Schenkler Stop Smoking Program
column was written by me some fourteen years ago when my wife Lil was
pregnant with Allison. It originally ran in the Tribune on Jan. 12-18,
1989. This chronicles the steps that I used to successfully stop smoking
fourteen years ago. I share
it with you now that the new City smoking regs may serve as motivation
for some of you to take the big step. Our Associate Editor Stephen
McGuire has taken a copy and started stopping. If you should see Stephen
(pictured right) with cigarette in hand, call the Trib.
you intend to stop, send us your name MSchenkler@Queenstribune.com;
weíll try to send back some words of wisdom and perhaps a
I have not done it. Iím about to. And youíre all invited to join in.
Itís the Schenkler Stop Smoking Program and youíre sure to be a
a little of this program, a little of that one and a lot of motivation.
And it works.
Tribune Associate Editor,
Steve McGuire gives Cub Scout Pack 75 a tour of the Trib
office. McGuire has decided to quit the habit.
If you see him smoking,
call the Trib at 718 357-7400.
Photo by: Shams Tarek
One: We shouldnít smoke.
just isnít good for us. Weíve known this for years. Theyíve been
printing it on packs of cigarettes and shouting it on the airwaves.
Recently, non-smokers have been speaking up and governmental regulations
have been closing in around us. Whether we resent it or not, one point
is clear, smoking is just no good.
Two: We have a right to smoke.
civil libertarian in me rebels against all those non-smoking crazies who
try to invade my space. The government can regulate away, but if they
donít have the goddamn courage to outlaw tobacco, they shouldnít get
into the argument.
if smoking is so bad, outlaw the sale of cigarettes. But R.J. Reynolds,
Philip Morris and friends have a lot more clout than any Surgeon
General. The issue is just not considered. Itís another case of the
almighty buck having the final say. So they donít even attempt to
address the real issue and they print warnings and pass harassing laws
and allow insurance companies to raise rates for smokers. If something
is poison, they normally stop its sale. We are getting mixed messages.
It is the governmentís fault that we smoke.
they can do the job right, they should go save America by controlling
air pollution and stay off our backs.
to reiterate point two, we are not stopping because of harassment,
governmental warnings or regulations. This is America. We are doing this
because it is good for us. Got that, so get off my back.
Three: We want to stop.
are going to stop because we know it is in our own best interest.
Everybody repeat: ďIím going to stop smoking because it is in my
You canít do it for a loved one; you gotta do it for yourself.
and regulations wonít stop us. Smokers are strong people, not weak.
After all, we stare cancer in the eye, without flinching, more than 20
so we want to stop. How do we do it?
the answer to almost every challenge in life. Motivation you can realize
almost immediately. Not if it means youíll live another two hours 30
years from now. Itís more like if you quit smoking, youíll get that
car, trip, raise, gift, or lots of money Ė just about anything you
right, if you are successful, if you stop smoking, you will be rewarded
with one or more things youíve always wanted Ė big things, important
things, expensive things, exotic things, erotic things, anything you
want. Besides that, you want to and remember, ďIím going to stop
smoking because it is in my best interest.
how do we go about getting you these great rewards for doing something
you want to do any way?
Five: You ask.
ask all those people who either bother you about smoking or those who
you know want you to stop.
mom, you prepared to go for a 45-inch+ projection TV? Put up or shut up.
How about the in-laws? Thereís this Royal Doulton toby mug of
Mephistopheles (small size with a verse on bottom) costs $900-$1,000.
Peter, Phyllis Ė small price to pay to get me to stop smoking. Lil,
Iíll negotiate with you in private.
thereís Barbara, she complains the most. And Steve, you comment every
time I light up. What are you guys willing to go for? And Dave, youíre
all talk. Let me see you put some real bucks on the line.
anyone else that wants me to stop, write quick. I can use the
all thereís to it. Just ask.
can do the same thing. Just give or send a copy of this column to anyone
and everyone in your life and let them use the coupon below to motivate
you. You might want to fill in the coupon for someone. But, if they care
about you, theyíll make it count; not some dumb little offering.
