Helping Someone Quit Commercial Tobacco

As a support person, you can play a very important role in your friends or family member's effort to end commercial tobacco use. Here are some ways you can help.

Giving up commercial tobacco can make a very positive impact on the health and well-being of someone who is addicted to tobacco. We want to help you in your effort to become a support person by letting you know what to expect in the process of quitting.

Support & Positive Outlook

Being a support person can sometimes be difficult. Remember that some commercial tobacco users will quit several times before quitting for good. Try to support your friends or family member's efforts for as long as you can. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Do not refer to a relapse as a failure. It is just another step in the often long process of quitting for good.
  • Celebrate attempts at quitting.
  • Offer incentives for encouragement.
  • Finally, let your family member or friend know that you feel honored to be able to lend your support when they need it.

A Formula for Success

  1. Understand what your friend or family member is up against.
  2. Learn about the tools that will help them to reach and maintain a new commercial tobacco-free lifestyle.
  3. Be aware that the urge to smoke again can occur months after quitting. They need your support in this very hard time and for the next several weeks and months.

Motivation & Reasons to Quit

It's important for a person to understand their own reasons for quitting so they know why they're doing it in the first place. Once somebody feels a personal need to quit, it makes the process easier. Here are some common reasons for quitting:

  • Desire to be healthy
  • Cost of cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Concern for the health of others
  • Smoking has become socially isolating and less acceptable

Be Prepared If They Don't Stay Quit this Time

A successful quit requires commitment, motivation, and experience. Although slips and relapses are unpleasant, they can lead to greater success in the future. Recognize the success that this person achieved and let them know, "I'm glad you made the attempt and when you're ready to quit again I'm here to support you."