Cochrane QUITS Part 1

After 30 years as a pharmacy owner/pharmacist  in Cochrane (1989-2019) I am going to retire on June 30. It has been a most amazing run from Cochrane Drugs (700 sq. ft.) to TWO Pharmacy (8000 sq. ft.) and I have enjoyed every minute of my career due to the incredible relationships built with customers and staff. Thank you all!

For my final health project for Cochrane and area I have one simple (but very complicated) request. I would like to see everyone (yes, all of you) QUIT smoking on Saturday, June 15 for one day and hopefully for many of you – forever! The program is called COCHRANE QUITS and you will be seeing lots of information in the coming weeks. On June 15, we will be celebrating the store’s 3oth anniversary and Dianne and myself’s impending retiremenst with a pancake breakfast for all customers and former staff. I will fill my final prescription that day and at 1 pm at the Lions Event Centre we will be hosting a mass smoking cessation clinic. There will be a presentation by Les Hagen , Executive Director of Alberta Action on Smoking & Health, discussion of smoking cessation strategies,NRT sampling,  and formation of QUIT buddies, partners, and teams. The big problem with quitting tobacco is that you are often all alone. On June 15 you will be able to harness the power of strength in numbers and have health care professional help in achieving your goals.

Smoking is deadly and harms everyone – smokers, non-smokers, children, and even the unborn. Health Canada estimates that over 45,000 Canadians die each year from smoking related illnesses. In fact, smoking accounts for 1 in 5 preventable deaths each year, more than alcohol, traffic accidents, homicide, and suicides combined. To extrapolate to Cochrane’s population of nearly 30,000 it means 35 people from our town will be taken this year.  To bring that more into focus, lung cancer took my Dad at age 67 in 1991 and I watched him suffer from this horrible disease. To honour his memory I ask that all smokers take another run at quitting this June. Together we can become smoke free and be on the path to a healthier future!

Cochrane QUITS can be accessed on the TWO Pharmacy website and Facebook page – register today for a  healthy tomorrow!

Cochrane QUITS Part 2

Last week we looked at the deadly consequences of smoking tobacco. In part two of “Cochrane QUITS” we examine the health benefits of quitting smoking and avoiding being one of the 35 Cochranites who will lose their life to smoking this year.

Immediate benefits to your family and others is removing harmful environmental tobacco smoke that pollutes everyone’s breathing space. Your body now starts to heal itself as levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine decline rapidly. A pack a day smoker will also see $5000.00 in their bank account after only 1 year!

Within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette the body begins a series of changes that continues for years as shown in the table.

After… Body Changes
8 hours Carbon monoxide level drops in the body and oxygen level in blood increases to normal
48 hours Sense of smell and taste improves and the chances of having a heart attack go down
72 hours Lung capacity increases and bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier
2 weeks Nicotine is gone from the body
3 months Circulation improves and lung functioning increases up to 30%
6 months Coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness, and shortness of breath improve
1 year Risk of smoking related heart attack is cut in half
5 years Risks of cancers of the bladder, oral cavity and esophagus drop 50%. Risk of stroke can return to same level as non-smokers
10 years Risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half
15 years Risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked!

Remember – “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Why not take that first step on June 15? Register on our Facebook page, call the store at 403-932-2500, or mark it on your calendar to attend at 1 pm at the Lions Event Centre. Together we can make Cochrane smoke free!

Cochrane QUITS  Part 3

Last week we looked at the body changes that occur after smoking your last cigarette. But how do we get to that LAST one?  There are 5 stages of change which are listed below along with a brief “telling attitude” that defines each stage. Where are you?

  • Precontemplation – “Unaware and unimpressed.”
  • Contemplation – “Yes, but…”
  • Preparation – “Ready to try.”
  • Action – “Doing it!”
  • Maintenance – “Staying on track.”

At our smoking cessation clinic on Saturday, June 15 we will determine your stage of readiness by asking three simple questions:

  1. Do you smoke?
  2. Have you ever considered quitting?
  3. I s now a good time to quit?

After completion of a state of change assessment we will be able to determine appropriate intervention strategies. Next week we will examine various methods to aid in the quitting process.

Please mark June 15 (1 pm at the Lions Event Centre) on your calendar, register at the store, on our website events page (, or on our Facebook page. There will be a keynote presentation by Las Hagen, Executive Director of Alberta Action on Smoking & Health, free samples of nicotine replacement products, mass cessation clinic, and one person in attendance will be flying anywhere in continental North America just for attending! Full packs of tonacco turned in for discussion will receive extra entries for the flight package. Together all of Cochrane can move to the “action” step in the coming weeks!