Ten tips to quit smoking

Thinking about quitting smoking? Discover our tens tips to help you quit and stay quit.

Tobacco smoking is the largest cause of preventable disease and death in Australia. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and reduce your risk of cancer, even if you have smoked for a long time. 

Try our top ten quit smoking tips to find which quitting methods work best for you. It may take some trial and error, so hang in there! Millions of people in Australia and around the world have used these methods to quit and stay quit. You can too.


Set a date to quit TIP 1: Set a date to quit

Setting a quit date can help you prepare mentally and physically for the upcoming positive change in your life. Like any type of goal setting, it can help motivate you to make the change.

Select a day that works best for you to stop smoking. You can talk to Quitline by calling 13 7848 (13 QUIT) to help choose your quit day and begin preparing.  

The day before your quit day, find and throw out all your tobacco products, lighters and ashtrays in your house, car and workplace.

If you're ready to stop smoking, join iCanQuit for free today. You'll get access to community support and a range of tools designed to help you quit for good.

Understand your triggers TIP 2: Understand your triggers

When quitting, it is helpful to understand your smoking triggers. Triggers are the things that make you want to smoke.

Think about when you smoke. Some people find drinking alcohol or coffee can be triggers to smoke. For others, it might be travelling to or from work, or after meals, and socialising with friends.

Knowing your triggers can help put you in control. Many people who have quit find that changing their routine and habits reduced triggers and cravings which helped them stay on track.

Check out the table below for examples of smoking triggers and how you can avoid them or reduce their impact.


Your smoking trigger

Routine-change idea

With coffee or tea.

Change to a different drink or change the place where you drink it. Simple adjustments, like changing the mug you drink from, can also help.

First thing in the morning.

Start your morning with a shower or exercise.

After lunch or dinner.

Drink a glass of water, go for a walk around the block or brush your teeth.

Straight after work.

Try yoga or meditation. Or try calling a friend.

With alcohol.

Change to a different drink or hold your drink in your smoking hand.

When you are with someone else
who smokes.

Chew gum, bring a water bottle, or avoid the situation altogether by moving away while they smoke.

At night in front of the TV.

Change the furniture around, hold a stress ball, do some stretches, or sip on a herbal tea.

For more information to help you prepare to quit, visit iCanQuit.com.au.

Get free support from Quitline Advisors TIP 3: Get free support from Quitline counsellors

You have a better chance of successfully quitting and staying quit if you speak with a Quitline counsellor. 

You do not need to be ready to quit straight away. Quitline can help you prepare to quit, and support you in creating a plan that works best for you. 

Call the Quitline at 13 7848 (13 QUIT) now or request a Quitline counsellor to call you back.

Get support from your doctor or pharmacist TIP 4: Get support from your doctor or pharmacist

Your doctor or pharmacist can help with quit products and plans. They may suggest nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as patches, gum, or spray.

NRT helps to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms to make for a smoother quitting journey. This can increase your quit success by up to 50-70% compared to quitting without help – making it a good option to include in your quit smoking plan.

Interested in Nicotine Replacement Therapy? Learn more about this quit smoking therapy at the iCanQuit website.

Reduce your caffeine and alcohol TIP 5: Reduce your caffeine and alcohol

Many people find drinking alcohol and caffeine trigger the craving for smoking.

Stopping all caffeinated and alcoholic drinks can be hard when you are attempting to quit smoking. Try changing your routine and or reducing the amount that you drink. 

If a friend invites you out for drinks, suggest an activity like going to the movies, taking a walk around the park, or heading to the beach.  

If alcohol is your trigger and you would like to reduce your intake, take a look at the Get Healthy Service Alcohol Reduction Program. This program is for people who want to reduce their alcohol consumption and achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Meet QuitlyTIP 6: Meet Quitly

Quitly is an automated chatbot on Facebook Messenger designed to help you quit smoking.

Through Messenger, Quitly gets to know a bit about you by asking questions that assist it in tailoring support just for you.

Whether it is your first attempt or you have tried to quit a few times, Quitly is a great motivation tool to help you understand your smoking triggers and ultimately help you succeed in quitting.

Begin your smoke-free journey with Quitly.

Begin your smoke-free journey with Quitly. Search for Quitly.bot in Facebook Messenger or head over to m.me/quitly.bot to get started.

Plan some rewards TIP 7: Plan some rewards

A pack-a-day smoker saves around $7,665 a year if they do not smoke. That is enough money to buy a round-the-world airfare for two people, do a home renovation, or take a big chunk out of your car or credit card debt.

Calculate how much you could save each week, month and year, and plan rewards that will come over time when you quit. 

Check out the iCanQuit savings calculator to start celebrating your success.

Stay on track with three free quit smoking tools TIP 8: Stay on track with three free quit smoking tools

Use My Quit Plan to help you track your smoking, set a quit date and get email support. It will also track how much money you save when you give up smoking.

Order a free Quit Kit. The kit is packed with information to help you quit.

You can also get support with free quit smoking tools.

Want more? Visit the iCanQuit website for more information, resources and tools.

Use mobile apps for quitting supportTIP 9: Use mobile apps for quitting support

Smoking cessation support mobile apps are handy when you are on the go.

Quit smoking apps provide a variety of support to help you in achieving your goal of quitting.

Find and downloadthe quit smoking support app that is right for you.

Get help from ex-smokers TIP 10: Get help from ex-smokers

People who have quit know what you are going through. The iCanQuit forum is a place to read the stories and tips of ex-smokers. Use their help to inspire and encourage you.

Remember, there is lots of support available to you to help you quit smoking. Choose ways to quit that work for you. For more online help, visit iCanQuit.com.au or call the NSW Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT).