Nov 22, 2011

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

A few summers ago we were camping with friends and in the evening I was smoking a cigar. I really like cigars. The next day someone mentioned the cigar to my daughter, Emily. She told them that her dad would never smoke, because smoking is very bad for your health. She said her dad was only using the cigar smoke to keep the mosquitoes away. Despite my daughters good intentions, I have smoked cigars and inhaled on many fishing trips. I wouldnt consider myself a regular smoker, but after a few beers I have enjoyed a cigarette or two. Yes, this is an occasional habit that isnt doing me any good. Emily wouldnt be impressed.


Smoking is the number 1 cause of premature death in North America. Name a body part, and we can tell you how smoking is bad for it. Other than the heart and lungs that everyone knows about, let's talk about some less discussed problems. Smoking decreases the blood flow to the skin, and this leads to leathery-looking skin and increased wrinkling. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to get cataracts -an eye problem that can lead to blindness. Smoking is the main reason people get cancer in the mouth. Smoking makes it harder for your saliva to remove germs in your mouth. You'll get stains, bad breath, and a higher chance of gum disease. Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to develop psoriasis - a disfiguring red and silver rash that can occur anywhere on your body. Smokers are more prone to stomach ulcers. The ulcers don't heal as fast, and they're more likely to recur. There's also growing evidence that smoking may increase the risk of chronic bowel disease. Finally, guys, smoking causes impotence.


Maybe I need a little more incentive to quit. What about you? What if the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy ran a quit smoking program with a cash prize of up to $1000? Would that help you decide to quit?


Here is how the program will work. You will come into the pharmacy and say you want to sign up for the quit smoking program. We will charge you $40 and give you a questionnaire to fill out. The pharmacy is going to keep $20 to run the quit smoking program and put $20 into a prize pot. We are going to try to enroll 50 people into our quit smoking program. If we get 50 people to put down their money, the prize pot will be $1000!


What do you have to do to have a chance to win the cash? After you pay your money you will get several questionnaires and assignments to fill out over several days. These assignments include having you log every cigarette you smoke and why you smoked it for 24 hours, and completing questionnaires that will help determine how addicted you are to nicotine. Then you will book an appointment to sit down with one of our pharmacists. The two of you will review how you smoke and how would be the best way to get you to quit. You will also have to pick a medication to help you quit smoking. Yes, you can quit smoking without medication, but we need you to be on one for this program. Ill tell you why in a moment.


After you have finished your assignments and met with the pharmacist, the pharmacist will help you make a plan to quit smoking. If you pick a prescription medication, the pharmacist will contact your doctor to get a prescription for you. You will then fill your prescription every 2 weeks for at least 8 weeks. If you do that, you are eligible for the cash prize draw of up to $1000.


Some of you might be saying, Hey, they arent going to check to see if I quit smoking or not! Youre right. There are two reasons for that. First, I cant physically follow 50 people 24/7 to see if they are smoking or not. Second, I dont want people to feel the need to lie to me. When people try to quit smoking, many are going to slip up or relapse. If someone relapses we want them to talk to the pharmacist about their relapse cigarette and make a plan to prevent that from happening next time. We dont want them to deny it ever happened in the first place. To be eligible for the cash prize, you just have to do all the assignments we ask and fill your medication on time every 2 weeks for at least 8 weeks. At the end of the program we will draw one name from the people who completed all their tasks and draw one cash prize winner.


The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy quit smoking program will run from November 24, 2011 to April 30, 2012. If you pay your $40 and do everything we ask, your name stays in the prize draw. If we get 50 people in the program, the prize pot will grow to $1000. That should be an extra incentive to quit! As an added bonus, on November 24 the quit smoking medication Champix goes on the Pharmacare formulary. That means if you are over your pharmacare deductible, and your doctor writes you a prescription for Champix, you wont have to pay for it! So some lucky people will only have to lay down $40, do some assignments and then pick up their Champix for free every two weeks for 8 weeks to be eligible for the prize draw of up to $1000.


Maybe this time you will quit smoking. Think about laying your $40 on the table. Maybe youll even win up to $1000! And if you see me with a cigarette in Dauphin, feel free to tell me my daughter wouldnt be proud of me.


As always if you have any questions or concerns about these or other products, ask your pharmacist.


The information in this article is intended as a helpful guide only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice. If you have any questions about your medications and what is right for you see your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

We now have this and most other articles published in the Parkland Shopper on our Website. Please visit us at www.dcp.ca


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