“How can I get my family and friends to quit smoking?”

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 May 2001, 19:16 #11

I see the topic of helping to influence others to quit has come up a few times over the past few days. Just wanted to make sure that people who are currently wrestling with how to approach this issue have read this. Again, the best way to help others is to prove to them that it is possible to quit and be happy as an ex-smoker. The way to do this is to smile a lot and show by example that you up to this point have been able to pull off what they one believed was an impossible and an amazing feat for you--your ability to quit smoking and never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

15 May 2001, 21:02 #12

Joel-
Thank you for putting this up. My step-father smokes, and everytime I see him go out for a smoke it makes me want to yell at him. He's 60 and has been smoking since he was 14.
Secondly I'm printing out the story about the lady with the circulation problems. If I'm ever tempted to give in to the nicodemon's lies I'm going to read that first. No way I could ever smoke after that. I almost lost my leg seven years ago due to an accident. So the story has extra meaning for me. Thank you.
Keilit
1 week, 5 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes, 55 seconds
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Jun 2001, 19:07 #13

Since we are at one of those days where we take a little time out to recognize and appreciate our father's, I thought I would bring this one up. First, if your father still smokes, let him know you will be behind him when he is ready to quit. Maybe pass along some of the materials that had the most pronounced impact on your quit.

More importantly, if you are a father, recognize the example that you are now setting for your children. Share with them your lifetime experience in regards to tobacco. How you took it up never really recognizing the addictive nature, how you lost control, how you likeley got to the point where you desperately wanted to quit, how you quit and how you must now always keep your guard up to stay off. Make them realize that you never take your quit for granted. Hopefully the message will pass down.

If you lost a father to a smoking related disease, recognize the sadness you and many of your closest family and friends experienced and are still feeling on days such as today and recognize that you never want to put your loved ones through a similar situation.

Your parents gave you life, but you are the only one now who can make decisions that effect the real quality and in regard to smoking, the probable duration of your life. To live longer and to be able to share your life and time with others for longer always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jun 2001, 18:50 #14

I am not sure everyone can read the caption on this one. It reads: "Why is it you never ask me to stop smoking." If you look on the wife's face you get the full understanding that she doesn't care for her husband one bit and is basically looking forward to his early demise.
While you can't pester a person into quitting, you should always make it clear that you do want them to quit for their own health and make sure that they understand that you will be ready and very happy to help them when they are ready to quit. If they do not have Internet access feel free to print any of the materials out you find here at Freedom.
If they do have access, encourage them to come to Freedom. It is not even important that they join in, just reading will be of great value. Either way, an active member or an active lurker, the understanding they will get will help them in strengthening their resolve to quit and in understanding what they must do to quit. And we will try to drive home the most important point of all for everyone here, to understand that to stay smoke free they must never take another puff!
Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jul 2001, 19:09 #15

For Triin:

Congratulations on influencing your mother and starting to influence your friends. The best chance everyone here has of influencing others is just by setting the example you are setting, not smoking and smiling every now and then. You are showing people that there is life after smoking.

They will often seek you out when the time comes that they are ready to try. Then you can teach more specific lessons. The main one is help every smoker wanting to quit understand the nicotine addiction. They need to know that they are not fighting a pack, or a carton, or a million cigarettes--they are fighting a puff! This concept more than any other is going to be the make or break point for any ex-smoker.

If they have computer access get them here to read the quitting material and especially the relapse material. If not print out what you can and share it with them. Don't assume they know what is now common sense to you, there is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding of the nicotine addiction. Make sure that all ex-smokers, whether they be off decades or days understand the simple premise that to stay smoke free they must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Aug 2001, 01:27 #16

For Threecrows and the positive influence she has already had on her friends. Hopefully many of you will have such impact on your family and friends. The best way to help others is just by continuing to do what you have done so far to help yourself--proving that it is possible to successfully quit smoking and to stay free from nicotine. The way you are proving this is by sticking to your personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Dec 2001, 03:39 #17

I was going to bring this up just for Maggie but realized this can be especially important for the holidays. If you have any friends or family members who still smoke who may think that they cannot quit, offer to give them any support, advice, understanding or help that they should want if they ever decide to quit. You can't push a quit on to them, but you can offer to be there for them when they are ready. The only thing you need to give them from this point on to help maybe motivate them a point of readiness is your example of success--which you will always supply in abundance as long as you always remember for your own sake to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Feb 2002, 22:45 #18

In the 18th and 19th posts in the string Quitting smoking: A Fate Worse than Death?, Ingrid and Dent reflected on how smokers are in such disbelief to when another person quits smoking and actually seems comfortable about it. Everyone here has the potential of really influencing others to quit. It is not by pestering, begging, pleading, lecturing or belittling other smokers. It is simply by setting the example that there is life after smoking. By not smoking and smiling every now and then it starts to make others aware that quitting is possible. This fact is a major revelation for some people who think that quitting is impossible.

