Well Being

The 10 Most Patronizing Ways To Get Smokers To Quit

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quit smokingSmokers do not like it when non-smokers tell them how to quit one bit. Non-smokers may have good intentions when urging people to cut out cigarettes, but to those with a nicotine addiction, some of their pleas just comes across as condescending. Smokers know what they're doing. It's not like they live in a cave; they know that cigarettes are dangerous, expensive and stinky. They see the same PSAs on television, the same anti-smoking advertisements on the subway, and even experience negative repercussions of their tobacco habit.

Ideally, all smokers would quit and cigarettes would cease to be a problem, but addiction is a complicated thing. Personally, I think the best way to help a smoker quit is to tell them you're there to help in any way you can should they decide to stop. I'm in favor of heavily taxing tobacco products, tightening restrictions on public smoking, and making smoking cessation tools more widely accessible. I'm not in favor of shaming people about something they probably already feel bad about.

Here are the 10 most patronizing ways to get smokers to quit:

  1. Give them an ultimatum. That way you'll know if they don't break their serious addiction, it's because they don't love you enough. Guilt works every time.
  2. Educate them on the dangers of smoking. There's no way anyone ever told them that cigarettes are unhealthy! Smokers must be totally clueless and it's your responsibility to save the poor ignorant fools.
  3. Call them gross and stinky. As a non-smoker, your opinion is clearly more valuable than theirs. If you think they smell, say something.
  4. Tell them smoking isn't “cool.” Non-smokers are now the arbiters of cool–Kate Moss be damned.
  5. Threaten their lives. Smokers are all going to DIE whereas non-smokers are immortal and impervious to cancer.
  6. Threaten their appearance. Let them know that their days as smoothed skin hotties are numbered, it shows you care about the important stuff in life.
  7. Cough loudly in their face. Why ask them to stand elsewhere or put their cigarette out when you can dramatically wheeze at them? It's the polite thing to do in a public space.
  8. Steal their cigarettes. When people buy something you don't like, you should just throw it away. Get rid of the problem.
  9. Say you'll give something up too. Because quitting your morning bagel is totally equivalent to breaking an addiction.
  10. Bribe 'em “with cash or lottery tickets.” This one could actually work, though luring people with addictive personalities away from cigarettes using gambling doesn't seem like the most well thought out idea.

Image via Shutterstock

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