Helping someone decide to quit
You can gently encourage someone who smokes to quit. Think of your
comments about smoking as only one event that moves that person toward
- Start any discussion of quitting in a gentle
- Let the person know why you want him or her to quit. Give the
person reasons that are as important to him or her as they are to you. (Try "I
want you to be with us for a long time" rather than "I'm tired of cleaning your
- One good way to begin is to mention a new
treatment option you have heard or read about.
- Make it short (less
than 5 minutes).
- Ask whether there is a way that you can help him
or her quit.
- Repeat your attempt every 6 to 12 months.
Helping someone who is quitting
Family and friends are a valuable source of support and motivation
for a person who is trying to quit smoking. People who have already quit are an
even greater source of comfort and can offer tips for success.
If a person who smokes asks for your support while trying to quit,
- Help distract him or her. Join in the
activities he or she does to decrease the craving to smoke, such as lunchtime
walks or hobbies.
- Ignore grouchy moods. Try your best to tolerate
any bad moods. They won't last forever.
- Provide a reward when he
or she meets a goal or milestone without using tobacco.
- Ask the
person what he or she needs from you.
- If you smoke, don't smoke
around the person who is trying to quit. Don't offer a cigarette, even as a
joke. Don't leave your cigarettes where they will tempt the person to take
- If you have quit smoking, talk often to the person about
positive changes in your health and sense of well-being. Talk about the times
when you found it most difficult not to smoke and what you did to get through
Helping someone who relapses
Most people try to quit smoking many times before they are
successful. Don't give up your efforts. If the person you care about fails to
quit, you can:
- Praise him or her for trying to quit, and for whatever length
of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.
- Encourage him or
her to try again. Don't say "If you try again." Say "When you try again."
Studies show that most people who don't succeed in quitting will try again in
the near future.
- Encourage him or her to learn from the attempt.
Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help him or her be
successful in a future attempt.
- Suggest that he or she consider
more intensive treatment when ready to try again.