Quitting cigarettes, vapes, or smokeless tobacco is tough. People who quit say that support from friends & family was important to their success. This guide is based on advice from people who have quit and the friends and family members who helped them. Ultimately, only your friend or family member can make the decision to quit, but you can certainly help them by using the information from this guide.
To help someone you care about quit, it’s important that you first understand the many reasons they may struggle to quit.
They know smoking, vaping, or using smokeless tobacco is bad for them, but it also gives them something they like. Whatever they get out of it keeps them hooked.
Many people smoke, vape or chew at the same time every day, for the same reasons. It becomes automatic. Quitting can disrupt the daily routine. Some people go back to using to feel normal again.
Many people smoke, vape or chew to help them get through the pressures of daily life. They may come to believe that it’s the only way to cope. People who have used for a while, often see their habit as a long-time “friend.” They may have strong feelings of loss when they try to quit.
Their bodies may crave nicotine after quitting. Withdrawal symptoms are normal. They go away on their own, usually in a week or two.
Some people start using again to get rid of withdrawal symptoms. Keep in mind that thousands of people quit each year, despite the mixed feelings, the habit, the need and the nicotine. These are common withdrawal symptoms someone may experience.
It’s rare for someone to wake up one day and quit for good. More often, people take small steps toward kicking their habit. Keep these things in mind.
Most people try many times before quitting entirely. With every try, they learn more about how to quit for good. The more times a person tries to quit, the closer they are to succeeding for life.
People can quit even without strong willpower. The real keys to success are motivation (finding a strong reason to quit) and planning.
People often slip (use, but get back on track with quitting) or relapse (start using regularly again). This is not a sign of weakness. It may just mean that the person needs to do more planning.
When they first quit, they still think like tobacco-users. Every day, they have to decide whether or not to smoke, vape or chew. People who successfully quit decide once and for all that they will not do it again, no matter what. We have found that people can be very successful if they decide once and for all.
If the person is not ready, don’t push. But that doesn’t mean you give up. They have to make the decision for themselves, but you can keep asking questions to show you care.
Listen without judging. Show that you care and that you really want to know.
If you can, give exactly the kind of help they ask for. More important than doing any one special thing is showing understanding about the challenges of quitting.
Important tips on how to talk about quitting with the smoker in your life.
Smokers can get discouraged when they try to quit and “fail.” Knowing YOU think they can do it can give them the courage to try again.
Most smokers don’t quit on the first try. Your support will make them more likely to try again.
Quitting is easier with help. Ask the smoker what they find most helpful.
1. Help with planning.
2. Make your environment tobacco-free.
3. Encourage & participate in tobacco-free activities.
4. Try not to nag.
5. Be patient with mood swings.
6. Suggest they connect with a Quit Coach.
Praise every effort your friend or family member makes. Say, “Even a short try is a success.”
You may not get the results you’re looking for the first time you talk with someone about quitting. It may take several tries, but don’t give up!