Support for People Trying To Give Up Smoking

Giving up smoking is a difficult, frustrating and often stressful process for many people, but there is help and support available and you’re not alone. Help comes in various forms, from your dentist and your GP, to online users who are going through the same tough challenges and practical guidance and support from charities. Research shows that giving up with others is easier than doing it alone and the NHS suggests that using stop smoking services increase the chances of giving up for good by 5 times. If you want to give up, it’s beneficial to be aware of the help and services available to you.

Your GP

Your GP and practice nurse can provide you with information about stop smoking services in your local area and also talk you through treatments, therapies and self-help ideas, which may help to make quitting easier. You can access medication and nicotine replacement methods through your GP and you can also learn more about stop smoking services, including stop smoking advisers and the NHS helpline, which is available to help you when you are struggling or simply if you need to talk to somebody or ask questions. 

When you go to your GP, it is likely that they will ask you a few questions about your smoking habits (for example, how long you have smoked and how many cigarettes you smoke per day); they may also ask you whether you have tried to quit before and about methods you have tried in the past. Your GP may also ask you some simple questions about why you smoke and why you want to give up. It’s common to try and set a date and then organise a review to see how you are getting on; many people use nicotine replacement therapy and attend group sessions, but occasionally, medication is prescribed. Medication helps to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and may be particularly beneficial for heavy smokers and those who have smoked for many years. 

You can also seek advice from your dentist.

NHS Stop Smoking Adviser

The NHS has a network of advisers who work to help to support people who are trying to give up smoking and no matter where you are in the country, you have access to a range of stop smoking services. Advisers are able to offer one on one appointments, as well as group sessions and some also accommodate drop-in patients. When you see an adviser, you will usually talk through the reasons you smoke, why you want to give up and what kinds of treatments and therapies are out there. Your adviser is there to help and they will be there for you for the foreseeable future once you have decided on a date to quit. 

Group support

The NHS operates group support sessions across the country and these are extremely effective; many people find it easier to quit when they are doing it with other people and they find the burden lighter when other people are going through the same time. Group members can offer each other support, encourage each other when they are struggling and celebrate together when they reach important dates. 

Charities

Stop smoking charities, including ASH and QUIT, can provide information, advice, guidance and emotional support for those trying to quit smoking; often, they can be helpful when you need to talk or you want advice and you’d rather talk to somebody you don’t know. 

Online help

Many people gain reassurance from chatting to others online on forums and social media sites; the NHS website has an interactive forum and many people also use platforms such as Facebook, to keep in touch with people they meet at group sessions. 


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