Stop Smoking Treatment

  • Register with iGP
  • Complete assessment
  • diagnosis & treatment
Back to illnesses

Smoking Cessation

We are currently undergoing system upgrades and therefore you will be unable to start an assessment. We will be back in July and will post an update in due course.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. If you require urgent medical advice, please contact NHS 111.



Please read all the information about your options below before starting an assessment.

Most of us know that smoking is bad for our health, however quitting smoking can be challenging. There are about 10 million smokers in the UK. It is the largest cause of early death and preventable disease in the UK. Smoking can reduce the life expectancy of a long-term smoker by about ten years. 

Stopping smoking at any age gives both immediate and long-term benefits to your health.

Champix can more than double your chances of quitting successfully.

Common Symptoms

Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes. Withdrawal symptoms for regular smokers include the following:

  • feeling irritable
  • feeling restless
  • craving another cigarette
  • feeling anxious
  • a headache
  • feeling hungry
  • not able to concentrate
  • feeling light-headed or dizzy
Common Treatments

Possible treatment we prescribe if clinically appropriate:

Champix (Varenicline) is only available on prescription. 

  • 2-week Starter Pack (£27.30*)
  • 2-week Continuation Pack: 1mg twice a day (£27.30*)
  • 4-week Continuation Pack: 1mg twice a day (£54.60*)

*Prices shown are the cost price of the medication, taken from the British National Formulary 2018, and are given as a guideline. Pharmacies will add a dispensing fee to this which will vary considerably, so it is worthwhile phoning around to compare prices. The medication is paid for at your chosen pharmacy. 

Please click on the medication above to read the Patient Information Leaflet for important information about the drug.

Options to help you stop smoking

There are many choices to help you stop smoking. These include nicotine replacement therapy, Champix, Zyban, e-cigarettes and psychological therapies. You can discuss all your options with your NHS Stop Smoking Service, pharmacist, doctor or nurse. 

Nicotine addiction is powerful and difficult to break. This is why many people find it hard to successfully give up. However, using a suitable therapy can make it easier. 

Information about Champix

Before you start any treatment, you should read the manufacturers leaflet contained with the medication. This has further information and lists all the potential side effects.

Champix like all other stop smoking therapies will require a mindset and determination to stop smoking. It will take planning and willpower for it to be successful. 

Champix (varenicline) mimics the effect of nicotine on the body and works in two ways:

1. It reduces the urge to smoke (cravings)

2. It relieves the withdrawal symptoms

It is thought to be the most effective medication for helping people stop smoking. If a person smokes a cigarette whilst taking Champix, it does not have the same satisfying effect. Champix blocks certain receptors in the brain that nicotine stimulates.

How to take Champix

You would need to decide on a quit date. Champix is taken as a 12-week course of treatment. The tablets are taken 1 week before the quit date. The regime is as follows:

  • Days 1-3: Start 0.5mg once a day for the first 3 days
  • Days 4-7: Take 0.5mg twice a day for the next 4 days
  • Next 11 weeks: Take 1mg twice a day for 11 weeks

Take each dose with a full glass of water after a meal (breakfast and your evening meal).

Champix and driving/operating machines

Champix may affect your ability to drive and your ability to use machines. Do not drive or operate complex machinery, or take part in potentially hazardous activities, until you know how Champix affects you.

Never give your medication to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.


Possible side effects from Champix

Most types of medicines can cause potential side effects. However, not everyone will experience them. The side effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but if any of them continue or become troublesome then speak with your doctor or pharmacist. 

The most common ones for Champix include:

  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • abnormal dreams
  • headaches
  • flatulence (wind)

It is thought that taking your last dose after your evening meal instead of before bed can reduce the sleep-related side effects. 


Allergic reactions to medication

An itchy rash, swollen face or mouth, or difficulty in breathing, may be signs that you are allergic to the medication. 

Please note that i-GP DOES NOT TREAT Medical Emergencies. 

If you develop a sudden onset of any of the symptoms below then you must STOP the medication immediately and seek urgent medical advice. This could be from your GP, Out of Hours Service, Urgent Care Centre or NHS 111. Call an ambulance or go to A&E if the symptoms are severe.

  • Wheeze
  • Difficulty in Breathing
  • Swelling of the eyelids, face or lips
  • A rash particularly if affecting your entire body
How to find NHS Smoking Services

Click on the links to find your free local NHS stop smoking services.

We are currently undergoing system upgrades and therefore you will be unable to start an assessment. We will be back in July and will post an update in due course.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. If you require urgent medical advice, please contact NHS 111.