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Going Home!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 26, 2014

Bags are packed and saying Goodbye for awhile! I'm going home! 

See you all later! I won't be smoking and I hope you won't either!

Life is too short! Don't smoke it up!

  Do you ever think that you would have a better Quititude IF life were only a little less full of unfortunate events and a little more full of positive experiences? That's what I have fallen into from time to time. I "lost" my Quititude and didn't know where to look for it! I looked for it at home, with friends, at work, in my car, everywhere and I just couldn't find it! I even looked for it in my dreams turning over every corner of every room in my mind. Not over there! Not under there! It didn't fall out of my pocket! Oh well, maybe it will turn up! It couldn't have gotten too far! 
   I went for long walks, EXercised, followed my nutrition plan, meditated and worked my mindfulness program. All were undoubtedly helpful but nada! I EXpected quititude to be returned to me for doing the right things! 
   So I reflected on how I had obtained Quititude in the first place - the BLOGS! Maybe I could find a new Quititude - a sort of replacement. I read the BLOGS and I read and read the most inspirational BLOGS I could find! I knew where to look because when I had Quititude, I would often read there, not from desperation but because it was HOME! Now, I felt like a visitor, not a family member, on my best behavior, stiff, polite, but not relaxed and at HOME!  
   Now, if you ask yourself what Thomas does when he gets stuck, what do you suppose? I researched! That's my go to action on just about any subject that's bothering me any time! Here's what I found that was helpful to me: 
   Attitude and Experience By Ralph Marston 
   Perhaps you think that your attitude on any particular day depends on the things you experience that day. But actually it is the other way around. 
   The things you experience do not cause you to have a particular attitude. Instead , the quality and substance of your experiences are what reveal your attitude. 
   Your attitude is yours to choose. And by choosing your attitude, you can choose the kind of life you live. 
   Yes, there will be plenty of events coming along that are completely beyond the control of you or your attitude. Yet your attitude will most definitely determine how you experience each of those events. 
   If your attitude is negative and destructive, you’ll find pain, disappointment and dismay in even the most wonderful circumstances. Yet when your attitude is positive, creative, thankful and joyful, you’ll find real hope and valuable possibilities in even the most unfortunate events. 
    Rather than assuming that your attitude is dictated by events, choose to maintain a positive attitude no matter what may come along. By so doing, you’ll be choosing a life of real value and meaning.  
    There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude.  
    The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.  
    W. Clement Stone  
    The attitude you bring  
    Imagine how great it would be if you could go through this day doing only what you wanted to do. Though it might sound too good to be true, it’s completely possible and available to you.  
    Just stop fighting against what you have to do, and turn it into what you want to do. You know it must be done, so why make it worse by letting it bring you down?  
    Who decides what makes you miserable and what makes you happy? You do, of course. Stop dreading those things you know you must get done, and start looking forward to them. The attitude you bring to them can change them completely.  
    Do you ever find that you know full well what needs to be done, yet you just cannot bring yourself to do it? Change it in your mind from something that has to be done into something you want to do, and you’ll have no trouble at all getting to it.  
    It is truly as easy as it sounds, and it can make an enormous difference. Decide you want it, and you’ll get it done.  
    — Ralph Marston  
     Just like Dorothy's way home was a available to her all the time, so was my Quititude! It hadn't fallen off or out - I gave it up! And it was within me all along - not outside! Quititude isn't based on events or circumstances. It's all right there in your mind (and mine!) We get to/have to DECIDE how we'll approach our Quit Journey! And there's a certain momentum to our thought processes.    
     If we decide to look at our quit as sacrifice, giving something up, deprivation, martyrdom then we'll blow it out of proportion in a negative way, making the effort so much larger than it has to be! We'll build up our minds to feel like Sisyphus pushing a giant boulder up a hill day in and day out! Sooner or later we'll just get too tired and give up! We'll relapse!   
     We can decide to become a "Happy Quitter" not because our quit journey is easy or simple. Not because our support system is perfect, not because we chose a propitious moment to quit and all the circumstances in our lives are perfectly aligned with successful enterprise but because you and I DECIDE our Quititude and "by choosing your attitude, you can choose the kind of life you live."   
     TODAY I DECIDE to live my day with QUITITUDE! I choose to be a "Happy Quitter!"   


Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 21, 2014

Suppose just for a minute that you have been given that ultimate prognosis. You have weeks to live. Time to get your Bucket List together because this is it!

What would you include on this list? Smoking????

Really???? You want to die trapped in Addiction?

Well, I want to tell you about some EXers I’ve had the true honor to know and about one Exer I never met but came to know through his legacy to BecomeanEX.


Let’s start with Ray ManOfSteele.

Ray didn’t start out here. He came to BecomeanEx from another site and brought many of his Elder Friends with him.  Ray quit smoking on 04/04/04. He wrote his first Blog here on May 21, 2008 when BecomeanEX was in it’s infancy.

That’s the kind of Man our Superhero was!

He also brought with him the famous Bonfires and Daily Pledges that to this day save lives!

Giulia created Relapse Traps because of him.

G reminds me that it’s BECAUSE of him, because he brought a bunch of Elders with strong quits and compassion to this, at-the-time fledgling on-line quit support community to pave the way for the next generation of supporters, that it has become what it has become.

 We all have HIM to Thank for that!

Unfortunately, Ray wrote his last blog on June 12, 2009.

You see, he passed away – but he never chose to smoke before he passed!


Doris was a quiet dignified Lady. She was a faithful Friend and calm support to all who knew her.

When Doris wrote her first Blog, she already had 4 Weeks and 3 Days under her belt.


She had smoked her last on January 18, 2009 but still didn’t know if she would make it to FREEDOM!

Every Month Doris wrote a Blog for the entire first Year and going back to read them now you can watch an amazing transformation right in front of you! SHE MADE IT!

And she never looked back to the day she passed away on February 4, 2013. Doris had 3 Years of FREEDOM and she lived N.O.P.E. to the end even when her Nephew died of Stage IV Lung Cancer at age 39!

She never gave up or gave in!



Then there was Dawn. I knew Dawn as a loving Mother , Grandmother  and marvelous Friend. Dawn quit smoking September 17, 2009. Here’s her very first Blog:

Dawn made it a point of encouraging her Friends and never judging them. Her support was pure LOVE! Tommy once said of her:

“Our Dawn was a fine EXample of facing life, and sticking to your commitments!

 During the last year and a half of her life she fought a cancer that has no cure. She knew she was going to die. And she lived in constant pain

. But, never once did she back down from her two big commitments in life. Her faith in God, and her commitment to never smoke again.

 A doctor once asked  her how she knew she would never smoke again, and she replied "Because, I would rather die than smoke another cigarette!". That is commitment!

 As far as her faith, a few weeks before she died, one of her daughters did something that made her proud, and she told me (not for the first time) "I am His favorite, I tell you!" In spite of the pain and suffering she was going through, she still believed she was God's favorite child!”

Dawn wrote her last Blog on April 26, 2012.

Sadly she passed away a few days later on May 14. She never once decided to smoke!



MamaDeb wrote her first Blog on Day 41 of her quit.

Deb was a confusing combination of vegetarian/health nut who smoked! She saw the conflict in values and chose to quit.

I knew MamaDeb better than most I suppose. You see, we had something in common – COPD.  Deb followed Aunt Dee and myself to another site where we focused on emphysema.

 She was always cheerful and optimistic when she wrote. Deb said, “I feel like I could do just about anything!” She believed that we could quit and we did! 

Not once in all the communications I had with Deb did she ever complain! She was so proud of her Family and she became proud of Herself!

As I got to know her, Deb wanted the best for everybody and she was too far down on her own priority list! Even knowing how sick she was, she was seriously considering going back to school to become certified in respiratory care.

This Lady so full of Life and Love and Hopes and Plans for the Future passed away just short of one Year smoke FREE! But she never gave up her Quititude!



