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Frequently asked questions

Q: What if the person does not want to quit smoking at the moment?

Quitting smoking is one of the best things a person can do for their health however it has to be their decision to try. You cannot force someone to quit smoking but you can check in on them again as most people that smoke do want to quit at some point. Let them know that you will be there to support them when they are ready to try.

Q: What support is available to help someone quit smoking?

Getting support to quit goes a long way to helping someone quit for good.

Encourage the smoker to:

  • Call Quitline on 13 7848 to develop a tailored quit plan. For the cost of a local call Quitline counsellors can help the smoker prepare to quit.
  • Get tailored resources and information to assist with planning to quit. Just call Quitline on 13 7848.
  • Talk to a health professional. Discuss quitting smoking with your GP, pharmacist or community health worker.
  • Try QuitCoach, a free interactive website designed to help with quitting smoking.
  • Try the My QuitBuddy App or Quit for you - Quit for two App for pregnant women. These Apps assist you to set goals and get support at vulnerable times and when cravings strike.
  • Try quitting medications. These medications help to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Talk to Quitline or your GP to work out which medications are best for you.

Q: How long does nicotine withdrawal usually last?

When you quit smoking you can experience withdrawal symptoms from the nicotine in cigarettes. Some people have less severe symptoms but for others, the withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to manage. These symptoms usually last for two to four weeks and can include cravings, irritability, restlessness and increased appetite. Quitting medications, such as nicotine replacement therapy, can help quitters cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Q: Does nicotine replacement therapy really help someone quit?

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) will help reduce withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and anxiety, however they will not stop withdrawal symptoms completely. NRT works by replacing some of the nicotine you usually get from cigarettes without any of the other toxic chemicals found in cigarettes. Research shows that using NRT to quit smoking can double your chances of quitting successfully.

Q: What if the smoker is pregnant?

Quitting smoking when you are pregnant is the best thing you can do for the health of both mother and baby. The increased risks of smoking when pregnant include miscarriage, pre-term baby, birth complications, low-weight baby, the baby being born with weaker lungs and immune system and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It has never been more important for the smoker to quit so provide all the support and encouragement that you can to ensure the best outcome for both mother and baby.

A free quit support program for pregnant women is available from Quitline. Call 13 7848 for further information.

Q: What if I smoke?

If a partner, friend or family member is trying to quit smoking now is a great time for you to quit too. Quitting with a friend means you can help motivate and support each other however if you decide that you are not ready to quit it is important that you support them in every way you can.

This might include:

  • not offering them cigarettes
  • not smoking or buying cigarettes when you are around them
  • keeping your cigarettes, lighters, matches and ashtrays out of sight
  • spending time with them at smoke-free places such as cinemas or restaurants.
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