Skip navigation
All People > Thomas3.20.2010 > Thomas3.20.2010 Blog > 2016 > November

-          You were just diagnosed with a malignant life threatening illness

-          You tragically lost your Mother, Husband, Child

-          Your house was burned to the ground

-          You divorced, went bankrupt and face homelessness

-          You were laid off the job you’ve had for 12 Years

-          You became the victim of a violent crime

What would it take? What might be your “reason” to forfeit your Quit Journey?

These are the times when some members come here in tears and confess that they relapsed. Many are waiting and expecting an outpouring of sympathy and support for their relapse!

I have seen times when the Elders have been criticized not only by the relapser but by other well meaning members for not offering unconditional love and support believing that we don’t understand or sympathize with their situation.

In fact, Elders understand all too well how the person relapsed! We don’t just talk the talk – we walk the walk! Sadly, many of us have lived out the above scenarios smoke FREE! Circumstances didn’t make us relapse because we know that there is no “reason” to smoke!

N.O.P.E.! No Matter What!

I’ll speak for myself – I have genuine sincere sympathy and compassion for the tragedies of life. I’ve experienced them myself like virtually all of us!

And I am far from holier than thou! I’ve relapsed dozens of times! Look up serial relapse and there is my picture! But those days are gone forever!

How can I be so totally convinced?

 For the Recovering Nicotine Addict – tragedy doesn’t “make us smoke!” That is another Nico-lie! Relapses aren’t caused by life’s circumstances. Relapse is the result of violating the Law of Addiction. Any excuse a relapser gives for “slipping” is total non-sense.

[The Law of Addiction: “Administration of a drug to an Addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.”]

Recovery is the process of unhooking the relationships we have made in our Addictive Brains with Nicotine under all circumstances. Nicotine didn’t stop the tragedy and it certainly won’t solve or relieve it either! In some instances, Nicotine actually created the tragedy – I’m thinking of smoking-related illness – now that is the tragedy we fight daily to help you avoid!

Now you have the first tragedy of life compounded by the second tragedy of relapse! How has that made anything better?


Should the self-confessed relapser feel better after explaining their thought processes leading to smoking “just one?”

 I often read things like “don’t beat yourself up!” and while guilt can be the very weapon of our Addiction to keep us using, if you are here to save your LIFE as opposed to feeling better for relapsing you probably won’t take much comfort in the hugs and well wishes. What you really need is to learn from your mistake and return to your Recovery as soon as possible!

I’m not here to gloat over other people’s failures! I’m here to protect my own Quit and to impart truth that could help you protect yours for all our sakes!

Why? Because I am my own victim! I have a chronic progressive incurable smoking related illness! I want better for you and the best I can get for me and for others suffering from smoking related illness.

I’ll give you a hug for your personal tragedy but not for your relapse!

If that’s not what you want to hear, then

“take what you need and leave the rest,

To be helpful is our only goal!”

Living Life on Life’s Terms – one day at a time for 2447 smoke FREE days!


What are you doing?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 28, 2016

Last Saturday I published an article about how smoking effects your mind’s

(1)  working memory

(2)  prospective memory

(3)  executive control

We often found ourselves smoking a Sickerette without even realizing that we had gone through the motions of getting the thing lit!

We were like robots or puppets being controlled by our Addiction!


Executive Control is the very part of your Brain that you need the most to help you decide to Quit Smoking and to protect your Quit. Executive Control “helps us plan tasks, pay attention to current activities, and ignore distractions.”

One of the most effective tools in my Quit Smoking Toll Box restores Executive Control – Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is described by Jon Kabat Zinn as:

 “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”

So why should I believe him?

Jon Kabat Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He graduated from Haverford College and went on to earn a Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1971 from MIT, where he studied under Salvador LuriaNobel Laureate in medicine.  The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness-based stress reduction, has been  offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations since 1993.

I digress.

There is only one time and place where you can be and have any control over – now! The whole principle of BecomeanEX Smoking Cessation requires us to make the decision to protect our Quit moment by moment. But some of us have to reclaim that ability to decide each moment.

