Well, at least I attempted to quit.

Joel
Joel

November 15th, 2000, 1:46 am #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library


"Well, at least I attempted to quit.
That is better than not trying at all."


This comment was stated by a clinic participant who, after five days of not smoking, gave in to an urge and took a cigarette. It was only going to be one cigarette, he thought. But by the end of the day, he was up to his old level. So what about his logic that at least trying to quit smoking is better than not trying at all?

If this was his first attempt, it could be said that it was a learning experience. Maybe he just didn't understand the concept of addiction. He did not believe one cigarette could reestablish a physical dependency on nicotine. After taking one cigarette, he lost all control. So now, if he would ever quit again, he would not question the concept of one cigarette causing a total relapse.

But this was not his first attempt quitting. It was his second time in our clinic, as well as multiple previous attempts at other programs, hypnosis and on his own. He once quit for two months before relapsing. At that time he broke all physical dependency on nicotine. Also, after two months he successfully overcame many trigger situations which cause many smokers to initially relapse. Work pressures, family problems, and social situations are obstacles that all ex-smokers initially face when quitting. He overcame all of these trigger situations. But then, one day, out of sheer boredom, he took a cigarette. In that attempt, too, he relapsed right back to his old level. Obviously, taking that cigarette was a serious mistake.

This attempt, too, he chalked up to experience. But when considering his latter attempts, it is apparent that he learned nothing. Unless he objectively evaluates what causes his relapses to smoking, he is wasting his time trying to quit again. Because instead of recognizing his past attempts as failures, he rationalizes a positive feeling of accomplishment about them. This type of rationalization all but assures failures in all future attempts.

Don't allow yourself to get into the same rut as this man did. On again, off again, one withdrawal after another. Quitting smoking is only the first step in smoking cessation. If you wish to make the attempt a permanent solution to your smoking addiction, stop cold turkey and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Last edited by Joel on October 12th, 2012, 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joel
Joel

January 1st, 2001, 10:23 pm #2

With a number of newbies starting today, and we suspect a lot more lurking at the site, I thought it would be good to bring up some articles on the early quitting process and what it takes to make this quit different that any of your past ones. The past ones didn't work if you are needing to quit again. Sure you may have had a little time under your belt at one time or another, maybe a few hours, days, weeks, years or decades. But the bottom line is, no longer how long you had quit in the past, it didn't last if you need to quit again. While the time period of these quits were varied, and the circumstances surrounding the relapse may have been different from others, the reason for the relapse were the same for all here. The reason is that the ex-smoker administered nicotine in one form or another again. The exact same thing will happen this time if you let it. But this time can be different, the quit that lasts fowever if you so choose as long as you understand and keep in practice the bottom line of nicotine addiction control--the concept of to stay successfully smoke free--never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

January 1st, 2002, 6:38 pm #3

Many people have walked away from past unsuccessful New Year attempts with the attitude, "Well at least I attempted to quit." Well think back to those past attempts. If you tried to quit 30 years ago on New Year's day and failed, how valuable was that attempt really to you?

You have likely still spent tens of thousands of dollars on nicotine, destroyed a significant amount of lung issue, increased your risk of having developed many horrendous diseases, and have put up with a slew of other problems even though you attempted to quit. But in one way you are better off than those who tried to quit 30 years ago, failed, and in the interim time have period died prematurely from tobacco useage. For them it is an even more clear cut case of a wasted attempt to save their lives.

Quitting is in a true sense an effort to save your health and your life. That effort will only work if quitting is more than just an attempt, it has to be a focused effort where you have to put a 100% commitment to getting off smoking and then reinforcing your resolve for a day at a time for the rest of your life to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 1st, 2002, 7:36 pm #4

While many people get excited about thinking of quitting or trying to quit it should be noted that these two states in themselves will not save lung tissue, your health or likely your life. Some smokers spend years and decades thinking about quitting or failing at quitting. When a person cuts himself or herself back to one a day in the intent to control the addiction, he or she is still no closer to quitting than the day he or she started the process. He or she is still in the grip of an active nicotine addiction and physiological need. Admitting the addiction and treating the addiction requires a 100% commitment to never put nicotine into one's body again. So don't be excited about having attempted to quit--be excited, be overjoyed, be proud and be happy that you have quit--and to keep all of the real psychological, social, economic and most important of all physical benefits, stay excited by the fact that you are totally committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

