I just hung up with a smoking clinic graduate of mine who was telling me that she had two friends signed up for the clinic I was supposed to start on Tuesday but that had gotten postponed because of the events that day. She had noted that they both seemed relieved that they didn't have to quit now until October. There were over 40 people registered for this clinic and I suspect many of the people felt the same way.
It reminded me of a clinic I did for a major insurance company about 18 years ago. The company had 6,000 employees in one site and offered an onsite smoking cessation clinic just after work hours. The employees had to pay $25 which the company would reimburse if they successfully graduated the clinic, come on their own time, and were still responsible for their normal daily work.
The company was expecting 20 to 30 employees to show, because they had done a pre-clinic interest survey. But only 6 people showed up. Most had chickened out at the last minute. But even the six who showed up were happy when they realized that with only six people the company would never pay for a whole clinic. But much to their surprise, management said that they were going on with the program anyway. You should have seen it--the six people who paid $25 and came on their own time--were all their trying to talk management into postponing the clinic. They thought they had a reprieve and they didn't.
What is impressive about this story though is that 5 out of those 6 people quit smoking and one year later, four of them were still off cigarettes. Even though they though they had an out, they still ended up quitting and I will bet that a year later each and everyone of those who quit were thankful for the companies original decision and to themselves for taking advantage of it.
I would have conducted the clinic this week if the Civic Center where we were conducting the clinic had been opened that night. But as this was not the case we were forced to postpone. All involved understood and hopefully they will all come to the program in October. Maybe some of them even stuck to their original plans and have quit on their own. Actually I had one woman, who had smoked for over 60 years who had flown in from New Mexico for the clinic--who did quit 7:00 pm Tuesday night and is still doing fine. I am maintaining regular phone follow-up with her.
The point is, even under the worst of circumstances, life goes on and smoking cessation is fully possible under any conditions. To survive smoke free and to come through such times stronger than you ever thought possible--stay focused on the fact that you have the strength, desire and resolve to prove that you will never take another puff!