How to stop smoking

We’re here to help you. We understand that different types of support work for different people.

Your support, your way.

If you are stopping smoking by yourself you will want to make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

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You can always talk to one of our advisors if things get tough.


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Specialist advisors are available to provide you with free expert advice and guidance on stopping smoking.

They can advise on what stop smoking medicine is best for you, set up a plan of action and help you address any problems you are facing.

Calls can be arranged between 9.00am – 8:00pm, Monday to Friday or 10:00-4:00pm, Saturday



Maybe you’ve tried to stop smoking before and it didn’t work, or there are other challenges that are making it difficult for you to stop.

We offer face-to-face support to get to know you and help you succeed in stopping smoking.


Stop smoking medications

Using a stop smoking medicine can double your chances of stopping smoking.

How they work

Cigarettes contain nicotine. By smoking regularly and over a long period of time, your body becomes dependent on nicotine. Giving up smoking can cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which include cravings, headaches, feeling irritable and not being able to sleep. Stop smoking medicines can help you manage these withdrawal symptoms.

There are three types of stop smoking medicines:

  1. Varenicline tablets (champix)
  2. Bupropion tablets (zyban)
  3. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) including patches, gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalator and nasal sprays

All of them are available from the service, and Nicotine Replacement Therapy can also be bought from pharmacies without a prescription and other shops (such as supermarkets).

All are effective treatments to help you stop smoking, but you may find one suits you more than another. There are lots of things to take into account, so we recommend that you speak to your local Stop Smoking adviser, your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

Is taking Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) safe?

Some people think that using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is just swapping one addiction for another. But this isn’t true. NRT does not contain tar, poisons or carbon monoxide like cigarettes do, so it’s very unlikely to cause cancer. It is absorbed into your body in a different way to the nicotine absorbed from cigarettes, and it is very much less addictive.

NRT is suitable for most adults, but if you have a heart or circulatory condition, or are on regular medication, you should check with your doctor. Similarly, if you are pregnant you should ask your doctor or midwife before using NRT. You can get a prescription for NRT or buy it over the counter.

Available treatments to help you stop smoking


Gum is available in two strengths: 2mg and 4mg. The 4mg 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 stop smoking 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 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.

You should use one or two tablets every hour for up to three months after you stop smoking. 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. You should stop smoking within 6 months of using microtabs.


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. Inhalators work very quickly so you should reach for your inhalator 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.

Nasal Spray

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 NRT.

The nicotine nasal spray is the strongest form of nicotine replacement therapy. 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.


Varenicline (Champix) is a prescription medication available to people aged 18 or over only.

Varenicline 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. Varenicline is only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant or if you have some pre-existing conditions – discuss with your doctor or health care professional.


Bupropion (Zyban) is a pill that reduces your urges to smoke, and also makes smoking a little less rewarding for your brain. It is available for people only above 18 years of age.

How best to use it

Bupropion is generally less effective than Varenicline (Champix), or using two forms of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (e.g. combining the nicotine patch with nicotine gum). But if NRT and Varenicline haven’t worked for you in the past, Bupropion tablets (Zyban) may be worth a shot.

Mouth Spray

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.

Support near you

Enter your postcode to find your nearest support centre:

Kilburn Library 12-22 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 5UH, UK

Caledonian Road 250 Caledonian Road, London N1 0NG, UK

Chapel Street Market Liverpool Road, Islington, N1 9EW

Whittington Hospital Madale Avenue London N19 5NF

Inverness Street Market Inverness Street, London NW1 7HB, UK

Camden Council 5 Pancras Square 5 Pancras Road, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG, UK

Brookfield Park Surgery 68 Chester Road, London N19 5BZ, UK

Goodinge Group Practice 20 North Road, London N7 9EW, UK

St Lukes Community Centre 90 Central Street London EC1V 8AJ

Hornsey Lane Communty Centre 85 Crouch Hill London E8 9EG

Kentish Town High Street Kentosh Town High Street London NW5 2JT

Highgate Mental Health Centre Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19 5NX, UK

