12 September 2014 / submitted by Benny, United States of America
Q.  How can I help my older brother stop smoking? He has been smoking for about 3 years and does it moderately at home. I've told my parents and they have tried to make him stop but since he is in his twenties they can't make him do anything. I find lighters and stuff when I go into his room, but I'm too scared to do anything or confront him about it. And whenever I see those commercials with lung cancer patients...
I just want to help him.
It's a simple answer, you can't. I'm afraid that as an adult he can make his choices - good or bad for his health, notwithstanding what his family think.
As he still lives at home with your parents, I do think that what they say should count as house rules, but he could still smoke outside so it won't solve your problem.
Don't be scared to confront your brother because it's great that you care so much. Be gentle with your approach because he could likely tell you to mind your own business and be defensive about the concern mistaking it for intrusion.
I don't see anything wrong with explaining what you're worried about but don't expect any changes. Maybe in time you brother will cone to his own conclusion that smoking is bad for your health - as well as your wallet. As an ex smoker, I'm amazed anyone can afford to smoke! Finances aside, I can also tell you that like most addictions, smoking is a hard habit to break.
If he wanted to stop my answer would be very different. I truly believe the key to stopping is wanting to stop. It has to come from your brother, as I doubt he'd stop just because someone asked / told him to but hey, you never know. Better to try to talk to him and fail than not try at all.
Over to you.

I also have my experiences with smokers. Smokers smoke because of stress or because they're addicted to it (or both). There is 1 thing you can take away: the stress. When you talk to him, stay calm. This will make it easier for both of you.
The first time you talk to him he'll probably refuse to stop. You have to accept that. Wait a while, and then confront him again. You can repeat this, but not too much. If he simply can't stop, help him search to an alternative. There are lot's of things to help people quit or to replace smoking. Cigarettes on electricity, for example, or chewing gum. Both of them are free of poison, CO, etc.
I hope this answer will hep your brother to quit.

My daughter smoked so I know how you feel. I also smoked until I found ecigs. I stopped smoking cigarettes completely and since then have been dropping the nicotine level in my eliquid. I am now down to almost zero. I've introduced my daughter to ecigs and she has also stopped cigarettes. I mix my own liquids so I have complete control over the nicotine level, I mix for her too and she doesn't know yet I've been dropping her levels, she hasn't noticed the difference! My advice to you would be to maybe buy your brother one as a present and see what he thinks. He has to be ready to change though, so don't be too disappointed if he doesn't show much interest to start with, just planting the idea in his head may have to be sufficient for now. Don't pressure him, that will just annoy him, tell him how much less ecigs cost too, that might help... Good luck
Tanya UK.

First thing, can I just say you're such a loving and very sweet kind of sibling to your brother. I know you're really concern about your brother but I think cigarettes is one of the bad habits that adults/young adults that can't be avoided at this moment. Well... I think the best thing you can do is you yourself tell your brother how you feel every time you see him smoke, (since you said that he won't listen to your parents) maybe this is now the right time for you to have courage to say that you are really concern for him smoking. Maybe this time to you as a younger bro. he'll listen. You could ask him out for a brother-to-brother bonding and little by little you can open up to him that you really are concern and scared for his health and tell him how much you love him and you don't want him to lose early that's why you want him to quit from smoking. Or you could just tell him every day the bad effects of cigarettes in the body even if he gets mad for convincing him real hard. Until he finally decides to give it up. I'm pretty sure your brother will soon understand and will stop from smoking. Hope this helps! Best of Luck! Love, Shaine from Philippines.

I understand you care about your brother and want the best for him, but, as you already know, he is an adult: he's old enough to make his own decisions. Even though sometimes they might not be the best ones - from your point of view - that's up to him.
But the most important thing here is that you're worrying too much about a remote possibility. You said it yourself: your brother smokes moderately. Although it may be harmful, smoking doesn't necessarily imply developing cancer. There are a lot of people who smoke for years and, though their physical condition may not be the best, they are fine. My mum is an example of that: she was a smoker for 20 years. She really used to smoke A LOT and she's just fine.
The only thing you can ask your brother is not to smoke indoors or while you are nearby. Cigarette smoke is annoying, not to mention the smell that sticks to your hair and clothes. I'm sure he will respect that request. Don't worry about him smoking a lot outside your home. People who smoke a lot, smoke a lot everywhere. They are never moderate.
Love from Argentina. Noelia.

