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General : Question about Laser Therapy  
     
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 Message 1 of 10 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 8/16/2006 2:15 PM
Hello:

I am quitting cold Turkey tomorrow. I will be taking NO nrt treatment at all. The only thing I will be doing is going for a cold laser therapy. They claim to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Do you know If anyone has had real success with this?

Thanks
Ellen


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 Message 2 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:19 PM
Hello Ellen:

I am going to attach a series of articles below addressing a number of techniques used by people trying to make quitting easier. Laser is no different than all of the past claims made about acupuncture, hypnosis, etc. Are there people who I have personally met who are longer term ex-smokers who credit their quits to Lasers? Actually there aren't. I suspect one day that will change though and that sooner or later I will meet a long-term successful quitter who did quit this way. That by no way means that the treatment should now be considered effective. The article titled "Is cold turkey the only way to quit" will address this issue.

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 Message 3 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:19 PM
The Easy Way Out!

Did you hear about the lady who went on two diets simultaneously to lose weight? Doing both at once she ate enough food to satisfy her appetite and figured she would lose weight twice as fast.

This humorous story illustrates a very serious point. Human nature dictates that we look for the easiest and least painful route to make necessary changes. Unfortunately, what often appears to be the easiest technique may not always be the best. If this lady really relied on this twisted logic, she would not only fail in losing weight, but would probably end up weighing more than before she started her diets. And while this story may seem farfetched, many people who try to follow medically unproven and controversial weight control programs often end up with this very dilemma.

But weight control is not the only situation where people rely on unsuccessful techniques. Cigarette smoking is another problem for which people try to find different solutions. People are always looking for new and easy ways to quit smoking. Many behavioral scientists believed that smoking is only a learned pattern. If this were so, there would be many different approaches available to quit. Behavior modification techniques such as reducing the amount of or exposure to a substance or situation, aversion therapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, record keeping, desensitization and countless other approaches have been used for years to help people unlearn unwanted behavior patterns.

But cigarette smoking is not simply a learned behavior or bad habit. It is more complex, more powerful, and worst of all more deadly than most bad habits. Cigarette smoking is an addiction. This fact becomes quite evident the first day of every smoking clinic. Just about every person in the group can relate some story which demonstrates that to some degree he or she is controlled by cigarettes. Some have gone so far as to rummage garbage cans in the middle of the night in search of cigarettes. Others take butts out of dirty ashtrays. Still others sneak cigarettes while hospitalized from smoking-related illnesses even though smoking was expressly forbidden by their physician. After hearing of these dramatic experiences, few people argue the point that the addiction to cigarettes exerts tremendous control over the smoker.

Addiction does not respond to cut-down approaches. Addiction does not lend itself to controlled use of the substance. If a person tries to treat an addiction as a bad habit, they will lose to the addiction. If, on the other hand, the treats an addiction as an addiction, they stand a good chance of beating it. Once a person is addicted to a substance, they must totally avoid any use of that substance or else relapse into a full- fledged drug dependency. This holds true for alcohol, heroin, nicotine, and a host of other drugs.

As far as nicotine is concerned, if the smoker quits cold he will overcome the strongest stages of withdrawal within 72 hours. After two weeks, physical withdrawal ceases. Then, once it is understood that any amount of nicotine administered in any manner will reinforce his dependance, they have all the ammunition they need to overcome the occasional desire. They must always base the decision of whether or not they should smoke a cigarette on their true options. They have the choice of smoking none or smoking everything. There is no in between. Based on that, their choice is clear - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

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 Message 4 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:22 PM
How Does Your Program Compare To...

“How does your program compare to hypnosis or acupuncture?? "Do you know anything about the single session treatment program advertised on the radio?" "I hear they have in patient treatment program at another hospital, what do you think of that for quitting smoking?" "My doctor said I should try nicotine gum, do you agree?" "I hear there are programs which promise no withdrawal or weight gain." "How about the shock treatments with money back guarantees?" "Why should I choose you over the free program offered at...?" Almost daily we will receive calls asking at least one of these questions. It seems everyone wants us to compare what we do with that of other "treatment" strategies. While the specific questions vary, my advice is inevitably the same. If you are considering us or another program, go to them first.

