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Harvard Commentaries
35320
Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Smoking Friends Vs. Nonsmoking Friends


June 09, 2014

Tobacco Cessation
22017
Prep for the Ride
Smoking Friends Vs. Nonsmoking Friends
Smoking Friends Vs. Nonsmoking Friends
SmokingStep4Piece2
Becoming a former smoker may change your relationships with both your smoking and nonsmoking friends.
357133
InteliHealth
2011-09-14
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-09-14

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Smoking Friends Vs. Nonsmoking Friends
 
Realize that becoming a former smoker may change your relationships.
 
In the early stages of quitting, you may need to lean on your nonsmoking friends. They don't pose any risk as you try to break your habit. Because they don't trigger associations of past smoking activities, it's unlikely that your nonsmoking friends will sabotage your effort to quit. They don't smell of smoke, they don't have cigarettes on them (that you fantasize they will share), and they don't pass time by smoking.
 
Nonsmoking friends can also introduce you to nonsmoking activities that you hadn't thought about before. They'll be a good source of inspiration and motivation.
 
Your Smoking Friends
 
Initially, it may be tough to hang out with your smoking friends. Even if they are kind enough to not smoke in your presence, they may still trigger an urge for a cigarette. If smoking was the primary activity you shared with these friends, you may be emotionally tied to those memories when you spend time with them.
 
As a nonsmoker, you'll need to redefine the relationships you have with your smoking friends. Find other ways to enjoy their company. Use this opportunity to make these relationships stronger. Come up with a new, more solid foundation on which you can build your friendships.
 
It may be awkward at first, but you can make it work if these relationships are valuable to you.

 

 

 

 
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