Many people want to quit, but have reasons they think they can’t. Here are some common blocks and other ways of thinking about these things.

Smoking’s like a friend - I can’t cope without it.

Are you sure?

  • Smoking is a ‘friend’ that kills you.
  • You could look for different ways to cope with stress.
  • You could knock back your cravings with nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.
  • Many people who quit say they feel a huge sense of freedom afterwards. 

I enjoy smoking.

Do you really?

  • Most smokers can’t actually say why they enjoy smoking. Many also feel they would be happier if they quit.
  • Nicotine is such an addictive substance, it tricks your brain into thinking you want to smoke.
  • The good news is that you can re-train your brain so you don’t feel like smoking any more.

It’s my life and my choice.


  • With any choice, it’s good to weigh up pros and cons. Try listing yours.
  • For example, you can choose to smoke or to have better health, more money and be a great example for friends and family.

I’m harming only myself.

Not true!

  • Secondhand smoke contains every poisonous chemical that smokers inhale.
  • Secondhand smoke kills around 350 New Zealanders every year.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, coughs and ear infections.

I’ll put on weight if I quit. 

Not necessarily.

  • Cigarettes are deliberately sweetened – that’s why some quitters get sugar cravings.
  • Reach for sugar-free gum, carrot and celery sticks or fruit.
  • If you do put on some weight, research shows you are likely to lose it again when your body adjusts to you not smoking.
  • Quitting means you’ll feel fitter and more ready for physical activity. 

I’ve tried quitting - it’s too hard. 


  • Most people try more than once before they succeed. Starting to smoke again doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you should give up trying.
  • When you begin any new challenge, you learn from mistakes and keep going.
  • Believe in yourself. You’ve done other hard things and succeeded.

All my friends/family smoke.


  • While you may feel you’ll be the odd one out, smoking isn’t what makes you feel close to the people you like – or why people like you.
  • Once you quit, and the cravings pass, you will be able to enjoy friends and family as you did before – even if some of them are smoking.

If you'd like more information about the reasons to quit, check out our Time to Quit booklet. It's full of great information that could help you make the decision to quit for good.