As today is No Smoking Day, Abi Jackson rounds up four key strategies for stubbing out for good

Want to quit smoking, but not sure how to go about it? Nobody ever promised that giving up cigarettes for good would be easy – but it is certainly possible, and the boost to your health (as well as your bank balance and peace of mind) makes it so worth it. 

Research shows that your chances of successfully stopping smoking are significantly higher with support, and the good news is, there's loads of that available. 

Here are four routes to a smoke-free life: 


Nicotine is highly addictive, which is why going cold turkey when quitting smoking can be tough – and this is where nicotine replacement therapy comes in; products designed to help people wean off nicotine in a more gradual, manageable way, while cutting out tobacco and all its associated health risks. 

"Nicotine is a drug that stimulates the brain. When a regular smoker attempts to quit, they experience withdrawal symptoms caused when there is a fall in the blood level of nicotine. This can result in feelings of irritability, restlessness, anxiety and hunger," explains Stuart Gale, owner and chief pharmacist at

"NRT, available in the form of patches, tablets, lozenges, gum and nasal sprays from your pharmacy, can be very effective in easing the symptoms. NRT works by replacing some of the nicotine you would otherwise be getting from smoking tobacco, and research has shown that people are four times more likely to quit smoking if they do so with the aid of NRT." 


Did you know that the NHS offers a range of services to support people looking to quit smoking? From free one-on-one support and six-week courses of group sessions, to a wealth of information, tips and advice online, and help with choosing NRT (available for the cost of a prescription; free to those exempt from prescription fees), there's something for everybody. 

Advisors can even use carbon monoxide measuring devices to clearly show how quickly the effects of stopping smoking begin to take hold (in fact, CO levels drop to the same level as non-smokers' just 24 hours after your last cigarette). 

Exact services available may vary in different regions, but the aim is that people in all areas can benefit. Go to  to find out more about your local services.  


For some, hypnotherapy can be an effective tool for overcoming addiction, including smoking. The theory behind it is about connecting with the unconscious mind, where, as clinical hypnotherapist Lynda Hudson ( ) explains, "we store our thoughts, knowledge, beliefs and habits". 

"The first part of any hypnotherapy session is a frank discussion about what the individual wants and, importantly, what's been stopping them achieve it so far," adds Ms Hudson. 

The hypnotherapist will guide you into the relaxed state of hypnosis (which is nothing like the hypnosis you see on TV where people are made to do silly things). 

"The mind becomes receptive and eager to take on positive suggestions, as long as the suggestions are in line with their goal. A session is tailor-made to each individual and appropriate suggestions will be given in the hypnotic state to help them break the habit. But it isn't only about breaking a habit; it's very much about understanding the root of the addiction and finding alternative ways to cope with stress, social awkwardness, something to do with their hands, cravings, feeling part of a group and/or any other factors associated with their smoking." 

Prices can vary, but before parting with any cash, ensure you see a well-qualified hypnotherapist with experience in treating addiction. Ms Hudson notes that you can check their qualifications and professional associations online: "CNHC [ ] is the UK voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners, set up in 2008 with government funding and support." 


High street pharmacy brand LloydsPharmacy offer a range of – mostly free – health checks, and support and advice services for customers, which now includes Stop Smoking Services. 

Generally, you don't even need to make an appointment (though there may sometimes be a wait in busy stores); but just turn up and ask to chat to one of their specially-trained experts. 

LloydsPharmacy smoking expert Sam Preston says: "We provide free one-to-one support for anyone looking to stop smoking. We can discuss the customer's individual smoking goals and offer advice on how best to achieve them, such as boosting their willpower and avoiding triggers. These are fully confidential and we have private consultation rooms available. We would recommend customers come and see us each week of their quit attempt, so we can continue to offer advice and support." 

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