Despite well-known harms of smoking, like cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer, over a billion people worldwide find it hard to quit due to the addictive nature of tobacco. However, it’s possible to quit with some determination and this World No Tobacco Day we bring you some advice to convince your friends and relatives to stop smoking. Quitting is ultimately an individual decision. 

You can’t convince them if they aren’t convinced that they need to quit. Ask the person if they want to quit. If they want to quit but aren’t able to due to withdrawals or other concerns, encourage them and provide support. If they don’t want to quit, give them some space but don’t give up. Talk to the person about how concerned you are about their health and how their habit affects you. Make it clear to them that you aren’t forcing or guilt-tripping them but want them to stop because you care for them. If they won’t quit out of fear for their health, they might consider if they understand the benefits of quitting. Talk about how their health will improve, their looks will improve, they will save money and other benefits you think will appeal to them enough to consider quitting.

Most people smoke due to pressure. So, if you can create a relaxing ambience every time you meet someone, chances are they won’t get the urge to smoke. You can do this by simple tricks like talking about their hobbies, hanging out at parks, or anything else that will keep them occupied.

Convince them to not smoke near you as politely but firmly as possible. If they like hanging out with you more than smoking chances are they’d choose you over their pack. However, don’t make it seem like you are forcing them to choose between you and their cigarettes. Give good reasons like how the smoke hurts your throat or your concern about the children catching the habit.

Scolding and preaching to your friend about smoking will only create a feeling of resentment which may lead to more smoking even after they were thinking about quitting. Guilt-tripping them is even worse as the guilt will cause stress which they might cope with another puff. Instead 

It’s not easy to give up smoking, your loved ones need all the support they can get to break the habit. You can support them by giving them moral support, helping them with their quit plan, helping them find the rehab program best for them, rewarding them for their success and consoling them when they lapse.

There will be times when the urge for that ‘one more puff’ will be too strong to resist. Don’t give up on your friend if they fail to resist that urge, instead encourage them to continue with their rehabilitation process. Also point out how long they managed to keep away from cigarettes as positive feedback. Prevent them from feeling guilty as that might just lead to more smoking.

Besides, why give up on your friends and family after taking the initiative to help them stop smoking?  If you follow these tips, someday they’ll quit. Till then, keep trying.