7 things you can do to help someone quit smoking

1. Offer lots of encouragement

When someone you care about says they’re ready to quit, let them know that you’re proud of them and ask how you can help.

2. Help them stay busy

Plan a list of things to do together, especially in smoke-free places, like the movies, restaurants or exercise classes.

3. Give them practical support

Make a kit with anything they can use instead of smoking. Include things like mints, toothpicks, a stress ball and healthy snacks. Help them remember their reasons for quitting with motivational pictures or a savings jar.

4. Have patience

Quitting can cause mood swings and anxiety in the short-term, so try not to take it personally. Ask your loved one how they’re feeling, and be ready to listen rather than offer advice.

5. Think of ways to make the first few weeks less stressful

Be aware of triggers like stress, coffee, and alcohol. Think of ways you can make things easier for them.

6. Celebrate successes

Whether your loved one has quit for one day, one week or one month – any amount of time is a massive achievement! Plan rewards to celebrate together along the way.

7. Support them if they slip up or relapse

Most people make multiple attempts before quitting for good. It’s completely normal! Let them know that you care, stay positive and don’t make them feel guilty. Remind them of their achievements and let them know you're ready to support them when they're ready to try again.

Helping someone quit if you also smoke

If you smoke but someone around you is trying to quit, here are some things to remember:

  • Smoke outside and far away from the person trying to quit.
  • Keep triggers such as cigarettes, matches and lighters out of sight.
  • Don’t offer them a cigarette, or talk about going for a smoke.

Why not join them in their effort to quit? You can enjoy the financial and health benefits together, and it will make it easier for both of you to stay on track.

Helping a patient or client quit smoking

Give your patients or clients the best chance of quitting smoking by embedding best-practice smoking cessation care into your routine care. This involves using brief advice to promote cessation and connect patients/clients who smoke to evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment. This includes a combination behavioural intervention (through services such as Quitline) and stop smoking medications (such as nicotine replacement therapy).

Explore evidence-based cessation for information on how to refer a client to the Quitline, smoking cessation brief advice and stop smoking medications.

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