I see my friend fagging her cig through the day, and then crib with me about a lifeless dry skin, bad hair and of course a sullen mood. She keeps taking cigarette breaks every now & then, even in between important discussions happening at work. The desire to smoke is so strong that she can’t focus on her work and has to step out for a quick smoke. And when she returns, sometimes, without a mint, the stares she gets from colleagues are a big put off for her.
I hear many of our other friends & colleagues say that why can’t she just stop smoking. Or she does it intentionally to bother all of us. Some say that she does it on purpose to look cool.
As a friend, I feel worried when I see her put her health at risk by harboring a smoking addiction. To see a loved one succumbing to some critical health hazards associated with long-term smoking like lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory and nerve disorders, is painful and of course worrisome.
The big question for me how do I help my dear friend quit smoking?
As much as I’d like to see my friend live a healthy and more fulfilling life, it’s stupid of me assume that she will quit overnight. If I keep saying…“Just throw away the damn cigarette”, the words will just land on deaf ears and maybe she’ll stop listening to me altogether.
For people addicted to smoking, quitting isn’t generally an easy task. But there is hope for those who are willing to take a step towards recovery.
How to Begin: the First Step to Help your Friend
- Motivation & Support: Medical and psychiatric research suggests that there is higher chance of a person quitting smoking if he/she feels supported. This is why family members and friends can play a significant role in helping someone quit for good. So if your friend begins a conversation with something like “I’m thinking I should quit smoking”, give them a positive and encouraging response. Tell them that you’re willing to help them do this.
- No Lecture, Just Stand by: If your friend is facing continued lapses, remind them that quitting is a ‘process’ and a lapse does not imply failure. But avoid all kinds of lecturing, nagging or scolding if you want your smoker to stay open and honest with you.
Suggest Seeking Help – Doctor, Counselor and/or Support Group
Quitting smoking is a methodical process and like any other health issue, if this is done with help from trained people, quitting becomes easy.
Many smokers think quitting is about willpower. It’s not! To address the addiction, visit a doctor and a counselor specializing in nicotine addiction. Take your friend along for support, if possible.
Reboot Wellness has a panel of trained doctors and counselors to make the process of quitting smoking easy and feasible, without any side effects like weight gain or sleep issues.
Support groups are also helpful for keeping the motivation alive throughout the quitting process.
Smoking is just like any other health issue. It needs treatment from trained practitioners, attention from loved ones and aftercare. If you or anyone in your friends & family are battling this addiction, don’t try alone. Seek help from us at Reboot and start your road to recovery.