What local support is available?
NHS services to support you to stop smoking may vary according to where you live and you may need to simply start by asking. The local NHS services near to you might be:
Your GP Practice– Many people don’t realise that their GP can help them to stop smoking and that far from judging you for smoking which some people may fear, they will be keen to support you achieve your goal and in doing so help prevent possible future worsening health. Your individual GP may be the person who guides and supports you, or your practice may have set up its own dedicated stop smoking service. Alternatively, your GP may be able to refer you to a dedicated service elsewhere in the community.
Your Community Pharmacist – Your pharmacist may provide a Stop Smoking Service, either independently or as part of a wider local Stop Smoking Service. Alternatively they will be able to advise you what services do exist locally for you to contact.
A local Stop Smoking Service – These services are free and can boost your chances of success. They are staffed by trained Stop Smoking Advisers and as well as being referred by your GP or Pharmacist, you can also self refer.
Support options may be available on a one to one basis or you may be able to join a group where everyone has the same goal but is finding their own individual way to get there.
What to expect from your local stop smoking service:
Stop Smoking Services are staffed by trained advisors with a wealth of experience in helping smokers to find their own individual way to successfully quit smoking for good.
An initial discussion/consultation might take place face to face, online or over the phone and may cover :
- Why you currently smoke
- Your current level and pattern of smoking
- Your personal motivation for wanting to quit
- Your previous quit attempts including the methods you have tried before
- An offer of a carbon monoxide test
- Stop smoking treatments and support available within the NHS
Your personal quit plan:
This will be a personal plan for you to successfully quit smoking for good. It will usually cover a period of 12 weeks and will detail both your milestones as well as the support you will receive to help you reach them. This may include :
- Setting a quit date that you are comfortable with and committed to. i.e. the date from which you commit to leave smoking behind for good and never smoke another cigarette
- Preparing for your quit, which may include understanding the triggers that make you reach for a cigarette and avoiding or mitigating these, enlisting a friend to support your crisis moments, taking exercise and keeping your hands busy.
- Receiving either a supply of your chosen treatment, a prescription or a voucher.
A follow up plan may include:
- Regular contact with a Stop Smoking Advisor which may be either face to face, online or by phone
- A crisis line for those difficult moments
- Group support sessions
- The offer of regular carbon monoxide level monitoring
Useful NHS resources: