Smokers looking to kick the habit will be offered free nicotine patches on the NHS in the new year, the Department of Health has announced.
Kits offered to smokers looking to give up will contain coupons entitling them to a week’s free trial of the patches.
Smokers hoping to quit will be able to pick up the kits, which also contain items including calming audio downloads and “health and wealth” wheels showing the benefits of giving up, from participating pharmacies across the country.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches contain nicotine, which does not include the cancer-causing substances found in cigarettes. The patches work by gradually releasing nicotine into the bloodstream.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “January is the most popular time of year to try and quit smoking. To give smokers some extra help, we’ve launched a new Quit Kit with a free one-week trial of NRT patches.
“Smoking costs the NHS billions every year and can cost a 20-a-day smoker around £2,000 a year, so giving smokers help to quit not only improves their health, but saves them and the NHS money.”
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