If you have difficulty focusing and you feel this may have a negative effect on your quit then maybe you want to learn to live more in the present moment.

Here’s an article to get you started:

Now, I’ll admit that when it was first suggested that I could use some mindfulness, I had some big objections!

-         First, I said, “I’m Christian – not Buddhist!”

But mindfulness isn’t about belief systems and religion. It happens to be a practice that some Buddhists use but they aren’t the only ones and there’s nothing mutually exclusive in paying attention. Actually I found out that Monks have practiced mindfulness for centuries. Why throw out the baby with the bath water?

-         Then I said, “I don’t like hippie stuff.”

Now, you tell me, what’s so “hippie” about paying attention?

-         And I used my favorite excuse for everything – “I don’t have time!”

There’s the beauty of mindfulness – it doesn’t take any other time than now! What are you doing this moment? Are you aware of living in your own skin right now?

Unlike smoking, you have nothing to lose and Recovery to gain. Practice, practice, practice!

The bonus is you’ll find mindfulness not only helps with stress, depression, anxiety and other mind discomfort – it also helps with physical pain!

When you know what your mind and body are up to you have more say in your own decision-making and can break the puppet strings of Addiction!


Monday Welcome!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 28, 2016

Many Folks will come here for the first time today. 


Here's some things you can do to give yourself and your Family the BEST Christmas Present ever -

Smoke FREE Living!

Monday is the best day to help quit smoking

It's not Willpower! You've tried that!

It's Focus and Determination!

Stick around and we'll show how!

You can BecomeanEX!


Green and Red

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 27, 2016

Green is what I'm burning through and Red is my bottom line! LOL!

Smoking is not required!



While desciding whether to publish this article I questioned the wisdom due to the reference to e-cigarettes as "harm reduction" - a theory I totally reject! Folks are saying that we "nedd more research" which is the very same technique used by Big Tobacco more than 50 Years after Sickerettes were proven to be cancer-causing!

 If there's any doubt about e-cigarettes in your mind just ask the Community. We know that e-cigarettes are dangerous! Whatsmore they keep you Addicted to Nicotine and the mechanics of smoking - and, yes, that is a BIG DEAL!

Anyway, the rest of the article merits hearing so here it is:

Take what you need and leave the rest!

I feel truly Blessed this Year!

I have my Beautiful Granddaughter, my eyesight, my Wonderful Family, a job and all that goes with it.

But most of all I have my Nicotine Recovery! I put it  #1 because only by staying quit can I have my health! Without health it's hard to enjoy much of anything! 

And I have all of you which made my Quit Journey more doable!

So I Thank God and I Thank ALL of You for being here and helping me get through tough times and celebrate good times - to be my Family and Friends in Recovery!

May you all discover many Blessings on this Thanksgiving Day!

Well, I'm late getting here today and wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving Week!

I spent the Day with my Granddaughter, Miss Penelope! She is now 10 Months old and non-stop action! When she isn't crawling, Miss Penny is cimbing - everywhere! What a Blast!

I also just got back from the Eye Doctor and my Left Eye is now 100% so he's ready to operate on the Right Eye Friday Dec 9. In 2 Weeks I'll be able to see better than I have in 50+ Years! 

I found out today that the clinic where Dr Apple works considers him an absolute stickler! I like the sound of that! I think I lucked out!

Today is Monday and a Big Day for folks to come here looking for support to Quit Smoking! So if you are that  Lurker hoping for a word of confidence, I can tell you that Smoke FREE Living is the Best Feeling in the World! It's tough to get there and yes, it wil take more than a few Days or Weeks to get that Marvelous Feeling but it will be there waiting for you! And so are we!

We know how to become successful EXes and we can show you how so jump in! Get involved! Read, Blog, join Groups, Comment and/or send messages to somebody - anybody so you can grow your support and become an EX, too!

You absolutely, positively, guaranteed won't regret it!


