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General : The Ripple Effect of Quitting  
 Message 1 of 5 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/8/2005 11:22 AM

Hi Joel

Firstly many thanks for you, your site, colleagues and site posters.

I am a ‘lurker?apparently and it quite suits me researching, reading, digesting all the information to help with my quit.

I thought you may be interested in my story.

My wife was booked for a bronchoschopy quite recently, and subsequently a spirograph test. We were both long term smokers 20 years plus. I decided to take the lead and use anything I could to firstly make me quit, and subsequently helping my wife. I quit with the great support and aid of and printed off a couple of really good pieces, such as smoking’s my friend, etc to help my wife. She really thought she needed NRT patches to quit and went to the local doctors smoking cessation advisor. I tried to persuade her to go cold turkey, as I had done, but realising any quit is better than no quit I decided to be as helpful as possible in assisting with the programme advised by local doctors.

Instead of having taking her a cup of tea in the morning it was a cup of tea and an NRT patch, (I was always very careful not to touch as I had been nicotine free for 7 days!!), this went on for 7 days with my wife becoming increasingly irritated by itching and scratching. I thought it might be an adverse reaction to neat nicotine and after a lot of persuading she decided to ditch the NRT and go ‘cold turkey? This was last Thursday night at 22.00, I advised her all over the weekend all the great tips I had learned from the site, every minute is doable, NTAP, etc. It was hard but she made it!! Today, Wednesday, she had a follow up with the doctors smoking cessation advisor, after informing her that she had ditched the patches on Friday because of the irritation the advisor said ‘would you like a nicotine inhaler, or try different patches……………?.

Needless to say she laughed and walked out.

Both my wife and I and three kids and son in law cannot thank you enough for this site. I gave up 9th November, my wife 18th, my eldest daughter (23) & son in law (27), 20th November. Were all doing well as addicts remembering NTAP!!!!!! I have also advised the Landlord and Landlady of our local pub + numerous friends.

Kindest regards

With best wishes

From the UK

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 Message 2 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/8/2005 11:31 AM
I titled this one as I did because of a string we have at Freedom called The Ripple Effect Stats Parade. So many people are afraid because they are handicapped in quitting if they still have family members who smoke.
The fact is, even if every person a smoker is related to and associate with smoke, it is possible for that smoker to still quit. Sometimes a person quitting will inadvertently go on to influence those around them, often the most important to them, their family and friends. This influence does not just happen from pestering the other people to quit, but more so just by setting an example.
A person who is not smoking still working, resolving problems, dealing with daily stresses, basically, not smoking and still living and still smiling sends a powerful message to all around them that there is life after smoking. It is a healthier, cleaner, simpler, richer and happier existance that the ex-smoker can keep forever by simply sticking to his or her new found commitment to never take another puff.

 Message 3 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameStarshinegrl-GoldSent: 12/8/2005 12:07 PM
Mark, what a great post and what a great family you have!!!
I just loved your wife's reaction to the smoking cessation "advisor" - just wondering if she has perhaps thought of referring her to have a look at the whyquit-site? (They still get me going every time although I know that they might just not be educated enough - or in the right direction. )
Have another great nicotine free day in the UK and keep on spreading the word ... you might also want to keep some of these Whyquit - cards (a High resolution PDF file (270k) ) handy - they are absolutely fantastic.
377 days and a bit

 Message 4 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JohnSent: 12/8/2005 12:15 PM
Congratulations Mark to both you and your wife.  You've both come far and invested much.   It's good to enjoy and share in your healing but be extremely careful not to lean upon each other as a primary source of motion.   A crutch is any person, activity or thing that if suddenly removed would significantly increase the odds of relapse. 
If we refrain from physically, subconsciously or consciously leaning upon persons, activities or things then their impact upon our balance should be minimal to none if suddenly removed.
If smoking's adult kill rate is 50% then what are the odds that chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine won't be the cause of destroying a marriage in which both are dependent and fail to arrest their dependency?   Although it is impossible for either of you to relapse so long as no nicotine enters your bloodstream, I hope you'll both commit to going the distance regardless of the outcome for the other.
There is nothing like having a live-in reminder of how amazingly comfortable these bodies and minds can again become if we'll only remain patient in fully adopting "one day at a time" as our means of measuring full and complete victory.
As for health care providers understanding much more about nicotine dependency recovery than the prescribing directions for each nicotine replacement delivery device and bupropion it's sadly far too rare.  But it really isn't their fault.  I have a daughter who is a third year medical student.  Her medical school has yet to spend any time studying our nation's leading cause of preventable death.
It would be interesting to poll physicians to see how many know nicotine's half-life in human blood-serum (about 2 hours).   To put nicotine back into a nicotine-free body in which peak physical withdrawal has already occurred is insane.  But if you have not been taught and cannot recognize dependency recovery insanity it's a bit difficult to realize the need to cease fostering it. 
Be proud of yourselves, Mark.  Remember, there is absolutely no legitimate justification for relapse including the eventual inevitable death of those we love most.  Still just one guiding principle for all of us,  no nicotine just one day a time,  Never Take Another Puff!   With you both in spirit.
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!
John  - Free & healing for six years, six months and 23 days while avoiding the use of 143,928 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost a minimum of $19,887.06 if they hadn't yet made me another smoking death statistic.

 Message 5 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/8/2005 12:48 PM
Many who are reading here are going to relate to Mark's experience with dealing with cessation professionals as well as with their other health care providers. We have a page up at that you may want to refer to your medical professionals who you personally encounter--people like your physicians, dentists, pharmacists, etc.

(See WhyQuit's patient resources)

Most people in health care get little to no training in the field of smoking cessation, and what they do get is usually materials either designed or heavily influenced by pharmaceutical companies who have a vested interest in selling products.

Your health care professionals often want to help and offer assistance and are just as frustrated with the prospect of their patients quitting as the patients are themselves. They try to encourage their patients to use the state of the art approaches and constantly see them fail.
Let them know there is another way out there and if they go through the effort of actually talking to their patients who have successfully quit smoking and stayed free, they will quickly realize what they can really do to help their patients. (see So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?)
When dealing with general health care providers you may have a real impact on how they deal with all of their patients. Trying to share these insights with people who are "trained smoking experts" is not likely to have much of a positive outcome. They are already indoctrinated into believing that they know what people do to have to quit. (see Who Should You Believe?)
People in the general health care community often realize that something is missing and that the techniques that they have been encouraged to use are usually ineffective. The more successful quitters share their insights with their health care providers, the more obvious it will become to their health care providers that the way to quit smoking and to stay free is simply making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

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