banner for Joel's Library of quit smoking articles

Picture of Joel Spitzer, quit smoking counselor, facilitator and educatorJoel Spitzer has provided smoking cessation and prevention services since 1971, first as a volunteer speaker and then a member of the professional staff of the American Cancer Society. Later he served as smoking programs coordinator for the Rush North Shore Medical Center's Good Health Program, and then as a consultant for the Skokie Illinois Health Department and the Evanston Department of Health and Human Services, providing state funded smoking cessation clinics and seminars for the two Chicago suburban communities. Here at WhyQuit, Joel has served as education director since June 2000.

Joel's Library is home to:

Never Take Another Puff

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Joel's Reinforcement Articles

Why Do People Smoke? - 16 articles

The Costs - 18 articles

How to Quit - 35 articles

Relapse Prevention - 27 articles

What About Weight Gain? - 4 articles

Teen Smoking Prevention - 5 articles

Smoking: A Historical Perspective - 4 articles


Click here to download Never Take Another Puff

"Never Take Another Puff"

Discover why more than Four Million copies of Joel's free book "Never Take Another Puff" were downloaded between August 1, 2005 and July 7, 2012. While we cannot promise that if you read Joel's book that you'll succeed in quitting smoking, we can promise that you'll learn how. Give "Never Take Another Puff" one complete cover-to-cover read. Arm yourself with the power of knowledge.

Link to 2003 PDF Edition - Download the original online version of Joel's free 149 page quit smoking book in PDF format (1.35MB), containing 97 short quitting articles. Once opened, be sure to click the "save" icon (the first icon on the far left) and save a copy to your computer.  You'll then be able to search, print and e-mail "Never Take Another Puff" to friends, family members and co-workers who are smoke, chew or dip nicotine.

Link to 2006 PDF Edition - This link is to the latest edition of "Never Take Another Puff." It is a bit larger file (1.5MB), with 63 additional pages (212 total) but only four additional articles related to: (1) setting quitting dates, (2) alcohol use and alcoholism, (3) who to believe regarding quitting methods, and (4) why the decline in smoking is grinding to near standstill. If you have already printed the 2003 version, we recommened that you print the four additional articles and place them at the end of Chapter 3.

Link to Kindle - MobiPocket Version - Read Never Take Another Puff on your Kindle or MobiPocket or enjoy the Kindle book format on your computer by downloading a free Kindle reading program.


Daily Quitting Lesson Guide

I plan to stop smoking
My first day of stopping smoking
My first day of stopping smoking
My third day of stopping smoking My fourth day of stopping smoking
My fifth day of stopping smoking My sixth day of stopping smoking
My second week of stopping smoking
Moving on with life after having stopped smoking

Link to YouTube Featured Playlists for all
of Joel Spitzer's Stop Smoking Videos


Joel's Videos

Joel's Video Quit Smoking Lessons

Imagine having your very own stop smoking coach, one of the world's best. More than 4 Million of Joel's free videos had been watched as of April 24, 2013. Collectively, they capture nearly all lessons that were presented by Joel during his 13-day, 12 hour clinic program.

You can either sequence through Joel's video lessons using the Daily Quitting Lesson Guide immediately above, by using YouTube's Featured Playlist, or by selecting individual lessons from the complete list of video and audio lessons below.

The below lessons are presented as YouTube videos. Joel's early videos are also available in MP3 and high resolution formats (all videos created prior to December 2007). Watch as many as possible. Discover what happens once we become more dependency recovery savvy than our addiction is strong!

