A new graphic anti-smoking campaign has now launched to try and show the harmful effects that smoking has on your body.

It is never too late to stop smoking – no matter how long you have been a smoker. The long term health and social benefits are very clear, and well worth the effort.

Accessible help is readily available in various places including your local high street pharmacy. Many local pharmacies offer a smoking cessation scheme to give you the help and support required to have a successful quit attempt. This is a twelve week programme of advice, support and nicotine replacement therapy, individually tailored for each participant. After an initial discussion with a member of the pharmacy team an appointment is made for the interested person to meet with the pharmacist and during this time a brief history is taken. Following a discussion a plan is devised, and if the pharmacist decides that nicotine replacement therapy is appropriate, then a suitable product is chosen for the individual.

 nicorette quickmist

There are a wide range of products available from gum to patches and the more recently developed Nicorette Quickmist mouth spray. Everyone has different requirements and these are taken into account when deciding which product to try. The patches provide a constant stream of nicotine over a 24 or 16 hour period, and are changed daily. Other people may respond better to an instant ‘hit’ of Nicotine, and this is best provided by the gum, lozenges or mouth spray.

Some people find that when they are trying to give up they miss the simple act of holding a cigarette. Those people may respond better to the Nicorette Inhalator, which is a unit in which you place nicotine cartridges and inhale like a standard cigarette.

The commitment to the course is for twelve weeks and is free of charge. During this time the individual calls in weekly for each instalment of the nicotine replacement therapy and can speak to the pharmacist if they are experiencing any difficulties. It is important to attend weekly for the twelve weeks as this has been shown to be the optimum period of time to withdraw from nicotine and the programme can be amended along the way to deal with any problems which may arise. After four weeks a measurement of carbon monoxide is taken from the participant using an in store meter - this is a good indication of how successful they are being. Ideally the amount of nicotine replacement required will reduce weekly until the end of the course when it is hoped the person will be a non-smoker. This scheme is very successful with a good rate of smoking cessation.

For those who do not want to sign up to the scheme there is a wide variety of NRT products that are available for sale in your local pharmacy, and the Pharmacist is always on hand to offer expert advice and tips on how to succeed. Some patients may get better results from using two products together, but this should always be discussed with a healthcare professional first as it is not suitable for all.
So let’s make the change in 2013 and let your local pharmacy help you succeed.

Gordons Chemists is the largest independently owned retail pharmacy chain in Northern Ireland.  Established in 1980, Gordons now has 49 pharmacies here and also 9 in Scotland. 

Products described are available at most pharmacies and Gordons Chemists does not endorse any individual product.  Always consult your pharmacist in relation to your individual symptoms.


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