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Being around smokers

If you live with another smoker, such as a husband, partner or roommate, or if you have friends who smoke, it can be particularly challenging to quit smoking. You will need to develop special strategies for dealing with this situation. Writing and recording your own imagery file will help you to imagine and rehearse your strategies for remaining smoke-free when you’re around someone who is still smoking.

Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your imagery file:

  • Start with breathing and relaxation, like the imagery files you listened to in the See Me Smoke-Free program. You can use the following relaxation text or edit it to meet your needs: Take a deep breath and hold it for 3 to 4 seconds. Exhale slowly while thinking, “I am smoke-free.” Release any tension in your body and mind. Allow yourself to breathe deeply and fully, down to your belly. Feel the rise of your belly as you breathe in and then the fall of your belly as you breathe out.
  • It’s easier to quit together! Let your husband/partner/roommates know that you are quitting, and that you’d like them to join you! If they are willing, help them find a quitting program that suits their needs, and set your timeline for quitting together. If they’re not ready to quit, let them know you accept their decision not to quit at this time. Ask them to understand and support you during the quitting process.
  • Figure out several different strategies for refusing cigarettes if the smoker offers one to you. Imagine yourself with the smoker. You are enjoying being with them. They say, “I’m going to have a smoke. Is it okay?” Feel your muscles tense as you get ready to answer. Hear yourself pleasantly say, “It’s okay if you smoke, but please go outside or in another room so I’m not tempted to join you.” Notice the pride and sense of relaxation you feel. Imagine how strong and confident you feel at your accomplishment.
  • Being around people who are smoking might be tempting. Imagine yourself seeing your husband/partner/roommate smoking. See them take a cigarette out of the pack and light it. Smell the smoke. If a craving to smoke hits, let it wash over you and float away until the craving has gone. Recognize that you are in control and able to resist temptation. You feel powerful and resilient.
  • End with a positive statement about yourself, like in the imagery files in the See Me Smoke-Free program. See yourself as strong, beautiful, and smoke-free.