Medical Specialists® inundated with requests for smoking cessation treatment in the run up to No Smoking Day
Medical Specialists® Pharmacy are proud to support this year’s national No Smoking Day, which will be taking place on 11 March. For those not aware of its origins, No Smoking Day is an annual campaign that has been running since Ash Wednesday in 1983, when it was known as ‘Quit for the Day’, although despite the name, it is obvious this one day is intended to be a sampler / springboard for a longer-term and more permanent quitting of smoking. The campaign was initially led by a charity bearing the same name that operated in London with only four full-time staff, until it was then merged with the British Heart Foundation in 2011. The funds are provided by coalition of governmental and voluntary sector organisations looking to improve the nation’s health. Each year there are an estimated one million smokers that use No Smoking Day to try and stop smoking. The No Smoking Day charity has previously claimed that about 1.5 million smokers have successfully managed to quit for good since its launch 32 years ago. After experiencing a recent surge in the requests for smoking cessation treatment Champix, Medical Specialists® believe that this year, there could be potentially significantly more than just one million people trying to give up the cigarettes in Britain. What the campaign doesn’t do is attempt to harass or force smokers into immediately stopping for good – the day is primarily for those smokers that want to quit, in addition to providing support prior to and after No Smoking Day, with the British Heart Foundation website offering information on national helplines, local stop smoking services and the chance to join a support forum. The forum is an excellent way to get in touch with thousands of other fellow smokers looking to quit and lets people know they are not alone in their efforts to stub out. The forum is even moderated by ex-smokers that have successfully given up themselves. As the name of the charity would suggest, the British Heart Foundation use their knowledge and resources to boost the public’s heart health, and provide information on the damage smoking does to the body, even detailing some of the toxic chemicals that smokers inhale with each passing cigarette – it certainly makes for grim reading. The fact remains that smokers are at double the risk of suffering from a heart attack compared to people that have never smoked and smoking is the main cause of a multitude of cancers and lung disease. Even with these health risks, some people still refuse to stop smoking. This could explain why last year the British Heart Foundation chose to reach out to smokers in other ways – namely highlighting the financial benefits of stopping smoking. With the current financial climate, it is simply unfeasible to be regularly forking out £10 for a packet of cigarettes and skimp on food or even withhold paying bills. The British Heart Foundation have even detailed what people could treat themselves to with the money saved from not buying cigarettes*. For example, after… 1 Day – £8.50: two movie rentals / a new lipstick / download a new album 1 week – £59.50: a family cinema trip/ a pair of shoes / a meal for two 1 month – £255: a shopping spree / Premiership football tickets / a weekend break 3 months - £765 6 months - £1,530: a leather suite/ a home cinema / a top of the range bicycle 1 year - £3,102.50: a new kitchen / designer jewellery / holiday of a lifetime *Figures based on a 20-a-day smoker paying £8.50 per packet of 20 cigarettes. And if that wasn’t music to the ears of smokers, by quitting smoking they will earn extra pocket money on top of that already saved! Ex-smokers may now suddenly discover that life, home and car insurance are cheaper due to then being a non-smoker. Medical Specialists® wish all smokers the best of luck for next weeks No Smoking Day. There is plenty of help at hand, from the British Heart Foundation’s ‘I want to quit’ page, their links to a forum and various nationwide stop smoking services, to smoking cessation treatment from Medical Specialists® like Champix, for a more longer term quitting strategy. This treatment can be obtained by an online consultation with one of our GMC-registered doctors, or by sending us a private prescription.