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Frequently Asked Questions

How much support should I give to help someone quit smoking?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer to this. The amount of support each person needs is different for everyone and sometimes even from one quit attempt to the next. Your best bet is to just ask. They’ll be able to tell you what support they want (and how much).

Are there resources to help someone quit smoking?
Yes! People who are trying to quit smoking can find tips, tools, and support on Smokefree and Smokefree Women. You can also encourage them to talk to their doctor or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or sign up for SmokefreeTXT for even more support.

How long does nicotine withdrawal usually last?
Everyone experiences nicotine withdrawal differently. There is no set time for how long it takes for withdrawal to end, but for many people symptoms are worst the first few days after quitting. Still, withdrawal can last for two or three weeks (or more). 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 of family member is pregnant?
Many smokers get strong pressure to quit smoking when they become pregnant. Many of them want to quit smoking, too! But being pregnant doesn’t magically make it easier. And while many women succeed in quitting smoking before their baby is born, many 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. Many women who smoke use it as a way to deal with stress, and while having a baby can be an extremely happy time in life, it can be a very stressful time, too. Your support is important to helping her quit and stay quit.

Learn more about smoking and pregnancy and watch Smokefree Women’s video, "Reach out & offer her a helping hand," on YouTube.

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 revisit the topic, and let them know that you’ll be there to support them when they’re ready.

What if I smoke?
If you smoke, ask yourself if you can be supportive while continuing to smoke. Your friend’s/family member’s decision to quit smoking does not mean that you have to quit, too. But if you’ve been thinking about quitting or cutting back, now could be a good time.

If you aren’t ready to quit smoking, decide how you will handle your own smoking around them. You don’t want your own smoking to trigger their urge to reach for a cigarette. Here are some suggestions:

  • 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. The smell of cigarette smoke could trigger a craving to smoke.
  • 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 smokefree activities, like going to the movies instead of a bar.