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Not Our Future
How To Quit

Questions

Answers

After 2 hours of your last cigarettem the nicotine is out of your system

All about nicotine products (patches, lozenges and gum)

Using nicotine patches, gum or lozenges for eight weeks can double your chances of quitting. Nicotine products works by replacing some of the nicotine you usually get from cigarettes, so your withdrawal symptoms and cravings are reduced. Nicotine products doesn't do all the work for you though - you will still need to develop lifestyle strategies to become a non-smoker.

Patches are the most common form of nicotine products and are easy to use. You apply the patch to your skin once a day, and the nicotine is released from the patch into your skin. The patches come in different strengths and over the eight weeks you switch to lower strength patches and are slowly weaned off nicotine.

Other nicotine products include nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, nicotine inhaler and nicotine nasal spray. Only patches, gum and lozenges are subsidized by the government.

Get more information on nicotine products from the Cancer Society or Quit websites.

Scribe on nicotine products
I never knew that nicotine products made it twice as easy to quit. I thought it actually made it harder and was just more of a prolonging process.

Young Sid on nicotine products
The Quitline, the patches, the nicotine gum - that can help you so just go hard on those.� And a lot of willpower as well, it's up to you man.

Faye Smythe on nicotine products
Nicotine patches and the help lines - there's people that are there to help you and if that's how you need to do it then that's how you need to do it.

Piri Weepu on nicotine products

Using nicotine patches is another form of support and that's all good.

Can I get help without having to speak to someone?

Yes, you can get advice, support and nicotine patches and gum just by visiting Quit's website www.quit.org.nz You can join their online community of other people trying to quit, and read and contribute to their blogs. You can take part in the Txt2Quit programme.

You can also read books on quitting such as the popular Allen Carr's ‘Easy Way to Stop Smoking'. This is available at most bookshops.  

Is there special help for Maori of Pacific people?

Aukati Kai Paipa is a kanohi ki te kanohi service that is delivered locally within most communities. This programme offers Maori and their whanau the opportunity to address their smoking addiction through a range of services. Services include free nicotine patches or gum, motivational counselling and ongoing support. These services are delivered by Maori quit coaches over a period of up to 12-months.

Quit have Maori and Pacific people in their call centre who are interested in helping Maori and Pacific people quit smoking in a way that suits them best. They are ex-smokers and can relate to what you're going through. Call Quitline (0800 778 778) or visit their website.  

Te Awanui Reeder on Maori and smoking
Well I think from birth we've got it pretty hard straight up.  All the cards are against us.  I think we're more likely to get diabetes, go to jail, be poorer, have cancer etc. So you're not helping yourself (if you smoke), that's for sure. It's really important, especially for our people to be mindful of their health. Especially if they want to pass on the knowledge and the culture and te reo to our kids.  Yeah. To our Maori and Pacific Island people, it's obvious that there are no benefits health wise and financially. And we all know we're struggling in that department. So you know, don't smoke, especially for the future, that's the main thing.  Kia ora. 

Shavaughn Ruakere on Maori and smoking
I don't like hearing any bad statistics about Maori people. It feels like a lack of education and who's out there telling these girls (not to smoke)?  They grow up with it, they're surrounded by it.  I'm hoping that me being here could help possibly. 

Can I call Quitline for help more than once?

Yes. Smoking support services (such as Quit) understand that relapsing is normal, so there's no need to feel embarrassed about calling them for help more than once.

How do I know if I need nicotine products (patches, gum or lozenges)?

It's best to use nicotine products if you are a medium to heavy smoker and:

- are motivated to quit smoking
- are ready to set a quit date and to stop smoking completely from that date
- smoke more than half a pack of cigarettes a day (research shows that nicotine products do not work for people who smoke less than this)

Are nicotine products (patches, gum and lozenges) bad for me?

