Family & Friends

Family & Friends

You don’t need to be a nurse or doctor to help someone quit tobacco. You can support friends or family members by simply not smoking nearby. 

Here are some tips to help you support smokers wanting to quit:

Ask how you can help

  • Ask how you can support them. This shows you care and want them to succeed.
  • Let your loved one or friend know he/she can count on you.

Help them change their routines

  • This could mean:
    • going together for a walk on the land,
    • spending time together in tobacco-free homes, or
    • inviting your friend or family member over for dinner
  • Avoid activities that go along with smoking.

Don’t judge, preach or scold

This could make someone feel worse or increase their stress level. A high stress level can trigger smoking. Ask, “How’s your day going?”  instead of “Did you smoke today?”

Offer practical support

Consider helping with chores. It may lower your friend or family member’s stress level. Consider:

  • cooking dinner;
  • cleaning ; or
  • babysitting.

Allow for bad moods

Accept that your friend or family member may feel angry or irritable. These are normal, temporary symptoms of withdrawal. Don't take them personally.

Be understanding of slip-ups

Smoking is a powerful addiction. People often try to quit several times before succeeding. If a slip-up happens, let your friend or family member know:

  • you are impressed with his/her progress;
  • you believe in his/her ability to succeed; and
  • he/she is doing the right thing.

Celebrate successes

Plan something special to mark a friend or family member’s significant tobacco-free milestones. You could celebrate:

  • the first tobacco-free week,
  • the first month free, and
  • the third month free.

Offer reminders

Remind your friend or family member why he/she wanted to quit in the first place. You can also:

  • reinforce the benefits of being tobacco-free, and
  • suggest he or she use the money saved to buy a reward.

Tell them about the free help available from the Nunavut QuitLine