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Addictive Behaviours Discuss and receive support for addictions not related to substance use, such as gambling, Internet, sex or work addictions, in this forum.

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How to tell her itís not okay - April 28th 2019, 04:47 AM

My mom has smoked cigarettes for as long as I can remember. I can always remember me as a kid knowing it was wrong, but thinking she was the one person that could live a fully healthy life with this awful habit. But, as you can see now, I was wrong. She has had a persistent cough for I would say about 2 years off and on now, but she went to the doctor about a year ago and everything was clear, so I had peace of mind. But recently the cough has just been seeming like itís getting worse and even other family members have noticed. I tell her a lot ďyou need to go to the doctorĒ and I get the same response every time, ďI know, I know, but Iím fine!Ē And my family and I have dealt with a lot in the past couple months so I havenít brought up the very touchy subject. But I love my mom and I donít want her to die of something that is preventable, and feel Iím the one to blame. How do I tell my mom how worried I am without her blowing up and just going back to square one?


Everything will be okay in the end. If itís not okay, itís not the end- John Lennon❤️❤️
   
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Re: How to tell her itís not okay - April 29th 2019, 11:14 PM

Sorry to hear that your mom continues to smoke despite your concerns and her own health issues. It's touching how you want to help her though!

You mention that other family members have noticed her cough, and I'm wondering if it's possible to talk to them about your concerns? They might be able to talk to your mom and might be able to convince her to get the cough checked out and to think about giving up smoking.

You could also try writing her a letter, if you feel that talking won't get very far. It's good to try to be gentle with your approach. Smoking is an addiction and it can be hard to break out of. Some people may feel that they don't have a problem and can 'quit when they want' but may actually be in denial by how much they depend on smoking. Since it's addictive, it's easy to think about the short term 'pleasure' smokers get as opposed to any long term and internal damage and many people may be in denial about potential future health problems. All of these things combined can mean it can be difficult for the person to see any harm in smoking or any reason to quit. As well as acknowledging the reality and being gentle, it's good to be realistic as well. When giving up an addiction, it's generally better to slowly cut down until the person no longer feels addicted and can give up the addiction completely. Perhaps suggest that you can help working out goals together, let her know that you'll go with her to the doctors etc. You can also check out this article (UK based website) for ideas on how to give up smoking. While some people may want to focus on all the health concerns, it can also be helpful thinking of a positive and healthy future as this can give people something to aspire to.

Unfortunately, like any addiction, the person themselves has to acknowledge that they have an addiction and want to get help to quit. It's good that you and your family want to help your mom but it's also something that she has to recognise and want to do as well. Whatever your mom does or doesn't do, isn't a reflection on you, and you wouldn't be to blame if anything did happen to your mom because of her smoking.


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Re: How to tell her itís not okay - May 11th 2019, 06:35 PM

There were 3 members of my family who smoked. My grandmother, my mum, and my uncle. My grandmother smoked from a young age until her 60's. Despite finally giving up smoking, the damage was already done and at the age of 77 she died of emphysema. This didn't stop my mum or my uncle from smoking. Why? Because they weren't ready to.

My brother and I disliked it when my mum would smoke. It wasn't good for her, but it wasn't good for us either having to constantly breathe in her second-hand smoke. The problem is, no matter how much we want somebody to stop, or try to tell them to stop, it simply will not work. You can try telling your mum all the things in the world but it's not going to change anything because she isn't ready. She needs to reach that point herself. If you keep trying to get her to stop, she's just going to feel under more pressure to stop, adding more stress, making her smoke more to relieve that stress.

I know it's awful having to breathe in second-hand smoke. I've been there. I remember when my mum would spark up early in the morning and the smoke would seep into my bedroom and wake me up because it's all I could smell. My room would end up being filled with her smoke. It would happen every day. More so after my grandmother's death. In fact she smoked more after her death because smoking is a stress reliever.

2 years later she finally cut out cigarettes cold turkey and although the first 2 weeks were hard for her, and for the first 3 months her lungs hurt and she put on weight because she replaced cigarettes with food, she's in a lot better of a place now. And this isn't by my brother or I reminding her of the health implications, especially since we've seen first hand what smoking does to a person, we just had to be patient and let her give them up when she was finally ready.

It could take years for your mum to give up smoking, but the more you push her, the longer it will take. Please just be patient with her, and let her give up in her own way, and not through yours.


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