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Why should I quit?

Mob who have stopped smoking or vaping yarn about the important reasons you wanna give up. You may have tried to stop before, maybe many times. Remind yourself why you want to quit. What are you looking forward to when you quit?

Reasons to quit

Feel free and strong

Taking back control feels deadly. You’ll be free from the hassles of smoking or vaping. When you quit, you will have more confidence to take on other challenges in your life.

Protect your mob

When you smoke, the people around you inhale the smoke you breathe out and the smoke from the burning cigarette. It's called secondhand smoke and it’s very harmful, especially to babies and children. Vapes and their aerosol also contain harmful chemicals. This means when you vape, the people around you are also exposed to the chemicals in the vape aerosol. Quitting helps protect your mob from secondhand smoke and vape aerosol. When you give up the smokes or vapes, young mob are also less likely to take up smoking or vaping in the future.

When you quit smoking

More money

Want an extra $8,000 a year? If you smoke 11 cigarettes a day, that’s how much you’d save if you quit! Use our cost calculator to work out how much you could save – it’s a powerful motivator.

How much could I save?

Feel healthier

As soon as you quit, your body begins to heal, and your health starts to improve:

Within 6 hours

Your heart rate slows, and your blood pressure becomes more stable.

Within a day

The level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles. Your fingertips become warmer and your hands steadier.

Within a week

Your sense of taste and smell may improve. You have higher levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C in your blood.

Within 3 months

You’re coughing and wheezing less. Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is recovering. Your immune system is getting stronger, so your body is better at fighting infection.

Within 6 months

You are less likely to be coughing up phlegm. You're likely to feel less stressed than when you were smoking.

After 1 year

Your lungs are now healthier, and you’ll be breathing easier than if you’d kept smoking.

Within 5 years

There is a large drop in your risk of stroke and this risk will continue to gradually decrease over time.

For women, the risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked.

After 10 to 15 years

Your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked.

Over time, your risk of cancer, lung disease, and many other serious diseases will be much lower than if you keep smoking.

How fast and how well your body recovers can depend on the number of cigarettes you normally smoke and how long you’ve been smoking, and whether you already have a smoking-related disease.

Quitting smoking also helps you better manage or recover from illness:

  • If you have heart disease, giving up the smokes lowers your risk of having a heart attack.
  • If you have an illness such as cancer, stopping smoking can mean a better response to treatment and can give you a better chance of recovery. 

When you quit vaping

You’re no longer exposed to the harmful chemicals in vapes. Many vapes contain poisonous chemicals such as those in biofuel, paint thinner and bug killer. In fact, more than 200 different chemicals have been found in e-liquids (vape liquids). Some of these include chemicals that are known causes of cancer, heart disease or lung disease.

Aunty Hazel's story

"I had never intended to give up smoking but on the 11th February 2021, that all changed."

Aunty Hazel, Wotjobaluk Elder

Watch story

Quitting questions

I’m really sick of smoking and I just want to get rid of ‘em. What do I do?

Aboriginal Quitline (AQL) often helps people to use the STAR strategy when they’re preparing to quit smoking:

S = Set a quit date (or cut down)
T = Tell people that you’re quitting
A = Anticipate cravings
R = Remove tobacco products

Find out more about the STAR strategy

How can Aboriginal Quitline (AQL) help me?

AQL is a counselling and support service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to quit smoking or vaping. Our counsellors are Erica, Jamara and Syl - Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People who are committed to helping our mob quit smoking or vaping and be strong in health and wellbeing. We bring our ways and traditions of yarning into the counselling. Learn more about AQL.

How do I access Closing the Gap to get quit medications?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access some stop smoking medications through Closing the Gap. Closing the Gap provides medications for free, or at low prices. Speak with AQL, your local ACCHO or doctor about accessing Closing the Gap. Learn more about Closing the Gap.

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.

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Last updated February 2024

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