YouTube Video Title
Introduction to Joel's stop smoking video library07:0007/03/13
    - old introduction video10:0503/28/12
How to best utilize videos06:1703/29/12
Videos to watch to enhance your ability to quit smoking04:3803/20/15
Using these videos to quit smoking11:0711/21/06
Smoking's Costs
The costs of smoking03:1312/13/13
"Because now it really hurts!"04:5402/07/14
Money wasted on cigarettes06:0310/18/06
Smoking breaks03:5111/06/14
Closet smokers05:4508/16/12
Introduction to the "The isolation of the widowed smoker"01:3808/07/14
Introduction to "The Fan Letter"03:0208/08/14
The Palmolive bottle demonstration 07:45 10/11/06
Learning how to inhale04:3810/02/06
"I don't want to see any scary pictures"09:4308/24/12
Heart and circulatory diseases19:1811/03/06
Lung cancer18:4811/05/06
How smoking destroys the lungs04:1311/27/06
Feel what it is like to breathe with emphysema08:4710/30/11
Kids just don't get it11:4708/07/11
Premature deaths caused by smoking12:3311/06/06
Update to video "Premature deaths caused by smoking"04:1202/12/15
Is quitting the hardest thing you've ever done?04:2506/12/14
Life as a smoker is a balancing act01:0003/11/15
Quitting can make you calmer, happier & healthier03:3702/28/14
Addiction to Nicotine
You smoke because you're a smokeaholic03:4109/13/12
Why do smokers smoke? 18:0811/07/06
Addiction - the Surgeon General says ...12:0010/09/06
Criteria of addiction11:06 10/09/06
Are you a nicotine junkie?06:4307/16/14
The power of nicotine addiction09:2107/22/14
"Please don't smoke"05:3308/04/14
"Maybe a puff isn't that big of a deal"06:2308/22/12
"Don't let a slip put you back to using"?08:1108/09/12
"Should I reset my quit meter?"04:0108/21/14
"Don't beat yourself up for smoking"04:2206/12/14
Past "successful" quits03:4706/11/13
The lucky ones get hooked09:3511/30/11
"Get right back in the saddle?"04:5310/07/12
"I don't need to smoke"10:29 11/09/06
"What should I call myself?"07:5408/04/12
"How can I be addicted? "I can go hours without?"12:1106/27/11
Are there social smokers?15:5610/29/11
"Why did I ever start smoking?"08:1909/27/11
"Why did I ever start smoking?" (old version)03:2209/27/06
Oral tobacco usage and addiction11:1105/26/13
People in recovery from other addictions08:5011/20/06
Quit Smoking Methods, Products and Programs
"I've tried everything to quit and nothing works!"05:2602/13/14
"Whatever you do, don't quit cold turkey"07:4108/16/13
Who should you believe?01:4909/11/12
Are doctors taught about nicotine recovery?06:1708/29/14
Is cold turkey the only way to quit smoking?08:4008/12/12
Cold turkey quitting defined15:5203/01/12
How did the people you know quit smoking?05:1009/27/06
"I liked my other clinic more"07:5108/25/12
What programs do I recommend?07:1011/09/12
Being locked up to quit smoking06:3101/06/11
"Am I doomed to fail if I don't get professional help?"06:4701/06/11
Prolonging nicotine withdrawal06:2509/03/14
Quitting by gradual withdrawal07:13 10/18/06
Resources regarding stop smoking aids02:1506/27/14
My first encounter with NRT14:3711/16/06
30 years of nicotine gum04:0412/28/14
The President and nicotine gum10:2909/25/13
Be prepared for confusing information07:2810/04/12
My personal brief & views on Chantix or Champix04:2706/21/13
Candid, detailed views of Chantix / Champix48:1610/19/07
Our views on the need for harm reduction06:3110/05/12
E-cigarettes and harm reduction29:4509/18/11
First television ads for e-cigarettes06:0211/06/12
E-cigs as effective as nicotine patches07:0809/11/13
Dual use of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes08:4509/16/13
What about using herbal cigarettes to quit smoking?06:0609/04/14
Use Rationalizations
Keeping cigarettes to deal with stress04:1707/02/14
Why smoking does not help you overcome stress07:4506/23/14
Resources explaining nicotine and stress interaction02:1707/02/14
Actions speak louder than words or thoughts03:2812/26/13
Quitting smoking: A fate worse than death08:5312/13/13
My cigarette, my friend? (audio)03:2212/20/13
How would you deal with the following situations?04:3507/17/14
Smoking is easier than not smoking04:1403/28/14
Dying for a cigarette01:0802/12/14
"But smoking is the only vice I have left"03:1802/10/14
"So I can't run marathons"05:2212/21/13
"I know I will quit again"03:4009/20/12
Fear of failure03:5007/19/14
Fear of success03:0407/19/14
Fear of quitting smoking11:0811/11/06
Joel's Halloween Fearfest05:3910/31/14
Everything you did as a smoker you can do as an ex-smoker02:5605/02/14
"I will quit when ..."05:4408/06/11
"Is this an unlucky day to quit smoking?"01:4706/13/14
"I don't want to quit smoking"17:40 10/11/06
Do you need to want to quit more than you want to smoke?03:00 03/18/15
"I smoke because I like smoking"09:4210/29/11
"I smoke because I'm self-destructive"03:0007/01/14
"I'm not buying cigarettes"08:4410/18/06
"I can't drink alcohol without a cigarette"03:4309/27/06
