Stop-smoking medication is recommended for all smokers who are dependent on nicotine (about 80% of smokers).
You are likely to be addicted if you answer yes to any of the following:
Do you smoke within 30 minutes of waking up?
Do you smoke at least ten cigarettes a day?
Do you get cravings or withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit?
The 3 types of medication available in Australia to help you quit smoking are:
Nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches, mouth spray, lozenges, gum, inhalator and mouth strips)
Champix tablets (varenicline)
Zyban tablets (bupropion)
The choice of medication depends on your personal preferences, other health conditions, cost and previous experiences. Some people will respond to one medication and not the others, so if a treatment has worked previously without side-effects, it is usually the first choice if you need to try again.
Medications approximately double your chances of quitting successfully. A course of treatment is usually 8-12 weeks, but sometimes longer courses are needed.
Medications work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms after you quit. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, frustration, feeling angry, sleep problems, depressed mood, feeling anxious, difficulty in concentrating and restlessness. Medication does not usually stop all withdrawal symptoms.
Medications are not magic bullets! They work best if you are motivated and when combined with counselling and support from a health professional.
Last Modified: 22-03-2014