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My Boyfriend Has a Hard Time Quitting Smoking. What Should I Do?

My boyfriend promised me he would quit smoking; however, he told me that he lied and he slipped up a couple of times. Should I be mad? I understand it’s an addiction.
– Haley*

It can be really hard to quit smoking. That’s why many people try a few times before they’re completely successful. It’s common for people to slip up when trying to quit smoking — or any other habit. But slip-ups aren’t something to give up over or get mad about.

Maybe your boyfriend didn’t tell you at first because he didn’t want to disappoint you or because he didn’t want you to be mad. If you want him to be open with you about how he’s doing — even when he slips up — it helps to react in a way that’s supportive and encouraging. Instead of being mad, be understanding, but also encourage him to get right back on track. Let him know that you’re supporting him. Help him recall the reasons he wants to quit.

And be sure to give him credit every time he resists the urge, or the pressure, to light up.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.