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Discussion, comments and links related to Joel Spitzer's cold turkey quit smoking videos

Intentional relapses

Some people say they actually plan on relapsing or have consciously already thrown away their quits. Video introduces two articles that explain these kind of intentional actions and ways of avoiding falling into such a trap yourself.

"I think I have decided to go back to smoking"

I wrote the following letter to a member who had quit for 18 days and wrote a post saying he was probably going back to smoking that particular evening. This was my reply to him. I don't know if this member is off smoking or if he is even still a member. But the reply applies to everyone here who ever thinks they consciously really want to go back to smoking.

You are at a point that all of our members are at who are nicotine free for at least three days. You are free to choose now. You can choose to smoke nothing–you can also choose to smoke full-fledged again until it cripples then kills you. If your choice is to relapse and go back to smoking again you know what to do. Tonight will be as good as any time. Although, as long as your goal is to smoke until it kills you, why fret the rest of the afternoon, now is as good as time as to relapse as any.

So again–as long as your goal is to smoke till it kills you–you know what to do. As long as you know you will be smoking tonight, today would be a good time to do some estate planning too. Get your will, living will, durable power of attorney, organ donation papers signed in case there are any organs worth harvesting after smoking takes it tolls throughout your body, and maybe call your insurance agent and see about getting some disability insurance. Just in case cigarettes don't cause a sudden death scenario, you want to make sure to have money available in the event of a long disabling illness. Cigarettes can cause plenty of them.

One of the most common ways cigarettes accomplish this goal is to destroy your lungs and breathing ability. Who knows for sure there will be enough money to take care of your needs when you can no longer breath on your own. In fact, if money gets too tight and you can't work, affording cigarettes will be a real problem then. So insurance shopping will be a good way to spend the afternoon now. By the way, you will have to state that you are going for the insurance because you are planning on becoming a long-term smoker. Insurance companies need to know this so they can adjust your premiums accordingly. If you were to mislead them and say you are a non-smoker, when the disease strikes and you expect payments–you may be in for a terrible shock to find out that you will not collect for signing up under false pretenses.

Another good thought for today is maybe prepay for a plot and funeral arrangements now. You can save a bundle. Most of us don't like to think about such things but it sounds like you are planning for a life and death decision tonight so why not make a number of them.

So again–as long as your goal is to start your slow motion suicide into action, you know what to do. If by any chance you were not really considering going back to smoking till it cripples and kills you–you may want to have some contingency plans set up for tonight too. Maybe take the money that is going to be earmarked to smoking for the next month, which may be hundreds of dollars and go out and have a really good time treating yourself to things that wont kill you. You will be able to do a lot more of this as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

“I made a conscious decision to smoke”

A couple of years ago in our earlier days at Freedom, a member wrote that she made a conscious decision to smoke after experiencing a horrendous day. Since we no longer have people posting relapse excuses, I thought it would be good to bring up the response from back then, as a tool to help our current members think through any such thoughts. Do many people actually desire to go back to smoking or make the conscious decision to relapse?

You said you made a conscious decision to smoke. Does this mean you made a conscious decision to go back to full-fledged smoking, your old quantity, maybe even more? Do you mean to say that you wanted to maintain that full quantity, paying thousands of dollars a year, and tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime in support of that addiction? Do you mean you mad a conscious decision to go back to constantly smelling like a cigarette? Do you mean that you were making a conscious decision to stand outside in subzero weather, tropical down pours, or unbearable heat waves, just to sneak a few drags when in some hostile environment that is restricting your smoking? Do you mean that you made a conscious decision to be viewed as a social misfit or outcast, shunned or ridiculed by others? Does it mean that you made a conscious decision to accept all these consequences with the idea you would smoke until cigarettes would slowly cripple you? Do you mean to say that you made a conscious decision to smoke until you would eventually leave your family, friends, basically all your loved ones behind, because you were going to smoke until cigarettes killed you? Was that your conscious decision?

I am not trying to be harsh or insensitive here. I am just trying to clarify that when a person has a bad moment and relapses saying to themselves that they made a conscious decision to smoke, it is usually an untrue statement. They don't make a conscious decision to smoke; they make a conscious decision to have a cigarette. These are two completely different decisions. It is easy to make a conscious decision to have a cigarette, when you think that is where it will end. Thinking in terms of limited quantity or limited time smoking is fantasizing about smoking. This fantasy will be a person's downfall.

Now in fact you are being forced to make a decision. Your body is going to demand it. The decision now is are you going to be a full-fledged smoker, under the criteria above, or are you going to quit again? If you don't make a decision and take action, the decision is already made. You are a smoker again. On the other hand if you decide to quit, then you may have to put up with the initial withdrawals and the struggles that accompany stopping smoking. Neither option is optimal, but one, as bad as it seems, is clearly better than the other is. One may be miserable; the other is potentially lethal.

You started your post that this was the worst day of your life. If it is the day you go back to smoking, this may not be an inaccurate assessment. If it is the a day you almost lost a quit but got it back and never smoked again, well then in retrospect you will probably realize that today was a day that had bad components. But in the grand scheme of things it was the day you permanently quit smoking and in that real sense it was a good day too. This may be hard to see now but in time, smoke free time; this may become a very realistic assessment.

This is a fight for your health and your life. Give it your all because the alternative is cigarette smoking and if cigarettes are given the opportunity, they will take your all. To keep your Freedom, your health and your life you must understand that your quit is contingent on knowing that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!


Another video good to watch so as not to be taken in by any individual who said he or she intentionally relapsed and has his or her smoking under control:

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© Joel Spitzer 2018
Reformatted 07/03/18 by John R. Polito