How to Quit Smoking

Smoking is highly addictive. But you already know that, that’s why you’re here. To figure out once and for all how to quit smoking.

Most smokers have an addiction to nicotine. This addiction is a chronic disease state that is prone to relapses and remissions, and may be persistent for a long period of time. In fact, quitting smoking can become one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, things a person can do. It is hard to do, but with proper help and support, you can quit smoking.

Quitting is unique to each smoker, and there are many different ways you can learn how to quit smoking. This article will help you learn about the different methods and work out which ones might work best for you.

How to quit smoking – Common methods

There are lots of options when deciding how to quit smoking. Which options you choose may depend on the level of your addiction, your smoking habits, your mental health, what your triggers are, and some other external factors. Let’s go over different methods of quitting and figure out the method that suits you best.

Quit smoking by going cold turkey

Going ‘cold turkey’ means you’re going to give up smoking entirely and abruptly, with no outside help or support. People who use this method rely mainly on their willpower to get them through the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. While quitting cold turkey does not work for all smokers, a lot of smokers do quit smoking this way. If you want to try this method, here are some tips for you to have a better chance of success:

  • avoid situations that will trigger your desire to smoke
  • start new hobbies and activities to distract yourself 
  • seek support from family and friends
  • focus on the benefits of not smoking

Cutting Down Gradually

If you are not ready to go ‘cold turkey’ just yet, you can use this alternative method, where you gradually reduce your intake of cigarettes until you’ve completely stopped. It’s not the same as quitting completely immediately, but it could be a good starting point.

If you want to try this method, you can start by:

  • slowly increasing the time gap between your cigarettes
  • reducing the number of cigarettes in your packet each day

A little tip from us: Even if you are cutting down slowly, it’s still a grand idea to set a date to quit smoking completely and work towards that date.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is a treatment to help people stop smoking.  It uses products that supply low doses of nicotine. These products do not contain many of the toxins found in smoke. The goal of therapy is to cut down on cravings for nicotine and ease the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

By providing small, measured doses of nicotine into the bloodstream, you’re not getting the harmful chemicals from tobacco smoke. Used properly, NRT can make a big difference in helping you quit successfully.

NRT tools come in a range of different strengths which allow people to gradually reduce their nicotine intake and eventually wean off nicotine altogether. Many people find greater success with a multicomponent approach, where combining two forms of NRT can work better at reducing cravings and relapse than using a single method.

Available over the counter at your local pharmacy and via our website, it comes in a few forms:


Nicotine patches are applied to the upper arm or back and deliver a steady stream of nicotine through the skin. Patches are long-acting meaning they can be helpful in reducing physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings throughout your day. Patches can be combined with fast-acting NRTs to subdue sudden cravings.


Nicotine gum transmits nicotine through the mucosa in the mouth. They are fast-acting – they can relieve cravings within minutes. Nicotine gums also give your mouth something to do which may help in alleviating behavioural factors associated with cigarette smoking.

Other NRT’s

Lozenges, inhalers and sprays also provide fast relief from cravings. These options avoid many of the harmful ingredients found in tobacco products, at the same time they  fast relief from cravings and soothing withdrawal symptoms.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)

There is some evidence that electronic cigarettes might facilitate smoking cessation. If you are wondering whether e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking, your first step is to speak with your doctor – they can offer advice about the most suitable option to help you quit smoking.

Please keep in mind that in Australiaa, you must have a prescription prescribed by an Australiaan doctor  to obtain e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. Find out more on the TGA’s website.

Our doctors are available to assist existing adult smokers or vapers who are seeking legal options to quit or reduce their smoking of tobacco. Get started today by exploring our store & completing your virtual consultation.

Whilst many may find vaping products useful as a second line tool to help them quit smoking it’s important to acknowledge there is limited available evidence in relation to the safety and efficacy of nicotine vaping products. Additionally, there are also potential side effects that come with vaping. 

It’s important to consider first line smoking cessation therapies (such as patches and gums) and trialling these prior to using vaping as a quitting tool.  

Prescription Medications

There are also prescription medicines, available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), that can reduce withdrawal symptoms. These pharmacological therapies work by blocking the nicotine receptors in your brain so smoking is less enjoyable.

It is best to talk to your doctor to find out whether this option is appropriate for you.

How to quit smoking – Alternative methods

There is no clear evidence so far to support how effective these methods are in helping you along your smoking cessation journey. However, some alternative methods that smokers try include:


Anecdotally many people have succeeded in quitting smoking with hypnotherapy or hypnosis techniques. There are some small studies supporting its use, however, more quality research is needed to assess if hypnotherapy is a useful quit aid.


There are specific protocols for supporting people quitting smoking with acupuncture which may be helpful for some people. Traditionally, acupuncture is highly personalised to the individual making clinical studies on this topic challenging. Limited research exists supporting the use of acupuncture to quit smoking, although it may be a helpful adjunct treatment alongside other tools.

Support Resources

Services you may find helpful when trying to figure out how to quit smoking include:

  • Advice from your doctor.
  • The Quitline — call 137 848 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, to talk to a counsellor or ask for a callback.
  • — Go to the tab ‘I want info on’ and then ‘Mental illness and quitting’ (health professionals and patient information sheets).
  • QuitCoach — an online tool that asks questions about your smoking habits and lifestyle. Using that information it creates a quit plan tailored for you.

More Information

For more information, please visit NSW Health tobacco and smoking control website or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412. Alternatively, visit NSW Health Quitting Methods website to learn of more options to help you quit smoking or contact the Quitline on 137 848.

Information on access to nicotine vaping products is available from the TGA:

Information on authorised prescribers of unapproved nicotine vaping products

Information on vaping and obtaining a nicotine prescription ATHRA

Want to know more? Below are some useful links for you to read up on if you’re interested: 

DISCLAIMER: There are a number of ways to quit smoking. We have a range of tools that may help with smoking cessation such as nicotine patches, gums and vaping products. Vaping products, used as second-line tools may be useful for those who have not successfully quit smoking using traditional methods.  

It’s important to acknowledge there’s limited available evidence on the efficacy, safety or long-term health effects of nicotine vaping products. There are potential side effects associated with vaping. Long-term vaping and dual-use (smoking and vaping concurrently) is not recommended and should be avoided.  Regular review and monitoring by your regular GP is advised along your smoking cessation journey.

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