The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom

Welcome to Freedom, a support group dedicated to educated cold turkey nicotine dependency recovery. Prior to applying to join, it is critical that you read: (1) The Law of Addiction (2) Our Mission Statement (3) Relapse Policy and (4) Rules.
FoolishWorkinj
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

18 Jan 2006, 10:52 #31

Dear Joel, Sometimes I have this weird feeling like I have already smoked a cigarette. What is that? It's very scary.
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Rickgoldx5
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Jan 2006, 11:36 #32

Dear Foolish,
We all have these freams from time to time. I know they seem real but as long as your stay to Never taking another puff You need not worry.
Here is a great link from Joel,
The smoking dream
Rick
Last edited by Rickgoldx5 on 14 Apr 2009, 06:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Jan 2006, 22:39 #33

From the original post in this string:
"We always want to be careful about giving advice that is considered conventional wisdom, sounds great on paper, and is basically wrong for most people trying to quit smoking.

Things like the idea of feeling you have to wait till a certain day of the week, or prepare for a certain time period gives many people the excuse to put off a quit that they may be ready to do at the point in time that they show up. Putting off a quit to the "right time" has caused many a smoker to put it off till death."

I put the following article and comments into a few strings yesterday. I realize today that they fit well in here too:
Snap Decision to Quit Smoking Called Effective
1/27/2006


Some smokers may need a "quit plan" to stop smoking, but researchers say that those who spontaneously decide to quit may have more success, Reuters reported Jan. 26.

"Contrary to what experts had previously believed, the idea that you have to plan your quit attempts ahead of time isn't necessarily true," said researcher Robert West of University College London, who along with colleague Taj Sohal queried 1,900 smokers and former smokers about their attempts to quit.

West and Sohal found that about half of all quit attempts were spontaneous, and that those who chose to quit on the spot were 50-60 percent more likely to succeed than those who planned their attempt in advance.

The researchers stressed that the findings should not be used to discourage quit plans, but rather reinforce the importance of the smoker being in the right frame of mind and motivated when they decide to quit.

The study was published in the January 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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ImageRecommend Message 53 of 53 in Discussion
From: Joel Sent: 1/27/2006 12:15 PM
Normally when I see a news headline with "New Study" attached to a smoking cessation report I cringe. Somehow most studies reported are some sort of laboratory study, where conclusions are being drawn from rodents or people in experimental settings. Somehow lab settings seem to always show what we teach here at Freedom is wrong.

Every now and then though a different kind of study is released. Not research done in a lab where the researchers control the variables--but rather real world surveys where researchers are simply trying to find out what has worked for people in real world settings.

Those kind of studies are a whole lot more credible to me, and I believe to be a whole lot more replicable by any average person trying to see if the the reports hold true to their own experiences and to the experiences of those around them. These kind of studies often result in the the smoking cessation experts of the world having to tap dance around the new findings.

Here is a comment I put up earlier today regarding real world studies involving NRT's. I am going to change a few words in that commentary, replacing the phrase "NRT" with a variation of the phrase "plan your quit" or "planned their quit." I think all who read here will realize that the same concepts apply:

I really do encourage all people to take this survey, talking to long-term ex-smokers in their real world. People who you knew when they were smokers, who you knew when they were quitting and who you still know as being successful long-term ex-smokers. The more people you talk to the more obvious it will become how people quit smoking and how people stay off of smoking. Again, people quit smoking by simply quitting smoking and people stay off of smoking by simply knowing that to stay smoke free that they must never take another puff! Again, go talk to as many long-term successful ex-smokers (people off all forms of nicotine for at least a year or longer) in your real world that you can find and find out how they quit. I don't believe that there is a single professional smoking cessation "plan your quit" advocate who will suggest to their patients that they take a similar survey. For if they did their credibility would be called into question almost immediately when the patient starting seeing the results of their real life survey. They will end up having to spend quite a bit of time trying to explain away the discrepancy, using excuses like the people who "Planned their quit" didn't do it right or didn't "plan" long enough or were more addicted smokers.

We don't need to spend time trying to explain away the results of the surveys that people will do in there real world settings. All we have to say is the results make it more and more obvious that the way to quit smoking and to stay successfully free is no more complicated than just making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel


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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Nov 2006, 22:01 #34

I saw the term "smober" used here a few minutes ago. A couple of weeks ago I think another member posted a question on what the term means. Smober is a combination of the word smoke free and sober that is used at some quit smoking sites. It is a term that you are not going to hear much in the real world though for it is not an actual word.

