Help a Loved One Quit

Smokers who get support from family and friends have an easier time quitting and staying smokefree. Start by asking what they need from you to help them quit.

If your loved one isn't ready to quit, that's okay.

Your loved one needs to make his or her own decision about quitting. Share the information on the Not Yet Ready to Quit page with your loved one and let him or her know you will support them.

If your loved one has made a quit plan and is committed to quitting, ask your loved one specifically how you can help them quit. They know best what kind of support will be most helpful.

Be patient. Your loved one may not be his or her usual self for a few days or weeks after quitting. Some individuals are more tense when they first quit smoking. Know that it is part of the smokefree journey, and you are an important source of support for them. Your loved one will be grateful for your help.

Here are some ways you can help a loved one quit:

  • Add to their supply of cigarette substitutes.
  • Fix their favorite meal or invite them out for dinner.
  • Help them find ways to keep busy.
  • Praise or celebrate their progress.
  • Remind them that things will get easier.
  • Ask them how they are doing and let them know you care.

Be careful not to:

  • Nag them about their efforts to quit.
  • Doubt that they can quit or stay smokefree.
  • Offer them a cigarette.
  • Joke about them going back to smoking.

Keep up the encouragement!

The smoker in your life probably has complex feelings about quitting.

If your loved one tried to quit a few times before and went back to smoking, let them know that most former smokers need to try a few times before they quit for good. This time they can make it.

Help remind others not to smoke around them because this can make it more difficult to stay quit. With time, the cravings will pass, and your loved one will be on the way to becoming smokefree!

To direct smokers to quitting resources including online and phone assistance, please send them to Smokefree60+ or print a copy of the quit plan to give to them.

Do you know a veteran who started smoking?

Quitting is hard for everyone. Veterans can face special challenges. Many veterans express a desire to quit smoking, but don't know where to start. If you know a veteran, your support can help him or her start a smokefree life and become one of many veterans to free themselves from smoking. Smokefree has created a website just for veterans! Visit the SmokefreeVET website and share it with a veteran.