It’s hard to know how best to support a friend who is quitting smoking. While your BFF’s motivation to stay smoke-free must ultimately come from within, you can play a key role in helping them achieve success!
In fact, in a survey of 483 adult smokers who were trying to quit, 80% said that support – not nagging – from others was very important to successfully quitting smoking.1
So, how can you make sure you’re a quitter’s friend forever and not a negative nagger? Here are four ways to be an effective supporter and kick some serious #friendshipgoals while you’re at it.
1. Be a source of support
You should feel pretty honoured if your quitter has asked you for support during this important life transition. Your friend is facing a tough challenge and will need a lot of encouragement.
Make yourself available for phone calls or evening walks, especially during the first few days of your friend’s quit journey. Show that you understand the quit journey can be challenging, by simply asking, “How are you doing?” Avoid lecturing or criticising them.
2. Plan fun smoke-free activities together
Quitting smoking is more than just giving up cigarettes. Your friend will need to learn new skills and habits to adjust to a smoke-free life.
During the early weeks of your friend’s quit journey, when slip-ups are most likely to occur, plan some fun activities that avoid smoking triggers and serve as a distraction from smoking.
You could even surprise your friend with an activity to celebrate their new smoke-free life. Have you and your friend always wanted to try stand-up paddle boarding, salsa dancing, or surfing?
3. Help them save their ‘Quit Cash’
Your friend will be saving money by not smoking. Encourage them to save their ‘Quit Cash’ and use it to treat themselves when they achieve a milestone.
Every dollar your friend saves on cigarettes can be used to buy things that may help support a healthier lifestyle – like healthy groceries, new workout clothes, tickets to a sporting event, or even an indulgent appointment at a day spa.
4. Celebrate your quitter
Your friend is working hard to quit smoking, so it’s only right to celebrate in their successes. When your quitter reaches a milestone, such as one-month smoke-free, think of fun ways to reward their accomplishment. Here are some ideas:
- Prepare their favourite meal
- Give them a card telling them how much you care
- Surprise them with fresh flowers or a gift-certificate to their favourite store