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General : It was just too easy to quit  
 Message 1 of 10 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/15/2005 10:12 PM

Hello again Joel,

Thank you so much for your quick response. Your devotion and energy are admirable!

I hope you don’t mind me sharing my story with you. If you wish to post my letter on the message board I would only like to ask you to use my nickname Angie, instead of my real name.

A couple of months ago, on a Friday I thought maybe it was a time for me to quit, so I searched the web and found your site, it transformed my mere though for quitting into a determination. The next two days I smoked, but was disgusted by each cigarette I lit up.

So, on Monday I quit. It was too easy, no withdrawal symptoms, no desire to smoke. I started eating junk food during the day, but that was more because I thought I should, not that I really needed anything to replace the cigarettes. I know that, because 20 days later I started smoking again and now I am at 2 or 3 cigarettes in the morning and maybe 1 or 2 at night and I don’t need anything during the day, neither food nor cigarettes. After I started smoking again I promised myself that I would at least smoke when I really want to, and put out each cigarette I realize I did not enjoy. This was not a plan, but a temporary "solution" until I discover the "right" way for me.

Everybody knows that it is only a matter of time to increase that number and on top of that the studies have shown that a couple of cigarettes a day are almost as equally dangerous to a woman’s health as a whole pack. So here I am again.

I know I can quit, because I really want to. It is not as hard for me to do things or imagine myself doing things without smoking, because I have always been able to see myself through the eyes of my family (none of them ever smoked) and even despised myself a little. I also have very fond memories from the years prior to my "smoking career" and it is comforting to think I am "re-living" something from these years.

I just need to have some questions answered ?/FONT> for myself and for my beloved husband.

I have recognized the first problem ?/FONT> my impatience, and I am working on a strategy for that battle.

The second problem is a little harder to define and pinpoint. My husband smokes. He is anything but uneducated, even in the field of psychology and the "benefits" that come along with the smoking addiction.

And yet, he smokes. I am so concerned for his emotional and physical health, that I have no idea how to handle myself. I think that it is extremely and equally important for him to quit, to keep his weight or loose some (medical reasons) as well as not lose his self-respect. I can’t bare the thought to watch him kill himself and the only way for me not to go crazy is to throw myself into the same denial. Junky thinking or constant trigger ?/FONT> how do I get over it. I can’t watch him and just think he does it because he has to and I don’t, I experience way too powerful emotions for that. Also, I am terrified he could get cancer sooner if he quits than if he doesn’t.

I don’t know.

I would very much appreciate your thoughts!

Thank you again,


First  Previous  2-10 of 10  Next  Last 
 Message 2 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/15/2005 10:19 PM
Below are a number of links addressing different issues raised in this email:
More to come...

 Message 3 of 10 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/15/2005 10:30 PM
I was looking for a detailed response I wrote a few weeks back from a new member at Freedom who was afraid that quitting smoking caused lung cancer. I can't put my finger on the exact post--but here are a few other comments I wrote that day:
From: Joel Sent: 11/27/2005 11:58 AM
There are lots of people who continue to use this "logic" as an excuse to reationalize smoking. Quitting smoking has never been linked to causing cancer. What was recognized in the past is that people who had recently quit were sometimes found to have cancer. This resulted in people seeing such examples to think that since the person found out that he or she had lung cancer after he or she had quit, then quitting must have caused the lung cancer. In all probability, the person had lung cancer already at the time he or she quit and just didn't know it. Usually, the size and stage of the lung cancer would bear this out.
Cancer of the lung is often present for quite some time, often multiple years before manifesting in a way to cause specific symptoms. Actually, by the time a growth in the lung is large enough to be caught on a standard chest x-ray, the cancer usually must have been growing for a few years in the individual.
I had always suspected in the past when I encountered people who had recently quit and then found out they had lung cancer--that one of the reasons they had quit was they were really starting to feel poorly and thought that it was not time to quit smoking to make things better. In the case like this though, the person probably waited too long. I am going to kick up a few posts that address these concerns. Hope they help you to see that you made a very wise choice to quit before you starting get such signals from your body, and the way to minimize your risks of ever having to with such a problem in the future is to continue to stick to your personal commitment to never take another puff.

Stop Smoking Recovery Timetable

  Within ...

You can expect ...

