Help is at hand to stub out smoking

PUBLISHED: 14:10 24 May 2007 | UPDATED: 21:42 29 May 2010

TWO pharmacies in Dunmow have joined a new national scheme to help smokers throughout Essex to quit their habit that was launched on Friday. Members of the Essex Local Pharmaceutical Committee, says that from now on, smokers wanting to quit will not have

TWO pharmacies in Dunmow have joined a new national scheme to help smokers throughout Essex to quit their habit that was launched on Friday.

Members of the Essex Local Pharmaceutical Committee, says that from now on, smokers wanting to quit will not have to go it alone because free advice from professionals is available in pharmacies throughout the county.

Anup Morzaria, pharmacist with Yogi Pharmacy in Market Place, said: "People just need to make an appointment with their pharmacy where we can assess their readiness to stop smoking and develop a personalised plan to help them quit."

Pharmacies regularly stay open later than other places of work which means employees don't need to take time off to visit them.

"We can help people identify the triggers that make them reach for their cigarettes and can continue offering support for a number of weeks," explained Mr Morzaria.

"They can also buy over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies at pharmacies.

"Health benefits of giving up smoking are vast; ex-smokers often tell us their sense of taste and smell has improved, they feel much healthier and persistent coughs disappear."

Philip Hodgkinson, pharmacist at Ropers the Chemist in High Street said: "This is a really good thing to get involved with.

"It's free, except for if you have to pay for prescriptions but even then you'll be quids in because you get a two week supply of patches for the £6.85 that a prescription costs.

"Also, you can get up to six counselling sessions for free on the NHS."

The offer of this helping hand comes as the July 1 deadline for the UK smoking ban comes into force.

The ban will make it illegal to smoke in public buildings with a fine of up to £2500 for the owners of businesses if they fail to prevent people from lighting up.

Smokers also face a £50 fine if they are caught smoking in banned areas.

According to Action on Smoking and Health UK (ASH-UK), the campaigning public health charity, in England one in two long-term smokers will die prematurely as a result of smoking.

It adds that there are 114,000 smoking-related deaths annually and 364,000 people are admitted to NHS hospitals each year due to diseases caused by smoking.

With cigarettes costing an average of over £5 for 20, a week's worth of nicotine replacement therapies will cost a quitting smoker just £15.

If you need help giving up smoking contact your nearest pharmacy to find out what help is at hand.

If you need help giving up smoking contact either Yogi Pharmacy in Market Place on 01371 873325 or Ropers the Chemist on the High Street on 01371 872669.

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