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All People > Thomas3.20.2010 > Thomas3.20.2010 Blog > 2013 > September

Good Morning, Fellow EXers!

I'm finally getting back to feeling normal after a long illness. I hope all of you are doing well aso! I love the colors and aromas of Autumn and now that I practice mindfulness, I'm noticing details I have missed in the past! Thank You, Nyima, for showing me mindfulness! 

This week we have a wide variety of articles but many of them focus on Big Tobacco's moves to change the industry with lots of new products. Some of these products, like the e cigarette, remain unregulated and that allows these Companies to say and do pretty much whatever makes them an EXtra buck at the EXpense of our health! 

I began publishing these Blogs every Monday morning because I discovered that by reading current Nicotine related news articles, I was fortifying my Quititude! I hope that reading them will also help you to become stronger in your resolve to ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR QUIT!

  Heart Attacks: All You Need To Know About Symptoms, Risk, Prevention
  Special: Time women cared for their hearts
  Know risk factors for oral cancer
  Smokers, what's hard is seeing a loved one die early
  Study Links High Rates of Smoking Among Mentally Ill People to Addiction Susceptibility 
  Want To Give Up Smoking? Get On Social Media, Says Study
  APOV: Quitting smoking at any age improves life expectancy
  "Smoking Cessation - Pipeline Review, H2 2013" Is Now Available at Fast Market Research
  E-cigarettes should be marketed as a tobacco deterrent, not the skinny jeans of the inhalation industry
  Little known about effect of e-cigarettes
  As regulators wrestle with e-smokes, the tobacco industry is changing fast
  Campaign aims to debunk myths about secondhand smoke
  Surprising ways your hotel room could make you sick
  Northern Kentucky endorses push for statewide smoking ban
  It’s time: Snuff out public smoking 
  Smoking Linked to $278 Billion in Losses for U.S. Employers
  Tobacco Industry’s smokescreen uncovered
  European Union Starts New Graft Inquiry Into Tobacco Regulator
  Cigarettes coming in from countries using children to grow tobacco
  FDA Approves Four More New Tobacco Products

Changing Behavior

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 28, 2013
  "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking 
  we used when we created them." 
  Albert Einstein
  Thinking alone does not change behavior. If it did, it would be easy for any of us to think we need to quit smoking and have our intellectual-thinking brain direct our body to make the behavioral changes necessary to bring about the smoking cessation. That is not to say that many individuals cannot do this for short periods of time because we can and do stop smoking for short intervals. Then, the majority of the time, what derails this desired change is a new stimulus of threat or fear that re-activates the stored data or unconscious memory of an event, as well as our personalized response to that data or memory.
  This triggered pain-pleasure experience often returns us to behaviors—such as smoking or other self-soothing behaviors—we have just spent much time and effort to eliminate. This triggering is an emotional response to the perceived threat (pain) or fear. We often attempt to eliminate this fear through any number of self-soothing behaviors that will produce chemical reactions in the body that are intended to help reduce the anxiety. 
  What is clear at this point about emotions is that this feeling component of our brain function is intimately and more powerfully linked to our behaviors than our knowing or thinking brain component. In other words, we react to the situation emotionally, not intellectually.  
  Emotions, beliefs and world view play a large role in our behavioral choices. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines emotions, beliefs and world view as follows:
   > Emotion—a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body 
  > Beliefs—conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence 
  > World view - a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world. 
  These three components of the self have significant influence on our behavioral choices as well as our attachment to those choices. A new body of research out of the University of Michigan suggests that we base our opinions on our emotions, beliefs and world view and when presented with contradictory facts, we adhere even more strongly to our original beliefs, which are rooted in our emotions.
  In November of 1996, a fifteen-year study by Harvard School of Public Health was published that showed up to 70% of all chronic disease is generated by our behaviors.  Smoking, over-eating, lack of exercise and excessive use of alcohol are the leading contributors to heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, cancer and stroke. 
  Many of us know that our lifestyle and health behaviors lead to the chronic conditions we suffer from and yet we cannot seem to change them. It appears that our survival adaptation behaviors for avoiding pain and seeking pleasure are so deeply embedded in us that, ironically, we avoid change to the point of endangering our lives.
  Harvard psychology professor Robert Kegan, PhD, the William and Miriam Meehan Professor in Adult Learning, cites a recent study that concluded; “Doctors can tell heart patients that they will literally die if they do not change their ways, and still only one in seven will be able to make the changes. They want to live out their lives, fulfill their dreams and watch their grandchildren grow up. These are not people who want to die. And, still they cannot make the changes they need in order to survive.” 
  So let's go back to those primitive pain/pleasure beliefs. For example, the belief that smoking relieves stress. I, as a quitter may tell you that smoking cessation is less stressful than smoking but your EXperience is that when you feel stressed, you crave a sickerette, and when you feed your Addiction the stress feels relieved. What your EXperience can't tell you - until you've actually felt it - is that the reason you crave so much is that stress sets off your Nicotine Receptors and smoking has simply calmed, temporarily those receptors. By no longer having Nicotine Receptors inflamed by stress, you actually feel less initial stress!
  I can tell you about the many pure pleasures  EXperienced  after smoking cessation, but your EXperience recalls smoking as pleasurable. When I tell you that smoking isn't really pleasant, I deny your EXperience. You truthfully believe that smoking brings pleasure! It's only after you have quit smoking that you might feel what I've been describing. 
  We often do a sort of pain comparison. If I quit smoking, will it be more painful to lose my "friend" than if I don't? Sadly, often times the scales don't balance in favor of change until a smoking related illness tips them (and sometimes not even then!) The Fear of the unknown takes over and rules the decision making process! 
  So we can't go on what we think about pleasure and pain as Addicts! We have to make a leap of Faith into recovery with an open mind so that we might have some concrete feeling to compare with! Easier said than done, right? 
  Where does one start? How about our World View ( the core of our values.) Do we value Family, for EXample? Were I to answer yes to this question, then I could take a long hard look at how my Nicotine Addiction brings pain to my Family Members. Thus, I increase my perception of pain and decrease my perception of pleasure.
  Do we value Life? If I answer yes then I can EXamine the evidence of life threatening consequences for smoking. We all know that there is a plethora of evidence out there! I get to/have to choose to live by this Value or to reject it! 
  By lining up my behavior with my World View, I have superceded my thought process (long ago hijacked by my Addiction) in favor of the behavior change I decide to make. In other words, it's easier to convince myself - and it sticks! I have brought my Beliefs in line with my Values and changed my Perception! Many, if not all, of my emotions will follow! ...And so will my Thoughts, eventually!
  And we had better have some stress/anxiety relieving skills ready for when we make the Leap or else even after quitting we are very likely to relapse! The fundamental question is:
  "Since I don't smoke any more, what shall I do instead?"
  In summary:
  (1) Keep an open mind toward change
  (2) Look at your Values
  (3) Allign your Actions with your Values - not your Thoughts
  (4) Be prepared for emotional triggers with options that fulfill your Values 
  (5) EXamine your progress regularly
  (6) Practice makes it better!
  Give yourself the opportunity to change your Perception and your Behavior and thus, discover Smoke FREE Life! You will never regret it!

The American Academy of Pediatrics

American Cancer Action Network

American Heart Association (AHA)

American Lung Association (ALA)

American Legacy Foundation

American Medical Association (AMA)

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Public Citizen 

World Health Organization

Federal Drug Administration

Center for Disease Control

E Cigarettes are not safe and should not be considered an effective smoking cessation device. 

While most people weren't paying attention, leading tobacco companies popped out a new product line — electronic cigarettes. Sales are already soaring.

The good news is that these battery-operated nicotine inhalers contain no tobacco and might help some smokers quit. The bad news? Just about everything else.

E-cigarettes can be just as addictive as the real thing. In about half the states, children can buy them legally. The industry advertises on television, with the same sexy or macho come-ons that made smoking look glamorous for decades, before TV ads were banned in 1970.

Little is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. And they can be annoying: Because the devices aren't subject to indoor smoking bans in most states, a thick white vapor, which looks like smoke even if it isn't, could be coming soon to movie theaters, restaurants and workplaces near you. As celebrity Jenny McCarthy pitches in an ad for Lorillard's blu eCigs, "I feel free to have one almost anywhere."

With two more major tobacco companies, Altria and R.J. Reynolds, introducing entries in test markets this past summer, it's time to decide: Does the country really want another product that can addict users, especially kids? And if e-cigarettes turn out to be dangerous, isn't it better to find out before millions of people are addicted, rather than after?

There are plenty of reasons for caution.

Nicotine in traditional cigarettes is so addictive that it rivals heroin and cocaine, says nicotine expert Neal Benowitz of the University of California-San Francisco. It's one reason that 20% of adults still smoke even though they know it can kill them and even though smokers have become pariahs who must huddle outside to light up.

Teenagers are particularly vulnerable. Despite the industry's well-worn insistence that e-cigarettes are for adults only, teen use has taken off — not accidentally. E-cigarettes come in flavors, from traditional menthol to cherry and piña colada.

The share of middle- and high-school students who had tried them doubled last year from 2011 — for a total of 1.8 million teenagers. Even more troubling? One in five middle-school students who tried them said they had never smoked before. E-cigarettes could easily serve as a gateway to the real thing.

Even in states that have banned sales to teens, the industry has exacted a price, lobbying for measures that allow e-cigarettes to escape indoor smoking bans and the high cigarette taxes that are the most potent weapon against youth smoking.

As for whether e-cigarettes might help some smokers quit, the jury is still out. The best scientific study to date, in New Zealand, found them to be only marginally more effective than nicotine patches.

So what's the right response? At least until more studies are done, states ought to treat these devices as they do traditional cigarettes, with bans on youth sales and indoor smoking. The federal government, slow to move so far, should speed up its decision to oversee contents, flavors and perhaps advertising.

After decades of hard-fought gains against nicotine-delivery devices and the problems they cause, this is no time to relapse.


