1. Do not link your husband’s love for your family with his love for smoking
No matter how tempting this filmy emotional blackmail gets, do not give in. Be practical and accept the fact the just because he smokes doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you and your kids. If that was true, then it indicates that he doesn’t love himself, as he is the one who will suffer the most. Smoking is an addiction and must be treated as one. Period.
2. Chat with your husband
Discuss your concern about health issues related to smoking and how it is affecting the whole family. Treat this as a family issue rather than his problem; for instance, the effects of passive smoking on the kids. Again, be careful about what you say and make sure you don’t portray him as an insensitive father or a husband. This logic will discourage him from smoking and eventually he will quit.
3. Plan the quit-smoking project together
How to stop your husband from smoking? Convince your husband that you are in this together and will stand by him to overcome all the hurdles that will come in the way of kicking the butt. Then make a chart listing the time when he gets the urge to smoke.
Based on this chart, you can jot down the alternatives to smoking and try it out for a couple of days.
For example, next time he wants to light up, you can give his favourite drink or dessert instead. You could reward him with a kiss as well and see if it can act as a substitute. This will discourage his smoking.
4. Offer another cigarette substitute
There are a lot of products easily available that can offer a good substitute to cigarettes, like nicotine gums, lozenges and patches, even e-cigarettes or prescription medicines. But try not to go overboard with these. Try to have a deadline up to which you will continue using this.
5. Keep motivating
The first two weeks are the toughest. Appreciate every tiny effort of your husband in the direction of quitting the smoke. If for some reason he does have a puff in between, try to ignore it. Start over, no matter how much it kills you within. Show how determined you are and he will follow.
6. Make lifestyle changes
Try and make healthy food choices and fitness a part of the entire family. Fresh and healthy foods help to quit smoking. Any form of exercise, no matter how slapdash, releases some levels of endorphins that can give you a high similar to smoking. Most cravings last 10-20 min, so try to offer a healthy distraction during that time.
7. Note the before and after changes
If you are thinking how to stop your husband from smoking take a health check-up with your close-up picture before you start your mission and redo it after a month. The healthy change it brings to your husband’s body will boost his confidence in his decision to never smoking again. Internally the report will show an improvement in blood circulation and blood pressure. There will be visible physical changes too, like no more yellow teeth, sagging skin and hair fall. When he sees himself looking so much better he would find the motivation to quit smoking.
8. Keep the right company
Keep tabs on the people who encourage smoking and make efforts to keep them away from your husband. If they are his office colleagues, then it’s a good idea to start this mission when you are on holiday. Avoid any events where he will be tempted to take a puff.
9. Keep the home environment happy
One of the biggest triggers of smoking habit is stress. Try and keep the home stress free and joyful. If possible, speak to his friends who can help him face stressful situations easily. Let him indulge in activities that make him happy, even if you may dislike it.
10. Reward abstinence
No matter how easy it may seem to you, for your husband giving up his need for so many years is nothing less than a miracle. This makes him deserving of an equally precious reward. So make him an offer he can’t resist, like fulfilling any of his fantasies or giving up something that he dislikes about you and make sure you keep your word.
Ending an addiction has always been a herculean task, but then again, if you don’t fight for what you want, you can’t cry for what you have lost. So be patient and be persistent.