Posts glamorizing or glorifying celebratory drinking

Posts glamorizing or glorifying celebratory drinking

Joel
Joel

May 13th, 2005, 11:13 pm #1

Somehow, over the past week we have had a number of posts put up by newer members as well as seasoned members that have had a theme that the use of alcohol is somehow an acceptable or expected way of celebrating smoking cessation. I am creating this string to pop up whenever such posts are made again. We will simply delete future posts that glorify drinking and pop up this string explaining why. Repeated offenses by any member will result in loss of membership at Freedom.

Copied from the post Crutches to Quit Smoking
I just saw a post suggesting a nice way to celebrate being successfully off smoking for a year is to buy a bottle of wine to share with friends and loved ones. It made me think of the original article here and the commentary I attached the other day. The casual suggestion of celebrating successfully not smoking for a given time period with an alcoholic beverage of any kind really does not belong at a site dealing with treating a drug addiction. Are there people who may celebrate this way here at Freedom? Sure there are--I suspect that a lot of our members drink occasionally. But there are some members and readers here who don't drink to celebrate either by personal choice or, because they can no longer drink to celebrate without having to drink all of the time whether there is anything to celebrate or not. These are people who are recovering alcoholics and who hopefully know their own limitations. I suspect that some of these people may be put off by the suggestion of using alcohol to celebrate quitting smoking. Also, there are likely members and readers here who while they may not be alcoholic themselves, they may have family members and friends who are and who may think that buying wine to share with these people is not an appropriate method of celebrating breaking free from the nicotine addiction.

As it says above:
...do not use this site to glamorize drinking. There are people here who are recovering alcoholics who find posting about the fun and glamour of drinking to be quite disconcerting. Also, the frequent use of the emoticons, portraying a mug or a champaign toast are really seen as poor taste to these people. Put yourself in their place--if you belonged to a site that was on a totally different topic, and people came in touting the joys of recreational smoking, you would feel the need to enlighten the group or could be offended and annoyed with the casual way the subject was being portrayed. You could then either feel the need to take it head on and stir up debate with the group, or just leave the group. Neither of these options is acceptable to us at Freedom--for we have strict policies about diversional posts, and the idea of a person leaving because of an issue that is really unnecessary is abhorrent to us. Because the people who are here trying to secure their quits are here because they are fighting for their lives. Their needs then take precedent over people who are here for more social or fun reasons. Freedom is a quit smoking education and support site. We try to get the message out that life goes on without smoking--things you could do before can still be done after quitting. Things that could not be done before, such as safe or controlled drinking for a recovering alcoholic cannot be done now either. So as a general rule of thumb now, we are asking members to minimize the amount of time they are posting about drinking at this site. We have ample strings to cover alcohol issues. We will continue to bring them up as holidays come up, and around weekends where drinking situations are often encountered more frequently. But we ask that people who are regular users of alcohol not to raise the issue over and over again.

All posting members need to stay cognizant of this concept. It is not saying that issues involving drinking cannot be discussed. Again, if a person finds him or herself in a social drinking situation and it creates smoking thoughts, or if a person is nervous about how to get through a party or gathering where he or she will be drinking, it is totally legitimate to raise these concerns and for others to explain how they deal with such circumstances. Suggesting or encouraging the use of alcohol though to others who you do not know their full histories on is a risky proposition.

As we discuss in the thread The Freedom Classroom
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Since December of 2002 we have had over 1,056,000 distinct hosts view pages at www.whyquit.com. If only 10% of these people find their way to Freedom it would still be over 100,000 people. The numbers may be higher. While we don't know the exact numbers of people who do read we know it is a lot. Every person posting at Freedom has an awesome responsibility because every word you are writing is capable of influencing hundreds or even thousands of people. Considering what we are trying to influence them to do, which is to quit smoking and to save their lives, it is easy to see how why we feel that this is indeed an awesome responsibility.

So everyone be aware and stay cognizant to the fact any advice written on this board is being read by hundreds to thousands of people. Make sure that any specific suggestions that you are sharing is sound advice for all people. Offering celebratory drinks to all people is an unwarranted suggestion in the event the people who you may be making the offer to are people in recovery from alcohol.

It is similar to our members getting offered a cigar to celebrate the birth of a baby or other special occasions. While the act may seem acceptable to some people in some social circles, I think most of our members and readers would feel that this act would be uncomfortable to say the least, and in poor taste if the offer was being made by a person who knew you had quit smoking, and that you had made it clear to that person that you realize that you are a nicotine addict and cannot smoke without relapsing.

Be prepared that such offers may occur from others. Offers for drinks will likely happen at times even if you are a person who is in recovery from alcohol. Understand that if you are a person in recovery that the reason that you have maintained your sobriety up to this point is that you have worked out some sort of response to deal with such offers and the bottom line is that it is your responsibility to stick to your commitment not to drink.

The same concept holds true for all of our members regarding smoking. I hope most of our members and readers never find themselves feeling that there is a right time to pass along a cigar or any tobacco product to another person to celebrate any event. All members and readers must be aware though that offers of tobacco products to you can occur over time. Once again, it is the personal responsibility of each member and reader to sustain his or her own quit even at such times by remembering that in spite of the nature of these offers that the only way to sustain your own quit and truly have something to celebrate is to stick to your own personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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suzyhurley
suzyhurley

May 14th, 2005, 1:18 am #2

Joel,
THANK YOU for bringing up the issue of celebratory drinking as a topic at this sight. I have always been uncomfortable to read posts that describe drinking (to excess or otherwise). I do not drink for a variety of personal reasons and NEVER think drinking stories are funny. Thanks again for the re-focus on the reason we are here; nicotine cessation!! NTAP
Suzy
Free and Healing for Four Months, Nine Days, 13 Hours and 47 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 11 Days and 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 3289 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $496.08.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

May 14th, 2005, 8:52 pm #3

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mslindy6
mslindy6

May 19th, 2005, 10:20 am #4

Thank you Joel for pointing this out, I am guilty of this by using a gif that has is a bottle of wine pouring out a drink.
On reading your post I am ashamed that I even contemplated using it, I do not even drink myself and I am a member of Al Anon so I should know better.

Thank you for being ever deligent with this site, it is these exact things that you and the other managers bring to light that keep this site an informative, structured and safe place to come for help with drug addiction.

Linda - Free and Healing for Two Months, Sixteen Days, 20 Hours and 19 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 9 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1557 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $624.77.
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ZZRSteve GOLD
ZZRSteve GOLD

May 19th, 2005, 11:37 am #5

There was an old movie called "Cold Turkey" where a fictional tobacco company offered a huge sum of money to any community that could quit smoking for a certain length of time. The tobacco company thought it was impossible but would make for good publicity. One town took them up on the offer. Everyone agreed to quit smoking (cold turkey was the only way to do it at the time) except the town drunk. I've always remembered his words....."The booze bone is connected to the smoking bone." Even though he was a fictional character and a comic relief one at that, I knew those words were true. I think anyone who's smoked and drank alcoholic beverages (myself included) would agree that you tend to smoke more, a lot more, usually, when you were drinking.

That being said, I don't think it's a necessity to quit drinking adult beverages when you quit smoking. I think you have to know yourself. Obviously, if you know from previous experience that you're likely to relapse while imbibing at the bar, then you should avoid that experience at least until you're mentally ready to handle it. Educate yourself here first. In a way, it's like any other trigger except alcohol is a drug and unlike many other triggers can cause it's own set of problems for certain people.