What is Nicotine?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 26, 2013

Nicotine is a nitrogen-containing chemical - an alkaloid, which is made by several types of plants, including the tobacco plant. Nicotine is also produced synthetically.Nicotiana tabacum, the type of nicotine found in tobacco plants, comes from the nightshade family. Red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes are examples of the nightshade family.

Apart from being a substance found in tobacco products, nicotine is also an antiherbivore chemical, specifically for the elimination of insects - it used to be extensively used as an insecticide.

Pharmacologic effects - when humans, mammals and most other types of animals are exposed to nicotine, it increases their heart rate, heart muscle oxygen consumption rate, and heart stroke volume - these are known as pharmacologic effects.

Psychodynamic effects - the consumption of nicotine is also linked to raised alertness, euphoria, and a sensation of being relaxed.

Addictive properties - nicotine is highly addictive. People who regularly consume nicotine and then suddenly stop experience withdrawal symptoms, which may include cravings, a sense of emptiness, anxietydepression, moodiness, irritability, and inattentiveness. The American Heart Association says that nicotine (from smoking tobacco) is one of the hardest substances to quit - at least as hard as heroin.

According to a report published by the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health, tobacco companies steadily increased the nicotine content of their cigarettes from 1998 to 2004, by approximately 10%. The higher the nicotine dose in each cigarette, the harder it is for the regular smoker to quit. The Department accused the tobacco companies of deliberately making their customers more addicted, so that they could secure sales. Doctors complain that this business strategy of getting customers more hooked undermines the success rates of smoking cessation therapies

In November 2012, tobacco companies were ordered by US District Judge Gladys Kessler to inform consumers that they had deliberately manipulated their cigarettes so that smokers would become more addicted.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary:

Nicotine is "A poisonous volatile alkaloid derived from tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) and responsible for many of the effects of tobacco; it first stimulates (small doses), then depresses (large doses) at autonomic ganglia and myoneural junctions. Its principal urinary metabolite is cotinine.

Nicotine is an important tool in physiologic and pharmacologic investigation, is used as an insecticide and fumigant, and forms salts with most acids."

Another study carried out at the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that nicotine consumption makes cocaine more addictive. (Link to article)

Nicotine's molecular formula is C10H14N2.

How did nicotine get its name?

The French ambassador in Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain, sent tobacco and seeds to Paris from Brazil in 1560, saying that tobacco had medicinal uses. From his name came the Latin name for the tobacco plant - Nicotianana tabacum.

Nicot sent snuff - powdered tobacco that is sniffed through the nostril - to Catherine de Medici, the Queen of France at the time. He said it would treat her migraines. Nicot, who suffered fromheadaches, said the snuff helped relieve symptoms. The Queen tried it and said it was effective. She said that tobacco should be called the Herba Regina (the herb of the queen).

In 1828, Wilhelm Heinrich Posselt, a doctor, and Karl Ludwig Reinmann, a chemist, both from Germany, first isolated nicotine from the tobacco plant. They said it was a poison.

Louise Melsens, a Belgian chemist and physicist, described nicotine's empirical formula in 1843, and Adolf Pinner and Richard Wolffenstein, both chemists from Germany, described its structure in 1893.

In 1904, nicotine was first synthesized by A. Pictet and P. Crepieux.

Side effects of nicotine

The pharmacokinetics of nicotine

Pharmacokinetics refers to what the body does to a substance, while pharmacodynamics refers to what a substance does to the body.

After inhaling tobacco smoke, nicotine rapidly enters the bloodstream, crosses the blood-brain barrier and is inside the brain within eight to twenty seconds. Within approximately two hours after entering the body, half of the nicotine has gone (elimination half-life of about two hours).

How much nicotine may enter a smoker's body depends on:

  • what type of tobacco is being used
  • whether or not the smoker inhales the smoke
  • whether a filter is used, and what type of filter it is

Tobacco products that are chewed, placed inside the mouth, or snorted tend to release considerably larger amounts of nicotine into the body than smoking.

Nicotine is broken down (metabolized) in the liver, mostly by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cotinine is the main metabolite.

What is the nicotine "effect"?

Nicotine is both a sedative and a stimulant. When our bodies are exposed to nicotine, we experience a "kick"- this is partly caused by nicotine's stimulation of the adrenal glands, resulting in the release of adrenaline (apinephrine). This surge of adrenaline stimulates the body, there is an immediate release of glucose, as well as an increase in heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.

Nicotine also makes the pancreas produce less insulin, resulting in slight hyperglycemia (high blood sugar or glucose).

Indirectly, nicotine causes dopamine to be released in the pleasure and motivation areas of the brain. A similar effect occurs when people take heroin or cocaine. The drug user experiences pleasure. Dopamine is a brain chemical that affects emotions, movements, and sensations of pleasure and pain. Dopamine neurotransmitters are located in the substantia nigra, deep in the middle of the brain. Put simply, if your brain dopamine levels rise, your sensation of contentment is higher.

Depending on the nicotine dose taken and the individual's nervous system arousal, nicotine can also act as a sedative.

Tolerance - the more nicotine we have, the higher our tolerance becomes, and we require higher doses to enjoy the same initial effects. As most of the nicotine in the body is gone during sleep, tolerance may have virtually disappeared first thing in the morning. That is why many smokers say their first cigarette of the day is the best, or strongest. As the day develops, nicotine has less of an effect, because of tolerance build-up.

Concentration and memory - studies have shown that nicotine appears to improve memory and concentration. Experts say that this is due to an increase in acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Norepinephrine also increases the sensation of wakefulness (arousal).

Reduced anxiety - nicotine results in increased levels of beta-endorphin, which reduces anxiety.


How common is nicotine addiction?

Humans get their nicotine "fix" primarily through smoking tobacco, but can also obtain it by snorting snuff, chewing tobacco, or taking NRTs (nicotine replacement therapies), such as nicotine gum, lozenges, patches and inhalators.

By far, the most popular way of consuming nicotine is by smoking cigarettes. Worldwide, over one billion people are regular tobacco smokers, according to WHO (World Health Organization).

Smoking in the USA - Approximately 23% of adult males and 18% of adult females in the USA are smokers. Over 400,000 thousand premature deaths in the country are caused by cigarette companies, nearly 20% of all deaths. More people die as a result of smoking than all the deaths due to HIV, vehicle accidents, murders, suicides, alcohol abuse and drug abuse combined.

Smoking in the UK - approximately 24% of the UK adult population are smokers, according to the NHS (National Health Service) - 25% of males and 23% of females. 114,000 smokers die prematurely in the UK every year.

The NHS, UK, says that about 70% of all British smokers would like to quit, but believe they cannot. Half of all smokers in the country eventually manage to give up successfully.

Cigarette smoking originates from the European exploration and colonization of the Americas, where tobacco was common. Smoking tobacco soon became popular in Europe, and then spread to the rest of the world.

Giving up smoking reduces heart attack risk to lifetime non-smokers' level - although quitting smoking cannot reverse damage to the arteries, it can reduce the risk of heart attack and death to levels found in people who have never been smokers, researchers from New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College found.


That's how you do it!

One Day, One Hour, One Minute at a Time 

and it all adds up!

I have 1286 Days

               10 Hours 

        and 54 Minutes!!!

You CAN too!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 25, 2013

Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows

with  the ability to say no to  oneself.               Abraham Joshua

Heschel 1907-1972


If you had asked me if I respect myself back in those days when I was smoking, I would have said "Sure! I am a self-confident positive fellow!" Yet, at the same time, I continued to light up those death sticks several times a day! Committing the little suicide! Thinking in some screwball junkie thinking that by "being a rebel" that I was "standing up for myself - for my "right to choose' - for my individuality"! What a bunch of Balogna!!! But I believed it! That's what ADDICTION can do to your thinking! It can turn it into a pretzel! Anything to get my next FIX! Junkie Thinking is incredibly insidious because it's a part of me! It knows me like nobody else on the planet and it uses that knowledge against the God-given part of me that wished every single day to break out of the addiction and find my TRUE SELF! ADDICTION! It changes not just your brain, it changes your whole body and how it works, and by doing so it can completely take over your thought processes and make the most logical, rational person on the planet twist their self esteem and self-respect into this sick individual who craves with all their body and mind that next FIX! Here's the good part! Our Creator, who truly LOVES us even when we don't know how to love and respect ourselves will use any means possible to urge us to come back to our TRUE GOD GIVEN SELVES! He nudges us constantly! He swarms our conscience and if that doesn't work, He allows our bodies to react to the poison we've been feeding our Temples so that we finally come to KNOW that we have NO OPTION! Smoking is not an OPTION any more UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! Then He brings people like YOU into our lives that lift us up and support us as we struggle to throw off the junkie twisted thinking and see the LIGHT OF TRUTH! TRUTH is right here each and every day for any of us, even the most hard-core junkie to feed on! TRUTH WILL SET US FREE! All we have to do is to say YES! I will at least listen to the TRUTH! I will give myself a chance to see beyond my ADDICTIVE THINKING and find out what's beyond! I really DO respect myself, LOVE myself, wish to affirm LIFE and LIVE ABUNDANTLY as My Creator intends! YES TO LIFE! YES TO FREEDOM! YES TO MY TRUE SELF! God bless each and every one of YOU and ME, too! We were all lost in the sea of ADDICTION and He is calling us back to OURSELVES! ALLELUJAH! Thank God I'm FREE at Last!





Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 25, 2013

We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves, unable to see that here,

now, this very moment is sacred; but once it's gone its value is

incontestable."  --Joyce Carol Oates

Today I am not going to think about what I wish I had done differently, what I wish I had said, where I wish I had gone, which choices I wish I had made. Dwelling on the past does me no good at all! 

Today I am not going to fret about what the future holds, whether I'll have money, fame or even food, clothes and shelter, or HEALTH! That's not for me to worry about! Matt 6:25ff

Today I choose to think about TODAY! Just for TODAY, I Thomas, choose to live LIFE Smoke FREE Abundantly! I will not smoke even one single puff under any circumstances, for any reason NO MATTER WHAT! I will make the most of my FREEDOM from ADDICTION to protect my Health and ENJOY my Happiness! When I work, I will work for my betterment, when I rest I will rest for my relaxation and renewal, when I go amongst my fellow man I will remember that they too have their story! 