And let me be the first to say....



Love Yourself!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 20, 2016

So we have a little group of Folks in the Love Yourself discussion under Positive Affirmations for Success.

Maybe some of us think that you have to love yourself in order to join the group. I see it more like we want to learn how to love ourselves and we can do that better together!

[Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."] 

So what does that have to do with Smoking Cessation???

Smoking is self destructive - period! No matter how many Nico-lies we might tell ourselves about it "helps" it doesn't help a darn thing! On the contrary I call it the Little Suicide! Because (and we all know this by now) Smoking Kills! What's worse, it doesn't keep a single promise of more relaxed, less stressed, less depressed or any other balogna about making our lives better! Smoking doesn't make anything better under any circumstances!

Once you get that, why would you want to smoke? Sometimes we say, "I just don't give a darn about me!" due to circumstances around us. But usually that's due to temporary circumstances or depression which can come and go. If we could just wait it out, stuff would become a lot different! 

The lowest point in my Life was 1993. It sucked eggs in the worst way! No way do I ever want to go back to that - ever! But everything that was wrong then is ancient history now! I couldn't see it at the time but time (and blood, sweat and tears) did heal it all! It was a matter of wading through the doo-doo!

So if you feel down, you might feel less motivated to protect your Quit! But if you can keep the perspective that things will eventually get better even if they suck right now, it can help you to realize that your Quit might just be the BEST part of the whole picture - for now! Temporary! 

We do heal! Especially when we trust in God!

Come to our group! You don't have to be all cheerful and happy if you don't feel like it! You can find a close group of friends who will hold you up until you can do it for yourself. And if you happen to be cheerful and happy, you can come and boost the others!

Hope to see you there!


Rotten Fish

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 19, 2016

Being from a landlocked State I wouldn't know personally how associating Sickerettes with rotten fish smell works. However that is simply 1 of 17 suggestions made here of Ways to Quit Smoking!

The Great American Smoke Out is over, of course! Sign of relief! But New Years' Resolutions are right in front! If you're thinking of Quitting Smoking I would decide to quit on neither Day. But the suggestions hold very valid! So Monday....How about this Monday? It's a Great Day to begin to Live Life Smoke FREE!

Your Family (and pets) will appreciate it! An early Christmas Present! And you would literally make the BEST Decision of your Life!

Smoke FREE is the Way to BE!

Many smokers say they need a Sickerette in order to calm their nerves. So it is somewhat ironic that research suggests smoking can exacerbate stress and lead to anxiety.

As a study published last year by the British Heart Foundation showed, despite the common misconception that smoking a Sickerette can relieve stress, smokers have a 70 per cent increased risk of anxiety and depression when compared to non-smokers.

The belief that smoking relieves stress is an illusion.

The body undergoes a great deal of stress when you smoke. Nicotine reaches the brain within eight seconds, releasing dopamine, which causes a sense of calm and relaxation – a sensation that individuals crave repetitively.

However, at the same time, the body experiences an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as a decrease in oxygen availability to the brain and other parts of the body. This leads to tense muscles.

When smokers say they feel relief when they smoke, it is because they’re temporarily experiencing a reprieve from the symptoms of Nicotine Addiction.

Nicotine Addiction, like any other addiction, can increase stress. Once those pleasant and short-lived feelings that you sense during and immediately after smoking vanish, smokers start going through withdrawal, which causes them anxiety and stress, and leads to the search for the next fix.

Not only can smoking cause anxiety, but it can also lead to lung disorders that result in breathing abnormalities such as hyperventilation. This causes rapid and shallow breathing that’s typically associated with anxiety or panic. It can leave you feeling weak, light-headed and breathless, which adds to feelings of stress and takes a toll on your overall well-being. 

Quitting can temporarily increase feelings of anxiety. The solution is at hand, though.

One way to reduce stress is to try a few breathing and relaxation exercises. For example, you can inhale slowly through your nose for five seconds, hold it for two and then breathe out slowly. When breathing out, keep your lips pursed. This technique is described in more detail on my page.

