People in Walsall looking to quit smoking are being offered help and advice during Stoptober by a team from The Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy.
The pharmacy team is visiting a number of schools, leisure centres, food stores and travel branches in support of the NHS initiative which takes place in October.
At Walsall College, Wendy Dickinson and Nicola Allen were on hand at the college to offer support and advice to students and staff, providing tips on how to quit and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) samples on display.
A breathalyser test was available to measure the CO levels of willing participants and a cube of tar was on display, highlighting the amount of tar that builds up after smoking for two months.
Similar events will also be taking place in Aldridge, Brownhills, Bloxwich and Walsall Wood.
Pradeep Prabhu, Pharmacy Support Services Manager, said: “We are really excited to get out and about in Walsall and show people the benefits of becoming non-smokers. Through Stoptober and our own stop smoking initiative, we are hoping to help more people kick the habit and lead a healthier lifestyle.
“The smoking cessation services within our pharmacies have been very successful so far. Between June 2010 and August 2012 our four week quit rate was 52% which is 6% higher than the *regional average.
“We are hoping that by raising awareness, more people will understand the risks of smoking, see the benefits of quitting, and know where to come if they need help.”
The Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy smoking service is a free programme where participants only pay for prescriptions they need. Two nicotine products are also provided if the pharmacist deems it necessary.
Appointments involve taking a carbon monoxide reading, talking through patient progress and offering advice on ways to achieve individual goals.
The smoking service events during Stoptober are as follows:
Saturday 20th October - Co-op Food Walsall Wood - 11am - 1pm
Tuesday 23rd October - Bloxwich Leisure Centre - 2:30pm onwards
Wednesday 24th October - Main Walsall Travel Store – 10am - 4pm
* West Midlands Strategic Health Authority figures
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Midcounties Co-operative has its headquarters in Warwickshire, with trading outlets in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and the surrounding counties. The Co-operative Pharmacy – part of The Co-operative Group – is the UK’s third largest pharmacy chain with nearly 800 branches, offering products such as cough medicine, bio oil and other healthy supplements.
The Society’s trading groups are food retail, funeral, travel, pharmacy, childcare nurseries, employee benefits and energy. The Midcounties Co-operative is the largest independent co-operative society in the UK and has more than 470 branches, and 245,000 active trading members. It has recently been ranked in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For list.
The Society's mission statement is 'To be a successful consumer co-operative working towards creating a better, fairer world, and to enhance the lives of our colleagues, members, customers, and the communities we serve'.
For more details call Rachael Jones or Sarah Stevenson at Seal on 0121 616 5800.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will highlight the strengths of the co-operative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socio-economic development.
About Women’s Aid
Women's Aid is the national domestic violence charity that co-ordinates and supports an England-wide network of over 500 local services working to end domestic violence against women and children.
Keeping the voices of survivors at the heart of its work, Women's Aid campaigns for better legal protection and services, providing a strategic "expert view" to government on laws, policy and practice affecting abused women and children. In partnership with its national network, Women's Aid runs public awareness and education campaigns, bringing together national and local action, and developing new training and resources.
Women's Aid provides a package of vital 24 hour lifeline services through its publications (available in 11 languages including English), websites (www.womensaid.org.uk and www.thehideout.org.uk), and running the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline in partnership with Refuge. Women's Aid is a registered charity no 1054154.