Support a Quitter

Every day, more and more people are quitting tobacco products. Some quit all on their own. It’s easier when quitters receive guidance and coaching through the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline. It’s also easier when quitters receive the ongoing support and encouragement they need, from those around them every day.

Friends, coworkers, family and loved ones, can all play an important role in supporting a person’s successful quit attempt. Here are a few tips to help the quitter you care about.

Stay Positive

When a tobacco user decides to quit, it’s a big deal. When a tobacco user decides to tell you about their quit attempt, it’s an even bigger deal.  It takes a lot of courage to share. So, celebrate the decision to quit with positive statements like

“That’s awesome.  I’m so happy for you.”

“You’re going to feel great after you quit.  What can I do to help?”

“I know that quitting is hard, but you can do it!”

“You’re not in this alone. Let me know when you need some encouragement.”

Celebrate Success (Big and Small)

Quitting tobacco is a marathon; not a sprint. It’s a long journey with many ups and downs. So, it’s really important to point out progress and success.  Many times, tobacco users focus too much on what they haven’t accomplished (i.e., quitting). You can really make a difference in the quit attempt by pointing out what they have done instead of what they haven’t.

Don’t Nag

Most (if not all) tobacco users feel an immense amount of pressure when they are trying to quit. In short, they are hard on themselves and often feel guilt and shame if they slip or relapse. So, don’t add extra pressure. Don’t lecture them about their tobacco use. Don’t ask how many cigarettes they’ve smoked today. Don’t fuss when they slip. These types of statements can really discourage a quitter to give up, and you should never want a tobacco user to quit on quitting.

Just Be There

At the beginning of someone’s quit attempt, it’s easy to tell them how excited you are that they are quitting. It’s also easy to say, “How can I help?” The key is for you to hang in there with them for the duration. There will be days where a quitter feels completely discouraged and just wants to give up. If they reach out, listen to them and be their biggest cheerleader. Follow through on your promise to “be there” when times get tough.