I can't change the past and the future is just a series of NOWS! One moment at a time! 



I wanted to republish one of my Favorite BLOGS by one of my Favorite Advocates! I hope this helps those of us who are waivering!!!


Your DECISION to stop smoking starts with your mindset and usually goes something like this. The first few attempts usually turn out to be dismal failures because you weren't actually serious when you quit! We saved the ashtrays, packs of ciggs (just in case) and even told ourselves we would only smoke if things got really bad, too stressful, or if we lost our job etc... WHY would we do that? Personally I believe it's because we had smoked for such a long time and we really WANTED to quit, but not FOREVER...that was way too much to realize at the time....So we left the "back doors" open in our subconscious mind to starting again.....But ONLY if something TERRIBLE happened...even though the TERRIBLE thing did or didn't happen, our mind kept drifting back to the old subconscious 'brainwashing' of "I'll never REALLY be happy without smoking", or "I love smoking" ", or blah,blah,blah....... Then, after awhile, when we become serious enough to quit, we come to the realization that we are CHOOSING to quit smoking (not just a "want to")...... we DECIDE we are choosing to quit smoking FOREVER, and the task becomes much easier. This time we realize that smoking will NOT BE AN OPTION, for any reason at all, no matter what . So on a conscious and a subconscious level, there is no internal arguement...we have CHOSEN to be free and will honor that decision to remain free to staying quit every day.....The quit process does take time, but the better your DECISION to quit is at the outset, the better quit you will have and all of the "back doors", where the old brainwashing is located, or REASONS/EXCUSES to smoke will be closed. So if you are a newbie or a long time quitter, ask yourself about the "what if reasons" to start back smoking are before they can happen and CLOSE those BACK DOORS.


- Lock that Door and throw away the Key!




Have you ever gone back to the way earlier blogs and just read for a while to see how things have changed? Well, I have! I was looking for the formula of WHY? Why do some people make it from the very beginning? Why do some people become chronic restarters? Why do some people restart several times and then find the missing element and from that point on are sailing free? Is it genetics, or gender, or life circumstances or support systems or NRTs or "stress"? Why this person succeeds with "ease" and that person battles for their life has kept me searching for answers. Well, I think I've got it but don't take my word for it  - take a look for yourself! Over and over again people say, "Get educated, Read, Read, Read!" Some folks take that advice and some don't and yes, those who do their homework do have better success, by far! So why did she read and he just trudge along slogging it out? Why did she read and nothing changed while he read the same material and reported a life-altering WOW! moment? Lots of questions, right? But it comes down to a fundamental ATTITUDE that makes the difference! If you believe that smoking cessation is an EVENT then you soon become impatient waiting for things to "get back to normal!" Some folks do manage to stay quit for a considerable time but their attitude is brittle - they could still relapse remarkably easily! Others can't stand the "not normal" and just give in and relapse back into their comfort zone!  Then there are those who even before they quit smoking realize that they are choosing a life altering way of life! They are looking at not an event but at a LIFE JOURNEY - the path of abundant addiction FREE living! They recognize the quit as a choice that you don't just make once but that you dedicate yourself to each and every day! They are open to a NEW NORMAL! There is no going back - ever! They welcome these changes and collateral changes that come with it - whatever they might be! They know that they will evolve and mature in ways they could never have anticipated! And they say, YES! That's where I want to go! I don't see the entire staircase, but I accept the direction as life affirming! I will take the next step up - the simple decision that I won't smoke TODAY ! Just for today I pledge N.O.P.E. no matter what and  I'll do whatever it takes to maintain my quit because I respect myself! Tomorrow is another day! The key to SUCCESS is within you but you must realize that you will change! Your relationships will change! Your PERSPECTIVE will change! Your future choices will change! And it's all for the BEST!


Whatever it Takes!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 24, 2013

 President Barack Obama says he hasn't had a smoke in years – thanks in no small part to first lady Michelle Obama.

Obama was chatting privately with a U.N. official Monday and said he hoped the official had quit smoking. The exchange was caught on camera and aired on CNN.

After the official appeared to ask Obama about his own cigarette use, Obama said he hadn't had a cigarette in probably six years.

He added, with a broad grin, "That's because I'm scared of my wife."

Obama has acknowledged over the years struggling with tobacco use. Mrs. Obama said in 2011 that her husband had finally kicked the habit.

Monday's exchange came on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.


Autumn Reflections

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 23, 2013


  “No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” 
  ― John Donne
  Autumn is the time that we, like the trees, need to reevaluate our priorities and start anew! 
  This is a Wonderful time of year to think about where we are in life and dream about what we would become! Webster says that become means to begin to be something specified. Thus, BecomeanEX doesn't mean that you only join if you already have the mindset of an EX. It doesn't mean that you will be somehow zapped into EX-dom because you enrolled. It means that we enter and we begin to be. We don't have to be flawlessly anything when we get here. We only have to have a curiosity about what being an EX might mean to us individually. 
  As we read the Blogs, again and again, we see folks at all stages of Quititude. Some are searching for it, some are glimpsing it, some are testing it, some are growing with it and it with them and some own it fiercely! That can't be found in any device.
   It starts with openness toward learning more. Too often I see folks who bring their "My Way" attitudes rather than openness. If you already have the Successful way - then what are you doing here? 
  We're told to FOCUS on the positive side of quitting, to count our blessings and benefits of Smoke FREE Living. Some of us do that and we move forward with amazing smoothness, leaving others to think that they had it "easy" for some unEXplainable reason. In fact, it isn't any more difficult or complicated for one of us than for another. We are all Nicotine Addicts! But when you FOCUS on the FREEDOM of Recovery rather than on the "sacrifices" of quitting it is not only more understandable - it's more desirable. That makes it easy to maintain DETERMINATION! Focus and Determination - 2 very important ingredients of PERSEVERENCE! We can all persevere even when we think we can't.
  Here are some ways to maximize our motivation:
  (1) Draw inspiration from others
  Be they certain individuals here who EXemplify Quititude or the general fact that: 
  Percentage of smokers who want to quit altogether  70%
  Percentage of smokers who will try to quit this year  40%
  Percentage of smokers who will succeed at quitting smoking without relapse  6%. Make up your Mind right here and now that you will be one of the 6%! There's absolutely no reason that you can't! NO EXCUSES!
  (2) Don't think; just act
  Thinking is vital and much of human folly happens because we don't think. We can think ourselves out of problems, around situations, into solutions - but also out of doing what we should. "I can't go on" is a thought that may be useful or it may be self-deception. If you have to keep on, then start to ignore these kinds of thoughts. When times are tough, sometimes we need to just keep on without thinking until the 'nose down to the grindstone' times have passed.
  (3) Strengthen your Quititude by EXercising it
  Quititude, like a muscle, gets stronger the more you use it. So remember that even when it feels tough, it will get easier. The more you EXercise your Focus and Determination, the more naturally motivated you will begin to feel.
  (4)  Think about what you really want
  Really think about what your Values are. Make a list of the values most important to you: life, family, love, work, fun etc. Recognize that there's no right or wrong answer - these are   your values! Then ask yourself if you are living these values. How is smoking enhancing them? Think about this - 
  Suppose I select Family as my value. In what ways does smoking help my Family Life? In what ways would quitting help me invest in my Family rather than my Sickerette?
  (5) Never give up!
  If your intentions are good and you keep working, something will happen - even if it's not exactly what you had planned. If you do nothing, nothing happens.
  "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
  - Thomas A. Edison 
  Be patient with yourself! How many years was your Brain hijacked by Addiction? It will take a few comparatively short Months to recover your FREEDOM! But it can be done and we can show you how! All you have to do to get started is show up with curiosity and a willingness to learn!

The Law of Addiction 

"Administration of a drug to an addict will cause

re-establishment of chemical dependence

upon the addictive substance."

Smokers are often furious with me because they believe I caused them to go back to smoking.  Why do they think this?  Well, I have this nasty habit of making a really big deal any time a clinic participant takes one puff or maybe just a few cigarettes.  The smoker feels I am so persuasive in my arguments that he has no choice but to have a full-fledged relapse.  In his opinion, I forced him back to the lifetime dependency which will impair his health and may eventually cost him his life.  He is convinced that if I had not made such a major issue out of the incident, he would just have smoked that one time and would never have done it again.  How can I sleep each night knowing what I have done?

I sleep quite well, thank you.  For, you see, I am not responsible for these people's relapses to cigarettes.  They can take full credit for becoming smokers again.  They relapsed because they broke the one major law of nicotine addiction - they took a puff.  This is not my law.  I am not setting myself up to be judge, jury, and executioner.  The law of physiological addiction states that administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of the dependence on that substance.  I didn't write that law.  I don't execute that law.  My job is much simpler than that.  All I do is interpret the law.  This means, by taking a puff, the smoker either goes back to full-fledged smoking or goes through the withdrawal process associated with quitting.  Most don't opt for the withdrawal.

Every clinic has a number of participants who have quit in the past for one year or longer.  In fact, I had one clinic participant who had stopped for a period of 24 years before he relapsed.  He never heard that such a law existed, that even after 24 years, the ex-smoker is not totally freed from his imprisonment of addiction.  He didn't understand that the day he tossed his "last" cigarette, he was placed "on probation" for the rest of his life.  But ignorance of the law is not excusable - not the way the laws of a physiological nature are written.  By the American standards of justice, this seems to be cruel and unusual punishment.  But this is the way things are.

Maybe instead of going to a smoking clinic, a recently relapsed person should contact his attorney to plead his case of why he should be able to have an occasional cigarette when he desires.  Maybe he can cheat just once, get a sympathetic jury, be judged innocent, and walk out of the courtroom a free and independent person.  Surely, in pleading his case before twelve impartial people, he will probably have no problem convincing them that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.  And, as he happily walks out of court a free and independent person, he will probably have an uncontrollable urge and then light a cigarette.

Don't look for loopholes in the law of addiction.  You will be convicting yourself back to smoking.  While it may seem harsh and unfair, to many, smoking is a crime punishable by death.  Don't try to cheat the system - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


According to the World Health Organization, “In the 20th century, the tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide.  During the 21st century, it could kill one billion.”  Year after year, at least 70% of surveyed smokers say they want to stop, and 40% make an attempt of at least one day.

There is no lack of desire or effort.   Sadly, what most do not know is “how.”  Key to breaking free and staying free is an understanding of the "Law of Addiction." Whether users know it by name or simply understand the basic premise, failure to self-discover or to be taught this law is a horrible reason to die.   The “Law of Addiction” is not man-made law.  It is as fundamental as the law of gravity and refusal to abide by it is likely to result in serious injury or death.

The Law is rather simple.   It states, “Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."


Mastering it requires acceptance of three fundamental principles: (1) that dependency upon using nicotine is true chemical addiction, captivating the same brain dopamine reward pathways as alcoholism, cocaine or heroin addiction; (2) that once established we cannot cure or kill an addiction but only arrest it; and (3) that once arrested, regardless of how long we have remained nicotine free, that just one hit of nicotine will create a high degree of probability of a full relapse.


We need not guess as to what happens inside a human brain that’s subjected to nicotine during recovery. The evidence seen on brain PET scans is undeniable.  Just one puff of nicotine and within ten seconds up to 50% of the brain’s nicotinic-type acetylcholine receptors will become occupied by nicotine.

While the smoker’s conscious mind may find itself struggling with tobacco toxin tissue burning sensations and carbon monoxide induced dizziness, well-engineered dopamine pay-attention pathways will do their job and make the experience difficult to forget.   We may actually walk away from the relapse experience thinking we have gotten away with using.   But it won’t be long before our brain is wanting and begging for more. 

Recovery isn’t about battling an entire pack, pouch, tin or box of our particular nicotine delivery vehicle.  It’s about that first bolus of nicotine striking the brain, a hit that will end our journey, cost us liberty, and land us back behind bars.


Unfortunately, conventional “quitting” wisdom invites relapse with statements such as “Don’t let a little slip put you back to smoking.”   As Joel says, it’s like telling the alcoholic, “Don’t let a sip put you back to drinking” or the heroin addict, “Don’t let shooting-up put you back to using.”

Experts are fond of stating that "on average, it takes between 3-5 serious quit attempts before breaking free of tobacco dependence,” and that “every time you make an effort you're smarter and you can use that information to increase the likelihood that your subsequent quit attempt is successful."

What these so called experts fail to reveal is the precise lesson eventually learned.  Why?   Why can’t it be taught and mastered prior to a user’s first attempt ever?   They don’t teach it because most don’t understand it themselves.  Instead they excuse failure before it even occurs, as if trying to protect the particular quitting product they are pushing from being blamed for defeat.

The lesson eventually gleaned from the school of hard-recovery-knocks is that “if I take so much as one puff, dip or chew I will relapse.”  Just one, just once and defeat is all but assured.

“The idea that you can't quit the first time is absolutely wrong,” says Joel.  “The only reason it takes most people multiple attempts to quit is that they don't understand their addiction to nicotine. How could they, no one really teaches it. People have to learn by screwing up one attempt after another until it finally dawns on them that each time they lost it, it happened by taking a puff. If you understand this concept from the get-go, you don't have to go through chronic quitting and smoking.”

The Law Reflected in Studies

Yes, once all nicotine use ends, a single subsequent use is extremely accurate in predicting full and complete relapse.   Whether it happens immediately or even when we think we’ve gotten away it, the brain’s “pay attention” circuitry records the relapse event in high definition memory.  It will be etched along side survival instinct memories recording the behaviors needed to keep us alive.

The 1990 Brandon lapse/relapse study followed 129 smokers who successfully completed a two-week stop smoking program for two additional years.    Lapse was defined as any tobacco use regardless of how much.

Among those who lapsed, the mean number of days between the end of the “quitting” program and lapse was two months (58 days), with nearly all lapsing within the first three months.  While 14% took only one or two puffs, 42% smoked the entire cigarette, while the average smoked about two-thirds.   A second cigarette was smoked by 93.5% who had lapsed.  Nearly half (47%) smoked that second cigarette within 24 hours, with one in five smoking it within an hour (21%).   Still, a mean average of nine days passed between subjects sampling their first and second cigarette.  Clearly, most of them likely thought they’d gotten away with it, that they were controlling the uncontrollable.


The Brandon study found that 60% who lapsed “asked for” the cigarette (bummed it), 23% purchased it, 9% found it, 6% stole it, and 2% were offered it.  Also of note, 47% who lapsed drank alcohol prior to doing so. 


Overall, the study found that 88% who “tasted” a cigarette relapsed.  In discussing the finding Brandon wrote, “The high rate of return to regular smoking (88%) once a cigarette is tasted suggests that the distinction between an initial lapse and full relapse may be unnecessary.”  “In our study, high initial confidence levels may have reduced subjects' motivation to acquire skills and engage productively in treatment.”

The Brandon study’s finding was echoed by the 1990 Boreland study, which followed callers to an Australian telephone quit smoking line.  There, among 339 quitters who lapsed (123 who didn’t make it an entire day and 172 who quit for at least 24 hours) 295 or 87% experienced relapse within 90 days.

Although the challenges of recovery have ended for hundreds of millions of now comfortable ex-users, each lives with nicotine dependency’s imprint permanently burned into their brain.   Even after 10, 20 or 30 years, they remain wired for relapse.

We’re not stronger than nicotine but then we don’t need to be.  It is only a chemical.   Like the salt or pepper in our shakers, it has an I.Q. of zero.  Like the sugar in our sugar bowl, it cannot plot, plan, think or conspire.  And it is not some big or little monster that dwells inside us.

Our blood serum becomes nicotine-free and withdrawal peaks in intensity within three days of ending all nicotine use.  But just one powerful jolt of nicotine and the deck gets stacked against us.  The odds of us having the stamina to withstand and endure nicotine’s influence upon the brain without relapsing are horrible.  While Brandon and Boreland teach us that relapse isn’t 100% guaranteed, I encourage you to treat and see one hit of nicotine as though it were. 

Our greatest weapon has always been our infinitely superior intelligence.   The most important recovery lesson our intelligence can master is that being 99% successful at not using nicotine equates to an 87% to 88% chance of defeat.

As Joel Spitzer has now burned into my brain, there’s just one controlling principle determining the outcome for all.  Unlike quitting products, total adherence to a personal commitment to not violate the law of addiction provides a 100% guarantee of success.  Although obedience may not always be easy, the law is clear, concise and simple - no nicotine today, not one puff, dip or chew! 

Missed Lessons

In 1984 Joel wrote an article with the heartless sounding title, “The Lucky Ones Get Hooked.”[8]   It’s anything but callous.  In it, Joel makes the important point that those who experience full relapse within days of taking a puff, dip or chew are fortunate in that the experience offers potential to self-teach them the most critical recovery lesson of all, “The Law of Addiction.” 

But as the Brandon study teaches, while nearly half who smoke nicotine will experience full relapse within one day, a mean average of nine days passed between their first and second nicotine fixes.   Those who quickly experience full relapse increase the likelihood of learning, right away, the critical lesson of the power of using nicotine just once.  But the more time and distance there is between that first use and full dependency resumption, the greater likelihood there is of learning the wrong lesson, a lesson that for far too many smokers proves deadly.

“The ex-smoker who takes a drag and doesn't get hooked gets a false sense of confidence,” writes Joel. “He thinks he can take one any time he wants and not get hooked.  Usually, within a short period of time sneaking a drag here and there, he will become hooked.  One day he too may try to quit and actually succeed.  He may quit for a week, month, or even years.  But always in the back of   his mind he feels, "I know I can have one if I really want to.  After all, I did it last time and didn't get hooked right away.  One day, at a party or under stress or just out of boredom he will try one again. Maybe this time he will get hooked, maybe not. But you can be sure that there will be a next time.  Eventually he will become hooked again.”

Living a series of perpetual relapses, having to quit again, and again, and again, each time enduring a two-week withdrawal process, it’s no way to live life.  “Taking the first drag is a no-win situation,” writes Joel.

Over the years, hundreds of millions of ex-users have been able to discover the power of one puff, dip or chew of nicotine totally on their own.  But self-discovery of the Law of Addiction has become increasingly difficult with each passing year and arrival of each new magic quitting cure.

Think back to 1980, prior to arrival of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and nicotine gum.  Yes, the traveling hypnotist came to town every now and then.  But the only readily available alternatives to cold turkey and abrupt nicotine cessation were forms of gradual nicotine weaning or tapering which had proven dismal.  The likelihood of any particular attempt being a cold turkey attempt was substantial.  Thus, the chances of self-discovering the Law of Addiction were significant.

Absent was the negative influence of pharmaceutical company marketing intentionally designed to shatter confidence in our natural instincts and abilities.  Cold turkey had cornered the recovery market.  When NRT arrived the pharmaceutical industry saw no alternative but to attack.  Industry assaults falsely paint stopping nicotine use abruptly or cold turkey as nearly impossible and with very few succeeding. 

Cold turkey is free.  It has no bank account, economic muscle or political clout.  The industry’s attacks, representations and its makeover of cessation literature have gone largely unchallenged.   Industry influence was soon writing national cessation policy. 

Unopposed, by June 2000 its muscle had grown so powerful that U.S. cessation policy was rewritten so as to make use of pharmaceutical industry cessation products mandatory unless the user’s medical condition prohibited it.  Amazingly, ending nicotine use abruptly, the method responsible for generating almost 90% of all long-term successful ex-users, was effectively outlawed and blacklisted by official U.S. policy.

Instead of teaching the Law of Addiction and the power of nicotine to foster relapse, the pharmaceutical industry teaches the opposite, that nicotine is “medicine” and that its use is “therapy.”   It has never made a commercial announcing to smokers that it has redefined “quitting smoking” from meaning quitting both smoking and nicotine, to just ending smoking it. 

