Motivating a tobacco user to quit.

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on December 18, 2017

Everyone knows someone who uses tobacco. Maybe you want them to give up the habit, but you stay silent because too often the topic is met with resistance, defiance or worse. If they aren’t ready yet, how do you help someone stop smoking or dipping? What can you say or do to steer them toward a tobacco-free life?

First of all, no one likes a guilt trip. But in matters of life or death, you naturally want to express your love and your concern for their well-being, so they can be around as long as possible.

You could start by telling them that when they quit, time is literally on their side. Even within just a few minutes of quitting, their body starts to recover. Within days, normal body functions start to return. Within a couple of years, cancer and stroke risks fall to those of a nonsmoker.

Even more amazingly, quitting can actually add years to their life. A study done by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that tobacco users die 10 years earlier than those who are tobacco free. The earlier they quit, the more extra years they can rack up.

Best of all, if they quit before they turn 35, they can avoid premature death caused by tobacco use entirely.

Ask them to think about what they could do with those extra years. Mention things like celebrating more birthdays, holidays with family, meeting grandkids or even great grandkids.

It may be hard to keep your emotions in check. Providing objective information — while avoiding anger, guilt and confrontation — will help your message get through.

To learn about the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline’s FREE services, and how you can support loved ones on their quitting journey, CLICK HERE.

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