Joel's Reinforcement Library
"I guess I am doing OK"
"Well, I guess I am doing OK. I took a cigarette yesterday. I don't know why. I'm just not sure what I want to do yet." This comment came from a twenty-five year, two pack a day smoker, who had quit three weeks earlier. He couldn't tell why he took the cigarette. It wasn't under stress or at a party. He was just sitting home and wanted one. So he took it. No big deal, right. Wrong--DEAD WRONG.
This man would not accept the fact of his addiction. While his initial comments indicated that possibly he did not want to stop, further inquiries demonstrated this man really wanted to stay off. I asked him if he really wished to go back to 40 cigarettes a day. He said "No way, I never want to smoke that way again. But I still want a cigarette every now and then.
Every ex-smoker faces the same dilemma as this man. The desire for one, repulsed by the idea of smoking at the old level. But under the laws of addiction, smoking is an all or nothing proposition. Due to his addiction there is no such thing as one. While he may not have been sure of whether or not he wished to stay off cigarettes, he was positive that he did not want to go back to his old level. Since he did not wish to smoke two packs a day, taking this first cigarette was a mistake.
Within a short time he was again smoking at his old level. To this day, almost three years later, he is still hooked on cigarettes. If you ever question your resolve about staying an ex-smoker, consider the alternative--smoking at your old level, or even possibly more than you used to before you quit.
Viewing smoking like this probably doesn't seem appealing to you. But no matter how much you desire never to smoke that way again, you will lose all choice over the matter if you experiment with a cigarette. The addiction controlled you once. It will control you again. And this time, you may never be able to break its powerful grip. Don't take that chance. NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!