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SALFORD ROYAL HOSPITAL AND PFIZER IN ANTI-SMOKING ALLIANCE
 

Star date: 7th June 2015

SALFORD SMOKERS URGED TO QUIT IN CONTROVERSIAL CAMPAIGN

On World No Tobacco Day, May 31st, a campaign aimed at Salford's 48,000 smokers was launched, encouraging them to quit smoking and donate their last empty cigarette pack to an art project that will raise funds for the charity QUIT.

The My Last Pack campaign is a partnership between Salford Royal Hospital and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which makes the controversial anti-smoking drug called Chantix, or Champix.

Full details here...


In East Salford, almost half of all adults are smokers, making it the highest area of a city which, as a whole, is way above the national average in the nicotine league with almost a third of residents confirmed smokers, compared to one in five nationally.

It's a huge problem, and on World No Tobacco Day, 31st May, a My Last Pack campaign was launched urging people to stop smoking and donate their last empty packet of cigs to a collection point at Salford Royal Hospital, which would then be included in an artwork by local artist David Boultbee `to convey the significance of quitting smoking'.

For every pack that is donated, pharmaceutical company Pfizer stated it would donate £1 to smoking cessation charity QUIT, up to a limit of £2,000. The idea behind the campaign - `initiated and funded by Pfizer and supported by NHS Salford and QUIT' - is to get people who want to quit smoking to seek help from a healthcare professional, rather than trying to go it alone.

"More than one in four adults smoke in Salford, many of whom will have tried several times to quit" says June Roberts, Assistant Director of Nursing at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust "Too often, smokers are unaware of the help available and continue to try to break free from their nicotine addiction on their own. We hope that the people of Salford will get behind this campaign and realise that they can get the stop smoking support they deserve."

While the campaign aims are good, there could be slight unease at the involvement of Pfizer, which manufactures controversial anti-smoking drugs, marketed in the States as Chantix and in Europe as Champix.

The prescription only drug works by reducing the level of dopamine, a hormone responsible for creating feelings of pleasure, but, following doses of Chantix, people have complained of side effects including aggression, psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal depression.

France has stopped covering the drug, there's a class action lawsuit against Pfizer in Canada and, in March, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that it was upholding its most serious `black box' warning on Pfizer's Chantix packaging which states `You are encouraged to inform friends and family of your quit (smoking) attempt, which includes treatment with Champix, and ask for their support and help in monitoring for potential psychiatric symptoms...'

Obviously, Pfizer denies that there is any link between its drugs and such side effects – but Salford Royal Hospital getting into bed with the controversial drug company for this campaign might be perceived as unwise, particularly if its health professionals are prescribing Champix as part of any anti-smoking therapy.

On Pfizer's www.quitwithhelp.co.uk  website would-be quitters are directed to a chart of stop smoking methods, one of which is `non-nicotine prescription-only tablets'.

Kenneth wrote
at 05:48:16 on 09 June 2015
what Convinced me To Give up smoking Was An Advert on the wall in my Doctors Which Read "if you think smoking is hard to give up Try giving up Cancer "
 
Kenneth wrote
at 14:34:50 on 08 June 2015
Remember The Thousands of Jobs We Were Promised When The Quays Were Up and running , Well Where Are They,
 
James wrote
at 06:38:31 on 08 June 2015
Smoker's have so much to loose and a lot to gain from quitting, a no brainer. So why is it so difficult? Nicotine is so addictive and your body craves a hit every time the level of nicotine drops. One treatment is from nicoiq.com which is herbal based and doubles the chance of quitting compared with nrt. its never to late to quit now.
 
Wendy Olsen wrote
at 19:52:34 on 07 June 2015
We don't need a deputy mayor for international relations or a subsidy from huge drug company. this is Pfizer preparing for the new health contracting by chatting up its new secret partners. i request the council to defend this in public in sn open meeting and in print. a big waste of time and ... worse to come...
 
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