Quitting Smoking: A Non-Smoker’s Survival Guide.

Smoking: Like many people across the planet my Other Half is in the process of giving it up.  He has tried before but has (obviously) relapsed for various reasons.  This time we have a stash of e-cigs and tablets to dull the cravings.

The benefits of him are giving up are obvious – no stinky cigarette smell follows him around (he’s not allowed to smoke in the house); no stinky cigarette breath; cancer risk significantly reduced; saves money; not having me moaning at him when he decides to smoke in the car.  The down side of it is the withdrawal.  Whilst quitting the cancer-sticks is obviously most difficult for the addict it can also be tough on those who live/work/are friends with them so I thought I would compile a “Survival Guide” for those of us who are in that situation.

Dear Reader – please feel free to comment below or tweet me your suggestions so that I can add them to the list.

In no particular order….

  • Remember: Every addict is different. Just because your best friend’s boyfriends second cousin’s auntie managed to quit within a week 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back doesn’t mean your loved one can do the same.  Don’t compare them, you’ll just be adding to the pressure that your nicotine “junkie” is already under.
  • Cravings make people grumpy.  You will get snapped at for trivial things.  Let them get on with it, don’t take it personally.
  • Prepare to be living with a recluse.  The other half has disappeared into the world of his XBox 360.  He’s trying not to take the aforementioned grumpiness out on me by shooting at pixels.
  • Provide hot drinks.  This might be just one for us but he normally makes his own coffee me doing it whilst he is gaming serves two purposes: 1) I can check he is ok without being intrusive and 2) Little things like that make someone feel looked after and, when you are feeling rough this is An Important Thing.  This actually just a generally nice thing to do for anyone, of course.
  • They will feel ill/lose appetite and have all kinds of other weird physical reactions. These include seeing flashing lights (depending on whether they go “cold turkey” or not), getting the shivers, feeling clammy or sweaty.  It passes.
  • Don’t patronise.  If you have never had to give something up that you are physically addicted to then you don’t know how it feels so don’t try and pretend that you can.
  • Don’t “baby” them.  Even taking into account everything I have already written, if you coddle them too much your addict will not be able to adjust properly.  Cravings don’t mean that they get out of doing the washing up.
  • Remember: They want to do this. For whatever reason they are trying to quit it isn’t about you.

That’s it for the minute.  If I come up with any more then I will add them.  Please add your ideas in the comments!



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