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will you help me design a quit-smoking course?
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Quit Date:
June 30, 2007

Posts: 1667
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: August 9, 2007 6:05 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

me: What has helped me the most this past month that I have quit, is this board, so I would say having someone to talk to and somewhere to go and something to do-is what helped me the most.
Also, at first, avoiding what I knew were triggers. No, you cant avoid all of them, and you shoudn't, but at first it helped me.
Reading at whyquit.com helped alot too....

Kevin: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.

Me: I think finding out why they want to quit. Some may have a relative dying of lung cancer and lots of reading and information would make them want to quit even more.
I think everyone is different and different things would help different students. some of your "tales" could even be helpful Smile
Over all I would just say, lots and lots of information. Helping them learn how to deal with everyday triggers and what to do when they have them.

I dont think you will have much trouble kevin. You will do awesome Im sure!

My avatars name is moon ray
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Quit Date:
March 15, 2004

Posts: 425
Location: Carlisle, PA

PostPosted: August 9, 2007 9:30 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

why my quit worked this time ( I feel like a kid what i did on my summer vacation)

i loved the quit counter. for a couple of reasons first i liked to watch the numbers grow and wouldn't have wanted to go back. second there was a place i could click on mine and i got a little picture and some encouragement. when i had a craving for a smoke, i would click that button over and over, that would get me thru the crave.

i used this site alot. i had a computer available to me 24/7 and i spent a lot of time on this site. ( also at whyquit)

my biggest reason for quitting was the money, so i reminded myself often about that.

rewards were good also, new cds, a new purse. nothing big just reminders.

i was amazed to find that i was an addict and that my inner junkie was the voice screaming inside. when i finally realized that i was a addict, it made it easier to quiet the voices.

education was a big part of my quit. i often told people i had become to smart to smoke and its pissing me off. lol

as time passed and the chains of smoking fell away, i was able to see how the other half lived. that was all kinds of positive reenforcement. the no smoking signs were happy news. i could smell the shampoo on my hair. i didn't always have to drive anymore so i could smoke. that kind of stuff.

that choose life thing got me good too, its all about choice. thanks to that line when someone says they fell off the wagon, i always want to say no you jumped off the wagon. you have free will.

Quit Date 03/15/04
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Quit Date:

Posts: 3634
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: August 9, 2007 9:50 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote


I posted all of this on that Sticky Post Thread: "How To Stack the Odds in Your Favor." Those are still the things that helped and continue to help me.
It is pretty long, so if you wouldn't mind, reading it over there?

In general, however, most helpful of all was someone to stay right with me on the Boards. I would post that I was about to cave, and someone would say go do this and this and this, and then come here and I will still be here. I would do it and they would be here, then they would tell me 5 more things to do and to come back, etc. I spent 1 whole night with a person online like this. Especially iimportant is the Emergency Kit for going outside the home.

I don't know exactly how the material should be presented. The way it was done at FFS worked perfectly for me, even though I had already quit, but I don't think it would have if I hadn't done the program just as though I hadn't already quit. I did it ALL IN WRITING.

I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLE CAN BE REACHED WHO HAVE NOT GOT THE MOTIVATION YET? It would be great if they could! Maybe 2 books are in order, one on building motivation, and the other on quitting. I know a few people who still say they have no interest in quitting. So there seems no way around that wall. They need some kind of eye-catchers, I guess. Not threats or fears, but the realization that they can quit....most don't think they can. And some very positive reasons, like: (and believe it or not, this one really works Laughing ) it is so unfashionable to smoke! To really be in style, you need to be quit. Cool Very Happy

I know there is very defintely also a thrid phase of the quit, which is not dealt with at FFS. That is the long term stuff, and why we all came here, too.

There are so many good answers to questions from Quitters, that maybe a section on FACS would be good.

And another section of FACS that just answer the question: "How can I keep from smoking this minute?" You see, for every person, depending on where or what he/she is doing, the answer may vary. Here are some examples: Margaret: "How can I overcome this urge, Kevin? This time it is stronger than me! Help!" Kevin: "Magaret, THe Law of Creation states that the Creator is always stronger than the creation, therefore nicotine addiction need have no hold over you. You created the addiction yourself with the first puff and you can overcome it by not smoking. It is a simple thing, not complicated. Don't smoke."

