Quitting smoking: Help someone quit smoking
Visit Tools for a smoke-free life for additional resources including videos and an online quit planner tool.
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Before they quit
- let your friend/family member know you understand that quitting is their decision
- let them know you care about them no matter what they decide to do
- allow them to choose their own quit date
- tell them you care about their health and if they want, you will help them quit when they are ready
- find out what quit resources are available online and in your community; let them know you have the information when they are ready to use it
- if they mention quitting, tell them you know they can do it
After they quit
- be understanding; learn about nicotine addiction and withdrawal symptoms
- be sympathetic of their moods when they are trying to quit; at times they may want help or to talk about their success, and at other times they may want to be left alone
- ask what you can do; they may want you to distract them, encourage them, keep them away from temptations, or simply listen
- listen; respect what they are feeling and listen without judging or offering advice
- offer rewards; you may offer to do something nice for them if they succeed with short- or long-term goals. But be sensitive to their wants and needs, as this can make some people feel bad if they do not succeed right away
- be sensitive; if they slip or relapse back to smoking, don't try to make them feel guilty or ashamed. Let them know that you understand that quitting is hard. Encourage them to keep on trying. Tell them you will help when they're ready to try again
- be there; most of all, remember they are your friend or family member first -and someone who smokes second. Show them that you believe in and care for them, whether they smoke or not
If you yourself smoke, avoid smoking around your friend or family member and encourage them on their quit journey. Better yet, quit with them!
If you're helping someone quit smoking, you can also receive free advice and support by calling the toll-free Pan-Canadian Quitline 1-866-366-3667 or by clicking below.
Free quit counselling, coaching and other services in your province or territory
For parents to help their kids quit smoking
If your child smokes, talk to them about quitting:
- let them know how you feel about their smoking
- speak to them with respect and let them know they are capable of making responsible decisions
- ask them to tell you their thoughts about smoking
- ask why they smoke, the pressures they feel to smoke, and whether they've ever thought about quitting
- mention the benefits of quitting
- explain that there are other ways to express their individuality, like their choice of interests and hobbies, clothes, music, and television shows
- point out the high cost of smoking and how the money would be spent on other interests
- discuss the rewards they could obtain by quitting. Let them come up with their own ideas
You can order the free Quit4Life Handbook, a self-help guide for youth thinking about quitting smoking.
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