For Supporters

Winter is well underway. Between frigid weather and gray skies, it’s easy to long for some warmth and sunshine. If there’s a person quitting smoking in your life, this winter might be especially difficult for them. Without cigarettes, they may feel irritable and moody – and the winter temperatures don’t help. But just because the weather is cool doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great winter activities to do with your quitter. Whether you’re on call to help them when urges to smoke arise, or helping them plan alternative activities that don’t remind them of smoking, you can be a source of warmth and encouragement for your quitter this winter. Catch Up Over a Hot Beverage What’s better than hot cocoa on a winter day? Offer to meet your quitter at your favorite cafe, or invite them over to your house for a hot drink. It might be wise to avoid coffee, as caffeinated beverages may be a smoking trigger for some people. Try another winter favorite – herbal peppermint tea or warm apple cider – instead. Ask them how their quitting journey is going so far, and if there is anything you can do to help. Do a Winter Craft Picking up and holding a cigarette may have become a routine for your quitter. Help them find something new to do with their hands while enjoying some winter crafts. Together, you can learn how to knit or crochet, or make paper snowflakes. Whether you end up with a warm scarf or a wintery decoration, you can enjoy spending time together while keeping your hands busy. Make a Healthy Wintery Snack Besides having urges to hold cigarettes in their hands, your quitter may also have the urge to put something in their mouth. Making a crunchy snack like a winter trail mix to take on the go may help them out with some of those urges. If your quitter is worried about weight gain that might happen, cut up some vegetables or fruit instead. Share a Blanket and Have a Winter Movie Marathon Although your quitter may occasionally get the urge to smoke, remind them that cravings usually go away after 3-5 minutes, whether they smoke or not. In that time, hop onto the couch, get under a warm blanket, and start your favorite wintertime movie. Time does fly when you’re having fun! Help Others Stay Warm When the weather gets cold, those without proper housing, heating, or warm clothes may struggle. Collecting gently used coats and boots to donate to a shelter or clothing drive, or volunteering at a soup kitchen with your quitter can give you both an especially important winter task to accomplish. Your quitter may enjoy having the opportunity to help others feel good. Whatever you do for your quitter this winter, make sure you show them the warmth in your heart. In a survey of 146 adult smokers who were trying to quit, 80% said that support from family, friends, and coworkers is very important to successfully quit smoking. By providing a warm, supportive environment for your quitter, you could be helping them to achieve quit smoking success.  PP-CHM-USA-1641
Not all people are alike, and in tough situations, everyone needs different forms of support from their loved ones. What kind of supporter are you? What type of supporter do you need to be more like? Here, we provide four different supporter profiles to help you figure out what kind of supporter you can be, and how that matches up with the needs of your friend or loved one who’s quitting smoking. The Cheerleader Who You Are: You provide unconditional support, especially when your quitter is feeling low. You are a positive thinker and believe anything can be achieved if you just try, try, try. Who Your Quitter Is: Your quitter responds best to positive thinking, affirmation and high-energy motivation The Coach Who You Are: You’re excited by the work ahead. You’ve created a game plan and talked your quitter through strategies for success. You have catch phrases like “Let’s get to work” or “Time to cut the cigs!” You’re not afraid to give a little tough love, but are also there with a motivational speech when the situation calls for it. Who Your Quitter Is: Your quitter responds best to pep talks, high fives and constructive criticism. The Fixer / Project Manager Who You Are: You mapped out your loved one’s quit on a calendar and/or spreadsheet, and plan to help them stick to it. You love the rush of crossing off items on your to-do list, and you see helping your friend as just another item. You’ve channeled organizational adrenaline into a plan for you and them. You correspond with your quitter via email and automated alerts. You are highly rational and always on call for your quitter. Who Your Quitter Is: Your quitter responds best to color-coded plans, instructional guides and constant communication. The Sponsor / Spiritual Guide Who You Are: You are cool, calm, and collected when talking to your motivated quitter. You are great at helping your quitter reflect and think about the big picture and long term benefits of their quit. You take them to yoga. You believe answers are best solved when they are talked through. Your support is driven by love and faith. Who Your Quitter Is: Your quitter responds best to philosophy, nature, meditation or prayer, virtual reality, and kale smoothies. Interested in receiving more supporter tips or sending online encouragements to the quitter in your life? Download the Quitter’s Circle app. PP-CHM-USA-1520