Queens Crescent Market Queens Crescent London NW5 4HH

Nagshead Shopping Centre Nagshead Shopping Centre 402 Holloway Road N7 6PR

St Pancras Hospital 1st Floor Gatehouse, St Pancras Hospital, NW1 0AE

39 Upper Street Islington 39 Upper Street, London, UK

222 Upper Street Islington 222 Upper Street, London, UK

John Walker Pharmacy Leigh Street, London WC1H 9QX, United Kingdom

Portmans Pharmacy Unit 5 Cherry Tree Walk, EC1Y 8NX

Apex Pharmacy 199 Old Street, EC1V 9NP

Rowlands Pharmacy 16 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE

Clerkenwell Pharmacy 51 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL

J.C. Wise Chemist 518 Hornsey Road, N19 3QN

Arkle Pharmacy 39 Junction Road, N19 5QU

York Pharmacy Unit 4: 400-404 York Way, N7 9LW

Wellcare Pharmacy 552 Holloway Road, N7 6JP

Superdrug 5-9 Seven Sisters Road, N7 6AJ

Hornsey Road Pharmacy 84 Hornsey Road, N7 7NN

Egerton Pharmacy 145 Holloway Road, N7 8LX

Dev's Chemist 110 Seven Sisters Road, N7 6AE

Boots Chemist 410 Holloway Road, N7 6QA

Chemitex Pharmacy 332 Hornsey Road, N7 7HE

Carters Chemist 47 Roman Way, N7 8XF

Caledonian Pharmacy 486a Caledonian Road, N7 9RP

Apex Pharmacy/Highbury Pharmacy 14 Highbury Park, N5 2AB

C&H Chemist 179 Blackstock Road, N5 2LL

Nuchem Pharmacy 159 Stroud Green Road, N4 3PZ

Avicenna Pharmacy 41 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EF

Apteka Chemist/ Lane & Foot Chemist 179 Seven Sisters Road, N4 3NS

Turnbulls Chemist 155 Essex Road, N1 2SN

St Peters Pharmacy 51 St Peters Street, N1 8JR

Savemain Pharmacy 166-168 Essex Road, N1 8LY

New North Pharmacy 287-297 New North Road, London N1 8SY, United Kingdom

Mahesh Chemist 111 Newington Green Road, N1 4QY

Essex Pharmacy 41 Essex Road, N1 2SF

Douglas Pharmacy 34 Ritchie Street, N1 0DG

Clockwork Pharmacy 273 Caledonian Road, N1 1EF

Clockwork Pharmacy 161 Caledonian Road, N1 0SL

Clan Pharmacy 150 Upper Street, London N1 1RA, United Kingdom

Boots Chemist 35-37 Islington High Street, N1 9LJ

Apex Pharmacy 204 Essex Road, N1 3AP

Four Trees Surgery 76 Queen's Cres, Belsize Park, London NW5 4EB

Westfield Medical Centre 543 Finchley Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7BJ

Westend lane surgery 125 West End Ln, London NW6 2PB

St Phillip centre Floor 2, Tower 3, Clement's Inn, London WC2A 2AZ

Mathewman practice Prince of Wales Road Surgery 87-89 Prince of Wales Rd, London NW5 3NT

Camden Health Improvement Practice 108 Hampstead Road, London, London, NW1 2LS

West Hampstead Medical Centre 9 Solent Rd, London NW6 1TP

The Regents Park Practice Cumberland Market, Kings Cross, London NW1 3RH

The Museum practice 58 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3BA

The Bloomsbury Surgery 1 Handel St, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1PD

Swiss Cottage Surgery 2 Winchester Rd, London NW3 3NP

Somers Town Medical Centre 77-83 Chalton St, Kings Cross, London NW1 1HY

Rosslyn Hill Surgery 20 Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 1PD

Prince of Wales Group Practice 52 Prince of Wales Rd, London NW5 3LN

Primrose Hill Surgery 99 Regent's Park Rd, London NW1 8UR

Parliament Hill Surgery 113-117 Highgate Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 1T

Park End Surgery 3 Park End, Hampstead, London NW3 2SE

The Keats Group Practice Keats Group Practice, 1B Downshire Hill, London NW3 1NR

James Wigg Group Practice Kentish Town Health Centre, 2 Bartholomew Rd, London NW5 2BX

Holborn Medical Centre 64-66 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NA

Hampstead Group Practice 75 Fleet Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 2QU

Gray's Inn Road Medical Centre 77 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8TT

Gower Street Practice 20 Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6DP

Fortune Green Practice 80 Fortune Green Rd, London NW6 1DS

Daleham Gardens Health Centre 5 Daleham Gardens, London NW3 5BY

Cholmley Gardens Medical 1, Cholmley Gardens, Mill Ln, London NW6 1AE

Caversham Group Practice 4 Peckwater St, London NW5 2UP

Brunswick Medical Centre The Brunswick, 39 Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AF

Brookfield Park Surgery 68 Chester Rd, Highgate, London N19 5BZ

Brondesbury Medical Centre 279 Kilburn High Rd, London NW6 7JQ

Belsize Priory Medical Practice 208 Belsize Rd, London NW6 4DX

Ampthill Practice Crowndale Health Centre, 59 Crowndale Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 1TN