You know you are FREE when you can believe that given the word of your last Earthly days you know in your heart

Not One Puff Ever!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 19, 2014

Until one is committed there is always hesitancy

The chance to draw back, there is always ineffectiveness,

Concerning all acts of initiative and creation,

There is one elementary truth,

The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and

 splendid plans;

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then

 providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help that would never

otherwise  have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision,

Raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen

accidents and meetings

And material assistance, which no man could have


Would come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

-          Goethe

  Your Addictive Self is a part of   YOU! That being said there is another part of you that is being dragged down with it - the part that knows that what you're doing is wrong and contradictory to your every moral value!   Your Addictive Self  won’t stop smoking, and you can’t stop forking over the time and money that make the sickerettes possible.
  Of course you can easily see the problem from the outside. Why would an Addict stop smoking when they can squeeze thousands of dollars a month out of you and keep right on doing what they’ve done their whole lives? And how can you say no when your Addiction seems impossible to break? Besides, it’s a disease, isn’t it? How can you deny your sick addiction?
  You probably already know that that’s how the daily cycle continues for years and years, and how it’s apt to go on until you get very, very sick or  die or the money runs out. The Addict within will continue to manipulate you, and you will continue to feel guilty and wonder what you did to cause your decision to smoke that first sickerette and go down the Addict road.
   Nicotine Addiction  is a Choice, not a Disease
  Of course you've always known that the promise of tobacco never really came to fruition. You weren't really cooler, more rebellious, more popular, sexier, calmer and whatever else the commercials depicted just because you smoked your cancer sticks. Even when your childhood quest for those things played a role, it doesn’t excuse ongoing childishness. Searching for the current problems’ beginnings, even finding them, does nothing to fix the mess. As you’ve probably noticed, everyone just stays trapped in the swirl of emotions, habit, myth, and despair.
    There is an Alternative
    This time I have a different  suggestion. Instead of pouring on battles and willpower, I recommend a carefully planned disengagement. No threats, no expectation that your addictive self  will change - just a gradual change in the personal dynamics that will, over the course of a year, result in your Addictive Self being isolated. 
    Concentrate on YOU! What values do you have? What activities would you like to do if you "had the time." Imagine your perfect self in line with your values and then decide on one activity that brings you closer to becoming that person and do it. You are the part of yourself who wants things to change - so ignore your Addictive Self who obviously has a vested interest in things staying the same.  
    It works because you are focusing on that part of you who wants to change rather than to force change onto your Addictive Self. Success means working with the part of you that is motivated; skipping labels and self-justifying EXcuses; focusing on the present and future, not the past; and actively instituting new behaviors.  
      The Temper Tantrum  
     Your Addictive Self will certainly protest, especially if it got it's fix by carrying on loud enough or long enough! But just as you wouldn't given in to a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum, that's obviously not the solution here either.   
     But you can defuse the tantrum using similar methods as good parenting skills. You can acknowledge that your Addictive Self is frustrated. You can let it know you feel it's pain, too! Even just saying "I know you're upset," you're telling it you're there to help it feel better. That might be enough to calm it down so you can add, "I wish we could have a cigarette, too. It's too bad we can't right now."   
     Be silly. Laughter can be a great tantrum buster. If your Addictive Self starts to pitch a fit about walking past a temptation, try singing a goofy song  -- anything to make yourself giggle.   
     Try a distraction. Give yourself something else to think about. There are several lists of 100 things to do instead. Get busy and if it's an activity for which you're passionate, like art or music, even better!    
        Ignore it. Sometimes, tantrums escalate because your Addictive Self  thinks it will get what it wants if it screams loud enough. If you don't react, it will give up.      
         Leave the scene. When all else fails, get out of public and let yourself have the meltdown, tears and all - just keep those sickerettes away from your face! But do it without making a fuss  -- you'll be proving to yourself that even when you don't feel calm you can display calm behavior. It may be inconvenient, but it shows who's in control:        



One in three smokers admitted sabotaging another person's attempt to quit in a study by a pharmaceutical company. 

The reasons to wreck other people's quitting attempts include jealousy, guilt about their own habit and wanting a smoking "buddy". 

