Convincing someone to stop

One of my sons has started smoking at the age of 25, ok he's old enough to make his own choices, but I am so angry and upset. My husband stopped smoking at 27, both my dad and father in law stopped in their sixties and no one else in the family smokes. He only started 4 months ago and I found out because I could smell it. He never smokes in front of any of the family and never smokes once he is home. No one but me and my husband know as he keeps it secret from family. How can I convince him to stop? He socialises with friends, who he has known for years, and yes at least four of them smoke. I have given the talk about how upset his grandparents would be and how I will never allow him to smoke in front of me. But why start smoking now?

Please try to help, if you can.

16 Replies

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  • Hiya Thundercloud and welcome to quit support :)

    I can understand you being angry and upset that your Son is smoking and I'm not really sure how you can convince him to stop. As you say he socializes with other smokers who are his friends and I think at 25 he is trying to fit in with them and is more likely to listen to his friends than his parents. I think perhaps you should show him posts of people on here trying to quit and get him to realise it would be much better to stop now, rather than later. Everyone on here wishes they had NOT started smoking. It really is the best possible thing for his health to stop now. Do you think there is any chance he would post here and we would tell him how awful it is? Afraid I can't answer the question Why smoke Now but has something stressful happened and he has been persuaded to smoke, thinking wrongly it will help. I would love to help you more but perhaps someone else will come on with more help. Wishing you well :) x

  • Thank you for your reply, I have printed some items and will show him. I will tell him that I have posted on here and hope that he realises how much it means to me for him to stop. He works full time, he is a great son and is polite, so I do feel that I should be greatful for this, but I just can't let him do this to himself. As I say, these are school friends so I don't understand why he has started now, nothing has happened as far as I am aware. I have had a one to one talk with him and he has said that he doesn't know why he started, he intends to keep it quiet from everyone in the family as he knows how upset and.....fustrated with him, they will be. I will have another chat with him and of course keep you all updated.

    A big thank you to everyone on here.

  • Hi ya Thundercloud and a big warm welcome to this lovely quit support forum :)

    I can see the Girls have given you some great advice already :) and I'm sorry I cant better it, but please dont push him toooo hard eh, cos he will just dig his heals in more :o

    Am just wondering if he has a girlfriend :o that dosnt smoke, cos then, perhaps you could get her on your side :) cos Love is a very strong thing, as I'm sure your aware of :) Then, all she would have to say to him is, that she dosnt like the stink of fags on his clothes and breath :P in a round a bout way of course ;) :D

    I will keep my thinking cap on and see if I cant come up with something better :o

    Please keep us posted, Pete :)

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. He doesn't have a girlfriend, and I'm not sure if any of the girls in his circle of friends smoke, but his two best friends do and have done for years so I can't see that they would have influenced him. I will talk to him over the weekend and of course keep you updated.

  • Hi Thundercloud and welcome :) :)

    I feel your anger and frustration with you son. Like Briar said, if we could turn back time, NOT one of us would have ever started smoking in the first place and especially after finding out just how hard it to quit. Sadly, it is a decision your son has to make on his own, I am sure he is fully aware of of the risks of smoking .Peer pressure is often the reason for young people to start, especially when their mates are doing it. Sometimes the more you make a big deal of it the more they rebel :D I hope for this is a passing fad for him. Sorry i am not much help :(

  • Hi thundercloud, I wish i had some wonderful bit of advice for you but I'm afraid I don't other than make sure the facts are available, make sure you support efforts to stop and don't push. I'll tell you for why...

    I started smoking at 13, my mother threw a fit (despite smoking herself) and banned me from smoking in her sight. I smoked out of her sight. By the time I started smoking we were having lessons in school depicting throat cancer, mouth cancer, lung cancer, you get the picture. I was stubborn and thought 'that won't happen to me, it's just scaremongering'. I knew best, right? When I was 21 my beloved dad was diagnosed with throat cancer, smoking related. It wasn't going to happen to me. He was cured. So it couldn't be smoking related right? My dad died when I was 25. He had brain cancer, it was horrendous, I was (and still am 15 years later) heartbroken, but it wouldnt happen to me, right? 13 years after his death I came to my senses and quit the habit, shortly shy of my 40th birthday. I made the decision because I needed and wanted to make it for myself. I was at the stage in my life where I made an informed choice about what I wanted in my life. If I could have got dad to stop smoking so he could still be here I would, but I couldnt change his mind. Life is about information and choices and though it's hard for those of us standing in the sidelines watching the play that is someone else's life all we can actively do is offer information, support and choices and hope that eventually the right choice is made.

