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Thomas3.20.2010 Blog

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That age old question an addict asks himself: 

Will I ever be happy again?

It's fascinating to me sitting on my 8th Anniversary to realize that there was a deep belief that 

Smobriety would be miserable and that I would never have fun again! 

What is night with my buddies when the room isn't full of smoke?

Image result for smoking dogs playing poker

I grew up with this painting in our den. Liking dogs I spent hours watching it and defining the word fun with this picture! I watched our family gatherings of getting a foursome and playing bridge all night while the ashtrays filled up.

Every home I visited the hostess would invite folks for a cigarette from her fancy cigarette box and her adorned drawing room lighter. All the gentlemen carried a silver or leather portable cigarette box in their jacket pocket with matching lighters and the ladies had little crocheted purse with pearls sewn into them - again with matching pearl and crystalline design on the lighters. Beautiful crystal ashtrays set on every living room coffee table and bedroom bureau.

Then the laughing and joking and relaxing (adult) fun began!

So friends, family, fun and happiness were all tainted with nicotine pollution before they even formed into beliefs.


Beliefs are very challenging to change. But I have radically changed my core beliefs about smoking. 

As a child I believed that smoking is grown-up, the forbidden fruit for kids because it brought so much beauty, happiness, fun that you had to mature into the privilege of participating (like the never spoken among adults word - sex)

[Will I get struck by lightening for saying the forbidden word?]


All of these memories along with my own happy memories linked to Sickerettes! When these same folks passed one by one in their 60s from one cancer or another nobody made the connection - this aunt from breast cancer, that one from leukemia, this grandfather from pancreatic cancer, that grandmother from bone cancer. - had nothing to do with tobacco - it must be those newfangled radios, tvs, telephones and other gadgets - not cigarettes. 

Doctor after doctor told us how great they were for one's health!

Image result for doctor says smoking healthy adsRelated image


I felt so responsible when my Mother sent me to Safeway to purchase her Cigarettes and came back with the right change! I stood a little taller when I was allowed to hang out iwth and smoking adults and vicariously enjoy the fun!

Good Times!

Changing such core beliefs is a huge challenge. It took Years and Years of retraining in school, on the news, through observation but it never really sunk in until I was diagnosed with Emphysema and therefore, COPD at age 52. And then serendipitously I was laid off and found my new job in Assisted Living where I daily eye witnessed the long term consequences of COPD.

At Eight Years of FREEDOM from Addiction I have learned how to filter those beaustiful, fun, happy days, from the ever present Sickerette. Much of the fun had to do with gather, playing, sharing, yes - showing off a little, but it wasn't really that box full of dead leaves wrapping in paper and dipped into thousands of poisons!

So I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. We really did have Fun. We really were Happy.It really was relaxing but Sickerettes are not required to make that happen. 

I kept the good and rejected the bad elements of those memories and they're still precious memories of my youth!

Image result for dogs playing poker

Smoking is not required!

Allegory of the Cave


Socrates described a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.


Well, for me, that's what coming out of the smoke cloud of Addiction was like! I've been freed from the cave and have come to understand what reality is meant to be by my Creator! I look through the sunshine and see everything in a different sharper, cleaner REAL LIGHT of TRUTH! It's true that I can't get my lung function back, but I'll always be grateful to my Lord for bringing me into the Light! I'm FREE of the Chains of Slavery to Addiction which for so many years, even those short periods of time when I wasn't smoking but still mentally addicted, had me captive, believing that it was reality when in fact, it was only the shadows of a cave!!!


"You are the light of the World! A city set on a Mountain cannot be hidden!"

Matt. 5:14


Look Around!



Say YES to Fresh!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Mar 11, 2018

Image result for smoke cloud


I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day


Oh yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

-Jimmy Cliff






Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Mar 5, 2018


Take control of your Nicotine Addiction. You are the Boss - not a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in thousands of chemicals. Keep in mind that thoughts are not commands! No matter how compelling you can decide which thoughts to pay attention to and which to ignore.



Plan out how you will recognize and face triggers. Find alternative ways to respond rather than react to them. 

Find other ways to handle stress, boredom, anger, hunger, exhaustion, ...the list goes on.

What will you do instead?



Change people, places, things and actions that trigger you.

Don't hang with your smoking buddies especially when they are smoking.

Stop going to those smoking places and nostalgically imagining that you miss them.

Get rid of your ash trays, lighters and all other paraphernalia.

Go about your daily living differently such as drinking your coffee with your other hand or driving to work by a different route.


It's that simple each and every day -

Control-Alt-Delete and choose who you are becoming not who you are leaving behind!

I have two pills here -

One contains cyanide and the other contains arsenic. Both are definitely not recommended for good health but you can choose which you want - or just say NO!

