Joel
Joel

September 24th, 2001, 9:41 pm #11

Joann22's post brought up the issue of over analyzing quitting. This string kind of puts the spin on how people overanalyze smoking. They think they smoke for this reason or that reason. Long-term smokers smoke for one simple reason--they are nicotine addicts. It is truly no more complicated than that. The treatment for nicotine addiction is the same treatment that is available for any other addiction. Again it comes down to if you treat an addiction as an addiction you will keep control over it. If you treat addiction as you would treat a bad habit you don't have a prayer. The way to treat an addiction is to keep the controlling substance out of the body. The way this treatment translates to the nicotine addiction is to stop delivering nicotine in any way, shape of form and then to sustain your control to always keep in practice your plan to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

November 5th, 2001, 2:14 am #12

Per Matt's request on why people smoke more when drinking alcohol.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

November 5th, 2001, 2:55 am #13

Hi Joel...

Just found this article too although I do not agree with the opening statement that "smokers drink and drinkers smoke". As a smoker I did not drink at all, but as an ex-smoker, I do drink, but only what would be termed, occasionally. Am I trading one for another or is is the "dopomine" release.

Alcohol Alert
From NIAAA
Alcohol and Tobacco


Extensive research supports the popular observation that "smokers drink and drinkers smoke." Moreover, the heaviest alcohol consumers are also the heaviest consumers of tobacco. Concurrent use of these drugs poses a significant public health threat. A survey of persons treated for alcoholism and other drug addictions revealed that 222 of 845 subjects had died over a 12-year period; one-third of these deaths were attributed to alcohol-related causes, and one-half were related to smoking (1). This Alcohol Alert explores the association between alcohol and tobacco use, possible mechanisms of their combined health effects, and some implications for alcoholism treatment.

The Co-Occurrence of Alcoholism and Smoking
Between 80 and 95 percent of alcoholics smoke cigarettes (2), a rate that is three times higher than among the population as a whole. Approximately 70 percent of alcoholics are heavy smokers (i.e., smoke more than one pack of cigarettes per day), compared with 10 percent of the general population (3). Drinking influences smoking more than smoking influences drinking. Nevertheless, smokers are 1.32 times as likely to consume alcohol as are nonsmokers (4).

Most adult users of alcohol or tobacco first tried these drugs during their early teens (5). Among smoking alcoholics, the initiation of regular cigarette smoking typically precedes the onset of alcoholism by many years, although data are inconsistent (6). Adolescents who begin smoking are 3 times more likely to begin using alcohol (7), and smokers are 10 times more likely to develop alcoholism than are nonsmokers (6).

Why Are Alcohol and Tobacco Used Together?
Postulated mechanisms for the concurrent use of alcohol and tobacco fall into two broad, nonexclusive categories: Either drug may increase the desired (rewarding) effects of the other, or either may decrease the toxic or unpleasant (aversive) effects of the other. These interactions involve processes of reinforcement or tolerance, as described below. (A third possibility--that one drug may alter the metabolism of the other, thereby affecting its absorption, distribution, or elimination from the body--has not been convincingly established [8].)
Reinforcement. Reinforcement refers to the physiological processes by which a behavior--such as consumption of a drug--becomes habitual. A key process in reinforcement for some drugs occurs when nerve cells release the chemical messenger dopamine into a small area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens following consumption of the drug (9). Nicotine is the primary ingredient of tobacco that triggers reinforcement. After reaching the brain, nicotine activates a group of proteins called nicotinic receptors. These proteins, located on the surface of certain brain cells, normally regulate a host of physiological functions, some of which may contribute to aspects of reinforcement. Ultimately, nicotine brings about the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (5). Alcohol consumption also leads to dopamine release, although the mechanism by which alcohol produces this effect is incompletely understood (10,11).

Information furnished by
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
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Joel
Joel

January 12th, 2002, 1:22 pm #14

For everyone who has thousands of reasons that seem to explain why they smoke. You smoke because you were addicted to nicotine and you will likely smoke again if you ever readminister nicotine. But you have a 100% chance of staying smoke free this time around if you recognize that to succeed over the long haul now simply entails knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 18th, 2002, 8:26 pm #15

It seems from the parade I started yesterday that many members find themselves listening to the excuses of others as to why they cannot or don't want to quit smoking. I figured I'd bring up a few articles so you can dispel such myths--if not to the smoker at least for yourself. The only reason these people "can't" quit yet is that they are still refusing to accept the the fact that to stay smoke free that they must never take another puff!