Pfizer collected data from 6,300 current and former smokers and found that 31 per cent of smokers admit being saboteurs. 

The study also found that 72 per cent of smokers who have tried to quit think someone has tried to ruin their attempts. 

On average, smokers said they tried to kick the habit at least three times. One in five said they had tried five times or more. 

"Beating a smoking addiction is hard enough without the negative influence of others around you casting doubt," the Daily Telegraph quoted London-based GP Sarah Jarvis as saying. 

"I want those who are motivated to give up smoking to be aware that they don't have to go it alone and that there is support available. 

"Even a brief conversation with their healthcare professional ... can increase their chances of success by up to four times, compared with going cold turkey," she added.

PLEASE think before you endanger your quit! I forfeited a one year quit because I thought hanging around my smoking buddies meant that I was morally superior to those exsmokers I'd met who couldn't stand to be around 2nd hand smoke! 

What I was is morally stupid! My next quit attempt was several TEARS later! God expects us to take care of our bodies! 

[Freudian Slip - I meant to say YEARS! }

Addiction FREE is the Only Way to BE!

BIG TOBACCO wants you to believe....


But if you believe that....


All of your Dreams will go up in Smoke!

Break the Illusion!

Live Smoke FREE - Just One Day at a Time!


Plain Packaging

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 17, 2014

Australia has some of the toughest anti-tobacco laws anywhere including plain packaging. As a consequence their daily smoking rates have dropped from 15.1 to 12.8 per cent from 2010 to 2013 and have halved since 1991.

Health Experts have labeled plain packaging a lung cancer vaccine.

the statistics also reveal the age people smoke their first cigarette has risen from 14 in 2010 to 16 presently.

This gives enormous momentum to the international push for plain packaging around the world. New Zealand, Britain, and Ireland all have plain packaging legislation before parliment while France and India are considering following suit.

When will the USA get in line? We're hanging behind with 20% smoking rates. Tobacco Companies target minorites including LGBT and even handicapped just to make a buck!






Fear of quitting and facing life without sickerettes is natural. After all, we are Addicts and often we have more years of life smoking than not smoking and those not smoking years were a very long time ago when we were children!

Also, although we may not consciously realize it, subconsciously, we know that we have been hiding all kinds of emotions under that smoke cloud - scary emotions like anger, disappointment, and fear of other aspects of our lives.

Why would I want to EXpose myself to such EXtreme vulnerability?

Because it gives us an opportunity to HEAL - physically but also emotionally! We own our feelings and deal with them in a whole healthy way for the first time in a long, long time!

Re-cover means to un-cover those emotions that haven't gone away first.

They're still there - lingering under that smoke cloud!

But un-covered, we can choose to either EXpress them or to simply forgive - to let them go - either because they are part of the past and presently irrelevant or because they are out in the open and can be repaired from here and now!

RECOVERY=reowning ME!

Addiction stunts our emotional growth! Recovery allows the real you to bloom!


I work in Assisted Living with dementia patients. Every day I see the heartbreak and stress that the families go through dealing with their Spouse, Mother or Father who often doesn’t even know who they are! I see the lost feelings they go through and their desire to find something – anything “normal.” It’s devastating!

 I often reflect on what will happen to me in the coming years and I know that I am in God’s hands. I also know that there are some things I can do to take care of my health that can lower my risk of dementia and believe me, I intend to do them! I hope you think about this for yourselves as well!


Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

An American over age 60 today has a 44 percent lower chance of developing dementia than a similar-aged person did roughly 30 years ago, the longest study of these trends in the U.S. concluded. The federally funded Framingham study tracked new dementia cases among several thousand people 60 and older in five-year periods starting in 1978, 1989, 1996 and 2006. Compared with the first period, new cases were 22 percent lower in the second one, 38 percent lower in the third and 44 percent lower in the fourth one.

The average age at which dementia was diagnosed also rose — from 80 during the first period to 85 in the last one.

“For those who get the disease, it may come later in life, which is a good thing. Getting the disease in your 80s or 90s is a very different than getting it in your early 70s,” he said.