I have 2 forms of Nicotine Addiction here -

One contains 4000 deadly chemicals (cigarettes) and the other (e-cigarettes) causes oxidative stress changing DNA and leading to cancer. It also contains ultra fine platinum, copper, tin and nickel pellets that tend to penetrate deeply into the respiratory system like a shotgun blast. 

You can choose which you want

- OR just say NOPE!

[Sources: Frontiers in Physiology and University of California at San Francisco]

I Choose NOPE!

Not One Puff EVER

Three years after IQOS  (Phillip Morris) was launched in Italy, about one-fifth of the 3,086 Italians taking part in a nationally-representative survey had heard of it. Just 1.4% saying they had tried it and 2.3% saying they intended to try it.

But those who had tried it or intended to try it were almost as likely to be nonsmokers and former smokers as active smokers.

So despite assurances from PMI officials that IQOS would only be marketed to active smokers, several members of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) expressed concerns that the device would prove attractive to non-smokers, especially non-smoking teens.

Based on this survey TPSAC  recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reject the company's application for "reduced risk" status.

Watch Out! Big Tobacco has not changed it's ways!


Cutting Back

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 27, 2018

Cutting Back on smoking sounds reasonable. Isn't 5 Sickerettes a day better than 20 or 40? But decreasing the amount of Sickerettes you smoke even if you can maintain that new level which I was never able to do and probably would be very stressful for most of us on a daily basis - isn't as helpful as you might think!

New research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) smoking just one Sickerette a day still increases the risks of heart disease and stroke significantly!

Compared to not smoking at all, smoking one Sickerette a day results ina 46% greater risk of heart disease and a 25% greater risk of stroke for men.

Women fare even worse with a 57% greater risk of heart disease and a 31% greater risk of stroke.

The findings show that smoking any amount of Sickerettes carries high risks and even one Sickerette a day shouldn't be underestimated by smokers or by their Doctors.

Low cigarette consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: meta-analysis of 141 cohort studies in 55 study… 

As Dale so succinctly puts it, "If your quitting and smoking, you're doing it wrong!"

I often wonder how we can encourage the groups who struggle more and make them feel part of our Family. 

According to a recent article lagging disparity happens among those of us below poverty, uninsured, American Indians, multiracial and folks with no high school diploma. This study did not address folks with chronic physical and mental illness, veterans, and LGBT communities. 

As you can imagine folks who don't fit in boxes may share various of these demographics simultaneously. We're humans - not categories. 

I believe that we can best help these and all folks who join our Community by stepping back and empathizing before we respond with our theories of how to beat addiction. Just one example, it's a bit ludicrous to suggest joining a gym if the recipient lives below the poverty line. 

Please watch this video and then really stop before you push the publish or submit comment button. We can never have enough empathy,

Blessings to ALL who seek to be Addiction Free! 

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! You are coming HOME!

This is a Wake Up Call to ALL of us!

Smokers have a distorted perception on when the onset of smoking-related conditions will occur, a new study in the Journal of Cognitive Psychology reports.

In the first ever study of its kind, researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Surrey surveyed 162 smokers and non-smokers on their understanding of the onset of negative health conditions associated with smoking. Participants were asked to estimate the timings of when smoking-related conditions might develop in a person who starts smoking 10 cigarettes a day at 18 years old. Smoking-related conditions were categorised as mild (yellow teeth, bad breath) and severe (lung cancer, stroke).

Researchers discovered that on average smokers considered the onset of both mild and severe smoking-related conditions would occur later in life than non-smokers. This misperception amongst smokers highlights a lack of understanding on the adverse consequences of smoking and how rapidly damage can be caused to the body.

It was also found that time estimates for developing mild conditions given by both smokers and non-smokers were directly associated with their perceptions of risk and level of fear. The researchers believe that this did not hold for severe diseases due to a perception that severe smoking-related conditions, such as lung cancer, are so far in the future that people's self-perceptions are not associated with them.

Smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and death in the UK and causes an estimated 79,000 deaths every year. Latest figures from the NHS show that 474,000 hospital admissions are attributable to smoking, placing an enormous burden on the health service.

Dr Patrice Rusconi from the University of Surrey, Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group, said: "The adverse consequences of smoking are well documented, but what we have found is that smokers perceive such hazards to be further in the future compared to those who don't smoke.

"This distorted perception is incredibly dangerous for those who do smoke, and may lead people to delay quitting smoking or screening for smoking-related conditions, increasing their risk of developing a serious illness."


[Source: ]


I Have a Dream

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 15, 2018



"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." 

As we Celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we celebrate the BEST of ourselves. We reach out for our potential BEST just as he had in his short, enlightened inspiring life! Dr. King was intelligent, yes and he was charismatic but more than that he had Faith in his fellow human being and the dream that dwelled in his mind!