Another Example: Margaret: "I've been quit so long, but it is Christmas Day and I am going to a party. I have to smoke suddenly!." Claude:Merry Christmas to all. I am a bit late with this one, but I will pass on my thoughts that may or may not be relevant to what you are going through. I found that when I quit, going to an annual party where I had never smoked before led to some major cravings. The only thing that I could surmise about craving before hand was the idea that it was prior to those functions that I would "load up" because I knew that I would not be able to smoke there also I knew that due to the length of time the party would last I would be going through some of the beginnings of the wonderful withdrawl experience. I believe that the withdrawl experience ingrained year after year becomes a part of the memory leading to anxiety in response to the memory and of course a bunch of smokes in an attempt to counteract the coming withdrawl, but we are quit now, in reality we no longer have the withdrawl, just the returning memory and possible fear of it's return. The truth is that it will not return, just it's shadow if you will.
So we have not only the smells, sights, and memories of smoking to try to ignite a fixation, but we also potentially have the times when we did not smoke and faced withdrawl on a continuing basis.
Way to keep the quit!


I have a whole notebook of this stuff.

Anyway, it is so great to see all our old peole coming back here for this, too! And it is a terrific thing to do, Kevin!! Very Happy We'll help however we can.

You have already helped by giving us Woofmag! Very Happy Very Happy

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Quit Date:
February 14, 2007

Posts: 23

PostPosted: August 10, 2007 10:09 PM    Post subject: course Reply with quote

I think the things that were most helpful for me was im learning what there was about cigerettes that made me want to smoke more. What were these things doing to my body that made me go to any trouble to get to smoke. Then, when I was ready to quit, I needed to know what was happening to me as a result of not feeding my addiction and what I could do to lessen the effects The most important long-term aid was having a buddy that knew exactly how I was feeling and was there for me. People who don't smoke cant help cause they just think"Well, why don't you just quit". Lectures were never any benefit to me, whether it was from my family or my doctors. But let someone who is going thru the same thing make a suggestion and it means the world.

Choosing life for almost 6 months now
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Quit Date:
August 4, 2004

Posts: 7
Location: New York

PostPosted: August 11, 2007 8:56 AM    Post subject: Home Course Reply with quote

Good luck with your home course, Kevin! I don't really know how to respond to your question other than to say what helped me most when I quit:

In addition to constant prayer and attending 2 to 3 meetings of Nicotine Anonymous each week, I had regular periods of reading- I sent for every single piece of literature I could get my hands on and also printed stuff off the internet, which I kept in a folder and a binder. I used the American Lung Association's Online Freedom From Smoking program, which assigned "modules," which were sort of daily lessons that brought me slowly along, step by step, starting well before my quit date. I also had an exceptional audio tape by Belleruth Naparstek from Health Journeys ("Stop Smoking," still available on CD) that took me through a gentle guided meditiation with soft music and loving encouragement, which I listened to every single day while driving to work. I had a plastic cigarette that I could draw air through and a piece of foam to squeeze. I also had a journal, a notebook that I made daily entries in for the first few months, just quick jottings of my thoughts and impressions. I'm glad to have it to this day because we need to be periodically reminded of what it was like so that we can avoid going back there.

Oh yeah-I loved getting the periodic reminder e-mails from Woofmang about how much time I had accrued. That was just sensational, because I really didn't have anyone in my personal life who had a clue as to what was actually happening to me, and it was SO BIG. I also hung phrases all over my kitchen, such as "You Can Do It" and "The Benefits of Not Smoking" and so on. I also crossed the days off on the calendar, and when I awoke each day I could cross off another day of not smoking, which just created a sense of building something valuable that I wanted to preserve. It was all very sacred to me-the whole process.

In a nutshell: I raised my consciousness about what I was doing to myself by smoking, I exposed myself to the methods that had worked for others who were successful quitters and to constant affirimation and continual reaffirming and I walked my butt off! I celebrated 3 years off cigarettes on August 4th. When you consider that I smoked for 30 years and that I loved to smoke and LIVED to smoke, it becomes clear that the fact that I have been able to conquer this addiction is an absolute MIRACLE.

I hope this may in some way assist you in giving structure to your venture, which I'm sure will be a godsend to many, many people. God bless you and everyone here and may everyone find the success and the peace that I found.
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Quit Date:
August 16, 2004

Posts: 138
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: August 12, 2007 11:31 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't posted in a long long time, but wanted to respond to this. I hope it isn't to late or that someone else has already said it.

I just wanted to mention that quitting isn't easy and not to coddle people taking the course. They need to know that it will be hard up front.

The stigma of "quiting" something, sports, hobbies, "quitters never win, etc does NOT apply to quitting smoking. Smokers who quit are winners!! Quiting smoking will not be easy, it will be hard, but with support from friends, family, and or support group, you CAN do it and the longer you remain quit, the easier it is to remain so. The hardest time will be 3 to 4 days after your last cig. If you can get through this, then you've won.

