Atlanta had smoked on and off for almost 30 years, with four or five serious quitting attempts made over that time. It was only after she started investigating the support available to her—both through quitting medication and through calling Quitline—that she felt confident she could give up for good.

“My last quitting attempt ended when my mother passed away. I naturally reached for the familiar comfort of smoking during that tough time. But as the weeks passed, I knew that smoking just wasn’t something I felt I needed in my life any more.

I tried going cold turkey, but found it really challenging. That’s when I went to see my doctor and chat about other ways to quit.

My doctor got me on to Champix, but I knew that the medication is only half the story—it takes a while to kick in, and there’s also the psychological addiction that you have to overcome, too. He referred me to Quitline for support, and it was absolutely brilliant. It was just what I felt I needed.

From that first call, Quitline was really useful in giving me tips to get through those tough moments—when I felt a craving coming on, or if I was going to experience a trigger situation—until my Champix started working. We also discussed how I was feeling on the medication and that everything was going as expected.

As I prepared to stop the Champix, they made sure that I felt ready. We even had a back-up plan in place if I felt a strong urge to smoke again.

We established weekly contact—they called me at the same time each week. I think that when you’re trying to break a habit as strong as smoking, establishing a new routine is really important. The one-on-one contact that you have with your counsellor is really helpful and supportive. You feel like you’re talking to a friend.

I’m now proud to say that I’ve been a non-smoker for over a year, and I don’t miss it one bit. It’s like I never smoked in the first place. I can even be in situations that would have triggered me before—like being around other smokers, being in an new situation, or having a few drinks—and I don’t think about smoking at all.

I’m really fortunate that I was also able to build support networks around me. My family is really proud of me, and my flatmate no longer smokes around me. Those little things, that encouragement, makes it that much more achievable.

I’m a huge advocate for both Champix and Quitline—but you’ve got to find what’s right for you, because everyone’s different. That’s where Quitline can help—even if you don’t want to quit today, they can help you plan towards it.

After a year as a non-smoker, the impact in other aspects of my life is incredible. I used to have breathing problems if I bent over to tie my shoes. Now, I ride 10 km to work every day. I find that I generally have more energy to go out and do things, including exercising. And the money I’ve saved from cigarettes in just 12 months has already seen me get $6,000 ahead on my mortgage repayments—so that’s certainly something to celebrate!

Quitting smoking has also encouraged me to look at other things I want to change, like reducing my alcohol intake, meditating every day and looking at ways I can modify my relationship to food and other addictive behaviours. Champix has changed something in my chemistry or neural patterns that has allowed me to look at other ‘addictions’ honestly and with a less guilt-ridden attitude. So I can feel there is hope that I can be the person I want to be.”

—Atlanta, 46

Are you starting to feel like you don’t need smoking in your life anymore? There’s no better time than now to make the phone call that can help you plan your quitting strategy. Call Quitline 13 78 48 to speak to a trained counsellor.

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John had been a smoker for over a decade, and never once thought about quitting. But after talking to his GP, and combining physical and psychological strategies, John was able to quit with the help of Quitline.

“I had smoked since I was 17 or 18, but I decided to quit when I realised that smoking just didn’t fit into my life anymore. I was doing it out of habit rather than enjoying any aspect of it.

I hadn’t ever given quitting a proper go, because I assumed that the withdrawals would be too much. I thought that I’d snap at people, or would just feel anxious and frustrated all the time. So when I first chatted to my GP and realised that there were medications to take care of all of that, I was able to focus more on the mental aspects with Quitline. It felt like I was giving myself the best chance.

Having someone on the other end of the phone at Quitline to provide support was exactly what I needed―I knew they were there for me and my journey.

I particularly found the practical strategies really useful. For example, I knew that a trigger for me was going to the service station. If I was filling up with petrol or ducking in to pick something up, I’d always get a packet of cigarettes too.

So my Quitline counsellor had some tips to break that habit, just in the first few weeks. I’d take only enough money for petrol out of the ATM, so I wasn’t tempted. I’d make sure I had a drink in my car on the way to work, so I wouldn’t have an excuse to stop on the way. It’s all about taking a moment to prepare yourself―that’s how you help yourself break habits.”