While we were smoking, we had a dream that seemed so far fetched - a dream for FREEDOM! We had an inkling of our potential selves, a memory of the FREEDOM we relinquished by taking that first puff and that ever since, most of us for decades, was being puffed away with addiction.

That simple little thought made us strive for FREEDOM - the FREEDOM to be as Our Creator wishes we would be and knows we can be! Many of us have looked under every crook and cranny our our minds for the means to gain our FREEDOM until we found the PRIZE!

A few others were able to find the way more directly. And most of us are still searching but refuse to give up! We each had our own motivations for this quest for FREEDOM but what we had in common is the goal! We were motivated by the fact that "a lie cannot live" and we knew on some level (some more conscious than others) that we were living a lie. 

 To reach that goal takes a lot of human fortitude.  As MLK said, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our FREEDOM."

Too many people see quitting as an event, just as today's celebration is an event and back to "business as usual" tomorrow! But quitting brings change and change is not inevitable! We must straighten our backs and work our quit journey each and every day. That's a BIG ticket so it can only be done one day at a time, giving just for today commitment, focus, and determination - keeping always our eyes on the prize - FREEDOM and remember these words, "I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars."

Many of us have EXperienced the very personal loss of one or more family member, friend, loved one due to the wicked consequences of smoking related illness. It's absolutely devastating! And some of us have been struck down, debilitated, even left disabled, by smoking related illness. I happen to be one of them. If at times, our voices are shrill, it's because we wish to spare you!

We want you to see past the Addictive lie that "smoking is a harmless vice", to know that smoking related illness is very real! But life isn't about not dying - it's about living well! Again, MLK said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!" he said those famous words on April 3, 1963. On the next day, he was assassinated.

I won't begin to speak for the other elders who continue to visit this site - I speak for myself alone, but these words perfectly EXpress my thoughts when I come here again and again and do my best to share my DREAM of FREEDOM for all of you, for all people caught up in the lie of Nicotine Addiction!

Yes, folks, this struggle we are in is just as life and death, just as critical to the dignity of living as MLK's! And yes, I gladly give the BEST of myself when I come here and ask, "Wouldn't you like to live in FREEDOM? I, Thomas, have seen the Promised Land and believe that we, as a Community, will get there!

Join me! I will walk beside you and together we will go up the mountain called FREEDOM!"


Hocus Pocus

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 9, 2018

Don't believe everything you read or hear! 

I hate to admit it because pharmaceuticals do a lot of life saving good - no doubt about it! But they're also very BIG corporations that want profits! And they're very good at propaganda.

And Tobacco Corporations who supply NRTs - well, don't get me started!

Now please don't jump to conclusions - I'm speaking here about me, OK? 

If you choose to use NRTs or pharmaceuticals then that's your business and just fine with me - as long as you don't smoke!!!!

If you are still making up your mind, consider this:

What Message Should Smokers Get about Cessation?

  • There is good news about cessation: in a growing number of countries, there are more ex-smokers than smokers.
  • Up to three-quarters of ex-smokers have quit without assistance (“cold turkey” or cut down then quit), and unaided cessation is by far the most common method used by most successful ex-smokers.
  • A serious attempt at stopping need not involve using NRT or other drugs or getting professional support.
  • Early “failure” is a normal part of trying to stop. Many initial efforts are not serious attempts.
  • NRT, other prescribed pharmaceuticals, and professional counselling or support also help many smokers, but are certainly not necessary for quitting.

[Source: The Global Research Neglect of Unassisted Smoking Cessation: Causes and Consequences ]


So how much more Successful are you using BecomeanEX and Smart Turkey? 

A Smart Turkey

All you need for testimony is our ELDER'S LIST! Pretty darn impressive. And yes, some of us used NRTs and Pharmaceuticals but most important of all we made a commitment to N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever! And we have shared every possible scenario you can imagine! From Family disasters to illnesses and deaths to job loss and mental health challenges to smoking spouses and name it!

You know all that time you spent smoking? Well, maybe you haven't even thought about it yet but it calculates out to 1-3 hours a day! You can spend that time right here reading, reading, reading! You can write blogs every hour if you wish! You can comment anywhere you go. In the upper right hand corner you can type anxiety, for example, and pages of Blogs pop up. 

When you find somebody you relate to visit their page and you can see everything they wrote - all of it! There's a filter where you can reverse oldest to newest and follow their journey. 

Go to Best of EX if you haven't already. 

And check out Celebrations where  you'll find the Freedom Train and Daily Pledge. 

We have everything you need - just come as you are - willingly!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 6, 2018

Ever feel compelled to just haul back your fist and slug somebody? You may even have felt your hand ball up into that fist - and then when the split second of decision came, you didn't!

What stopped you? 

I can think of one specific instance. I really could have let it swing! But I didn't! In the gap between getting ticked and slugging I made the decision that it wasn't worth it. I chose not to be the person that let's it rip! Those aren't my values. 

