Community Pharmacy Briefing: Stoptober

Today is the first of Stoptober, please see below a few local and national key campaign messages:

All pharmacies are required to participate in the contractual Stoptober campaign, you should have received the materials in August. If you have not received campaign materials please contact .

Make sure you take down last month’s Antimicrobial resistance materials first (you can re-use the blu-tak!)

Whether or not you offer the commissioned stop smoking service you will find some useful infographics, information, up to date (sept 19) evidence and conversation openers at

This includes current guidance on use of vaping/e-cigs to support quit attempts, which has not changed, ie: Although vaping is not without risk it is thought to be 95% less risky than smoking tobacco. Advisors can support clients who wish to quit using e-cigs, this should be entered on PharmOutcomes as “unlicensed nicotine containing product.” Clients have to purchase their own e-cigs or other vaping paraphernalia and must stop smoking cigarettes completely. There is currently no provision to support people who wish to quit vaping.

All Southend-on-Sea pharmacies should direct any queries to Tony on 01702 21200.

Thurrock pharmacies to Shirley on 0800 292 2299.

Essex pharmacies who accept blue NRT vouchers or who offer a commissioned stop smoking service please note that all medications should be made available Free of Charge regardless of exempt status, for supplies/quit attempts throughout October. Any queries to 01245 460079

  • Vouchers- Mark “Stoptober promotion”.
  • PharmOutcomes- use “under 16” exempt category. NB there is a press release that NRT is available free of charge, this extends to all medications to support a quit attempt.

All pharmacies who do not offer a stop smoking service should be prepared to refer smokers to a service. This could be a nearby pharmacy, and might be a good start to working as a PCN. Alternatively signpost or contact the Provide lifestyles service on 0300 303 9988.

Pharmacies who do offer a stop smoking service, the new Champix PGD comes into effect today. We are aware that some “new” exclusions have been added to the PGD, these have been challenged and will likely be removed very soon. Meanwhile please do the best you can, we figured it was better to have a sub-optimal PGD than no PGD at all…

Finally, although prevalence has dropped greatly there are still approximately 260,000 smokers in Essex, which is a big opportunity! Consider:

Offer an opportunistic CO measurement with flu vaccination (don’t even ask if the client smokes, just ask if they have had their CO checked recently)

Use the Very Brief Advice on Smoking resources from NCSCT as a team development tool, and log this for your Healthy Living Pharmacy accreditation/re-accreditation.