Smoking Cessation Programme

Are you ready to quit?

If you have decided to quit smoking, then you have made a great decision for your current and future health. It may be difficult at times but help is always available to you.

How we can help you

The smoking cessation programme at Acle Medical Partnership comprises both face-to-face sessions, plus follow up phone calls in between, to keep your motivation high. We aim to understand why you want to quit, and in turn, will provide you with clear, accurate, professional, sound evidence based advice on how to avoid cravings, and how to use your prescribed nicotine replacement products. With this specialist support and medication, you are up to three times more likely to successfully quit, compared to smokers who try to quit
without any support.

Carbon monoxide monitoring

We assess your smoking dependence by asking a few questions and taking a carbon monoxide (CO) breath test. This test will be carried out at every face-to-face appointment, to provide you with ‘proof’ that your health is benefitting from quitting. CO levels should drop to that of a non-smoker by the appointment after your quit date.

Withdrawal symptoms and cravings

Nicotine found in cigarettes is highly addictive and makes quitting hard. You will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Cravings can be especially hard to beat in the first few weeks. This is when the body will be adjusting to the lack of nicotine. Below are a few of the most common withdrawal symptoms you may feel during this time:

  • Stress
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Hunger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Just feeling awful.

Cravings can be brought on by “triggers”. These are places, events or emotions that may cause you to crave a cigarette. Each individual will have their own triggers but some common examples are:

  • Environmental triggers, e.g. holidays, celebrations, social situations or events that usually involve alcohol or cigarettes
  • Workplace breaks and routine work environments
  • Emotional triggers, such as stress.

Nicotine replacement therapy

Your prescribed nicotine replacement products will help you to deal with both withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Evidence shows that using a combination of nicotine replacement therapy is more effective. This means using a nicotine patch – to help with the background “nicotine hunger” and to provide you with a steady supply of nicotine throughout the day – plus a faster acting form, such as gum, spray or lozenges – to deal with the breakthrough urges to smoke and in response to cravings or anticipated cravings. We will tailor your prescription to fit your current dependence and needs, and make sure you know how to use these products effectively and safely.

It is important to note that NRT is an aid and will not completely get rid of the desire to have a cigarette. It pays to be vigilant, you may want to create a distraction plan – things to help take your mind away from thinking about smoking. You may also want to inform as many people as possible about your quit attempt, so that they can support you. When it gets difficult, always refer back to the reasons why you wanted to quit in the first place.

For help in between your appointments, try downloading the NHS Quit Smoking App or call the free National Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1014.