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Support can help you quit smoking

A woman talks to two men at a support group.

Support groups, stop-smoking programs and the help of family and friends can all be valuable assets when you're trying to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking isn't something you have to do solo.

In fact, studies have shown that you have a better chance of quitting if you have help, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Quit-smoking programs

One place to look for support is a quit-smoking program, such as Nicotine Anonymous. These types of programs can help you quit by:

  • Giving you insights into why you smoke.
  • Teaching you how to handle withdrawal and stress.
  • Providing tips about how to resist the urge to smoke.

The best quit-smoking programs include either group or individual counseling, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). In general, the more intense the program, the greater the chances of success.

When considering programs, look for one that offers:

  • At least 15 to 30 minutes per session.
  • At least four sessions.
  • At least two weeks of sessions.

The program's leader should also have training in smoking cessation.

Be wary of programs that:

  • Promise instant, easy success with no effort on your part.
  • Use injections or pills, especially with "secret" ingredients.
  • Are not willing to provide references from people who have taken the class.
  • Charge a very high fee. (Check with the Better Business Bureau if you have doubts.)

Other support options

You can also get support from:

  • Your healthcare provider.
  • A network of family and friends.
  • Local support groups.
  • Websites. A good site to visit is smokefree.gov. This site offers science-driven tools, quitting advice, free materials and support that have helped smokers quit.
  • Telephone quitlines. These programs can provide counseling and guidance about how to avoid common mistakes that may hinder a quit attempt. People who use telephone counseling stop smoking at twice the rate of those who don't get this type of help, according to the ACS.

    Tip: Call the National Cancer Institute's Smoking Quitline at 877-448-7848. You can get help quitting or ask where to get help in your area. Or try the ACS at 800-227-2345 to get help finding a quitline program near you.

Reviewed 10/22/2021

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