Great American Smoke Out Hijacked


8:28 PM - Nov 12, 2004#1

Great American Smokeout Hijacked
When the American Cancer Society held the first Smokeout in 1976 it was to make smokers aware of the importance of quitting, to provide a firm date for getting started, and to share literature on how to succeed. Twenty-six Smokouts later it has been transformed from a national quitting day into a day for selling new methods to replace the nicotine within the bodies of those addicted to it.

(PRWEB) November 12 2003--The 27th Great American Smokeout is this Thursday, November 20. If you are a smoker then get ready to be bombarded by a flood of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) commercials. They'll likely imply that quitting cold turkey requires mountains of willpower or Herculean strength. They'll tell you that by buying and using the nicotine gum, patch, lozenge or inhaler that you won't have to be some super hero to quit.

Even while unknowingly inviting the fox (nicotine) into the hen house (filled with nicotine addicts), a 1997 American Cancer Society press release assured the world that its new NRT pharmaceutical industry partnership was toward "efforts to expand its education of products and methods relevant to smoking cessation."

A visit to the American Cancer Society's online "Guide for Quitting Smoking" reveals just how far education expansion has come. Visitors will find 250 lines of type devoted to a growing array of NRT products, followed by one lone vague reference to quitting cold turkey.

Once the staple of quitting and cornerstone of the Society's cessation program, the sale of its trusted name and logo to NRT pharmaceutical interests may have brought it millions of dollars but not without cost.

This week we'll likely again watch as its name and credibility is invoked in a cold turkey bashing campaign designed to cause those addicted to nicotine to shy away from their natural inclinations.

Pharmaceutical industry literature, websites and commercials proclaim that few cold turkey quitters succeed and that the gum, patch or lozenge has been proven to double your chances of quitting for good. But is it true?

Are cold turkey success stories few and far between? Are most successful quitters quitting with the help of the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge?

Not according to Joel Spitzer, a 26 year Chicago quitting programs director and director of education at the internet's oldest cold turkey quitting forum, hosted by "Contrary to the bill of goods being sold to smokers, most quitters are still quitting cold turkey and more importantly the vast majority of successful quitters also quit by going cold turkey," says Spitzer.

Surprisingly, the Society's own research appears to support Spitzer's contentions. Surrounded by almost mandatory NRT use recommendations, page 25 of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2003 report contains a table indicating that 81% of current quitters and 91.2% of former successful quitters quit entirely on their own without any resort to quitting aids.

"Save your hard earned money," says Spitzer, "quitting should cost you nothing. Don't trust me but instead do your own survey by talking to family and trusted friends who have successfully have been off of all nicotine products for at least a year. Ask them how they did it."

If 91.2% of successful quitters did not use the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, hypnosis, acupuncture, Zyban, Wellbutrin, Smoke-Away, magic herbs or any formal quitting program, what are their secrets, why are they not being shared and why constantly undermine the world's most productive means of quitting?

"Most people succeed by coming to grips with the idea that to stay smoke-free they cannot take a puff on a cigarette," says Spitzer. "Try to find one person who once had quit but are now smokers again who didn't take a puff. Finding one such person is going to take you the rest of your life."

There have been a few important study developments since the last Smokeout that quitters might want to contrast with the American Cancer Society's website assertion that "about 5%--16% of people are able to quit smoking for at least 6 months without any medicine to help with withdrawal."

A March 2003 study published in Tobacco Control combined and averaged the results of all seven over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum studies and found that only 7% of participants had not relapsed to smoking within six months. But it might be even worse.

A just released November study, also published in Tobacco Control, found that as many as 7% of all nicotine gum users and 2% of patch users are still using NRT at six-months. When combined, the two studies present a legitimate concern - are any gum users actually breaking free from nicotine while using it?

"Historically, the literature has seldom examined dependence on NRT," asserts the November study whose primary authors were Saul Shiffman of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. J.R. Hughes of the University of Vermont. "We estimate that 36.6% of current gum users are engaged in persistent use."

Confused yet? Don't feel alone. As the November study suggests, part of the variance stems from the fact that NRT studies defined quitting as quitting smoking but not necessarily breaking nicotine's grip.

If you've already given your share of quick-fix magic cures a try, you may want to consider an invitation to return to the Smokeout's 1976 roots -- a day to quit, actually quitting for a day, and reading some solid nicotine dependency recovery information.

