Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson Philippines (J&J), through its consumer health brand Nicorette, has partnered with the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) to help Filipino smokers receive support as they work toward quitting the habit for good.
Alongside existing efforts, J&J and the PCCP will be developing a new smoking cessation module that will be used for training healthcare practitioners in giving counsel and recommending treatment to dissonant smokers.
The module will kick off with Lung Center of the Philippines as its first hospital partner.
“In our research, we found that a common challenge that quitters face is the lack of proper support – be it from their family and peers, or them not being equipped with the right tools,” said Jason Khu, senior brand manager for Nicorette in the Philippines.
According to a 2019 study on smoking incidence that surveyed 1,500 Filipino regular smokers, 98 percent said they have the intention of quitting. A separate study by the World Health Organization showed that among smokers who are willing to quit, only four percent are able to do so successfully.
“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,” Khu added.
At present, among the available resources for Filipino quitters are as follows: 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 healthcare practitioners, and 4) nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products.
“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,” said Dr. Glynna Ong-Cabrera of the PCCP.
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.