Frequently Asked Questions
about quitting
and the proven Smokenders Program

What is Smokenders?

Smokenders was founded in 1969 in the US and started in Australia in 1981. Since its inception, over 1 million people throughout the world have completed the Smokenders program — this includes over 40,000 Australians! Smokenders is widely recognised as the most successful quit smoking program in the world.

Do you use drugs or medical techniques?

No. We do not dispense any drugs or medical advice. The program is completely natural.

Do you use hypnosis or acupuncture?

No. The smoking habit is too complex for what we regard as simplistic 'quick-fix' cures. The program is hands-on practical and therefore does not require the use of any outside stimulus.

Are there any withdrawals?

No. The nicotine is weaned from participants’ systems before they even stop smoking. Various weaning techniques are used to ensure there are no withdrawals during or after the stop-smoking process.

Do you use scare tactics?

No. Not only do we believe these are an insult to one’s intelligence but we have found that these tactics simply do not work. A smoker already knows what harm smoking is doing to them.
(NOTE: Governments have been using scare tactics for years to make people quit smoking with little or no effect. A decade ago 25% of the Australian adult population was smoking. Today about 20% of the population still smoke.)

Do I need willpower?

No. Willpower is not needed to quit smoking because the smoker will be dealing with their habit (and addiction) before they even stop smoking.

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Quitting smoking can be harder than getting off heroin! The reason is because smoking is much more than an addiction. People smoke in all kinds of different situations: For example after a meal, in the car, on the phone, with a coffee or alcoholic drink, when receiving bad (or good) news, the car won't start, the kids are yelling, being late, feeling bored or lonely, being upset — the list goes on and on. Conversely, a heroin user will only use their drug when the level of the drug is lowered in their blood.

We address all the issues of the smoking habit:

PHYSICAL: Nicotine is addictive

PSYCHOLOGICAL: Dealing with ‘triggers’ such as a cigarette after a cup of coffee, after a meal, on the phone, in the car etc.

EMOTIONAL: Emotional and stressful situations such as feeling upset, angry, disappointed, worried, lonely, anxious etc.

SOCIAL: Smoking during a night out, following an alcoholic drink, lighting up when other smokers light up etc.

How does Smokenders work?

Briefly, Smokenders is a practical and hands-on program to quit smoking whereby the smoker identifies and deals with all the issues pertaining to their particular habit — while they are still smoking or using the patch. The ‘process’ allows for the participant to keep smoking up to the fifth weekly session. During this period the smoker is dealing with all aspects of their habit, as well as being weaned off the addictive nicotine drug. They learn various quitting techniques and set specific goals for their 'cut-off day'. So, when 'cut-off day' arrives, they are prepared physically, psychologically and emotionally to quit smoking — for good!

Following cut-off, there are two more weekly sessions for reinforcement. This is an important part of the program, as the smoker needs to be prepared to deal with life issues as a non-smoker. Furthermore, a full long term support network is available.

Finally, it’s important to realise that Smokenders is a smoker-friendly and supportive program. In fact, many participants have commented about how interesting, fun and effective the program is. If the program was dull, boring or uncomfortable, people would not persevere and successfully quit smoking!

How many sessions are there?

Smokenders consists of seven weekly sessions with each one lasting just under two hours.

Is it group therapy?

No. Nobody is ever asked to ‘confess’ or made to feel embarrassed. In fact, participants don’t have to say a single word!

Will I gain weight?

The reason that so many people gain weight when they quit smoking is because they substitute food for their cigarettes. Did you know that every time a smoker has a cigarette they have about 10 puffs? This means that they touch their mouth about 10 times per cigarette. So if a smoker was smoking 30 per day, they would be touching their mouth about 300 times per day. That's over 100,000 times per year!

Unless a smoker deals with this ‘hand-to-mouth’ routine, how can they possibly expect their mouth or hands not to miss all this attention?

Smokenders has effective weight control guidelines built in, so weight gain can be avoided. In fact the guidelines are so effective that some participants even lose weight by following them.

Can I use the nicotine patch or gum?

Yes. Some Smokenders participants choose to use the nicotine patch or gum during the program. However, participants looking to use nicotine substitutes should be very careful as to the level they start with. One should calculate how much nicotine or tar one is presently putting into their system (multiply the number of cigarettes by the nicotine/tar level) and then buy the appropriate patch or gum. Pharmacists should know about this.

Although participants are most welcome to use them in the program, most people who partake in Smokenders choose not to use the patch or gum. Whilst patches and gum are only nicotine substitutes, Smokenders takes care of the entire habit as well as the addiction.

What is the format, overview and objectives of the Home Quit-Kit?

