Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Persuade Someone to Quit Smoking

How to Persuade Someone to Quit Smoking

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

If you are concerned about a friend, family member or colleague you know who is a smoker, try this approach to encourage them to quit.


  1. Sit down with the person and tell him or her that you're worried about his or her health. Ask your friend to quit smoking. Give your friend your reasons, and stick to facts. Be honest about why it upsets you so much that the person you care about is smoking and damaging his or her health.
  2. Ask the person if they would like to quit. Chances are they do, but sometimes, they don't. Persisting may only exacerbate the problem and bring guilt.
  3. Find out what reasons for quitting are important to the person and help explore them in more detail. Someone who has given up on his or her own health may still be concerned for the health of loved ones.
  4. Listen to what is keeping them from quitting. Can you help to address those reasons?
  5. Offer your help. If the person says that he or she just cannot quit, offer your help. Be supportive and gentle. If the smoker denies being addicted, say "I've seen the number of times a day you smoke. I see how you're always interrupting your fun times or leaving the office quickly because you need a cigarette. I've seen you coughing and gasping for air while you're smoking. This isn't healthy, and it's all signs of smoking addiction."
  6. Remind the person that with every puff of smoke he or she breathes out, someone else breathes that in (passive smoking) and inform the person that there are almost half of a million second-hand smoke related deaths each year.
  7. Remind him or her just how much money can be saved by not smoking.
  8. Mix honesty, care, plain facts and even a tinge of guilt to convince your friend or colleague. Remember, you're not here to have them quit smoking in just 10 minutes. You're asking this person just to give it a try.
  9. Be supportive. Once they agree to try to quit, ask them how they would like to quit. Smokers usually want to quit gradually. But if the person is eager to quit, offer assistance by way of suggesting literature to read, anti-tobacco chewing gum etc.
  10. Help eliminate smoking areas. If the smoker has asked to quit gradually, start eliminating places to smoke. If the smoker is your husband or wife, try eliminating the smoking areas in your home and only allow smoking on a back porch or maybe one room only. This will work best if you and the former smoker agree. Remember, spouses cannot be treated like children. Give him or her a couple of hours to collect all smoking-related materials from the rest of the house. If after that, you find a lighter in the bathroom, it goes in the garbage. A pack of cigarettes on the sofa? Trash them.
  11. Eliminate smoking in the house or office completely. In 2-3 weeks, forbid smoking in the house altogether. Then eliminate smoking in the backyard, then front yard, the front door spaces etc., until the person can no longer smoke unless standing on the sidewalk or curb line.
  12. Discuss what to do when your friend or colleague wants a cigarette, and help provide alternatives. Here are some things to do: call a friend, take a walk, groom your dog, watch a sitcom, eat a pretzel, learn a foreign language, do a dance routine, read a book, research something fascinating, read the paper, watch the ball game, draw a picture, cut the lawn, plant some flowers, drink a cup of tea, try a new recipe or write a wikiHow. Consider whether doing some sort of thing that resembles the act of smoking might be more effective, like going to the usual smoking area and popping in a piece of gum. In other words, take that 5-10 minute break that has become a ritual for the smoker. Maybe join them in the activity whenever they have the urge to smoke.
  13. Make it clear you're not there to babysit, but to support them.
  14. Always show that you are aware of how difficult it is to quit smoking and how strong your friend is being. Feeling proud will help your friend to cope.
  15. Always be there for your friend or colleague. Your most important role is to support this person that you care about. Give him or her love and encouragement. This is a tough time for him or her and there will be feelings of resistance, anger, resentment and addictive cravings. Your support is crucial to helping the person through this period.
  16. Ask often how they are doing. Knowing that someone is going to check can help to keep people on track. Don't be too critical if the person slips, especially at first or the first time they try to quit. Do remind and encourage them to try again, though.
  17. Listen to your friend and make a point to talk often. Quitting smoking may be a frustrating or difficult time, and it will help to have someone to talk to about it.
  18. Thank them for quitting and for sticking to it, and celebrate the victory. The first two to three weeks is likely to be the hardest (though cravings may continue off and on for more than a year) so plan some sort of celebration or reward for them in exchange for making it through the first two or three weeks of not smoking.
  19. Remind the person often how proud you are of them for trying to quit. Rewards and praise are often more powerful motivators than guilt or nagging.


