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Can you make someone stop smoking?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Smokers and Non-Smokers, help a girl out here: (no offense to smokers... I just have some issues here and would like y'alls help)

I have a great friend (who I am also dating, but that's beside the point) who is a smoker. He's smoked for about 10 years. He smokes between one and two packs a day. He's got "the smokers cough", you know, that sickly gunky cough, and he gets Bronchitis "a lot".

Well, it didn't bother me at first, because I didn't really mind being around smokers, as long as there is ventilation or it's outside. We have great fun together!!! .... Til I got Bronchitis, which turned into Pneumonia "overnight", and I wound up in the hospital for a lovely 5 day-/4 night stay.

My pneumonia was so severe it was shocking, because I am an otherwise healthy, strapping young female. My friend is totally convinced I got the bronchitis/lung illness from HIM because, as he put is, "since I'm a smoker I get colds and lung sicknesses alot". He said as he watched me laying in the hospital bed, zapped out from Vicodin and with oxygen strapped to my face, he felt GUILTY as heck.

So now that I'm out of the hospital and feeling way better (thanks to TONS of antibiotics and continual breathing treatments), I asked him to please stop smoking. My daughter, who HATES cig smoke (rightfully so; I don't want her thinking it's an ok thing to do), asked him point-blank last night to please stop smoking "because mommy says it is bad for you and mommy got sick from it".

Well he laughingly said, "I can't stop, it's just who I am, and well I will smoke until I die".

So the cruddy part is, since he's laughed it off (yet felt so horribly guilty while I was in the hospital, or so he says), I fear hanging around him any more. I like the guy a ton, he's fun and sweet and gentlemanly and well we were friends for quite a while before dating.

Would you give an ultimatum to someone? Stop Smoking or Go Away? Whether it's friends, dating, married, etc.?

The example for my daughter is paramount. I don't want to keep making excuses as to why my guy friend smokes. Her daddy suffers from major drug addiction, so I've beat it into her how bad drugs, smoking, drinking, etc. are for people. Her seeing him light up out on my deck makes me feel bad.

The example for myself is also paramount; my doctor says I will be more apt to getting pneumonia now since I had it severe enough to warrant a 5-day stay in the hospital. Scary, because it was darn painful and I missed 2 weeks of work!!! (*whine*)

What would you do? Give the ultimatum, stop hanging around the smoker, or just lay back and deal with it and see if I get pneumonia again???

(I am not the lay-back-and-deal-with-it type. Not any more.)

Sorry so long but this is something I feel strongly about and y'all give great advice. Once again I do NOT want to offend smokers; this is a health issue I'm now faced with and a moral issue for my daughter.

-- Stephanie
post #2 of 22
As with any addiction, the only way someone who smokes will stop is if HE wants to stop. You can ask him to stop smoking around you and your daughter, that is a reasonable request. You can ask him to stop smoking period, which you and your daughter already have. But no, you can't force someone to quit smoking.

The choice is ultimately up to you, and his choices. I do, as a smoker, think it's a reasonable request that he not smoke at your home or around your daughter and explain why. It's also a reasonable request to not smoke excessively around you regardless of where you are because of the health concerns. At the same time, if you choose to make these requests you also have to be ready to accept that he won't/can't make those concessions.
post #3 of 22
Stephanie, I just PM'd you.
post #4 of 22
I agree with Heidi.

It's like wanting to diet, you yourself have to be the one to do it because if you keep getting someone who tells you that you need to lose weight the first thing you do is eat.

Deep down he probably wants to give up but again like dieting it is hard because you need the motivation to do it.

I'm the only one in my family who doesn't smoke and my mum and brother both had mouth cancer due to smoking but he was the only one who gave up!. My mum did at first but she had been smoking for so long it was really hard for her. She started smoking again and hid it from us knowing how worried we were but we knew but didn't say anything, bless her!.
post #5 of 22
Ditto everyone else. You cannot make someone stop smoking. Sometimes even people who would really like to stop are unable. There's a saying among smokers: "Quitting is easy--I've done it 3 times already!" I don't smoke, but both my parents were smokers and quit multiple times before it would take. You are right to set limits on him smoking around you or your daughter--it is your right not to breathe is someone else's smoke. But if you give an ultimatum, me or the cigarettes, you must be prepared for him to choose the cigs, especially if he feels that this is "just who he is."
post #6 of 22
No, you can't MAKE him stop. But, like everyone else that has stated, you can REFUSE to be around him when he does smoke around you and your daughter. You can only ask him to stop--just let him know you are there for support. Good luck!
post #7 of 22
I would show him the front door. That type of behavior is incredibly rude. YOU can't change him. I have often said their are only a few things in life we can change, a baby's diaper, a flat tire and yourself. Good luck, you are doing the right thing by your daughter. BTW this advice is coming from a smoker, I never smoke around my friends who do not smoke.
post #8 of 22
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
BTW this advice is coming from a smoker, I never smoke around my friends who do not smoke.
Exactly! Not all smokers are rude, careless, and could care less about the people (and animals) around them.
post #9 of 22
Shame on him for not giving you the consideration you deserve. I can understand your reluctance to hang around him now, and having a daughter would only deepen that concern if it were me. I have many friends who smoke. They know that I used to smoke, no longer do and out of respect, they will not smoke in my presence without asking me first. I appreciate that, because when I smell it, I want one!

