QuitWithHelp.ie, the online resource from Pfizer to help people quit smoking, has announced that for this week (Monday 8th - Friday 12th), smokers across Ireland have the opportunity to avail of an online GP ‘surgery’ for free. The GP surgery is open each day from 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.00, and is staffed by GPs to give instant professional advice on quitting smoking. During the online surgery, the GPs will answer all your questions via a private Instant Messaging service – no one else is able to view the exchange.
So basically it's like going to your GP except from the comfort of your own home/wherever you are online and, of course, it's free!
The campaign behind the online activity is fronted by former Munster and Irish International rugby player, Mick Galwey, and follows recent research commissioned by Pfizer which found that 90% of smokers believe they are addicted or would find it very hard to quit smoking. The research also found that smokers have actively tried to quit a number of times, with current smokers citing an average of almost four (3.95) quit attempts.
Mick said; “I never smoked and am very glad for that. As a sportsperson we are constantly reminded of the importance of health and fitness to reach your full potential. Smoking can really hold you back from achieving that potential; it affects your ability to be as good a sportsperson as you can be. If you smoke it’s never too early to stop to improve your health. This online surgery is a great idea as you can get the professional advice you need, in the comfort of your own home.”
Dr. Ronan Donohoe, one of the GPs involved in the online surgery, commented; “Many smokers recognise the harmful effects of smoking and want to stop, but stopping smoking is a very difficult thing to do and can often take several attempts. I urge people to avail of this free service and seek professional advice on how to quit, as it has been shown that getting help from a doctor or other healthcare professional can double a person’s chances of beating nicotine addiction.”
As well as the free online ‘surgery’, the site also allows visitors to follow the real life quit journey of Eddie, a member of the public who has successfully quit with the help and support of a GP. Eddie also features in the ‘Quit With Help’ public awareness campaign that is running on tv, radio and certain online media.
About Quit with Help
Quit with Help is a public awareness campaign developed and funded by Pfizer. The campaign aims to encourage smokers who are serious about stopping to seek help and support from a Doctor for any quit attempt.
In Ireland it is estimated that 7,000 people die from tobacco use every year costing millions of euro annually to the healthcare system for treating tobacco-related illnesses. Smokers have an increased risk of cancers, heart disease, strokes, low birth weight and many other diseases. Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of illness and death and can result in people losing an average of 10-15 years from their life expectancy.