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Smokers encouraged to quit

No Smoking Day 14-03-2018 (Photo John Bugeja) Public Health Department in its annual No Smoking Day campaign in the foyer of the ICC Building.

Yesterday was ‘No Smoking Day’ and members of the health promotion team set up an information stall at the ICC to help those who want to quit.

Daya Dewfall and Emily Lopez from the Health Promotion Department answered questions from people who approached the stand and directly went up to speak to smokers themselves in a bid to show them there are ways they can give up smoking.

The GHA is keen to decrease the number of smokers on the Rock and offers a free clinic.

“We have the Stop Smoking clinic which is run by a nurse practitioner who has the right training for it, works with all the respiratory medicine and conditions and she offers you a support system for 12 weeks, less if you do not need the 12 weeks,” said Ms Dewfall.

“It is a structured programme and you can choose the patches or the tablets that are used to help you stop smoking.”

“The nurse guides you through the whole process and she is on the phone line or email should you need her,” she added.

Ms Dewfall believes the clinic works well because smokers are seeing the nurse regularly and they feel that someone has their back.

The Stop Smoking clinic has a success rate of 62% and more people are attending the clinic this year when compared to last year, Ms Dewfall and Ms Lopez feel this is very positive and promising.

They also notice that young people smoking is not something that is going away, “young people are smoking a lot, it has to do with some of the peer pressure that goes on and it seems to be also dependant a lot on the fact that cigarettes are so widely available and are very cheap,” said Ms Dewfall.

According to Ms Lopez less people are finding smoking cool than before and that people are asking more about e-cigarettes.

The variety of flavours of e-cigarette liquids makes it “very trendy and cool to try out these flavours,” likening it to the alcopops industry she adds that “it is almost tailored towards children, which is scary.”

She adds that at present they do not know the health risks of e-cigarettes and if it impacts in the long run.

“Health authorities in the UK tend to say that e-cigarettes are a good idea if you are stepping down from normal cigarette smoking, but for the average person taking up e-cigarettes is not a good idea,” said Ms Lopez.

When you are ready to stop smoking, call 200 07865 to book an appointment with the Stop Smoking Clinic or visit the Green Area at the Primary Care Centre.

According to the Health Promotion website “tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals in gaseous and particulate forms, many of which are highly poisonous and can cause cancer.”

Some of the contents of Tobacco Smoke are “Tar (a mixture of chemicals including formaldehyde, arsenic and cyanide), Carbon Monoxide {CO}(an odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas), Arsenic (a deadly poison, used in insecticides), Formaldehyde (highly poisonous and used to preserve dead bodies), Benzene (used as a solvent in fuel and chemical manufacturing) and Cyanide (a deadly poison).”

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