I also thought of the consequences - jail and a permanent record would not be my choice and the possible satisfaction just wasn't worth it!


It's the same with smoking. You will feel super compelled to smoke! I'm not making light of that! I know - I felt it, too! 

But does smoking fit in with who you want you to be?

Are you willing to live with the consequences of addiction and probable smoking related illness? is it really worth it? 

Withdrawal isn't caused by Quitting - it's caused by Addiction. That's why no matter how many times you Quit, you Withdraw every single time. 

Withdrawal doesn't kill anybody. It's uncomfortable. It takes  focus and determination. But there is not a single smoker who can not quit. One single minute at a time. 

Don't think through all of this while you're in the middle of a crave. Think ahead - get a plan. Make a promise to yourself based on the fact that you decide to stay Smoke FREE! Then when the moment comes - honor your commitment and keep them away from your face! 

Simple, not easy! But doable!

Decision is the ultimate Power!

Or April Fool's Joke?

PMI wishes you and your Family a Year full of Disease and Death!

Happy New Year - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Commentary: Philip Morris Isn't Really Quitting Cigarettes | Fortune 



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 5, 2018

Even some sites tell you that with enough willpower you can succeed at smoking cessation.

Intuitively it sounds reasonable. But let's take a deeper look.

Folks regularly cite lack of willpower as the No. 1 reason for not following through with their Quits. 

That's because you can try your best to white-knuckle your way through your Quit and you may make it - for a few Weeks but it's exhausting!

Like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up a hill nonstop - eventually you just collapse and let the boulder roll over you!



This is because what you are fighting against is - yourself!

After the first 3-5 days the nicotine is out of your system! So you are not fighting Nicotine!

You are fighting your own Addictive Brain! You are fighting yourself! 

How can you fight yourself without losing - no matter how much you win?

Until you face, learn to understand and care for that Addictive You it cannot heal!

Health comes from nourishing the healthy parts and letting go of unhealthy actions - and then thoughts - and then feelings.

You will change! Recovery is change! Give yourself the willingness to change - people, places, and things, and most important of all, yourself!

It's all good! As you go through the process you'll have way more time to relax!

Deadly sickerettes are not required! isn't that what you keep hoping sickerettes will give you? 

Think about it - Have they kept that promise, really?

Smoke Free relaxes everything!


Calming Quititude

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 1, 2018

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Victor Frankl


Quititude means an attitude of Success. It comes from searching for and riding the waves of accomplishment, noticing incremental successes such as making it through this craving (3-5 minutes) and mentally acknowledging and congratulating myself for having done this.

It also includes letting the waves of triggering events, people and places wash over us without hooking into or getting swept up in the response that feels so compelling. 

So how do we make this happen? It all sounds appealing but easier said than done. Or is it?

Perhaps if we knew a different approach than the same old, same old we could learn and practice a new way of first, recognizing and then initiating and practicing and finally to adopting it. What does it hurt to try, anyway?


Take a moment right now to practice:

1. Play the Freeze Game

You remember that game we played as children? Do that now. Halt your body, thoughts and emotions. Think of yourself as a cartoon character that’s been hit with a stun gun or place yourself in a Star Trek episode.

2. Focus on your left index finger.

For twenty to sixty seconds, concentrate exclusively on the back of your index finger. Let all of your attention be consumed by it.

Bring it closer to you. Study the rivets, creases, and those tiny little fingerprint lines. Pretend that you've never seen this finger before and get to know it's every detail. Let all else fade out of focus.

3. Take a conscious breath.

Let go of your glance and check back in with your body. Take a deep, conscious breath in, then let it go through your mouth, slowly and calmly, creating a wave of relaxation that starts in your chest and floats out through your being to the surface of your skin. I imagine a blue light that is born from my heart and radiates throughout each cell of my body.

4. Look around consciously.

As you refocus on your surroundings, scan the scene in front of you. Remain as nonjudgmental as possible with what you focus on the way you would when waking up in the morning.

Take conscious note of the thoughts that are trying to push back into your head and observe them with an attitude of curiosity.

How do you feel?

You might now feel a little more in touch with your senses, distanced from previous thoughts, and connected with the present moment.

Most importantly, you’ll recognize that the root of your discomfort is your thoughts. Everything else, like emotions, and physical discomfort, and pain, start there.

Spend another minute focused on the same finger, in the same way. Doing this will associate (or anchor) the feelings of clarity, relaxation, and attachment with the action of focusing on your calm presence and open the gap between stimulus and response so you have the space to decide what you choose to do instead of being dragged into action by those compelling thoughts.

We have the power to reset our attitude at any time - not just from day to day but minute to minute. We decide who we wish to be.

I wish to be a Happy Quitter!