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Tobacco Cessation Program

Tobacco Cessation Program at Island Drug and La Conner Drug


 We are very excited to be able to offer this important program to help make our community smoke free!


According to the American Lung Association, an estimated 392,000 people die each year in the US from tobacco-caused disease, making it the leading cause of preventable death.  Another 50,000 people die each year from second hand smoke.  Smoking cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker. 

Smoking causes and contributes to a myriad of diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema), coronary heart disease, stroke, cataracts, pneumonia, periodontitis, and bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, throat, cervical, kidney, stomach, and pancreatic cancers; and these are only a handful of complications and conditions that can arise from tobacco use or being exposed to secondhand smoke.



There are so many benefits to quitting, but here are a few that may surprise you:

  • After 24 hours of quitting your chance of a heart attack decreases

  • After 5 years of quitting your  chance of stroke is reduced to that of people who have never smoked

  • After 15 years your risk of death returns to the level of people who have never smoked

  • If you smoke 1 pack of cigarettes per day, you’re spending between $120-180 a month which is $1440 – 2160 per year

  • You won’t be poisoning non-smokers that are exposed to your secondhand smoke

We know quitting is hard; tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that often requires repeated intervention and multiple attempts to quit. Effective treatments exist, however, that can significantly increase rates of long-term abstinence.  According to recent tobacco cessation guidelines developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, individual, group, and telephone counseling are effective, and their effectiveness increases with treatment intensity.  Our new service will provide that intensity in the form of three one-on-one counseling (more if it’s needed) in which behavior modification strategies are discussed, stress management is reviewed and a treatment plan tailored to the smokers needs is made.  We also will be making phone calls for following up or support. 


We also have the ability to prescribe the common medications used to take the edge off of withdrawals and help make the quitting process easier.  Nicotine replacement therapy includes nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhaler and nasal spray.  These products will provide the nicotine your body craves so you don’t experience withdrawal symptoms.  You should not smoke while using any of these products or nicotine overdose can occur.  Bupropion sustained release tablets, commonly used for depression, is also effective for tobacco cessation.    Another really effective medication, and the newest, is Chantix.  This drug has two different kinds of effects on the nicotine receptor; it stimulates it to stave off cravings and blocks it at the same time so that smoking doesn’t give you any feelings of pleasure.  It has been shown to be the most effective with higher abstinence rates at 3, 6 and 12 months after quitting.  Because we can prescribe these medications directly, there’s no waiting to hear back from primary care providers.


Again, medications are great to use to help deal with the physical addiction, but behavior changes also need to be made to overcome the psychological addiction.  In some cases, avoiding an activity all together might need to be done for awhile until urges and cravings are at a minimum. Coping mechanisms become important by replacing the bad habit by a good habit; they can also be great distracters from the urge to smoke.  Through our program, smokers will learn coping mechanisms and stress management techniques that will help overcome the addiction of smoking.


Island Drug and La Conner Drug are committed to promoting the health and well-being of the community we serve.  We believe that this program coupled with a willingness to finally quit and make healthier choices, we can significantly reduce the risk of tobacco related diseases and make lives better.  If you or someone you know would like to quit, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our pharmacies for information on this important service.





  1. FREE Online Smoking Cessation Log.
    This is a very helpful tool in the quitting process.  You log all the cravings, cigarettes smoked or not smoked, and associated activities and times of day.  The info that gets collected is then able to be printed out and analyzed.  Look for this icon on our website, and create a FREE and private profile today!

  2. Please click here to listen to a podcast on this topic where one of our pharmacists expands on the medications and statistics and our program referenced above.
  3. Island Drug & LaConner Drug Smoking Cessation Program
    For $130 (just $100 for our prescription customers), or about a month’s worth of cigarette costs, you receive the following:
    1. Three sessions of one-on-one time with one of our pharmacists.
    2. Before and after lab values; cholesterol, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate.
    3. Take home resources and information
    4. Follow up calls with our pharmacists
    5. Prescriptions for smoking cessation medications as appropriate (cost of medicine not included)

                                                              i.      We will update your primary care provider on all medications so your chart at their office is up to date.



1.      American Lung Association.

2.      Smoking and Tobacco Use.  Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

3.      “Prescription to Quit.” Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Dent L.A., Scott J.G., Lewis E. “Pharmacists-Managed Tobacco Cessation Program in Veterans Health Administration Community Based Outpatient Clinic. Journal of American Pharmacists Association. 2004; 44 (6): 700-715.