  • 20 minutes
... your blood pressure and pulse rate to return to normal.  The temperature of your hands and feet will also have returned to normal.
  • 8 hours
... your blood oxygen levels to have increased to normal limits and carbon monoxide levels to have dropped to normal.
  • 24 hours
...your risk of sudden heart attack to have substantially decreased.
  • 48 hours
... nerve endings to start regrowing and your sense of smell and taste to begin returning to normal.
  • 72 hours
... your entire body to test 100% nicotine-free with over 90% of all nicotine metabolites to have now passed through your urine.  You can also expect the symptoms of chemical withdrawal to have peaked in intensity.  Your bronchial tubes will begin relaxing and thus make breathing easier, and your lung capacity will also begin to increase.
  • 10 days to 2 weeks
... your body to have adjusted to the physical functioning without nicotine and the 3,500 particles and more than 500 gases present in each puff.
  • 3 weeks to 3 months
... your circulation to have improved substantially, for walking to have become easier, and your overall lung function to have shown an amazing increase of up to thirty percent.
  • 1 to 9 months
... any sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath to have decreased. Cilia have regrown in your lungs thereby increasing their ability to handle mucus, keep your lungs clean, and reduce infections. Your body's overall energy will have increased.
  • 1 year
... your excess risk of coronary heart disease to drop to less than half that of a smoker.
  • 5 years
... your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker at 5-15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years
... your risk of death from lung cancer to have decreased by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack a day).  Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is now half that of a smoker's.
  • 15 years
... your risk of coronary heart disease to now be that of a person who has never smoked. Your overall risk of death has returned to nearly that of a person who has never smoked.

     Message 4 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: JoelSent: 12/15/2005 10:34 PM

     Message 5 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: JoelSent: 12/15/2005 10:38 PM

     Message 6 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: JoelSent: 12/15/2005 10:41 PM

    Nicodemon's Lies?

