How to quit smoking and find support
There are a range of ways you can quit smoking, and we know that not everyone will quit smoking in the same way. That’s why we offer a range of options; you can get face-to-face stop smoking support and speak to one of our advisors, speak to our stop-smoking team over the phone, or even go it alone but with the support of the occasional email and use of stop-smoking apps. However you choose to stop smoking, we’ll be here to support you. You can find out more about our ways to stop smoking below.
Note, due to the COVID 19 Virus, it has been recommended by the Government that changes will be required to be made to services across the country. All face to face clinics will now transfer to telephone support. Learn more here.
Maybe you’ve tried to quit smoking before and it didn’t work out, or there are things in your life that are making it difficult for you to stop. We offer face-to-face support so we can get to know you and your smoking habit better and therefore help you quit smoking for good!
Our team of trained stop smoking advisors are here to support to you with free expert advice and guidance on quitting smoking. They are able to offer advice on the best stop smoking aids or medications available to you, develop a quit plan and help you with any problems you are facing.
Calls can be arranged at a time which is convenient for you.
If you are quitting smoking without advisor support, you will want to make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success.
We can send you information as well as hints and tips to help you quit smoking. Enter your email below to register, and you’ll receive timely updates to help keep you on track.
What Treatments Are Available to Help Me Stop Smoking?
There are a range of treatments available to help you quit smoking. Find out more about these by selecting the treatment tabs below.
Gum is available in two strengths: 2mg and 4mg. The 4mg gum is most appropriate for smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, or who are strongly addicted to nicotine.
When you use nicotine gum, the nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth. When you first stop smoking you should be chewing about 1 piece of gum every hour. To release the nicotine from the gum, chew until the taste becomes strong or hot. After this you can rest the gum inside your cheek. Once the taste or heat fades you will need to chew again to release more nicotine. Discard the gum after about an hour.
Gradually you can begin to cut down on the amount of gum you use. Try chewing for shorter periods, using smaller pieces, a lower dose or alternating with a non-nicotine gum.
Is gum right for me?
Gum can be helpful because it provides short bursts of nicotine. However, some people can find the taste unpleasant or dislike having to ‘park’ the gum in their mouth.
Nicotine patches work by releasing nicotine directly into the bloodstream through the skin.
How to use patches
There are two ways to use patches: just during the time you are awake (16 hour patch) or both day and night (24 hour patch). The 24 hour patch may cause some sleep disturbance but is helpful for people who have strong cravings during the early morning.
Patches also come in different strengths. Whichever strength you start on you should aim to gradually reduce the strength over time before stopping the usage of patches completely.
Who should use patches
Patches are useful for those who are concerned about discretion (they can be worn easily beneath clothing) or dislike the taste of the oral products. They release a steady amount of nicotine. They may also cause skin irritation for some people.
Lozenges are placed in the mouth and dissolve slowly to release the nicotine and take about 20-30 minutes to dissolve.
How to use lozenges
Nicotine lozenges work in a similar way to nicotine gum. To release the nicotine from the lozenge, suck until the taste becomes strong or hot. After this you can rest the lozenge inside your cheek – once the taste fades you will need to suck again to release more nicotine. Suck until the lozenge has completely dissolved – each one should last 20 to 30 minutes.
You should use lozenges for about twelve weeks. For the first six weeks you should have one lozenge every one to two hours. You should then reduce your intake to one lozenge every two to four hours, finally reducing to once every four to eight hours in the last two weeks of treatment.
Who should use lozenges
Lozenges are helpful because they provide short bursts of nicotine. Lozenges should not be used by people with mouth ulcers.
These are small tablets containing nicotine which dissolve quickly under your tongue.
Microtabs are designed to be dissolved under the tongue. Make sure you don’t chew or swallow them – this may cause unwanted side effects.
How to use microtabs
You should use one or two tablets every hour for up to three months after you stop smoking. You should then be able to gradually cut back your consumption. Once you are taking one or two tablets a day you should be able to stop completely.
Who should use microtabs
Microtabs can also be used by those who are trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke, as well as those who have quit completely. You should stop smoking within 6 months of using microtabs.
Inhalators look like a plastic cigarette. The inhalator releases nicotine vapour which gets absorbed through your mouth and throat. If you miss the ‘hand to mouth’ aspect of smoking, these may suit you.
How to use inhalators
A nicotine inhalator works by releasing nicotine vapour when you suck on it. Inhalators work very quickly so you should reach for your inhalator whenever you feel strong cravings for a cigarette. Each inhalator contains a disposable cartridge which has enough nicotine for around 3 to 4, 20 minute puffing sessions. This equates to around 400 puffs.
