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is everyone still smoke free?
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is everyone still smoke free?

"Maybe I am different? Maybe I can take a cigarette and not get hooked? Maybe the cigarette will make me so sick I will never want to take a cigarette again? Maybe I was never addicted anyway? Maybe I will just smoke for a little while and quit again when things are better? Maybe, maybe, maybe . . .?

Do you ever find that you are asking yourself these questions? If so, and the suspense of the answer is just killing you, I thought I would suggest two ways of finally putting these unresolved questions to rest. First, take a cigarette. This is a really effective way of realizing the potential for relapse by reinforcement of the nicotine addiction. And the cost for this valuable lesson is simply returning to the deadly, expensive, socially unacceptable habit and addiction to cigarettes. You can then either smoke until it cripples and kills you, or "just" quit again. Remember the last time? Smoke or quit, fun choice isn't it?

Of course there is another way of answering those perplexing questions of "maybe". Find a smoker who once quit smoking for a substantial period of time, say one year or longer, and then relapsed. Ask him how he liked not smoking. Ask him how he now likes smoking. Then ask the most important question, how did he return to smoking?

Let me venture a guess as to the answers to these three questions. "Not smoking was great. I hardly thought of cigarettes any more. I felt healthier, happier, even calmer. Cigarettes smelled repulsive. The thought of smoking at my old level was disgusting." To the second question, how do you now like smoking, the response will typically be, "I hate it, I smoke as much or even more than I did before. I feel more nervous, don't have as much energy, and generally feel like a fool when smoking in public. I sure wish I could quit again." The answer to the third and most important question of how did he return to smoking is almost always the same, "I took a cigarette."

It may have happened under stress, at a party, or at home alone with nothing special going on. Whatever the cause, the end result was the same--addiction to nicotine. Prior to taking the cigarette, he probably asked himself the same questions of "maybe". He found his answer. Your answer is the same. Learn from others' mistakes and not your own. Your smoking friend is stuck in the grips of a powerful and deadly addiction. Maybe he will get the chance and strength again to quit smoking, maybe he will smoke until it kills him.

You have successfully broken free of the nicotine addiction. While your smoking may have been a potential threat to your life in the past, now your risks are dropping down to that of a person who never smoked. As long as you stay off of cigarettes, you never will have to worry about the physical, psychological, social and economical risks of smoking again as long as you follow one simple practice...NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF"!

(Joel - WhyQuit.com)

Great Advice!
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8 Comments Post a Comment
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242912_tn?1402547092
Great advice, great reminder, Kathy Jo.  

The part about feeling like a fool in public after relapse?  When I relapsed after nearly a year of being quit, I didn't smoke out in the front yard for the longest time because I was embarassed that the neighbors would see me.  As if they even noticed I stopped smoking in the first place!?!

Today is the 28th day of my quit and I feel so free and happy!  I am no longer jealous of those happy, quit people because I am now one of them! :)

All my visuals help a lot too.  Here let me proudly show you...
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3w 6d 15:34 smoke-free, 412 cigs not smoked, $113.30 saved, 1d 10:20 life saved
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326505_tn?1304172825
Yipee! How proud you must feel! You have come a long way and it must be very satisfying : )  Congrats on 28 days....soon to be a month ; )
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242912_tn?1402547092
It is 10:30pm here and I am having more bad thoughts so here I am to read this post again.  I am very angry!  The situation here isn't getting any better and I can see I don't know how to deal with my anger in a healthy way.  I started smoking when I was 14, so I suppose I've never learned to deal with anger in any other way than hurting myself by smoking!

I went to the dentist on Tues and had my teeth drilled and all that stress still didn't make me feel like smoking.  It's more the anger than any other emotion that sets off the "just one" kind of thinking.  Maybe I'm finally seeing the light?

Thanks again for this post, Kathy Jo
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242912_tn?1402547092
Whew, that felt good to get off my chest and the craving is almost gone so I will flash my meter proudly.
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4w 0:01 smoke-free, 420 cigs not smoked, $115.50 saved, 1d 11:00 life saved
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326505_tn?1304172825
I'm happy to hear that you got through it and that you have made a connection to anger vs. habit ; ) It almost seems like we can connect any and every negative emotion as reasons to smoke.....and when we finally get it, it's like a big smack upside our head DUH! I think that is why I read and re-read those articles......it's a constant learning experience and I have had a lot of "aha I gotcha" moments : )
You just keep on keeping on : )

My how you have grown ; )
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190673_tn?1259206866
Quit Smoking Calculator

You've been free of cigarettes for 129 days, 4 hours, 22 minutes & 20 seconds

You have not smoked 3,229 cigarettes since then, and you have saved a total of $1,937.73.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PLUS I FEEL MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY MUCH BETTER DESPITE THE DAILY STRESS I DEAL WITH.

I believe that quitting smoking is 1 of the best things I've accomplished in my life.
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326505_tn?1304172825
Wonderful!!! Congrats to you!
Indeed it is the best thing I have ever done : )
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242912_tn?1402547092
Hi and congrats to you!  I see you too have a meter.  Excellent.  I like to focus on how many cigarettes not smoked.  That high number seems to work better for me than focusing on how many days I'm quit.  In fact, a few days ago I was so focused on hitting 400cigs not smoked, that I forgot that 28days is nearly 1mo smoke-free.  
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