If you've been with us for a while you've probably given up tobacco for good. If you're just joining or have joined recently you have probably recently given up tobacco or on the verge. Maybe today is your day or maybe it's tomorrow. If you can start today, Great! We're here to help.
You probably read recently that Tobacco stocks have fell. Good news right? We can all do our part to keep that trend going. If for nothing else, your health!
EX Community Manager
Tonight we’ll start migrating Private Messages, Status Updates and Forum posts from the previous community platform for members who participated prior to January 24, 2017. Those members will see their Inbox notifications numbers increase temporarily but you can mass mark things as read using the “mark all read” functionality in the Inbox.
Read on for more details!
What Does This Migration Mean For Me?
The migration of the data will take several days -- there is a lot of information to move! During this time the site might not run as quickly as it normally does between 8pm and 7am Central. During the day and once the data is fully imported we expect performance to resume to normal. The data migration will start 2/18/19 at 8pm Central and run nightly until 7am Central the following morning through 2/22/19 and then resume nightly 2/25/19-2/26/19 or until it is complete. During the time of the migration we’ll be turning off email notifications temporarily so you’ll need to login to see what things have been active. Email notifications will be turned on during the day while the import is not happening
If you only participated on the Community after January 24, 2017, then this data migration might not mean much to you and can largely be ignored. If you were a member before and participated on the community, please read below and feel free to ask any questions you have.
What’s Getting Migrated?
Private Messages: The private messages that are being imported will be put into your Inbox. Your messages will have been imported, but you'll have to use search see them. We anticipate that we’ll be able to mark all the messages as read so they won’t fill up your inbox notification bell. Unfortunately, we are not able to make the messages threaded in the Inbox.
Status Updates w/@mentions (formerly known as Wall Posts): Our current platform doesn’t have wall posts. The closest thing we could do was create a Status Update with an @mention of the person who’s wall had been written on. With the import of the Wall Posts, you may receive inbox notifications in which you’ve been @mentioned. Since the migration will take several days, some members may amass a lot of @mention notifications if they had a lot of wall posts on their wall on the previous platform. We cannot prevent this from happening. These notifications will appear at the top of your Inbox even though they’ve been backdated with their original date. Fortunately this issue will be fairly short-lived, as the notifications can be marked as read.
Forum posts: Forum posts will now be migrated over as Discussions. We anticipate being able to mark all Discussion posts notifications as read. There may be cases where discussion posts included @mentions in which case you could possibly be notified in your Inbox. We cannot mark those as read but you can do so using the link mentioned below.
So, What Should I Do to Tackle My EX Community Inbox?
You can take one of two approaches.
You may receive some notifications as your points increase as a result of the remaining content is imported. You can dismiss them quickly by clicking the Unread Only box and mark all read to mass mark things as read.
We realize that doing this will be somewhat inconvenient temporarily but we’ve tried to make it as minimally disruptive as possible. Thanks in advance for your patience.
Our former community platform was a big, old house with lots of love and memories in it… some of those boxes were still sitting in storage while we found the best way to find space for them in our not-so-new-anymore house that we live in today! Thanks for your patience, and please pardon the dust while we unpack .
Have a question? Post in the comments below and we'll try to answer everything as soon as we can. Please understand that there may be unanticipated things that we may update on the fly.
If you're new here, you may be wondering what people experienced each day as they went through their quit journey.
You can find someone's personal blog or their Content Tab on their profile and find out but if you want to know how unique every journey is you can look at some of the tags on the site. I encourage you to browse the site and read. Searching isn't bad either.
It gets better... From there some have journaled daily after they quit.
