Home Smoking Ban — Not Likely!

Dear Paul B,

My husband of twenty-eight years has promised me that he will quit smoking for the past four years, and I am still waiting. He smokes two packs a day, and we are all totally sick of it. My son has threatened to leave us and to go live with his girlfriends family. Our walls are a brownish-yellow from the effects of the tar, and the smell is of course horrible. You have given my brother and his wife some great advice, so I thought of you when I have run out of options. He is a wonderful Dad, but this smoking is so out of control, I am beside myself.

Maureen

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Dear Maureen,

Do I hear the cries of hypocrisy here? Why don’t you mention to “us” that it took YOU seven years to quit smoking. Your brother reminded me that you come from a family of smokers, and I recognize the patterns that have developed for you as well. You need to reveal all of the facts, Maureen.

It is no mystery that any addiction can be quite difficult to control, but smoking is near the top of that list. You struggled for many years to quit, and I am proud of you for giving it up, but why don’t you help your husband? Being overly critical is no solution, Maureen. I think the two-pronged approach works best. Bill should limit his smoking to exterior locations about your house, much like a porch area or a garage. Often times, if there is an office or workshop that would contain the smoke, this would be a great option. I would believe that over time, Bill will reduce his smoking as his smoking areas are more limited. If you had to walk to an area to smoke, rather than lighting up right in the comfort of your den, you would naturally smoke less. The more hassle involved, the less one is apt to light up. Ask Bill to try and drink more water throughout the day, and to enroll in a workout program. The amazing feeling of that workout high, the healthier image by looking in the mirror, and the smoking just don’t jive, right? You have been there yourself, Maureen, so be his advocate, not his critic. Tell Junior that he too can be there for Dad, just like Dad has always been there for him, right? Allen Carr’s “Easy Way To Stop Smoking” is a terrific guide/solution/option/road map/Bible.

I would always stare at my family pictures when I had that brief craving of a cigarette after quitting four years ago. It worked every time! Now, I find smoking offensive—go figure.

Paul B

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