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  • I'm 36 years old


So why are people still lighting up? The answer, in a word, is addiction. Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains the very addictive chemical nicotine.


Do respect that the person trying to quit is in charge.

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This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours. Do help the person who's quitting to get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator. Do try to see it from the point of view of the person who's quitting — their habit may feel like an old friend who's always been there when times were tough.

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Do make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house. Do remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Remove anything that reminds them of smoking.

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Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Clean carpets and drapes.

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Do help the person who's quitting with a few chores, some child care, cooking, running errands — whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting. Do thank the person who's quitting for not exposing others to harmful secondhand smoke.

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Your faith in the person who's quitting helps remind them they can do it. This may make the person who's quitting feel worse.

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The symptoms usually get better in a few weeks. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.

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Do remind the person who's quitting how long they went without a cigarette before the slip. Do help the person who's quitting remember all the reasons they wanted to quit, and help them forget about the slip as soon as possible. Do congratulate the person who's quitting for making a quit attempt, and remind them that it can take many attempts before quitting for good.

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Be sure they know that you care about them, whether or not they smoke. Research shows that most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed.

Smoking stinks!

If a relapse happens, think of it as practice for the next time. If the person you care about fails to quit or starts smoking again:.

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Do praise them for trying to quit, and for whatever length of time days, weeks, or months of not smoking. Do encourage them to try again. Do encourage them to learn from the attempt.

How to help someone quit smoking

Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help them quit for good next time. It takes time and skills to learn to how to be a person who doesn't smoke. Now you know you can do that much.

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You can get even further next time. Do keep your cigarettes, lighters, and matches out of sight. They might be triggers for your loved one to smoke.

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Do your loved one in their effort to quit. Call the American Cancer Society at to find out what resources might be available to help someone quit and stay quit.

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Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body.


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No matter whether you're an ex-smoker, a person who's never smoked or a current smoker, you can still help your friend who's trying to quit.