Support a smoker who’s quitting

If someone you care about is ready to quit smoking, you can help. Your support and encouragement can make quitting easier for them.

Each person needs to find their own reasons to quit and must decide for themselves when to stop smoking. If you have co-workers, friends or family who are smokers, share your concern, but don’t make them feel guilty or bad about smoking. You can help them most by making sure they know you are going to be there to support them when they’re ready to quit.

Watch Robin’s story about quitting and how positive support makes a difference!

Tips for helping a smoker quit:

  • Encourage them and help them stay positive as they start to make a quit plan and prepare for their quit date.
  • Suggest they talk to their doctor and get quit-smoking medicines to help them quit. Using quit-smoking medicines can help with withdrawal symptoms and doubles a person’s chances of quitting for good.
  • Celebrate their victories: the first 24 hours smoke-free, getting through a stressful day without smoking, handling tough withdrawal symptoms.
  • Offer distractions from cravings or help relieve stress by taking a walk together or stopping by to talk.
  • Don’t take it personally if your friend is in a bad mood. For many people, quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things they’ll ever do.
  • Don’t be discouraged if they slip and have a cigarette. It’s common for quitters to slip. You can be there to listen and to motivate them to get back to their quit plan and think about the future.
  • If they start smoking, remember that they tried to quit. For some people, it takes many tries before they quit for good. They’ll need your understanding, your encouragement, and to know you’ll be there when they’re ready to try again.
  • Make sure they know you’re proud of them.

As time passes and your friend stays smoke-free, remind them of what they’ve achieved and let them know you’re still there for support.

Download these tips and more in a printable factsheet (Word version)