Don't worry about gaining weight if you quit smoking. Having a few extra pounds or having to work out a few minutes longer or even having to buy a new set of clothes, is nothing compared to the cost and pain of a lung removal / transplant.

Also look for signs that your health is improving. They show up early! Celebrate them as you see them. For me mine was at 5 or 6 days, the yellow stains on my fingers had faded almost completely. It was one of the best feelings in the world at the time.
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Quit Date:

Posts: 772
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: August 13, 2007 2:59 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kevin...Sorry I'm late to the party but I have to tell you that this post you have here is one of the reason I quit.

It was a long time coming but they built a smoking hut for us at work and I realized I no longer wanted to be a smoker. I wanted to be a quitter. I was tired of the funny looks, the waving of the hands, the cost...oh wow, the cost! I was sick of it, a friend said Hey Let's quit Monday...

This is what I did...I had my last pack of cigarettes, knew what my budget was and decided to go to Wal Mart instead of the gas station...I went to get the patches, saw how they wanted you to do it and realized if I had the money I would spend it on cigarettes...so I gave myself 3 weeks. One week at every level. I went to the gas station....grabbed some straws. And I proceeded to work like normal. I smoked the remaining cigarettes in the park and at 8:13 a.m. on November 3rd, I quit smoking.

I was scared but I had my straw and my patch on. I rubbed the patch when I felt the urge and my friend gave me the website to American Lung Association...I went there and started reading. I found 2 wonderful buddies and began the process.

I typed alot of the website, I acted as if the straw was my cigarette in the car (I drive 1 hour to work each way), and I didn't starve myself. I had 2 quitters that understood, I had a great support group at home, and I had my work family that kept me strong everyday. I stuck with the program reading online as much as I could...trying to keep int ouch with my quit buddies...but as time flies by and the urges got easier...I lost touch with ones online.

So I wore the patch for 2 weeks, 6 days....every week was a less dosage. I did not wear them to bed. I rubbed the patch, made me think I was getting more nicotine, I chewed on, blew on, sucked on the straws. I had straws everywhere...I mean like 8-10 everywhere I went. Because as soon as they got soft, I threw them away. Everytime something felt weird or a new feeling happened, I was online typing what was happening to me. If I shared my experiences it seemed to help me. I also enjoyed hearing someone else felt that way. I also did the chants ... sometimes very loudly...it was the louder I said them the more I absorbed mentally.

Patches, Straws, Friends....saved my lungs! I don't want to relax yet for the fear of failure but I also think that keeps me as a non smoking.

Thanks Kevin...this was a wonderful idea and I wish you the best of luck. I want to say again...just hearing from eveyone has been a great inspiration!

Thank you...and Just keep Quitting, just keep quitting!!!

I can NOT control the addiction because if I could, it would NOT be an addiction...BUT I can control ME, the addict.

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Barbara K.

Quit Date:
December 23, 2004

Posts: 5977

PostPosted: August 13, 2007 5:42 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Sorry I didn't see this sooner.

I would say the continuence of repeating to myself over and over certain phrases like, "There is no excuse to smoke." Getting across to the student perhaps that each one will have different phrases. I believe for me this is what kept my quit for the hardest times of it.

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn arouind and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Barbara K.
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Quit Date:
December 11, 2003

Posts: 138
Location: Estacada, Oregon

PostPosted: August 14, 2007 9:54 PM    Post subject: Quitting Reply with quote

Thank you for asking my thoughts.
Sorry I have been gone so long.
Like so many others, before quitting for good I quit many many times. I quit so many times I started making a joke about how good I was at quitting it was the staying quit that I was no good at. Until one day I found FFS and it was there where I learned how to quit for good and how to stay quit and then Alison told me about your place and thank you for this place. Listed below are some of the things that helped me to be successful in my quit:
1. The quitter has to know that they can never ever smoke “just one” cigarette ever again.
The quitter must resolve in their mind that if they ever smoke “just one” they will be right back smoking again.
2. Education is a must
The quitter must be educated in what to expect and what to do when the nicodemon is whispering little lies in their ear.
3. Support group
One of the things that helped me so much came from others in the same shoes as me. There was a number of us “quit buddies” that quit together, I acted the strongest and therefore became the leader, I did not let on how weak I actually was, and eventually I felt that being the leader there was no way that I could let down my quit buddies and go back to smoking.
4. Combat
The quitter must realize that quitting is not easy and they are in for the battle of their life. The quitter needs to know that quitting needs to be treated as though they are stepping on to a battle field. Every step of the way is a hard fought battle and winning does not come easy, there are loses and the quitter’s life will change for ever, they loose some friends and gain some others.
5. Friends
The friends that I have gained here I can not thank enough because they have helped me be smoke free.

