It isn’t easy to stop smoking. Nicotine is such an addictive chemical, and the habits and routines are very hard to break. BUT, if you are determined to quit, come along to the pharmacy and we can add Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, etc.), or perhaps Varenicline (Champix), and a lot of support, advice and tips to go along with your will power, together we can crack it.
The NHS smoking cessation service is free of charge. No appointment is needed. You will usually see the pharmacist for the first consultation, then, if it is OK with you, either the pharmacist or one of the trained pharmacy staff may see you on the following weeks.
We will provide any nicotine replacement products you need, tell you about how they work, let you try the oral strips or spray and say which you prefer. We also measure your Carbon Monoxide level at each visit. It isn’t painful! You just hold your breath for 15 seconds then blow into a machine. The smile on quitters faces when they get a low green reading is priceless – it makes our day!
We then ask how you have been getting on, have there been any tricky incidents, times of the day that are difficult, etc.. By talking it through we can often help you to work out some solutions yourself: If you used to smoke at the back door, with a coffee, then put the nicotine replacement by the kettle, move the garden bench from the back door, consider switching to tea or hot chocolate, deliberately have your coffee in a different room, perhaps on a comfy sofa. It is these simple small steps that add up to make it a lot easier.
We also ask about anything that is coming up in the next week or two, and help you plan how you will stay smoke-free at a wedding, during a visit from your least favourite relatives, or on a weekend away with friends.
Sometimes people manage to stop smoking for good at their first attempt, but many people need a few tries. Please don’t hesitate to come back if your first (or seventh) quit attempt wasn’t successful. We have been providing the service for more than 12 years and are proud of the determination and perseverance of our customers – we have successfully helped people to stop smoking who started smoking before we were born!
The “Pharmacy NHS Stop Smoking Service” is just one of the ways that the NHS in Scotland can help you to stop smoking. There is more information and support available on the “Can Stop Smoking” website.