If you don’t smoke but someone in your family or circle of friends does, you probably feel really bad every time you see them light up. You know that smoking kills and you don’t want to see any of your loved ones suffering from the consequences of cigarette smoking. So you think about helping them quit.
Helping a loved one quit smoking today is one of the best things you can do for them. The benefits of quitting smoking are overflowing – from enhancing their physical appearance, to reducing their risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia and other illnesses. But one wrong move could overthrow all your efforts to help someone stop the habit. It is important that you take note of the following Dos and Don’ts whenever you try to help someone quit smoking.
1) DO inform them of your intention to help them quit.
2) DO respect that the final decision is theirs to make. You can only support them. But they are the ones in-charge of their lifestyle. There’s nothing you can do if they decline to quit.
3) DO try to see it from the smoker’s point of view. Don’t think that anyone could quit smoking anytime they want to. For most people, cigarettes are an old buddy that stays with them every time they feel down. When helping a friend or family member quit, you should try to understand their reasons for quitting so you will know in what way you could help them.
4) DON’T take them to places where many people smoke. If you’re going out together, choose places where your friend or family member can enjoy without having to light up, or without being triggered by other smokers.
5) DO make your home smoke-free. Let them realize that it is much better to live in a smoke-free environment. Make your space friendly for people who are trying to quit by removing anything that has to do with smoking such as ash trays, cigarettes, lighters, etc.
6) DO inform them about their quitting options. Give them a book about quitting smoking, let them sign up for an online quit smoking help, or refer them to a smoking cessation specialist. Smokers need to know that there are plenty of methods available to ease the quitting process.
7) DON’T judge, nag, teach or scold. You’re only making it hard for that person to quit if you will approach him or her this way. Don’t let them feel worse about themselves. You should try to ease their anxiety. Take note that they already know that smoking is harmful to their health. But because they have developed dependence on it, they couldn’t easily ditch the habit. This makes them feel more ‘helpless’.
8) DON’T offer advice. Ask them in what way you can help them quit smoking.
9) DO remind them about the benefits of quitting. In a polite (and not so obvious) manner, inform them about how smoking can positively transform their health and life. Talk about how much money they can save, how quitting can reduce their wrinkles, etc.
10) DO celebrate for every milestone achieved. Quitting smoking is a big deal. You both deserve to celebrate!