Access information, support and resources to help you manage or quit smoking.
- You can seek support from the Employee Assistance Program.
- You can seek professional assistance via Quit or calling the Quitline (a telephone advisory service available by calling 137 848), or by visiting websites such as iCanQuit.
- Contact your local doctor or medical centre if you are considering quitting.
- ACU will offer QUIT resources intermittently throughout the year associated with campus events.
Nicotine replacement therapy and quitting medication
Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Quitting Medication are options for smokers to assit them to deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. These therapies are available via local doctors or medical centres.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT is a collective name for a range of products which deliver nicotine to the body and help to counter withdrawal and strong cravings.
- Nicotine patches
Adhesive patches that slowly release nicotine when placed directly on the skin and work by replacing a portion of the nicotine a smoker usually inhales from cigarettes. Nicotine patches are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme at a discounted rate. To gain the discounted rate you need a prescription from your doctor.
- Nicotine gum
Unlike other gum, nicotine gum is not to be chewed frequently as some of the nicotine content will be swallowed. It is meant to be chewed 3-4 times, flattened and placed between the cheek and gum to enable the mucous lining of the mouth to absorb the nicotine. Occasionally the gum should be moved around and bitten to release more nicotine and discarded after 30 minutes.
- Nicotine lozenges
These work similarly to the gum as they are designed to dissolve in the mouth to allow the nicotine to be absorbed into the blood stream. Therefore, they should not be chewed or sucked on.
- Nicotine inhaler
The inhalers resemble and are used the same as a cigarette. The mouthpiece is sucked to release nicotine vapour into the mouth to be absorbed through the mouth and throat.
- Nicotine mouth spray
Spray the nicotine into the side of the cheek or under the tongue to absorb through the mouth lining.
Varenicline (Champix) and Burproprion (Zyban) are prescription medications designed to reduce withdrawal symptoms and the desire to smoke. Champix is a 12-week course, and Zyban is a 9-week course. Like patches, Champix and Zyban are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme at a discounted rate.
Steps towards quitting smoking
Should I cut down gradually or stop altogether?
Some people do manage to cut down and quit completely but quitting completely tends to be more successful. The best way is to set a quit date and make a clean break. Do this in consultation with your Quit Educator, Quitline Advisor or GP.
I’ve tried to quit before and it didn’t work. What can I do?
Remember that most people try to quit numerous times before they are successful. Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what didn’t work, and try to use successful strategies again. Consider your habits and routines and how you could change them. Quitline also has a highly effective call-back service which can support you through the early weeks of quitting.
What kinds of activities can I do when I feel the urge to smoke?
Talk with someone, go for a walk, drink water, change your routine or occupy yourself with a task. Reduce your stress levels by exercising, having a hot bath or listening to some relaxing music.
Some of my friends and family smoke. I’m trying to quit. What should I do when I’m with them?
Spend some time thinking about and pre-planning what it might be like to spend time with them once you quit.
The following tips will make this easier.
- For the first few weeks try to avoid friends and family who smoke.
- Pick a phrase such as "I’m quitting smoking" or "No thanks, I don’t smoke."
- Consider whether you have a nonsmoking friend who would be a good support person.
- Find something to reach for, to keep the hands busy, eg. a water bottle.
- Be prepared to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom – wash your face, take some deep breaths. Removing yourself from the situation that caused the craving can be helpful.
- Be ready to step outside, walk around the block, or call a cab (you’ll have extra money now that you’re not smoking).