7 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone Trying to Quit

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Quitting smoking may not be a challenge for you but it can be for others. Being supportive is the best thing you can do for anyone who is trying to quit – whether it’s his first, second, fourth, or tenth time. You don’t want to spoil his efforts by saying these things:

1.  So you’re quitting smoking again?!


Studies show that it takes several attempts for a smoker to be able to quit for good. So don’t be surprised if your friend or family member has tried and relapsed for a couple of times now. This is the harshest thing you can every say to anyone who is trying to quit.

 2.  You’re going to have cancer.

Are you a fortune-teller or something? Focusing on the consequences of smoking is not going to help a person quit. If you say this to your friend or family member who wants to quit, he or she might feel unmotivated. The best way to encourage a person to quit smoking today is to tell them the benefits of quitting – all the positive ones like “you will have more savings”, “your skin will look more beautiful”, “you’ll have a longer life”, etc.

 3.  If you really love me, you will quit.


This often makes the situation worse not just for the smoker but for the one who’s trying to help. The problem is, quitting smoking has nothing to do with how much that person loves you. Doctors say that stopping smoking can be more difficult than kicking heroin addiction. This is the time for you to give all the love and support you can give.

 4.  Don’t you care about your family, your children or grandchildren?

Of course they do! They worry of it more than you do. However, they can’t simply go out from addiction. Rather than making that person feel guilty, make him feel motivated and inspired by telling him he could be a role model for his family.


 5.  I know how hard it is.

Unless you’ve been in exactly the same situation as he is going now, you should never say this. Remember, even smokers have various degrees of addiction. Just because you were able to quit easily doesn’t mean he is going to quit in the same way you did.

 6.  Smoking is a waste of money.

This gives the person a reason to be ashamed. And the feeling of shame is less likely to encourage him to quit. Again, focus on the positive. It’s much better to say “just think how much good quitting does to your body or to your bank account.

 7.  Are you afraid that you might gain weight?

Many smokers are afraid that they may gain weight when they stop smoking. If your friend or family member doesn’t know about this effect, there’s no point of telling them. Anyway, there’s not enough scientific evidence that supports this claim. But if he is very much concerned about weight gain, discuss all the benefits of quitting and the ways to resist weight gain.


Previous post:

Next post:

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list