Quit Smoking: Build a Support System
has shown that the best way to quit smoking and stay smoke free is to combine a
cessation aid (like the patch or nicotine gum) with a strong support system. A health-care
professional or support group can coach you through the ups and downs of nicotine
withdrawal and quitting.
start on your path to being a former smoker, ask your doctor about local community
groups that focus on cigarette smokers (like Nicotine Anonymous). Your health department
or hospital outreach program will have information about a group that fits your
needs. Finding a group of people you can relate to will help you through the
process of quitting. You’ll see that lots of other people have had setbacks or
obstacles, and you can learn from them.
Friends and Family
also need accountability partners. Ask your friends, family members, and
coworkers to help you through the cravings and urges to smoke. They can serve
as a strong support system when the going gets tough. And they will be your
biggest cheerleaders when you reach a new milestone.
with someone over the phone, someone you don’t know or have a relationship
with, may be easier than confiding in a family member or friend. Reach out to
experts at the American Lung Association’s HelpLine at 1-800-548-8252. They can
provide practical tips for beating a craving or understanding a medicine. The national
tobacco quit line, staffed by medical experts and quit coaches, is also
available for your questions. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
and support can be found on the Internet, too. Online stop-smoking programs—such
as the Freedom from Smoking plan offered by the American Lung Association or
QuitNet—bring together people who are trying to quit. On each of these sites,
you can find message boards, question-and-answer sessions with experts, and
resources for getting answers to your stop-smoking questions. They also offer
tips for dealing with the anxiety and frustrations of quitting, plus
information on how to make the most of your new smoke-free life.