  • Make sure to ask the person if they really want to quit. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP! If they don't want to quit, tell them that you are available and willing to support them whenever they decide to quit, and keep encouraging them.
  • If your friend starts smoking again, tell them it is normal and most smokers need a couple of tries to quit, so they are on the right track. If you make them feel like losers, the chances are that they will not try again to quit smoking, for fear of failing again and feeling that bad again.
  • Buy the book by Alan Carr The Easy Way to Quit Smoking for them, or buy a similar self-help book, show them reviews for the book, and convince them to read it. Better yet, read it together, and work on a plan out loud.
  • If you find cigarettes, lighters, or other smoking "tools" where they're not supposed to be, hide them in a secret place that the smoker doesn't know about (change it often, so even in the person does find it one week, they won't be able to next week) and wait until trash day to put it out on the curb. This will reduce temptation to go digging through the trash for the pack they left next to the T.V.
  • Do not move on eliminating areas to smoke. For example, if you say no smoking in the house, and you catch him smoking in the house, don't move on according to schedule, and eliminate smoking in the yard. Wait until the person has completely master one leg of this difficult journey, before you move on to the next.
  • Though it isn't any better for the smokers health, you may suggest they switch to chewing tobacco if they do not wish to use nicotine gum. Have them try to use pouches such as skoal wintergreen pouches so that it's easier to avoid getting the tobacco all over their mouths.


  • Don't be too strict or critical, especially during the first couple of weeks. This will be a very difficult time for the smoker, to get over the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

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Sources and Citations

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Quit Smoking Tip Sheet

1. Quit cold turkey. In the long run it's the easiest and most effective technique of smoking cessation.
2. Do not carry cigarettes.
3. Quit smoking one day at a time. Do not concern yourself with next year, next month, next week or even tomorrow. Concentrate on not smoking from the time you wake up until you go to sleep.
4. Work on developing the attitude that you are doing yourself a favor by not smoking. Do not dwell on the idea that you are depriving yourself of a cigarette. You are ridding yourself full fledged smoking because you care enough about yourself to want to.
5. Be proud that you are not smoking.
6. Be aware that many routine situations will trigger the urge for a cigarette. Situations which will trigger a response include: drinking coffee, alcohol, sitting in a bar, social events with smoking friends, card games, the end of meals. Try to maintain your normal routine while quitting. If any event seems to tough, leave it and go back to it later. Do not feel you must give up any activity forever. Everything you did as a smoker, you will learn to do at least as well, and maybe better, as an ex-smoker.
7. Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit smoking. Keep this list with you, preferably where you used to carry your cigarettes. When you find yourself reaching for a cigarette, take out your list and read it.
8. Drink plenty of fruit juice the first three days. It will help flush nicotine out of your system.
9. To help avoid weight gain, eat vegetables and fruit instead of candies and pastries. Celery and carrots can be used safely as short-term substitutes for cigarettes.
10. If you are concerned about weight gain, do some moderate form of regular exercise. If you have not been exercising regularly, consult your physician for a practical exercise program which is safe for you.
11. If you encounter a crisis, (e.g. a flat tire, flood, blizzard, family illness) while quitting, remember, smoking is no solution. Smoking will just complicate the original situation while creating another crisis, a relapse into the nicotine addiction.
12. Consider yourself a "smoke-a-holic." One puff and you can become hooked again. No matter how long you have been off, don't think you can safely take a puff!
13. Don't debate with yourself how much you want a cigarette. Ask yourself how do you feel about going back to your old level of consumption. Smoking is an all or nothing proposition.
14. Save the money you usually spend on cigarettes and buy yourself something you really want after a week or a month. Save for a year and you can treat yourself to a vacation.
15. Practice deep breathing exercises when you have a craving.
16. Go places where you normally can't smoke, such as movies, libraries and no smoking sections of restaurants.
17. Tell people around you that you have quit smoking.
18. Remember that there are only two good reasons to take a puff once you quit. You decide you want to go back to your old level of consumption until smoking cripples and then kills you, or, you decide you really enjoy withdrawal and you want to make it last forever. As long as neither of these options appeal to you-never take another puff!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

20 Quick Tips to Help You Quit Smoking

1. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about some of the most difficult things you have done in your life and realize that you have the guts and determination to quit
smoking. It's up to you.

