Helping a Family Member or Friend Quit Tobacco Use
When someone is ready to quit tobacco use, it's important to make the most of that motivation. Having support and encouragement from family and/or friends is an important part of ensuring success for the person trying to quit tobacco use.
Although support from family and/or friends have been shown to help people succeed in quitting tobacco use, it can be confusing and frustrating for family members when their loved one don't see their tobacco use as a problem, relapse after quitting, or continue to relapse after many tries. Before trying to support family or friends in quitting tobacco use, it's important to know the way you deal with tobacco use as this can affect the person who is trying to quit. You might ask yourself:
- Do I mind that my friend or family member uses tobacco around me?
- Do I argue with my friend or family member about tobacco use?
- Do I avoid talking about tobacco use?
- Ask: "what worries you most about quitting?"
- Respond positively when someone tells you about quitting tobacco use ("I'm so proud of you for trying to quit tobacco use." "You're not alone in this. I'll be here for you.")
- If you use tobacco, consider quitting together
- Ask what you can do to help and keep offering the help
- Direct them to the NDC , their family doctor, or the quitline (1-877-513-5333)
- Be understanding and available as they might be cranky or irritable from the nicotine withdrawal
- Be a distraction to help avoid urges to use tobacco
- Be encouraging
- Be patient. It'll take a while for them to get used to quitting
- Recognize and celebrate the small success of quitting (Smoked less cigarettes? Cook them a nice meal)
- Do things together to de-stress
- Help them learn from the last time they tried to quit
- Set a plan
- Avoid criticizing, lecturing, or preaching because it will make them feel worse and more likely to continue using tobacco
- No ultimatums or bribery ("If you don't quit, I'm leaving you")
- Avoid nagging, blaming, or put-downs while they're quitting. Remember: quitting isn't easy