Smokeout Post-Mortem

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Smoking Release Associates

The Stop Smoking Program for the Real World

P.O. Box 864 Del Mar, CA 92014

(760) 631-8222     FAX (760) 281-9323


Press Release -- For Immediate Release

Suggested Publication Date: 11/17/00

The Day After The Smokeout: The Next Step for Those Who Quit Yesterday

As the smoke clears after yesterday's Smokeout, some who quit yesterday

will feel increasingly positive about their lives today as they grit their

teeth and remain smoke-free. A much larger percentage of yesterday's

quitters will have lit up by their first coffee this morning. As an

ex-smoker and as someone who has been researching smoking cessation products

and techniques for the last 20 years, I offer food for thought here to both


I know that stopping smoking can be tough. It took me ten years after I

decided I wanted to quit to let it go for the last time. I was one of those

who was obsessed with both feeling I had to smoke and with wanting to quit.

More than once, I tore up cigarettes and threw them away, only to go and

re-assemble one hours later so that I could get my fix. I later learned

that lots of smokers have done just the same thing.

Were you one of the thousands of Americans who quit smoking yesterday as

part of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? If so, and

if you're not puffing away already, let me offer my congratulations. You've

accomplished something worthwhile. Now go out and get some real exercise

today. Drink plenty of water. Put a smile on your face. Treat your loved

ones and yourself with kindness. If it'll help to tote around a pillow to

scream into, by all means, vent that way. It's a lot more productive than

yelling at your kids for no reason.

And look at those cravings you'll get for a little while as symptoms of

healing. That is really what they are. Also remember that there is no such

thing as "just one". It didn't work with those potato chips and it doesn't

work for ex-smokers.

One more thing: Recognize that its worth exchanging a little short-term

discomfort a longer, happier, healthier life.

If you are one of those who quit and has started smoking again, the best

thing you can do for yourself this morning is to pick yourself up, dust

yourself off, and move on with your life. Recognize that you made an

attempt. Know that that took some courage. Then ask yourself this

question: "What did I learn that will help me get it right the next time?"

The simplest lesson may be this: If you have tried specific things in the

past, and those things haven't worked, try something different. The main

reason that only 8% of quitters manage a full year being smoke-free is that

they're usually just repeating the use all the antiquated methods and products that

they already know do not work. I did it, too, for years. And the power of

will is, by itself, never enough.

If you're chronically depressed, get some help for that first, before you

try quitting again. It's as simple as this: many smokers who want to quit

are depressed. If the problem is chronic and they don't get help for it,

they will quickly relapse after any quit attempt.

If you haven't prepared to stop smoking, it is much tougher to make it

last. My clients generally spend at least a month in making small changes

to their lifestyle habits before quitting. If you try to do too much too

quickly, you'll end up not doing anything at all. The real cornerstone to

quitting is learning how to trust yourself in areas that may not seem to

have anything to do with smoking. One way to do that is making short daily

lists of things you intend to do, then checking them off as you complete

them. That's a great way of rebuilding your self-reputation.

Probably the most important factor for short-term success is learning how

to effectively handle stress and emotional turmoil. Building up the amount

of time you devote to exercise and self-discovery are keys to long-term

success. I recommend taking small steps in experimenting with stress

management practices such as deep breathing, self-massage and enjoyable

exercise. Of course, it's easier for most smokers to laugh at these kinds

of ideas than it is to actually see for themselves if they can work. The

ego always laughs at or derides anything that would require a lifestyle

change or truly experimenting with your life. Ego wants everything to stay

just like it is now.

If you've just stopped smoking or if you've just started again, have some

compassion for yourself today when you ask this question: "What small thing

can I do for myself today that will make my life better?" And then tell

your ego to shut up.


Charles Tedesco is the founder of Smoking Release Associates in Del Mar,

California. You may write him at or visit the

company web site at

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Note to the Media:

Tedesco is available for media interviews during Smokeout week and with

the approaching "resolution season" as the new year approaches. He may be

reached at (760) 631-8222.

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Charles Tedesco
Smoking Release Associates
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