How to Stop Smoking
If you’d like to quit smoking, there is a wide range of quit smoking strategies to choose from; different quit smoking methods will work better for different people.
The key to success is choosing the quit smoking strategies that are best for your situation and needs.
Remember, if one strategy doesn’t work, maybe another one will. For many people, the best approach is a combination of quit strategies.
Quit Smoking Strategies
Here are some quit smoking methods that have helped other smokers quit successfully:
1. Quit Smoking ‘Cold Turkey’ using Willpower: Quitting ‘cold turkey’ means stopping smoking abruptly, without using any quit smoking products – and in some cases, without a plan or support. Although it’s a popular strategy, the ‘cold turkey’ method alone has a lower success rate compared to other quit smoking methods. For a better chance of quitting successfully, it’s a good idea to combine ‘willpower’ with other methods.
2. Use Quit Smoking Products: There is a range of medical products that can increase your chances of quitting smoking, including:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): These include nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, mini-lozenges, inhalers and mouth spray. NRT is available from your local pharmacy and can be bought without a prescription. Some products are available in shops and supermarkets. Certain brands of NRT patches can be purchased at a cheaper price when prescribed by a doctor on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
- Prescribed Quit Smoking Medication: Quit medication Varenicline (Champix®) and Bupropion (Zyban®) need to be prescribed by a doctor. They are available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at a cheaper price.
3. Professional Quit Smoking Support: The NSW Quitline is a free, confidential telephone service providing customised advice to assist you with your quit smoking attempt. NSW Quitline Advisors are specially-trained quit smoking professionals who can give advice, support, and information on quit smoking strategies. An Advisor can help you prepare to quit, avoid slip-ups, and stay smoke-free. There is also a free call-back service to provide you with extra support during your quit journey. Calls to the NSW Quitline are charged at standard local call rates from a landline phone. Calls from mobiles may be higher.
To access the Chinese Quitline, call 1300 7848 36. Cantonese-speaking Advisors are available:
- Wednesday 2 to 10 pm
- Thursday 3 to 10.30 pm
- Saturday 9 am to 5 pm.
Mandarin-speaking Advisors are available:
- Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am to 5 pm.
Please note these hours are subject to change as required.
If a Chinese-speaking Advisor is not available, you can leave a message 24/7 and an Advisor will call you back as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can talk to an English-speaking Advisor or request the use of a telephone interpreting service.
4. Cut Down to Quit Smoking: Cutting down to quit is when you gradually reduce the amount you smoke until you have quit smoking completely.
Work Out Your Quit Smoking Plan
Whichever quit smoking method you choose, it can help to develop a quit smoking plan for your journey. Here’s what you could include in your quit plan:
- Set a date to quit
- Learn from previous quit attempts to decide what worked and what didn’t
- Identify potential issues, challenges and smoking triggers, and work out ways to deal with them
- Enlist the support of family and friends
- Quit smoking with a friend
- Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine during the first two weeks of your quit attempt
- Avoid other people smoking
- Be mindful of stressful or negative events
Things to Remember on Your Quit Journey
- The first two weeks of quitting smoking can be the most challenging. This is when you experience most of the physical symptoms of smoking withdrawals – but just remember that these will diminish over time. At around three months, most quitters have become established non-smokers.
- If you’ve had a slip on your quit smoking journey, don’t worry. The more quit smoking attempts you make, the closer you are to being smoke-free! Many ex-smokers made several attempts before they quit for good.
- Planning will improve your chance of success. Why not develop a quit plan?
- The health benefits of giving up smoking start within just two hours of quitting.
- It’s a good idea to identify your reasons for wanting to quit smoking and remember these reasons whenever you are tempted to smoke. Common reasons to quit include saving money, improving your health, and reducing the impact of smoking on your family.
- Talking with the Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin) Quitline on 1300 7848 36 increases your chance of successfully quitting smoking.
- The Quit Kit is a set of resources designed to help you quit smoking.