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will you help me design a quit-smoking course?
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kevin
Site Admin


Quit Date:
November 19, 2001

Posts: 9538
Location: cincinnati, oh

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 11:24 AM    Post subject: will you help me design a quit-smoking course? Reply with quote

i'm working on a home-study course on how to quit smoking, and i'd love to hear your thoughts on what would be most helpful to you in such a course (or would have been most helpful to you in such a course, if you'd had the opportunity to take one when you were just starting out).

i was going to make this a poll, but i don't want to skew the results by suggesting particular features (or even broad categories of features), so i'm leaving this totally open-ended. however, here are some questions to consider, to get the ball rolling:

what would the course have in it? (what features would it contain?)
how would it be presented to the student?
how would it be delivered to the student?
how would it keep the student engaged?
how would you know whether or not it was working for the student?

please feel free to add whatever other questions you think should be addressed, whether you think you have an answer to them or not; i'm sure i haven't covered nearly all of them in this short list.

it's been said that "none of us is as smart as all of us": wherever you are on your journey, you're a part of all of us; please add your thoughts to this discussion.

thanks! Smile
_________________

edited to add:

one thing that several members have said below is that they don't know if they can add anything new, but that's not really the point; after all, the preacher said "there's nothing new under the sun" over 2,000 years ago.

what i'm looking for are recollections of what helped you, ideas about what might have helped you if you'd known it when you were trying to quit (or trying to stay quit), or even (if you haven't quit yet) ideas about what you think might help you as you get started; there are no wrong answers.

i'm also very interested in your opinions about what features an effective quitting course might have, and how those features might best be presented to engage the student and make it easier to learn and internalize the material.

it might be best if you just click the "reply" button before reading anyone else's response, so that you don't get the idea that you don't have anything of value to contribute. because the fact is, whether you've been quit for several years or just a few hours (or even if you haven't quit yet at all), your input is valuable, and i want to hear it.

once again, thanks for your help with this; i look forward to reading the continuing discussion.
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keep choosing life!

kevin

the quit guru


Last edited by kevin on October 31, 2007 12:37 PM; edited 2 times in total
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Seabrez



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 4458
Location: Gulf Coast

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 12:53 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin,

Off the top of my head, to break the study into two different categories the aspects of one) the physical withdraw and two) a separate discussion or lessons on the pyschological withdraw such as attachments, associations, and rationalizations to overcome. Within each of the 2 categories...list coping skills...ie phsycial..drinking water, etc...ie pyschological..stress management skills like deep breathing, exercise, etc. A page listing these skills as an outline for quick reference and then later a more detailed discussion of each...for example...physical coping skills...then the list and later listing why the water is helpful to curb craves and flush toxins...

I also believe a section on the brain activity and the dopaimine connection would be helpful. And again examples and suggestions as to compensate for the lack of the dopaimine.

I believe more indepth lessons on the whys we smoke, the whole pyschological aspect...the mind frame especially and our belief system of being able to over come....and just the plain ole truth to combat all the lies we had programmed ourselves with. (That's a tall order right there! Wink Laughing )

Defnitely a section detailing addiction. The characteristics of addiction and such. And the most important aspect...ADMITTING that you are an addict. Because without coming to grips and admitting and realizing we are...the cycle will just continue.

And lots of hope and security mixed in the whole study program that one is able and capable.

Just some things off the top of my head...will give it more thought.

Hugs
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Living in Freedom
Deb

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corn 5:17 NASB
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Zuzu



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 962
Location: Marin

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 2:28 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a few questions:

1) What are the age(s) of the students?
2) Are the students smokers, non-smokers, a mixed bag?
3) Is the goal of the class to raise awareness about smoking, is the goal of the class to help smokers to stop smoking, is the goal of the class to prevent people from starting smoking (refer to question one.)?
4) Have you had any opportunity to poll your target audience about what they would like to learn/what's important to them?

