Going solo vs quitting with a friend

Everyone has his or her own way to quit smoking. Some people are happy to go it alone, while others prefer the support of a friend. There’s no right way to quit smoking; you need to do what works for you. But if you’re debating which is the best route for you, here are a few of the pros and cons of each method.

The power of one

At the end of the day, only you have the ability to make yourself quit smoking. Doing it with someone else or supporting someone else is all very well and good, but, in the end, it’s you who needs to stick with it. No matter how much support you have, there may be moments when you’re by yourself and there isn’t anyone around to pry that cigarette from your hands! So being strong on your own is a great way to quit smoking.

Giving up alone also means:

You can do it your way: There’s no need to compromise. Instead, you can do whatever works for you.

The last thing you need when you’re trying to quit is to have to worry about other people. Solo quitting allows you to be selfish (in a good way) and focus on your own quit plan.

The more the merrier: Rather than focusing on one person, share the support around. All your friends, family and work colleagues can offer support during your journey to a smoke-free life.

No slip-ups: If your friend fails, there might be a chance of you taking the easy way out. ‘Well, they gave up so why can’t I?’ By going it alone, you’re less likely to be influenced by the ups and downs of other quitters.

A change of scene: By avoiding old smoking buddies (even if they are giving up), you’ll have the chance to spend time with non-smoking friends who are less likely to talk about smoking. This means you can take your mind off quitting and forget about it for a while.

Quitting with a friend

Sometimes we need others to help us get through the tougher times. Quitting smoking can be a difficult journey, and as they say: a problem shared is a problem halved. The positives of quitting with a friend include:

Understanding: A quit buddy is more likely to understand what you’re going through than your non-smoking partner or friends. Your buddy will be going through the same emotions, cravings and difficulties so they’ll be able to support you when you need it.

Helping others: Often helping others can be easier than helping ourselves. By quitting with a friend, you’re helping someone else reach their non-smoking goal, which could be a great motivation.

Peer pressure: If you’re quitting with a group of friends, you really don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t stick to it. Perhaps you could even challenge one another. If one of you gives up, they have to take the other for a $500 luxury spa day!

One less smoking friend: If your friend stops smoking, then when you see them you’re less likely to associate them with smoking, and you’ll stop tempting each other to smoke again.

Getting the support you need

Whichever method you choose, you’re bound to need ongoing support to help you stop smoking for good. Your doctor will be able to provide you with useful advice and the Quitline website has great resources plus a help line on 0800 778 778. It’s important to pick the best strategy for you; one that will keep you motivated even on the tough days.

Related links

Helping a friend quit

Setting up a support network


Ready to stop smoking?

Whatever your reason for quitting, you’re twice as likely to stop with NICORETTE® (vs. willpower alone)2. Why not find out where to buy NICORETTE® quit smoking products or get your personalised quit plan?.

2Stead LF, et al. “Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008 Issue 3