How to fast free of smoke

Tip 1 copung with craving

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). NRT can help you by reducing your nicotine cravings to increase your chances of quitting. It’s less harmful to your lungs than smoking. NRT is available on prescription or over-the-counter at pharmacies as nicotine gum, patches, tablets, lozenges or inhalers.
  • Medication. There are non-nicotine prescription medicines that your doctor may consider to help reduce your urge to smoke. However, as they’re not suitable for everyone, you will need to talk to your doctor to find out more and to discuss whether these medicines are suitable for you.
  • Use the 4 ‘D’s technique.
    • Delay acting on the urge to smoke — the urge will pass in a few minutes
    • Deep breathing — take a long slow breath in and out. Do this three times
    • Drink water — slowly sip a drink of water
    • Do something else — block your thoughts about smoking by doing something else — chew some gum or use a relaxation technique, for example — to take your mind off the urge to smoke.
  • Use positive ‘self-talk’. Tell yourself ‘I can do this’ and remind yourself how much healthier you’ll feel in a few weeks time’.
  • Remind yourself why you want to quit. Think of the benefits of quitting such as how much money you’re saving — this can add up to more than $3,000 a year if you previously had a 20-cigarettes-a-day habit.
  • Phone a friend. Call a friend to distract you from the urge to smoke, or you can also call the Quitline on 13 QUIT for support.


Tip 2 — Anticipate and make a plan to cope with stress

It’s normal to feel stressed and irritable at first. Being prepared with strategies to handle this will help you stay smoke-free — especially if you’re under extra pressure or having a bad day. Decide what works best for you — a relaxation technique, getting some fresh air or doing something calming like listening to music.

Tip 3 — Avoid situations that tempt you to light up

Until it gets easier to control your urges to smoke, it can be best to avoid places — or people — that make it harder for you to resist cigarettes. These may include:

  • Drinking alcohol — having a cigarette with a drink is a common ‘trigger’. Alcohol can also affect your judgment, making it easier to give in to cravings.
  • Social events where people drink and smoke
  • Being around friends who smoke.

If you decide to go to social events where others will smoke or drink, take a friend along to help support you not to smoke. Be prepared to leave early if you’re craving a cigarette.

Tip 4 — Find something to do with your hands

It can help to keep your hands busy — text a friend, knit or use a stress ball.

Tip 5 — Focus on the positive changes in your body in the first days and weeks of quitting

  • After 8 hours — blood oxygen levels return to normal, and your chances of heart attack begin to fall
  • After 24 hours — carbon monoxide leaves the body. This is good news as carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that contributes to hardened arteries and increases heart disease risk. Your lungs also start getting rid of mucus and debris — this might cause you to cough more, but it’s a sign that your lungs are recovering
  • After 48 hours — your body is nicotine-free! Your senses of taste and smell should be improving
  • After 72 hours — your breathing gets easier and your energy levels increase
  • After two to 12 weeks — circulation improves throughout your body and walking and exercise should get easier.