If one of your loved ones is a smoker, it can take a toll on not only your relationship but both of your health.
You can’t actually get someone to quit smoking, it has to be a decision on their end as the only thing that will stop them is their own willpower.
Learning to live without tobacco is no easy feat and bringing this up to your loved one can be a touchy subject and they’ll need a lot of support and encouragement from you.
It can be difficult to determine what the best course of action is to bring it up initially to them and how to help them through the transition and withdrawal stages.
So we’ll be giving you some tips on how you can bring it up to them and how you can help them.
1. Express Your Concerns About Their Smoking
Many smokers will know at least subconsciously of the toll their smoking habit is taking on their health and their relationship with you.
Heart disease is regarded as the biggest killer of all smokers in the United States and smoking can double their risk of dying from a stroke.
Most smokers will know of the health concerns and that they could potentially die, but this isn’t always a strong deterrent to get them to stop.
Additionally, being constantly around your loved one smoking could start to damage your health from second hand smoke which is incredibly dangerous and many smokers won’t realise the physical harm they’re doing to you.
By putting in perspective the effect it is having on you may make them reconsider.
Cigarettes are also extremely expensive and can put a financial strain on your relationship.
If you provide a cost analysis of how much cigarettes are setting you back a week or month, it could put it into perspective for them and they could finally realise the harm they are doing.
It’s also important to remain respectful and non judgemental whilst expressing your concerns, as it’s an addiction that they find it difficult to control and they need love and support if they’re going to quit, they don’t need judgement.
2. Find An Alternative
A rare amount of people will quit smoking altogether with no aid. If your loved one is one of these people then you’re very lucky, but most people will need an alternative nicotine source to curb their addiction in a healthier way.
Nicotine replacements can come in numerous forms, for example nicotine patches, gums, lozenges and inhalers.
Whilst they can be useful, it obviously differs from person to person and what works for someone may not work for them. They can also be quite expensive, but they’re much less expensive than cigarettes.
Most nicotine replacements will come in different strengths: 2 milligrams for people who smoked under 25 cigarettes a day and 4 milligrams for those who smoked over 25 cigarettes a day.
They can try any one of these nicotine replacements and see if one works better than the other for themselves.
3. Be Prepared For Withdrawal Symptoms
A normal part of quitting smoking is the withdrawal of nicotine.
After smoking the last cigarette withdrawal can start as quickly as 4 hours later, this can be very disheartening for somebody trying to give up as side effects can be very uncomfortable, they range from nausea and headaches to anxiety and depression.
Withdrawal cravings for nicotine can be much more intense than the cravings for cigarettes, which makes it a lot more difficult to stop emotionally craving nicotine.
Being prepared for withdrawal to happen can lessen the chances of a relapse and if they do relapse let them know that it’s ok and it doesn’t mean they have to sink back into bad habits, encouragement and support is absolutely vital in this stage.
4. Encourage Them The Right Amount
It can be hard to know what the right level of encouragement to give them is, but it’s best not to completely be at them all the time about quitting smoking as they may just stop listening to you all together.
Don’t throw everything at them at once about what harm they’re doing to you and themselves as this can be quite upsetting and unfair to them. Give them time to respond back and listen to what each other is saying.
Once the agreement to quit smoking has been made, make sure to encourage them the right amount as bringing it up too much can keep reminding them of those awful cravings.
Also set milestones for weeks or months they hit without smoking, this can keep them motivated and gives them something to look forward to i.e. a date night once they reach a week without smoking.
5. Expect There To Be Hard Times
It’s not going to be easy and perfect watching your loved one quit smoking, it’s not as easy as it sounds so there will be exceptionally tough days for them.
Maintain your support throughout even on their bad days and your bad days, your support will be one of the main things that is keeping them going.
A lot of smokers aren’t successful on their first try of quitting, it may take a few times.
So don’t berate them and argue with them if they relapse, it’s a natural part of addiction and it takes an immense amount of willpower to overcome it.
Make sure you’re understanding about it all and it may take time but as long as you both keep at it then quitting smoking for good is a real possibility.
It can be immensely difficult to quit smoking and it takes a brave person to even admit that.
With your help and support and willpower of their own, your loved one can stop smoking and as long as you are understanding and caring about their addiction, it’s an achievable outcome.
We wish you and your loved one the best of luck.