Nicotine products products are much safer than smoking.� Nicotine products do contain nicotine but patches, gum and lozenges have not been shown to cause cancer or heart disease.�

Get more information on nicotine products from the Cancer Society or Quit websites.

Scribe on Nicotine products
I never knew that nicotine products made it twice as easy to quit. I thought it actually made it harder and was just more of a prolonging process.

How do I help a friend to quit?

Make sure they know that you want them to succeed in quitting smoking. Ask them how you can help them do that. Talk about the positives of being smokefree and how great it will be for them when they quit. Distract them during times when they would normally be smoking.

Richard Kahui on helping people around you to quit
Keep supporting that person who's quitting. You know they are going to trip up now and then so the longer you stay with them and keep supporting them the more chance they have of quitting.

Scribe on helping people around you to quit
Not smoking around people trying to quit would definitely help because that's a big trigger for me is when people light up.

Faye Smythe on helping people around you to quit
I'm actually in the process of trying to support and help one of my close friends stop smoking. Every time we meet up for coffees and she smokes, I'm like, ‘You know you're making it hard for me so let's just try and quit together.'

Jono Pryor on helping people around you to quit
For friends and family of people who are trying to quit, just be aware that they're trying to quit. You probably don't have to go out of your way to help them but just be aware.  I mean, if you're a smoker try not to smoke next to the person who's giving up.Richard Kahui on helping people around you to quit
I try ringing my mum every two or three days to ask her how she is going, and just give her a pat on the back just to keep her going.

Shavaughn Ruakere on helping people around you to quit
It must be horrible and really, really hard for people to quit so you've got to be encouraging.

Kimberley Crossman on helping people around you to quit
It's not easy to give up a habit so I think it's really important for people who are non-smokers, or who are smokers, to to be really supportive of people who are trying to quit.

Will being smokefree change me as a person? Will my friends notice a difference in me?

Most people find that any changes to their self-identity are positive. Some newly smokefree people report that their friends and acquaintances don't notice that they've stopped smoking at all.

Dave Gibson on friends noticing (or not) your smokefree status
The funny thing is nobody's even noticed the difference in me. Like if you ask some people they probably still think I smoke. I think people don't really notice it.  Do you know what I mean? My life is still the same. I still go to the same places. I still go to the same café. I still sit probably in roughly the same seats, although I can sit inside now if it's cold. I still go to the same bars, still talk to the same people. I was quite amazed because no one noticed. If I was there freaking out about ‘oh man I'm dying for a cigarette, oh I'd love a cigarette.'  I mean then they'd notice that, but I'm not.

Bryce Casey on friends noticing your smokefree status
Yeah I've definitely got a lot of comments from people that I know that smoke.  A couple of mates have tried to quit and I think that's because they didn't think that I would or could.  A lot of mates that live in different places don't believe that I've quit. They're still waiting to sort of seem me I think, having a few drinks, not having one. Because I used to smoke so much. A few mates have definitely tried (to quit too) and some of them have been successful and some of them haven't.  Some of them have set dates and stuff as well which I guess is always good if they're at least thinking about it.

Te Awanui Reeder on friends noticing your smokefree status
If you worry about what people think you wouldn't last long so you just have to not give a shit basically and just be you. And if you feel good then sweet, you know. For me that's not smoking.

Where can I get nicotine products (patches, gum and lozenges)?

Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are available through the Quitline. You can call Quitline (0800 778 778) or you can order the patches and gum online. If you fill out the online form, you will be sent a �Quit Card'. You then just take the card to a pharmacy where you exchange it for patches, gum and lozenges. There will be a cost of $10-20 for a standard eight-week supply of patches, gum and/or lozenges.�

Health professionals also supply nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. These include doctors, Maori health providers (such as Aukati Kai Paipa). You can also buy patches, gum and lozenges from your local supermarket. �

What happens when I ring Quitline?

