No Smoking Day – March 9, 2011

Want to quit smoking? Your pharmacy can help!
Do you want to give up smoking, but don’t know where to turn? As No Smoking Day approaches on March 9, pharmacies across Norfolk are ready to offer smokers advice and support.

Many Norfolk pharmacies now have a Stop Smoking Advisor based in their stores. Advisors can offer one-to-one advice and support at a time that is best for you.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches help reduce cravings that people can get when giving up smoking. Smokers can double their chances of giving up successfully by using them, and research shows that two-thirds of smokers want to stop.

GPs also offer stop smoking advice and support. NHS Norfolk commissions the stop smoking service Smokefree Norfolk from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.

It also commissions The Matthew Project to help young people quit smoking, and the Keystone Development Trust to provide a stop smoking service for migrant workers through the Mobile Europeans Taking Action (META) base in Thetford.

In addition, NHS Norfolk health trainers offer advice and support to smokers in the Norwich, Thetford and King’s Lynn areas.

Jennie Pusey, NHS Norfolk’s Stop Smoking Service Commissioning Manager, said: “There will be some people who tried to give up for New Year and did not quite make it. We want them to know that it’s never too late to try again. No Smoking Day can be a great time to pledge to stop smoking, so now could be the time to give it a go.”

Research has also shown that smokers are also four times more likely to quit with support from an NHS stop smoking service.

Since April 2010 6,929 people in NHS Norfolk’s area have set a quit date and 3,605 have successfully stopped smoking.

Ian Small, deputy head of prescribing and medicines management at NHS Norfolk, added: “There are 123 community pharmacies across NHS Norfolk’s area, so people throughout the county have access to over-the-counter medicines and professional advice.

“Pharmacists are also able to advise about the various support available to help people stop smoking, and we would urge everyone to make use of this valuable facility.”

If you do choose to give up smoking, you’re likely to reap the health benefits sooner than you think:

* After 20 minutes your blood pressure and pulse return to normal.
* After 24 hours your lungs start to clear.
* After two days your body is nicotine-free and your sense of taste and smell improve.
* After three days you can breathe more easily, and your energy increases.
* After two to 12 weeks, your circulation improves.
* After three to nine months coughs, wheezing and breathing improves.
* After one year your heart attack risk is half that of a smoker.
* After 10 years your lung cancer risk is half that of a smoker.

And there are plenty more reasons to quit. Stopping smoking can lead to better sex, improved fertility, younger looking skin and whiter teeth. You can also look forward to a longer life, less stress, and having more energy.

Giving up smoking is good for your loved ones too. Passive smoking increases a non-smoker’s risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Smoking is one of the hardest habits to give up, Vaping is becoming more and more popular over the last few years, it is a lot healthier, plus vape juices are so much cheaper than cigarettes.

For details of stop smoking services, including those provided at your local pharmacy, visit:

The NHS Norfolk website has a link to the NHS Choices website, which includes top tips and information on the financial and health benefits of quitting, plus a link to “We Quit”, the No Smoking Day 2011 website which is dedicated to smokers.

Call Smokefree Norfolk on 0800 0854 113 or email [email protected]

Is smoking your bad habit? Do Something Different!

NHS Norfolk is encouraging smokers in the King’s Lynn area to “Do Something Different” to stop smoking as No Smoking Day takes place tomorrow.

The Do Something Different (DSD) project is run by the West Norfolk Partnership and the University of Hertfordshire, and part-funded by NHS Norfolk.

DSD’s free six-week stop smoking programme works on a rolling programme, so people can sign up at any time.

The stop smoking programme is run in partnership with a variety of different agencies including the Stroke Association, the NHS Norfolk Health Trainer Service and Smokefree Norfolk.

Ronel Erasmus, DSD project manager, said: “Do Something Different is all about targeting people’s habits, and exploring how those old habits can contribute to unhappiness and health problems.

“No medication is involved. Do Something Different’s stop smoking programme is all to do with changing a person’s links with certain situations or people, and how those link in with the person’s smoking habit.

“We help participants break down those habits. For example, first we look at where each person smokes. Then we look at when a person smokes.

“Do they have a cigarette with a coffee? Do they smoke when they do certain tasks, for example when they’re talking on the phone? Or perhaps the person smokes when experiencing stress? We help them through a process of breaking the strong habit links and identifying triggers for the future.

“Next we give them daily tasks to try. For example, can they delay having a cigarette for 10 minutes or wait for something to happen first before lighting up, like the phone ringing or the mail arriving?

“By the third week of the course they are ready to quit smoking. In fact we find that people have often broken their habit before that, and manage to quit themselves.”

She added: “Our project pushes participants out of their comfort zone one little step at a time in a gentle and fun way, and opens their mind up to different possibilities around them.”

The brains behind the DSD project are Professor Ben Fletcher and Professor Karen Pine, from the school of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. They found that by making small disruptions to your everyday habits – thus doing something different – people get a different response than before, usually more positive which improves the person’s health and emotional wellbeing.

In continuing these changes people can stop smoking without having to rely on willpower at all, which often is the barrier to change.

A new book format of the Do Something Different stop smoking programme will be released to coincide with No Smoking Day tomorrow. Called ‘Love Not Smoking’, there will also be a website linked to the book and an iPhone app which follows the programme.

To find out more about forthcoming DSD stop smoking projects, please register your interest by telephoning 01553 616659.

Call Smokefree Norfolk on 0800 0854 113 or email [email protected]