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Jennifer E. Thomas
...... .:::.:.:

It's almost like there are these periods where our relationship is smooth and steady, and then there are times when it's like standing on the edge of this gorgeous, wonderful waterfall and just letting yourself drop, knowing that there's a safe pool of water ready to catch you at bottom. You take the plunge and you're in wayyyy over your head, but oh man, it's exhilarating, it's breathtaking, it's just incredible and you feel better than you ever have before and the water is cool and refreshing and exactly what you needed.

Sam is my waterfall.

- LJ entry from 8/2005


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Jennifer E. Thomas [userpic]
Smoking support group

I'm working on developing a quitting smoking support group at our church, as there are about a dozen of us hardcore smokers, most of whom want to quit.

The approach will be prayer based and biblical, but I also need some practical advice. So this is where my friends come in.

I can use any help at all, such as:

* Thoughts on approaching this from a Christian and a biblical perspective.
* Ideas on how to develop a support group of any kind, to get it off the ground.
* Practical tips on quitting smoking successfully.
* Lists of reasons to quit smoking, both biblical and secular.

I would so appreciate any and all input on this! Thanks guys!

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I had/have a wonderful support group in my husband and my mother-in-love. Yep, even 5 years into non smoking, it sometimes still hits hard.

I can be here if you need me to be. You should have my phone number.

if nothing else, you have my good thoughts and prayers for your project.

It's a bit different for everyone, but here's what helped me:

1. Patches. Not cheap, but similar to the cost of smoking, if you're a heavy smoker like I was. They work extremely well, or did for me, anyway. I even TRIED to smoke many times, but found it wasn't doing jack shit and put it out after a couple of puffs. What patches made me realize is that smoking gives you intermittent highs all day, so you feel good, then get down, have a smoke to feel better, etc. You go up and down all day. Patches? Constant stream of happy all fuckin' day, yo!

2. Some kind of surrogate. For me, it was bottled water. Whenever I felt like I needed to be doing something with my hands and lips, I'd have a swig of water. Healthy and helpful. My grandfather, on the other hand, chose hard candies to suck on.

3. Allow yourself to bum one off of someone now and then, at first. Just having one smoke right now will decrease the chances that you'll buckle and buy a pack, dooming your lungs to 19 more smokes.

4. Breathing exercises. This might go perfectly with your prayer idea, really. Slow, deep breaths, held a bit longer than usual, will give your brain extra oxygen and create a bit of a high when you feel you need a little something.

5. Notepads & pens, play-doh, knitting, masturbation, anything that can be ready by your side and can keep your hands busy. Half the heartache of quitting for me was feeling idle. I hadn't realized how much smoking is an activity and one that I really missed beyond the chemical addiction. I kept saying "Christ, what do non-smokers DO all the time?"

6. Sex. And lots of it.

Thou Shalt Not Partake of The Smoking. If you want to go full-tilt on the Bible thing, I'm fairly certain that Leviticus would have something about smoking.

Quitting: it sounds trite, and fairly difficult, but you just gotta do it. Put yourself into situations where you'll never be tempted to smoke. Stay away from places that allow to smoke (aside from home, of course) like libraries, church, public buildings, the YMCA/gym, etc...I found that to be the most helpful of all. I went cold turkey in the middle of an extremely stressful work day. I took a 1/2 pack of cigarettes, threw them into the trash, and put the new, unopened pack in my desk, saying that if I ever needed one, I'd open it. I never did. I ended up throwing the pack (Merits) away 2 years later.

It was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do voluntarily. But what a sense of accomplishment, and how much better I felt after a few months. Best of all? Money! Lots and lots of money saved by not smoking!!!

I have no advice for you (I quit and stuck to it mostly by myself and out of sheer stubbornness), but good luck.

biblical... didn't the "your body is a temple" bit come from the Bible?

The 12-step approach talks of giving your addiction to a higher power.

Woohoo, good luck with the quit! I'm right behind ya, and this time I'm not making rude hand signals behind your back!

yay Jenn

Good on you for wanting to quit. A support group is one of the best approaches.

I dunno about USanian resources, but here's the 13Quit stuff from Oz. :)
I'm sure that Oz smokers face similar issues that USanian smokers do.