Marty, a London, England ex-smoker of three years recently extended a caring hand across an ocean of doubt and denial in posting a Smokeout invitation to Americans. "One day, one moment, one simple decision was all it took to change my life forever ... one simple click to

Another online quitter of a year and a half, Alyson from Brooklyn, New York, shared Marty's invite in asking that you reflect upon whether "you smoke because you want to or because you have to?" "Try not smoking for a day to find out," encourages Alyson.

According to Spitzer, "our members and the vast majority of long-term ex-smokers have learned what they need to do to successfully stay smoke-free which is simply knowing to never take another puff!"


About the Author: John R. Polito is a South Carolina nicotine cessation educator and the 1999 founder of


8:29 PM - Nov 12, 2004#2

This was an article John wrote last year that I just realized never had its own string. With the Great American Smoke Out rapidly approaching again I thought it might be a good idea to bring materials up to address much of the marketing that is going to be aimed at smokers wanting to quit over the next week. The increases in advertising and media kind of coverage that occurs over the next week may in fact result in more people starting to think about smoking cessation.

Unfortunately, many are going to get side tracked into the marketing blitz of products to buy to quit as opposed to getting any real education or help in understanding how to quit and how to stay off.

Being that we have the potential of having more people finding their way to Freedom this week I will be keeping many of our educational materials and information supporting cold turkey quitting near the top.

For the record, quitting smoking and staying smoke free is as simple as just stopping smoking and then making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff!



7:35 PM - Nov 17, 2005#3

This years addition:
The Great American Smokeout - November 17, 2005
by []John R. Polito[/url]
WhyQuit - Thursday, November 10, 2005[/size]

Here in the U.S., Thursday Nov. 17th's dawn will herald the 29th Great American Smokeout and yet another opportunity to quit smoking. But there has been a slight change since the American Cancer Society's first Smokeout in 1976. Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry took the liberty of redefining the word "quitting."

Instead of the Smokeout being a day to discover that life without nicotine might actually be do-able -- and the days that follow as well -- over the next week millions in marketing will be spent encouraging smokers to spend the day toying with pharmaceutical grade nicotine, otherwise known as nicotine replacement therapy or NRT - the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge and inhaler.

The sales pitch is usually two-fold. First, it will be suggested that, in the real-world, use of the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge will double a quitter's chances of quitting for good. Next, it will likely be suggested that quitting cold turkey is extremely difficult or that few cold turkey quitters succeed. Both assertions are false.

As for few cold turkey quitters succeeding, nothing could be further from the truth. The American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts and Figures 2003 report indicates that over 90% of all long-term successful quitters quit smoking cold turkey. With 46 million ex-smokers, it means that more than 40 million Americans have successfully quit smoking cold turkey.

Contrary to it being rare for cold turkey quitters to succeed, a far more accurate and honest quiiting methods representation to make during the 29th Great American Smokeout would be that cold turkey it is the cessation method used by almost all successful quitters.

As for NRT being twice as effective, it occurred only in formal clinical studies that were "allegedly" blind, where NRT product users gained odds ratio victories over a group of placebo quitters. But not when used out in the real world.

California, Minnesota, London, Quebec, Maryland, never once in any quitter survey have NRT users generated a higher six month quitting rate than those quitting entirely on their own. Never! But how can that be?

The pharmaceutical industry has known all along that nicotine is a psychoactive chemical which produces dopamine/adrenaline intoxication. It provides a deeply soothing unearned "aaahhh" dopamine reward sensation. A central nervous system stimulant, it also makes the heart pound faster, the fingers grow cold and the senses perk.

Clinical study participants were often enticed to join by being promised a 50/50 chance of receiving weeks or months of free NRT products. But half were randomly assigned to a placebo group where they were given an inert patch, gum or lozenge which was normally nicotine-free.

When quitting, every two hours the amount of nicotine remaining in the bloodstream is cut by half. Studies have shown that smokers with any significant quitting history know what it feels like to be deprived of nicotine. Is it possible to blind a study involving a psychoactive chemical like nicotine?

A June 2004 study published in Addictive Behaviors examined blinding assessments during clinical NRT studies and found that they were generally not blind as claimed, as 71% of studies assessing blindness failed their own assessment. "Subjects accurately judged treatment assignment at a rate significantly above chance."

