'Cold turkey' is giving up smoking suddenly, without using medications. Though many people will say that they have quit cold turkey, often they have used medication or advice and support to help them through.
There is no harm in trying to quit cold turkey. If you are a light smoker (less than 10 to 15 cigarettes per day) and have only mild withdrawal symptoms when you quit, it's likely that you do not need medication. However, dealing with ingrained smoking habits, smoking friends, times when you miss cigarettes or other tempting situations can still be a challenge for many smokers after they quit. Getting advice and support can help you quit successfully.
If you experience a mental health condition, consult your doctor before attempting to quit cold turkey. Stopping smoking suddenly might worsen or bring on mental health symptoms.
You may quit a number of times before you stop for good. Try to think of previous attempts to quit as practice. Learn from past attempts. Think about what worked for you and put that into practice during your next attempt. Think about what brought you back to smoking and how you might deal with this next time. Quitting for a while and then going back to smoking is, for most people, part of the process of successfully quitting.
If you're thinking about quitting cold turkey, do some research first. If you are addicted to nicotine, cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. It helps to have some patches, gum or other nicotine products handy so you're prepared. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about which products might suit you.
If you are addicted and use medications properly, you can double your chances of quitting successfully by getting some support.
You can call the Quitline on 13 7848. This is a free service, and your Quitline advisor can give you help based on your own personal situation. After all, everyone's different.
You might also want to try a one-on-one course or online support via the QuitCoach.