Joel
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blondie (green )
blondie (green )

June 19th, 2002, 10:03 pm #16

Hi Joel,
Wow. I've read this before. Several times. Today it has new meaning for me. Thanks. Wow.

Ruth
1M1W1D
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Joel
Joel

October 3rd, 2002, 8:35 pm #17

The act of smoking is a habit as well as an addiction, but that habit was actually formed out of the addiction. The behaviors and associations smokers have are direct responses to the every increasing need of nicotine as tolerance for nicotine becomes stronger; where you need more nicotine to get the desired effect or squelching withdrawal.

No one here took a drag when they were 10 or 12, thought "wow, this is great, I will smoke two packs a day for the rest of my life." As tolerance was established, smoking was gradually incorporated into your patterns of life, thus the habit were forming.

The way you break those habits is the same way you established them, gradually doing one activity after another without taking a cigarette. Not smoking will become the predominate pattern then over time. Not smoking then essentitally becomes the habit. The way to break the addiction, or at least the need to feed the addiction is even simpler, it is simply by knowing and practicing to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

February 7th, 2003, 9:18 pm #18

Brain PET Scans of a Pack-a-day Smoker

Arch Gen Psychiatry 2002 Dec;59(12):1162-72

Brain metabolic changes during cigarette craving.

Brody AL, Mandelkern MA, London ED, Childress AR, Lee GS, Bota RG, Ho ML, Saxena S, Baxter LR Jr, Madsen D, Jarvik ME.

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, 300 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 2200, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. abrody@ucla.edu

BACKGROUND: In functional brain imaging studies, exposure to cues related to cocaine, opiates, and alcohol in dependent individuals is associated with activation of the anterior cingulate gyrus, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Craving for these substances positively correlates with activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior insula. The objective of this study was to determine changes in regional cerebral glucose metabolism and correlations between craving and regional metabolism in heavy cigarette smokers exposed to cigarette-related cues.
METHODS: Twenty heavy smokers (who smoked > or =20 cigarettes per day) and 20 nonsmoking control subjects underwent 2 fluorine 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans 10 days apart in randomized order: one while watching a videotape that presented cigarette-related cues and handling a cigarette, and the other while watching an educational (nature) videotape and handling a neutral object (pen).
RESULTS: From the neutral to the cigarette cue scan, heavy smokers had greater increases than nonsmoking controls in relative glucose metabolism in the perigenual anterior cingulate gyrus spanning the midline. Significant positive correlations were found between intensity of craving and metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior insula bilaterally. An unexpected positive association was found between craving and metabolism in the right sensorimotor cortex.
CONCLUSIONS: Brain regions associated with arousal, compulsive repetitive behaviors, sensory integration, and episodic memory are activated during exposure to cigarette-related cues and cigarette craving. These regional brain activations and associations with craving are similar to findings with other addictive substances.

PMID: 12470133 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Joel
Joel

February 28th, 2003, 8:29 pm #19

I just saw a post where one member was saying how angry she got when she saw people smoking now and how stupid it all was. I think she meant how angry she was at herself for having smoked for so long, but this feeling can often be interpreted as being angry at smokers and thinking that they are stupid. People don't smoke because they are stupid, but they smoke because they are drug addicts.

Keep in mind, whey you are dealing with people who have smoked for over 40 years, most of them got addicted before there was ever any health warnings on tobacco. They didn't know it was dangerous when they started. People smoking longer than 10 years didn't know that they were taking up an addictive product. Yes they knew it was dangerous--but they never intended on smoking that much or smoking that long when they first took it up.

Even people taking it up today are not sufficiently warned of how addictive and how dangerous this product is. Of course they know its dangerous and they now hear it is addictive, but very few people realize just how dangerous and how addictive.

If people are asked to rank cigarette smoking dangers compared to the dangers posed by pollution, or illegal drugs, or alcohol induced illnesses, or violence in our society, or the risks of being killed by a drunk driver, or the risk of infectious diseases like pneumonia or AIDS, cigarettes may end up in the middle or maybe even at the bottom of the list. In America, more people die from smoking than people killed in ALL accidents, murders, all suicides, all infectious diseases, all diabetes, all cirrhosis and all olf the AIDS deaths all combined.

