Smoking is bad for you.
- It can kill you or people around you (If you accidentally light a spark at a petrol kiosk for example).
- Even if it doesn’t kill you, it can make you very ill causing you a great deal of pain
- It will make you poorer. Once you have started smoking, you will complain each time the price of cigarattes go up but you can’t stop yourself from smoking. If you become ill it will drive your expenses up even further.
- Smoking makes you ugly. You will have yellow, discoloured teeth and bad breath.
- It will lower your immunity
- You will not learn a more healthy and better way to destress because each time you feel stressed, you will smoke. If you realise that smoking is bad for your health, you will feel even more stressed after you smoke. It’s a vicious cycle.
So how then do you stop a loved one from smoking? You can’t. No amount of nagging, yelling or pleading will get your spouse or children to stop smoking because it is an addiction. Worse, if you nag, they will start smoking secretly behind your back causing them more stress (lies and deceit are stressful unless they have no conscience) and what do smokers do when they are stressed? (Smoke of course). On your part, you may resort to suspicious behaviour and tactics like checking for signs of smoke, cigaratte packs etc and there is a loss of trust in your relationship with your spouse/children.
So, the best way is to not let them start smoking in the first place. It is up to me as a mum to educate my children on the ill effects of smoking. And I shall be drumming to them the items above as soon as they are old enough to be influenced by the advertisements and movies that potray smoking as cool, stylish and the in-thing to do. Smoking is not cool! The sexy siren and hunk of a hero you see on the screen only looks cool because they have been made to look cool. It is up to me to tell my children otherwise before they start spreading their wings eager to try out new things, before they become young impressionable adults, easily influenced and faced with peer pressure. Yes, it is up to me as a parent to educate them not to take up smoking.
My husband is an ex-smoker. He has stopped smoking for a year now and I am very proud of him. Stopping is NOT easy. It is an addiction. The motivation to stop has got to come from within. I have yet to meet a person who stops smoking for their girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. Even with the motivation, its still not easy. My husband has stopped smoking before, for a year but started again several years later. Yes, many ex-smokers still feel like smoking years after they stop. You have got to have extreme self-discipline not to reach out for that stick of cigaratte when you feel like it.
My husband once told me that smokers share a special bond. He paints a pretty cosy picture for me about how nice it is to huddle under a five foot way sheltering from the rain and chatting with another smoker. Being young and impressionable myself, once upon a time, I even helped my boyfriend (then)/husband (now) light up his cigarattes when we went drinking so I could err...bond with him? Ha ha. I recently told him that "Oh I understand this 'bond' you are talking about now. Its just like the bond that we breastfeeding mothers have with each other." Husband probably thinks I'm cuckoo as usual.
I have many friends, girlfriends included who smoke and continue to do so even though they have health problems like high blood pressure and kidney problems. It is really, really hard to stop smoking once you have started and often people start when they are young, before they know any better or are too young and reckless to care or worry about their health when they grow older. Eventually, when they do know better, they feel stressed because they know it is bad for their health but still they cannot stop. Of course there are also those who could not care a toot, who will tell you that "My grandfather smoked till his deathbed at 89 years old." (You may not be as lucky as your grandfather ok?)
I did not nag my husband to stop. He did it on his own. I have often told him "You know how bad smoking is for your health. I want you to be around as long as you can for me and for our children but I will not nag you to stop. You do it, please, at your own pace and when you are ready." I also offered to give him many foot massages which I am guilty of not quite fulfilling. Oh dear, but luckily he understands. Many years ago, I had bought a book on "How to quit smoking." Of course I tried to get husband to read it (which he didn't) but it was more for myself. I think to support a loved one to stop smoking you have to first understand how they will feel when they are attempting to quit. And even more important, is to drive the message to our children that smoking is bad, bad, bad for them.