Supporting Someone Who Wants to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is the best investment someone can make to improve their health. Making the decision to quit is a big one. If you're supporting someone in quitting, it's important to recognize that they have to want to do it for their own reasons, and not because of pressure from a friend or family member. To offer the best support, it's helpful to understand what a person goes through when they are trying to quit.

Do's and Don'ts

DO respect that the person quitting is in charge of their behavior change.
DO ask the person if they want you to check in on how they are doing.
DO let the person know that it is OK to talk to you whenever they need encouragement.
DO spend time doing things with the person to keep their mind off tobacco.
DO make your home tobacco-free.
DO celebrate along the way – Quitting tobacco is a BIG DEAL!
DON'T doubt the person's ability to quit.
DON'T take the person's attitude personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them you understand, and that their symptoms will get better in about 2 weeks.

The Five R's

Use the "Five R's" as talking points and advice for encouragement and motivation.

  • RELEVANCE Talk about how important it is to quit, relating information to your loved one's life.
  • RISKS Talk about the social and health risks of smoking.
  • REWARDS Talk about the benefits of quitting.
  • ROADBLOCKS Identify things that can get in the way of quitting.
  • REPETITION Deciding to quit is a process and can require repeated attempts. Patience is important. Continue to offer your motivational words each time your loved one tries to quit.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD "How to Support Someone to Quit Smoking" BROCHURE PDF File Opens in new window

Talking Tips for Supervisors

If an employee violates the smoking policy use the following strategies to address the problem.

  1. Meet in a private place to discuss the problem.
  2. Let the employee tell his/her side of story.
  3. Be respectful. This change can be difficult for tobacco users.
  4. Clearly state that tobacco use on university property is prohibited.
  5. Help the employee develop an acceptable plan that takes all university polices into account. If the person must smoke during work hours, identify areas where smoking is permitted. If the employee wants to quit, make sure to tell the employee about all available resources.
  6. Summarize the meeting and expectations moving forward.
  7. If the employee does not quit smoking, refer the employee to Labor Relations who can assist with the process.

Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is available at:

How should I talk to employees about the policy?

Let all employees know about the planned changes in CSUF’s smoking policy as soon as possible, so they are well informed and prepared when the policy goes into effect on August 1, 2013. CSUF is changing its smoking policy to improve the health and well-being of all CSUF community members. Supervisors should discuss this policy during departmental meetings and include the information and resources on this website in any departmental newsletter.

What resources are available to help those who want to quit tobacco?

A smoker who wishes to quit can increase his/her chances of success by using available resources such as those listed on the Smoke-Free website at:

Is there anywhere people can smoke at CSUF?

After August 1, 2013, smoking will be prohibited on all CSUF owned or leased property.

Will university parking structures and parking lots be Smoke-free?

Yes. All owned or leased university property is covered by the smoke-free policy. Employees may only smoke in their private vehicles when they are not on university property.

What if my employees do not abide by the policy?

If you observe one of your employees violating this policy, you are encouraged to remind the employee about CSUF's smoke-free policy and ask them to extinguish the cigarette/cigar material. If the employee continues to violate the policy, contact Labor Relations for assistance.