Loving a Smoker

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Thanks for all your support about my three new dietary changes.  I really appreciate it!  I truly believe the best way to make any health change is to do it little by little.  Small changes add up!

 

Lunch was amazing.  And so healthy!  I love when you finish a meal, and you just feel healthier right away.

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All I wanted for lunch was a big plate of roasted veggies.  I roasted several servings of yellow potatoes, parsnips, and jarred artichokes, which I dipped in ketchup. Mmm.

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On the side, I had a whole wheat English muffin (I really like dry toast, in case you’re wondering why I didn’t put anything on it):

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And a BIG Green Monster, which contained 1/2 a banana, 2 cups raw spinach, and 1 cup almond milk.

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My lunch was missing some protein, so I’m going to have a protein-rich snack before going on a run later (it’s raining so biking is out of the question).

 

Loving a Smoker

 

I recently received the following email from a reader, and I thought it would be a good topic to discuss on the blog (I asked her if I could share it).   She wants to know how to handle a boyfriend who smokes cigarettes.  Because in real life, smoking is not sexy – even if the Marlboro Man makes it look hot.

She wrote, “My boyfriend and I have been together almost 4 years. He was a smoker when we started dating (he began when he was 17, he is now 24) and due to my urges has stopped multiple times.  He would stop for a few months, start back up secretly, and it wouldn’t be too long before I found out. Of course, each time, I was extremely upset and kept telling myself next time would be the time he quit for good.  Last year, he quit again, this time because he was given an ultimatum – the cigarettes or me. (I know, I’m horrible).  It had been at least 9 months and I thought we had won the battle. I even bragged to family and friends about how proud I was. 

 

This week, I found a pack in his jacket pocket. I asked him if he was smoking again and he said "No"  and denied it over and over. I waited a few minutes, asked again, and he finally admitted it. I lost my cool, cried like a baby, and headed to my mom’s house to crash. 

 

He has apologized and told me I don’t understand how hard it is. I know I don’t understand, but I do understand he was dishonest with me, did not fully take my feelings into consideration, and put our relationship in jeopardy. I know it IS an addiction, but he needs to decide what is more important to him. 

 

Am I a terrible person? Is it wrong for me to not want to commit myself (marriage for example) to a man I love more than anything, because I couldn’t stand to see his addiction take his life?  Any input would be appreciated. I really don’t know who else to ask, especially since most of the people I’ve spoken to aren’t the most "health-conscious". 

 

Any former smokers (or current smokers) out there want to offer some perspective to the reader?  Do you love a smoker?  Would you issue an ultimatum about quitting smoking?  Can you ‘force’ someone to quit or do they have to be ready?  Any tips for quitting smoking?

 

I would really appreciate it if people can be considerate to the reader and to smokers in general.  Smokers are not bad people just because they smoke.  It’s an addiction like any other! (And I’m willing to admit that I have been a social smoker in the past, although not heavily or recently, so I sympathize with both camps.)

 

UPDATE:  Our lovely reader wrote back after reading 114 comments. 

 

She wrote, It was definitely difficult reading stranger’s comment on my life and choices – but in a good way.  Anyway, I first want to say how blown away I am by the number of responses, but also how touched I am. Some comments literally moved me to tears. Here’s what I have to say:

 

Many people mentioned that I knew he was a smoker going into the relationship: You’re right. I did know he was a smoker when we began our relationship. However, think about the beginning of ANY relationship – things change drastically over the course of time and things you never thought you would care about, you may now be very passionate about. When we began dating (I was 17, he was 21) I would have never really thought 4 years later, we would still be going strong. All I can say is you look at things differently when looking at them in terms of the long-run. 

 

I’m not saying my boyfriend’s smoking is the only thing I concentrate on. There are so many wonderful things about him that I could create a blog just about HIM and never run out of great things to say. (Corny, but true). That is the exact reason I don’t want to simply walk away from this relationship. Because I feel so strongly, I felt I needed to exhaust my every option before considering throwing in the towel. Ironic as it sounds, that is how much he means to me. 

 

I really do appreciate the comments from ex-smokers and those who have been in my situation as well. I realized that an ultimatum only produces extra stress, but I suppose I believed the stress of losing me would far outweigh the stress of quitting. Seeing what my boyfriend has gone through, I would never belittle or underestimate the process of quitting smoking, and I know I will never understand how it feels. So thank you for making me see his side of things a little more clearly. 

 

As many readers pointed out – I DON’T have the right to force my beliefs on anyone, but I DO think I have the right to be clear and completely up-front with the man I may be spending the rest of my life and having children with. I believe love and commitment is about bending for one another, and sometimes that involves life changes. 

 

Ultimately, what I have thought about/decided after reading all of the much-appreciated comments, is that I need to be calm and collected, and instead of "threatening" him, I need to work with him. He definitely needs to be honest and perhaps the reason he hasn’t been previously is because I am so hard on him. I think I have known this all along, but have refused to admit it to myself because I felt I had no other choice.  It is still going to be a struggle but with the help of amazing, supportive women like you, I have a feeling it just got a lot easier 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

PS – I once broached a similar topic on what to do if the man (or woman) you love is unhealthy.

{ 181 comments }

 

  • Jessica @ How Sweet March 11, 2010, 12:50 pm

    My mom smoked my entire life – it left a disgusting smell in our home and on all of my clothes. I could never, ever date a smoker, and I never have. Just my personal preference – it really grosses me out. Not to mention, I wouldn’t want to marry someone who is knowingly shortening their lifespan.

    Thankfully my mom quit exactly one year ago and has done great since.

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 11, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Hmmm I don’t think I could marry a smoker–I’m majorly asthmatic and super allergic to smoke! I’d be allergic to my hubby. Then again, if I am really in love with them AND they smoked outside, I would consider looking beyond it and the comfort of my lungs 🙂

    • ann January 24, 2013, 5:30 pm

      I think if you are dating a person who smokes, whether they smoke outside or not, you still get disadvantages from it. I know this personally!

  • Marissa March 11, 2010, 12:52 pm

    When I met my husband he chewed tabacco. SO GROSS!!!!

    He would quit and then I’d find a receipt or an empty Skoal can. Eventually he quit because he wanted to. I think the only way a smoker will quit is if they do it for themselves. I think anyone who has an addiction only quits if they want to. I just reminded him how important it was that he be around when I am old and not dead or very sick because of his poor choices now.

    • Therese March 12, 2010, 2:12 pm

      Totally agree! My husband has dipped on and off since I’ve known him. I used to pressure him to quit becuse I absolutely hate it, but the only times he has quit were because HE made the decision to do it.

      It’s just so hard to understand what he is going through because I have never been physically addicted to anything.

  • MelissaNibbles March 11, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I’ve never dated a smoker, but if Don Draper looked my way, I’d drop my panties in a second.
    Seriously though, I don’t think I could deal with the smell. Yuck.

    • Cyclist Kate March 11, 2010, 2:34 pm

      ahahahahaha. best comment ever. and so true!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite March 11, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I can’t stand the smell of smoke! I could never date or marry a smoker. It’s just gross to me.

  • Molly March 11, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I would date a smoker but wouldn’t get serious unless he quit. I think that’s fair- if i were still suffering from ED I would hope that a guy would wait until I was healthy to get married.

    I realize this depends on $$$, but there are a million resources out there. Of course it’s hard, but he chose to start smoking, and he does on some level choose to continue.

    I couldn’t ever get serious with a smoker – I choose not to live that way. I think she’s completely justified.

    • Elsa March 9, 2015, 7:27 pm

      It is easy to say that… i used to say the exact same thing until I met my husband and once you get involved with someone you cannot just end the relationship “because they smoke” is not that easy.

  • Therese Dansby March 11, 2010, 12:56 pm

    I have never smoked, but as a nurse, I do understand nicotine is the most addictive drug out there. Smoking is a harder habit to break than illegal drugs, harder than alcohol. I would advise this reader to acknowledge that she cannot possibly understand the nature of his addiction and to ask her boyfriend to be honest with her when he is craving a cigarette and both of them can partake in an alternate activity (go work out, eat a lollipop, etc). However, the fact that it is so addicting should not bring despair over the endeavor. Many people can, and have, quit for good and drastically improved their quality of life.

    Finally, I am a neonatal nurse and even smoke residue left on clothing can harm infant’s lungs. Something to think about if this reader is planning a serious future with her boyfriend.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 12:58 pm

      really good advice, therese!

      • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers March 11, 2010, 1:05 pm

        yeah, i write about prescriptions and medications almost daily & apparently quitting smoking is more difficult than stopping the use of drugs like heroin. i think therese’s comment is right on (especially the last bit about potentially harming an infant).

        • Julie P March 11, 2010, 1:14 pm

          I’ve heard this too – about it being more addictive than heroin.

    • CLAUDIA January 9, 2015, 12:35 am

      That is such valuable information.. I had no clue!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! March 11, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Growing up in a “smokers” home in which at a elementary school age I can remember my parents smoking at the dinning room table and huge puffs of smokes around me I can relate to her worries about HEALTH! Both still smoke today and I am always worried about them, however I realize it is “their choice” and only they can make the decision to quit and only they can do it, not me! I would of course be there to support them if they do quit but I had to stop letting it bug me a long time ago that there is a good chance they may get sick in the near future because of it otherwise I would worry everyday. It is a tough choice, but in the end I think she should go with her heart!

  • Carolyn March 11, 2010, 12:56 pm

    My mother-in-law is a smoker and I know it takes a toll on the whole family. My husband says the only time his parents came close to divorce (that he knows of) was when his father pushed his mom to quit smoking. He says he used to leave her pamphlets when he was a kid, too. Now he understands that she smokes to deal with emotional scars from her childhood, but it’s still hard to see the toll it has taken on her appearance and health.

    He’s an addict and he won’t be able to quite until HE’s ready to. Her leaving him won’t do anything to HELP him and she needs to decide whether it’s really something that’s worth leaving him over.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) March 11, 2010, 12:56 pm

    my dad used to smoke all the time, and did the same thing (denial) when I found that he was doing it again. i decided to stop pouring my emotions into whether or not he was quitting. i don’t understand how people can smoke knowing all that we know now about how horrible it is. but, the reality is we all have a body that we make choices for. I would just hope that the common courtesy is there to not smoke in public or around the non-smoker.

    Quitting an addiction of any sort is really hard. I would suggest some sort of addiction recovery group (Al-Anon, Celebrate Recovery, etc) to work on being accountable to a GROUP of people. I wish nothing but the best for this couple!

  • Chrissy March 11, 2010, 12:57 pm

    My boyfriend was a smoker for ten years – four of those years while were were dating. I always hated the fact that he was a smoker, but he had to be ready to quit. It took a few tries and it’s still a daily struggle, but he is now 2.5 years smoke free! I would say don’t give up hope, and don’t punish him for failing. When he falls off the wagon, remind him that tomorrow is a new day and that you can only truly support his efforts if he is honest about his struggles.

    He can also look into support groups, patches and products to help him quit, and lots and lots of chewing gum. My boyfriend took up running when he quit smoking and we both just finished our first marathon. Having that goal helped him to avoid the cigarettes, since they would affect his ability to run a race he could be proud of.

    Good luck to you and to your boyfriend!

    • Albina July 22, 2015, 11:35 pm

      Chrissy you are amazing human being! I wish I could be half as dedicated and as selfless as you are! Reading all these comments here (5 years later) I am starting to realise it is not all about me, that my husband is struggling also and its so hard for him too (putting up with me that is)! I have already realised that ultimatums and yelling does not help. I think working on being supportive should be my next goal!

  • Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers March 11, 2010, 12:57 pm

    Having been a smoker (quit almost a decade ago) I would say the ultimatum route is NOT the way to go. It never is. Most people will do the opposite of what they are forced into.

    It’s not a matter of what is more important to him, it’s a matter of dealing with an addiction, health issues etc. I would urge her to be understanding and supportive, doesn’t mean she can’t explain how much it upsets her and her dislike of it.

    Tips for quitting: I joined a gym. Couldn’t afford to do both. I stopped going to pubs for a while or anywhere else that went hand in hand with smoking.

  • emily March 11, 2010, 12:57 pm

    I couldn’t marry a smoker. My high school boyfriend (now husband) was a smoker when we met and I told me before the second date that I wasn’t giving it up until he gave up the cigarattes. He lied to me once and I punched him so hard he fell off the bed, whoops!

    Honestly though I think the lying is a bigger deal than the smoking. E-mail writer’s boyfriend may have an uncontrolable addiction (I’m not sure I believe that, but let’s make the assumption) but HE made the CHOICE to lie to her about it.

  • Dawn March 11, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I think the important thing here is that her boyfriend will quit when he is ready to quit for himself – not for her or any other reason. It could be soon, it could be years, or it could be never. Quitting smoking takes a lot of willpower and desire, and it’s not something you can do unless you’re fully committed to it.

    This is not to say that he doesn’t love or care about her. However, I think she needs to realize that she can’t force this change in him. She either needs to accept it as part of who he is and drop it, or move on if she really cannot date a smoker. It’s not an easy decision, but it’s the best one to make for their relationship and for both of them.

  • bobbileigh March 11, 2010, 12:59 pm

    I personally could not commit myself to a smoker and am thankful that is not something my fiance has ever done.

    With that said my mother was a smoker (more than a pack a day) until I was in my 20’s. Even though I can choose to not marry someone who smokes I loved my mom and wasnt going to remove her from my life. Her father died of lung cancer from smoking and that didnt even get her to quit. A smoker must be ready to quit for themselves before it will work. My mother needed surgery on her spine and the DR refused to operate until blood tests proved she was nicotine free for 3 mos. Sadly it took her almost a year to quit. She has now been smoke free for almost 2 years and I am so proud of her. She says that she decided she wanted to quit one day (not because of the surgery) and if she had not made that decision she never would have quit for anyone else not even her father or her daughter :(.

    Its an addiction just like everything else and I think the reader is just going to have to accept the fact that he may not quit and let him quit in his own time when HE is ready or she will have to make a very hard decision.

  • Sarah March 11, 2010, 1:00 pm

    I’ve never been in this situation, but I want to commend the reader for thinking this through BEFORE making a commitment. It’s good to think with your head, not just your heart.

    Never go into a commitment thinking you will be able to change a person. I think you have to consider if you want your future children to be around a smoker. If I were in her shoes, I would look at this man just the way he is, smoker and all and consider it the whole package. I don’t think an ultimatum is bad, unless she doesn’t follow through with it. If she really doesn’t want the man in her life to smoke, she has to follow through.

  • Cat March 11, 2010, 1:01 pm

    I’ve never seriously dated a smoker, but being single this is something that comes up with dating in my world often. I just went on a first date with someone who wanted to have a cig. while having a drink but ASSURED me to no end that he’s not a smoker, just socially when he drinks. We’ll see about that!

    However, I think that the girl in question needs to weigh her options and her own behavior: you are saying that you feel HE is the one that is choosing his addiction over your relationship, but aren’t you doing the same thing? Is this issue so important to you that you would lose him over it? If the answer is yes then you should probably consider how ready you are to commit to your relationship. Obviously he loves you and cares about you otherwise he wouldn’t have tried to quit so many times.

    I think the best thing to do is stay firm in your opinion: you don’t want to date a smoker for x number of reasons that he should be fully aware of. However, giving an ultimatum only breeds resentment and is going to drive you apart, regardless of whether or not the actual act of smoking does. Getting emotional only adds to the stress in your relationship, i.e. crying and leaving. My advice would be to stay cool as a cucumber and talk about it rationally and ask HIM what you can do to support him. He may surprise you.

