New Quit Kit could aid smoking cessation

In collaboration with Adfero

A new Quit Kit developed by scientists and smokers could help people to give up smoking in the New Year.

The NHS Stop Smoking Quit Kit contains a number of tools designed to help smokers beat the habit, including calming audio downloads, a stress toy and a device that shows the user how much money they are saving by giving up.

The kit was launched as new research involving 1,000 adult smokers in England revealed that 44 per cent hoped to quit in 2010.

When asked about the kind of tools that would benefit them, 54 per cent of smokers said they needed help to manage their cravings; one-third wanted advice on how to strengthen their willpower; and 32 per cent said they simply needed something to keep their hands occupied.

The survey also revealed that 42 per cent of smokers plan to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as nicotine gum and patches to help them quit.

Commenting on the new Quit Kit, public health minister Gillian Merron said that giving up smoking "takes a lot of effort and willpower".

"At any time, around seven out of ten smokers actually want to quit smoking," the minister revealed.

"NHS stop smoking services are rated as the best in the world and smokers who quit by using free NHS support are up to four times more likely to be successful.

"The government has worked with experts and smokers to create a tailored set of tools to help everyone who wants to quit. I hope the Quit Kit will help people stop smoking for good."

In addition to the other items, the kit also contains a 'train to win' willpower assessor that helps quitters to identify and avoid smoking triggers, as well as a toothbrush to remind smokers of the benefits of fresher breath.

Professor Robert West, from the Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London, said: "We know that certain triggers and cravings can threaten a successful quit attempt, and that people need to find their own personal combination of support and tools to help combat them.

"The best way to ensure success is by getting professional free support from the NHS. I would say to anyone who is serious about quitting to call 0800 0665 826 to ask about the professional help available and then to use it. For thousands of smokers that call will help save their life."

A series of adverts will help to promote the free Quit Kits and will run alongside a separate advertising campaign designed to demonstrate how much smoking affects people's loved ones.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "Smoking is an incredibly difficult addiction to break and it's a habit that will kill half of all long-term smokers. Most smokers would like to give up if they could. For some, stopping isn't simple.

"England leads the world in providing free stop smoking services and this new kit is another tool to help smokers. We encourage all smokers to make 2010 the year they seek support to help them successfully quit. Becoming a non-smoker will transform their lives."