How to Support a Friend or Co-Worker


Knowing how to talk to and support your friend or co-worker when quitting — without offending them — can be hard. Here is some advice for getting the conversation started.


What to do:

  • Begin any talks on quitting gently.
  • Talk one-on-one about your concerns for the person’s health.
  • Encourage the person to seek help in quitting. Suggest they try a tobacco cessation program, such as the Quit For Life® Program. All they need to do is call 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE for more information or to enroll.
  • Be compassionate. Quitting tobacco is very hard.
  • Tell them that you believe in them and they can do it!
  • Tell the person that you care about them no matter what they decide to do about their tobacco use.
  • Ask other friends or co-workers to back up your efforts — hearing the same message from more than one person really helps.
  • Ask if there’s a way you can help them quit.
  • Call the Quit For Life Program to get more information about how you can help your friend or co-worker quit tobacco.

What not to do:

  • “Hard sell” or preach at a tobacco user.
  • Try to scare anyone into quitting.
  • Verbally or emotionally punish the person.
  • Tell the person what to do.
  • Take it personally if they say no, or react negatively.
  • Hide the smoker’s cigarettes.
  • Say that tobacco use is OK — accepting the person is not the same as accepting the tobacco use.
  • Accept an excuse that they cannot live without tobacco. It’s not true!
  • Think of their tobacco use as anything less than an addiction.

If you aren't comfortable talking to your friend or co-worker, consider sending them an e-card or annonymous email about GW's smoking cessation program.

Show You Care

Let a friend or colleague know that you care by sending them an e-mail with them information on GW's Quit for Life smoking cessation program.

Quit For Life Program

Interested in quitting smoking? The Quit For Life® Program is available to all students, faculty, and staff, as well as spouses, and their adult dependents age 18 and older. The university is covering the cost of the program and nicotine replacement therapy, including the patch or gum.