  • Kristine March 11, 2010, 1:01 pm

    What a great topic. And I actually happen to be in the same boat. I started dating a guy, I knew he was smoking but he lied to me and quit, a couple of months into the relationship I found out he hadn’t actually quit and was really smoking over 6 cigarettes a day. I was devastated, but smoking did not make him a bad person it is an addiction and a hard one at that. I detest people that smoke, my grandma died from lung cancer, from smoking and it upsets me but what I realized is that it didn’t change who he was. So instead of fighting him on it we had a long talk. He told me that he wanted to quit but it was an addiction and that it is really hard to stop. So by yelling at him, it only made him more stressed and that resulting in smoking.

    Finally I supported him in QUITTING. And it has been a slow process but he is now down to 3 cigarettes a day, which is a huge change from the 12 he use to smoke a day and he is really doing well. And like Marissa said a smoker has to want to quit for themselves otherwise it will NEVER work. But supporting them in quitting is the best thing you can do for them. I do not think you should support the smoking but supporting the quitting and understanding how hard it is, is the first step to helping them. If he is not willing to quit then you have to ask yourself if you still want to be in a relationship with someone who smokes. But do a lot of research, help them, don’t scrutinize them. It will only make it worse and you do not want them hiding it from you. If they can feel like they can talk to you about it. It will be much better in the end.

  • Tanya March 11, 2010, 1:02 pm

    I LOVE A SMOKER!!! I have NEVER smoked I tried once in college but was too cheap to buy a second pack. I have not read the other commecnts but this is my opinion. My boyfriend and I have been together 15 years..he smoked before he met me and has never tried to quit, I have never asked hime to. In our relationship we have vowed never to tell each other what to do. I had to decide if his smoking was something I could deal with-you cannot control what someone else does. He does not smoke in my car out of respect and smokes outside only when he is at home. I know he smokes oin his daily commute to work and during his breaks. Basically, I love him for who he is and not because he will probably die before me. I do joke with him that I am taking out a life insurance policy on him when we get married in the next 2 years. The choice to stop smoking is a personal choice and not one you can make for another person through threats. Just ask yourself, “Can I deal with this?”

    What does piss me off is that even though he smokes and I workout 6 days a week he is better at everything athletic that we do. This weekend we are going snowboarding and guess who will be waiting for who. Good Luck…..Just my 2 cents!

  • whitney @ whitinspired March 11, 2010, 1:02 pm

    You can’t change anyone. It’s not possible. The other person has to have the will to WANT to change. I don’t think the girl is a horrible person by any means, but I do think it’s wrong to give someone ultimatums like that. I understand her telling him she doesn’t want him smoking around her, the house, etc. but you can’t make someone change if they don’t want to.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs March 11, 2010, 1:06 pm

    My mum was a really heavy smoker, and she said she quit just by ‘stopping’ and that was that. But my dad tried to quit once and just kept starting again. I hate it personally, but as long as he doesn’t do it round me, I don’t mind. THAT’S the bit I hate – passive smoking!
    I don’t think anyone can quit unless they really want to though, cos my dad LIKES it :s

  • Julie K March 11, 2010, 1:06 pm

    I am not a smoker but for some reason I have always dated smokers even though I think it’s disgusting. My current boyfriend of 4 years smokes and I watch him struggle with it. He KNOWS it’s bad for him…smokers know! He is just sooo addicted. I’ve tried being nice about it, I’ve tried being mean about it, I’ve tried sending him pictures of smoker’s lungs everyday, but he still smokes.

    His friends unintentionally make the whole situation worse. He’s a big time fisherman and allll the guys smoke…so that escalates how difficult it is for him to quit.

    Sigh…I don’t know the purpose of my rambling other than the fact that I’m in a similar situation.

  • Heather ODonnell March 11, 2010, 1:08 pm

    You can’t force anyone to change. I also gave my husband (finace at the time) an ultimatum. I told him that I wouldn’t marry a smoker. The dangerous thing in making an ultimatum, is that you have to be prepared to follow through. And I was. I would have walked away from the man I loved. Fortunately, I knew him well enough to know that he loved me more than his cigarettes. I stood by him and helped him through the quitting. There were some difficult times, but I knew that he WANTED to quit. There was one time when he admitted to having a cigarette with a friend. This was months after he had quit. I made him sleep on the couch and he hasn’t had a cigarette since….going on 6 years.
    Good luck.

  • Jen March 11, 2010, 1:08 pm

    Wow, how tough.

    Sounds like the reader’s boyfriend really WANTS to quit, which is a huge first step. The average smoker makes 9 to 11 quitting attempts before quitting for good.

    Smoking addiction is two fold. Kicking the habit is so challenging because you’re dealing with an addiction to nicotine AND an addiction to a behavior. People who successfully quit often combine nicotine replacement therapy with behavior change techniques. She should encourage her boyfriend to talk to his doctor about medicine to help him quit and support groups. The American Lung Association and smokefree.gov both offer great tips for dealing with the behavioral aspects of smoking.

  • Kara (@ Kara's Marathon) March 11, 2010, 1:08 pm

    I’ll admit it: I gave my husband the smoking ultimatum when we were dating. He was a smoker when we met, and I didn’t even think of him in “that way” until he told me he was planning to quit. We got together a few weeks after he quit and things were going great (both for us and his quitting – he was on the patch), but he started smoking again a year later when he was living at home between college and grad school.

    I found out through one of his friends (who didn’t know his smoking was supposed to be a secret!) and read him the riot act. I grew up surrounded by addiction (a long, terrible story), and I knew that I could never be with someone for the rest of my life who was addicted to anything. As much as I loved him and wanted to be with him, I couldn’t stand by and watch him kill himself slowly, and I told him that 🙁

    I also knew how hard it was for him to quit the first time and how happy he was when he wasn’t smoking, and made sure to remind him of that. He apologized profusely and agreed to quit again, not just for me but for himself.

    While there have been a few hiccups along the way — he’s smoked a few times under tremendous stress and after WAY too many beers — he’s committed to staying smoke-free. I think the big difference is that he quit for himself, on his own terms, without me in the picture, so it’s always been more about him than about me.

    I don’t think you can force or pester someone to quit before they are ready; it’s hard enough to quit when you are 100% dedicated to stopping, and he’s clearly not right now. I think you need to decide what is more important to YOU — being with him or being with a non-smoker — and go from there. Good luck!

  • Mellissa March 11, 2010, 1:08 pm

    I think she can help him as much as she can but if he needs to make the decision to quit and he has to follow through on it.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) March 11, 2010, 1:09 pm

    I grew up with my dad always smoking…for years I suffered with smoke on long car rides. I vowed that I would never marry a smoker myself. Luckily my dad has been smoke free for 10-15 years. Because of what I grew up with, I am super sensitive to smoke and I can’t be around it for longer than a minute. I have no advice on how to deal with the situation above though..I think it is a tough one and I really don’t know what I would do. Probably talk to them and tell the person my feelings honestly.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 11, 2010, 1:09 pm

    I think the most important factor is that they have to want to quit for themselves. It’s not the same as smoking, but my husband used to dip tobacco. He was clear that I thought it was disgusting and I didn’t want him to get cancer. Finally one day I had a breakdown and screamed and cried and told him he had to quit. He did. Then months later I found out he started again. Later, he realized he wanted to quit for himself, which was a much, much better approach. And remember, just because they can’t quit, doesn’t mean they don’t love!! It’s SO hard to do, and even harder to understand if you haven’t been there yourself (which I hadn’t). Hang in there!!

  • Miranda March 11, 2010, 1:10 pm

    This story is so familiar to me…the beginning, anyway. I smoked when I met my husband. I had been a smoker for a few years. It was one of those things about me, I was a smoker, take it or leave it. I told him I would quit in my own time. I specifically remember one day when I was smoking and he was outside with me and he seemed to be brooding. It was our first fight, and I still say I was right. As disgusting as smoking is, it was part of who I was. I know he had my best health in mind, but it’s annoying, not to mention degrading to be reminded how bad it is. Trust me…smokers know how bad it is for them.

    I eventually quit, but in my own time. And my awesome husband never made me feel bad about it. It is an addiction and having the person you love make you feel bad about it makes you feel stress which makes you smoke. It is bad that he was hiding it from the reader, but is an ultimatum really fair? He obviously loves her or he wouldn’t try to hide it.
    Just my two cents.

  • genesis March 11, 2010, 1:10 pm

    i agree with whitney (#20). ultimatums dont work for anyone. being the smoker that he is and having smoked for so long, expecting him to drop it cold turkey is like asking him to turn water into wine. not possible. as you already mentioned its an addiction. you dont cure addicts by throwing them into the fire and then givin them an ultimatum. it might work for some people like the show intervention but reality is, you have to do it together.

    my fiance is a smoker and slowly we’re working to rid him of his addiction. before he smokes (if im in the room) i always ask him, Do you really really need it? Can you put if off for maybe 5 or 10 minutes and see how you feel then?

    If you want him to quit, work together as a team and dont make him feel like he has to choose. Help him get over his addiction. he needs a support system.

  • Christie @ Honoring Health March 11, 2010, 1:11 pm

    I am a former smoker (I quit just over five years ago) and can attest to ultimatums not working. You have to be ready to face the addiction and face what happens when you don’t have the crutch of your addiction anymore. That takes time and while I am so glad my husband does not smoke, I think it is important to be compassionate. I doubt there are many people walking around that are not aware of the dangers of smoking at this point, they are making a choice and have to be willing to make the change for their own good.

    Same as losing weight, you have to do it for yourself.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) March 11, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Oh and I meant to add- I think it took my dad over 10 attempts before he quit for good. I admire anyone who can quit. I think it is important for loved ones to be patient, but to also look out for their own health.

  • Julie P March 11, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Great question!!!!!!

    Well, I was smoker for about 16 years. I’ve quit many many times. The most recent time was 1/18/10 and I’m still quit! YAY! I will say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and sometimes it’s still a struggle. I have a number of friends who have tried (and failed) to quit. You can’t make anyone quit – you have to truly be ready. When I was a smoker, I dated a few non-smokers and tried to quit to please them – it never worked because I wasn’t ready.

    My boyfriend now is a smoker. He’s been a smoker since I met him. I know I can’t make him quit and I would never try. It has to be his decision. I don’t like the fact that he smokes but I love him so I deal with it. We’ve been together almost a year and half. He’s very supportive of the fact that I quit….but also it’s clear that he isn’t ready to quit.

    In my opinion, you have to accept the fact that he’s a smoker if you want to continue the relationship with him. He has to be ready to quit in order to quit. I can understand being hurt because he lied and kept it from you. I have a friend who went through a similar situation with her hubby and she was so hurt that he lied (which I understand). Smoking is truly an addition. Hopefully in time he will be ready to quit and will be successful in his attempt to do so. good luck!

  • Laura March 11, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Just like with everything else, he’s not going to quit until HE wants to quit. You can threaten, cry, talk to him until you are blue in the face – but if he’s not doing it for HIMSELF it won’t stick. I think ultimately you need to decide if that’s something you can live the rest of your life with. If you can’t, you’ve got to get out of it now! But don’t leave thinking he’ll quit and you will get back together. Leave knowing that this decision means you may never be with him again!!

    I used to be a social/car smoker and my boyfriend was a very heavy smoker when we met. He been smoking almost 10 years! He wanted to quit very badly, but never felt like could. I decided to give up smoking for my own health and he followed suit a few months later after he saw me quit. He went on smoking cessitation drugs and they really worked for him! Ultimately though it was his dedication to not wanting to smoke that made him quit. I know he still has cravings to smoke and fights the addiction every day, but I don’t put any pressure on him at all. He quit in Jan 09 and has only had one cigarette since then (and we got in a huge fight! haha whoops)

    He is my motivation for never smoking again though! There are definitely some days and times that I want to smoke (which I hate that I still sometimes crave them) but I don’t because I never want to betray him or risk him smoking again because I did! Good luck!

  • Kim March 11, 2010, 1:14 pm

    When I met my husband, he was a smoker. He was 25 and had been smoking since he was 15. He tried to quit a couple times, without success, which was frustrating for me. I wanted him to quit for obvious reasons, but I never gave him an ultimatum. He is not the type to do well with ultimatums. He’s very stubborn. He came to the conclusion on his own that smoking would not fit in our lifestyle together and, eventually, we would probably part ways if he didn’t get healthier. About 2 years ago now, he used the Nicotine patch and that worked for him. He was SUPER moody when he first quit, and ate a lot of chocolate. Ha. It was a bit difficult to deal with how edgy he was. He’s normally a pretty even-keel person. The worst was over after about 2 weeks, though he had cravings and dreams about smoking. Now, it’s hard for me to remember that he ever smoked. He never talks about it. He says he does still have dreams in which he’s smoking, and he wakes up feeling scared and guilty. Ha. He said the best thing for him was to distance himself from other smokers. He used to hang around with lots of people who smoked, but that changed.
    I think it really depends on the person, but ultimatums can seem threatening and disrespectful, in my opinion. I think it’s important to state concerns and let the person address them. Discuss how there may be some hard times, mood-wise, during the adjustment. Explore options like the Nicotine patch to make things easier. I think it’s a lot easier when 2 people are fighting the addiction together.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 11, 2010, 1:14 pm

    I can really relate. My mom smokes, my great aunt and my grandfather all smoke. And I lost my grandmother to lung cancer. Smoking is not good for your boyfriend, for you, or for your future children. But you know that already. I also dated someone who smoked. This was the first person that I really cared about after getting out of a bad relationship and the first person that I actually wanted to commit myself to. At first, I told myself that I could deal with the smoking – no big deal. But then I realized that I wasn’t being true to myself. So basically, I told him how I felt about it and that I just couldn’t be with anyone who smoked because it was totally contrary to everything that I believe in. But I did not ask him to give smoking up for ME. I just explained what I beleived about it and why. He then said that it wasn’t something he could give up and he was sorry, etc. And we parted ways peacefully, with respect to each other. And then the next day he called me to say that he would give up smoking, he didn’t want to lose me. But that he was doing it for himself, not FOR me. And I think that is the key. Your boyfriend has to WANT to quit for himself. you are not selfish for not wanting to be with someone who smokes but you also can’t force/blackmail someone into making such a big decision. Best of luck to you!

  • BethT March 11, 2010, 1:15 pm

    My stepdad smoked for years and I truly believed it would kill him. He was a two or three pack a day person, and he woudl not quit until HE was 100% ready. For him, it took surgery (not related to smoking, but I think it scared him) and the birth of a grandchild to make him realize the habit wasn’t worth it. I think the person who emailed about this either has to accept that he won’t quit until he’s ready, or end the relationship if it’s that important to her. The ultimatums won’t work and will just keep them both unhappy.

  • Maura March 11, 2010, 1:15 pm

    (I apologize in advance for the long message)

    Background: In my family there is a long history of lung cancer (due to smoking) so smoking was always a deal breaker for me. As it turs out, it’s part of my job to work with lung cancer pateints every day (both smokers/former smokers/and non-smokers) which has only increased my aversion to cigarettes.