Motivation has got to be big and strong and expensive. Or itís gotta
be something greatly desired. Everyone has their price. Let them know
Koch, you want me to stop smoking. You promise not to run again.
you ask wonít agree, but many will. And just think of all the loot and
goodies you can acquire for doing something you already want to.
Remember, ďIím going to stop smoking, because it is in my best
given a few friends a preview of this program, here is what their
coupons will read:
Rita wants a mink (but she insists that they not kill any animals to
expects a new bay window from his folks and professional driving lessons
(he need them, Iíve seen him drive) from Walter and Rita. And his ego
demands recognition for the accomplishment. So I promise to print it
here when he stops.
wants a cruise and patio furniture. Jimmy, itís your move.
get the idea. Ask; ask big; ask everyone.
turn Ė in addition to everything requested above, I know, there are
friends, family and readers out there that want me to be successful with
my effort. I need motivation! Please help. Fill out the coupon below,
make your offering exciting, attractive, and generous (donít worry, I
like everything) and mail it to me: Mike Schenkler. Queens Tribune,
46-25 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY 11355.
turn Ė photocopy this column and coupon and get it to a batch of
people. Donít be afraid to ask big.
me a copy of what youíve been able to extort. I think sharing stories
may help us stop.
wait till youíre successful, collect the goodies and write me a letter
of thanks. Or better yet, Iíll take 10 percent (after all, miracle
programs that work are worth a lot).
Six: Quitting is hard work Ė Phase it out.
Ė Quitting is not so easy. It requires commitment and resolve. But the
rewards are worth it. Feel free to use gimmicks.
free to supplement this program with every and any other one.
pills, use a pacifier, get hypnotized, take a course Ė do whatever
turns you on. Do them all or donít do any of them.
it out. While youíre going around getting commitments, start cutting
back. Insert a small slip of paper into the pack. Use it to count your
cigarettes. You might want to record times of each cig. But make a
conscious effort to decrease the number of cigarettes. At least, be
aware whenever you take one.
brands. Buy one of the low tar and nicotine cigarettes. My son calls it
smoking belly button lint.
carry your pack as you always did. If they were in your shirt pocket or
pocketbook, put them in your coat. Donít take them to the bedroom at
night and donít have them at your side when you watch TV. Leave them
in some remote corner of the house. Youíve got to walk to get one.
everyone around you that youíre cutting back. Seek advice and
be afraid to eat. Next year Iíll publish my weight loss program.
spending a week or two cutting back (under 10 a day, cigarettes are
going to make you feel slightly sick. Stopping will not be as hard.
the pressure of stopping immediately. Set your target date far enough
into the future to get commitments from everyone possible. Then actually
stop at least a week before your target date. Youíll appreciate the
stopped, however, is real tough. So take your list of rewards and carry
them where you carried your pack and every time you want a cig, reach
for your list. Some prefer a photo of a child; me, I go for the gold.
Seven: Collecting The Goodies
have you won? If you have managed to stop and stay stopped for four
months, as far as I am concerned, youíve got to be an idiot to go
I am going to stop before Feb. 1, and Iíll collect my goodies on June
1. So start saving up. ďIím going to stop smoking because it is in
my best interest.Ē
any Trib staff member who stops by May 1, and stays smoke free till Sept
1, Iíll give $100. Just come in and get me to sign a coupon. (I expect
the money back if you start smoking again).
forward to hearing from you. Iíd like to print some of your stories.
or give this to everyone who you think wants to help you. (Fill in the
blanks, if you wish.)
help me to stop smoking by providing me with the needed motivation as
explained in the attached column. Kindly fill in the coupon below
(unless I took the liberty of filling it in for you), sign it and return
it to me.
for your help.
you stop smoking and remain absolutely smoke free from __________
till___________, I promise that Iíll: (buy you, give you, blank you).
by Dom Nunziato
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com
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