Congratulations! The very fact you are here means that you have taken that first vital step in what could be the most important journey you have ever undertaken; that of a smoker to a non-smoker.  Really wanting to give up is essential if you are to succeed as you will have to implement grit, determination and more than a shade of willpower to complete this journey. It is no good bowing to peer pressure and agreeing to give up because someone else wants you to, as this guarantees failure.

The journey ahead of you won’t be easy, there will be tough times when you feel like ripping off that patch, throwing away the gum and lighting a cigarette, and getting you past that without you giving in, is what the support network around you is all about. If you wanted to stop smoking a few decades ago you had no option but to go cold turkey and take all the consequences that came with in the shape of mood swings, irritability and nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

As the health risks associated with smoking have become better understood and documented, more and more stop smoking aids have appeared on the market to try and make the whole process a lot easier for those who have realised for themselves the damage they are doing not only to themselves but also their bank balances. If you are prepared to increase the risk of heart problems and cancer and can afford to watch thousands of pounds a year go up in smoke then you are in the wrong place.

For those who have decided, for themselves, that enough is enough, then the first step is going along to one of the many stop smoking services that are readily available at both doctors surgeries, pharmacies and, sometimes, from your employer. The key here is honesty, if you smoke 30 a day then don’t say 10, otherwise you will be given the strength of treatment that delivers a much lower hit of nicotine than you need and failure is much more likely.

Once you have been assessed you will have the various aids available to you. The long term favourite combination of patches with gum, lozenges or spray is fast being overtaken by the tablets that are now on the market. These effectively tell your brain that you no longer smoke, removing the nicotine craving, and the success rate of these tablets has far exceeded expectation. You can’t argue with statistics, and the convenience of taking a pill to stop smoking is quite extraordinary.

In regards to the financial side, think of what you could do with that money you are setting fire too. A person who smokes 20 cigarettes a day will, over the course of a year, relieve their bank balances of around £2500. Think about that for a moment, £2500, what could you do with that? A holiday, home improvements, the list is endless, and it will stay just that, a list, until you make that decision to stop your money going up in smoke. So how much do you want a cigarette now?