Each year tobacco smoke causes upwards of six million deaths worldwide; of these deaths, 600,000 are caused by second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke is also the probable cause of some 25 different diseases. If you are the child of a smoker, there is every reason to encourage your parent to quit, both for their health and well-being, and your own.  But his desire to quit needs to come from deep inside him, not you. Having said that, there are a few things you can consider to help your dad quit smoking.

Discuss with your dad first

Find a good time and sit your dad down for a talk. State that you want him to quit and explain why. You can ask your father if he’s willing to discuss stopping smoking with you. Ask him questions and suggestion ways to help him follow through the quitting plan. You should listen to your dad carefully. Most long-term smokers think quitting is impossible, so it could make a difference to know that there is a way to do it.

Talk to the family

You should get the entire family involved in this plan. Ask you mom and siblings to help out. Some smokers might want to quit if they are persuaded by the family. You should form a family team to support and encourage your dad. The more people involved, the better it is as you might not have all the answer by yourself.  Ask your dad to see a doctor who can answer any questions he may have about nicotine-replacement therapies, medicines, or withdrawals. Then encourage him to find a support group or counselor.

Make the risks about your dad

You should make sure your dad know the risk of smoking on his health. Smokers die an average of 13 years sooner than nonsmokers. Let your dad know how much you want them around for your graduation, your wedding, and the birth of your children. Encourage them to quit so they live to see all the milestones in your life, as well as their own.

Offer practical ways to help

You and your family can keep your dad busy so he doesn’t think about smoking. Ask them to go for a walk, play a sport or even go shopping. These activities will keep their minds off cigarettes. Remind them how happy and proud you are that they are quitting. You can also take your dad to a counselor to help with withdrawal symptoms and find tools to help the process easier. You dad may have some mood change or become crankier during this time, so don’t get angry at him.

Hit him with statistic

  • Twenty minutes after taking his or her last puff, a smoker’s blood pressure and pulse begin dropping back to normal.
  • Within one year after quitting, a smoker’s risk of a heart attack is decreased by 50 percent.
  • After 10-15 years of being smoke-free, an ex-smoker’s risk of lung cancer drops to one-half that of a smoker’s.
  • Ex-smokers enjoy a higher quality of life with fewer illnesses from cold and flu viruses, better self-reported health status, and reduced rates of bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Food tastes better.
  • The sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Ordinary activities, such as climbing stairs or doing chores, no longer leave you out of breath.
  • A pack-a-day smoker will save over $1,400 in one year if not smoking. A two-pack-a-day smoker will save more than $2,800.

Celebrate milestone

Even adults love to be praised. Celebrating milestone to encourage your dad can be great motivation for your dad along the way.

Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult, and convincing a parent to quit smoking can be awkward and intimidating.  After all, they are supposed to be the ones talking to you, not the other way around. But in this case, it is of extreme importance that you discuss quitting and help them find a path to becoming a former smoker.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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