Personally, I still enjoy the occasional adult beverage. As a non/ex smoker, I can appreciate a glass of wine, a finely brewed beer, etc. much more than I did as a smoker. Of course, I can appreciate most any aspect of living much more than I did before I quit smoking. All I'm saying is drinking alcoholic beverages is not necessarily a bad thing. As it pertains to quitting smoking, it can be a powerfull trigger, so watch out. You don't have to "give up" anything to quit smoking. There may be an infinite amount of triggers out there but as long as you're aware of them, meet them, and defeat them, there's nothing to fear. As long as you NTAP, you have a 100% chance of staying tobacco free forever. Steve 1 year, 6 days.
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Joel
Joel

May 19th, 2005, 4:36 pm #6

Hello Steve:

This thread was never intended to tell all people that they should or should not drink alcohol. It is intended to tell people not to glorify alcohol or to push alcohol on others. Here is the general commentary we have that addresses drinking from the thread Alcohol and quitting:

It is imperative that everyone here recognizes that everything you can do as a smoker, you can also do as an ex-smoker. You just have to teach yourself how. Somethings you are forced early on to learn immediately, how to eat, sleep, use the washroom, breath, etc. These are things that are required from day one for survival, so even though you may resist doing one of them, you can't resist it for long and will thereby be forced to start to break the association to smoking early on. Other things are sometimes put off and seen as not critical to face early on. Things like working, laundry, cleaning, brushing teeth, combing hair, etc. While it is true you won't die if you stop one of these activities for a day or two, putting off doing them too long will create a set of problems that can be quite annoying to those around you. Besides threatening your livelihood and making you look like a slob in general, if carried on too long, you can really start to feel intimidated that you may not be able to do one or more of these activities ever again. Once again I need to repeat the opening sentence here, everything you do as a smoker, you can also do as an ex-smoker--but you have to teach yourself how.

Now when it comes to areas of less importance, watching tv, sports, playing cards, being a couch potato, and yes, even drinking with friends--things that are not necessary for survival and in fact, things that may not even be good for you, well, the truth is you can do these things too as an ex-smoker. The same process is necessary though, you have to teach yourself how. Holding off too long can create a sense of intimidation, the feeling that you can never do it again. This simply is not the case, you will be able to get yourself back to your prequit existence if you choose to.

Drinking is a special case because the association is so strong and by its very nature lowers your inhibitions and can cause people to do some very irrational behaviors. Smoking can be one of them. Because of the drug influence, it is best to take it on gradually, in the beginning in a safe environment. By that I mean the first time, limit it to one drink just to show yourself you can do that. Also, do it with people who are non-smokers and who really are supportive of your quit. This is a much safer situation in the beginning by going out with drinking smoking buddies who may be a tad envious of your quit, and who, while drinking also have their inhibitions lowered that may manifest in behaviours of encouragement of your smoking at a time when you are more vulnerable.

Soon you will be able to face these environments too, but work your way their gradually, breaking some of the association and intimidation factors in the safer controlled environments. The fact is though, for the rest of your life you will need to keep your guard up, in a sense reminding yourself of your reason for having quit and the importance to stay off smoking everytime before you go drinking. It prepares you to face the situation in a much safer state of readiness.

One special note I need to make here. When I say everything you do as a smoker, you can do as an ex-smoker, the reverse is also true for some activities. If you were a recovering addict to alcohol or any other substance before, you couldn't use that substance as a smoker and you can't as an ex-smoker either without a full blown relapse.

There are some things you may be able to do now that you couldn't do before due to physical limitations posed by smoking. You may find that you are capable of doing activities that you gave up years ago because you were too old to do them or they hurt when you tried, and now, without smoking limiting you physically, you may find you will recapture activities you lost in your youth. This is great when it happens. But again, use of a substance you had a known problem with in the past is still an issue as an ex-smoker and will be for the rest of your life.

So anyway, use your own timetable that you are comfortable with, but the sooner you prove to yourself that life goes on without smoking, the sooner the concept of life after cigarette will become less intimidating and actually welcomed. Just start out gradually and in the case of alcohol, in a little bit of a safer more controlled environment and fashion.

