Help someone else quit

Are you concerned about a family member, friend or colleague who smokes? Remember that not all smokers are ready to quit smoking. They may be aware of the many health risks associated with smoking, so reminding them of what smoking is doing to their body may not help. In fact sometimes it can make things worse as they may feel that you are judging them.

Here are some ideas on how to talk to a family member, friend or colleague who smokes. Tell them that you are concerned about them and that you will support them regardless of whether they choose to continue smoking or not. Assure them of your help and support if they decide to try to give up smoking. Many people find giving up smoking difficult, but with the right information and support they can do it.

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Follow these three steps to help someone else give up smoking.

1. Making the decision to quit smoking.

Help the smoker to make the decision to stop smoking by asking them to write down the reasons they like smoking and the reasons they don’t like smoking.

Ask what their concerns are about quitting. It is a good idea to find out as much as you can about giving up smoking. This can be done by looking up information on this site or suggesting that they talk to their doctor. If they decide that they are not ready to give up smoking now, it is really important to respect their decision. Assure them of your help and support when they decide that they are ready to try.

2. Getting ready to quit smoking.

Once the smoker decides to give up smoking it is important to encourage them to spend some time planning how they are going to give up. Here are some ways that you can help them:

  1. Suggest that they keep a smoking diary, they can do this by starting their quit plan on this site. This will help the smoker to become aware of their smoking habit by identifying when and where they most feel like smoking. It will also help when planning how to manage these times without smoking.
  2. Remind them that the health benefits of quitting begin from the minute they stop smoking.
  3. Learn about withdrawal symptoms. It is easier to cope when you know what to expect and are prepared to deal with it.
  4. Find out about treatments that are designed to help smokers to give up smoking. Always discuss the use of any treatment with your doctor or pharmacist.
  5. It is important to set a date to give up smoking. Encourage them to pick a date when they are not under too much pressure, and it is really important that they stick to the date!
  6. Encourage them to get as much support as possible from family members, friends and colleagues.
  7. Encourage them to contact the HSE Quit Team Freephone 1800 201 203 or FREETEXT QUIT to 50100 to get in contact with a free give up smoking service in their area.



3. Quitting smoking

Your ongoing help and support will increase the chances of success for the person giving up smoking. Encourage them to look after themselves while giving up. Here are some ideas of how you can help:

  • Advise them to take one day at a time and to reward themselves regularly throughout the process of giving up.
  • Encourage them to exercise regularly – this is a good way of dealing with withdrawal symptoms, avoiding weight gain and improving mood.
  • Encourage them to get plenty of sleep.
  • Encourage them to eat well.
  • Arrange your social activities in places where they can’t smoke.
  • Keep up their morale with lots of praise and encouragement.
  • Allow for the occasional bad mood.
  • Remember the benefits of giving up smoking – each day without smoking is better for their health.
  • It may help to save the money that would have been spent on tobacco and use it to treat themselves. Find out how much they could save by starting a quit plan