Smoking cigarettes aren’t only a bad habit; it is a serious and complicated addiction which makes quitting smoking one of the biggest challenges that most smokers will face.
A person deciding that they want to quit is the easy part. The road ahead will feature withdrawal symptoms, mood swings, anger, tears, and most probably several failures. Many ex-smokers struggles with quitting due to the nicotine found in cigarettes, and the addictive qualities.
One thing that can help massively on the road to quitting is the support of friends and family. Someone who feels supported is much more likely to be able to kick the habit than someone who tries to go it alone.
With that in mind, here are five top tips for you to help your loved ones quit smoking.
Planning a set of smoke-free activities that you know you will take your friend or relatives mind off the fact they are not smoking can be a real help to them. If they aren’t thinking about how much they want a cigarette, they won’t end up having one. You could and see one of the top movies at the US Box Office, go out to eat at their favorite restaurant or have a games night with your friends. Signing up for classes together is also a great way distraction to have; something like photography or cookery will help teach new skills which will push away the desire for nicotine.
Be patient and positive
Supporting a person who is trying to quit smoking can be frustrating and exhausting, but you must remember they are doing their best to give up a highly addictive habit which means they need to be treated differently to the suggested tips for coping with an addict. Their withdrawal from nicotine means they are likely to be highly moody and irritable. Don’t take this personally; they might be snappy and wanting to take it out on anyone around them but reassure them that they’re doing well, you are proud of them and offer support wherever possible to relieve any burdens that would just add to their mood.
Don’t be hard on them if they slip
There is every possibility there will be slips and trips on the road to quitting. It’s important you aren’t hard on them if and when they come. Remind them how far they have come and that one slip doesn’t mean they can’t quit completely. You can also help them figure out what caused the lapse and come up with a plan together to try and prevent it happening again.
Take an interest
Offer ideas and suggestions that can help them along the way. If you’ve read up on the latest herbal remedies to help a smoker quit, let them know. By taking a keen interest and helping with their progress, you are letting them know how supportive you are and who knows, you might even come up with the idea that can be truly beneficial to their quitting strategy.
Recognize your friend or relatives milestones. Being smoke-free for one day, one week, one month and one year are all achievements. Make sure you celebrate every significant milestone along the way – it will help them see just how far they have come, how proud you are of them for doing so and that the tough journey was all worth it in the end.