Holidays

September 2nd, 2000, 9:56 pm#1

Even though this article was written for the winter holiday season, all seasons have their own rituals and nuances that smoking was likely a part of. Going into the Labor Day weekend may have gatherings with specific people or specific activities which will be smoking triggers. Just keep your ammunition high of why you quit and you will be able to overcome these feelings. Let your guard down and they will make the thought much more risky and irritating than they need to be.

Have a happy and healthy weekend everyone.

Joel

"Holidays" Once again, the holiday season is upon us. The snow on the ground, the chill in the air, crowded stores, people hurrying to and from, family get togethers, television specials, and the sound of Christmas carols everywhere you go. All this hustle and bustle affects everyone, although not always in the same way. Some people find this a happy, exciting time of the year, while others feel the sense of loneliness and depression more now than at any other time. While the holidays may make some people happy and others sad, there is one special group of people who are universally affected the same way. The group, recent ex-smokers, the effect--desiring a cigarette.

It is not that holidays reinforce the need for nicotine. When a person quits smoking, the addiction is broken. Within two weeks of his last puff, he ceases having any physiological withdrawals or cravings. He does not, though, automatically break the established associations between his activities and cigarettes. Whenever he gets into a new situation, sees a person, feels an emotion, hears a song, or smells an aroma which he has not encountered since he has quit smoking, it will trigger the thought for a cigarette. But if he does not take the cigarette, he will break the triggered response. Next time encountering the same situation, he will not even think of a cigarette.

The holiday season is filled with new sensations and emotions. These feelings vary from individual to individual. No matter what the exact emotion is, the automatic impulse is to take a cigarette. If the holidays make you happy, a cigarette just seems like the icing on the cake. "If I just had a cigarette, everything would be perfect!" If the holidays results in a sense of loneliness, the thought will be, "I really miss my cigarette. It was a good friend."

But if he doesn't take the cigarette, he will soon realize an interesting fact. The holidays go on without smoking. If the holidays made him happy before, he can be happy again. If instead holidays made him sad, he will be sad again. Smoking does not change it one way or the other. One thing is for sure, though, in a few days the holiday will be over. If he makes it through without taking a cigarette, he will forget about smoking completely until the next time a new situation is encountered. Even then, the desire for a cigarette will be a fleeting thought. The realization that he overcame the urges and didn't take a cigarette will be a good feeling.

If, on the other hand, he took the first drag, he is once again hooked into a deadly addiction. He will not only crave cigarettes during holidays, but every day, every hour, every waking minute. He will once again be under total control of his cigarette. He will be totally addicted and truly miserable.

Don't ruin all you achieved when you quit smoking. While the thoughts for a cigarette may be more frequent during the holidays, they are not strong and they will not last long. If you overcome them this year, next year they will be even weaker, and more infrequent, and eventually you will think of them no further. To stay permanently free from this miserable addiction requires only one step, NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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September 29th, 2000, 2:39 am#2

Note from Joel, December 19, 2013


I'm hijacking this post a little attaching links to videos related to holidays and holiday trigger:


Be prepared for holiday triggers
Holidays that result in three day weekends
"How long before I don't want a cigarette?"
Smoking triggers


Rbrt's original post:
Hi everyone ... ZEP, you said it might be early ... ... but I'll tell ya ... ... it's NEVER TOO EARLY TOO PREPARE ... ... ...

We always need to be ready for those triggers and tempations that we take for granted or those that we feel won't bother us !!!

I was in a store the other day, and I saw CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS out already ... so IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY !
-robert-
Last edited by R b rt on December 19th, 2013, 8:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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November 23rd, 2000, 3:07 pm#3

I know I posted this on labor and it was written for Christmas and today is Thanksgiving. But the same concept applies to them all. One way to insure that it is a happy holiday is to live through it smoke free. The first smoke free experience of any holiday makes it a day to remember and to be truly thankful for. Have a happy holiday everyone. No matter what the holiday or regular day, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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December 10th, 2000, 10:11 pm#4

I thought this thread might be a good place to celebrate my victory at last night's Christmas dance. I was a bit concerned but when I walked in and saw an entire room with at least one smoker at every table, I didn't think Oh no! It was more like Oh YUCK! Now my clothes and my hair are going to stink AGAIN!! I actually felt quite relaxed, after eating way too much I just sipped my coffee. I had one drink all night and after that, of all things I drank WATER. Each time I came back to the table after dancing 5 in a row, water was great!! Now that is something I never would have done as a smoker!!! And best of all, now, this morning, I feel great!! No migraine!!! I thoroughly recommend this new smokefree life!!!!
Sheila
I have been Quit for: 2 Weeks 2 Days 3 Hours 5 Minutes. I have NOT smoked 241, for a savings of $41.73. Life Saved: 20 Hours 5 Minutes.
Last edited by Sheila on April 21st, 2009, 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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December 11th, 2000, 11:38 pm#5

