As a caregiver for someone with COPD, you probably already know the importance of encouraging your loved one to quit smoking as well as the immediate and long term benefits of quitting smoking. Read on for three ways you can help your loved one with COPD quit smoking:
Provide emotional support1:
- Make sure they know you are there to talk whenever they need some encouraging words.
- Brush off any grumpiness from your loved one and repeat to them that you know their symptoms and feelings are real but that they will not be permanent.
- Try to see things from your loved one’s point of view. They may feel attached to smoking because it has always been there to help them through rough times—and now they have to give it up.
- Be positive. If you tease, scold or nag your loved one during this process, they may begin to feel worse about quitting.
- Celebrate little and big accomplishments. Quitting is a big deal, so make sure your loved one is also excited about hitting goals.
Make a plan1:
- Decide on a start date and help clean their house before the first quit day. You can help wash clothes, linens and carpet to remove any smoke smell.
- Consider picking out air fresheners to help remove the smoke smell from their car if they typically smoke there, too.
- Remove any ashtrays or lighters from their home, car and workplace. You don’t want anything that will remind them of smoking to be visible.
- Determine what kinds of food your loved one will want to snack on when they get cravings. They may want something chewy or hard like candy.
- Think about different activities you can do together to keep their mind off smoking. It can be as simple as a daily walk together.
- Remember: You should never smoke if you are on oxygen or around someone who is on oxygen.
Share your experiences2:
- Are you an ex-smoker? If so, let them know you understand what they are going through and that you know it is a hard process.
- Are you a current smoker? If so, let them know. Promise them you will not smoke around them. Tell them if you are trying to quit or have tried in the past. Consider trying to quit with your loved one.
- Have you never smoked? Let them know you are there for them, and if you know people who have quit, share their stories.