Getting support from the important people in your life can make a big difference when you quit smoking. Friends, family, co-workers, and others can be there for you. You are not alone.
You also can connect with others and grow your support network through Smokefree’s social media resources:
Twitter ─ SmokefreeUS
Instagram ─ SmokefreeUS
Pinterest ─ SmokefreeUS
Give your social circle a boost by connecting with other people who share your interests. Think about the things you like to do. Then start a conversation with someone new. Chances are, you’ll find you have things in common.
Fact: Eliminating smoking in your home is a great way to reduce your loved ones' exposure to secondhand smoke.
Here are some tips for getting support, either in person or online.
Ask for Help
You might like to solve problems on your own, but everyone can use a little help from time to time. It doesn't mean you're weak. If you’re not sure how to ask, text a friend or send an email. You might say, “I want to quit smoking. Can you help?” Know an ex-smoker? Ask them why and how they quit.
Be Specific About What You Want
Your friends and family won't always be able to know what help you need as you quit. 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. For example, if you’re feeling stressed after a long day at work and craving a cigarette, ask a friend to help plan a smokefree night out to distract you.
Avoid Stressful Situations
Stress can make you feel like you want to smoke. Think about what stresses you most and look for ways to deal with that stress. Ask friends and family to be aware of your stressors. They can help make your life easier as you quit.
Say Thank You
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. Got a friend who gave up their last piece of gum to help you beat a cigarette craving? Buy some gum and give it to them with a note that says, "Thanks for helping me stay quit!" And being grateful has benefits for you too. Studies show that being grateful can improve physical health, mental health, and self-esteem. Being grateful also can reduce stress.
Fact: About 40% of smokers who quit say that support from others mattered a lot in their success.
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 try a little distance with people who aren't giving you the support you need. Letting go can be hard, but it’s sometimes for the best. Then focus on spending time with people who make you feel good about yourself and want you to succeed.
Invest in Your Relationships
The relationships you encourage and support the most may be the ones that are there for you the most while you quit. You will also feel more comfortable calling on them for support if the relationship is strong. You might go to a 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.
Support is a two-way street. If you want others to be there for you, you have to be there for them, too. Check in with your friends and help them out when you can. Sometimes small favors mean the most. Do something 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. Got a quit method or quitting tip that worked for you? Post it on social media at Smokefree Women. Sharing your success can be a great motivator and support for others to become smokefree.