Preparing to Quit Using the Service

Is it too late to stop?

Will I put on weight?

What are the first steps towards giving up?

How can I deal with the cravings?


Is it too late to stop?

It's never too late! Stopping at any age will increase your life expectancy, provided that you stop before you develop cancer or another serious disease.

  • Within the first 24 hours your blood pressure and lungs will be showing improvement
  • After three months your circulation and breathing should have improved noticeably
  • After five years, your risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
  • After ten years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker
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Will I put on weight?

When you stop smoking, your appetite and sense of taste may improve, tempting you to snack more often. Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks, like fruit or nuts, in the house and hide the crisps! Any weight gain need only be temporary. Once you've stopped smoking, you'll find it easier to be active and lose any extra weight. The Stop Smoking Service can put you in touch with people who can help and support you with this.

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What are the first steps towards giving up?

Being prepared and choosing the service that works for you will create an ideal foundation for giving up smoking.


Take time to make sure that you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready and plan how and when you will give up.


Your Stop Smoking Specialist will help you choose a quit date. Think about how to deal with tempting situations like going to the pub, or a stressful day. You may be eligible for FREE Nicotine Replacement Products (NRT) like patches or gum to help you cope with the cravings. You can also get Stop Smoking medication on prescription.


You can choose from individual, group or telephone help. You can also use the quit online tool to help you through the process. Call the Stop Smoking Service on 0800 3 247 111 or take the next step now and they can help you decide on the best way to quit and provide information about your nearest services.


The first few days after your quit date can be challenging, but symptoms last just a few days before you will notice an improvement. Although nicotine withdrawal can make you restless, irritable, frustrated, tired, sleepless and clumsy, the most intense period of withdrawal lasts only 48 hours.


Nicotine patches and gum can be very useful in enabling you to cope with the early stage symptoms of withdrawal. Once you've made it through the first few days your health improves rapidly.


For more information, please see Whats Suits Me.

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How can I deal with the cravings?

Nicotine Replacement Therapy and other stop smoking medicines like Zyban or Champix can really help you to manage your craving. Nicotine Replacement Products are available FREE for eligible clients from the Stop Smoking Service. The other smoking medication is available on prescription from your doctor. Contact the service for more information.


Everyone has their own way of coping with cravings - try and make plans that suit you and the way you have chosen to quit smoking.


You could take up exercise or arrange to go out with a friend, or simply go for a walk. Take long, deep breaths when you are experiencing an intense craving and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol during the first few days of stopping smoking. Try sipping ice-cold water to help cravings.


For more information, please see Whats Suits Me or Take the Next Step.

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Please note, some of the content has been adapted from smokefree.nhs.uk


Nicotine replacement therapy and other stop smoking medicines

Nicotine replacement therapy

Free patches Or Gum
and more

Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Zyban and Champix can all help you manage your cravings*.

* prescription charges may still apply

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