Everyone who has spend time studying here should realize that they have a deeper understanding of nicotine addiction, its causes, its implications, and its treatment than most other people you know. Share your understanding whenever you are sought out for advice. And over time you will be sought out, if you just continue to set the example.

When people ask you how you did it--tell them. When they ask you if you smoke occasionally or have ever had "just one," explain to them that the only reason that you are still an ex-smoker is now you understand there is no such thing as "just one." This is not preaching or an unsolicited response--they asked you the question. Just know by the simple fact that they asked that question they don't understand the nicotine addiction. Teach them what you know--that there is no such thing as "one" and that once they accept that fact--they can quit smoking and be armed with the ammunition to stay off. Help them understand that a successful and eventually comfortable smoke free life is no more magical or mystical than knowing now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:41

24 Sep 2002, 22:08 #19

I used to wonder this same thing - "How can I get my husband to quit smoking?" - but I realize now that the best thing I can do for him, is nothing. It does no good to preach, or even to talk directly to him about it - it actually makes him want a cigarette even more. Occassionally I am able to slip into conversation some little tidbit that I've read here at Freedom - sometimes he will talk a little about it, other times he just ignores it! Several of our friends have also quit in the past few months, and it is making an impact on him. At the wedding reception we attended on Saturday night, he was the only smoker at our table! Last night, he came home from the neighbors house and said that he's beginning to feel like an outsider now, since hardly any of our friends smoke anymore. I wanted to say so much, but felt it was best to keep quiet and let him think about that.
I think he's finally accepted that my quit is real this time, and has actually commented on how well I'm doing. He still smokes in the house and the car, but does remove his ashtray and knows better than to ask me to pick cigarettes up at the store for him!

Sue
7 weeks & 4 days smoke free!!!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Feb 2003, 21:34 #20

I saw a number of posts yesterday pointing to the fact that there are times where people around you will offer up some pretty negative comments or reactions to the news that you have quit. I saw a number of posts raised about these negative reactions trying to help our members and readers understand why they occur. I just thought that I should bring up this one too, for while you may not be able to change the people who are offering negative support, you may over time find yourself in the situation where you can offer positive support to othes.

I don't know if the people who say or do basically cruel or thoughtless things designed to undercut a person quitting can walk around the rest of the day feeling good or proud of their efforts. But I do know that if you can help another person in securing his or her quit you can yourself feel a certain sense of accomplishment that particular day. The most important message you can get out to others is that quitting is possible and staying off is totally doable as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 May 2003, 03:29 #21

Today I did a program for 110 sixth graders. There were many questions both during and after the program from kids concerned about their parents smoking. One of the students father had just suffered a heart attack within the past few weeks and was in the process of quitting. I encouraged the group to refer their parents to www.whyquit.com as well as their siblings and other people they encounter.

I pointed out we try to cover issues at www.whyquit.com that are pertinent to people who smoke and want to quit, as well as providing materials for people who smoke and may still need a little extra motivation as to why they should quit, as well as for kids who do not smoke yet and want to reinforce their resolve to stay smoke free.

These kids are at the age where they are facing a huge amount of peer pressure to smoke and they need to have solid reasons if they are going to resist this kind of pressure. I am bringing up a few posts that are pertinent to them, and in the event that they do pass along the site to their parents and other adults, I am bringing up materials for these people also.

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Jun 2003, 22:19 #22

One more way you may be able to help someone quit smoking is to email them a link to our new e-book at www.whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 May 2004, 04:53 #23

Post from last year:
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From: Joel Sent: 5/12/2003 2:29 PM
Today I did a program for 110 sixth graders. There were many questions both during and after the program from kids concerned about their parents smoking. One of the students father had just suffered a heart attack within the past few weeks and was in the process of quitting. I encouraged the group to refer their parents to www.whyquit.com as well as their siblings and other people they encounter.

I pointed out we try to cover issues at www.whyquit.com that are pertinent to people who smoke and want to quit, as well as providing materials for people who smoke and may still need a little extra motivation as to why they should quit, as well as for kids who do not smoke yet and want to reinforce their resolve to stay smoke free.

