Why not suggest that she (he) also quit smoking? If that’s not possible, encourage your partner to ask her to smoke outside. Living in a smoke-free environment increases the chances of success in quitting smoking and reduces the risks of a relapse. More information on the smokefreefamily.ca site.
In case of a hitch
As a supporter, it’s possible that your partner will cause problems. These suggestions may help you overcome some classic situations...
If the difficulties you’re going through are different from the ones referred to here, relate your experience and request the help of other visitors to our site on our Facebook page. You can also write a testimonial to present the obstacles you’ve been facing – and the solutions you’ve found. Your experiences could prove useful to the other site visitors.
Set the record straight without delay and get your partner to ask himself why he wants to quit smoking. In order for it really to work, he can’t be doing it to please you... He has to be doing it for himself above all, to break his dependency and to improve his health.
Dependence on nicotine is very strong. Help your partner during this difficult period by devoting time to him and by sharing in his activities. Why not arrange to get together every day for a walk?
Be your protégé’s nicotine 9-1-1. Tell him to call you whatever the time. Ask him to install in his voice mail a message of encouragement that you’ll have left for him for those difficult moments. Give him a picture of yourself he can carry in his wallet: when the craving to smoke becomes too pressing: he can look at it and be reminded of his commitment to you. Your watchwords: availability and creativity!
He has to be persuaded to change his mind – remembering that the choice is above all his. If, despite your messages and your encouragement, your partner wants to give up all the same, ask him if he’s really sure of his decision. Encourage him to think again about the reasons that got him to stop and compare them to the ones behind his choice to give it all up. Don’t forget to remind him that once the first week is over, so is the worst of it!
If his mind is made up and he really wants to drop it, above all don’t get angry! Make sure he understands that you can lose a round without losing the fight. Relapsing today doesn’t mean the same thing will happen tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop trying.
It will be necessary for one of you to keep your cool... Why shouldn’t it be you? Bear in mind that the fact of quitting smoking considerably upsets the body, provokes stress, anxiety and a degree of irritability. You’ll have to make every effort to reestablish communication...
Then, if you haven’t already done so, come to an agreement about the measures to take in case of outbursts of anger caused by withdrawal. “The undersigned, Cindy-Lou, hereby undertakes to be gentle with my sponsor, Steve, during the weeks when I won’t be smoking, failing which I pledge to reread this commitment, to apologize and to be nicer to him...” Signed...and you’re laughing!
Use this irritant to rekindle his motivation. With two of you, you’ll prove to them that this time it will work. And to add some seasoning to the process, offer these killjoys a little wager – the loser pays for lunch!
There are limits to what you can do, of course. Why not suggest that he call the iQuitnow helpline at 1 866 jarrête (527-7383), where trained counselors will be able to answer his questions and provide him with support tailored to his needs and his difficulties? You can also suggest that he join a support group. Consult the Quit Smoking Centre in your region to find out about those groups.
Reassure him: there’s no reason for those kilos to become an obsession! Of course, quitting smoking increases the appetite, among other reasons because the nicotine is no longer there to take the edge off hunger. And also we nibble more to compensate for the habit of holding a cigarette and bringing it to our mouths.
But despite everything, average weight gain is generally no more than 3 or 4 kilos (between 7 and 9 pounds). And, good news, it’s possible to prevent it by adopting good habits, ideally even before butting out: moving more, eating better by limiting calories, listening to our hunger and drinking lots of water. Finding strategies to deal with intense hunger can also help you evade that weight gain! For more information on the subject, consult the "A matter of weight" section.