If someone you know is trying to stop smoking, is there anything you can do to help? If you are the person trying to kick the habit, what can you expect of your friends?
There is a very real value to close friendships when someone is trying to stop smoking. As with all situations in life, the amount of help that is given will depend on how close the friendship is and the habits of the friend themselves. For instance, a very close friend who is also a smoker may decide to give the ultimate level of support and stop smoking themselves.
Other friends may offer a lot of pep talks and encouragement along the way. There are many different ways for friends to help one another stop smoking, depending on whether they smoke themselves or not.
A Smoking Friend
A friend who also smokes has a couple of options for providing support. They can decide to start cutting back or quit altogether. This is the ultimate sign of friendship and will have a positive effect on both people’s health. When two or more people decide to make this type of change together they can support one another by sharing experiences and being strong for one another in the weaker moments. When one person wants to light up, the other can be there to remind them of the goal, distract them from the craving, or talk them out of it.
For a friend who is not willing to go to such extremes, agreeing not to smoke in the presence of the quitting friend is ideal. This may not have to continue forever, but should be done at least in the initial months of the friend quitting.
Sitting around others who are smoking can be unbearable for someone who is giving up the habit. If you are in a situation where a friend is unwilling to put down the cigarettes when you are within close proximity, you may need to stay away from them until you feel you are strong enough to handle that type of in-your-face temptation.
A Non-Smoking Friend
Friends who don’t smoke themselves can be the greatest inspiration and support while someone is trying to stop smoking. They can offer encouragement and words of advice that help the smoker get through the rough moments where they are really craving a cigarette.
If you are trying to quit smoking, draw closer to your friends who you know do not smoke. Lean on them for support in the rough moments so they can help you through. In order for that to work, you have to talk to them ahead of time and let them know that you need this support. Talking to someone else about your problems or asking for this type of help can be hard, but they can’t offer any help if you aren’t very clear that it is needed.
So, what if you don’t have any really close friends who aren’t smokers or who would be willing to set the cigarettes aside to give you a fighting chance at quitting? You can always go online and find some support groups, but you will still need to address the issue with friends who influence you the most. A good friend will be willing to make some changes to their own behaviors to help you out.