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10 Things Not to Do if You Want Someone to Stop Smoking

Use Guilt
Trying to guilt someone into quitting usually isn't effective.
Trying to guilt someone into quitting usually isn't effective.

Secondhand smoke causes about 50,000 deaths in the United States each year, and if you live with someone who smokes around you and other family members, they are increasing your chances of getting sick [source: American Lung Association]. That is because secondhand smoke contains the same toxins that a smoker inhales. But using this fact to guilt someone into quitting smoking has not been proven effective. It may influence someone to smoke outside, but guilt alone can actually de-motivate and lead to feelings of self-defeat [source: McKinley]. Chances are, many smokers already feel guilty knowing their habit is also affecting the health of those around them.

Bringing up the past is also fruitless and de-motivating. Rehashing previous failed attempts at quitting does nothing more than revisit things that can't be changed. Instead, acknowledging how far they've come and how hard it is to quit will show them more empathy than guilt [source: American Lung Association].