More Help To Quit Smoking In Merthyr Tydfil
A new initiative providing smokers with more help and support to quit is to get under way in Merthyr Tydfil.
The scheme, jointly funded between Welsh Assembly Government and Merthyr Local Health Board, will enable local pharmacists to offer smoking cessation services. This will include giving smokers nicotine replacement therapy. The service will be in addition to that already provided by the All Wales Smoking Cessation Service and by GPs.
Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell said that helping more people to quit the habit will improve the health of the people of Merthyr Tydfil.
"The Local Health Board approached the Assembly Government with the idea of improving access to smoking cessation services by enabling pharmacists to provide advice and support to smokers.
"The people of Merthyr Tydfil have long suffered relatively poor health, such as respiratory and cardiac conditions. These can be caused or made worse by smoking.
"Given the large number of people smoking in Merthyr Tydfil, we have supported this innovative scheme to help people to quit.
"Smoking not only harms the individual but also their family and friends through second-hand smoke. Quitting smoking is one of the simplest and most effective ways in which a smoker can improve their health and that of their family and friends. Even if someone has been smoking a long time, quitting can have significant health benefits and increase life expectancy. So the message is - it is never too late to give up.
"We believe that the recent introduction of the ban on smoking in all enclosed public places in Wales will provide further encouragement for people to end the habit."
Director of Public Health for Merthyr Tydfil, Nicola John, said: "This is a really important extra way of offering people help to quit smoking. Pharmacies are very easy to access, and this initiative provides people with more choice of support for giving up smoking."