Let's put it this way. If you were a smoker hoping to get weeks or months of free nicotine gum, would you have stuck around and allowed yourself to be toyed with by researchers if you were confident that you'd been assigned to the placebo group and your expectations of receiving free nicotine had been frustrated?

The opposite is also true. If you were confident that your expectations were fulfilled and nicotine was flowing, would you have stayed and attended the study's quitting education programs, counseling sessions, accepted regular telephone support, or attended group support (which each have their own independent quitting effectiveness), and have generally cooperated with those you knew were your ongoing source of free nicotine products?

What does it all mean? It means that America has spent two decades toying with NRT when we have absolutely no scientific evidence that NRT's clinical odds ratio victories were earned. When combined with real-world quitting survey results, it means that the pharmaceutical industry is raking in billions in profits based upon "double your chances" marketing representations that it knows to be false in the real-world, and not proven in truly blind clinical studies.

Contrary to marketing innuendo, never once in any clinical study did NRT quitters compete with quitters wanting to quit cold turkey - quitters with every expectation of abruptly ending all nicotine use.

With each cold turkey quitting attempt and failure, the odds increase that the quitter will eventually -- through the school of hard-quitting-knocks -- discover the "law of addiction" and the power of one puff of nicotine to cause full and complete relapse. Not so with NRT.

What lesson can be learned by repeat toying with the very chemical the addict is dependent upon? The pharmaceutical industry has known since 1993 that NRT success rates actually decline with repeat use.

A 1993 study examined second-time nicotine patch use, what the industry terms "recycling." In that study 0% of second-time patch users had successfully quit at six months. A second nicotine patch study was conducted in 1995 (see Table III) and in it just 1.6% of second-time nicotine patch users were still not smoking at six months. Neither the FDA nor the NRT industry have yet warned repeat nicotine patch users of this critical finding.

There is no money to be made in on-your-own quitting. Cold turkey quitting understandably has few champions. But that isn't entirely accurate. It depends upon your definition of champion. America's cold turkey quitters are over 40 million strong and all 100% nicotine-free.

Contact info:

[]John R. Polito[/url]
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
(843) 849-9721

John (Gold)

10:56 PM - Nov 12, 2006#4

Smokeout Tips for Cold Turkey Quitters
WhyQuit - Wednesday, November 16, 2005[/size]

The Annual Great American Smokeout is again upon us and quitting product advertisements abound. Those marketing an ocean of quick-fix magic quit smoking cures know that almost all successful long-term quitters quit smoking cold turkey. If they want to gain market share they must convince quitters to ignore their natural instincts.

According to the American Cancer Society, 91% of America's 46 million ex-smokers quit entirely on their own. More than 41 million strong, the below cold turkey quit smoking tips reflect lessons taught by successful cold turkey quitters to counselors, health educators and researchers.

