Health Effects of Tobacco

Helping Someone Quit

Fact: Most smokers want to quit

Studies show that seven out of ten people who use tobacco want to stop. That means there’s a really good chance that some of the people you care about are already thinking about quitting.

How to start the conversation

A few minutes of your time can make a huge difference to someone who is trying to quit smoking. Although not everybody will be ready to quit, you can show your support by letting them know you are there to help. Here are a few tips for how to let them know you will support them:

  • Try not to place blame or be judgemental about their tobacco use
  • Take a friendly, but serious tone
  • Make sure they know that you understand how difficult it is to quit
  • Let them know that you’ll be there for help and support along the way

How can you help someone quit?

  • Lend an ear: Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Smokers have to make many lifestyle changes to successfully quit. Nicotine withdrawal can also make them grumpy and more easily upset. Let the person you care about know that you understand the sacrifices they are making and that you will be there for them through thick and thin.
  • Try new things together: One of the toughest parts of quitting smoking is breaking up daily routines. When your friend typically heads out for a smoke-break, suggest going for a walk around the block. During nights and weekends, join a sewing circle or a sports team together to start some new healthy habits and to help distract them from the urge to smoke.
  • Make a vow not to smoke around them: If you are a smoker, you understand how even the sight of a cigarette or the smell of cigarette smoke can trigger cravings. Do your best to stop smoking around someone who is trying to quit.

If they don’t want to quit

It’s true that not every smoker wants to quit. If someone you love is not ready yet, it still helps to let them know you will be there to support them if they ever want to. You also can talk about how to make their tobacco use safer for the people around them. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Make vehicles, homes and workplaces smoke-free to reduce second-hand smoke exposure to everyone else
  • Create a plan so they are not smoking around babies, children or pregnant women
  • Ask if they want to try to cut down on the amount of tobacco that they use

Want more help?

For more advice on how to start a conversation about quitting with someone you care about, call 811 or 1-844-259-1793. The friendly, non-judgemental registered nurses trained to support people to quit smoking, will help you understand what the smoker is going through and provide suggestions on how to approach them when the time is right.