I was thinking , well if someone see's this here it must be an omen, because if I'd put out an S.O.S. someone would definetly have seen it, whereas putting it in my diary it may have been missed !!!! so in my illogical way of thinking that day, I suppose a part of me was wanting help and the junkie part of me was saying, well if no one see's this then too bad I tried, so now I'll smoke.....Looking back that was pure junkie thinking.
To get to the point though, I recieved help advice and support from every direction, thank God for the people here who care, because if it were'nt for them I would have felt wretched today, smelly, guilty, the works, never knowing wether I would ever be stong enough to quit again.......instead though I am proud, I got over what seemed to be an insurmountable hurdle, I not only kept my quit, but I have the most fantastic sense of wellbeing I have ever felt for I dont know how many years, and to think this was all waiting for me, just around the corner, and if I had relapsed Friday I would never have known how good it is possible to feel.
Long winded story? maybe, but my point is please let the people here help if you reach a stage where you cant help yourself.
Love naymor xxxx
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Joel
Joel

May 22nd, 2002, 12:41 pm #6

For anyone who thinks we are out to make them not smoke. It is not our goal to make anyone do anything. We are here trying to help people realize that they are in full control of their quits and that they have total choice of whether they will be actively feeding their addiction or staying free of the control nicotine will take if given an opportunity to get back into their systems. If your desire is to save your health and your life you only logical choice is to stay committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 24th, 2002, 5:55 am #7

It is important to recognize that you all had to quit for yourself, your loved ones must see their desires to be quitting to be for themselves too. When they are ready they will know where to turn--to people like you who have proven that you can stick to your plan to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

December 12th, 2002, 11:09 pm #8

It is up to each and every individual member, lurker or any smoker who never has heard of Freedom or WhyQuit, to tell himself or herself whether or not he or she should or should not smoke. As a site we can make it clear that for health, economic, social, professional, and a host of other reasons it makes no sense to smoke. Our posting members can make it perfectly clear that quitting is possible and show how they get through lifes trials and tribulations without smoking. But no one here can make any one else here smoke or not smoke.

Smoking is an individual choice that each and every person needs to make on his or her own. The one thing we want to do is make sure that every person reading here understands what their choices are. The choices for an addicted smoker are that he or she can smoke nothing or he or she can smoke everything, and thus have to accept all of the risks and complications that go with smoking everything. There is no inbetween.

If you can get an ex-smoker to recognize this concept you are very likely going to help him or her realize that his or her choice will always be to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

January 19th, 2003, 9:46 pm #9

This article touches on the topic of not quitting just because others tell you not to smoke. But there is "somebody" who often gently tells you to please not smoke who you should give full attention. That "somebody is "your body."

Smokers are generally warned by their bodies that smoking is harming it. They are warned from the day that they took their first painful puffs, to the day that they took their last dangerous drags too. Coughs, wheezes, aches and pains, lethargy, headaches, stomach aches, tingling extremities, chest pains, and a host of other symptoms often permeate a smoker's life--all little signals that often go unheeded until the body stops warning of dangers and just lets an x-ray or a cardiogram give you one big warning or worse, stops giving you little warnings and just sets it up for a coroner to have to explain to your loved ones how cigarettes just ended your life.

It is important that you listen to your little signals when you are a smoker. It is also important to listen to your body when you quit, although at times, you are going to have to use your mind to override some little messages your body is sending you now. This is especially important in the earlier days of a quit, when your body is still in physical withdrawal and telling your mind that to stop it is as simple as taking a puff. Taking a puff does not stop withdrawal; it just staves it off for a few moments and starts a whole new extended withdrawal cycle over again.

To bring this cycle to its natural conclusion and then to its permanent end is no more complicated that just listening to your mind now reminding you to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 25th, 2003, 9:36 am #10

I saw where a member put up a post asking for help for a daughter of a friend of his who had recently taken up smoking. I just thought I would bring this one up to add a little perspective on the topic. I do programs for kids on smoking prevention and even in these programs I never really tell the kids not to smoke. I explain that I am there to show them what smoking is and what it will do to them if they take it up, but the final decision of whether or not they do it is up to each and every individual.

My guess is that there were people who tried to tell our members that they should not have ever taken it up or that they should have quit early on. It is sad how that message usually goes unheeded. I think you are seeing a lot of people trying to say that they wished that they had never taken up smoking or wished that they had quit very early on.

As per my personal style, I am not going to tell this young person not to smoke, but I sure hope she spends some time reading and learn as much as she can about the toll that cigarettes are going to take if she doesn't stop. It has to be totally up to her though if she is going to ignore the experience of many here who are trying to help her or if she will really read and learn as much about smoking as she can. The more she reads and really learns the more obvious it will become to her that she her real desire will be to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 28th, 2003, 8:27 pm #11

I just saw a post where one member was saying how angry she got when she saw people smoking now and how stupid it all was. I think she meant how angry she was at herself for having smoked for so long, but this feeling can often be interpreted as being angry at smokers and thinking that they are stupid. People don't smoke because they are stupid, but they smoke because they are drug addicts.

Keep in mind, whey you are dealing with people who have smoked for over 40 years, most of them got addicted before there was ever any health warnings on tobacco. They didn't know it was dangerous when they started. People smoking longer than 10 years didn't know that they were taking up an addictive product. Yes they knew it was dangerous--but they never intended on smoking that much or smoking that long when they first took it up.

Even people taking it up today are not sufficiently warned of how addictive and how dangerous this product is. Of course they know its dangerous and they now hear it is addictive, but very few people realize just how dangerous and how addictive.

