Even if you have never smoked yourself, you will have undoubtedly heard stories about the problems smokers face when they are trying to quit. These stories are backed by evidence, too; for example, research has indicated that quitting smoking can take up to 30 attempts.
If a friend or family member informs you that they will want to quit smoking, you will naturally be delighted for the sake of their health, and you will want to do all you can to support their efforts – and below, we have provided five tips that can help you to do just that.
#1 – Help with preparations
Preparation is the key to any attempt to quit smoking, so take the time to discuss their strategy and provide assistance they may require. You could, for example, help them to find a local support group, or if they intend to turn to ecigarettes to help quit, then browse an online vape store with them and ensure they have all the supplies they need. You can also help them remove smoking paraphernalia (such as ashtrays) from their home and wash clothes that smell of smoke.
#2 – Reinforce their ability to quit
Many quitters start their attempt to stop smoking half-expecting to fail; after all, they too will have heard the rumours about how difficult the process is. The best way to counter this is to show you absolute conviction that they can definitely quit for good; say this often, especially in the early days, even if they have attempted to quit in the past. Your conviction can help to bolster their spirits and convince them that they can do this.
#3 – Make plans
Quitters are usually advised to try and keep themselves busy when they’re trying to quit, so go through your schedule and arrange a few activities you can enjoy with them during the first few weeks of their attempt. You can also keep reminding them of these plans when they’ve actually stopped smoking, so that they have something concrete to look forward to.
#4 – Encourage them to reach out whenever they need to
Sometimes, the best way to help someone quit smoking is to be there for them whenever they need to talk. Make sure they know that they can contact you if they’re going through a particularly bad patch, and that you will always try to make the time to talk to them.
#5 – Celebrate milestones
The first day, week, and month your loved one manages to avoid smoking are all significant milestones in their quit attempt, so send congratulatory messages or even consider sending a small gift to honour the occasion.
The tips above should allow you to support a loved one as they attempt to quit smoking, but it’s also helpful to think about the possibility of relapsing, and how you might respond should it happen.
Relapsing is best treated as a part of the quitting process, rather than the end of it. Relapses do, unfortunately, happen; what matters is that they are temporary, and the quit attempt resumes in full as soon as possible. So if your quitter does relapse, then talk to them about what happened, and go through how they can avoid it happening again in the future.