So, your loved one has told you that enough is enough, and they want to quit smoking. That’s great news! Smoking is incredibly bad for your health, so their decision to give up cigarettes is a momentous one. They’re investing in their health, their future and increasing their life expectancy.
We’re all aware of how addictive nicotine can be, so it’s not going to be an easy journey or one that is over any time soon. But as long as you’re there to help and support them, it should make their quitting journey a little easier, right? While quitters need a strong support network around them, as their loved one, you need to be careful that your support isn’t too overbearing or detrimental to their confidence or likelihood of quitting for good.
Read on for what not to say to a loved one who is trying to quit smoking.
“You should go cold turkey”
It’s a method that works for some people. However, for others, it’s incredibly detrimental. Allow the smoker to decide how they want to quit. Whether that’s cutting out cigarettes altogether, reducing the amount smoked per day over time or switching to vaping products instead – if you’re looking for vaping liquid and other products, click the link.
“Oh, here we go again”
If they’d tried to quit numerous times and it hasn’t worked out, you should never hold it against them. Quitting smoking for good is much harder than a non-smoker realises. Regardless of whether this is their first attempt or their eighth time, you should show support and encouragement and let them know that you’re there to help.
“Why would anyone smoke? It’s disgusting!”
This kind of attitude puts people on the defensive. And if they’re in the middle of a quitting journey, they might be tempted to go back because of the comfort and lack of support they’re receiving from you. Shame isn’t an incentive that works.
“You’re making the house stink!”
Smoking leaves an unpleasant odour behind, but much like the point above, shaming someone into quitting doesn’t work. Therefore, it’s much more realistic, kinder and more supportive to turn these points into something positive. Instead of, “I’m sick of the house stinking because of your cigarettes”, say something like “the house smells so much better since you’ve been smoking less, thank you”. It’s positive reinforcement and gives them the encouragement they might need to carry on.