Stop smoking - Go to the pub!

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The Health and Fitness Blog

The Health & Fitness Blog is a collection of diary entries, news, gossip and other Health and fitness related information.

Stop smoking - Go to the pub!
Regulars at one Kentish pub are being urged to quit smoking – more than a year ahead of England's national ban.

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. But at The Chequers pub, High Halden, near Ashford, Kent, it’s nothing new.

The aptly-named Enterprise Inn set up its own ground-breaking scheme last month, in conjunction with the Ashford Primary Care Trust and Rochester-based Bedfont Scientific, launching a dedicated 'Quit Smoking Club' for locals.

Smokers turn up once a week, on a Wednesday, to have their carbon monoxide levels checked and to gain encouragement from others’ quit-smoking stories.

Would-be quitter Tina Bentley said: “It's a bit like Weight Watchers – but without the scales!”

More than 30 locals signed up for The Chequers' weekly club – and numbers are growing all the time.

Each week, members take their turn to blow into a CO monitor to see how much their lungs have improved – or whether they have been sneaking in the odd crafty drag behind the bike sheds!

Rochester-based Bedfont Scientific manufactures a range of breath monitors, which detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the lungs. Used alongside nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), the trademark piCO Smokerlyzer® monitors are proving highly-effective tools in helping smokers pack up the dreaded weed.

“Someone who stops smoking will notice their carbon monoxide levels drop within 24 – 48 hours by breath testing with the Smokerlyzer®”, said Bedfont's Sean Ayling. “The device acts as a great incentive and encouragement to aid smoking cessation as the results are instantly apparent.”

Bedfont's sales of piCOs escalated last year, following the Government announcement of more quit-smoking measures, and the company is now in discussion with a number of regional health authorities on ways in which they can work together to stamp out smoking ahead of next year's compulsory ban.

Former 20-a-day man and landlord of The Chequers, High Halden, Clive Clayson, said: “We would rather the Government hadn't intervened and had left the question of smoking up to individual choice. However, we have tried to turn the exercise into something positive and, by the time the new legislation comes into force, hopefully none of our customers will find they are affected!”

The club has been such a hit – particularly with men and women over 40 who are becoming increasingly health-conscious – that the pub has now been approached by the PCT to bring in blood pressure and cholestrol testing!

Clive, an inaugural member of the club and now a proud non-smoker, said: “A pub is the focal point of the community in villages like this, so we are only too happy to help provide a community service.”

Scotland introduced a ban on smoking in public places earlier this year and England is due to follow suit in July 2007. The great British pub – historically a place to relax with a pint and a cigarette – expected to be worst affected by the ban, along with restaurants, cinemas, theatres and nightclubs. However, if trends at The Chequers are repeated around the country, landlords could be in for a pleasant surprise.

Trevor Smith, Director of Bedfont Scientific, which recently sold 270 of its piCO Smokerlyzer® carbon monoxide monitors to the Boots Pharmacy chain for use in its stores nationwide, said: “Boots reported a 21% increase in sales of nictotine patches in the first quarter of this year, so it looks as though the British public are ready to embrace this latest stop-smoking campaign.

“Smoking is expected to be the biggest single killer by 2020 – responsible for more deaths worldwide than even HIV and AIDS. That’s quite an alarming fact – especially when it is something which can be addressed and successfully treated.”

For those who can't make it to the Ashford club, there's still help available, as Bedfont manufactures the affordable Smokerlyzer® System for the home user. An easy-to-use personal breath tester is supplied with 'The 3-Step Quit Smoking System', an invaluable stop smoking programme written by expert Nicky Willis MSc.

The complete System is now on sale in a blister pack from a range of retail outlets or direct from the manufacturers, priced £29.95, or the book can be purchased for £7.99 (Tel: 08700 844050)

Posted : 24/05/2006 23:22:23

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