Smoking Cessation

Why should I stop?

If you smoke, giving up is probably the greatest single step you can take to improve your health. Seven out of ten smokers say that they want to stop, but most believe they can't. However, half of all smokers eventually manage to stop smoking.


Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), can double your chances of quitting smoking. It works by getting nicotine into your system without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals you get from tobacco smoke. Its the nicotine that is addictive. So while you're becoming a non-smoker, you can still get nicotine from NRT. Once you're comfortable not smoking, you can cut out the NRT, gradually.


NRT is available as patches, chewing gum, lozenges, tablets that you put under your tongue, or as an inhaler or nasal spray. Choose whichever suits you best after discussing your options with your GP or counsellor. You can buy products from your chemists, but your GP can also prescribe them to you. You must have a target date for when you will stop smoking before NRT can be prescribed. Its very important not to smoke while you're using nicotine replacement therapy

Getting help

There is good evidence that getting advice, counselling and support from a trained health professional (doctor, pharmacist, nurse or trained smoking counsellor) can help you stop smoking.


 Counselling can involve

    • Your practice nurse explaining the benefits of stopping smoking, together with back- up leaflets and Help-line phone numbers.

    • Regular individual sessions, with a trained smoking counsellor (e.g. practice nurse or specialist counsellor).

    • Regular group therapy sessions with a trained smoking counsellor, where a group shares problems and tips on stopping smoking.

    • Counselling is often used together with NRT.

Where can I get help?


The NHS Smoking Help-line on 0800 169 0 169 also provides support, advice and help on giving up.


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