Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
How can your family and friends help you?
can help you quit smoking, you have to ask for help. Many people are wary of
helping. They may feel that helping you is the same as nagging you and that
this may make it harder for you to quit.
Tell people that you're
quitting and that you want their support. Make clear what you expect. Do you
want to ask a friend to call you each day, or every couple of days, to see how you are doing? Or would you prefer to ask your friend if you can call when you need support? Be sure to tell people how much help you want.
Let people know what to expect
when you quit and how they can help.
- Tell others that as you stop using tobacco, you may be nervous or grouchy. Ask them to put
up with you, because this will pass.
- Ask others to invite you to
activities to help keep your mind off smoking. Tell them that you'll invite
them to do things too. Try going for lunchtime walks, going to movies, or
getting involved with a hobby.
- Plan special celebrations with your
family and friends when you reach one of your quit-smoking goals.
- Find someone else who wants to quit, and agree to be "quit
buddies." This may make quitting easier. You know that someone is sharing the
same goals. Your buddy can help you when you're having a craving.
Tell people the specific ways they can help you. You may ask one friend to call
or visit you to see how it's going. You may ask another friend if you can call
when stress causes a craving or just to talk things over.
- Talk with others about your fears. For example, many people are worried about
gaining weight when they quit smoking. If you are worried about gaining weight, tell a close friend about your fear. Ask for his or her support in being more active and making good food choices.
Smokers usually have
triggers, which are things that make you want to
smoke. Family and friends can help you avoid them.
- Ask friends and family not to take you to
places where people smoke.
- Identify your triggers, and ask for
help avoiding them. For example, if you always have had a smoke with a coffee
break, ask a coworker to come by your desk at this time for a chat or a quick
- Drinking alcohol is often a trigger. You may need to give up alcohol while you are quitting smoking.
Talking to other smokers
Friends who smoke or who
have quit smoking can help you.
- Talk to people who have quit smoking. They
understand what you're going through and can help you through your cravings.
- Ask them how they got through times when
they wanted to smoke again.
- Ask them about the good things that
quitting smoking has done for them, such as a change in their health and sense
- Ask them for any tips on how to make it easier and
about using medicine, classes, or phone hotlines for quitting.
- Ask people who smoke not to smoke around you.
Ask them to keep ashtrays and cigarette packs out of sight.
- If you
live with someone who smokes, see if that person wants to quit smoking with you. If not, talk with him or her about not smoking in front
of you and about setting up smoke-free areas.
Other types of support
Many people reach beyond
family and friends for support. Here are some ideas:
- Tell your doctor the good news that you are planning to quit. Your doctor may suggest medicine to help you quit. Or if you were thinking about trying nicotine replacement, he or she can help you decide whether to use just one product or if a combination might work best for you.
- Get advice and support. This can be by telephone, one-on-one,
or in a group. The more support you get, the better your chances of quitting.
Counseling sessions can also help you if you start smoking again.
- Join a
support group for people who are quitting smoking.
People who have quit or are quitting know what you're going through and can
- Join a
quit-smoking program. Your doctor may be able to
suggest one. You can also find programs on the Internet.
- Use the
Internet. The Internet gives you 24-hour access to information about quitting
smoking and to chat rooms that can provide support.
When you quit, pass it on. Be sure
to support other smokers who are trying to quit.
Test Your Knowledge
When people know that you've quit smoking, they'll
always help you.
Continue to Where to go from here
Return to Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
July 6, 2011
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