Our History

In 1959, Dr. J. Wayne McFarland and Pastor Elman Folkenberg, created a unique and helpful smoking cessation program, called the Five-day Plan to Quit Smoking. This plan saw significant success, and many of its concepts are still used today.

In the early 1980’s the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Health Ministries Department sought to update and improve on the program, renaming it “Breathe-Free”. The Breathe-Free Plan borrowed many of its practical strategies from the old program. However, the many reviewers of the Five-day Plan believed that new research in the area of behavioral, sociological, and medical sciences since 1959 clearly indicate the Five-day Plan was in need of revision. In 1983 the General Conference, Health Department Director, Dr. Mervyn Hardinge, asked Stoy and Leilani Proctor to revise the Five-day Plan material. That revision, the Breathe-Free Plan to Stop Smoking was completed in 1984.

In 1988 the Health and Temperance Department asked the Center for Health Promotion at Loma Linda University to evaluate the 1984 version of Breathe-Free and make any changes necessary to further improve its long-term success rate, In 1991 the Center completed its work. At that time the revision was field-tested and the material refined.

The Breathe-Free Program is almost 30 years old. As with all good programs it needed to be revised to match current research in behavioral and medical sciences. Starting in 2012, the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Dependency (ICPA) and the General Conference, Health Ministries Department commissioned Dr. Daniel Handysides and his wife Sandra to revise and update the program. This website and the materials gathered here, reflect that effort.