Succeed in a Tobacco-free Lifestyle with Support from those you Trust!

When you need help quitting tobacco, getting support from important people in your life can make a big difference. In fact, 40 percent of former smokers say that others mattered a lot in their success. Remember that you are not in this alone. Your friends and family are there for you, in both good times and bad.

Follow these 12 tips to get the support you need:

1. Surround Yourself with People You Trust

Think of the people you trust the most—people you can talk to about anything and who have been there for you when you needed them. They could be friends, significant others, parents, co-workers or other family members. Whoever they are, spend more time with them.

Tip: Bring friends along for your daily activities. Grab lunch with a friend, get a group together to go shopping or meet up at a sporting event.

2. Focus on People Who Can Help

If a friendship doesn’t feel right anymore, it might be time to let it go. Don’t be afraid to put a little distance between yourself and people who aren’t giving the support you need. Letting go can be hard, but sometimes it’s for the best.

Tip: Focus your energy on spending time with people who make you feel good about yourself and who can help you quit tobacco.

3. Invest in Your Relationships

Make a point of investing time and effort in important relationships. People are more willing to provide support when they know you are there for them. If the relationship is strong, you’ll feel more comfortable calling on them when you need help quitting tobacco.

Tip: Go to that movie your friend really wants to see, even if it’s not your top choice, or go out of your way to call a friend just to chat and see how things are going.

4. Ask for Help

You might like to solve problems on your own, but the truth is that we all need a little help from time to time. Go ahead and ask for help from people you trust. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. Your true friends will be there, ready and willing to help.

Tip: Not sure how to ask? Send a text or email to get the conversation started (e.g., I want to quit. Can you help me?). Know an ex-tobacco user? Ask them for tips to quit tobacco.

5. Be Specific About Your Wants

Your friends and family won’t always be able to predict what you need. Be specific about what support you want (and don’t want). Try to be nice about it. They are just trying to do what is best for you.

Tip: Feeling stressed after a long day at work and craving a cigarette? Tell a friend and ask them to help plan a tobacco-free night out to distract you.

6. Say Thank You

Don’t let acts of kindness go unnoticed. Tell your friends you appreciate them, whether you speak it, text it or show it with your actions. Saying thanks doesn’t take a lot of time, so do it in the moment before you forget.

Tip: Have a friend who gave up their last piece of gum to help you beat a tobacco craving? Buy some gum and give it to them with a note that says, “Thanks for helping me quit tobacco!”

7. Avoid Stressful Situations

Steer clear of the things that add unneeded stress to your day and look for more positive things to do.

Tip: Identify what stresses you out and come up with ways to deal with that stress. Stress can make you feel like you want to smoke or dip. Ask friends and family to be aware of your stressors. They can help make your life easier.

8. Grow Your Social Circle

Give your social circle a boost by connecting with other people who share your interests. Start by thinking about the things you like to do. Then look for ways to get more involved. Get talking with the people around you, and chances are, you’ll find you have stuff in common.

Tip: Strike up a conversation with someone new at work, join an intramural sport league or volunteer. You never know who you will meet!

9. Be Approachable

How you present yourself to others is a big part of branching out and strengthening friendships. Make yourself approachable by making eye contact when talking with others. Smile. Sit and stand straight. Give compliments. People will be drawn to your confidence and positive attitude.

Tip: Say “hi” and smile to co-workers as you pass them at work, compliment a family member on how great their shirt looks or tell your friend you like their new haircut.

10. Be Hands-on

Don’t wait around for others to come to you. Create opportunities to spend time with friends by suggesting things to do. Join in conversations and give your opinion.

Tip: Reach out to the people you care about. Have lunch with a co-worker or friend. Invite friends over to your place for a tobacco-free game night.

11. Listen

Listening is a great way to strengthen and build friendships. Get people to open up by asking questions that can’t be answered “yes” or “no.” Let them talk. Resist the urge to interrupt with your own comments and stories.

Tip: Are your friend’s eyes glazing over when you talk? Take a breath and give them a chance to say something. Ask what they think of a new song you heard or if they have any plans for the weekend.

12. Support Others

Support is a two-way street. If you want help quitting tobacco, you have to be supportive, too. Check in with your friends and help them out when you can. Sometimes small favors mean the most.

Tip: Do something small to brighten someone’s day. Make a friend smile by emailing or texting them a joke, get someone a small treat for their birthday or call a family member to see how they are doing.

* From smokefree.gov

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or register online for free, nonjudgmental support from a Quit CoachTM.