Most people don't grasp the true magnitude of the dangers. Also, must people don't realize the true grip of the addiction that nicotine exerts. Worse of all, very few people are given any real understanding of how to take control of the addiction once it has been established. The combination of all of this lack of understanding leaves people ripe from taking up smoking and totally unprepared for getting off of it when they want to quit.

Try to see smokers for who they really are. They are drug addicts who very often do not have the understanding and tools in place to break free of their addiction. You do have the understanding and hopefully at some point they may turn to you for help. When they do share with them what we have shared with you. Help them understand that you were once where they were--you didn't understand why you smoked, why you should stop, how to stop and how to stay off. But once you learned all of this you were able to quit and have proven by example that you have been able to stay off. The example you will have proven is that you have stuck with your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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DlunyGOLD
DlunyGOLD

November 24th, 2003, 2:16 am #20

I have the right to be angry at myself for allowing myself to become addicted, even if I did NOT know it was addictive when I started. I knew some of the dangers (I started in 1983) and yet I took up the habit!

I try to remind myself that the past is past and all I can do is live one day at a time in the PRESENT and not try to go back and change the past. Therefore, these bouts of anger with myself are usually short-lived.

David
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Charlee GOLD
Charlee GOLD

July 18th, 2004, 12:34 am #21

I have read this Smoke-a-holic post numerous times since finding Whyquit and Freedom. Still, I believe it to be one of the most enlightening, "oh, so that's it!", pieces to be found, and I have been known to verbally try and explain this to several smoking friends! Thanks for bumping this one up again!
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

October 4th, 2004, 11:27 am #22

Even people taking it up today are not sufficiently warned of how addictive and how dangerous this product is. Of course they know its dangerous and they now hear it is addictive, but very few people realize just how dangerous and how addictive.

If people are asked to rank cigarette smoking dangers compared to the dangers posed by pollution, or illegal drugs, or alcohol induced illnesses, or violence in our society, or the risks of being killed by a drunk driver, or the risk of infectious diseases like pneumonia or AIDS, cigarettes may end up in the middle or maybe even at the bottom of the list. In America, more people die from smoking than people killed in ALL accidents, murders, all suicides, all infectious diseases, all diabetes, all cirrhosis and all olf the AIDS deaths all combined.

Most people don't grasp the true magnitude of the dangers. Also, must people don't realize the true grip of the addiction that nicotine exerts. Worse of all, very few people are given any real understanding of how to take control of the addiction once it has been established. The combination of all of this lack of understanding leaves people ripe from taking up smoking and totally unprepared for getting off of it when they want to quit.

Try to see smokers for who they really are. They are drug addicts who very often do not have the understanding and tools in place to break free of their addiction. You do have the understanding and hopefully at some point they may turn to you for help. When they do share with them what we have shared with you. Help them understand that you were once where they were--you didn't understand why you smoked, why you should stop, how to stop and how to stay off. But once you learned all of this you were able to quit and have proven by example that you have been able to stay off. The example you will have proven is that you have stuck with your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 30th, 2005, 8:17 pm #23

Chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine is as real and permanent as alcoholism. We now have many studies showing that nicotine causes the human brain to grow millions of extra nicotinic type acetylcholine receptors. We know that it happens in at least 11 different brain regions. De-sensitized to a number of your own natural neuro-chemicals, going home requires the patience to allow time for re-sensitization and time to adjust to re-sensitization.

Last year here in the U.S. the tobacco industry spent $14 billion in order to keep U.S. smokers (and curious youth who can't wait to look and feel more adult) brainwashed into believing that smokers smoke for every reason imaginable except for the truth - that almost all daily smokers are already addicted under DSM-IV mental health standards. Flavor, taste, pleasure, like, love, to make new friends, or for adventure, none provide an honest answer as to why we smoked.

If truly hooked, such rationalizations may have made us feel better about our situation but do not change it. We're true drug addicts in every sense and for us there will always be just two sides of the bars. The question now becomes, on which side will we spend the balance of our time here on earth?



If you have not yet accepted the fact that you are a true drug addict, chemically addicted to an alert dopamine/adrenaline high, then you'd be wise to do so as it's extremely liberating. You'll no longer need the large collection of rationalizations, minimizations and blame transference you've used over the years to justify that next fix and to hide behind. Self honesty will allow you to start throwing them out.

