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Asian Smokers in Danger

ntinue, it will cause some 10 million deaths annually by 2020. Half the people that smoke today (about 650 million people) will eventually be killed by tobacco.

In this context, getting people to quit or at least consider quitting has never been more important. One means of control is the increasing importance of the good work pharmacists can do.

In Malaysia, the Certified Smoking Cessation Service Provider (CSCSP) was set up in 2003 with the full support of the Ministry of Health, the Clearinghouse for Tobacco Control (C-Tob) and the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society.

The main objective of the CSCSP Program is to train health professionals, starting with pharmacists, to assist smokers to quit by using behavioral and pharmacological approaches.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products are available, if it is felt that these will be of help, and many pharmacies can provide other services to help smokers quit.

By showing the decrease in their Carbon monoxide (CO) levels, such monitors can initially make people aware of the damage smoking is causing their health and well being. The results can motivate smokers to continue with the program.

Unlike a GP, smokers do not need an appointment to see a pharmacist and there is usually a pharmacy nearby, who then can visit in their lunch hour or on their way home from work.

In addition to convenience, many pharmacies now also have a private consultation room, allowing for discussions away from the main part of the shop.
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