Join the thousands of people who have used Smokefree support to help them stop smoking.
Our specialist advisors are available to provide free expert advice and guidance on stopping smoking. They can advise on what stop smoking medication is best for you, set up a plan of action and help you address any problems you are facing.
Gum is available in three strengths: 2mg, 4mg and 6mg. The 4mg and 6mg gum is most appropriate for smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, or who are strongly addicted to nicotine. When you use nicotine gum, the nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth. When you first quit you should be chewing about 1 piece of gum every hour. To release the nicotine from the gum, chew until the taste becomes strong or hot. After this you can rest the gum inside your cheek. Once the taste or heat fades you will need to chew again to release more nicotine. Discard the gum after about an hour.
Gradually you can begin to cut down on the amount of gum you use. Try chewing for shorter periods, using smaller pieces, a lower dose or alternating with a non-nicotine gum.
Is gum right for me?
Gum can be helpful because it provides short bursts of nicotine. However, some people can find the taste unpleasant or dislike having to ‘park’ the gum in their mouth.
Nicotine patches work well for most regular smokers and can be worn round the clock (24 hour patches) or just during the time you are awake (16 hour patches), and they work by releasing nicotine directly into the bloodstream through the skin.
How to use patches
There are two ways to use patches: just during the time you are awake (16 hour patch) or both day and night (24 hour patch). The 24 hour patch may cause some sleep disturbance but is helpful for people who have strong cravings during the early morning.
Patches also come in different strengths. Whichever strength you start on you should aim to gradually reduce the strength over time before stopping the usage of patches completely.
Who should use patches
Patches are useful for those who are concerned about discretion (they can be worn easily beneath clothing) or dislike the taste of the oral products. They release a steady amount of nicotine. They may also cause skin irritation for some people.
These are small tablets containing nicotine which dissolve quickly under your tongue.
How to use microtabs
Microtabs are designed to be dissolved under the tongue. Make sure you don’t chew or swallow them – this may cause unwanted side effects.
When you quit you should use one or two tablets every hour for up to three months after you quit. You should then be able to gradually cut back your consumption. Once you are taking one or two tablets a day you should be able to stop completely.
Who should use microtabs
Microtabs can also be used by those who are trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke, as well as those who have quit completely.
Side effects of microtabs
Possible side effects include: hiccups, sore throat, burning sensation in mouth.
Lozenges are placed in the mouth and dissolve slowly to release the nicotine and take about 20-30 minutes to dissolve.
How to use lozenges
Nicotine lozenges work in a similar way to nicotine gum. To release the nicotine from the lozenge, suck until the taste becomes strong or hot. After this you can rest the lozenge inside your cheek – once the taste fades you will need to suck again to release more nicotine. Suck until the lozenge has completely dissolved – each one should last 20 to 30 minutes.
You should use lozenges for about twelve weeks. For the first six weeks you should have one lozenge every one to two hours. You should then reduce your intake to one lozenge every two to four hours, finally reducing to once every four to eight hours in the last two weeks of treatment.
Who should use lozenges
Lozenges are helpful because they provide short bursts of nicotine. Lozenges should not be used by people with mouth ulcers.
Inhalators look like a plastic cigarette. The inhalator releases nicotine vapour which gets absorbed through your mouth and throat. If you miss the ‘hand to mouth’ aspect of smoking, these may suit you.
How to use inhalators
A nicotine inhalator works by releasing nicotine vapour when you suck on it. Inhalers work very quickly so you should reach for your inhaler whenever you feel strong cravings for a cigarette. Each inhalator contains a disposable cartridge which has enough nicotine for around 3 to 4, 20 minute puffing sessions. This equates to around 400 puffs.
You should use the inhalator for a total of twelve weeks. Use between six and twelve cartridges per day for the first eight weeks depending on how many cigarettes you smoke. For the following two weeks reduce this by half, finally stopping the use of the inhalator completely in the last two weeks of treatment.
Who should use inhalators
The advantages of inhalators are that they work much more quickly than gum or lozenges. They can be therefore used directly when you experience cravings for a cigarette. They also feel very similar (because of the motion involved in using them) to a cigarette so become a good replacement – especially for those who miss the ‘hand to mouth’ aspect of smoking.
