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Four tips for supporting someone quitting smoking

It’s a fact that people who ask for help giving up smoking are more likely to succeed in their quitting journey.

That means you can be an invaluable support to the smoker in your life by acting as a supportive shoulder to lean on when they want to give up the cigarettes. Here are some tips that will equip you to help your loved one quit – for good.


1. Respect that this is their journey, not yours

While they’ll no doubt be delighted that someone has taken an interest and cares about their quitting journey, the best approach is one where you don’t put too much pressure on the quitter. If you forget that this is their challenge to take on, you run the risk of them hiding slip-ups from you in the long run. No one wants to feel like they are being lectured – don’t be too hard on them if they’re not perfect.

2. Become a pep talker

There are lots of words of wisdom you can give to your loved one when they’re trying to quit. Tell them that they can text you whenever a bad craving strikes and be on hand to counsel them through it. Some tips include:

● Remember the benefits of giving up – each day without cigarettes is better for their health

● Think of all the cash they are saving without cigarettes

● Have a glass of water, a snack and a small walk to get over that tricky craving period

● Encourage them to reward themselves if they stay on track

Help them with their morale by giving them lots of positive feedback on how well they’re doing – everyone loves a compliment!

3. Get together and write it out

If a friend is considering quitting, encourage them to write out a list of all the reasons quitting smoking is a good idea. Together, write down all the things they don’t like about smoking and why they want to stop. This list you write together can then be referred back to by both of you in difficult times, when the urge to smoke strikes most strongly.

4. Some practical tips

If you live with the smoker you’re supporting, it’s a good idea to dispose of all the smoking paraphernalia around the house such as lighters and ashtrays – anything that reminds them of smoking. Wash clothes that smell like smoke, clean curtains and carpets if possible and use air fresheners to get rid of old tobacco smells that might tempt a smoker.

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