Vicki’s story: you don’t need to be scared of getting sick from stopping smoking – this can often be just a sign of the body recovering1

Vicki wants to stop smoking, but she is worried about getting sick. She talks to GP Dr Hester Wilson about her concerns, and the health benefits of stopping smoking.

Smoking has been a big part of Vicki’s life; as she explains it to Dr Hester Wilson: “… [stopping smoking] would be like me saying to a vegetarian ‘you can’t eat vegetables’”

Vicki’s main concern is that she’s heard that some people get sick when they stop smoking. And, while some people may develop a cough and a sore throat when they stop smoking, these symptoms are usually transient.2,3

Some of these symptoms (e.g. cough and an increased mucus production) are thought to be a sign that your body is clearing your airways.4

Furthermore, the health benefits of stopping smoking are rapid, some occurring within weeks of giving up cigarettes. These include improvements in lung function and fewer respiratory infections.3

Other benefits, such as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, can last a lifetime.3,5

To learn more about the benefits of stopping smoking, read about some of the Amazing things that happen when you quit smoking.

Dr Wilson tells Vicki “It is a tricky thing sometimes for people to get to the point where they go ‘this thing that has been a big part of my life, I’ve just got to not ever look at it or do it’ – that feels too big, too final”. But as Dr Wilson goes on to explain “… just give it a try for a little while… see how it goes…”.

A big part of stopping smoking is preparing yourself for the change of becoming an ex-smoker. Learn more about how to get ready to stop smoking with advice from behavioural expert Sonia Friedrich; read about Preparing yourself for change.

If you want to stop smoking like Vicki, but you’re worried about taking the first step, visit your doctor today! 

Your doctor can help answer some of your questions about stopping smoking, and help you come up with an approach to suit your situation. Your GP may also help you come up with strategies for coping with cravings and relapse prevention.5

Start a quit chat with your doctor today!

©Pfizer 2020. Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229. Sydney, Australia. PP-CHM-AUS-1035 02/20

1. Ussher M, et alTob Control 2003; 12(1): 86-8. 

2. Hughes JR. Nicotine Tob Res 2007; 9(3): 315-27. 

3. West R and Shiffman S. Fast Facts: Smoking Cessation 2nd Edition. Oxford UK: Health Press Limited; 2007. 

4. Warner DO, et al. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2007; 9(11): 1207-12

5. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals. 2nd edn. East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP, 2019.