With tobacco use being the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, it's time to help our loved ones and friends kick this bad habit. Here are five ways you can support those close to you and help them on their journey to health:
1. Keep Them Busy
Think of some activities you can do together, such as taking a leisurely walk or going to get coffee. Distract your smoker by suggesting an afternoon at the movies. Anything to keep their mind off of smoking will help them be successful.
2. Remove Reminders
Remove all things associated with smoking: ashtrays, lighters and matches. Offer alternatives to smoking a cigarette. Cancer.org suggests offering gum to chew, providing hard candy to suck on and keeping fresh veggies cut up and in the refrigerator.
Don't be afraid to celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a hard process; praise them for their progress and celebrate the little victories.
4. Remind Them
Show them why they're quitting smoking. Are they quitting so they can be there for a spouse or children or grandchildren? Encourage your smoker to carry reminders so that they can be constantly encouraged.
5. Don't Quit on Them
It takes the average smoker 11 tries to quit smoking for good. If your smoker slips or relapses, don't get angry; instead, encourage them to try again and let them know that you'll be there to help them, every step of the way.
Smoking is an addiction that many smokers definitely want to overcome, but they can't do it alone. When smokers have support from their loved ones and friends, they have a better chance at beating their addiction. Don't quit on them until they've quit for good.