Jan 21, 2014

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

"(I) have called you several times and you did not take my calls. Maybe the only way to get my message to you is here. Mom and Dad will not pressure you to get married ever again. Please come back home for New Year! Love, Mom," That could be the best guilt trip ever! Last week a mother from Guangzhou, China bought the entire front page of a Chinese language newspaper in Australia to publish this open letter to her son. The Lunar New Year is a huge holiday in China and people are expected to go home and celebrate with their families. I imagine it is like our version of Christmas and New Years rolled into one. I am going to have to remember this flamboyant, if expensive, guilt trip when my kids get older.

Negative motivators like guilt are not good instigators of change. If you want to change a behavior, it is better to focus on a positive outcome. For example if you smoke, there is nothing better that you can do for your health than to quit.

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 better health is not your main concern right now. How about saving money? Well if you are over 18, on social assistance and a resident of Manitoba, the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy may have the program for you.

The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in our area that is part of the Pharmacist Initiated Smoking Cessation Program. If you are on Social Assistance, this Pilot Program will pay for a pharmacists time to develop a quit smoking plan with you. The Pilot Project will also pay for any quit smoking medication you wish to try. 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 give you a consent form to fill out and a questionnaire to take home. After you have done some homework for us like logging every cigarette you smoked for 24 hours, we will sit down with you. During that session we will develop a quit smoking plan. If you and your pharmacist decide you want a medication to help you quit, we can get a prescription from your doctor.

That brings us to the next great thing about this program. If you are on Social Assistance and join the program, any quit smoking medication is free! That is a much better deal than the regular Social Assistance program. The regular Social Assistance program only covers the prescription drug Champix. However, if you join the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy Pilot Program, whether you choose nicotine replacement like gum, and patches, or Zyban or Champix, they all will be covered!

What if you arent on Social Assistance? The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy still wants to help you quit smoking. We will still develop a plan for you, but we will charge you $99 and you will have to pay for your quit smoking medications. If you consider how much it costs to smoke, that is still a pretty good deal.

The best deal, though is for people on Social Assistance. The number of spots we have to enroll new participants is limited. So is the timeframe of the Pilot Project. The Pilot Project will only be recruiting new participants until the end of January. So, if you are interested, call us today at 204-638-4602.

Stay positive. Quitting smoking will be hard, but you can do it. And there could be more rewards to quitting than you think. If you saved about $15 per day on not smoking, you would save over $5000 in one year. That could be a nice trip to Mexico for you next January. That would be a nice reward for your hard work, wouldnt it?

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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