With right support, a person is more likely to quit smoking forever. That is why friends, relatives and other people important for a person play a great role in kicking a bad habit.
Here are several pieces of advice on supporting a person who wants to quit smoking. The more you know, the more you can do to your loved one.
Smoking is not just a bad habit, but a serious addiction. Which is why quitting becomes ever so difficult.
Just because a person decided to quit smoking doesn’t mean they stopped thinking about cigarettes. In order for the craving to disappear, we need a lot of time and sometimes several attempts to defeat the addiction. Most people who quit smoking were not alone in their pursuit, they had support from their friends, family and other people.
Your attitude towards smoking can directly affect your loved one. Smoking and quitting, as well as yours and your loved one’s health depend on the nature of your relationship. In order to define it, ask yourself these questions:
Once you figure out the nature of your relationship, it will be easier for both of you to understand what you might have to change in it. It directly affects your attitude towards your loved one’s smoking and their attempts to quit.
You might have to do the following:
Many ex-smokers go through several attempts before finally quitting smoking for good. Do not let minor slips make you lose your track.
If you find it hard to lead a conversation towards the topic of quitting, wait for a favorable occasion. It will be great if you can express your support once you hear them say:
Let the person see that you are happy to hear that they desire to overcome addiction and that you are ready to help. If you used to smoke before, tell them how you quit smoking and how your overall condition improved.
You might say:
If the person does not start a conversation themselves, making your job easier, you might have to create a favorable occasion yourself. Ask them if they have ever thought about quitting. Or, you may try a different approach. For example, you might say:
The right questions will help you understand what the person trying to quit is going through. Make sure that your questions require a detailed answer. You might ask:
It is your loved one, not you, who is trying to quit. Listen to what they have to say. If you have asked the question, remain silent and let them finish their answer. Do not let yourself insert your own comments or answer in their stead.
«After my past attempts I made everything differently. I simply accepted that I am not perfect. I must never give up».
– Aleksandra, tobacco-free for 2 years
Reprimanding, nagging and scolding will not help your friend or relative to quit. They will just spoil your relationship, and they will not ask you for help when they really need it.
When you are trying to help someone to quit smoking, you should refrain from doing the following:
Support your friend or relative in planning their free time so that they spend it around non-smokers. If you are smoking yourself, do not do this around them, especially if you have planned a “tobacco-free” event.
It can be a good idea to do the following:
There will always be occasions that can lead to slip up, and the craving does not disappear easily. However, you can help your loved one overcome it. For example, find some way to distract themselves until the craving fades away. A strong craving lasts for just a couple of minutes, so it can be a good idea to simply call somebody or do something using their hands.
You can offer:
It can be a good idea to gather a set for people trying to quit, which would include several items to distract your friend or relative, so that they can have better chances of winning against their desire to smoke.
Helping your loved one can be truly tiresome, so no surprise if you begin wanting to let go of the reins. Try to maintain positive attitude, do not give up. Even if your loved one says otherwise, they do need your support.
It can be especially hard, since quitting makes a person gloomy and irritable.
If this happens, you should never:
Making a decision can be much easier than fully overcome the craving for smoking. Do not let your loved one give up. Make sure their intentions are serious and show them that they have your full support.
You might say:
Your friend or relative can slip up and smoke anytime. Most likely, they will feel guilty afterwards, and your anger will definitely not help..
Instead, try this:
Here is how you should react to a slip:
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
– Winston Churchill
Celebrate any small and big victories of your friend or relative. Not smoking for a day, a week or a year is a good occasion to celebrate. You can throw away all ashtrays, remove anything that reminds of smoking, dispose of an opened pack of cigarettes.
Celebrating a success can take any form you wish:
You can also acknowledge the success with a compliment:
Quitting can become a cause for stress, which can in return make a person start smoking again. If you notice that a person is becoming stressed, help them escape the vicious circle and find healthier ways to relieve stress. If you smoke, do not agree to any proposals of having a smoke together: it will simply undo all the progress.
You can suggest some ways to relieve stress without smoking, for example:
Hardships don’t stop when a person throws away their last cigarette. The craving might remain for weeks and even months. Ex-smokers often pick up the habit back within the first three months after quitting.
The reason for that is simple: traditional methods usually offer a temporary and healthier replacement, like a bandage or pills. As the result, the habit does not go away, and even months after quitting a person might take a smoke out of that habit.
The secret of defeating a habit lies in changing mode of behavior. That is exactly what our 7Spsy behavior modification technique does. It is based on behavior psychology and works of I.P. Pavlov.П.
Our 2-6 week course will help your loved one to stop resorting to cigarettes when they are stressed or bored. You will forget about the smell of tobacco, and your loved one will improve their health. You will enjoy life without cigarettes once again.
Whatever happens, let your friend or relative know that your support is not temporary. Continue celebrating milestones and suggest ways to distract, so that your loved one can overcome their craving. It could be that your support is exactly the thing they need to make this attempt to quit smoking into the final one.