Improve your chances of quitting successfully with stop smoking medicines

Some people find nicotine cravings the hardest thing to handle about quitting. If this sounds like you, then there's no need to worry. There are plenty of stop smoking medicines out there and they can give you the extra support you need to beat the addiction. Here's our guide to stop smoking medicines, how they work and how to use them to help you quit for good.

What are stop smoking medicines?

Cigarettes contain nicotine. By smoking regularly and over a long period of time, your body becomes dependent on it. 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:

  • Champix tablets (varenicline)
  • Zyban tablets (bupropion)
  • Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), including patches, gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators and nasal sprays

All are available from the NHS with a prescription, and NRT can also be bought from pharmacies and other shops (such as supermarkets) without a prescription.

How does NRT work?

Which NRT is right for me?

Is NRT safe? Am I just replacing one addiction with another?

Are there any health implications?

When should I stop using NRT?

Champix (Varenicline) *^

*Only available to people aged 18 or over.
^ Prescription only medication

Champix works by reducing your craving for a cigarette. It also reduces the effects you feel if you do have a cigarette. You set a date to stop smoking, and start taking tablets one or two weeks before this date. Treatment normally lasts for 12 weeks. Champix 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 healthcare professional.

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