Friends and Family

Getting support from your loved ones can make a big difference when you quit. Let them know that you’re quitting and tell them what kind of support you need.

Talk to Your Friends and Family

People who get support from family and friends have an easier time stopping smoking and staying smokefree. Sources of support for you could be:

  • Your spouse or significant other
  • Your children or grandchildren
  • Other close family members
  • Friends
  • Co-workers
  • Friends who are former smokers
  • Neighbors
  • People in your religious or community groups.

Let these people know that you will be grateful for their support. Tell them you may not be your usual self for a few days or weeks after you quit.

Be Specific About Ways They Can Help

Only you know what kind of support will be best for you. Suggest ways your loved ones can help you quit. Here are some “do” and “don’t” examples to share with your loved ones.

Do: Let your loved ones know that these might be ways they can help support you quit.

  • Add to your supply of cigarette substitutes (like cinnamon sticks or healthy foods)
  • Fix your favorite meal or go out to lunch or dinner with you
  • Help you change routines to avoid temptations to smoke
  • Help you find ways to keep busy
  • Celebrate your progress with you
  • Remind you that things will get easier
  • Activities with you that take your mind off smoking, like going to a movie together
  • Ask how you are doing and let you know they care
  • Understand if you need to stay away from trigger activities for a while after you quit (such as your weekly card game or bingo).

Do not: Let your loved ones know that these are not ways to help you quit.

  • Nag you about your efforts to quit
  • Doubt that you can quit or stay smokefree
  • Ever offer you a cigarette
  • Joke about you going back to smoking
  • Smoke around you, especially when you are trapped (like in the car or at the dinner table).

Handling Friends Who Still Smoke

Dealing with friends who smoke may take extra effort. You may want to point out that just because you are quitting doesn't mean they have to. The decision to quit is a personal one. You may want to avoid friends who smoke during the first few weeks. You could also offer to drive or have guests over to your home. Your friends may be more likely not to smoke in these situations.