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How to stop smoking

Although many people attempt to quit on their own, you are four times more likely to quit for good with support, even if it takes several attempts.

We all know that it’s difficult to quit smoking. You don’t need to do it alone and our support makes a difference.

You can get free and flexible support that fits around your needs and day-to-day living. Depending on what’s right for you we can offer a combination of:

  • Group and one-to-one support face-to-face and/or over the phone.
  • Specialist home support for pregnant and new mums.
  • Support and engagement in your workplace.


Patches help you get through the first weeks in a calmer frame of mind, making cravings manageable and allowing you to get on with your life pretty well.

They work by delivering a steady dose of nicotine into blood through the skin; it takes 4-8 hours to reach peak level according to the patch that you use. The 24 hour patch ensures sustained nicotine levels but may cause vivid dreams; the 16 hour variety is for daytime used and its strength tails off towards bedtime.


Gum helps reduce cravings but you need to take enough (10-15 pieces per day at regular intervals) to ensure that the nicotine level in blood is high enough to reduce cravings.

Chew the gum slowly and park it in your cheek, so that the nicotine is released and is absorbed through the lining of the cheek.


Inhalators are good for those who miss the hand to mouth sensations of smoking and are about as strong as 2mg of gum.

An Inhalator looks like a cross between a pen and a cigarette holder. It consists of a mouthpiece and a cartridge into which you put a 10mg nicotine ‘plug’. By sucking on the mouthpiece the nicotine vapour passes into your mouth and is absorbed into the body.


Microtabs come in the form of a small white tablet that you put under your tongue and allow to dissolve slowly (takes 20-30 minutes) so that the nicotine is absorbed gradually through the mouth and into the bloodstream.


Lozenges are available in 2mg or 4mg formulations. They deliver nicotine in the same manner as other oral products and are moved around the mouth every few seconds.


Zyban, available from your GP, works to reduce urges to smoke.

Zyban is thought to work by moderating the levels of certain brain chemicals (dopamine and noradrenaline) to reduce the urge to smoke although we still do not understand how it exactly works. Zyban is taken for 10-14 days before the quit day, so that the drug can build up in your system and start reducing urges to smoke. It is not recommended for anyone with a history of seizures and those with a current or prior diagnosis of an eating disorder.


Champix is a non-nicotine medicine that has been developed to help smokers to quit smoking. It both reduces the urge to smoke and provides relief from withdrawal symptoms.

Champix blocks the receptors in the brain that are stimulated by the nicotine in cigarettes. Champix is generally thought to be a safe medicine, but is not licensed for use with pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with severe kidney failure. It should be used with caution with people with certain mental health problems, because it has been associated with suicidal thoughts.

Call our free Stop Smoking hotline on 0800 470 4831
Text 'QUIT' to 60060 or email us at