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Cutting down to quit smoking

You may find the idea of quitting all at once overwhelming. If you decide to cut down on your way to quitting for good, here are a few tips that can really help.

What is cutting down to quit?

Cutting down means reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you quit. You might decide to smoke only on the hour, for instance, then every two hours, until you’re not smoking at all. Or you might remove one cigarette from your pack each day until you’ve got none left. 

Does cutting down work?

Studies show that cutting down your cigarettes can work to help you quit. It helps to use a faster-acting nicotine replacement therapy like lozenges or mouth spray while you cut down. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best approach for you. 

Also, if you plan to cut down, it helps to have a quit date in mind. Quitline counsellors can help you set a quit date and plan for it.

Tips for cutting down

  • Remove your favourite cigarettes first (if you leave your favourites to last it can make it difficult to quit completely). 

  • Make sure you have a clear cutting down plan and a firm quit date

  • Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about using stop smoking medications.

  • Call Quitline for support. There are many ways to get in touch:

Ways to get in touch

There are many ways to reach out to Quitline including webchat, Messenger and more.

Find out more

Please note, this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.

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Last updated February 2024.

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