    1. My cigarettes are my friend - Friend?  Really?  What kind of "friend" would deprive you of oxygen, take away your ability to smell, burn your clothes, destroy your teeth, harden your arteries, elevate your blood pressure, daily feed you 4,000+ chemical compounds that include arsenic, ammonia, acetone, formaldehyde, butane, massive doses of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, methane, stearic acid, vinyl chloride, mercury, and lead, together with 44 known cancer causing agents (one of which is nicotine), before finally killing you with cancer, a stroke, a heart attack or emphysema?
    2.  I enjoy smoking - The difference between heroin and nicotine is that one chemical delivers a tremendous high while  the other is far more addictive.  Studies have long ranked nicotine as a more addictive substance than either heroin or cocaine.  Cocaine's generally recognized addiction rate among regular users is 15% while nicotine's is over 70%.  Imagine convincing your mind that it "likes" being addicted to the drug that most addiction scientists now rank as the most addictive substance on earth.  We are nicotine addicts.  A pack a day smoker smokes 7,300 cigarettes each and every year.  How many of your last 7,300 smokes did you really enjoy?  How many of the next 7,300 will bring joy to your life?  Isn't the true joy of being a well fed nicotine addict in not having to feel the discomfort associated with withdrawal?
    3. My spouse, close friend or family member smokes.  I'm waiting for them to quit with me -  Nicotine tells this junkie that they can't quit until their friend or loved one quits too as they're around their smoke, smells, cigarettes, breath and ashtrays, and quitting is thus impossible.  Nonsense!  How long will you continue to destroy your body while waiting for a human crutch?  A lifetime?  If and when they do quit with you, what will you do if they relapse?  Will "love" cause you to do the same?  One of you needs to lead the way.  It's okay to have hope for a loved one but you must quit for YOU or it's doomed from the very start.   Don't make your health or life dependent upon another person's decision!  As for being around smokers, we all do it.  It's just a matter of degree.  Are you hoping that planet earth's 1.2 billion nicotine smokers will disappear once you quit?
    4. It reduces my stress and helps calm me down - It's a lie.  When we experience stress it makes our urine become more acidic.  As the stressed smoker's urine turns acidic it causes the nicotine in their blood to be metabolized and removed at an accelerated rate.  The more stressed the smoker becomes the quicker their blood nicotine level drops. The stressed smoker's rapidly declining blood nicotine level causes them to begin experiencing the discomfort of early nicotine withdrawal.  It is here that the stressed smoker says, "I NEED A CIGARETTE!"  Within seconds after smoking, their blood nicotine level rises, the anxieties associated with early nicotine withdrawal subside, and the nicotine addict is left with the false impression that smoking helped reduce their stress and calm them down.  All non-smokers experience stress in life.  The difference is that non-smokers don't have early nicotine withdrawal amplifying their stress.  Rising and falling nicotine levels keep all smokers on a life-long anxiety filled roller-coaster ride.  In truth, stress nicotine depletion causes smokers to experience far more anxiety than non-smokers.
    5. My friends smoke, I'll lose them - The nicotine smoker's mind has been conditioned to believe, through association, that smoking is central to their entire life.  Telephone calls, computer time, work, meals, driving, talking, walking, stress, joy, sorrow, and even romance, may have developed a subconscious association with smoking.  The truth is that none of these activities will be altered whatsoever by the absence of tobacco and quitting will not deprive you of even a single friend or loved one.  The truth is that smoking costs  you new friends and possible relationships as fewer and fewer non-smokers are willing to tolerate being around the smell and the smoke.  Can you blame them?  With the exception of quitting, your current life doesn't need to change at all unless you want it to.  It might be nice to enlarge your circle of friends to include those who don't stand around the community ashtray but that's up to you.
    6. It wakes me up and keeps me alert - So will a cold shower.  A brisk walk or other moderate physical activity will provide a natural pick-me-up and a healthy start to each day.  As your lungs heal you'll soon delight in your ever increasing lung capacity and endurance.  Add in a new sniffer, and a brisk spring walk can be transformed into a heavenly experience.  Imagine drawing in a deep breath of fresh air into lungs that have increased their functional capacity by almost 30% within three months of quitting.  Does that sound stimulating?
    7. My concentration is better - Vast quantities of carbon monoxide do NOT improve concentration.  Although nicotine is a stimulant and does excite certain brain neurons, it also constricts all blood vessels.  Feel how cold your fingers and toes get when deprived of blood flow while smoking.  Imagine what's happening to the blood vessels in your brain.  If nicotine results in a stroke we probably won't need to worry much about concentration.  Fresh air and exercise are far healthier brain stimulants.  While quitting, it's important to understand the role that nicotine played in regulating blood sugar, as its absence may cause the temporary impairment of concentration and clear thinking.  To avoid blood sugar concentration problems be sure and drink plenty of fruit juice (cranberry is excellent) during the first three days.  Also don't skip meals!  Nicotine released stored fats into your blood and in a sense fed you with every puff but not anymore.  Don't eat more food each day, but do spread your normal intake out more over your entire day so as to kee your blood sugar level. 
    8. It's something to do with my hands - So is playing with a loaded gun and they both have the same potential for harm.  If you really need something for your hands, try doodling with a pen, playing with coins, squeezing a ball or using strength grippers.  You might get ink on yourself, rich or strong wrists, but at least you won't be destroying your body and substantially shortening your life.