|First 20 days||Second 20 days||Third 20 days||Fourth 20 days||Fifth 20 days|
|1 Day Quit||21 Days Quit||41 Days Quit||61 Days Quit||81 Days Quit|
|2 Days Quit||22 Days Quit||42 Days Quit||62 Days Quit||82 Days Quit|
|3 Days Quit||23 Days Quit||43 Days Quit||63 Days Quit||83 Days Quit|
|4 Days Quit||24 Days Quit||44 Days Quit||64 Days Quit||84 Days Quit|
|5 Days Quit||25 Days Quit||45 Days Quit||65 Days Quit||85 Days Quit|
|6 Days Quit||26 Days Quit||46 Days Quit||66 Days Quit||86 Days Quit|
|7 Days Quit||27 Days Quit||47 Days Quit||67 Days Quit||87 Days Quit|
|8 Days Quit||28 Days Quit||48 Days Quit||68 Days Quit||88 Days Quit|
|9 Days Quit||29 Days Quit||49 Days Quit||69 Days Quit||89 Days Quit|
|10 Days Quit||30 Days Quit||50 Days Quit||70 Days Quit||90 Days Quit|
|11 Days Quit||31 Days Quit||51 Days Quit||71 days Quit||91 Days Quit|
|12 Days Quit||32 Days Quit||52 Days Quit||72 Days Quit||92 Days Quit|
|13 Days Quit||33 Days Quit||53 Days Quit||73 Days Quit||93 Days Quit|
|14 Days Quit||34 Days Quit||54 Days Quit||74 Days Quit||94 Days Quit|
|15 Days Quit||35 Days Quit||55 Days Quit||75 Days Quit||95 Days Quit|
|16 Days Quit||36 Days Quit||56 Days Quit||76 Days Quit||96 Days Quit|
|17 Days Quit||37 Days Quit||57 Days Quit||77 Days Quit||97 Days Quit|
|18 Days Quit||38 Days Quit||58 Days Quit||78 Days Quit||98 Days Quit|
|19 Days Quit||39 Days Quit||59 Days Quit||79 Days Quit||99 Days Quit|
|20 Days Quit||40 Days Quit||60 Days Quit||80 Days Quit||100 Days Quit|
As you quit, I encourage you to journal and tag your posts so you add on to the collection of journeys that are recorded here. I challenge someone to journal their first 100 days after quitting. If you're up to the challenge. Let me know and I'll ensure there are tags ready for your 100 days of quitting.
Congrats on making a wonderful decision!
EX Community Manager
I want to thank all the members of EX for making the EX Community part of their quit journey. I am proud to interact with so many great people on a daily basis. It's pure pleasure to me to be able to facilitate this safe space where you all make amazing things happen each and every day.
Whether you're just joining us or you've been around since the site started, Thank you! Whether you come here and post daily or just once a year, Thank You! Whether you are here to quit for you or here to gain the knowledge to support someone else in their quit, Thank You! Whether you are here to just read what others post or to actively engage and post your own content, Thank You! Whether you are young or chronologically wealthy, Thank You!
People ask me what I do and are always curious when I say I manage an online support community to help people quit smoking/vaping/chewing. They naturally assume I help people quit but I'm quick to point out that the members are what really make the difference. I only provide the safe environment/mechanism/vehicle to enable members to bring their vulnerability and experience to turn it into confidence and success.
If you are reading this and you are on the fence about getting involved or wondering what the EX Community can do for you. Please, please, please take the risk and get involved in some way. Ask a question, answer a question, share a joke, upload a picture/video, share your artwork, craft, book, recipe or writing, post a status update, sync your quit date, start a journal, join a discussion, pledge to be smoke free, create a quit kit, record your triggers, track your tobacco/nicotine, join a game, invite a friend/family member to the site, educate yourself about addiction, perform a 5 minute favor (and share it on EX), read the Best of EX, celebrate others' milestones, Introduce yourself to someone in your state, complete your profile, add/change your picture/avatar. There are so many things to do here on EX. So many ways to get involved in a way that makes you feel comfortable. It's your journey, the first step is getting involved and we'll get to quitting when you're ready.
I look forward to reading and experiencing everything that you share. It's so amazing! Thank you for that gift, each and every day from the bottom of my heart!
EX Community Manager
There is a lot to celebrate including your quit. Join the fun by changing your avatar to include something fun and festive for the holidays. It doesn't matter what holiday you celebrate. Pick something you want to celebrate that is winter themed and put up a new Avatar (and Profile Picture too so we can see) until December 30th! Then we'll do a New Years Theme to kick off 2019!
If you have any questions. Post them in the comments below.
EX Community Manager
Here you can see me
Over the course of the last year, you may have experienced a period of time where you weren’t earning any points. Some of you have experienced it multiple times. You may have given points with a badge and the points were debited from your account but never credited to the person you awarded them to. On each occasion that we’ve been made aware of an issue, we’ve informed the platform’s Support Team and provided them as much evidence as possible. On most occasions, they’ve done some troubleshooting and have restored service.
Regrettably, even with all the info we provided, it’s been a fairly evasive issue, only affecting a portion of the members and there hasn’t been a reliable resolution to date. We’ve evaluated turning off Rewards completely, but ultimately decided to leave it on. Turning off Rewards would also turn off Badges and Quests, which have been shown to help with members’ quits and have been a well-liked feature of our EX Community. Additionally, the Rewards issues don’t affect everyone every time. We’ve also explored other options but there are none that make economic sense or would be a better fit for quitting. After careful consideration, the EX Team has decided to leave Rewards on.