    A college boyfriend of mine had been a smoker for a few years but had “stopped” just before we started dating. As we grew closer, he came to know why I was so against it and was “glad he had stopped.” About 6 months into our relationship, I found a pack of cigarettes in his car. I asked him if they were his and he said he was holding onto them for a friend who was trying to quit. I thought, okay, this is great! (How naive of me) Anyway fast forward two years. We ended up breaking up (for other reasons) and come to find out..oh wait, now he’s smoking again. I brought it up with a mutual friend of ours and supposedly he had been smoking throughout our entire relationship. He just kept it veryyyy hidden. Obviously, this angered me because not only was he putting himself at risk but he had also put me at risk (without my knowledge). I never did confront him about it because it was no longer my place. I just hope he makes the right decision in the future.

    Anyyyway, the moral for my looong drawn out stroy is that despite having all the negative facts about cigarettes, the decision is still in the smoker’s hands. They will only quit when they are ready. You must decide if you can handle that and hope for the best or you can’t. There is no right or wrong decision but in the end you have to do what is right for you.

  • Amanda March 11, 2010, 1:15 pm

    My boyfriend of 4 years is also a smoker. When we first started dating, I warned him that I would not date a smoker and really wanted him to quit. He tried a few times (by using the gum), but always went back to it. He knows that I hate it, but I have learned not to nag and that he needs to WANT to quit on his own. I am hopeful that it will get easier because he just moved out of a house of smokers and lives with me! We started running together, which he says makes him not really want to smoke. Baby steps 🙂

  • Leila March 11, 2010, 1:16 pm

    As a former smoker, a lot of what these ladies are saying is so true. If you’ve never smoked – regularly – you’ll never understand how hard it is to quit. I would suggest your reader picks up a copy of Allen Carrs’ Easy way to quit smoking. It’s an incredibly informative and useful book. She might want to pick one up for her boyfriend too. But the biggest lesson is that you can’t make a smoker quit, they have to be ‘done’ with it. That time will come, she should support him and try to understand that he’s not doing it to spite her, it’s does take a hold of you in a way a non-smoker really can never understand. Most of all, just support him and good luck!

  • Hangry Pants March 11, 2010, 1:16 pm

    I had an ex who smoked and I couldn’t stand it.

    But I just wanted to say your line about smokers not being bad people reminds me of something a pre-schooler said once when I was subbing. When talking about people in jail he said, “They’re not bad people, they just make bad choices.” 🙂

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething March 11, 2010, 1:17 pm

    i loved your last post but just got around to reading it. i know you are on to a new subject but i wanted to comment on the last one. i truely believe we are “what we eat.” i too watch what i consume because it has dire effects on me. i am seeing a holistic-antiaging doctor who i pay out of pocket for because i have had no luck with traditional docs and some of my problems. so far i have had much success. i hope you are ok. you are surrounded by such knowledgable people-i have always been jeolous-hubs and fil. you will be fine!

  • Sydney March 11, 2010, 1:17 pm

    First this made me think of my father and grandfather, both of whom were smokers until my mom became pregnant with me and then they both quit! my mom jokes that she gave him an ultimatum but I’m pretty sure he just knew it was the right think to do for a pregnant wife/new baby.
    I once dated a smoker and we just had an understanding that he didn’t smoke around me, he went outside and it just wasn’t something that really came into play with us. He was really good at keeping the smell somehow out of his clothes, hair, mouth, etc. But it was also a long-distance relationship so I imagine it’s different when you live with or near your bf. My honest advice though is to just be supportive. Make your opinion known, which you have 🙂 but then help him out. Make him feel like he can come to you with his struggles to quit knowing that you’ll be supportive and helpful rather than feeling like he has to hide it. It sounds like he’s done so bc he knows it hurts you. Good luck!

  • Sarah March 11, 2010, 1:17 pm

    I started smoking when I was 13 and quit for the first time when I turned 23. It only lasted about 6 months though and I started to smoke again, then quit again, then smoke again, then quit again, etc. for almost 3 years. It’s been 2 years now that I’ve been cigarette-free and I still have urges (mostly when I’m drinking) but not as frequent. Throughout all of my quitting/not quitting I’ve had the same loving non-smoker boyfriend and he’s always been very supportive when I quit and always let me know that he was very disappointed when I started again. And every time I started to smoke again I tried to hide it from him because I felt so guilty for letting him down. But thankfully throughout all of it he never gave me any sort of ultimatum. Smokers who are trying to quit go through so much turmoil mentally, physically, and emotionally. If you add an ultimatum on top of that I think it’s just added and unneeded pressure. I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong b/c everyone is entitled to their opinion, but personally I think that if he ever gave me an ultimatum then we probably wouldn’t be together. It took me multiple attempts before I was able to fully commit to quitting and the fact that my boyfriend understood that it would be a process makes me love him more.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 11, 2010, 1:17 pm

    This actually makes me kind of upset. I used to smoke occasionally when I went out, and when I lived in Europe I smoked more than occasionally. Although I don’t smoke any more, and am glad I made that decision, I would NEVER tell anyone what they can and can’t do.

    I used to have a boyfriend who would get so mad and upset when I had a cigarette. That would only make me want to smoke more. Although I believe voicing your concern is important, it really isn’t your life and ultimately you have no say.

    Sorry if that is harsh, but I believe it for all aspects of life. I don’t try to force my eating habits on people either…

    • Lauren March 11, 2010, 1:23 pm

      I have to say I agree with this. Smoking IS a big deal and a matter of life and death for many people–those people have lots of potential mates to choose from, and should choose accordingly. But there are many nonsmokers who also don’t give a crap that they date smokers. I used to smoke and my boyfriend (a nonsmoker) honestly didn’t care about it. I eventually quit on my own under 0 pressure from him.

      I think people should stop trying to prove to each other that their preferences are absolutely 100% right, and instead acknowledge that they are just preferences, and find someone with similar ones. No matter how “right” you are, people will not always bend to your wishes.

    • genesis March 11, 2010, 1:32 pm

      agree. forcing your own preferences on him is going to make him NOT want to smoke or will make him trip up when he does decide to try and quit.

      he has to do it on his own terms or nothing at all.

      • Molly @fuelherup March 11, 2010, 2:14 pm

        Um, smoking is bad for the people around you too. If she wants to have kids someday, she has the right to take his smoking into account.
        She told him from the beginning that smoking was not okay, and he lied about it, so that’s another issue. When she first said, I don’t want to date a smoker, he could have said, “Sorry, I’m not going to quit.” The end.
        Instead, he accepted her “preference” and then he lied.

        • Jenn March 11, 2010, 2:45 pm

          maybe the ultimatum should lie with her then and not him. its not up to him to make her stay, its up to him to QUIT FOR HIMSELF, not her.

  • Lauren March 11, 2010, 1:19 pm

    Personally, I think it’s a minor issue, and I would never react like she did–but that’s a matter of personal preferences. There’s no right or wrong. You can’t tell a smoker “Smoking is wrong, I’m right” and have them magically change, just as you can’t tell a nonsmoker “It’s my right, you’re wrong, back off.” You just have to acknowledge that you are 2 people with conflicting preferences, and you have the power to either live with that, or find someone else. The grownup thing to do is to get what you want or be happy with what you have.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat March 11, 2010, 1:20 pm

    It would definitely be the dishonesty that would do me in and not just the smoking. But I don’t think you can convince someone to quit unless they are ready to. It’s just like any other unhealthy behavior or illness. They need that wake up call or “enough is enough” moment.

    I watched a few members of my family die of lung cancer, so that was enough for me never to want to pick up the habit! Good luck to the reader, my heart goes out to her.

  • Sara March 11, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I think that the reader is definitely not a horrible person for aggressively trying to stop her loved one/bf from engaging in a deadly habit. I used to smoke and although I never smoked SOOO much it definitely was a problem. My boyfriend didn’t like it, but he did it with me a lot (when we were stressed/drunk etc) so it basically fed into it. I decided as a woman if I want to have kids one day I had to stop 100% even if I wasn’t addicted. I needed to respect my body enough to completely stop and not just have “one every once in while”. The way I think that relates to the reader is she could engage in a discussion about their future life/plans. Second hand smoke is deadly, dangerous for her and for their potential children. Maybe things like that will make the quitting more tangible and achievable? I think they should also seek quitting ‘help’ together. Read articles, try out new things (chantix etc perhaps?) and works through the slip ups/ups and downs together. Since he is having a hard time with it it doesn’t make sense to be forcing him into a cold turkey “me or the cigs” thing right now. I think the end goal should be you are the cigs but I believe the process right now sounds UBER critical and them working through it together would be of huge value to their relationship.
    S

  • Jo March 11, 2010, 1:23 pm

    I am of the opinion that the reader knew he was a smoker when she met him and chose to start a relationship with him despite that. IMO, it is now unfair of her to try and make him stop when it is something she was aware of at the start.

  • Katie Davis @ Pop Culture Cuisine March 11, 2010, 1:24 pm

    I have mixed emotions on this topic like many of the others seem to too. First of all although I may not like the habit, when I married my husband his dad smoke for 40 years and I had to deal with that smell whenever we went over there or stayed with them. It is strange because until my husband moved out and we live in an area that is no smoking and whenever he is around it again he will notice it, but didn’t for the whole time growing up. Thankfully my father in law has since quit and is doing great. I think what is so hard about this is even though he smoked I still loved him and accepted the smoking for that reason. Now that I am married I have strong feelings about what my husband eats because I love him and want to see him healthy. However, he chooses 90% of the time to eat pretty unhealthily and I don’t want to be a knag. This is sort of how you must feel with the smoking, you love them, but don’t want them to resent you for your constant nagging. I think it is a slippery slope for sure, because we need to love them in spite of their faults, but often those faults can be unhealthy. I am sorry because I do not think there is a “right” answer, because this is a decision you would have to make ultimately, what would make you happy in the end.

  • Jen March 11, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Great Topic! I think it’s also important to remember that most people are addicted to something. Granted, smoking isn’t a healthy addiction but I would HATE it if someone told me that I had to stop working out. I’d go crazy!

  • Kelly March 11, 2010, 1:25 pm

    I used to smoke in college, a lot, my breakfast would be a cigarette and a coffee, and I smoked when I drank, which was a lot. I quit last year for 4 months when I started training for my 10 mile race, and then started again when my bf and I broke up. I recently quit again and it was never that hard for me to go without, which is sometimes why I don’t understand why some people have such a hard time with it. I do know that when I had a bf who hated smoking and would give me a hard time about it, I only wanted to smoke more. You have to quit for you, not because someone wants you to.

  • Gloria March 11, 2010, 1:25 pm

    I’m not dating a smoker, but as a social worker I feel that I can comment on what is helpful in encouraging a person to change.

    First off, I commend your reader for being upfront about how she feels and being concerned for her boyfriend’s health. I also see how her position may have caused the bf to hide his behavior, and perhaps made him feel like a failure for smoking again or sneaking a cigarette or two when no one was looking. What I find to be more helpful in working with people is to focus on those times when their problems aren’t problems – did he go a whole day without smoking? A whole week? Holy cow, that is amazing! This is an addiction, no? So how did he do that? If a person is able to focus on the times when they were doing things right (and talk about them openly), they are more likely to believe in themselves and be able to duplicate those behaviors. Relapse is a natural part of recovery for many people, but the difference between those who are able to get back on track and those who aren’t is that the former don’t get caught up in their “failures”. It sounds like the bf was able to quit again after smoking on various occasions…so how was he able to do that? Ask him what he was/is doing right and allow him to feel good about his small successes. It’s hard to do when you want to see a behavior disappear completely, but there are positives there if you look for them. Even if he is still smoking regularly, is he smoking less? Is he not smoking as much at times when he usually would (in the car, while drinking, etc)? Even if he hasn’t cut back at all, the fact that he was hiding his smoking from the reader shows that he has positive concerns about his habit. The key is to focus on those small changes, and the more you talk about them, the easier (and more realistic it becomes) to do them again.

    Wow, sorry to write a novel. This is my first time commenting on here, but I love your blog Caitlin!

    • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 1:28 pm

      thank you 🙂

      i think you made a good point – that her giving an ultimatum is probably what influenced the lying/sneaking around. That doesn’t make it ok, though.

      • Gloria March 11, 2010, 1:47 pm

        Whoops, didn’t mean to make it sound like it was the gf’s fault for him sneaking around. The bf definitely had a choice in his actions.

        • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 1:48 pm

          no i dont think you implied it like that. i just think that it’s important to recognize that our actions influence other people’s behavior sometimes… just like you said.

  • emily March 11, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Also – my father was a smoker for more than 20years (he started when he was 13) and he quit cold turkey. He didn’t want to smoke when he had kids and he just made the decision to quit. My mom said he was an asshole for 2weeks but he never smoked again.

    AND he and my mom always made sure I knew how disgusting/dangerous smoking was. My parents had a deal with me that if I didn’t smoke cigarettes (other smokable substances not included) they would give me $1000 when I turned 21. I’ve never even tried a puff! (although I might have tried some other things :D)

  • Tiffany March 11, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Wow, this mirrors almost my exact situation. My boyfriend and I have been together a little over four years now. He was not a smoker for the first few months of our relationship, but he had smoked on and off since he was 16 or 17. It was only a matter of months before just smoking socially at the bars turned into several cigarettes a day and eventually to a pack a day! Having lost my mother as a direct result of smoking, I vowed to never love a smoker. But what can you do? You love who you love and he is the man I want for all of my life, but like the reader I cannot stand to see someone I love lose a life over smoking.

    I have offered the same ultimatum (you are not horrible) it is natural to want to protect yourself, you don’t want to see him suffer because of his smoking. And like your man he has quit several times, and then started again in secret. I find out, I get upset, and I hear all the same lines, “It’s an addiction” “You don’t understand and you never will”. Sure, maybe we are not smokers and we don’t know how it feels to quit, but I sure as hell know what it is like to watch smokers, to see them struggle to quit and ultimately to see one of them lose their life as a result.

    It is hard, what do you do? It’s not that he loves cigarettes more than you, because I would argue he doesn’t love them at all. He just does not know how to really quit, it’s hard, it’s scary and there are always a million reasons to put it off another day, week, or month. But in the end I do feel a choice needs to be made. Me or them. I won’t marry him until he stops smoking and I do know he loves me enough to understand that as I am sure you man does too. But I really believe it is a matter of time and effort. Smokers quit and start again many times before they are successful. Try to be as supportive as you can, read the websites that offer advice on how to properly support those you love who are trying to quit, because believe me there are wrong ways to be supportive, like last time he started again and I threw his cigarettes in the snow… don’t do that. And I know it is hard, but if he quits and starts again try not to panic or get angry, but rather praise him on the amount of time he stopped for and be there for him when he is ready to stop again.

    • The Frustrated GF March 12, 2010, 4:45 pm

      ” It’s not that he loves cigarettes more than you, because I would argue he doesn’t love them at all.” Ahhhh so true!!

  • Becky March 11, 2010, 1:26 pm

    My husband and I both smoked when we met. He had to have foot surgery and in the pre-op tests they found a spot on his lung x-ray that freaked him (and me) out enough to quit. He has stayed cig-free (no slip ups at all) for over 4 yrs. I, on the other hand, started smoking again a few months later. 4 years, and a few feeble attempts to quit later, I finally made the decision that I didn’t want to smoke anymore.

    Our situation is a little different from e-mail writers, in that we both smoked when we fell in love and he changed (for the better!). He absolutley HATED the fact that I still smoked. He would tell me that the smell disgusted him (and who wants to disgust their husband!) it was mainly that feeling (and the knowledge that I was slowly killing myself, and knowing that one day I want to have children and I would have to quit smoking while pregnant so stopping now would be easier) that made me quit.

