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FAQs for Helping Someone Quit

How much support should I give someone quitting smoking? Everyone who quits needs a different amount or type of support. Just ask them what kind of support they want and how much.

What resources are available to help someone quit smoking?

Suggest to someone who is trying to quit that they use the online tips, tools, and support on Smokefree. 

  • Try SmokefreeTXT. Sign up online or text QUIT to 47848 to get 24/7 support sent right to your phone. Download a smartphone app. Our free apps help you track cravings and understand your smoking patterns.
  • Visit Smokefree on social media. Grow your support network and stay connected.
  • Talk to an expert on a quitline. Call the National Cancer Institute Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or find your state’s quitline by calling 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) to talk with an expert for free.
  • Chat with a counselor. Get real-time help from the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp online chat.

How long does nicotine withdrawal usually last?

For most people, the worst symptoms of withdrawal last a few days to a few weeks. Be extra mindful of the things that could trigger their urge to smoke during this time. Have a distraction or backup plan ready in case a craving hits.

What if my friend or family member is pregnant?

Many smokers get strong pressure to quit smoking when they become pregnant. Many of them also want to quit smoking. But being pregnant doesn't magically make it easier. While many women do succeed in quitting smoking before their baby is born, many others have a hard time staying quit after their baby is born.

Pregnant women who quit smoking can have withdrawal and cravings just like women who aren't pregnant. Having a baby can be very stressful. Many women use smoking as a way to deal with it. Your support is important to helping someone quit and stay quit.

Learn more about smoking and pregnancy and watch the video Reach Out & Offer Her a Helping Hand.

What if the person doesn't want to quit smoking right now?

Quitting smoking is the best thing a person can do for their health. But the decision to quit is one they have to make for themselves. You can't force them if they're not ready. However, you should continue to come back to the topic, and let them know that you'll be there to support them when they are ready.

What if I smoke?

If your friend or family member is quitting and you’ve also been thinking about it, now could be a good time to quit. But if you aren't ready to quit smoking, decide how you will handle your own smoking around them. You don't want to trigger their urge to reach for a cigarette. Be sure to ask yourself whether you can be supportive while continuing to smoke. 
  • Don't smoke around them or buy cigarettes when you're together.
  • Use mouthwash, wash your hands, and change your clothes to avoid smelling like cigarettes when you're together.
  • Create a "no smoking" rule for your home and car if you live together.
  • Keep your ashtrays, lighters, and cigarettes out of sight.
  • Be supportive of spending time in smokefree places like at the movies.

More For You

Knowing why quitting is so difficult can help you be prepared to face the challenges of quitting.
Quitting is hard, and so is staying smokefree. Here are steps to help you now and long term.
Talking to an expert about quitting smoking may be the support you need to see it through.
Someone who feels supported is more likely to quit smoking for good. You can play a big part in helping a person become smokefree.