You also have to consider the very real danger of second-hand smoke. Also if he doesn't quit, over time, his health issues will worsen, and if you are committed to him, then it means some long-term caregiving on your part.

You can't make him stop smoking, so nothing you say will matter to him until he reaches the point where he realizes he better quit.

Two of my stepsons, that I love dearly, chew tobbaco. They have seen slides of mouth cancers, and other problems that result in this desire of theirs, their dad and I have pleaded with them both to stop. But still they "chaw" We still love them, we just fear for what they are doing to their bodies.
post #10 of 22
No, you can't make him. You can beg, cry, ask, plead, get mad, whine, and lecture/preach. But it won't really change anything. He has to want to quit worse than he wants to smoke. Until he gets to that place, all that you do won't make him stop.
post #11 of 22
After growing up with two chain-smoking parents, eduring many smoke filled car rides (windows rolled up), going to school reeking like smoke, and watching my sister pick up the habit , I have made a concious decision to never date a smoker. I don't care if he is mister right, my one true love, or THE ONE. I will not date him. As for friends, well I don't have many that smoke but those that due know my feelings on the subject and don't smoke around me. If they do light up- I walk away.

I just cannot fathom why anyone would start smoking knowing of all the problems it can cause. Even in the vet clinic I see an awful lot of cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease in animals that breath the second hand smoke of their owners. There haven't been any studies done yet (that I know of) but I know that there is a link between the two.
post #12 of 22
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
I would show him the front door. That type of behavior is incredibly rude. YOU can't change him. I have often said their are only a few things in life we can change, a baby's diaper, a flat tire and yourself. Good luck, you are doing the right thing by your daughter. BTW this advice is coming from a smoker, I never smoke around my friends who do not smoke.
I read in your post that he smokes on your deck - I'm assuming your deck is outside away from you and your daughter. As for being rude - I'm assuming Mom of Franz thought him laughing it off was what was rude - perhaps his laugh was his way of dealing with or covering the guilt he feels for smoking. Perhaps with your support and understanding he can quit - but HE must want to.

My husband and I are both trying to quit smoking ourselves right now, and I understand how difficult it is. We also do not smoke around our daughter or the cats as we don't believe it is fair to them nor do we smoke around people who do not smoke. I resent people TELLING me I should quit since at the age of 58 I certainly KNOW why I should quit and also know how difficult I'm finding it to do just that.

I particularly despise people who have quit and get up on their soapbox and preach to the rest of us. I'm happy for them that they quit but I doubt they did it because someone else was preaching to them.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Hopefully if he is a good man and is good to you and your daughter, together you will find a way to help each other.

I particularly
post #13 of 22
With all respect to all smokers...
I´m so sure if the person wants to change, they do it. We (the non smokers) just can tell and suggest they modify it habit...
Good Luck!
post #14 of 22
im a smoker myself, and i know through experience, you cant stop just because someone wants you to, it just wont happen, hes got to want to quit, or he will have no will power, and temptation will just go right out the window.
post #15 of 22
You cannot make him stop. What you can do is decide if setting ground rules would be acceptable to both of you and that you would be O.K. with it (i.e. only smoke outside or in a garage - away from you and your daughter).
post #16 of 22
Nope!! You CANNOT make him quit... Like the other posters said, you can let him know how it is objectionable to You and your Daughter... and a very viable health risk to you and your DD (and to him). But giving him ultimatums and trying to control him will NOT make him quit. So, if he has resigned himself to the fact that he will not be quitting smoking, then he HAS made his personal decision on this addiction and that is "where he is at" on that subject as of right now....
--Probably NOT what you wanted to hear either....
post #17 of 22
No. It's very difficult to quit and I was unable to quit until I could no longer breathe. DH smokes and he took liberties now and again around me and the baby until 2 days again when the baby started having to have breathing treatments. He now gets them every 4 hours and Daddy had to stay home and give them to him. He has been EXTREMELY careful since then, but he still smokes. I'd like him to quit because he'll live longer, but the addiction is too strong. It's horrible for the smoker too.
post #18 of 22
I just wanted to point out, some of my bestest friends are smokers. One is like the coolest people I know, and BEST father...happens to be a smoker. I mean it doesn't define you as good or bad as Heidi and Mom of Franz said. Just my two cents cause I feel it's become the society outcast.

