Quitting for Others

Joel
Joel

12:07 AM - Mar 11, 2001 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library


Quitting for Others




"My husband can't stand it when I smoke - that is why I quit." "My wife is trying to quit, so I will stop just to support her." "My kids get sick when I smoke in front of them. They cough, sneeze, and nag me to death. I quit for them." "My doctor told me not to smoke as long as I am his patient, so I quit to get him off my back." "I quit for my dog."

All these people may have given up smoking, but they have done it for the wrong reason. While they may have gotten through the initial withdrawal process, if they don't change their primary motivation for abstaining from smoking, they will inevitably relapse. Contrary to popular belief, the important measure of success in smoking cessation is not getting off of cigarettes, but rather the ability to stay off.

A smoker may quit temporarily for the sake of a significant other, but he will feel as if he is depriving himself of something he truly wants. This feeling of deprivation will ultimately cause him to return to smoking. All that has to happen is for the person who he quit for to do something wrong, or just disappoint him. His response will be, "I deprived myself of my cigarettes for you and look how you pay me back! I'll show you, I will take a cigarette!" He will show them nothing. He is the one who will return to smoking and suffer the consequences. He will either smoke until it kills him or have to quit again. Neither alternative will be pleasant.

It is imperative for him to come to the realization that the primary benefactor in his giving up smoking is himself. True, his family and friends will benefit, but he will feel happier, healthier, calmer and in control of his life. This results in pride and a greatly improved self-esteem. Instead of feeling deprived of cigarettes, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction.

So, always keep in mind that you quit smoking for you. Even if no one else offers praise or encouragement, pat yourself on the back for taking such good care of yourself. Realize how good you are to yourself for having broken free from such a destructive addiction. Be proud and remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Edited 11-5-11 to add new video below:

Last edited by Joel on 2:35 PM - Nov 05, 2011, edited 1 time in total.
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

12:09 AM - Apr 30, 2001 #2

Guys, I just have to share this with you.

My wife (a never-smoker) has been nagging me for 20 years to quit. When I did, she was delighted for the first 10 minutes, and since then has taken the whole thing entirely for granted.

She just came up behind me as I was reading the board and said "Are you still using that website? How much time can you spend talking about the same thing?"

Now my wife is genuinely a caring, compassionate person, and she really desperately wants me to stay quit. Her problem is, of course, she has no understanding of smoking as an addiction, nor the process of quitting. And she never can have.

If I had quit "for her" rather than for myself, I would be living in a house of cards right now. The slightest feeling of antagonism towards my wife (yes, even I have those from time to time, saint though I am ) would have me diving for the smoke. And any attempt to get support from "the person for whom I quit" would meet with disaster, which would likely create just such a feeling of antagonism.
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Heike (silver)
Heike (silver)

3:21 PM - Apr 30, 2001 #3

Thanks for that! Yes, it is sooo true. You will NEVER get the kind of support you might wish for from a non-smoker, simply because, like Marty said, they will never really understand.

It reminded me of one time I tried to quit, and I chose I trip with my ex (ex now, not then) to Wales to do it. We travelled around a lot, went canoeing in the sea and on white water, camped on cliff tops, enjoyed some beuatiful scenery,... we did have some arguments too. I remember for example one issue re where to have dinner one night. He was never one for wanting to spend much moneyy (even though we had enough) and suggested fish & chips (which I hate because I don't like deep-fried stuff). I really felt that after 4 days of not smoking, I deserved a treat. I also felt HE should KNOW this, without me saying so! Of course he was totally unaware, and why should he understand that I was feeling anything other than normal..

Anyway, when we talked about the trip some weeks later, I mentioned how much fun it was. For me to learn to paddle, going beautiful places, etc... He said it was one of the worst times he ever had! I felt so hurt, because he blamed me for it entirely. So much for support.

Lots of people around us every day, those who have never smoked, will think the same way about our quits. But only when it's someone who you are emotionally involved with, does it really show and can be a problem.

Oh, I'm rambling again....

Heike
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duncan
duncan

3:28 PM - Apr 30, 2001 #4

Heike - I bet you'll never forget him saying that either - That's so sad darling - My heart hurt when I read that - I wish I could give you a hug right now - "There's nothing like being up the creek without a paddle" - looks like your emotions were left high and dry - there's nothing worse !
- Love to YOU - Duncan -
PS : I hope better love is finding you
Four weeks, 18 hours, 3 minutes and 49 seconds. 718 cigarettes not smoked, saving $255.89. Life saved: 2 days, 11 hours, 50 minutes.
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duncan
duncan

3:32 PM - Apr 30, 2001 #5

Marty - That was so nicely put - what a fab illustration you painted with your house of cards - Thanks Mate - I'm so pleased that you have your quit in perspective in relation to your wife and her feelings about cigarettes - you have one up on me - well done - - Love to you - Duncan -
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Joel
Joel

