Skip to main content

Is smoking controlling you?

Do you find that smoking is a hassle? People who smoke tell us that they feel controlled by their cigarettes. They also say that it feels great to take control when they quit.

Ever feel like smoking controls you?

People tell us that they never realised how much cigarettes controlled their thoughts and daily activities until they quit. 

They tell our Quitline counsellors about the constant hassles that come with smoking – like the anxious search for a lighter, the fear of running out of cigarettes or judgemental looks and comments from people who don't smoke. They say the cigarette controls the shape of their day. 

People tell us that their mood becomes more steady when they quit. They also feel free to do and think about things other than smoking.

Ask yourself: Are you really choosing to smoke?

Nicotine levels drop every hour or so. The urge to smoke is often your body needing that next hit. The cigarettes are in control, not you.

Try this exercise to see how much smoking is controlling you:

  1. Write down every time you have a smoke in a day. 

  2. Now looking at that list how often did you have to interrupt what you were doing or go out of your way to have that cigarette? Do you see any patterns? 

  3. Did you have to do anything uncomfortable or sacrifice something else for your smoking? i.e. Stand out in the rain? Make a dash to the shops to buy some more cigarettes? Miss out on conversation with friends or family? 

  4. Have a think about your list and how much of your time or activities were controlled by smoking. 

  5. Now ask yourself: Were you completely in control of your day? Or were you really under the control of cigarettes?  

Take back control

Ready to take back your life and stop smoking for good? Here are some ideas that might help: 

  • Work out the best way to quit for you. The most effective way to quit is to use Quitline with either a nicotine replacement therapy (such as patches or mouth spray) or prescribed stop smoking medication.

  • Identify your triggers – use your earlier list or create one now of all your daily triggers for smoking. It might be driving in the car, your morning coffee or dropping the kids off at school. Once you’ve identified your triggers, put in place a plan to deal with them in advance. We’ve got heaps of ideas

Regaining control and going smokefree is a real confidence boost. It can give you extra motivation to tackle goals in other parts of your life.

Quitline can help

Quitline counsellors are here to support you throughout your quit journey. They can help you make a plan to get off the cigarettes and taste freedom again. They can help you break free from smoking.

There are many ways to get in touch with Quitline (13 7848), including by webchat, Messenger and more:

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

If you would like to provide feedback, please contact 

Last updated March 2024 

Back to top of page