>> Dec 7, 2013
It’s understandably distressing watching a family member or friend smoking their lives away though there are ways to help family and friends quit smoking without them hating you for it.
Often the worst thing you can do when trying to help a family member or friend quit smoking is pester them to quit. Chances are they’re well aware of the fact that their habit is potentially life threatening though when you point this out you’re not creating an awareness of the perils of smoking but rather coming across as an annoyance; one that probably makes them want another cigarette.
Smokers need to make the decision to quit themselves and whilst it might help them to understand that you’re troubled by their habit the decision to quit smoking must be theirs.
What you can do to help them quit
There are a number of approaches that you can take to help someone quit smoking but you have to remember that the decision to quit is theirs not yours. Ex-smokers often come across as preachy, which is behaviour to avoid, as is exhibiting negative emotions intended to alert them to your distaste for their habit – emphasis must be placed on the positive aspects of quitting.
It can be difficult to broach the subject in a positive way but you’ll find there are always angles you can take to let them know that you’re there for them and when they want your help they’ve got it. This is important because smokers need to be ready to quit, it isn’t something that can be forced upon them.
Dos and don’ts
To help a family member or friend kick the habit there are a number of dos and don’ts to adhere to. Here’s five of each.
- Respect that it’s their decision to quit not yours
- See things from their point of view – quitting isn’t easy
- Make your home a smoke free area and remove all signs of smoking
- Ask them how they’re going and if there’s anything you can help them with
- Celebrate their efforts as often as possible to motivate them
- Nag or pester them to quit – you’ll do more harm than good
- Doubt their ability to kick the habit – your support is crucial
- Be afraid to ask them how they’re going or if they need help
- Offer advice other than that you’ve learnt from personal experience
- Fault them if they fail, with your encouragement they can try again
Tapering off or using alternatives
Everyone handles the quitting process differently and whilst some are able to quit by going cold turkey and never look back, others need to take a different approach, like tapering off or using alternatives. The tapering off method has been found by many to be beneficial because they needn’t worry about instant withdrawals and they can reduce their habit over time for however long it takes.
Using alternatives has also been found by many to be an excellent way of quitting, like using nicotine gum or switching to an electric cigarette so as to cease smoking but stave off withdrawals. Like the tapering off method, alternatives have also been found effective by many smokers trying to quit though the addiction to nicotine still remains. An effective approach in this regard is to switch to an alternative like nicotine gum or e-cigs and then slowly taper off the habit for as long as it takes, which could be a while but it’s still a better alternative than continuing to smoke and putting oneself and those around them at risk.
About the Author:
NUCIG is one of the UK's leading providers of electric cigarette kits of good quality. They also have a large selection of refills or e-liquids along with accessories on their website.