How To Help Someone Quit Smoking

Want to help someone quit smoking? A relative, a dear friend, a sibling, a co-worker?

Many people in your shoes want to know how to help them quit smoking because you care, and you don’t want them to develop a serious illness.

Besides, it’s not as “attractive” or “sexy” as it was back in the ’40s when Humphrey Bogart stood in the fog-filled airport with Ingrid Bergman, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.

The question “how to help someone quit smoking” is easier asked than answered, because in the end, it all comes down to the smoker’s own determination to quit smoking. If he isn’t ready, if he isn’t committed, if he isn’t convinced and determined, or if he doesn’t think he has a good reason to quit, it isn’t going to happen.

The first thing to realize is that you cannot force someone to quit smoking. Success involves having the right mindset at the start. If you try to force someone to quit smoking, your efforts will be met with resistance. If you insist, you will face their wrath.

It’s quite the dilemma. You want to know how to help someone quit smoking, but he is reluctant to accept the importance of quitting. Some people think cancer happens to someone else. Others believe they can’t quit smoking anyway, so why try.

Yet others fear the “pain” and “suffering” that goes with quitting smoking… the frayed nerves, the cravings, the weight gain.

Think about it. If someone tried to get you to quit drinking soda or coffee because it’s bad for your blood sugar or your stomach, would you be so willing if you were addicted to the caffeine? You tried to quit in the past but the cravings got too much for you. You’ve decided it’s worth the risk, or that it just isn’t going to happen to you.

It’s similar with the smoker, although the dangers are far worse. For them, continuing to smoke is less painful than quitting so they’re willing to take the risk.

Do you really want to know how to help someone to quit smoking?

The key is to find out how to make quitting smoking less painful for him, but first you have to convince the individual to accept the challenge.

First, let’s take a look at the whole process of smoking.

Smoking is an emotional action. It appeases something within the individual. The simple act of putting hand to mouth and providing something for the lips to grasp goes back to the days of bottle feeding.

For people who like to eat, it’s food that pacifies their nervous energy. Smokers relate having a cigarette to filling a missing need.

As a child, it was food and the pleasure of suckling. But what makes an adult desire the same action? Do they feel unloved? Do they feel deprived in some way?

It goes back to the basic human need for fulfillment and satisfaction. A sense of self and the comfort of knowing that those needs are being met by important people in their lives.

So the first step is to realize that you can’t force them to want to quit. Either they want to or they don’t, and there’s nothing you can do about their decision. If they have made the commitment, you can help someone quit smoking by offering your full, non-judgmental support.

That means not telling them they are “foolish” or “stupid” if they don’t quit. Be conscientious about their situation. Remember, it’s an addiction that needs to be broken, much like a drug addict or an alcoholic needs to wean off their addiction.

Don’t allow other people to smoke around the person you want to help quit smoking. Don’t take him to establishments that allow smoking (which are rare these days anyway). Don’t encourage his behavior. If he begs for a cigarette, deny him, no matter how much he pleads. Try to take his mind off it instead.

Work with that person to help him identify exactly what might be missing in his life that smoking fills. What triggers him to light up? How does it make him feel? What does he experience prior to lighting up? Is he nervous? Anxious? Worried? Lonely? Bored? Upset?

Now, this might be hard to identify because at this stage, his smoking has probably become such a habit that he no longer understand why he smokes. Try to get him to think back to the early days of smoking. What was he going through in his life at that time?

Was he trying to be one of the crowd? Trying to look or act grown up? Did he start because his parents smoked? Did he just accept that first cigarette to experiment and got hooked?

Get him to think ahead to what he would like out of life. Help him to realize how smoking might interfere with those plans, whether it’s the money or loss of health. Make him realize that the reason he started smoking is no longer relevant.

Smoking is often a stress-reliever, or so the smoker thinks, when in fact smoking puts more stress on the body. One of the best cures is deep breathing, rather than breathing in nicotine, tar and other horrid and dangerous chemicals. This exercise helps to force the lungs to expel the built-up chemicals in his system.

Encourage the smoker to get out and exercise, especially those that involve deep breathing. It might be walking, cycling, swimming, running/jogging, or time at the fitness center. It all helps.

Distraction is an excellent way to help someone quit smoking. When they get the urge, give them something else to think about or do. Make suggestions of something you can do instead. Work with them in any way you can.

Remember that you are not alone. Many people want to know how to help someone quit smoking, and they all face the same struggles you will. You will be constantly on the alert for that next cigarette so you can intercept it.

