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How to Help Your Spouse Quit Smoking

Updated on December 2, 2017
You can help your spouse quit smoking by being understanding and supportive.
You can help your spouse quit smoking by being understanding and supportive. | Source

Are you worried about the well-being of your spouse who is a smoker? Do you wish to help them quit smoking? If so, there are a few things to remember to be able to support them in their wish to quit smoking. The important thing is that it is they who have to make the decision to quit.

The first step is to accept things as they are. It is important to accept the fact that your spouse has an addiction to nicotine or some other substance. That is a reality. Once the problem has been accepted and identified it is easy to address it. Acceptance smooths many hurdles in a relationship. Your spouse will not feel judged or pressurized to change if you accept him or her as they are.

It is said that it takes 21 days to create a habit and only three days to break it. Hence the effort to adopt a new positive habit has to be consistent and regular. The challenge to overcome addiction is far more complicated. It requires great effort on the part of the person who wants to get over it as well as those who want to support them. Here are some tips:

Tips to Support Your Spouse to Quit Smoking:

  1. Assure them of your acceptance and your love.
  2. Agree to some ground rules on where it is OK to smoke. For example, the rule might be that it is OK to smoke outdoors while trying to cut down on the smoking.
  3. Listen while they talk about quitting, many things are resolved by voicing our concerns and giving your spouse the space to express their feelings will help a great deal.
  4. Be ready to put up with bad moods. Remember that withdrawal symptoms are temporary. It is good to change the topic or do something to distract them.
  5. It is helpful to change the routine. Add a few activities that will improve health and well-being like going for regular walks, eating more vegetables and salads, etc.
  6. Just Be. Take things slowly. Nagging will not help. Expecting immediate results will only increase the disharmony.
  7. The main challenge is when they slip up. You have to remain positive and encouraging at all times. It is important to remember that it is usual to fail a few times before quitting for good.
  8. Celebrate minor successes. A good idea would be to have a glass jar and add the money saved ever time your spouse makes a decision not to buy a packet of cigarettes. Then the money can be used to go to movie or buy something they would like to have.
  9. Take on a few extra duties such as child care, cooking, cleaning, etc to help lighten the stress.
  10. It is best to ask how they would like to be helped rather than giving advice on what to do.

Quit Smoking and Return Your Body to Health

Did You Know that You Could See Results Within 20 minutes of Quitting to Smoke?

See results

The video 'Quitting Smoking Timeline', shows you just how fast the body can recover — even from years of smoking related damage. Here are the highlights for those who would like to have a list of the benefits after watching the video:

Lasting Benefits of Quitting Smoking – A Timeline

After Quitting
Benefits and Positive Outcomes
Within 20 Minutes
Blood Pressure, Pulse Rate and Temperature of your hands and feet become normal.
8 Hours
Nicotine levels in your blood drops down 93.25%
12 Hours
Oxygen levels increases to Normal
12 Hours
Carbon monoxide drops to Normal
24 Hours
Quitting related Anxieties Peak
48 Hours
1) Damaged nerve endings are Regrows. 2) Sense of Smell and Taste return to Normal. 3) Anger and Irritability Peak
72 Hours
1) Body is 100% Nicotine Free. 2) Bronchial Tubes and Lungs Relax, you breathe easier
5-8 Days
Having 3 Cravings to Smoke Each Day and No Craving lasts longer than 3 Minutes.
10 Days
Less than 2 Cravings to Smoke Each Day Each Less than 3 Minutes
2 Weeks
Blood Circulation in Gums and Teeth as of non-smoker
2-4 Weeks
Anxiety, Impatience, Insomnia, Restlessness and Depression are gone.
2 Weeks to 3 Months
1) Risk of Heart Attack Drops. 2) Lung functions Improves
3 Weeks to 3 Months
Improved Circulation and Chronic Cough disappears
9 Months
Sinus Congestion, Fatigue, Shortness of Breath Decrease. Cilia in the Lungs are Regrown resulting in Increased Energy
1 Year
Excess Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke are half of that of a non-smoker
5-15 Years
Risk of having a Stroke same as a non-smoker
10 Years
1) Risk of Lung Cancer reduced to 30-50% of a Smoker 2) Risk of Death by Lung Cancer reduced by half. 3) Risk of Pancreatic Cancer is the same as a non-smoker. 4) Reduced Risk of Mouth, Throat and Esophagus Cancer
13 Years
Risk of Tooth loss same as a non-smoker
15 Years
Risk of Coronary Heart Disease same as non-smoker
20 Years
Risk of Death from Smoking Related Causes same as a non-smoker
The spouse is the greatest support in helping a person quit smoking.
The spouse is the greatest support in helping a person quit smoking. | Source

You are Their Greatest Support

The most important thing to remember is to avoid what is called 'enablers'. These are others smokers or those who will say it is OK to have one smoke now and then, which will start off your spouse who is trying to quit.

There are many organizations and online resources to help those who wish to quit smoking. There are also many alternatives that the quitter can use during the transition to completely quit. The most valuable thing they can have is your support.

The longer a person goes without smoking the healthier the body becomes. It is important to be focused on the positive outcomes of quitting the smoking habit to help you support your spouse better.

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