The Challenge of Helping Someone Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Quitting smoking is a very big challenge. A lot of smokers can say they want to quit and are aware of how risky it is to their health and also to their love ones but cannot really commit to quit smoking. The struggle is on because quitting smoking is not as simple as getting rid of the cigarettes, to most it could mean a total change of their lifestyle and almost everything about their routine, and as we all know it is not a piece of cake.

To some smoking is a way to socialize, so they can think that they just need to get rid of these people and events that triggers them to smoke, it is not that serious then. But then to those who have smoking as a part of their living or lifestyle it is a very hard thing to change. It could mean moving to a totally different place or environment and changing everything about themselves, and who would enjoy or at least not have trouble doing that even though they are so convinced that they need to quit smoking now.

Everyone is related to someone who smokes- he/she could be someone in the family, a friend, a neighbor, or a workmate. When you learn that they are trying to quit smoking, you can actually help them by making it a little less than hard. How?

When you learn about a colleague who is trying or quitting smoking, make sure that you acknowledge their effort and show that you are glad about their decision. It will make them feel good about it and feel supported. Quitting is a lot harder than what we can ever think of to those who are quitting. It is important that they know that there is someone who is on their side during these difficult times.


Whenever you have a chance to invite them over to some activities that doesn’t involve smoking. Activities that can help them relax and detox from daily stress like reconnecting to nature. Going to places to explore the environment, and breathe fresh air, it could be a simple as picnics, going to parks,, biking each morning, or even rounds of run every morning to nearby parks.



Let them know that they have your support, and if they happen to vent out to you that they are really are having a hard time, remind them that they are doing great at it and the struggle is normal because it is a fact that quitting is really a pain or a serious matter to deal with. Always reassure that you are on their side on their journey. Encourage them but not too much that they might lose confidence in what you try to tell them. If you can’t convince them because you lack of words to say, just don’t say anything and maybe invite them for a movie or something.

You can do your own research about people who successfully battled smoking and share it to them. It will give them hope and ideas they can take.  Also be aware that if the smoking habit of this person is almost impossible to remove, be aware that there are medications available to quit smoking, not everyone knows, because we can always go to the natural ways on quitting but, yes, there are medications available. Share what you have learned it will be a real achievement to be able to save a friend from the dangers of smoking as well as the people around them.


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