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Help someone else quit smoking

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If you’re worried about a friend or relative who smokes, you need to talk to them carefully. This is because not all smokers are ready to quit smoking.

Reminding your loved one about the health risks of smoking can sometimes make things worse. They might feel like you’re judging them.

Instead, tell them you’re concerned, but you’ll support them whether they give up smoking or not. Many people find giving up smoking hard, but they can do it with the right support and information.

Deciding to quit

Ask the smoker to write down the reasons they like smoking and the reasons they don’t like it. Ask what their concerns about quitting are. Show them the information about the Quit Programme and how it can help.

If the smoker decides they’re not ready yet, respect their decision. Tell them you’ll support them when they decide to try.

Getting ready to stop smoking

Once your loved one decides they’re going to quit, encourage them to spend some time planning how they are going to do it. You can help by:

  • Suggesting they start a smoking diary by signing up for a Quit plan. This helps them understand their smoking habit by identifying where and when they most feel like smoking. It will also help them plan how to manage these situations without smoking.
  • Remind them that the health benefits of quitting begin straightaway.
  • Get them to read about cravings and withdrawal symptoms - they’re easier to cope with when you know what to expect.
  • Encourage them to find out about prescription treatments or nicotine replacement therapy that can help them quit.
  • Get them to set a date to quit smoking. They should pick a date when they’re not under too much pressure - and stick to it.
  • Remind them of your support and encourage them to get as much help as possible from other friends, family and colleagues.
  • Encourage them to contact the HSE Quit team to ask about free stop smoking services in their area.

Quitting smoking

Your ongoing help and support will increase the chances of success for the person giving up smoking. You can help by:

  • telling them to take it one day at a time and reward themselves throughout the quitting process
  • encouraging them to exercise regularly - this helps deal with withdrawal symptoms, avoid weight gain and improve mood
  • reminding them to look after themselves - to get plenty of sleep and eat well
  • arranging social activities in places where they can’t smoke
  • keeping up their morale with lots of praise and encouragement
  • allowing for the occasional bad mood - be patient
  • reminding them about the benefits of giving up - each day without smoking is better for their health
  • suggesting they save the money that would have been spent on smoking and use it to treat themselves instead (the savings calculator shows how much they could save)

page last reviewed: 25/03/2019
next review due: 25/03/2022

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