Helping a friend to quit

If someone you know is trying to quit they’ll need all the help they can get from friends, family and work colleagues. And if you’re willing there’s actually a lot you can do to help them quit. If you’ve already managed to give up smoking, your experience and advice will be invaluable but, even if you haven’t, you can still give support to your friend. Here are some suggestions on how you can help:

Great ways to help a friend quit smoking

Here are some simple strategies to help someone you know wave goodbye to cigarettes.

Two ears, one mouth: 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, not only will you better understand their situation, but also, they’ll feel better for sharing, and are less likely to be tempted.

Get the facts : Understanding more about why quitting is important and giving your friend the right advice can be really helpful. There’s heaps of information on this website to help you get to grips with all the quitting issues.

Distraction : 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, a interesting magazine article or walking the dog could help them get past that current craving.

No temptation: 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 nag : Although it’s tempting to go on and on about giving up, often this can be counterproductive. The quitter feels harassed and seeks comfort in a cigarette. Constantly talking about smoking is an ever-present reminder for the quitter that could drive them crazy! 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 smoke free gets them a trip to the movies; one month: a massage; one year: a meal in a top-class restaurant. For good: well, they’ll be rewarded with your total admiration, right?

Get healthier: Try to encourage your quitter 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.

Failure is not an option: Don’t be too hard on your quitter friend if they slip up. They’re only human! Instead of getting cross and making them feel bad (they probably already feel pretty bad), offer them support and encouragement and help them to get back on track.

Quitting smoking can be hard, but helping someone along the path to becoming a non-smoking is a great feeling!

Related links

Going solo vs quitting with a friend

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