Years ago a very young and smart minister said “There are three things that we need to feel and express to others more often; I am sorry, Thank you & I love you.
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Quit Date:
February 1, 2002

Posts: 9
Location: Georgia

PostPosted: August 18, 2007 12:25 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote


Home study will be a valueable thing, but the connection to others who are in the process of quitting just like the home studier and those who have already quit was vitally important to me. I believe homestudy plus this forum can work. As for what was helpful to me, here goes:
- the homework - why I smoke, when I smoke, the goodbye letter
- the awareness of smoking - the keeping track on a notepaper the size of a pack of cigarettes - I did this far longer than the quit smoking program called for and it helped me tremendously
- the focus on what I was doing to my health by continuing to smoke and what I would gain if I quit
- frankly the biggest thing was that Andy had used the program and quit successfully and it showed me I could - so I would say having success stories in the study material - maybe some of the old gang could write some things for you. I know Andy and I will

Those are my thoughts. Thank you for being out there for all those others that need to quit.


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Quit Date:
June 3, 2003

Posts: 751
Location: Next Stop, Michigan

PostPosted: August 20, 2007 5:55 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe there are three important ingredients to a successful quitting program.

# 1. The person seeking to quit must have a genuine desire to end the addiction (recognizing the addiction isn't as important at this point as wanting to stop).

# 2. Substitution. The quitter must be given something to do instead of smoking (exercises, new habits, anything to keep that portion of the mind that obsesses about smoking occupied while the quitter learns to live rather than move from smoke to smoke)

# 3. Support. There must be active support that extends past the initial phase of the quit into the more difficult following months. Support that will remain available long term.

If I were to set up a program I might model it after several successful programs. Perhaps one might even set up multiple choices for a program determined by taking a quiz at the beginning to determine what kind of smoker you are and what program would best suit your personality.

This might require eliciting a psychological examination on two separate levels (which would require a bit of scientific research but would add a legitimacy that is often lacking in the self help quit program.) The quiz results would then direct you to the program best suited for your particular addiction.

I know what worked for me but I can tell you that any program might have worked because of where I was in the quit. It didn't work the first time however and I suffered for an additional 5 years before I returned to find success. Good thing I knew where to go and it was still there to help me. Long term support may be the most important key because you and I both know the odds are not on the quitters side.

I might have more to add later, I'm not sure I got it all out this time (I waited to think things through but I think I may still have more to say)

Oh, I almost forgot. A collection of writings (daily reading?) designed to get you thinking not just about staying quit but also moving on.

I wish you peace.

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Quit Date:
April 16, 2007

Posts: 169
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: August 22, 2007 8:19 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote


I have been thinking about this since I received your email about a week ago. Some things that really helped me quit and stay quit:

Understanding how nicotine works in my body, what it does and how.
Ditto on addiction in general. I know that science still does not know much about WHY we get addicted to things, but we do know pretty well how addiction affects us.
Understanding the health risks of smoking. I LOVE Joel's Palmolive bottle demo.
Joel's site (whyquit.com) was hugely helpful. I know there is lot's of disagreement about it, but I think his rationale regarding cold turkey quits is very convincing. I quit cold turkey this time and I have never stayed off the smokes for so long, but that may also be largely because I decided that I will not smoke again.

Taking it a day or an hour at a time. I think that got me through the first several days.

Journaling. I cant journal for myself, so I made a blog instead. I have not kept up with it but it was very helpful.

I kinda disagree with the substitution thing. I mean, if you are an addict, and you replace your addiction to nicotine with an addiction to aerobics or eating or drinking whiskey or whatever, and then for whatever reason you cant continue the new addiction, a lot of people would start smoking again. Adding new activities to your life is fine and probably a good thing, but thinking of them as substitutes for smoking is probably dangerous. I think that Joel covered this very well in one of his essays.

People balk at hard edged programs, but I personally got totally fed up with FFSonline because everyone was always relapsing, then posting to the message boards about it, and there were no repercussions. This is totally f*&%ed up. I want to be communicating with people who are seriously quitting, not around people who relapse every week over and over and never seem to seriously decide that enough is enough.... Sorry for the rant...