When you ring Quit, you'll talk to someone who makes you feel good about your decision to quit.  All Quit Advisors are ex-smokers, so they have a good idea how you might be feeling. They'll ask you some questions about yourself so that they know how best to help you. The Quit Advisors will offer advice, support, resources and low cost nicotine patches and gum. They can send you a ‘Quit Pack' which has practical quit smoking advice and information. They'll help you set a quit date and will ring you back at key stages of the quitting process to see how you're going.
You can ring Quit to find out more about quitting - you don't need to register. Call the Quitline on 0800 778 778.

Where can I go for help to quit?

The government funds the Quitline (0800 778 778) and Aukati Kai Paipa (a regional Maori provider) to support New Zealanders to quit smoking.

You have many other options for quitting support. Some include:
- Allen Carr - www.allencarrseasyway.com
- Allen Carr courses in NZ - www.easywaynz.co.nz
- Smokestop - ask your doctor about this - www.actionpact.net/smokestop
- Hypnotherapy - do a Google search for help in your area
- Therapy - do a Google search for help in your area

Richard Kahui on quit support

There're a lot of things out there that can help smokers quit now, you know? There is the Quitline, things like that and I think it's obviously a pretty tough thing to quit you know, smoking's very addictive, so it's just giving that person support.

Ladi 6 on Allen Carr
I read Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking and I just gave up just like that. And that was it, all over. I think I gave up the first time for six months and this is from smoking for a good ten years. You realise it's a cycle and you've got to kind of keep on top of it. It's an addiction, you've got to remind yourself everyday to not do it.

Dave Gibson on Allen Carr

Yeah I'd definitely recommend trying the Allen Carr course or reading the (Allen Carr) book. I'm sure there are plenty of ways that people have quit other than the ways that I've quit, but for me that really helped. 

Is it true most people need to quit a few times before they quit for good?

Yes. Most people have to try a few times. But each quit attempt gets easier and easier, and gets you closer to your goal of quitting for good. It's important not to give up trying, even if you slip up and have a cigarette or two. Smoking support services (such as Quit) understand that relapsing is normal, so there's no need to feel embarrassed about calling them for help more than once.

Samuel Flynn Scott on taking multiple attempts to quit
My brothers had to give up 5 or 6 times, serious attempts, before they really took it on long term. You know, it shows that you can give up, it just takes quite a bit of time. If you try and give up and it doesn't work for you just give it another go and give it another go until it does because it will just get easier.

Shavuahgn Ruakere on taking multiple attempts to quit

With something as addictive as smoking you can't expect to give up the first time I'm sure.  If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

Bryce Casey on taking multiple attempts to quit
To be honest I tried to give up a couple of times and that didn't go so well because I started again every time that I started drinking.  It really is as simple as saying that you really just don't need to smoke.  It's not as hard I think to quit as what it's made out to be. Like it can be, but it's a lot better when you don't smoke, I know that.  I guess I'd just try and tell myself that, that it's a lot better not smoking.

Dave Gibson on taking multiple attempts to quit
Well, you know, I did have to have a few goes at it.  I think I firstly tried probably a few times really badly. Which is actually at the end of the day what you do, but I don't think I was psychologically ready.  I then read the Alan Carr book and that really, really helped for about a year.  I can't remember exactly when. Maybe when I was 27 or something.  Then I waited another four years because I just had one cigarette one night after that year and that was my downfall.  I didn't really even want that cigarette or need that cigarette. I just did some weird psychological thing in my head where I said ‘I don't want to be scared of cigarettes'. And I had a cigarette at Dragon Bar, you know behind Poppa Jacks. And bang a week later I was smoking. My most recent attempt to stop, which does feel different and amazing was also with Alan Carr, but going to the course. It's kind of like going to a triple A meeting.  It feels like you're with a whole bunch of real hard core addicts.  I'm feeling really, really good about that and really hopeful and, you know, free.  Like I was saying before, there's this real sense of freedom from it. 

How do I know if I'm ready to quit?