Have a peaceful and loving attitude, tell him how you feel and how it is hurting not only him but the loved ones around him. tell him how there are so many better things in life and help him to find something he enjoys more than smoking. Malachi.

Here's the thing you can't make him stop.
He is the one that has to make the decision.
The only thing you can do is to say that your really worried about him.
And that you want to help him. Don't be scared to tell him how you feel when you see those commercials.
Maybe even show him that you made this email to The Oracle. Because you just want to help him.
I don't think he will ignore you, at certain points he will think about what you said.
And he might realise how unhealthy it is and you are worried about him.
Greetings, Luc.

So, your brother can't stop smoking and you're troubled in looking for a way out? If it comes about cigarettes, then progress is the answer.
People mostly chose to smoke with a reason. It's not about that he's in his 20s or anything, there is a high probability that he's having a major problem and he decided to keep it. Try to talk more with him, share stories and thoughts about it. Then, ask him to stop. This can be the hardest part but like I said above, progress is the main solution here. Slowly but surely I'm very certain that he'll stop smoking!
Now, regarding your brother's age, the longer your brother stays with his habit the aftermath will be even more painful in the future.
Wish everything the best for you, your family, and especially your brother!
Cheers, Josh.

I happen to have a friend who smokes. I talked to him about it and asked him what made him start, and tried to understand what makes him so attached to it. Some people are attached to cigarettes because of the physical moves they make when smoking, (i.e, holding the cigarette, blowing out the smoke, etc.), for others it's, of course, the nicotine. Try to talk to him and don't be afraid, fear is 50% of failure all the time. Approach him gently and in a friendly manner. Sit him down and talk about it as much as he likes. Don't lead the conversation, make him do that. Just try to understand what it is that's making him this way. You also have to get the help of someone he is really close to, like his girlfriend or best friend. Make them also talk to him. I'm sure with all your effort you will get him to at least cut down. Remember, its a journey of patience and support. You're an amazing sibling. Solaf.

As a previous smoker myself, I recently quit a year ago, it makes it MUCH harder when you have family harassing you about quitting. My mom harassed me every time she saw me. I know that family only does it because they care, but from personal experience, it only makes it worse for the person who is smoking. The best thing that a family member can do is bet there to support them. The only time that quitting smoking will be successful is if the person really wants to quit. This is my FOURTH attempt to quit, and the longest time I have gone without going back to it. I smoked from the time I was 15 to 32. It's not easy so when that day comes that your brother does want to quit smoking he will need lots of support and understanding, especially if he has a bump and goes back to smoking. It may not happen the first time or the second. What people don't get is that it's not as easy as you think it is. Just please try to support your brother as much as you can. Rosalie.

First off, I think it's nice that you want to help your brother out and I understand you want him to do the healthy thing and stop smoking. But in the end it's his own decision. As you said he's in his twenties, so you can't make him stop or help him stop if he doesn't want to. My dad used to smoke a lot too, until we took him to the 'Body Worlds Exhibition' one day. Where, amongst other things, they show you the difference between a smokers and non-smokers lung. It scared the living daylights out of him and he stopped smoking the next day. Maybe you could take your brother there sometime? Good luck! Amanda.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

12 September 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE? As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply. ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 18 September.

