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Supporting a family member or friend

Support and encouragement from family and friends can be a really important part of someone quitting smoking. Here are some tips that may be helpful in supporting your loved one to quit smoking:

  • Quitting smoking can be challenging, and sometimes it can be difficult to understand what it’s like, particularly if you have never smoked. Focus on encouraging your loved one, and let them know you’re there to help. Ask them how you can best support them.
  • Be aware that there are lots of different ways in which people can attempt to quit smoking. Evidence-based strategies are the best idea and you can learn more about these in the ‘I’m ready to quit’ section.
  • You can be a useful distraction at times as well as a listening ear. Suggest some smokefree activities that you can do together.
  • It can take more than one attempt to successfully quit smoking, so if someone starts smoking again, be patient and keep encouraging. A slip-up doesn’t mean they have failed. They are likely to have learnt a lot about quitting which will prepare them for their next attempt.
  • No matter what stage of quitting they may be at, support is available. Encourage them to ring Quitline on 13 7848 for information and support.


Supporting culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Australia is a diverse society. In 2013, over a quarter of our resident population was born overseas, and almost one fifth spoke a language other than English at home.

Smoking prevalence varies greatly among individuals born in other countries who now live in Australia, when considered in relation to factors like age, birth country, and gender.

There are some groups of a non-English speaking background where the prevalence of adult smoking is higher than in Australia. Studies have shown consistently that the children of these families are more likely to be smoke free, compared to their English-speaking counterparts.

Quitline 13 7848 counsellors can provide information and support to people who do not speak English. A free interpreting service (TIS National) is available for people who do not speak English and for businesses, such as Quitline, that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

Non-English speakers can access immediate telephone interpreters through TIS National by calling 131 450. Alternatively, if you contact an organisation directly they may organise an interpreter on your behalf.

If you require quit smoking resources in languages other than English, you can find some here; otherwise, contact the Quitline and request support in your language.


Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Through Quitline, callers can speak to an Aboriginal Quitline counsellor who can offer a tailored quit smoking service.

Our Aboriginal counsellors are passionate about assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make positive changes in their lives. They can support your loved one by:

  • listening to their story
  • having a yarn about smoking
  • keeping everything that’s yarned about private and confidential
  • working with them on a plan to cut down or quit
  • following up and supporting them—they call you and it’s free
  • providing free resources
  • connecting you with local support if they want it


Cancer Council SA provides free smoking cessation training across Australia for those who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Quitskills is a nationally recognised smoking cessation training program. The training provides participants with the confidence to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to think about their smoking and support them with any changes they wish to make. Find out more about Quitskills at: https://www.cancersa.org.au/quitline/quitskills.