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Around 40 percent of people who've quit smoking say support from others played a big part in their success. You can be part of what gets your loved one back to a healthier lifestyle. But understanding their addiction and how to help them is crucial.

Don't lecture

If you lecture, nag and scold your friend, it won't help. In fact, it could create a rift in your relationship, and they may not feel that they can come to you for help. Helping someone quit isn't about policing their smoking. It's about being there to support them at what could be one of the toughest times in their life.

Understand addiction

Smoking isn't just a bad habit. It's an addiction that's both physical and mental. So, quitting will be difficult. It will take time and they may not be successful the first time. As someone who cares about them, you should be prepared to be there to celebrate their successes and support them in their slip-ups.

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You're not alone

Quitting may be the hardest thing your loved one will ever do. But they're not doing it alone. They have you and specially trained family nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists who are all ready to help.

Connect with pharmacists

Did you know you can get advice from trained pharmacists at more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide? They'll listen to your specific needs and:

  • Offer smoking cessation assessments.
  • Provide advice on support resources.
  • Recommend stop smoking aids.
Find a Store

Visit MinuteClinic®

MinuteClinic is the walk-in medical center inside select CVS/pharmacy stores. It offers the Start to Stop® smoking cessation program — covered by most insurance — that includes:

  • Custom smoking cessation plans.
  • Nicotine replacement recommendations or prescriptions, when medically appropriate.
  • Ongoing coaching and support.
Find a MinuteClinic

Call the quit hotline

Get live phone support from trained representatives. Operated by the American Cancer Society® Quit For Life® Program, the quit hotline available in English and Spanish and can connect you with resources and support in your area. Call 1-844-265-4321

Ways you can help

Offer emotional support

It's easier for a smoker to quit when their friends and family support them. If you have a loved one who's trying to quit, here are the tips on how you can help them emotionally:

  • Ask questions.
  • Listen to them.
  • Check in to see how they're doing.
  • Don't lecture.
  • Be patient.
  • Help distract them.
  • Celebrate their successes.
  • If you smoke, don't smoke around them.

Help them clean up

While they're quitting, smokers will be tempted. You can help them stay strong by ensuring they remove things that remind them of smoking. Try these tips:

  • Volunteer to help them throw away all their cigarettes and matches. You can even suggest that they throw away their lighters and ashtrays. Don't forget the ashtray and lighter in the car.
  • Be sure they don't keep a rainy day pack of cigarettes around. That one pack will make it easier to start smoking again.
  • Help them get rid of the cigarette smells around them. That means helping to clean curtains, clothes, carpets and even the car. If they can't smell smoke, they'll be less tempted to want to smoke.

Help them face challenges

The first few days and weeks of quitting are the hardest. Your loved one will be uncomfortable, have withdrawal symptoms, crave cigarettes and be a bit moody. Here's how you can help:

  • Remind them that cravings are only temporary.
  • Create a list of smoke-free activities you can do together.
  • Encourage them to avoid people, places and things that may remind them of smoking.
  • Be available to talk and provide encouragement.

What's next

Start talking

It can be tough for a smoker to talk about quitting. If they bring it up, though, be prepared to ask questions, talk about it and offer encouragement. Let them know that you'll be there for them. If they don't bring up the subject, you can ask them about quitting. The key is that you ask and not tell. It also helps if you're able to offer insight on how it can be done.

Learn How to Prepare to Quit

More Quitting Resources

Find tips to help you quit

Understand nicotine addiction

Get quitting support

Learn how to deal with withdrawal
from the American Cancer Society

© 2014 CVS Health

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