These kids are at the age where they are facing a huge amount of peer pressure to smoke and they need to have solid reasons if they are going to resist this kind of pressure. I am bringing up a few posts that are pertinent to them, and in the event that they do pass along the site to their parents and other adults, I am bringing up materials for these people also.

Joel

I went back to the same school mentioned above and did a presentation to probably another 110-120 sixth graders. While the group was made up of different kids with slightly different stories, the basic issues talked about above are the same. Actually, this is the 24th year in a row that I have talked to this school. I suspect I have students in this group who are children of students I talked to many years ago.

As always when I am doing school groups, I like to pop up a few extra posts that are directly addressing the concerns of young people, hopefully before they ever find themselves trapped into years of addiction. If any of our regular members have posts that they think will help influence these kids, today would be a good day to bring them up. Hopefully we can help some young people to never take up smoking, and in the event that there were some who have already started with experimentation, we will be able to help influence them to commit now to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Mar 2005, 04:59 #24

I see where a few people are facing the dilemma of how to help influence friends and family members to quit smoking. The best way to help is setting the example that not only is it possible to quit, but that overall life is better once you did quit. The odds are pretty good that when you were a smoker you didn't think either of these situations were possible or likely. But you can't dwell on the topic with them if they are not ready or willing to hear it. If you say anything about smoking, say it infrequently, but let your example of not smoking and smiling speak for itself. Whether you say it or not you are setting the example. If you have physical improvements, subtly bring it up, maybe not even mentioning smoking. If you are out shopping and see something you like while with them, buy it and say it is a little reward for yourself. Don't say why, just be cool and nonchalant about it. Most important, just carry on your normal existence to the best of your ability when around these people. You will be quietly teaching them that there really is life after smoking.

If it does eventually influence them and they are ready to quit, they will likely come to you for advice. Then you can refer them here, or print out materials from here and give it to them, or come read yourself the materials and translate into a personally delivered philosophy. Keep it simple for them. Quitting is not complicated or expensive. All it involves is getting nicotine out of the body. And staying off is not complicated either, it is simply a matter of remembering why you quit, remembering why you don't want to go back to smoking, and then remembering the way not to go back is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Apr 2005, 08:17 #25

Until now I have been so preoccupied with my own quit that I have never mentioned this issue before. But now the time has come to talk about it. My dearest is a smoker, big time smoker, who has never even thought about quitting and claims that he actually 'enjoys' it.
During our life together I have attempted to quit several times and when one day I again joined him for a cigarette, his expression was telling something like"Well, it was time that you started again.". He has not really said anything negative about my quit attempts, but was not supportive either and seemed to be sure that I will go back to smoking soon.
This time (almost three weeks now) has been different in many ways, also my husband's reaction was different. He was not supportive at all and even hostile towards me. He seemed to sense that I meant it for real this time and that he was definitely loosing me as his 'smoke partner'. Without really saying it directly he seemed to do all to make it even more difficult for me, for example leaving cigarettes everywhere and announcing it every time before having one. My determination scared him, I think.
It has been sad to realize how smoking is more important to him than my health, because otherwise he would have been more helpful and more supportive. But I don't really blame him for that. My quit is still so fresh that I can well remember how powerful it's grip is.
Couple of days ago my dearest said that he has been thinking about joining me. We didn't talk about it more. But already this remark is a huge change in attitude. I will not pressure him and just hope that I can help him through my example.
Ivano - enjoying my 21st day of nicotine free life
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 May 2005, 02:49 #26

While non-smokers may offer their love, patience and understanding, you, as an ex-smoker, have the unique ability to be a highly supportive and credible source to the individual attempting to quit smoking. You knew what it was like to smoke. You know how much nicer it is to go through life as an ex-smoker. Share this knowledge. Be honest-if you still have thoughts for a cigarette, tell them. But clarify what the thoughts are like. If you are a typical ex-smoker, the thoughts occur quite infrequently, and even when they do occur they last only seconds and are just a passing desire rather than a real painful episode such as those encountered during initial cessation.

People giving up cigarettes need to know this natural evolutionary process of smoker to ex-smoker. When they encounter urges after the first two weeks, they are no longer experiencing physical withdrawal, rather they are responding to a psychological trigger. They are experiencing a new situation for the first time without a cigarette. The urge will pass and they will have learned how to face all future similar experiences as an ex-smoker, with no discomfort.

Share with them the information we shared with you during the clinic. Give them the same support that the others in your clinic gave to you. Most important, once smokers give up their cigarettes, offer periodic support to them letting them know you care about them, and always reinforce one concept to guarantee success in their continued non-smoking status-NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

20 Aug 2005, 12:28 #27

Joel,
I was stopping by and this thread caught my eye. I just wanted to say thank you! I used your advise (from this thread and many others) and I have been living with a smoke free wife for nine months. Thank You!!