People seem to be surprised at this advice. I think some wonder whether or not I am receiving a kickback from the other organization. But money is not the factor influencing the advice to seek help elsewhere before attempting us. Or maybe they think I can't defend our program over the other "proven" method. This assumption is also incorrect. Why then, am I willingly turning away potential customers to the local competition?

Anyone who has gone through our clinic will attest that participation in our program requires a 100% effort and commitment to attempt quitting. That is not to say that every participant must know before hand that he is going to stop. The person must be resolved to the fact that he will try as hard as he can to stop for just two weeks, a day at a time. Then, once past the initial withdrawal syndrome, he can decide whether or not he truly wishes to smoke. We want him to reach the point where he has a free choice. But he must base his decision on his true options, smoke nothing or everything, there is no in-between.

Anyone coming into our program with a backup method in mind, is not normally willing to give the 100% necessary to break the initial grip. When things start getting tough, which they almost inevitable do, the person just throws in the towel and takes a puff with the idea that it is no big loss, he will just try the other program next time. But his assessment is grossly mistaken - taking that first puff may very well be the biggest mistakes he ever made in his life - one that may in fact cost him his life. He may never again have the desire, strength, or opportunity to quit again.

What of his hypothesis that the other program will probably work better for him? Well, let it suffice to say, that when I suggest that a smoker goes to another program to quit before coming to ours, I am not really worried about losing potential income. I am just postponing when I may actually meet and work with the individual. In fact, the odds are, our price will increase significantly by that time and they are usually willing to pay. In the interim, they spent hundreds to thousands of dollars trying all these magical programs or feeding their addiction.

But money is not the major factor which needs to be considered. Smoking an extra five years, 10 months, or even a few weeks carries a potential risk. You just don't know which cigarette may be the one to initiate an irreversible process, such as cancer or a fatal heart attack or stroke. Every day you puff these risks remain high. But the day you stop, you begin to reduce your risks, and eventually, they can drop to that of a person who never smoked a day in his life. Then, to keep your risk as low as possible and to never again have to go through the quitting process, simply - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF

--------------------------------

While the original article here was in reference to my live clinics, almost every word is as true and applicable for people participating here at Freedom. The only part that doesn't apply is any perception of income motive for us here at Freedom. We have nothing to gain and nothing to lose if people decide on pursuing alternative approaches other than what we are advocating here at Freedom. Every person reading here has a lot to gain or a lot to lose depending on the outcome of his or her individual quit. If you want to gain the benefits of a successful quit and have the process end up costing you nothing simply make the commitment and stick with the commitment to never take another puff!

and


I saw the issue was just raised about another "cutting edge" treatment for smoking cessation. We are dealing with a drug addiction here. People do not need to spend any money on a magical or high tech therapy to get free or to stay free from cigarettes. The only thing that a person really has to do to break free from nicotine is simply to make a commitment and stick to that commitment to never take another puff!

Joel

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 Message 5 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:25 PM
Below is a comment I wrote at the Freedom board when a member wrote asking about a certain quit aid that he or she saw a commercial for and was wondering what we thought of it. The comment applies to this and any other method anyone could ask about:


I have seen the XXXXXXXX ads in my area for quite a while. If I am not mistaken, I think I saw those same ads resurface over and over again over a pretty long time period—maybe years. It’s hard to keep all of the shams straight—they really do all look alike after a while. It is amazing what wild claims you will see for products to help you to quit smoking or lose weight too. It’s ironic that you don’t see such ads for alcoholism or heroin or crack dependencies. Why do you think that is? Because if someone made such wild claims about beating a real drug addiction they would likely be held accountable to back up those claims. It seems though that no such accountability is enforced with tobacco use. It’s a shame though, especially when considering we are dealing with the drug which is every bit as addictive as any of these others—actually more so except maybe for crack, and kills more people than all of them combined. But again, it is not like society really takes cigarettes seriously.