1. Law of Addiction - The law of addiction states, "administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance at the old level of use or greater." Yes, just one powerful puff and you'll be faced with again enduring up to 72 hours of nicotine detox. We're not that strong. Adherence to a simple four word restatement of the law of addiction guarantees success to all. No nicotine just one day at a time ..."Never Take Another Puff."
2. Be Honest With Yourself - Nicotine dependency is every bit as real and permanent as alcoholism. Don't play games with yourself. Treating a true addiction as though it were some nasty little habit is a recipe for relapse. There is no such thing as just one puff. It truly is an all or nothing proposition.
3. Enhancing Motivation - Are you having trouble getting started? Is your motivation in need of a boost? Visit and meet Bryan, Noni, Brandon, Kim or Sean, or watch one of eighteen short determination fueling movie clips. If you don't have Internet access visit your local library.
4. Education is Power - While at WhyQuit (the source of these tips) read Joel's Library one time from cover to cover. It's a free collection of roughly 100 short quitting articles. It is also available for download in PDF format and makes a wonderful and loving gift.
5. Measuring Victory - Forget about quitting "forever." Like attempting the seemingly impossible task of eating an entire elephant, it's the biggest psychological bite imaginable. Instead, work hard at adopting a more manageable "one day at a time" quitting philosophy for measuring victory. If you insist on seeing success only in terms of quitting forever then on which day will you celebrate?
6. Recovery Phases - When quitting, the amount of nicotine remaining in your bloodstream will be cut by half every two hours. Within 72 hours all nicotine and 90% of the chemicals it breaks down into will have passed from your body. Physical withdrawal peaks by day three and is substantially complete within 10 days to two weeks. Subconscious trigger reconditioning normally peaks during the first week and all but your remote, infrequent or seasonal triggers should be reconditioned within a month. Conscious thoughts of wanting will gradually grow fewer, shorter in duration and generally less intense. Within a few months they'll become the exception not the rule, as you'll gradually start to develop an expectation of going your entire day without wanting to smoke nicotine.
7. Withdrawal Symptoms - Within reason it's fairly safe to blame most of what you'll feel during the first three days on quitting. But after that you need to listen to your body and if concerned give your doctor a call. Don't blame your symptoms on where you're going but on where you've been. See each symptom as a true sign of healing it reflects.
8. Possible Hidden Conditions - Each puff of smoke contained more than 500 different gases and 3,500 different particles. One or more of these 4,000 chemicals may have been masking an underlying hidden health problem such as a thyroid condition (iodine), breathing problems including asthma (bronchiodilators), or even chronic organic depression (nicotine). Your cigarette's chemicals may also have been interacting with medications you were taking and an adjustment may be necessary. Stay alert and if at all concerned immediately contact your physician or pharmacist.
9. Emotional Phases - Chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine is one of the most intense, repetitive and dependable relationships you've likely ever known. It has infected almost every aspect of your life. Be prepared to experience a normal sense of emotional loss when quitting. Expect to travel through and experience six different emotional phases: (1) denial, (2) anger, (3) bargaining, (4) depression, (5) acceptance, and (6) complacency.
10. Quitting Cold Turkey - According to evidence tables in the June 2000 USDHHS Guideline, a smoker's natural six-month odds of quitting "on-their-own" are roughly 10%. Education, new behavioral skills (such as adopting a one day at a time quitting philosophy), and ongoing support can easily more than triple those odds. Contrary to the marketing hype of those selling a growing array of quitting products, almost all successful long-term quitters quit smoking cold turkey (91.2%).
11. Zyban - Talk to your doctor about Zyban (bupropion) should you feel the need to slightly diminish early anxieties. In clinical studies, bupropion performed roughly 15 percentage points above placebo at six months. Although its use comes with some risks, including a one in a thousand risk of seizure, they pale in comparison to smoking's risks.
12. NRT - The pharmaceutical industry has not been entirely candid with smokers regarding their odds of success while using nicotine replacement products (NRT) such as the patch, gum and lozenge. A March 2003 study (Hughes) combined and averaged the seven over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum studies. It found that only 7% of study participants were still not smoking at six months. It gets worse. The odds of success appear to actually decline during a second or subsequent NRT quitting attempt. A 1993 study (Tonnesen) found that 0% of second-time patch users succeeded in quitting for 6 months and a 1995 study (Gourlay) reported a 1.6% six-month quitting rate.
13. Hypnosis - A 1998 Cochrane Review of nine different hypnosis quit smoking studies concluded that "we have not shown that hypnotherapy has a greater effect on six month quit rates than other interventions or no treatment."
14. Acupuncture - A 2002 Cochrane Review of 22 different acupuncture studies concluded that, "there is no clear evidence that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electro-stimulation are effective for smoking cessation."
15. Don't Get Intimidated - Don't let the above quitting method study findings intimidate you. Instead use them to gauge just how serious the challenge before you actually is. Quitting is entirely do-able, as evidenced by the fact that here in the U.S. we have more ex-smokers than current smokers. Although quitting isn't easy it is simple, and considering that you have never taken a puff that didn't destroy more of your body's ability to receive and transport life-giving oxygen, and add more cancer causing chemicals to your body, it is worth the effort. There is just one rule: no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!
16. Record Your Motivations - Once in the heat of battle, it is normal for your mind to quickly forget many of the reasons that motivated you to quit smoking. Write yourself a loving reminder letter, carry it with you, and read it often. Make it your first line of defense - a motivational tool that you can pull out during moments of challenge. As with achievement in almost all human endeavors, the wind beneath your recovery wings will not be strength or willpower but robust dreams and desires. Keep your dreams vibrant and on center-stage and no circumstance will deprive you of glory.
