In last week’s post, the devastating toll of tobacco was acknowledged, as well as how difficult it can be to watch someone that you love and care about, smoke.
Helping loved ones quit both in the short and long term is possible, and achievable.
As a start, provide lots of support and encouragement without preaching.
Two useful strategies that were also shared in last week’s post include:
- starting the conversation
- understanding the power of addiction, and recommending the quitting medications
The remaining 3 tips include:
1. Believing in your loved one’s ability to quit
As most smokers have tried on numerous occasions to quit, they have been able to remain smokefree for one week, others for a few months and others for years.
Remind your loved one of their previous achievements – even if it was for a short time, they were able to remain smokefree…
Also discuss with your loved one, what led them back to smoking? Was it stress due to a family argument? Was it socially with a group of old friends? Were they upset with one of their colleagues?
Encourage them to think about their previous successes and to think about what they could do next time (if they were to face the same challenge), to help avoid relapse.
2. Celebrating the small successes
Every time your loved one decides not to smoke, this is considered a success. Encourage them to think about the times they have not smoked…
Can’t think of any examples? Have they ever gone on a long haul flight, or a road trip and did not smoke for an extended length of time?
Have they recently been to the movies and not smoked for a few hours?
Have they attended a sporting event or a concert, and decided to not go outside and smoke? There are many occasions, where smokers have gone without smoking – remind them of these small successes.
Slowly cutting down (with the ultimate goal of quitting) is also a great start, as it helps to build skills and confidence that your loved one can ultimately quit.
3. Reminding your loved one that professional help is available
With gentleness and care, let your loved one know that there is free information and support available, if they are struggling.
For the cost of a local call, the Quitline (13 7848) provides a confidential and anonymous service that can assist your loved one without judgement.
The Quitline can also provide ongoing support and encouragement through their call back service, as well as send text messages to your loved one when the going gets tough.
Alternatively encourage they seek the support of their local doctor, health professional or smoking cessation facilitator.
The most important step a smoker can take to improve their health and wellbeing is to quit smoking, and to continue trying regardless of how many attempts they have made.
With the right information, and support from you or a professional service, they too can quit successfully.