How to Get "Quit Smoking" People to Back Off

Smoking is a personal choice and right and sometimes those around you refuse to respect that right because they are tired of secondhand smoke and littered butts. If you have heard them out, stated your decision and their continued persistence is causing trouble between you, read on.
Relationships and friendships can be compromised when people you care about or interact with daily refuse to let up. This WikiHow is about getting those well-intentioned, but ultimately rude and disrespectful people to ease up, and improve your interactions with them. If you are looking for advice on getting someone to quit, read this as well, it may be helpful to your relationship with that smoker.

Note:For simplicity, this article will be calling the person who wishes you to quit a con-smoker, as there are non-smokers who do not mind- this person does and so is against [con] your smoking.


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    Before all else, make sure you are not currently embroiled in a heated argument when you do the following steps. The con-smoker will be in a non-responsive position and nothing will be achieved but frustration and anger which will lead you to want to have a cigarette, thus beginning the cycle again. Wait for a casual moment or relaxed situation where you can both speak calmly without interference from others.
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    State clearly and calmly that you choose to smoke. Many con-smokers are under the impression that cigarettes have a stranglehold on you. Explain that you are well aware that cigarettes and the chemicals involved are in themselves addictive- but you also enjoy smoking to satisfy your addiction. You know the risks and have chosen to smoke, and to continue to smoke.
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    Explain that this is ultimately your decision and no one else. In a calm manner tell the con-smoker that their opinion and feelings mean a lot to you and may be valid, but you disagree with it, and choose to smoke. Remind them that you respect their decision to not smoke, and that you would appreciate if they would respect your decision as well.
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    When they bring up the health risks [as they invariably do every time], point out that you are aware of the risks. You know them and still choose to smoke. Everyone dies, there is no escaping it, and despite the risks you choose to smoke.
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    Tell them you will not be swayed on the subject. If you do not intend to quit, do not tell them you'll think about quitting. This fuels a con-smoker. They will feel they have made headway and it will bolster their confidence in the idea that whey will eventually get you to quit. Be firm and state that you have no will or intention to quit, regardless of health risks or others' opinions.
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    If they simply CANNOT be persuaded to leave you alone: As a last ditch effort to save your rights AND relationship with this person suggest a mutual compromise. Try offering to switch to a lighter/less strong cigarette or brand. Remain firm that you will not quit, but that their role in your life is important to you, and you are willing to meet them half-way if they will as well.


  • It may be that you are possibly disrespecting their rights in some manner. If you smoke around them or in their personal "non-smoking" space, stop. Go somewhere else to smoke, or try to not smoke in their presence. This can go a long way towards making both of you happier.
  • Smoking is a choice- although quitting is not easy, if you wanted to quit you would seek help instead of defending your rights. You choose to smoke.
  • The bottom line is to get the point across that you are an informed adult very capable of making your own decisions.
  • Be appreciative of their feelings on the matter. Con-smokers are usually at their rudest and most difficult to deal with when they care the most. They feel they are doing you a favor and helping you- even when you're pulling out your hair and begging them to leave you be. Thank them for their concern..
  • Do some research on cigarette brands and types, some really do have less tar, are less harsh, etc. You might be able to find a brand/type that makes them feel a little better that tastes much like your old kind. There are "second filters" that can go on cigarettes that help to keep some of the nasty stuff [the "icky"] out of you. They are clear and shaped similarly to the plastic mouthpiece on 'Black And Mild' cigars. Unfortunately for some reason, these 2nd filters have a tendency to dull the flavor of a cigarette.
  • If you end up going for the compromise option, make sure it's something you mean and can stick to. Don't just agree to get them off your back, because if you don't hold up your end of the 'deal', you can't expect them to either.
  • If you don't want to compromise flavor, a bonus of the 2nd filters is that they collect the "icky" of a cigarette and turn brown as they are used. Get some [they come in packs of about 15] and use them to tell how much "icky" is in each brand of cigarettes to aid you in finding a better brand. The clearer the plastic filter, the "better" the cigarette.
  • Do not use the plastic filter around your con-smoker. It is pretty gross looking and may fuel their fire in trying to get you to quit, since they can see for themselves what is going into your body.


  • Don't smoke around kids. Although your choice to smoke should be respected, it is wrong to expose children to the chemicals that could cause them health problems or begin smoking themselves. Smokers have rights, but so do kids. Go outside or somewhere away from them.
  • Smoking can cause you problems in relationships with people who do not want smoking in their lives. Weigh your options carefully. If the person would rather leave you than respect your decision, decide whether they should be important in your life. If you enjoy smoking, avoid people who do not smoke, because they will usually try to get you to stop and eventually you'll have to choose. Avoid the situation.
  • Plastic 2nd filters may cause you to WANT to quit smoking as it shows exactly what you're taking into your body, and it looks pretty gross. Most smokers aren't repulsed enough to quit, but you've been warned.
  • You've heard it all before.. Cigarettes/cigars/smokeless tobacco are bad for you, you should quit, it's healthier, etc etc..
  • Lights and ultra lights are not a "safer" cigarette on the whole, but they do contain less amounts of tar, etc. than full flavor.

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Categories: Smoking