I know this stuff will kill me, and it’s nasty. My kids are on my case to quit. Why haven’t I quit yet? Well, I plan on it, yessiree. BUT….
…right now’s not a good time. One addiction at a time for me. I’m under a lot of stress. I can’t afford to gain any more weight. I have four cartons left, I have to use them up first. My husband refuses to quit with me, as long as he smokes I can’t quit.
Those are actual statements patients have said to me. I respond with empathy:
Yes, quitting smoking is hard work. Certainly, you are under considerable stress. True, I want you to be successful in your opiate addiction recovery. Definitely, a partner who quits along with you helps tremendously. Maybe next time we can revisit this?
Am I helping by being understanding, and reassuring? Or am I just dancing around the truth. The truth is
The truth is: you like smoking and don’t want to quit.
Can’t you just tell me the truth instead of coming up with the lame excuses? How can I help someone if they don’t want to change? Maybe I should reconsider my approach and try something like:
Top 10 Reasons to Keep Smoking:
- You keep me in business
- You keep dentists in business
- You keep tobacco companies in business
- You keep the government in business
- You get moody when you try to quit smoking – keep smoking and stay happy
- Your Uncle Frank smoked 3 packs a day for over 50 years. He lived to be 99
- Your wrinkles and puckered lips make me look better
- A husky voice is sexy
- You like being sick. It feeds your need for attention
- You already tried once to quit and you failed, why put yourself through that again, sheesh
Bonus: You get more frequent, longer work breaks than your non-smoking coworkers.
I don’t mean to sound harsh. Nah, maybe I do. When you see pregnant women smoking, dads hanging a butt off their lip while holding their child, teens parading their smokes in public, and folks in their prime of life dying from lung cancer, you get tired of the excuses.
And for the record, the average person only gains 10 pounds with quitting.
It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. George Washington.