There’s no denying that smoking is bad for you. The health risks are immense. Unfortunately, it’s also a complicated addiction, which makes it difficult to quit. It’s easier to stop smoking when you have support. If your partner has decided that it’s time to toss out their smokes and improve their health, they’ll need your help.
Tip One: Offer Support Without Judgment
Let your partner know that you’ll be there for them unconditionally. Ask them what they need from you. It’s okay to offer advice or resources on how to quit, but let the person who’s quitting develop their own plan. Remember that this has to be their choice.
You should also be prepared for the process to take a while. Your partner might stop for a period of time and then slip up. Don’t berate or pressure them about this. Smoking is both a physical and emotional addiction. It’s not possible for most people to “just stop.”
Tip Two: Find Alternatives and Distractions
Help your partner to find new, smoke-free activities to fill their time. Encourage them to discover new hobbies that they’ll enjoy. If you can participate in those hobbies too, it will be even more helpful.
There are a wide variety of options to choose from:
- Musical instruments
- Knitting or crocheting
While giving up cigarettes, your partner will likely experience cravings. Have a plan in place to counter those. Some people find it helpful to chew sugar-free gum. Other people switch to vaping. You could also suggest taking a walk or playing a game until the craving passes.
Tip Three: Provide a Smoke-Free Environment
Do you have smoking paraphernalia in your living space? It’s time to get rid of it. Remove any ashtrays and packs of cigarettes. Stash lighters and matches in out-of-the-way locations where they won’t tempt your partner. The key is to remove as much temptation as possible. Make it clear that if your partner gets a craving that they can’t resist, they need to go outside to indulge it.
If you live with your significant other, be sure to talk to them before clearing out the smoking reminders. It could put stress on your relationship if you get rid of their things without consulting them, even if your intentions were good. Since many people smoke to cope with stress, it could do more harm than good if you’re not both on board.
Tip Three: Take Care of Yourself
People often use cigarettes to self-medicate. It’s a way of coping with stress. When people stop smoking, they sometimes become irritable. They might be depressed or grumpy. As the significant other of someone who’s attempting to quit, you’re in the line of fire. Be sure to take time for yourself. Treat yourself well. After all, if you’re getting run down or exhausted, you’re not able to adequately support someone else.
Tip Four: Celebrate Your Partner’s Victories
Quitting smoking is a huge deal. One of the best ways to show support is to make sure your significant other knows how much you appreciate what they’re doing. Celebrate their victories both large and small. If it’s been a while since they’ve smoked, treat them to a nice dinner or buy them something they like. A simple compliment can do wonders for their confidence. Let your partner know how proud you are of what they’re doing.