If you’ve made the decision to quit, you’re on the right track! But even if you’re using a prescribed stop smoking tablet or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), cravings can still pop up when you least expect them.
Cravings for nicotine are a common part of quitting. The good news? They often only last a few minutes. Try the 4Ds: delay acting on the craving, deep breathe, drink water, do something else.
Our 6 top tips to help you stay on track.
- Call Quitline 13 7848. Our Quitline counsellors are friendly. They understand what it’s like to quit smoking. You can also sign up to Quitline’s callback service and receive a regular call in the first few weeks of your quit attempt. They'll chat to you about your quitting history, offer tips and help you quit the way you want to. Calling Quitline increases your chance of quitting. Request a callback and a Quitline counsellor will give you a call when you’re free.
- Cut yourself some slack. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and prescribed stop smoking tablets increase your chance of quitting (even more so when you use them with Quitline). These medications can ease feelings of nicotine withdrawal such as strong cravings, poor concentration and irritability. This gives you more of a chance to focus on replacing old habits with new ones. They also cost less than cigarettes. Patches, lozenges and gum — and prescribed stop smoking tablets — are available on the PBS, so you can get them at a discount. See your doctor for more information.
- Relax. Simple deep breathing exercises can release muscle tension and calm the mind. Another good option is progressive muscle relaxation. This involves counting your breaths and releasing tension from a select group of muscles by holding them tight and then letting go. Find out more about progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness and other relaxation techniques here.
- Distract yourself. Do you find you want a cigarette more when you’re looking for something to do or bored? Try to keep busy by playing a fun game on your phone or your computer. It can distract you from the urge to smoke. Try our distract me tool!
- Change habits. The same locations, cafes or foods can remind you of smoking and bring on a craving. Try to create new smokefree memories! If your common breakfast is to have a coffee and a cigarette, break the connection by trying a new breakfast in a different spot! Change the furniture around or do a spring clean. Breaking habits can help you to say goodbye to the smokes for good.
- Get moving. Got a craving? Take a walk, do some stretches or take a bike ride. Exercise is one of the best ways to smash cravings and ease stress and anxiety. Take up a new sport or exercise and make it something you enjoy.
The best way to quit is to use a combination of methods. Call the Quitline on 13 7848 and get tailored information on how to beat the habit.
We have over 100 tailored tips and tactics to help you stay quit for good.
Last updated November 2021.
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