Help Your Parent Quit Smoking

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on July 23, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on July 23, 2014

Help Your Parent Quit Smoking

Talking to your parents about quitting smoking can be awkward and intimidating. After all, they are supposed to be the ones talking to you, not the other way around. But in this case, it is of extreme importance that you discuss quitting and help them find a path to becoming a former smoker.

Make the Risks Personal

Make your parent aware of the effects his or her smoking has on you and the rest of the family. Thousands of people who never smoked a day in their lives are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. In many cases, this is directly attributed to the effects of second-hand smoke. And second-hand smoke does not come just from exhaled cigarette smoke. It can be absorbed into clothing, hair, and furniture where it is later inhaled. Mom or Dad’s habit puts everyone at risk.

Talk About Longevity

Smokers die an average of 13 years sooner than nonsmokers. Let your parents know how much you want them around for your graduation, your wedding, and the birth of your children. Encourage them to quit so they live to see all the milestones in your life, as well as their own.

Bring in Reinforcements

You can begin the conversation, but you may want help from a sibling, aunt, or grandparent. Form a family team to support and encourage your mom or dad. Furthermore, it's likely you will not be equipped to answer all the questions. Ask your parent to see a doctor who can answer any questions your mom or dad may have about nicotine-replacement therapies, medicines, or withdrawals. Then encourage him or her to find a support group or counselor.

Celebrate Milestones

If you do convince your parents to quit, they would not have reached this point without you. So be sure to celebrate all the milestones along the way. This will also provide encouragement during times when Mom or Dad has a craving to light up again. Tell them how much their efforts mean to you, and continue to encourage them in the journey to becoming smoke free.

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Article Sources:

  • CDC - Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments - Benefits Summary - Smoking & Tobacco Use. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/cessation/coverage/page1/index.htm
  • How to quit. (n.d.). American Cancer Society | Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Skin. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-how-to-quit
  • Smokefree.gov: Quit Guide: Medicines That Help With Withdrawal. (n.d.). Smokefree.gov. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from http://www.smokefree.gov/qg-preparing-medicines.aspx

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