    The point is, he won’t quit because you want him to. He has to want to quit for his own reasons. And I’m sure that he does “want” to quit. I would say that 90% of smokers do want to quit. But it is a VERy challenging thing to do, and I’m not sure that anyone who hasn’t had to has any idea just how hard it is. It really is not as simple as saying, “Well if he loved me enough, he would.” He loves you enough to try to do one of the hardest things in the world over and over again. One of these days, he will be successful. And if you truly love each other, it is worth waiting for that day.

    Now, the bigger issue in my opinion, is him lying to you about it. Trust is huge in a relationship, and if he can’t be honest about his faults, and flat out lies to you…you may have a bigger problem than smoking on your hands….

  • Shellybean March 11, 2010, 1:26 pm

    I think her boyfriend is lying to her because she gets mad at him when he slips up and he wants to avoid conflict. It’s very common to relapse when fighting an addiction and I think she’s putting added pressure on him by getting really really mad when he slips up.
    My fiance was a smoker when I met him. He was, oddly enough, the most hygienic smoker ever- unless I saw him smoke a cigarette, I could never tell when he’d been smoking and his house didn’t smell like smoke b/c he was really religious about smoking outside, brushing his teeth and gargling and changing clothes before hanging out with non-smokers b/c he knows it’s a stinky habit. He didn’t make a secret of it though- and actively expressed a desire to quit b/c he had developed asthma as a result of smoking. And by the time I met him, he’d cut down to a few cigarettes a day.

    So he was quitting for himself, for health reasons, and doing so gradually.

    I put zero pressure on him to quit. I said, “I obviously want you to be as healthy as you want to be, but I am not going to nag you. It’s on you to discipline yourself. If you want help, tell me how to help, but I’m not your conscience.”

    He got pretty serious about it shortly after we started dating and when he’d slip up and buy a pack of cigarettes, he’d give them to me to hide. Then, if he wanted one, he had to drive over to my house and ask for one. The extra effort made him question whether he wanted one and often he would say no.

    Eventually he would only smoke when he was drinking, and then after that- not at all. Once he stopped smoking and he realized that every time he had a cigarette he faced an uncomfortable night of wheezing, it just wasn’t worth it.

    I’m he has a cigarette every once in a while, but I don’t think he’s had one for over a year (it’s pretty obvious by his breathing). But when he has one, we don’t make a big deal of it- that way it’s not a big giant slip up that leads into him being a smoker again- it’s just a cigarette.

    I do want to emphasis the my fiance’s path to becoming a non-smoker took years and was very gradual though.

  • Christina March 11, 2010, 1:27 pm

    My boyfriend of 5 1/2 years smoked 2 packs a day when we met. I don’t smoke. Gradually he quit because he WANTED to quit. He wanted it for himself and his health. I never made him feel bad for his addiction and I let him know that I was there for support. I don’t think you can give an addict an ultimatum and expect them not to try to hide it from you when they slip up (which, in reality, is bound to happen!). My boyfriend had a few slip ups and I was there to listen and support him. I think it is really important that the person trying to quit smoking has someone with a non-judgemental eye there for support and listening.

    I think the smoker has to really want to quit for themselves. If the non-smoking partner has decided that this is a ‘make it’ or ‘break it’ thing for the relationship, then he/she needs to honor their needs and move on if the smoker doesn’t really want to quit.

  • Carrie C. in VA March 11, 2010, 1:28 pm

    I smoked a pack and a half a day for a total of 10 of 14 years. I quit twice, the first time for 4 years because my boyfriend asked me to. As soon as we broke up, I started again. The second time I quit I did it for ME and I am quit forever now and living a completely dofferent and healthy life. But it had to be something I was ready to do FOR MYSELF and not for someone else, or else it would not have lasted. It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. It really is THAT awful and difficult, that if a person doesn’t want to truly do it for themselves then it will be unsuccessful. You have no way to know WHEN your boyfriend will reach that moment. Years from now? After you leave him and his life is worse off? You need to decide if this is a dealbreaker, because the decision is not his right now, he is addicted to something too powerful. Good luck!

  • sneaux March 11, 2010, 1:30 pm

    I’m not a smoker, but my Mom died of lung cancer, and I currently date a man who chewed tobacco for 25 years before quitting this past Fall. While I can’t say I understand what they go through trying to quit, I do have to say that you can’t force someone to quit with an ultimatum. All they’ll end up doing is resenting you. They have to quit for themselves, or find a reason worth quitting. And telling them it’s “me or your addiction” is not a good enough reason. My man has been chew free since October, and while he still craves it, he’s not chewing. Which is great. But I’ve never pushed him toward quitting – it had to be on his own terms, and I think that’s the way it pretty much works for anyone… Good luck to your reader’s man – hopefully he can come to terms with it on his own…

  • Kelly March 11, 2010, 1:31 pm

    I am a former smoker. I smoked for 20 years. I tried to quit 4 different times. All of a sudden 3 years ago it just clicked and I quit FOR GOOD! My grandmother dying from a smoking related illness didn’t even keep me from smoking. Anyone who hasn’t smoked can’t possible understand how difficult quitting actually is. In all of the literature they give you they equate nicotine to herion (no joke). Her giving him ultimatums won’t work. He has to want to quit. It isn’t a reflection of how much he loves her it is something he has to want to give up. Her nagging him and throwing a tantrum won’t get him to stop any sooner. If anything it will drive him to smoke more. She has to decide if this is a deal breaker for her. If it is then she has to let him go. It’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, you can’t make people be who and what you want them to be. You either have to love them the way they are or find someone else to love.

  • kat March 11, 2010, 1:35 pm

    I used to smoke. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You don’t quit because someone tells you to, you quit because you have finally come to the point where you want to and think you might have a decent chance at being successful. I think I read somewhere that the average smoker quits 16 times before they quit for good. I tried to quit 10 times before it stuck. I cut down, then switched to ultra lights and then went cold turkey. That’s what worked for me.

    I think the best advice I could give to the reader is to try to create a supportive, honest environment. Slipups happen! Instead of taking it personally, help him talk out what triggered it and what he can do next time to change the outcome. If he feels ashamed to tell her, he will probably have a hard time being honest.

    Bottom line- he has to want it for himself.

  • Stephanie March 11, 2010, 1:36 pm

    I actually used to smoke for about 7 years until quitting about 3 years ago, best thing I ever did. However I will tell you that it is not easy (well, not as hard as they say, but my situation was random) and I think if he is truly giving it an honest effort but relapses sometimes then you have to learn to live with it if you really, truly love him. You may not agree with it, however do you agree with everything your family & friends always do anyways? He is not mistreating you, cheating on you, etc. so if this is his worst vice then there is definitely something to work on, but it’s not the end of the world bc it can be changed. I know you want him to quit for obvious health reasons, however giving an ultimatum is really tough (esp for guys, they hate them) and will probably deter the effort more than help it :/ I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide and just know that you have tons of support out here in blogland!

  • Kara M. March 11, 2010, 1:37 pm

    My Thoughts and Advice:

    I smoked off and on throughout college and graduate school. Now, I can’t believe I did and find it disgusting. To be honest, it wasn’t difficult for me to quit, but every now and then I still get the urge to light up. Remember, for most people, it is extremely challenging and it has a high rate of relapse. You could encourage him to use some assistance like the gum, patches, or medication, each of which is proven to improve success. Your support, rather than demands, to help him quit are would be most helpful. If you push too much or too hard, you’ll just push him to do it and hide it at that. You CANNOT force someone to quit this habit, no matter how disgusting or harmful to his and your health it is. After all, if knowledge about smoking’s detrimental effects were enough, people wouldn’t begin smoking in the first place. And, the smoker really does have to be the one motivated to change for himself, even if one of his reasons to do so is his girlfriend. Even though you have every right to be hurt by his dishonesty, try not to take his smoking so personally. It is not because he doesn’t love you enough or care about your feelings. Ultimately, if it is something you truly feel you cannot live with, you’ll have to make some tough decisions. But, I would encourage you to stick it out and try to remain supportive.

  • Susan March 11, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Bah! Your disclaimer at the end is one of the reasons why I love you Caitlin 🙂 I’m an ex-smoker-turned-healthy living blogger, and I can’t stand it when other people dump on smokers.

    BUT, with that said, I quit smoking for a boyfriend. It helped that I was ready to quit (you HAVE to be “ready.” It’s like losing weight, it doesn’t actually happen till you’re ready to make that life change). So quitting for a person you love IS possible.

    I’ve also been with someone before who told me he quit smoking, and then found out he was smoking again. It was heartbreaking. I understand it’s not so much the smoking part, but the lying and dishonesty that really rattles you. If they can lie about smoking, what else are they hiding?

    Anyways, like I said, it’s not going to happen until he has that “a-ha” moment. The best a person can do is just be supportive. But if it’s never going to happen, and it’s a deal breaker, than break the deal.

  • Amy @ Second City Randomness March 11, 2010, 1:39 pm

    I’ve been every kind of smoker you can think of (heavy, light, social, and now a non). It’s hard. I think people have already mentioned it as I skimmed through, but it looks like he’s working on quitting for her. But he’s still conflicted when it comes to quitting for himself.

    Her “all or nothing” is putting alot of pressure on the situation, for sure. I think she needs to help him with the process, instead. And understand it’s going to take a few tries. It’s kind of like training- results don’t happen overnight!

  • Miriam March 11, 2010, 1:42 pm

    My boyfriend is a smoker. Not an heavy smoker but a smoker. He hides it from me at the beginning of our relationship because he knew I was health-oriented and he was sure this would bother me. Obviously it didn’t take long before I found out and I was annoyed. But not THAT much, in fact I believe in choice, everyone can do what they want. But if I can help him to quit, by acting annoyed (not upset, annoyed), I will. We’ve been together for almost 2 years now and he still hides it from me, he never smoke when we are together, he hides the cigarette from me when I caught him smoking (I make fun of him when he does that). And I do tell him things like: you should quit smoking cause it will make you die faster and I don’t feel like looking for another boyfriend that soon OR (addressing him) don’t think I can’t smell it on you, brushing teeth doesn’t make the smell disappears: the smells is INSIDE your body, it is getting out of your pores, no cleaning or perfume will makes it go away… However, I think the will should come from him, not me. I’ve never asked him to quit, but I do what I can to influence him subtly and with humour.

  • Valerie March 11, 2010, 1:44 pm

    As an ex-smoker (only 3 months smoke free but it’s better then smoking a pack a day right?), I will tell you that unless the smoker really wants to quit and is ready to quit they will not succeed! You can not give an addict an ultimatum because the addiction is way stronger than anything you can offer to that person.
    I have smoked for 10 years. Of those 10 years I “wanted” to quit for 8 years! It wasn’t until my father (who also smoked) was diagnosed with lung cancer that it really hit me. Of course I’m not niave to think that smoking wasn’t affecting me but I chose to ignore it until something made it come crashing right smack center of my forhead! (on a good note chemotherapy has worked well for my dad, the masses have not grown since he was diagnosed a year ago! They haven’t shrunk either but it’s better then continuing to grow!)
    I can’t tell you that quitting was easy, or that I did it cold turkey, or that I don’t want to smoke anymore , but I can tell you that it was hard but I was determined, I used chantix it worked for me hasn’t worked for others, I still get cravings for a cig but as soon as I smell someone smoking or that has just smoked I wanna vomit all over them!
    The best thing she can do is Be supportive! Whether they have gone 1 day smoke free or one week it’s a milestone! celebrate it!

    • kat March 12, 2010, 1:14 pm

      Way to go Valerie! Keep it up!

  • Sophie @ yumventures March 11, 2010, 1:45 pm

    My boyfriend was a smoker when we first stared dating, and I hated it. My parents were smokers while I was growing up, and I couldn’t stand to see what it did to them (plus the money they spent!). He quit over the summer and went for 2 months without smoking, but as the stress of his first year of law school came around, sometimes I would come home and smell cigarettes on his breath. At first I was really upset. I couldn’t believe he had smoked! Smoking, for him, is a form of stress relief. But now we talk about everything. I let him vent to me the stresses of his day. If he wants a cigarette while we are at home together I distract him with something else. We have an agreement that if he has a cigarette at school, he tells me, and I don’t judge. That way he is held accountable and he is being truthful with me. At most he will have 1 – 2 a day, which is bad, but much better than almost a pack he was having at one point. Communication is key with both of us dealing with it (him still trying to quit completely and me accepting it as an addiction he has). I now know that I have to give him time and be supportive of him, rather than running him into the ground and accusing him if he has one. One day he hopes to not feel like he needs to have a cigarette when hes stressed out, and I will help him get there! Its all about teamwork 🙂

    Starting to work out actually helped him too, because he felt better that he could run farther!

  • Cristin March 11, 2010, 1:46 pm

    I was a smoker for 10 years and never thought I would give it up. I LOVED it. When I did finally kick the habit, I did it because I was ready. I trained for a marathon and even though I was still smoking in the beginning (I would “treat” myself with a smoke after a run!), the more I ran, the less I wanted to smoke. But, it was my decision. Unfortunately, no one could make me stop before I was ready. It was hard and there are times I STILL want a cigarette (7 years later!).
    It’s an uphill battle and smokers need support and understanding to quit. Perhaps a different approach will help you both?
    Good luck!

    • Cristin March 11, 2010, 1:47 pm

      Man, just writing that made me want to smoke! Sheesh! Think I’ll go for a walk….

      • Emily March 11, 2010, 2:21 pm

        I’ll give you one of those candy cigarette! =]

  • kat March 11, 2010, 1:46 pm

    As a former smoker, I can say it was (and still is at times) the most difficult thing I have ever done. My boyfriend (and now husband) was a smoker too, and he quit before I did, but never did he give me grief about my smoking. He knew I was a smoker going in (as did I with him). I think the biggest problem can be the inability to accept people for who they are and what they do. Smoking is unhealthy, yes. So is overeating, not exercising, drinking too much, etc. All choices. I wouldn’t want to live with a couch potato, because I like to be active and stay fit, so I wouldn’t DATE a couch potato in the first place. If the reader can’t accept her boyfriends smoking, then she should end the relationship. If she decides to stay, then she needs to stop complaining about his smoking. We can make choices for ourselves, but we can’t make choices for others. We have to deal with what IS. Not what we would like it to be. So I guess my advice would be for her to choose (and accept) her boyfriend as he is, or to move on.

  • Di March 11, 2010, 1:47 pm

    I think that it’s one thing to tell your SO your feelings on their smoking, but ultimatums won’t work. He isn’t going to quit until he’s ready. He may want to, but it’s really hard! A good friend of mine tried to quit SO many times and he finally just stopped one day. He still craves cigarettes and I think has one once in a great while but no longer smokes on a daily basis. It’s been probably about 6 months, and he smoked for 5.5 years before that. His fiancee couldn’t stand the smoke, but knew he was going to try to quit so she stuck with him.

    That being said, if him being a smoker is a deal-breaker for you, it’s a deal-breaker for you. You can’t help how you feel. But if he’s really trying, I’d try to stick it out. If it seems like he’s just blowing smoke up your ass about trying to quit, then maybe you need to walk away. Good luck!

  • Katya March 11, 2010, 1:51 pm

    I’m a smoker–I’m in college and I started a couple years ago. I agree with what everyone has said that the only way to quit is willpower and having to want to do it enough. Of course your boyfriend WANTS to do it, and it’s not even like he doesn’t want to do it “enough,” but . . . I don’t think I’m explaining it well, but there’s a difference between HONESTLY wanting to do something and wanting it with enough willpower to actually be able to do it.

