For many people stopping smoking is easy. It’s staying smoke free that’s hard. Some days it can feel like a tremendous weight to bear. There’s no glory in going it alone. And there’s no shame in asking for help. No matter what the task, we can do it better with help from our family and friends, and we may be more successful as a result.
Asking For Support
Although you expect support from some of the people in your life, you may want to add more to your list.
Most family and friends will want to support your efforts if you give them a chance. But you still have to ask. Here are some practical tips:
Tell them what you are planning.
Let them know what kind of program you’re following and that you are using nicotine lozenges to reduce withdrawal symptoms as you break your habit.
Ask them to be supportive and encouraging if you are more irritable than usual.
Tell them how much you value your relationship and how helpful it will be to know that they are on your side.
Also tell them that it won’t take much time or effort on their part to support you.
Next, tell them what you need. This may change from time to time. But they can’t read your mind. Some examples of support include:
- Being positive and encouraging
- Helping you problem-solve risky situations
- Helping you to do something other than smoke
- Asking about how you’re doing
- Listening without nagging
- Taking a walk with you
What About Non-Supportive People?
Most of these people don’t actually want you to fail. Sometimes just explaining how important it is to you will help. The least they can do is not encourage you to smoke and to not smoke around you. Remind them that just because you are going smoke-free doesn’t mean you don’t respect their decision to continue smoking.
It will be important for you to have this conversation with the people you're around who smoke. It’s important to work out an arrangement where you will be exposed to cigarettes and smoking as little as possible.