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Stopping Smoking

Graphic of a person putting out a cigarette.
Quitting smoking is the single best thing a person can do to improve their health.

Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable ill health in Wales, and a significant cause of health inequity. Despite considerable progress in reducing the prevalence of smoking data from the Welsh Health Survey2015 show there are still around 490,000 adult smokers in Wales. The survey also shows that over 2 in 3 smokers want to stop and approximately 40% of smokers actively try to quit each year.

The Welsh Government has set an ambitious annual target to treat 5% of the smoking population through NHS stop smoking services and to reduce adult smoking rates to 16% by 2020.


"Are you interested in stopping smoking?"

  • Stop smoking rather than cutting down
  • It is the most important thing you can do to benefit your health.
  • The benefits of quitting start straight away. It’s never too late to stop.
  • Within 3 days your taste and smell will start to improve, breathing will become easier and energy levels increase. After 1 year the risk of you having a heart attack will fall to half that of a smoker.
  • Stopping smoking saves money. Stopping smoking 20 cigarettes a day will save you over £2,000 a year.
  • People who breathe second-hand smoke are at risk of many of the same diseases as smokers, including cancer and heart disease. 
  • Children exposed to second-hand smoke have a higher risk of bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks and ear infections.
  • There is plenty of support available to stop smoking.  You are four times more likely to stop smoking using an NHS Stop Smoking Service than if you try to quit alone.

Health professionals can refer people to the NHS smoking cessation service, Help Me Quit

Help Me Quit covers all smoking cessation services in Wales. It includes Stop Smoking Wales, Hospital services and Community Pharamcies (amongst other services in certain areas of Wales).

They offer support to smokers in many community locations in groups or one-to-one sessions, as well as sessions over the telephone.

Visit the Help Me Quit website for further information.

Smokers can be referred via another organisation such as their Health Professional (e.g GP, Dentist or Midwife), a local authority scheme, workplace or via a third sector organisation.

Personalised accounts for your organisation can be created via the e-referral system known as Quit Manager or you can use the Help Me Quit referral form for professionals online.

These referrals will be processed within 48 hours and the Help Me Quit contact centre team will call the client directly from a private/ withheld number.

For more information on establishing a referral route, e-mail the Help Me Quit team:

They can also self-refer by calling 0800 085 2219, visiting the Help Me Quit Website, or texting "HMQ" to 80818.

For Patients at UHW and UHL -  refer to the in-house smoking cessation service.

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