To cut cigs from your scene, first have a convo with your friends. It might seem like telling your friends what you really think about smoking is gonna, well, suck. Don’t worry, you’re not staging an intervention. Here are a few pointers on how to have a tough (but important) convo.
- First get real.
- Ask yourself:
- How does smoking make me feel?
- How will it affect my life long term?
- Make a game plan.
- Before your chat, think about when and where you are going to talk to your friend. Set a time that works for you both.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Turn off any music, TV, computers and/or phones.
- Get to the point and focus on yourself.
- Say something like “I’m concerned about…” or “I’m feeling really… (e.g., sad, concerned, frustrated, overwhelmed) and I need your help.”
- Tell them what you need.
- Be specific about your request. Make it positive and concrete. The idea is to let your friend know what you want instead of what they are doing wrong.
- Hear their side.
- Invite more discussion by asking them what they think about smoking and how it makes them feel.
What Not To Do
- Don't make accusations or be critical. Steer clear of: “You always… You never… You better…
- Don't talk about “shoulds.” You don’t want to imply that you know what’s best for them.
- Don’t assume you know why they smoke.
- Don’t give advice.
- Don’t issue ultimatums.
- Don’t expect others to read your mind.
Adapted from “Tips for Talking About Tough Topics” –World of Psychology, Nov. 17, 2013
And Remember, the QuitLine is Here!
If you or your friend needs professional support to stop smoking, the Colorado QuitLine can help. The QuitLine offers coaching, personalized quit plans and the tools, tips and tricks to kick cigs – whether you’re a full-time smoker or just someone who only lights up every now and then.
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more information, or visit COQuitLine.org