A group of Swansea GP surgeries are to take part in a new initiative to help local residents quit smoking.
Supported by tobacco control campaign charity ASH Wales Cymru, doctor’s surgeries from the Bay Health Cluster area of Swansea have received CO monitors which record the levels of smoke in a person’s lungs.
Armed with these monitors, doctors and other healthcare professionals will be able to identify, support and motivate their patients who smoke to quit for good.
The smoking rate among Welsh adults stands at 19%, meaning around 580,000 people are addicted to this deadly habit. Currently only 1.3% of Welsh smokers attend the NHS’s free service, Stop Smoking Wales. A further 1% try to quit smoking via their doctor, pharmacist, or similar provision however these stats fall well short of the Welsh Government’s target of 5% annually.
Chief Executive of ASH Wales, Suzanne Cass, said: “We’ve very proud to be launching this new initiative here in Swansea. It’s vital we give smokers every opportunity, such as a trip the doctor’s, to get advice and support that could help them quit.”
“We know you’re 4 times more likely to quit smoking with support than if you go it alone. With these CO monitors, it’ll make it much easier for doctors and nurses to show would-be quitters the levels of dangerous smoke in the lungs and hopefully encourage them to quit.”
Dr Kirstie Truman, the Lead GP for the Bay Health Cluster, said: “Bay Health are really excited to be supported by ASH Wales in this venture. We know that smoking causes cancer, other lung problems and heart disease. The promotion of smoking cessation is essential if we hope to reduce patient’s chances of developing these fatal diseases. Allowing patients to see the level of carbon monoxide in their lungs will hopefully prompt them to seek replacement therapies and stop smoking.”
Eight GP surgeries are involved in the scheme; Gower Medical Practice, Kings Road Surgery, Sketty and Killay Medical Centre, St Thomas and West Cross Surgeries, The Grove Medical Centre, The Mumbles Medical Practice, University Health Centre and the Uplands and Mumbles Surgery.
Research has shown that 70% of all smokers want to quit, but finding information and getting the right advice can be a crucial part of that stop smoking journey.