Another helpful method is Mindfulness. Mindfulness practices can slowly become a smoker’s go-to activity instead of reaching for a Sickerette. Mindfulness allows for calm, and the ability to sit with anxiety and breathe through it. Over time this creates a soothing pattern, which becomes more desirable than smoking.

Finding other sources of dopamine can help as well. Dopamine is as easy to access as giving yourself a congratulations for small daily accomplishments. Did you brush your teeth? YEA! Did you go for a walk? WOOHOO!

Here we have any  number of great ideas for winning your independence from Nicotine Addiction and relieving your stress and anxiety!

Stick around! It gets better and better!

When I come to this day I am bursting with motivation to make more people aware and to get the test!

The test is called Spirometry Test. It is simple, affordable, non-invasive and you get immediate results.

If you have smoked more than 100 Sickerettes in your lifetime then please tell your Doctor that you want a Spirometry Test.

But I also want to share Hope for those who have received the diagnosis.

So I include 2 articles here.

The first is my own story of COPD Awareness and I encourage others to publish theirs - be it themselves or family members who have this illness.

Second, I want to include the National Action Plan developed by the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI).

You can sit back and take your meds or you can choose to get involved. I find involement leads to empowerment over a disease that often leaves feeling helpless and hopeless. 

Something to think about!

Whatever you do - 

If you haven't already, Quit Smoking!

If you have Quit, then protect your Quit No Matter What!

Breathe Easy, Folks! Let's look forward to another Great Thanksgiving with our Families!

Orange is the color for COPD Awareness and tomorrow is National COPD Awareness Day! So wear your ribbon and tell your story of how COPD has impacted you and your Family!

Here's an article that addresses slowing the progress of the disease:

FIRST/Number ONE/Most Important

Stop Smoking!!!!!! And if you have already Quit - protect your Quit as if your Life depends on it - because IT DOES!

See you tomorrow! 

When you come here with your own views of quitting you find out quickly that this language is not reflected by those who have some time under their belt – even a few weeks!

There is an entirely different perspective to learn and new concepts to take in!

For Example, we won’t tell you that cutting back or using e-cigs are great ideas. We won’t talk about harm reduction as a good strategy.

We won’t tell you that Willpower works!

We won’t EXcuse your many traumas as “reasons” to relapse.

We won’t tell you that it takes 7-9 relapses before it sticks. It only takes NOW!

We have our own hard-earned truths.

First, We live by N.O.P.E.!





We believe the only way to be is Addiction FREE!

We believe in S.I.N.AO.!






-          Which leads to the following question – What do we do instead? Not only on Day 1 but on Day 100, Day 1000, or any other Day we have a challenge with Nicotine Addiction.

We believe in N.E.F.!




We don’t see Smoking Cessation as an event. It is a Lifelong Journey! That’s not to say that we’ll feel deprived and suffering forever! NO! We like to enjoy our new-found Smoke FREE Life!

(O.K. not at first but you will get there and within a few short Months after decades of Addiction!)

We use other language to reminds you of why you’re here – Sickerettes, Quititude, Doable, etc… to remind you that we’re not here to help you justify your continued use because your situation is unique but to show you how that situation, whatever it is, has been made worse by your Addiction – not better ever!

Language is a powerful instrument in our lives. How you speak – especially to yourself – effects how you feel and if you allow it, how you act!

So learn the language, get into the routine of reading the blogs, comments, or just plain snooping other folks’ pages and soon you will think like a BecomeanEXer -

And who knows, maybe, you will find a way to “Keep them away from your Face!”

And even more surprising, to become a Happy Quitter!


Check it out -



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 13, 2016

For the first time in my memory I have 20/20 vision!

The cataract surgery was a blessing!

And just in time to watch Miss Penny crawl across the floor for her favorite toy for the first time!

Life is fantastic - Smoke FREE!

Folks, if you wonder if Smoking Cessation is worth it, ask any of us who have quit for awhile!