    9. 9. My coffee wouldn't be the same - More junkie thinking!  Your coffee's flavor will remain identical.  In fact, it will taste even better once your taste buds heal after years of being numbed, coated, and poisoned.  Your nose may get so good that you'll smell coffee brewing when it's more than one hundred feet away.  Do you want better tasting and smelling coffee?  Then quit smoking!  Although you don't have to give up your coffee or any thing else except nicotine when quitting, keep in mind that non-smokers only need half as much caffeine in order to get the same effects as a smoker.  If you're a big caffeine user and find yourself climbing the walls don't give up your caffeine just cut it in half!
    10. There's lots of time left to quit - This year tobacco will kill 4,000,000 humans, 1.5 million in middle-age who will each die an average of 22.5 years early .  In order for 22.5 to be the average, how many hundreds of thousands had to die even younger?  Maybe you've got time left and maybe not.  But, dying in your thirties or forties is a powerful price to pay for guessing wrong.  The numbers above only reflect DEATH by tobacco.  You may be lucky enough to be among the millions of nicotine smokers each year who SURVIVE and "only" have a heart attack, a stroke, a lung removed, go onto oxygen, or who receive news of permanent lung disease as you struggle for every breath.  Which puff, from which cigarette, in which pack, will pull the trigger that fires the gun?  The odds of a male smoker dying from lung cancer are 22 times greater than for a non-smoker.  His odds of dying from emphysema are ten times greater.  How lucky do you feel?
    11. It's one of my few pleasures in life - Does that mean that it's better than the pleasure of having a throat to deliver fresh air and great food, two lungs with which to laugh, a healthy heart to feel love, or an undamaged mind which dreams of a wonderful tomorrow?  Pleasure from your addiction or pleasure in committing slow suicide at the hands of a mind that thinks it can only live with the aid of a powerful stimulant?  What do they call someone who derives pleasure from self-inflicted harm or who slowly puts themselves to death?  Pick your own label! Which nicotine fix out of the last 5,000 was the one that brought you tremendous pleasure?  Which cigarette out of the next 5,000 may be the one that sparks permanent damage or disease, or that carries death's eternal flame? If bad news arrives tomorrow will "pleasure" cross your mind?  Your only pleasure is in postponing the challenge of the initial 72 hours that it takes to remove all nicotine from your blood.
    12. Dad just died, this isn't the time! - Smoking won't bring dad back nor cure any other ill in life.  Success in quitting during a period of high stress in life insures that future high stress situations won't serve as your excuse or justification for relapse.  If you think about it, if we continue to live we will all see someone we love die. Such is the cycle of life.  It's extremely sad but serious illness, injury, or the death of a loved one are the most convincing justifications that quitters sell themselves on, in order to justify keeping their drug.  There is no better time to quit than before your next mandatory feeding.  Don't allow finances, work, illness, education or relationships to serve as your excuse to remain an active addict.  There is no legitimate justification for ever putting nicotine back into our body - none, zero, never!
    13. Lots of smokers live until ripe old age - They are much rarer than you think.  Look around.  If you do find old nicotine smokers almost all are in poor health or in advanced stages of smoking related diseases, many with oxygen.  Laboring for every breath with lungs on their last leg, is that ripe enough for us?  Nicotine smokers tend to think only in terms of dying from lung cancer.  Tobacco kills in many ways.  For example, circulatory disease caused by smoking kills more smokers each year than lung cancer.  How long would George Burns have lived to be if he hadn't smoked cigars, 115, 125?  Click here to look at the "truth".  What's wrong with dying healthy from natural causes!
    14. I get bored.  It helps pass the time - Tobacco does not control any clock on earth but it does control you.  For the pack a day nicotine smoker it takes about 30 minutes before their blood's nicotine level to drop to the point where their mind sends them an "urge" of discomfort to remind you that it's time for a feeding.  It doesn't matter where they are or what they're doing.  Depending upon your daily nicotine requirements, the voice inside your head will let you know when it's time.  All you're doing when bored is being alert enough to what lies ahead, so that you keep topping off your nicotine tank before the next message of discomfort arrives.
    15. It's my choice and I choose to smoke! - It's a lie and you know it!  You lost all "choice" and the ability to simply walk away the day that nicotine feedings became mandatory.  The only choice now is how EARLY you feed the beast within.  The ignorant nicotine addict still believes the "choice" myth.  It has been pounded into their brain by an endless stream of highly effective tobacco company marketing with all the pretty colored boxes, the displays and a sea of ads.  How often have you seen any smoker switch brands? It's a well set trap for teens and a way to keep you from looking at the man behind the curtain - a chemical called nicotine.  The uneducated smoker associates smoking with the newspaper, coffee, travel, stress, other smokers, telephone calls, meals, celebrations, romance, or even as a necessary step prior to walking into a store.  The educated nicotine addict sees all nicotine fixes as either mandatory, or an early feeding, in order to avoid the onset and discomfort of chemical withdrawal. You smoke nicotine after a meal because it's time for a nicotine feeding and you smoke before a meal because it isn't polite to feed yourself nicotine and food at the same time. 
    16. I'm only hurting me - Have you stopped to reflect upon the financial, physical or emotional pain that your needless dying and death would bring your loved ones?  Do you care that the deadly byproducts of your addiction have the potential to harm or kill family members whose only crime was loving you?  How much does it cost to attempt to cure lung cancer?  $100,000?  $200,000?  $300,000?  How much is your annual deductible, your lifetime benefits cap and who will pay any balance?  What's the cost of a funeral today and which loved one have you selected to make arrangements for your early departure?  Are your pets and loved breathing secondhand smoke that the United Nations indicates contributes to causing pneumonia, bronchitis, colds, coughing, wheezing, worsening of asthma, middle ear disease, cardiovascular disease, and even neurobehavioural impairment (especially in young children). 
