perky9807 Asked January 2011

How do I get my mother to stop smoking?

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Jan 2011
I'm sorry to say that you probably can't. I've listened to firefighters talk about the fact that they've gone to a home to help someone who is wearing an oxygen tank - and smoking. (Talk about potential for an explosion!) Smoking is an addiction. You can go on your state website and see if they offer smoking cessation help. Some insurance companies offer it. However, if the person doesn't want to quit, it's an uphill battle. I wish you luck. It's horribly frustrating for all.

If you find an answer, please let us know!
Carol
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gmbyacht Jan 2011
I agree with Carol, in that, if she does not want to quit she won't. At her age (which I don't know) and if she has been smoking for a long time-it will be difficult. I have a friend that has an elderly mom addicted to oxicontin-they prescribed to her many yrs. ago for back operations. The Dr's. just now tried to take her off this horribly addictive drug and she was miserable and could not function. (she was totally unsuccessful in rehab). They finally figured at her age and stage of health, just let lady stay high, happy and functional. My younger cousin was addicted to the same drug and wanted/had to get off of it. Expensive rehab later - he is off the drug, but still smokes.
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ginalsatv Oct 2011
Yes it is amost impossiable, MOM has smoked most of her life and I can see no way to stop her except to no longer get them for her. She can not drive but has said she would go to get them herself if I didn't. I have tried to get her to cut back but she is having no part of that. I have tried many things like letting her run out because she never says anything about more until they are gone then she goes into a panic.
She is showing many signs of memory loss and the dr wants her in a nursing home. Now they do not allow smoking but she is ok with that. Go figure!
I try to tell her that if she wants to smoke someone must be with her because she forgets to get back on oxygen after and has even tried to sneak one near oxygen. I could go on and on about this but it boils down to the fact she is addited and she will do quite while she is allowed to live at home.
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mariesmom Oct 2011
You can't - but if she is living in your house you can insist she smoke out of doors. My boss made his mom in her 70's go outdoors to smoke no matter the weather!
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Eddie Oct 2011
Try harm reduction laced with the fear factor and healthy doses of nagging. If it's your house, tell her there's no smoking allowed. If it's hers, Heaven help you. I'd try reducing the # of cigarettes / day, but at her age she probably couldn't care less about health risks she's well aware of.
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jeannegibbs Oct 2011
I don't think it can be done. If your mother decides to quit you can help her but it has to be her decision. My mother decided she isn't quitting. No point in discussing it. One of the reasons we had a hard time getting her to see a doctor for a sore on her face (which turned out to be skin cancer) was she didn't want to listen to lectures about her life style. The geriatrician told her that she was required to ask about her smoking habits and to offer her help if she wanted to quit, but that she respected my mom's right to decide for herself. And after all, she'd been smoking more than 70 years at that point. Two of her brothers died of emphysema. My father suffered for years with that disease, and then died of lung cancer. It is not exactly as if she has no clue what the negative health consequences could be. At 91 she still smokes. I'm glad she will now at least see a doctor about the things she is willing to take care of, and doesn't resist on the grounds of not wanting to get lectures. The geriatrician put that subject to rest.
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Like Carol said, you can't. My mother was hospitalized, did not have a cigarette for three weeks while in the hospital, but the minute she walked out, she lit up. We explained that it's bad for her Kyphosis, it's too expensive for her on her already limited budget, but that doesn't matter to her. The only time we say anything anymore is when she complains about the smell, yellowing walls etc, and the grime in her house. She then argues with us that it isn't the cigarette smoke. (rolling my eyes)
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ginalsatv Oct 2011
I do realize that I can not make her quit but the biggest problem is she is still living in her home alone. So I can't send her outside. My mom as well has been hospitalized up to 8 weeks and also returned to smoking when she walked out.
I do have help during the day but have not found anyone at night as yet. I can not spend my nights there but have tried getting her to bed first before leaving and I always find she gets up during the night and chain smokes. So day we will not be able to bring her back from the lack of oxygen. That is where I have a hard time with guilt feelings because I have not been able to prevent this.
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I'm sorry, honey. There should be no guilt. Easier said than done, I know. Your mother is a big girl. If she wanted to quit, she would. You've done what you have the power to do: Bring it to her attention...voice your concern. The rest has to be up to her. My mother's neighbor use to smoke while she was on oxygen. I said to her: Bernice...some day you're going to drop an ash and you're going to explode. She looked at me and said: The sooner the better. :-(
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