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Smoking and Tobacco

How to Motivate about Quitting

12/10/2009

Question:

My fiancé started smoking 2-3 years back, and now he has become a habitual smoker. He is saying that he will try to leave it and needs time. He is of 29 years old with no family background of smoking. Right now I am very much confused about how and from where I should start convincing and motivating him that he has to leave this habit without making him feel that I am forcing something on him.

Answer:

This is an excellent question about a problem faced every day by millions of people who care about addicted smokers.

As with all addictions in loved ones, your first duty is to protect yourself and other members of your family, especially children. You should insist that he only smoke outside and never smokes around children. Even travelling in a vehicle where he has smoked may be hazardous. If he cannot abide by these reasonable requests, you may wish to reconsider your relationship.

Beyond this you can assist him in locating resources to help him quit. Calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW puts him in touch with a free counseling line to help him navigate quitting the world's most addictive drug. Using nicotine replacement medications like nicotine gum and patches also clearly helps. More importantly, seeing his doctor to explore possible use of medications will give him his best chance of quitting for good.

Be supportive, be positive and help him set a firm quit date. But, by all means, keep an eye on your own priorities, your own health and the health and safety of your current or future children. 

Related Resources:

What We Now Know about Secondhand Smoke

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Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University