More than 5.4 million Americans and 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. It has no cure and current drugs only temporarily ease symptoms.

About one-third of Alzheimer’s disease cases are preventable, according to research by the University of Cambridge, England.

The study identifies seven risk factors, with lack of exercise topping the list.

Current estimates suggest that by 2050, more than 106.2 million people worldwide will be living with Alzheimer’s -- a huge increase from the 30.8 million people affected by the disease in 2010.

Researchers analyzed population-based data to work out the seven top risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease. These are:

1.       Lack of exercise

2.       Diabetes

3.       High blood pressure in middle age

4.       Obesity in middle age

5.       Depression

6.       Smoking

7.       Low education

The researchers estimated that by reducing the relative risk posed by each lifestyle factor by just 10%, nearly 9 million cases of dementia could be prevented by 2050.

Study researcher Carol Brayne, MD, from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, says in a statement: "Although there is no single way to prevent dementia, we may be able to take steps to reduce our risk of developing dementia at older ages. We know what many of these factors are, and that they are often linked.

Commenting on the research, Doug Brown, PhD, director of research and development at the Alzheimer's Society in the U.K., says: “We already know that what is good for your heart is good for your head and there are simple things you can start doing now to reduce your risk of developing dementia. Regular exercise is a good place to start as well as avoiding smoking and eating a Mediterranean diet."

I hope you stay Smoke FREE today, get your exercise and eat healthy. Take good care of your body and your body will take good care of your mind!


Got Tobacco Leftovers?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 13, 2014

For those of you who are still in the planning stage of your quit you may be asking what to do with your leftover sickerettes! 

Do I give them to my smoking neighbor knowing that they are bad for you?

Do I throw them away in the trash? Perhaps this goes against your nature to not waste things.

Do I smoke them up and then quit? This may be an excuse to delay your quit date.

Well, here's a guilt FREE alternative! 

CAUTION: Do NOT buy tobacco products to implement this recipe! Having tobacco around after you have quit may be too tempting!!! 

Make your own pesticide!

Tobacco pesticide is particularly effective on soft creatures, such as slugs and aphids. 

Step 1. Steep a 1/4 cup of dry tobacco in a quart of water for at least half an hour. Soaking for longer produces a stronger pesticide, and some gardeners leave the tobacco mixture to soak for a day. Stronger pesticides might work faster, but they are also more dangerous to beneficial garden insects. If you don't have enough tobacco, go to your local open areas and find used tobacco butts so that you're cleaning up the environment while you collect the needed tobacco.

[Be sure to wear gloves! Tobacco is a nerve poison!]

Step 2. Add a squirt of dish washing liquid to the mixture. This improves the spreadability of the pesticide and is mildly toxic to some pests in its own right.

Step 3. Strain the liquid into a plastic storage container, through a fine sieve, to remove the tobacco pieces. Tighten the lid securely. The pesticide will keep for a couple of weeks if stored somewhere cool, for example, in a garage or basement.

Step 4.Target the pests and use as little spray as possible. For example, spray growing shoots that are thickly covered in aphids but not nearby, aphid-free leaves. Tobacco spray is natural but still dangerous to useful insects, such as ladybugs.





Who Am I?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 13, 2014

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

  Isn't it amazing how smoking cessatin leads to self discovery? 
  Who would have thought that smoking hid us from ourselves?
  Become an EX - find out who you truly are!



Argentina or Germany?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 11, 2014

I'm hoping Argentina!

It would make the Pope one Happy Pappy!!!!

I wonder if he and Benedict have a friendly wager going?!


A Good Laugh!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 11, 2014


I just read something on Huffington Post that made me belly laugh!

In April 2010 I wrote this Blog:

Well, guess what???

A famous futurist named Nicholas Negroponte from MIT just predicted that it's true! There will be a pill you can take for learning foreign languages in about 30 years or so!

Wonders never cease!


[By then I'll be too old to care if I'm still alive to see it! ROFLMAO!]




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 10, 2014

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 a long time 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!



The Happy Quit

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 10, 2014

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity - successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something.  Soon it becomes a reality.  Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly and you will be amazed at the positive results!

