How to support a loved one who’s trying to quit smoking
We all know a quitter.
Many of us have that one friend who’s been trying to shake off their nicotine addiction for years. Understandably, leaving bad habits behind can be a right pain. Ask anyone who has successfully made it to the other side, and they’ll break it down to you. No matter how hard you try to forget the feeling, there’ll always be the odd reminder of your once-tight relationship with nicotine.
Becoming a quitter’s ally can be essential to their determination and, ultimately, their success. We know it can be tough: being the best supporter doesn’t always come naturally, and rightly so, it can be hard to understand the emotional rollercoaster your beloved quitter is facing.
If you’re wondering what the best ways to help are, we’ve rounded up a few steps you can take to support:
- Make yourself available
Friends, family members and loved ones play a massive part in someone’s recovery journey. Signal to your loved one that you’re available and can provide them with the emotional support they need to keep them distracted from the urge to light one up. With research revealing that around 70 percent of adult smokers say they want to kick the habit, Healthline states that the help of a friend is essential to a quitter’s success. Smokefree.gov recommends being available to offer someone distractions, especially at the very beginning, when the temptation to light one up can be stronger. Being there to provide someone with alternatives when they experience nicotine cravings will definitely help take their mind off the temptation. If you cannot be there in person, try to make yourself available for chats over the phone, and vocalise the fact that they can reach out to you whenever they feel like smoking. When it comes to distractions, VeryWellMind advises that, when trying to quit nicotine, keeping your ‘hands and mind busy’ can be key.
- Learn to handle the conversation
Creating a light-hearted conversation around someone’s attempt to quit can be rather tricky, especially if you’ve never been a smoker yourself. From learning the right vocabulary to use around them, to the fear of ‘triggering’ someone during their recovery from addiction, it’s easy to get it wrong . Whilst check-ins on their progress can definitely help them feel supported and encouraged, Smokefree advises not to lecture your loved quitter. No matter how good your intentions, establishing a tone of superiority to someone who is already battling something bigger than their willpower can do nothing but damage. According to experts, the general advice is to be patient and positive, making sure your quitter feels supported. Research suggests that nagging, teasing and any patronising behaviour can be detrimental and, ultimately, hurtful. The American Cancer Society also suggests to celebrate success and acknowledge that quitting smoking is a major deal.
- 3. Be supportive, but vigilant
Whilst you don’t want to let relapse slip, being careful not to hurt someone’s emotions is of the utmost importance. If you’ve caught your quitter puffing behind your back, remind them how much they’ve strived to get to a smokeless state before running back to nicotine. Keeping constructive can be a lot more help than discouraging someone who’s already struggling, but make sure you address any casual slips. Healthwise also suggests that a relapse can reveal any potential triggers that could cause trouble throughout someone’s quitting journey, which can ultimately serve as a lesson to prevent any future slip-ups.
There you have it: your complete guide to supporting your loved quitter. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up present to make their journey that lil’ bit brighter, we’re here to help. Bringing you a mix of relaxing botanical blends + punchier, fruity formulas, there surely is a ripple for every quitter!