Provision of social support as part of treatment

Intra-treatment social support

Encourage your patients in their quit attempts. Let them know that:

  • Effective tobacco dependence treatments are now available.
  • Half of all the people who have ever smoked have now quit.

Communicate your belief in your patient's ability to quit.

  • Ask how your patient feels about quitting.
  • Directly express concern and willingness to help.
  • Be open to expressions of fears of quitting, difficulties experienced and ambivalent feelings.

Encourage your patient to talk about the quitting process. Ask about the:

  • Reasons the patient wants to quit.
  • Concerns or worries about quitting.
  • Success the patient has achieved.
  • Difficulties encountered while quitting.

Extra-treatment social support: Help in securing social support outside of treatment

Train your patient to ask for support from family, friends, and co-workers.

  • Help patients to identify others who will be supportive.
  • Prompt support seeking:
    • Call patients to remind them to seek support.
    • Assign patients to be "buddies" for one another.
    • Inform patients of resources such as QuitlineNC.
  • Aid your patients in establishing a smoke-free home.