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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts, or access the GUS Library at dKosopedia for a great list of stop-smoking links. Check it out! Want to make sure you never miss us? Follow (♥) the GUS tag to keep GUS in your Stream. It's just that easy!

A message to ALL quitters. You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

Well, here's a bit of news that should set the GUS community's hearts aflutter: our nasty old frenemy Big Tobacco is being forced to fess up, in a very public and sustained way that leaves little room for weaseling out of their decades-long (and massively profitable) deception of the public. And it's about time! After all...

"'Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction,' says the text of one statement ordered by Judge Kessler. Another says: 'When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain – that’s why quitting is so hard.'"
- The Wall Street Journal
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler---who has ruled against Big Tobacco in the past---made sure Philip Morris and pals would have to run these ads for a while (a couple of years) and specified that each ad must include a "preamble" explaining WHY they're having to confess their past misdeeds, so no burying that inconvenient info in teeeeeeensy weensy print underneath a flashy, distracting, pretty image that subtly implies that smoking cigarettes is totally not that bad for you, really, they promise.

Unlike the Monty Python version of the Spanish Inquisition, they are being urged to confess by means a bit more convincing than the dreaded Comfy Chair. So let's all give a shout-out to Judge Kessler, and to everyone over the years who ever stood up to Big Tobacco and their exploitative business practices. It's rare that such a powerful industry is forced to admit misdeeds, and acknowledge that committing them has consequences.

Confession is supposedly good for the soul, but I must admit that it's a lot more satisfying to see powerful, exploitative entities---ones that do actual, quantifiable damage to a LOT of people, like Big Tobacco---have to do so than it is to see those struggling with behavior modification and addiction confess to ill-advised choices or bad behavior. While most 12-step programs feature some version of confessing (admitting to others what has been done and an intention to change), I'm not entirely convinced that you really need to confess to anyone but yourself to be successful in your efforts.

But that aspect of change---being honest with yourself---is critical. It's important to know and internalize what it is you're facing, and to acknowledge that facing it may not be easy. If you can't admit to yourself what's going on, all the lip service you give to the rest of the world isn't going to matter.

Some folks find strength or solace or even absolution in the act of confession. For me, it's more of a private thing, a way to achieve clarity (but not in the creepy, intrusive, Scientology sense of the word). I think of it more as an important tool you can use in the long, sometimes messy, occasionally confusing, but ultimately rewarding process of change.

                             
                             
                             

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