Planning to quit smoking

If you are thinking about quitting smoking, you should make a plan and stick to it.

It can help to have someone else to quit with, or get help with quitting from your doctor or other organisations.

Quitting methods

There are several ways you can quit smoking, including:

  • going cold turkey - giving up suddenly
  • gradual approach - cutting down the number of cigarettes you have each day until you no longer smoke
  • medication and nicotine replacements - these can be taken to reduce withdrawal symptoms.


Cravings only last a few minutes and get less over time. When you have a craving it will pass. 

When you have a craving you should try the 'four Ds':

  • delay
  • deep breathe
  • drink water
  • do something else.

Withdrawal symptoms

When you quit smoking you may have some symptoms while you body begins to repair and return to normal.

These include all of the following:

  • coughing
  • cravings
  • mood swings
  • difficulty concentrating
  • tingles in hands and feet
  • anxiety and restlessness
  • upset stomach
  • headaches
  • feeling hungry.

It can take 10 to 30 days for these symptoms to disappear.

Last updated: 15 March 2019

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