Step 1 - Select a quit date

You’ve decided to quit smoking, congratulations! Whether this is your first attempt, or you’ve had a few tries already, it’s helpful to choose a quit date so you have time to prepare. You’re in charge!

Tips - It's time to get organised

Get ready to ditch the last of your cigarettes, clean out the areas where you usually smoke and follow along with this plan to figure out your reasons to quit, your triggers to smoke and tips to stay in control.

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My Quit Plan
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Step 2 - Choose your reasons for quitting

Step 3 - Identify your triggers

Even if you have been quit for a while, a craving can come out of nowhere. But often there is a specific cause or “trigger” that makes you think you need a smoke. Those triggers can be emotional, habitual, physical or social. Knowing your triggers will help you avoid them or find ways to handle them.

Emotional triggers
Habits & physical triggers
Social triggers
Add your own
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Add your own triggers

Step 4 - Fight your cravings

Choose how you will fight your cravings. Cravings only last a few minutes at a time. When you feel like picking up a cigarette, there are many tricks you can use to push through the urge to smoke. Pick from the categories below to get some of our favourite tips.

Tip - Create a savings account - every time you want to smoke, add $1 to it.

Step 5 - Choose other tools to help you quit

Different strategies work for different people. From quitting cold turkey to talking to a trained counsellor, there will be something that works for you. It may take some trial and error to find what works but hang in there. You can quit.

Step 6 - Reward yourself

Resisting a lifelong habit is hard, you deserve to celebrate your milestones!

Celebrating small wins can help you achieve larger ones. Enter the milestone rewards that you will use to celebrate your success after 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month!

Your reward for your first day without cigarettes

Every cigarette you don’t smoke is doing you good. After just 24 hours, your risk of heart attack begins to decrease and your circulation begins to improve. 

That’s definitely worth a reward! Why not try a new drink at your favourite café, enjoy a hot bath or buy some popcorn and stream a film?

Your Quit Date
Your reward for your first week smoke-free

After a week of your new smoke-free life, your lungs' natural cleaning system will have started to heal and become better at removing mucus, tar and dust. You will have saved a good amount of cash too.

Time for a reward or two! How about going out for your favourite meal or seeing a movie at the cinema?

Your Quit Date
Your reward for your first month smoke-free

It might be hard to imagine a whole month without smoking, but you can do it. After a month, your circulation has improved and you might feel like you’re breathing easier too. A whole month of breaking a lifelong habit deserves a bigger reward! You could take up a new hobby, book tickets to see your favourite band or even plan a weekend away.

Your Quit Date

My Quit Plan

Your quitting journey starts here.

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.

My quit date

My reasons for quitting

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.

To be healthier
This is one of the top reasons to quit smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and can cause many serious and lifelong conditions. It can also have a negative impact on your mental health. But as soon as you quit, your body starts to repair itself and your risk of illnesses like cancer, heart disease and stroke continue to decrease over time. Download the My QuitBuddy app to keep track of your growing health benefits.
To save money
Smoking is an expensive habit- you will be shocked at how quickly your savings add up. It’s not just the cigarettes that cost money, you’re also spending on things like lighters, lighter fluid, gum, and body spray to cover up the smell. Then there's the expense that comes with smoking-related illnesses from days off work and medical bills. Keep track of your savings so you can buy yourself rewards at each milestone.
For my loved ones
Quitting for your family is a fantastic motivator to stay smoke-free. Cigarette smoke is harmful to everyone who breathes it in, from your friends and family to your children and pets. Being smoke-free will mean you’re keeping your loved ones safe, you will have more quality time with them and they will be so proud of your achievement. Ask your loved ones to record messages of support to keep on your phone for when you have cravings.
Baby on the way
For some people, being pregnant is the only time they have successfully stayed smoke-free. It is a very powerful motivator. Smoking can affect male and female fertility, so if you’re thinking of getting pregnant, now is a great time to quit. Quitting at any time during your pregnancy will reduce the risk of risk of premature birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, birth defects and SIDS. Have a plan for managing your triggers once you are no longer pregnant to help you stay smoke-free for life.
Because of a health scare
A health scare is another chance to quit before things get serious. But even if you are diagnosed with a smoking-related illness, it is not too late to quit. With cancer, quitting can improve your treatment, recovery and future outcomes compared to people who continue to smoke. Your risk of cardiovascular diseases will also decrease, and quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to slow the progression of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
For social reasons
As smoking rates decline there are more and more places becoming smoke-free. Stopping smoking means you can go anywhere without worrying about finding a smoking area. You will be able to hang out with your friends without feeling self-conscious about the smell, and you won't miss a moment of the big game or a moment of family life because you need a smoke.
To get the most out of life
When you stop smoking, you will have extra time in your day, allowing you to do more things you enjoy. Because smoking interferes with your sense of taste, food and drink tastes better when you quit. Smoking also ages your skin and stains your teeth and nails, so quitting can make you look younger and smell better too. Quitting smoking can also improve your sex life.
For my pets
Smoking around your pet can increase their risk of health issues including cancer, allergies, eye issues and respiratory problems. No one wants to put their furry friends in harm’s way. They may be a small part of our lives but in their eyes, we are their whole world. By quitting smoking, you can be sure you’re keeping them safe from tobacco smoke.

