Quitting smoking is hard, and it’s even harder for those who are homeless. Lack of funds or access to healthcare makes it difficult. Isolation from family and friends is a big factor too. Resources available for mental health care for these people are quite limited, which also makes them struggle with their nicotine addiction.
However, all is not lost. There are still some effective ways that can help homeless people quit smoking.
5 Ways to Help Homeless People Quit Smoking
The homeless smoking problem is a complex issue that needs to be addressed through various means. Five ways to help homeless people quit smoking could be:
1) Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Offer nicotine replacement therapy at shelters and other locations where they gather. It appears that many homeless people smoke to cope with stress and other mental health issues.
Providing access to nicotine replacement therapy, like vape devices, gum, or patches, can be a good way for them to gradually reduce their dependence on cigarettes. Vaping is way cheaper than smoking and works better than gum and patches. At the same time, they can work through these underlying causes of addiction.
2) Offering incentives for quitting
Cash and prizes will be good incentives. When smokers are ready to quit, they often need significant motivation. Some research has shown that giving a person rewards for maintaining their abstinence could be an effective way of helping them stay away from cigarettes in the long term and get back on track with their lives.
3) Providing easy access to stop-smoking treatments
Make it easier for them to access stop-smoking treatments like vape, patches, or gum by offering these through local pharmacies. Also, they should easily get medications to help with withdrawal symptoms.
Make these available through local pharmacies and partnering up with other charity organizations. Lifting the barriers the homeless people may face when trying to find these resources will make their quit-smoking journey easier.
4) Provide free courses on living without cigarettes
Giving homeless people knowledge and skills for living without cigarettes can be a great way to help them quit. Offering free courses and training on how to manage their mental health or find work. It will improve their lifestyle, which has a high chance of leading to a smoke-free life.
5) Create a support group online or physical
Meetings with others who are quitting smoking can provide the motivation and support that many people need during this difficult process. With limited social networks, it’s easy for homeless smokers to feel isolated from others in similar situations. They may also become discouraged by their lack of progress. Creating a virtual or physical group where they can meet up on a regular basis is one way of addressing these needs.
The homeless smoking problem is a complex issue that needs to be addressed through various means. If you are working with an organization or have a personal charity, find out which method works best for your target group. You can get quick results with a plan created by using all suggested strategies.