 - William James  (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

Build FUN and Self Care into your Quit Plan! You are literally creating a New YOU so you get to decide what this person looks and acts like! As that Smoke Cloud lifts, let it reveal the you that you really wish to BE and become that person - One Day, One Hour, One Minute at a time! 

You get to/have to decide!

Another James - the Happy Quitter taught me that I CAN and I decided that I AM!



The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.

This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.

"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian Mark Jackson says. "Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs."

What was interesting to Selye was that no matter how different the tortures he devised for the rats were — from icy winds to painful injections — when he cut them open to examine their guts it appeared that the physical effects of his different tortures were always the same.

"Almost universally these rats showed a particular set of signs," Jackson says. "There would be changes particularly in the adrenal gland. So Selye began to suggest that subjecting an animal to prolonged stress led to tissue changes and physiological changes with the release of certain hormones, that would then cause disease and ultimately the death of the animal."

And so the idea of stress — and its potential costs to the body — was born.

But here's the thing: The idea of stress wasn't born to just any parent. It was born to Selye, a scientist absolutely determined to make the concept of stress an international sensation.

"He wrote, I don't know, 1,500 books and articles. I mean, it was a massive, massive output from the man," says Jackson. "He was an incredible man. He only slept four or five hours a day. He was always the first in the lab and the last to leave; his energy was fantastic. Selye went all over the world promoting the gospel of stress."

As Selye wrote in his biography, The Stress of My Life (one of 39 books he authored to promote the concept of stress), "Stress will have been my cathedral and I shall polish and perfect it. ... I know my child will outlive me."

But Selye wasn't the only high-profile scientist who decided to promote the idea that stress posed a profound danger to health.

In the mid-1950s, two American cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman — created the idea of the Type A personality.

This idea of a special driven and stress-sensitive subset of personality really captured the American imagination.Their argument, essentially, was that there existed in America an entire class of people who lived lives so full of stress and pressure that their bodies were especially prone to disease, particularly heart attack. The doctors published a study that claimed the coronary disease rate for men with Type A personality was twice as high as other men.

"You can still see it today," says Mark Petticrew, director of public health research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "Literally many thousands of websites still talk about Type A behavior in a fairly uncritical way. It still has that grip in popular culture."

The thing most people don't realize as they worry over the dangers of stress, Petticrew says, is that much of this foundational scientific research on stress was funded and guided by a very particular sponsor.

"What's never really been appreciated is that the tobacco industry was a major funder and stimulant of research on stress," he says. "Specifically Selye's work, but also research on Type A behavior. Type A personality is to a large extent a construct of the tobacco industry."

A Document Trove Reveals Tobacco Influence

For the past decade or so, Petticrew and a group of colleagues in London have been searching through millions of documents from the tobacco industry that were archived online in the late '90s as part of a legal settlement with tobacco companies.

What they've discovered is that both Selye's work and much of the work around Type A personality were profoundly influenced by cigarette manufacturers. They were interested in promoting the concept of stress because it allowed them to argue that it was stress — not cigarettes — that was to blame for heart disease and cancer.

"In the case of Selye they vetted ... the content of the paper, they agreed the wording of papers," says Petticrew, "tobacco industry lawyers actually influenced the content of his writings, they suggested to him things that he should comment on."

They also, Petticrew says, spent a huge amount of money funding his research. All of this is significant, Petticrew says, because Selye's influence over our ideas about stress are hard to overstate. It wasn't just that Selye came up with the concept, but in his time he was a tremendously respected figure.

"Selye was one of the major scientists of the 20th century; he was nominated for a Nobel Prize 10 times," Petticrew says. "So I feel it's impossible and it's misleading to talk about stress without acknowledging the fact that he had a very, very close working relationship with the tobacco industry. And they helped him to shape his ideas, and he helped them to shape theirs."

This is also true of the work around Type A personalities and the notion that a highly stressed personality — not cigarette consumption — caused heart disease, particularly in men.

