Quitting is the best thing you'll ever do and there is plenty of help available. It takes most people more than one attempt, so don't stop stopping.
Is it worth getting help to quit?
Yes. You're up to four times more likely to succeed with help from Smokefreelife Somerset, compared to quitting without professional support or buying over the counter medication.
Where can you get help in Somerset?
Smokefreelife Somerset is the free stop smoking service provider for Somerset, offering a range of support including groups, one-to-one, web and telephone support. Phone 01823 356222 to discuss support to suit your lifestyle. Stop smoking medications are included in this service, which for most people will be free of charge.
I don't want to use groups or clinics, what are my options?
That's not a problem. Smokefreelife Somerset has web and telephone support available to you free of charge. Remember, with professional support you are much more likely to quit successfully. But if you prefer to try on your own, make full use of the online advice from NHS Smokefree and consider using free tools such as text messaging and a smartphone app.
If you prefer to try a book, The Smokefree Formula by Robert West is highly recommended. It is up to date and fully informed by the evidence of what works, but written in a very engaging style, so it's easy to read.
Should I use e-cigs (electronic cigarettes) to quit?
We can't recommend or supply e-cigs as an alternative to licensed medicines. But if you want to try quitting with one, and many people do try this way, then you are welcome to use professional support from Smokefreelife Somerset. This will greatly increase your chance of quitting smoking successfully.
Here are some facts about e-cigs:
- They can provide some of the nicotine that would have otherwise been obtained from smoking regular cigarettes
- They are not a magic cure, but some people find them helpful for quitting, cutting down their nicotine intake and managing temporary abstinence
- There is a wide range of electronic cigarettes available and you may need to try various brands, flavours and nicotine dosages before you find a brand that you like
- Their use is not exactly like smoking and users may need to experiment and learn to use them effectively (for example, longer 'drags' are required and a number of short puffs may be needed initially to activate the 'vapouriser' and improve nicotine delivery)
- Although some health risks from electronic cigarette use may yet emerge, these are likely to be, at worst, only a small fraction of the risks of smoking. This is because electronic cigarettes do not contain combustion chemicals which cause lung and heart disease and cancer
What if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy?
Stopping smoking is the most important thing you can do for your baby. Both you and your baby will feel the benefits straight way. Specialist advice and support through our M2Bs smoking in pregnancy service is available from your midwife and Smokefreelife Somerset.
I smoke to help me deal with stress and anxiety. Will quitting make this worse?
A common misconception is that smoking helps to reduce stress, but smoking actually increases the physical stress on the body and is far more dangerous than any stress that comes from quitting. It is the cravings from cigarettes that make you feel stressed and anxious, so when you smoke the cigarette you feel calmer. Stopping smoking can actually reduce your stress levels and you'll feel much better and healthier once you quit. You might be feeling stressed from time to time and you might feel that smoking helps you cope, but non-smokers usually have lower stress levels than smokers.
Advice and guidance
NHS Choices Stop Smoking site offers advice and support to quit smoking.