Smoking and Relationships

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Aug 19, 2011

Smoking can play an important, but subtle role in our relationships with others.  A person may reach for a cigarette when laughing and relaxing with others, or light a cigarette when alone after a disagreement with a loved one.  Smoking can be an easy way to make acquaintances with others who have stepped outside to have a cigarette.  The cigarette can feel like your 'best-friend'.  

It can become hard to imagine being with people or being alone when one considers a tobacco free future.  In some ways smoking may distract us from deepening relationships, and stopping smoking can provide an opportunity to connect with others in new meaningful ways.

We frequently see a good example of this at our residential treatment program at the Mayo Clinic.  The residential treatment program is an 8-day live-in program designed to help people stop smoking.  It consists of a full schedule of education, counseling, and medical supervision that truly helps people who have ‘tried everything’ to stop.  One of the most powerful things in the program is how the participants support one another. 

It is always impressive to see how participants in the program share with each other, accept help from one another, and grow stronger together in stopping smoking.  Participants become acquainted, grow familiar, laugh together, sometimes cry together, and all without a smoke.  Sometimes life-long friendships are forged.  Always the genuine and "smoke-free" emotions are palpable.  People learn that they can have fun, step away and be alone, communicate directly, have emotions, and be more fully involved in the give and take of social living without smoking.  Make sure to read more about smoking a relationships when you are quitting smoking click here http://www.becomeanex.org/reach-out.php