As many of you may know smoking is the most preventable cause of death worldwide, accounting for over 8 million deaths worldwide every year and has been widely known to cause fatal diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to name but a few.
As a direct result of this, smokers cost the NHS on average a whopping £2.5 billion annually which is an overwhelming burden on an already heavily weighed down organisation. Smoking cessation programs and initiatives were found to be a way to curtail and help smokers save their lives, yet more recently due to government funding cuts, stop smoking services are becoming less well equipped and ultimately less successful. That’s not to say that these services aren’t doing an incredible job in aiming to achieve the government’s nationwide smoke-free target of 2030.
According to the latest ONS (Office For National Statistics) figures, 14.7% of people ages 18 years and above in the UK smoke, though in some areas this is far higher. Kingston-upon-Hull has the highest smoking prevalence in the UK with 26.1% of the population stating that they are smokers.
Results from the latest ONS 'Adult Smoking Habits In The UK' report also found that 25.5% of those working in routine and manual occupations (e.g. labourers, bar staff, lorry drivers, receptionists and care workers) stated that they currently smoked.
With this is mind, we thought it would be wise to compile a list and shed some light on some of the most acclaimed stop smoking organisations across the UK.
Stop smoking services in the UK
Where can I get help? Find the right service to help you to quit smoking below...
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The NHS Smokefree initiative is the most popular and successful methods of attempting to quit smoking. A personalised quit plan depending on your situation can be accessed either online or through an app, with guided support offered in the form of stop smoking services supported by the NHS. NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) and vaping are advocated for by Smokfree as a means of quitting, with advice on choosing the correct form of cessation tailored to your habits.
Launched in 2012, Stoptober is a month long campaign created by the PHE (Public Health England) which challenges smokers to stop for 28 days, which allows them to be five times more likely to quit all together. It remains the largest mass quit attempt in the country and offers a range of free support to help people on their quitting journey including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger alerts as well as expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services. With increased advocating of using e-cigarettes to help quit, Stoptober remains an incredible initiative which continues to grow year on year.
Smokefreelife is implemented by public health initiative Solutions4health, the largest community based independent provider of smoking cessation services in England. They offer one-to-one group sessions, drop in clinics, free weekly supplies of NRT, vouchers for vape starter packs and also Quit With Bella, an AI powered personal stop smoking coach to get you on the road to recovery. They also provide home visits for people with mobility problems and focus on the hardly reached areas of the country where support is scarce.
In similar stature to Stoptober, VApril is a month long campaign which specifically aims for smokers to switch to vaping and start their journey towards quitting, with the help of the Switch On to Vaping Plan and store teams across the country. Founded in 2018 by the UKVIA, famous TV doctor Christian Jessen fronts the annual initiative with events, talks and social media campaigns spreading the word on one of the most successful ways to quit.
The rise of e-cigarettes have found to be an incredibly viable way to quit smoking, with many viewing vaping as the most helpful way to cut out the fags. The NHS claim that two thirds of smokers who took up vaping with the additional help of local stop smoking services proved to triumph in their attempts to abandon cigarettes.
With free goodie bags and industry experts providing their wealth of knowledge, VApril remains one of the most celebrated stop smoking movements in the UK.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is a public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. ASH was established in January 1971 by the Royal College of Physicians and aims to not condemn smokers but rather inform and guide them on the effects of tobacco. They also campaign a great deal for a revision of policy measures relating to smoking whilst releasing informative reports on the statistics of smoking and vaping in the UK.
Their knowledge and drive to challenge the tobacco industry has been a catalyst in shifting public opinion on smoking and they continue to tackle the tobacco epidemic through determination and passion.
One Life is a regional based programme in Suffolk which was set up in 1999 with Leeds Beckett University, being accessible for everyone who has smoked a tobacco product in the last 48 hours, who’s 12 years old and above. Through one-to-one support as well as group support, qualified practitioners offer a 12 week support programme which includes carbon monoxide monitoring and access to treatments including Champix, Zyban and Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
Quit is a charity organisation who aim to reduce unnecessary suffering and death from smoking related diseases, whilst working towards towards a smoke free UK future. They provide practical help, advice and support by trained counsellors to all smokers who want to stop. They also have a dedicated selection of guides and leaflets looking at specific aspects of smoking which are all insightful and free to download.
Allen Carr was an accountant back in the 50s who claims he smoked 100 cigarettes a day. After quitting and releasing a book about his experiences, ‘The Easy Way to Stop Smoking’, he founded a worldwide company in his name which aimed to free people of their addiction, so far helping over 30 million people in over 50 countries. Through video calls, seminars and one-to-one lessons, the illustrious list of celebrity clients including Angelica Huston, Anthony Hopkins and Madonna, who have successfully quit speak glowingly on the organisation.
Quit With Help is a resource initiative created by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, educating users on the effects of smoking and the benefits of giving up through eye-catching, graphic animations and stories. With some astonishing facts and figures on cigarettes, the Quit With Help program will no doubt startle you into taking that much needed first step towards quitting.
Whilst somewhat controversial, hypnotherapy has proven a highly successful method of overcoming many fears and addictions. Whilst under hypnosis, thought patterns and behaviours associated with smoking can be altered to basically allow yourself to not want to touch a cigarette again. Hypnotherapy is rather pricey, but the amount that will be saved in terms of finance and health in the long term is invaluable. It’s also worth pointing out hypnotherapy isn’t a quick fix and requires self discipline and dedication, just like any other form of quitting.
The rise of health retreats of all kinds have grown in popularity over the last decade. Stop smoking retreats provide an alternative method of quitting smoking with a luxurious cottage getaway in Royal Tunbridge Wells thrown in for good measure. Through juice detoxing, yoga, reflexology, hypnotherapy and acupuncture, smokers are offered unconventional therapies to help cut out the fags and better themselves. These retreats have a large waiting list and with an extensive amount of glowing reviews, it can’t be argued that they are successful.
We hope this has helped and given you some much needed information to be able to take the relevant steps to stop smoking. Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any queries surrounding stop smoking services or vaping in general.