This amazing journey home during which we gradually come to know the real neuro-chemical us can be the most liberating period of self discovery that we'll likely ever know.

All we need to do is to allow ourselves the luxury of not being afraid that we're leaving a major part of us behind. It's normal to feel that way. Feeling that nicotine use defines who we are, gives us our edge, helps us cope and that life without it will be horrible is exactly how the brain is supposed to make us feel about species survival events (eating, thirst quenching, reproduction, nurturing, accomplishemnt) but our dopamine "aaah" and insula carving pathways were fooled by an external chemical. In regard to nicotine it's a lie. You won't feel worse once out from under nicotine's influence but calmer, more relaxed and vastly less stressed. Feelings of needing it are what drug addiction is all about but in regard to external chemcials its false. Even the love in our heart, we get to bring it with us!

Nicotine dependency recovery is a gradual self realization that everything we once did as an actively feeding addict can again be done as well as or better being "us"! Baby steps, just one new piece of the re-adjustment puzzle at a time, you'll see it all begin to fit together soon. Just one guiding principle, no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time! We're with you in spirit.

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 26th, 2009, 11:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

May 8th, 2006, 9:41 pm #24

Only one reason people smoke tobacco - to acquire nicotine and keep their balance of 'nicotine normal'.

Only one rule to break free of that Cycle of Dependency, No Nicotine Today.

Only one way to stay in control, on the free side of the bars of the prison of active nictoine addiction - Never Take Another Puff.

JoeJ - Free, Day 483
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

June 21st, 2006, 7:21 pm #25

Stress has a physiological effect on the body which makes the urine acidic. Whenever the urine becomes acidic, the body excretes nicotine at an accelerated rate. Thus, when a smoker encounters a stressful situation he loses nicotine and goes into drug withdrawal. Most smokers feel that when they are nervous or upset cigarettes help calm them down. The calming effect, however, is not relief from the emotional strain of the situation, but actually the effect of replenishing the nicotine supply and ending the withdrawal. It is easy to understand why the smoker without this basic knowledge of stress and its nicotine effect is afraid to give up smoking. They feel that they will be giving up a very effective stress management technique. But once they give up smoking for a short period of time, they will become calmer, even under stress, than when they were smokers.
(from Joel's original essay above)
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on January 4th, 2010, 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

August 31st, 2006, 7:02 pm #26

For Marcus:

Only one reason people smoke tobacco - to acquire nicotine and keep their balance of 'nicotine normal'.

Only one rule to break free of that Cycle of Dependency, No Nicotine Today.

Only one way to stay in control, on the free side of the bars of the prison of active nictoine addiction - Never Take Another Puff.

JoeJ - Free, Day 597
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

September 13th, 2006, 6:34 pm #27

It is important for the smoker considering quitting to understand these concepts because once they truly understand why they smoke they will be able to more fully appreciate how much more simple their life will become as an ex-smoker.

Once the smoker stops, nicotine will begin to leave their body and within two weeks all the nicotine will be gone. Once the nicotine is totally out of the body, all withdrawal will cease. No longer will they experience drug withdrawal states whenever encountering stress, drinking, or just going too long without smoking. In short, they will soon realize that all the benefits they thought they derived from smoking were false effects. They did not need to smoke to deal with stress, or to drink, socialize, or work. Everything they did as a smoker they can do as a non-smoker, and in most cases they will now do these activities more efficiently and feel better during them. (from Joel's Original article).
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FlyinFree
FlyinFree

November 6th, 2006, 10:07 pm #28

i am so grateful to be on the nicotine free side and looking at the line from this angle. I don't ever want to face this battle of addiction again, and with all this information i don;t have to.. thank you

NTAP
Todd Reese - Free and Healing for Twenty One Days, 12 Hours and 7 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 430 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $86.10.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 24th, 2007, 5:01 am #29

Once the smoker stops, nicotine will begin to leave their body and within two weeks all the nicotine will be gone. Once the nicotine is totally out of the body, all withdrawal will cease. No longer will they experience drug withdrawal states whenever encountering stress, drinking, or just going too long without smoking. In short, they will soon realize that all the benefits they thought they derived from smoking were false effects. They did not need to smoke to deal with stress, or to drink, socialize, or work. Everything they did as a smoker they can do as a non-smoker, and in most cases they will now do these activities more efficiently and feel better during them.

