You may be able to help them but you can’t do it for them. You know the old cliché “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” It’s very applicable analogy for a smoker because they have to want to quit themselves.
People can rarely be pressured or embarrassed into quitting. When they are ready to quit, offer your full support and encouragement.
Keep them as your friend first and think of them as a smoker second.
When they do try to quit, be sensitive to their mood swings and withdrawal problems, they are temporary.
If they have a relapse, don’t scold or lecture or make them feel guilty.
Be positive, don’t cause additional stress or expect your friend to be able to just quit, it’s not that easy.
Don’t preach or lecture about the health hazards of smoking, every smoker has already heard and read them all before. Many times in fact.
Don’t use embarrassing tactics or use put-downs. It will only backfire and you could do permanent damage to your relationship.
Don’t give ultimatums like – you better quit by so and so or else, blah, blah, blah and don’t use guilt trip tactics. Don’t nag either.
Never say quitting is easy or make fun of them, offer support, not blame.
Remember smoking is a powerful physical and mental addiction. Change does not happen overnight.
For many people, quitting smoking will be one of the hardest things they ever do. Others may find it easy.
People smoke for many reasons, for some it seems to help them relax or concentrate or cope. Many people have no idea why they smoke.
Some people claim to enjoy smoking but they probably really don’t. What causes that feeling is simply the power of the nicotine because it can give a little buzz, especially the first smoke of the day or after a meal.
Most smokers try several times and different ways to quit smoking.
If you are a smoker don’t ever offer your friend a cigarette to test or tempt them. You are actually giving them an excuse to smoke again!