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You Asked: I'm Dating a Smoker

You Asked: I'm Dating a Smoker

Dear Sugar,

I started dating this guy a few months ago, and everything has been going great. He's funny, sweet, and just an all-around good guy — I think I may even be falling in love with him! The only problem I see so far is that he smokes. I was always the girl who said, "I could never date a smoker," but after getting to know him, I can't just stop these feelings I have for him. I'd rather him not smoke, of course, and I'm doing my best to help him quit, but it's my family and friends who seem to have a real problem with this.

My uncle died of lung cancer five years ago, so everybody around me is sickened by the thought of me being with a guy that smokes, and my best friend even told me that she has lost respect for me! I feel so guilty, but I really do like this guy! He wants to quit, but at the same time, I know it won't happen overnight. I don't want to lose the relationships I have with the people I love, but I just can't help but think that they are being unreasonable. Where do I go from here? — Stuck in the Middle Melinda

To see DearSugar's answer,


I'm so excited for you that you've found a guy you really like, but I'm also sorry to hear that your loved ones are not accepting him. Yes, being a smoker is not ideal, but if he wants to quit, I think it's only fair that everyone gives him the benefit of the doubt — he didn't know your uncle passed away from lung cancer!

While I'm sure this feels like a very complicated situation, it's actually really simple. If you have honest feelings for this guy, and it sounds like you do, simply tell your friends and family that this is your relationship, not theirs, and that you'd really appreciate them getting to know him for who he is instead of writing him off because he's a smoker.