"My smoking helps me to breathe better"04:2401/26/15
"I'm safe from smoking because of my genetics?"09:2411/24/06
"I can't quit or I won't quit"? 22:1510/16/06
"I can't quit smoking because I'm addicted"09:0508/16/12
"I'll have to use willpower for the rest of my life not to smoke"02:3006/27/14
"I'll be a nervous wreck forever if I quit smoking"10:30 11/29/06
"I have to smoke when I talk on the phone"07:3009/27/06
"I'll never be as productive again if I quit smoking"08:01 11/24/06
Using to self medicate pre-existing conditions06:0208/29/11
Amount smoked08:5008/04/12
"I know I am going to gain weight if I quit smoking!"13:0511/28/06
"After I lose weight I will quit smoking"04:4207/24/14
"I'm not joining this clinic"12:3309/27/06
Some people won't be happy until they relapse...00:3002/23/15
Waiting to bottom out05:1809/07/12
Quitting is more doable than most people think01:4309/09/12
How to Stop
How to quit smoking13:4709/15/12
The Law of Addiction11:1908/06/12
How quitting smoking is like learning to ride a bicycle02:2003/12/15
A 100% guaranteed way to successfully quit smoking00:2502/25/15
Treat quitting smoking as if you are fighting for your life00:2402/24/15
Are you stronger than your cigarettes?02:4107/27/14
Cold turkey quitting05:0412/26/12
Gallup Poll: most quitters credit cold turkey06:3508/08/13
One day at a time03:4508/15/12
Make a list of why you want to quit smoking06:0911/22/06
Quitting often results in healthier looking skin03:5309/27/12
Smoking triggers07:4308/09/12
Going to places where you can't smoke when first quitting02:5303/16/15
Change of season triggers09:2908/31/12
Using cigarettes as rewards [corrective thinking]04:1602/06/14
Avoid blood sugar symptoms05:3109/28/06
Why I recommend cranberry juice when first quitting03:3603/13/15
Possible changes in caffeine tolerance05:1109/24/12
Can people quit smoking and still drink alcohol?03:2707/01/13
If you quit smoking with a lousy attitude...01:37 05/17/14
Be proud that you quit smoking03:13 09/13/14
Acknowledge the negative, dwell on the positive13:09 08/27/12
Telling others that you have quit smoking08:5710/17/06
Is your New Year's resolution to quit smoking?03:37 12/27/14
The Recovery Process
Starting day one of your quit09:0211/21/06
Starting day two of your quit05:1011/21/06
Starting day three of your quit03:5711/21/06
Starting day four of your quit09:5811/22/06
Starting day five of your quit04:5011/23/06
Starting day six of your quit09:5911/24/06
Starting week two of your quit08:4011/26/06
Getting on with the rest of your life09:2111/27/06
Videos addressing weekend issues02:3806/13/13
What is withdrawal really like? 06:4810/29/12
Going back to normal after quitting smoking10:0810/24/11
Tell a newbie how long each day you want a cig02:5806/20/13
"I feel 100% better since I quit smoking"08:4008/23/12
The first Monday morning03:2109/21/12
Predestined bad days06:3406/09/14
Dreams of smoking06:2811/10/06
The emotional stages of loss08:1809/28/06
New reactions to anger09:1508/09/12
How to do nothing without a cigarette03:5101/13/14
Does everything smell and taste better after quitting?04:3608/16/12
"How long before I don't want a cigarette?"05:2508/14/12
Difference between physical & psychological urges10:0010/08/12
"Will I ever stop thinking of cigarettes?"10:4711/20/06
Crave or thoughts for cigarettes that occur over time03:3802/28/14
Comparing quits with others09:5401/06/11
Every quit is different02:3011/04/14
Unexpected benefit after quitting03:5509/21/12
Weight control concerns after quitting smoking43:5611/14/06
Overweight & not smoking or underweight & dead?09:0103/10/15
Does it take 21 days to break the smoking "habit"?06:1801/11/15
Quitting may lead to other self-improvements03:0710/02/06
Common Recovery Pitfalls
Setting quit dates10:5308/30/12
Crutches to quit smoking16:4711/27/11
Danger of using Internet quit sites as a quitting crutch05:2302/15/15
"Should I find a quit smoking buddy?"07:4601/06/11
Quitting for others05:4611/05/11
Make sure your quit is not contingent on others02:3803/17/15
Quitting smoking out of fear02:3607/29/14
"My support group is responsible"03:3707/12/14
The importance of quitting for yourself03:5803/07/14
Carrying cigarettes06:3910/17/06
"What should I do with my leftover cigarettes?"04:5309/12/14
Carrying mock cigarettes (straw/nicotine-free e-cig)04:5802/26/14
Keeping replacement nicotine in case of emergency05:3106/23/13
"What bad habit should I replace it with?"05:0410/02/06
"I want one!"05:3310/18/06
Just think of something else?01:5909/12/12
Smoking a cigarette will help me secure my quit03:2902/26/14
"I've got my smoking under control"06:0110/06/12
"I gave up smoking"02:0510/10/12
"I don't have a choice, I have to quit smoking"06:2905/15/14
"I'm trying to quit smoking"03:0006/11/13
"No thank you, I can't have a cigarette"03:5510/10/12
Offers for cigarettes06:3408/03/12