Fixing the issue is out of our control and the control of other customers using this community platform. They know it is important to their customers who use it and hope to have it fixed later in the year. When there is an outage, a portion of members may not receive points while others will. Unfortunately, there isn’t a solution currently to retroactively credit earned points to accounts when an outage occurs. We hope that a includes a recount to properly credit missed points. We recognize that points are important to some people and not to others. Whatever your stance, we’re your advocate and feel that members should receive the points they earned.
We know this frustrating for some of you. I encourage you to alert me to any time you don’t see points awarded by commenting on this post in Community Help so I can alert support as quickly as possible to get the service restored.
EX Community Manager
BecomeAnEX is committed to helping tobacco users in the US achieve their vision of a tobacco-free future. In light of a new international data protection law enacted by the European Union (EU), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we are updating site access for BecomeAnEX.
By now, you may have heard of the GDPR, a new EU data privacy law that goes into effect on May 25, 2018 and that may have widespread impact on businesses around the world. The regulation applies only to the treatment of personal data furnished to a business from data subjects who are situated in the EU. The GDPR imposes numerous requirements on those businesses that are obligated to comply with the regulation.
BecomeAnEX is not subject to the GDPR and has determined that it will not take the substantial steps necessary to comply with the regulation’s requirements. Accordingly, if you are visiting BecomeAnEX.org from any EU-member country, unfortunately you will no longer be able to access BecomeAnEX.org or the EX Community, nor will you receive emails from BecomeAnEX or the EX Community when this law goes into effect on May 25, 2018. If you access the EX Community from an EU IP Address and will be affected by this change, we recommend you back up your data now, as you will lose access to the site on Friday.
To see your content:
To save your content:
You can use your web browser print function (Ctrl+P or Cmd+P) and then choose the Save as PDF option. This will need to be done for every post you wish to retain. At this time, there is not any mass save option to bulk save or bulk print.
On behalf of the EX Team, we realize this may be disappointing. We recognize that supportive friendships have been made along people’s quit journeys over the last 10+ years. If you know someone who will be affected by this change, we recommend you reach out to them immediately so that you can set up alternative communication methods if you wish to stay in touch. We’ll still be on Facebook, and it may be a good way to stay in touch with those who are affected by this change.
We hope that you will continue your journey to become and stay tobacco-free! There are numerous other proven online programs available to help tobacco users quit, hosted in the United States and around the world.
While we cannot guarantee their availability to EU-based users, alternative evidence-based programs include:
It's a beautiful cold and crisp day today in the Chicago area. Did you know it is International Women's Day today? We should acknowledge and celebrate the women in our lives every day but especially today, Our Great Grandmothers, Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunts, Sisters, Daughters, Friends, Wives, Girlfriends, cousins, co-workers, bosses, the list goes on.
Take a moment and share below how you're celebrating iwd2018. Whether it is going to a march, wearing red or reaching out to someone important in your life. We want to know what is on your mind today. Share in the comments...
Off to put on red and call the important women in my life!
EX Community Manager
The EX Community is built around information sharing. New resources are shared daily for the benefit of everyone’s quit journeys. Lots of people post information and resources they’ve gotten from other places, mostly online, but sometimes also offline. Members helping members is what EX is all about! However, out of respect to copyright owners, our legal team here at EX has asked us to remind you not to upload or link to any copyrighted content (Documents, PDFs, Images, Audio or Video) that you are not authorized by the copyright owner to share.
Sharing is a key to success here in the EX Community. To encourage it to continue in a responsible way, we have revised the Community Guidelines to clarify some issues regarding information sharing. Please read below to learn about guidelines for copyrighted content, solicitation, and attribution within the EX Community.
We ask that you do not post any links to copyrighted material without the copyright owner’s consent. Please look for this change in the Community Guidelines when you log in to the Community in the near future.
We have identified some links to copyrighted material that we cannot allow to be posted going forward. In the future, if you create a post with one of these links in it, you’ll be notified by a pop-up and required to modify your post before publishing it. The pop-up will look like this:
You’re welcome to share/recommend copyrighted resources, provided you are authorized to do so and do not include any referential links for any personal financial gain in your posts.