The pharmaceutical industry has yet to reveal that its almost 200 “quitting medication” studies have nothing to do with drug addicts arresting their chemical dependency.  It has no idea -- worse yet it doesn’t seem to care -- how many former smokers continue to be dependent upon pharmaceutical forms of nicotine delivery at study’s end or have turned to oral tobacco.

That is why it is so important that as recovered addicts we reach out within our sphere of influence to those who are still in nicotine bondage and share the most important lesson of all, “The Law of Addiction.”  Why?  Because being unable to discover the Law due to corporate ambition burying this truth is a horrible reason to remain trapped in bondage with increased risk of dependency induced disease, disability or death.  

Just one rule - “No nicotine today!”

There are hundreds of quitting books with millions of words and scores of quick-fix magic cures promising near painless and sure-fire success.   There is but one principle that affords a 100% guarantee of success to all adhering to it ... “No nicotine today.” 

While the Brandon and Boreland studies afford the junkie-mind an ever so slight amount of wiggle-room on the violation side of “The Law,” there is zero wiggle-room for those of us who fully take it to heart.  It is impossible to fail so long as no nicotine enters our bloodstream.  If we want to live nicotine-free then why toy with horrible odds? 

The Final Truth

Assume for a moment that we made it!  We learned how to remain patient during the few minutes a crave episode clamored for compliance.   We knocked them dead.   We stuck with it for the full 72 hours it took to empty our blood, brain and body of all nicotine.  At last we were clean!  Our healing and glory continued for the roughly two to three weeks it took for our mind to adjust to chemically functioning without nicotine and all the other chemicals that arrived with it.  We confronted and extinguished all but our remote, infrequent or seasonal subconscious crave triggers, and tasted that very first day of total and complete comfort where we never once thought about wanting to use nicotine. 

But still, we have days where our mind becomes occupied with thoughts of lighting a fire between our lips, or of chewing “nicotiana tabacum” (the tobacco plant’s biological name) or of a quick dip in nicotine’s pond.  Years of hard to suppress dopamine “aaah” replenishment memories keep teasing us. 

How does the recovering, rationalizing or bargaining mind’s vision of what it would be like to just once more use nicotine, compare with the realities that occur during relapse?

Recall that the 1990 Brandon study examined lapse and relapse in smokers who’d successfully completed a two-week stop smoking program.  The study also documented the primary emotion felt immediately following smoking nicotine.

Assume that at two weeks into recovery, each who lapsed during the Brandon study had already succeeded in fully navigating physical withdrawal.  Assume that their brains had almost fully re-sensitized.  Reflect on the fact that the addict’s sense of “nicotine normal” no longer existed.  By that I mean, there was no chemical missing, nothing in need of replenishment, the number of acetylcholine receptors had fully down-regulated, and their brain’s sense of homeostasis had been fully restored.  So what was their prime emotion following relapse?

The vast majority had a negative reaction.  Among them, 13% felt depressed and hopeless, 33% experienced anxiety and tension, 16% were angry and irritated, and 12% felt boredom or fatigue.   Only 3.6% reported what most of us would have expected following normal replenishment, which was “feeling relaxed.”

Although some of us hated bondage, there is no denying that each nicotine fix brought relief from falling blood nicotine levels that were beginning to deprive us of a level of dopamine to which we'd grown accustomed.  Each nicotine fix played a vital role in restoring us to a relaxed level of comfort upon which we had each come to depend.

Chronic nicotine use creates its own artificial sense of normalcy, an addiction comfort level. Yes, each fix brought the addict in us a true sense of comfort (from the pains of our own addiction) and yes, most of those memories still remain.  However, one important thing has changed: our brain no longer has a chemical need for nicotine. 

If we visit online quitting forums and dig back through messages describing relapses that occurred beyond week two, most will have a common ring to them.   They read like this, "I had a mouth full of smoke, I was dizzy and I coughed, but I didn’t get the sense of satisfaction I expected. It just didn’t come!" 

The thousands of enticing memories in their mind expected a sense of "aaah" relief from wanting.   But their body and mind had already adjusted to life without nicotine.  There was no need for replenishment as nothing was missing.  The take it or leave it feeling in no way matched the relief felt when satisfying dopamine pathway want.  The need to use just wasn’t there.   Unlike when those old want satisfaction “aaah” memories were created, there was nothing missing, no withdrawal induced anxieties or depression, and nothing that needed replenishing.

Without realizing it, while their conscious mind simply tinkered with the prospect of functioning without nicotine, their body and brain were on a path of real and significant physical healing.   Falsely convinced of the need for nicotine in order to feel normal, while they briefly paused in using it, they did not embrace the prospect of life without it.   They longed for what was left behind, blamed every healing sensation on its absence, and in doing so transformed a culprit into a cure.   So, with great expectations they took that first puff; expectations now shattered. 

So what happens next?  Sadly, most are clueless as to why relapse doesn’t match expectations.  They find it hard not to believe and trust the small mountain of once true replenishment memories still enshrined within their head.  Although relapse has already occurred and their brain will soon be begging for more, they keep digging inside the pack, pouch, tin, packet, tube or box, trying to get the experience to match expectations. 

Sadly, eventually they succeed and use it long enough for replenishment to again be meaningful.   Active dependency has at last been restored to its full-blown freedom shattering rage.  They can then finally look in the mirror and say to themselves, "See, I was right.”  “Smoking did bring me a relaxed “aaah” feeling and a sense of relief!"

It’s important to appreciate that any memories of those "perfect" fixes were created inside the mind of an actively feeding addict who was riding an endless cycle of highs and lows.  They belong to who we once were.  It’s time to let go of the influence of these memories upon us.  There’s just one guiding principle we each need follow  ... No nicotine today! 


Exerpts from a free pdf book by Polito JR entitled 

"Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home" 

Copyright 2008 John R. Polito

Good Morning EX Community!

Well, it;s Flu Vaccination time for those of us who have COPD. If you haven't gotten your shot yet, don't wait around, OK? I got mine on Friday and yes, every year that dang shot makes me sick! But if it keeps me out of the hospital, then it's worth it! 

Again, today's posts are dominated by other Country's choices. Australia, for EXample, is considering making ALL sickerettes illegal! England is banning sickerettes from prisons. Read their compelling reasons why they're going to this EXtreme. Here in the States, new Research Grants were passed to determine which types of tobacco products should be illegalized and which should be regulated - better late than never, as they say!

I post these Blogs every Monday to help all of us to fortify our Quititude by Knowing our Enemy! Knowing just how devious Big Tobacco is and how poisonous Nicotine is helps me to stay focused and determined in my Quit Journey! Hopefully, it will do the same for you!

  You can quit smoking
  There are 160,000 ways to quit smoking
  What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Smoking (INFOGRAPHIC)
  America's face of smoking cessation,
  Terrie Hall, laid to rest
  Smoking cessation campaign generates 150,000 quitline calls
  Can’t sleep? Time to quit smoking
  Treating Depression Helps Some Smokers Quit
  Smoking-cessation drug triggers violent reaction
  Varenicline Helps Smokers With Depression Quit Smoking
  E-cigarettes are not safe to smoke around babies
  Electronic cigarettes stub out no-smoking signs
  Further Evidence Of The Dangers Of Secondhand Smoke Uncovered
  Transmitting Future Asthma by Smoking Today
  Why Do Young Adults Start Smoking? Researchers Identify 3 Risk Factors
  Another fire caused by smoking materials
  Money Awarded for Tobacco Research
  Court Rules Big Tobacco Must Pay New York $92 million
  Cigarette phase-out considered as trial tests if vapour safer
  Smoking ban to be introduced in prisons - but will inmates riot when they can no longer light up?
  Labour accepted payments from tobacco giant as cigarette packaging row rumbles on
  Smoker’s widow wins $3.8 million in lawsuit against tobacco companies
  Tobacco giant, drug companies give money to Jerry Brown


Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 21, 2013

I have tracked at least 5 new diagnosis of COPD this week alone here! Will YOU be next? Or are you going to QUIT TODAY before it's your turn to acquire the #3 KILLER in the USA - chronic, progressive and incurable? 


Within the last 60 Seconds the following Smoke related Deaths occurred in the US:

All Causes: 107

Tuberculosis: 3

Respiratory Infection: 7

Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancer: 2


Don't be one of these folks! LIVE Smoke FREE TODAY!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 21, 2013
   Circumstances do not push or pull. They are daily lessons to be studied and gleaned for new knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom that is applied will bring about a brighter tomorrow. A person who is depressed is spending too much time thinking about the way things are now and not enough time thinking about how he wants things to be. 
   — Andy Andrews 
   No matter what your circumstances at this moment, one thing is for certain - they will not always be this way! We as human beings have the opportunity to DECIDE -  which is more POWERFUL than any circumstance we find ourselves in.  
   Change starts by envisioning what you want things to be like. Meditate on that person whose circumstances you admire. Become that person in your dreams. Now, set long and short term reasonable goals for achievement. In 6 Months - I will be CELEBRATING 6 Months Smoke FREE. With the money I've saved by not buying sickerettes I'll buy X. In one week, I will feel good about my quit, have my withdrawal behind me, build more skills for Quit Maintenance and Protection, I will have finished reading The Easy Way by Allen Carr. TODAY I will pledge N.O.P.E. and promise myself that if I feel like I'm struggling I will come here and write a Blog entitled HELP! I will do X to care for myself at this very moment (eat a nutritious meal, take a walk around the block, stretch my muscles, etc.) 
   That's how it's done really! Yes, I have 3 YEARS 6 MONTHS Quit but it did that One Day, One Hour, One Minute at a time for 1281 Days straight each and every single day! Some Days were easy - especially lately I rarely think of sickerettes as anything but THE ENEMY! Other days, however, were very, very difficult! I had physical withdrawal, mental cravings, days of celebration when I wanted to smoke, days of grief, days of depression, anger, remorse, loneliness, boredom.... BUT each of those times I remembered my Quit Tool Box - found what I needed and refused to succumb to temptation! Each day that I became VICTORIOUS over my Addiction gave me more skills and momentum and made the entire journey more and more rewarding!  
   Give yourself 130 - 140 Days to get through No Man's Land. [If you don't know what that is, please go to Gnu's page and look it up and visit Sarah's page for even more info.] Then stay vigilant for the next 2 Years while you get accustomed to the Seasonal Triggers. After that, all you have to do is not be cocky or complacent! Blessings follow more blessings as you climb the FREEDOM MOUNTAIN and the View gives you the Breath of LIFE! 

