Supporting Someone Who Is Trying to Stop Smoking

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Nov 28, 2009

It can be challenging to help a person you care about to stop smoking. You don’t want to nag but you don’t want them to smoke. You want to help but are not sure how to do it. Support people can play a very important role in helping a friend or loved on to stop smoking. Here are a couple of tips that may be helpful.
If your friend or loved one is actively trying to stop smoking or planning to stop, ask them how you can be supportive. They know best what will be helpful to them and what will not be so helpful. Let them know that you are very happy that they are trying to stop; you want to assist in a supportive way.
If the person you love is smoking but not ready to stop, do your best to provide both acceptance and hope. It is difficult to avoid being critical and judgmental and at the same time want your friend or loved one to stop smoking. Understand that most people want to stop smoking. However, cigarette smoking can feel irreplaceable to the smoker and no one wants to fail if they try to stop. What people need most of all is hope that they can succeed and hope that stopping will not be terribly uncomfortable and overwhelming. Most people don’t realize that counseling can dramatically increase the likelihood of success and that medications are available to make stopping much less uncomfortable than your loved one fears. Let your friend or loved one know that you would like them to stop smoking, provide information on available help, and back away – but not too far.

Believe in your loved one’s abilities! Don’t give up hope and your friend or loved one is more likely to believe that they can succeed. To learn more about the EX program and how you can help your friend and/or loved one re-learn their live without cigarettes, visit BecomeAnEX.org.