Stop smoking treatments
If you want to stop smoking, several different treatments are available from shops, pharmacies and on prescription to help you beat your addiction and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
The main reason that people smoke is because they are addicted to nicotine.
NRT is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke.
It can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as bad moods and cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking.
Varenicline (brand name Champix) is a medication that works in two ways. It reduces cravings for nicotine like NRT, but it also blocks the rewarding and reinforcing effects of smoking.
Evidence suggests it’s the most effective medication for helping people stop smoking.
Bupropion (brand name Zyban) is a medication originally used to treat depression, but it has since been found to help people quit smoking.
It’s not clear exactly how it works, but it’s thought to have an effect on the parts of the brain involved in addictive behaviour.
An e-cigarette is an electronic device that delivers nicotine in a vapour. This allows you to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking, as the vapour contains no tar or carbon monoxide.
Research has found that e-cigarettes can help you give up smoking, so you may want to try them rather than the medications listed above. As with other approaches, they’re most effective if used with support from an NHS stop smoking service.
When to have vaccinations
Here’s a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the ages at which they should ideally be given.
If you’re not sure whether you or your child have had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse to find out for you. It may be possible to catch up later in life.
Try to have your vaccinations delivered on time to ensure protection. If you’re going to be away from the GP surgery when a vaccination is due, talk to your doctor. It may be possible to arrange to have the vaccination at a different location.
5-in-1 vaccine – this single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (known as Hib – a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children)
2-7 years (including children in school years 1, 2 and 3)
Children’s flu vaccine (annual)