Develop a Strong Support System

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Feb 4, 2011

Resist the temptation to go this one alone.  While no one can give you the determination or the motivation to quit, other people can be an important part of helping you stop.  We all need recognition and support from others.

Important people in your life want to help, and they want to see you succeed.  They can be there to cheer you up, to celebrate your successes with you, and also to distract you from urges to smoke.  Do not assume they know the best way to do these things.  Let these people know how they can help, and how much you appreciate them.

To establish a support network:

  • Take the initiative and call someone; don’t wait to be invited.
  • Accept invitations, even if it seems difficult at first or if it’s for a new or unfamiliar activity.
  • Talk about things that interest others.  Be a good listener.
  • Answer phone calls and respond to mail and e-mail from friends and family.
  • Seek out a tobacco dependence support group; be active on becomeanex.org.

Figure out what’s helpful for you (not everyone needs the same kind of support.):

  • Some people are helped by regular, empathic support.  Others prefer more of an occasional “check in.”
  • If there are specific things that you wish support people would say or do, let them know.
  • Conversely, if there are things you want your support person to NOT say or do let them know that too.
  • Decide together with your support person what behaviors to watch for in you – signs you could slip back into tobacco use – and ask for feedback on those specific behaviors.
  • Invite your key support people to a counseling visit if you are seeing a Tobacco Treatment Specialist or counselor.

A strong support system can make all the difference.