Image for support groups articleCongratulations! You have made the decision to quit smoking. Whether this is your first or fifth time trying to quit, your effort is worthy of praise. Quitting smoking may not come easily, and sometimes it takes more than your own desire to completely kick the habit. Sometimes it takes support from others—family, friends, coworkers, professionals, and even the Internet. Here is a list of support systems to help you reach your goal of finally quitting smoking.

Counselors (also called coaches) can be excellent resources, providing strategies to quit as well as motivation. Coaches can work with you one-on-one or in group settings with other smokers. If you are taking medications to help you quit, pairing your medications with counseling can increase your chances of quitting. If money is an issue, contact your insurance company. Counseling sessions may be covered under your plan.

During your sessions, you and your coach will have the opportunity to discuss the following:

  • What are the triggers that make you want to smoke or smoke again after you have quit? Perhaps you feel the urge to smoke when you are around others smoking. Or maybe certain emotions, like stress, prompt you to smoke.
  • How can you control the urge to smoke? You and your coach will develop and practice coping skills you can use when you feel the need to reach for a cigarette.
  • When do you want to quit? Setting an official quit date will not only give you something to aim for, but it may also increase your chances of quitting.

Other activities you and your coach will work together on:

Tobacco-proofing your home and car—This involves removing anything from your home and car that may trigger or remind you of smoking, like cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays.

Getting educated—You will learn basic information about the dangers of smoking and ways to quit.

Building your social support network—Aside from your coach, you will be encouraged to get support and share your concerns with others in your life. Talking with friends, family, and smokers who have successfully quit will keep you motivated, especially during difficult times when the urge to smoke seems overwhelming.