Congratulations on taking this important step and making a plan! It takes most people multiple attempts before quitting for good, what’s important is that you keep at it. Keep this plan on your phone or print a copy so you can stay motivated throughout your quit journey.
Here are your reasons to quit smoking. Keep this list close by or take a photo of it. Every time you think about reaching for a cigarette remember why you started this journey.
Triggers are things that make you want to smoke. Everyone has different triggers, and it is important to understand what your triggers are. We’ve put together some strategies to help with each type of trigger.
Does your trigger fall into the social, emotional, habitual or physical category? If you’re unsure, a great place to start with any craving is the 4 D’s.
For more specific advice, try talking to the Quitline by phone or webchat. They can provide tailored strategies just for you.
Our emotions (especially negative ones) can trigger cravings to smoke. This is because your body wants to experience the dopamine (pleasure chemical) release that nicotine delivers when it reaches your brain.
If you have been feeling down or lonely, you can also contact Beyond Blue for support.
A huge part of why it can be so tricky to quit smoking is because it becomes so closely associated with your habits and activities that you can forget how to get through life without it. Switching up your routines while you quit can help your brain untangle cigarettes from the things you do every day. Things like driving can be a trigger for some people, so a tip to curb your craving is to put your windows down, turn the radio up and sing loudly, or even swap the car ride for a bus.
Cravings are a sign that the nicotine is leaving your system. They typically last for a few minutes and then go away. It’s important to remember that this is normal, and cravings will get weaker as time goes on. Find out more about withdrawal symptoms here.
Tip: Put craving-fighting items like straws, gum, gadgets or to-do lists in the places where you used to keep your cigarettes, ashtrays, matches, and lighters.
Here are some of our favourite hacks to help fight your cravings:
The My QuitBuddy app helps you get, and stay, smoke-free.
The app tracks your quitting progress including smoke-free days, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved. You can set your own goals, list the reasons you're quitting, capture photos and recordings of loved ones, and even add buddies you can call upon in times of need. There's also a community forum where you can get support from thousands of other people who are quitting too.
Whether you're thinking about quitting, ready to quit today or trying to cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, the Quitline can help. Quitline is a confidential advice and information service. For the usual cost of a call from your phone, a trained counsellor can help you to plan and develop strategies to quit smoking. Quitline can also call you (no cost) or you can chat online.
Learn more about Quitline.
Using quitting tools online gives you flexibility, structure, motivation, new skills and confidence. Free online tools like web chat with Quitline can help you to quit smoking.
Learn more about quitting online.
There are more ex-smokers today than current smokers. Want to know how they did it? Read some real quitting experiences to inspire and motivate you.
Read more quitting stories.
If you want to talk to someone face-to-face, book an appointment with your doctor. This is especially important if you have any existing health conditions or would like a prescription stop smoking medication. You can also talk to your local doctor, pharmacist or health professional about whether nicotine replacement therapy products are right for you.
You can book your doctor appointment right here.
Cigarettes are an expensive habit and the cost is increasing every year. Use the quit savings calculator below to see how much money you are spending on smoking, and how much you could save after a week, month and year of kicking the habit.
Learn more about Quit Savings Calculator.
What to expect:
Congratulations on staying smoke-free today! Being able to fight those cravings for a whole day while the nicotine is still running through your body is a huge effort.
You probably noticed the withdrawal symptoms kicking in pretty quickly. You might have felt stressed, sad, anxious, or even angry. This is a good sign your body is getting rid of the nicotine in your system. Cravings only last a few minutes at a time, and it will get easier to resist them the longer you stay smoke-free.
What to expect:
Making it through the first week without smoking is a huge milestone. You should be very proud. By now the nicotine will have left your system. You are no longer physically addicted to smoking, but you will be dealing with cravings triggered by the habits and activities you associate with smoking. Don’t worry, you have a plan.
If you’re feeling hungrier than usual, try drinking water first instead of replacing cigarettes with food. You can find healthy snack recipes at LiveLighter.
What to expect:
You made it! After a month of being smoke-free, you’re enjoying feeling healthier, food tastes amazing and your loved ones are saying that you’ve never smelt better. You might still have cravings from time to time, but by now you have the skills and confidence to identify your trigger and get past it.