How To Encourage Someone To Quit Smoking

by Jan 28, 2022Psychology, Stop smoking0 comments

Quitting smoking is a tough journey for anyone. If you’ve done it yourself, you might find you’re in a better position to offer words of encouragement for someone quitting smoking. However, if you’ve never smoked, it can be difficult to relate to the journey your friend or family member wants to undertake. There are plenty of tips for giving up smoking all over the internet, here are some things to help quit smoking which you can use to help others. 

Tips For Giving Up Smoking

Knowing how to encourage someone to quit smoking relies on your understanding of their personality, and how they’re likely to respond to your prompting. While quitting, your friend is going to be preoccupied with a mental battle to not smoke. Your role as “quit support” means providing options they may not be able to think of on their own. The first fourteen days are typically the most difficult, so make yourself available as much as possible because your presence is one of the best things to help quit smoking.

Don’t Criticize 

There’s a good chance they’ll cave in and smoke at some stage. Don’t judge, criticize, or show disappointment. In fact, make it clear from the outset that they need to tell you if they go off the rails. If your friend feels shame and smokes secretly from fear of what you’ll think, the support relationship will not work. Make this clear because although you may have no intention of judging, your friend will be struggling with their own sense of shame. Those words of encouragement for someone quitting smoking are important to reinforce through constant reminder. The less negative mental responses to the quitting process, the greater likelihood of success.

Keep A Tally 

Find out how much your friend spends on cigarettes a day. At the end of each day, find a creative way of letting them know how much they have cumulatively saved that day – you could do it by text, or by dropping a letter into their letter box, writing on a box of food you know they’ll see, or writing it on their fridge (make sure you use a whiteboard marker!). And add a “well done”, or “keep going” to your tally message. These additional words of encouragement for someone quitting smoking go a long way.

Things to Help Quit Smoking – Set A Reward

Sit down with your friend and work out how much they’ll save by not smoking over one week. Then spend some time working out a reward. Use the exact amount of money they will save by not smoking, but it’s important that the reward does not exceed the amount saved. Searching for that reward together is a great bonding exercise. It also shifts the focus away from smoking and becomes its own motivation – the motivation for the reward makes the other motivations to quit smoking less constant and difficult.

Ramp Up The Rewards

Repeat the process, but next time, make it two weeks. Then four weeks. Then two months, then three, four, and six months. You don’t have to take it that far, but you can – stop at whatever point your friend no longer needs help, you’ll know when the time is right. As the rewards grow bigger, the achievement of quitting becomes a point of pride. Validating that through a reward keeps the urge to relapse at bay. 

Make the rewards tangible – make them an experience (start with something like a sundae at a fancy ice creamery and progress to a trip to an iconic location) or an object which will remind your friend of their achievement for years to come. When it comes to things to help quit smoking, rewards are a powerful tool.  

Words Of Encouragement For Someone Quitting Smoking

Your role supporting your friend can take many forms. It’s important though to be a good listener. They will be stressed from the nicotine withdrawal process, so get them to talk about what they’re feeling. They will whine and complain about things they normally wouldn’t – don’t take it to heart, the withdrawal is amplifying any negativity around them. Often there is no solution to the complaint, you are literally a pair of ears. At other times, you can talk through the issue and make it more manageable. Just be present and willing to gently coax your friend into meaningful communication. Knowing how to encourage someone to quit smoking is about taking the indirect approach by simply being there with empathy. Here are some “quit support” tips for giving up smoking:

  • Keep them occupied – spend time discussing activities they could do. Cinema, walking, swimming, exploring new areas, or joining a class are all favourable choices.
  • Keep low-calorie snacks handy – OK, veggie sticks really suck but they’re healthy. Other options are sugar-free gum or mints, and organic lollipops. Make sure their pantry is well-stocked.
  • Remove smoking materials – lighters, matches, and ashtrays all have to go. These are visual triggers which they don’t need to see. 
  • The Great Wash – wash EVERYTHING. Wash clothes, curtains, bedding, and furniture. Even if your friend smokes outside, the smell attaches to everything in their home. Once done, look for a subtle air diffuser. A fresh scent in the home complements the quit smoking journey.
  • Strategize – Cravings will happen. Sit down and plan with your friend how to cope when the cravings call. This could involve activities, platform gaming, exercise, or even a cold shower!
  • Get a different perspective call the CDC Quitline, they have qualified coaches who can help. Advice from a variety of sources increases the support and odds for quitting success. 

One Final Thing To Help Quit Smoking

The hardest part is the first fourteen days. However you decide to help your friend, being as present as much as possible over the first fourteen days will help immensely. Not everything we’ve suggested here will work because everyone responds differently. But even you do nothing at all except just being there for that first two weeks, your presence is priceless and that alone is how to encourage someone to quit smoking.