    One suggestion that nobody has mentioned so far is Wellbutrin. I started taking Wellbutrin a couple months ago for unrelated reasons (anxiety) and the side effect is that it removes the enjoyment from smoking. Sometimes Wellbutrin is actually used specifically as a smoking cessation drug. It has fairly few side effects, and NO sexual side effects (unique in that respect), so it’s not an especially “severe” drug or anything.

    The reason smokers smoke is because you get a feeling of “enjoyment” or “liking it” and Wellbutrin removes that feeling and the light-headed dizzy rush that goes withit. I’m still smoking, because I like the habit, which is idiotic and a waste of money, but I don’t “enjoy” the cigarettes like I used to, or at least only about 5% as much. I’m not sure if it does anything for nicotine cravings–I’ve stopped and started a lot of times and I’ve never had a problem quitting for a period so I’m not the best person to ask. But it DEFINITELY removes the reward value from smoking a cigarette. I don’t know if your boyfriend has tried this (I’m assuming he’s tried things like nicotine patches, nicotine gum, inhalers etc.) but if this is a last ditch desperation measure I think trying Wellbutrin would be a really good idea. DEFINITELY something to look into.

    Finally, nicotine in and of itself isn’t really bad for you, it’s the stuff in cigarettes (or tobacco) that is, so just wearing patches for a long period of time isn’t really a problem.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 1:53 pm

      I’m glad you brought this up because my BFF used Wellbutrin to quit smoking and said it made the process a lot easier for her.

  • Emily March 11, 2010, 1:51 pm

    I always hate to admit that I was once a smoker. I haven’t smoked for 9 years now, but I agree with those above who said if the person doesn’t want to quit, then they won’t. It’s the same as eating raw food, taking up yoga, learning to drive – anything – you have to make a decision for yourself. No one else can force you to practice yoga. You have to want to show up and then keep showing up. I found it easier because my boyfriend supported me, and on the odd occasion that I went out on to our balcony for half of one (!) he never commented. That meant I had less stress in my life, which is one of the reasons I started. I do still like the smell of some cigarettes though (I know, gross, but hey). At the end of the day if I loved someone who smoked I would like to think I could love them fully anyway. You just have to decide if it’s a deal breaker for you, or not.

  • Brittney March 11, 2010, 1:54 pm

    I don’t really have time to read all the comments, so I don’t know if this has already been said, but I’ve read somewhere that it takes the average smoker 8 or 9 attempts to quit smoking, so I think that’s something to keep in mind.

    My dad smoked since he was 13 or 14 years old and thankfully he quit 4 or 5 years ago after several attempts. I remember he would promise my mom on many of their anniversaries that he would quit and he would last for a little bit, but then start back up again. Of course, he is in the field of construction so I don’t think that helped in his attempts to quit since many of the guys he works with smoke. I know my mom didn’t like that my dad smoked but as far as I know she never pressured him to quit. I do know that my dad had to go outside whenever he wanted to smoke at home because my mom didn’t want him to smoke in the house.

    Ultimately, I think the person who emailed you has to decide just how important this issue is. Personally, if I was with someone who smoked but had all the other qualities I was looking for in a partner, I don’t think I could end things with them because this would be such a minor issue for me.

  • Lo-Jo March 11, 2010, 1:54 pm

    I’ve always heard that quitting smoking is the hardest thing a lot of people have ever had to do (my mom included). I always try to keep this in mind when I know a smoker who repeatedly tries and fails. I’m understanding in this respect, but for me smoking would be a dealbreaker right from the start when it comes to a relationship.

    Caitlin, the blog post you linked to about the unhealthy eating habits of a significant other…now THAT is one I can relate to 100%. My bf is only about 30 lbs overweight, but I’m sure his habits have done far more damage to his insides. 6 cans of coke somedays, fast food for lunch most days, etc. It’s bad. I think he thinks he’s still 18 and that it won’t have an effect on him…but he’s almost 32.

    It’s frustrating because I DO mention it, he thinks he’s not “that bad.” And I firmly believe that no one can make you change but yourself. <—maybe that's true of smoking too?

  • Morgan March 11, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Take a $10 bill and flush it down the toliet, while your boyfriend is watching. Aside from the obvious health risks, smoking is literally flushing money down the toliet. Think of the money he could save each time- to perhaps buy a ring(!) or take a nice vacation or buy a house!

    • The Frustrated GF March 12, 2010, 4:44 pm

      He he…I like the flushing the 10 bucks down the toilet idea….but I’m pretty sure I’d stick my hand into the toilet last minute to retrieve it!

  • Kristin March 11, 2010, 2:01 pm

    As one commenter said, the only way he will quit and quit for good is if it is something he TRULY wants for himself.

    My fiance was a smoker. He’s a chef and it’s part of the job, apparently! Lots of stress and the only breaks you get are for cigarettes so that’s what he did! He quit last New Year’s. He was starting to get more active- biking a lot, working out- and thought the smoking was holding him back. He asked for my support- he said it wasn’t going to be easy and I needed to talk him through any cravings he had as well as be a good role model (because although I wasn’t a full-on smoker, I was known to borrow one from him now and then- especially if I had been drinking!). Together, we both kicked the habit. It’s been over a year now and we have never been happier or healthier!

    It’s truly a decision he needs to make for himself. Giving an ultimatum caused him to hide it. I’d have an open, non-judgmental discussion with him. Ask him if this is what he really wants to do and if it is, what you can do to help.

  • Lauren March 11, 2010, 2:04 pm

    P.S. I just wanted to add that ultimatums don’t work because they make the problem all about you and your feelings and what you want him to be. Rather than actually addressing his issue head-on, you’re trying to guilt him into changing. Saying stuff like “Choose the cigarettes or me. Who do you love more?” It’s needlessly inflammatory and makes you seem bratty, when you are actually lovingly concerned for his health.

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama March 11, 2010, 2:04 pm

    I grew up in a family of smokers – my parents and grandparents all smoked around me. I told myself that I was never going to smoke because it stunk and I knew it was bad for me. My boyfriend in high school smoked. I never really had a problem with it, and eventually I started smoking too. I smoked when I was around people who smoked and especially when I would drink. Luckily I was never “addicted” I could go weeks without even thinking that I needed one. After we broke up I would still smoke on occasion but not on a regular basis.
    Now that I have a different mentality on my health, and now that I have a family, I haven’t had one in years. My husband doesn’t smoke, either. I am very much into my running, working out and eating healthy – to go and have a smoke is ridiculous.
    With that being said, smoking is an addiction but it CAN BE BEAT. I would never get involved with a partner who smoked because it’s a trait that I find unattractive and I don’t believe in treating your body like that.
    I feel sorry for the girl who wrote that question. I am sure her boyfriend is a wonderful partner, besides his addiction. But him lying and hiding it from her is not right and the trust between them is fading away. I think she needs to come to terms that if she cannot accept that he smokes then she needs to move on. I know she is trying to help but he is the one that has to change.

  • Amber@minimalistdiaries March 11, 2010, 2:05 pm

    My boyfriend occasionally smokes(like maybe 3 cigarettes a month) and I hate it. It’s not a deal breaker in our relationship because I know he has the capability to stop and is not addicted but I totally sympathize with others who hate dating a smoker. For me it just smells horrible. How do you think your boyfriend would feel if you sprayed yourself with the nastiest smelling cologne and tried to cuddle at night? Day after day? I promise he wouldn’t be a happy camper and would get quite upset.

    Not only does it smell horrible, endanger both of your lungs and become quite expensive(for both of you if you are sharing money), I think the main thing to consider is the health of your children. If you are unsure that your boyfriend will be able to quit smoking when the time comes for you to get pregnant and have a family then yes, I would be hesitant to continue the relationship.

  • Amber March 11, 2010, 2:07 pm

    I am a smoker. I have struggled with it for many years. I want to quit and have several times but unfortunately have not been permanently successful thus far. It’s a work in progress. But I can guarantee I would be less likely to quit if I was given an ultimatum. Relationships are hard work alone and ones with threats are even harder. Don’t make this about you! HE needs to want to do it for himself or he will continue to go back to it. You need to address this in a different way. I can understand why you are upset about him lying and hiding it from you, BUT I wouldn’t want to get bitched out either. Maybe the problem lies deeper than him smoking. Be supportive and it will eventually happen.

    • Jenn March 11, 2010, 2:33 pm

      you are totally correct. one reason alot of people have a hard time quitting is because they get stressed more easily and stress turns them towards cigarrettes, its a vicious cycle. giving someone an ultimatum or ‘bitching them out’ is only stress them out more and have them grab one more smoke.

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion March 11, 2010, 2:10 pm

    I was a smoker for 11 years and am just 2 years smoke free. I can understand why you are frustrated, I know my fiancee was too! We were together 9 years before I actually quit. He would make threats to leave etc. but those don’t work. If the person quits, they have to quit on their own terms and for their own reasons. When he is ready he will quit.

  • Maura @ Maura Me to Love March 11, 2010, 2:10 pm

    I smoked for 5 years and quit almost 5 years ago. I don’t believe that you can force anyone to stop smoking – people only make those kinds of life decisions when they are completely ready. You can’t force someone to lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthier – that person has to WANT it in order to do it. I quit smoking when I realized how pissed I’d be at myself 20 years from now if a doctor walked in and said I was gonna drop dead of lung cancer. And that thought made me put out the cig that I was smoking and never light up again.
    If your gal really can’t handle it – I think she has to be prepared to leave knowing she might not ever get him back. Not leave him in an attempt to encourage him to quit. I guess it’s all give and take – no one’s perfect, right? Sometimes we have to choose to tolerate some things if we want people in our lives, or if we love them that much. I’d respect your reader for either choice that she made. What’s the saying? Love ain’t easy? 😉

  • Jenn March 11, 2010, 2:21 pm

    my boyfriend and i recently quit smoking (5 weeks this coming monday!) and its been great. ive always been a ‘who cares’ smoker. i would smoke if other people had them, when drinking, or just cause, but never had to have them so quitting wasnt big for me really. my boyfriend quit because he was starting to have chest pains accompanied with arm pain (SCARY), he quit the day after this happened and so far hasnt smoked one yet. i know its not easy, it was easier for me. he smoked from mid teens till age 31. i dont really have great advice, but just keep helping him and being supportive, your boyfriend is so young and hes young enough to really prevent future problems later in life. the longer you smoke the harder it is to quit, and the more damage youve done to your body. luckily the chest pains were nothing serious (at least nothing the ER picked up on) hopefully it was just anxiety from other things going on at the time, but the fact that it took something that couldve been really serious to get him to quit sucks.
    hes young and probably has so many other things on his mind than how this is going to effect him later in life, and dont think he is purposely trying to ruin your relationship, he might not realize how very serious you are. heres a helpful tip though for when he really is ready to give it a shot, make lists (easily found on the internet) of all the things that are going to happen when he does quit, not the negatives necessarily bc that can make someone feel lower about themselves, but more like 1 week after quitting such and such happens and after this amount of time your risk for heart disease drops. things like that. good luck and dont give up on him even if he seems like hes giving up on himself. sorry this was so long, hope it helps.

  • Dani March 11, 2010, 2:22 pm

    I can completely sympathize with her. My fiance is a smoker, and has been since we met. I too, in the past, was a social smoker, but have stopped that for over a year and now, if we go out somewhere you can smoke inside, the smell really gets to me. The one thing I have learned is that you can’t force anyone to stop smoking, they just have to be ready. If they’re not fully ready to give it up, they won’t be able to. They have to want to do it for them to be successful.
    It is no easy situation to deal with, but maybe if they really communicate through the whole thing, like if he slips up and knows he can talk with her about it, it would make it a little easier through the process? If you decide to stay, just let him know you are there for him – it won’t be simple, but ultimately, you have to decide whether or not this is a deal breaker for you.

  • Beki March 11, 2010, 2:24 pm

    I have smoked for the past five years of my life. with that said I used to be Anti smoking, i mean i was really mean about it to people ( my friends, my mom and dad etc) I don’t believe you are a bad person for not wanting him to smoke, my husband doesnt like that i smoke and to be honest with you I don’t either. But it is extremly hard to quit i have tried and failed many times. He cant stop because you want him to, it has to be because he is ready to or wants to. I am trying to quit now I have went from almost two packs a day to 5 cigs. a day. This was not easy and has taken months to get to this point. My dad and I are quiting together. He has quit completly after smoking since he was 12 he is now 55 yrs old, He was just ready to do it and we decided to stop together. I have plans for a baby in the next year so that is what is helping me stick to my plan. I still have a lot more work to do. I couldn’t quit when my husband asked me to, I tried and then when i couldn’t i felt that i had let him down and i would feel guilty and cry. I don’t like to disappoint people. I guess what i am trying to get at is that it has to be of his own free will, if you say you love him more than anything you should be able to live with it until he can come to terms with it. Im not sure why it is bothering you so much? I hope that it is your concern for his health, that is the only reason for you to feel this strongly about it. I do wish you both the best of luck and hope that you both can work through this.

  • Tyler Ramey March 11, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Smoking is a totally dealbreaker, in my opinion. Who wants to kiss an ash tray??? Gag me!

    Smoking is an addiction like any other, and needs to be treated as such. There are so many options out there to help someone quit, I encourage any and everyone to try an abundance of method until you find the one that works! Replace that bad habit with a good one! Mentally, you will never know the difference. 😉

  • RhodeyGirl March 11, 2010, 2:27 pm

    I think she just needs to make a choice: to be with him as he is, or to not be with him. She can try as hard as she can to make him quit, but until he wants it for himself, and wants it BADLY, he won’t be able to sustain quitting.

    My dad smoked for many years, and as a child I would try every trick in the trade.. putting a photo of myself in the plastic sleeve of the box, breaking each cigarette and placing it back, hiding boxes of cigarettes. He wanted to quit SO badly for me (and for my brother), but until he wanted it for himself, he couldn’t.

  • Tiffani March 11, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Honestly, I was given “the ultimatum” 2.5 years ago. I wasn’t ready to quit, but I adored my boyfriend. So, I did what I could. Same story quit for 2 months and started again. Quit for 2 weeks and started again. I wasn’t ready to quit. Honestly, I was going to let the relationship go because he knew I smoked when he met me and I shouldn’t have to change who I am and what I do to keep him. It wasn’t fair to either of us. I hid smoking for 1.5 years and I hated hiding it. I felt terrible and when he’d ask, I would deny it. Last July 4th, I had my last cigarette. I was ready to quit for me! It had nothing to do with him, but did have everything to do with being ready. The thing about non smokers is that they don’t understand exactly how hard kicking the habit is. I started when I was 12(yes 7th grade!) and it took until I was 24 years old to finally quit for the last time. It’s hard when there is constant reminders of cigarettes. I stopped going to bars and other smoky places, and that helped kick the habit. I still get cravings, but overtime, for me it gets easier.

    Encouragement goes a long way. Threatening to leave does NOT!!

    Oh, and the boy and I are still together and happy! 🙂

  • Stina @ Girl Can March 11, 2010, 2:34 pm

    I agree with the many other readers who have said a person won’t quit until he/ she is ready to quit. Like loosing weight, eating healthy, working out, whatever, you’re not going to be successful until you decide for yourself its what you want.

    I can totally understand where the reader is coming from as I find smoking repulsive, but it has to be his decision. He’s not going to be successful in quitting until he’s ready to quit.

