Four tips to help your relative quit smoking

Jasmine Phu

June 28, 2012

Four tips to help your relative quit smokingIf your relative is a chronic heavy smoker, it may be just a matter of time before the negative health effects of cigarettes catch up with him or her. According to recent statistics, 57 percent of smokers over the age of 65 wish they could quit smoking, but for various reasons feel the task is insurmountable. You can help improve your relative's health today and put him or her on the path toward recovery with a few of these useful anti-smoking tips.

1. Consult with a healthcare provider. Your loved one may have existing health issues that could become exacerbated if he or she makes a monumental change. While quitting smoking is undoubtedly a positive move, it would be wise to schedule your relative for an appointment with his or her healthcare provider. A doctor can examine him or her and provide counsel on what the most effective course for recovery will be.

As your relative struggles to kick his or her smoking habit, you may want to invest in a medical alarm system by Bay Alarm. With just the push of a button, your relative can reach out to emergency staff in the event of an accident or mishap, giving peace of mind to both of you.

2. Consider medication. If your relative prefers to quit cold turkey, urge him or her to use a treatment plan instead. Older adults who quit smoking without medication had less than a five percent rate of long-term success. Your relative's healthcare provider can prescribe a range of different medications to best meet his or her goals. In addition, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can be a useful tool in eliminating withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting.

3. Change lifestyle habits. It is very likely that the senior in your life has been smoking for decades – maybe even decades before you were born. As such, nicotine isn't the only enemy you'll be preparing him or her to square off against – the biggest obstacle will be your relative's lifestyle habits. If he or she smokes while drinking or has a cigarette after certain meals, your relative should consider changing his or her routine to get rid of any extra temptation.

4. Family can be a source of strength. Your loved one is making a brave step toward recovering his or her health, and like with any challenge, the potential for failure is there. It's important, especially if your loved one has problems quitting, that you still try to provide as much encouragement and support as possible. This may be the deciding factor in your relative's rehabilitation, so be sure to keep your outlook positive for the future. 

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