A new smoking cessation module that will be used to train healthcare practitioners give counsel and recommend treatment for people who want to stop the habit will be launched soon under the collaboration of Johnson & Johnson Philippines (J&J), through its consumer health brand Nicorette, and the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP).
The partnership between the two organizations is founded on the joint goal of addressing the challenge to change the way Filipino smokers receive support, as they work toward quitting the habit for good.
According to a 2019 study on smoking incidence that conducted surveys among 1,500 Filipino regular smokers, 98 percent of the smokers have the intention of quitting. However, it was found in the 2015 Global Audit Tobacco Survey of the World Health Organization, only four percent are able to do so successfully.
Senior brand manager for Nicorette in the Philippines Jason Khu shared, “In our research, we found that a common challenge quitters have is the lack of proper support – be it from their family and peers, or them not being equipped with the right tools.”
He added: “Through this partnership with the PCCP, we are hoping to help them address that challenge with a more holistic approach, and equip them with everything that they need to make their quitting journey a success.”
Currently, available resources for Filipino quitters include: 1) the DOH QuitLine 1558, a toll-free hotline service where smokers can seek professional consult, 2) free educational materials on proper smoking cessation such as quit guides, nicotine dependence tests, and budget calculators, 3) live discussions with HCPs, and 4) nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products.
Dr. Glynna Ong-Cabrera of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians emphasized: “One thing we need to understand about smoking cessation is that when a smoker commits to quitting, the effects of changing that lifestyle goes beyond than just the physical. It will affect one’s mental health and overall well-being, which is why it is so important that we provide quitters the support that they need in the ways that would be most helpful for them.”
She also shared her optimism in the collaboration, as it opens the doors for more opportunities in helping Filipinos live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
Nicorette is an over-the-counter NRT product, currently available in the form of a 2mg medicated chewing gum in all leading drugstores nationwide and online via the Watson’s stores on Shopee and Lazada.