When trying to give up smoking, there are several factors to take into account.

It is not just about deciding one day not to have a cigarette, getting help and support as you battle the cravings can make all the difference.

National Stop-Smoking Centres, run by NHA Research and based in Hove, is giving people who want to give up alternative ideas on how to achieve their goal.

People joining any of its programmes are given access to information about hypnotherapists and acupuncturists who offer services aimed at helping people who want to stop smoking.

The idea is to give people a chance to try alternative methods.

Centre spokesman Robert Brynin said: "We aim to provide a whole package.

"We can offer the help and support people need and the long-term back-up but there are other things that may help and this is where the hypnotherapists and acupuncturists come in.

"We have been approached by alternative therapists before about their input but this is the first time we have collated all the details and put them on to a web site.

"Hypnotherapy helps mainly with the phsychological issues, such as the fear of stopping, while acupuncture is primarily used for stress management and can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms."

The Stop-Smoking Centres offer several packages. A scheme called 3Stop is recommended for smokers who have experienced success in the past but have difficulty staying off cigarettes.

It is a simple, three-step programme which helps people to prepare properly, looks after them while they are giving up and then continues to support them while they learn how to stay stopped.

This scheme is recommended for people who have previously been able to stop but keep going back to smoking or have never seriously tried to stop.

It is also expected to help people who have failed in the past because they did not have anyone to give them the support they needed.

One of the centre's main services is the Phoenix programme. It is for smokers who are serious about stopping, have tried before and failed and are ready to invest time and effort in stopping.

Mr Brynin said: "The starting point is that you smoke not for pleasure or because of the habit but to get nicotine. You are addicted and this has created your psychological dependence."

Under the Phoenix programme, medical staff will prescribe a neutrogen which stops withdrawal symptoms.

A specialist counsellor analyses the smoker's problems, then provides a carefully-structured programme.

The patient first attends a single, three-hour appointment in a private medical clinic and is seen by a specialist doctor and a counsellor.

The neutrogen, which is taken in the form of mouth drops, is not a tobacco substitute.

Instead of putting more nicotine into the smoker's body, it puts a dummy tobacco molecule into the nicotine receptors in the immune system which effectively cuts out withdrawal symptoms.

Because the patient now has no use for nicotine, the psychological part of the programme falls into place.

A counsellor will spend three hours going through every problem a person has had with stopping - the habit, stress management, weight gain, fear and anything that concerns them.

Mr Brynin said: "People often come to us when they have tried everything else and nothing seems to be working. We are able to offer them something different."

The non-profit, specialist company has helped more than 5,000 people across the UK and the response has been positive.

NHA Research also carries out educational work such as giving talks to schools about the work it does and the dangers of addiction.

There are about 13 million cigarette-smoking adults in the UK - 28 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women - and, each year, smoking-related illnesses account for eight million consultations with GPs and more than seven million prescriptions.

For more details of NHA's work, call 01273 205196 or go to www.stop-smokingcentres.co.uk