Real life quitters
The real life quitters below tell their true stories about how they successfully stopped smoking and how they used the free NHS support. Watch the videos and read about their real-life experiences.
Beverley and Alisha, Edgware
Meet Beverley and Alisha, a mother and daughter from London who used their local NHS Stop Smoking Service to go smokefree together.
How they did it
Beverley was 46 years old and had been smoking for 30 years, when she suffered a cerebral aneurysm and stroke.
Beverley spent three weeks in hospital as a result of her illness and used Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help with her cravings during her hospital stay.
On being discharged, Beverley decided to go smokefree for good and was joined by daughter, Alisha, who wanted to support her Mum by quitting with her.
Mother and daughter made use of a local NHS Stop Smoking Service as part of their plan to quit, seeing an adviser to help them decide on the best course of action for both of them.
Now, Beverley says, they are reaping the rewards: Alisha has used the money she saved to go on holiday... My partner and I completely redecorated our house so it doesn't smell of smoke anymore. Receiving so much support from my local NHS Stop Smoking Service has inspired me to encourage my friends to stop smoking too!
Find the best support for you in our Ways to Quit section.
Meet Michelle, a mother of two young children from Yorkshire, who went smokefree after 17 years by making use of the Smokefree Together programme.
How Michelle gave up for good
Michelle had been smoking for more than half her life when she found herself becoming increasingly concerned about her health and her ability to look after her children in the future.
Michelle was deeply shocked when someone close to her died of a smoking-related illness and she decided to look online and find out more about quitting.
She decided to combine three of the different options available to her to stop smoking, signing up to the Smokefree Together programme and also making use of local NHS services and Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
This combined approach really worked for Michelle: "The Smokefree Together programme really helped by constantly reminding me that I did not want to be a smoker. I also went to one-to-one sessions, where the adviser arranged for me to get a nicotine replacement program... The support I received from the NHS was nothing short of fantastic!"
Mario Errigo, Winchester
51-year-old chef Mario went Smokefree along with his colleagues, after his local NHS service agreed to run a group in his workplace.
Giving up as a group
Mario had a 30-year habit when he stopped smoking three years ago, encouraged to go smokefree by the birth of his son.
Partners and staff at Mario's catering business were keen to join him and stop smoking together, so Mario's local NHS service ran a group in his workplace that went on to have a 100% success rate.
Support from his colleagues and local NHS advisers was invaluable to Mario and he's noticed a wide range of changes since giving up for good: "I'm able to taste, smell - all my senses seem heightened. I can also exercise much longer at the gym now. Although social gatherings were initially the hardest time to resist the urge to reach for a cigarette, now I feel a real sense of freedom."
When Jo's son told her how worried he was about her health, she quit with the help of her local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Motivation to quit
32 year-old full time mum Jo said that her son Dylan was the biggest motivation of all to help her quit smoking. Seeing him ask her to "stop smoking mummy" was enough to make anyone want to give it up.
After trying to quit smoking on numerous occasions with stop smoking medicines, such as inhalers, patches she always ended up relapsing. This time she's trying a tablet called champix and it's working really well for her, find out about champix and other stop-smoking medicines to see what suits you.
Jo has also been using her local stop smoking service to help her stop, and she's found their advice and support - as ex-smokers themselves - invaluable to help her on her way to a smokefree lifestyle.
Finding the right medicine and support from the local NHS advisors has really helped Jo - "it will have a positive impact on how I tackle anything in life now, knowing I can do this, which is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. If I can beat smoking then I can take on anything."
Brendan quit smoking with the help of his friends at Smokefree United, a football team run by his local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
A healthier lifestyle
Brendan, 37, has been a smoker since we was 18. Smoking didn't fit in with his active lifestyle and he was finding it frustrating that he couldn't keep up with his daughter in the park.
Brendan found out about a project called Smokefree United, and he joined a local football team of people who were also all giving up smoking. Brendan found that having the "emotional support from there on in, of guys all looking to give up in various ways but all looking to do the same thing, and that was stay off cigarettes, and it was a massive help."
Like Jo, Brendan also found the local stop smoking service to be a great source of encouragement to help him quit, rather than having to go it alone. Brendan said it's taken six to eight weeks to get the cravings out of his system but he's so glad he did it now.
It's a great feeling for Brendan when he sees that his daughter is happy that he has sucessfully quit smoking for good - "Going back to smoking isn't an option for me because I want to be able to keep up with her, I want to be able to see her grow up. It's a daily reminder that I have no intention of going back to smoking at all."