You may wish you didn't smoke, but are you ready to quit? You're more likely to quit successfully if you have a good, long think about your smoking and make a firm ‘plan of action' to quit.

Visit Quit's Thinking of Quitting, Deciding to Quit, Understanding Your Addiction, sections for ideas on what to think about before you make a firm decision to quit.

Dave Gibson on not being ready to quit
There's no one I know that says I'm going to smoke the rest of my life, I can't wait, just going to smoke until I'm dead.  Everyone says "of course I'm going to quit", you know, just how long you going to take.

I made all these rules for myself. The first rule was ‘OK, I'll keep my smokes for a year and then I'll quit, easy'.  So a year came around and I managed to break that rule and come up with some new other rule, like I think I said by the time I'm 25 (I'll quit). ‘At 25 I've still got plenty of time to get my health back and be young and fit and all that kind of stuff'. And 25 came around and I think by that stage I was a pretty serious smoker. I'd been smoking for 3-4 years, a pack a day. I think then basically it was like ‘fuck it, 30', you know. Give myself a lot of time.  ‘30 will be fine, There's no way I'd smoke after 30'. Cos the thing about smokers is every single smoker thinks they're going to quit, and they're going to quit probably relatively soon. I'm not going to quit now mind you, or I'm not going to quit in the near future but I'm going to definitely quit. So 30 went past and the guilt about smoking (got stonger) because I feel like I'm just slapping my good health in the face.  I'm starting to get quite desperate and really guilty. It's not a great thing for me.  I'm aware of it but I don't know how to get out of it.

Shavaughn Ruakere on readiness to quit
The worst thing is how I feel when I smoke.  I feel so bad every time without fail. I feel really disappointed in myself. I just think about what if I got lung cancer. I'm not even a proper smoker. I always feel so bad, but I still go and do it again so I really want to stop that. My friends who smoke are always like ‘yeah got to quit, yeah gotta stop doing this'.  Yeah, no one's happy I don't think that they're smoking.
Heck no.

What will make it easier for me to quit?

- make a really firm decision to quit, and set a quit date
- use nicotine products (patches, lozenges or gum). These double your chance of quitting successfully and are available from Quitline or your doctor/health professional
- accept that it probably won't be easy- smokefree home/environment
- avoiding smoking situations
- get help- stay busy
- quit with a friend
- know (and accept) that you might slip up, and that's ok (as long as you try again - the next attempt is more likely to be successful)
- keep a diary
- reward yourself for small steps
- notice how much better you feel, that you can taste again etc
- notice how you just don't need it
- know that you are helping other young people to not smoke just by being smokefree

Faye Smythe on quitting

You've got to make a decision because cutting down is just teasing yourself.

Bryce Casey on quitting
I always had good intentions of giving up. I think there's a big difference that I've realised with people that have given up and people that haven't. There's a difference between having an intention of giving up and actually just giving up.� I've notice that you've really just got to not want to smoke any more. Those people that try to give up and then start smoking when they're having a few drinks.� I don't think they really wanted to stop in the first place. You've just really got to know that you don't want to smoke any more and just not. �

Dave Gibson on quitting
Yeah, there was a few of my friends went along (to the Allen Carr Course) as well. So there was about 5-6 of us that went who had all tried before and different methods. Hypnosis and things like that. We were all feeling pretty desperate, you know.� I think that did help too.� Because we're all a crew and so far every single one of those people has been sweet. Not even one cigarette. �

Bryce Casey on quitting

I got good support from a flatmate. He gave up at the same time so that made it good, doing it together.� He's the only dude that I live with so all the usual times that we'd go out to have a cigarette we just don't. So that's helped.� That's probably been a big part of it.

How hard is it to quit?

If you're addicted to nicotine, quitting isn't easy. But you CAN do it. Recent studies show that most smokers wish they never started and want to quit. You're not alone. The good news is - heaps of addicted smokers have succeeded in quitting.