My bet is hands down - YES!

"I'd rather be a Quitter who sometimes wants a smoke 

than a smoker who always wants to Quit!"

But after 6 Years I virtually never want a smoke!

World COPD Day – This Wednesday November 16

Breathlessness and “Smoker’s Cough” are not a normal part of aging! If you have smoked more than 100 Sickerettes in your lifetime, get tested for COPD with a Spirometry Test! A Spirometry Test is a simple affordable and non-invasive breathing test that will show how much lung damage you may have due to smoking.

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because your airways have been narrowed. Often one disease, such as chronic bronchitis will lead to another, like emphysema

Living with COPD It makes it difficult for you to breathe, and you might find everyday tasks a real challenge.

Hundreds of members of BecomeanEX have COPD and don’t even know it. They’re struggling with their symptoms and a lower quality of life. Their condition is progressing quickly because they’re not receiving treatment.

My goal is to raise awareness and show support for everyone living with COPD.

For more information, go to my page and search my Blogs:

or message me and I’ll lead you to helpful information.

If you and your family have been impacted by COPD, please Blog on Wednesday about how COPD has affected you and how Smoking Cessation has helped with your symptoms.

We know that Smoking Cessation is the only known means of slowing the progress of COPD and the number one recommended treatment.

Look for details of the COPD National Action Plan I will publish on Wednesday!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 9, 2016




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 7, 2016

Sorry, Folks!

My Wife has limited my computer time She thinks it's bad for my eyes!

Smoke FREE! N.O.P.E.! S.I.N.A.O.! N.E.F.!

Keep living it, keep preaching it, and most of all keep loving it!



OK so I’m a little hung over from anesthesia so take what you like and leave the rest!

I’ve seen a lot of folks comparing their quit to what they perceive is the rest of us or their life journey as easier  or harder than so-and-so’s.

I don’t know a single person who has it easy! Nor does my suffering disqualify your pain or visa-versa!

There is enough heartbreak and hope to go around for ALL OF US!

We all have highs and lows. Maybe your challenges look very different than mine but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to get the yardstick out!

When you’re in pain or difficulty I want to be there to support you – aside from my own circumstances!

When you’re celebrating your Life moments or memories I want share that JOY as well!

Can we stop zipping the lip because we think others are somehow worse or better off and thus, we deny ourselves permission to be where we’re at?

The human condition is malleable – we all have our ups and downs that we can all share together because….



Well, I didn't walk out with the 20/20 vision I was hoping for but I'm still very grateful!

First because I can undoubtedly see much better than before the operation even without my eyeglasses.

Second because I have teams of folks praying for my restored vision.

Third because my eyesight could still improve as the week unfolds!

My cataract was so thick that it caused a lot of inflammation which manifests in blurry vision and sensitivity to light. The eye drops include an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and a steroid (which is ironic because the cataract was probably caused by the steroids I've had to take for my lungs!)

The Dr is more optomistic than I am about the expected outcome. I'll be glad if I can still drive and work with or without eyeglasses.

The operation itself wasn't all that bad due to anesthesia and the fact that eyes are not very vascular. The worst part of my day yesterday was fasting! LOL!

Today my eyes feel dry and itchy but I hope with a few rounds of eye drops that will improve.

The rest, like all of our Lives, is in God's hands.

So I'll Let Go and Let God and wish all of you a peaceful and restful weekend!

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!

So many of you are praying for my cataract surgery in less than 4 hours at 2 pm MDT. 

I totally trust in the Lord and I know that everything will be in His hands.

There's nothing wrong with asking for even more prayers!

Please take a moment and praise the Lord for sight and ask Him to guide the young Dr. Apple with hi scalpel.

I'm actually looking forward to having good sight like I haven't had since I was 6 Years old - that's a very long time!

I'll keep you updated as to the results. Won't get to test drive my vision till tomorrow!


Easy? Not So Fast!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 2, 2016

Some of us, I was one of these folks, find "quitting" no big deal. 


That's where the rub comes in!

