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Quitting, but friends still smoke

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by SharkyJen998, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    I was hoping that I could get some advice on dealing with friends who smoke while trying to quit. They do understand that I'm trying to quit and do not pressure me, but it;s like a part of me wants to smoke just to fit in and be similar to them.

    We have all expressed interest in quitting, and each of us has at one point or another. But we all end up smoking again. Usually I am the one who always quits first. Any tips on how to help them quit? Or how to deal with the desire to fit in?
  2. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Unfortunately I went through that aswell, but at the end of the day, you just have to accept the fact. It's always hard when your not smoking but others are, but it's their choice to smoke, just like it's your choice not to.

    What you going to do? Stop seeing all your old friends and just make non smoking new ones? Exactly, it doesn't work that way.
  3. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    You don't need to smoke to be able to "fit in". You say your friends already understand you so it sounds like they are decent people who don't base their friendship decisions on whether a person smokes or not. Do you really want to be the same as the smokers? Putting yourself at risk of developing cancer and wasting your money? Please, stay quit. I smoked for 25 years before quitting at the start of the year so I know just how strong the grip of nicotine is.
  4. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Well, you could just tell them the dangers and risk their putting themselves into by smoking. Other than that, it's entirely up to them if they will continue smoking or not. As for your desire to fit in, I don't think you need to smoke to fit in. As you've said, they really don't pressure you to smoke like them. Maybe it's just the old cravings that are getting back to you.
  5. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    @pwarbi I agree with you. I am not going to ditch my friends just because they smoke. I just wish I could help them out more because they express the same desire to quit.

    @missbishi Thank you for your kind words and inspiration. The hold nicotine has over me disgusts me. It takes control. I know that my friends won't judge or peer pressure me to smoke, but a part of me wants to smoke just to be more like them. I think it is instinctual to imitate those we love.

    @Coolkidhere You could be right. They are aware of the dangers and have tried to quit. My best said if he had someone supporting him that he could stop. I try to do my best to support him. Any tips on how to do that? I find it so much easier to quit by withdrawing from others so his needs are foreign to me.
  6. SamBo_LamBo

    SamBo_LamBo Member

    Let them know that this is an issue for you and ask them not to smoke when you're around them. If they don't empathize with your situation, you have no choice but to let them be for a few days. Let them know that it's nothing personal, but it's something you have to do to get onto the track of recovery.
  7. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Well, to me it all comes down to will power, because you can't ditch all your smoking friends just because you're trying to quit. And, you're bound to find smokers everywhere anyway. So, just stick to your guns and don't let temptation get the best of you.
  8. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    I agree with @henry I certanily can't just ditch my good friends. I really appreciate all of your support. I want to prove to myself that I do have the will power to stay smoke free.

    I suppose it is impossible to avoid all smoking temptations, though it's a lot easier now that people in movies and on TV are not smoking as much. It seems like every time I see someone light up on TV, I instantly get the urge to smoke.
  9. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I was in the exact same situation as you. I had a small friend group, and I still keep in touch with some of them today. Despite wanting to quit so much, I was afraid of not fitting in anymore and feeling tempted to smoke while others did it around me as well. But I didn't, and realized it was all in my head as I was making excuses not to do so. In fact, it is a lot easier once you start and not even half as difficult. My friends were supportive too, so try it as well. You got nothing to lose.
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  10. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    it's good that your friends understand it. maybe avoid them for a few days or so?
  11. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    It's normal to want to fit it, most people do more or less. You need to focus on what's more important, what you want. What you want for your life is more important than fitting in with that one crowd your with. If someone from the crowd were to think of you differently from quitting that is their problem. People are generally more concerned weither or not they are fitting in than if you are. It's a part of human nature to help form social groups. If you quit, it might make a new normal and help others quit. If your friends don't quit it's ok, its their choice just like its your choice to quit. To help fight temptation wile quitting around smokers, change your thoughts on cigerrettes. Think about all the chemicals inside every smoke, think about the money your spending on each pack. Make a list of downsides and tell them to yourself everytime you have a temptation. Don't let peer pressure determan your life, when you can determan your life.
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  12. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    That's really hard. The peer pressure is heavy, but stand by what you want and need. You will be so much better off for it. If it gets too tempting, maybe don't hang around them for too long. Or when they want to light up a smoke go somewhere else for the time being. Occupy your time and try to focus on something else. I wish you the very best of luck. :)
  13. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    @SharkyJen998
    I think you can support your friend by being there for him. Since both of you want to quit, it will be better if both of you support each other. If there are cravings, do some other activities that take your mind off of cigarette. Find ways to quit nicotine together. Go out or play sports. Even exercising can give you an endorphin high. Having someone by your side when you're in recovery from an addiction, is sure to help you fight it off completely.
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  14. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    @Coolkidhere That is some really great advice. We have both talked about wanting to start running again, but smoking is one thing that stands in our way. I think I will try to quit, begin running, and then invite him along. This may give him even more inspiration/drive to quit. Thank you so much for the great advice!!!

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom and advice. I think it makes it exponentially harder to quit ANY substance when those around you normalize and possibly even praise certain behaviors. Our brains work in very complicated ways. Even though quitting is the most logical and healthy choice, our environment and peers can have an even greater influence on us than our own health!
  15. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think the desire to fit in is the first thing you have to deal with. Peer pressure can cause you to do things that are harmful to you. Think about your health before trying to fit in. Having a sense of who you are and where you want to be in life will crush the desire to just fit in. Great people stand out average people fit in.
  16. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    They know you are quitting so, I do not think that you need to feel the need to fit in. They are your friends already and no need to be trying to fit in and maybe you can be their inspiration or motivation to quit too. If you will be able to have the self control and really quit smoking, they can say that it is really possible to quit and be motivated to do the same thing.
  17. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    If your friends are not pressuring you to smoke, then there goes the idea that you must smoke to fit in right? I think if you stick to your guns about being clean you may inspire your friends to not smoke because who know if any one of your friends has the same idea that if they don't smoke they won't fit in anymore. Just remember that as you continue to be friends with a person you are bound to see them change over time. We are fluid, it's not like everything we do is set in stone.
  18. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Well if your friends don't have any intention of stopping then there is little chance that you will be able to convince them to quit. I guess you just have to concentrate on avoiding them for the meantime while you are trying to quit, because being around them will tempt you just so that you feel that you belong when you clearly know that it's bad for you.
  19. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    I think it's best that you focus on quitting first, as that's what you want to achieve. It's not easy to get other's to quit and they will only sidetrack you from achieving your goal. If someone is really committed to quitting, they will take the necessary steps. Simply stating that one wants to quit, may show their intentions but doesn't necessarily mean that they are committed. This makes a huge difference at the end of the day.
  20. sbatz72

    sbatz72 Active Contributor

    I think this was a difficult part of quitting for me. I only hung out with people who smoked. I never wanted to smoke again. While I was going through the withdraws, I found that staying away from social settings that would prompt me to smoke was a big key in the success of quitting.
    Rainman likes this.