Worried About My Friend's Smoking
Q. My friend used to smoke heavily. She quit for a year, but recently became a "social smoker" because another friend she met smokes. She tries to hide it and often lies about her smoking. I'm very against smoking and don't know what to do.
A. I appreciate your love and care for your friend. I'm sorry your friend is smoking again, but I'm glad you didn't say "my ex-friend." She probably needs you now more than ever before. Our job as Christians is to love people despite their habits and pitfalls. I'm afraid too many Christians walk away from their friends at the first sign of a negative outward behavior. I'm glad you aren't doing that.
Here's the scoop on smoking. Nicotine is one of the strongest addictive drugs known. Some experts say it's easier to get off heroin than nicotine. Your friend is putting a very addictive and harmful substance into her body. Some students use tobacco as a symbol of rebellion. What they don't realize is that nicotine produces a stimulating effect, causing addiction to take place quite rapidly. Once they are addicted, the withdrawal process is extremely difficult. You say your friend is a "social smoker," but she may be smoking much more than she says. Addicts tend to lie about their amount of use.
Tell your friend you still want to be friends even if she doesn't quit smoking. Also, tell her you'll help her do anything to quit. Pray for her. Be there for her and when she looks for help, she will look to you.
Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
Click here for reprint information on Ignite Your Faith.