Thursday, May 14, 2015

Help! I quit smoking but I'm going out to dinner with a couple who both smoke. I'll be surrounded.

You will be surrounded by smokers only if you allow it. I have no problem telling smokers that I choose to not be around second hand smoke due to MY health issues. I don't tell them they can't smoke, only that I won't be around it. I hope that you ask to sit inside in a non-smoking section and allowed them to go outside when they want to smoke. If they insisted that this is unreasonable then I would consider it abuse.
Besides the best thing we can do for friends who smoke--is to help them quit. The first step is that they have to come to the realization that their smoking is a problem--if they can smoke around you without consequences, then their smoking is not a problem. But if you insist to your right to breath smoke-free air, then their smoking becomes a problem--they have to go outside--but is that really so much of an inconvenience compared to your right to not endanger your health and/or sobriety from smoking?
The more inconvenience it is for smokers to indulge in their addiction, the more problem it becomes and the more they will gravitate towards thinking about quitting. I have a client right now who is quitting (she is now 7 weeks quit). Her major reason to stop is because of the social stigma and inconvenience of trying to find a place to smoke. She has been smoking for over 50 years and it wasn't for her health, cost or anything else.
Often we don't want to "offend" our smoking friends because we remember how it was when we smoked. But would you get in a car with an alcoholic and let them drive knowing they have been drinking because you didn't want to "offend" them?
My motto is your right to smoke ends where my nose begins. Set your boundaries about sitting a non-smoking section, then don't mention their smoking or about quitting unless they broach the subject. 

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