When you feel ready, have a private, relaxed meeting with your loved one. Tis is your opportunity to show how much you care. Be honest. Do not approach the topic until you are ready to do so calmly and without anger.
• Explain why using tobacco worries you, without putting blame on your loved one. Avoid statements or complaints that accuse him or her of hurting others or themselves. Feelings of guilt and anxiety can lead the person to continue using tobacco, or even increase tobacco-related behaviors in response to these feelings.
• Try to focus on your love for this person and your desire for him or her to live a long and healthy life with you.
• Let the person know what type of support you will provide if he or she does decide to quit. You may want to make a card with a list of the ways you will support his or her efforts.
• Give reassurance that you still love the person, even if he or she doesn’t want to quit at this time. Let him or her know you will be available for support in the future. Quitting can be a frightening and overwhelming decision that the person needs to think about and plan out. It can only work when your loved one is ready for the challenge.
• If your loved one is ready to quit, discuss his or her reasons and readiness for quitting.
• Help your loved one learn about quitting strategies and identify other resources to help with the quitting process.
Help your loved one cope with the challenges of quitting. Prepare strategies for helping your loved one during the quitting process.
• What are some ways you can reward your loved one for his or her efforts to quit? (Examples: small gifts or notes of encouragement)
• Are you able and willing to help financially with the costs of nicotine-replacement therapies?
• Can you offer emotional support and encouragement if your loved one feels frustrated, stressed, or anxious?
• Will you make time to spend with your loved one, keeping him or her busy by taking walks, discussing recent news and events, or watching movies?
• Can you prepare low-fat meals and treats to help reduce the amount of weight your loved one may gain during the quitting process?
• Will you remain nonjudgmental and supportive if your loved one continues using tobacco?
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