Tragically, smoking kills nearly 500,000 loved ones in the United States each year. Friends, family members and significant others can play a big part in helping a person quit tobacco. That's because people who feel supported are more likely to quit. About 40 percent of smokers who quit say that support from others mattered a lot in their success. Helping a friend or loved one become tobacco free not only improves their health – it improves the health of everyone around them.
SECONDHAND SMOKE FACTS
Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of toxic chemicals, including at least 70 known carcinogens. Smoking in the home causes serious health consequences for children, including earaches, new or worsening asthma and missed school days. It has also been shown that smoking kills young children by causing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Smoking in the car is equally as harmful, exposing loved ones to the dangers of secondhand smoke.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
- Don’t be judgmental. Let them know you care.
- Ask what you can do to help them quit. Some people might like constant reminders and encouragement, while others do better with less interaction.
- Adopt a tobacco-free home policy.
- Be sensitive to their moods, especially during the first few days or weeks after they quit. Irritability, difficulty concentrating and disturbed sleep patterns are common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
- Staying busy can reduce the intensity of nicotine cravings. Suggest things you can do together. Take a walk, do chores, go to a movie, go shopping or have dinner in a tobacco-free restaurant.
- During the first two weeks of quitting, help them with things that may cause stress. You might want to run some errands for them, take care of their kids or help them out in other ways.
- Continue to encourage your loved one every step of the way.