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How to Quit Smoking with Cytisine

Tobacco smoking is declining in the UK. In 2011, 20.2% of the population smoked compared to 12.9% in 2022. Despite that being a 7.3 percentage point drop, 6.4 million people are still lighting up.

Quitting cigarettes has a significant impact on your quality of life, health, and even appearance, but it is a challenge. Although giving up can be one of the most difficult but satisfying lifestyle changes a smoker can make, help is available.

There are numerous quit-smoking aids available both over the counter and on prescription. One of the most recent quit-smoking aids to be approved by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was Cytisine.

Whether this is your first or third attempt at quitting, our guide will set you on your way to kicking your nicotine habit aside for good.

Why quit smoking?

There are many benefits and reasons why people quit smoking. Some quit for health reasons others may give up for financial purposes, but whatever your reasons are, you’ll reap many benefits.

Short term benefits

When you quit smoking, in just a few weeks you should notice the following:

  • An improvement in taste and smell
  • Shortness of breath eases
  • You feel like you have more energy
  • Any respiratory symptoms should begin to subside or get better, like coughing or wheezing
  • It is easier to exercise

Long term benefits

Quitting smoking for:

  • 1 year: reduces your risk of a heart attack by 50%
  • 10 years: lung cancer death risk halves
  • 15 years: heart attack risk is equal to a person who has never smoked

Smoking is also associated with facial ageing, so giving up will benefit your skin, helping you to look younger. There is also some research which suggests that smoking causes poor mental health. While a more recent study has shown that kicking the habit can significantly improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Financial benefits of quitting smoking in the UK

Today, a pack of 20 cigarettes can set you back anywhere between £14 and £18. That’s an eye-watering amount of money, more than £5000 per year if you smoke 20-a-day. Inevitably, quitting smoking will mean you are financially better off.

Even quitting with a smoking aid is significantly cheaper than buying cigarettes. For example, a standard course of Cytisine starts from £199.99 with Prescription Doctor.

How to give up smoking

It’s important to find an effective smoking cessation strategy whether you are a habitual or social smoker. There is no right or wrong way to quit smoking. Here are some of our top tips to help you smash your smoking targets.

Devise a plan

When you start on your journey to give up smoking it’s vital that you have a plan and set yourself realistic goals. Think about your answers to the following questions to help you develop your strategy:

  • What date do you want to quit smoking or give up by?
  • How do you want to quit e.g., go cold turkey, use a vape, try nicotine-replacement therapy?
  • What are my smoking triggers?

Try Cytisine tablets 

If nicotine replacement therapy isn’t an option for you or you feel you need a more robust approach to help you kick your smoking habit once and for all, Cytisine tablets may be a great alternative. 

Cytisine has recently been approved for use as a prescription-only quit-smoking aid. It is an effective strategy with eight trials involving 4020 smokers finding that Cytisine increases abstinence rates by 59% compared to placebo. 

Cytisine works by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain, reducing cravings. The treatment usually lasts for 25 days but some people may need to take Cytisine tablets for longer.

You can buy Cytisine tablets from Prescription Doctor. Start your quit-smoking consultation now.

The cytisine dosage schedule is as below: 

Find a hobby to keep busy 

Some people find that when they quit smoking, it can be difficult to resist the urge to light up a cigarette, particularly during periods of boredom. 

Try to find a hobby to help you combat these cravings. For example, you might find it useful to do some short bursts of exercise which can reduce withdrawal symptoms. You may also find fidget toys helpful when you feel the urge to light or roll a cigarette.

What other stop-smoking aids are available?

At Prescription Doctor, our stop smoking service offers two recognised prescription-only smoking cessation medicines. You can choose from:

There are also plenty of over-the-counter aids available, such as:

  • Patches
  • Chewing gum
  • Nasal sprays
  • Inhalators
  • E-cigarettes
  • Vapes

However, Cytisine is more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine replacement therapy and placebo.


Quitting smoking is a challenging but rewarding lifestyle change. Within a few days to weeks, you will start to notice positive signs and within a few years, you will have significantly reduced your risk of heart attacks and cancer. There are plenty of ways to quit smoking but our clinicians are on hand to help with our quit-smoking service.


Authored By

Hannah Aitken

Medical Content Writer
Hannah is a medical content writer who utilises her nursing expertise alongside her passion for writing healthcare content.

Published on: 17/05/2024

Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Reviewed on: 17/05/2024
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