One of my friends has an issue with their smoking addiction and has recently tried unsuccessfully to quit. I know it’s important to quit smoking and want to help them but I’m not sure what to do. How can I help them?

Thanks for your question. Quitting smoking is hard, and most people have to try a few times before they are successful. There are many benefits to quitting, including positive health effects, effects on your physical appearance (your teeth are less likely to turn yellow), and saving money.
Here are some tips for your friend:

  • Make a list of reasons you want to quit. This can include things like feeling better, improving your lung health and lowering your risk of cancer, as well as saving money. This list can help motivate you to stick to your quit plan, even when it’s tough.
  • Make a quit plan. This means picking a date to quit. Often people find it helpful to think of an activity they can do instead of smoking, such as hanging out with friends, playing video games, or playing a sport.
  • Talk to your health care provider. There are many resources to help, and your health care provider will know the best resources in your area. If you smoke cigarettes or electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or vaping) you may experience nicotine withdrawal. The good news is there are medicines called nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gums, and lozenges) that can help. Some of these can be bought without a prescription. It’s always a good idea to talk to your health care provider before using nicotine replacement therapy to make sure you’re using the right amount.
  • Ask for help. It’s tough to change habits, and you should be proud of wanting to improve your health. Ask your friends and family for support. You can also consider joining support groups.

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