What boundaries should I set as a recovering smoker?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you are trying to quit smoking, you may want to avoid other smokers, at least for a while. Seeing someone smoke or smelling smoke in the air or on a friend's clothes can easily sabotage your efforts. If you're around a smoker, you may be tempted to grab a puff or two, or to bum just one smoke. And that can tip new quitters over the edge. If you happen to be close with a smoker, explain that you need their support while you embark on this difficult journey. That's why couples often quit together.

But if you don't have a willing smoking cessation partner, you'll need to set boundaries. If the people close to you must smoke, they need to do it elsewhere, where you can't see, smell or hear them. If they refuse, you must walk away while they puff.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
First, let friends, family and co-workers know that you've quit, and ask for their encouragement. Also, limit your contact with people who smoke while you’re trying to get over your nicotine cravings. If they light up around you, walk away. Avoid social events as well as bars or other places where you might be tempted to smoke.
Make your home, car, and work areas smoke free. Also, avoid interaction with friends that will cause you to smoke; for instance, going out for a drink in an area that allows smoking. It has been shown that most people light up while they are enjoying social drinks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.