    I think a serious, ultimatim free, conversation needs to be had. I would suggest having a discussion of why he smokes, why he hides it from her (and the trust issues that go along with this), why she doesn’t like that he smokes, why she doesn’t want to committ to him if he continues to smoke, if he’s willing to quit for good, what she can do/ they can do together to help him, and any other factors. After the discussion she needs to evaluate the situation, and make her decision from there.

  • Ildie March 11, 2010, 2:36 pm

    I smoked from the age of 17 until I was 24. The STRONG menthol brands at that. One day I wheezed while walking up a flight of stairs and decided enough was enough! 24 year old women shouldn’t get out breath because of a few flights of stairs. I quit cold turkey that day. No patches or magic pills. NADA! The first few weeks were rough. It was, for me, mostly about breaking the HABIT not the DESIRE! I always smoked when I went out, on my breaks at work, when I drove etc… Filling that void in between my clammy little fingers was the hardest. Not the way actual smoking made me feel.

    After a few more weeks I was fine and haven’t look back since. Not even once for a secret little puff. That was 9 years ago. (my god I’m getting old…HA) You realize how much it smells on people, on their breath, clothes and in general and you wonder why you ever did it it the first place. Not like it tastes good!

    I’m not saying it wasn’t hard to quit. But saying that it’s just tooo hard is not realistic. You just have to want it bad enough. It’s as simple as that! Same goes with anything else you want out of life.

    Best of luck if you’re trying to quit! 🙂

    On a side note, when I quit, my sister quit, then my Papa and then my Mama. It was a chain reaction of greatness. None of us have smoked since. 😉

  • Dynamics March 11, 2010, 2:38 pm

    My husband died from smoking. He was very young. If you are not ready to quit smoking it will not work. It was very easy for me, after all my husband was dying. You have to make the decision to stay or go. Obviously he is not ready to quit and probably will not quit until he is ready. It is a sad situation. My husbands mother, she still smokes and claims she cannot quit. You have to be ready. No pushing will make it happen. Is there a reason WHY he started smoking after all that time? Maybe resolve that reason and the smoking will come in time. Good luck. Oh, by the way, it is horrible to watch someone you love suffer so much going through the treatment and becoming so, so skinny.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 2:44 pm

      I am so sorry to hear about your husband.

  • Catherine March 11, 2010, 2:41 pm

    My fiance and I both smoked socially when we first met over 6 years ago. I had been smoking since I was about 14 and was 17 when I met the fiance, and even though I wasn’t a heavy smoker it was still really tough for me to quit. Over the past 6 years I’ve probably had about 10 cigarettes total and only in the past two years can I say I haven’t had a single puff. It grosses me out for so many reasons and my cousin recently died of cancer, but for some reason it was still so hard for me to completely quit.

    I know you don’t want to hear this, but maybe give the bf a little slack. He sounds like he’s trying and can see how upset everything is making you. If you truly love him you will never give up until he gets rid of the unhealthy habit, but I don’t know if ultimatums are the way to go. If he thinks you’ll leave him it will only create a bigger need to hide things from you out of fear. It’s just my opinion, but I think you should tell him you will be there for him and anytime he feels like a cigarette he could call you or something. I know smoking is a very serious thing, but unfortunately we can’t force change on anyone – even those that we love. All we can offer is our love, support and understanding. I’m not asking you to turn a blind eye, but perhaps just try to take a different approach as a friend who cares. Don’t stop trying, but try to keep your anger out of the equation.

  • greenbean March 11, 2010, 2:41 pm

    that’s right, it’s an addiction. i don’t think i’d even start a relationship with a smoker. you can’t change people. you can influence habits. but when the habit involves and addiction, it’s even harder. best of luck to you.

  • HC March 11, 2010, 2:48 pm

    He has to quit for himself, not for you. The only way he will quit, or really really quit, is when he decides that he no longer wants to a smoker. Don’t make him feel bad when he has a slip up, encourage him to get right back on track, that is the way to help him, not to cry and leave him. He will only smoke more if you do that. Be by his side as a cheerleader and don’t judge him when he falls victim to his addiction. I know because I was smoker and I quit.

    Chantix is a great program- did it for me, or it helped me because a non-smoker. http://www.chantix.com/

  • Liz March 11, 2010, 2:49 pm

    Like a lot of other people have said, I was an ex-smoker and other people telling me not to smoke was ineffective. In fact, certain people telling me not to would make me want to smoke MORE. My now husband and I essentially quit together, but it was actually much easier for him than for me. I slipped back into the habit, like your reader’s boyfriend, several times over the years.
    While I also sympathize with both sides, I’m not sure if an ultimatum is the right way to go. I would try to get him into cessation programs through a local hospital or health care organization. I would also emphasize that he should be honest with you – if he says you can’t understand he should at least explain to you why he slipped up. If he really can’t quit with support from you and others, than no one can blame you for ending it. Committing yourself to someone who is endangering their health (not to mention yours and possible future children) does NOT make you a terrible person.

  • Cyclist Kate March 11, 2010, 2:50 pm

    The one thing that stuck out to me most in this e-mail is that she is trying to take the responsibility off of herself and place it on her boyfriend by giving him an ultimatum. She is dating a smoker. That is a fact. It is on HER to choose whether or not she can accept him 100% exactly as he is instead of trying to mold him into the partner she wants. I think if we substituted being a smoker with being overweight, we’d all have much different judgments about the situation–it would probably be more “You need to accept him exactly as he is or leave the relationship.” In these situations, these are our only options. Yes, we can be there and ready to be supportive if our partner wants to change, but in the end, we can’t have any attachment to the outcome (i.e. if he loses weight or quits smoking) or we’re setting ourselves up for a world of hurt. In the e-mail, it sounds like she’s angry at him for not meeting a standard that *she* set. Yes, it’s disappointing when somebody we love makes choices we don’t like. But it’s on *us* to decide whether those choices are make-or-break.

    And the lying thing…it sounds like he’s really trying to please her by quitting and was probably ashamed/hurt/feeling rebellious because he wasn’t ready/able to do it. If she takes the pressure off, I bet the lying would stop.

    If I were in this situation, I would try to find the strength to leave. It would hurt a lot because I would probably have in my head, “well, what if he quits?” but again, I can’t be attached to something that is so out of my control. My partner is not perfect, but all of the little quirks that I might not like are things that I can let go of so I can accept him 100% for who he is NOW. If there were bigger things, the stress and hurt wouldn’t be worth it.

    Also, remember that it’s dangerous territory when we coerce our partners into changing for us (yes, you could argue that you want him to change for himself, so he can be healthy, but I don’t think it’s really about that), because that gives them something to resent and/or leverage–not that this would necessarily happen in this relationship, but think about…if he quits for her, then they get married and have a baby and she gains 50 pounds…does that give him permission to criticize her and make her go to the gym 3 hours a day and restrict her food (frankly, I think losing 50 pounds would be a lot easier than quitting smoking)?

  • Beth March 11, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Has her boyfriend tried taking Chantix? It is a medication that REALLY helps with the addictive cravings I am told, and I am a fan of pulling out all the stops when it comes to these things. I think rule #1 is that if you love your boyfriend, you have to learn that he is not perfect and is allowed to slip up from time to time. To err is human. What you should focus on instead of his wrongs is supporting him, and worrying about your needs and when to draw the line for YOU. If he starts back up with no intentions of quitting, then you know that won’t work for you, no matter how strong your love is. The decision is ultimately yours, not his.

  • kay March 11, 2010, 3:00 pm

    my fiance used chewing tobacco back when he was my boyfriend (never around me, and he was super ashamed of being addicted, but couldn’t quit)
    i told him that i wanted to marry someone where i could look forward to a long, happy life with them. not jaw cancer. i didn’t tell him he had to quit, but i made it clear from the time i found out about it that i wouldn’t marry someone who was using.
    you can’t make someone quit, but you can voice concern about things that affect both of you (“i think it’s gross” doesn’t really always work… “i want you to be alive and healthy for our future children’s lives” was more in line with what worked for us)
    he chews nicorette like it’s going out of style some days, but it’s getting close to a year now for him. and really, the person has to want to quit. if they quit just for you, it’s not going to stick. my fiance had to quit for himself, and for us and our lives. not for me.

  • Sarah March 11, 2010, 3:10 pm

    I used to work as a telephone counselor for a tobacco quitline. I specifically worked with family members and friends trying to support a smoker as they quit.

    It is totally up to this reader to decide what she is and isn’t comfortable with in terms of behaviors/habits from anyone she chooses to commit to. That is her right and I wouldn’t judge or look down on her for choosing not to be with him because of it.

    That being said, we always advised people not to use ultimatums since they put even more pressure on the person and putting pressure on them leads to stress, which can be a smoking trigger. The best approach if she wants to stay with him and help him quit is to help him figure out how he can change his environment and habits so he can be most successful, and to support him in this process. We also recommended products like Nicorette and/or Chantix (especially the latter) as they are shown to be effective in reducing the urge to smoke.

    I would suggest she approach him again, apologize for any past fights they have had about smoking, and tell him that she knows it can be difficult but that she wants to help. It is great to use a tool such as a quit ladder (http://www.tobaccofreemaine.org/channels/providers/documents/Quitladder_000.pdf) to begin the discussion. This will show her a good indicator of where he is at in terms of urge to smoke and/or to quit smoking. Then, she should ask him where he wants to be and when he wants to be there. Together, try to set goals to get to that place. We did not usually recommend going from 1-10 immediately since every time a smoker fails to quit it reduces his or her self-efficacy and self-efficacy has been shown to be important in taking on a habit–instead, it is better to cut back on cigarettes (try reducing by 1/day or cut out morning commute cigarette) or try to change a habit (have tea instead of coffee in the morning so they’re not tempted to have the cigarette + coffee combo, for example.) Your state quitline or doctor should be able to provide further help based on the step he is at.

    It is important to be supportive during any relapses. It is a hugely addictive, hard to break habit and it is important to try to keep up his will to change it and his sense of self-efficacy. If there is a relapse, instead of “I’m disappointed in you” try “what’s the next step? What can I do to help make this next try successful?”

    It is also important to change habits and emotional patterns that trigger smoking. You may need to avoid bars, bowling alleys, drinking alcohol/coffee, or completely change daily routines if smoking was a part of his behavior in those places. That is one of the best ways that a support person can help–by making helpful changes alongside the person and encouraging them the whole time.

    This was a totally abridged version of our counseling sessions! 🙂 I know it’s really hard to be encouraging when you’re pissed off, but your encouragment (vs discouragement) could mean the difference between him reaching for the cigarettte and giving up and feeling like he is strong enough to quit since you believe in him.

  • Megan March 11, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Ug this is rough. I could never ever date a smoker. Good job being proactive about how to help him change!Tell him you’re not attracted to him as much when he is smoking–guys fall for thaat every time right?!!!

  • kirsten March 11, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I can really relate to this post. When I started dating my husband he hated smoking just as much as I did. When we graduated college and got jobs he started working at a company where almost everyone smoked. He started smoking here and there so he could take breaks and hang out with them. He knew how against it I was from the beginning. I felt almost betrayed because he wasn’t a smoker when I met him then picked up the habit somewhere a long the way. He promised me on our wedding day that he would never smoke again which I was really happy about but of course about 2 weeks later I caught him with a pack. It’s so frustrating. Luckily he has cut down by about 90% since he stopped working at his old job. He only smokes maybe 2 or 3 times a week now. I wish he would never do it but I guess I should be grateful that he doesn’t smoke a pack a day.

    Good luck with everything. You should update us in a few months! 🙂

    • The Frustrated GF March 12, 2010, 4:41 pm

      I will definitely update Caitlin and she’s completely welcome to pass the message along!

  • Kristina @Mendonpondmusings March 11, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Hi there – This is a really tough one. When Jason and I started dating – he also smoked. Instead of confronting the smoking head-on, I tried to make his eating habits better. As he started to eat healthier and exercise more – he realized that smoking didn’t fit with his new life style. Sometimes you just have to look at it from a different angle – maybe you can’t change your bf but you can certainly help try to point him on a direction.

  • Brenna March 11, 2010, 3:28 pm

    I used to smoke a pack a day (disgusting, I know) in college and quit cold turkey when I started dating a guy who disapproved. Though I am still a social smoker (maybe have a couple a month) I would quit if my relationship were in jeopardy. For me, quitting really wasn’t that hard because I WANTED it. I think your approach to be calm, patient and supportive is right on. I do not mean to sound harsh with this next statement but…. if he’s not willing to give up a disgusting cancer stick for an amazing woman perhaps his priorities are a little out of whack. Just my two cents. Good luck!

  • Meg March 11, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Just wondering re: your 3 changes: no dairy, but they recommend you eat eggs?

    • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 3:31 pm

      yes, its a dairy, but they recommended it in moderation.

      • Christina March 11, 2010, 3:42 pm

        Eggs are considered a dairy product?

        • Caitlin March 11, 2010, 3:44 pm

          to chinese medicine it is.

        • Christina March 11, 2010, 3:52 pm

          That’s funny because I was doing the Weight Watchers program and they grouped eggs into the ‘Dairy’ category. I wonder if they had a chat with a chinese medicinist!

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini March 11, 2010, 3:32 pm

    I am an ex-smoker. I haven’t smoked for a loooonnnggg time but it took me multiple attempts to finally give up for good.

    I don’t think you can make someone give up, I think it just happens when the time is right. For me, changing the rest of the things in my life (diet, exercise, and most importantly beginning the journey to becoming a yoga teacher) led me to the point where I just stopped, without even thinking about it really.

    Maybe the reader’s boyfriend could try something new, like thai chi or martial arts, maybe they could try new healthful pursuits together. It really does make a difference.

    Unfortunately when it comes to addiction, you can’t start to stop until you realy want to.

  • Grace March 11, 2010, 4:03 pm

    Most ultimatums don’t work because people don’t fully follow through on them. If you don’t follow through on your word he’ll never take your demand completely seriously. It sounds like you have given him many chances and will continue to do so.

  • Sharon March 11, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Personally, I would be more concerned with the boyfriend’s deception and denial about smoking. I would much rather have a boyfriend who smoked but was honest with me, than one who ran marathons but lied to my face.

    This is coming from someone who thinks smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body!

  • Jenn @ Livewellfit March 11, 2010, 4:19 pm

    Well I missed the first 114 comments… 🙂

    Can I just say something? This is why I love the world of blogs. Blogs have provided us with a place where strong, honest and open women and men can share their thoughts and beliefs in respectful and truthful ways. I have learned so much from you all out there and I just want to say thank you!

    A beautiful way to see the other side of a situation and to learn how to approach something that is emotional, difficult and hard to accomplish. 🙂

  • Jenn @ Livewellfit March 11, 2010, 4:19 pm

    Well I missed the first 114 comments… 🙂

    Can I just say something? This is why I love the world of blogs. Blogs have provided us with a place where strong, honest and open women and men can share their thoughts and beliefs in respectful and truthful ways. I have learned so much from you all out there and I just want to say thank you!

    A beautiful way to see the other side of a situation and to learn how to approach something that is emotional, difficult and hard to accomplish. 🙂

  • Krysta March 11, 2010, 4:22 pm

    Some good advice here, but lots of opinions that I find a bit above and beyond… My husband smokes and has for years. He started when he was a teen when we were still new in our relationship.
    I don’t like that he smokes, but I don’t harp on him for it. It needs to be HIS decision, not mine. I can’t force him into quitting or else, as another poster mentioned, it will create resentment. There are tons of other activities people do that harm their body as well. Would you be considering leaving him if the issue were to continues to eat McDonalds?
    (I’m sure I’ll get criticism for making that comparison, but honestly…)
    Be real here – this isn’t a major mood-altering addiction. I would be thankful he is not addicted to something worse. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that you have been with him for four years and considering throwing in the towel over … smoking…
    Be honest with him on all accounts, but take a positive reinforcement approach.