Great job, Sheila - I knew you could do it! Yeah, this is a really good article to throw up here - this will be my FIRST SMOKEFREE XMAS, and I'm really looking forward to it. However, as you said, everything thus far is related to my smoking, and I feel that with my length of quit behind me, the worst is behind me; however, I do realize that it only takes ONE PUFF! and that the nicodemon is hiding in my tree! I'll be extra careful, and remember how I feel smokefree when I go into the Xmas season this y ear!

Jitterbug (Staff2)
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December 14th, 2000, 8:49 pm#6

For Wendy:

I just saw your post about this being the first holiday without Richard. As with quitting smoking, the first holiday season will trigger many thought and memories. There is a big difference though. The thoughts of a loved one can really be cherished as real memories that can bring great warmth at the same time as great loneliness. Over the years though, the sadness can dissipate as new activities, rituals and even people fill some of the voids, but the loved one is still remembered and always appreciated and celebrated throughout your lifetime.

Cigarettes on the other hand over time will be seen for what they were. All those things you thought they were doing for you, they were in actuality doing to you. They were never your friend, they were your constant enemy posing as a friend the whole time.

Accept the fact that this year will be a year of change. Some sad changes have happened due to circumstances beyond your control. But one great change has happened too, you quit smoking and that was by your choice and was accomplished by you excerting control. To keep that control, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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December 22nd, 2000, 9:34 am#7

Since we are getting down to the wire I thought I would bring this up again. I needed some reenforcement. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks for me, and my one month aniversary will be Christmas Eve. Today has been exceptionally difficult for some reason. I even had thoughts like "Oh maybe I can just requit on New Years." I wanted of all things to spend Christmas not thinking about quitting smoking. Of course the alternative would be to spend Christmas, and Boxing Day, and New Years Day and every other day for perhaps the rest of my life, thinking about smoking, paying for smoking, getting sick from smoking... and on and on!! No I think maybe I do want to spend Christmas thinking about not smoking because I really don't like the alternative!!!
Sheila
I have been Quit for: 3 Weeks 6 Days 14 Hours 11 Minutes. I have NOT smoked 413, for a savings of $71.39. Life Saved: 1 Day 10 Hours 25 Minutes.
Last edited by Sheila on April 21st, 2009, 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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December 25th, 2000, 8:12 am#8

thank you Joel, am getting better from the flu now and have 8 more vaca days. It would be easier for me to slip now...will be sticking close to this sight and reading the available material. but my quit date is 120700 and that is the most time i've had w/o nicotine. I will be careful of the triggers. it's comforting to know that by not giving in that it makes the next trigger less and less effective.
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April 14th, 2001, 9:16 pm#9

have a wonderful holiday everyone....for some of us, tomorrow marks the last day of Passover and for others, it signals Easter, but for all of us, we must be reminded to never take another puff.
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May 13th, 2001, 6:54 pm#10

Happy Mother's Day!
For most of you, your first nicotine free Mother's Day !
Last edited by John (Gold) on April 8th, 2013, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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May 16th, 2001, 1:26 pm#11

Thank You for all the good advice and wonderful logic. It actually helps to Know that quitting is a good thing, a big deal, something to be proud of. Paula (66 days wo nicotine)
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November 25th, 2001, 9:37 pm#12

I must have forgotten to bring this up last week--but we are now entering the next holiday season. Be prepared for changes in feelings and sensations being triggered by the holiday season. The next few weeks can be riddled with triggers--hearing christmas music, having holiday parties, home decorations that happen only this time of the year, changes in clothing accompanying with the weather changes, expanded shopping, etc. All of these new events can trigger the response that you smoke when you do these things. But they will all be broken the same way as you broke the summer season rituals, the spring season rituals and the fall season rituals--by living through each new situation without taking a cigarette and staying commited in getting through this time period too with your resolve intact to never take another puff!

Joel
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September 2nd, 2002, 5:58 pm#13

While holidays may afford some people the opportunity to take a day off of work, people do have some responsibilities in their lives that do not lend themselves to simply take off. One of these responsibilities is maintaining your personal vigilance in smoking cessation. Staying free from smoking requires a constant commitment that is maintained 24 hours a day, 365 days a year-and even 366 days a year in leap years.

It is important to note that this commitment does not require constant fighting or even constant thoughts. Most of the time it is really a non-issue. But even though you may no longer think about smoking or even a cigarette on any kind of a regular basis it is important for you to just stay aware that you made a promise to yourself to not smoke on every given day. Even on busy workdays that may be followed by a home life that is hectic and seems to afford you no time to think-it is important and helpful to take a few seconds to remind yourself that you have made a personal commitment to stay smoke free.

On days off if you have little extra time, try to remind yourself not only that you committed to quit-but also why you made that decision. Take a few extra minutes to remember smoking how it really was, assess life how it really is in contrast without smoking, take in consideration all of the real implications of smoking and you will have a stronger and reinforced resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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July 4th, 2003, 5:28 am#14

Winter holidays are not the only special days that can serve as triggers. It is just as important to be prepared for summer holidays too. Our American members will be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow being that it will be July 4th. But in truth all of our members should be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that too for all of our members will be able to sustain their Independence from nicotine for as long as they remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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December 13th, 2003, 10:25 pm#15

I see that some members are starting to encounter the annual winter holiday sights, sounds and special activities unique to the holiday season. We will likely have this string and a few others up frequently for the next few weeks, reminding everyone that the best way to maximize your chances of having a happier and healthier holiday season, as well as to have happier and healthier experiences through the rest of your life is to continue to stick to your commitment to never take another puff! Joel
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May 28th, 2004, 10:59 am#16

Memorial Day is Monday in the U.S. This holiday is a typical kickoff for summer activites and travel.
Last edited by Roger (Gold) on April 8th, 2013, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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May 28th, 2005, 6:39 pm#17

While holidays may afford some people the opportunity to take a day off of work, people do have some responsibilities in their lives that do not lend themselves to simply take off. One of these responsibilities is maintaining your personal vigilance in smoking cessation. Staying free from smoking requires a constant commitment that is maintained 24 hours a day, 365 days a year-and even 366 days a year in leap years.

It is important to note that this commitment does not require constant fighting or even constant thoughts. Most of the time it is really a non-issue. But even though you may no longer think about smoking or even a cigarette on any kind of a regular basis it is important for you to just stay aware that you made a promise to yourself to not smoke on every given day. Even on busy workdays that may be followed by a home life that is hectic and seems to afford you no time to think-it is important and helpful to take a few seconds to remind yourself that you have made a personal commitment to stay smoke free.

On days off if you have little extra time, try to remind yourself not only that you committed to quit-but also why you made that decision. Take a few extra minutes to remember smoking how it really was, assess life how it really is in contrast without smoking, take in consideration all of the real implications of smoking and you will have a stronger and reinforced resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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September 3rd, 2006, 8:38 pm#18

Not all days lend themselves to such predictability, but when they do occur it is best to be ready for them. By their expected nature they afford us the opportunity to take a little extra precaution. If you initially made a list of why you wanted to quit, the day of such events is a good time to pull it out and reread it. If you made posts the first few days here at Freedom, it would be a good time to review your early thoughts and the responses too. You will quickly see how strong of a grip cigarettes had, the importance you put on getting off of cigarettes, and realize that even though the day had its bad moments, in all likelihood it was easier than it was at the beginning and you never want to go through that state again.
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September 1st, 2007, 5:17 am#19

In the United States the long Labor Day weekend is starting. Hold on to your healing and enjoy your freedom. No nicotine today, never take another puff!

Sal
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November 28th, 2007, 1:55 pm#20

Holiday Magic.............It will seem even more magical when you stop to realize how nice it was not having to go outside and replentish your nicotine.
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November 28th, 2007, 10:20 pm#21

Great article on the holidays and very timely for me. I am one of those gals that has a Christmas Village. Over the years, it has gotten out of hand because it keeps growing!! It takes a couple of days to get it out and up. Yesterday, I was arranging the houses and not very happy with the arrangement. The thought of taking a break and having a cigarette crossed my mind and took me quit by surprise. Wow, I thought, I haven't thought of having a cigarette in a long, long time. I thought my triggers were dealt with and had quietly died. WRONG. I'm an addict!!

Last year was the first year I did NOT put this village up, so I had not dealt with the smoking trigger of putting up the village...or the little "reward" breaks in arranging the village. Because of the education I've so freely received here, I sat down and thought about this "trigger". Did I want a cigarette, definitely NOT. But I hadn't thought about smoking in so long and I had just done Christmas decorating at my church without a single thought of smoking. Well, we moved last summer and it's a new church and I don't associate smoking there! So, after taking a few minutes to give this some thought, I realized I was just tired of working on this village, hadn't put it up as an ex-smoker, needed some water and that was that. I did not want a "reward cigarette". I was happy to have sat down with a bottle of water and realize how very lucky I am to have taken back control of my life. Nicotine no longer rules here, but occassionally, thoughts will drift in...fortunately, they are only thoughts now and not the "bargaining phase triggers" early in my quit. Happy Holidays to all and just remember to NTAP!!

