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I need some advice. I have a relatively new friend who has recently started smoking and I’m not sure if I should try to do something about it. I try to practice compassion and remain nonjudgmental toward my friends and loved ones, but smoking is a huge pet peeve of mine. Having never been a smoker myself, I view it as a disgusting, destructive habit and I simply can’t understand the appeal. On the other hand, I’m not without my own vices, so who am I to judge anyone else for theirs? Besides, my friend is a smart adult who has all the facts. He’s informed of the well-publicized dangers of smoking and has chosen to go ahead and light up anyway. Is it really my place to say something?
This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this situation. My best friend has been smoking since before we met, over 16 years ago. I’ve watched him try to quit at least six or seven times, without success. His father, a chief pathologist at a well-known hospital, has warned him over and over of the dangers he’s exposing himself to, but nothing seems to be sufficient motivation for him to quit for good. He always starts up again within a few weeks of trying to quit. At this point in our friendship, I’ve pretty much stopped trying to convince him to give up smoking – I guess I’ve resigned myself to the fact that he’s a smoker and will always be one. But facing this dilemma with another friend has brought the issue up in my mind once again.
What do you think? Should I just keep my opinions to myself or should I express my concern and try to convince him to quit? And can any of you ex-smokers share your experiences with successfully giving up cigarettes?
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