  • kate March 11, 2010, 4:39 pm

    i love her response & everyones advice! such a supportive, constructive (usually!) place here in blogland!

  • NC March 11, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Caitlin, I came across u’r blog a couple of months ago and I have been reading ever since . The situation you had described had happened to me . When I started going out my husband ( my then boyfriend) he was a smoker who smoked a pack a day . It has been 9 yrs since we have been together , and in the first couple of years I have fought hard enough and made him quit and he did just for me , but he could not keep it long enough . So is stopped saying anything about his smoking habit at all , it did cause a drastic change but in the last couple of years he had realized how its taken a toll on himself and he needs to take care of himself better , that forced him to quit smoking and he went cold turkey one fine day and hasn’t touched since then . My opinion , honestly is to not force the person to quit , rather explain things that would impact u’r life together beacause of his decision and leave it to him to make the decision but defintely let him know that you would support him if he decides to quit .

  • jewels March 11, 2010, 4:52 pm

    i would continue support him and encourage him to quit. and set barriers to avoid secondhand smoke for yourself as well as any future children you may have.

    But if deep down either way, you don’t want to live without him-i wouldn’t leave. I know lifelong smokers in their 90s and extremely healthy eating/active people who have gotten cancer in 20s/30s. I’m not saying being proactive with your health is of the upmost importance, but if this person is right for you and you want to stay, don’t let any other opinions get in your way.

    good luck!

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) March 11, 2010, 5:28 pm

    I really have no useful advice, but my fiance’s uncle was a model in the 60s and he was the Marlboro Man for awhile. True story.

    Oddly enough, he is now in his 60s and is a champion handball player that doesn’t smoke and is in excellent health!

  • christy from pittsburgh March 11, 2010, 6:02 pm

    Hi. Well, here’s my story. I smoked for many many year (from high school till college and on and off for another 3 yrs). It was hard to quit in the beginning because it was a habit. I wasn’t proud of it, so i would always hide.. i was that typical “closest smoker”. I’m a dentist now, but I smoked on and off throughout dental school. I felt like such a hypocrite, but i just couldn’t stop myself (at least thats what I said to myself). I knew alll about the bad things and I really wasn’t proud of it either. I hid this away from my boyfriends and my family. I never told anyone about this habit until recently (maybe because I quit).

    But I remember thinking to myself one day, ” I want to have many kids and each cigarette I smoke is taking time away from my kids and family. I want to be there and be active with my husband and kids. I can choose to quit smoking now, or I can just keep doing what i do, and just “hope” that I dont get lung cancer one day.

    I started slowly. the first time, I said to myself “okay, this is the last pack i’m going to smoke. once its gone, im done”. that didn’t work. it took many times until finally, I just threw the cig pack away. of course i had cravings, but i just thought to myself, one day at a time.

    My fiance (then boyfriend) did say to me, if I know you’re smoking again. that’s it. I dont think this ultimatum was the only reason why i successfully quick, but i will say it was definitely one of the reasons why i did quick.

    Every once in a while, i’ll get that craving.but I wont act upon it. it’s hard to quit smoking, but i truely believe, the smoker has to want to stop smoking. I had to make that choice that i want to quit.

    From my point of view and my advice to this lady, is you absolutely have every right to pursue what you want. And just like you said, you can’t force your belief upon someone. So my advice is, tell your significant other why you think it’s impt to quit smoking. for example, family, living environment. Your sig other has to make the choice if he want to continue or not continue that habit. If he chooses to continue smoking, then you also have to make a choice whether this is something acceptable to you or not. Maybe he says, i want to quit but im having a hard time. then be a stand for him and stick with him. Help him fight the cravings! YOu have every right to pursue a life you love and he also has that same right.

    I hope this helps! I heard this from a friend today and i think it may be appropriate, ” if there is a will, there is a way”.

    • The Frustrated GF March 12, 2010, 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 Your comment really touched me. And you’re right, if there is a will, there IS a way!

  • Nicole March 11, 2010, 6:33 pm

    My first love was a smoker. It was horrible. I knew he smoked when we met and I fell so hard for him that I let it go. We dated for 2 years and although it was hard, I always dealt with it but swore I’d never date another smoker again.
    Then I met my current boyfriend. We’ve been together almost 6 years and when we first met, he was just picking up the habit again after quitting for a year. I told him flat out I couldn’t do it again, but he really WANTED to quit, so he stopped bc of me.
    Then two years later I got a job in Boston and lived out there alone for 3 months until he got a job. While I was gone, he started smoking again and like you, I lost my cool. Every time he’d pick up a cigarette I’d get SO PISSED. I couldn’t help it; I was so upset and hurt that he had come so far and the second I left he picked it up again.
    Life isn’t perfect. There are things that I do that seriously piss him off too that I feel like I can’t control. (I have a hard time communicating my feelings sometimes) But we talked about it and with patience (from me,) time, and effort (from him) he was able to quit again.
    I know how hard it is to date and love a smoker. I sympathize with you 100%. But I also had to learn how to understand his side too. It sucks–I know it does. Good luck with everything and I really hope he can finally make the change for good.

  • Meghan@traveleatlove March 11, 2010, 6:35 pm

    I know I am super late to comment, but I know where you are coming from, except the smoker was my father. As a kid all I ever wanted was for him to stop. He did a number of times but always reverted back to smoking. I hated knowing that he was sneaking it, smoking at work or in the car. I loved him so much that knowing that he was hurting himself made me nauseous, panicky, and soooo upset.
    I hope your boyfriend can explore ways to quit for himself first and foremost, and then for you and all the people who love him. Unfortunately my father never thought he was worth it, and I lost him 8 years ago last week. I always say that if people could see the grief they left behind because of awful health choices, they would never have made those choice, but I guess thats difficult to see until it happens. Good luck to him and to you.

  • Christine March 11, 2010, 6:38 pm

    My Dad was a smoker basically all his life – he started when he was NINE(!!!) in the UK and is now 64. He went through sort of the same thing as your blogger buddy quitting and restarting. The doctor prescribed him Champix (this might only be the Canadian name!?) and he has been smoke-free for a year and a half!!!!!! He’s never gone this long without smoking and he says he actually feels like he’s kicked it this time!!!
    Good luck!!!!

  • erin March 11, 2010, 7:08 pm

    my fiance didn’t smoke when we first got together. about 1 year into it, he started up smoking again (he used to smoke when he was younger). and he HID it from me. Soon enough i found out. he’s quit multiple times at my urges. i’ve done the threatening thing – i know how you feel! it really isn’t the way to go about it, but it’s the dishonesty that gets to me too! i want him to quit for himself, i know he will eventually, i just rather sooner than later!

    i don’t kiss him — we are not intimate if he smokes. I hate it. it’s affected our sex life because he’s gotten to the point where if he has 1 cigarette, i won’t go near him! yes we’re about to get married in 7 months, hopefully he’ll have kicked the habit for good by the time we get married.

    it seems like a lot of people have gone through the same struggles!

  • Amy Ramos March 11, 2010, 8:03 pm

    I know I am late on this but I wanted to give my perspective on this. My husband has been cigarette free for almost 3 yrs (April 30th is his anniversary date). How was he able to quit? Because I let him quit on his own.
    Yes,you gave him an ultamatium but honestly those do not work and it did not work with my husband. My husband smoked for almost 9 years. Yes, I knew going in the relationship he did it and I thought it was a phase b/c he was in college. And yes, I admit I smoked too but I quit over 10 yrs ago. As our relationship continued, I knew it was an addiction. When he was stressed from work, he would smoke. After dinner, he had to have a cigarette.
    I do not view anyone who smokes a bad person, they just have a bad addiction. He decided one day he had enough and quit. It was tough. I am not going to lie. During his withdrawals stage, he would get angry with me for no reason. I knew it was not him but the addiction trying to take over. He also told me he wanted to quit b/c he wanted to have a family with me. A third reason was the money. Here it is almost $5 a pack for cigarettes. He was a pack a day smoker and that adds up fast!!
    My suggestion/advice is to let him quit on his own. Offer help-offer to buy the patches or the gum or go to a smoking cessation class with him. I understand that you want him to stop but he’s not ready. When you put that amount of pressure on a guy (me or cigs), it is not going to work.
    He goes through this on a daily basis and he tells me there are times he has the urge but he knows he is doing this to better himself.
    I am not saying it was ok to lie and while it is true you may not understand, you need to understand.
    Good luck!

  • Ivy March 11, 2010, 8:59 pm

    I know I’m a little late replying, but I have a lot of experience with this situation. My husband is a smoker, and has been since he was 13 (he’s 23 now). I am a nonsmoker and a nursing (RN) student, and it kills me that he smokes because I know EVERY. SINGLE. THING. it does to the body. I used to constantly “nag” him about quitting and we’d end up arguing. After my mental health rotation, though, I realized that you can’t (with any addiction) make someone quit something; they really have to want to quit for their own reasons. I also have, after five years of marriage, realized that you have to decide if you’re going to let one flaw of your mate ruin something that otherwise makes you incredibky happy. I can’t imagine having anyone else by my side, so I decided to not preach to him all the time (not that you are, just saying this about myself) about stopping smoking and just let him quit when/if he gets ready. I hate that his habit might take him from me sooner, but to be honest, I’d rather have him by my side for however long I have him than a non-smoking, healthier husband for a longer period of time.

  • AKP March 11, 2010, 9:26 pm

    Super late to post but- I was that smoker!!! I met my now husband, who had quit prior to “us.” I still smoked. He NEVER pressured me, only supported me when I decided to do it myself. I am not one for ultimatums. I feel we need to change for ourselves. I did it for me!!! THE BEST ADVICE is to be open, honest and real. When he does try to quit support him and know it is HARD HARD HARD WORK… I used to even DREAM about smoking when I first quit! To help with cravings, I would drink a full glass of water and go for a run! Running became my motivation to remain smoke free. I couldn’t even run 6 minutes without wanting to quit, but now I feel like I can run forever some days!
    My husband NEVER did anything but support me, and that is what you should do 🙂 You don’t have to go buy cartons for him, but when he wants to talk about it or try (and maybe fail a few times) just LOVE him through each day!!!

  • Carolina John March 11, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Kelley and I both didn’t stop smoking until we were in our 30’s. he has to want to stop before he will, nothing she can do will make him put them down. i replaced smoking with triathlons, and it was one of the hardest things i’ve ever done.

  • Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) March 11, 2010, 10:47 pm

    A little behind on this topic but I hope you can send it on to her. #112 “Krysta” said it
    well.

    My husband smoked when I met him in 1991. I hate smoke, it givs me a headache, makes my nose itch, and is disgusting. We got married in 2000 and he’d quit for about 4 months so our honeymoon was smoke free. Then he started again. We had our son in 2003 and he quit again for a bit. We’ve moved 4 times in 10 years, he’s had 3 job changes, and everytime he starts smoking there’s always an “excuse.”

    In 2006 he started having chest pains. I didn’t know how serious they were til Xmas of that year. By March of 2007 he’d stopped smoking because the pain was too much, and I sent him to a cardiologist because the doctors and their tests couldn’t figure out what was wrong. In April, the day after our son turned 4, he ended up with a 5-way heart bypass!! He started smoking again by Xmas. He had an abdominal aortic anuerysm repaired in November of 2008. And he took up smoking cigars for awhile to get off cigarettes. But soon he was smoking 3-4 a day. And those things are nastier than cigs! Our son knows cigarettes are bad for you – my husband doesn’t smoke in the house or around us at all (not in the car, etc) and I make it clear that he stinks from cigarettes when he comes inside, and I won’t kiss an ashtray. 

    After his heart surgery, I was SO mad at him for smoking again. I told him that I was NOT gong to take care of him and have our son watch him die of lung cancer someday. Do you think that helped? No! Will I take care of him if that does occur? Yes! Because that’s what we do when we love someone. When he realizes it’s time to quit for good, he’ll do it. (He’s smoked since he was about 20. He’s 67 now – yes, much older than I am but like I’ve said to others, you can’t pick who you fall in love with. He’s tried going cold turkey, the patch, chantix, wellbutrin, etc. etc.) No one is going to make him quit, and my being on his case about it has only made him want a cigarette even more. We fall in love with people for all sorts of reasons. Inevitably we realize they (and we) are not perfect, they have habits that aren’t going away, and we need to see the big picture. Someone who isn’t in favor of universal healthcare recently told me that my husband wouldn’t deserve coverage because he’s a smoker. That really pissed me off. And I stood up for him because – no matter how much I hate his smoking – he’s a wonderful, handsome, intelligent, funny, giving human being, a wonderful father and the love of my life. It could be worse. He could have addictions like Ozzie.

    • Caitlin March 12, 2010, 8:52 am

      you are a strong woman… i’m sorry about your husband’s health problems but i really admire you.

  • Michelle @ H.E.R. March 12, 2010, 8:04 am

    I just wanted to stop in to make sure your OK. I saw some tornado’s tore through central Florida last night.

  • Abbey M. March 12, 2010, 8:48 am

    My husband has been a smoker since he was 14. I am not a smoker nor have I ever been a smoker. When we first met we were in college. Most of the time when we hung out we were with friends at bars. We both had full time jobs and were full time college students so that was just the lifestyle at that time. I knew he smoked but I just assumed it was while he was drinking, as lots of people do. When we first moved in together and both graduated, I still didn’t realize that he smoked during the oridinary day. He sometimes would smell like it because he worked in a restaurant but he NEVER smoked at home so I had no clue. I was just being blind to the fact, I guess. We have had our talks about him quitting and he has definitely cut back but he hasn’t quit completely. About 3 years ago he told me that he has always promised himself that he would quit smoking when we have children. He knows what a bad habit it is and it doesn’t want to subject our children to it. Even though we don’t have children yet, I am going to hold him to this. We have had so many fights about smoking that I am surprised it didn’t tear us apart. My best advice would be to not lose sight of why you want him to quit. You want him to quit because you are concerned about his health and you love him. You want to live a long and happy life together. You can only help a person as much as they want to be helped, then you have to either let it go and let them go if you can’t live like that.

  • Nikky March 12, 2010, 9:19 am

    This is late, but ah well.

    My boyfriend is a smoker, has been since he was 14 (he’s 24 now). We’ve been together 6 years. In the first couple years we were together (maybe the third year?), I tried the ultimatum thing (not for the first time). And he left. I learned real quick that as much as I hate the smoking, I’m not willing to lose him by trying to force him. I can’t relate, I can’t understand how hard it is. I know he wants to quit, and every time he mentions trying something I go into instant cheerleader mode. When he’s ready, he’ll do it. It’s not my addiction, and I’ve learned that pressuring him just makes him try to hide it, which gets us into fights.

    I have informed him that we won’t be having children until he’s smoke free, however. That’s one “ultimatum” I’m prepared to stick with.

  • Alison March 12, 2010, 2:11 pm

    I’m in love with a smoker!!

  • shawna March 12, 2010, 3:20 pm

    I didn’t read all the responses and this is late, but I just wanted to add my experience.

    I met and started dating my DH when I was 17 and he was 21. For the record, I’m now 34. When we first met, he rarely smoked. He would occasionally have a cigarette when he was drinking, but other than that, he didn’t smoke. It didn’t bother me terribly, although, I never wanted to date a smoker having grown up with a mother who smoked.

