Quit Victoria - Main Menu Quitline Logo Request a call back

What is the process?

You can use the nicotine inhalator, lozenges, mouth spray or gum while cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke before stopping completely. This method is recommended for smokers who are not ready or unable to quit. If you are willing and able to suddenly stop completely, that method has a higher success rate for stopping smoking.

There are four steps:

  1. Over the first six weeks, you cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke per day by half. You do this by replacing cigarettes with either the nicotine gum, lozenge, mouth spray or the inhalator. Do not use more than the maximum number of doses per day stated on the nicotine replacement product pack.
  2. Somewhere between six weeks to six months (preferably as soon as possible), you stop smoking cigarettes altogether. If you haven’t stopped smoking by six months you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  3. After you stop smoking completely, you continue to use the gum, lozenge, mouth spray or the inhalator in the same manner as people who have just stopped smoking suddenly. This means using one dose of your nicotine product every one-to-two hours for 12 weeks using the gum and inhalator, and for six weeks using the lozenge. Over another few weeks you gradually reduce the number of doses per day and then stop use. Read the instructions on the pack or the Consumer Medicine Information that comes with your product for details.
  4. By 12 months, you should have stopped using your chosen nicotine replacement product.

Remember: the Quitline can offer you advice on cutting down and provide support when you want to stop completely.

The aim of this method is to stop smoking completely. There is no clear evidence that simply cutting down, without actually quitting, has any health benefits in the long term.