Preparing to quit

Set a date to quit. The first step towards quitting smoking is to decide when you’re going to be smokefree. Here are some pointers to consider when choosing your quit date:

  • Allow yourself enough time to prepare. Preparing ahead of time can help you gain the confidence and skills you’ll need to stay smokefree.
  • Don’t put it off any longer than necessary. Choosing a date that is too far in the future allows you to change your mind or become less motivated. Choose a date that is within the next week or two.

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Reasons for quitting

It’s important to understand why you’re quitting before you actually do it. Do you want to improve your health? Save money? Keep your family safe? If you’re not sure, ask these questions:

  • What is it about smoking that I dislike?
  • When I smoke, what do I miss out on?
  • What is the impact of smoking on my health?
  • If I keep smoking, what will happen to me and my family?
  • How will giving up change my life for the better?

Still unsure? Different people quit smoking for different reasons. Decide why you want to stop smoking, and this will help you get ready to quit.

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Why quitting is hard

People, places, and certain activities that make you want to smoke are called ‘triggers’. Knowing your smoking triggers can assist you in learning how to manage them.

Cravings are strong compulsions to smoke. Every craving is temporary, and if you have healthy ways to keep yourself busy, it can help them go away faster. Prepare ahead of time by making a list of things you can do if you get a craving, such as:

  • Drink a tall glass of water
  • Go for a walk or a jog
  • Cook yourself something healthy
  • Watch a TV show or movie

Find out what works best for you, and tackle your cravings quickly whenever they pop up.

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How much can I save?

These days, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is around $40, so a pack-a-day smoker is spending over $14,000 every year on cigarettes alone.

Imagine what you could do with that kind of money! You could take a luxurious holiday, buy a new car, or even put it towards a down payment on a house.

In addition to this cost, smoking can also lead to increased healthcare costs for you. Smokers are more likely to develop a variety of health problems such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. This can lead to increased medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and medication.

So if you’re thinking about quitting smoking, not only will you be doing something great for your health, but you’ll also be saving a ton of money in the process.

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Your quit day

It’s difficult to quit smoking on your own, but you don’t have to go cold turkey. As a matter of fact, you may be better off taking a different path. Here are some options for you to consider:

  • Nicotine vaping products (NVPs). These are now available under prescription at most pharmacies, so have a chat with your GP or book a telehealth consult to see if NVPs may be suitable for you.
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). There are many NRT options available over the counter such as patches, gum, sprays, inhalers, and lozenges. Pharmacies and most supermarkets will have these available – no prescription required.
  • Champix and Zyban. Available in pill format under prescription, these medications work by blocking the nicotine receptors in your brain so smoking is less enjoyable.
    As of August 2021, production of Champix has been paused. Click here for more information.
  • Quitline. Receive support from a trained counsellor to help you through your quit journey by calling 13 78 48 (8am – 8pm Mon – Fri).
  • Alternative methods. There are a number of these available, including hypnotherapy and acupuncture. There is no clear evidence so far to show how much these kinds of methods will help you to quit smoking.

Remember: Everyone’s different, but anyone can quit. If one method doesn’t quite work for you it’s important not to get disheartened, just try another method. Stick with it until you find your solution.