Chewing-gum, patches, sweets, sticks... substitutes come in many forms and they do work. Instead of going cold turkey, you still get nicotine and you wean yourself off it gently. You just have to concentrate on the 'social' and physical side of giving up, and avoid triggers. According to one study, 18% of ex-smokers were still going strong a year later. The latest in nicotine replacement technology is a nicotine inhaler, which even gives you a physical substitute for a cigarette.
Only 28% of smokers go to their doctor to help them give up, according to a study. However, aside from nicotine replacements and prescriptions, a specialist can really help support you in your preparations for giving up, keep you motivated and help you identify 'triggers' and situations to control and avoid to stop you getting tempted and starting up again. The 'best' way generally is a nicotine substitute combined with support from your doctor, nurse or a specialist.