There is no safe level of cigarette use and smoking even a small amount can cause serious damage.

This is why cutting down on how much you smoke has little or no health benefits, unlike quitting entirely. Cutting down can, however, be a good starting point on your journey to giving up cigarettes completely. Setting a quit date after which you won’t smoke at all and steadily reducing the number of cigarettes you have over six weeks or less until you reach that date can help build willpower and motivation.

If you are cutting down to quit, try;

  • setting goals – plan in advance how you will reduce your cigarettes each day until your quit date
  • steadily continue to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke
  • use nicotine replacement therapies – these can help to manage your cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • change your routine – if you usually smoke at certain times or places, try to avoid those triggers

If you are considering cutting down as a first step to quitting completely, be aware that for some people it can be counterproductive and can require more commitment and discipline than simply stopping. You will still experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but without seeing the immediate health and financial benefits of giving up cigarettes entirely.

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