If your loved one has tried to quit before and had withdrawal symptoms or feelings of failure because he or she picked up the habit again, the person may not feel able to try quitting another time. Many tobacco users also worry they will gain weight if they quit. If this is something your loved one worries about, you can help by taking part in physical activities and healthy eating as he or she goes through the quitting process.
When you feel ready, have a private, relaxed meeting with your loved one. Tis is your chance to show how much you care. Be honest. Don’t approach the topic until you are calm and not angry.
• 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 keep—or even increase—using tobacco 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 there for support in the future. Quitting can be a scary 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 find 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 with the costs of nicotine-replacement medicines?
• 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 limit the amount of weight your loved one may gain during the quitting process?
• Will you still offer support and not judge your loved one if he or she continues using tobacco? How to Help Someone You Love Stop Using Tobacco 7
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