How Can I Be Supportive?

Someone you know is trying to quit smoking. YOU can make a difference.

If you have never smoked you may not understand what your friend or loved one is going through. Nicotine withdrawal can cause irritation, tension, and high stress for the first few days or weeks after a person has quit. They may be irritable or agitated, tense, tired, or have difficulty concentrating.

If you know what withdrawal symptoms are and can recognize them when they occur, you may be more tolerant during this difficult time. You may also be able to help them through difficult times. Here are some suggestions to help support them in their decision to quit:

  • Praise their efforts frequently
  • Don't nag or preach
  • Be sympathetic, quitting is tough!
  • Give then small rewards or treat them to something special to show that you know how hard they are working and that you are proud of them. A phone call or note counts!
  • Tell them EVERYDAY in some way that you are proud of them for trying to quit
  • When they have a bad day, remind them of how far they have come
  • Remind them that the withdrawal symptoms are TEMPORARY, it will get better
  • Be available for walks, talks, or other activities
  • If they slip up, encourage them to get back on track.
  • NEVER jokingly offer them a cigarette or say that you liked it better when they smoked.
  • Realize that you can make a difference! Your support may be what makes this attempt successful. Your encouragement may be just what is needed to keep them focused.