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


1
Have Stinking Thinking

It is one thing to voice your hatred of smoking through nagging and criticism, but even the negative thinking inside your head can have far-reaching effects. Doubt and disgust are hard to disguise. Maybe you can cut back on negative comments and even add a lot of positive ones to encourage and reinforce quitting efforts. But if your own thinking stinks, it will most likely seep out through your expressions and unspoken tension. No matter how much you love someone and want to take away a pain or problem or addiction for them, the battle isn't yours, and each situation is a chance for the smoker to learn skills for coping and pressing on as a nonsmoker.

If you assume that a smoker can't quit without lots of outside pressure, or believe that he or she just doesn't care enough to stop for good, only creates a pattern of failure before any smoke-free efforts even get started. Thinking that a two-pack-a-day smoker doesn't stand a chance of quitting is understandable in the face of the odds and statistics, but carrying negative thoughts about a smoker's chance of success is itself kind of toxic.

Anyone can quit smoking. If you doubt it will work for the one you love, try replacing negative thoughts of failure with an image of your future nonsmoker chewing gum instead of lighting up and smelling like fabric softener instead of smoke. Hold onto these thoughts. Be on the side of the ones you love and help them win.

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Sources

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  • American Lung Association. "Health Effects." LungUSA.org. 2011. (April 19, 2011)http://www.lungusa.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/health-effects/
  • American Lung Association. "Smoking." LungUSA.org. 2011. (April 19, 2011)http://www.lungusa.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/health-effects/smoking.html
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