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Say ‘No’ to Smoking

Why do you need to say ‘No’?

It is important to say “No” smoking before it becomes a habit or an addiction.


How do you say no to smoking?

  • If all your friends smoke and you don’t want to, it can be hard to say “no thanks”, but being a non-smoker is your right.
  • No one wants to risk feeling rejected or left out, but your health is more important.
  • Different strategies may work for different people.
  • Some people find it helps to say no without giving an explanation, others think providing reasons work better (for example, “I am not into smoking”, or “my uncle died from smoking”).
  • If you feel uncomfortable to say no to your friends, use your parents or another adult for your refusal.
  • Saying “my parents don’t want me to smoke” or “my football coach would remove me from the team”, can make saying no a bit easier for some.
  • The important thing is that you have to assert yourself when saying “no”. Being assertive means stating your opinion without hurting feelings of others.

How can you be assertive?

  • State your position. Tell the other person that you do not wish to smoke.
  • State your reason. Tell the other person the reason why you do not wish to smoke (example, smoking is bad for my health).
  • Be understanding. Let the other person know that you understand his feelings.E.g. “I know you’d like me to smoke, but I prefer not to.”

How should you convey your decision?

  • Use the right non-verbal skills. (Facial expressions, body languages, etc).
  • Here are few tips to help you become more assertive.
    • Loudness of voice.Speak with a strong confident tone of voice. Don’t whisper or mumble.
    • Eye contact.Look directly into his or her eyes. Don’t look away from the person you are talking to or down at the floor.
    • Facial expression. Be certain that your facial expressions are saying what you are saying (for example, don’t smile while you are telling someone you’re angry).
    • Distance. Keep the right distance from the person you are talking with (for example, stand further away if you’re telling someone that you’ve got to go or stand closer if you’re feeling warm or affectionate).

How can you say ‘No’?

Simple “No” No” or “No, thanks
Tell it like it is “No, thanks, I don’t smoke”
Give an excuse Give an excuse “No, thanks. I’m in a hurry right now. I’ve got to go.”
Changing the subject Say “no” and start talking about something else. “No, thanks. Hey, did you see the game last night?”



Last Reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer Dr. Nor Saleha bt. Ibrahim Tamin
Prof. Madya Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon
Prof. Madya Dr. Foong Kin
Reviewer : Dr. Salmiah bt. Md. Sharif
: Dr. Wan Fadhilah bt. Wan Ismail