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How to Get Someone to Quit Smoking Without Hating You

By , Caring.com senior editor
93% helpful

Do you bite your tongue every time a beloved family member or friend lights up or steps outside for a smoke? Or maybe you've tried the opposite tack: nagging. Neither approach works, experts say. What has helped thousands of smokers to quit, they point out, are the following simple strategies.

Keep the focus on you -- not on the smoker.

Saying "I hate it when you smoke" is likely to provoke an equally negative response. But talking about how the person's smoking affects you might just lead to a breakthrough, or at least a moment of connection. If you hate the way the house or car smells, say that. If you're getting to the point that you avoid kissing your smoker unless he's come straight from brushing his teeth, that's an important point to make. State your feelings as simply as possible in a way that sounds personal rather than accusing.

Trap to avoid: Anger. It's important to distinguish between the anger you might feel about a smoker's habit and your own underlying worries that prompt those feelings. Maybe you heard the smoker in your life cough and felt a pang of worry before lashing out in frustration, for example. Try expressing that feeling of concern instead of the frustration, experts say, and you'll get much better results.