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Some quitting methods are less well researched so it is hard to know how much they help. Others have been researched and found to have little or no benefit. Below you'll find information on some of these methods and some useful questions to ask when considering them.

Here are a few useful questions to ask when considering an alternative method:

  • Does this method offer realistic success rates?
    • How many people succeed in quitting for at least 6 months? Be very cautious if the number claimed is more than 50%. (Remember, most people try to quit a number of times before they quit for good. A 50% success rate for people still quit at 6 months is unlikely for any quitting method.)
  • Is the support offered by a well-known, respected organisation?
  • Does the coach have special training to help people quit smoking?
  • Do you understand what you will be doing?
  • Is the number of sessions too high or too low?
    • Be wary of anyone claiming high levels of success in less than four sessions. Most people are not likely to benefit from more than 10 sessions.
  • Do you have to do any work?
    • A good coach will expect that you will have to share the work – be cautious if there is a claim that you can quit without having to do anything!
  • Is it costly?
    • The more you pay, the more you need to check the credibility of the service. Some of the best services available, such as Quitline, are free.


The aim of hypnotherapy for supporting quitting is to put suggestions into your non-conscious mind to weaken the desire to smoke. Research indicates that hypnotism on its own has not been shown to be of any benefit. Some hypnotherapy programs, though, could contain many of the elements of effective coaching so in that sense, it may help. So far this field has been poorly studied and better research is needed.


There is no clear evidence to support the use of acupuncture or related treatments - such as acupressure, laser therapy and electro stimulation - as a quitting aid, by themselves. Like hypnotherapy, some acupuncture treatments may contain elements of effective coaching. Again, better research is needed.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)

In Australia, electronic cigarettes have not been assessed for quality or safety so it is not known if they are safe to use.  It has also not been established that electronic cigarettes help people to quit smoking.  The purchase, possession or use of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine is currently unlawful under the Tasmanian Poisons Act.

Quit Tasmania, part of Cancer Council Tasmania, endorses Cancer Council Australia’s position statement on electronic cigarettes (available here).

Switching to lower nicotine and tar

Smokers of weaker cigarettes end up inhaling the same amounts of tar and nicotine as from the so called “full strength” varieties and have the same risk of smoking-related diseases. There is no evidence that switching to weaker tasting cigarettes reduces addiction or helps smokers quit.