Whenever I see a member use a word like "smober" it is a strong indication that they do spend time reading and learning at other quit sites. This always makes us a little nervous for people who pick up hints and tips at other sites are possibly going to pick up more than euphimastic terms but possibly also conventional wisdom quitting tips and concepts.

I think that this is an important string for readers of other sites to see and be aware of, so that such conventional wisdom's don't find their way over to Freedom.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Aug 2007, 06:44 #35

I am lifting this comment from a response to a question at the AskJoel board about quitting cold turkey being too dangerous:

As far as I know there has never been any credible research done that had proved that quitting cold turkey was too dangerous. I actually haven't even had the question posed to me for many years.

There was a time when I used to get the question quite frequently. In my early years of doing programs I would hear it from people who told me that they had personal physicians who would tell them that quitting was just too much of a shock to their system and not worth the risk. It was often advice given to pregnant women by their obstetricians.

What must be understood about this information is was what the level of total misunderstanding there was by the physicians at the time, as well as by the entire medical and scientific community. It was at a time that there was a good chance that if a woman were to ask her physician if smoking was harmful to her baby, that the physician could have reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a cigarette, took a few puffs while in deep contemplation and came back with the answer that smoking didn't really pose any real risk. The same kind of conversation could have been held between a man and his cardiologist or any person with almost any medical condition talking to his or her doctor. Back in the 1950's over half of the doctors in our country smoked.

What we know now about the dangers of smoking as it relates to many conditions makes it totally obvious to almost any health care professional in any field that smoking is deadly, even though in the past the lack of solid information caused the wrong advice to be standard fare.

We now have decades of experience with millions and millions of people successfully quitting smoking, the vast majority of them doing so by going cold turkey. It should be obvious to almost any one now that the dangers of quitting smoking is not what smokers need to be concerned with, it is the dangers they face if they do not quit smoking.

On a personal note, I have personally run over 4,500 people through cold turkey smoking programs for almost 30 years now. Out of those 4,500 people I only had two people who died during the two week period of the clinic. One was a younger man, probably in his thirties with severe heart disease and diabetes who was forced into the program by his wife and doctor because it was clear to both of them that he was in real danger of dying if he didn't quit smoking. Unfortunately, while the man's wife and doctor were both convinced that he was in immediate danger, the man himself didn't accept the risk for in fact, he did not quit smoking during that clinic. He was cheating throughout the program and his wife was not ever sure he had reduced his smoking at all from the first day of the program. He died on the fifth or sixth day.

The other death was from a man who was also in really bad shape, having just had major cardiac surgery, was still having ongoing problems with chronic heart failure and had a terrible prognosis coming in. His doctor had told him that he was a walking time bomb and he meant it in very literal terms. He died about ten days into the program. He had quit and had eased up in the withdrawal, was in fact very proud of the fact that he had quit and was happy with his decision to do so. I actually went to his funeral. His wife was very happy to see me there, and excitedly introduced me to a number of their family members and friends, explaining how I was the person who helped her husband to quit smoking. They were all very proud of the man and felt that he really was trying to give himself a fighting chance to live. That seemed very important to his loved ones at that time.

Other than these two cases, I have never encountered a person who had died during the quitting process, which is quite remarkable considering the state of health that many people who come to clinics are in.

Again, don't waste your energy on the fear of quitting. It is a baseless fear. If you spend time doing any real research on the effects of not quitting though, the fear that you will feel will be totally warranted for the magnitude of risk posed by smoking is tremendous. The good news is that all of the risks posed by smoking can be minimized by simply making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Feb 2008, 05:06 #36

From the string "Do whatever it takes to quit smoking"
I saw a comment written in a new member's thread that they should do whatever it takes to quit smoking, along with the additional comment that the person should exercise and drink lots of water.
The truth is, if a smoker drank enough water to adequately hydrate him or herself while he or she was a smoker, there is no real reason to increase the quantity of water consumption when he or she quits smoking. As far as for exercise, ex-smokers often find they can increase the amount of exercise they can do because of greater endurance capabilities they gain after quitting, but it is not something that any ex-smoker has to do, and, can be a problem if any ex-smoker starts to believe that the exercise regime is keeping him or her from smoking.
The string Crutches to Quit Smoking addresses this issue. Also, the video below talks about the risks of taking up exercise or drinking water as a substituted behavior for smoking:
Video Title Dial Up High Speed Audio Length Date added
"What bad habit should I replace it with?" 1.86mb 18.4mb 0.75mb 05:04 10/02/06
Last edited by Joel on 14 Apr 2009, 06:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 May 2008, 22:52 #37

