Free support to stop smoking and kick start your New Year – Make Smoking History

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Free support to stop smoking and kick start your New Year

Smokers across Greater Manchester are being encouraged to put stopping smoking on top of their New Year 2023 resolutions to improve their health, wealth, and wellbeing.

Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership is urging smokers to get free quit support to help them stop smoking, including downloading the Smoke Free app.

Greater Manchester residents can get six months’ free access to the app which helps users control cigarette cravings, monitor health improvements and money saved, and even chat to a stop smoking expert 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since this offer was introduced in Greater Manchester in 2020, 4,500 people have signed up, who have collectively saved over £4.5 million from not buying cigarettes. On average, that’s a saving of more than £1,000 per person. In addition, an estimated 10.6 million cigarettes have not been smoked – protecting both people’s health and the environment.

For people like 35-year-old, Nicola, from Manchester, stopping smoking can be life changing. Nicola smoked for 20 years before quitting last January with the help of the Smoke Free app.

In the first couple of months, I saved just under £500.

She said: “I thought I would smoke forever and that there was no point in trying to quit again. Then the pandemic hit, and it made me seriously think about my health. It made me realise how important spending time with my family is and I knew I had to try to quit smoking again.

“I decided on a date – January 1st – and at first, I wasn’t going to tell anyone that I was going to stop smoking, but then I realised I needed to be held accountable, so I told everyone. A friend recommended the Smoke Free app and the more I researched it, the more I realised it was the right quitting method for me. You can set wish lists to save money, track your quit journey, see your health improvements, and get advice on how to deal with cravings and withdrawal. In the first couple of months, I saved just under £500. I’m also much more active now, am sleeping much better and have much more energy.

“My advice to anyone who is considering stopping smoking is find the right quitting method for you and get support from your family and friends as quitting smoking is difficult. They can help get you through the tough times. And if you relapse, don’t panic – draw a line under it and start again. You haven’t failed, keep going as you will succeed. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.”

Stopping smoking not only reduces your risks of serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, COPD and stroke, but it gives you an extra cash boost to help towards the increased cost of living.

If you don’t succeed straight away, it doesn’t mean you never will. Every quit attempt is one step closer to quitting for good.

Dr Matt Evison, Clinical Lead for Greater Manchester’s Making Smoking History programme, said: “Supporting smokers to quit is a key priority in the NHS and there are more ways to quit than ever before. It is never too late to quit smoking and you will start to see the benefits straight away. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health and quality of life, but you don’t have to do it on your own. That’s why local stop smoking services, GPs, pharmacies, and tools like the Smoke Free app are so important.

“If you don’t succeed straight away, it doesn’t mean you never will. Every quit attempt is one step closer to quitting for good and remember, the longer you are smokefree, the less you are at risk of having a heart attack or developing a serious illness like cancer or lung disease.”

There are more ways to quit than ever before, including:

  • Getting free, personalised support from your local stop smoking service, pharmacist or GP. Research shows that using free, personalised support from a dedicated NHS Stop Smoking Service means smokers are three times more likely to quit than with willpower alone.
  • Using nicotine replacement products, available from shops, pharmacies and on prescription to help you manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Switching to vaping. In the UK, e-cigarettes have helped many people stop smoking. New research has found them to be a substantially less harmful source of nicotine for those wanting to quit smoking.
  • Downloading the Smoke Free app. Visit to get six months’ free if you live in Greater Manchester (usually worth £60).

Find details of local stop smoking services and support across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester here, or call the NHS Stop Smoking helpline free on 0300 123 1044.