All right, your relative has decided to become a non-smoker. Whether it's your teenager, your spouse, your boyfriend, or one of your parents, it's excellent news, and you can feel proud of him/her! Then you may wonder how to support this person in his or her withdrawal process. Quitting smoking is very challenging … but everyone is capable of overcoming it, and especially if supported by their loved ones!
Your loved one is a hero, so encourage him or her more than ever!
The person you are supporting already took a huge step by choosing to quit smoking. It may seem logical and very simple to you if you have never been addicted to cigarettes. In fact, by quitting smoking, your loved one's overall health will improve, his or her wallet will not be drained as quickly, his or her senses and breath will recover, and above all, he or she will finally feel free! Your relative is aware of all these benefits, but it is crucial that you understand how much the person you are supporting is a hero in a challenging situation. To become a non-smoker again, the person may go through specific phases of irritability, related to a lack of nicotine or tiredness caused by withdrawal. This is where your role is critical.
You know the person you love and the efforts he or she is making, so be by his or her side! Try to put yourself in his/her shoes, and don't let his/her possible mood swings, which will only be temporary, discourage you. After a few weeks, not only will these difficult moments be over, but your loved one will be smoke-free and in good health. And that is priceless.
What is the most effective way to support them?
Here are some ideas to help him/her:
- Offer your loved one activities to do together to keep him/her occupied and entertained, such as going to the movies or the pool.
- Take the person to a restaurant so that they are fully aware of the different flavours they can enjoy 😋
- Offer them chewings gums, a stress ball or other items that your loved one can use to pass on a potential craving for a cigarette.
- Be sure to remove any objects from the house that may remind them of tobacco, such as ashtrays and lighters.
- Help your loved one to be more active in everyday life by giving him/her challenges: taking the stairs, going to work by bike, doing three squats before going to bed, etc.
- Prepare healthy and balanced meals, especially if your loved one is afraid of gaining weight during weaning.
- Encourage the person with compliments at every little success, and tell them how he or she has made you proud!
- Plan an event that marks a milestone in the withdrawal process: a restaurant outing or a weekend financed by his Kwitter savings, for example 💸
Caring and support are the keywords
Beyond these concrete attentions, try to adopt a sympathetic and encouraging attitude, even in the event of mood swings: they are not against you, and they will disappear faster if you can stay as considerate and forgiving as your loved one needs you to be. Also, it should be noted that skidding is an integral part of quitting smoking; it is typical for a Kwitter to have cravings for tobacco, and sometimes not to be able to resist them. If so, avoid blaming him/her at all costs. It won't do him any good to feel guilty, he needs someone to build his self-confidence! Explain that this gap is not a failure and that it is part of the withdrawal process. Also work with him/her to understand the causes of this gap, and continue to encourage him/her to achieve his/her goal.
You are now ready to face withdrawal with your loved one who truly needs you. Supporting him/her to achieve this goal is a real gift that you give him/her, and he/she will be grateful to you when he/she realises that is definitively free of his/her addiction! Quitting smoking is a challenge. Some can do it alone, but most need extra support from you.