This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

How Do You Begin?

Quitting is different for each smoker and everyone experiences its challenges differently. Here's how you can help someone on their journey and show that you care.

Tips for Helping a Smoker Quit

  • Ask your friend or family member what they think they need to most
  • Ask them what the best thing you could do for them
  • Tell your friend that you know he or she can quit smoking for good, even if he or she has tried to quit before.
  • For the first few days after the smoker quits, be ready to help. He or she may just want to talk, or your friend may want extra help when a tough situation arises, such as a party, or a crisis at home or work.
  • Offer to call or visit to check on them. Ask how your friend is feeling, not just whether or not they are still off cigarettes.
  • No nagging, scolding or preaching—that just doesn't work. Instead, let your friend know how much you admire them for trying to quit.
  • Give lots of compliments and offer rewards for getting through a day, a week or a month without smoking. Rewards can be simple—flowers, a lunch treat, or even doing a chore for your friend around the house or office.
  • Support your friend in establishing rewards for short-term and long-term milestones reached. Offer to make their favorite meal or pick up doing their chores while they relax.
  • Do things together; go to a movie or take a walk. Stay away from places where other people may be smoking.

    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed March 7, 2019.

    Page Last Updated: April 4, 2019

    Red button with telephone
    Ask An Expert

    Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

    Get help
    Red button of two hand prints
    We need your generous support

    Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

    Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl
    What is LUNG FORCE?

    LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

    Get involved
    Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
    Donate Now.


    Breathe Easy

    Give today and your tax-deductible gift will go TWICE as far for everyone who struggles to breathe.