Session 1

  • Instil and boost confidence that quitting smoking is achievable, despite previous setbacks.
  • Create the right frame of mind, commitment and motivation necessary for success.
  • Develop an understanding of the smoking habit so that all levels of the habit can be addressed:  physical, psychological, social, emotional and cultural.
  • Explore reasons for smoking and bust old myths that build up over years of smoking (e.g. “smoking gives me a lift”, “relieves boredom” etc).
  • Focus on personal reasons to quit, personal attributes and talents, and life goals.
  • Address the various fears about quitting smoking.
  • Deal with the hand-to-mouth routine so weight gain is minimized and oral gratification is achieved.
  • Offer the opportunity to ring the Help-Line for support at any stage during the program or afterwards.
  • Determine the Cut-Off Day as the goal to work towards.
  • Learn how to chart progress in such a way as to identify and deal with smoking issues.
  • Introduce special letter that can be handed to non-smokers and/or reformed smokers who might sabotage the smoker’s efforts to be free from smoking.
  • Introduce special information and instruction for pipe smokers, smokeless tobacco chewers, nicotine gum users and patch users.
  • Introduce weekly Action Steps for gaining control and understanding of the habit (at a physical, psychological, social, emotional and cultural level), including introduction of the weekly “Pack-Strap” for tabulating progress, and begin the process of weaning the smoker slowly off nicotine.

NOTE: Current Australian legislation restricts cigarette manufacturers from divulging nicotine levels in cigarettes. Despite this, Smokenders has been able to obtain information to assist smokers with the weaning process of removing nicotine from their system.

Session 2

  • Evaluate progress since the last session.
  • Explore and create the value of a positive attitude in the quitting process.
  • Understand the impact of stress on smoking and begin to learn steps to combat it.
  • Instil an understanding that smoking doesn’t make anything better or solve problems.
  • Explore self-pity as an insidious emotional trigger and learn tools to overcome it. 
  • Discover the importance of correct breathing and repatterning techniques as great weapons against the habit.
  • Continue weekly Action Steps for gaining control and understanding the habit (at a physical, psychological, social, and emotional level), and continue the process of weaning the smoker slowly off nicotine.
  • Encourage the smoker to make use of the free-call Help-Line at any time.

Session 3

  • Review previous weeks activities and appraise progress.
  • Promote an understanding of how stress affects daily smoking patterns.
  • Continue to explore how self-pity has sabotaged past efforts and how to deal with it.
  • Decode cravings and create solutions.
  • Explore fatigue along with the relationship of smoking and blood sugar levels.
  • Deal with the smoking triggers of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Explore the value of perseverance and recognition of achievement.
  • Introduce non-smoking rewards and distractions instead of smoking.
  • Encourage relaxation techniques.
  • Discuss the value of exercise to minimize weight gain and implement weight control techniques.
  • Continue Action Steps to further break complex smoking triggers, the smoker’s attachment to cigarettes and continue the weaning process.

Session 4

  • Evaluate progress and acknowledge successes to date. 
  • Introduce self-motivation and continue with relaxation techniques as powerful tools to stay motivated and calm.
  • Introduce introspection, self-acknowledgement and ongoing affirmation as a means to positively move forward to the next stage.
  • Provide tools to assist smokers to overcome difficulties and the many side effects of quitting.
  • Calculate that only a small amount of nicotine will be left in the body by cut-off day, so withdrawals do not occur.
  • Offer guidance on how to approach the Cut-off Day with confidence and a positive attitude, armed with the tools needed to beat the habit.
  • Implement Action Steps that eliminate those last smoking triggers and remove most of the nicotine from the body in preparation for the Cut-off Day.

Session 5

  • Offer encouragement and instruction on how to achieve final cessation by pulling together all techniques that address the habit on all levels.
  • Gear up for Cut-Off Day and deal with fear and apprehension.
  • Explore the cost of smoking, and discover fun ways to spend cigarette money that will accumulate after stopping.
  • Discuss the 3 R’s for maintaining motivation and reinforcement: Reasons for Quitting, Repatterning and Rewards.
  • Explore benefits of being a non-smoker as a means of reinforcement.
  • Implement further strategies to prevent weight gain.
  • Deal with symptoms of recovery.
  • Look at other goals and rewards as a new way of life.
  • Introduce Action Steps to reinforce the new habit of not smoking and avoid pitfalls.

Session 6

  • Offer congratulations and encouragement - moving into phase 2.
  • Learn how to deal with problems - physical and emotional adjustment.
  • Utilize techniques to decode and distract from cravings, and repattern future activities to make things easier.
  • Understand emotional reactions to quitting and record feelings and emotions from past week.
  • Put into place reinforcement techniques.
  • Focus on the many benefits of being smoke free.
  • Provide more information on weight issues so that weight gain and fluid retention are not problems.
  • Explore the “Instant Help list” that assists with difficulties.
  • Continue Action Steps to become comfortable with not smoking, and reinforce the new habit of not smoking, so as to avoid pitfalls.

Session 7

  • Develop an awareness of future triggers - forewarned is forearmed.
  • Address techniques to avoid the most frequent causes of sliding back into smoking.
  • Instil recognition of achievement and set new goals.
  • Focus on the plusses and positives of quitting to create long-term success.
  • Learn strategies to live happily with a new non-smoking way of life.
  • Encourage more strategies for stress management.
  • Offer congratulations on a job well done and final reminders on how to stay smoke free forever.
  • Create ongoing support by encouraging calls to the Smokenders free-call Help-Line (1800-021-000)
Who are the instructors?

All Smokenders instructors and support staff are former smokers who have graduated from the program and who have followed our rigorous training modules. As former smokers, these professionals have ‘been there’ — they understand and care about what smokers go through to quit smoking. We are not anti-smoking.

What does Smokenders know that most smokers don’t?

Smokers don’t know everything about their habit, as it is the nature of habits to blind us to the mechanisms by which they enslave us. Smokenders has nearly 40 years of experience worldwide, specialising in smoking cessation. It was developed by former smokers and health professionals and covers every single aspect of the habit from the physical to the social and emotional.

Simply put, addiction cannot be chewed, lasered, patched nor hypnotised away!

What are some of the things that you cover in the program?

You will learn . . .
* Why you have not been able to quit on your own 
* Which powerful emotional triggers have sabotaged your previous attempts
* Why you do not need willpower to stop smoking
* How to deal with the hand-to-mouth routine so you don’t put on weight
* Practical techniques for dealing with stress so that you don’t need to smoke
* Some physical tricks all ex-smokers should know
* Techniques for distracting yourself to make quitting much easier
* What to do with negative thoughts that could get you back on smoking
* How to become happy and content that you don’t smoke
* How to handle people still smoking around you
* How to cope effectively with future smoking triggers that could happen to you

Is there ongoing support after I have finished Smokenders?

Smokenders is there long after the program is over. We are just a phone call away for any assistance on our free-call Help-Line.

Will Smokenders still work if I have tried to quit smoking before?

Most smokers have tried to quit or cut down at least once before! This will make no difference to their potential success. Smokers shouldn't blame themselves for being unable to quit smoking — the fact that they never really broke the habit effectively before is because they were never shown how.

How does the new Smokenders Home Quit-Kit compare to the normal face-to-face program and what is the cost?

Although the Smokenders face-to-face program has been going since 1981 in Australia, the time has come for us to meet the demand for a home-based program. Instead of leaving home to attend a seminar, smokers can now undertake the entire Home Quit-Kit program from their own home or work. A telephone support-line is available for any questions and problems. The staff managing the phones are graduates of the program who have been trained to deal with all aspects of the program. Despite the smoker undertaking the program from home or work, there will always be help available via our free-call Help-Line.

The cost of the Smokenders face-to-face program varies from $350 - $450 depending on where it is held. The new Home Quit-Kit costs $259 (plus postage & handling) making it less costly and very convenient because smokers can do it from home.

How does the cost of Smokenders compare to the cost of smoking?

A packet a day smoker will be spending about $12 per day on their smoking habit. When comparing the cost of smoking and the cost of Smokenders, Smokenders is a bargain! In fact, for the average smoker, the Home Quit Kit pays for itself in less than 4 weeks!
See the COST OF SMOKING CHART on this site.

Do Health Funds give any rebates?

Some health Funds give rebates on quit smoking programs. Check with your own fund for details. See Health Funds, Pensioners and Seniors

Is Smokenders recognised or endorsed by the Cancer Council, the National Heart Foundation or Quit-Line?

In Australia, private organisations do not get recognised by these organisations. However, you will find testimonials from both the ACT Cancer Council and Quit For Life, as both organisations monitored our entire program.

What about the Smokenders program for corporations and government departments?

Smokenders can conduct on-site programs for the staff of private corporations and  government departments, as well as social groups.

We have a host of testimonials you can browse through. We assist employers to go smoke-free with the least amount of disruption. Please call us on 1800-021-000 or email us.

What is your success rate?

Surveys show that 81% of smokers who completed the Smokenders Seminar program quit smoking. Surveys also show that 71% of smokers who completed the Smokenders Home Quit-Kit program were smoke-free 6 months later.

The above figures indicate a quit rate 2 – 3 times higher than any other legitimate smoking cessation program in existence today.

Who takes part in Smokenders?

People from all walks of life have successfully completed Smokenders. Furthermore, many professional people, such as doctors, nurses and other medical experts, have also used Smokenders to beat their smoking habit.

Non-English speaking background

All Smokenders programs are provided in English with provisions for non-English speakers. Please call or email us if you require further information about translation services.

Tell A Friend

If you know someone who is thinking about quitting smoking, please tell them about Smokenders because it really works! We have a page dedicated to this which makes it quick and simple for you to send a note to a smoker. Just go to Tell A Friend.


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Willpower not required to Quit Smoking


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