Why we must never take another puff

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Jan 2002, 08:03 #11

I thought I better bring this up to clarify something Marty said today. Marty wrote in the string by Newme, and I quote, "As Joel said, many people here have gone thru multiple quits." That statement is true but needs a little clarification for our newest members. While it is true that many of our members have had multiple past quits, they were quits that were in fact lost before coming to Freedom and having a received thorough understanding of addiction and relapse prevention strategy. If you look at most of our gold members I would be willing to bet that they made it from their first day of membership with us.

I feel the need to clarify this for I don't want anyone working with the common belief that your odds improve with every time you quit or stated another way, if you lose this quit, you will just come back next time and be more successful. In live clinics I normally get 80-90% of my first time participants through the first two weeks successfully. The odds my repeaters making it the same time period are usually closer to 50/50. They are people who jsut seem to have a hard time accepting addiction. While you would think they would have learned from their past experience and be better equipped the next time around--it just doesn't work that way.

So my message to everyone here is whether this is your first time around with us or your second--make this time your last--the one that lasts a lifetime. To insure that this is the case always know to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jan 2002, 20:09 #12

I have one man in my current clinic who 14 months ago lost a 25 year quit. My record holder last year was a 35 year quit that was lost to a puff. If a person can lose a quit after 25 or 35 years by taking a puff, guess what it is going to do to a person who is off 25 days, 25 weeks or even 25 months. Everyone here must realize that addiction is a lifetime condition now--but it will become symptom free with eventually no physical sign or manifestations--and will stay that way as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Feb 2002, 00:58 #13

Another woman who started in this group but didn't stay in had a 3 year quit going once that she lost to a puff. She has smoked 30 years since that one and is still smoking today. If the first puff is never taken, latter ones can never happen either. To stay smoke free preserving your quit, your health and your life is no more complicated than knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Feb 2002, 22:49 #14

I had one woman come into a seminar last night who lost a 6 month quit. I figured this one would be a good one to bring up in case she lurked around Freedom today.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Mar 2002, 20:31 #15

I suspect some of our newer members--people who quit since the new year may have had some past longer-term quits lost that they may like to add to this string. It really is an important string in serving to teach all members, new and old alike the importance of staying ever vigilant in their resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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Dawnie
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:59

19 Mar 2002, 08:21 #16

Hi. Great parade! I smoked for 22 years before I quit this time. I always said I would quit if I ever got to 20 years. But my doctor told me several years ago that because I used to smoke a pack and a half a day, that I had already reached the equivalent of 20 years before I had even reached the 20 mark!!! So, I said the **** with it and kept on smoking. I loved smoking. I loved everything about it for a long long time. I liked the look of holding a cigarette with my nice long manicured nails. I loved sitting at a bar and having a guy light my cigarette for me. That is actually why I smoked my first cigarette - I wanted a guy to notice me when I was in college and I noticed that if a lady pulled out a cigarette, he would pull out a lighter or match and light it for her. How stupid. But at the time, I thought I was cool and I really thought smoking was cool up until last year. Prior to that, I made a couple of half-hearted attempts due to peer pressure but I did not want to quit. Last March 2001, I saw a commercial on tv that really scared me. It was the husband telling about the 46 year old woman who died from cancer because of smoking. His remark was: "I didn't know that 23 was middle age" - meaning her middle age came at the age of 23 since she died at 46. Well, I was 43 and that was too close for me. I found Freedom and April 1, 2001 was my quit day. I actually threw out a whole carton of cigarettes because a friend mentioned that if I gave them away to someone who still smokes it was the same as offering poison to this person. I started an excercise program right away. I maintained my weight. But, the withdrawal was terrible. I was a wreck. I would go 4 or five days, take a cigarette, get sick, go for another few weeks, smoke, in a constant state of withdrawal. I finally found Freedom in June and I went 6 weeks. Then I lost my temper at work and people complained about me (no one has ever complained about me before as I consider myself a model employee) and I bummed a cigarette and that was that. I have been quitting off and on every other week since last July. I have been in continuous withdrawal. I have been trying to tell myself that I enjoy smoking - but something happened. I stopped loving it! I could not believe it. I hated the smell, the addiction, etc. but I still thought it was cool to smoke. In February of 2002, after quit number 20 or so, I started getting sore throats and nausea whenever I took even one puff. I had also become fairly successful at being a social smoker. Or, so I thought. Finally, almost a year from when I first started to quit - I am back at Freedom and I am so happy to be here. I no longer want to smoke. I no longer think it is cool. I get nauseous whenever I am near the entrance to my work building and I am near the smokers. I can't believe I used to go out in sub-zero temperatures on my breaks to have a cigarette. I stunk up my upstairs spare bedroom again. My car stank again. My breath stank and the pain was horrible. I firmly believe that I became allergic to cigarettes!!! Thank you God. The memory of the painful throat at the end keeps me from taking another puff. And in all probability, I would not have stayed a social smoker. I am an addict. I now know that I have hopefully saved my life and certainly lengthened it my quitting. I am happy, relaxed most of the time and did not go through the horrible withdrawal that I did last year. I believe I was finally ready and that God is removing my compulsion to smoke. I plan to join Nicotine Anonymous as I very much believe in 12 step programs - as I am a member or Al-Anon. I am free from tobacco finally and I feel very thankful and blessed. Everyone is right, I'll be fine as long as I never take another puff.