I have been through a lot of depressing stuff lately, a lot has been going wrong in my life. I don't know who I am anymore, and my personality has changed for the worse. I've been really depressed. My school life is terrible, my grades are going downhill rapidly, and I don't get on with my family, I'm the odd one out. All my friends have said they hate me now, after a false rumor was spread about me. I only ever let my feelings out in my writing and drawing, as well as when I play my guitar. I love all of Coldplay's songs, they really express how I feel a lot of the time. You see, I had a boyfriend, secretly, but my parents found out about it and are preventing me from seeing him again. I didn't get to say goodbye, or even explain why I'm not talking to him, it was all so sudden. I'm scared of what he thinks of me, but I couldn't help it. I miss him a lot in my life, he was the only person who understood me. Do you have any encouraging thoughts for me? Thank you.
Aubrey, Australia.

Look forward to reading your replies.
The Oracle.
Please email your replies with TEAM ORACLE in the subject line to
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.

11 September 2014 / submitted by Isabelle, Netherlands
Q.  Hello Oracle,

I just found this video of a concert in Australia. What does Chris say at 40:18? I'd love to know that.

Isabelle, Netherlands.
Just before they play ASFOS he says, "If you are wearing a tie, now might be the time to take it off".

11 September 2014 / submitted by Hans, Germany
Q.  Is there a friendship between the Coldplay boys and the band members from Keane?
I read that Chris was a roomate of a Keane member in the college.
There have been quite a few questions already answered about the band's relationship with Keane. If you type Keane into the search field, it's probably easier if you read through the results.

11 September 2014 / submitted by Liam, Canada
Q.  Hey Mr. Oracle, I was just wondering. Due to his heavy involvement (6 of 10 tracks on VLV, 10 of 14 tracks on MX, and 1 track on GS) on the more recent LPs, would I be correct in saying Davide Rossi is an unofficial member of the band?
No you would not be correct because a collaborator, producer, additional musician etc. doesn't automatically become a member of a band no matter what their involvement. Davide is the band's violin, electric violin & string arranger but he actually has his own band - Black Submarine.

10 September 2014 / submitted by Jordan, United States of America
Q.  Was that Chris in the green shirt sitting next to Apple Designer Jony Ive at the Apple Watch Event?
Chris was in Cupertino for the event but I haven't checked where he sat or what he was wearing. I got my information from Stephen Fry via Anchorman.

10 September 2014 / submitted by Maedeh, Iran
Q.  You said Roadie #42 is in ASFOS video but I've never seen him so I can't recognize him. Would you help me find him in the video?
The first sighting is 31 seconds in. You can see him over Chris' left shoulder (looking at the screen, on the right under the traffic lights) behind the man with shades. He is wearing spectacles and carrying a bag over his shoulder & overtakes them.
That should be enough but if you still can't spot him, have a photo.

10 September 2014 / submitted by Harry, United Kingdom
Q.  Dear Oracle,

Do the band ever play songs differently than on the record when on tour? For example would Chris or Jonny ever revise chords or a riff to make them simpler/easier to play in front of such big audiences? Or are they always played the exact record way? I'm very keen to know.

Diolch! Harry
There would be no need to change any song to make them easier to play. The level of difficulty doesn't have any bearing on whether it's played live.
Midnight was one of the most difficult songs to work out how to play live, but the band did work it out and played it rather than not. It would be more likely that a song isn't played because of the vocal register (this is the main reason Yes was dropped from the setlist - it was too low).
The band do play some songs differently on tour e.g., Yellow & God Put A Smile Upon Your Face to keep the gig fresh & interesting for band and fans alike.

9 September 2014 / submitted by Agnes, Australia
Q.  Hi there! Where can I but the B-Sides to all of Coldplay's albums? I've heard quite a few of them and I think some of them are even better than their singles etc... PLEASE TELL ME!!

Agnes xxx
I can't give you a definitive list of where to buy them (it may vary) but I can point you to the Recordings where you can see the band's discography. The B-sides are listed with the singles, you can then go forth and find them online.

9 September 2014 / submitted by Carlos, Ecuador
Q.  Coldplay has a song to tell someone that you miss her and his name?
Warning Sign was the first song that came to mind - it includes the line: 'When the truth is, I miss you'. You can find it on A Rush Of Blood To The Head.
Always In My Head from Ghost Stories is another. I'm sure there are more that even if not specifically written about missing someone, certainly fit lyrically.