You're right, things won't change overnight, but hopefully in time, everything will work itself out. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
People can be so stuck up.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I would never even go on a date with a smoker, I just don't like it. So I wouldn't want to try and then "break" them of it because to be honest I would never accept it.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I'm sorry for ranting but I am a smoker and I havepointed this out to numerous people before and they can't see it as the addiction that it is. It is physiological and the more levels that you find comfort in nicotine in, the harder it is to quit. You can always make the choice to walk away for your health and not feel bad about it, but let your family ster you away from a quality person that genuinely may want to quit.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Good Lord, tell your family to get over tmeselves. He;s your bf not their's and if YOU are not able to deal with his smoking, then YOU walk away. Read up on different quitiing practices and most of all be supportive. If someone came out with a study that found that caffeine caused kidney and intestinal disease, how many people would stop drinking soda overnight? If they linked solidly linked car exhaust to cancer, asthma, emphysema, air pollution, how many people would stop driving to save everyone else? People don't think about things like that in terms of what they do.
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
Wow, I didn't know people hated smokers so much. I see smokers like, everyday, all the time. Its not like he's a drug addict. He has a bad habit, and your fam is unreasonable, and ignorant. They should be supporting you, and telling you to help him quit. Jeez, is that big of a deal. It is unhealthy, but like, idk. He proabally just needs a friend to give him a kick in the ass, and help him through.
Mojo-Jojo Mojo-Jojo 8 years
My boyfriend has smoked the whole time I have been with him, 5 years. I would say get out while you can because you don't want to spend you life in a cloud of smoke, especially when you start to think about living together and raising children. I feel like kids should not have to live with smoke so you gotta make a call now. There are so many great guys out there, you will find another, but you need to look at it like he will never quit and then ask yourself if you want to live like that.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
BTW I don't think her family is being unreasonable at all. Who wants to let their daughter marry someone that has a high chance of leaving her permenently at 55? I've seen the awful things that can happen from smoking in many, many people. It seems unreasonable sometimes that someone could continue.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
The easiest way to quit is for a SO. It's worked for me and it's worked for quite a few of my SOs. And for me it's always been cold turkey... why can't it be overnight. I would really give him an ultimatum and be done with this whole situation.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I think it's fantastic that you're helping him quit. Though you're family should realize that it won't happen overnight, and it will take time.
Smilesp Smilesp 8 years
While I do think smoking is a gross and unhealthy habit, smokers aren't bad people. I think your family is being very judgemental. Did your uncle get lung cancer because he smoked? Did they lose all respect for and shun him for being a smoker? Probably not. We all have bad habits and make bad choices sometimes, but it's who he is that really matters. I think you should talk to your family about it. I do think you need to decide if the smoking is something you can live with or not. Don't keep dating him under the assumption that he's going to quit because he might not.
pinklady8287 pinklady8287 8 years
Quit* OOPS!
pinklady8287 pinklady8287 8 years
I can totally relate. My boyfriend is a smoker and I wish that he would give it up. He did for a couple months throughout the summer, but he is back to smoking now. I don't really know what to do. I understand that he is stressed with school and work, but at the same time he should find an alternative to de-stress and quite. It drives me crazy and he knows it. UGH! Aright, just had to vent that! :)
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
your family and friends are being completely judgemental and unfair. and i agree with others... he's YOUR bf, not theirs. my bf and i both smoke and my sister is completely anal about it but like i told her, we don't do it around family, we don't ask you to finance it, and we're full grown adults who can decide for ourselves what we want or don't want to do. your bf sounds willing to quit though and that's a great start for you. give him time and have patience. he sounds like a great guy who makes you happy. good luck!
SeaAre86 SeaAre86 8 years
I agree with a lot of the comments here. I dated a smoker and he always promised he'd quit in the future. However, I got frustrated with waiting on it and it ended up being a source of many of our arguments. I probably actually stressed him out more, but I didn't like the "someday" answer. The bottom line is that they will quit when they want to quit. If they want to use you as part of that reason, then great! However, I think they will turn back to it later if it is not a sincere personal choice. Don't force him to quit or make it a this or me type of thing. It will only make things worse.
karlotta karlotta 8 years
Smokers don't quit for someone else - and certainly not for someone else's family. They quit when they're ready. One day they put out the last smoke and that's it. I quit 3 years ago, on a whim, and I didn't do it for my non-smoking boyfriend (even though his being smoke free helped tremendously - quitting smoking when you're dating someone who's constantly lighting up in front of you is impossible) - and when my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer this past summer, my first reaction, because I was so distressed, was to go and LIGHT RIGHT UP! Anyway, all this to say, it's a long battle, and it takes a shitload of encouragement and support to be able to do it for good. Nicotine gum and patches are really helpful too - but don't expect to be off them in 3 months. I'm still patched, after 3 years! Anyway, he'll quit when he's good and ready. Doesn't change who he is, and you need to stress that to your folks and friends. He's a great guy who's got a weakness. Jesus said something about not casting stones... etc - everybody's got their little flaw. Be firm, concise, and mature about asking them to give him a break. It will show them they're being unreasonable.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 8 years
don't let your friends have so much control. He's your boyfriend not theirs, and it's not YOUR habit, and it's not your place to force him to stop either.
geebers geebers 8 years
Ah I dated a smoker and quite honestly it's difficult. It may be wonderful now- even 6 months from now- but when it is time to discuss marriage and serious commitment can you deal if he is still addicted and cannot quit? I couldn't. Smoking is similar for me as any other addiction - one that is not only a bad habit but costs money and affects my life. Why should I be exposed to second-hand and third-hand smoke when I made the decision to not smoke? We broke-up and one of the (admittedly many) issues between us was his smoking. I just don't want to marry a smoker. It goes against my values and my lifestyle completely and in the end, after listening to his many excuses about how he will quit "if x" or "if y" I knew we would break-up eventually and we did. I would never date a smoker again no matter how wonderful he is. I went down that road. I will say this - if your guy is really serious about quitting -and you love him - give him a chance and know your limits. I gave my relationship 1 year and 8 months and have no regrets but I reached my limit.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
they're being unreasonable to a degree...i understand they arent big fans of the smoking but don't they also see the good qualities he has and see how happy he makes you? it's so rude of your bf to say that to you, too. just convey your thoughts to him and help him quit....if he doesn't have the will to do this for you, then leave him, but give him a chance, and just ignore them for now. they won't be angry with you forever, especially not if he quits in good time
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Okay, your family is being unreasonable, and so are your friends. He's a smoker, no a murderer. I can understand why they are upset and paranoid, but honestly, I'd rather live happily than live in fear of a death. I would definitely help him quit, better for his and your health. It's just a bad habit, there is no need on your family or your friends part to be harsh. And, just as a side note. I grew up with smokers, my dad smoked, and it sickened me. My bf smoked, and I told him straight up "I can't be with you if you smoke" -- and that DAY he quit. Just stopped. He has a lot of willpower, so he managed with only one slip up. I was really impressed with him, since I know it is very hard. He vowed to never do it again because he's convinced that if he does smoke again, I'll end up dying of lung cancer and not him because of all the second-hand smoke I was exposed to.
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
smoking is a bad habit like biting your nails etc... it doesn't make him not a good person. you need to tell these people that are judging to butt out and also its non of their business what he does. if he treats you well and you care about him then i wouldn't break up with him because of this. its worth sticking it out and helping him kick his habit- especially because he seems willing. as for everyone else- ignore the comments and tell them that judging people and being nasty for no reason is a worse habit than smoking.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
I love how "smokers" turn into non-human being aliens. True, he should give it up, but he is still a human being! We all have faults.
danzerdrea7 danzerdrea7 8 years
I agree with dear on this one, tell everyone to try to get to know him. He should have enough respect for your family and friends to not smoke around them since they don't like it. If they still won't get to know him, its their loss. And I think a "friend" who says they have lost respect for you isn't a friend at all. We all make choices others don't agree with, it doesn't mean we deserve less respect.
danni2009 danni2009 8 years
Perhaps you could help him stop smoking, you say he wants to stop-what is wrong with stopping right now? Personally, I would never date a smoker/ someone willing to give up smoking.
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