You might find the following useful:
http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te10lk12.htm
http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/adults-2.htm
http://tip.psychology.org/cross.html
http://www.clomedia.com/content/templates/clo_webonly.asp?articleid=176&zoneid=78

Of course there are tons and tons of resources - those are just a few. Getting a handle on adult learning theory will help you create a curriculum (presuming you're "teaching" adults) that will respond to unique features of how many adults learn.

There are some great books that have interactive "game" ideas for development as part of curriculum's.

Having done a great deal of community education and developed curriculum for many forums, my experience tells me that to give you input it's critical to have an understanding of the target audience and their needs and an understanding of the goals and objectives of the forum (and an explanation, if it's not transparent) on how those goals/objectives meet the target audience need.

Hope that's helpful!

-Zuzu
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The Crave-inator



Quit Date:
August 11, 2003

Posts: 77
Location: Westmont, Illinois

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 3:39 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,
I used the American Lung Associations on line smoking cessation program. It was the only thing that ever worked for me. I believe it was because the program is a common sense approach to quitting. You prepare for your quit by analyzing when and why you want to smoke. You plan for how you're going to deal without smoking at those times. You understand why you're goingto feel that way. You plan for boredom, edginess, and anxiety and develope your plan before you even quit. You know what to expect before you quit and you plan for your quit date. You take it slow and spend ample time on each learning 'module'.
If you've never checked it out - do so. It's a great example of what works and they're done a ton of research into creating a program that works for a broad demographic.
Whenever I meet someone who expresses an interest in quitting I refer them to the ALA web site and to their smoking cessation program.
Good luck,
Barb (The Crave-inator)
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kevin
Site Admin


Quit Date:
November 19, 2001

Posts: 9538
Location: cincinnati, oh

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 3:42 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, deb, zuzu, and barb! i appreciate your very thoughtful replies! Smile
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kevin

the quit guru
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Gilaterc



Quit Date:
April 27, 2004

Posts: 6
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 3:44 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for writing. I think one of the most important and overlooked aspects of quitting smoking is coming to grips with whether one really WANTS to quit smoking. Of the group of four that I quit with, I am the only who remained an ex-smoker -- I really WANTED to quit. The others, I found out later, didn't really want to but thought they should for health etc. I also related my smoking to being in a very toxic relationship that I wanted out of and basically "broke up" with Nicotine. Mostly what I found was the sense of loss I had after I quit which I wasn't prepared for. Cigarettes were EVERYWHERE. In pictures, in family home video and still present with friends and family. I have since grown to loathe smoking more vehemently than I ever expected, especially being one of the selfish smokers who insisted that if someone didn't like my smoking, they could move away from me. The discovery that that is pretty much impossible was karma kicking me in the behind. Since quitting, I have become less selfish and have reaped many rewards with all the money I saved having just returned from an excellent trip to the California Redwoods. Crazy how three years ago I never would have dreamed all this was possible.

My Best,
Gil
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Carla



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 347
Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 3:49 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are some things I did that helped me:

Daily affirmations (spoken and written) - not necessarily about smoking or not smoking but about being in control and making conscious choices.

Meditation - helped me relax and focus.

Diary - keeping a diary helped me see patterns of when I was tempted and make a plan for what to do in those situations. Also, it was good for me to document my successes: the times I thought I would give in and didn't.

One more that you probably can't work into a class - I prayed A LOT. Smile
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Carla
Quit Date: January 4, 2004
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kevin
Site Admin


Quit Date:
November 19, 2001

Posts: 9538
Location: cincinnati, oh

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 3:50 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

good points, gil - you can't underestimate the power of having a strong desire to quit, and knowing what to expect - as deb and barb also pointed out - is invaluable.
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kevin

the quit guru
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kevin
Site Admin


Quit Date:
November 19, 2001

Posts: 9538
Location: cincinnati, oh

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 3:53 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, carla - all good thoughts (and i'm not ruling prayer - or anything else - out at this point). Smile
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kevin

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nichole



Quit Date:
April 14, 2007

Posts: 455
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 4:03 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of having one or more mantras. I know you, Kevin, used a mantra and I did too... well, one that I stole, er,.. borrowed right from this website! That was effective for me.

