How to Help a Loved One on the Journey to becoming Smoke-Free?

It’s not easy to watch someone you love slowly destroy their health with a habit like smoking. As loved ones, we often become unexpected victims of the choices of those we care about, but that doesn’t mean we’re helpless to make change. Smoking is a habit that can have only one outcome if it is not tempered, and that’s not something anyone wants to experience.

Not to mention, your own health can be at risk when you’re around a smoker. Second-hand smoke is deadly, despite common belief, and claims the lives of thousands every year. There comes a time when we must speak up for those we love, and provide support and guidance for what can be an incredibly challenging journey. Cigarettes are designed to keep the user addicted, so can expect some resistance from your loved one.

Here’s our guide on how to help a loved one on the journey to becoming smoke-free.

Be Supportive

The journey toward a smoke-free life will be loaded with obstacles and difficult times. Nicotine withdrawal can cause mood swings, appetite changes, and even unprovoked anger and irritation. This can be incredibly hard to watch, but you must remain supportive, even when they seemingly lash out at you. Remember, it’s just the lack of nicotine affecting their brain; they’re not actually upset with you, nor do they mean the things they’re saying.

Being more supportive will increase the likelihood that your loved one will complete their journey. You don’t have to start entirely nicotine-free, either. There are products like tobaccoless chew ( and nicotine gum which can help slowly wean your loved one off of nicotine for good, or act as a viable replacement for cigarettes without thousands of chemicals and toxins.

The bottom line is that your support might be crucial to your loved one’s success. Offer it willingly and be patient; there will be tough times ahead.

Be Firm

Sometimes, the only way to get through to people is by being a bit more firm in your words and actions. If you really want your loved one to quit smoking, be supportive while still maintaining a firmness that encourages them to stay the course. Don’t make excuses for their habit, or downplay the seriousness of it. Smoking will eventually result in serious health complications or even death if left to its devices.

Smoking kills thousands every year, and your loved one could be the next statistic if they don’t quit right away. It’s up to you to provide a firm yet supportive hand to assist them in their journey.

Tell Them How much you Care

One of the best ways to encourage a loved one to quit smoking is to remind them how much you love them and care about their health. Often, we don’t realize the effects our bad habits have on the people around us, so your loved one might not even know it bothers you until you speak up. It’s a difficult conversation to have, to be sure. People will defend their habits and vices as extensions of themselves, but be gentle and let them know you’re not pointing it out to attack them, but rather because you value them and want them to be alive for many more years to come!

What you say can have a much bigger impact on the smoker than you might think, so choose your words carefully. You don’t want to alienate them, but you also don’t want to be too gentle to where they don’t act at all.

Watch Their Habits

If you’re determined to help your loved one quit, you can go the extra mile and pay attention to their habits. Don’t be harsh about it, but it’s ok to remind someone that they’re partaking in a bad habit, like smoking. Smoking becomes almost a subconscious act, engrained into the daily rituals of the smoker. Your loved one may simply need a gentle reminder that they’re pulling out the lighter or going to the gas station to buy cigarettes.

Suggest Resources

Sometimes, even the support of friends and family simply isn’t enough to break the chains of addiction. In this case, you may want to look for outside resources such as support groups or counselors to help your loved one recover.

Luckily, there are thousands of on and offline support groups that can help smokers develop better practices and ditch the habit for good. In some cases, a professional therapeutic environment is the only thing that can truly break the habit. Either way, be supportive and help your loved one. Be there for them, listen to their concerns, and be patient. Together, you can conquer the habit and earn back many more years for your loved one.