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Friend or family support to help a loved one quit tobacco or nicotine

If someone you care about is ready to quit smoking, vaping, or using other tobacco/nicotine products, you can help. Your support and encouragement can make quitting easier for them.

Each person needs to find their own reasons to quit and must decide for themselves when to stop. If you have co-workers, friends, or family who use tobacco/nicotine, share your concern, but don’t make them feel guilty or bad about it. You can help them most by making sure they know you are going to be there to support them when they are ready to quit.

Tips for helping a friend or loved one quit:

  • Encourage them and help them stay positive as they start to make a quit plan and prepare for their quit date.
  • Suggest they talk to their healthcare provider and get quit-smoking medicines to help them quit. Using quit-smoking medicines can help with withdrawal symptoms and doubles a person’s chances of quitting for good.
  • Celebrate their victories: the first 24 hours nicotine-free, getting through a stressful day without using tobacco products, handling tough withdrawal symptoms, and many more goalposts on the way to a nicotine-free life.
  • Offer distractions from cravings or help relieve stress by taking a walk together or stopping by to talk.

Things to remember as you offer your support:

  • Don’t take it personally if your friend is in a bad mood. For many people, quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things they’ll ever do. 
  • Don’t be discouraged if they slip and start using tobacco/nicotine products again. It often takes people several tries to quit for good. You can be there to listen and to motivate them to get back to their quit plan and think about the future. They’ll need your understanding, your encouragement, and to know you’ll be there when they’re ready to try again.
  • Make sure they know you’re proud of them, especially when they are having a hard time with quitting.
  • As time passes and your friend stays tobacco-free, remind them of what they’ve achieved and let them know you’re still there for support.

For information about supporting youth in quitting vaping or other tobacco products, visit mass.gov/vaping  and GetOutraged.org.

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