I also printed some words of encouragement on paper that I could see all the time. I think a good idea would be to have some affirmations/ mantras/ encouraging words already prepared that I would be able to print and post in my home or car.

Other than that, education and support!! That's the key, right??
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~nichole
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Marvel



Quit Date:
-

Posts: 297
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 4:07 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yo Kevin,

This is a superb idea! And I think it would do a lot a people sort of toying with the idea of quitting a tangible sort of security. When I first started thinking about quitting I got online and read about tobacco, cigarettes, addiction, emotions, physical reactions, on and on, until my eyes were red. Red from reading and from crying too because I knew this was it: I wasn't screwing around any more.

We all know that education and knowledge are empowering, and a home course could give many people the courage to give quitting a try. And it would give them plenty of reasons to quit and the ammunition to fight back when the Nicodemon and smoking "friends" tried to sway them to smoke again.

The course would have to contain lots of facts like what's in cigarette smoke, what it does to the body. And statistics like how many people die from smoking, how much it costs our health care system, and how the body starts recovering right away. And all those other things we read about when we start quitting.

The help section would list 100 things to do instead of smoking. Or 1000 or more! It would urge people to drink water, practice deep breathing, go on walks, spend time with non-smokers (including pets and children), eat healthy foods, learn to do other things to break that psychological association with the habit and rituals of smoking.

I think it would need an adviser or teacher or other feedback/support person? Or at least links to this an other websites and phone numbers for those not connected to the internet. The student should be contacted from time to time to see how he/she is doing and/or send in evaluations via e-mail or online or snail mail.

An important part would be real stories (or even made-up ones) of people who quit. Some who quit right away, some who struggle through six tries, some who struggle for longer. But the point should be made, as we all know, that we're not failures as long as we keep trying.

I'm not sure how effective the ALA program is. I know I had already quit when I found their website, so I never went through with pack tracks and those kinds of things, but there are surely lots of different kinds of exercises and questionnaires, maybe games that could help people realize how much they smoke and reinforce their desire to quit.

I'm afraid there are a lot of people who, like I was for many years, feel they *ought* to quit but they don't WANT to. If you could find a way to get people to read this information or read a few words (this would have to be in the advertisement) to grab their attention, then I feel certain that once they started the course and learned about how they've been controlled by cigarettes they'd WANT to quit.

Any course of this kind would need to have some information about the tobacco companies' manipulation of people too. A little anger can go a long way to help someone quit.

Don't forget lots of pictures, maybe not too many gross ones.

And finally, you might or might not want to include a story or two about people who didn't quit. My dad smoked for 70 years, had surgery for lung cancer in March. The cancer was removed but he had a stroke a week later. That, along with congestive heart failure, and kidney failure and COPD, all caused by cigarette smoking. He died in late May at just 80 years old. One of those totally preventable deaths.

That said, I think emphasizing the positive aspects of quitting (at any age) would be helpful to most people. Rewards that the student would come up with (with the help of suggestions if needed) for every milestone, pats on the back, and smiles in the mirror are all good things to remember. The sense of accomplishment is unequaled, and I for one am still very proud of myself for quitting and so thankful to you and all the other people who helped me.

I hope this helps a bit and I'd be happy to help some more if you need feedback, etc.

You go Kevin!!!!!!!!
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Marvel
QD 10/21/2003

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schmoopie



Quit Date:
March 27, 2006

Posts: 34
Location: Calgary,, Alberta Canada

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 4:07 PM    Post subject: WOW Reply with quote

All good stuff!
I went through a smoking cessation program once and it didn't work for 2 reasons:
1-You go once a week and the
2- quit day was on a Wednesday - psychologically this did not work for me..plus it was just before Thanksgiving and I would have been surrounded by smokers...always a trigger so timing is important..
Find a day that works best for you to just DO IT
Daily support works better but you already know that..
Also another trick that may work in preparation - get a quit jar - and put some water in it - dump all the smokes in there and watch them pile up and take a whiff as the pile gets bigger EWWWWWWWW
Negative reinforcement - someone I know had a rubber band around their wrist and every time they wanted one just snapped the band and said to themselves something like "smoking is bad" - or whatever

