Friday, September 14, 2012

Natural Parent Married to a Smoker

Are you a "Natural Parent" married to a smoker? Embarrassing, isn't it? I've been there. Last year I took my husband to meet a bunch of my crunchy friends and had to confess that he was a smoker.

If you're in the same embarrassing situation, I have some pointers for you. First, a smoker can only quit for themselves. Nagging and begging don't help. They have to be convinced and want to do it themselves. My husband was a smoker when I met him, so I didn't feel I had too much room to talk, other than to simply make it known that I would love for him to quit.

I used to have this weird budget process that I loved. I wrote each bill on a post-it note and stuck it right on the wall (or the pantry door). There was one section for necessities (rent, electricity, etc.) and another for extras (NetFlix, etc.). I don't care how many billboards or commercials tell you of horrible health problems (and death) associated with cigarettes or how much a person spends on cigarettes in a year... it just doesn't truly sink in for the smoker. However, having a postit that specifically reported that we were spending about $120 per month on cigarettes... that is hard to ignore.

I didn't even know how much thought my husband put into the cigarette budget. I didn't know he had decided he wanted to quit. He wanted to try eCigarettes (electronic cigarette). So I did the research and he tried one from a local convenience store. It leaked. I exchanged it for a new one and the same thing happened. We were not off to a great start.

NJOY On the CounterMy husband chose the rechargeable menthol version of this brand (NJOY), despite not normally smoking menthol.

The health effects of using electronic cigarettes are currently unknown. Studies about this are only now underway, as eCigs are very new. The user is inhaling a nicotine vapor. There were some big benefits for my husband. He could "smoke" anywhere because it isn't smoke. Non-smoking restaurant? No problem. Smoking around the children? No problem. Smoking inside the house where we rented a room from a person with breathing problems? No problem.

This meant that rather than stepping outside to suck down a cigarette or two for his nicotine fix, he was able to puff only when he wanted a puff. I noticed that he kept the cigarette in his hand for pretty much all waking hours. He would puff on it randomly all day. This meant rather than getting sudden doses of nicotine, he was able to maintain a steady dose. I think this made it easier to cut back.

eCigarette CherryeCigarettes have a light up end that looks a bit like a burning cigarette. This also helps identify when the battery is dead. The battery recharges on a USB plug.

I got sly on him, too. Some brands (including the one he wound up using, pictured above) offer varying doses of nicotine. He had been using the highest dose version and I bought him the next step down. He adjusted to it, but wasn't thrilled when I gave it to him. I thought I might pull one over on him, but the cartridge doesn't look the same. They even offer a zero nicotine content cartridge! So if your partner claims it is all about the oral fixation... tada! No problem.

Reports warn against smoking adults cosleeping with babies. The latest reports even talk about third hand smoke. This has to do with the toxins still coming out of and off of a smoker, their clothing, and anything the smoke touches. This increases the risk of SIDS. I believe using eCigarettes is completely different, but that is just my personal logic.

Remember that first warning, though. You can't truly make someone quit smoking. Switching to eCigarettes might still make a huge difference, though.

Have you quit smoking? How did you do it?
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