John M, 33

 

 

 

Are you starting to feel like you’re not in control of your smoking?
There’s no better time than now to make the phone call that can help you quit and regain control.
Call Quitline 13 78 48 to speak to a trained counsellor.

 

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Kate started smoking a few cigarettes here and there when she was in her 20s. But it became harder and harder to give up, and in the end, she found herself smoking 40 cigarettes per day. In 2018, Kate celebrated 100 days smoke free thanks to Quitline.

“I was struggling with my breathing in the cooler months, and I found for the first time in my life that I needed a puffer. That was my motivation to call Quitline to help me quit for good.

Now, 100 days on, my lung capacity is getting a lot better. I’ve taken up swimming, which is something I never would have been able to do before. I’ve been getting outdoors a lot more and working in the garden. I’ve also discovered a love of food, which helped initially to distract me from smoking and has now become an enjoyable hobby.

There have certainly been tough times. After meals and social occasions were my triggers. But when you’ve got Quitline behind you, you know that you’re going to get through them. I know that staying on the path will be a challenge, but it’s one I feel I’m ready for.

Recently, my nephew leaned over to his mum and said in a low voice “it’s good Kate stopped smoking, now she won’t die”. That moment really hit home for me that there are so many people relying on you, and you’ve got to take care of yourself. I’m so glad that I built up the courage to quit, and would recommend Quitline to anyone else thinking of quitting―it’s a great feeling.”

– Kate C, 62

 

Are you starting to feel the fitness consequences of smoking?
There’s no better time than now to make the phone call that can help you quit and let your body start repairing.
Call Quitline 13 78 48 to speak to a trained counsellor.

 

Did you follow the Quit With Haydo campaign? In late 2017, following an on-air challenge from his colleagues, Triple M radio show host Haydo gave up smoking for good.

His words of advice?

“Smoking’s one of those things that is a battle, but believe me, it gets easier.”

After making a series of attempts throughout his 25-year smoking history, this time Haydo enlisted some extra help, through Quitline and the My QuitBuddy app.

At the time of filming, Haydo had achieved some huge milestones.

He was 149 days smoke free, and $1,763 richer. And the best part? The publicity of the campaign encouraged others to quit too. Through opting to #quitwithhaydo, any member of the public sitting on the fence was encouraged to call Quitline 13 7848 and quit too.

 

 

 

 

 

149 days is an achievement. And it starts with making one decision.

Haydo says what worked for him was taking it day by day, week by week.

“Genuinely don’t look past the first week. Tackle that on its own, because that is a beast in itself. And if you happen to slip and light up for whatever reason, that’s fine. You’re human. Even Quitline will tell you that. Fall off the wagon, get back on.”

Speak to a Quitline counsellor today, or recommend this service to a friend.

 

 

Since first taking up the habit at just 15, Anne had tried quitting several times throughout her 50-year smoking history. But it wasn’t until she first called Quitline in 2017, that she found a strategy that worked for her. Anne has now been smoke free for over 12 months.

“Quitline was a regular support for me and the weekly calls were enough to make me reflect on how I was feeling and deal with things. Just having someone who cared and wanted to check up on you made all the difference. The website was also a great help too—the signs and the motivators really kept me going.

My health was my main drive to give up for good. My mum was a smoker as well and gave up just before she had her heart attack. The doctors said that it was related to her smoking, and I began to also have similar symptoms. I remember one time during a family trip to Tasmania we went for a walk up a hill and I really struggled. I was also taking medication for a heart condition and decided enough was enough.

As a grandmother, I also want to be able to run around with my grandchildren and make the most of every minute with them. My smoking was getting in the way of that happening.

It took me a number of tries before I called Quitline and asked for help and it made all the difference. No matter how many times it takes, it’s important to not to give up. I’m now happier and healthier and have more energy to play with my grandkids. If I can do it after 50 years, anyone can!”

 

Are you starting to feel the health  consequences of smoking?
There’s no better time than now to make the phone call that can help you quit and let your body start repairing.
Call Quitline 13 78 48 to speak to a trained counsellor.