Kevin
Clean a year and some.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Jan 2006, 09:38 #28

For Ivano
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Jan 2006, 09:48 #29

Thank you, mslindy6.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Mar 2006, 18:08 #30

While non-smokers may offer their love, patience and understanding, you, as an ex-smoker, have the unique ability to be a highly supportive and credible source to the individual attempting to quit smoking. You knew what it was like to smoke. You know how much nicer it is to go through life as an ex-smoker. Share this knowledge. Be honest-if you still have thoughts for a cigarette, tell them. But clarify what the thoughts are like. If you are a typical ex-smoker, the thoughts occur quite infrequently, and even when they do occur they last only seconds and are just a passing desire rather than a real painful episode such as those encountered during initial cessation.

People giving up cigarettes need to know this natural evolutionary process of smoker to ex-smoker. When they encounter urges after the first two weeks, they are no longer experiencing physical withdrawal, rather they are responding to a psychological trigger. They are experiencing a new situation for the first time without a cigarette. The urge will pass and they will have learned how to face all future similar experiences as an ex-smoker, with no discomfort.

Share with them the information we shared with you during the clinic. Give them the same support that the others in your clinic gave to you. Most important, once smokers give up their cigarettes, offer periodic support to them letting them know you care about them, and always reinforce one concept to guarantee success in their continued non-smoking status-NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Apr 2006, 13:08 #31

Thanks Sal for bringing this post up!
I really needed to read this!!!!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

16 Apr 2006, 15:41 #32

Read your message about your smoke partner my hubbie is very similar when I relapsed after 3 years (thinking I could control my smoking) he put a picture up in the kitchen of me smoking with a caption "smoking is so good for you"
This time there is no going back Im working on detaching and not being judgemental However for the safety of my quit I will not be with him in the same place when he smokes
I have been quit for 1 Month, 3 Days, 2 hours, 41 minutes and 4 seconds (34 days). I have saved £88.69 by not smoking 341 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day, 4 hours and 25 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 13/03/2006 06:00
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 May 2006, 20:15 #33

Below is a portion of an e-mail we received and a portion of my reply:



"I still get on my soap box when my husband and friends smoke around me. I recite stories from WhyQuit and tips from the forums. I am mostly trying to encourage them to join me in my freedom."

"So far my quit has motivated a good friend and her husband to quit and my husband's best friend has just told me he has set his quit date. I am hoping that this will be the motivation my husband needs to finally quit. He has tried a few times over the last 6 months, just not succesfully."

Ex-smoker



As for working with smokers around us, do you remember what it was like when those who used to smoke around us somehow managed to quit and were throwing it in our face, encouraging us to quit too? Somehow they seemed the worst. I believe our feelings toward them involved multiple factors.

First, they appeared to be doing something that deep down we may have then felt that we couldn't. Their excitement did little for us other than possibly generate acid producing anxieties that had us needing to smoke even more. Didn't they realize that they were toying with our personal dream of quitting, at a time of our choice and in the manner we saw fit? Why should we cast our own dream aside and take this person's advice? On top of that, if we succeeded while using their advice then they would have likely taken credit for our quitting, for the rest of our life. It would be like them having two birthdays, theirs and ours.

A drug addict's rationalizations are for the most part totally irrational but they are also totally theirs. The smart friend searches for subtle ways to allow them to include resources like Joel's Library, WhyQuit, Freedom and Ask Joel into their dream instead of replacing it. Maybe just an article printed and left for them to read, maybe an entire copy of Joel's Library (or his Never Take Another Puff book - http://whyquit.com/joel/ntap.pdf ). If you feel resistance then back track a bit by letting them know that knowledge is simply a tool to be used or ignored, that you cannot endure a single crave for them and that any victory will be 100% theirs.

John

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jun 2007, 02:48 #34

After a couple of weeks in my quit my wife realized I was still alive. I didn't die of quitting. I didn't push her, I only emphazised the good things in life now I had quit. I also told her some of Joel's wisdom so now and then.
Standing alone outside the restaurant getting her fix also wasn't that funny.
But I never pestered or asked her to quit. This string was very educating for me.

So she quit and celebrates with me almost every day. She is 4 months now, I almost 6.

Frits
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jun 2007, 03:04 #35

Love
Patience
Hope

Their light bulb moment
What a gift we give each other!
Happy and proud for both you and your wife Frits!

Wendy...
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