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How Do You Begin?

Quitting is different for each smoker and everyone experiences its challenges differently. Here's how you can help someone on their journey and show that you care.

Tips for Helping a Smoker Quit

  • Tell your friend that you know he or she can quit smoking for good, even if he or she has tried to quit before.
  • For the first few days after the smoker quits, be ready to help. He or she may just want to talk, or your friend may want extra help when a tough situation arises, such as a party, or a crisis at home or work.
  • Offer to call or visit to check on them.Ask how your friend is feeling, not just whether or not they are still off cigarettes.
  • No nagging, scolding or preaching—that just doesn't work. Instead, let your friend know how much you admire them for trying to quit.
  • Give lots of praise and offer rewards for getting through a day, a week or a month without smoking. Rewards can be simple—flowers, a lunch treat, or even doing a chore for your friend around the house or office.
  • Give rewards right away. For example, let your friend watch his or her favorite TV show while you do the dishes. Giving rewards right away works better than promising rewards for the future.
  • Remind your friend to do some deep breathing if they feel tense. Breathing in and out slowly brings more air into the lungs, which will help your friend relax.
  • Do things together; go to a movie or take a walk. Stay away from places where other people may be smoking.

    Page Last Updated: November 7, 2016

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