Referring to Stop Smoking Wales

What does Stop Smoking Wales offer?

  • Stop Smoking Wales is funded by the Welsh Government (WG) and is an integral part of Public Health Wales
  • Stop Smoking Wales is a free NHS service for adult smokers who are motivated to stop smoking
  • Stop Smoking Wales provides evidence based advice and behavioural support for adult smokers who want to stop smoking
  • Stop Smoking Wales aims to see all clients within one month of referral, as outlined in Designed for Life (Welsh Assembly Government, 2005).

What happens when you contact Stop Smoking Wales?

Referring to Stop Smoking Wales 1

Access to the service is designed to be as simple as possible, with the free phone number (0800 085 2219) to enable any smoker to self refer. A health professional or community worker may also refer an individual by phone.

  • Following referral to the service, an appointment (assessment session) will be offered to a client with a Stop Smoking Advisor within four weeks of the initial contact. The assessment session provides an overview of the behavioural support programme. Smoking history, motivation to stop smoking, nicotine dependence and pharmacotherapy will be discussed. This session provides the opportunity for clients to access and commit to the behavioural support programme.
  • If, following the assessment session, the smoker is deemed motivated to quit smoking and has committed to receiving support from Stop Smoking Wales then the client is booked into the intensive behavioural support programme. This consists of six weekly face-to-face sessions:
    • Treatment session 1 – Preparing to stop smoking
    • Treatment session 2 – smokers are expected to quit smoking by this week
    • Treatment session 3 -5 mutual encouragement and sharing of group experiences relating to quitting
    • Treatment session 6 – relapse prevention and assessment to determine smoking status

If the client is not motivated to commit to the six week programme, they are advised to re-contact the service when better placed to attempt to quit

  • The programme is offered as closed group sessions, delivered face-to-face
  • Information on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), Bupropion and Varenicline is provided. Stop Smoking Wales does not prescribe or supply any pharmacotherapy. However, as combining behavioural support interventions with pharmacotherapy increase a smoker’s chances of quitting, Stop Smoking Advisors will ensure that clients receive:
    • Standardised information on the range of evidence based pharmacological aids available, which will include brief information on the use of products
    • Support to understand which products would be most appropriate for them in relation to previous cessation attempts and information on their smoking behaviour
    • Supporting information to give to prescribers confirming their motivation to quit, nicotine dependence levels and relevant information on previous cessation attempts
    • Stop Smoking Advisors do not have access to patient’s NHS records and will not assess a client for possible contraindications to any of the smoking cessation pharmacological aids.

Referring to Stop Smoking Wales 2

Priority groups

  • Stop Smoking Wales offers one-to-one support for clients in priority groups, including: pregnant women, pre-operative patients, young people and mental health service users, if this is preferred to attending group support.


  • Weekly sessions are held across Wales in local venues on (weekday) mornings, afternoons and early evenings. Clients are encouraged to attend sessions even after their quit date, to increase their chances of successfully quitting smoking, and to provide on-going help and motivation.


  • Stop Smoking Wales aims to offer choice in where and when clients access the community based service. A range of local venues are used to deliver the service including: GP practices, community health clinics, libraries, leisure centres, community halls and workplaces. Clients are offered a programme at convenient times and venues within their locality, with day and evening sessions available.


  • Sessions are delivered by experienced Stop Smoking Advisors


  • Smokers are four times more likely to give up smoking using Stop Smoking Wales than if they try to quit alone (National Public Health Service, 2008; West et al., 2000)
  • Stop Smoking Wales ensures that the service delivery model is consistent with the current evidence base.

Click here for Stop Smoking Wales’ Annual Report, 2011

Benefits of referring to Stop Smoking Wales:-


Ferndale Medical Centre, 56-58 High Street, Ferndale, Glamorgan

Ravi Srivastava, Practice Manager: “Since the smoking cessation service has been available it has been a much more efficient way of dealing with cases, because Advisors can give much more time to the patient than our GPs. Rather than just giving a prescription, which never seemed to really work, the Advisor provides the patient support that really helps.

Many of our patients have given up smoking as a result of being referred to Stop Smoking Wales. A lot more people seem to want to stop. We take a pro-active stance with current and ex-smokers who still need regular checks. It is a routine part of our clinical services – any patient who wants to quit is offered a consultation with a doctor or nurse, who will make a referral based on their assessment.

Doctors do most of the referrals, although nurses are much involved because they do a lot of chronic disease clinics. As we can see it working it gives us more encouragement. The smoking cessation service has been a bigger success than anything we have been able to initiate ourselves. There is a good exchange of information.

In terms of benefit, time is the big issue for us. We are under huge pressure, and we are able to put the time we save in referring to the smoking cessation service to good use in the surgery. You cannot put a price on the health of patients, and we make referrals with confidence that patients will get the necessary support from a dedicated service.”


Clarence House Surgery, 14 Russell Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire

Helen Thornton, Clinical Governance Manager: “Our 10 GPs recently had an update on the smoking cessation service at the surgery, and the specialist left some useful literature to give to patients.

“We have found the service works well, and both doctors and nurses refer patients to the cessation specialist. We do this because Stop Smoking Wales is an established, dedicated service which can provide patients with the necessary support while they are trying to give up smoking, which surgeries do not have the time or resources to do. They carry out patient consultations before making referrals.  

“The time element is the main benefit to us – we can refer patients with confidence to someone who has the expertise to provide the required advice, help and support. This frees up valuable surgery time.”


Meddygfa Pengorof, Gorof Road, Ystradgynlais, Powys

Mrs Kathleen Lewis, Practice Manager: “We refer patients to Stop Smoking Wales if they have smoking-related health problems that need to be addressed. Smoking is the first thing we look at, because we have a high incidence of diabetes, heart disease and lung-related problems such as asthma, and chronic restrictive pulmonary disease. We have a lot of ex-miners in the community, and people who have smoked regularly for many years. We also have a lot of young asthma sufferers.

Both doctors and nurses include smoking in their regular screening programmes and both will make referrals to the Smoking Cessation Advisor, who attends the surgery one a week.

We have had a good relationship with the Stop Smoking Wales specialist for two or three years. The benefit to us is being able to take this positive step. We don’t just give patients advice that they should stop smoking – we take them by the hand and say do this now.”