Well meaning offers for cigarettes07:0709/09/14
Finding cigarettes 05:1708/03/12
Talking to others about not smoking15:1311/19/06
"I know I will quit smoking!"06:3009/29/06
Getting colds and flus after quitting10:0411/18/06
Is there such a thing as the "quitters flu?06:5910/22/14
Avoiding situations where you used to smoke12:3911/29/06
Cigars and relapsing06:5105/26/13
Dealing with people who try to undercut your quit17:4211/12/06
Recovery Symptoms
"Will this get better?"04:2407/22/13
"Is anyone else experiencing the symptom ...?"07:4009/07/12
"Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?"05:1309/27/06
"Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?" [Part 2]11:3307/22/11
Common symptoms05:5509/28/06
Disorientation that may occur when first quitting smoking08:3902/08/14
Medication adjustments that may be necessary03:1307/26/13
Quitting smoking and mental health03:5906/13/13
Why many people cough more after quitting08:3203/21/07
Relapse Prevention and Complacency
Never Take Another Puff04:2310/12/12
Are you smart enough for an IQ pin?02:4707/26/14
Good reasons to take puff after having quit smoking01:2507/13/14
Fear of relapsing03:2207/19/14
There is no legitimate reason to relapse06:4606/23/13
Fixating on a cigarette02:5602/26/14
The urge hits02:1907/23/14
Intentional relapses02:2808/06/14
"It's inevitable, some smokers are going to relapse"03:4108/25/14
"You mean you haven't had a single puff?"02:2707/15/14
The smoker's vow (audio)01:2212/22/13
Words that translate to RELAPSE03:0307/16/14
Were you addicted?02:0002/11/14
Nicotine is nicotine is nicotine07:1006/21/13
"Boy, do I miss smoking" 05:3407/23/13
The fallacy of "good cigarettes"03:4802/26/14
"I'm mad that I can't smoke anymore!"08:0110/02/12
If this is your first time quitting01:3919/10/12
Is relapse a natural part of the quitting process?13:1411/29/11
Come share your strength & recognize vulnerabilities04:3606/20/14
Can second hand smoke cause relapse?09:5008/28/12
Neither side is perfect02:2310/01/12
"Got through New Years! Boy, I deserve a cigarette!"06:3201/01/12
Terrible 3s 07:5210/15/11
Short funny story04:0510/14/11
Thoughts that seem worse than when first quitting04:5807/11/14
Be prepared for holiday triggers11:0211/24/11
Summer seasonal triggers11:0207/04/13
Election day: an important choice today02:0811/06/12
Life goes on without smoking08:1212/15/11
Watching others smoke09:3310/13/11
"Miracle" aids for quitting smoking06:2107/05/14
Who wants to go back to smoking? 07:0509/28/06
"I don't feel any better since I quit smoking!"08:3909/28/06
"I'll come for reinforcement when I need it"10:2411/08/06
"I am climbing the walls because I quit smoking"08:2310/18/06
What is your quit smoking mantra?12:4711/17/06
Quitting smoking is an option04:4908/05/14
"If I relapse I'll smoke until it kills me"05:1102/25/07
"I went back to smoking while in the hospital with pneumonia"03:4802/13/14
Longer-term quitters having "Bad Days"08:3611/27/06
An important choice must be made today02:0611/06/12
Lost long term quits04:3706/17/14
Is relapsing on nicotine a good learning experience?02:5710/29/14
A thirty year success story02:3508/22/14
"I will control my smoking now"02:3701/15/15
Helping Others Quit
Helping others quit10:2208/06/12
Can you help a person quit who doesn't want to?09:0202/12/14
"Should I let him know that I know he is smoking?"07:0907/25/14
No one understands12:5808/16/12
Videos Specific to Our Support Groups (Freedom & Turkeyville)
Are you ready for Freedom?12:0701/19/11
Why Freedom is a cold turkey site09:1001/08/11
Teaching of conventional wisdom08:4508/29/12
Why Freedom discourages "buddy systems"05:0701/06/11
Quit site euphemisms that we discourage at Freedom06:3109/05/12
Reading at other quit sites04:0109/13/12
The Freedom from Nicotine Support Board05:2308/15/14
No need to apologize for not posting for a while04:0806/28/14
Sharing our materials at other quit sites03:3609/13/12
E-cig discussions at Freedom05:2109/13/13
New Year's message for newer members and readers10:3212/31/10
New Year's message for longer term members03:5112/31/10
Freedom's Quarterly Stats03:4012/30/10
About my work and materials
My work in the field of smoking prevention & cessation05:1907/31/14
How I started running quit smoking clinics10:3209/28/06
My goals for the resources I produce to help people to quit02:1103/19/15
How do you remember so many details?04:2709/04/14
"What did they do to you to make you quit smoking?"05:5208/11/14
Why I no longer conduct stop smoking clinics05:4307/30/14
Why my resources are free05:0908/06/12
A smoking cessation expert?15:2703/30/12
"You never smoked or quit, how can you know?"06:1007/03/13
Where is Joel?04:1103/01/12
Comments made to Joel's YouTube channel06:3904/13/12
Two hundred thousandth video view on YouTube05:3409/25/12
New stop smoking materials and resources04:5712/30/12