    I'm fairly sure in your sons case this is a fad that will pass and you are obviously a wonderful, caring parent. I'm sure sense will prevail :) good luck and brightest blessings x

  • Hi,

    Thank you for that, my dad actually gave up smoking when he was diagnosed with cancer, he had an operation and was ok for five years but then it returned and was terminal and he died 8 months later, my mum died five days after my dad of heart disease which we never knew she had, nor did she, she never smoked........ Anyway, when I said his grandparents would be upset I knew my mum and dad would have been and I know that my mother and father in law would say, 'what a silly boy', this is why Im so upset, I need my son to think about why both of his grandads stopped smoking.

    I am going to show him all of this chat and hope it guides him in the right direction. It means a lot to know that people on this forum are taking the time to reply to me. Thank you x

  • Oh, that must have been such a hard time for you :( no wonder you so desperately don't want your son to choose that path. Hopefully seeing the stories on here will help, after all we are all people that have, or are in the process of overcoming addiction. Anything we can do to help we will, even if it is just a sounding post :) x

  • Hi,

    I printed my post and the replies and gave them to my son. He realises how much it means to me that he stops smoking but hasn't really said anything. I have no idea if he will stop but am not too confident as he socialises with smokers every friday and may find joining them too hard to resist. I feel that if his friends didn't smoke then he never would have, also still find it weird that he has started at the age of 25 when his friends have smoked for years.

    I will keep you updated x

  • Hi Thunder, it's good you showed your son the posts and I guess you have to give him time to realise himself coz unfortunately no matter how much you want someone to quit, they have to really want it themselves. I hope for his own sake he sees the big mistake he is making :) :) x

  • Hi everyone,

    I gave my son the printout of my post and all of your replies and he said that he read them. Yesterday when he came home from work I thought that I could smell that stale cigarette smell on him and I did lose it a bit and accused of him smoking and said how disappointed his granddads would be and also that he was being hypocritical for making a monthly payment to cancer research. He said that he wasn't smoking, so I replied that I am sorry if I'm wrong for accusing him but he should be sorry if he's lying to me. We do have. Few log burners where we live and I end up thinking is it them that I can smell when he comes home, with the door being opened, I really don't know

    So I still have no idea if he is or not but I can't just go on accusing him in case he isn't. I just hope that he has seen sense.

    Thank you for reading. Xx

  • Hi Thundercloud, yes it's a tricky situation but I'm thinking maybe as his friends smoke it could be you smell that on him as well. As you know if you sit in a room or car with a smoker it clings to you as well. Maybe ease up a bit and see how things go as it makes life difficult when there's tension in the house. Hope for the best he's seen sense, take care :) :) x

  • Hey Thundercloud.... I think you need to leave your son to it, as you say he's a grown man and I know you and your husband are really concerned, but its only him who can make that decision to stop... Maybe he will meet someone who doesn't smoke which may help him make that decision :( Sorry hun :( xo

  • He is grown--and the more you hound him the more he will smoke--provide him with some educational materials--tell him about this site--and hope and pray--You can lead a horse to water but cant make them drink--Good luck--xx MmeT

  • he's an adult, let him make his own decisions, just lay down ground rules for yourself to protect the nonsmokers around you. i dont allow my husband to smoke in the car, for example.

  • Hello Thundercloud. I have a 25 year old who started smoking in his final year at uni. I too went berserk which he said was hypocritical as I was smoking. I pointed out to him that it was because I loved him that I didn't want to take the path that I had. I am sure you will have said the same to your lad. 

    My husband and I then refused to talk about him smoking and everyone in the family gave him the same treatment. They don't smoke. In the end he just quit. He said it was because he realised it was so expensive financially and healthwise.  He is now 3 years clean. He told me that the more I talked about it to him it made him annoyed. However when we refused to discuss it and made him go outside he realised how v upset we were. I am not sure if this helps but it is our experience. 

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