Petticrew says that though early studies, some of which were funded by tobacco companies, showed a connection between Type A and heart attacks, as more studies have piled up the original findings of Friedman and Rosenman have been undermined.

"There have been very few studies which have actually shown that Type A behavior is a risk factor for illness, certainly for coronary heart disease," Petticrew says. "Of the studies that do show that, and there are only four, in three of them the researchers had some contact or money from the tobacco industry. That's not to say, and absolutely shouldn't be said, that all Type A behavior research is tainted by tobacco money. But it has had a major skewing effect on the field which I think has been completely unrecognized."

NPR contacted Altria's Philip Morris tobacco unit, the primary funder of Type A research and also a major contributor to Selye. The company had no comment about the research; a spokesman said all the research happened too long ago.

Selye's Lasting Mark

In the years since Selye's foundational work, research on stress has exploded. There's no question that stress, particularly chronic stress in childhood, has a very serious impact on long-term health.

But some scientists now argue that our usual narrative of stress — that stress is universally bad for health — is too one-sided and doesn't reflect the reality that some degree of stress can actually benefit people. Stress isn't always a bad thing.

Still, the narrative of stress promoted by the tobacco industry through research and marketing is alive and well. A ghost from a long time ago continues to shape how we see, and experience, stress.


Addictive Thoughts

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 6, 2014

As Addicts we all have them. I very rarely still have an addictive thought but I still have them. Being able to recognize them is very important especially at the beginning of our quit journey! That can be challenging because we have 60,000 thoughts a day and because we don’t necessarily recognize them when they pass through our minds.

Some folks personify addictive thoughts and refer to the Nico-Demon! I have no problem with that as long as you know that the Nico-Demon is YOU! You are generating these thoughts! Nobody knows what motivates you like you and most addictive thoughts are motivational.  What do they want you to do?

“I need my next FIX!”

That’s it! These thoughts may look very different from that but that is their motivation! Here are some Examples:

-          I need my sickerettes!

-          I’ll never be happy as an Exer!

-          Sickerettes are my best friend!

-          Sickerettes calm me down!

-          Life is too stressful to quit!

-          I’ll quit someday just not today!

-          I don’t smoke that much!

-          I’m a social smoker!

-          I’ve smoked too much for too long! I can’t quit!

-          Just one won’t hurt!

-          I’ve failed at quitting so many times, I can’t imagine success!

-          I like smoking! It smells good! It tastes good!

-          Smoking is my only vice!

-          At least I don’t XXX [drink, do drugs, etc…]

-          Some people smoke their entire lives and are healthy!

-          Smoking is hereditary! Everybody in my ancestry smoked!

I could keep going indefinitely! But it really comes down to one concept! If this thought gives you a “reason”, i.e. Excuse to smoke even one more sickerette – it is an addictive thought!

Here’s the empowering part! YOU get to decide! You don’t have to follow that thought! Imagine thoughts as cars on a highway – they rush by and you can focus on only red cars or you can focus on just blue cars or you can decide to put your focus elsewhere! Not all thoughts are addictive thoughts, are they? It may seem like that at first but you had enough Freedom loving thoughts to find this website and sign up! Let go of your addictive thoughts! They will happen! That’s the nature of addiction. But you don’t have to latch onto them! That’s what we call romancing the sickerette! Call it out and then focus on the Freedom loving thoughts!

READ, READ, READ! When you read you are stimulating many more Freedom loving thoughts! Think of those cars on the highway! The more you read the more the traffic on the highway in your mind has helpful cars! Distract yourself with other stuff! Then you are filling that highway with even another kind of car! Then decide! Take control of those thoughts by choosing your focus! Participate! We know how to do this and we can show you how!

When you stop paying attention to addictive thoughts, at first they pout, and then they scream, wave their hands, flail around, and throw a tantrum! That’s a good sign, actually as long as you continue to focus elsewhere! It means they're scared that you are serious about FREEDOM! They will say this is too scary, stressful, ugly, whatever! They will bring out every temptation they can muster so you will give in! BUT You still have the choice! YOU DECIDE!