The spray delivers a swift and effective dose of nicotine through the lining of your nose.
How to use nasal spray
You use the nasal spray by releasing one spray into each nostril twice an hour. It should be used no more than five times an hour and no more than forty doses a day. Each dose will give the equivalent nicotine contained in one cigarette. This is the fastest way that nicotine can enter the bloodstream reaching the brain within 10 minutes.
You should use the nasal spray for a total of twelve weeks. Use between one and two doses per hour for the first eight weeks depending on how many cigarettes you smoke. For the following two weeks reduce this by half, finally stopping the use of the nasal spray completely in the last two weeks of treatment.
Who should use nasal spray
The advantages of nasal sprays are that they work much more quickly than gum or lozenges. They can therefore be used directly when you experience cravings for a cigarette – and most closely mimic the rush you get from smoking than any of the other forms of nicotine replacement therapy(NRT).
The nicotine nasal spray is the strongest form of NRT. This can be a very useful and effective form of medication for highly dependent heavy smokers who have difficulty giving up using other methods.
However this method is not suitable for everyone and may cause side-effects such as nose and throat irritation, coughing, and watering eyes.
*Only available to people aged 18 or overVarenicline, also known as Champix works by reducing your craving for a cigarette and by reducing the effects you feel if you do have a cigarette. You set a date to stop smoking, and start taking tablets 1 or 2 weeks before this date. Treatment normally lasts for 12 weeks. Champix is not available if you are pregnant or if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Your GP will only provide you with Champix if you are having behavioural support through Smokefree Liverpool. If you are wanting to use Champix as quit method, then please discuss this with our stop smoking advisor who will be able to write a request letter to your GP.
*Only available to people aged 18 or over.*
^ Prescription only medicationBupropian also known as Zyban is a tablet which helps you to stop smoking. You start taking Zyban one to two weeks before you quit and treatment usually lasts for a couple of months to help you through the withdrawal cravings. It’s only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant, or if you have a pre-existing medical conditions – discuss this treatment option with your advisor and/or your GP.
This 1mg fresh mint flavour mouth spray gets to work on cravings in 60 seconds. One dispenser contains 150 sprays of 1mg nicotine per spray. Spraying 1-2 sprays of Quickmist into the mouth is equivalent to one cigarette.
How to use
If using for the first time or if you have not used the spray for 2 days, you must first prime the spray pump. Priming: Point the spray away from you and any other adults, children or pets near you. Press the top of the spray with your index finger 3 times until a fine spray appears. Spray into your mouth avoiding the lips and try not to inhale while spraying and not swallow for a few seconds after spraying. If you find the taste too harsh try spraying onto your hand and use your tongue or finger to transfer spray to mouth (more controlled and effective). Use 1-2 sprays every 30 minutes to 1 hour. No more than 4 sprays per hour. Do not exceed 64 sprays per 24 hours.
The Nhs Smokefree app 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.
This app is a great way to help keeping you on track throughout the day, used in combination with the support we offer it is able to help keep you quitting!
Join the thousands who have already quit with our support.
Join other quitters to stay motivated as you quit smoking. Open the app when have a craving and instead play a game or connect with others. It also shows you how much money you’re saving and how much you’re helping your body by not smoking. You can earn reward badges for your progress if you’re into incentives.
E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to smoking or as a way to quit smoking. There is an assumption that, as they only contain nicotine, they are less harmful than tobacco. However, e-cigarettes are not regulated which means that you can’t be sure of the ingredients or the amount of nicotine they contain.In Nottinghamshire, health professionals do not support the use of e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking. This is due to the lack of regulation and lack of research into their effectiveness in helping people quit. Leading experts are also cautious about e-cigarettes as the harms they can cause are still unknown.
The government has recently banned the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s. As 80% of adult smokers first started smoking before the age of 20, this hopefully will reduce the likelihood that young people will become smokers.
If you would like more information about e-cigarettes, please contact the Nottinghamshire Stop Smoking Service (telephone 0800 246 1072 or 01865 238 036).
For Frequently asked questions about E-Cigs Click Here