Getting support to reduce cravings

Using a stop smoking service can really make a difference to your chances of success. Research shows that people who use them are twice as likely to succeed than people who try to give up smoking on their own.

Stop smoking services have specialist treatment for people who want to give up smoking. They can:

  • give you information about smoking and giving up
  • help you prepare a plan for stopping and give ongoing support
  • prescribe medicines to help improve withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings
  • arrange weekly meetings where you can meet other people who are trying to give up.

There are stop smoking services across the UK:


The first 3 or 4 days after you have stopped can be the most difficult. You may have withdrawal symptoms from nicotine and this might tempt you to smoke again. There are medicines that can help, but make sure you get them before you plan to give up smoking. It is best to start taking medicines like Varenicline and Bupropion 1 to 2 weeks before you quit.

Your GP or staff at your local stop smoking service can talk to you about these medicines.

Other useful organisations to help you stop smoking

NHS Smokefree

NHS Smokefree provide free support, expert advice and tools including the Quit Kit to help you stop smoking. Watch videos from real quitters on what helped them stop.


Quit provides support and practical guidance to people who want to give up smoking.

‘I only went to a couple of meetings. I mean you could phone any time you want, but I didn’t need that much help. I just knew that I needed something.’

Giving up smoking

Back to Giving up smoking

Reasons to quit

Whether you’re living with or after cancer, giving up smoking has important health benefits.

Preparing to stop

Giving up smoking can be challenging. There are several things you can do that will help you quit.

Staying stopped

If you’ve decided to give up smoking, several things can help you stay stopped.

Reducing the cravings

There are several medicines you can use to reduce cravings and help you give up smoking.