17. Do Not Skip Meals - Each puff of nicotine was our spoon, releasing stored fats into our bloodstream. It allowed us to skip meals without experiencing wild blood-sugar swing symptoms such as an inability to concentrate or hunger related anxieties. Learn to again properly fuel your body by spreading out your normal daily calorie intake more evenly. It is important not to skip meals during early recovery.
18. Three Days of Natural Juices - Drink plenty of acidic fruit juice the first three days. Cranberry is excellent and a bottle will cost you about the same as a pack of cigarettes. The acidic juices will not only aid in more quickly removing the alkaloid nicotine but will help stabilize blood sugars. Take care beyond three days as juices can be rather fattening.
19. Weight Gain - You'd need to gain at least 75 extra pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack-a-day. Eat vegetables and fruits instead of candies, chips and pastries to help avoid weight gain. Engage in some form of moderate daily exercise if at all concerned about weight gain. Keep in mind that you can expect a substantial increase in overall lung function of up to 30% within just 90 days of quitting. Then, it will aid you in engaging in extended periods of physical activity, in shedding any extra pounds, and in building cardiovascular endurance.
20. Anger/Stress Related Anxieties - Recognize that contrary to popular thinking, smoking nicotine did not relieve stress but only its own absence. Nicotine is an alkaloid. Stress is an acid-producing event capable of quickly neutralizing the body's nicotine reserves. As smokers, we added early withdrawal to every stressful event. You will soon discover an amazing sense of calm during crisis. In handling stress during this temporary period of readjustment called "quitting," practice slow deep breathing while focusing your mind on your favorite object, place or person to the exclusion of other thoughts.
21. Quitting for Others - You cannot quit for others. It must be your gift to you. Quitting for a child, spouse, parent or friend creates a natural sense of deprivation that will ultimately result in relapse. If quitting for another, how will an addict's junkie-mind respond the first time they disappoint us?
22. Attitude - A positive can-do attitude is important. We are what we think. Take pride in each hour of healing and freedom and in each challenge overcome. Celebrate the full and complete victory each reflects. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely do-able. Yes you can!
23. Patience - Years of smoking nicotine conditioned us to be extremely impatient, at least when it comes to our addiction. A deprived nicotine addict could inhale a puff of nicotine and have it arrive and release dopamine in their brain within just 8 seconds. Realize the importance of patience to successful recovery. Baby steps, just one hour, challenge and day at a time and then celebrate the new found patience you just demonstrated.
24. Keeping Cigarettes - Get rid of all cigarettes. Keeping a stash of cigarettes makes as much sense as someone on suicide watch keeping a loaded gun handy just to prove they can. Toying with a 50% chance of depriving yourself of 5,000 sunrises isn't a game. Fully commit to going the distance and seeing what it's like to awaken to new expectations of a nicotine free life.
25. Caffeine/Nicotine Interaction - Amazingly, nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine. Studies have found that your blood-caffeine level will rise to 203% of your normal baseline if no intake reduction is made when quitting. Although not a problem for most light to moderate caffeine users, consider a caffeine intake reduction if troubled by anxieties or if experiencing difficulty relaxing or sleeping (also see Sleep Adjustments).
26. Subconscious Smoking Triggers - You have conditioned your subconscious mind to expect nicotine when encountering certain locations, times, events, people or emotions. Be prepared for each to trigger a brief crave episode. Encountering a trigger cannot trigger relapse unless you take a puff. Take heart, most triggers are reconditioned and extinguished by a single encounter during which the subconscious mind fails to receive the expected result - nicotine.
27. Crave Episodes Less than Three Minutes - In contrast to conscious thought fixation (the "nice juicy steak" type thinking that can last as long as you have the ability to maintain your focus), no subconsciously triggered crave episode will last longer than three minutes.
28. Time Distortion Symptom - A recent study found that nicotine cessation causes serious time distortion. Although no crave episode will last longer than three minutes, to a quitter the minutes can feel like hours. Keep a clock handy to maintain honest perspective.
29. Crave Episode Frequency - The "average" number of crave episodes (each less than three minutes) experienced by the "average" quitter on their most challenging day of recovery is six episodes on day three. That's a total of 18 minutes of challenge on your most challenging day. But what if you're not average? What if you established and must encounter twice as many nicotine-feeding cues as the average quitter? That's 36 minutes of significant challenge. Can you handle 36 minutes of serious anxiety in order to reclaim your mind, health and as much life expectancy as possible? Absolutely! We all can. Be prepared for a small spike in crave episodes on day seven as you celebrate your first full week of freedom from nicotine. Yes, for most of us smoking was part of every celebration. Also stay alert for subtle differences between crave triggers. For example, the Sunday newspaper is much thicker and may have required three cigarettes to read instead of just one.
30. Understanding the Big Crave - The average quitter will be experiencing just 1.4 crave episodes per day by day ten. After that you'll soon begin to experience entire days without encountering a single un-reconditioned subconscious crave trigger. If a later crave episode ever feels far more intense it's likely that it has been some time since your last significant challenge and you've dropped your guard and defenses a bit. It can feel as though you've been sucker punched. If one does occur, see the distance between challenges as the wonderful sign of healing the incident reflects.
31. Crave Coping Techniques - One coping method is to practice slow deep breathing when experiencing a crave episode. Try briefly clearing your mind of all needless chatter by focusing on your favorite person, place or thing. Another popular three minute crave coping exercise is to say your ABCs while associating each letter with your favorite food, person or place. For example, the letter "A" is for grandma's hot apple pie. "B" is for warm buttered biscuits. I think you'll find that you'll never make it to the challenging letter Q.
32. Embracing A Crave - Another coping technique is to mentally reach out and embrace your crave. A crave cannot cut you, burn you, kill you, or make you bleed. Try being brave just once. In your mind, wrap your arms around the crave's anxiety energy and then sense as it slowly fizzles and dies while in your embrace. Yes, another trigger bites the dust and victory is once again yours!