Dawnie 2 weeks, 4 days
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Ladybird is Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

19 Mar 2002, 09:51 #17

I am glad you brought this up originally Joel. A thread requiring a lot of thinking! During the last month I have had fleeting thoughts of past unsuccessful quits & I have quickly pushed them from my mind so as not to sway the confidence of this quit. As a matter of fact the last quit I had (the only one I really can call a quit) was in February 2000 & I did it with Zyban. I lasted until May 2000 when I went on a business trip, bought "cheap" cigarettes for my husband (how ironic & maddening that I bought them because I thought they were cheap & the carton ended up costing me about 15 cigarettes a day or more for the next 2 years!!Image) I then decided that I should let myself smoke, but just a couple that night with my dear smoker friend (as a favour to her?? lol) & just while I was away from home. The trip home was grim. I recall being on the flight with a headache (enhanced by the stink coming off my jacket), a sore throat, & worst of all an emotional hangover. It was Mother's Day when I arrived home & I could hardly face my mom, let alone consider telling her I had failed! I let go of a 3 month quit & my stinking thinking led me to think once my quit was tarnished, it was just as well it was dented too, so I smoked after that just to psych myself up for the deprivation I was considering going through again. I became a closet smoker (hiding from my family) from that day. Turns out I put the next quit off from May 2000 until February 10, 2002 - my start day of this LAST QUIT!!
The really ironic thing for me is that on Thursday I am going on a business trip to the same place (the home of "cheap"cigarettes . . . lol). This time I know I can never take another puff for any reason, with anyone, in any place, at any time. I just think if there was ever a recipe I believed would add up to be a "just one" situation it was that one . . . being away from home, without my brand, with a long quit behind me & with everyone home knowing I was quit (I figured I could just resume it when I got home). I was wrong then & I know that because I went back to being a full fledged smoker that day . . . I will again if I ever believe that again. I live ever day now believing I have smoked my last cigarette 1 month, 1 week & 1 day ago. I will never take another puff because I chose not to. That was then, this is NOW. I value my life much more.
Susan Image
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casey
Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 22:10