    17. A cure for cancer is coming soon - Between Europe and North America tobacco will kill over one million this year.  How many of them thought that a cure was on the way?  Sadly, it was false hope.  As hopeless drug addicts they waited, and waited and waited. What type of lung cancer are you waiting for them to cure - squamous cell, oat cell, adenocarcinoma, or one of the less common forms of lung cancer? Even if a cure is coming for all forms and types of cancer caused by tobacco (and there are many), what will be left of your lungs by the time it arrives?  If you're gambling on "how" tobacco will kill you, don't forget to consider heart attacks, strokes, and emphysema.  Which cure are you betting on?
    18. I smoke lights and they're not as bad - Lights and ultra-lights are capable of delivering the same amount of tar and nicotine as regular brands, depending on how they're smoked.  They do not reduce most health risks including the risk of heart disease or the risk of cancer.  In fact, their smokers often take longer drags which means far more tar and more nicotine than advertised.  Others simply smoke a higher number of lights because they feel short changed.
    19. It's my right to blow smoke! - And it's the right of non-smokers and ex-smokers to be free from your smoke too. Social controls to protect the rights of non-smokers are just beginning.  Can a dog's life-span be cut in half by a smoking master?  Would you intentionally double the risk of heart attack or triple the risk of lung cancer for a spouse or family member?  Why kill the innocent too?  Are non-smokers who get extremely upset at having to breathe some of your smoke simply being obnoxious or are they fighting to protect themselves and those they love from the known harms generated from burning a plant that contains 44 known cancer causing agents (including nicotine) and releases 4,000+ chemical compounds when burned?  Do you know a child whose mother smoked while pregnant who does not suffer from some form of impairment today? 
    20. Quitting causes weight gain and it's just as dangerous - Quitting doesn't increase our weight, eating does.   As far as a few extra pounds being "dangerous," you'd have to gain over one hundred additional pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack a day.  Keep in mind that your general health, physical abilities and lung capacity will all improve dramatically.  If patient, you will have the physical and mental tools necessary to shed any extra pounds.  Remember, smoking was your cue that a meal had ended.  Unless you develop a new cue there may be fewer leftovers.
    21. It's too late now to heal these lungs - Nonsense!  If you have not yet caused permanent lung damage you should expect to experience an almost one-third increase in overall lung function within just 90 days of quitting!  It's amazing how much damaged lungs can repair themselves unless disease or cancer have already arrived.  Even with emphysema, although destroyed air sacks will never again function, quitting now will immediately halt the needless destruction of additional tissues!  You only have two options - decay or heal.  Which cigarette in which pack will carry the spark that gives birth to that first cancerous cell?
    22. I'd quit but withdrawal never ends! - False! If you remain 100% nicotine free for just 72 hours, your blood will become nicotine free, your withdrawal anxieties will peak in intensity and the number of psychological craves will peak in number.  The greatest challenge will be over.  Within 10 days to two weeks, actual physical withdrawal is substantially complete as your mind has physically adjusted to the absence of nicotine and accustomed to natural brain dopamine levels.  What then remains will be to encounter and recondition your remaining psychological habit crave triggers and to learn to live with the millions of smoking memories stored deep within your mind.  You will experience your first day of total quit comfort, where you never once even "think" about a cigarette or smoking, by at least day ninety.  The sad part is that you won't even realize that it has happened.  After the first such day, they grow more and more frequent until they become your new norm.  The deep sense of lasting comfort and calmness that awaits you is probably beyond your comprehension.  The real "you" is in total control!
    23. But the craves last for hours! - Just like the lingering thought of a nice juicy steak, lobster in butter sauce, or fresh baked hot apple pie, you can make yourself "think" about having a cigarette all day long, if that's what you really want to do.  Unlike thoughts, crave anxiety attacks last for less than 3 minutes. It's important that you look at a clock and time them as your mind can make those minutes seem like hours.  The bulk of the anxiety surrounding each crave is self induced.  Such "thoughts" can be controlled with honest answers and through the power of positive thinking.   Strip away all the self-inflicted anxiety and what remains on Day 3 for the "average" quitter is just 18 minutes of true crave anxiety (an average of six craves each less than three minutes in duration).
    24. I'll quit after the next pack, next carton, next month, my next birthday or on New Years' - Oh really? Can you count on both hands and all your toes how many times you've lied to yourself with such nonsense? And which pack, carton, month or birthday will give you the best chance for success?  Forget buying nicotine laden cigarettes by the pack or carton.  A case is even cheaper!  With the way that cigarette prices are shooting through the roof, you might as well calculate how many it will take to keep you in nicotine for life and buy them all now.  The only problem with that is in determining how long you have left to live.  How many more pack, carton, birthday and New Year's lies will you tell to yourself?  When will they stop?  If you continue on your present path, many Birthdays are very likely be cancelled by your early Deathday.  Will your family celebrate without you?
