If you live with or are friends with someone who smokes and you are worried about how it’s affecting their health, chances are, you are urging them to quit once and for all.
If the threat of gum disease, stroke, long-term respiratory disease, heart disease or premature death doesn’t intimidate the smoker in your life, it might be time to approach new measures.
Here are five steps you can take, which will allow you to help your friend or loved one finally ‘call it quits’ and abandon their habit for good.
Step 1: Get informed and understand the quit smoking process.
Quitting smoking is an uphill battle, full of intense cravings, side effects, and withdrawal symptoms. In order to comprehend what your friend or loved one is going through, you need to be clued up on what this challenging journey will entail.
First of all, why is it so hard to quit? Nicotine, a highly addictive substance in tobacco, is to blame. It travels quickly to the brain and causes a short-term feeling of relaxation and stress relief. This substance is also responsible for elevating your mood and your heart rate, which leads to withdrawal symptoms when your body no longer has this drug in its system. This leads to a vicious and addictive cycle.
When a smoker attempts to quit, nicotine withdrawal symptoms include: anxiety, depression, headaches, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
It is also helpful to know about nicotine replace therapy (NRT). There are five forms of nicotine replacement therapy currently on the market. These include: the patch, gum, oral spray, inhalers, and lozenges. All NRT options contain approximately one-third to one-half the amount of nicotine found in most cigarettes, and helps reduce nicotine withdrawal and craving symptoms.
To find the right NRT product for your loved one, Nicorette’s product tool can help.
Step 2: Be understanding and let the person know that you are always there to help.
Now that you know about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of smoking, you can let your loved one know that you understand what they are going through. You can also reinforce that you are always there to help, in any way you can.
It’s also important to note that lecturing, nagging or reprimanding will not help your friend or family member quit smoking any sooner. In fact, it might make things worse.
Be patient and positive and understand that this is a difficult journey they are embarking on.
Step 3: Help them create a social support system.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, smokers are more likely to quit if they have friends, spouses or coworkers who have quit in the past, or are currently trying to kick the habit as well.
Whether you want to take the initiative and look into support groups for your friend or family member, or you want to connect them with another individual you know that is also trying to quit smoking – both options could be helpful.
Step 4: Introduce them to mobile apps and other quit smoking services, which can lend a helping hand.
There are a wide variety of mobile apps and free quit smoking services that your friend or family member can take advantage of. Some of these support services include: phone support, online chat forums, discussion boards, and text message support.
Mobile apps are a great tool to use and allow users to have a personalized experience. Some apps include a quit smoking timeline (explaining the health benefits), video testimonials, and expert advice that the user can leverage.
By introducing your friend or family member to these valuable resources, you will give him or her the confidence they need when deciding to start the quitting process.
Step 5: Celebrate their success.
Whether it’s one hour, one day, or one week without a cigarette, it’s important to celebrate your friend or family member’s success. This will encourage them to keep going. By celebrating each milestone, whether it’s large or small, you can help your loved one reach their goal to quit smoking for good.