Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below a list of frequently asked questions about the Quitmate program. If your question is not answered, you can contact us on 1300 991 259.

Why quit smoking?

Smoking is dangerous for your health and is the major risk factor for serious health complications such as lung cancer, heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Smoking shortens your life expectancy. It is expensive and second-hand smoke can damage the health of your loved ones. The good news is that quitting smoking is possible with the right help and support and important for anyone, no matter how long you have been smoking. Your risk of smoking related disease significantly reduces once you quit. Importantly, only 3-5% of people quit successfully without the support of a health professional. So, talk to a doctor and get the help you need to quit smoking today.

What is vaping?

Vaping is another term for an e-cigarette. The vape is a battery powered device that contains a liquid. Vaping liquids can contain nicotine for use as nicotine replacement as part of a smoking cessation program. In Australia, it is illegal to buy or sell nicotine for use in e-cigarettes without a prescription from an Australian doctor that is an authorised prescriber of nicotine vaping products.

What is the difference between smoking and vaping?

The difference between smoking and vaping is that smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco. Smoking is bad for your health as the toxins produced by burning tobacco damage your body and cause lethal smoking related illnesses. Vaping delivers nicotine by heating a liquid in a much less harmful way. Vaping is a much safer alternative than smoking cigarettes. Vaping is not harmless, but it is much less harmful than smoking.

Is vaping safer than smoking?

Yes it is at least 95% safer. This estimate is based on independent reviews of the scientific evidence by both Public Health England and the UK Royal College of Physicians. “Although it is not possible to precisely quantify the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure – Royal College of Physicians”. Most of the dangerous toxins in cigarette smoke are not present in vapor. When smokers switch to vaping, levels of toxins and carcinogens measured in the blood, saliva and urine (‘biomarkers’) are substantially lower and for many toxins are the same as for a non-smoker. The risk of cancer from vaping has been independently estimated to be <0.5% of the risk from smoking.

Nicotine prescription Australia. How to get a vape prescription and what is the cost?

You will require a vaping product prescription from a registered doctor. The doctor will need to be an Authorised Prescriber of nicotine, including vaping products.  Doctors may consider nicotine vaping products (NVPs) for people who have tried to achieve smoking cessation with first-line therapy but failed and are still motivated to quit smoking. Nicotine vaping products may be prescribed along with behavioral support. The doctor will discuss the potential risks of nicotine vaping products (NVPs), including: 1. Due to the lack of available evidence, the long-term health effects of NVPs are unknown. 2. NVPs are not registered therapeutic goods in Australia and therefore their safety, efficacy and quality have not been established.

Do nicotine patches work? What is combination nicotine replacement therapy?

Yes, nicotine patches are very effective as nicotine replacement therapy. Combining two forms of nicotine replacement therapy (e.g. patch plus an acute form) has been shown to be more effective than a single form of nicotine replacement. The patch provides a steady background nicotine level while the acute forms provide additional protection for breakthrough cravings. Patches can work synergistically with a nicotine vaping product.

What medications are available to help quit smoking?

There are several medications (pharmacotherapies) that doctors may recommended as part of a plan. Medications such as Varenicline and Bupropion have significant evidence as being effective in a smoking cessation plan. If appropriate, a doctor will recommend you consider these as an option. It is important to talk about the risks and benefits of using any medication.

What brands does Quitmate prescribe?

Our clinicians are completely independent and have no obligations to prescribe any brand. Our clinicians undertake comprehensive medical assessments and will develop a care plan that may or may not involve medications or nicotine products. Choice of product is decided upon in collaboration with the patient. Nicotine products must be TGO110 compliant.

What are the side effects of quitting smoking?

Side effects can be common when you quit smoking, especially for the first few weeks. Common symptoms include:

  • Cravings
  • Anger, frustration irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety/ depression
  • Hunger/ increased appetite
  • Heart racing
  • Sweating
  • Cough

Talk to our doctors if you are experiencing these symptoms

How does the quit smoking program work?

Quitmate doctors are Australian Registered medical practitioners and authorised by the TGA to prescribe nicotine replacement products, including vaping products. Our doctors are independent practitioners and use their expert judgement to provide patients safe and personalised care for smoking cessation. Doctors are under no obligation to prescribe medication of any kind and will provide a management plan that is best suited to the needs of each individual after a comprehensive assessment of the medical needs.

Do I need to sign up for 12 months?

No. You do not need to sign up for 12 months. The Quitmate program gives patients the ability to manage their own journey, with support staff and educational material available every step of the way.

What happens after 12 months if I haven’t been able to quit smoking?

For patients with nicotine dependence who exclusively use e-cigarettes rather than conventional combustible tobacco, we advise the goal of stopping e-cigarette use when you feel you can do so without the risk of returning to combustible tobacco .Our doctors may recommend an annual health assessment face to face with a general practitioner to discuss the risks and benefits of continuing on a smoking cessation program. Quitmate doctors may ask for a letter from your local GP about your ongoing suitability to continue on the program.

How are you associated with Medmate?

Quitmate is proud to partner with Medmate for the management of medication orders with Australian community pharmacies. The Medmate team will ensure your order is delivered safely and conveniently to your doorstep.

What are the qualifications of Quitmate doctors?

All Quitmate doctors are Australian registered and have been approved by the TGA as Authorised Prescribers of Nicotine, including vaping products.