Have a friend in your life who wants to quit smoking? You may be surprised how much support can help them along their quit journey. (In a 2015 survey sponsored by the American Lung Association and Pfizer of 483 adult smokers in the US who were trying to quit, 80% said that support from family, friends, or coworkers was very important to their success.) But sometimes it may be tricky to know how, exactly, to help a friend who’s trying to quit smoking. Check out our tips below.
Most smokers need to practice quitting before they master it. This means they may encounter setbacks, so be patient with them. One of the best things you can do is encourage them. Tell your friend you believe in his or her ability to succeed. A simple “You got this!” or “You can totally do this!” is a great place to start.
Who doesn’t love to be admired? Quitters need all the reinforcement they can get when they’re in the first days of their quit. As much as you can, tell them how proud you are of their mission to be smokefree—and show it by, say, treating them to lunch or running an errand for them.
The experience of quitting isn’t the same for everyone. Some people prefer to talk to their friends and family more often. Others might just need to be brought tea, a book, or accompanied on a walk. During the first week your pal goes smokefree, try to be ready to assist as needed.
Regular calls and visits to make sure your friend is hanging in there—or needs a supportive ear—show how much you care. Ask them how they feel, and if there’s anything you can help them with on this day. Volunteer to work out together, or partake in another smokefree activity. You can even send them instant quitspiration through the Quitter’s Circle App.
Keep ‘Em Calm
One of the simplest things all of us can do during stressful moments is take a few deep breaths. Ironically, it’s often when we need to relax the most that we forget how easy it is to just inhale and exhale. Quitting smoking can seem challenging to your newly smokefree friend. So when you see them getting worked up, embrace this as an opportunity to remind them to breathe. (You’ll also benefit from the process.) While you’re at it, remind your quitter of the long view: A slip up does not mean your quitter is in any way a failure!