Stopping Smoking

Should I give up smoking?

If you smoke, then giving up is one of the best things you can do for your lungs and overall health. Smoking is a leading cause of lung disease and lung cancer. If you have a lung condition, the best treatment you can give yourself is to stop smoking.

However, smoking doesn’t just harm the lungs, it damages almost every organ in your body and puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease and cancers outside the lungs too. Smoking also affects the health of people around you, from friends and family members to your unborn baby if you are pregnant. Giving up smoking is not easy for most people- nicotine is the part of tobacco that keeps you smoking, and it is extremely addictive. In terms of nicotine’s addictiveness, it is in the same category as drugs such as cocaine and heroin. People who try to quit smoking usually experience physical withdrawal symptoms as well as missing aspects of the habit such as taste and feel. This makes it very difficult to give up smoking, however there is lots of help you can access to support you with quitting.

Where can I get help to quit?

Research shows that planning dramatically improves your chances of giving up smoking for good. The most effective way to stop smoking is with nicotine replacement therapy that is right for you, and with support from others. Sometimes, people need a combination of different types of nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, patches and lozenges. 

There is lots of advice online from the UK Government and the NHS so that you can plan the best way for you to quit smoking, including how to manage cravings, nicotine withdrawal and more. You can get a free Personal Quit Plan and the NHS also has a quit smoking app, which guides you through a 28-day programme to help you stop smoking for good.

Don’t feel that you are on your own, support is available. Speak to friends, family, your local pharmacies, a support group, the NHS Smokefree helpline – or all of them – your chances of success will be much higher if you’ve got back up and someone to talk to you when quitting gets tough. You can find your local Stop Smoking Service on the NHS Better Health website, or visit our local service finder web page.To read some success stories from people with lung conditions who quit smoking, click here. The ASTHMA + LUNG UK website has lots of further information on how to stop smoking.