 Eventually these thoughts become less frequent and only once in a very blue moon will they show up! You will go hours, then days, then Months, even years without these thoughts! And by then when they do show up, it’s a little whisper you can easily choose to dismiss! It gets better very soon so don’t be discouraged! What’s 4 Months compared to a lifetime of Freedom?


1. The Boiling Pot

You want to quit smoking but wonder how you'd handle the stress?!!

2.  The Weight Watcher

You want to quit smoking but are worried you might pile on the pounds!!

3.  The Creature of Habit

You want to quit smoking but worry you couldn't cope at brew time, break time, meal time!

4. The Young Invincible

You want to quit smoking but think you're young enough to worry about it later!

5. The Prisoner

You want to quit smoking but think you can't break free after all of these years!

6. The Serial Quitter

You want to quit smoking but you've tried everything and nothing seems to work!!

Whatever type of quitter you are - we can show you the way to SUCCEED!!!

Stick around and get to know the Community of EXers! If you wonder if we can really help you, just visit our Bonfire Party and you'll see! We not only know how to do this, we know how to HAVE FUN doing it!!!

Good Morning Fellow EXers and Becomers!

You are about to embark on an incredible personal journey of transformation from Addiction to Independence! Not all of it is “easy” but all of it is worthwhile and beneficial not only physically but on every level!

Just thinking about quitting may make you anxious. But your chances will be better if you get ready first. Quitting works best when you’re prepared. Before you quit, START by taking these five important steps:

S=Set a Quit Date.

Independence Day is a Great Date to begin your Life of FREEDOM!

T=Tell Family, Friends, and Coworkers that you plan to Quit.

Quitting smoking is easier with the support of others. Be sure to tell them exactly how they can be supportive! The more support you get, the better. But even a little can help. And don’t be timid about setting clear boundaries around your smoking friends’ relationships!

A=Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.

Most people who go back to smoking do it within four months. It helps to know when you desire a cigarette most. Take Dale Jonescarp”s 130 Day challenge and visit his page:

What To Expect The First 4 Months

No Mans Land (Study From Thomas Precedes)

and, the two sets of seasons building new memories without smoking to strengthen your quit


You should expect feelings of withdrawal. Understanding how withdrawal works helps you cope with it and get through those critical 4 Months. Withdrawal is the discomfort of giving up nicotine. It is your body’s way of telling you it’s learning to be smoke-free. These feelings will go away in time.


R=Remove cigarettes, paraphernalia, and other nicotine products such as e-cigarettes from your home, car, and work.

Getting rid of things that remind you of smoking will also help you get ready to quit. Try these ideas:

  • Make things clean and fresh at work, in your car, and at home. Clean your drapes and clothes. Shampoo your car. Buy yourself flowers. You will enjoy their scent as your sense of smell returns.
  • Throw away all your cigarettes and matches. Give or throw away your lighters and ashtrays. Remember the ashtray and lighter in your car!
  • Have your dentist clean your teeth to get rid of smoking stains. See how great they look. Try to keep them that way.
  • Some smokers save one pack of cigarettes. They do it “just in case.” Or they want to prove they have the willpower not to smoke. Don’t! Saving one pack just makes it easier to start smoking again.

Don’t use other forms of tobacco instead of cigarettes

Light or low-tar cigarettes are just as harmful as regular cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes and herbal cigarettes also harm your health. For example, bidi cigarettes are just as bad as regular cigarettes. Clove cigarettes are even worse. They have more tar, nicotine, and deadly gases. All nicotine products have harmful chemicals and poisons.


T=Talk to your Health Team (Doctor, Counselor, Massage Therapist, etc.) about your plans to Quit Smoking and ask for their help.

They may have suggestions that can help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms you may experience. If you have problems quitting “smart turkey” they can suggest alternatives.

There are many, many SUCCESSFUL Quitters here at becomeanEX! They have what you want and they will show you how to get there! Tomorrow night is the perfect time to meet most members of the Community at our 4th of July Bonfire! YOU are invited:

See you there and Celebrate your FREEDOM even if it’s only a few hours!

Independence Day July 4th

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