    25. I like to smoke when I drink and I find myself smoking even more - The effects of drinking and stress upon our body's nicotine level are the same.  You smoke more when you drink not because you "like" to but because you MUST in order to keep your body's nicotine level within the comfort range, so that it does not experience the symptoms of early withdrawal.  When you drink alcohol it causes your urine to become acidic.  The acid causes nicotine to be drawn from your blood at an accelerated rate.  Thus, the more you drink, the more nicotine you'll need to ingest to avoid the anxiety of early withdrawal.  Although early alcohol use contributes to destroying a great many quit attempts, understanding the nicotine-acid relationship can be of benefit in accelerating physical nicotine withdrawal so that quitters can begin feeling relief sooner.  Acidic fruit juices, such as cranberry, may help reduce the normal 72 hours of withdrawal required to remove all nicotine from the blood.  If at all possible, don't drink during the first few days of your quit.  When you do decide to drink, consider drinking at home without cigarettes around before testing your resolve around smokers.  By doing so you'll help to break the your mind's psychological link between smoking and drinking, with as little risk as possible.  As millions of ex-smokers can attest, your beer or drinks will taste better than ever once your taste buds are allowed an opportunity to heal.
    26. It's too painful to quit! - Compared to what?  Three days of physical withdrawal (just 72 hours) in no way compares to the pain of months of chemotherapy, lung removal surgery and a two foot scar, a losing battle with throat cancer, years of trying to recover from a serious stroke or massive heart attack, or fighting for every breath through emphysema riddled lungs as you drag oxygen around for the remainder of your life.  If you're really worried about hurt then why continue your daily destruction?
    27. If I quit, I'll just start back again.  I always do. - The truth is that you don't have to relapse.  We relapse because we rewrite the law of addiction, we forget why we quit, or we invent lies and stupid excuses, such as those that fill this page.  Your next quit can be your last but you need to learn how to care for your quit, while always applying the only rule that you'll ever need to obey - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF OF NICOTINE!
    28. I'll cut down or quit and smoke just one now and then - You are addicted to a substance that is five times as addictive as cocaine.  You may be strong enough to cut back a bit but you'll remain addicted, the decay will continue and a recent study indicates that your health risks will remain unchanged. If you were a pack-a-day nicotine smoker and after quitting you decide to smoke just one cigarette, you might as well get ready to smoke the other 7,300 for the year too as full and complete relapse is virtually assured. The Law of Nicotine Addiction is simple - one puff of new nicotine and it's over!  Your addiction has permanently transformed your brain into a highly efficient nicotine processing machine.  It may take a few cigarettes or even a few packs before you're back to your old level of intake or higher, but just one puff of nicotne awakens and revives thousands of feeding memories and re-establishes at least one nicotine feeding cue.
    29. I tried quitting but my family stopped supporting me or was giving me such a hard time that it caused me to throw in the towel - It's a lie.  You gave up because you used your family as a cheap excuse to get your drug back.  You exaggerated everything they did or didn't do.  You're the drug addict yet you expect them to understand the weakness and thinking of a drug addict's mind.  How could they know what it's like to go through chemical withdrawal themselves?  Is it fair to expect them to appreciate the magnitude or duration of your challenge?  They just want you to be normal and don't know  how to react.  Feeling unappreciated, picking fights and creating confrontation are tools of the addict's mind used to reclaim their drug.  Some know that if they inflict tremendous stress on loved ones that they may even convince them to offer to buy their relapse cigarettes for them.   That way they can blame their relapse on their loved one. "They just couldn't handle my quitting." "Maybe next time!" 
    30. Ok, I'm going to quit!  Now I can enjoy my smokes until then! - If you've done this more than once, isn't it just more junkie head games ?  This addict wants to feel good about smoking nicotine and they've learned that by saying that they're going to quit, that they make themselves feel better even though deep down they know that it's just another lie!  Unless something awakens this addict, there may never be a serious quit in their future.
    31. I've got to die of something! - True, but if you knew that tomorrow morning at 9:22 a.m. a massive smoking induced stroke would bring your life to an abrupt end, and you'd die on a cold bathroom floor with a cigarette beside you - just as thousands are found each year - would you light that last cigarette at 9:21 a.m. and pull the trigger that kills you? The death certificates of half the smokers you see smoking today will read, "cause of death - smoking and each will die an average of roughly 5,000 days early.  Have you met Noni and Bryan?  Would any non-addicted human spend each and every day of the remainder of their life intentionally destroying a little bit more of their ever shrinking lung capacity?  Can you imagine what it's like trying to breathe through a straw?  It's called emphysema. Since you've got to die of something why not give straw breathing a try for the next five minutes. 
    32. I can't quit alone. I'll need nicotine gum, the patch, hypnosis, acupuncture, magic herbs or other wonder drugs! - Wrong!   The simple truth is that no magic cure has ever "made" any smoker quit smoking nicotine.  The key to permanent abstinence is education and understanding not hypnosis, not acupuncture and not a 93% chance of relapsing with six months while using some over-the-counter nicotine product that teaches nothing while robbing you of a valuable opportunity to master the core principles underlying years of nicotine dependency.   Remember, should all else fail, you always have you!
    33. It's all Nicodemon's fault, not mine! - There is no Nicodemon. There never was.  The title to this article - "Nicodemon's Lies" - is just another lie. They were never Nicodemon's lies, but your lies.  There is no nico-monster and there never has been. Nicotine is simply a chemical, a drug, an alkaloid known as C10H14N2, and its I.Q. is and always has been zero. It does not think, plan, inflict punishment, nor will it conspire to make you relapse or die addicted to it. The fact that it has zero intelligence is your greatest weapon. Everything you see, feel, and sense during nicotine withdrawal and recovery will be grounded in chemical dependency, conditioning, reason, logic or science. Any conspirators in any past attempts to make you relapse and destroy your quit were always and only "you!" Should you reclaim control of your brain reward pathways, your health, and your life, the victory will belong only to you!
    Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John