On occasion, members create their own copyrighted smoking cessation material. If you’re interested in making your copyrighted content available at no charge to members of the EX Community, please get in contact with Mark so we can help you post appropriately. If your copyrighted material is available for purchase, please get in contact with me so we can discuss possible options. EX cannot provide an endorsement of your work.
To keep the Community free of solicitation, we’ll remove any non-approved posts that recommend, endorse or facilitate the purchase of any products or services. If you see any of these types of posts, please get in contact with Mark or report the post as abuse.
Lastly, we LOVE to see great content and LOVE even more to see when the original author is recognized for their work, whether it came from EX Community (@mention) or elsewhere on the internet (external link). Please ensure that all posts that include someone else’s content, with permission, properly cite the original author. If you have the author’s permission to share their content, then including a link to where the content originally appears is a great way to give credit to the original author.
Questions? Please leave a comment below!
EX Community Manager
We’ve done requests to see if anyone wanted to walk others through how they use EX. We realize that EX changed a bit initially so it was difficult to do that because there was some worry that the video would become out of date quickly. We went back to the drawing board a bit and thought more about it.
We thought, “It would be great if recorded a short video about what EX means to them or what they think people should know about EX.” This approach is fairly timeless.
The videos don’t need to be long. Just take up to about 3 minutes to welcome a new member to EX. A few ideas (though we welcome whatever you want to tell us!):
Videos can be recorded right from your computer using a webcam or from your mobile device/tablet, or they can be uploaded from your device’s memory.
If you’re interested in recording a short video or two, please complete the form. We’ll be in touch with you to find out the best approach to getting your video recorded and up on the site.
Thanks in advance for continuing to make the EX Community a wonderful and welcoming place!
Mark and The EX Team
With any community (online or offline), there will be a lot of information. Especially when you’re navigating this community on your quitting journey, there will be a lot to learn. Some advice will be sound and other advice will be questionable. Some advice will be applicable and other advice will not. Some advice will feel right for you, other advice won’t. As members of the EX Community, you all need to decide what recommendations from others you want to take to heart.
Our EX Community has come up with a phrase to address this. “Take the Best and Leave the Rest.”
This essentially means: Learn as much as you can and apply what works for you. Ignore the rest.
Sometimes, you’ll get advice from someone replying to things you’ve posted. If it doesn’t apply to you, ignore it. Just because you receive it doesn’t mean you have to apply it in your own life. Take what is beneficial. What works for one, may not work for the next person. When advice is offered, it’s offered freely without expectation that you’ll use it.
That being said, don’t tell someone that their advice is bad or worthless if it doesn’t apply to you! Others will come along and read your post and the provided advice in the responses, and it might apply to them. That’s the beauty of online communities. The information benefits more than one person. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
So, next time you post something and get a reply that you don’t agree with, say thanks (or “like” the response, or mark it as helpful) for the helpful things and ignore the rest. Your journey is personal and whatever gets you to be quit and stay quit is the most important thing.
EX Community Manager
Question or comment about this? Leave it in the comments below.
There has been a considerable amount of discussion in the last week after we turned on the prohibited word filter. This blog post will hopefully clear up many of the questions you may have about why we turned it on, and how it works.
The EX Team realizes it was a surprise that it was enabled last week without mention. We apologize that there wasn't clear communication about it happening. There have been lots of questions posted about why the filter exists and how it works, so we’ll answer those here. We will also host a Let’s Talk About Prohibited Words and Moderation on Wednesday, July 26 at 7pm EST. Please RSVP here!
Why was the prohibited word filter enabled?
On July 10 we enabled a profanity/prohibited word filter that looks at text that is posted across the Community before it becomes visible publicly or even privately in a direct message. It was enabled largely due to an altercation that occurred in early June where members were attacking each other instead of using the report abuse button, as well as to minimize spam (which often includes hostile, derogatory or crass language). The EX Team strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment for anyone who wishes to quit smoking, maintain their quit, or help someone else quit regardless of age, race, religion, gender, orientation, social class or employment status. We do not endorse any hostile interactions between members that do not support the quitting process.
What does the prohibited word filter do?
Words that are changed to *’s match words on our profanity/prohibited word list. The filter doesn’t read context of the usage of prohibited words, so it cannot discern between words that are used for personal attack and words that are used merely to express frustration.
How were words chosen for the prohibited word list?
We started out with a list of words that were provided by Jive and then removed words that we deemed were okay for the EX community. Words that had racial undertones or are largely used only in personal attacks were left on the list. The list is a work in progress and additional words can be revised over time.
