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Double your chances of quitting with Quitline

Quitline is a government-funded service operated by Cancer Council SA, with the sole goal of providing the support, strategies and information to empower individuals to quit smoking. Trained Quitline counsellors are available either over the phone on 13 7848, or via the Quitline webchat function.

Quitline counsellors adopt a personalised approach to quitting, as everyone’s quitting journey is likely to differ. By speaking one-on-one with a trained counsellor, you’ll be able to talk through your past attempts, known triggers, and discuss possible ways to quit, as well as receiving progress calls along the way.

Whether you’re thinking of quitting, or you’re ready to give up smoking today, you can reach out to Quitline 13 7848 or Quitline webchat to discuss your next steps.

Visit Quitline 13 7848

Tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of carcinogens, or chemicals that are known to cause cancer. Most people know that it’s the major cause of lung cancer. Up to 90 per cent of all lung cancers in men, and 65 per cent of lung cancers in women, are attributed to smoking. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time spent as a smoker and amount of cigarettes smoked.

But it’s not just lung cancer that’s a higher risk—there are 16 different cancers that can be caused by smoking tobacco.

People quit for many reasons. Those who have successfully quit say that knowing your reasons is an important step, and can help you get through the tough times.

Some commonly reported reasons to quit include:

  • Feeling healthier—tobacco smoke increases your risk of getting sick, as well as heart and lung diseases and diabetes, and can block oxygen from travelling around your body, leading to decreased physical fitness and shortness of breath.
  • More money—smoking can be an expensive habit, with standard packs costing upwards of $25. Pack-a-day smokers are looking at over $9,000 per year. To find out exactly how much money you will save by quitting smoking, view the Quitline Cost Calculator.
  • Fewer hassles―many smokers find that life is simpler without always having to think about their next cigarette break, or constantly cleaning their car, clothes and stained teeth.
  • Less stress―it’s a myth that smoking relieves stress beyond the short-term. In most cases, ex-smokers report feeling far less stressed after they’ve quit.
  • More control—it’s an empowering feeling to overcome addiction, and feel in charge of your behaviours.

Quitting smoking is a process that is different for everyone, but those thinking of quitting can follow three simple steps to get started.

1. Understand why you smoke

There are three common reasons why people smoke.

  • Addiction―you do it to satisfy your body’s craving for nicotine.
  • Emotion―you do it to relieve stress, to console yourself if you’re upset, or as a reward when you’re happy.
  • Habit―certain situations can trigger you to think about smoking, like seeing your friends who smoke, or having a cup of coffee.

Knowing when and why you smoke can help you prepare for withdrawals, anticipate cravings and avoid known triggers.

2. Make a plan

Making a quitting plan involves looking at all of the different ways to quit that are available, and working out which strategy, or which combination of strategies could be best for you. Quitline counsellors are able to help you through this process.

3. Get support

You don’t have to go it alone. And in fact, your chances of quitting successfully are doubled when you reach out to a support service like Quitline. You might also like to speak with your family and friends about your decision and how they can help, as well as your GP and pharmacist.

Visit to Quitline website and use the slider buttons to assess how much money you spend on smoking and how much money you have spent over the years. On the right hand side you can see how much smoking costs you weekly, over a year and how much money you have spent over the time you have been smoking.

Quitline cost calculator

Think of what else you might like to spend this money on if you quit smoking. You might like to reward yourself by spending this money on something special once you have quit smoking.

Cancer Council SA works to reduce smoking and smoking-related cancer in the community. Recent achievements include successfully advocating for the implementation of a smoking ban in alfresco dining areas, smoke free zones around playgrounds and public transport stops in South Australia and supporting the implementation of plain packaging and ongoing tax increases nationally.

This webpage was last reviewed and updated in January 2020.