Toowoomba Friendly Dispensary pharmacist Leanne Buchbach shows the huge range of products designed to help smokers quit.
Toowoomba Friendly Dispensary pharmacist Leanne Buchbach shows the huge range of products designed to help smokers quit. Dave Noonan

Right time to quit the cigs

THE only New Year's resolution giving "lose weight" a run for its money is perhaps "give up smoking", and there are plenty of ways to do it.

It appears to be a case of "different strokes for different folks", with reformed smokers of all kinds extolling the virtues of how they quit.

For some it was hard as nails willpower, for others it might be patches and gum, while for some it's all about daily medications that reduce the cravings.

Here are some of the most popular products and methods with pros and cons on each:


Cold turkey: If you've never heard the term before, cold turkey is all about stopping on the spot and relying on nothing more than willpower and lifestyle changes.

Pros: No side effects other than nicotine withdrawal.

Cons: Will probably take a few attempts and you still have to deal with ingrained habits.


Champix and Zyban: Champix and Zyban are daily medications that basically reduce the smoking urge and help control withdrawal.

Pros: Both have high demonstrated success rates and contain no nicotine.

Cons: Possible side effects include nausea, headaches, digestive issues, weight gain, sleep problems and abnormal dreams.


Replacement therapy: Comes in chewing gum, nasal spray, mouth spray, inhalator, microtabs, lozenges and patches. You decrease the amount you use over time.

Pros: Easy to use. They can be used in a regular dosage and in response to cravings. Some are now available cheaply on the PBS.

Cons: Each product may cause irritation in the area it is used and they all contain nicotine.


Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy works by implanting the suggestion that a person doesn't want to smoke and strengthening their will to stop.

Pros: No medications and may be a good complementary therapy.

Cons: No demonstrated success rate as defined by research results.


Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves applying needles or lasers to the body. Toowoomba acupuncturist Louis Gordon said the biggest impediments to most methods working were confused cravings caused by dehydration, not nicotine withdrawal, so uses it with basic products.

Pros: No medication.

Cons: While individuals say they can demonstrate effectiveness, there is little official research.

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