To stop smoking is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. Convincing someone else to stop can also be a very tough challenge. I smoked for 28 years until I finally quit. It was very, very hard. I used to tell myself that I loved smoking and it was one of few pleasures in my life and I wasn’t going to give it up. However, after so many years of smoking, it had taken its toll and I had to quit for health reasons.
How To Convince Someone To Stop Smoking
I recently worked with someone who was a long term smoker to help them stop smoking. While doing this, I compiled these compelling reasons to stop smoking. Maybe these can be of help to you or someone you care about.
Realize that THE most important factor in quitting is that the person must be completely decided and very determined to quit or they will likely never make it through the quitting process. It takes a powerful decision to make it through the withdrawal period as well as the triggers and temptations to “have just one”. I myself fell for the “just have one” idea many times. Each time it resulted in a slow build up of more and more and once again I was a smoker.
The second thing I would strongly suggest is that you use some sort of physical addiction help to quit. The nicotine patch worked best for me. I started with the 21 mg patch for 2 weeks, then moved down to 14 mg and then 7 and was finally able to wear no patch after 5 weeks. I used the occasional lozenge while using the patch and after to handle momentary cravings. If you realize that nicotine is more addictive than heroine, and truly take that into account, you can take a more realistic approach to confronting and conquering your addiction. The patch allowed me to break my smoking habits while gradually weening me off the nicotine. It worked and I have quit for many years now.
To help accomplish the decision to quit, I compiled this list:
10 Compelling Reasons to Help You Stop Smoking
- As smoking is so addictive, the need or desire for a cigarette can often come at a time when you can’t smoke. More and more places do not allow smoking. Office buildings, restaurants, planes and airports, whole shopping centers, other people’s homes, movie theaters and pretty much any public facility allow no smoking. It can be somewhat tortuous to be stuck somewhere for any length of time not being able to smoke. As the hours roll by the cravings for a cigarette grow increasingly stronger. Many times I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom or “make a phone call” so that I could sneak outside to the parking lot and have a cigarette. If you weren’t addicted to nicotine this would never be a problem.
- You think smoking a cigarette brings you pleasure, that it relieves stress or upset or even helps with depression. It certainly seemed that way to me when I smoked. I’d often say “I don’t want to quit smoking, I love it too much” or “I am get pleasure from smoking and enjoy it, so why should I stop.” But here is the raw, naked truth of what is really happening. As smoking is so addictive, after you smoke a cigarette the nicotine in your system slowly dissipates. As your nicotine levels lower and lower you start to become more agitated and the cravings to have another cigarette get stronger. When you do finally have that cigarette, the pleasure you feel is the new nicotine satiating and satisfying that craving – that’s the “pleasure” you feel. It would be kind of like wearing tight shoes and the pleasure you feel you take that off rub your feet on the carpet.
- While one cigarette won’t kill you, smoking over a period of months or years will be detrimental to your health in one way or another. Some people have smoked for decades without any serious problems. But it is a known fact that smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema and COPD. So at best you are gambling or trying to win the lottery by smoking. It’s possible you will live to 93 while smoking. There are people who have. But the odds are fairly high that you will develop some kind of serious medical condition as a result of smoking that can put a serious damper on your quality of life and longevity. Tobacco was responsible for more than 100 million deaths worldwide in the 20th Century. The World Health Organisation has estimated that, if current trends continue, tobacco could cause a billion deaths in the 21st Century. The good news is that most of these deaths are preventable, by giving up smoking. Irregardless of cancer, smoking definitely causes damage to your lungs and lung capacity in 100% of smokers.
- Do it for your loved ones or those who depend on you. You are gambling with your life. Contracting cancer or other serious medical conditions or worse, loss of life, can have very traumatic effects for others who depend on you being there. And that’s not to mention the financial burden it may place on their shoulders.
- Smoking ages the skin a lot faster, causing wrinkles and age spots. You can often tell if someone was a long term smoker by their dry, wrinkly skin and it’s not pretty.
- Your hands, face and clothes smell like an ashtray after smoking which is usually offensive to others. If you smoke in your car or home or office, it will also likely smell like an ashtray as well.
- You could put all of the money you are spending toward something more positive or enjoyable. If you smoke a pack a day, you are spending approximately $2000 or more per year for cigarettes. You could go on a vacation or update your wardrobe or buy something you have really wanted for the money. If you plan on quitting, I recommend that you decide what it is you would like to do with $2000 and make that a reward for quitting and staying quit. You can even stash 40 bucks away each week and at the end of the year, go buy that 65 inch 3D tv you have always wanted or take that cruise and celebrate your accomplishment.
- When you smoke you are putting toxins into your body that your body has to deal with. This weakens the immune system and can cause toxic overload. In addition to the highly addictive nicotine, there are approximately 600 ingredients in most cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. Here are some of the ingredients in cigarettes:
- Acetone – found in nail polish remover
- Acetic Acid – an ingredient in hair dye
- Ammonia – a common household cleaner
- Arsenic – used in rat poison
- Benzene – found in rubber cement
- Butane – used in lighter fluid
- Cadmium – active component in battery acid
- Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
- Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
- Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
- Lead – used in batteries
- Naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs
- Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
- Nicotine – used as insecticide
- Tar – material for paving roads
- Toluene – used to manufacture paint
- Having to have a smoke can result in having to brave some unpleasant conditions. Often a smoker won’t be stopped by rain, sleet, snow or freezing cold or unbearably hot situations to feed the addiction. I can remember many times standing outside bitter cold conditions, pouring rain or sweltering heat just to have my smoke. I must admit that I did feel kind of ridiculous, but I did it anyway.
- You really can’t just have one. When I smoked, I told myself that I could over and over. I would quit and then think I could have an occasional cigarette. Gradually over time it was one a day, then two a day and eventually I was smoking again. I will admit that there may be a few rare individuals out there that can smoke an occasional cigarette. But if you have been a smoker you won’t be able to become an occasional smoker. Decide to give it up and give it up for good. You will save yourself a lot of grief.
There is one book that helped, although I disagreed with and disliked the title. It’s called the Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allan Carr. It’s available on Amazon on Kindle and paperback here. I think “Easy Way” is misleading, but there was some very helpful info in it and it’s a fun read. This book was a vital part of my husbands successful decision to give up smoking. The US governemnt has a “give up smoking” program which you can see here – https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/getting-started/steps-to-manage-quit-day but my husband found Alan Carrs book to be more effective.
I hope this can be of some help. Please take it in the spirit for which it was written – to help you to stop smoking and break free. I was an enthusiastic smoker for a very long time. I tried and failed to quit many times. I found it very tough. But it CAN be done. I wish you every success.