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Top strategies to cope with withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as irritation, strong cravings and poor concentration, can be the most difficult part of going smokefree.

If you’re struggling, consider using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or prescribed stop smoking tablets*

NRT types like patches, mouth spray, lozenges, gum and inhalator, and prescription stop smoking tablets, are designed to ease your withdrawal symptoms. This means you'll feel less irritable and get less cravings. You're more likely to stay quit. If you use NRT or stop smoking tablets plus calls to Quitline (13 7848), you've got the most effective quitting method. 

You can request a Quitline callback

If you are using NRT but still have strong feelings of withdrawal, take a look at how you use them. With mouth spray, gum, lozenge and inhalator, it's good to try to anticipate a craving (rather than waiting for it to hit). For a video on how to use each type, go to their individual page: patches, mouth spray, gum, lozenge, inhalator.

*Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see whether a stop smoking medication would be suitable for you.


Call Quitline 13 7848

To succeed at quitting you need to do more than just wear a patch or take medication. You also need to deal with the emotional and habitual elements of your addiction.  

Also, Quitting can feel a bit like losing a friend, so it’s a good idea to get help to deal with that side of quitting too.

Give the Quitline a call or request a callback – they can help you develop new ways for dealing with stress and emotions without smokes. They can call you at key times, over the coming weeks, to make sure your quitting story is a quit-for-good story. 

Here are some other things you can do to help you manage nicotine withdrawal:

  • Keep your brain active: puzzles, chat to friends or family, read a book or magazine, distract yourself
  • Exercise every day – even a short walk can do wonders for your mood
  • Try to limit your worrying – don’t be too hard on yourself
  • Do something nice for another person – this can really help you feel better
  • Practise mindfulness
  • Muscle relaxation and breathing techniques
  • More relaxation tips  

Last updated October 2021.

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