Adelaide Medical Centre 111 Adelaide Rd, London NW3 3RY

Abbey Medical Centre 85 Abbey Rd, London NW8 0AG

Superdrug 82-84 High Road, Kilburn , NW6 4HS

Superdrug 3/4 Harben Parade, Finchley Road, NW3 6JP

Superdrug 232 High Holborn, WC1V 7DS

Sandylight Pharmacy 131 Queens Crescent, NW5 4EG

Sainsburys O2 Centre 241-279 Finchley Rd, NW3 6LU

Rowlands Pharmacy 21-23 Malden Road, NW5 3HY

Ramco pharmacy 270 West End Lane, NW6 4HS

Niemans (Starr) 81 Grays Inn Road, WC1X 8TP

Medicine Box 21 Camden High Street, NW17JE

Keats Pharmacy 30 Rosslyn Hill, NW3 1NH

Ipsa Pharmacy 7 Harben Parade, Finchley Road, NW3 6JP

Holborn Pharmacy 88 Southampton Row, WC1B 4BB

Hodgetts Chemist 79 Abbey Rd, NW8 0AE

Hill Pharmacy 27 Winchester Road, Swiss Cottage, NW3 3NR

H.V. Thomas Chemist 81 Mill Lane, London, , NW6 1NB

Green Light Pharmacy 62-64 Hampstead Road, NW1 2NT

Green Light Pharmacy 6 Cricklewood Broadway, NW2 3HD

Grafton Pharmacy 132 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 5AZ

Fine (Chemists) 86 Queens Crescent, NW5 4EB

Evergreen Pharmacy 64 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BP

Eico Pharmacy 97 Highgate Rd, NW5 1TR

Day Lewis Pharmacy 216 Belsize Road, NW6 4DJ

Day Lewis Pharmacy 126 Kentish Town Road, NW1 9QB

Dales Pharmacy Jasrup Ltd 463 Finchley Rd, NW3 6HN

Clockwork Pharmacy 150 Southampton Row, Russell Sq, WC1B 5AN

Boutalls Pharmacy 60 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1N 3LW

Boots the Chemist Unit 19 St Pancras Station, NW1 2QP

Boots the Chemist Unit 12, Western Concourse, Kings Cross Station , N1 4AL

Boots the Chemist Unit 2, Western Ticket Hall, Kings Cross Underground Station N1C 4AL

Boots the Chemist 8 - 10 Camden High Street,, NW1 2HS

Boots the Chemist 60-62 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 4HJ

Boots the Chemist 40-42 Brunswick Shopping Centre, Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AE

Boots the Chemist 40 Hampstead High St, NW3 1QT

Boots the Chemist 25-27 Farringdon Road, EC1M 3HA

Boots the Chemist 24 High Holborn, Holborn , WC1V 6AT

Boots the Chemist 211-212 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7PP

Boots the Chemist 191 Haverstock Hill, NW3 4RG

Boots the Chemist 173 -175 Camden High St, NW1 7JY

Boots the Chemist 16-17 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7AR

Boots the Chemist 14 Harben Parade, NW3 6JP

Boots the Chemist 129-133 Kingsway, Aviation House, WC2B 6NH

Boots the Chemist 122 Holborn, EC1N 2TD

Boots the Chemist 120-122 Tottenham Court Rd, W11 5AP

Boots the Chemist Main Concourse, Euston Station, NW1 9AL

Biotech pharmacy 96 Camden Road, NW1 9EA

Baban Pharmacy 42 Chalton Street, NW1 1JB

Aura Pharmacy 21 Becknock Rd, NW7 0BL

Aqua Pharmacy 59 Mill Lane, West Hampstead, NW6 1NE

Allchin Pharmacy 28 England's Lane, NW3 4UE

ABC (Day Lewis ) 321 Kentish Town, NW5 2TJ

Morland Mews 60 Morland Mews, London N1 1HN, United Kingdom

Monday 10:30-12:30pm

Brunswick Medical Centre 39 Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, WC1N 1AF

Tuesday 9:30-12:30

Kentish Town Library 262 Kentish Town Road, NW5 2AA

Thursday 1-5pm

Support in your community

Find all of the locations in your local community that provide support

GP Practices

The GPs listed on this page provide a stop smoking service (for their registered patients only)


The pharmacies listed on this page provide a one-to-one stop smoking service to anyone who lives, works, or studies in Camden or Islington

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