August 26th, 2002, 1:20 am #5

Quitting smoking is only the first step in smoking cessation. If you wish to make the attempt a permanent solution to your smoking addiction, stop cold turkey and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joel
Joel

November 22nd, 2002, 12:33 pm #6

When a person cuts himself or herself back to one a day, or just find a new route of delivering nicotine into his or her body in the intent to control the addiction, he or she is still no closer to quitting than the day he or she started the process. He or she is still in the grip of an active nicotine addiction and physiological need. Admitting the addiction and treating the addiction requires a 100% commitment to never put nicotine into one's body again. So don't be excited about having attempted to quit--be excited, be overjoyed, be proud and be happy that you have quit--and to keep all of the real psychological, social, economic and most important of all physical benefits, stay excited by the fact that you are totally committed to never take another puff!
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Angela Green
Angela Green

February 6th, 2003, 8:47 am #7

Thanks Joel,
That has been my one constant dilemna about the group. The teacher I have now in group gives encouragement for at least trying to quit and becoming the person they want to be by trying but I now know that I can never take another puff. I've been saving info to print for the class and I will use both of these. I want to lead this class well with the knowledge that it is the individuals choice that matters and that excuses are excuses and 100% cold turkey is the only way. Is saying it over and over enough? I want them to come back to class even if they ****-up so they can stop again but I don't want it to be over and over like the guy in your class. Any additional advice would be helpful.
Thanks,
Angela
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Joel
Joel

February 6th, 2003, 9:11 am #8

Hello Anglea:

Don't be so sure that encouraging people to come back smoking is going to be doing the individuals you are trying to help a favor. You may in fact be undercutting their resolve and you will likely be undercutting the groups efforts. I only have a few minutes here. I am going to quickly go look for some posts that cover this issue. John may also chime in from his experiences in running clinics. I'll try to get back to this later tonight or tomorrow.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 7th, 2003, 4:16 am #9

I just brought up a few posts for the benefit of a person I just had a phone conversation with. She was calling to help a family member to quit smoking. I suspected she was coming to look over Freedom as well as WhyQuit.com and wanted to make sure that she had quick access to the information that was pertinent to her situation.
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

May 18th, 2003, 2:00 am #10

When I was in the beginning of my quit, I told everyone that I was "trying" to quit. People congratulated me for "trying." It didn't take me long to realize that I may have been "trying" to recover in a healthy way, but I wasn't trying to quit at all. I quit.

"Do or do not, there is no try"--Yoda

I don't feel this way about everything in life--sometimes I think there is value to trying to do something, even if you fail. In fact, there are lots of things I can think of in which that is the healthiest attitude.
  • I'm trying to run a 7 minute mile. (Hey, if I fail and run a 10 minute mile, at least I was out there running and being healthy.)
  • I'm trying to make a decent souffle (they keep falling but I know I'll get it one of these days.)
  • I'm trying to get a short story published (I keep getting rejection notices but the important thing is to keep writing and not to give up.)
Loads of things are like this. But quitting smoking is not. The important thing is not to try to quit. The important thing is not to fail.

Alex

3 months 3 days nicotine free
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 12th, 2004, 10:03 pm #11

  • Is there any guarantee that you'd ever come this far again?
  • Your brain was tuned and conditioned to function around nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life. What would be different next time?
  • How much more time do you have before risking being among the one-quarter of adult nicotine smokers who fail to live beyond middle-age, or the half for whom a birthday near their 60th is the last they'll ever see?
  • What chemical is worth surrenduring up to one-third of your functional lung capacity and a substantial portion of your ability to smell and taste?
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 3rd, 2005, 4:30 am #12

The feel good quit?
So you can face yourself in the mirror during 2005?
So you can destroy yet another year's worth of air sacs?
So you can quiet family by saying, "see, I tried!"
It's hard work living and planning life from inside a pack.
What do you have to lose by seeing what it's like being "you?"
We're confident you'll discover that the real quitting took
place on the day nicotine took control.
We've built it and you've arrived.
Now it's your turn to go the distance!
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Joel
Joel

February 5th, 2005, 11:48 pm #13

I see we have a few people who have spouses or friends who are working with this kind of logic.
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Crystal View1.ffn
Crystal View1.ffn

August 1st, 2005, 5:41 am #14

Wow, did I need this string RIGHT NOW! It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful and blessed I am to have access to such support.