     Message 7 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: JoelSent: 12/15/2005 10:50 PM
    I found the commentary I wrote about a person worrying that quitting caused cancer.
    From: Joel Sent: 11/30/2005 2:27 PM

    I too am sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. I actually thought about her earlier this week when a new member posed a question about people getting lung cancer from quitting smoking. I was thinking of people who found out they had lung cancer after they had quit smoking, Jean being one of them.

    I need to point out again that people don’t increase their risks of getting lung cancer from quitting smoking or quitting too soon; they increased their risks of getting lung cancer from smoking too long. 

    It is easy to see though how some people have this misperception. I had a slide I used to use in all of my presentations while I was with the American Cancer Society back in the mid to late 1970’s The slide showed how the risk of lung cancer decreased over time, to a point that in about 10 years after quitting the risk of dying from lung cancer was not much greater than that of people who had never smoked. 

    One alarming thing about the slide though was how the death rate from lung cancer was higher for people who had quit for one year or less.

    I am going to attach a scanned in version of the exact slide below.

    I need to point out that since the time the slide was produced, there have been modifications to the statistics used. The current statistics show that the risks of dying from lung cancer are cut in half at the ten year mark now. Quit Smoking Recovery Timetable

    At the time I used this slide though, if I were to show it to a group and not offer up an explanation it would have likely scared the audience into not quitting. The reason for the high death rate for people who were off for one year or less was not because quitting smoking caused lung cancer in this population. Some of these people were smokers who when they found out that they had lung cancer then decided that it was now time to quit. Unfortunately quitting smoking never caused their newly diagnosed lung cancer to go away, and most of these people still ended up succumbing to the disease.

    There were also likely a fair number of people represented in these stats who had quit smoking because they were just feeling bad and were now trying to avoid getting lung cancer. Unfortunately some of these people were feeling bad because they had lung cancer but did not yet know they had it. So some of these one year or less quitters were actually people who had undiagnosed lung cancers at the time they quit, who then found out during that year that they had lung cancer and then died with months of diagnosis.

    Jean's story basically fits into the second scenario described here. She likely quit smoking to reduce her risk of developing a smoking related illness but unfortunately already had the cancer growing inside of her.

    Here is how Jean informed our members of her diagnosis six months ago, just when she had reached her six month mark of being smoke free:

    "The reason for this post at this time, I have just now worked up the nerve to let all my Freedom Buddies know that I was diagnosed with cancer just before Mothers Day, and have had a very hard time letting my family and friends know, I feel so guilty, for having smoked all these years and causing this disease to play havoc with me and my family, to all you wishful quitters out there, there is nothing, I MEAN NOTHING worse then having to tell those you hold so dear of such a catastrophe, the cancer has spread to my spine, skull, rib cage, kidneys, lymph (whatever and of course a large tumor in the right lung. There is no hope for a cure I have been told, they do have the means to keep me comfortable and give a better quality of life for the remaining time. "

    Her words were powerful and haunting back then, and are just as tragic now. I hope all new readers here today who may just be quitting and feel that they may be having a tough time from smoking withdrawals take to heart Jean's commentary of:

    "there is nothing, I MEAN NOTHING worse then having to tell those you hold so dear of such a catastrophe, the cancer has spread to my spine, skull, rib cage, kidneys, lymph (whatever and of course a large tumor in the right lung. There is no hope for a cure I have been told, they do have the means to keep me comfortable and give a better quality of life for the remaining time. "

     That sentence just deserved to be repeated.

    Thank you Gitte for notifying us about Jean's passing. A few months back you had requested that Jean's post be added to the string "A fate worse than death" - quitting?. You will see that her post It Is never too Late was linked in the 79th post in that string. You can tell from the way Jean delivered the message above she wanted her experience to benefit others. I am not sure if you have contact with Jean's family but if you do please pass along our condolences. Also let them know that Jean's participation at our board have likely helped many other people and families to avoid having to face similar circumstances. I know this was important to Jean and I suspect this knowledge may also be appreciated by her family.

    I hope that all new readers who are just coming here today and reading Jean's story will realize how important it is to not put off quitting until some future date when you might be more ready; to just quit today and to start to immediately reduce your risk of ever having to face a similar fate.  Quitting smoking is truly and effort to save your health and your life. I also hope that all of our readers who are now successful ex-smokers continue to recognize that the way to continue to reduce your risks of ever having to face a similar fate is to stick to the personal commitment that you have already made to never take another puff.


     Message 8 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: MSN NicknameElevenPinkFlowersSent: 12/16/2005 1:22 PM
    Hi Angie,
    it is very good that you can remember what you were like before smoking, and you will certainly get back to this true you when you have quit. Even better: You will be an Ex-Smoker. You will be able to appreciate the new/old life, and it will be so much better than smoking.
    I understand that it must be difficult to quit when you husband still smokes. Nevertheless, you are quitting for yourself only. You are whose health is at stake, and you are the only person who can save you. You know how it works: When you were quit for 20 days once, you were already past the worst. Your body was nicotine-free then.
    Joel has already given you some very good information on the cancer-by-quitting topic. Your husband would definitely be better off without living his nicotine addiction. He will not gain weight if he watches his eating and drinking and does enough exercise. He will be just fine.
    You write that you "can’t bare the thought to watch him kill himself and the only way for me not to go crazy is to throw myself into the same denial." Is that junkie thinking or a constant trigger? It might be a trigger for a few days. However, even the most persistent trigger vanishes one day. It is definitely junkie thinking though. You want to do something to change both your lives?
    If you quit, and live a happy smoke-free life in front of your husband's very nose, you never know, he might follow you soon because he envies you. He might see what a miserable life he is leading as a smoker in comparison to you, being your beautiful, radiant, healthy self. But again, your first concern should be you!
    Give it a go. Life together is too precious and too short as it is. No reason to make it even shorter.
    Gave it a go on 2 March 2005

