How to Help Loved Ones Quit Smoking

If someone you know is trying to quit, they’ll need all the help they can get from friends, family, and work colleagues. If you’re willing, there’s actually a lot you can do to help them.

You can use these simple strategies to help someone you know quit smoking.

  • Get the Facts
    Understanding more about why quitting is important to your loved one, and giving the right advice can be extremely helpful. You can start with this website – there’s a lot of info to help you get to grips with all the quitting issues.
  • Listen to Them
    It may sound obvious, but listening is key when you’re supporting someone who’s quitting. If you can be a sympathetic ear to their worries, cravings, and stresses, you’ll better understand their situation, but also, they’ll feel better for sharing, and will be less likely to be tempted.
  • Distract Them
    Simply not thinking about smoking can be one of the most useful strategies for quitters. By taking their mind off their cravings, you’ll be doing them a real favour. Something as simple as a cup of tea, an interesting magazine article, or walking the dog could help them get past a craving.
  • Change Activities and Settings
    If you know your friend is likely to crave a cigarette at the pub, then suggest a non-smoking environment instead. Try to suggest alternatives to activities they previously associated with smoking.
  • Don’t Always Talk About Quitting Smoking
    Although it’s tempting to go on and on about quitting smoking, it may be counterproductive. The quitter feels harassed and seeks comfort in a cigarette. Constantly talking about smoking is an ever-present reminder for quitters and could drive them crazy. Instead, try to remain positive and encouraging.
  • Reward Them
    Positive encouragement can be the key to successfully quitting smoking. Perhaps set out a series of goals with associated rewards that increase as each goal is achieved. One week of being smoke-free gets them a trip to the movies and one month - a massage. At one year, they’ll get a meal in a 5-star restaurant.
  • Encourage Healthy Choices
    Try to encourage quitters to get out and about so they can start enjoying their new-found energy levels. By adopting a healthier lifestyle, they’re likely to feel better about themselves and less likely to start smoking again.
  • Remember, no one is perfect
    Don’t be too hard on someone who’s quit smoking if he or she slips up and has a cigarette. Instead of getting cross and making him or her feel bad (because they probably already do), offer support and encouragement for getting back on track.