They will become a more independent people. It is a good feeling and a major accomplishment to break free from this addiction. But no matter how long they are off smoking and how confident they feel, the ex-smoker must always remember that they are a smoke-a-holic.

- Joel

It doesn't get much better than this one.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

April 18th, 2007, 12:53 am #30

Only one reason people smoke tobacco -
to acquire nicotine and keep their balance of 'nicotine normal'.
Only one rule to break free of that Cycle of Dependency,
No Nicotine Today.
Only one way to stay in control,
on the free side of the bars of the prison of active nictoine addiction -
Never Take Another Puff.
JoeJFree, Day 827 & very glad I retain the power to choose by NTAP!
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

May 22nd, 2007, 11:21 am #31

From: GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) Sent: 10/3/2004 10:27 PM
Even people taking it up today are not sufficiently warned of how addictive and how dangerous this product is. Of course they know its dangerous and they now hear it is addictive, but very few people realize just how dangerous and how addictive.

If people are asked to rank cigarette smoking dangers compared to the dangers posed by pollution, or illegal drugs, or alcohol induced illnesses, or violence in our society, or the risks of being killed by a drunk driver, or the risk of infectious diseases like pneumonia or AIDS, cigarettes may end up in the middle or maybe even at the bottom of the list. In America, more people die from smoking than people killed in ALL accidents, murders, all suicides, all infectious diseases, all diabetes, all cirrhosis and all olf the AIDS deaths all combined.

Most people don't grasp the true magnitude of the dangers. Also, must people don't realize the true grip of the addiction that nicotine exerts. Worse of all, very few people are given any real understanding of how to take control of the addiction once it has been established. The combination of all of this lack of understanding leaves people ripe from taking up smoking and totally unprepared for getting off of it when they want to quit.

Try to see smokers for who they really are. They are drug addicts who very often do not have the understanding and tools in place to break free of their addiction. You do have the understanding and hopefully at some point they may turn to you for help. When they do share with them what we have shared with you. Help them understand that you were once where they were--you didn't understand why you smoked, why you should stop, how to stop and how to stay off. But once you learned all of this you were able to quit and have proven by example that you have been able to stay off. The example you will have proven is that you have stuck with your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

June 13th, 2007, 11:30 am #32

Any other reason offered is simply a false justification to explain the actions of an addict.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 9th, 2008, 2:06 am #33

From Joel's original letter:

Once the smoker stops, nicotine will begin to leave their body and within two weeks all the nicotine will be gone. Once the nicotine is totally out of the body, all withdrawal will cease. No longer will they experience drug withdrawal states whenever encountering stress, drinking, or just going too long without smoking. In short, they will soon realize that all the benefits they thought they derived from smoking were false effects. They did not need to smoke to deal with stress, or to drink, socialize, or work. Everything they did as a smoker they can do as a non-smoker, and in most cases they will now do these activities more efficiently and feel better during them.

Only one reason people smoke tobacco -
to acquire nicotine and keep their balance of 'nicotine normal'.
Only one rule to break free of that Cycle of Dependency, No Nicotine Today.
Only one way to stay in control, on the free side of the bars of the prison of active nictoine addiction - Never Take Another Puff.
JoeJFree, Day 1093 & very glad I now possess the power to choose.....
by choosing to NTAP!
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 26th, 2008, 9:54 am #34

Stress has a physiological effect on the body which makes the urine acidic. Whenever the urine becomes acidic, the body excretes nicotine at an accelerated rate. Thus, when a smoker encounters a stressful situation he loses nicotine and goes into drug withdrawal. Most smokers feel that when they are nervous or upset cigarettes help calm them down. The calming effect, however, is not relief from the emotional strain of the situation, but actually the effect of replenishing the nicotine supply and ending the withdrawal. It is easy to understand why the smoker without this basic knowledge of stress and its nicotine effect is afraid to give up smoking. They feel that they will be giving up a very effective stress management technique. But once they give up smoking for a short period of time, they will become calmer, even under stress, than when they were smokers. (from Joel's original essay above)
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

March 31st, 2008, 9:42 pm #35

Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on May 27th, 2010, 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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