    As the years went on, he started smoking more and more regularly. He would never smoke in our cars or house, but he steadily went to almost a pack a day. Every now and then I would mention that smoking isn’t good for him. I’d come across an article mentioning some specific damage, etc. and tell him the info. He said he was going to quit after our wedding in 2004, but that never happened. Then, he set a date to quit smoking after the birth of our daughter in 2006. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen either. (he never smoked around our daughter and would change his smoked-in clothes before being with her)

    About 2 months ago, he decided he was quitting. I’m not sure what it was, but he said it was time for him. He used Chantix to quit, and now he can’t believe what a disgusting habit he used to have.

    I guess what I’m saying is, you can’t make him quit. He has to quit on his own terms.

  • Steph March 12, 2010, 5:51 pm

    I am responding a bit late, but wanted to add my two cents.
    I want to reiterate what everyone else has said: quitting is hard. I have asthma and BOTH my parents smoked (my asthma was acquired, too.. I wasn’t born with it). My mom quit for me. She never smoked when pregnant, but would always start again. I asked her once when I was 9 why she was smoking again, and she said she felt so guilty for lying to me that she just up and quit and hasn’t smoked since (almost over 15 years).
    My dad on the other hand has smoked about a half pack or less my whole life. I tried to make him quit growing up and he ended up lying to me. I ended up giving up because I realized as I got older that as long as he didn’t do it around me, he wasn’t going to change his habit.. he doesn’t see a problem with it.
    Ultimatums are NEVER good, let me tell you that.. often times they just push people away.

  • Paula May 17, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I’m a “trying to quit” smoker. I like to consider myself a non-smoker, and do pretty well with it unless I get stressed about something…. but here’s the thing; he’s not trying to “lie” to you in a bad way like he’s cheating…. the guy is addicted. He’s ashamed, and he obviously loves you or he would tell you to deal with it or let him go. The fact that he’s trying to quit and fails, but keeps trying, says volumes. Cut him some slack and help him. If you love him, love him with his character flaws and accept him as is. He KNOWS it’s not healthy. He knows it’s bad for him, and he knows that he doesn’t want to lose you. He’ll muster up the strength to do it. In the meantime, have his back and don’t give an ultimatum. If you do, he will tell you ok I’ve quit just not to lose you. Don’t put either one of you in that position. After you have been smoking for years it’s a hard, hard thing to just put them down, but it can be done…. especially if you know someone out there loves you enough to stand by you through it.

  • Amanda Lineberry July 14, 2011, 12:09 am

    I haven’t read all of these responses yet, but I hope you’re still reading your responses! I’m 20 and my bf is 24, we’re the same age as the two of you, a year behind you now 😉 but we’ve only been dating for about 2 months. It feels like it’s been so much longer than that, and every day we’re continually growing.

    Like you, smoking is the only thing that bothers me about Jesse. I’ve lived with it my whole life and I hate smoking passionately. I know that to be with Jesse that it will be a constant struggle, but I’m afraid that if I stay with him I will be compromising my hard work against smoking, my strong passion against it. I too don’t want to just tell him that it’s either me or smoking because that’s no reason to quit. It has to be on his own, which he wants to stop, he just hasn’t managed to do so yet. His actual smoking doesn’t bother me because he never does it around me, but I know that if we’re living together it won’t be quite so easy to avoid. Anyway, my dad was an addict, is an addict actually, and it’s created a lot of problems between us, but I also know that no one can quit with out the love and support they need behind them. Otherwise, what’s the point if no one cares about you anyway?

    Would you consider it compromising my beliefs, my passion to just say it’s okay? It’s not the smoking, it’s also the addiction. The promise to do something, but never living up to it. I can’t pretend that I’m not upset, and I can’t constantly bare down on him because then he’ll start hiding it from me. He’s already not telling me unless I ask, when he used to tell me every time he smoked. How do other people handle it? Your story does really make me feel good =)

    Thanks!
    Amanda

  • Marcy July 20, 2011, 12:37 pm

    My mom was a smoker, and I passionately hate cigarettes–the smelly house, car, and clothing, the ridiculous and needless damage to health, the costs. I and my three brothers all hate smoking and tried to get her to quit over and over throughout our childhoods and adult lives. She tried, too, with varying levels of commitment, for over 20 years. She died of lung cancer seven years ago.

    I could never date/marry a smoker. If my children (two teenage boys) end up smoking, I don’t know how I could deal with it. I have a lot of compassion for smokers who are trying to quit. I have heard it is one of the hardest addictions to overcome.

  • AmandaonMaui July 20, 2011, 4:51 pm

    My boyfriend was a smoker when we got together 7 years ago, and he had been smoking for a very long time before that. However, a couple years ago he got the serious flu and he couldn’t even get up or sit up for a smoke. So, he asked me to go get him some patches to deal with the nicotine fits. He made the choice. That’s the thing with smokers, they really have to be the ones to say they’re ready to quit. He could have waited, and gone back to smoking after he was well enough again, but he didn’t. He decided it was time. The opportunity was there, and he took it. I could never force him to quit, and so I accepted that it was something that was a part of him that I would have to deal with. There’s plenty in myself he has to deal with I’m sure. If you love someone so much, you’ll accept them for who they are.

  • Melissa July 21, 2011, 11:01 am

    When my bf & I met 7 years ago, we were both smokers. We quit last May. I took up running to keep my mind off of it, and he eventually started smoking again in July. It’s tough to be around someone who smokes all the time, especially when cigarettes were a part of my life for 10 years. I’ll be honest, I still have some once in awhile, mainly when I’m drinking – the two go hand in hand for me. I won’t switch back into full blown smoker though, because it will interfere with my running. Thankfully I have that. I know he eventually wants to quit, but says the time isn’t right. He’s 100% right. If you want to quit, you will. If you don’t, then you won’t. I’m not going to push the issue, but I can’t wait til that day when he isn’t a smoker anymore!

  • Doris April 5, 2012, 10:57 pm

    I, unfortunately gave the love of my life that ultimatum & had to walk away from our relationship. I am 36 and ready for children and marriage. He has told me he’s been in love with me since he first saw me at age 17, & yet he could not quit smoking for me. It’s been 2 years and we still talk but he hasn’t quit smoking and I haven’t moved back in.

    Moral of the story is, he’ll quit when he wants to & the addiction is more powerful than anything. I know he loves me more than his life, but he still can’t quit smoking ciggarettes.

  • Doris April 5, 2012, 10:58 pm

    oh, I forgot to mention, we were together 10 years & I still couldn’t get him to quit!

  • Carrie May 27, 2012, 12:45 am

    I realize that this is a very old discussion, but still wanted to share. I grew up with parents who smoked- as many others have who’ve responded and always hated it. I was embarrassed and hated the smell. Ten years ago my mother got lung cancer and died after three years. It was traumatizing. 🙁 luckily my father did quit and is in good health. I have to say that I honestly do think there comes a time when an ultimatum needs to be given. Yes, if someone knew going in it may not be very fair to make that demand, however, I think there is something to be said for making intelligent decisions. I have never dated a smoker, considering my past. I did have one person lie to me and smoke during our two year relationship. I’m sorry but I could not stay with someone who lied, but also I could not put my (future) children in that situation.

    To be honest, I’ve battled addiction to Xanax which was prescribed for anxiety. I had no idea how addictive it was, but I became dependent and it was extremely difficult to beat. I’m a little sick of hearing about how difficult quitting smoking is. Any addiction is tough.. I get that! At the same time, so many people have quit smokin successfully. Plus, in this day and age I think people are really aware of how damaging smoking can be. I wish I had had that knowledge about Xanax prior to taking it. I sure as heck wouldnt expect someone to support it or stay with me until I was “ready” to quit. Once I realized I was physically dependent I quit. I wouldn’t expect someone to commit his life to me if I had that addiction.. Especially not with kids I our future.

  • Mahogany August 6, 2013, 3:39 pm

    I recently started dating a gentleman who smokes heavily. He doesn’t smoke around me but the smell gets into everything and I’m sure it changes your body chemistry…in terms of how he smells and tastes. I simply can’t stand it but I tolerate it because he’s a great guy…a great guy who happens to smoke. I try not to put pressure on him to stop as I know it’s difficult. I’m between a rock and a hard place, as he’s seems like a keeper (only know him a short time) but at the same time, I don’t want to gag when he goes in for a kiss every time 🙁

  • rachel December 19, 2013, 1:46 pm

    I am very familiar with this battle. My husband and i just recently got married in April ’14 but were together for 3 years before that. He was a smoker when we first started dating and wasn’t really an issue at first. You may say “if you don’t like cigarettes don’t date a smoker”, but you can’t help who you fall in love with. I think it’s completely unfair to use, “well he was smoking before you started dating” because like she said, relationships are about bending, and compromising, and being considerate of the person you promised the rest of your life to. And if everyone stuck to a smoker’s logic of “i was doing this before you” then nobody would ever change, and things would just go around in circles. And according to a smoker’s logic, if i was bulimic, or anorexic before we got together, then it makes it okay for me to continue to be that way. I would hope that my husband who says he cares about me would try to get me to stop if i had a life threatening habit like that. Smoker’s are selfish and constantly put their happiness above anyone else’s. I love my husband so much, i want to be with him forever and i don’t want to lose him to something he could have prevented. Why should i have to live with second-hand smoke just because i happened to fall in love with a smoker? At some point our relationship has to mean more than smoke.

  • slmc November 12, 2014, 5:32 pm

    I am in virtually the same situation as this woman. Recently i gave my boyfriend the ultimatum but that made the situation worse and now he smokes regularly but is extremely reluctant to tell me anything about it, because he doesnt want to upset me. However this makes me extremely anxious and I am going to get help for that, I worry that keeping this from me will create a distance. I completely understand the predicament and know that it might just be something I have to do for love.

    • shanna February 8, 2015, 4:08 am

      My husband has been smoking for years now. Recently I told him it’s that or more I think more so after I seen my dad go through open heart and tube and wires everywhere it was soo hard that I knew I couldn’t go through that again with someone I love. A week he was supposed to be smoke free we even got the gum and everything I was so excited that he was doing so well. Until today when I smelled it on him and immediately knew he has been cheating. I got really upset asked him about it and he still denied it. I was so angry went off on him yelled at him yes I dealt with it awful but I think it made me more upset that he was lying to me to my face when we both knew the truth. I feel bad that I acted so horribly but I can’t stand being lied to and told him that he kept saying how serious he was of quitting and that he wasn’t supposed to accept any or buy any but of course he did so I am upset and not sure how to deal with it all. I know it may sound stupid to get mad about but with all the bad stuff that has happened to the people I love it just upsets me that he’s still smoking. I just don’t want anything to happen to him and I find myself in the hospital with someone I love to due with smoking.

  • Gina March 7, 2015, 9:11 pm

    I am an ex smoker of 15 years. It was the best thing I could have done for myself and my daughter. I had tried to quit a few time before I succeeded. about 3 years ago I moved in with my boyfriend who smokes. At first I thought it wasn’t a big deal, but actually it is. We talked about him quitting from the beginning & he half heartedly tried. I know that sounds harsh, it is, but I’m an ex smoker & I know what it takes. It takes someone to actually want to quit. In no way does my boyfriend want to quit even though he said in the beggining he wanted to. which I know now was to pacify me. His actions prove that he enjoys it and has no desire to stop. Im so digusted, im ready to move on.

  • Harsh September 25, 2015, 10:38 pm

    It’s a old story but a big issue today. I’m a regular smoker. I have tried to many times to quit but never succeed.why?

    Right now I am smoking while typing. I need a alternative of cigarettes so I can quit.
    It’s about me and I really need a help because I have failed to many times in order to quit smoking. Many people write in their blogs how to quit smoking.

    It’s not about method. It’s about how was you feeling. When I really wanted to smoke. I feel a fire burning in my heart that time I am unable to thing about anything else. Or you will think about me I am mentally sick but I’m writing this in my full control.

    But loneliness will make you smoke again and again that is my personal experiences. If I am alone for a 10 min. I’m thinking about how to smoke. What should I do. I am took 10-12 cigarettes daily. When I added weed thing is getting worse and worse. I’m losing my self and my mind keeps telling me I am not doing right thing.

    I’m searching for a alternative. So everyone can buy from shops in place of cigarettes. I have tried to many things. I have made spinach cigarettes in non nicotine paper.
    But smoke is not good for human body. I want something healthy.

  • Mikalina September 30, 2015, 10:08 pm

    I’m in the same boat right now. I’m 17 and he’s 20 and me and him have been fighting like crazy and I can’t stress it enough about how much I care for him and his health! This has helped me reading this and I guess I need to be more lenient about things. I get scared about the drinking, pot, and cigarettes but I guess I need to just let him quit on his own. And not pressure him because I will lose if I keep pushing and forcing him to stop something he’s not ready to stop.

  • Angela October 20, 2015, 11:25 pm

    I have been married 11 years to a smoker. He spends all his time in the backyard. If I want see him I have to breath in the smoke. When we go out everytime the car stops he has to have a cigarette. I feel like the third wheel. Think twice before moving forward with the relationship. You will end up resenting him and his mistress and spending a lot of time alone or waiting in him.

  • Claudette November 23, 2015, 8:01 am

    I’m in love with a smoker and I also threatened to leave if he doesn’t stop smoking.It’s been a year and I’m still in love with him.He hasn’t stopped and I love him for the man he is(which is a good man).He loves and excepts me as I am and he never asked me to chnge a thing.LOVING A GOOD MAN.

  • Scot November 27, 2015, 11:30 am

    I tried to date a smoker but could not.wouldn’t you know that’s happened again?!I grew up around cigarette smoke with nearly every family member smoking and as a result since the 4th grade I’ve had pneumonia 9x. I’ve had xrays done and I’m fine but I do have some scarring on my lungs.the doctors ask me if I smoked or if I was in love with a smoker or married to a smoker or what and I explain to them. when I visit I leave the room as much as I can but then I’m called rude or inconsiderate because I’ve known all along these people smoke. regardless of what one thinks or does not think I can not breathe the cigarette smoke it stings my nose and when I leave the house and go home and take a shower the black ash and the residue literally comes off of my skin in the shower on to the floor and the tile in the bathroom on the floor of the shower. when I wash my hair the hot water goes up and it smells like cigarettes I have seen the black residue come off of my scalp. I have a hard time breathing for a couple of hours afterwards and I’m relieved to have left it.it makes no sense to me when some of my dear loved ones in my family have to have a breathing treatment and I’ll go take one and then go into another part of the house and light up a cigarette or an entire pack over the course of a day. these are people that I love and they’re not bad people but their habit is infringing on my right to breathe. This habit will infringe on your unborn children and your entire house and you and your health and entire being will be compromised over it if you marry a smoker. Furthermore, when your children have friends over chances are they will notice the smell in your house that you will become used to if you live with a smoker. the edge of the room the borders the paint the furniture the clothes one’s teeth one’s hair and one skin are all affected by this. can you live with this? You are not a terrible person for asking such questions. nor do you deserve lectures from people who say if you love him you’ll put up with this. if he loves you the cigarettes will go! in conclusion, your love life in your forties and fifties will be compromised buy cigarettes or it could be all the greater without them. there’s nothing sexy about smoking. 3. And it is a detriment to you spiritually as well. you have the right to ask and question you have the right to live breathe end enjoy clean air with someone you love.

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