Quitting Smoking: Conversation starters

Most smokers want to quit. Support from a family member or friend can make all the difference. Use these tips to start a conversation about quitting smoking.

Be positive.

  • “You are important to me. I want you to live a long, healthy life.”
  • “Your body will start to heal right away.”
  • “After a few months, you’ll breathe easier and have more energy.”
  • “Food and drinks will start to taste better!”
  • “Think about how much money you’ll save.”

Share steps for quitting.

  • “Write down your reasons for quitting. Keep the list where you’ll see it often.”
  • “Set a date to quit. Give yourself up to 2 weeks to make a quit plan.”
  • “Talk to your doctor about counseling, medicines, and other resources that can help you quit.”
  • “Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support and coaching to help you quit.”
  • “Throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays – at home, in the car, and at work.”
  • "Visit Smokefree.gov for more quit tips and tools."

Offer support.

  • “I'm so proud of you for trying to quit. How can I help you?”
  • “I promise to understand if quitting makes you cranky or anxious.”
  • “Quitting is tough. If you slip up, I can help you get back on track.”
  • “Let’s do something relaxing, like going for a walk or watching a movie.”
  • “Let’s plan how to celebrate after you’ve been smokefree for a month.”
  • “If you find yourself reaching for a cigarette, you can call me instead.”

Content last updated October 15, 2020

Reviewer Information

This information on smoking was adapted from materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.

Reviewed by:
Stephen D. Babb, MPH
Office on Smoking and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Brenna VanFrank, MD, MSPH
Office on Smoking and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

January 2019

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