A few times recently members inquired about how they could make a donation to us here at Freedom to help support the site. I have a series of commentaries that I usually pop up when such requests have come up in the past, but last week attaching my standard reply I saw that it made a member feel like I was offended that he had made the offer. These offers have never offended me, and in fact, I always appreciate when I see someone make the offer for I know that they are just showing their appreciation and are just wanting to give back for the help they feel we have provided them.

Over the weekend I received the following comment on the YouTube Channel where I have all of my videos:

"Joel, when I found out I was dying from COPD in 2007, the first thing I did was nervously light up a cigarette. I never tried to quit because I thought I would fail. Thank you, your videos are saving my lungs. The fact that you are not trying to sell me anything really adds to your credibility (and heroism!) Me, my lungs and my family and thank you! Your videos should have more views!"

The section I bolded above captures why I have always insisted that the materials I produce are made available for free. I shot a new video this morning elaborating a little on this issue that I am going to attach below.

Before that though, I am attaching the standard reply and commentaries that I have used in the past when this issue comes up. In the future I will simply attach a link to this new string whenever questions about our funding or inquiries about donations are posted on the board.


Previous standard reply:

Actually, I touched on the issue of why I have done this for free in a recent video attached to the 10th post in the string


If you start watching at around eleven and a half minute mark you will see why I wanted the material to always be given away for free.

Another place where I try to hit home the point is the forward of the free book Never Take Another Puff. Here is what it says there:

Author’s Disclaimers and Use Authorization

Copyright © Joel Spitzer, 2006. This book or any portion thereof may be freely distributed in either electronic or print form so long as no charge is made for it, and so long as this notice remains with any significant portion of the book when distributed.

Joel Spitzer and www.WhyQuit.com are not affiliated with any product or service, nor do they endorse any service or product. It is our belief that a person does not need to spend any money in order to break free from nicotine. It is our belief that people do not need to be hypnotized, acupunctured, lasered, patched, gummed, lozenged, take bupropion, varenicline or any vitamin or supplement, or use any other product or procedure to quit smoking.

Joel Spitzer and WhyQuit.com provide all information totally free of charge. Our work may not be used to endorse any quitting product and service. Those marketing quitting products and services do at times approach us for consent to share our materials. We allow our materials to be distributed for the benefit of individual quitters but they must be distributed totally free of charge, without solicitation or donation requests, there can be no mention of any quitting service or product on any page of our materials, any reproduction must contain our copyrights, this disclaimer must be included in full, and sharing our materials should in no way be construed as an endorsement of any product or service.

Please contact us at [email protected] if any handout or publication is found to contain product or service information, or if these materials were used to market or promote any fee based product or service. Specific complaints will result in permanent revocation of permission for the offending business to distribute our materials.

Our literature is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a reader and his/her physician. Do not rely upon any information in this quitting literature to replace individual consultations with your doctor or other qualified health care provider.

Also, here is a response I have used numerous times over the years here at Freedom when people inquire about why we don't charge for our resources:

FromIs Freedom a cult?

"The group is preoccupied with making money.

Some of these criteria may need a technical explanation of how we are different than a cult, but not this one. We have never made a penny from any of our members and have no future intentions of doing so either. Everything we have is given to our members and our lurkers free of charge, and we do not take donations."

FromAbout Usat Whyquit.com

Disclosure of Financial and Competing Interests

Each site has been developed, is maintained and is funded by its editor, author or managers. No site has received any public or private funding whatsoever, no financial donations have ever been accepted by anyone associated with any site, and no editor, author or manager receives any financial compensation whatsoever for their online work at WhyQuit, Freedom or AskJoel. For a detailed statement visit WhyQuit'sDisclosurepage.

FromWhat is wrong with using a relaxation tape designed to help people quit?

"Another reason that we do not endorse tapes or books or other services is that we don't want any of our members or readers to feel that they need to spend a penny on anything to quit smoking. There may be some members that have used tapes or went for hypnosis, but the vast majority of people at our site did not. When it comes down to it the vast majority of long-term successful ex-smokers in the world did not use these techniques either. Also, the majority of people who did utilize these products or services as their sole support failed in their attempts. Under these conditions I see many of these services and products as a waste of money and we do not want any of our members or readers getting the idea of wasting any of their money by recommendations that that they read here from posts at Freedom. "

Also fromDiscussing other books on smoking cessation at Freedom:

"The reason we will not endorse any other book or service, even if they are somewhat in line with what we teach is that we do not believe that people need to spend a single cent on any thing in order to quit smoking and thus we are not going to help promote the purchase of anything."

So as you can see, keeping our resources free is a cornerstone of our operation. People may question our sanity as to why we endorse our cold turkey philosophy but they should never question our motives--we push it because we truly believe that the safest and most successful way to break free and stay free from nicotine addiction is to simply make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

New video addressing this issue: