What To Do When Others Smoke Around You

In the first few days and weeks after you quit it might feel like everything reminds you of smoking. You’ll see ashtrays, other people smoking, and advertisements for cigarettes in magazines. It’s especially difficult if your friends, co-workers, or family members smoke around you, but there are some things you can do to make those situations easier.

Talk to Your Friends, Co-workers, and Family

The first thing to do is to talk to those around you who smoke and tell them you are planning to quit. Maybe they will want to join you and you can use one another for support. Even if they don’t want to quit themselves, they may be willing to smoke outside when you’re inside, or at least smoke in another room. If you live with people who won’t smoke outside, see if they will agree to set aside one room in the house to be smoke-free at all times.

Remember - You are in Control!

It is important to remember that to smoke or not to smoke is your decision. You are in control of your own behaviors and the way you think.

Next time you are around people who are smoking, think about:

  • What you can do to distract yourself from the urge to join them. Can you play with a puzzle, chew on a straw, or give yourself a manicure? Be imaginative!
  • What you can tell yourself that will make your commitment to quit stronger than the temptation to smoke? It might be something like “I am tired of spending so much money on cigarettes” or “I promised my daughter I would quit and I don’t want to disappoint her”.

One idea that has worked for many smokers is to post notes around the home to serve as reminders of their commitment to quit. Here are some ideas to help you come up with your own reminders:

  • I don’t have to smoke even if I want to!
  • No one can make me smoke!
  • I can do it!
  • All I have to do is get through today without having a cigarette!

So, don’t worry if you have others around you who smoke. Many people in the same situation have quit for good despite the daily temptations. The key is to plan ahead so you are prepared, and to keep reminding yourself of the reasons why you want to quit.