Quit smoking cold turkey

Going ‘cold turkey’ is a popular choice that means quitting smoking without the use of medication or other quitting products. However, there are many different ways to go cold turkey. Even though you are not using any stop smoking medications, there are still strategies you can use to improve your chances of quitting for good.

How to get started

If you're ready to take the first step towards quitting smoking cold turkey, we're here to help. Whether you need support, advice, or just a little motivation, we have the resources you need to succeed. Here are some actions you can take today to get started on your journey towards a smoke-free life.

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Tips for quitting smoking cold turkey
Here are some tips to help you quit smoking cold turkey in the first few days and stay smoke-free for good:
Get support
Tell your friends and family you don't smoke anymore, so they don’t offer you cigarettes or smoke around you.
Know your why
Remind yourself of the reasons why you have quit. You could start a savings account for all the money that you would have spent on cigarettes, then use it to reward yourself when you reach your milestones. Or carry around a photo or a recording of your loved ones to help you stay on track.
Fight your cravings
Recognise when you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and check out our tips to fight cravings.
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Remember: Nicotine is addictive and slip-ups are common. If you go back to smoking, don’t be too hard on yourself! Figure out why you had that cigarette, and adjust your plan for next time. Never give up giving up.

Read from individuals who successfully quit smoking using the cold turkey method

I’ve since chucked away drinking and smoking at the same time, cold turkey on both of them! Just the smell of cigarettes now I just don’t like it. I didn’t know it was so bad! Just a really horrible smell.

About 6 months after my brother passed on I felt a bit of a chest infection and I went to the doctor and the doctor said to me, "Dorothy when you walk through that door don’t ever touch another cigarette because you have a touch of emphysema." So when I walked through the surgery door I didn’t touch another cigarette and that was 14 years ago now.

He asked me if I was a smoker, I said yes but I had quit. He asked me when, and I said 5 minutes ago. The surgeon said that’s good because he couldn’t operate if I was still smoking because the tissue he was going to stretch from my neck to my jaw wouldn’t heal properly if I still smoked.

I needed to cold turkey it and go through the withdrawals. I was grumpy, and had this feeling of a lump in my chest for the first week, my head was screaming, ‘Have a smoke! Have a smoke!’, but once I got through day one I was thinking – ‘I’m never doing a day like that again’. Once I got through week 1 I was thinking I’m never ever doing that week again… Same with week 2, then it was 1 month and finally, one year.

October, that’s when I decided ‘ok this is it I need to stop’ because I have one of my big commitments which is going to the gym, and obviously struggling all the time breathing, so that’s when I decided ok that’s it I need to stop completely so I went cold turkey. I have been tempted several times but I just tell myself ‘nup, don’t do it or you’ll just ruin your streak’

I hadn’t planned on giving up smoking and I was at my lowest, mentally I was at my lowest. I was in a downer, which is when you’ve got bipolar and you’re either up or you’re down or you’re in between there somewhere. And I went in to have surgery on my neck. And I went in and had surgery, I came out and never had another cigarette again.

I was sitting outside having a smoke when he (my 5-year-old son) asked me why I smoked, then went on to describe what a smokers lung looks like (after watching the ads on TV where they squeeze the tar out of the sponge). He told me that’s what my 'breathing things' would look like so why would I smoke. I had no answer for him, put my smoke out and threw my packet in the bin!

I just went cold turkey, I had pneumonia. It wasn’t the first time I had pneumonia. My daughter and I quit together.

I had no choice I stopped cold turkey because I really couldn't afford it anymore.

It was my birthday and I just said to myself "it’s my birthday, I'm gonna quit smoking". I made a promise to myself, went full cold turkey.

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The My QuitBuddy App tracks your quitting progress, such as days smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved.

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