33. Confront Your Crave Triggers - Recognize the fact that everything you did as a smoker you will learn to again comfortably do as an ex-smoker. Meet, greet and defeat your triggers. Don't hide from them. You need not give up anything when quitting except nicotine and everything you did while under the influence of nicotine you'll soon learn to do as well or better as an ex-smoker.
34. Alcohol Use - Be extremely careful with early alcohol use during the first couple of weeks. Using an inhibition diminishing substance and then intentionally surrounding yourself with smokers while still engaged in early withdrawal is a recipe for relapse. Get your quitting feet under you first. If you do use alcohol, once ready to challenge your drinking triggers consider breaking the challenge down into manageable trigger segments. Try drinking at home first without smokers around, go out with smokers but refrain from drinking, or consider spacing your drinks further apart, or drinking water or juice between drinks. Have an escape plan and a backup, and be fully prepared to use them both. Study evidence recommends that if you are chemically dependent upon alcohol that your greatest odds of success will be in breaking free from both smoking and alcohol at the same time.
35. Support - Ongoing motivational support will significantly enhance your recovery outlook but don't expect family or friends who have never been chemically dependent themselves to have any appreciation of your challenges or the time required to achieve substantial comfort. It simply isn't fair to them or you. Find an ex-smoker and ask them if they'd mind being your mentor for the next 90 days or go online and Google "Quit Smoking Support Groups".
36. No Legitimate Excuse for Relapse - Recognize that smoking nicotine cannot solve any crisis. Fully accept the fact that there is absolutely no legitimate excuse for relapse, including an auto accident, financial crisis, the end of a relationship, job loss, a terrorist attack, a hurricane, the birth of a baby, or the eventual inevitable death of those we love most. Picture yourself not smoking through each and every step needed to overcome the most difficult challenge your mind can possibly imagine.
37. Conscious Thought Fixation - Unlike a less than three-minute subconscious crave episode, we can consciously fixate on any thought of wanting to smoke for as long as we're able to maintain our concentration. Don't try to run or hide from thoughts of wanting but instead place the thought under honest light. Flavor? Are there any taste buds inside your lungs? Just one puff? For us nicotine addicts, one is too many and a thousand never enough. Treat nicotine dependency recovery as if it were no different than alcoholism. Don't debate with yourself about wanting "a" cigarette. Instead, ask yourself how you'd feel about going back to your old level of consumption or greater.
38. Reward Yourself - Consider putting aside the money that you would have spent buying cigarettes and treat yourself to something you really want after a week or a month. Save for a year and go on a vacation. Even if unable to save, reward yourself by quickly climbing from that deep smoker's rut and spending time in places where you couldn't smoke, such as movies, libraries and no smoking sections of restaurants, by engaging in activities lasting longer than an hour, and by ever so slightly pushing your normal limits of physical endurance in order to sample the amazing healing within.
39. Fully Commit To Going the Distance - Don't be afraid to tell people around you that you have quit smoking. Fully commit to your recovery while taking pride in each and every hour and day of healing and freedom from nicotine, and each challenge overcome. Shed your fears of success.
40. Avoid All Crutches - A crutch is any form of quitting reliance that you lean upon so heavily in supporting your quit (yes, a noun) that if quickly removed would likely result in relapse. Do not lean heavily upon a quitting buddy who quits at the same time as you, as their odds of successfully quitting for one year are relatively small. Instead ask an ex-smoker or never-smoker for support, or visit a free online support forum such as's Freedom from Tobacco.
41. The Smoking Dream - Be prepared for an extremely vivid smoking dream as tobacco odors released by horizontal healing lungs are swept up bronchial tubes by rapidly healing cilia and come in contact with a vastly enhanced sense of smell. See it as the wonderful sign of healing it reflects and nothing more. It has no profound meaning beyond healing.
42. See Marketing as Bait - Your quitting means thousands of dollars in lost profits to the tobacco industry. They do not want to lose you. See store tobacco advertising and the hundreds of neatly aligned packs and cartons for what they truly reflect - bait. Behind the pretty colored boxes and among more than 600 flavor additives is hidden what many dependency experts now consider earth's most captivating chemical.
43. It's Never Too Late - Regardless of how long you've smoked, how old you are, or how badly you've damaged your body, it's never too late to arrest your dependency, become its master, and commence the most intense period of healing that your mind and body have likely ever known.
44. Study Smokers Closely - They are not smoking nicotine to tease you. They do so because they must, in order to replenish a constantly falling blood-serum nicotine level that declines by one-half every two hours . Most nicotine is smoked while on autopilot. What cue triggered the public feeding you're now witnessing? Watch acid-producing events such as stress or alcohol quickly neutralize their body's nicotine reserves. Witness their endless mandatory cycle of replenishment.
45. Thinking vs. Wanting - There is a major distinction between thinking about smoking and wanting to smoke. Don't confuse the two. After years of smoking you should expect to notice (especially in movies) and smell smokers but it doesn't necessarily mean that you want to smoke. As for thoughts of wanting, with each passing day they'll gradually grow shorter in duration, generally less intense and a bit further apart. Eventually they'll grow so infrequent that when one arrives it will bring a smile to your face as it will be your only remaining reminder of the amazing journey you once made.
46. Non-Smoker or Ex-Smoker - What should you call yourself? Although it's normal to want to be a non-smoker there is a major distinction between a never-smoker and an ex-smoker. Only the ex-smoker can grow complacent, use nicotine and relapse.
47. Complacency - Don't allow complacency to destroy your healing and glory. The ingredients for relapse are a failing memory of why we quit and of the early challenges, rewriting the law of addiction to exempt or exclude ourselves, and an excuse such as stress, celebration, illness, finances, war, death, or even a cigar at the birth of a baby.
48. Relapse Prevention - Remember that there are only two good reasons to take a puff once you quit. You decide you want to go back to your old level of consumption until smoking cripples and then kills you, or, you decide you really enjoy withdrawal and you want to make it last forever. As long as neither of these options appeals to you - no nicotine just one day at a time ... Never Take Another Puff!

John (Gold)

10:58 PM - Nov 12, 2006#5

Watch video quit smoking lessons during Smokeout
Imagine spending Thursday's Great American Smokeout with one of the world's leading quit smoking counselors. Imagine inviting him into your home.
Joel Spitzer of Chicago, author of "Never Take Another Puff," has recorded 39 video quitting lessons since September 27 that are available for download at, a popular free quitting forum.
Who is Joel Spitzer and why would smokers be well advised to spend time exploring his work? Few smokers have ever met a full-time smoking cessation counselor. Fewer yet have encountered one with 30 years of clinic experience. Spitzer presented his first two-week, twelve-hour, quit smoking clinic as an American Cancer Society volunteer in 1976, and has conducted 351 clinics since.
Today Spitzer presents stop smoking clinics and seminars for the Evanston and Skokie Illinois Departments of Health. Online he serves as education director at WhyQuit, where more than 550,000 copies of his free PDF quitting book have been downloaded since August 2005. His more than 100 quitting articles are widely shared at all major online quitting forums.
Spitzer's 38 free video lessons range from how to avoid blood sugar swing symptoms such as an inability to concentrate, to understanding the emotional loss associated with quitting smoking, to preparing for one of the most vivid dreams imaginable - the smoking dream.
Will this year's Great American Smokeout be the year that you at last put your greatest weapon of all to work, your intelligence? Knowledge truly is power. Yes you can!

