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 - The best ways

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. 

Available from pharmacies and some supermarkets, without a prescription, it comes in a few forms:

  • Patches
  • Gums
  • Oral or nasal sprays
  • Inhalers
  • Lozenges or tablets

Prescription Medications

There are also prescription medicines, available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), that can reduce withdrawal symptoms, such as Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Champix®). They work by blocking the nicotine receptors in your brain so smoking is less enjoyable.

However, it’s best to talk to your doctor or a health professional to find out whether this option is right for you, since these medicines are not suitable for everybody. 

If you decide to try this method, keep in mind that:

  • There are limits on how many prescriptions you can have in a year
  • You may be required to receive support from Quitline or a health professional.

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. If you are considering switching from smoking to vaping it is important to understand the risks and differences. It can also be helpful to learn what happens when you switch from smoking to vaping.

Please keep in mind that in Australia, you must have a medical prescription from your doctor to obtain e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. Find out more on the TGA’s website.

At, our doctors are available to assist existing adult smokers or vapers who are seeking legal options to quit or reduce their smoking of tobacco. We will review your case at no cost and, if eligible, provide you with a free vape prescription. Once you make your first purchase, your prescription will be sent directly to our partner pharmacy to dispense your nicotine vape products and have them shipped to your door.

How to quit smoking - Alternative methods

Some alternative methods that smokers try include:

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Acupuncture

However, there is no clear evidence so far to support how much these kinds of methods will help you to quit smoking.

Support Resources

Services you may find helpful when trying 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.
  • 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: 

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