Joel, thank you for bringing this one up. I just got off the phone with an old friend, who now lives in another city. She started smoking again after a 15 year quit. She was on top of the world, life was going great, and she was so happy....for a moment, it sounded good to me.

So, I will keep this close to my heart, I will remember "Quitting smoking is only the first step in smoking cessation. If you wish to make the attempt a permanent solution to your smoking addiction, stop cold turkey and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!"

And
"While many people get excited about thinking of quitting or trying to quit it should be noted that these two states in themselves will not save lung tissue, your health or likely your life. Some smokers spend years and decades thinking about quitting or failing at quitting. When a person cuts himself or herself back to one a day in the intent to control the addiction, he or she is still no closer to quitting than the day he or she started the process. He or she is still in the grip of an active nicotine addiction and physiological need. Admitting the addiction and treating the addiction requires a 100% commitment to never put nicotine into one's body again. So don't be excited about having attempted to quit--be excited, be overjoyed, be proud and be happy that you have quit--and to keep all of the real psychological, social, economic and most important of all physical benefits, stay excited by the fact that you are totally committed to never take another puff!

Joel"

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Joe J free
Joe J free

September 1st, 2009, 11:04 am #15

Quitting smoking is only the first step in smoking cessation. If you wish to make the attempt a permanent solution to your smoking addiction, stop cold turkey and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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prucat
prucat

July 31st, 2011, 4:00 am #16

I read this post because a couple of days ago, I had that thought,' well I attempted" because I was wanting to smoke. It finally clicked for me, after 10 or so articles, that quitting smoking is part of the process of smoking cessation. That is an important difference and I think I now get it. I want to stay on this journey,. Every day counts. I seek comfort, but I am pretty willing to deal with this discomfort for now. I believe it will get better. I believe I will not just quit smoking, but cease to use nicotine for the rest of my life.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

June 12th, 2013, 11:51 am #17

New video that fits into this category too:
"I'm trying to quit smoking"


Also related commentary from the thread Actions speak louder than words-or thought:


[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]A thought for a cigarette will never cause a person to go back to smoking-only an action can do that. The action is a puff on a cigarette or any administration of nicotine from any source for that matter.

Thoughts or words are not decisive factors of anything. Lets say you never quit smoking, and are eventually diagnosed with emphysema, and then knowing that every puff you took was destroying more and more lung tissue, basically crippling you a little bit more every smoking moment.

Should you then feel solace for saying as you are lighting up a cigarette, "Yes, I know I am destroying more lung tissue and I am likely going to be on oxygen soon and gasping for air at some point until my heart finally gives out from the overload, but at least I thought about quitting today."

I don't think you or your family, friends, or doctor will look at this statement as a major accomplishment as you are lighting up one cigarette off the one that is about to burn out. Especially if you have said the comment earlier that same day, and have been saying it day after day for decades now.

If you think back to when you were first quitting, the odds were you had numerous thoughts for days and maybe weeks and still, here you are smoke free. It is because you never gave into those thoughts.

Today still your actions are speaking louder than your words or your thoughts. The action is you didn't take a puff yesterday and I strongly suspect if you are here reading now you are not planning on taking one puff today either. As long as you continue this practice, it does not matter if you never think of a puff again or if you think of it daily. You will never relapse as long as you never take another puff!

Joel



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Last edited by Joel Spitzer on June 12th, 2013, 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KayS
KayS

June 12th, 2013, 3:45 pm #18

Thank you. Just so good to keep getting this sort of reinforcement.
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