How to Help your Partner Quit Smoking


If you have a partner who smokes, it can be hard to watch them put their health at risk.

You may feel helpless and frustrated that there's nothing you can do to help.

But the truth is, there are several ways you can support your partner in quitting smoking for good.

From providing emotional support to understanding the challenges they face, couples counseling might be a good solution as well. Here are some tips on how to help your partner quit smoking once and for all.   

Addiction Therapists in Colorado

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Bethany Cantrell, LPCC

Bethany Cantrell, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Andreea Felea, LPCC

Andreea Felea, LPCC

(719) 602-1342
Katherine (Kate) Taylor, MBA, MA, LPC

Katherine (Kate) Taylor, MBA, MA, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Andrea Burgess, LCSW

Andrea Burgess, LCSW

(719) 345-2424
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439

Identify the problem 

Identifying the problem is the first step in helping your partner quit smoking because it allows you to have an honest and open discussion about the issue.

During this conversation, you can discuss what triggers their smoking habit, how it affects your relationship with them, and if there are any underlying issues that could be causing them to smoke.

This discussion will help you both come up with an action plan that targets those triggers and replaces those habits with healthier coping strategies.

It will also allow you to provide guidance, set boundaries, and give resources for additional support. 

Highlight the Potential Benefits of Quitting Smoking

It's important to remind your partner that quitting smoking can have a positive impact on their health.

Quitting smoking has many potential benefits, including:

  • Better overall health and well-being
  • Increases in lifespan
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases
  • Improved breath, skin complexion, and sense of smell
  • Fewer respiratory problems such as bronchitis and emphysema
  • More energy and improved stamina
  • Increased fertility
  • Lower stress levels
  • More money for other hobbies or activities

There are many other potential benefits of quitting smoking that you can discuss with your partner to motivate and encourage their decision to quit. 

Discuss Triggers that Lead Smokers to Light Up

Identifying the triggers that lead smokers to light up is an important part of helping them quit. Common smoking triggers include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Boredom or lack of activities
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Seeing others smoke, especially in social settings
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke in public places
  • Feeling overwhelmed by life's responsibilities

Understanding these triggers can help provide insight into the smoker's habits and inform strategies for quitting.

For instance, providing alternative activities when boredom sets in can substitute a smoking habit.

Similarly, introducing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation might be effective for reducing stress levels and preventing cravings.

Setting boundaries about where smoking is allowed (e.g., not allowing it around children) could reduce exposure to secondhand smoke as well as discourage your partner from picking up the habit again.

Review Coping Strategies that can Replace Smoking

  • Developing a healthy diet: Eating nutritious foods and avoiding high-calorie snacks can help reduce cravings for cigarettes.
  • Increasing physical activity: Regular exercise can have positive effects on the body, helping to reduce stress levels, and improve mood.
  • Finding support from family or friends: Talking with family or friends about quitting smoking can provide emotional support and encouragement during this difficult time.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises: These activities may help to relax your mind and body.
  • Keeping busy by engaging in hobbies and activities that don't involve smoking: Engaging in hobbies like reading, cooking, playing an instrument, etc., will keep you distracted from cravings.
  • Avoiding situations where smoking is encouraged: Staying away from places where people smoke could help limit exposure to secondhand smoke.

Describe Possible Pitfalls in Discussing the Issue with a Partner

Discussing the issue of quitting smoking with a partner can be a difficult conversation to have.

It is important to keep in mind that this is a sensitive subject and your partner may feel attacked or judged if you come across as too aggressive or demanding.

Be gentle but firm when discussing the issue, using "I" statements to emphasize your concerns.

Also, avoid making assumptions or blaming your partner for their habit. Instead, focus on how you can work together to come up with a plan that works for both of you.

Finally, be patient and understanding throughout the process; quitting smoking is a difficult journey and it may take time to see results.

Remind your partner of the potential benefits of quitting and offer your support, recognizing that this is their decision to make. With these tips, you can help your partner quit smoking successfully. 

Change Habits and Establish Boundaries Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1). Provide Alternatives to Cigarettes to Reduce the Temptation to Smoke

Encourage your partner to find alternative activities when boredom sets in, such as playing sports or engaging in hobbies.

Step 2). Set Boundaries and Expectations Around Smoking, Considering Both Partner's Wishes

It's important to set boundaries and expectations around smoking, considering both partner's wishes.

This could include setting rules about not smoking in the house or not smoking around children.

Step 3). Assist with Developing New Routines to Reduce or Remove Temptations or Triggers Related to Smoking

Developing a new routine will help reduce or remove temptations or triggers related to smoking, such as avoiding places where people smoke.

You can also help your partner develop a healthy diet and increased physical activity, two activities that can help reduce cravings for cigarettes.

Step 4). Offer Resources for Additional Help or Counseling

If you need additional help from a professional, you can talk to your doctor about quitting-smoking programs and counseling services available.

You can also look for support from online communities or seek help from a counselor, which provide free advice and resources for those looking to quit smoking.

Step 5). Emphasize Positive Reinforcement when Habits are Changed and Goals are Met

Reinforce positive change by recognizing when your partner has changed habits or reached goals, such as not smoking in a week or going five days without a cigarette.

Offer words of encouragement and give rewards like compliments, simple gestures, or treats to celebrate achievements. 


Quitting smoking is a difficult decision to make and it takes a lot of dedication, support, and understanding from partners.

By following the tips given in this blog post, you can help your partner quit smoking successfully.

Laying out an action plan to reduce temptations, setting boundaries around smoking, offering resources for additional help, and providing positive reinforcement when goals are met are all important steps to keep in mind.

Finally, continue to motivate your partner by celebrating successes and connecting with them regularly on their progress towards quitting smoking.

With the right knowledge and support, your partner can achieve a smoke-free life. 

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December 4th, 2023

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