People Who Have Support Are More Likely to Quit For Good

The decision to quit is theirs, but your support can help them succeed

Quitting tobacco is one of the biggest challenges many people will ever face. That’s because tobacco is much more than just an unhealthy habit – it’s a powerful addiction. But your support matters. In fact, people who have help are more likely to quit forever than people who quit without support. A tobacco user’s decision to quit is an important first step. But remember that quitting is often a process – not an event.

 

Holding Hands

Being around a person who is trying to quit tobacco can be challenging. The irritation of nicotine withdrawal? You might already know all about that. Helping someone quit can feel like a thankless job – but you are making a difference.

 

Quitting is never easy and different people will benefit from different kinds of help. Ask the person who is quitting tobacco what kind of support he or she wants.

 

Quitting tobacco can be a sensitive topic, but it’s an important conversation. If the tobacco user mentions he or she is thinking about quitting, offer your support. If they don’t mention quitting, you can bring it up. If they don’t give you an opening, you can create one by mentioning a story on smoking you saw on the news or an ad. Always try to use a nonjudgmental tone, and remind the person how much you care about them.

Are you a former smoker? Share your experience with your friend or loved one who is trying to quit, including how you decided to quit and what the quitting process was like for you.

Support from the Colorado QuitLine

Along with your support, the coaching and free medications offered by the Colorado QuitLine can help people quit for good. Watch this video to learn more.

 

Tips to help someone quit

  1. Ask open-ended questions. The answers will help you understand what the person is feeling. What made you decide to quit? What stresses you out? What do you think would make quitting easier?
  2. Be a good listener. Resist the urge to comment and just listen. Quitting is a highly personal decision, and for many people it is a process that sparks a lot of soul-searching. People need to feel accepted and loved, not judged.
  3. Skip the lecture. Nagging or scolding someone will not help them quit. It will probably just make them angry. Don’t ask if they used tobacco today, and don’t complain if they are irritable while going through withdrawal.
  4. Be a distraction. Plan tobacco-free activities. Suggest going to a movie, taking a walk, attending a game night with friends, eating out, enrolling in an art class or going to a concert.
  5. Make a cravings care package. Include gum, hard candy, toothpicks, healthy snacks like nuts and veggies, a stress ball, a book of motivational messages, and a reusable water bottle.
  6. Be positive and patient. Withdrawal can make people irritable and angry. Stay positive; don’t take it personally. Try saying, “I know this is hard on you. I am proud of you for sticking with it. Let’s celebrate how far you’ve come!”
  7. Most people quit many times. It takes practice to be a good quitter. Don’t get frustrated. Be supportive when they are ready to try again.
  8. Celebrate successes. Be a cheerleader. Recognize the success of staying tobacco-free for a day, week, month or year. Celebrate milestones with a call or text, flowers, a card, dinner or an evening out.
  9. Help reduce stress. The stress of daily life is why most people smoke – and why most people slip up when they try to quit. Suggest healthy ways to decompress, such as meditating, taking a walk, watching a funny TV show, meeting for dinner, taking a nap or a hot bath.
  10. Be patient. Cravings can last weeks, even months. Many people start using tobacco again within a couple of months. Show you’re here to help over the long haul. Continue offering support and celebrating successes. Your support makes a difference!