Saturday, June 15, 2013

Effectively motivating smokers: Are you making these 3 mistakes when talking to smokers about quitting?

Mistake #1: Comparing quitting smoking to changing any other habit.
I remember one of the first cessation trainings I ever went to and the facilatator said that if you had never smoked to compare it to something that you had struggled with such as losing weight or starting an exercise program. As a former smoker I knew that just wasn't true. Quitting smoking is not like anything else, not even quitting some other addictive drug. A smoker really doesn't care if you've ever smoked or not, what they care about is knowing how you can help them be successful.

What to say instead: "Just as an obstetrician may never have been pregnant, they still know how to deliver babies. Even though I have never smoked, I've been trained as a tobacco treatment specialist."

Mistake #2: Saying to a smoker, "Don't you know how bad smoking is for you?"
Smokers are bombarded with information about the consequences of smoking but information is not enough to change behavior, especially something as strong as a nicotine addiction.

What to say instead: "Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you ever do but it is the best possible thing you can do to improve your health and the quality of your life."
Focus on the positive benefits of becoming smoke-free instead.

Mistake #3: Telling the smoker what they should do instead of smoking such as "why don't you exercise or eat a carrot instead of smoking?"
Every method will work for some smokers but no method works for every smoker. What makes quitting so difficult is that each smoker will need to figure out what method will work for them.

What to say instead: "What do you think you can do instead of smoking?"
Don't be the expert with all the answers but instead know what questions to ask so that the smoker can create their own solutions.

For more tips on effectively motivating smokers, arrange for a training for your organization by calling VJ today at 760-333-1270.

No comments: