Are you a smoker or a non-smoker? This blog post is an aid for you, whether you answered yes or no to the previous question. If you said yes, then you will benefit showing this post to your friends, family or anybody that you feel is not helping you and doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a smoker. Also, read this post entirely and you might find some shocking insights. If you said no, then you probably know a smoker you care about and you want them to stop. If you want to help a smoker, this post can show you how and it might go against everything you’ve heard or seen. So, how can you help a smoker quit?
Current propaganda against smoking is entirely wrong because it’s created by non-smokers. Ask a smoker these questions:
1. Do you smoke because you want to die?
2. Are you suicidal?
The answer you will get from a smoker is a blatant NO. Smokers are not suicidal, they do care about their health and they don’t ever want to die of any disease whatsoever. Smokers work, they eat, they sleep, and they do everything you do to survive. So, why do you think mentioning the negative side effects of smoking will make a difference? The question you should ask a smoker is the following:
Why do you smoke?
The answers you’ll get can be varied. Some will say they smoke because they can’t stop doing it or they can’t quit. Others will mention numerous reasons like the following: “I need it”, “I enjoy it”, “It helps me _______” and so on. Whatever reason you get has nothing to do with wanting to die. If you want to solve a problem, what do you do? You find the cause and then solve it. So, what is the cause for smoking? You see why mentioning side effects is not the right way to support a smoker? For example, you see somebody fixing their sink and they’re doing it wrong. What’s the problem? They don’t know how to fix their sink. What’s the solution? You show them how to do it properly. So, what is the smoker’s problem? First, they don’t want to die, that’s not their problem and if you tell them it’s bad for them, you’re not illuminating them, they already know.
The problem a smoker has is an addiction. How do you solve their problem? You remove the addiction. It’s as simple as that. Smokers have convinced themselves that there is something the cigarette gives them. Think about it, why do people do things? In general, people act when they need or want something. A smoker thinks they need a cigarette because their body asks them for it. What does it feel to need a cigarette? If you’ve never been a smoker, you can compare it to being hungry. You feel your stomach growling or an emptiness that needs to be filled. The smoker feels this need mainly in their chest region, their throat, their mouth or their hands. However, what do you feel when you want something? It’s not physical, but psychological. For example, you are watching a movie and it’s the most exciting part just when they’re about to reveal the murderer. What do you feel? A desire to know, that triggers physical feelings of excitement. Then, your heart may be beating faster or you’re holding your breath and so on. Now, what happens if the lights go out? You probably curse and complain because you want to know the ending, but you don’t need to know the ending to survive. That’s the difference between a want and a need.
If the smoker stops smoking, they don’t die. So, they don’t really need to smoke. Yet, they believe they do. Why? You can find the answer in the following blog post.
Now, you probably understand a little bit more the problem smokers have. It’s all in their mind. If you can change their minds, they can quit smoking. However, they have to do it themselves and you can’t pressure them to do so. Why? Because smokers smoke more when they’re stressed. If you create stress in a smokers mind by telling them they’re going to die, you will probably see them light up another cigarette immediately after. Believe it or not, most smokers want to quit and they just don’t know how. What’s their problem? They don’t know how to cure their addiction, which is inside their minds. So, how do solve their problem? You can’t, they have to change the way they think first.
What you can do is give them resources to change their mind. Throughout our social media sites you can find material that can help smokers. The trick is focusing on the positive not the negative. This means using an entirely different approach than what advertisements have taught you. You, the non-smoker needs to change too.
You can help a smoker quit, but you can’t convince them to. They need to convince themselves. The problem is the addiction that lives inside the smoker’s mind. Just ask them if they want to quit smoking and the answer is probably yes. Then, you can ask them if they know how and they probably don’t. Use this opportunity to share positive material that can help them see things differently. Once a smoker understands that there is no reason to smoke, they will stop. The journey towards quitting smoking is really easy once their mind changes. Your mind needs to change too. Don’t chastise them, instead practice tolerance and understanding. A smoker thinks differently. So if you want a smoker to quit, you need to see things their way, not the other way around.