After twenty years of riding the smoking cessation relapse roller-coaster and watching loved-ones succumb to smoking related disease, Joanne Diehl's spirit and dream of quitting were slowly fading. A novas Internet user, in January 1999, Joanne accidentally stumbled upon the unexpected - an online smoking cessation support group. After her long and desperate search for answers, it didn't take a whole lot to muster up the courage to share her story with the group and seek their support. The responses seemed incredible as inspiration and support from complete strangers quickly filled the screen. "The goodness of humanity at its very best," she thought.
On January 26, 1999 Joanne successfully arrested her 22-year pack-a-day dependency upon smoking nicotine. But her new found love of being free from nicotine didn't stop with quitting. With scores of still captive smokers in her world she felt the need to reach out to them as well.
In September 1999 Joanne reached even further as she joined John R. Polito in co-founding Freedom from Tobacco, an MSN based quit smoking message board peer support forum. In February 2009 MSN closed its free forums and Freedom transferred to Yuku where the name was changed to Freedom from Nicotine. Since Freedom's founding, the growth and evolution of the Internet's premier forum dedicated to the art of taking the mystery and cold out of quitting cold has surpassed Joanne's wildest expectations.
A background in medical underwriting and disease assessment, helping battle against America's #1 killer seemed to come naturally to Joanne. A resident of the Chicago area, she is married and resides with her husband and three beautiful sons.
Joanne has studied under Joel Spitzer, one of the world's leading nicotine cessation counselors, since January 2000. She has attended numerous smoking cessation clinics and seminars presented by Joel in the Chicago area. Aside from her duties as Freedom's Director of Member Support, Joanne engages in telephone and face-to-face cessation counseling at every opportunity.