Why is the prohibited word filter blocking words in my private messages and uncensored places on the site?
The filter censors (***’s) out words on the list across the whole site and cannot be limited. We cannot remove the functionality from certain areas of the EX Community, groups or private messages. If that functionality becomes available in the future, we may consider it.
Am I being reported to moderators when I use words on the prohibited word list?
The moderation/spam filter and the prohibited word filter are two separate functionalities. No, you are not reported and the word or phrase is just hidden by asterisks. You do not get in trouble. However, the stars let you know that words you’ve used are not permitted on the site and exist on the prohibited word list. We do recommend you use a different word or phrase.
What happens if the word I used is removed from the prohibited word list in the future?
If the word you used gets removed from the prohibited list, the word will then display publicly next time the page loads.
What if I see a word or phrase that is derogatory and is not being filtered but certainly should be?
Click the Report Abuse button so the EX Team can review it anytime you see something on the EX Community that feels threatening, inappropriate, or hateful. Abusive posts will go through moderation and may not be approved for publication on the site.
Who sees the abuse report?
The EX Team receives the abuse reports. Anyone who reports abuse remains confidential.
Where can I see a list of words/phrases currently on the prohibited word list?
It’s not possible to directly post such a list on the site as every prohibited word would be automatically changed to *’s by the filter. Furthermore, the list may change over time so the list could become quickly irrelevant, so posting a PDF may quickly outdated.
Does the EX Team read my private messages?
We feel that Direct Messages (Private Messages) are private for a purpose and do not read them. We cannot underscore this enough: the EX Team DOES NOT READ private messages! If there is a concern for someone’s safety, court order or reports of abuse via Private Messages, we will take necessary measures to address any issues that arise.
There is no way to report a Private Message as abusive at this time. If you feel attacked via Private Message or are receiving spam, please forward a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can review it.
Is BecomeAnEX.org trying to censor me?
No, we’re not trying to censor our members. We know that quitting is a monumental thing and expressing one’s feelings can be a great vehicle to being successful at quitting. We don’t, however, endorse personal attacks and we want to limit spam, so it’s a constant juggling act to find the right balance.
Do other online communities do this?
Yes, most online communities use Prohibited Word filters to limit spam as much as possible, and ensure that as many members as possible are having a positive community experience.
Why does my post say “Currently Being Moderated”?
If your post says “Currently Being Moderated,” our automated spam filter has identified one or more characteristics believing the content you posted is spam. The algorithms of spam filters are not perfect. The EX Team is working with Jive to improve the automated spam filtering so that fewer posts by trusted members are moderated. Nearly all posts that are falsely marked as spam are released unedited. The EX Team will work to release any false-positives as soon as possible. Messages auto-moderated outside of normal business hours may take a bit longer than normal to be released. You’re not penalized for messages that are posted and are approved for posting. Rejected messages allow the member to modify their post and resubmit for approval.
What can I do?
When you see something that appears to be a personal attack, report it to the EX Team via Report Abuse instead of reacting in a defensive/retaliatory manner. This is done anonymously. Don’t get involved. Taking things to private messages or retaliating publicly rarely goes well and usually results in bigger issues down the road.
The current prohibited word list is largely comprised of words that are derogatory and discriminatory against various groups of people in our membership or are used for personal attacks. As noted, this list can be revised on an ongoing basis. We’re always open to feedback!
Moderation/curation of a community involves multiple complex things working together to ensure a safe, happy, and spam-free environment for all our members. We are constantly adapting to the meet the needs of our Community and implement new technology as it becomes available. We're working to refine our processes and with Jive to minimize any disruptions automated moderation contributes. We appreciate your patience with us and with these different systems! We realize they aren’t all perfect, but we are always working to refine them so you have a good experience on EX.
Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Mark and the EX Team
EX text messages have helped thousands of smokers quit. We’re looking to the EX Community to help make the EX text messaging program even better than it already is.
Your experience about quitting and what’s worked for you is what makes the EX Community so valuable. We’re looking for you to share some of that advice to our members who receive EX text messages.
We’ll keep your information confidential – you choose whether you want to stay anonymous, or have the tip attributed to your first name or EX Community username.
Whether you have ideas rolling off your tongue right now or you need a little bit of time, the opportunity is here to submit your quitting tips, mantras, or strategies, whenever you’re ready. Go to the form to get started.
Thanks in advance for your contributions!
EX Community Manager