Smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, and dramatically reduces both quality of life and life expectancy.
But you don't need us to tell you that smoking is bad for your health...
The benefits of stopping smoking
It has been shown that by stopping smoking, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing a number of long term health conditions. Did you know that within one year of stopping smoking, your risk of experiencing a heart attack is half that of a smoker?
Asides from the money you'll save, stopping smoking will also have a positive effect on your blood pressure and pulse rate, the oxygen and carbon monoxide levels in your body, and your risk of lung cancer (to name just a few of the benefits...)
And another bonus is that it will improve your sense of taste and smell!
Stopping Smoking isn't easy
We understand that smoking is a habit (a bad habit, and a tough one to kick). Giving it up isn't easy.
The good news is that your local Community Pharmacy is here to help you stop smoking. In fact, it has been proven that if you combine Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) with the sort of one-to-one support that your local Community Pharmacy can provide, you're up to 4 times more likely to quit than if you go it alone.
Yes.... FOUR TIMES more likely to successfully quit, versus quitting without support.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
There are a wide range of NRT products available to help you stop smoking. Nicotine patches are a prolonged release preparation, and are applied for 16 hours or 24 hours.
Alternatively, immediate release preparations are used to control cravings and are great when the urge to smoke occurs. These include chewing gum, lozenge, inhalator, nasal spray and an oral spray.
These products can be purchased in pharmacies or supplied free of charge through the smoking cessation service. It's always best to speak with a pharmacist or qualified healthcare professional, as they'll be able to advise which particular product will be best suited to you.
Smoking Cessation Service
The Smoking Cessation Service is available in your local community pharmacy. It's a twelve week programme of advice, support and Nicotine Replacement Therapy. The Smoking Cessation Service individually tailors the advice, support and treatment for each participant - making it bespoke to their needs.
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 'Quit Plan' is devised, and if the pharmacist decides that Nicotine Replacement Therapy is appropriate for that person, then a suitable product or products is chosen for the individual.
It is important to attend the pharmacy weekly for the twelve weeks, as this has been shown to be the optimum period of time to withdraw from nicotine. During these 12 weeks, 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 the quit attempt is progressing and how the body is beginning to rid itself of carbon monoxide.
The Smoking Cessation Service has proven to be very successful, with a good rate of smoking cessation.
For those who do not want to sign up to the scheme there are a wide variety of NRT products that are available for sale in your local Community Pharmacy, and the Pharmacist is always on hand to offer expert advice and tips on how to succeed.