2. After reading this list, sit down and write your own list, customized to your personality and way of doing things. Create you own plan for quitting.

3. Write down why you want to quit (the benefits of quitting): live longer, feel better, for your family, save money, smell better, find a mate more easily, etc. You know what's bad about
smoking and you know what you'll get by quitting. Put it on paper and read it daily.

4. Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit. Ask them to be completely supportive and non-judgmental. Let them know ahead of time that you will probably be irritable and
even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit.

5. Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it. Prepare your mind for the "first day of the rest of your life". You might even hold a small ceremony when you smoke you last cigarette, or on the morning of the quit date.

6. Talk with your doctor about quitting. Support and guidance from a physician is a proven way to better your chances to quit.

7. Begin an exercise program. Exercise is simply incompatible with smoking. Exercise relieves stress and helps your body recover from years of damage from cigarettes. If necessary, start slow, with a short walk once or twice per day. Build up to 30 to 40 minutes of rigorous activity, 3 or 4 times per week. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

8. Do some deep breathing each day for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe in through your nose very slowly, hold the breath for a few seconds, and exhale very slowly through your mouth. Try doing
your breathing with your yes closed and go to step 9.

9. Visualize your way to becoming a non-smoker. While doing your deep breathing in step 8, you can close your eyes and begin to imagine yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself enjoying your
exercise in step 7. See yourself turning down a cigarette that someone offers you. See yourself throwing all your cigarettes away, and winning a gold medal for doing so. Develop your own
creative visualizations. Visualization works.

10. Cut back on cigarettes gradually (if you cut back gradually, be sure to set a quit date on which you WILL quit). Ways to cut back gradually include: plan how many cigarettes you will smoke
each day until your quit date, making the number you smoke smaller each day; buy only one pack at a time; change brands so you don't enjoy smoking as much; give your cigarettes to someone
else, so that you have to ask for them each time you want to smoke.

11. Quit smoking "cold turkey". Many smokers find that the only way they can truly quit once and for all is to just quit abruptly without trying to slowly taper off. Find the method that works best for you: gradually quitting or cold turkey. If one way doesn't work do the other.

12. Find another smoker who is trying to quit, and help each other with positive words and by lending an ear when quitting becomes difficult. Visit this Bulletin Board and this Chat Room
to find a "quit buddy."

13. Have your teeth cleaned. Enjoy the way your teeth look and feel and plan to keep them that way.

14. After you quit, plan to celebrate the milestones in your journey to becoming a non-smoker. After two weeks of being smoke-free, see a movie. After a month, go to a fancy restaurant
(be sure to sit in the non-smoking section). After three months, go for a long weekend to a favorite get-away. After six months, buy yourself something frivolous. After a year, have a party for yourself. Invite your family and friends to your "birthday" party and celebrate your new chance at a long, healthy life.

15. Drink lots of water. Water is good for you anyway, and most people don't get enough. It will help flush the nicotine and other chemicals out of your body, plus it can help reduce cravings by fulfilling the "oral desires" that you may have.

16. Learn what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as stress, the end of a meal, arrival at work, entering a bar, etc. Avoid these triggers or if that's impossible, plan alternative ways to deal with the triggers.

17. Find something to hold in your hand and mouth, to replace cigarettes.

18. Write yourself an inspirational song or poem about quitting, cigarettes, and what it means to you to quit. Read it daily.

19. Keep a picture of your family or someone very important to you with you at all times. On a piece of paper, write the words "I'm quitting for myself and for you (or "them")". Tape your
written message to the picture. Whenever you have the urge to smoke, look at the picture and read the message.

20. Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of lighting up, write down your feelings or whatever is on your mind. Keep this "journal" with you at all times.