Different ways to quit
Quitting smoking is different for each person. Factors to consider in coming up with the right quitting strategy for you can include your own strengths, your personal experiences with quitting, why and when you smoke, and how much nicotine your body is used to.
Learn more about quit smoking methods to decide which ones might be right for you.
- nicotine replacement therapies (NRT)
- quitting medications
- cutting down to quit
- cold turkey
If one strategy does not work out, then try another. For many people, quitting is a major life change that often involves several attempts. Quitline counsellors can help you work out your best way of quitting–and plan what will work best for you.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps o reduce withdrawal symptoms by replacing some of the nicotine you would usually get from cigarettes—without the harmful chemicals.
Do you have more questions about NRT?
- Will I still experience cravings when using NRT?
- Can anyone use NRT?
- What NRT products are there?
- nicotine mouth spray
Quitting medications can help with physical withdrawal symptoms such as nicotine cravings.
Even with medication, you may get cravings in situations where you used to smoke. Habits and emotions are strong triggers for smoking. Understanding your triggers can help you to plan how to cope.
Champix is a medication that reduces cravings and the negative effects of nicotine withdrawal. Champix works by blocking the effects of nicotine in your body.
People using Champix often find they enjoy smoking a cigarette less and find smoking becomes distasteful.
Cutting down to quit
Cutting down or cutting back is reducing your total number of cigarettes smoked each day over time.
You may not feel ready to quit right now but want to do something about your smoking. Cutting down is a great way to look at your habits and triggers and understand what it will take to ultimately quit.
When you cut down, you will notice some improvements to your health and your finances. However, there will continue to be nicotine in your body and you will continue to experience cravings.
The hardest thing about this method is sticking to it. There’s always the temptation to have the cigarette instead of going without or using nicotine replacement therapy.
If you were to cut down your cigarettes, how would you do it?
There are a number of ways to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.
You could try:
- smoking five fewer cigarettes every day until you aren’t smoking at all (count out how many you are allowed that day, and don’t smoke any more)
- delaying your first cigarette by an hour each day
- using nicotine replacement therapy products like patches or gum/lozenges. These products give you some of the nicotine you would normally get from cigarettes, so people feel much less like smoking when using a patch. Another approach is to replace some of your normal cigarettes with a nicotine gum or lozenge, increasing replacements until you are not smoking at all.
It’s important to remember that quitting smoking completely is best for your health and reducing your risk of getting smoking related diseases and conditions.
Quitting smoking ‘cold turkey’ means abruptly stopping smoking without using any quitting medications to assist. For some people, this is the most successful way to quit smoking.
Understanding the symptoms of withdrawal can be helpful and a reminder that the healing process has started.
Planning to cope with your triggers, cravings and withdrawal symptoms will increase your chance of success.
An e-cigarette (‘electronic cigarette’) is a battery-powered device that is designed to be used like a cigarette. The user exhales vapour that looks like smoke. Smoking an e-cigarette is called ‘vaping’.
Based on current evidence, e-cigarettes are not useful in quitting smoking and there is increasing evidence that they cause direct harm, such as lung and heart disease, and even cancer.
For this reason, they are not approved by Australia’s regulatory agency for medical drugs and devices, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Quitline Counsellors can help you understand the different methods of quitting smoking and the evidence behind each one. They will work with you to establish the way of quitting that feels right for you.
Calling Quitline 13 7848 doubles your chances of successfully quitting.