How Do I Get My Boyfriend To Quit Smoking?
It is challenging to see your loved ones engage in activities that are harmful to them and others. And unfortunately, smoking is both. It is not only harmful for the person who smokes but is also dangerous for the people around them. If your boyfriend is one such loved one, then we understand your pain.
We are sure that you have thought of asking them to quit smoking a couple of times and maybe they have even tried quitting in the past and failed. There could be many reasons like not having the right support or not being aware of the right strategy and tools that can help them quit. But worry not. That’s where we come into the picture.
Today, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide that will help you persuade your boyfriend to quit smoking. We will tell you how to approach this sensitive topic and also give you some pointers that you can keep in mind while supporting your partner in the quitting journey.
But before we jump into it, we would like to let you know that quitting is not an easy thing to do. It will take a lot of willpower on the part of your boyfriend and a lot of patience from your side. So be prepared!
Have the talk!
First and foremost, you need to be strategic about how you approach your partner. Quitting is a sensitive topic, so it is a good idea to plan your approach. Decide where and when you want to have the conversation. Do not bring it up abruptly, come up with a way to bring the topic up. Especially if you have not spoken about this in the past, do not make it come out like a shock. It is also important to ensure that your partner feels comfortable while having this discussion. Here are some additional tips that will come handy:
- Be prepared for potential emotional reactions. You might get to hear things like - It is my life, I can make my own decision. Do not get angry in this instance, rather approach them with a sympathetic response that reassures them that you respect their autonomy.
- Appeal to their emotional side. Think about what is important for them and then use that as an entry point.
- Remind them that smoking is not only harmful to them but also to people around them. Tell them that you love them and want to see them have a happy and healthy life in the future.
- Do not make your tone naggy or berate them.
Once they agree to your reasoning and make the brave and happy decision to quit smoking, it is then time for you to step up and become their pillar of strength. There are many strategic things that you can do to ensure that their quitting journey becomes easier.
1. Be patient with nicotine withdrawal symptoms
Experiencing nicotine cravings is quite natural when one quits smoking. Your boyfriend is also going to experience them when he quits smoking. These cravings when remain unfulfilled turn into unpleasant nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This occurs because the body has become dependent on nicotine. These symptoms can vary from person to person and can include signs like moodiness, irritability, sleeplessness, difficulty in concentration, anxiety and so on.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), these symptoms are at their worst for the first week after quitting, peaking at 3 days. But know that these symptoms gradually get better over the first month. All you need to do is remain patient and remind your loved ones that they are temporary. Know that everyone is different, so do not get by anything that you read on the web.
2. Know the triggers and understand their situation
Quitting is not an easy thing to do. If he has been smoking for quite some time now, it has become ingrained in his life and routine. So, it is going to be difficult to get off the smoking habit.
Additionally, smoking is not only a behavioral habit, it is also a psychological one. There are certain habits, places or emotions that might trigger the urge to smoke. These triggers are generally of three types:
1) Emotional - There are certain emotions like happiness, stress, anxiety or loneliness that might trigger them to smoke.
2) Social - Places like bars or concerts often spark the urge to smoke. There are other social occasions like a festival or event or simply being around people who smoke can also be a strong trigger for smoking.
3) Patterns - These refer to the activities or habits that your loved one associates with. For example - driving, drinking alcohol, or smoking on work breaks - all these are also triggers for smoking.
Understanding these triggers will help you come up with copying strategies that will further help your boyfriend.
3. Come up with distractions
Once you identify the triggers, it is important to keep them distracted. As smoking is such a big part of their everyday routine, it needs a lot of effort to stop doing something that has become natural to them. Building new habits is quite difficult and they can use your help in making them. You can start a new hobby with them or push them to revive an old one. Find new and interesting ways to keep them engaged.
4. Suggest Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine dependence is one of the most annoying dependencies that make quitting smoking difficult. NRT products like Nicotine Gums, nicotine tablets, patches, or inhalers are specially designed to help manage nicotine cravings. They contain a certain amount of nicotine that you can put in your body in a controlled manner. If used as instructed, these products do not have any side effects. Ryze nicotine gums are a classic example of a reliable and tasty companion that can help in smoking cessation. You can further educate yourself about NRT products by reading about them online. While some NRT products do require a prescription, some can be bought without one.
You can introduce the idea of using NRT products to your boyfriend but do ask them to consult their healthcare provider before getting started with any product.
5. Celebrate every milestone
It is important to keep your loved ones motivated and encouraged. You should recognize their journey and be appreciative of their growth. For example, if they go 1 week without smoking, do something special for them. Of course, you can decide when to celebrate these things but the idea is to make them feel appreciated.
In addition to all this, we have also come up with a list of don’ts that can also help you help your boyfriend stay away from smoking:
- Don’t judge, nag, preach, criticize, blame or taunt the person who is trying to quit. Quitting is a tough journey as it is and you don’t want to hurt your boyfriend’s feelings and make them feel worse about themselves.
- Don’t check up on the person who’s trying to smoke by checking ashtrays, repeatedly asking them if they’ve smoked or sniffed the air for smoke.
- Don’t undermine their effort towards quitting smoking. If you consistently demonstrate your faith in them, it can make a world of difference to their quitting efforts. A person who feels supported is more likely to quit smoking for good.
Most people who quit smoking will slip up at some point in their process. It’s normal, and it’s okay. Unfortunately, a lot of quitters will see it as a sign of failure and stop trying. The first 2 weeks are usually the hardest. So be supportive during this time and remind them of all the reasons they wanted to quit in the first place (or should quit). Let them know they can still quit and haven’t failed. Quitting smoking is achievable, given that they remain persistent and committed to the idea. Good luck!