19 Mar 2002, 20:35 #18

Hi,
I smoked 17 years. I thought I would never be able to quit untill I found this site.I am 31 years old and I have been quit for 1year and 3months:) I don't post very often but I do come and read at the site to keep my quit strong. I realize that I am an addict. I tell myself every day that "I'm Not Going To Smoke Today". It works for me. My husband and my mother quit after I did and they are still quit. That motivates my quit also. Even if they would start again I would not. I feel the health benefits from not smoking. My smoking cough went away and my skin looks so good now. I am very grateful for this site. It saved my life. Thank You
Never Take Another Puff!
Casey 1year3months
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childofnite GOLD.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

20 Mar 2002, 05:29 #19

Hi Dawnie, nice to see you again. I'm glad you decided to come back to Freedom. It takes a lot of guts to come back after defeat, and I commend you. Just remember that you have to put all you have into your quits. Give it 100%, and I'm sure you'll do fine! Image

I just wanted to try to clarify some things in your post:
"And in all probability, I would not have stayed a social smoker"
That is the understatement of the millenia, my dear. Image If you addicted, you can never become a social smoker. You were still an addict, you were just not getting your full compliment of nicotine, hence the constant withdrawal. Social smokers (and they are extrememely rare, you know) are NOT addicted.

"I believe I was finally ready and that God is removing my compulsion to smoke." As John always says, God is always welcome here at Freedom, but you must take responsibility for your quit and for your success. None of us here should ever rely too heavily on anyone for this. I'm sure God is smiling down on you for doing this most wonderful thing for yourself, but He is not going to do the work for you.

"I plan to join Nicotine Anonymous as I very much believe in 12 step programs - as I am a member or Al-Anon. I am free from tobacco finally and I feel very thankful and blessed." In my own opinion, if you feel that Nicotine Anonymous can help you, please do it! However, also keep in mind this VERY important fact: Nicotine Anonymous, although named after Alcoholics Anonymous, and other such programs, it does NOT adhere to the most important principle in the Law of Addiction, and that is: When you are addicted to a substance, you can NEVER readminister it in any form if you wish to become clean. NA advocates the use of NRT, and I'm sure as you know, we do NOT.

In addition, when one really stops and thinks about this incredibly important point, does Alcoholics Anonymous tell participants to carry a flask, or to drink light beer if they have a craving? Or do drug rehab programs tell the junkie to carry a needle around with them if a 'tough time' ever happens by? The answer is NO, because they understand the law of addiction. Nicotine Anonymous does not seem to completely understand this, but we do - and that's what we're here for. Just wanted to be sure you made an informed decision.

"Everyone is right, I'll be fine as long as I never take another puff." And may I add: Or chew, or patch, or lick, or sip... Basically, never readminister nicotine in ANY of its devious forms, and you're all set, Dawnie!

Yqs, Diana
7 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 1 DAY following that very same rule. Image
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

25 Mar 2002, 03:43 #20

I borrowed this post from Rachel. Her father's experience fits this string very well.

From: Nevada Gal Sent: 3/24/2002 11:46 AM
I finally told my dad I quit smoking today. This is a huge step for me because I was not going to tell him until I was sure I could do it, and he has always been so bothered that I smoke. Yet he never hounded me about it. And I never smoked in front of him.

Well, he decided to tell me that he smoked for 18 years (I was born when he was 40, so I am assuming this was over by the time I was born). I am kindof shocked!! He also told me his quit story. He also had an easy time of quitting. He made the decision and stuck with it without much problem. About two months into his quit he said it got very hard for him, but he made it through. And 4 years later he had just one! And it took him 2 1/2 years to quit again! I really took this to heart since our early quits sound so similar. I wanted to write this out in case I need a reminder later on... He is a great inspiration for me since his age and health are something to aspire towards!!

Everyday is getting better for me, and now I feel like telling everybody that I quit!! (I have held out because I was afraid of failing again). I don't think I will worry about that any more because today I am not going to smoke, and tomorrow will take care of itself...

rachel

One week, two days, 9 hours, 44 minutes and 27 seconds. 94 cigarettes not smoked, saving $6.11. Life saved: 7 hours, 50 minutes.
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