Is someone you care about trying to quit combustible cigarettes? Deciding to withdraw from smoking is a big deal and with a quit plan in place, this bold decision to go smoke-free could become a reality. Like anything, one of the best ways that you can encourage a loved one to achieve their goals is by offering them support while they face their biggest challenges. Quitting cigarettes works in the same way. While there are nicotine replacement therapies that they can use to combat their cravings, the support of a family member, friend or co-worker can sometimes provide them with some added motivation to increase their chances of success. And while it’s only natural to want to offer inspiration and reassurance, it can be difficult to know how to offer support to your struggling loved ones. That’s why understanding what you can do to impact their quitting journey is the key to helping support a smoke free lifestyle. Here are some tips that you can use to encourage the person in your life who’s quitting combustible cigarettes.
Continue the conversation
Smoking is a serious and complicated addiction which is why a person requires the help and support of their loved ones when they decide to quit. While it’s important to look for an opening to start a conversation, it’s even more imperative to build upon a supportive foundation. So, here are some topics that may give you the right opening to offer words of encouragement:
- “I’m thinking about quitting smoking.”
- “My doctor said that I could benefit from quitting smoking.”
- “I want to start a family. I should probably quit smoking.”
- “My wife is pregnant. I should probably quit smoking for her.”
- “My kids keep asking about my cigarettes. I should probably set an example and quit smoking for them.”
Do you know how to respond to the above sentences? Well, the first thing you should do is affirm their statement and let them know that you think it’s a great idea that they’re considering quitting. If you’re an ex-smoker yourself, you can even use this as an opportunity to draw from your own experiences. Here are some ways that you can respond supportively:
- “I’m so proud of you. I’ll help with whatever you need to make it happen.”
- “Quitting will be hard, but I know you can do it. Have you set a quit date?”
- “You’re not alone in this. It’s a tough decision and I’ll be here for you.”
- “Quitting smoking is the best thing I ever did! I can offer you some tips if you want.”
- “Have you considered a disposable e-cig as a tool for your transition?”
If an opening isn’t offered, create one by talking about something you heard in the news or describe your first-hand experience.
Do your best to listen
While conversing has a powerful effect when it comes to providing support, listening can sometimes be a more dynamic, supporting approach. Having a conversation invites an authoritative, judgmental opinion, so, rather than influencing their decision in any way, simply do your best to listen and resist the urge to make any comments unless they’re requested.
Try to not lecture as a means of support
When you love someone, sometimes supportive conversations can easily turn into a never-ending lecture. So, to exhibit encouragement, try to avoid the following:
- Nagging about the dangers of smoking.
- Counting how many cigarettes they’ve smoked.
- Asking them when they smoked last.
- Getting upset if they slip and smoke a cigarette.
The things you say can be meaningful, however, inviting your loved one to take part in smoke free activities can provide an even more impactful show of encouragement. Healthy diversions can also provide motivation to keep with the program. Here are some that we suggest:
- Watch a movie.
- Take a hike.
- Plan a games night.
- Sign up for a class (cooking, painting, etc.)
- Attend a play.
It’s important to suggest fun endeavors where smoking may not be permitted. Keep in mind that while participating in an activity may distract them from their cravings, triggers are sometimes unavoidable and you should be prepared to offer them a way to keep their hands busy as well.
- Give them gum or hard candy.
- Offer them a straw or a toothpick.
- Bring along some healthy snacks (carrots, nuts, etc.).
- Offer them a stress ball to use.
- Walk them through deep breathing exercises.
- Ensure that they drink lots of water.
- Suggest a disposable e-cig to help handle their nicotine cravings while also giving them something to hold.
Essentially the best way that you can support your loved one is with patience and positivity, celebrating their successes, no matter how big or small and helping keep them busy and stress-free. Your ongoing support could be all they need to make this quit attempt their last.
Have you ever used a disposable e-cig to help quit combustibles? Have you encouraged someone you care about to quit combustibles successfully? We’re interested in hearing your story in the comments section below.
Alex Wilks is the Social Media & Content Creator for Trek Marketing. Her work has been featured on Global News, Black Press Media, andthe Kwantlen Chronicle