How To: Say No To Friends

Social triggers are one of the biggest reasons it’s so hard to quit smoking. Managing peer pressure and identifying high risk social situations can be a huge part of successfully quitting.

Own It

It sounds obvious, but you don’t have to give any excuses for quitting smoking. You’re doing a great thing. Own that. When someone asks why you’re quitting, don’t pull any punches. Tell them point blank that:

  • I want to be around when my kids grow up
  • My house smells like an ashtray
  • I’m sick of feeling exhausted when I walk up one flight of stairs
  • My wife hates that I smoke
  • Cigarettes are expensive as hell, and I want to buy a new pair of AirPods

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, happiness, and finances. Don’t be ashamed of that.

Bury Them with Questions

Not everyone is going to be excited about your decision to quit. It’s just the way it goes. When friends or other smokers ask why you’re quitting, or why you don’t want to go to a certain hangout (like a bar), and they don’t respect your straightforward reasons, don’t engage. Instead of defending yourself turn the conversation into a never-ending stream of questions. Why do they like smoking so much? How long have they smoked? Have they ever thought of quitting?

It’s surprisingly effective to turn negative peer pressure into a barrage of questions.

Use the Buddy System

Find a friend who wants to help you quit, and blame them for why you can’t go out. Say you have plans with them every time you feel pressured to hangout in a questionable situation. Make it about someone else, and you avoid practically all of the peer pressure and guilt of letting someone else down.

Consider the Consequences of Saying Yes

Quitting smoking is hard. Most people who try to quit don’t succeed the first time. And that’s ok. But why would you make it any harder on yourself than it has to be? If you’re doing well, don’t tempt fate by hanging out in an environment you know isn’t great for you. If you’re not doing well, think about how little it takes to light up.

Quitting isn’t a one-time decision. It’s a choice you make everyday to live a healthier life. Think about that the next time you feel like giving in.

Find New Friends

Smoking is responsible for millions of deaths every year. It increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, and a whole host of other conditions. Smoking is bad for you. Anyone that is willing to risk your health for their happiness doesn’t care about you, and isn’t really your friend. If you find yourself constantly tempted to smoke by the people closest to you, maybe it’s time to consider new friends. Surround yourself with people that want the best for you, and you’ll not only improve your chances of quitting smoking—you’ll improve your life.

Ready for your online doctor visit?