Want to help someone to quit smoking?

No matter what you do, you can't force someone to stop if they don't want to. But if your friend/partner/relative wants to give it a go, you can try to make things a bit easier for them. Here are some ideas for how you can help your friend/partner/relative with their quit attempt:

Discuss their habit and their commitment to stopping.

Don't threaten, nag or lecture about the dangers of smoking - focus on the benefits they'll get if they give up, e.g. more money, better health.

Show your companion that you care and have an interest in keeping them healthy.

ake a trip down to your local pharmacist with them to find out if any of the NRT treatments available could work for them (and check out the 'smokers' section for more info on the products available to help).

Encourage them to call a national helpline for more information about stopping (if they are a bit shy, maybe you could offer to do it for them).

Send a card on the Day to wish them good luck.

Make up a quitters survival kit to help them through the Day. It could include a leaflet or booklet about how to stop smoking, sugar free gum, low calories snacks like carrots and fruit, distractions such as games or puzzles, a toothbrush and toothpaste and a treat (such as a ticket to the cinema for the end of the day).

Take them out to breakfast or lunch.

If temptation strikes, remind them why they decided to stop. Stress the benefits of stopping rather than the dangers of smoking.

Be sympathetic during the hard times - its common to be edgy when stopping smoking.

Make sure that you are available in person or by telephone. Keep in touch - but avoid pestering as they may be managing fine!

Slip-ups are normal but having one or two cigarettes doesn't mean failure. Help your companion to get back their motivation and to look out for danger situations in the future.

Plan an evening activity that avoids the temptation to smoke - perhaps swimming or the cinema. It's probably best to avoid the pub if they normally associate smoking with alcohol.

Give praise and encouragement and at the end of the Day, congratulations.

If your friend has decided to stop for good, plan a shopping trip after a week or two. They can buy something special with the money saved by not smoking.