I think that for me reading up on quitting online was the thing that gave me the courage to quit. Reading about nicotine, quitting, addiction, peoples quit stories, etc. really made it happen for me. I am not sure if MOST people would be willing to devote the hours I did to reading everything I could about quitting. With new technologies, a class can be held online which people can access remotely. This could be very effective for some folks.

Anyway, I will continue to think about this and let you know if I come up with anything more...

Thanks SO MUCH for maintaining this site. It's been a HUGE help to me!

127 days free!

Twitter @joshualaporte
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Quit Date:
May 4, 2004

Posts: 862
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: August 22, 2007 3:37 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kevin, great idea. If I had to quit smoking all over again and could take a class to do it, I would really hope that the course would involve information on nutrition and fitness. I think that this is often the reason that many people (especially women) never quit...because of the weight gain. If somehow there could be a specific formula or program that a quitter could use then I think that would be very helpful. And of course, this online support group helped me tremendously. I've quit many times but never stayed quit until I joined Woofmang. Good luck! Kerry
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Cowgirl UP!

Quit Date:
July 26, 2004

Posts: 5029
Location: Ala

PostPosted: August 22, 2007 9:08 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote


I went through the FFS program and worked all the modules...for me, it would not have been near enough to get me to quit an addiction as strong as the one I had. When someone gave me the link to this site and I started posting and reading, the lights slowly began to turn on. The biggest help was an attitude adjustment Wink but after that, reading your stories / tales helped the most. I think it would be wise to have a booklet of journal writings to go along with the home course....I think it would be very benefical to a newbie to be able to read how others made it...the truth...the simple, raw, undiluted truth of what it is like and how to overcome it. They must also be able to see in these stories how CHOICE is the key to success and ATTITUDE pulls up a strong second. There are plenty of self-help books out there but I feel what is needed is a real and strong connection with the author or those who have taken the course. I guess the point I am making is like getting real with Dr. Phil....for me it took that strong of a force to make it...thank you.

All with a little help from my friends, COWGIRL UP
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Quit Date:
November 25, 2005

Posts: 93
Location: North Dakota

PostPosted: August 24, 2007 7:06 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks for sending out this request, & I am following your advice & posting prior to reading what others have written. This is kind of helpful, too--I sometimes kind of feel bad about writing about my own personal experience when trying to respond to somebody else--after all, you don't want to be taking the focus off of them.

Ah, when I first quit smoking (or began what was for me a long, drawn-out process of quitting), it was about 7 years ago. I had been in the middle of quite a deep depression, and it occurred to me with startling clarity one day that smoking was obviously not going to lift the depression, & so I somehow decided to kind of embrace the emotion and see what quitting would bring. I had some slight health concerns at the time also (cervical something), so that was part of my thinking.

One of the first things I realized was the sense of waste involved in smoking--my son was just under 2 at the time, and every time I used to play with him I would truly feel as though I were just wishing the time by, or filling time up, just so that I could finally have my next cigarette. Looking at my life in those terms began to feel incredibly ugly & limiting.

When I managed to quit I found it incredibly freeing--I felt as though for the first time I were accepting life on its own terms. My own attitude & spirits also lifted tremendously, beyond anything I would have ever believed (I had never been far from depression in my personal life).

Things that worked for me at that time? When I had my first taste of freedom (i.e. after I had quit for a short period), I made lists of things that I had hated about smoking (the shame of being a smoking mom, that feeling of rushing through my life, cigarette hangovers).

I hated quit smoking sites that were adamant about not using nicotine replacement therapy--I'm sorry, but I used the patch (definitely took the edge off for me), those sites were depressing no matter how good the information. I had to wait to really view them until I was more confirmed in the process of quitting. I wish those places wouldn't do that.

Activities, activities, activities! I felt as though the core of myself had changed--to keep it off of my mind, I had to keep busy--daytrips & walks, museums, riding with the car window down & concentrating on my hair in the wind rather than smoking.

I really didn't drink for at least the first six weeks--beer had no appeal for me without a cigarette. I went to be early during that whole time as well--each night as I went to sleep trying to just maintain faith without thinking about it too much that eventually I would wake up feeling better.

Positives since then? Nothing is perfect of course, plenty of stress, but I am overall a kinder, more patient, less irritable, & happier person than I ever was. The biggest compliment I can get from people who meet me now is when they say they can't ever really imagine me having been a smoker--I love that! Ah, I need to try to post more often here & help people out--I get lazy....

Thanks all--people here have helped me too in the long 7 years since I began this journey of quitting (almost 21 months now without one relapse, although in the last 7 years I never really had returned to day-to-day smoking).

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