My mother smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and she has COPD, emphysema and diabetes. What can I do?

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She won't eat either.

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Expert Answer
3930 helpful answers
This is sad, but you can't change her. I know of people who smoke while using oxygen. Firefighters go nuts over that. But smoking is addictive and supposedly a very hard addiction to get over. Try to have compassion and work with her, but know that you can't force her to change. This is painful, I know. But it happens often.

Try to take care of yourself,
My Dad had a similar problem with alcohol. He had always been a closet alcoholic and though in later years cut down a very little bit, wouldn't quit.

On one of his last major visits to the hospital concerning issues that are impacted by alcohol, I asked the doctor to try to encourage him to quit. The doctor basically told me to mind my own business, that it was one of the few things he seemed to enjoy. I think most people will understand that from that point on the doctor wasn't held high in my book of esteem.

In retrospect, though, it would have been too emotionally trying on both of us to try to coerce him toward quitting, much less emotionally and physically demanding on his own being to go through the 'hell' of attempting to quit. Given my Dad's age and long term health issues... the doctor, for his own reasons, may have been right.

Perhaps this concept will help your own emotions when worrying about your Mom and her smoking.

Good luck.

Just want to add to my first comment.....My mother suffered from COPD and lung cancer and has since died. Cigarette smoking is such a powerful addiction, and she had finally succeeded in quitting, but late in life. In her last months of life, Mom would comment to me how much it pained her to see young people lighting up.
I think our expert here-said it all---Unfortunately there is nothing you can do-that I am aware of---as your Mom is addicted to smoking.....Rationalizing for the most part, does not work---and will probably lead to fustration on your part. I have been that route-and got no place. Your Mom has to want to STOP smoking.
I am going to try the electronic cigarettes. It won't reduce the nicotine unless you want it to, but it might cause less problems with her lungs.
I've seen where it can take a scare of some kind to get a smoker to give up the cigarettes, because it is so powerful an addiction. Sometimes scary consequences work where nothing else has. You would think that COPD/emphysema would be enough of a "scare", but I'm talking about a one-time, acute event----like a heart attack....something like drive the point home and get through the denial.
My hubby smokes and sometimes like a chimney....yeah I know a lot of doctors do even when they know its bad for them. When at work...12 hr shifts...he uses the e-cigarettes. What you get is water vapor. Satisfies his cravings for the nicotine, can work without wanting a cig. That might be something to think about.
When I took my mom back home from a facility she hated, she came home with a heavy addiction to tracedone, Since i wasn't expecting to or willing to babysit a junkie 24 hrs a day for however long, Her doc and were able to ween her off of it, but it wasn't easy. Today she is so much better off and doesn't even remember that time.
My father was a heavy smoker with emphysema/severely damaged lungs, coughing spells etc. . He stopped cold turkey when he was told he had incurrable lung cancer. The smoker has to want to quit. There are various cessation programs available that if "worked" have proven effective for those who really want to quit. My sister who has never smoked was asked how many packs of cigarettes she smokes to her surprise. She got the gift of second hand smoke from hours spent scratching my father's head. It is the decision of the smoker. Letting the smoker know that there is a support system filled with love might help. I wish you success.
What about the Nicorette gum, or the patch? Much safer around OXYGEN!!! If you could keep the cigarettes away for a few days, she would get really hungry, but I guess that is not possible with an addiction. Poor thing. As long as she and the house are safe, another bullet to bite:(. Peace...

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