Couples and Smoking: Tips To Help You Quit and Get Your Partner Involved
Every woman has her own reasons for smoking. Every woman can find her own way of quitting and staying smoke-free— in her own time.
Start with You: Tips to Help You Quit Smoking
- Being in smoke-free surroundings makes it easier for you not to smoke. Seek the help of family and friends to create a smoke-free environment.
- Find alternative ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, and anger. For example, try breathing exercises, meditation, physical activities, or get counselling.
- Good nutrition and exercise can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and help you to manage your weight.
- Get busy. Occupy yourself with other activities to relieve boredom. You might even try chewing gum to replace the habit of smoking.
- Recognize that smoking is a powerful addiction and that you might need professional support. Get professional advice about medication and counselling programs that can help you to quit and deal with withdrawal.
How To Get Your Partner Involved
- Women who live with a partner or family members who smoke find it harder to quit. Ask them to quit with you or not to smoke in your presence.
- If your partner is supportive, you can ask your partner to help distract you from activities or habits that act as triggers for you to smoke. For example, if you usually smoke after supper while watching TV, you could both go for a walk or a drive instead.
- If you smoke because of stress, tell your partner you need time to relax. If your partner asks how they can help, ask them to help with tasks such as household chores or taking care of the new baby or other children. This way they can help to reduce your stress.
- If at all possible, try and quit together. Couples who stop smoking together may be able to help each other remain smoke-free.
What To Do if Your Partner is Pressuring You To Reduce or Stop Smoking
- You can tell your partner that you do not want to discuss your smoking and that you are working on this issue on your own.
- Remind your partner that your smoking is influenced by a lot of things—stress, how you feel about yourself, being in certain situations, etc. Ask your partner to support you in these areas rather than focusing on your smoking.
- Ask your partner to help you celebrate your successes (no matter how small!) rather than remind you of the harms of smoking.
Adapted from Bottorff, J. L., Carey, J., Poole, N., Greaves, L., & Urquhart, C. (2008). Couples and smoking: What you need to know when you are pregnant. Vancouver, BC: Jointly published by the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, the Institute for Health Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, University of British Columbia Okanagan, and NEXUS, University of British Columbia Vancouver. ISBN 978-1-894356-61-9