Chapter One:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four:
I walk down the same street.
There is a hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five:
I walk down another street.

Are you tired of climbing out of that hole yet?



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 20, 2013

Shared grief is half the sorrow,

but happiness  when shared, is  doubled.


Life often brings us to a crossroads of choices and it can be confusing as to where to turn. Somewhere along the way I have turned down many a blind alley and wound up in a few ditches. I think that's human. But then there came a time when I read and took in what M. Scott Peck was actually communicating in his book, The Road Less Traveled. I've read and reread at different times the message but it seemed to apply to other luckier people not to me until I realized that he wasn't writing this book for the fortunate - you know the type who get upset when they break a fingernail! Tommy many months ago came here to this Community and captured what we are all about and why we are successful in quitting smoking! Smoking is destructive and we do it to ourselves so even if we didn't set out to do it or even recognize what we were doing we had actually been self-destructive which destroys our self esteem! When a cigarette is our Best Friend then people aren't, are they? But when we quit, we have to reintegrate into the human Community and Tommy calls that sincere, caring give and receive relationship "Collateral Kindness"! It isn't just a nice little bonus of quitting successfully-it's a requirement of learning how to become that Ex-Smoker we aim to be. We learn to share our grief, not with a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in 4000+ deadly chemicals but with real life flesh and blood human beings (YOU and ME!) We also learn to spread our JOY not just about our Milestones and Triumphs of beating the Addiction that lives in us but in all aspects of living - of how Happily we CAN live if we DECIDE to! Before we know it we find ourselves being kinder to Family members, Coworkers, the Clerk at the grocery store, even folks who are not so kind to us! But going through life Addiction FREE and Happy doesn't mean that our days are always without grief - it just means that we are more open to Compassion both in the giving and reception so that we know that when Life gets painful - and it will, at times- we know that we are not alone and lonely with our killer cigarettes as our only comfort!  The more you give- the more you receive! Let's be there for each other because that's what works about this Community!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 20, 2013



When I DECIDED to put down the cigs, little did I know that I wasn't just stopping a bad habit, I was STARTING something NEW and Surprising! I was thinking I loved cigarettes but they were killing me. Still, Quitting is about giving up, sacrificing, depriving myself the one luxury (or vice) I have allowed myself to enjoy! Right? WRONG! SURPRISE! As I struggled to fight the Mental Battle of Addiction I discovered FREEDOM - I am FREE to be the ME that my Creator intended me to be! I gave up absolutely NOTHING of Importance and Gained - Well, EVERYTHING ABUNDANT and BEAUTIFUL about Self-RESPECT and Self-LOVE that can only lead to HAPPINESS, JOY, and FUN! Do I live in a Pink Cloud? I don't BELIEVE that - I FEEL - Passionately - sadness, anger, desire,fear as well as happiness, love, joy, ALL MY FEELINGS that were numbed by my addiction and hidden under a SMOKE CLOUD! So which do I prefer? A pink cloud or a smoke cloud? If this is a pink cloud - I'll TAKE IT! What I DO KNOW - it's REAL LIVING! My name is Thomas and I have 1280 Smoke FREE DAYS of NEW LIFE!




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 19, 2013

That is for many of us our biggest fear and yes, another excuse to not even try but there is GREAT NEWS! The ability to succeed is within YOU! Yes, YOU have the POWER to break this Addiction right NOW! It is really very simple (I didn't say easy! Although you CAN make it relatively easy if you CHOOSE to!) I quit smoking after some 20 years off and on by using the N.O.P.E. pledge! I pledged this morning for the 1279th day in a row that I CHOOSE not to Smoke even one little puff TODAY! I RESPECT myself enough to HONOR that Pledge - for Today! Tomorrow - I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! But TODAY is doable! And Yes, while I'm at it - I CHOOSE to enjoy my Smoke FREE Life!!!! I'm glad I'm giving my body a chance to HEAL but even more Proud that I'm giving MYSELF a chance to Live LIFE ABUNDANTLY - Addiction FREE - the way my Creator intends for me to LIVE! The REAL ME is no longer hiding under that Smoke Cloud!!! If I can SUCCEED then YOU CAN, TOO!!!!! You have the POWER TODAY!


I Believe!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 19, 2013

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.  -William James

When we smoke knowing that we are damaging our health, we are committing the little suicide.  People are afraid to quit smoking but it's just a claim to life that we're making!   The quit for me started in the head. I believed that I could quit thus helping to create the fact.  I am on DAY 1279 today and at this moment helping to create the fact of Day 1280!  That's how I know that I'll make it to Day 2000, 4 years, and so forth one day at a time if God grants me life. Life is worth living! Don't Smoke!


Facing FEAR!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 19, 2013
   Excessive expectations 
    Avoidance of discomfort  
     Remoteness from Values   
      As soon as you start setting goals, Radio Doom and Gloom will start to broadcast, "I can't do it, " "It's too hard," "I'm wasting my time," "There's no point in trying," and a whole playlist of other golden oldies. If you fuse with these thoughts, you're in trouble.     
      The scariest of all these demons is called, "You will fail!" which usually hangs around with several of it's pals, "There's no point in trying," "You're wasting your time," and "Look at all the times you failed in the past."    
      When they appear, it's helpful to remember this quote by Henry James: "Until you try, you don't know what you can't do." In setting goals for ourselves, we're talking about what is possible, not what is certain. None f us can ever be certain that we'll achieve our goals. But what we can be certain of is this: if we don't even attempt to achieve them, there's no possibility of success.    
      The solution is to use your defusion skills: see these thoughts for what they are (just words), let them come and go, and return your focus to taking effective action. Make your choices based on what you truly care about instead of on the voices of defeat.    
      Excessive expectations    
      Your expectations may be excessive in several ways:    
      1. Your goals are too big. You expect to do too much, too soon.    
      Ask yourself, "What's the next small, easy step that would bring me a little closer to my goal?" Then go ahead and do it.    
      2. You expect to achieve goals for which you lack the necessary skills and resources.    
      If you lack the skills to achieve your goals, then you will need to take the necessary time to learn them.    
      3. You expect to do it all perfectly, to make no mistakes.    
      As for making mistakes, that's a fundamental part of being human. Making mistakes is an essential part of learning, so embrace it. Let go of aiming for perfection.     
           Avoidance of discomfort         
           The more you try to avoid discomfort, the harder it will be to make important changes. Change involves risk. It requires facing your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone - both of which point to one thing: change will usually give rise to uncomfortable feelings.         
           The only effective solution is true acceptance (not tolerance or "putting up with it.") Make room for your discomfort, and focus on taking effective action.         
           Remoteness from Values         
           It's not enough to clarify your values - you need to connect with them on a regular basis. You need to know what's important in your heart and to remind yourself often. And you need to make sure your goals are in line with those values. Doing this will provide you with motivation, inspiration, and meaning.         
           If you're remote from your values, it's all too easy to lose heart, give up, or get sidetracked. The more remote you are from your deepest values, the more your goals seem pointless, meaningless, or insignificant. Obviously, this doesn't do much for motivation.         
           The solution? Connect with your values. Write them down. Read them through and change them as required. Share them with someone ou trust. Reread them on a regular basis First thing in the morning, mentally go over them. At thhe end of the week, take a few minutes to check in with yourself and ask:  "How true have I been to my values?"         









Have you "tried your best to fight the craves and can't seem to win?" Are you sitting there scratching your head about what went wrong and feeling like you can "never win?" I'll tell you something I learned Thanks to the Elders who helped me launch the adventure of my lifetime - Smoke FREE Living! 

I came here like most of us not knowing anything about Nicotine Addiction and was told to read and I did! It really helped but there was this guy who I thought was goofy (Thank Goodness I now know that he was spot on!) His name is James and his moniker is the Happy Quitter! ....Say what? what's there to be happy about? Strong, yes! Determined, yes! Stubborn, fierce, a fighter! But happy??? As I thought about it, something really clicked and the light bulb came on! 


I had been fighting the Nico-Demon with willpower! What could be more effective than that? But I was missing the essential...The Nico-Demon is ME!!!!!


So when I was fighting myself, how could I win without losing??? And guess what, the loser had been the part that wanted to be FREE! You can't be FREE when you're fighting!!!! 

This fellow James had something - something I really, really wanted! he was not just Quit - He was Happy being Quit! 

So how do you handle the craves if you don't fight??? What do you do instead? 

There's a fellow here named Tommy who repeatedly told me to use Focus and Determination. Could I combine these 2 great pieces of advice? Think about Focus for a minute....



When you focus with determination instead of fighting with determination, the whole picture changes! I had changed my perspective! The Nico-demon became more blurry, less important and the object of my Focus increased in POWER - the POWER to WIN! And what was that very important object of my FOCUS?






FREEDOM from the Chains of Addiction! 


FREEDOM to be the ME that my Creator made me to be!


FREEDOM from pain, suffering, illness, devastation!


Keep Your Eyes on the Prize and ignore the Nico-Demon - but don't fight Him because HE IS ME! Just Focus on the Prize! Will He scream for attention? Oh yea! But when you ignore Him long enough, He loses energy - your Energy is on your Prize! And He gets weaker....and weaker...and weaker...and becomes a little bitty gnat that once in a great while bugs you but you easily have the POWER to swat Him back into His place tiny! So worthless! 






Time for a Little FUN!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 18, 2013

Good Morning EX Community! Finally drying out around here! Unfortunately there are still 1253 people unaccounted for in Colorado. The worst hit yesterday were Longmont and Fort Morgan. Fort Collins had more bridge closures but we made it relatively well in the end. I just want to Thank You all for prayers and positive thoughts as well as the many folks who have been checking in with me since last week! Not once did it occur to me to smoke!

