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Experts reveal there are over 160,000 ways to stop smoking

17 September 2013
Feature Healthcare

There are over 160,000 ways to stop smoking according to Boots UK who commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to discover the different combinations of support available1. Boots UK is supporting this year’s Stoptober campaign by encouraging people who want to go smokefree this October to visit their local Boots pharmacy where they can get help to find a way to stop smoking that is right for them.
The Cebr used a mathematical model that calculated the number of unique combinations of stopping smoking based on a set list of 21 quit aids[1]. From different Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) formats (i.e. gum, patch, inhaler, nasal spray) to prescription only medication, to one-to-one advice from a healthcare professional/pharmacist to access to internet quit lines, the model concluded that there are 163,839 stop smoking combinations available[1].
During October, the nation’s eight million smokers will be encouraged to take part in Stoptober[2], the 28-day national stop smoking challenge. Research has shown that people who manage to stop smoking for four weeks are five times more likely to stop for good. Last year[3], thousands of people successfully quit for Stoptober and Boots UK is calling upon smokers across the country to take part in the smokefree challenge this October.
Nikki Shah, Boots UK pharmacist in London says, “Many people who have successfully given up smoking have told us that one of the most important elements was for them to feel in control of their quitting journey. By having the right tailored support and advice in place, we hope to be able to help those who want to quit. There are now so many ways to stop smoking and a Boots pharmacist can help you choose the right one, as well as offer the all important ongoing support and advice throughout your quit journey. As our research shows, even if you have attempted to give up smoking before, there are many other options that could work for you, so speak to your local Boots pharmacist who can help you find the right personalised combination to help you stop smoking this Stoptober.”
Public Health England's Director of Health and Wellbeing,Professor Kevin Fenton says, “Pharmacies can play an important role in the stop smoking journey because they are an accessible port of call for people who need help in navigating the wide range of available quitting options. Having this kind of support on the high street means that people stopping smoking have access to tailored advice and support easily and conveniently. They can speak to specially trained experts in confidence and get the extra support they need to help them feel more in control of their smokefree plan this Stoptober.”
Boots UK also delved further into the nation’s quitting behaviour to discover that as well as the traditional methods behind the 163,839 ways to stop smoking, smokers and ex-smokers (N=1,115) also turn to more unusual approaches[4] .  Nearly half (42%) have tried or would consider eating or chewing something instead of having a cigarette, whilst others preferred to spend more time in places where smoking isn’t allowed (e.g. churches, theatres, libraries and museums (17%))[4]. Almost one in 10 (9%) have tried or would consider trying to hide cigarettes (e.g. in the freezer) and a small group (2%) would try writing a song around stopping smoking as a motivational tool to help them stop[4]
Boots UK understands that having easy access to the right support can make all the difference to helping those who smoke, to find the way to stop smoking that is right for them. The free NHS Stop Smoking Service and free NHS Quit Kit are already available in many Boots stores for people looking for further support.
The new Boots Smoke Less plan will also be available at 548 Boots pharmacies from 23rd September 2013. ‘Smoke Less’ is a free flexible programme that provides personalised advice to help you stop smoking. will also host a range of tools and guidance to help people quit during Stoptober.
To find out more about how Boots can help during this Stoptober, visit your nearest participating Boots UK pharmacy today for a private and confidential chat with a member of our pharmacy team. Expert advice is available without an appointment, to check the opening times of your nearest pharmacy, please go to our Store Locator at
For more information on quitting, visit the smoking cessation health centre.



For more information
Please contact the Boots UK Press Office on 020 7025 6657/
About the Boots Smoke Less Plan
‘Smoke Less’ is a free flexible programme that provides you with personalised advice to help you stop smoking. Boots healthcare advisors have been specially trained to provide support both in-store and over the phone and the plan includes:
  • Initial consultation to help prepare you for your quitting journey and agree personal goals
  • An information pack including a booklet, appointment card and a refer a friend flyer
  • An appointment to establish a quit date and create a personalised action plan which may include choosing NRT products based on your individual needs
  • A follow-up appointment usually 7-10 days after the quit date to see how you are getting on
  • Ongoing follow up appointments/phonecalls to discuss progress
  • A unique NRT exchange programme that lets smokers swap NRT formats to find the one best suited to them (offered up to two times – once after getting started and at the get back on track stage)
To help support you while you find your way with stopping smoking, Boots is offering a range of benefits when you join Smoke Less including vouchers and advantage card points.
In addition to the support available in-store, hosts a range of tools and guidance to help you on your quitting journey, including:
  • A money saving tool to show you how much money you will save in a day, week, month or year when you quit
  • A support tool to help you choose whether it is NRT, Smoke Less or NHS support that suits you
  • An NRT product guide to help you choose the right product for your lifestyle and needs
About Boots UK
Boots UK is the leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in the UK, with close to 2,500 Boots UK stores and around 60,000 employees. Boots UK’s purpose is to help customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. Customers are at the heart of our business which is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare, offer innovative products 'only at Boots' such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value our customers love. Created over 160 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.
Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, Alliance Boots is committed to improving health in the local communities it serves and helping its customers and patients to look and feel their best. Its focus is on growing its two core businesses: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution. Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine* countries and operates more than 3,100* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,000* have a pharmacy.
*Figures are approximate as at 31 March 2013 and include associates and joint ventures.


[1] Cebr Methods of Quitting Smoking Model, 9th September 2013
[2] Last accessed September 2013
[3] Last accessed September 2013
[4] Censuswide Research. 544 smokers and 571 ex-smokers. September 2013


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023