Thinking about quitting smoking?  Hoping to encourage someone else to quit.  Patrick Reynolds, an ex-smoker, who works with the Foundation for a Smokefree America has some suggestions for ways to nudge a smoker, or yourself, to quit.

     His first suggestion is to "Nag wisely."  Certainly, if you or a family member are being directly affected by cigarette smoke, you need to express your concerns.  Reynolds notes if secondhand smoke is constant, "you can be a pest every day."  However, if the smoker keeps his smoke to himself by going out on the deck or smoking only outside, "Advocate for no smoking three times a year."  I believe if nagging wisely seems only to create resistance, express your concerns and opinion and then drop it.  Encouragement for any positive attempts to control smoking may be much more successful than nagging. 

    Reynolds then suggests that smokers should seek support from people who are also trying to quit or people who have already stopped smoking.  He goes on to say that smokers should seek expert advice.  This may be from your doctor, a support group or a trained hypnotherapist who does a lot of work with smoking cessation.

    Did you know that using smoking cessation programs and other cessation tools triples the success rate for those trying to stop smoking?  Do your research.  Try the tools to help you become a non-smoker.

    Free resources are now available online.  Reynolds recommends 1-800 QUIT NOW where coaches will customize a program for each caller.  Reynolds, the grandson of R.J. Reynolds, the cigarette company founder, started the non-profit Foundation for Smokefree America ( in 1989.  He reminds all smoker that "Failed attempts are part of the normal journey toward becoming a non-smoker."

    Today most people understand how challenging it is to quit smoking.  But there are more tools than ever to stop smoking permanently. Hypnotherapy, support groups, over-the-counter and presciption medications are just some of those tools.  Keep encouraging the smoker in your life to be a healthy nonsmoker.