On the other hand, yesterday the smokers in our Non-Smoking building stood in the doorway smoking when I had to go to work. I ask if they could move and they refused!  I had to find an exit on the far side of my building and walk around the complex and through the parking lot in the rain so that I wouldn't be EXposed to their nasty second hand smoke! GRRRRR!!!!

Anyway, here's the news - I hope it fortifies your Quititude!

  Anti-nicotine hiring policy extends beyond smokers
  Cigarette Smoking Among Obese Could Pose Additional Risks, Animal Study Suggests
  Mich. Smoker May Stay Uninsured Unless He Quits
  Tobacco-free campuses help student smokers quit
  Health law smoking penalties could hit poor the hardest
  Sherrod Brown says trade deal could jeopardize anti-smoking efforts
  Europe has a bad track record on tobacco, says WHO
  U.S. cigarette makers lose disputes with nine states in tobacco deal
  Third-Hand Smoke Impacts Kids' Breathing
  Will e-cigarettes help people quit smoking or start smoking?
  Tobacco firms to spend millions on 'glamorous' e-cigarette TV commercials nearly two decades after advertising ban
  Ban considered as trial tests if vapour safer
  First National Anti-Smoking TV Ads Help 200,000 Smokers to Quit


Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 14, 2013

This is a slip:


This is a decision:



Your Choice

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 14, 2013
  "I really don't want to quit! I miss my Best Friend - my constant companion! I like to smoke!"
  "It's not fair that I have to give up my one and only vice! I hate everything about being quit! If the light is red it's because I quit. If the weather is bad, it's because I quit. etc."
  "I feel stressed all the time! I don't know what to do with myself!"
  "I just have no reason to get out of bed if I can't smoke! I can't face the empty feeling I have!" 
  "I'm so glad I quit smoking! Life is a challenge but I know that it will get better than ever! I'm blessed to be FREE from this stupid Addiction!"
  YOU get to choose your QUITITUDE Today! What will you decide on?
  Half of all people with COPD do not know it! A total of   12 million people! That's a lot of people out there and most not all of them are either current or EX smokers. Maybe even You! 
  You might ask yourself, "Why do I want to know? Isn't it incurable anyway?" 
  Yes, COPD is chronic, progressive and incurable. BUT it is manageable! 
  Take the chronic part - 
  There are many things a person can do to make their chronic COPD more liveable. Speaking for myself at Stage II, I can work as much as I want or need (as recently demonstrated  LOL!) I can do many of the activities that I have always enjoyed. I say this, "I'm healthier now than I've ever been ...except my lungs!
  How about the progressive part?
  I have maintained the same level of lung capacity for 3 1/2 years! Zero change! That's as good as it gets! And I was able to do this because, honestly, I work very, very hard at taking the best of care of myself! And it's sooooooo worth it! 
  But it's still incurable, you're thinking....
  Well, yes, for now COPD is incurable but each and every day, great strides are being made to change that! And in my opinion, there's a real possibility that a cure will be found before long. My job is to maintain my health to the best of my ability until that day comes! And I will. Because even if I don't see a cure before the Lord takes me, the Qualiy of my LIFE in the meantime is that much BETTER! And that, my friends, is a Blessing!
   SO if you have shortness of breath, chronic coughing, a lot of mucus or sputum, even difficulty sleeping, PLEASE ask your Doctor for a Spirometry Test and find out one way or the other! The truth can only help you!





Thomas is not available right now, and if you leave a message he won't get back to you!!!!

I'm too busy counting my Blessings because I'm an Exer!!!

Fill your mind with Positive Thoughts and there won't be time to listen to those lying whispers!

If I can do it you can too!

It isn't a bit harder for you than it is for any one of us, we just changed our perspective!!

These are some of the Gifts that come to mind as I CELEBRATE my QUIT:

(1) I feel more SELF-CONFIDENT because I made a choice to change my self-destructive behavior and followed through.

(2) I feel more HONEST because I am not evading truthfulness about the consequences in order to support my Smoking Addiction.

(3) I feel more SELF-RESPECT because I made a decision to QUIT SMOKING and honored that decision.

(4) I feel more SECURE because I no longer have that constant battle "I want to smoke"vs"I don't want to smoke."

(5) I feel more OPTIMISTIC because I no longer attack stress with another cigarette, I attack it with a constructive plan of action.

(6) I feel more SPIRITUAL because when I called upon my higher power for assistance I felt his/her response.

(7) I feel more DECISIVE because I saw how I can set a goal and accomplish it one day at a time each and every day.

(8) I feel more SELF-AWARE because I sense days or situations of weakness and have a winning back up plan to protect my QUIT.

(9) I feel more INTEGRATED because when my body said "I need...." my mind and spirit responded affirmatively.

(10) I feel more JOY as I experience COLLATERAL KINDNESS and CELEBRATE each and every daily VICTORY over my Smoking Addiction with my BecomeanEx friends!  THANK YOU for CELEBRATING with me!!!!!!

I'm going to sleep for a week! 8~) Just kidding! But I am bushed!. Slowly our area is getting better! It must be your prayers!


Prayer Request

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 12, 2013

My city is flooded here in Fort Collins, CO and I've been at work since 11 AM yesterday. I will stay here until my relief can drive to the facility as most streets are underwater and the rain is not letting up. So I'll ask for prayers for relief from the weather and that my cars are safe from water damage. Also please pray for the souls of the 3 dead and their families and that we have no further fatalities. Some folks have risked their lives to get more sickerettes. That's the power of Addiction!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 9, 2013

Another Monday and Autumn is in the air here in Colorado. I hope you all are feeding your Quititude today! I know I am! That brings me to this Blog posted every Monday for you on the latest relevant smoking/quitting news! I found that Knowledge is Power and when you hate your enemy - Nicotine with all that you value it makes quitting a no brainer! So I hope you'll take the time to browse these articles and learn about your enemy! 

  Quitting Smoking: Managing the Associated Mood Changes
  Scary anti-smoking ads prompt 100,000-plus to kick habit
  Stopping Smoking Brings Heart Attack Risk Down To That Of Never-Smokers
  Not just blowing smoke: Text-based applications for smoking cessation can save lives
  Would It Be Fatal if Someone Covered Their Body with Nicotine Patches Like in ‘Thank You For Smoking’? 
  Many treatments available to help smokers manage withdrawal symptoms
  Local shops wary of selling to minors
  Clinical Notes: Youth Drawn to E-Cigarettes
  Big Tobacco back in TV viewers' faces as FDA cuts in
  Britain to classify electronic cigarettes as medicines
  E-cigarette users under fire at Wal-Mart, other companies
  SLU Toxicologist Warns of E-Cigarette Smoking in Children
  Passive smoking and hearing loss in teenagers
  Less Secondhand Smoke for Kids
  Smokers Quit When They Realize Secondhand Smoke Kills Their Kids
  Second hand Smoke Can Trigger Nicotine Cravings
  Study: Anti-Smoking Messages Work Best On Youngsters If They’re On The Front Of The Pack
  Boost fight on teen smoking
  Toward understanding the health effects of waterpipe or 'hookah' smoking
  'Smart Tooth' Tracks Smoking, Drinking: Innovation Could Help Dentists And Dietitians Provide Better Care
  Pulse on Health: Tax-burdened smokers look to quit
  Unattended tobacco pipe leads to house fire in Bakersfield

In ALL Fairness!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 7, 2013

E-Cigarette Might Help Smokers Quit

BARCELONA -- A nicotine-dispensing electronic cigarette helped smokers quit at least as much as nicotine patches did, a clinical trial showed.

At 6 months, 7.3% using the e-cigarette were biochemically-verified as abstinent compared with 5.8% on the patch and 4.1% using a placebo e-cigarette without nicotine, Christopher Bullen, MBChB, MPH, PhD, of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues found.

Those modest differences weren't enough to prove statistically significant superiority, though they did meet the threshold for non-inferiority in a post-hoc analysis.

The results appeared online in The Lancet in conjunction with presentation at the European Respiratory Society meeting here.

While the low quit rates left the trial underpowered, they came in the context of little additional behavioral support, akin to what would occur in the community, the group pointed out.

These battery-powered devices, which vaporize nicotine for inhalation, have some practical advantages over nicotine replacement therapy, Peter Hajek, PhD, CClinPsych, of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at Queen Mary University of London, noted.

In the U.S. and most other countries, e-cigarettes are regulated as tobacco rather than as medication and so are easy to access without the expense of going to a health professional, he explained in an accompanying editorial.

With at least tentative evidence of equivalence in efficacy, "stop-smoking services which distribute nicotine replacement therapy with minimum support now have a cheaper alternative to consider, and health professionals will now hopefully feel easier about recommending e-cigarettes to smokers, or at least condoning their use," he wrote.

The device's greater acceptability by smokers without extra side effects, as shown in the trial, could translate to a population health benefit, Bullen's group suggested.

Still, they cautioned that an adequately powered e-cigarette study needs to be done "to clearly establish their overall benefits and harms at both individual and population levels."

The trial included 657 smokers in Auckland who wanted to quit. They were randomized to at-will use of the most popular brand of nicotine e-cigarettes there (Elusion, each containing 16 mg), a daily nicotine patch (21 mg), or placebo e-cigarettes without nicotine.

These treatments were started a week before and continued until 12 weeks after participants' quit day.

For the primary endpoint of continuous 6-month biochemically-verified abstinence, the difference between nicotine e-cigarette and patches was 1.51 percentage points, which wasn't significant (95% CI –2.49 to 5.51).

The difference between the nicotine-dispensing device and the placebo device was wider at 3.16 percentage points, but again without statistical significance (95% CI –2.29 to 8.61).

The study had been powered based on 7-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence, but that rate didn't turn out significantly better with the nicotine e-cigarette either.

The nicotine e-cigarette did come out ahead in turning down the volume on tobacco smoking, though.

It cut mean consumption by two cigarettes per day more than the patch (P=0.002). And the proportion that had at least halved the number of tobacco cigarettes smoked by 6 months was 57% with the e-cigarette compared with 41% on the patch (P=0.0002).

Relapses also occurred later, at a median 35 days with the nicotine e-cigarette compared with 14 days with the patch (P<0.0001) and 12 with placebo (P=0·09).

