Do you have a tobacco user in your life? Quitting has to be their choice. The good news is you can help. Here are some tips and suggestions on how support them. You can help a loved one quit tobacco, but you can’t make them quit. Quitting is a major life change involving habits, routines and coping with withdrawal. It has to be their choice.
Nagging and lecturing don’t help, often it can put you on the bad side of your friend or family member.
Recognize your quitter at important milestones, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month with a card, treat, or outing.
Quitting is hard, don’t take their bad mood personally. Be there for them but recognize that they don’t need you checking in all the time.
Slips will happen, don’t be too hard on your quitter if they slip. Help them identify what caused the slip and make plans for their next attempt.
Develop a list of activities that will help them manage their cravings and distract them with smoke-free activities.
Brooke and McKenna share their experiences watching their co-worker and husband quit.
Helping loved ones stay tobacco free can include changes in your life as well.
Quitting tobacco is hard, but staying quit can be just as hard. If you’re helping someone stay tobacco-free, check out the information on Cravings and Triggers.
Helping them avoid triggers will help them stay quit. This could mean spending time with different friends, not going to your usual hang outs, or changing where you drink your morning coffee. Even driving in the car can be a trigger. Helping a loved one stay quit will be an adjustment for both of you, but your support can make all the difference.
Relapse happens. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t look at it as failure.
Very, very few people quit on their first try. Most quitters make multiple attempts before they quit for good. As a supporter, it’s important to not view a relapse as a failure. Instead, think of it as your loved one “learning to quit.”
Be there for them. Don’t be too hard on them. When they’re ready to try again, help them identify their triggers and make a plan to avoid them next time. This process can require lots of patience, but don’t get discouraged. Your help is so important. You can find support and ask other quitters questions on our Facebook page.