Hi. My brother was diagnosed decades ago. He’s in his early 60s now and takes medication and is for the most part under control. Spent many years smoking way too many cigarettes. Now he’s done with them. He hasn’t smoked in more than 10 years, and he’s moved on to nicotine gum. Lots of it, one piece after another. Not great, but I’ll take it.
He quit cigarettes, he tells me, because he didn’t want to harm his lungs and shorten his life, and he could feel how they affected him. But in his younger years, I think it was like with your son(s), where not much could stop him.
I briefly smoked in my 20s and while I don’t suffer from serious mental illness, I appreciated how it helped me focus and calm down. It was very hard to stop even my small habit. So, when I think about that, and my brother, and what you write about your sons–Bucky included–I have to conclude nicotine really is massively powerful.
As an aside, and this might be pertinent, my brother lately uses chewing tobacco as an occasional treat. Terrible stuff. He used it once when we were in the car together for an extended period of time, however, and my proximity to him made me very sick. His realization of that blatant fact seems to have helped him ease off that terrible habit, at least around me. I don’t fool myself that he is all that considerate of me as a sister; I think he does realized that I make his life easier, and he didn’t want to harm me if he can help it. Not sure. But anyway, I guess I’m saying it’s hard to tell them “no” and almost impossible when they’re young to appeal to health issues, but as they get older they might be able to conquer the addiction, whether for themselves or for the health of those around them, especially if they are continually pushed to quit.
I’d start a campaign now with a clear message for your son that highlights reasons for him to stop or slow down the smoking, reasons that have deep motivations (because clearly the nicotine feels great.) Maybe tell him you or he cannot afford to keep buying so many packs forever. Tell him you are miserable thinking what he is doing to his lungs. Just be relentless with that message, until he’s able to break away on his own for whatever reason.
Hope this helps. Best of luck.