The way to learn to do everything though is to gradually do everything while always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 19th, 2005, 4:52 pm #7

Here is another past post that addresses the issue of how we are not trying to dictate what people do or don't do regarding the use of any kind of substances. The only reason we took alcohol head on was because a few weeks ago a few members were actively encouraging its use to others.
From: Joel. Sent: 2/1/2003 3:42 PM
Below is a response that I wrote back over two years ago to a member who asked about the consequences of her boyfriend smoking marijuana after he had quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. The message is still as pertinent today as it was back then. We are dealing with nicotine addiction here at Freedom, even more than we are dealing with dangers associated with smoking. It is true that marijuana and tobacco smoke have many similar chemicals and thus many similar dangers. But there is one significant difference and that is the presence of nicotine. Tobacco has nicotine in it and marijuana does not. Marijuana cannot cause a person to relapse on nicotine. But with that being said, the message below should not be ignored or overlooked either. I always want the message below to be read by anyone reading this thread.


In response to the implication of my boyfriend who has quit smoking cigarettes but still smoking marijuana:

First, he should not in any way shape or form substitute one drug for another, whether it is pot, alcohol, coffee, tranquilizers, stimulants, or whatever. The concept of substitution is a crutch and a crutch is going to have its own inherent problems.

OK, so what about smoking pot as its own issue. I always tell my groups that quitting smoking, or I guess for clarity sake here, getting off nicotine requires one thing only, that is getting off nicotine. Everything a person does as a smoker they can do without smoking. I mean this when I say it. Everything. Things that are good for them and they enjoy, they can do after they quit smoking. Things that are good for them and they don't enjoy they can do after they quit smoking. Things that are not good for them and they enjoy they can do without smoking. And things that are not good for them and the do not enjoy they can do too. Basically the message I want everyone to understand is anything they could do as a smoker, they can now do as an ex-smoker. Anything.

I am not trying to give an endorsement to an illegal product, one that has many of the same chemicals at tobacco smoke and so have some of the same health risks. But while the chemical structure of the two are similar, marijuana actually having higher concentrations of some of the poisons than even tobacco smoke, there is one big difference between the two. It is the active drug that is not shared. Tobacco contains nicotine, marijuana contains Tetrahyrdocannibinol (THC) (the spelling might be wrong). So can marijuana be smoked without relapsing to cigarettes, yes. Should it be used as a substitution, definately not. If you were not using it before there is no way it should be incorporated into your life now.

If you were using it before, well for legal and for some medical risks, you should not have been. For those same reasons you should stop now. But as far as it causing a nicotine relapse, it won't, at least no more than alcohol will. What I mean by that is alcohol can lower a persons resolve and make them more vulnerable to relapse. Same with marijuana, maybe even more so. But the actual act of smoking marijuana is not going to cause a relapse to nicotine, only administration to nicotine can accomplish that feat.

I wrote to someone yesterday who wasn't sure of us at Freedom yet that we have no hidden agendas here. I meant that when I wrote it. We are not trying to force any changes in a persons life. The only area we are working on as our stated objective is breaking the nicotine addiction. This is why I am trying to make it clear that other activities can be done, but again, I am not saying it should, that it is safe or that it is right. On many fronts marijuana use is dangerous, from legal, and medical issues, but it is up to each and every individual here to decide what is right or wrong for them.

Hope this answers your friends questions. I am going to bring up the article on crutch replacement now for further elaboration of the substitution risk.

To stay in control of your nicotine addiction, which is all we are asking of everyone here, remember as for tobacco cigarettes, never take another puff!

Joel
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

August 16th, 2005, 5:56 pm #8

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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 31st, 2006, 8:48 pm #9

From Joel's original post
..... we have had a number of posts put up by newer members as well as seasoned members that have had a theme that the use of alcohol is somehow an acceptable or expected way of celebrating smoking cessation.

The use of the & icons can be offensive to our members in recovery for alcohol. Please refrain from using them. There are better ways to express our continuing victory over our addiction(s).

