Ways to quit

The best way to quit is your way. Think about what might work for you and make a plan.

Make a plan

Smokers who plan for their quit attempt are more successful than those who don’t, and planning can be done quickly.

There are four stages of getting ready:

  1. Set your quit date – Setting a date is the best way to get the ball rolling. It also gives you time to prepare.
  2. Work out your reason – Why quit? Jot down some key reasons. It can make the difference when times get tough.
  3. Work out why you smoke – Why do you pick up a cigarette? Is it stress? Or just pure habit? It helps to know why you smoke so you can find strategies to match.
  4. Work out your method – Once you’ve worked out your reasons for quitting, the next step is to choose a method. It’s the best way to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to quit for good. Find a tailored method that works for you.

People who have successfully quit have often tried different methods. Most people who quit use the cold turkey method. Other options include getting some guidance from an advisor (like Quitline) or using the MyQuitBuddy app, or using quitting aids like nicotine replacement products or quitting medication. It’s important to quit your way and practice a range of tactics for overcoming common smoking triggers that work for you.

Every time you try a quit attempt you learn something new.

If you’re ready to make a plan you can jump straight in at:  https://www.quit.org.au/make-a-plan/

Cold turkey

Cold turkey is quitting smoking abruptly, without a gradual reduction in amount smoked. Most people who quit use the cold turkey method.

For more information visit: https://www.icanquit.com.au/quitting-methods/cold-turkey

Cutting down

You may feel stopping smoking suddenly will be too hard – especially if you’re a really heavy smoker. There are a number of ways to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke, including:

  • smoking five cigarettes less every day until you aren’t smoking at all (count out how many you are allowed that day, and don’t smoke any more than that allowance)
  • 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 you feel much less like smoking. Another approach is to replace some of your cigarettes with a nicotine gum or lozenge, increasing replacements until you are not smoking at all.

The hardest thing about cutting down is sticking to it and not falling back on old habits. There’s always the temptation to have the cigarette instead of going without or using the gum. Some people find it helpful to set a quit date to work towards to prevent stalling once they have cut down.

While many people quit without any help, others are much more likely to succeed with a bit of assistance.

For more information visit: https://www.icanquit.com.au/quitting-methods/cut-down-to-quit

My QuitBuddy

My QuitBuddy is an app personalised to help you quit smoking, on your terms. Using My QuitBuddy you can choose when to quit. You can choose if you’re ready to quit right now, or intend to quit smoking soon.

My QuitBuddy also allows you to program danger times for when you know a craving might strike. At danger times, My QuitBuddy provides a reminder of why you chose to quit, offers games to distract you or can connect you to the Quitline to make sure you stay quit.

Download My QuitBuddy on:



There are two types of medically-approved aids to quitting in Australia.

  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
  • Champix – a non-nicotine medication
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

NRT is the collective name for a range of products containing small amounts of nicotine that are designed to help people stop smoking. These include nicotine gum, patches, inhaler and lozenges. These help smokers quit by replacing some of the nicotine they normally get from their cigarettes with nicotine absorbed through the skin (patches) or the lining of the mouth and gum (lozenges). This eases some of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as cravings and irritability.


Champix (also known as Varenicline) is a non-nicotine drug to aid in smoking cessation. It comes in tablet form and works by affecting the receptors for nicotine in the brain. This produces an effect that relieves the craving and withdrawal symptoms you can get when you stop smoking. At the same time, Champix prevents any nicotine inhaled in tobacco smoke from having a rewarding and enjoyable effect.

Note: No medication will work effectively unless you are committed to quitting.

Help with cost

From 1 February 2011, Nicotine Patches (NRT) have been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for all people wishing to quit smoking. The patches are available in two types – one which releases 21mg of nicotine over 24 hours and one which releases 15 mg of nicotine over 16 hours. These nicotine patches will be available as a 12 week supply in each year (one original script plus two repeats) and can only be authorised by your Doctor. If you are unsuccessful in quitting using the nicotine patches, you can to speak to you doctor about using Champix (Varenicline) through the PBS.

In order to get a script for either patches or Champix you must see your doctor and seek assistance in the quitting journey by contacting either the Quitline or a similar support agency.

Talk to your doctor about the best option for you.


Quitline is a confidential telephone advice and information service for people who want to quit smoking. For the cost of a local call (except mobile phones), a trained advisor can help you in a non-judgemental way to plan and develop strategies to quit smoking and stay stopped.

Call Quitline on 137848


Quit and enjoy quality time together.

Why quit?