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Why do people lie about smoking/giving up smoking?

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buffymad | 13:42 Mon 22nd Nov 2010 | Body & Soul
18 Answers
Just trying to get my head around this one!

Hubbie smoked when I first met him. I admit I used to go on about it (didn't like it - used to be like that with my mam too!) and he eventually tried to give up (probably because I'd gone on for so long). Been with him for over 21 years now and he's been on and off smoking all that time. He's fibbed in the past about when he's given up (without prying, I always seem to spot something that gives the game away!). Recently (a few months ago) he gave up again - this time because he couldn't afford it (so it wasn't me harassing him anymore - I gave up doing that a long time ago!). But circumstances again told me that he had a packet of ciggies in his jacket pocket.

Now I don't care if he does smoke (he wouldn't do it around me anyway) but I hate the lying about it (which he knows I hate). So I asked him if he had started up again, he said no. So I said did he want to change his answer because evidence was telling me he was carrying ciggies around. He still said no. Basically it turned into a full blown argument - but he wouldn't back down about the apparent "no smoking". He gave a vaguely plausible explanation and in the end I said I believed him (was half and half to be honest but it stopped the conversation).

Now today I find that he's still got a ciggie pack on him with one left in there - so that would say to me he's definitely smoking again!!

Can't be bothered with trying to confront him again but just wondered why so many people do lie about it. Even people at my work (females too!) do the same thing.

PS - I'm a non smoker, never tried one in my life so I know you'll all hate me and say I don't understand etc ... !!!

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He's lying because of your reaction.

Same as many blokes lie about how many pints they have.

They don't like to be nagged.
There's a saying - 'A liar is a cheat'.
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If you can't tell from his breath, then he probably doesn't smoke all that much.
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Ah, but I used to nag him but I don't now. I've said a million times I don't care if he smokes, only about lying about it to me!

I thought it might be the case though, even though I've said I'm okay with it, its easier for him to lie in case he gets a different reaction.

Yep, I've also lied about how much I've had to drink, how much that outfit cost etc etc - ahem!!

As bad as each other then really!!!
The one ciggie left in packet is his "security blanket". Give the guy a break please.
That's it Buffy...

Although you don't nag now....he probably associates it with you nagging. The human mind is strange thing,
My God, you actually said "So I said did he want to change his answer because..." ?

The poor sod, he's a grown man, not an errant child. He smoked when you met him, so you obviously accepted him for it at the time. My advice would be to stop asking him full stop. He must feel like he's getting a rollocking off his mum each time you start.
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Jogger Jayne - fair point, you can't tell from his breath and he doesn't smell minty or anything (ie trying to disguise it). He used to smoke loads originally but when I've KNOWN he's been smoking lately (and he's admitted it) its not been many to be honest.
Aren't there more important things to worry about? Granted-you may be worried about his health....but ultimately-it's up to him. ALL motivation has to come from within...and nagging is not going to get him to the point where HE wants to stop. I suggest you put it aside....if he's ever going to quite,it will come in his time.
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BOO - haha, I know, horrible way I phrased it wasn't it? He picked me up on that and after thinking about it I realised how awful that sounded and that yes, I sounded like his mam - oops!! I apologised for the way I said it by the way. See, I am nice sometimes!!
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Pastafreak - totally agree with you actually. Its the little things that get to me to be honest (like the lying). Basically decided to let it go in any case.
Well, if he doesn't smell, then he's probably having the occasional one, and he won't kill himself.

I have a pal who smokes non-stop when we go to the pub - I'm on intimate terms with the back patios of every pub in Brighton from drinking with her !!

But ... she says she never smokes, except when we go out for a drink.

So some smokers just need to have one every now and again, just to keep them sane.
buffy...I would not define that as 'lying' in the usual sense...he just needs his bit of security...and it's the habit of a lifetime-the smoking..
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He has got a stressful job too - so I kind of know that makes it harder and he's more apt to smoke there than anywhere else. See, other people's opinions always make sense and make everything clearer!!
Maybe he doesn't want to admit to you that he has relapsed because he will feel like a failure and he doesn't want you to think that about him too.

When I quit, I did well for a few weeks and then started back up, I didn't tell my friends because I knew they would be disappointed in me and would nag me! Inevitably they did find out and did nag me lol but it gave me the kick up the ass I needed and I've now been a non smoker for nearly 5 years.
maybe if he smoked in front of you it would be okay initially,in his mind he probably feels that it probably wouldnt be long before the nagging resumed, especially when faced with it on a daily basis.

smoking and whether to give up or not is a personal decision, he should want to give up himself rather than feel compelled to by others. I would imagine his secrecy is a way of avoiding the many confrontations on the subject. personally I would drop the subject altogether, he obviously feels unhappy about it.
Hay buffy!! I am in exactly your situation at the moment except my other half feels the need to use different bank accounts to buy the cigareettes on thinking I don't look. I feel bad looking at the differnt bank accounts as they are his but I just want to know if he is lieing. I'm so fed up of it! We have just brought a house together and now I feel a bit trapped to be honest and not really sure What to do. I have done exactly what you have done used to nag and have given up now as I just want the lieing to stop. Then today he was telling me how proud he was of himself as he hadn't smoked yet in check his account and it is obvious he has been buying them!!! I don't want to live with a lier any advise?

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