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Tough Love Can Help Your Loved One Quit Smoking


Congratulations. You’re going to help someone you care about say no to tobacco. But that’s not enough. Whether it’s going cold turkey or tapering off gradually, quitting is one tough challenge: tough — but doable.

The American Lung Association (ALA) estimates that approximately 50 million adults have successfully quit. How can you help your loved one make it 50 million plus one? The most effective technique is tough love.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Set boundaries: Smoking in the house, car or any shared space is now a no-no.
  • Help with goal setting: Encourage your loved one as they set specific, realistic goals. Celebrate with them when they accomplish these small goals
  • Say no to “enabling”: Stop providing any form of support — emotional or financial — that encourages smoking. Don’t stop so they can “pick up a pack of smokes,” don’t make exceptions for special occasions.
  • Don’t make excuses: Your loved one has an addiction. Take a look at how you might be contributing to their comfort level with smoking.

Positive Actions Have Positive Results
While tough love sends a loud and clear message that as far as you’re concerned, quitting is non-negotiable, supporting your loved one in new habits helps create positive change.
Here’s my “to-do” list for successfully quitting:

  • Create a support system of friends, family and co-workers.
  • Use substitutes — like chewing gum.
  • Sign up for a smoking cessation class — they’re free with Get Healthy, Live Well.
  • Consider medication — sometimes nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps.
  • Reward — money saved on cigarettes could add up to a substantial treat or a trip.

Help is Here

At Buchanan Medical Clinic, we care about the health of everyone in your family. Our focus is on wellness and prevention. We’re here to help. Call Buchanan Medical Clinic today at 770-646-8281 to make an appointment.

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