Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of disease and premature death in New Zealand. Although many smokers would like to quit, addiction to nicotine contained in cigarettes makes this extremely difficult. Nicotine addiction is as strong, or even stronger than heroin or cocaine addiction.
Different people find different methods of quitting more suitable for them. Some people find that going 'cold turkey' – quitting completely and immediately – is the most successful method. However, if you haven't succeeded in stopping smoking on your own, getting extra support can increase the likelihood that you will quit successfully. Quit courses and telephone support can help you to become, and stay, a non-smoker.
Also, nicotine-replacement therapy or a prescribed non-nicotine medication can ease withdrawal symptoms while you deal with other aspects of quitting. When you have set a quit date, consider talking to your doctor or other healthcare professional for practical advice and information on the medication that is best for you.
Remember, that most people attempt to quit at least two or three times before they are successful. Review your past attempts. Think about what worked – and what didn’t – and try to use your most successful strategies again.