I could spend a lot of time researching each and every product that becomes available and makes wonderful claims but in all honesty, I have zero interest in any of them. You know when I will actually look into a product in depth. It is when I am out in the real world and all of a sudden encounter a few people, maybe five in a short time period who tell me that they actually have quit smoking and have been off for a solid year by using some product. This shouldn’t be hard for me to find considering I ask at least 50 new people a month, and sometimes hundreds of new people a month how they quit smoking and how the people they know who have quit smoking and have been off for at least a year, had actually first stopped. Well, this year I asked several thousand people—many of them physicians and dentists who also in turn deal with hundreds to thousands of people. You know how many times XXXXXXXXX was brought up? Zero. Do you know how many times somebody has emailed a question about xxxxxxxxx? Counting your email—one. Kind of gives you a clue to what kind of word of mouth this miracle product is getting from its users.

I am going to attach my introductory letter to my Stop Smoking Clinics here. It kind of covers the area of what I think of people using any kind of products that offer to make a person quit smoking.

Joel

Clinic Introductory Letter

By the time you walk out of this room tonight, you will have a better understanding of why you smoke and why you should quit. But understanding alone will not make smoking go away. Smoking is a true form of drug addiction, and, if you are going to beat it, you will have to treat it as such.

If you really want to quit, you will have to totally abstain from smoking from day one. Beating cigarettes will require a 100% effort on your part. Considering that you may be fighting for your life, it’s worth the trouble. Giving a 99.9% effort will be a guaranteed failure. If you think we are joking or exaggerating our position on cold turkey—think again. If you take a puff anytime in the next 24 hours, we don’t want you to return tomorrow. You can lie when asked if you smoked or not, but the loss will be yours. You are not ready for this clinic and you will be wasting your time and your money foolishly. In all probability, you will need that money to support your addiction.

Maybe you think there is some other program that will treat you kinder, be more tolerant and let you smoke between sessions. Just go to your local yellow pages, you will find numerous programs that will be glad to take your money.

Some will be cut down programs, others will say cold turkey but tell you not to let a slip discourage you. Some will offer hypnosis or acupuncture, others will be mysterious and elusive of specific therapy and costs, but will promise medical treatments taking away all withdrawal. They will all be very friendly, courteous, and much more accommodating than we are. If you are looking for a promise for an easy way out, go to any of them. If you have thousands of dollars of spare cash you wish to dispose of, try them all.

As long as you feel that there is some magic approach out there taking away all of the effort and responsibility from yourself, you are not ready to make the commitment necessary to succeed in our program. If, on the other hand, you have tried all the alternatives, or you are realistic enough to recognize that you are an addict, and you totally refrain from smoking for the next 24 hours, you are ready for our program. We will help you beat your addiction. We will offer you all the help humanly possible. But the ultimate success or failure is your responsibility.

If you have any problems, questions, or just want to say hello, you can call me 24 hours a day. Call the pager number on my card. When asked to leave a message, dial in the number where you can be reached followed by the "#" sign, or, if you are at a rotary phone, dial the same number and leave a voice message with your phone number With either of these paging methods I will get back to you in minutes. But please call before taking a puff. You can call after you take a puff, but all I will say then is that you blew it, you are back to square one, and think about joining another clinic in the future. Since you already know what I will say, save the 50 cents for the call and put it toward your next pack.

Good luck through your first day. Again, if I can be of any assistance, don’t hesitate to call. We are out there behind you. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Reply
 Message 6 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:29 PM
Read the comments in the string  What about hypnosis?

