Stopping smoking can make a massive improvement to your lifestyle and health. Once you stop smoking, some of the benefits are immediate and some are longer-term. For example, someone smoking 10 a day could save around £1800 a year by not buying cigarettes.
Just give it a go! And even if you’ve tried before, don’t worry – it can take some people several tries. Getting the right support can also boost your chances of success. Ask about quitting at your pharmacy, your GP surgery, or call your local Stop Smoking Service.
Or click on the tab above to order Free Quitting Tools. This will take you to the NHS Smokefree website where you can sign up to a range of products, like the quitting app, Personal Quit Plan, text or email support.
Getting support from a stop smoking service can really boost your chances of quitting once and for all. Even if you’ve been to quit before but not succeeded, they will welcome you back to help you give it another go.
All stop smoking services in the North East also offer support to people using their own electronic cigarettes to quit. Electronic cigarettes or vaping devices/vapes have helped many people quit smoking and are significantly less harmful than tobacco.
Call 0800 772 0565, text QUIT to 66777 or visit www.smokefreelifecountydurham.co.uk
Call 0191 433 3058 or visit Gateshead Council's website
Call 0191 269 1103 or visit www.newcastlestopsmoking.org.uk
Call 0191 643 7171 or visit www.activenorthtyneside.org.uk
Call 01670 813 135 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk
Visit the stop smoking page at South Tyneside Council to arrange help to quit smoking.
Or call 0191 424 7300 (lines Mon-Fri).
Call 0800 169 9913 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk
Some smokers wake up and feel "today is the day" to quit - and if you find yourself in that situation, go for it! Willpower is important - but you're much more likely to succeed if you combine a determination to quit with specialist stop smoking service support and stop smoking aids.
The chances are that you’ve tried to quit before and might be put off trying again? Think of previous attempts as a stepping stone rather than a failure. It can take a few goes. Keep trying - whether that's for Stoptober, New Year or whatever reason you have. If you try at least once a year, you improve your chance of quitting for good.
Quitting can boost your mood. You might think smoking relieves stress – but it can actually make stress worse. Most smokers can relate to withdrawal symptoms like irritability and cravings if they've gone without a cigarette in a while. It’s also worth remembering that most of the health risks in tobacco come from all the other poisons in cigarette smoke and not the nicotine. There are much less harmful ways to deal with nicotine cravings such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy and vaping.
Many smokers just stop and go "cold turkey." But give yourself the best chance and use a quit aid – whether that is Nicotine Replacement Therapy like patches or gum, or a stop smoking medication prescribed by a GP, pharmacist or other health professional or even switching completely to vaping.
If you've struggled to quit with quitting aids previously, then why not try switching completely to a vaping device? In the UK, electronic cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality and while they may not be completely risk free, they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke. A specialist vape shop can help find the right device and liquid for you. For more detailed NHS advice about vaping, visit the NHS website.
Get some quit coaching. Local Stop Smoking Services provides expert advice, support and encouragement to help you stop smoking for good. Combining quit aids with expert support makes it much more likely you'll stop smoking successfully. Find local services.
Why not consider free online support such as the Smokefree App, text messages or Facebook messenger? Visit the NHS Smokefree website where you can sign up to the Personal Quit Plan and find lots of free tools to help you stop for good.
Chemicals in tobacco smoke enter our blood stream and can then affect the entire body. This is why smoking causes so many diseases, including 16 types of cancer, heart disease and lung disease. Watch a short video from Fresh which captures people's reactions to some of the poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke.
Think of how much money you could save! Someone smoking 10 cigarettes a day can expect to pay up to £1,807 a year, £150 a month and £34.75 a week. For a couple that means up to £3,614 a year, £300 a month and around £69.50 a week. Enough to pay for a family holiday.
Get support from family and friends – their support can go a long way. If a partner or a parent smokes, explain to them that you are quitting and need their support. If your partner smokes, why not quit together?