I personally *did* quit about 15 years ago and I will tell you living with someone who sets boundries really helped. What happened was due to circumstance I had to move back in with my Mother, and she told me if I smoked it was outside. Gradually it became less and less fun,and I quit.
I am also not a really addictive person so it wasn't too hard so I can't comment. i didn't need a patch etc.
post #19 of 22
Ok heres my worth I smoked for to many moons way to many but I finally gave up 10 years ago on about my 100th (7th) try not quite that many and I can tell you in all honesty if my hubby came up and said give up or get out I would have told him to pack his bags now I look back and think wow unreal how a cigeret could make me feel like that I think you need to realize it really is an adiction he may have started to smoke because he wanted to but not many people I know who smoke long term injoy it anymore you end up smoking because you need it telling someone to give it up will do nothing but put there back up it makes you feel picked on and to be brutally honest unloved if you like this guy get him to smoke out side and all that thats cool and fair but as they say try not to juge others till you have walked a mile in there shoes.

But if you are going to talk to him about it try putting it over like this and this is just an idea ok

Look I really like you and I hope we are going to be good friends for years to come but I am really worried that the way you smoke is going to kill you and if that happened I would be devistaed and so would my little girl we both love you so much and I understand if you can't give it up but would you consider trying to cut down at least a bit for me cause I really don't want to lose you

It will make him feel you are trying to see it from his side and he will not feel picked on and if he cuts down cause 2 packs a day is a big habbit for anyone that will be a big step on the long road to giveing up it all has to be done in baby steps with a lot of love and careing not ultimatums and threats and no matter what it will take time and understanding and you have to also realise that at the end of all that he may just not be able to kick it I supose what you need to figer out is if he is worth it to you and I can't help with that one

Wow think that was more like my $500 bucks worth
post #20 of 22
I never look at smokers as being bad- I do look a tobacco companies as bad, they did know what they were putting out there and they did it anyway. But that can be said for pharmaceutical companies, and chocolate factories!
post #21 of 22
My SO is an ex-smoker. I used to ask him to quit. I refused to kiss him after smoking. I would make him smoke outside. All of my efforts got the same response..."Hey, I don't drink, cheat or lie. This is my one vice. I've been smoking too long to quit" Then he had the heart attack. The doctor told him either he quits or he dies. That was enough to make him stop.

You cannot make a smoker quit just like you can't make an alcoholic quit drinking. It has to come from within. But you can set limitations on the habit. He smokes on your in his favor. But now you need to make sure he doesn't smoke in your presence AT ALL. It will help
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
He's a good man, alright. A gentleman, good ol farmboy who was raised right. I love his parents, they are such sweeties. His mom and I have talked a lot about Chris's smoking. So lots of people are concerned (he was a preemie, not sure if I mentioned that? -- so his lungs were not developed when he was born -- so that is why he gets lung illnesses so much).

But yeah he definitely treats us BOTH very very very well. Opens doors for both of us, never comes to my house empty handed, and well just ADORES all six of my cats (a major plus in my book). He even likes my "biter", big fat Zorro.

I had another long talk with him (all of our talks are long talks, great conversations between me and Chris) about smoking last night via the phone. My daughter sat there with me and overheard the whole thing. He is afraid that my daughter doesn't like him due to the smoking. I was honest about it, I said that's the ONLY thing she doesn't like about him and well it's the only thing I dislike, too. It really honestly didn't bother me at first; I guess cuz all the places we hang out at, there are smokers, and it just didn't bother me. But I'm still having issues post-pneumonia and pain and still on breathing treatments for a while. I never got sick and never felt weird about ciggie smoke, til now.

He did promise me last night that he will not ever light up around my daughter OR on my deck again. I told him if he's in my yard, driveway, deck or anywhere near the vacinity of my property, don't light up. I don't want her seeing it or me smelling it.

I see him having major health issues as he ages... he's all youthful and spritely right now, but in 20 or so years, since he has lung issues to start with? I bet he winds up carrying oxygen around with him, if he doesn't quit.

He's a great guy, always has been. I've never seen an angry side or evil side to him and he's just about the most giving man I've known. A plus is he is nuts about me (what woman doesn't want that, eh). I understand addictions are strong, so does he. I think the talk last night helped a great deal, because he is VERY concerned about how I feel about him, so we shall see.

You can visit my links and see pics of us and pics of him, he's a real cutie along with being a sweetie. Big tough farmboy with a tough habit to kick, I guess. A guy with a smile like he has better give up the cigs or else that smile might not look so gorgeous years from now.

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