How to Support Someone to Quit Smoking

Close-up of man's hands breaking a cigarette

How to Support Someone to Quit Smoking

Closeup of man's hands breaking a cigaretteFor many lifetime smokers, quitting can be a very challenging and delicate process – nagging definitely does not help, and quitting cold turkey does not always work. Just like any other form of addiction, cigarette addiction takes a holistic healing process, a strong support system, and most of all, a self-driven recovery program.

Aside from buying your loved one an e-cigarette starter kit to help him or her make the switch, here are other things you can do to help a smoker through the process of quitting:

Celebrate the little things

Positive reinforcement can go a long way when helping a friend quit smoking. Regardless of your relationship, it is a great idea to keep in mind that he or she, not you, is in charge.

Instead of attempting to take control of the situation, encourage good behaviour by complimenting him or her whenever he or she makes the verbal commitment to quit. This also applies to milestones, such as going three days without smoking, to a week.

Have his or her back

The journey of recovery from addiction can be a long and hard one. It is not a matter of getting to the destination quickly, but taking mindful steps consistently.

You can support your loved one by asking how you can help. When you are starting out, you could ask him or her whether frequent checks from you are needed, what your boundaries are, and other questions to help him or her feel valued and supported.

What to do during relapses

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to helping someone quit smoking. Anyone could relapse without warning, and triggers vary from person to person.

As such, when your loved one falls back into his or her old smoking habits, berating will not help. Instead, try to find out what triggered the relapse, whether it is stress or a painful experience, and continue to affirm your support.