What to do when your loved one starts smoking

If your family member starts to smoke, do not nag him or her. Knowing that you care will give the person extra reassurance to stay away from cigarettes. (Image courtesy of czarny_bez for Adobe Stock.)

When a loved one starts smoking, it can be a hard thing to deal with emotionally. Everyone wants their loved ones to live happy and healthy lives and smoking goes against that.

However, there are some tips on how to handle a family member who smokes.

According to the American Cancer Society, one of the most important things to remember is that ultimately the smoker is in charge of their life. What they decide to do or not to do is on them and you cannot control their lifestyle choices.

However, if they do come to you asking help to quit, then feel free to give your advice. Ask them regularly how they are doing and feeling, if they are trying to quit. Knowing that you care will give them the extra reassurance they need to stay away from cigarettes.

If your loved one is quitting, do let them eat candy or suck on straws to help them with their cravings. Having these things around will help them when they want to smoke.

However, sometimes people slip up and relapse and smoke again. Do not nag or make that person feel guilty for slipping up. These things happen. However, do remind them how long they went without a cigarette before and that they can do it. Remind them that you are there for them and will help in whatever way you can.

If your loved one shows no signs of quitting, then have a conversation with them. Ask them why they like to smoke and why they don’t want to quit. Being able to have an open and honest conversation with them will make them feel comfortable around you. If they ever do decide to quit, they might come to you for help because of this.

Also, without guilt tripping them, bring up things in their life they might want to quit for, such as children or other family members. Maybe you can tell a story about someone you knew quit recently, even though they thought they never could. These will be good encouragements so that they too can quit.

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This post is also available in: Chinese

About Sara Brown

Sara Brown is the Sampan health editor.
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