Quit smoking Quit smoking

Tick quitting off your to-do list

If you've been thinking about quitting smoking, Amcal is here to help you turn "one day" into day 1 of your quit journey.

Don't wait for motivation to strike - with our Quit Smoking Consultation, you can count on our pharmacists to create a personalised quit smoking plan unique to you.

With any habit you want to change, having the right support helps make it possible. No matter where you are on your quit journey - whether it's day 1, day 300 or even if it just feels like Groundhog Day - an Amcal pharmacist at one of our 200 pharmacies Australia-wide is here to help.

Cross quitting off your to-do list. Ask your Amcal pharmacist for a Quit Smoking Consultation today.

Quit smoking help
Help with Quit smoking

Smoking in Australia

Smoking is still the single most preventable cause of sickness and death in Australia with 2.8 million Australian adults smoking every day (that's 11.6% of the population)*.

For more information about smoking cessation book a free Quit Smoking Consultation today

  • Free
  • Personalised
  • Takes around 10 minutes

What nicotine does to your body

The drug nicotine, found in tobacco, is what makes smoking addictive. Nicotine acts on the central pathways of the brain to trigger the release of feel-good hormones such as dopamine, glutamine and GABA, causing the addiction and cravings most smokers feel.

Over time, smoking increases the production of nicotine receptors in the brain to heighten the addiction effects. When you quit or reduce smoking, those receptors start to die off as the feel-good hormones drop off, causing unpleasant withdrawal effects. Getting over this hurdle is the first big step to quitting.

Effects of smoking

Nicotine can be just as addictive as alcohol or other drugs. In addition to nicotine, tobacco smoke contains cancer-causing agents (called carcinogens) which may increase your risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Mouth, tongue, throat, lung, kidney and stomach cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Premature ageing
  • Skin discolouration
  • Eye disease

Exposure to second hand smoke also increases the risk of certain cancers to non-smokers, even from inhaling someone else's tobacco smoke.(2)

Quitting doesn't mean giving up!

professional help with quit smoking

Reasons for quitting

Most people who quit smoking select one or two of the following five reasons as motivations to quit:

  • Wanting to improve their overall health
  • To save money
  • To help avoid future health issues
  • As a New Year's resolution
  • In response to concern from loved ones or health professionals

With any habit you want to change, having the right support helps make it possible. No matter where you are on your quit journey - whether it’s day 1, day 300 or even if it just feels like Groundhog Day - an Amcal pharmacist at one of our 200 pharmacies Australia-wide is here to help.

Quit smoking

Amcal can help you get started

The best way to quit smoking is to start with a thoughtful reflection on why you smoke to begin with. Identifying the driving reason for continued tobacco smoking can make it easier to quit. For example, you may smoke due to anxiety, habit, pleasure or during social activities.

Your Amcal pharmacist is a great and accessible source of advice and support on smoking cessation and the latest and most suitable quit smoking aids on the market.

Quit smoking in 3 steps with Amcal

  • JUST ASK AMCAL: Amcal's team of experts will chat with you to understand your current smoking habits, as well as establish your quit smoking goals.

  • ASSESS: The friendly team at Amcal will develop a quit smoking plan unique to you and discuss factors that may impact your quit smoking journey. For example, they may consider any current medications you are taking or health conditions you have. A referral to your GP may be recommended in some cases for further investigation.

  • ASSIST TO QUIT: Our team will work with you to set a planned quit date and advise on the best treatments. This usually involves combining fast-acting nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as nicotine gum, lozenges, or inhalers with a slow-acting nicotine replacement product such as a patch.Your Amcal pharmacist will also assist with lifestyle advice and coaching tools.

All nicotine replacement products have been shown to be effective to quit smoking, however, combinations of slow-release patches along with fast-acting gums, lozenges, and sprays to address breakthrough urges and cravings have been found to work the best. Your Amcal pharmacist is here to help find the right combination for you.

We'll help find the best Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for you

NRT products provide you with nicotine at much lower levels than in a cigarette and without the harmful tobacco smoke chemicals.

Quit smoking

Your Amcal team will advise on the right products for you and how to use them for the best results.

These may include:

  • Long-acting NRT products: A long-acting nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product such as a patch. Your pharmacist can advise which strength will suit you and how to apply it for best results.
  • Short-acting NRT products: Also referred to as quick nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine gum.
  • Lozenges: These are especially useful if you can't chew gum, for example if you have dentures or a dental implant.
  • Nicotine inhalers: These mimic the hand-to-mouth action of smoking and deliver a set dose of nicotine to help control cravings.

Frequently asked questions

The nicotine released from the NRT range of products acts on the nicotine receptors in the brain which release a feel-good chemical called dopamine. The NRT provides the nicotine without the harmful smoke from a cigarette, replacing the smoking habit while still providing the nicotine as you slowly wean off the habit.

The amount of nicotine in NRT is lower compared to cigarettes, so it is generally not addictive. Some people may rely on NRT for longer periods depending on how many years they had been smoking before quitting, but it is generally safer to use NRT than to smoke.

Many people on their quit smoking journey will invariably have an occasional cigarette while trying to break the habit, and this usually indicates their patch strength may be too weak. In this case you may need to discuss with your pharmacist some fast-acting NRT options such as an inhaler, spray, gum or lozenge. If you have returned to your previous smoking habit, it is safe to continue wearing a patch at the same time to help manage with any nicotine withdrawal symptoms which typically set in within 24 hours of your last cigarette.

Some mild side effects may be experienced by patients who may be sensitive to the ingredients, but serious side effects are uncommon. In many cases, these mild side effects don’t last long and usually result from incorrect use of NRT. For example it’s important to park your gum between the cheek and gums and let it sit for a while rather than sucking or chewing too much.

This will increase nicotine absorption and reduce the risk of upsetting your stomach. With the NRT spray it’s important to spray under your tongue rather than the back of the throat which may irritate and cause coughing. Patches should be applied to clean, dry, hairless skin of the thigh, arm, chest or hip and rotated to different parts of the body to minimise irritation. If you are unsure, please discuss with your Amcal pharmacist who is happy to help.

When you stop smoking, your taste buds and sense of smell will return to normal, and because of this you may crave more food more often, especially sugary and fatty foods. Some people who quit smoking find the hand-to-mouth habit the most difficult to break and often replace the cigarette with snacks to address the fidgeting they experience. Your helpful team at Amcal can help provide some dietary advice to help you make healthy food choices.

You may also want to speak to your Amcal pharmacist about supplements that may help combat sugar cravings or boost your immunity while you quit.

In addition to any medications, your team at Amcal may be able to suggest some calming techniques or lifestyle tips to help support your goal to quit.

If you have returned to smoking and feel that NRT products are not helpful, it may be time to discuss other options with your doctor who may prescribe medication that may be more suitable.

We've been helping quitters for over 80 years

90% of people who embark on their quit smoking journey will try up to ten attempts before they're successful. Remember, it is never too late to quit and Amcal is here to help you increase your odds.

Quitting isn't easy, that's why Amcal is here to help! In a free Quit Smoking Consultation your Amcal pharmacist will create a personalised quit plan in line with your unique goals and provide advice on management strategies, medications and products that may help you achieve a healthier, tobacco-free and smoke-free life.

You are in safe hands at Amcal, and if you have any questions regarding nicotine replacement products and quit smoking services, visit your local Amcal pharmacy today.

Book a free Quit Smoking Consultation today

Australia’s largest pharmacy network and home to expert health advice and service.

* National Drug Strategy Household Survey Report 2019

(2) https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco