5 Things Not to Say to Someone Undergoing Smoking Cessation

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Dependability is very important in helping your loved quit smoking. Support them when they are trying to quit and if they are sincere, encourage them more. Do not say negative things that will provoke them to stop trying. Persuade them and stop nagging. Help them to think of simple things that will divert their urges to light up.

A doctor and patient discuss a mans continuing to smoke cigarettWhat are the things you can do to help your friends quit smoking?

First, you can ask your friends how you can be most helpful. This will show your sincerity for them. Let them feel that you care and from that, they will be inspired to keep going. Give them reasons why he/she should quit from smoke. Tell your friends that she/he can make it- even if she/he has tried to quit so many times and failed. Tell them that quitting is like practicing, they should practice many times before they totally quit for good.

Give them rewards for getting through a day or weeks or months without smoking. Offer them something that will make encourage them to keep going like foods, flowers or card.

If you are annoyed because they are starting to be tempted again, don’t give up and stay with it. Always be prepared for some unpleasant behavior he/she is going through. Remember, quitting is hard for them. Be patient because unknowingly, you are doing a great job!


You should be proud that your friend is trying to break an addiction to cigarettes because of you.

What should you do if your friend starts smoking again?

Do not blame him/her or yourself. That is really quitting. Your friend is trying to quit even it is hard for him. Always remind him how well he is doing. Help him figure out things for good.

Do not say the things that will discourage him for quitting like:


  • Don’t say “You’re going to get cancer.” Your friend needs to know the positive aspects of quitting cigarettes. Do not say the things you cannot prove. Don’t stress them by saying the things that will threaten them. Just think of something good. Something that will help them focus more on quitting.
  • Do not say “I’m tired of your clothes smelling bad.” Since smokers do not see the bad smell of cigarette and since they are immune with it, they do not realize that nonsmokers hate the unpleasant smell coming from cigarette they are smoking. In this case, don’t nag. Understand the pervasive odor.
  • Do not say “Smoking is gross and expensive. Why do you do it?” This response will only make the smoker defensive. This will not help to stop them from smoking. Stay calm and show understanding.
  • Do not say “If you really loved me, you’d quit.” This will not motivate them from quitting smoke. Loving you is not enough to stop them from smoking. Instead, try to appreciate and understand them. Always show your support and remind them that you love them.
  • Do not say “Don’t you care about your children or grandchildren?” if you really want to support them from quitting you can set the rules at home- like “no smoking inside the house” or “do not smoke around the children”. Smoking doesn’t mean we do not love our children. Only that smokers cannot control when and where to smoke. As long as the urges start, they smoke.

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