How to Stop Smoking
It's one thing deciding to stop smoking, but chosing a way to quit is a minefield. There are so many different options and ways to quit. We've simplified some of these main ways to quit so that you can chose the best way to stop smoking to fit your lifestyle.
Stop Smoking Medicines
These manage the symptoms of withdrawing from nicotine, from preventing the cravings to issues such as irritablility, headaches and insomnia. These are usually in the form of tablets or nicotine replacement therapies.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapies, work by providing you with a small amount of the addictive nicotine, with none of the poisonous chemicals and toxins that come with cigarettes. NRT can be used for longer periods of time if required as NRT is much safer than smoking, and treatment can last from 8-12 weeks. There are many forms, including:
Commonly used, these patches can be worn on the skin 2 hours a day, releasing nicotine directly into the bloodstream. These are easy to use and available with a 16 or 24-hour dose
Nicotine gum is available in two strengths, depending on how often you smoke. For those who smoke over 20 cigarettes a day it is recommended to use the stronger 4mg gum, and the weaker 2mg for less than 20 a day. Whichever you use, you must chew the gum regularly throughout the day, remembering to rest it between your gum and cheek to ensure maximum absorption.
An inhalator works by releasing nicotine vaour when sucked into your blood stream through the lining of the mouth. This can help quitters who miss the hand-to-mouth action of smoking. Each inhalator lasts for approximately 400 puffs, and you should use them for a total of 12 weeks.
Designed to be placed under your tongue, Microtabs release nicotine as they dissolve which is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. It shouldn't be chewed, sucked or swallowed however as this prevents them from working correctly.
Lozenges are to be sucked slowly then left to sit between the gum and cheek where the nicotine can be absorbed, taking around half an hour. These should be used for about 12 weeks, reducing the quantity during the period.
Ideal for those with a heavy nicotine addiction. Nicotine is sprayed through the nose cavities and rapidly absorbed through the blood vessels in the nose to relieve cravings quickly. Nasal sprays have the benefits are working much faster than gum or lozenges.
There are many local and online support services available throughout the country, with Stop Smoking Services being proven to give the best chances of quitting. You can find your nearest support service HERE. These offer both one-to-one and group support with advice, tips and information
With over 10,000 members, our online forum Quit Support has members on around the clock offering advice on how they're getting on, sharing experiences and stories. You are not alone in quitting so get the support of others going through similar journey.
Vaping / E-Cigarettes
As the only UK lung cancer charity, we are concerned with lung cancer and harm reduction. We have been helping people to quit smoking for nearly 25 years and are in full support of all ways to help people to stop. However, we are concerned that there simply isn't enough evidence around the long-term impact of e-cigarettes. There was a previous time when we were unaware of the dangers of cigarettes.
There can be little doubt that more work is needed to improve the understanding of these devices. We need to ensure that this is a priority of the Government, to support the appropriate research in this area.
Whichever method you decide to use, it is always recommended to seek advice from your GP before quitting and always follow manufacturers instructions.