8:07 PM - Sep 13, 2001 #6

I have seen it written a few times about people keeping their quits so as not to give the terrorists more victims. But this is saying that a reason to stay off smoking is to make another person unhappy--kind of the opposite of the premise here of quitting to make other people happy. The bottom line reason of a quit should always be to make yourself happy--as well as healthier and living longer. People must quit and stay off in spite of how any one else feels about their quit. So for your benefit say to yourself today that your goal is still to never take another puff!
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Joel
Joel

11:07 AM - Oct 22, 2001 #7

For Sewquilts:

You can't quit for another person, but bottom line is you cannot go back because of another person either. This quit is your own to keep or lose, it is up to you alone. Do you want to smoke again until it cripples and kills you, or do you want to wait a few days and see where things settle in. Its up to you and you alone. If your decision is to smoke till death you know what to do. If your decision is to choose life--a new life maybe but still life--you should know what to do to. It is taking right now a day at a time and sticking with your commitment to yourself to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

5:34 AM - Aug 23, 2002 #8

Don't use the expectations
of others as your crutch!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:44 AM - Mar 30, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

7:44 PM - Nov 11, 2002 #9

Let Your List of Reasons for Quitting Be Yours!
Make sure you take a few minutes to write down your list of reasons for wanting to break nicotine's grip upon your life and let the reasons be your reasons.

If you write your list as a short loving letter to you, knowing that you may very well read it during a time of serious challenge when you'll need pumping up and a bit of motivation to make it through the next couple of minutes, it can be a powerful coping tool in time of need.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

12:59 AM - Dec 27, 2002 #10

MIXED REASONS? We all have mixed reasons for quitting and some involve satisfying the desires of those who love us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with our loved ones wanting us to live long and healthy lives, or in us wanting to please them. What causes trouble is when we fail to put our own personal motivations at the very top of our list.

These lungs, veins and the heart pumping life through them, are tended to only by me. I have the power to relapse and continue their destruction or remain free and allow them to experience additional healing. I can climb back aboard nicotine's endless roller-coaster ride of dopamine highs and craving lows (WHERE ARE MY SMOKES!!!), or I can enjoy the profound sense of constant comfort that arrived as my recovery ripened. The ash, oils, packs, money, trips to the store, the cough, hack, weasing and snorning, the colds and illnesses, needless medical bills, and the massive amount of time needed to feed my need, just one puff and the addict is back.

My two daughters were very very hard on me about my smoking and more than once I tried to quit for them and failed. It seemed I could never light-up without the smoke finding them - or so they always said. The "smoke follows beauty" line had lost its punch many years earlier. As they grew older, while smoking I was always forced to walk alone. We couldn't go anywhere together without dad making some excuse to run off to elevate his constantly falling blood serum nicotine level. The ritual was part of our life

Since quitting I've gradually moved closer to my daughters as it was hard for them to take comfort in being close to or hugging someone who always smelled like three packs-a-day. What was worse was the fact that we could not stay engaged in any activity together for longer than my addiction allowed - about 15 minutes. My oldest and I took a long drive and went fishing the other day. We didn't catch anything but it didn't matter. What mattered was that never once were our hours together interrupted by a compelling need for me to smoke nicotine.

Slowly, the hugs are getting a bit bigger and memories longer and richer. Although the benefits are shared with my entire world -- including the air breathed by my dog -- my freedom, comfort and healing are mine. This is life and I won't give it back. The glory belongs to you too! Hold it close and protect it. Like a flushing toilet, just one puff of nicotine and it's gone!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
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AuntBea (Silver)
AuntBea (Silver)

1:11 AM - Dec 27, 2002 #11

John, that was very beautiful. Congratulations on your new life.
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neddygirl1
neddygirl1

9:09 AM - Oct 31, 2003 #12

John, that really is beautiful.
For me it's the other way around. I was the smoker that had to make excuses not to see my dad because I hid my smoking from him.
We spent the whole day together last weekend, for the first time in years, as I could never go longer than a few hours without making an excuse, like you said, to run away and be a junkie. I could tell it really meant a lot to him, but he still doesn't know why I used to leave in a bad mood all the time.
Congratulations,
love net
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

1:43 AM - Feb 25, 2004 #13

We can share our glory but it must be ours!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 1:47 AM - Mar 30, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

3:58 AM - Dec 28, 2004 #14

"My husband can't stand it when I smoke - that is why I quit." "My wife is trying to quit, so I will stop just to support her." "My kids get sick when I smoke in front of them. They cough, sneeze, and nag me to death. I quit for them." "My doctor told me not to smoke as long as I am his patient, so I quit to get him off my back." "I quit for my dog."