We think because it's "easy" we don't need help! We've got this! 

For me, going cold turkey wasn't even daunting! 

Meanwhile, in the back of my mind was, since it's easy for me to "quit" I can do it any time I feel the need and I can smoke any time I want!

We have our own Nico-Lies going on! 

Coming here changed my perspective!

I found out that Vigilance as my Friend, Marilyn reminds us is of the utmost importance

- perhaps for us "easy quitters" more than anybody!

We get into complacence, deny our own vulnerability, look at quitting as an event rather than a journey!

Before I even put down the Sickerettes, I was already planning to pick them up again!

BecomeanEX emphasizes No Man's Land.

That was a tipping point for me!

No Man's Land ( between 30 days and 140 days quit) has it's own challenges

in some ways every bit as overwhelming as the first Week!

Our 3D Friends are tired of hearing about our quits.

The pats on the back stop because they, like we, believe smoking cessation is "over!" "done deal!"

We're tired of focusing on it, too! 

We get cocky! Oh yea, I quit 75 days - I've done that many times!

What takes the wind out of our sails is that guerilla attack that is so well known to the NML folks!

Out of the blue after days of smoking never passing your mind you get hit with a doozy! 

Maybe it's some event either happy or tragic.

Maybe it's just a change of Season.

Maybe it's just plain random (or at least feels that way!)

Or most likely - you drink a little too much with some of your smoking Friends and BOOM!

You're a smoker again!

But we tell ourselves - "That's OK! I can just quit again!"

It just doesn't happen for a couple or a few YEARS!

Pay Attention!

Be Vigilant!

Serial Quitting is really not a healthy alternative! Nor is it a compromise! It just plain SUCKS!

N.O.P.E.- Forever!

You can do it! We can help!



Adopting the theme of “Learn More, Breath Better,®” the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has deemed November National COPD Awareness Month. It’s a time for organizations, communities, and health care providers to raise overall awareness of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.)

With good reason: 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and it is estimated that another 12 million may have the disease without yet being diagnosed. As a result, the illness is currently the nation’s 3rd leading cause of death. What’s more, those with COPD have an increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and a variety of other conditions.

What you should know

As its name implies, COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs. When you breathe, air travels through airways in your lungs to millions of tiny air sacs. When a lung is healthy, the airways are open, the air sacs fill up with air, and the air is released quickly. With COPD, however, it is a struggle to get air into and out of the air sacs.

Two common types of COPD are chronic bronchitis, which is characterized by a persistent cough and mucus, caused by inflammation of the airways; and emphysema, caused by damage of the air sacs or the collapsing of the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs.

The NHLBI recommends this four-point strategy for confronting the disease:

1. Be aware of the risk factors. These include long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, especially cigarette smoke.

2. Recognize the symptoms. Do you or a loved one have difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chronic cough with mucus?

3. Talk to your doctor. He or she can conduct a simple breathing test to diagnose the condition. COPD is a progressive disease that gets worse over time, so the sooner a diagnosis is made, the better.

4. Follow treatment advice. COPD can be managed with medication and adjustments to lifestyle.

As National COPD Awareness Month approaches, learn all you can about the disease. Whether you’re dealing with COPD firsthand or care about someone who is, schedule time to meet with a doctor. Also, pass along what you learn to the people close to you — and even connect with others who are also living with COPD to form a support group.

Scientists are launching a new series of questions that are meant to find folks with undiagnosed COPD and less critical of smokers. Here's the questions they are proposing:

  • 1. Have your ever lived or worked in a place with dirty or polluted air, smoke, second-hand smoke or dust?
  • 2. Does your breathing change with seasons, weather, or air quality?
  • 3. Does your breathing make it difficult to do things such as carry heavy loads, shovel dirt or snow, jog, play tennis, or swim?
  • 4. Compared to others your age, do you tire easily?
  • 5. In the past 12 months, how many times did you miss work, school, or other activities due to a cold, bronchitis, or pneumonia?

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: