Helping Someone Quit Smoking: 10 Steps to Follow

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Is there someone in your family who is planning to quit smoking? Quitting can be a difficult process for some people, especially those who have been into such habit for many years. That is why it is important that we give them support and guidance. If one of your loved ones wants to stop smoking today, you can play a role to increase his or her chances of success. But how can you be of help? Here are the steps to follow:

1)  Let them know that you support them. You can motivate them to stop smoking by letting them know that you are just there for them. Tell your loved one that you are confident that he or she can quit smoking successfully.

2)  Congratulate them. One great way to express your support is to tell them that you are happy about their decision to quit. Stopping smoking is one giant step towards a healthier and longer life.

3)  Tell them to call you when they experience smoking urges. Encourage the person to call you when his or her nicotine cravings strike. You can remind them of their reasons for quitting smoking as well as the benefits. Tell them that nicotine cravings are only temporary. They will wane after a couple of minutes.

4)   Offer them company when they can’t go with their smoking buddies. It would be difficult for that person to resist smoking urges if he or she is always with people who smoke. If you can be with him or her when going out or when attending social occasions, and the like, you can be a source of strength and motivation for that person to stay cigarette-free.

5)   Invite them to places where smoking is not allowed. Take your loved one to restaurants, shopping centers, parks and other recreational areas where he or she will not be tempted to smoke.

6)   Avoid nagging. It’s not going to help that person quit smoking. Rather, it can add to his or her feelings of anxiety.


7)   Be extra patient. Expect that the quitter will have mood swings more often. He or she will be grumpy, hostile, anxious and irritable at times. That’s normal. It’s because the quitter is undergoing nicotine withdrawal.

8)  Let them find an outlet for stress. Quitting smoking can be very stressful. It may be helpful if the quitter can find positive venues to alleviate stress. Ask him or her to join a yoga class, enroll in a gym, backpack with non-smoking friends (including you), join a sport/fitness program, and the like.


9)   Celebrate milestones. Let that person feel that each week he or she manages to stay smoke-free matters a lot. Give him or her a present and arrange for a larger celebration after several months. And don’t forget to celebrate anniversaries!


10)  Convince them to seek professional help. If you notice that the quitter is not making any progress or is experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, it’s time that you encourage him or her to seek professional help.


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