Quit Victoria - Main Menu Quitline Logo Request a call back

How can I help my friend succeed?

Whether a smoker succeeds in quitting has a lot to do with how the people around them react to the decision. Some people will support them - others will, consciously or subconsciously, work to undermine that person's plan to become a nonsmoker. If you want to make sure you're helping, not hindering, follow these tips.

Provide support, understanding and encouragement - even if your quitting friend slips up

Sometimes smokers slip-up and smoke a couple of cigarettes even though they are trying to quit. There are many reasons why this happens. The smoker may not have prepared for how to deal with all their usual smoking situations. They might have decided it's OK to have 'just one', or they may have difficulty thinking of themselves as a nonsmoker. If your friend slips up, encourage them to put it behind them and focus on the reason why they want to quit. If your friend goes back to full-time smoking, remember that most smokers make several attempts before they are able to stop completely. Every attempt is a step in the right direction and will make it easier for them to stop next time around. Criticism, on the other hand, is counterproductive: it makes the smoker fearful of being judged and less likely to try again.

Help your friend to follow through with quitting strategies he or she has planned

What sort of support do you think your friend wants you to provide? Perhaps you can support the smoker when they go out. If they have decided to avoid tempting situations, such as pubs or parties, suggest some alternative activities that you could enjoy together, such as going out to a smokefree restaurant or a film. If they have decided to take up exercise and need encouragement, offer to go along too.

Be around

Sometimes, a person who's trying not to smoke just needs someone to talk to.