If people are asked to rank cigarette smoking dangers compared to the dangers posed by pollution, or illegal drugs, or alcohol induced illnesses, or violence in our society, or the risks of being killed by a drunk driver, or the risk of infectious diseases like pneumonia or AIDS, cigarettes may end up in the middle or maybe even at the bottom of the list. In America, more people die from smoking than people killed in ALL accidents, murders, all suicides, all infectious diseases, all diabetes, all cirrhosis and all olf the AIDS deaths all combined.

Most people don't grasp the true magnitude of the dangers. Also, must people don't realize the true grip of the addiction that nicotine exerts. Worse of all, very few people are given any real understanding of how to take control of the addiction once it has been established. The combination of all of this lack of understanding leaves people ripe from taking up smoking and totally unprepared for getting off of it when they want to quit.

Try to see smokers for who they really are. They are drug addicts who very often do not have the understanding and tools in place to break free of their addiction. You do have the understanding and hopefully at some point they may turn to you for help. When they do share with them what we have shared with you. Help them understand that you were once where they were--you didn't understand why you smoked, why you should stop, how to stop and how to stay off. But once you learned all of this you were able to quit and have proven by example that you have been able to stay off. The example you will have proven is that you have stuck with your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 14th, 2003, 10:43 pm #12

Even when I do school prevention programs, I never plead with the kids not to smoke. I simply tell them that I will show them what smoking is, what it will do to them if they take it up and then whether or not they take it up is totally up to them. But I just want them to be aware of the implications of smoking before they take it up. I always warn them at the end of the program that they should not take up smoking with the idea that they will simply get tired of it one day, or if they ever find out it is hurting them they will simply quit. It will likely get to a point where they want to quit one day, or worse yet, get to a point where they have to quit one day and they will not be able to do it. I just want them to understand that point while they still have a choice in the matter. What they do with that information is totally up to them.

The same message applies to our adult members too. Whether or not you stay off of smoking is also totally up to you. If your decision is to stay off smoking then it is imperative for you to understand that to keep that decision in place you must know to stay in control you must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

December 6th, 2003, 9:10 pm #13

I would advise everyone when dealing with others here, and maybe more importantly, people in your real world, your family and friends, make sure that you come across as offering support, advice and information as opposed to making requests or demands on another person not to smoke.
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Joel
Joel

October 7th, 2004, 10:16 pm #14

Reply
Recommend Message 56 of 56 in Discussion
From: Fryed2aCrisp Sent: 10/7/2004 9:08 AM
Impressive!....This advice was first written January, 2002, and I went back and read a bunch of the responses all the way back to that time.

Joel....I cannot thank you enough for freely offering your expertise and experience to all of us on the world-wide net!

Unselfish, caring, and genuine.....all come to my mind. Wish I was close enough to give a hug...or handshake, if you're not the hug accepting kind, lol.
America has a phobia about men hugging
Well... I don't want to start any debates here, just want to express how happy I am I found you and this group.
"Fryed2aCrisp" (Larry) - Enjoying my newfound Freedom and Healing for Five Days, 15 Hours and 7 Minutes, while being allowed to live an extra 7 Hours, by avoiding "lighting up" 96 nasty cigarettes that would have chewed $8.62 from my income.



Hello Larry:

I had to edit the post a bit because as you know we really keep all politically charged topics off the board. I guess I will let you in on something though. I get nervous when clinic people come up and look like they are going to hug me. I am never sure during the withdrawal process that the aren't really coming up to choke me.
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Kristen Goldx3
Kristen Goldx3

December 29th, 2005, 5:38 am #15

Through the years countless people would say to me "Please don't smoke". It wasn't until my body told me "Please don't smoke" that I opened up and listened and chose the path of freedom and healing one day at a time.

Kristen
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happybeaming
happybeaming

June 2nd, 2006, 8:15 am #16

Thanks for posting this today. It is exactly what I wanted to hear.

I had a terrible craving today, but recognized exactly what it really was........just a desire for the familiar ability to feel like something external made me feel better.

I would never have gotten here....to where I recognize the difference between a fantasy of what I used to think cigarettes did for me.....to the truth that I have lived in a fantasy that isn't real, doesn't really exist except the value I gave it.................to the now, without knowing that I had given that nicotine power over me. And, now, the most important thing about my quit, is to finally have power where it ought to be........my inner guidance. And someone pleading with me not to quit, even myself, doesn't really make a diddly squat of difference when I have this absolutely convincing knowing there's no validity in all of the "thoughts" in my mind that used to seem real to me in the past.

I made up my mind I'm through playing games with my mind! And I AM!

Doretta
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Joel
Joel

June 19th, 2006, 9:48 pm #17

We ask our members to write us and give us a little time to respond before throwing away his or her quit. When we do this we are not telling the person not to smoke or to wait for us to have a chance to tell them not to smoke. Rather we are just trying to get the opportunity to talk to the person and point out the full implications of smoking and make sure that he or she fully understands the full ramifications of a relapse.

If the person still desires to smoke after such information is fully understood, well then smoking is an option for him or her. But if he or she decides that his or her desire is to still stay smoke free, then he or she will be reminded that the only way to stay free from cigarettes is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

October 30th, 2007, 6:53 am #18

For anyone who thinks we are out to make them not smoke. It is not our goal to make anyone do anything. We are here trying to help people realize that they are in full control of their quits and that they have total choice of whether they will be actively feeding their addiction or staying free of the control nicotine will take if given an opportunity to get back into their systems. If your desire is to save your health and your life you only logical choice is to stay committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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