VICKI - Free and Healing for One Year, Three Months, Twenty Five Days, 16 Hours and 29 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 33 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 9654 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,215.76.
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December 6th, 2007, 2:01 am#22

For Cindy: "Holidays" Once again, the holiday season is upon us. The snow on the ground, the chill in the air, crowded stores, people hurrying to and from, family get togethers, television specials, and the sound of Christmas carols everywhere you go. All this hustle and bustle affects everyone, although not always in the same way. Some people find this a happy, exciting time of the year, while others feel the sense of loneliness and depression more now than at any other time. While the holidays may make some people happy and others sad, there is one special group of people who are universally affected the same way. The group, recent ex-smokers, the effect--desiring a cigarette.

It is not that holidays reinforce the need for nicotine. When a person quits smoking, the addiction is broken. Within two weeks of his last puff, he ceases having any physiological withdrawals or cravings. He does not, though, automatically break the established associations between his activities and cigarettes. Whenever he gets into a new situation, sees a person, feels an emotion, hears a song, or smells an aroma which he has not encountered since he has quit smoking, it will trigger the thought for a cigarette. But if he does not take the cigarette, he will break the triggered response. Next time encountering the same situation, he will not even think of a cigarette.

The holiday season is filled with new sensations and emotions. These feelings vary from individual to individual. No matter what the exact emotion is, the automatic impulse is to take a cigarette. If the holidays make you happy, a cigarette just seems like the icing on the cake. "If I just had a cigarette, everything would be perfect!" If the holidays results in a sense of loneliness, the thought will be, "I really miss my cigarette. It was a good friend."

But if he doesn't take the cigarette, he will soon realize an interesting fact. The holidays go on without smoking. If the holidays made him happy before, he can be happy again. If instead holidays made him sad, he will be sad again. Smoking does not change it one way or the other. One thing is for sure, though, in a few days the holiday will be over. If he makes it through without taking a cigarette, he will forget about smoking completely until the next time a new situation is encountered. Even then, the desire for a cigarette will be a fleeting thought. The realization that he overcame the urges and didn't take a cigarette will be a good feeling.

If, on the other hand, he took the first drag, he is once again hooked into a deadly addiction. He will not only crave cigarettes during holidays, but every day, every hour, every waking minute. He will once again be under total control of his cigarette. He will be totally addicted and truly miserable.

Don't ruin all you achieved when you quit smoking. While the thoughts for a cigarette may be more frequent during the holidays, they are not strong and they will not last long. If you overcome them this year, next year they will be even weaker, and more infrequent, and eventually you will think of them no further. To stay permanently free from this miserable addiction requires only one step, NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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August 2nd, 2008, 7:01 am#23

Many provinces in Canada (and perhaps elsewhere in the world?) are heading into a holiday long weekend today. Always best to be prepared to protect your quit on this and any other holiday. Only one requirement on any day - No Nicotine Today!
If this is your first time checking out this site, click on and read our >> Welcome! Are you ready to take back your life?
From: Joel Sent: 9/2/2006 12:53 AM
While holidays may afford some people the opportunity to take a day off of work, people do have some responsibilities in their lives that do not lend themselves to simply take off. One of these responsibilities is maintaining your personal vigilance in smoking cessation. Staying free from smoking requires a constant commitment that is maintained 24 hours a day, 365 days a year-and even 366 days a year in leap years.

It is important to note that this commitment does not require constant fighting or even constant thoughts. Most of the time it is really a non-issue. But even though you may no longer think about smoking or even a cigarette on any kind of a regular basis it is important for you to just stay aware that you made a promise to yourself to not smoke on every given day. Even on busy workdays that may be followed by a home life that is hectic and seems to afford you no time to think-it is important and helpful to take a few seconds to remind yourself that you have made a personal commitment to stay smoke free.

On days off if you have little extra time, try to remind yourself not only that you committed to quit-but also why you made that decision. Take a few extra minutes to remember smoking how it really was, assess life how it really is in contrast without smoking, take in consideration all of the real implications of smoking and you will have a stronger and reinforced resolve to never take another puff!

Joel

Last edited by Chipits GOLD.ffn on April 8th, 2013, 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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