Over the years Mr MoT has had a love hate relationship with cigarettes. Whilst for me it was a social itch I liked to scratch sometimes, with him it was a part of his DNA. His mother, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer at 50 and similarly his uncle at 60, so he had witnessed the devastating results up close, yet this was not enough to deter him.
The birth of Teenager No.2, however, proved to be the incentive he needed. When she arrived 13 years ago he just decided that her life was too precious to contaminate. I don't remember it being a stressful process, more like a switch just going off. He was smoke-free for more than eight years.
Then he lapsed for a short while due to a stressful period at work but with the help of our GP's Smoking Cessation Expert and Nicotine Replacement Therapy he turned his back on them once more. That time it was horrific, he was grumpy, irritable and withdrawn and said he constantly craved a cigarette for up to six months. So having been there twice, imagine my despair when he picked them up recently for the third time. This time, however, I am prepared. My tips for supporting your partner whilst quitting smoking are:
- Don't nag. Shouting and raging about their smoking is unhelpful.
- Keep them busy. Give them lots of jobs to do so they have no spare time to think about lighting up. They will also sleep well.
- Tell them how fresh and clean they smell and hug them frequently.
- Keep the home a stress-free zone.
- Cancel all social engagements with people who smoke.
- Make their favourite food. Cake is always a winner in our house.
- Heap on the praise. We all love to be told we are doing well!