Ladi 6 on quitting

I read Alan Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking and I just gave up just like that. And that was it, all over. I think I gave up the first time for six months and this is from smoking for a good ten years. You realise it's a cycle and you've got to kind of keep on top of it. It's an addiction, you've got to remind yourself everyday to not do it

Scribe on quitting
If Dave Gibson can give up smoking anyone can.

Ladi 6 on quitting

When I first started thinking about giving up smoking I wanted to write a pros and cons list and I realised that there are no pros and that smoking is all cons there's nothing good about it. I couldn't stand that I was that person. That was how much I had let smoking take control of my life and I just really hated it. I thought okay this is over. Me and smoking are no longer friends, you're dumped.

Bryce Casey on quitting

I really do think if I gave up then anyone can because I really did smoke a lot. Well it's not like I smoked 100 a day or anything but I did smoke probably 15-20 a day. I was always a person who always smoked so you definitely can stop smoking.  People get used to smoking - you've just got to get used to not smoking.

Te Awanui Reeder on quitting

It's tough man, it's tough.  I know my mum tried to quit heaps of times. Heaps of times. And she did alright for a little bit and went back to it. So I know how hard it is because she's probably the strongest willed, toughest person that I know. I think it's a long term goal, it's a long term process and it's a life process.  You're trying to better your whole life, not just that moment.

How do I cope with cravings?

It's normal to get cravings in situations where you used to smoke. Remember every craving only lasts a few minutes - the feeling will go away. Quit recommends:

- Delay acting on the urge to smoke.
- Deep breathe.
- Drink water.
- Do something else.

See Quit's Staying Quit page for some useful advice on how to ensure you are aware of (and can plan for) situations where it might take an extra effort to stay smokefree.

J Williams on cravings

Yep I have craved a smoke when I see my boys having a cigarette, I do crave it. But I think of tomorrow, how is that going to help having a smoke, how is that going to fix things. I think of it in the long run, and of my health, so I just think no.

Jono Pryor on cravings

I think you just need to take small steps like, ‘Okay, I'll get through this day, three days, a week, three weeks' - and I think that's hopefully how I'll do it and do it successfully.

Piri Weepu on cravings

I think it's better if someone takes your mind off something. It's a lot easier that way, you're not thinking about it the whole time. I think it's pretty important to support your friends, have a chat to them, take their mind off wanting a cigarette.

Dave Gibson on cravings
Imagine if a nicotine craving was a smack in the face, like bang you know. That would actually hurt more than what the nicotine cravings are, okay. But if someone said to me ‘Dave I'm going to hit you in the face 12 times and then you'll be free from smoking', you'd probably go ‘ok I'll do it'. I'm pretty sure it's a fact or whatever that nicotine comes in and out of the body relatively quickly. I knew that after two days of that I'd be free (and it's not as bad as a smack in the face). In about a week I was starting to act normally and stop thinking about cigarettes.  Not stop thinking about them, sorry, because I did still think about them for longer than a week probably, because I'd been doing it for 12 years. You've got to understand that all a smoker does all day is get that same feeling and then try and relieve it with a cigarette and that nicotine pang and relieve it with a cigarette.  I was like ‘yeah cool, two days, we'll do it'. And I don't really think it was a matter of me being tough or will power or anything but it was being psychologically prepped. 

Bryce Casey on cravings
No I don't so much get any cravings. With those first few times I tried to give up I did. I would think ‘oh yeah I want one now'. But now since I've stopped I really don't have any craving for it any more. 

Shavaughn Ruakere on cravings
A guy I work with (he's just quit, he's on the eight week mark) just before I came here I said to him, ‘are you feeling the cravings?' and he said ‘do you know what, nah, not at all'. So yeah, bro, eight weeks.

I think I'm afraid of life without smoking. Is that normal?

Yes. When something (like smoking) is such a big part of your life it can be scary to imagine life without it. But try to remember back to when you were smokefree, and how you survived just fine without smoking.

