It is never too late to stop smoking.
There is support available to help you quit. Talk to your doctor about this.
Even after a cancer diagnosis, quitting can improve your response to treatment.
The benefits of quitting
If you smoke, and have been diagnosed with cancer, there are many benefits to quitting:
- improving how well your body responds to the cancer treatment
- lowering your chance of treatment side effects
- helping you recover faster after treatment
- reducing your chance of getting another cancer
- giving you a better quality of life.
Smoking and head and neck cancers
If you smoke, it is important to try to stop when you have a head and neck cancer.
Apart from the benefits of quitting, the side effects of treatment can be worse for people who continue to smoke. These include:
- difficulty swallowing
- reduced food and fluid intake
- loss of weight
- changes to taste and smell
- increased risk of complications during treatment.
Support to stop smoking
You can get free help to stop smoking.
Talk to your GP, specialist or nurse when you are ready to quit. They can give you more information and refer you to a smoking cessation support service.
There are also free support services you don't need a referral for:
- Call 13 78 48 to speak with an advisor who can help you quit smoking.
- Aboriginal and multilingual advisors are also available.
- The line is open 7am to 10:30 pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
- The cost is the same as a local call.
- Once you contact them, they can call you back if you want.
- iCanQuit website
- Find information on how to stop smoking and stay quit.
- Join an online community forum to share stories and experiences.
- Create your own quit smoking tracking tool.
- Download the iCanQuit App.
Other resources we recommend
Use the following links to find out more about this topic.
Quitting methods - I can quit https://www.icanquit.com.au/quitting-methods/professional-support-and-advice/quitline
Resources to help you quit smoking http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/113395/uncategorized/resources-to-help-you-quit-smoking/