Can you help your spouse, friends, or coworker stop smoking? Or we can’t do anything since they have to decide it. Well, once your loved one decides to quit smoking, one of the most influential factors in their success will be the support from their peer group.
While every smoker and attempt to quit is different, you can follow some general rules or advice to help them.
The most important rule is to ask how you can help. You may have an idea about that, but the person needing help may require different support. For example, we may think that talking about withdrawal symptoms or giving advice on overcoming them may help the smoker. But, in reality, they need only patience and nothing more.
But as I have mentioned, every situation is different, so here are some ideas.
A few ideas on how you can help
Be aware that those you want to help may be moody, unfriendly, and even rude! But, you should be empathetic. Don’t forget that it’s a difficult journey for him!
Strengthen his determination
I think the most important step is to strengthen his decision. Tell him that this attempt will be successful even if he had tried it before and failed. Smokers usually run several times until they can successfully resist the temptation to smoke. There is no problem with that since nicotine is among the most severe addictions.
A list of all the benefits of stopping smoking is a good idea. If he has one, it might be a good idea to sit down and talk about those positive effects in the tough times. It can help to keep going on a lot.
Let him know how proud you are that he is quitting smoking! Remind him that you will always be there for him, whatever he says or does.
The first few days are the hardest
The most challenging time of quitting is obviously the first few days. That is the time when he needs the most support. Maybe he needs someone to talk to or be with, someone from whom he can feel support. You can get together for a walk or a tasty dinner.
If you can afford it, organize a trip or a program that takes him out of the regular environment. Smoking is not just about nicotine addiction but habits that are related to smoking, such as having a cigarette before going to work or waiting at the station. This way, he cannot meet these routines, which may help avoid the need for a cigarette.
Don’t bother him with useless questions and statements
Do you know what people who are in the middle of quitting hate the most? When they are asked statements like these:
- You still haven’t smoked?
- How severe are your withdrawal symptoms?
- I couldn’t live without smoking.
- Don’t you miss cigarettes?
Do you want to hear about or talk about it if you’re suffering from missing something like hell? I don’t think. It makes you tired to forget it and your friend comes with stupid questions like that.
Don’t talk about cigarettes unless your partner brings it up! It can often help if your friend doesn’t think about cigarettes.
Even if it was easy for you before, don’t say it is easy to quit! Every person stops differently. The advantages you have experienced are, of course, worth mentioning.
Avoid taunting, preaching, and berating. These methods aren’t effective. Instead, express your appreciation for his effort!
Avoid places that remember him smoking
For a smoker, a place, a smell, or even a sound can trigger the feeling of lighting a cigarette. So, you should help the quitter to avoid these circumstances. Therefore, always choose a non-smoking area in a restaurant, and avoid situations where he may undergo smokers or tobacco smoke. Instead, go to nature, for example, where you can relax and hardly meet any people.
How to help him to overcome cravings?
Tell him the craving goes away even if he smokes or doesn’t smoke. Quitters will experience cravings like a wave and go away the same way. And, in most cases, they don’t last more than a few minutes.
Specific triggers usually cause cravings, such as a particular place, person, or situation. Make sure he leaves the place that triggered the urge, like parties or gatherings with other smokers, as quickly as possible. When that happens, the best thing to do is to get out of the challenging situation.
In a nutshell, do your best to distract him from the cigarette.
What to do if your partner relapses?
Relapse rates are high among smokers, but after multiple attempts to quit, the odds of success are high.
Keep your partner on your side! Praise him for trying to quit! Let him know that this is an opportunity to learn! By learning from his mistakes, he can succeed next time.
Let him know that this is an opportunity to learn! By learning from his mistakes, he can succeed next time.
There’s a difference between stumbling and relapsing! It’s more complicated when you stumble, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world. You should tell your partner that he needs to stop smoking if he smokes a cigarette. Each cigarette multiplies the risk of relapse.
To sum up
There are so many ways to help loved ones quit! Give your friends a hand with helpful resources, be a support system, and set a positive example! You’ll be glad you did! Last but not least, don’t give up on them! If you’re patient and encouraging, you can get them to quit smoking for good!