This new year, swap smoking for more money and better mental health!

Stopping smoking is often referred to as ‘giving up’, but this new year, City of York Council’s Health Trainer team is focusing on the gains.
By swapping cigarettes to safer forms of nicotine, such as patches, gum or a vape you can save hundreds of pounds, whilst improving your mental and physical health significantly when you remove the harmful tobacco from your life.

Peter Roderick, Director of Public Health at City of York Council, said: “There is a misconception that smoking relieves anxiety, when in fact, it creates it. The relief that people feel when they have a cigarette is because they are giving their body the drug (nicotine) that it has been withdrawing from.

“If you are feeling anxious about the thought of stopping smoking, getting support from our stop smoking service can really help. Someone is with you every step of the way, from making a plan, through to providing a prescription for nicotine replacement items and weekly check ins. Your experienced advisor will discuss any challenges or wins you’ve experienced along your quit journey, and the best thing is that our services are free!

“We’ve helped hundreds of people successfully stop smoking, who never thought they could do it – it’s brilliant to see how much happier and healthier they become”

Cllr Jo Coles, Executive Member Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care, at City of York Council, said: “Stopping smoking remains the single best way anyone can improve their health and life expectancy and at this time of year lots of people try to give up smoking. We are committed to supporting anyone who wants to quit and have already seen some really encouraging drops in smoking rates in York as a result of new strategies and support. We will continue to embed health into everything we do as part our work to reduce health inequalities across the city. Anyone who wants help and support to quit smoking should contact the health trainers who are there for those who need them.”

Dave Jones, Tobacco Programme Manager for the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said: “The thought of stopping smoking can seem overwhelming and very final. For many smokers, their days are organised around smoking habits.

Swapping to an effective replacement means that the harmful tobacco is removed, without the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal, leading to improved energy, breathing, taste and smell within days, not to mention saving lots of money! A great tip to keep up your motivation is to put the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar, so you see exactly how much you have saved”

Once people have got used to not smoking tobacco and are ready to move onto the next stage, nicotine replacement products can be gradually reduced until no longer needed at all. Studies show[1] that once a person is nicotine free, mental health can dramatically improve, with reduced anxiety, depression, and stress.

Find details of your FREE local stop smoking service at . To sign up, complete the online referral form, message 07789 946 384 call 01904 553377 or email

To explore a range of stop smoking and self-help health apps recommended by professionals, visit the Health App Library here Free to download and full of useful information, hints and tips.