Dave Gibson on the fear of quitting

I presume most smokers have that thing in the back of their head going ‘I want to quit but I'm really fearful of quitting'.  I was also very fearful about the day that I stopped because you forget that life is great without cigarettes.

Bryce Casey on the fear of quitting
I thought that I was going to be worried if I gave up. I thought I was going to have heaps of times where I would be thinking ‘what am I going to do at all the usual times that you have ciggies?'. Then I realised after reading that (Allen Carr) book that you just don't need them.  The fear sort of goes once you're stopped.

Is it better to get help or can I do it on my own?

It's more likely that you'll quit for good faster if you get help. You may still have to try more than once, but it's good to feel that you have support.  Using nicotine patches and gum can double your chances of a successful quit attempt.

Young Sid on getting help to quit

Straight up, you can use all the help you can get to help you quit that habit you know what I mean? All the help you can get is good

Richard Kahui on getting help to quit

If you are trying to quit use as much of the services that can help you, you know like Quitline, people, your family, get as much support around you as you can. Cause we all know it's a big thing to try, so the more support and help you can get the better.

Te Awanui Reeder on getting help to quit
I'd tell people to be patient. Work at it. Ask for help if they need it. And there's the patches right, which are subsidised by the Government which is awesome.  People say chewing gum. I think listening to Nesian Mystik albums helps. All of them.

How will I cope without cigarettes when I'm stressed?

It's a myth. Smoking doesn't actually relieve stress. It does the opposite - it speeds up your heartbeat. We're led to believe smoking helps stress from watching movies and TV shows. And the tobacco industry wants to keep the myth alive. You may think you need a cigarette when you feel stressed but that's just likely to be because you associate smoking with stress relief. You'd be better off working out another way to manage your stress - go for a walk, call a friend, listen to some music etc.

Will I gain weight?

Not necessarily. Some people do, but it's often because they replace smoking with eating. So if you plan to keep busy with other things when you'd usually be having a cigarette, and stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan, you should be sweet.

Quit suggests replacing the smoking with:
- clean your teeth
- drink water
- eat a piece of fruit
- go for a walk
- phone a friend
- do the dishes

See Quit's Resources page for more info on staying quit.

 

TEST

Why should I quit? What's in it for me?

- have more energy
- look better - less wrinkles, stained fingers, cat's bum lips...
- have more money for other things
- be better company (especially for my non-smoking friends/family)
- lose that cough
- stay warmer in the winter
- be able to taste my food again
- do something positive for yourself
- be a better role model for people you care about
- show the tobacco industry where to stick it
- have something to really be proud of - it's a huge achievement
- pay less insurance
- be alive an average of 14 years longer
- satisfaction - you know you want to (most smokers do)

Dave Gibson on the benefits of being smokefree
I've recently quit and the funny thing is the freedom that I felt from quitting as opposed to a lacking or a wanting.  I look at a smoker now and I don't feel like condemnation on them or wish I was them. I actually feel like man I'm glad that I'm free from that.  I feel great.  I just felt heavy and lethargic and that has left me and that's one thing I have noticed substantially.  I feel clear, I get things done quicker, because it's also quite time consuming smoking.  You spend a lot of time smoking. It's not very productive.  

Bryce Casey on the benefits of being smokefree

I can probably taste food now which they say happened but I didn't really believe it but you can.  I don't wake up with a whole lot of shit in my mouth in the morning which is what I used to. I used to try and put the blame on something else but clearly it was that.  What else?  I've been doing a bit more fitness which is probably a good thing as well. Yeah, more energy. And my clothes don't smell too, that's a good thing.  Yeah, I'm definitely stoked that I've given up this year.  At the start of the year I didn't think I've would've given up, so to be now 4-5 months into it is pretty awesome.

Kimberley Crossman on damage to her looks from smoking
The make up artists on Shortland Street have told me that they can pick a smoker's skin straight away from premature aging and unhydrated skin.