Quitting smoking is a difficult thing to do, but it’s made easier with the support of friends, family, coworkers, and loved ones. About 40% of former smokers say support from others mattered a lot in their quit journey.

When someone you know has made the decision to try to quit smoking, you can have an important role in their success. Here’s how:

  • Be aware that the first two weeks of quitting are usually the hardest.
  • If you are a smoker, try not to smoke near them or leave cigarettes, ashtrays or lighters in sight of the person who is trying to quit.
  • Be a listening ear, avoid lecturing, judgment or criticism, and ask how you can be helpful.
  • Be understanding with bad moods and other symptoms of withdrawal. Remind your friend that it’s only temporary and find ways to provide distractions.
  • Offer distractions by changing the subject, entertaining them, or keeping them occupied with other activities like going to the movies, to dinner, sporting event, or game night.
  • Stay positive. Quitting is very hard, and it takes most people many tries until they finally, successfully quit. Slip-ups are common – instead of getting angry, remember that smoking is an addiction and offer support and encouragement to help your friend or loved one get back on track.
  • Celebrate success! Whether it’s been one day, one week, two months or a year, each day without a cigarette is a milestone to be celebrated. Plan something special to help them stay positive, proud, and motivated.