Another thing you can do is make them aware of the dangers, if they aren’t already. Remind them that they are not immune. Help them to find a purpose in life that can be taken away if they don’t quit smoking.

Having a strong purpose and a determination are the basic requirements for someone to quit smoking successfully. Until those are firmly established, there will be setbacks. There will be times when the person will just decide, or convince themselves, that it’s okay to smoke and trick themselves into believing that they can quit anytime.

Help by reinforcing the truth, but don’t become a nag about it. Just offer gentle reminders. They will most likely become ill from smoking – if not from cancer, then from some life-threatening condition that affects breathing, like emphysema. Just because they’ve had a setback doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t serious about quitting. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right.

This is how to help someone quit smoking. Offer support when they need it most. Offer encouragement when it seems appropriate. Seek whatever resources are proven to help someone to quit smoking.

There are some excellent and highly effective drug-free quit smoking programs around that teach the natural way to quit smoking.

Don’t lose patience with would-be non-smokers. Learning how to quit smoking is just that… a learning path. For some, it can happen quickly the first time they try. For others, however, it will be more difficult. That’s when it’s important to remind them of their goal and that you are there to help them quit smoking in whatever way you can.

Finally, find ways to make not smoking less painful. How do you do that? By discovering exactly what works. Substitutes for the hand/mouth movement are needed. The best is a glass of water. A simple solution but it works. Whenever a craving strikes, a sip of water will ease that craving. This is another way to flush those ugly chemicals out of the body.

In more severe cases, however, they might require a mild relaxant to ease the tension. This will require a visit to the physician, but it’s best to avoid patches, gums and other drug-related cures because they do have side effects.

Keep them focused on their goal. Focus not on the negatives of smoking, but on the positives of quitting. Remind them of how good they’ll feel – they will breathe easier, their cough will go away, they will smell much sweeter, they’ll feel more alive and fit, they will have more energy, their minds will become unfogged and crystal clear, they will save a ton of money, and they can even get a discount on their insurance as a non-smoker.

Perhaps one of the best things you can remind them of, is that the worst part of quitting is the first 14 days. Tell them to take it an hour at a time, rather than for eternity. The delay tactic is amazingly effective. By waiting another hour to light up, they will give themselves time to get busy. Before long, they will realize several hours have passed and they haven’t even thought about smoking.

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How to Quit Smoking for Good

If you have ever attempted to quit smoking cigarettes, you’ve obviously found out how difficult it can be. The famous American author, Mark Twain once quipped, “to quit smoking is one of the easiest things in the world, I must have done it over a dozen times.”

Although it will take much effort and hard work on your part to quit smoking, you can do it. Or maybe you would like to consider the alternative which is nearly half of all those who don’t quit smoking will die as a result of health problems that are directly related to smoking.

Research has indicated that most people who smoke want to quit. Sales of books written to help people quit smoking have soared by over 260%.

Even though we realize that it is very difficult to quit smoking you shouldn’t be discouraged. Remember that millions of Americans have given up the smoking habit for good. In fact it is estimated that over 46 million Americans have quit smoking permanently.

Before you know it, after you decide to stop smoking, you can be free from smoking forever. You want to keep reminding yourself that it is never too late to kick your tobacco habit.

You May Be Wondering Where You Begin to Quit Smoking

Before you begin down the road of quitting smoking, you must first ask yourself if you really want to stop. If you can honestly answer ‘yes’ to this question, you are now ready to begin your journey towards becoming an ex-smoker.

As you begin your journey you will discover there are a number of ways to quit smoking and many programs available to help you quit. Keep in mind that there is no one perfect way for you to quit smoking but there will be one way or a combination of ways that are best for you.

How you are able to cope with stress when you quit smoking will profoundly affect your comfort level and your ability to remain an ex-smoker.

To help you to increase the chances of success, you may perhaps consider including medication, such as is available in a nicotine replacement therapy program for instance. However not everyone who makes the decision to quit smoking will want or need to use these certain medications.

However, although many smokers are able to quit smoking without using nicotine replacement therapy, it is found that most folks who attempt to quit without NRT may not be successful on their first attempt.

You will find that there are many stop smoking aids that can assist you with quitting smoking such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches, prescription medications such as Zyban and Chantix, herbal stop smoking products, stop smoking hypnosis, and acupuncture.

Most folks who decide to quit smoking may decide to use a combination of these methods and we will discuss some of them further on.

Harmful Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

You’ve heard it all before I know, smoking cigarettes is bad for you. If you didn’t already know this you wouldn’t be here, right?

But Just How Bad is Cigarette Smoking?

