Why should I participate in a support group?

When you begin smoking, it becomes a big part of your life. Giving it up is very stressful. For many long-time smokers, quitting is a major life change. Support groups provide an avenue to share experiences with other people who know what it's like, and who have struggled with the same physical and emotional challenges that you have. You can use a support group alone or in combination with other smoking cessation tools.

There are at least 400 types of self-help and mutual-support groups in this country. Whether you are trying to quit smoking or drinking alcohol, deal with grief from loss or cope with a chronic illness, the fact is, support groups work.

TobaccoFreeMaine.org, for example, reports that smokers who believe they have the ability to quit increase their chances of doing so, and receiving encouragement contributes to feeling they will be successful. Smokers who rely on a buddy are more likely to stick with nonsmoking, and the role of social support predicts success in many groups. These groups are particularly important for women who value the importance of social support and are more likely to actual quit than those who don't.

What types of support groups are available?

There are plenty of smoking cessation support groups available.

Local hospitals and city or county governments often sponsor smoking cessation groups. Visit their websites to find a group that's convenient for you.

Does your company offer an Employee Assistance Program as an employee benefit? Check to see if these services include a smoking cessation support group.

You can join an online support groups and share experiences through forums and discussion boards, or use the Internet to search for a local support group.

Where to start

Here are a few places to help you get started.


Freedom From Smoking, American Lung Association, http://www.ffsonline.org/