Stopping smoking

Stopping smoking

What should you know about smoking?

It has long been recognised that smoking poses serious risks to health – both to the smoker and to others exposed to the smoke for prolonged periods. These risks include:

  • cancer (lung, mouth, lip, throat, larynx, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas)
  • heart disease
  • heart attack
  • vascular disease (including to the brain)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including bronchitis and emphysema 
  • pneumonia

Smoking can also worsen or prolong the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma or infections such as the common cold.

It can also cause impotence in men and reduce the fertility of both men and women.

Pregnant women who smoke run the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, a low birth weight baby or stillbirth.


The good news is that your health starts to improve from the moment you give up smoking.

Some of the main ways that ex-smokers can benefit are:

  • breathing more easily and coughing less - lung capacity improves by up to 10 per cent within nine months.
  • having more energy - within two to 12 weeks of stopping smoking your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.
  • feeling less stressed - scientific studies show people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.
  • improving your sex life - stopping smoking improves the body's blood flow so improves sensitivity.
  • improving your fertility - non-smokers find it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and can make men's sperm more potent.
  • improving your sense of smell and taste - you may notice that food tastes and smells different as your mouth and nose recover from being dulled by the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes.
  • having younger-looking skin - stopping smoking has been found to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles. The skin of a non-smoker gets more nutrients, including oxygen, and stopping smoking can reverse the sallow, lined complexion smokers often have.
  • having whiter teeth and sweeter breath - giving up tobacco stops teeth becoming stained, and you'll have fresher breath. Ex-smokers are also less likely than smokers
    to get gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely.
  • living longer- half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Men who quit smoking by the age of 30 add 10 years to their life. People who kick the habit at 60 add three years to their life.
  • smoke-free homes protects your loved ones - breathing in second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. In children it doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma. They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.


Quit4Life provides free, flexible support over a 12 week programme to help smokers (across Hampshire except Portsmouth and Southampton) quit smoking sooner and stay smoke-free. This is shown to make a big difference to your chances of successfully quitting for good.

Advisers offer weekly support either face to face or by phone or email with text message support for up to 12 weeks. They can offer a combination of face to face and telephone support and provide more or less contact as you require to quit smoking. The helpline, website, Quit Kits, Facebook and Twitter are also available with information and motivational tips.

Your adviser will ask about your medical history, your smoking and your lifestyle to help you build a personal quit plan that increases your chances of quitting – at least 4 times more than just quitting on your own.

Advisers provide the medication that can help you quit such as nicotine patches, gum, mouth spray or Champix tablets plus advice on electronic cigarettes. The cost of the medication is either free (if eligible for free prescriptions) or at a lower cost than you can buy, plus you get advice and support to choose the best product for you and use it well.

They also provide advice and support to help you understand what triggers your smoking and how to manage any cravings that can occur. Advisers will also contact your GP or other health care provider with your consent to ensure they can support any  changes in other medication that may be needed when you stop smoking (often medication can be reduced).

See website for more information and to hear from smokers who quit with Quit4Life or call us.

Where can you go for help?

For smoking-related illness, speak with your local pharmacist or your GP.

For help in quitting smoking:

The best way for smokers to improve their overall health is to stop smoking completely. How you choose to quit is up to you but prescription medication and support from a specialist at your local stop smoking service gives you the best possible chance of stopping successfully. Quitting smoking can be hard but it is much easier with support.

Read more at:

Contact your free local Stop Smoking Service:

Weekly support and medication is available face to face, by telephone or online.

Quit4Life covers the whole of Hampshire (excluding Portsmouth and Southampton Cities) and provides free NHS support to help you quit smoking if you live or work in the area.

OneYouSurrey covers residents of Farnham and provides free support to help you quit smoking if you live or work in the area:

Talk to your local GP, Pharmacist, practice nurse, midwife, health visitor or other health care professional.

They can offer advice and directly refer you to the local stop smoking service.

If you are thinking of ‘going it alone’ consider using a nicotine-containing product like patches, gum or an electronic cigarette.

Cigarettes are very addictive, and self-control alone might not be enough for you to stop entirely.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available to buy on prescription from a pharmacist or local store

You could also consider trying e-cigarettes. While they're not risk free, they are very much safer than cigarettes and can help people stop smoking.

Read more about using e-cigarettes to stop smoking:

Find online support

The national Smokefree website has been designed to give a range of evidence-based support for you.  It's all available for free and can boost your chances of success whatever method you are using. Follow the instructions and connect with the free online support that is available.

The NHS free Smokefree app

This can help you stop smoking by giving daily support and motivation. If you stay smokefree for the 4-week programme you're up to 5 times more likely to quit for good.

Use it alone or alongside other support.

Online community forums

Health Unlocked offers online community forums where you can meet other smokers quitting. Use this alongside your other support.

Contact details for local sources of help.

Quit4Life, Hampshire's free NHS stop smoking service, offers friendly support, including advice on e-cigarettes and stopping smoking without putting on weight. They can also supply safe and effective stop smoking products for up to 12 weeks. Go to or call 0845 602 4663 for more information.

If you live or work in Farnham, visit, to find information relevant to you.

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