MP3 audio stop smoking counseling

Joel's MP3 Audio Counseling Download

The link below requires high speed Internet access as it allows one-step downloading of a large 264MB zipped file containing Joel's original 64 audio quitting lessons, 11 hours of listening. Depending on your Internet connection speed, the download time may take from 30 to 60 minutes. All you need to do is download the file, unzip it and load the individual (unzipped) files into your MP3 player. Our thanks to David King, who at 42 days into his own recovery created this zipped file in December 2009.

Download 264MB Zipped MP3 File


Joel's Jukebox

Joel's Jukebox

This link to Joel's Jukebox takes you to an extremly fast online MP3 audio player that allows for easy listening of Joel's audio stop smoking lessons. Our thanks to HWC for building this page.

Joel at clinic graduation night at two weeks into his full clinic.

Ask Joel

Ask Joel is a forum that indexes quit smoking questions that have previously been asked and answered by Joel, or questions related to ending chemical dependence upon smokeless tobacco (snuff, dip, snus or chewing tobacco) or upon NRT (the nicotine gum, lozenge, inhaler, spray or patch). If previously unasked, or unusual, your question and Joel's response may be posted to the Ask Joel messageboards so others might benefit. Take a look at previously asked questions to see if yours has already been answered. If not, e-mail it to Please use language suitable for youth. Thank you.

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Page format last updated on March 29, 2015 by John R. Polito