How Friends Can Help Friends Quit Smoking. Part 4

Posted by Lloyd on July 31, 2012

Supporting quitters

Let’s say a close friend or family member has decided to quit. What can you do now to provide support during this critical period? Be understanding about the withdrawal effects your friend may be going through. If the ex-smoker is a family member, he or she may even be difficult to live with for a while. He or she may be irritable, upset, tired or depressed. Headaches, sleeping problems and difficulty concentrating are other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Help your ex-smoker see these as positive signs that the body is adjusting to a new chemical equilibrium. Be positive and sympathetic, and remind your friend that the symptoms are only temporary.

Of course, the extent of your support will vary depending on your relationship to the quitter. In general, ex-smokers report that praise and support from family and friends are helpful. Ask quitters how things are going. Let them know how glad you are they have quit. Most of all, express your confidence in the quitter’s ability to successfully remain an ex-smoker.

Take your ex-smoking friends or family members out for smoke-free recreation and fun to provide a distraction during the withdrawal period and to reinforce their good intentions. Also, encourage them to exercise. Regular physical activity will help them manage the stress of quitting, avoid weight gain and feel great about the positive steps they are taking to improve their health.

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