Five tips to quit smoking

Everyone will find their own best way to quit smoking but here are five things that can help:

1. Set a date to quit

For many smokers, setting a quit date helps get things moving.

It could be something significant, like your birthday, your child's birthday, January 1, or it could be any random date – it’s about picking a time that works for you to stop smoking and start your quit journey.

Setting a date can be a great way of getting serious about quitting smoking. 

The day before your quit day, it’s a good idea to find and throw out all of your cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays in the house, car and workplace.

For other people, quitting spontaneously can work the best, and that’s great too! Just find what’s right for you.

2. Think about your triggers

Have you often smoked when drinking coffee or alcohol, or after meals? 
Have you smoked socially with family or friends at home or when eating out?

Try avoiding situations you often associate with smoking.

In the early days, it can be helpful to change your habits and avoid situations like these where you used to smoke. Changing your routine and habits associated with smoking may help.

Of course this won’t always be practical, but there are more tips for rearranging your routine.

3. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake

For lots of people, drugs like alcohol and caffeine can trigger the craving to have a cigarette.

When cutting down or quitting smoking, caffeine can have a stronger effect, and the daily habit can often be associated with smoking.

Rather than stopping completely, try changing your routine and halving the amount of caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks and cola) that you drink.

Drinking alcohol can make quitting harder too because of the social interactions it can be involved in, and these can trigger cigarette cravings.

Instead of meeting for drinks, try suggesting something else, for example going to the movies, going for a walk or doing some exercise.

4. Organise a quit support team

Find people to support you on your quit journey.

Who will you ask to give you support? Friends, family and workmates can all be a great help in encouraging and supporting you.

You might ask them not to smoke around you and not to give you cigarettes, even if you ask for them.

You could also try getting a friend or group of friends to quit with you and support each other on your quit journey.

Your doctor or pharmacist can also help with products and strategies to help you quit, including using nicotine replacement therapy like patches and gums to help deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

5. Plan some rewards

A pack a day smoker will save around $6,400 a year if they don’t smoke – how are you going to use the money you save?

Try planning short term rewards such as movie tickets, new clothes or a new phone, and long term rewards like a holiday or even a deposit for a car or house.

Celebrate your success!

For more information and support you can visit iCanQuit.com.au or call Quitline on 13 78 48.