Tips for Helping a 'Smoker' Quit


May 5, 2021

The journey of quitting smoking is personal and unique to every individual who embarks on it - each will meet the inevitable challenges in their own way, as best they can. There may be friends and family we know who smoke, wishing that they would quit for their own health and well-being, often this person will be well aware of this but for whatever reason, they may not be ready to change, and this can be hard for those around.

Take a look at some tips of how you can support a friends quit journey, showing that you care but also sensitive to their situation (via @American Lung Association):

  • Ask your friend or family member what they think they need to most
  • Ask them what the best thing you could do for them
  • Tell your friend that you know he or she can quit smoking for good, even if he or she has tried to quit before.
  • For the first few days after they quit, be ready to help. He or she may just want to talk, or your friend may want extra help when a tough situation arises, such as a party, or a crisis at home or work.
  • Offer to call or visit to check on them. Ask how your friend is feeling, not just whether or not they are still off cigarettes.
  • No nagging, scolding or preaching—that just doesn't work. Instead, let your friend know how much you admire them for trying to quit.
  • Give lots of compliments and offer rewards for getting through a day, a week or a month without smoking. Rewards can be simple—flowers, a lunch treat, or even doing a chore for your friend around the house or office.
  • Support your friend in establishing rewards for short-term and long-term milestones reached. Perhaps their favourite meal or pick up doing their shopping while they relax.
  • Do things together; go to a movie or take a walk. Stay away from places where other people may be smoking.