But giving up smoking is more difficult for some people than others. A review in the British Journal of General Practice shows that older people find it more difficult to stop in one go than younger people, heavy and long-term smokers find it hard, and - more unexpectedly - women find it more difficult than men.
People who want to stop because they find their habit is too expensive are unlikely to be successful, knowing the health risks does not make much difference, and some smokers are deterred by a fear that they will put on weight after they have stopped.
So what does help? If you believe you have some control of your life and are responsible for what you do, you will find giving up easier. The support of friends and family helps, and steering clear of smokers and smoky places, at least to begin with, gives you a better chance.
Going to a smoking clinic may make some difference, and if your GP tells you just once to stop and recommends nicotine chewing gum, you have a 23 per cent chance of stopping.