Smoking Cessation: How to Help Loved Ones Kick the Habit

Kicking the habit can be a rollercoaster ride. Successful quitters stay smoke-free through the support and encouragement of others. If someone you love is struggling with tobacco use, learn what you can do to improve their chances with smoking cessation.

Strategies to Use to Support and Encourage Smoking Cessation

Be Respectful and Show Care

Remember that the person you are trying to help is ultimately in charge of their own life. Kicking the habit is their challenge, not yours. Holding them to your standards and expectations can be counterproductive. Instead of focusing on whether this time is really the “last time,” think about smoking cessation as a journey.

Ask how they are doing and how they are feeling. Let your loved one know that they can talk to you whenever they need support, encouragement, or guidance.

Be Mindful of Your Relationship

How you deal with a loved one’s smoking habits can influence the person trying to quit. Think about their behavior and yours:

  • Do you care if they smoke around you?
  • Does smoking cause tension or even arguments?
  • Do you avoid talking about smoking?
  • Does a personal health issue impact how you deal with smoking?

Understanding the relationship you have with the person who wants to quit might mean that you need to change how you approach that relationship. For example, your relationship might benefit from more acknowledgments of small successes and less criticism of setbacks.

The benefits of smoking cessation

Start the Conversation

Smoking cessation is not an easy topic to talk about. Many people avoid the subject altogether because these conversations can become awkward and tense. But, talking about tobacco use is a crucial part of supporting and encouraging someone struggling with kicking the habit.

There are many ways to break the ice without offending a loved one. For example, if they mention that they are thinking about quitting smoking, let them know that you are ready and willing to help them on their journey to becoming smoke-free.

Help Them Think About the Big Picture

When talking with a loved one about quitting, encourage them to think about the long-term benefits of kicking the habits, including:

  • Living longer
  • Lower risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions
  • More energy
  • Saving money

If they have children, living a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial to their whole family. It sets a positive example for impressionable young people and decreases the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Lecturing Can Be Unhelpful

It may be frustrating if your friend or family member does not quit as soon as you would like. It can also be frustrating when their journey takes an unexpected detour.

But, at the end of the day, scolding, nagging, and lecturing will not help with smoking cessation. Behaviors like these can also damage a relationship, making it less likely someone would lean on you for support when they really need it.

Learn how to help with smoking cessation

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Family Health Centers is your community resource for health and wellness. At any of our convenient Nassau County locations, you will find a compassionate team of health care professionals committed to providing affordable health care services to all.

Request an appointment today to begin your journey to wellness.

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