Quit Smoking

The Coast Quit smoking cessation programme is provided by trained smoking cessation staff at your medical centre or local pharmacy. 

 It is based on two active ingredients: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches, gum or lozenges, to reduce the withdrawl effects from stopping smoking; and one-to-one support sessions for several weeks, while you make the lifestyle change from smoker to ex-smoker.

Most people find that it takes them a while to get over their desire for a cigarette.  This is normal, and will soon fade away, especially when you start to feel the benefits from not sucking poisionous smoke into your lungs every day!

Your Coast Quit support person is there to offer advice and encouragement, to help you keep on track during the first few weeks.

Smokefree Pregnancy Incentives Programme

Are you pregnant (less than 28 weeks) and wanting help to stop smoking?

Have you heard of the Smokefree Pregnancy Incentives programme?

This 12-week programme provides you with ongoing support to quit and NRT (if needed) PLUS New World vouchers for every week you stay smokefree. You can gain smokefree rewards of up to $300 while on this programme – and a further New World voucher if you are smokefree two weeks after baby is born.

For more information, contact any one of the following people:

Ann McDonald (Greymouth and Hokitika)  03  769 7488

Jeanette Thomas (Buller District)  03 788 9238

NRT: what type and what dose to use.

NRT comes in one longer-acting form, which is the 24 hour skin patch, and several shorter-acting forms, which are the gum, lozenges, inhalator and mouth spray.

The patches come in three strengths; the gum and lozenges come in two strengths; and the inhalator and mouth spray in one strength.

Some people use just the one product at a time – either a longer-acting patch (one a day) or one of the shorter-acting products (several times a day). Others use a combination of the patch plus gum or lozenges or the inhalator.  The choice will depend on how strongly addicted you are, and your personal preference (e.g. some people can’t chew gum; others don’t like the mouth-feel or taste of the lozenges, etc).

Recommendation for moderate – heavy smokers.  If you have your first cigarette within an hour of waking, and/or smoke 10 or more per day, the recommendation is to start on a 21mg (higher dose) patch, and also use either lozenges or gum or the inhalator during the day. These shorter-acting products can be used hourly throughout the day – not just when you feel a craving (they take longer to act than a cigarette).

Having a choice of two strengths means if you feel that the dose is too strong (you might feel some nausea, or a faster heart beat) you can switch to a lower strength or space out your use of the gum/lozenge/inhalator.

Recommendation for light smokers. If you have your first cigarette more than an hour after waking, and/or smoke fewer than 10 per day, the recommendation is for the lower-strength oral products (gum/lozenge/inhalator), starting before you would normally have your first cigarette. These can be used on their own or in combination with a 14mg patch.

The Mouth Spray (“Quick Mist”) is the most concentrated form of NRT, and can give the fastest relief from nicotine withdrawal, but the effect also wears off more quickly.

If you are using NRT to help you quit smoking (not just to manage your need to smoke while at work), you can cut down the dose and the amount of NRT over a period of several weeks as the cravings for a smoke fade away. It is considered safe and often helpful to keep using NRT for 3 to 6 months after stopping smoking, to help prevent a relapse (e.g. if under stress, or on an impulse).

How to use NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy)

Patches          24-hour patches come in three strengths:    21mg, 14mg & 7mg

Once the correct dose is advised and prescribed:

  • The patch is applied to a clean, dry hairless area of skin and removed at the end of the day (16 hours) or replaced the next day (24 hours).
  • Allow skin to dry for 10 minutes after showering before applying patch.
  • It is advisable to change sites on a daily basis e.g. from left upper arm to right upper arm, to avoid skin irritation.
  • If sleep disturbance occurs, take the patch off at night.
  • Patches should be used for at least 8 weeks and can also be used together with other NRT choices.
  • Although it is not necessary to wean off the patches, some people may wean down by reducing the dose.

 Lozenges  Come in two strengths: 1mg & 2mg

  • Suck until taste becomes strong.
  • Park between the cheek and gum.
  • Suck again when taste has faded.
  • Park again and continue as above until lozenge is finished.
  • When parking the lozenge it is important to use both right and  left cheeks.
  • Avoid drinking fluids when using the lozenge. 


  • Put a cartridge into the inhalator ( see instructions on the packet)
  • Puff on the inhalator for 20 minutes  each hour (or what suits you) and replace  the cartridge every 3-4 hours.
  • If you are using less than this the cartridge will last longer.
  • In cold weather it is advisable to  keep the inhalator warm so the nicotine vapour can be released.


Gum Comes in two strengths: 4mg & 2mg

  • Chew each piece slowly to release the nicotine.
  • When you taste a hot peppery flavour, park the gum.
  • Park the gum between cheek and gums to allow nicotine absorption.
  • After a few minutes the gum can be chewed again, then parked.
  • This is to be repeated for twenty to thirty minutes.
  • When parking the gum it is important to use both right and left cheeks.
  • Use only one piece of gum at a time
  • Please dispose of used gum with care.
  • Avoid drinking fluids when using the gum.

To deal with cravings, remember the 4Ds:

DELAY  Pause, don't open a pack or light up a cigarette. After a few minutes,the urge to smoke will pass.

DEEP BREATHE Take a long,slow breath in, and then breathe out slowly. Repeat three times.

DO SOMETHING ELSE Take your mind off smoking by taking action - put on music; go for a walk; ring a friend; keep your hands busy.

DRINK WATER Sip water slowly, holding it in your mouth for a few moments to enjoy the taste and freshness.


  • Nicotine replacement therapy is extremely safe.
  • It reduces the severity of withdrawl symptoms.
  • It doubles your chances of long-term abstinence if you do decide to quit.

        0800 778 778      www.quit.org.nz              www.facebook.com/quitlinenz