When a longtime smoker declares their desire to quit, it can be an exciting time for those who wish to see them live a healthier lifestyle. But remember that your quitter may be feeling a mix of emotions about quitting, some positive, and some negative. As a supporter, it’s crucial to listen to your quitter’s needs and encourage them to proceed at their own pace. Respect that your quitter is leading their quit journey, and you’re there to support them along the way. Start by simply asking, “How can I help you?” While you may be in a supporting role, don’t underestimate the impact you can make. In a recent survey of 146 adult smokers who were trying to quit, 80 percent said that support from others was very important for their quitting success. To help be the best supporter you can be, read on to learn about three different forms of quit smoking support. Physical Support A major challenge of quitting smoking is managing urges to smoke. Help your quitter resist these urges by having something other than cigarettes to keep their mouth busy. Alternatives include toothpicks, sugar-free lollipops, chewing gum and hard candies, or crunchy, healthy snacks. Make a Quit Kit with these items for your quitter, or keep one handy when you’re with them to show your dedication to their well-being.  Simply being with your quitter during moments when they desire a cigarette can also be beneficial. Though the urge to smoke usually passes within 3 to 5 minutes, your presence may help distract and comfort your quitter during those difficult times. As their lung capacity improves and they get less winded, invite your quitter to go for walks or toss a ball around. Being there as they overcome challenges will encourage your quitter to keep it up. Emotional Support When your quitter gives up cigarettes, they may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, frustration and irritability. Don’t take their moods personally; instead, be a source of positive support. If they want to talk about their feelings, be a good listener. Remind them that these symptoms will fade with time, and the benefits of quitting make the effort worth it. During the quit smoking journey, your quitter may get discouraged with the process. If they have a slip, help them get back on their feet and focused on their goal of a smokefree life. Encourage your quitter to make a plan to deal with urges to prevent future slips. Your quitter will also have milestones to celebrate during their journey, such as one-week, one-month or six-months smokefree. Recognize these successes as notable milestones for your quitter! A little praise can make a big difference. You can also surprise them with a card, a home-cooked meal or tickets to see their favorite band in concert. Financial Support Some smokers cite the costs of quit smoking treatment as a barrier to using them. In a survey sponsored by the American Lung Association and Pfizer involving 483 adult smokers in the US, 78 percent said that quit smoking treatments or aids are too expensive. If money is a concern for your quitter, you can help them set up a Quit Fund. A Quit Fund is an online fundraising tool to help pay for expenses during their quit smoking journey such as doctor’s visits, exercise classes, or healthy groceries. By contributing to their fund, you’re showing that you’re invested in their positive life change. Your quitter’s other friends, family members and coworkers can donate to the Quit Fund as well. Together, your support will add up, covering some of the costs during their quit journey. Or maybe your quitter will use their Quit Fund to plan a smokefree celebration! No matter what they use their quit fund for, your quitter will be filled with gratitude for your generosity and foresight. Quitting smoking is a challenging journey. But your support can make a difference during this journey. Whether its handing your quitter a sugar-free candy at the right moment or asking them “how are you feeling?” after a tough day, your thoughtful support can help your quitter stay focused on their quit smoking goals. To learn more about ways you can help someone quit smoking, visit the For Supporters section of PP-CHM-USA-1284 
Do you have a close friend who is quitting smoking? Are you wondering how to support them? You’ve made an important first step by seeking out information about how to help them. In a recent survey of 146 adult smokers who were trying to quit, 80 percent said support from family, friends and coworkers is very important to successfully quit smoking. While your pal’s motivation to stay smokefree must ultimately come from within, you can play an important role in helping them achieve success! As summer goes on, bringing warmer weather and vacation time, think of activities you can do with your friend to help them enjoy the benefits of a smokefree life. Here are some key ways you can be an effective supporter to your friend: Be a source of support If your quitter has asked you for support, take a moment to feel honored that they’ve let you into their inner circle. During this important and challenging life transition, your friend needs a lot of support and encouragement. During the first few days of your friend’s quit, make yourself available for phone calls or evening walks.  Show that you understand the journey can be challenging, by simply asking, “How are you doing?” Avoid lecturing or criticizing them. Another way to stay connected with your friend is by using the Quitter’s Circle app. Download the app on your mobile device, and invite them to do so as well.  Supporters can receive updates when their Quitter hits a milestone and send encouraging stickers, emoticons and Quit Cards. Plan Fun Smokefree Activities Together Quitting smoking is more than just giving up cigarettes. Your friend may have to learn new skills and habits to adjust to a smokefree life. During the early weeks of your friend’s quit, when slip-ups are most likely to occur, plan some fun activities that avoid smoking triggers and serve as a distraction from smoking. Surprise your friend with an activity to celebrate their new smokefree life. Have you and your friend always wanted to try stand up paddle boarding, salsa dancing, or horseback riding? Start something new! Help them Set Up a Quit Fund A Quit Fund is a way for friends and family to donate money to help with expenses related to quitting, such as doctor’s visits, and other things that may help support a healthier lifestyle, such as healthy groceries and new workout clothes. Let your friend know about this option and offer to help set up their Quit Fund, but remember: they should be leading the effort. Celebrate your Quitter Your friend is working hard to quit smoking, and by being a key supporter, you can also celebrate in their successes. When your quitter reaches a milestone, such as one-month smokefree, think of fun ways to honor their accomplishment. Here are some ideas: Prepare their favorite meal Give them a card telling them how much you care Surprise them with fresh flowers or a gift-certificate to their favorite retail store  If you have a close friend that is quitting smoking, visit our Facebook page to give them a shout-out and let them know how proud you are of their quit journey.   PP-CHM-USA-1172
The nicotine found in cigarettes and other tobacco products is known to be very addictive. Have you ever wondered why that is, or what nicotine is doing inside your body? Here, we explain all you need to know to answer the question: Why are cigarettes so addictive? VCP755104 VCP738412
College hoops fans, how’s your bracket looking this year? Even if you’re not a basketball super fan, you’ve likely been invited to fill out a tournament bracket. You’ve done your homework– studied up on the star players, the favorites, and the Cinderella teams predicted to go far in the tournament. Why not apply the same winning strategy to support your quitter? In a recent survey of US adults, 80 percent of smokers who are trying to quit reported that support from others, including friends, family, significant others and even coworkers, is very important to quitting successfully. But like the 68 teams in the tournament, every quitter has their own strengths and challenges.  So get to know your quitter, and find out how you can be their #1 supporter. Is your quitter…. Stressed out? For quitters accustomed to reaching out for a cigarette when under stress, it’s important they have an alternate coping plan. You can help by offering to listen and talk out their stress or show them some breathing exercises. Invite your quitter to go for a walk or make them a Quit Kit packed with essentials like gum and healthy snacks to help them out when they feel the urge to smoke. Worried about weight gain? Remind your quitter that the average person who quits smoking gains between 4 and 10 pounds. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help your quitter maintain a healthy weight. Help motivate your quitter to adopt a more healthy lifestyle: go shopping together for healthy groceries, make dates to workout together or go for walks. In need of motivation? We all need a little extra encouragement from time to time. Check in regularly with your quitter and remind them that you believe in them. Help your quitter think about all the benefits of quitting smoking--- sense of taste and smell returning to normal, improved lung function, reduced risk of heart disease, less time away from friends and loved one for smoke breaks, and how about all the money saved?  Experiencing withdrawal symptoms? Don’t take it personally if your quitter isn’t feeling as cheerful.  When you quit smoking your body doesn't get the nicotine it expects. As a result, you may experience physical withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be urges to smoke, anger, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Help them remember that many withdrawal symptoms are temporary and to keep their eyes on the prize: a healthier, smoke-free life. Whatever the challenges, you can be the assist to your quitter’s smokefree journey! PP-CHM-USA-0756
Quitters who get support from loved ones are more likely to reach their smoking cessation quit goal. But sometimes it’s tough for quitters to ask for help. The holidays are the perfect time to surprise your quitter with some extra support—both emotionally and financially. After all, what better gift is there than the health and happiness that comes along with finally ditching smoking? Make a Quit Fund for your loved one the surprise gift of the season. A Quit Fund can help your quitter overcome any worries they might have about how much it will cost to quit smoking. In a survey of US adults, 78 percent of quitters worry that quit-smoking aids or treatments are too expensive. Quit Funds can be used to pay for anything that helps keep your quitter from lighting up: doctor visits, supplies for a Quit Kit, rewards for reaching smokefree milestones or nutritious groceries that help quitters stay healthy. Consider starting a page for your quitter on a crowdfunding site like GiveForward to make it easy for people to chip in what they can. Write a heartfelt card about how much your quitter means to you and include a donation to kick off the Quit Fund. Maybe you’ll commit to putting in a chunk of change every month your quitter stays smokefree. Offer to help your quitter figure out how much money they’ll save by not smoking; they can put that extra cash in their Quit Fund too! Make it a team effort. Ask your quitter what other friends, family or coworkers they’re comfortable with you reaching out to for contributions. Over the holiday season, loved ones will be in the giving spirit and happy to contribute to such an important cause. Money isn’t the only thing you can put in a Quit Fund. Consider other special treats to give your quitter at milestones, too. Write them down on index cards that your quitter can draw from whenever they’ve earned a special treat. Maybe after their first 48 hours smokefree, you’ll come over and vacuum their house. Maybe you’ll join them on a fun, smokefree activity like going for a long walk in the park or watching a favorite TV show together. People who reward themselves for quitting are much more likely to succeed. And quitters who get advice and support from a healthcare provider, which includes medication and counseling, double their chances of giving up cigarettes. Make sure your quitter has access to the resources they need to quit smoking once and for all. ‘Tis the season to get your quitter’s Quit Fund up and running!  PP-CHM-USA-0627