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the topic is 'staying quit'

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PostPosted: August 17, 2004 11:20 PM    Post subject: the topic is 'staying quit' Reply with quote

and the only way to stay quit is not to smoke. we all know this.

in my opinion, a puff is as good as a pack; it's a relapse. if you smoke, even a single puff, you are no longer quit. being quit is like being pregnant; you either are or you aren't. there's no middle ground.

as far as quit dates; at least one person pointed out that, in the long run, it really doesn't make any difference if you reset your quit date after a relapse, because 25 years from now (assuming you're still alive and still quit and still remember your quit date), a difference of a couple of days or weeks or even months will be so small as to be neglible.

and that's true, as far as it goes. but we're not talking about 25 years from now; we're talking about today. and it could make a world of difference to someone who's just starting out today. because someone who's just starting out today - especially if this is their first quit - may not realize the seriousness of taking that first puff.

as someone else pointed out, if someone takes that first puff and doesn't reset their quit date, the logical conclusion of that line of thought is that they could "occasionally" smoke while maintaining a continuous quit.

which, of course, we all know you can't do.

but the junkie doesn't want us to remember that, because all the junkie wants is another fix, and the junkie will go to any length to get it. and the junkie can be very persuasive and reasonable-sounding ("aw, go ahead, take a puff; where's the harm? nobody'll even know. you'd still be quit; it's only one puff..."). i know (as many, if not most, of us know) from first-hand experience; we've believed the junkie's lies before (especially the "just one" lie) and lost our quits as a result.

even though i've been quit for over 1000 consecutive days now, if i were to take a single puff (which, by the way, i have no intention of doing), i'd reset my quit date, because taking that single puff would make me a smoker again, and, as soon as i became a smoker again, i could no longer call myself quit. and i would not be able to look myself in the eye if i felt i was deliberately misleading people as to the longevity of my quit. a large part of my credibility comes from me personally knowing that i'm walking the walk.

and, in my opinion, any other stance is - to a greater or lesser degree - junkie thinking.

now, you may disagree with that opinion, but i'd appreciate it if you would show me the courtesy of not answering this post with an argument against it. i think we can all agree that it's not polite to argue with your host, and part of my responsibility as the host is to set the tone for this site.

and a big part of that tone revolves around personal responsibility and accountability.

i've had several members appeal to me to step in and settle this issue, because they're afraid that newbies will get the wrong idea from some of the arguments presented by the opposing sides in the other threads dealing with this issue. believe me, i noticed those threads this weekend, and although it occurred to me to step in and lock them down, i didn't do that for 2 reasons:

first, i don't think anybody said outright that it would be ok to smoke occasionally and keep your quit date the same, and i don't think anybody would seriously advocate that position (however, if anyone knows of a post that does say that, please send me a link, because i want to see it).

second, i think people have to be able to sift through arguments and decide what they believe; if i were to censor that discussion, i'd be relieving them of the responsibility to think for themselves, and i'd rather not do that.

finally, i'd ask you to apply this litmus test to any post you're about to make on this site:

is what you're about to post something that's likely to help you or someone else either a), get quit, or b), stay quit? if there's any question in your mind, please reconsider posting it. if you look at the top of any page on these message boards, it says, "people helping people beat the addiction to nicotine". the bottom line is, that's why this site is here. if your post does not support that end, why are you making it?

thanks for your consideration.

(EDIT: i've made this a sticky topic in response to a number of requests to do that. i've also removed all the replies, as there were clearly some that contributed nothing to the topic, and i thought the fairest way to "clean it up" would be to remove everyone's replies. i figured there'd be no way to avoid ruffling some feathers with a move like that, but at least i ruffled everybody's feathers evenly...)

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