Quitting Smoking: Getting Support

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One important part of quitting tobacco is getting help from people around you. Your doctor, family, friends, and community groups all can help you. Support comes in many forms. It can include positive words and actions, helpful tips, and gentle reminders to stay on track.

How can others support you?

Getting help from family, friends, and coworkers

When you're quitting tobacco, having support from your family, friends, or coworkers can help you succeed.

  • Tell people that you're trying to quit.
    • Don't hide your attempt to quit because you're afraid people will see you fail. Most people know how hard it is to quit using tobacco and that many people have to try several times before they succeed.
    • Let them know that you may be grouchy, and ask for their patience.
  • Tell people how they may be able to help.

    Tell people the specific ways that they can support you. You may ask one friend to call or visit you to see how it's going. You may ask another friend if you can call when stress causes a craving or just to talk things over.

  • Talk about your fears.

    For example, some people worry about gaining weight when they quit using tobacco. If you're worried about this, tell a close friend about your fear. Ask for their support in being more active and making good food choices.

  • Ask others to invite you to activities.

    This can help keep your mind off using tobacco. Tell them that you'll invite them to do things too. Try going for lunchtime walks, going to movies, or getting involved with a hobby.

  • Talk to friends who use tobacco.
    • Ask them if they would be willing to quit with you. You can support each other through the tough times. When it's all over, you'll be able to celebrate the choice you made to do what's best for your health so you'll be around to share the good times together for years to come.
    • If your friends aren't willing to quit, ask them not to use tobacco around you, offer you any, or leave tobacco lying around.
  • Talk to friends who have quit.

    They understand what you're going through. They can help you through your cravings.

    • Ask them how they got through times when they wanted to use tobacco again.
    • Ask them about the good things that quitting has done for them, such as a change in their health and sense of well-being.
    • Ask them for any tips on how to make it easier and about using medicine, classes, or phone hotlines for quitting.
  • Plan special celebrations.

    Get together with your family or friends when you reach one of your quit-tobacco goals.

Getting help from professionals, organizations, and support groups

There are many professionals, organizations, and support groups that can help you quit using tobacco. Here are some ideas for getting this type of support.

  • Tell your doctor that you are planning to quit.

    Your doctor may suggest medicine to help you quit. If you're thinking about trying nicotine replacement, the doctor can help you decide whether using just one product or using a combination might work best for you.

  • Talk to a counselor or other health professional.

    This support can be by telephone, one-on-one, or in a group. The more support you get, the better your chances of quitting. Counseling sessions can also help you if you start using tobacco again.

  • Join a support group.

    People who have quit or are quitting know what you're going through and can help you. Being in a support group can keep you motivated, give you hope and confidence, and help you stay on track. Your doctor or local health department may have information on quit-tobacco support groups in your area.

  • Join a quit-tobacco program.

    Your doctor may be able to suggest one. You can also find programs online.

  • Look online.

    You can find information about quitting tobacco and chat rooms that can provide support.

  • Try a free quit-tobacco app.

    The National Cancer Institute's QuitGuide allows you to track your progress and share successes on social networking sites. It can help when you're having a hard time with cravings or triggers.

  • Get text messages.

    A program such as SmokefreeTXT from www.smokefree.gov can send you encouraging, informative text messages several times a day.


Current as of: November 15, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.