JoeJFree always a nicotine addict and gratefully now an EX-smoker for 1 year, 20 days, 21 hours, 30 minutes and 11 seconds (385 days)
I've now reclaimed 33 Days and 11 Hours to live how I choose!
NTAP!
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 2nd, 2006, 2:22 am #10

Rerun for those 'peops' who missed this yesterday.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

April 12th, 2006, 7:33 pm #11

This message has been deleted by the manager or assistant manager.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

May 26th, 2006, 10:56 pm #12

A good rerun prior to the US Holiday weekend but good advice for the Freedom forum at any time.
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Jacqui672 Gold
Jacqui672 Gold

May 26th, 2006, 11:22 pm #13

This message has been deleted by the manager or assistant manager.
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Joel
Joel

August 11th, 2006, 8:47 pm #14

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AussieJo7.ffn
AussieJo7.ffn

August 12th, 2006, 6:38 am #15

My apologies to everyone, I am the guilty party at this time. I didn't engage my brain.

Jo
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Joel
Joel

October 14th, 2006, 8:14 pm #16

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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

November 1st, 2006, 3:04 am #17

This message has been deleted by the manager or assistant manager.
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Joel
Joel

April 29th, 2007, 5:27 am #18

From above:

In response to the implication of my boyfriend who has quit smoking cigarettes but still smoking marijuana:

First, he should not in any way shape or form substitute one drug for another, whether it is pot, alcohol, coffee, tranquilizers, stimulants, or whatever. The concept of substitution is a crutch and a crutch is going to have its own inherent problems.

OK, so what about smoking pot as its own issue. I always tell my groups that quitting smoking, or I guess for clarity sake here, getting off nicotine requires one thing only, that is getting off nicotine. Everything a person does as a smoker they can do without smoking. I mean this when I say it. Everything. Things that are good for them and they enjoy, they can do after they quit smoking. Things that are good for them and they don't enjoy they can do after they quit smoking. Things that are not good for them and they enjoy they can do without smoking. And things that are not good for them and the do not enjoy they can do too. Basically the message I want everyone to understand is anything they could do as a smoker, they can now do as an ex-smoker. Anything.

I am not trying to give an endorsement to an illegal product, one that has many of the same chemicals at tobacco smoke and so have some of the same health risks. But while the chemical structure of the two are similar, marijuana actually having higher concentrations of some of the poisons than even tobacco smoke, there is one big difference between the two. It is the active drug that is not shared. Tobacco contains nicotine, marijuana contains Tetrahyrdocannibinol (THC) (the spelling might be wrong). So can marijuana be smoked without relapsing to cigarettes, yes. Should it be used as a substitution, definately not. If you were not using it before there is no way it should be incorporated into your life now.

If you were using it before, well for legal and for some medical risks, you should not have been. For those same reasons you should stop now. But as far as it causing a nicotine relapse, it won't, at least no more than alcohol will. What I mean by that is alcohol can lower a persons resolve and make them more vulnerable to relapse. Same with marijuana, maybe even more so. But the actual act of smoking marijuana is not going to cause a relapse to nicotine, only administration to nicotine can accomplish that feat.

I wrote to someone yesterday who wasn't sure of us at Freedom yet that we have no hidden agendas here. I meant that when I wrote it. We are not trying to force any changes in a persons life. The only area we are working on as our stated objective is breaking the nicotine addiction. This is why I am trying to make it clear that other activities can be done, but again, I am not saying it should, that it is safe or that it is right. On many fronts marijuana use is dangerous, from legal, and medical issues, but it is up to each and every individual here to decide what is right or wrong for them.

Hope this answers your friends questions. I am going to bring up the article on crutch replacement now for further elaboration of the substitution risk.

To stay in control of your nicotine addiction, which is all we are asking of everyone here, remember as for tobacco cigarettes, never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

November 3rd, 2007, 10:11 pm #19

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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

March 28th, 2008, 7:18 pm #20

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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

August 5th, 2008, 11:34 am #21

From Joel's original post
..... we have had a number of posts put up by newer members as well as seasoned members that have had a theme that the use of alcohol is somehow an acceptable or expected way of celebrating smoking cessation.

The use of the & icons can be offensive to our members in recovery for alcohol. Please refrain from using them. There are better ways to express our continuing victory over our addiction(s).
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