The device was also more popular in terms of whether participants would recommend it to a friend and had better adherence.

Adverse events with the nicotine e-cigarette were generally not serious; the adverse event rate didn't differ from that of the patch (incidence rate ratio 1.05, P=0.7).

"However, longer-term use requires more research," the researchers cautioned.

All participants were also able to call a quitline for telephone counseling or receive text message support, though only 36% to 40% across the groups did so.

"Addition of more intensive support might have improved quit rates, but it would also have misrepresented the typically low support environment in which most e-cigarette users attempt to quit," the researchers noted.

Lack of careful supervision and monitoring of adherence, typical of a trial for a new treatment, was a limitation, Hajek pointed out.

Other limitations were the higher loss to follow-up and withdrawal rate in the patch group and the use of earlier generation e-cigarette models with low nicotine delivery compared with tobacco cigarettes.

Notably, a third of the e-cigarettes group continued to use them at 6 months, beyond the intervention period, "suggesting that they might have become long-term e-cigarette users." Some who went back to smoking continued to use e-cigarettes atop reduced cigarette consumption.

That kind of replacement is the "main untapped potential of e-cigarettes" given the lower risk of lung cancer expected from getting rid of the many carcinogens of smoked tobacco, Hajek pointed out.

However, there have been concerns that e-cigarettes could "renormalize" smoking and pull in new recruits, Hajek pointed out.

A report out this week in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report pointed to a modest increase in e-cigarette use among middle and high school kids, but the vast majority of those who'd ever tried it already smoked conventional cigarettes.


The study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.


The e-cigarettes and cartridges were Elusion brand products provided by PGM International.


Bullen reported having done research on Ruyan brand e-cigarettes that was funded by Health New Zealand, independently of Ruyan.


Co-authors reported financial relationships with Ruyan and manufacturers of smoking cessation drugs.


Hajek reported having received research funding from and consulting for manufacturers of smoking cessation medication but disavowed any connections with any manufacturers of electronic cigarettes.



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 6, 2013

To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If
you  leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever
increasing  unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires
effort. This is one of  the things that discipline - training -  is
about.         James Clavell, in  his novel "Shogun"


We often talk about Positive Mental Attitude and celebrate folks who demonstrate their positivity while some folks wonder how to get it and where it comes from, especially in their earliest days of the quit when what they feel is anxiety, exhaustion, loss, deprivation, frustration,etc. We all know those feelings. Occassionally somebody asks, "When will my feeelings change?" Answer: 'Tuseday, the Tuesday that you DECIDE to let them change!" Our entire Society is based on the idea that Happiness is a Right (as in the Constitution) or Gift (They're So LUCKY! They're always Happy!)  The TRUTH is the Constitution calls for Responsibilty - the PURSUIT of Happiness! You see, rights come with the responsibility to protect those rights not just for myself but for all my fellow citizens! As for gifts - yes, that gift has been given from our Creator to each and every single one of us including YOU and ME! But did I open  my heart to receive that gift, or was I afraid I'd be too vulnerable? Many of us are scared of true Happiness, as ironic as that sounds. And it doesn't just come to us - it is a Discipline! As James Clavell (a very awesome writer BTW) points out, it requires EFFORT! It requires you to put the brakes on that downward spiral of negativity where our minds often tend to go and replace it with LIFE AFFIRMING thought processes! That's where Affirmations come in! This isn't just feel good lefty hocus-pocus it is an entire Discipline that has been highly studied! It's called Neuro-Linguistics, how your brain actually changes when you put the brakes on negative thoughts and replace them with affirmations! Anybody can do this! Have you seen poor people, sick people, people who are grieving, people who have suffered tornadoes or other disasters, unemployed, homeless, who are happy? I have! 

And we ask ourselves, "How can they be so HAPPY?!" They're happy because they CHOSE to change their perspective and it didn't happen overnight - it happened one day at a time! DISCIPLINE! The Good News is that YOU and I can do this too! Happiness can be learned! The Choice is OURS!


My Plymouth Horizon

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 5, 2013


I used to have an old Plymouth Horizon that was bound to break down every single time I took it out anywhere! Go to church, break-down! Go to the store, break-down! Go to work, break-down! Since I barely know a doorknob from a head light I took the car to a mechanic and $500 later he told me the motor was fine! Cool! I'm so excited! I haven't had a reliable car in Months at this point! So I hop in, drive off and 3 blocks away, break-down! O.K., then! I call the mechanic and ask him, "Hey, buddy, what's up?" He calmly told me that he had fixed the motor perfectly but the pump was shot! Well then, let's fix the pump (can't remember if it was a water pump or a fuel pump or whatever!) ! Some $200 later, I pick up the car and drive off and make it 5 blocks, break-down! ARGH!!! Mr. Mechanic says, "Well, yes! I fixed the pump but that doesn't mean that you battery works!" Well, Sir, I say, why didn't you say so? "You didn't ask!" And just how much will that cost me? ......anyway, you get the idea! LMAO!

When we quit smoking, sometimes we're just like that! We think that life is going to be a bed of roses! Smooth riding! Well, not so fast! Life continues to happen! Stress still needs fixing! The kids still drive me to the brink! My job still expects way too much for way too little pay! This is a New Normal as my Friend YaYa says! It doesn't mean that quitting smoking - which does by the way cure a myriad of bad, will make everything in your life run smoothly! It means that at least you can count on that much going right! It's up to you to fix the rest! So don't blame your quit because you argued with your spouse, bailed your kid out of trouble again!, bit your tongue off at work yesterday! Life happens! But smoking sure as heck won't make any of those other things better! 

I'm sure glad I don't have that da#@ car anymore! (Or that mechanic!)

  By now, you've probably seen them being smoked on the subway or in a bar -- those shiny, futuristic, battery-operated nicotine inhalers better know as electronic cigarettes that are apparently all the rage these days. Big Tobacco companies have taken notice, too, and are determined to cash in on the industry, which is expected to bring in $1.7 billion in U.S. sales this year alone, according to The New York Times.
  While much is still unknown about the health risks of e-cigarettes, here’s what we do know: E-cigarettes are addicting. And while they may not be as harmful as tobacco cigarettes, critics like the British Medical Association and the World Health Organisation are wary of the trend and warn of the dangers that may be associated with the smoking devices.
  Here's what we do know about e-cigarettes:
  1. E-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals.
  A 2009 FDA analysis of e-cigarettes from two leading brands found that the samples contained carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals, including diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. Last year, a report from Greek researchers found that using e-cigarettes increased breathing difficulty in both smokers and non-smokers, according to Medical News Today.
  2. Kids and teens can buy them.
  Unlike other tobacco products, e-cigarettes can be sold to minors in many places throughout the country. The smoking devices can also be bought legally online, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  3. While cigarette companies say they don't market to kids, e-cigarettes come in flavors like cherry, strawberry, vanilla and cookies and cream milkshake.
  4. Laws regulating cigarette ads don't yet apply to e-cigarettes.
  TV commercials for cigarettes may be banned, but ones for e-cigarettes sure aren't, Adage points out. (The above ad for Blu eCigs features Jenny McCarthy.)
  5. And e-cigarette companies are spending a TON on advertising.
  Industry advertising spending increased to $20.8 million in 2012 from just $2.7 million in 2010, according to The New York Times.
  6. E-cigarettes can be used in many places where smoking is banned.
  Even though some studies suggest that secondhand vapor poses health risks, many lawmakers have yet to determine whether smoking rules apply to e-cigarettes, according to USA Today.
  7. People think e-cigarettes can help them quit smoking.
  Research published in the American Journal of Public Health indicates that 53 percent of young adults in the U.S. who have heard of e-cigarettes believe they are healthier than traditional cigarettes and 45 percent believe they could help them quit smoking -- though there is little evidence to support either of these claims.
  8. E-cigarettes aren't taxed like traditional tobacco products.
  Even though cigarette consumption fell significantly as taxes went up.
  9. Despite unknown health consequences, e-cigarettes are poised to make inroads with a new generation of young people.
  Half of young adults say they would try e-cigarettes if a friend offered them one, according a study cited by USA Today.


Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 3, 2013


Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. - William James

TODAY is a Great Day to Live Smoke FREE!

One Day at a Time!

Happy Labor Day! Be safe and Have FUN!

I'll be working 12 hours today - Holiday Pay + OT = $$$

  Smoking – Is It a Disease or Just a Bad Habit? [POLL]
  Nicotine Addiction Level May Predict Weight Gain in Ex-Smokers
   Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking Explained, Has Little To Do With Food [Study]
  Tidbits: Join me in being a quitter
  Program helping pre-op patients quit smoking shows success
  Quit smoking program helps psychiatric patients, too
  Mayo Clinic’s programs offer hope and treatment to tobacco-dependent patients
  4 steps to help patients quit smoking before surgery
  Talking about Smoking Cessation after a Diagnosis of Lung Cancer
  Smoking in pregnancy triples baby`s risk of meningitis
  Health offical warns of secondhand-smoke dangers
  First-rate Hotels Avoid Third-hand Smoke
  GPs fuming at football e-cigarette sponsorship deal
  R.J. Reynolds launching TV commercial to promote Vuse
  E Cig Sparks Fire at Phoenix Apartment Discusses
  E-Cigarette Makers’ Ads Echo Tobacco’s Heyday
  Do e-cigarettes cause cancer?
  Ban E-Cigarettes? The Anti-Smoking Lobby's Clueless Crusade
  Program helping pre-op patients quit smoking shows success
  Could Big Tobacco go up in smoke?
  FDA seeks comments on how to regulate menthol tobacco
  Ronald Motley: The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco
  Start this school year without tobacco
  Sweet Cigarillos And Cigars Lure Youths To Tobacco, Critics Say
  Why do young women take up smoking?
  Doctors support raising the smoking age
  Study cites progress in curbing tobacco sales to minors
  Denying Jobs To Smokers Is Bad Policy


Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 2, 2013

What you have to decide... is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you'd want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don't be afraid. Be alive.

- Sarah Dessen

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