My triggers for smoking

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.

my own trigger1
my own trigger2
my own trigger3
my own trigger4

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.

Delaying
Delay for 1-2 minutes and the urge will pass
Drinking water
Sip it slowly
Deep breathing
Take three slow, deep breaths of fresh air
Doing something else
To take your mind off smoking

For more specific advice, try talking to the Quitline by phone or webchat. They can provide tailored strategies just for you.

Emotional triggers

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.

Feeling stressed or anxious
Feeling sad or lonely
Feeling bored or restless
Feeling angry

Tips:

  • Practise some deep breathing exercises.
  • Listen to your favourite song.
  • Remove yourself from the situation and go for a quick walk.

If you have been feeling down or lonely, you can also contact Beyond Blue for support.

Habits & physical triggers

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.

Talking on the phone
Watching TV
Drinking coffee
After-a-meal
Taking a work break
Driving
After having sex
First thing in the morning

Tips:

  • Clean the inside of your car, including the seats, to get rid of the smoky smell.
  • Chew on a straw, get a stress ball or a fidget spinner to keep your hands and mouth busy.
  • Listen to an interesting podcast or audiobook.
  • Change the type of hot drink you usually choose, or have it in a different cup or different setting.
  • Switch up your usual routines. If you smoke as soon as you wake up, jump in the shower. If you smoke after sex, talk to your partner about what you could do together instead.
Social triggers

If you're used to smoking with certain friends, when celebrating a special occasion, or with alcohol - it's time to shake things up a bit.

Celebrating birthdays or special occasions
Drinking alcohol
Seeing someone else smoke

Tips:

  • Plan events in smoke-free venues like the cinema, an escape room or a restaurant with no outdoor area.
  • Change the type of drink you usually choose or hold your glass in the opposite hand.
  • Stick with friends who don't smoke or your quit smoking buddy.
  • Take something along to keep your hands busy like worry beads, a necklace, or a fidget ring.

Fight my cravings

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:

Distract myself.
  • Give your pet a nice cuddle or take them for a walk and think about how much better it is for them that you are not smoking.
  • Write a to-do list of what you need to do today – start checking them off!
  • Keep a journal.  Write down the quitting process, vent about your feelings, and keep track of your improving health.
  • Look at your quit plan to reaffirm why you’re quitting, and what you’re rewarding yourself with at each milestone.
  • Walk around the office for 2 mins or go up and down the stairs.
  • Play a game or solve a puzzle on your phone.
  • Carry a pack of cards, and shuffle them when you have the urge to smoke.
  • Learn or play an instrument (e.g. recorder or harmonica).
  • Listen to some music or a podcast.
  • Read some quit stories on the Make Smoking History website.
Get some exercise.
  • Go for a swim at the local pool or beach.
  • Walk around the block with a co-worker, friend, family, or dog.
  • Do a few stretches or even try some yoga.
  • Find a HIIT or dance workout on YouTube or join a group fitness class.
  • Head to the gym.
Go to a place where smoking isn’t allowed.
  • Visit the cinema, go bowling or play some arcade games.
  • Check out a virtual reality experience or break room to burn off some steam.
  • Try rock climbing or bouldering with friends.
  • Get the highest score at laser tag or get messy at paintball.
  • Get crafty with a resin art or pottery painting session.
Get support from a family member, friend or work colleague.
  • Text or call your family or a friend and ask them about their day.
  • Ask family or friends to record motivational messages to help you stay quit.
  • Find a quit buddy and motivate each other to stay quit.
  • Let people know you are quitting and ask them to help by not offering you smokes or smoking around you.
Keep your hands and mouth busy.
  • Place a straw on your lips and then breathe in deeply and exhale.
  • Drink water using a straw - this can release a hormone (dopamine) that makes your feel happier!
  • Chew on some gum or a flavoured toothpick.
  • Play with a rubber band or bracelet on your wrist.
  • Hold a coin, paperclip, stress ball, or fidget ring/spinner to distract your mind and keep your hands busy.
  • Brush and floss your teeth. Think about how much nicer your breath will smell now that you’ve quit.
  • Start knitting or learn macrame.
  • Drink plenty of water and have some healthy snacks on hand (visit LiveLighter for some ideas).
  • Paint your nails.
Use mindfulness techniques

Get extra help

Download the My QuitBuddy App now

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.

Call Quitline Today

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.

Web Chat with 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.

Read stories from people who have successfully quit

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.

Book an appointment with your GP or health professional

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 GP, pharmacist or health professional about whether nicotine replacement therapy products are right for you.

You can book your GP appointment right here.

You can also talk to your local pharmacist or health professional.

Use our Quit Savings Calculator

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.

My rewards

1 DAY smoke-free

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.

1 WEEK 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.

1 MONTH smoke-free

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.

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