Smokers across Northern Ireland are being urged to prepare for battle and attempt to give up cigarettes for good on No Smoking Day, Wednesday 12 March 2014.
Around 360,000 people aged 16 years and over in Northern Ireland smoke , but studies show around two thirds of smokers want to quit. The awareness raising day is the perfect platform to highlight to those wishing to kick the habit that the solution to their battle against smoking can be found at their local community pharmacy.
One former smoker, Sarah Hull who stopped smoking with the help of her local pharmacy explains the motivation behind her decision to quit, “I am going to be a grandmother in the summer and as I want to be in the best possible health to keep up with my new grandchild, I decided to give up smoking. I found the smoking cessation service at the pharmacy a really convenient way to help me quit. The staff were really helpful and motivated me every step of the way and now I am happy to say I have won the battle against cigarettes.”
This year’s No Smoking Day organised by the British Heart Foundation promotes a ‘V for Victory’ theme which is set to inspire hundreds of thousands of smokers to win the battle against cigarettes.
Gerard Greene, Community Pharmacy NI Chief Executive added: “Community pharmacy is the biggest provider of smoking cessation services with nearly three-quarters of all smokers (72%) that set a quit date in 2012/13 having used smoking cessation services provided by pharmacists. We know that quitting isn’t easy, but we want to reassure smokers that it is possible and their local pharmacy has an excellent track record in helping people to quit. In total 23,490 smokers in 2012/13 across Northern Ireland chose their local pharmacy to support them in their efforts to stop smoking”.