Be a Quit Buddy

When someone you care about has made the decision to stop smoking or chewing tobacco, your support of their decision plays an enormous role in their success. This guide will help you understand your role as they progress through the four steps to quit and prepare you to be the best cheerleader, quit partner, or safety net you can be!

  • Step 1: Thinking About Quitting
    • When it comes to quitting, it needs to be their decision, so be sure to support rather than pressure them.
    • Choose the right times to encourage them, such as when they talk about “how they should quit” or are sick and “need to stop smoking.”
    • Don’t give up or get frustrated if they fail to follow through when they had talked about quitting. Give them some time and start the discussion again when the opportunity arises.
  • Step 2: Preparing To Quit
    • If you use tobacco, please consider quitting along with them. As quit buddies, you can motivate one another like exercise workout partners.
    • Help them pick a quit date that’s right for them and stick to it.
    • If the opportunity presents itself, suggest medications and professional support to aid them in the quitting process. Do your research. Know what to expect along the way and learn about specific strategies to fight the nicotine withdrawal cravings in tough times.
    • Help them remove all tobacco-related products from their home and car, such as lighters, ashtrays, and empty tobacco packages.
    • Encourage them to let their friends and co-workers know they are quitting as well.

  • Step 3: Quitting
    • Compliment them often on their efforts to quit. Positive feedback is always welcome and appreciated. Help them develop a reward system right away. Rewards aren’t just for long milestones; they’re for making it past everyday obstacles as well.
    • If you use tobacco products, be sure to help your quitter by not using in front of him or her or leaving cigarettes and chew in plain sight.
    • Avoid taking them places where they would normally be encouraged to smoke.
    • Be prepared to help your quitter find healthy distractions when he or she experiences tobacco cravings. Have a healthy snack, play a game, crack them up with a new joke, or suggest that they start a quit journal to monitor and record their progress.
    • Spend time having fun with your quitter. Physical activities, such as sports or even a walk, will make you both feel better. It helps relieve the stress of nicotine withdrawal.
    • Let them know that you’re available for them when they need an encouraging word or a strong shoulder. If you’re not available, let them know they can always get support from our cessation coaches available via live chat on the site.
    • Show them you still care and support them even if they are moody or agitated.
    • Spend more time with friends who know they’re quitting and are supporting them. It’s no fun trying to quit smoking when their buddies are waving cigarettes under their noses and trying to get them to slip up.
    • Be understanding. Setbacks are not failures. They are just part of the process of changing behavior.

  • Step 4: Staying Quit
    • Celebrate their success with them when they have quit smoking or chewing tobacco, especially at tobacco-free milestones.
    • For most people, quitting takes much more than one try. Often it can take 5 to 10 quitting attempts to stay quit, so be ready to offer nonjudgmental encouragement and assurance that slip-ups and relapses are normal.
    • If your quitter has a relapse, you can reinforce the positives of trying to quit.
    • If your quitter has started smoking or chewing again, help set a new quit date and try again. Suggest alternative treatments or use the opportunity to reinforce that additional professional help and medications that could make an impact.