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Helping Your Smoker Quit: Dos and Don'ts

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Being close to someone who is trying to quit can also be difficult – what do you say, what can you to help, and moreover, what shouldn’t you do? If your friend or loved one is trying to quit, check out these dos and don’ts from the American Cancer Society on how to help without being harmful.


  • Respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge.
  • Ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Also ask how they’re feeling, not just their progress with quitting smoking.
  • Help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, or straws and fresh veggies to chew.
  • Remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Remove anything that might remind your quitter of smoking. This includes washing clothes, carpets, and other things that might smell of smoke.
  • Help the quitter with chores, such as child care or cooking. Doing so helps alleviate the stress of quitting.


  • Don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal.
  • Don’t offer advice. Simply ask how you can help with the plan or program they’re using.
  • If your smoker slips, don’t assume they’ll start smoking like before. A slip can be pretty common when a person is quitting.
  • Don’t scold or tease the quitter if they slip. Making them feel guilty may make things worse.

Couold you stop smoking for 24 hours? Why not give it a try? Participate in the Great American Smokeout on November 16, 2017. For more tips and help, check out the Semper Fit Health Promotion Program, or view the complete list of dos and don’ts at

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