Tell a smoker to stop smoking and they will grab their cigarettes, find another suitable spot and smoke more just to spite you.
Smoking is seen ( by smokers) as a symbol of freedom, personal choice and a basic human right and the moment you tut at them to stop, all hell breaks loose.
The more you tell them to quit the more they will smoke and that's a fact.
So how do the NHS or worried family members or even stop smoking therapists encourage smokers to become ex- smokers and quit.
Well, banging on about the health benefits doesn't do much good. Many doctors and nurses smoke knowing full well the health implications of smoking.
Trying to make the smoker feel guilty works, but for a limited period. Pregnancy is a time when the smoker quits 'for the baby' only to see that resolve fade away when the stressed parent wants some time for themselves and reverts back to their 'old friend'.
The price of cigarettes goes up and up but smokers will see it as a price worth paying. You only live once, right?
So the health scares, the guilt and the money adds up to little in the mind of the smoker who sees smoking as either one of their last pleasures or as a vital part of keeping body and soul together.
Combine all this with fear, the fear that smokers have, that trying to stop will be endless misery, and you have a tough job on your hands if you want to help someone stop smoking.
OK it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it. Here are some ideas on how to influence a smoker to stop smoking.
1. Tell them that many smokers do in fact quit smoking and lead happy fulfilled lives as ex-smokers. Not many people like to feel they are in the minority, we prefer to run with the pack.
2. Tell them addiction and habit plays a huge part in smoking. Do they want to be a slave to addiction and habit forever. Reassure them, again, that freedom is possible and very much in their power.
3. Support there choice to smoke but ask them if they started smoking to become a smoker for their whole life. Or did they think that one day they will quit?
4. Understand that the more you tell the smoker they have to stop, the more they will resist. Anyway, they know that they dont 'have to' stop, they know they have choice in what they do.
5. If they plan to go to a stop smoking therapy make sure that it is not a grudging half hearted sop to all your nagging. Don't let them go just for you. They could use the therapy, negatively, to prove to the hypnotherapist who has the ultimate power in stopping smoking....the smoker themselves!
Try this video introduction.
Or this webpage
Or this smoking blog