Quit Smoking

Key Smoking Facts

About 10 million UK adults smoke, some 22% of men and 21% of women. Most start before they turn 18.

Smoking causes 90% of UK lung cancer deaths, 80% of bronchitis and emphysema deaths and 17% of deaths from heart disease.

Nicotine, the addictive property in tobacco, is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, according to the Royal College of Physicians.

Order your free Quit Kit online at www.smokefree.nhs.uk or call the advice line on 0800 0224 332.


Smoking Cessation Treatments

Nicotine replacement therapy can help satisfy your addiction whilst you wean yourself off cigarettes - without inhaling lungfuls of harmful smoke. By delivering a small amount of nicotine to the body, NRT helps take the 'edge' off cravings for cigarettes. NRT is not infallible, however, and smokers wanting to quit must use their willpower to resist the temptation to light up.

There are several different kinds of NRT available. Different people may prefer one method over another. It's okay to combine your choices of NRT, too - so if you find a combination of gum and an inhalator works for you, that is fine.

Most NRTs are available over the counter. These include:

  • Nicotine patches (in varying strengths)
  • Nicotine gum
  • Mouth spray
  • Nasal spray
  • Lozenges
  • Microtabs - which dissolve and release nicotine under your tongue
  • Inhalator - a plastic, hollow 'cigarette' which releases nicotine vapour (not smoke) when you inhale.

Smokers often find they miss the sensation of smoking - that is, having something to hold, fiddle with and put in your mouth. Replacing cigarettes with gum can help to bridge the oral fixation. Eating crunchy foods, like celery, may also help. Using an inhalator, or simply carrying a pen, can help keep your hands and mouth busy.