Smoking is probably one of the most prevalent addictions in the modern world. Talk to any smoker and they will regale you with tales of how many times they have tried to give up the dreaded weed and failed. It’s one of the few addictions where families and friends can play an immediate and important part in helping someone to give up their smoking habit.
Any addict knows how difficult it is to give up smoking. Once those cravings cut in, it’s almost impossible to resist the need for another cigarette which is why many people who go cold turkey don’t succeed. There are, fortunately, a number of good tools available to help people quit nowadays.
Dealing with a Reluctant Quitter
Many friends or family members will know someone who smokes. It’s more likely that a family member will get involved in trying to get a loved one to quit, normally a spouse or parent. Kids can develop a habit having started smoking among their peers and intervening as quickly as possible is important. For long term smokers it’s often a question of working gradually to a point where they want to give up.
Pointing out the health factors involved in smoking doesn’t seem to work, as the pictures of diseased lungs on packets of cigarettes prove. Getting your loved one to try something like an e-cigarette as a substitute could be a good idea but is by no means a guarantee of success. As with most addictions there’s no mileage in getting angry or irritated because someone has smoked when you don’t want them to – care and compassion generally work better.
Most non-smokers don’t see what the problem is. You simply just stop smoking. Unless you have an insight into addiction then you won’t be able to comprehend how quitting can be physically and emotionally challenging, even for something as common as a cigarette.
Supporting Someone to Quit Smoking
A large number of a smokers will try to quit of their own accord. This is the time they need as much support as possible. It might be because they want to lead a healthier lifestyle. They may have had a health scare. It might be as simple as not being able to afford cigarettes anymore. The only thing that doesn’t seem to get people to quit is if you start nagging or lecturing about the dangers and the possibility of lung cancer.
When someone does decide to give up smoking, help them put together a good plan. That could mean moving onto a substitute for a while. More people in the last few years have moved successfully onto e-cigarettes. While these may have their own harmful qualities they are much less damaging than proper cigarettes which contain up to 4,000 different chemicals. They also don’t smell like cigarettes do.
The trick is to find what works for a particular smoking addiction and to be flexible enough if one thing isn’t working to try something else.
Another thing you can do is to provide distractions when things get tough for the smoking addict. Take them to the cinema or go for a walk together. Get them involved in a hobby or join in a new fitness regime. There will be times when your friend or family member will get irritable and helping them get through these periods with care and compassion can make all the differences.
Anyone trying to kick a smoking addiction will fail sometimes. They may come in from work smelling of smoke and swear blind that they haven’t had a cigarette. Don’t get angry or accuse them, it’s going to happen and you are better off supporting them than judging them. Keep at it and you should find that they will go for longer and longer periods without a cigarette and then become smoke free.