How to quit smoking

Crushing a packet of cigarettes

Is quitting smoking one of your New Year resolutions? Okay, it’s a challenge, but now there’s more help available than ever. Follow our guide and these 5 steps:

1. Motivate yourself

Jot down your incentives. For instance, after a year of quitting, your heart attack risk will have halved, while in 15 years it will be the same as that of someone who’s never smoked. But wanting stain-free teeth can work equally well. For more, visit our No Smoking Day website.

2. Go public

Fill in an online form on the NHS Smokefree website and promise to quit on a set date – being prepared is proven to boost your chance of success. Email it to a loved one or list it on the website. Not online? Grab a pen and paper and stick it somewhere prominent.

3. Get the right help

"Practise saying 'No thanks, I don’t smoke'"

Try NHS Smokefree’s Quit Kit, which contains an addiction quiz plus info on quitting aids. Your local NHS Stop Smoking Service offers free counselling, either in a group or one-to-one. The Smokefree Together Programme offers telephone and email support, motivational texts and mail packs. Call the Smokefree Helpline on 0800 022 4332 or visit NHS Smokefree.

4. Think like a non-smoker

Rid your home of ashtrays and lighters and practise saying, “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” This may help convince you as well as others.

5. Do the maths

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, giving up will save you slightly more than £2,700 a year.

Read our three quitters' stories of stopping smoking

Read about other heart-smart resolutions

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