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Buddy Up: How Helping Another Quitter May Help You Stay Smoke-Free

If you've been going it alone on your quit smoking journey, try having a quit buddy. Partnering up with another quitter is a 2-way street; you won’t just be helping your buddy, you may be helping yourself stay smoke-free, too!

Quitters can relate to one another. You can offer each other support, call on each other in tough moments, and suggest methods to get through urges. By being accountable to someone else, you may be more motivated to stay the course with your own quit, too. You can encourage each other to speak with a healthcare provider to establish the right quit plan for you, and help each other stick with it.

Set a check-in schedule that works for both of you

Have an honest conversation with your quit partner about when and how often you are able to talk. Frequent contact will ensure that you’re both getting the support you need to quit smoking.

You don’t always have to talk about smoking

Sometimes, quitters just need someone to talk to. A chat about something unrelated to cigarettes may be all your buddy needs to get through an urge to smoke, which usually lasts for about 3 to 5 minutes and then passes whether you smoke or not!

Celebrate your buddy’s milestones

Cheer for your buddy’s smoke-free accomplishments, no matter how small. Maybe they had a tough day at work and still didn’t smoke. Maybe they slipped up, but they’re determined to stick with their quit. Tell them how great they’re doing. Likely, your praise and encouragement will be returned when you need it and will help you stay motivated in your own quit!

Listen up

One day, you might sense that your buddy’s having trouble while you’re feeling great. In this case, being a good listener can be just as helpful as talking. Quitting smoking, for you and your buddy, may be a long journey with ups and downs. Someday, you may need your buddy to listen to and empathize with you! When you have a tough day, try to reach out to your buddy to not only get support, but to support them. It may serve as a good distraction!

Be honest

You might be afraid to tell your buddy about a slip-up or are nervous that talking to them might make you want a cigarette. Or you might be worried that you’ve been calling them too often. It’s best to be straightforward about challenges. A great quit-buddy system means honesty and support—and coming up with solutions that work for both of you.