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Frequently Asked Questions

How much support should I give to help a woman quit smoking?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer to this. The amount of support each woman needs is different and sometimes even from one quit attempt to the next. Your best bet is to just ask her. She’ll be able to tell you what support she wants (and how much).

Are there resources to help a woman quit smoking?

Yes! Women who quit can find tips, tools, and support at Smokefree Women. You can also encourage her to talk to her doctor or call 1-800-QUITNOW or sign up for SmokefreeTXT for 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 her urge to smoke during this time. Have a distraction or backup plan ready in case a craving hits.

What if the woman I know is pregnant?

Many female 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 our “Reach out & offer her a helping hand” video.

What if a woman doesn’t want to quit smoking right now?

Quitting smoking is the best thing a woman can do for her health. But the decision to quit is one she has to make for herself. You can’t force her if she’s not ready. However, you should continue to revisit the topic, and let her know that you’ll be there to help and support her whenever she’s ready.

What if I smoke?

If you smoke, ask yourself if you can be supportive while continuing to smoke. Her 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 her. You don’t want your own smoking to trigger her urge to reach for a cigarette. Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t smoke around her 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 alone can trigger a craving to smoke.
  • Creating 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.