All these people may have given up smoking, but they have done it for the wrong reason. While they may have gotten through the initial withdrawal process, if they don't change their primary motivation for abstaining from smoking, they will inevitably relapse. Contrary to popular belief, the important measure of success in smoking cessation is not getting off of cigarettes, but rather the ability to stay off.

A smoker may quit temporarily for the sake of a significant other, but he will feel as if he is depriving himself of something he truly wants. This feeling of deprivation will ultimately cause him to return to smoking. All that has to happen is for the person who he quit for to do something wrong, or just disappoint him. His response will be, "I deprived myself of my cigarettes for you and look how you pay me back! I'll show you, I will take a cigarette!" He will show them nothing. He is the one who will return to smoking and suffer the consequences. He will either smoke until it kills him or have to quit again. Neither alternative will be pleasant.

It is imperative for him to come to the realization that the primary benefactor in his giving up smoking is himself. True, his family and friends will benefit, but he will feel happier, healthier, calmer and in control of his life. This results in pride and a greatly improved self-esteem. Instead of feeling deprived of cigarettes, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction.

So, always keep in mind that you quit smoking for you. Even if no one else offers praise or encouragement, pat yourself on the back for taking such good care of yourself. Realize how good you are to yourself for having broken free from such a destructive addiction. Be proud and remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

8:45 PM - Dec 02, 2005 #15

You cannot quit smoking for others. On the same token, you should never go back to smoking because of an act of another person also. I saw a post from a person who was angery at her boyfriend and because of an altercation considered taking a cigarette. Often the thought process involved in such an act is that you will hurt the other person if you take a cigarette. It is then considered a retaliatory response to a wrong inflicted by another individual.

Well the fact is if you take a cigarette to hurt someone else, you are the only one who is really going to get hurt in the long-run. In fact, I always tell my clinic participants that if in the future, any person ever ticks them off big time and they want to get even with the person, they should make every effort possible to get that other person to smoke. If the clinic person were to be the one to take the cigarette, they are the ones who are going to get burned by the process. If you get the other person to smoke, you are helping to speed along his or her death.

Hopefully there are not many people who take the advice literally. Although if someone did go out of their way to sabotage another person's quit, when it comes right down to it, it would still be the fault of the person who took the cigarette. Each and every person who has quit has to take responsibility for his or her own success or failure. Failure will only occur if a person only rationalizes an excuse to take a cigarette, such as the excuse to hurt another person. Success will only occur if a person decides that no matter what other people do around him or her or to him or her that he or she is going to continue to stick to the personal commitment he or she made to him or herself to never take another puff!

Joel
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

11:40 PM - Dec 25, 2005 #16

Your selection of your primary quitting motivation, and keeping it adequately fueled, is critical to permanent nicotine dependency recovery. Quitting for your unborn child all but assures nicotine relapse once you convince yourself that the greatest dangers have passed. By quitting for you, and allowing your baby to inherit the fruits of your decision, you set the stage to permanently arrest your dependency.

John
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CassataAngel
CassataAngel

10:05 PM - Mar 13, 2006 #17

I think this sentance sums up the last 96 hours for me.

Quit for you and only you. Only you can decide to Keep the Freedom from nicotine you have chosen . Only you can throw that hard won Freedom away by decising to readminister nicotine to you now clean blood and brain.

Why would I want to throw away what I have struggled to achieve! I might have chosen to quit for my teenager, but that was day 1. I stop now because I want to remain toxic free!!!!

Cassata
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

4:58 AM - Aug 12, 2006 #18

It is imperative for him or her to come to the realization that the primary benefactor in his giving up smoking is himself. True, his family and friends will benefit, but he will feel happier, healthier, calmer and in control of his life. This results in pride and a greatly improved self-esteem. Instead of feeling deprived of cigarettes, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction. - from Joel's initial post above.
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tallmama
tallmama

8:04 AM - Aug 12, 2006 #19

So true! But the frightening thing is that I wonder how someone can give up their freedom! They have reached the top and felt what life is like without being chained to addiction. How can our minds forget all of that so quickly and go back to that filthy way of living? -Karen
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Joel
Joel

3:40 AM - Sep 04, 2006 #20

You cannot quit smoking for others. On the same token, you should never go back to smoking because of an act of another person also. I saw a post from a person who was angery at her boyfriend and because of an altercation considered taking a cigarette. Often the thought process involved in such an act is that you will hurt the other person if you take a cigarette. It is then considered a retaliatory response to a wrong inflicted by another individual.

Well the fact is if you take a cigarette to hurt someone else, you are the only one who is really going to get hurt in the long-run. In fact, I always tell my clinic participants that if in the future, any person ever ticks them off big time and they want to get even with the person, they should make every effort possible to get that other person to smoke. If the clinic person were to be the one to take the cigarette, they are the ones who are going to get burned by the process. If you get the other person to smoke, you are helping to speed along his or her death.