Reply
 Message 7 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:40 PM
A few months back there were reports coming out about the FDA being petitioned into looking into claims made by Laser Treatment companies. As far as I know nothing definitive has happened yet regarding this issue. Here is a link to the letter written by the organization who was petitioning the FDA to look into the claims made by the various laser treatment companies.

http://www.citizen.org/publications/release.cfm?ID=7443

Reply
 Message 8 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 8/16/2006 2:43 PM
Is cold turkey the only way to quit?

I have seen it written that we have said that the ONLY way to quit smoking is to quit cold turkey. This is not a totally accurate statement. It is not that cold turkey is the only way to quit,; it is just that cold turkey is the method which gives people the best chance of success. It is the method that all but a small percentage of long-term ex-smokers in the world used to successfully quit smoking.

There are people who have quit using alternative approaches. There are some who cut down gradually and actually succeeded at quitting. For every person who did it like this and succeeded, there are many many many many others who tried it and failed. The individual who used the method will think it is great because it worked for him or her, but since it works for so few people it will generally be recognized as a pretty ineffective technique by most people who do "real world" research into how to quit.

By "real world" research I mean by going to long-term ex-nicotine users who you know personally and finding out how they all got off nicotine. Again, you will very rarely find any who did it by gradual withdrawal. If you find a person like this who is now off years, you should never minimize the person's success. He or she quit smoking, likely doing it in a way that made it much more difficult than it needed to be, but still he or she did pull off the quit. The only advice that I would encourage that you share with the person is that now to stay off he or she must understand the bottom line method of sustaining his or her quit. That message is staying cognizant of the addiction and that the only true guaranteed method to stay off now is knowing never to administer nicotine again.

The same principle here applies to people who use NRT products. There are people who have quit this way. Again, it is a small percentage of the long-term ex-users out there, but they do exist. An individual who pulled it off this way will also feel that it is a great method for quitting. But again, this method works for a small percentage of people who try it and if you look into real world long-term quits you will have a very hard time finding many people who actually successfully got off nicotine this way.

I feel it necessary to use that phrase, "got off nicotine," as opposed to saying, "got off smoking." There are some major experts coming out and advocating that people should be given nicotine supplements forever to stay off of smoking. Can this work? Of course it can. If you can give people enough nicotine via supplements it will satisfy their need for nicotine. After all, this is the primary reason they were smoking at the end--to feed a nicotine addiction. If the smoker can just get nicotine for the rest of his or her life via another route, he or she will avoid going through the three days of nicotine withdrawal.

The question needs to be, why should anyone have to pay what is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars to avoid a few days of withdrawal.? On top of this, these people will never be totally free of the moderate withdrawals that such usage is likely to keep going. These people will in fact tout the use of the product as a great aid, but when compared to what people who are totally nicotine free are experiencing, this victory over cigarettes is just a bit hollow.

There are a few people though whom you may encounter over your lifetime that did quit using NRT's as intended, weaning down for week after week and eventually quitting. If the person is now off for years, he or she is pretty much in the same state as a person who had quit cold turkey. He or she is nicotine free, and he or she should be thrilled by that fact. In some ways I look at people like this with a bit of awe, for they in all likelihood stuck with a process that was pretty much a gradual and prolonged withdrawal and yet they succeeded.

Again, debating the merits of their method with them is pretty much a moot point. It worked for them and you are going to have a pretty hard time convincing them that it is an ineffective method. But you do have a message that you can share with them that they do need to know. That message is that even though they are off nicotine for years, they still need to recognize that they are not cured of nicotine addiction and never will be. No matter how they had stopped, they must still understand the bottom line message, that the only way to stay free now is staying totally committed to never administer nicotine again via any nicotine replacement source and to never administer nicotine again from the original source that likely started the whole process by knowing to never take another puff!

Reply
 Message 9 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/21/2006 9:42 PM
I had a person write in today who asked why we have not talked about laser therapy on this board. This string addresses the issue in detail.

Reply
 Message 10 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 6/18/2007 10:44 PM
I had a person write in today who asked why we have not talked about laser therapy on this board. This string addresses the issue in detail.

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