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How can I inspire him to quit?

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Old 10-02-2007, 06:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
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talkshowhost HB User
How can I inspire him to quit?


I am trying my hardest to give my boyfriend the motivation to quit smoking. We have what we agree is a long term future together, we're moving in together soon and in the future (not necessarily in the next few years..) we hope to marry and have our own family etc.

All I ask of him is for him to quit smoking, he bought nicorette gum and swears he was trying hard to pack it in. But I found out recently that he has been smoking at work and hiding it from me.

Not good. He knows him smoking upsets me but I would prefer he let me support him in quitting rather than doing it behind my back.

The touchy bit is why he doesn't want to quit. Someone very close to him died 18 months ago for absolutely no reason, she never smoke drank or took drugs in her life and was perfectly healthy.. but had sudden unexplainable heart failure and died. Because of that my boyfriend says "when your time is up your time is up" and thinks if you're destined to die a certain way whether it be from smoking or just bad luck you will.

However, my opinion is there are some things in life you can take action to prevent and there are some things you can control. Smoking is something you CAN control, if you have the will and support. I will support him endlessly because I love him and care for his health, I just need him to have the will. He says it's "just smoking", but I know and most everyone knows that that just isn't so.

I think him smoking and not caring is very hypocritical. He has suffered a great loss but thinks he can continue smoking and marry me and quite possibly make me go through the same grief and become a WIDOW because of his smoking?! Oh and possibly the children he may have one day?! To be blunt I think it's childish and selfish behaviour. I understand addiction is a serious thing and is not easy to overcome, but to DENY that addiction is a problem?!!?! I just can't get my head around it!!

Hmm, bit of a rant there but it infuriates me. So does anyone have any tips on how to help someone change their attitude towards smoking? I've never known anyone to be so stubborn and close minded about anything! As someone who has never had an addiction I do find it very hard to understand how someone can find intentionally inhaling poison into their lungs a desirable thing to do.

And I want to HELP and support my boyfriend but how do you try and help someone who doesn't want to be helped?! He doesn't see it as an important thing, but I do very much so because I love my boyfriend and don't feel it's right for me to sit by and watch him commit a slow suicide (sorry to be dramatic but that is how I see it). He tells me that he doesn't care about his health so insists on smoking, but I care about his health..... he smoked when I met him but I didn't know we would be together long term and now as time goes on it bothers me more, for his quality of life and mine I hope with all of my heart that he will make a TRUE effort and quit.

But how can I help him get the kick he needs to quit?!

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Old 10-02-2007, 09:42 AM   #2
Little Leaf
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Location: Charleston, WV
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Little Leaf HB User
Re: How can I inspire him to quit?

You can't. When and if he quits it has to be his decision and only his. If you continue to hound him about it he never will. Just don't let him smoke in the house or your car. That you have control over, you do nothave control over him.

Old 10-02-2007, 10:27 AM   #3
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StenoLady1 HB UserStenoLady1 HB User
Re: How can I inspire him to quit?

I agree with the previous poster. You really can't "inspire" someone to quit smoking. This is a physical and psychological addiction, one of the strongest out there, like up there with heroin I've been told.

Like the pp suggested, take care of things that you can control. Maybe if your BF realizes how more and more difficult it's becoming to smoke, he'll start to want to quit himself. That was actually one of my big inspirations. It was just darn near impossible to smoke anywhere anymore because of all the laws coming into place regarding smoking in public.

And I'd throw that logic talk out the window. You're dealing with an addict. His very first step will be admitting he's got a problem. He's not there yet. It might help you to wrap your head around this to read up on addiction. Denial, making excuses, rationalizations, it's all very classic of an addict -- an addict who's not ready to make any kind of change yet.

I'm sorry, but the only advice I can give you is to make it hard for him to smoke. It was one of the driving forces that got me to face my 20-year addiction and start the lifelong battle to overcome it.

Old 10-02-2007, 11:46 AM   #4
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wrongwayagain55 HB User
Re: How can I inspire him to quit?

You cant, and I will tell you from my experience anyway.
The more I was hounded, the more I smoked. Yeah, stupid I know, but it is the truth.
Let him tell you when it is time, then you can stand behind him.
If you have never had an addiction, then you wouldnt understand.
I am now on Chantix, on day 6, and the cigs are tasting really bad, but then again, so is coffee, and i hate that, coz i love my coffee. oh well, just another thing i need to go off of.
Now, because of MY OWN WANT to quit, do i want the support of everyone around me, not because someone else wanted me to quit.
Sorry to be so blunt, but that is just me.
Hope it all works out for you two.

Last edited by wrongwayagain55; 10-02-2007 at 11:47 AM.

Old 10-02-2007, 03:11 PM   #5
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SanyBelle HB UserSanyBelle HB UserSanyBelle HB UserSanyBelle HB User
Re: How can I inspire him to quit?

Talkshowhost, welcome to the HealthBoards and what a great topic. I agree with the previous posters - you can't force/ask/inspire/demand/plead/badger/nag etc. anyone into quitting smoking, it has to be their decision. This sounds like a big problem with your relationship... if it was me, I'd question why I was trying to get someone to quit something that they aren't ready to give up. Good luck.

My Quit Date: May 13, 2006

Old 10-03-2007, 02:51 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 8
talkshowhost HB User
Re: How can I inspire him to quit?

Originally Posted by SanyBelle View Post
This sounds like a big problem with your relationship... if it was me, I'd question why I was trying to get someone to quit something that they aren't ready to give up. Good luck.

My Quit Date: May 13, 2006
Thank you for your advice everyone, I really appreciate it. I will have to just have a rational talk with him about it...then the ball is in his court.. I know I'll find it hard not to get upset when I see him smoking.

I think the reason I try to get him to quit is because he has promised me on several occasions that he will quit, and said that he wants to - but I guess he doesn't! And more so than that the reason I want him to quit is because it is a dangerous habit, I don't think it's right to go along pretending that it's ok for him to do something so harmful..

Old 10-03-2007, 05:32 AM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,260
Re: How can I inspire him to quit?

Morning Talkshowhost... Have you ever smoked??? If not I need to explain something. Your statment in your last post that "You will have a rational talk with him, and that he must not want to quit since he hasn't" you need to try very hard to get rid of this way of thinking. He is an addict as others have mentioned. No one can rationalize him into quitting. Yes the probably does want to quit but it has to come from him, no one else. There are many alcoholics that love their spouses but continue to drink because they can't stop and haven't reached that place yet of seeking outside help to quit. Please try not to look down on your BF. He means no disrespect to you. Maybe have some rules that he smokes only in certain places. Not inside the home if it bothers you. If nothing else he will cut down if he can't smoke anywhere he wants. It's a really tough addicition to break , once of the worst.

I am now smoke free for 8 1/2 weeks. This is maybe by 6-7 quit. I have gone anywhere from 3 days to a year and always went back. When I have a craving now I am able to talk myself out of it. This quit was my choice along with my husband and daughter. The others it was always a Dr. or someone else telling me I HAD to. I really believe that is where it lies. It must be our choice as in all addictions. Also as in all addicition the more you hound him the more he will want to smoke. Not intentionally, it's just how the mind and addictions work. Best of luck.


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