Avoiding trigger situations, redoing your routines all help
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kickinbutt



Quit Date:
November 1, 2004

Posts: 5
Location: northeastern PA

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 4:09 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, thanks for asking but I think Zuzu asked some pertinent questions concerning the target of such a course. One of my earlier (unsuccessful) attempts at quitting involved an established smoking-cessation program, which didn't help because it was so basic as to be insulting.
My recent quit (1,007 days!), was purely self-motivated and self-accomplished, so I'm sorry to say, I wouldn't be much help to you in designing a course. THINGS I TOLD MYSELF:
1. You cannot cut down. Your brain wants more and more and more and if you give it the least little bit of what it wants, it continues to demand more and more and more.
2. Walks, showers, wandering around the mall, will all keep you occupied and not smoking.
3. Find an activity that involves using both hands - (I crochet and I'm on my 27th. afghan since Nov of 2004)
4. Realize that urges will come and go. They will come more frequently during the first days of the quit, but they begin, rise, crest, and fall. They become less frequent until you don't notice them.
5. I put post-it notes all over the house and car, with Q in one corner and $ in the other. A constant reminder that I quit and saved a boat-load of money.
If you feel that any of these ideas will fit into your program, feel free to use them.
kickinbutt
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tsjay49



Quit Date:
January 1, 2004

Posts: 1863
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 4:09 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kev:

I will probably think of other stuff later, but one thing that occurs to me right now is that we should educate the Quitter about overcoming self pity.

We must help the Quitter to be constantly aware that NO ONE "took" his cigarettes. He should be aware that HE is in control and that he is not smoking because HE doesn't want to smoke, not because someone or some external force took his cigarettes.

If he can keep in mind that he CHOOSES not to smoke, then he should not fall into the pity trap and feel that he "deserves" a smoke.

That's one reason that I actually carried a pack of cigarettes and a lighter around with me for the first several weeks of my quit. I didn't feel like I had to "bum" one when I saw someone light up. I didn't feel like someone had deprived me of my cigarettes and that I had better bum one while I had the chance. I'm not saying that it would be a good idea for every Quitter to carry cigarettes around, but it worked for me. It seems that all my prior Quits ended when I "bummed" a smoke from someone.

Tom
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jlf/Jeri



Quit Date:
November 12, 2003

Posts: 322
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: August 6, 2007 4:17 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kevin,

It's been a long, long time since I've posted but I just had to respond to your inquiry. For me, education about smoking & addiction, along with support from other quitters was crucial to my being able to quit smoking as well as being able to stay quit, once & for all. I am so very thankful to everyone who helped me along the way, and there were so many people who gave so unselfishly of themselves & of their time.

I am so happy to report that my husband, a very long time smoker of 45+ years has finally quit smoking this year but only because he had lung surgery and he cannot breathe. After a week in ICU and several trips back to the hospital earlier this year, he has finally joined me in my non smoking world but I watched him struggle to quit & still struggle each day. He wants to smoke so badly, even now. It makes me want to cry to see him struggle so and yet he has nearly died more than once. because of smoking and the damage has done to his lungs. I honestly don't know what would have made him quit earlier. I do know he tried many times to quit but only surgery, not being able to breathe and the reality of the reduction in the quality of his life now seems to be able to keep him quit. The horrible scar and the pain also help with that. Such a sad way to quit but so far it is working for him. Of course, I try to help educate him and I've been trying for years to help him quit smoking. I support his efforts and I know how hard this has been for him. The really awful thing is, the reality of seeing him deteriorate in front of my eyes & not being able to help him, helps me keep my quit. I hate cigarettes for robbing me of time with the person I love so dearly. And sometimes I feel very selfish for admitting this but I want to be able to breathe. The lung association writes "Nothing else matters if you cannot breathe". How very true!

Kevin, I guess with my husbands quit so new it's enabled me to see the struggle much more clearly now. I applaud you for all you have done for me & for so many others and I thank everyone who has been there for me while I struggled. Support and education have made all the difference to me. I thank God that I am alive today and able to write this!

Bless you all,

Jeri
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