How can I encourage someone who is trying to quit?
- Do not pester someone who is trying to quit smoking or who is in the initial stages of thinking about quitting as it is probably the worst thing someone trying to offer support can do -- also do NOT nag, insult, or attempt to shame a smoker into quitting;
- Remember that even well-intentioned praise might irritate the quitter at any given moment. Do what you can to gauge the quitter's mood, leave a wide berth where necessary, and forgive what seem to be irrational reactions;
- Let your spouse/friend/roommate know that no matter what happens that you value them as a person (even though you may disapprove of their smoking) and that you respect them for trying to break free addiction;
- Learn to listen non-judgmentally and attempt to understand and see the problems of quitting a powerful and seductive addiction through the smoker's eyes;
- Remember to praise a smoker for even the smallest effort in trying to quit or cut down -- quitting is a process and it takes time!
"The hard part is staying quit and to do that, you need an armamentarium of alternatives to smoking as long as they aren't other addictions that just serve as a substitute 'friend'. It important not to use anything that will obscure or divert us from finding out that the best friend that we have, in some ways, the only consistent one, is the one inside." - Donna Payne, posted March 1996