You should use the inhalator for a total of twelve weeks. Use between six and twelve cartridges per day for the first eight weeks depending on how many cigarettes you smoke. For the following two weeks reduce this by half, finally stopping the use of the inhalator completely in the last two weeks of treatment.
Who should use inhalators
The advantages of inhalators are that they work much more quickly than gum or lozenges. They can be therefore used directly when you experience cravings for a cigarette. They also feel very similar (because of the motion involved in using them) to a cigarette so become a good replacement – especially for those who miss the ‘hand to mouth’ aspect of smoking.
The spray delivers a swift and effective dose of nicotine through the lining of your nose.
How to use nasal spray
You use the nasal spray by releasing one spray into each nostril twice an hour. It should be used no more than five times an hour and no more than forty doses a day. Each dose will give the equivalent nicotine contained in one cigarette. This is the fastest way that nicotine can enter the bloodstream reaching the brain within 10 minutes.
You should use the nasal spray for a total of twelve weeks. Use between one and two doses per hour for the first eight weeks depending on how many cigarettes you smoke. For the following two weeks reduce this by half, finally stopping the use of the nasal spray completely in the last two weeks of treatment.
Who should use nasal spray
The advantages of nasal sprays are that they work much more quickly than gum or lozenges. They can therefore be used directly when you experience cravings for a cigarette – and most closely mimic the rush you get from smoking than any of the other forms of NRT.
The nicotine nasal spray is the strongest form of nicotine replacement therapy. This can be a very useful and effective form of medication for highly dependent heavy smokers who have difficulty giving up using other methods.
However this method is not suitable for everyone and may cause side-effects such as nose and throat irritation, coughing, and watering eyes.
This 1mg fresh mint flavour mouth spray gets to work on cravings in 60 seconds. One dispenser contains 150 sprays of 1mg nicotine per spray. Spraying 1-2 sprays of Quickmist into the mouth is equivalent to one cigarette.
How to use
If using for the first time or if you have not used the spray for 2 days, you must first prime the spray pump. Priming: Point the spray away from you and any other adults, children or pets near you. Press the top of the spray with your index finger 3 times until a fine spray appears. Spray into your mouth avoiding the lips and try not to inhale while spraying and not swallow for a few seconds after spraying. If you find the taste too harsh try spraying onto your hand and use your tongue or finger to transfer spray to mouth (more controlled and effective). Use 1-2 sprays every 30 minutes to 1 hour. No more than 4 sprays per hour. Do not exceed 64 sprays per 24 hours.
Varenicline (Champix) is a prescription medication available to people aged 18 or over only.
Varenicline works by reducing your craving for a cigarette and by reducing the effects you feel if you do have a cigarette. You set a date to stop smoking, and start taking tablets 1 or 2 weeks before this date. Treatment normally lasts for 12 weeks. Varenicline is only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant or if you have some pre-existing conditions – discuss with your doctor or health care professional.
Bupropion (Zyban) is a pill that reduces your urges to smoke, and also makes smoking a little less rewarding for your brain. It is available for people only above 18 years of age.
How best to use it
Bupropion is generally less effective than Varenicline (Champix), or using two forms of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (e.g. combining the nicotine patch with nicotine gum). But if NRT and Varenicline haven’t worked for you in the past, Bupropion tablets (Zyban) may be worth a shot.
E-Cigs and Vapes
Smokefree Hampshire is an E-Cig friendly service!
An estimated 2.9 million adults in the UK currently use e-cigarettes and of these, 1.5 million people have completely stopped smoking cigarettes. They carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and can be particularly effective when combined with extra quitting support.
An e-cigarette (sometimes referred to as a vapouriser or vape) is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine in a vapour rather than smoke. E-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco and don’t produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most damaging elements in tobacco smoke. E-cigarettes work by heating a solution (e-liquid) that typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine, and flavourings. Using an e-cigarette is known as vaping.
There is growing evidence that e-cigarettes can help people stop smoking. Using an e-cigarette can help you manage your nicotine cravings. To get the best out of it, make sure you’re using it as much as you need to and with the right strength of nicotine in your e-liquid. You won’t get the full benefit from vaping unless you stop smoking cigarettes completely. You can get advice from specialist vape shops or your local stop smoking service.
The UK has one of the most comprehensive systems of regulation for e-cigarettes in the world. This includes:
- minimum standards of safety and quality
- packaging and labelling requirements
- a ban on advertising in print, broadcast, online and other electronic media
- a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s and on purchase by adults on behalf of under-18s
01264 563039 or 0800 772 3649
Smokefree Hampshire is your local stop smoking service commissioned by Hampshire County Council.