How To Convince A Smoker To Quit: Timing

Smoking is an addiction. That sounds like a simple statement that can be taken as read, but when you are trying to convince a smoker to quit, it’s something you really need to understand. Smoking is often referred to as a ‘habit’, when in reality the stronger term ‘addiction’ is far more realistic. Smokers become physically addicted to nicotine, the chemical found in cigarettes, and can experience uncomfortable and often painful physical symptoms of withdrawal when they try to quit.

The reason this is pointed out is that convincing someone to quit smoking for good is a difficult road, and only by understanding what you are actually dealing with can you have a chance of beating it. A tiny percentage of smokers – less than 10% – manage to quit on their first attempt. Most will take three or more attempts, and some may take over 10 attempts over a number of years to finally kick the addiction for good.

If you are struggling to support a smoker who continually goes back on their word – in your eyes – and starts smoking again, try and keep positive. Acknowledge, both to them and to yourself, that this is a marathon rather than a sprint, and by being continually upbeat your smoking friend or family member can be assured of your support.

Never, ever cast doubt on a smokers desire to quit just because they have failed before – doing so can make them angry, defiant and less likely to quit than ever before. Keep things in perspective, and see every failed attempt as one step closer to the final, successful, smoke-free life.

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