How To Talk To Your Partner About Quitting Smoking

It can be testing having a partner that smokes when you don’t, whether you have never been a smoker or even if you’ve chosen to give up for personal reasons. There are many reasons you may want your partner to quit; kissing them may not be the most pleasant, they may well smell of cigarette smoke, they’re going to be spending a large portion of their money on cigarettes, and we all know it’s not good for their short or long-term health. Having said that it can be tricky to broach the subject with your smoking partner, particularly if you want them to quit but they don’t seem to be in a hurry to do so, or haven’t even thought about it themselves yet.

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Here’s some tips on how to approach your loved one about their nasty habit, that might make it a little easier to get the conversation started and the thoughts flowing…

Do… bring it up gently

“I read an article today…”, “What made you start smoking?” and so on. Bring up the topic of smoking gently and subtly and then, assuming all goes well, you may be able to steer the conversation around to suggesting that you’d like them to consider quitting. Don’t dive in head first, it’ll be too obvious what you’re doing and where the conversation is going. Slow and steady wins the race.

Don’t… bring the subject up around others

It’s a sensitive subject so it’s really best to have the conversation alone. You’ll be putting them on the spot a little when you bring up the subject that you think they should quit smoking, and the last thing you want to do is make them feel like a deer in the headlights.

Do… remind them that you love them

When you’re asking someone to change their habits and their lifestyle, it can feel like a personal attack and it’s understandable if they get a little defensive in response, so make sure to remind them that you love them and you don’t want to change anything about them, you just think quitting would be for the best. Give some soft examples of why it’s for the best, such as you’ll have more money for holidays and trips together, they won’t get ill so often and so on.

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Don’t… spout off statistics

Whilst it’s sad to think about how smoking can damage health and ruin lives, throwing as many scary statistics as you can at your partner won’t do the trick and give them the wake-up call that you think they need. Whilst it’s good to know, and it’s good knowledge to share, the worst-case-scenarios may have not touched upon their lives as of yet, so they’re just numbers. If you do know of anyone who has become ill or passed from smoking-related illnesses then it’s best to talk about the people you know, even if it’s a friend of a friend of a friend.

Do… offer alternatives

Nudge them into wanting to do it themselves by suggesting they set up a separate bank account, or get themselves a piggy bank, and they save the money they would normally spend on cigarettes for a week to see how much they can save. When they look at the amount at the end of the week they may just see it as a good enough reason to quit. Also, if they didn’t smoke throughout that entire week, they’re one step ahead of where they were.

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Don’t… pressure them

Many smokers find that they enjoy smoking or don’t particularly feel any need to quit, and ultimately they have to want to do it in order for it to work. If they don’t want to, or they’re just not ready, give them time. If you try to force them into quitting you’ll likely begin causing arguments, or they’ll go about it behind your back – neither of which are healthy for a relationship.

Is it is a deal breaker for you that they quit smoking, try to get across the seriousness of this without stating an ultimatum – you’ll only get their backs up and you’re likely to lose.

It’s not the end of the world if they don’t agree to quit straight away; you’ve planted the seed and that in itself is just the beginning – they may turn around within a matter of days, weeks, months or years and tell you that your words have stuck with them and that’s what made them decide to quit – in their own time.

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Found in Health Awareness