10 Do’s and Don’ts of Supporting Someone Trying to Quit Tobacco

Do you have a friend or a loved one who uses tobacco? Most of us do. Because we love them, we want them to live long, happy, healthy lives. While they have to make the decision to quit themselves, you can encourage and support them along the way.

Once they’ve chosen to quit, supporting them is one of the most important things you can do. In fact, 40% of quitters said support was a major factor in their quitting journey.

But what does it mean to support someone? What does support look like? Turns out it’s a delicate balance of what to do, and what NOT to do. Let’s take a closer look.


  1. Respect their boundaries. Know when to offer support and recognize when to back off.
  2. Let them know you’re always there for them. Make sure they understand that you care about them — whether they succeed this time or not. Sometimes it can take more than one quit attempt.
  3. Celebrate their successes with them. With every milestone they pass (one day, one week, one month, etc.), congratulate them on a job well done.
  4. Be a healthy distraction. Make a list of things to do together like taking walks, going to the movies or to a smokefree restaurant.
  5. Make sure they know about the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline’s FREE services and additional support.


  1. Don’t let your support waver. They doubt themselves enough as it is and need to know someone believes in them.
  2. Don’t nag, judge, preach or scold. This could make them feel worse about themselves and could lead to slip-ups or a relapse.
  3. Even if they do slip up, don’t give up on them. Slip-ups are common and shouldn’t be dwelled on.
  4. Don’t take their grumpiness personally. They’re going through nicotine withdrawals and wrestling with cravings. Keep encouraging them. Suggest listening to music or playing a game — something to distract them.
  5. Don’t offer unsolicited advice. Even if you’ve successfully quit yourself, everyone’s quitting journey is different. What works for one person may not work for another.

Learn about the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline’s free services, and how you can support loved ones on their quitting journey, CLICK HERE.

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on November 21, 2017