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It’s All About Freedom

Issue 26

BUTTKICKERS: Twenty Ways to Leave Tobacco

If you want to stop using tobacco, this book might be the ticket for you. BUTTKICKERS urges readers to dig deeper than traditional tobacco cessation strategies – like setting quit dates, avoiding triggers and using nicotine patches – and seeking the freedom of living fully that being nicotine-free offers.

Tobacco and nicotine offer pleasure and comfort, sure but, as Joanna Free points out, they do so at a tremendous cost. “Tobacco takes over our attention, hijacks our creativity, numbs us up, and dumbs us down,” she says, “until we’re just getting through each day, not really living. Tobacco robs us of an awareness of the amazing, creative miracle that we are.”

“Enough,” Joanna says. The tobacco industry has spent billions perfecting a product that feels safe and smooth and plays on brain chemicals to make us feel rewarded, comforted and nurtured. Tobacco users can do better for themselves and the people who love them. They can solve the true problem that tobacco users face, which isn’t nicotine dependence at all. It’s a disconnection from ourselves and others, our purpose, and hope.

Joanna’s journey to a tobacco-free life meant finding connection and meaning, addressing emotional and psychological issues she’d been running away from for years, dealing with frustration and anger, and seeking support from others in her “tribe.” It was a start-and-stop process. That sounds like recovery from addiction to other drugs and alcohol, with similar strategies for seeking transformation, meaning and connection through mutual support communities. Some of the twenty ways to leave tobacco will be familiar to people in recovery from other substances.

Some specific pointers:

• Bundle. Use as many supports as possible to kick butts and stay free.

• Get creative. Find a new way to deal with stress. Put something else in your mouth besides a cigarette.

• Watch your words. Stop talking about craving and think instead about the discomfort that arises when you want to smoke. Then find a way to deal with that discomfort.

• Get in the herd. Find some fellow Buttkickers for support, relaxation, and fun.

• Breathe! When things get stressful and you want to light up, take a moment to breathe, deeply, maybe even go outside for a walk.

• Get and give some love. While Joanna supports any path to freedom from nicotine, she encourages readers to find and give the support and love with other seekers.

This book has heart. It’s written in plain language that speaks directly to the reader. If you want to learn more or if you want to connect around your own buttkicking, Joanna Free wants to hear from you!

Check out BUTTKICKERS at your local library – for free! – or buy it wherever fine books are sold. What a great gift for the butt (or vape) kicker in your life.

For Nicotine Anonymous: nicotine-anonymous.uk

For the MaineQuitLink: call 1-800-784-8669 or visit mainequitlink.com

Additional resource info: cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/

Connect with Joanna:

LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/joanna-free/

Facebook www.facebook.com/JoannaTheAmazon

Instagram www.instagram.com/joanna.free/

Alison Webb (Recovery Allies)
Alison Webb (Recovery Allies)
Alison Jones Webb, a public health specialist and recovery advocate, is the author of Recovery Allies: How to Support Addiction Recovery and Build Recovery-Friendly Communities. She has spoken at numerous professional meetings and is a certified prevention specialist and recovery coach.

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