Smoking-cessation drugs are inadequate at addressing the behavioural component of tobacco dependence. Nicotine-free inhalators are plastic devices that may provide a coping mechanism for conditioned smoking by replacing some of the rituals associated with smoking gestures. This study assessed the effect of using a nicotine-free inhalator to improve success in a cessation programme. At baseline, 120 smokers attending a smoking-cessation programme were assessed for their sociodemographic factors, smoking history, depression, physical and behavioural dependence, and motivation. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups, nicotine-free inhalator group (PAIPO; Echos Srl, Milan, Italy) versus reference group. For the whole sample, no significant difference was found in quit rates at 24 weeks between the PAIPO group and the reference group. However, the quit rate in the PAIPO group (66.7%) was more than three-fold higher than the reference group (19.2%) for those individuals with high Glover-Nilsson Smoking Behavioural Questionnaire (GN-SBQ) scores at baseline. The results of the logistic model analysis indicate that a high GN-SBQ score is a strong independent predictor for successful quitting at 24 weeks (OR 8.88; 95% CI 2.08-37.94) in the PAIPO group. Nicotine-free inhalators may be beneficial when used in the context of smoking-cessation interventions, particularly for those smokers for whom handling and manipulation of their cigarettes plays an important part in the ritual of smoking.