We have a number of people who have just reached a major milestone in smoking cessation--they have made it whole year nicotine free. This really is a major accomplishment. For when a person is off for a year it means they have learned to deal with annual events and holidays, changes of seasons, major national and world tragedies, and a host of other life upheavals all the while proving to themselves and to others that they are fully capable of experiencing life's ups and downs smoke free.
Basically making it a year means that a person has proven that there can be a full life after smoking. While a year is a major accomplishment, it is still important to keep working with the premise that every day is also still a major accomplishment. Also please note, that being off for a year does not mean that you have ended your addiction. It is still there and if given the opportunity will come out in full force.
Almost every clinic or seminar I do I will have people who were once off for many years, and sometimes even decades. I actually did a group two nights ago. I only had seven people there. Five were kids who were caught smoking and sentenced by the courts to attend the seminar. The two other were a man and women who did not know each other and who were there because they wanted to quit. Both of them coincidentally had five year quits in the past that they had lost. Of course they both lost it the same way, one day after fives years they took a puff.
The point I am trying to make is that being off for a year is great. It means you have learned how to do lots of things as an ex-smoker. It means they you have proved countless times that you can overcome adversity and still remain smoke free. It means you have learned how to celebrate major events without "needing" to smoke.
Being off a year proves a lot of things, but it does not prove that a person is cured or immune to relapse. Our one and two year ex-smokers are still addicts in recovery and hopefully will stay this way for the rest of their lives. Enforcing one simple rule can insure that that they never will relapse. That rule is to remain smoke free simply entails remembering and keeping in practice the decision to never take another puff!