Joel's Video and Audio
Quit Smoking Lessons
The below lessons are presented in three formats: Dial-Up - as small video files for those with slower dail-up Internet connections; HS/BB - as larger videos for those with high speed or broadband Internet access; and Audio - as audio files without video. All are formatted for Windows Media Player. You can click on this icon to download a Windows Media Player.
Video Title
Introduction video 1.13mb 10.8mb 0.60mb 04:04 10/15/06
Addiction - the Surgeon General says ... 4.42mb 13.2mb 1.77mb 12:00 10/09/06
Criteria of addiction 4.09mb 12.2mb 1.64mb 11:06 10/09/06
"Why did I ever start smoking?" 1.23mb 12.1mb 0.50mb 03:22 09/27/06
Learning how to inhale 1.70mb 16.8mb 0.69mb 04:38 10/02/06
Why do smokers smoke? 2.65mb 5.70mb 18:08 11/07/06
The Palmolive bottle demonstration 2.84mb 19.1mb 1.15mb 07:45 10/11/06
Lung cancer 3.04mb 6.55mb 18:48 11/05/06
Heart and circulatory diseases 2.81mb 5.93mb 19:18 11/03/06
Premature deaths caused by smoking 1.84mb 3.62mb 12:33 11/06/06
How did the people you know quit smoking? 1.90mb 18.8mb 0.77mb 05:10 09/27/06
Quitting by gradual withdrawal 2.35mb 7.54mb 1.03mb 07:13 10/18/06
The fear of quitting smoking 4.09mb 12.3mb 11:08 11/11/06
"I don't want to quit smoking" 6.52mb 19.5mb 2.61mb 17:40 10/11/06
"I don't need to smoke" 3.86mb 11.5mb 10:29 11/09/06
"I can't quit or I won't quit" 6.33mb 28.6mb 3.29mb 22:15 10/16/06
"I'll be a nervous wreck forever if I quit smoking" 2.01mb 20.0mb 0.81mb 05:27 09/27/06
"I am climbing the walls because I quit smoking" 2.69mb 8.59mb 1.20mb 08:23 10/18/06
"I have to smoke when I talk on the phone" 2.77mb 27.6mb 1.12mb 07:30 09/27/06
"I can't drink alcohol without a cigarette" 1.36mb 13.4mb 0.55mb 03:43 09/27/06
"I'll smoke anywhere I want" 2.74mb 8.74mb 1.25mb 08:44 10/18/06
How I started running quit smoking clinics 3.87mb 38.6mb 1.56mb 10:32 09/28/06
"I'm not joining this clinic" 4.62mb 13.8mb 1.85mb 12:33 09/27/06
"Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?" 1.91mb 18.9mb 0.77mb 05:13 09/27/06
Common symptoms 2.18mb 21.6mb 0.88mb 05:55 09/28/06
Blood sugar symptoms 2.03mb 20.1mb 0.82mb 05:31 09/28/06
The emotional stages of loss 3.05mb 30.4mb 1.23mb 08:18 09/28/06
Carrying cigarettes 1.85mb 5.70mb 0.99mb 06:39 10/17/06
Telling others that you have quit smoking 2.53mb 7.58mb 1.30mb 08:57 10/17/06
Relearning to do things without cigarettes 1.51mb 10:11 10/14/06
Who wants to go back to smoking? 2.61mb 25.9mb 1.05mb 07:05 09/28/06
Dreams of smoking 2.38mb 7.10mb 06:28 11/10/06
"I want one!" 1.01mb 5.36mb 0.78mb 05:33 10/18/06
"I don't feel any better since I quit smoking!" 3.18mb 31.6mb 1.28mb 08:39 09/28/06
"I know I will quit smoking!" 2.37mb 23.5mb 0.96mb 06:30 09/29/06
"What bad habit should I replace it with?" 1.86mb 18.4mb 0.75mb 05:04 10/02/06
"I'll come for reinforcement when I need it" 3.83mb 11.5mb 10:24 11/08/06
Quitting may lead to other self-improvements 1.13mb 11.2mb 0.46mb 03:07 10/02/06
Money wasted on cigarettes 1.93mb 6.19mb 0.86mb 06:03 10/18/06


4:03 AM - Nov 25, 2006#6

From above:

14. Acupuncture - A 2002 Cochrane Review of 22 different acupuncture studies concluded that, "there is no clear evidence that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electro-stimulation are effective for smoking cessation."