Quit Victoria - Main Menu Quitline Logo Request a call back

Early relapse

To maximise your chance of quitting next time there are a few things to consider:

Research shows that the most effective way to quit is:

Coaching + Nicotine Replacement Product or Quitting Medication

Coaching means getting advice and support. Quitline is the best coach. QuitCoach is another proven method of support. Your coach might be a website, a self-help book, a quit course leader, or a doctor or other health professional with special training to help people quit. A coach can give you motivation, tips, support and confidence. To get the best out of your coach see effective coaching.

Nicotine replacement products and quitting medication significantly increase your chance of quitting. If you did use them the following questions may be relevant:

  • Did you use the nicotine replacement product or quitting medication as directed and for long enough?
  • Did you use the right dose?
  • Did you experience side effects?
    • Your doctor may suggest a reduced dose or anti-nausea tablet.

See Choosing the best way to quit for more information.

Quitting product selection guide

Patches Nicotine replacement product

The patch is worn on the skin and your body absorbs nicotine from it continuously, either during the day only (15mg, 16 hr patch) or over 24 hours (21mg, 24 hr patch).

The patch typcially comes in three strengths for weaning off nicotine over 12 or so weeks: Step 1 (21mg), Step 2 (14mg) and Step 3 (7mg). Some smokers benefit from just using Step 1, others from stepping down through all three strengths. Since May 2013, a 25mg (step 1) 16 hr patch has also been available, which goes with a 15mg (step 2) and 10mg (step 3) patch.

There is also an option of a pre-quit patch (21mg, 24 hrs) for use in the two weeks prior to quitting. The pre-quit patch is for smokers who struggle to quit completely the first day they start the patches.

Patches are available at a more affordable subsidised cost on prescription from a GP. Using the patches can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability, and restlessness. Patches nearly double your chance of quitting.

Gum Nicotine replacement product

Nicotine gum is chewed for a short while and releases nicotine while you rest it in the side of your mouth. The gum comes in two strenghts: 2mg and 4mg.

Take the gum at regular times during the day to help prevent cravings or just before entering situations where you expect cravings.

Gum is useful if: you want to control how much nicotine you take, you have bad morning cravings or if you get most of your cravings in particular situations.

Gum is not suitable if you have dentures or some types of dental work.

Gum nearly doubles your chance of quitting.

Lozenge Nicotine replacement product

Nicotine lozenges and mini lozenges are tablets that dissolve in your mouth. They are available in standard (2mg/1.5mg) strength and extra (4mg) strength.

Take the lozenge at regular times during the day to help prevent cravings or just before entering situations where you expect cravings.

Take more than one or extra strength varieties when you expect strong cravings.

You can also use lozenges while cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke before you stop smoking.

The lozenge nearly doubles your chance of quitting.

Mouth spray Nicotine replacement product

The mouth spray works by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally inhale from cigarettes, providing comfort by lessening withdrawal symptoms and helping your body wean off nicotine over a number of weeks.

To release the nicotine, you spray on the inside of your cheek, or under your tongue, once or twice. A benefit of this product is the speed of the nicotine’s absorption into your system compared to other oral nicotine products.

Using the mouth spray can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms when you quit, such as cravings, irritability, and restlessness. Mouth spray nearly doubles your chance of quitting.

Inhalator Nicotine replacement product

The inhalator works by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally inhale from cigarettes, providing comfort by lessening withdrawal symptoms and helping your body wean off nicotine over a number of weeks.

You insert a cartridge into the inhalator and draw the vapor into your mouth. You can puff on it as long as you would a cigarette – after around 80 puffs, or 15 minutes or so, the cartridge will be empty. A benefit of the inhalator is that it mimics the hand-to-mouth action of smoking.

Using the mouth spray can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability, and restlessness. The inhalator nearly doubles your chance of quitting.

Champix Quitting medication

Champix is a medication developed to help people quit smoking and is available on prescription from your GP. It works by reducing withdrawal symptoms and by blunting the satisfying effects of smoking. Using Champix can help reduce withdrawal symptoms when you quit, such as cravings, irritability and restlessness.

Champix is a 12-week course. The advice is to continue to smoke in the first week and to set a quit date for some time in the second week. As the dose builds up, cigarettes will start to be less desirable, and it will be easier to cut down before your quit date. It’s important to take Champix for the full 12 weeks, even if you’re feeling confident, to help prevent relapse.

Champix more than doubles your chance of quitting.

Zyban Quitting medication

Zyban is an anti-craving medication that is available on prescription to help people stop smoking. Using Zyban can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms when you quit, such as cravings, irritability and restlessness. Zyban can also make smoking feel less rewarding.

Zyban is a 9-week course. You slowly build the dose up in the first week. The advice is to continue to smoke in the first week of Zyban, and set a quit date for some time in the second week. It’s important to take Zyban for the full nine weeks, even if you’re feeling confident, as even after regular cravings have faded, staying on Zyban can help prevent relapse.

Zyban nearly doubles your chance of quitting.

 

Real life stories

Re-Quiting

Hello, I'm Shelly and I am attempting to quit again. I feel awful that I ever went back to smoking I was extremely proud of myself when I quit almost 4 years ago. I did it cold turkey...

Read more of this story ›