You hang out with people you have stuff in common with, right? Well, teens who smoke usually hang out with people who smoke too. So what do you do when you want to quit smoking and your friends don’t? Will these relationships change while you’re trying to quit smoking? It’s important to know that quitting smoking could cause changes (some good and some bad) in some of your relationships and how to be ready for those changes so you can deal with them.


So what do you do
when you want to quit smoking and your friends don’t?



Here are some things to think about:

  • You have plenty in common: You won’t lose your friends just because you don’t smoke. You and your friends have plenty of other things in common besides smoking. Remind yourself of what they are.
  • Agree to disagree: You have your reasons for cutting back. You need to do what’s right for you, but don’t judge your friends who aren’t ready to take the step to quit. They need to do it on their own time.
  • Who’s pressuring you to smoke—you or your friends?  Most teens pressure themselves into smoking as a way to be accepted by friends. Most of your friends don’t care if you say no. 
  • Everyone is NOT doing it: Most people way over estimate the number of people who are current smokers. About 80 percent of teens do NOT smoke! The tobacco companies spend a lot of money to make people think smoking is popular.

Here are some things to do:

  • Change up your routines and patterns: You have routines and patterns for how you interact with and relate to other people. And you probably have patterns for smoking. Think about it. Chances are good that you smoke with the same people, at the same time, in the same place, and while you’re doing the same thing (like sharing cigarettes after school or smoking in the car with your sister). You may not realize these patterns at first, but you’ll need to identify them so you can begin to make changes. Mix up your routine by suggesting non-smoking activities or seeking out the company of friends who don’t smoke.
  • Avoid certain social situations: At first, it may be best to avoid social situations that trigger you to smoke. If your plan to quit involves some major changes, try explaining to your friends (and family) that you’re not avoiding them, but you are avoiding situations that might make you want to smoke.
  • Ask for help: Asking for help doesn’t have to be hard. It’s important to tell the people you’re close to about your plan to quit. Let them know how they can help you! It can strengthen your relationships.

Asking for help doesn’t have to be hard.