The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that approximately 70 percent of the people who smoke claim that they would like to quit smoking, but unfortunately only a small percentage are able to do so successfully.
If your spouse has been struggling to quit smoking, maybe it is time you stepped in with some extra support.
How to Help Your Spouse Quit Smoking
According to the CDC, nicotine may be extremely addictive, almost to the level of recreational drugs and that’s why many smokers find it very hard to quit.
Studies have shown that 40 percent of those who succeed in giving up this habit are grateful for the support they received from their family and friends.
This is more reason why you should be an integral part of your spouse’s journey toward a smoke-free life.
While most smokers are aware of the damage their habit is doing unto them, some are ignorant of the fact that the people around them are being severely affected too by secondhand and thirdhand smoke.
Tips to support your spouse as they try to quit smoking:
Support your spouse until the goal is achieved
You may have noticed that most smokers are unable to quit with just one try, it takes multiple attempts to finally get there and every time there is a setback, it can be emotionally draining. So make sure you understand what your spouse is enduring, remember that smoking is almost like a drug addiction and help them to bounce back from each fall.
Don’t nag your spouse
Many men complain about nagging wives. Don’t become one, or at least hold off when your husband is on the journey of quitting cigarettes. The more you force, the less motivation he will feel. The anger caused by the nagging can backfire and even increase the number of cigarettes they go through in a day. Be patient and give him time to quit at his own pace.
Provide the right encouragement
What starts off as a positive journey can often lose speed once the motivation dwindles. So, make sure you keep providing the right type of encouragement at the right intervals to keep your spouse going. Be it occasional compliments, a surprise vacation, a pair of shoes your wife has been eyeing for a while or a bunch of flowers, it can all help encourage them to keep at it.
Help them overcome cravings
You may not always be around to help and it might be beneficial to give them tips to overcome cravings during such times — drinking water or hot tea, munching on healthy snacks, taking a quick walk, meditating for a few minutes and exercising. When you are available, you could take a stroll in the park, cook together, watch a favorite movie or even take up a hobby together.
Suggest using quit smoking aids
When the going gets tough, you could suggest or even gift them some quit smoking aids like nicotine patches, chewing gum or lozenges to help your spouse reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. There are also many quit smoking apps that provide tips and show the health and financial benefits of quitting. If the addiction is severe, your doctor could prescribe medications that manipulate certain chemicals in the brain to not crave nicotine instead of providing nicotine like the aids.
Help them cope with withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and can vary from person to person depending on the extent of their nicotine addiction and the number of cigarettes they smoked in a day. Experts say that withdrawal symptoms often last longer than the craving for cigarettes, so it is up to you to understand this and support your spouse as they try to overcome symptoms like anger, irritability and restlessness.
Quitting cigarettes can be a very strenuous process, both for the smoker and for the family supporting them through the process. In case there is a situation where you think your spouse might need more help than what you can provide, don’t hesitate to look for support groups or behavioral therapy sessions that could make the process slightly easier.
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Legg, T. J. (2016, March 29). Help Your Partner Quit Smoking. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/quit-smoking-spouse