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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
February 4, 2013
Happy Anniversary and Helping a Friend Quit
On Valentine’s Day, Freedom From Smoking® Online celebrates its 13th anniversary. Since 2000, we have seen great evolution in the program that started out as a few people talking in an AOL chat room. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have entered the virtual doors to become smokefree, embrace freedom from nicotine, and help others with the same goal. Today, we celebrate that you are part of it.
Having support is one of the most important keys to success in remaining smokefree. If quitting is like taking a car trip, then having support while quitting is like having GPS to guide you around road construction and traffic jams along the way. How can you provide the best support to your friends who want to join you in this smokefree journey? Consider these tips:
- There are many ways to become smokefree. Even though you may have quit with a particular medication, that doesn’t mean everyone should use the same medication to reach their smokefree destination. As you talk with friends about what worked, frame your advice as what worked for you.
- Ask your friend how you can be most helpful to him or her.
- Be positive! Tell your friend that you believe in him or her. Remind your friend that tens of thousands of people have quit smoking and he or she can, too.
- Offer to be there for your friend whenever needed, especially during the first few weeks of being smokefree. Ask your friend about how she/he is feeling, not only about smokefree status. Nagging, scolding or preaching isn’t helpful. Tell your friend how much you admire his or her strength and commitment.
- Praise your friend for getting through the rough spots. Some simple ways to show your support include sending a card to let your friend know that you care or buying a book of puzzles to help keep his/her hands busy.
- Print and share the benefits of quitting with your friend. Some benefits show up right away and others over time.
- Show your friend how to breathe deeply. Encourage your friend to take deep breaths and count to ten (or a hundred) when stressed out.
- Invite your friend to join FFS Online, and be sure to share the number to the Lung HelpLine (800-548-8252) where your friend can receive free counseling from an expert.
What could be a better way to show your love for friends than by supporting them in their smokefree journeys? This Valentine’s Day, show love on the Message Boards for all who have helped to support you through the quitting process. And thanks for being a part of Freedom From Smoking® Online.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.