Hopefully there are not many people who take the advice literally. Although if someone did go out of their way to sabotage another person's quit, when it comes right down to it, it would still be the fault of the person who took the cigarette. Each and every person who has quit has to take responsibility for his or her own success or failure. Failure will only occur if a person only rationalizes an excuse to take a cigarette, such as the excuse to hurt another person. Success will only occur if a person decides that no matter what other people do around him or her or to him or her that he or she is going to continue to stick to the personal commitment he or she made to him or herself to never take another puff!

Joel
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Kristen Goldx3
Kristen Goldx3

10:47 PM - Dec 08, 2006 #21

From above:

Instead of feeling deprived of cigarettes, he will feel good about himself and appreciative to have been able to break free from such a dirty, deadly, powerful addiction. So, always keep in mind that you quit smoking for you. Even if no one else offers praise or encouragement, pat yourself on the back for taking such good care of yourself. Realize how good you are to yourself for having broken free from such a destructive addiction. Be proud and remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

7:31 PM - Aug 15, 2008 #22

Quit for you and only you.
Only you can decide to Keep the Freedom from nicotine you have chosen .
Only you can throw that hard won Freedom away by deciding to readminister nicotine to your now clean blood and brain.
Live Free by NTAP.

JJF - The Gold Club
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Joined: 7:22 PM - Nov 11, 2008

5:53 PM - Sep 09, 2009 #23

There may be no more horrible example of what happens when we try to quit for others than watching pregnant smoking women attempt to protect the developing life inside. Below is a tragic study summary showing that just 111 of 682 pregnant smoking women, only 16.3%, were able to stop smoking during pregnancy.

One of the greatest cessation education challenges of all is motiving a pregnant woman to do this for herself, so that her baby won't have a drug addict for a mom, and can inherit the fruits of her decision, including allowing the baby to bond her natural smells instead of passing smokers who happen to wear the stink of her brand of cigarettes. But as suggested in this study, most cessation facilitators have surprisingly little understanding of how a sense of self-deprivation gradually eats away and destroys whatever self motivations once existed. Still just one rule ... none today!

John (Gold x10)

Attitude towards cessation among French pregnant smokers:
Explaining the poor uptake of specialised support

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2009 Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Baha MY, Le Faou AL.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated pregnant smokers' profile and attitude towards cessation to explain who stops smoking during pregnancy and who is unsuccessful.

STUDY DESIGN: 682 pregnant smokers aged less than 50 had visited cessation services between 2004 and 2006. Pregnant smokers' profile was described using: socio-demographic details, psychological and medical history, characteristics of tobacco consumption and details of cessation interventions. At the end of the first visit, cessation specialists could record a brief report of the visit with additional information on the smoker. Abstinence was verified during follow-up visits with expired carbon monoxide measures, with a threshold of 5ppm. Associations between pregnant smokers' profile and subsequent cessation interventions outcomes were tested using descriptive statistics. Predictors of cessation were determined with multivariate logistic regression. Reports of the visits were analysed by open coding to determine main themes.

RESULTS: 80.5% of women were heavy smokers at baseline whatever the intervention outcome (10 cigarettes or more per day by the first visit). 16.3% (N=111) of women stopped smoking during their pregnancy. 59.8% (N=408) were registered during a first visit but never returned to a cessation service. The reports revealed that these women showed little motivation for complete cessation, despite being offered an intervention plan. They were more interested in maintaining a reduced tobacco consumption for stress relief. Women who lived or worked with smokers feared that they would not be able to maintain abstinence.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite being offered professional help, many pregnant heavy smokers do not feel ready to stop smoking. Their attitude towards cessation illustrates ambivalence. There is thus a need for coordinated efforts between antenatal care providers and smoking treatment specialists in order to enhance pregnant smokers' motivation to quit.



http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03012115

Last edited by JohnPolito on 5:56 PM - Sep 09, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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johnnynonic GOLD
johnnynonic GOLD

10:46 AM - Sep 23, 2009 #24

Just bumping this up for someone's reading pleasure.
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Joined: 2:04 PM - Nov 13, 2008

2:45 PM - Mar 07, 2014 #25

The importance of quitting for yourself

Recorded in response to following YouTube member's request:


Joel:

I quit 6 years ago now Joel and I wanted to drop you a note could you add a video talking about how when you quit you have all kinds of people supporting you and patting you on the back and then as time goes on nobody cares. I think it is an important point. I have seen this so much and I always to a degree pump myself up on how lucky and I do pat myself on the back sometimes and it's important for people who are just quitting to realize this. Thanks Joel for the updated videos too.
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