If your older loved one is a smoker, it may be difficult to get them to quit smoking. However, quitting can dramatically benefit your loved one’s health, finances, and more. While quitting can be a difficult journey, it can mean a longer, healthier life for your loved one. Below, we will discuss tips for helping your older loved one to quit cigarettes.

Why Your Loved One Should Quit Smoking

From cancer risks to lung damage, there isn’t a real benefit of smoking. There are also a lot of positives beyond improving overall health. Cigarettes create stains in your home, car, and other areas. Cigarette smoke weakens ventilation systems in the house, as tar and ash clog up your air filters. This can waste energy and weaken the effectiveness of your A/C or heaters. Furthermore, cigarettes can be a major source of spending. In New York, one pack can cost upwards of $15. The more they smoke, the more it costs them.
Many house fires are caused by falling asleep with a cigarette. This is also more common among older individuals. Fire hazards can be removed from the home, but it is safest to quit.

Cessation Aids for Smokers

Thankfully, there is a wide variety of smoking cessation aids available on the market. These range from nicotine gum to patches, and more. Your loved one should talk to their doctor about which cessation aids might be a good place to start. Consider looking into free quitter starter kits from local non-profits or local government agencies.

Support Groups and Resources for Smokers

Support groups can help motivate smokers to quit. However, older individuals may not have the mobility to attend in-person meetings. Consider virtual or over-the-phone support groups to help your loved one stay focused on kicking the habit.
Visit the NYC Department of Health page for quitting smoking resources for local families.

Replacing Bad Habits With Better Ones

Consider helping your loved one replace their habit with something healthier. When they feel nicotine cravings, try to instill a healthier habit, such as going for a light walk. Fresh air and light exercise can be a suitable replacement and a reminder of how much better they feel without cigarettes.

Forgiveness and Positive Reinforcement

Quitting smoking is hard, especially if they smoked for years. Despite being a deadly habit, people often lapse. Nicotine is incredibly addicting. Try your best to be forgiving. Patience is important. Reacting harshly to lapses can often lead to less positive results. On the other hand, positive reinforcement of good behaviors is a vital tool in habit-breaking.

Removing Cigarette Paraphernalia

It can be easier to quit if you eliminate temptations and limit access. Remove ashtrays, lighters, matches, and packs of cigarettes from their home. Cigarette smells can also trigger cravings, so remove or thoroughly clean surfaces and materials that smell like smoke. Because of this, you should clean and/or replace upholstery, rugs, curtains, and other surfaces that absorb smoke smell.

Quitting as a Family

If you smoke, it can be harder to convince them to stop. Families that work towards goals together are more likely to achieve them. Try quitting together. Improve the quality of your life along with theirs. Quitting can help you and your loved one live longer and provide a better future for your kids.

Home Health Aides and Quitting Smoking

If your loved one has a home health aide, they may be helpful in their quitting journey. An aide can lend a hand in reducing their smoking habit by encouraging them to quit and reducing relapses. Home health aides can also assist with light exercise which can be better facilitated as they quit smoking.

Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has provided excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help older individuals and the disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us or call (718)-979-6900.