I saw where one new member liked a post by another new member because it was "so analytical." The problem is, the post she was referring to was analyzing issues that were based on totally untrue assumptions about smoking--things like doctors smoke more than people in any other profession and the stress of quitting is more likely to bring on a heart attack than quitting itself does. I attached links to articles in the string that clearly show that neither of these statements were true. For the record, we don't allow the perpetuation of erroneous facts here at Freedom. As it says above:

Every now and then I see a post that has the line, "I've heard that...," or "I've seen somewhere...", or "I've read at another site...," or even "My doctor says...,"and then goes on to tell of some of conventional wisdom or folk tale for all to read and maybe get the impression that there is some validity to the specific quitting advice claim. This kind of post is likely standard fare at many other Internet Support Sites but we are not set up to be a standard Internet Support Site. We are set up to be an educational forum that also happens to offer support. We really make a concerted effort at Freedom to make sure that all of the concepts presented have some real value and validity.

It is one thing for a person to write that they have heard or read something and want to know if it is valid, but to just write out the comment as advice or as a fact because they have heard it that it must be true can pose a problem. This string talks about how important it is for people who post here to be cautious on what they pass out as advice that is picked up elsewhere.

I'm not saying that there isn't some good advice out there, but it is best to clear ideas though our managers first before putting it out as some sort of factual statement. At a minimum, if you heard something elsewhere that you may think is of value, post the idea as a question so as to make it clear that you are just trying to do some fact finding and not trying to give the impression that you are stating a known and valid fact that may impact people reading here at Freedom.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Aug 2008, 20:45 #38

A question was posed that raised the issue of some of the teachings common in 12-step programs. While many of the lessons we teach share a lot in common with concepts taught in 12 step programs, we don't abide by all of their principles. An example of this can be seen above in this string where we addressed the issue of the use of the term H.A.L.T.
From above:
Use of the phrase H.A.L.T.
One common phrase used in many drug recovery programs is use of the term or more accurately the acronym of H.A.L.T.

H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired

The way the phrase is generally used is that a person should not let themselves ever become too hungry, angry, lonely and tired or they may very well risk putting their quit's in jeopardy. We don't generally abide by this philosophy at Freedom, because we feel that there are times when people cannot avoid encountering one or more of these situations.

The idea that you cannot allow yourself to get too hungry, angry, lonely and tired is an impossibility under certain situations--like at times of natural disasters, famines, times of war, and a host of other conditions that people may find themselves in throughout their life times.

People need to accept that there will be times because of external circumstances that they may become too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. What ex-smokers have to realize is just because they find themselves in one or more of these situations, there is no reason that these feelings are going to automatically put their quits on the line.

We have a few strings that address this issue in different

Life goes on without smoking

There is no legitimate reason to relapse

We understand why you relapsed

Life is going to go on after quitting and there will be times when you may very well find yourself in situations that leave you feeling too hungry, angry, lonely and tired. You should just be aware that none of these times will leave you having to once again feed an active nicotine addiction as long as you remember when under these tough times as well as under all good times that you made and are sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
Last edited by Joel on 14 Apr 2009, 06:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Dec 2008, 22:56 #39

I saw where a new member wrote into another newer member's string asking for advice or insights as to what might be happening from quitting smoking. This string discusses some of the limitations that newest members have to offer. Also, as it says in our "Buddy System" string:

Nobody here, whether a new quitter or a longer term quitter should be seeking help or assistance from our newest members. Newer members are here to learn and to work at securing their own quits and should not feel any responsibility or obligation to be helping others in the early stages of their quits. Newer members are here to learn and not to teach. The string The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom also covers why newer member should not be the ones sought out to learn about how to sustain long-term success. At this point in time no new member has proven that he or she has mastered sustaining a quit. They will prove it to themselves and to us as they get more and more time behind them with their quits intact by having stuck with their commitments to never take another puff!

Joel
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FreedomNicotine
Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

05 Nov 2009, 00:33 #40

I saw where a new member wrote into another newer member's string asking for advice or insights as to what might be happening from quitting smoking. This string discusses some of the limitations that newest members have to offer. Also, as it says in our "Buddy System" string:

Nobody here, whether a new quitter or a longer term quitter should be seeking help or assistance from our newest members. Newer members are here to learn and to work at securing their own quits and should not feel any responsibility or obligation to be helping others in the early stages of their quits. Newer members are here to learn and not to teach.

The string The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom also covers why newer member should not be the ones sought out to learn about how to sustain long-term success. At this point in time no new member has proven that he or she has mastered sustaining a quit. They will prove it to themselves and to us as they get more and more time behind them with their quits intact by having stuck with their commitments to never take another puff!

Joel
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