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National No Smoking Day

National No Smoking Day takes place on 8 March and it is the perfect opportunity for smokers to leave their bad habit behind.

This is why doctors at Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are advising local residents on the best ways to stop smoking. There are plenty of treatments available from shops, pharmacies and on prescription to help you beat your addiction.

The most recently introduced treatment is e-cigarettes, which are electronic devices that deliver nicotine in vapour and are available in a number of flavours. The devices contain nicotine but are without the most harmful substances which are found in cigarettes, such as tar and carbon monoxide.

Research shows that e-cigarettes can help you stop smoking and, like all treatments, they are most effective if used with support from the NHS stop smoking service.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar and carbon monoxide. It can help reduce withdrawal effects, such as cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking.

NRT is available in a number of forms, including skin patches, chewing gum, tablets and nasal and mouth spray. They are all available on prescription and can be purchased from pharmacies and shops.

Both varenicline and bupropion are readily available via prescription. Varenicline reduces nicotine cravings and blocks the effects of smoking. Bupropion, which was originally used to treat depression, has since been found to help people quit smoking.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:  “Stopping smoking can be extremely difficult because it is highly addictive. However, there are a number of treatments available which can help you through the process.

“E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst the younger generation. It is an effective way to stop smoking and the devices do not contain tar or carbon monoxide.“

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair at East Lancashire CCG said: “The best treatment for you will depend on your personal preference but I would suggest speaking to your GP practice for advice on which one is most suitable. Your local NHS stop smoking service will also provide plenty of support.”

Individuals are encouraged to use their local NHS stop smoking service alongside their chosen treatment. The service provides plenty of support through an app, email, text or a face-to-face meeting.

Studies show that people are four times more likely to quit smoking with the combination of medicine and help and support from their local stop smoking service.

To find out more about the stop smoking service for East Lancashire visit: https://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Stop-Smoking

for the Blackburn with Darwen area visit http://www.refreshbwd.com/health-topic/smoking

or call the Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84.