I don't smoke, but my boyfriend does. I really want to help him stop smoking — what can I do?
For you to help your boyfriend quit smoking, he has to want to quit. Because nicotine is addictive, quitting can be difficult. But you can suggest some things that may help him. Just knowing that he has your support can make him more likely to succeed.
Offer to help your boyfriend devise a plan for quitting. This might mean choosing a stop date, encouraging him to speak to his doctor about a nicotine replacement, helping him to stay focused once he stops, and figuring out a good way to reward himself when he reaches different points.
It can be helpful to have several smaller goals to work toward — such as 2 weeks, 1 month, and 2 months without smoking. You can also help your boyfriend by avoiding things that previously have triggered him to smoke — like visiting a certain friend's house. Remind him (without nagging or preaching) of the benefits of quitting, including all the money he'll be able to save. And remember that ultimately he has to decide whether he's ready to quit — but your support and encouragement can make a difference.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: June 2009
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