Saturday, 18th August 2018
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With January fading into a memory now so are many people’s New Year’s resolutions - research shows most resolutions will not make it past the second week in February. And with quitting smoking one of the most common resolutions, it has been revealed that a huge majority (85%) of would-be quitters try multiple times to quit but ultimately go back to the habit.

Most Irish smokers have declared they would like to stop, yet without the right support many sadly, pick up the habit again. With this in mind, Boots have an exciting new proposition for all Irish smokers – they will support those who want to stop smoking, by rewarding them when they Stop For Good. Through their revamped, evidence-based Stop For Good Rewards service, Boots will provide participants who remain smoke free through the 12 weeks of the programme with goodies worth up to €75, expert advice and support when they most crave it.

Participants in the Stop For Good Rewards programme will have one-to-one sessions with a fully trained Stop For Good Advisor, who will help them create a personalised plan and support them on their quest towards a healthier lifestyle. Over a 12-week period, participants will have one-to-one sessions with their Advisor to keep them on track with their progress, while rewarding them for meeting their goals with products, money-off vouchers and even an in-store makeover or skincare consultation.

Looking to further understand the reason most Irish smokers are failing in their attempts to quit, the Boots research shows that stressful situations are the main reason most have relapsed (39%), followed by consuming alcohol (28%). Nearly twice as many young people (50%) as elderly (27%) gave up the battle against smoking in a stressful situation. Three times more 18-34-year-olds (38%) than 55+ (13%) went back to smoking because of alcohol consumption. It’s important those stopping smoking are equipped with the reasons they might fail in their attempt to quit - anticipating these and putting a plan in place to deal with it is crucial for success. These topics and more are covered in participants Stop For Good plans.

To support Irish smokers to kick the habit completely, Boots have asked smokers to nominate the ‘good’ that is encouraging them to Stop for Good and draw on that to fuel their journey towards a healthier lifestyle. The top five reasons nominated, include:

- Health reasons (49%)

- Financial (21%)

- Medical advice (7%)

- Pregnancy (7%)

- For a loved one or friend (6%)

Speaking about the Stop For Good Programme Caoimhe McCauley, Director of Pharmacy, Boots said: "At Boots we understand that stopping smoking isn’t easy and that’s why we’ve created the Stop For Good Rewards programme, to give those who want to quit the very best chance at succeeding. The new addition of rewards in the programme are designed to ensure participants continue feeling positive about their efforts, while encouraging them to stop smoking for the long term. There’s evidence to suggest that incentives for smoking cessation boost success rates and those who join a stop smoking support programme are more likely to succeed.

Rewards given are based on the symptoms and benefits that are likely to happen to someone stopping smoking, so for example, during week one you’re likely to feel strong withdrawal symptoms – we’ll be there to reward you with vouchers towards Nicotine Replacement Therapy. There will be lots of feel-good treats along the way too and when participants complete the programme they’ll also be rewarded with a No. 7 skincare consultation or makeover. Boots are here to give those that want to stop smoking the rewards and support they need, whenever they’re ready."

There are lots of ways to stay on track when stopping smoking and Boots Pharmacist, Susan O’Dwyer, has put together a list of simple and helpful tips to encourage people to kick start their journey.

Speaking about why people can find it difficult to kick the habit Susan said: "Smoking can be a very difficult behaviour to change as nicotine stimulates pleasure centres in the brain and it’s highly addictive. You can keep motivated by rewarding yourself with little treats along the way. Take up that healthy hobby you’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t because you never had the energy from smoking. A healthy activity like swimming can provide you with the dopamine release you used to get from cigarettes. It will also speed up your body’s self-repair process.

The Boots Stop for Good programme is designed to support people who want to stop every step of the way. We’ll explore all the options together so we can understand what will work best for you."

Quitting smoking is one of the best things a smoker can do for their health and pockets - within one day of stopping the risk of a heart attack begins to fall and they could save at least €2,000 per annum. Heart rate and blood pressure can drop within 20 minutes of stubbing that last cigarette out . People who extinguish the habit can also look forward to feeling and looking better, while having an abundance of renewed energy .

Boots are calling on everyone taking part in Stop For Good to lend support and encouragement to one another, by sharing their experiences across social using the #StopForGood. To further encourage those on the programme to share their own experiences, DJ and music journalist Tara Stewart will vlog, tweet, post and snap her way through her own Stop For Good journey.

Commenting on the good that is encouraging her to stop Tara said: "I'm 27, young, excited, motivated and energetic about life. But the only thing holding me back is, I'm a smoker. I'm out of breath popping down to the corner store or up a few stairs. I'm scared but I'm so excited to make a huge positive change in my life. It can only get better from here."

Follow Tara’s journey on Instagram @tarastewartdj; Twitter @tarastewartdj and Snapchat @tarastew

To ensure commitment at the outset the service costs €50 to join. Participants will be provided with advice and support through the first 12 weeks of their stop smoking journey and those who remain smoke free will benefit from rewards up to the value of €75, - The more participants stick with their plan, attend their one to one sessions and remain smoke free the more rewards they will receive– alongside support from their advisors on how to deal with various withdrawal symptoms and how to stay motivated. To qualify for the rewards, participants get a carbon monoxide reading to demonstrate how their body is healing and to show that they have stayed smoke free. Those that would like to sign up and free themselves from the ties of cigarettes are being encouraged to simply talk to a member of their local Boots Pharmacy team or visit boots.ie/health-pharmacy-advice/stop-for-good-service

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