Do You Live With A Smoker?

Smoking is something that divides many people. Whether it’s your partner or another family member, living with a smoker can cause numerous conflicts. If ignored, these disagreements can fester, creating tension in your relationship. Smokers often feel attacked when they sense that another person disapproves of their habit. Meanwhile, non-smokers can feel annoyed about the smell or mess created by smoking.

If you live with a smoker, it’s important to set ground rules in your home so that you can live happily together without their habit causing arguments.

No one wants to breathe in second-hand smoke as the harmful effects of passive smoking are well documented. It’s therefore important to agree exactly where in the house the smoker can indulge their habit. The best solution is to ask them to only smoke outdoors. Most smokers will accept this as a compromise. If you have separate bedrooms, you will need to agree whether they can smoke in their own bedroom. But remember, smoking in bedrooms can pose a fire risk, especially if the smoker is sleepy or careless, so it’s best to discourage it.

Apart from the smoke and the smell, the thing that often annoys non-smokers is the mess created by cigarette butts. Overflowing ashtrays or cigarette ends in the garden or anywhere around the house isn’t something anyone wants to put up with so ask the smoker to deal with their waste in a considerate manner.

Switching to e-cigarettes

You may be tempted to ‘help’ your smoking friend or relative quit their habit, but there’s no quicker way to cause tension than by constantly nagging them to give up. They may be willing to switch to e-cigarettes, however, to reduce their long-term health risks.

E-cigarettes are controversial, but deliver nicotine without burning tobacco, and without exposing users to the 4,700 plus chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke, of which at least 60 are known to cause cancer.

E-cigarettes are a popular choice for those who want to quit smoking and, for dedicated smokers who want to continue their habit, they offer a healthier alternative. Switching to e-cigarettes also tends to reduce overall consumption without even trying. One study following the smoking habits of 40 committed, heavy smokers, found that within six months, their cigarette usage had reduced by 80% from 25 down to 5 normal cigarettes per day. This occurred despite no encouragement, motivation or rewards to quit. One reason may be that when someone needs a nicotine hit, they can have just a few puffs of an e-cigarettes, while a traditional cigarette has to be smoked in full after lighting.

If someone does want to quit, researchers have found that people who use electronic cigarettes are more than twice as likely to abstain from smoking for at least six months than those using a placebo. In fact, e-cigarettes were at least as effective as using a nicotine patch. For those cutting back, people using an electronic cigarette were 30% more likely to reduce their cigarette consumption by at least half compared with those using a placebo and 41% more likely to cut back by half than those using a patch. It’s therefore not surprising that e-cigarettes have become the most popular way for smokers to cut back.

As well as being safer for committed long-term smokers, electronic cigarettes are also safer for non-smokers who live with a smoker.

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