Outside Social Support

Social support systems outside the clinical setting, such as support groups, are effective in helping patients quit smoking. Some possible components of social support are included in this resource.

Outside Supportive Treatment Examples
Prompt support-seeking
  • Call patients to remind them to seek support
  • Inform patients of resources such as quitlines, support groups, etc.
  • Help patients identify supportive relatives, coworkers, or friends
Train patients in support solicitation skills
  • Help patients establish a smoke-free home
  • Show videotapes that monitor support skills
  • Have the patient practice requesting social support from
    • family or significant other(s)
    • coworkers and/or employers
    • friends and social acquaintances

The patient should be urged to bring up his or her plan to quit in each environment and to solicit support during the quitting process (the 3-month acute brain recovery period). Discuss with patients from whom they will request social support and how they might approach each one.

The individuals mentioned above, whether or not they smoke, play an important role in shaping the surrounding environment of the new ex-smoker. These people should be supportive by not offering cigarettes, by being patient during difficult times of the withdrawal period, and by providing positive reinforcement on a regular basis.

Clinician arranges outside support
  • Mail letters or call supportive others
  • Invite others to cessation sessions
  • Set up a buddy system among patients interested in quitting