Supporting a loved one while they quit is one of the most important things you can do to help them have a longer, healthier life. As a friend or family member, it is important to offer your help each step of the way. Even when quitting gets hard, telling someone they can do it can make a big difference.
Offer lots of encouragement. Don’t nag them about quitting – wait for them to say it’s time to quit. Let them know that you’re proud of them. And instead of offering advice, ask how you can help.
Give them practical help. Help make a quit kit. Include gum, toothpicks, mints – anything they might use instead of tobacco. You can even add pictures of loved ones.
Help them stay busy. It will ease the urge to use tobacco – a feeling that usually passes in five minutes or less. Make a list of things to do together, like taking walks, doing yard work, going to the movies, the mall or to smoke-free restaurants.
Let them know you understand. Have patience. It can be tough to learn new ways to do things without tobacco. Simple things, like taking a break or relaxing after a meal, can be hard. Don’t be surprised if the quitter acts grumpy or nervous. This is a normal part of quitting. And don’t take grouchy comments personally.
Offer your help. Think of ways to make the first week less stressful. Help with chores or other things.
Keep offering. Quitting is a step-by-step process. An urge to smoke can happen many months after quitting. Listen well when they talk about it, remind them how far they have come, and keep offering help.