Joe Cruse I Don't Smoke
Addiction News and TipsSeptember 2010


A little over a year go the book "I Don't Smoke!" was published by Health Communications, Inc. It won an award, and caught the eye of the people at the Change Companies. The Change Companies are the creators of "Interactive Journaling," a tool that uses guided expressive writing to motivate individuals to make behavior changes. They publish Interactive Journals for a variety of fields of human behavior and health. The Journals have received wide acceptance by individuals and organizations in many different arenas: Adult Treatment, Youth Intervention & Treatment, Health Improvement, Criminal Justice, Impaired Driving, Education & Prevention. 

I Don't Smoke Interactive JournalThis new Interactive Journal based on the book "I Don't Smoke!" has been designed for personal use. It serves as a guide, or treatment plan, to free the tobacco addict from their addiction.  It will be released on September 17th, 2010 and can be acquired through the publisher: In October, it will be available on Amazon and through your favorite book store.  Treatment programs can receive a 48% discount on orders of 25 or more. 

The Interactive Journal,  "I Don't Smoke!",  is constructed to allow an individual, a group, or a therapist/counselor to use it as a part of a lesson or treatment plan.  And just as the primary book does, the Interactive Journal emphases the importance of addressing nicotine dependency as the addiction it is.  It features interactive exercises that point out the costs to the users in dollars and poor health consequences.  It emphasizes the individual's emotions, family, and self worth.  It runs on the concepts of  "Re-train your brain" and  "Don't do it alone...  get a Cheering Squad!"   The Interactive Journal is set for release on September 17th,  2010.
I Don't Smoke BookThe book, "I Don't Smoke!" serves as an expanded reference and resource book.   It lends itself to being a major tool during the post-program aftercare plan.  It is the basic book of the ongoing Cheering Squads and thus can be used for months.  Further information is available at 
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A very useful teaching tool we have used since 1984 at Onsite Workshops is based on the World Health Organization's elements for an infectious disease to manifest itself.  The elements are: a toxic agent, a susceptible host, and a permissive environment. I wrote a small booklet describing alcoholism  as a "Romance" that begins as a flirtation, becomes a courtship and blooms into a full-blown illicit affair.  At that time those doing research on the disease began to turn their attention away from the liver as the organ of interest and they turned to the fascinating research on the brain as the organ central to the manifestation of alcoholism and other addictions.  The lower mid-brain seems to be the seat of our reward and pleasure pathways. Many of these pathways are beneficial to us, others are harmful, such as addictions. This same area of the brain is also responsible for most of our emotions and feelings.   
Thus, with all of this information in hand we developed an icon for addictive disease showing the three elements and the love affair that develops between a user's brain and their drug(s) of choice:

3 Elements by Joseph R Cruse, MD
Smokers, chewers, sniffers, shooters, drinkers and pill takers are surprised to learn that that the struggle in becoming clean and sober s not between them and the toxic agents they are sending into their bodies.  It is a struggle between them and their own precious brains!  And just like in the old western movies, they need to "pull out the arrow,  get on their horse and ride for help!"
This model provides a graphic illustration of where and for what each employee is responsible. In general, the toxic agent is the medical staff's responsibility,
e.g. medical assessment, detoxification, withdrawal, and other medication management.  The clinical staff is responsible for the susceptible host; for retraining the addictive pathways of the brain, addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of the addiction, and tending to the spiritual and self-worth issues that accompany most addictions.  The executive board and administration are responsible for the environment: for financial, administrative, training and personnel support, quality assessments and setting the policies and procedures to assure a continuing positive outcome. 

In a small town in the Rockies a handout shopping guide advertised a gift shop that sells raw tobacco. They have a machine that loads the tobacco into empty paper cigarette tubes. The tubes are $10.00 for 200, enough tobacco to fill them is $15.00.  The establishment can only sell the "makin's" according to law.  There is no expensive federal or state tax on the "makin's", just on manufactured tobacco products.  So, how does the buyer escape these high taxes and attempt fill the equivalent of a carton of cigarette tubes successfully with tobacco? 
Roll your Own CigaretteThe store has a machine for the customer to lease for $30.00.  It is as big as a freezer and can fill 200 tubes in approximately 8 minutes.  Tobacco goes in the top and the tubes are placed in a tray near the bottom. Loosely packed cigarettes come out the bottom into another box that is big enough to hold a carton.   BUT, the store clerk, or any other store employees, is not allowed to even touch the machine.  Directions are attached to the machine.  If the clerk loads the ingredients, runs the machine or sells the resulting product to the customer, they are then considered to be in the sales AND the manufacture of cigarettes.  They would be liable for over $50.00 per carton in state and federal taxes.  The customer had to pay $45.00 per carton and "Roll his own" to avoid the extra $50.00 cost. There is a video on YouTube showing a very busy machine. The machine was labeled RYO (Roll Your Own).
Two young 20 year old men were standing there watching the machine crank out these $4.50 packs of cigarettes for a trapper type guy.  The youngest one, with an "I belong..." cigarette travelling behind his ear, said that the gas station next door was now up to $95.00 per carton for Newport Lites!   He said he was having trouble affording them.  I said to him, "Wow, almost $100.00 per carton! You must really love to smoke!" He shifted his eyes from the machine to me with an expression that cut to my soul.  His eyes said, "LOVE to smoke? I HAVE to smoke and there is nothing I can do... I HAVE NO CHOICE."  He continued to look at me with a pleading stare that seemed to say, "Is there something I can do?"   Then he and his buddy walked out before I could give him an "I Don't Smoke!" business card...

The four cardinal humors (fluids) of Hippocratic medicine were black bile (melankholia, melan = black and cholia = bile), yellow bile (cholera), phlegm (phlegma), and blood (sanguis).  The person with a lot of depression, or melancholy, was thought to have a lot of black bile. The emotions were thought to reside in or near the liver as the gall bladder does.  Researchers thought that the person with an alcoholic liver might have the answer to alcoholism hidden in his liver.  As stated above, the focus on the organ most responsible for addictive disorders is now the brain. Those same areas are involved in a great deal of our emotional life. The Old Testament put Love in the heart, however. Now, there is evidence that polypeptides dealing with love and empathy are also secreted by the heart. 
It is not sure how any of this has actually come about, but isn't it lucky that we use the heart as the seat of our emotions, especially our love?  What if  we still believed that the liver was in charge of our emotional life?
Can you imagine saying "I love you with all my liver"? Or sending a cutout of your liver to your sweetie on Valentines Day?  Or hearing Tony Bennett singing, "I Left My Liver... In San Francisco"?  (That would take a lot of drinking!)
Joe Cruse
Woodshaven, Inc.

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P.P.S. "I Don't Smoke!" can be a do it yourself, but not by yourself, stand-alone book. You can get it online, 20% off, at

Woodshaven, Inc. | 2117 Boundary Oak Dr. | Las Vegas | NV | 89134