When asked why they want to quit smoking, most people stated their concerns for their health as one of the top reasons for wanting to stop smoking. Quitting your tobacco habit is singularly one of the most important decisions you can make for yourself. Your decision to stop smoking will not only improve your health but also the health of people around you.

We are all aware that smoking cigarettes can result in a large number of health problems including lung cancer. However what most folks don’t realize is that smoking cigarettes is a major risk factor for many other kinds of cancers as well. These include cancer of the mouth, larynx, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, cervix, stomach, pancreas, and even some leukemias.

It is estimated that one out of every ten moderate smokers and close to one out of every five heavy smokers (exceeding 15 cigarettes a day) will die of lung cancer.

Unfortunately for men smokers, we are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared with women smokers who are 12 times more likely to develop lung cancer than are non-smokers.

Of those smokers who do develop lung cancer, men who smoke are 10 times more likely to die from lung cancer than those folks who do not smoke. Also lung cancer is a bigger killer of women that is breast Cancer.

And even if you survive the lung cancer for now, the surgery to remove diseased lung and the ongoing chemo treatment will not be pleasant.

And let’s hope you don’t live in Canada – the wait for treatment might just kill if you are needing rapid treatment.

However lung cancer is not the biggest killer of a smoker – its circulatory disease.

Smoking plays a large part in increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and various other lung diseases. Smoking has also been found to increase your risk of periodontal disease which results in swollen gums and teeth that fall out.

Smoking has also been found to increase one’s risk of age related loss of vision. Smokers have a much greater likelihood of developing the eye disease called macular degeneration.

The surgeon general has for decades been reporting on the health risks that are associated with smoking. The surgeon general concluded in 1990 that quitting smoking has major and immediate help benefits for both men and women of all ages.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself to dramatically improve your life and health.

Stop Smoking Medications

The use of nicotine replacement therapy such as found in nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, or nasal sprays, can be quite helpful in your attempt to quit smoking. The inhalers and sprays are only available by prescription but the nicotine patch and gum are available without a prescription and over-the-counter at pharmacies or online.

Nicotine patches and nicotine gum help to lessen the severity and discomfort of nicotine withdrawal symptoms by controlling the release of nicotine into your body. This can help you deal with the physical component of nicotine addiction and can drastically reduce your withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine gum and nicotine patches may also enable you to control your weight as well while you are involved in your smoking cessation program as nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant. This may keep you from having to rely on a restrictive diet, appetite suppressant drugs or diet pill to help you not gain weight.

The nicotine patch is applied like a Band-Aid to your skin and slowly releases a controlled amount of nicotine into your system throughout the day. The patch can be used by folks who may have problems with gum due to dental work or may find the gum inconvenient due to school or work place restrictions.

The nicotine gum is chewed slowly to release nicotine and then placed between your cheek and gum until another nicotine urge arises. Nicotine gum can also replace some oral gratification that cigarettes may have given.

Other Quit smoking aids include Zyban (same active ingredient as Wellbutrin) which is a prescription antidepressant, bupropion hydrochloride, and is thought to work on the reward/withdraw receptors in your brain.

Another prescription stop smoking drug that has been designed exclusively as a stop smoking aid is Chantix. Chantix is not an antidepressant so is not subject to the same types of side effects.

Also some natural herbal products like the herbal patch, which works like the nicotine patch but uses herbs instead of nicotine and herbal drops which are added to water or your favorite fruit juice, have shown promise in helping to alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms, reduce your irritability, curb your hunger, and eliminate toxins from your body.

Hypnosis as an Aid to Stop Smoking

Some folks find that hypnosis or hypnotherapy can be helpful to help them stop smoking. Hypnosis is a suggestion to your subconscious mind while your body and mind are in a deep state of relaxation.

Research seems to suggest that stop smoking hypnosis can be successful in helping folks to quit smoking and if visiting a hypnotherapist seems a bit inconvenient, self hypnosis tapes and audio CDs are available online.

The Medical Hypnosis and Counseling Center believes that while not a cure all, hypnosis can play a long-term role in keeping folks away from cigarettes.

Support for Smokers Who Would Like To Become Non-Smokers

Most folks who have been successful at quitting smoking make the suggestion that you develop a network of support from friends and family. Research that has come out recently seems to suggest that continued support as well as encouragement from friends, family, and health care providers can be extremely helpful.

Studies also suggest that people will find greater success with their quit smoking efforts if they combine several stop smoking supports. As an example, gettting on board with a support group as well as perhaps using nicotine patches or gum can be quite effective. To locate support groups or a stop smoking helpline, you might want to check with the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.

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