     Message 9 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: MSN NicknameStarshinegrl-GoldSent: 12/16/2005 2:16 PM
    Hi Angie,
    it's good to see that you don't see yourself in the "I can't quit" ... or ... "I won't quit"? - category of smokers. Are you, though? In that category of smokers who will quit?
    The reason why I am wondering about that is that you wrote that "maybe it was time for me to quit". This "Maybe" or this "Maybe" perhaps? 
    You wrote that you are concerned about your husband and that you want him to lose weight as well as stopping smoking. Angie, as hard as it might be to accept (but I think deep down you know that already) nobody but your husband can take steps to address his health issues. He would not lose his self-respect by stopping to feed his body nicotine - he would get it back.
    You are also wondering why your educated husband continues to smoke ... well, he smokes and continues to do so for one simple reason: like all of us, he is a smoke-a-holic! Nicotine addiction does not care what job we have, how much education we were lucky enough to receive ... if we are lucky, we get hooked!
    Then you are concerned about the fact that your husband might get cancer. What about yourself? Would you like to increase your chances of getting cancer yourself by continuing to smoke?
    Should you now quit smoking, your husband will also hopefully benefit from you taking the first steps, you can be an example for him that it is possible to live and enjoy your life nicotine free and he might even follow you. Don't use him as a primary reason for quitting or for continuing to smoke. You are responsible for your life and somehow I don't think you would want to hand that responsibility over to somebody else, not even your husband - I also don't think that he would like you to be responsible for his decisions / actions.
    You admit yourself that junkie thinking or denial-issues are your biggest problems. It really all boils down to them, doesn't it? Angie, do not use your husband's smoking, his health issues or anything else that you might come up with as an excuse to justify to yourself why you continue to smoke.
    Look at your reasoning and examine it closely - would a cigarette / nicotine alter any of your worries or make the situations better? Have a look again at all your arguments and oppose them with the truth.
    What are your own reasons for wanting to quit? Are you  dreaming of living a nicotine-free life (again)? Are you Thinking of quitting?... BUT .... ?
    (((Angie))), go on, prove it to yourself that you really can do it! I know you can - there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of, tell your "inner junkie" that you do not want to play with her anymore, maybe even surprise yourself by finding out that your quit will be a lot easier than you might anticipate it to be.
    I really hope you find that you belong to the group of smokers who will quit - and sooner rather than later. Please, make sure you read all the replies in here as well as all the reading-recommendations given to you.
    And THEN ...
    Just go for it!!!
    You know you want to - and you are / it is so worth it!!!
    385 days and a bit

     Message 10 of 10 in Discussion 
    From: MSN Nickname_forza-d-animo_Sent: 12/17/2005 4:08 AM
        I hear desperation in your post Angie, but I don't hear committment.  I can have the same conversation with any person I meet on the street who smokes cigarettes.  Most will tell me that they want to quit, that they tried to quit, that they need to quit but when offered an opportunity to have a real discussion about quitting, in general they stick to their own theories about smoking, addiction and quitting.  It usually equates to denial and fear.  They also smoke a lot of cigarettes during the conversation.
      You proclaimed that reading on transformed your thoughts of quitting into determination.  You were so emboldened by what you learned that your quit was easy.  But then you lose me with your "nicotine addict logic."  You claim that you did not need food to replace cigarettes and prove that by starting to smoke cigarettes again?  Your temporary solution to not smoking is to smoke.  Completely logical to a nicotine addict and you are comforted by knowing that you know you are lieing to yourself.   You go on to say that you can't bare the thought of what smoking cigarettes is doing to your husband's health.  How is it that you are so empathetic to the plight of your husbands addiction but have no sympathy for your own?  We can only help others after we learn to help ourselves.  Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy husbands eye ... ?
      You have already proven your ability to live without nicotine having gone twenty days without.  But in your own words "It was too easy ..."  So if it were more difficult you would have remained nicotine free to this day?  No one who quits smoking ever smokes again for any reason other than this, they chose to pick up a cigarette, light it and smoke it for the nicotine it contains.  If there were no nicotine in a cigarette, what would be the attraction to inhaling burning tobacco.  It hurts, it tastes horrible, it smells horrible, even worse on others, it is filthy with the flying ashes, cigarette butts, and the film of tars and chemicals that it leaves on every surface.  Where is the pay off?  To the unintiated, it is an unearned dopamine rush - to the old addicted smoker, it is maintenance otherwise known as withdrawl prevention.
      My words may not be considered compassionate but perhaps they will shake you up enough to realize how illogical are your arguments for smoking.  Read your own words again and replace the word cigarette with heroin, cocaine or alcohol or nicotine.  Does it change the way you view your addiction?  Whatever illogical thought permitted you to pick up that first cigarette after 20 days may have given you what you were seeking - The next time that you quit may not be "too easy", maybe it will be too difficult.  Perhaps, after four or five tries you will find the perfect quit.  Preferably you will put them down again now and take it one day at a time.  You will take what you learned about your addiction from experience and from reading on and use it as a tool to live without nicotine and not as an excuse to smoke again.
      If you choose freedom over addiction Angie, you will never regret it.  Read everything that Joel posted in reply to your questions.  What have you got to lose?

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