These two pretty much go together, so I hope you don’t mind me combining them.
Finding a support group is key, and it doesn’t need to be friends and family. A quasi-anonymous message board of other quitters is an awesome way to give and get positive feedback and encouragement. Friends and family are great, too, of course, but sometimes life gets in the way and you just need to brag or gripe to an unbiased listener.
Telling your friends and family the plan ahead of time is important because you can gauge their reactions and find out how supportive they are and how they would be willing to help by nagging you about cigarettes or taking your mind off the cravings, etc. Most of your circle will be very supportive and helpful. Not all, though, especially if they are smokers and not ready to quit. There is no need to cut the smokers out of your life if they are not going to hassle you about it. If you find yourself in a situation (like I did) where you’re living with someone who smokes, and they are unwilling to quit with you, let them know that you are sticking to your plan and need all the help you can get. If they don’t offer to at least take the smoking outside, and you can’t or don’t want to move out, you’ll need to really dig deep and find the fortitude to continue.
That’s it! I’m not promising my plan will work for you, but it’s a good place to start if you don’t have a plan yet… Quitting sucks, but once you get through the first little bit, you will feel SO much better! I’m nearly 6 YEAR smoke free (not one puff!), and extremely happy about it!