Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Quitting Smoking: How Family and Friends Can Help

Quitting Smoking: How Family and Friends Can Help

Topic Overview

Helping someone decide to quit

You can gently encourage someone who smokes to quit. Think of your comments about smoking as only one event that moves that person toward quitting.

  • Start any discussion of quitting in a gentle way.
  • Let the person know why you want him or her to quit. Give the person reasons that are as important to him or her as they are to you. (Try "I want you to be with us for a long time" rather than "I'm tired of cleaning your dirty ashtrays.")
  • One good way to begin is to mention a new treatment option you have heard or read about.
  • Make it short (less than 5 minutes).
  • Ask whether there is a way that you can help him or her quit.
  • Repeat your attempt every 6 to 12 months.

Helping someone who is quitting

Family and friends are a valuable source of support and motivation for a person who is trying to quit smoking. People who have already quit are an even greater source of comfort and can offer tips for success.

If a person who smokes asks for your support while trying to quit, you can:

  • Help distract him or her. Join in the activities he or she does to decrease the craving to smoke, such as lunchtime walks or hobbies.
  • Ignore grouchy moods. Try your best to tolerate any bad moods. They won't last forever.
  • Provide a reward when he or she meets a goal or milestone without using tobacco.
  • Ask the person what he or she needs from you.
  • If you smoke, don't smoke around the person who is trying to quit. Don't offer a cigarette, even as a joke. Don't leave your cigarettes where they will tempt the person to take one.
  • If you have quit smoking, talk often to the person about positive changes in your health and sense of well-being. Talk about the times when you found it most difficult not to smoke and what you did to get through those situations.

Helping someone who relapses

Most people try to quit smoking many times before they are successful. Don't give up your efforts. If the person you care about fails to quit, you can:

  • Praise him or her for trying to quit, and for whatever length of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.
  • Encourage him or her to try again. Don't say "If you try again." Say "When you try again." Studies show that most people who don't succeed in quitting will try again in the near future.
  • Encourage him or her to learn from the attempt. Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help him or her be successful in a future attempt.
  • Suggest that he or she consider more intensive treatment when ready to try again.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Quitting Smoking

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details