30 May 2016
By Bryan Smyth
To mark the WHO’s World No Tobacco Day tomorrow, MeeDoc – “Europe’s largest telemedicine provider” – is offering free GP consultations to help Cork smokers kick the habit for good.
Anyone who requests a ‘Quitting Smoking’ consultation through the MeeDoc app on Tuesday can use the code SMOKEFREE to receive a consultation free of charge.
They will be able to access medical advice and treatment from a MeeDoc GP, who will inform them of the various options available for those looking to quit, ranging from prescribed medication to complementary therapies.
MeeDoc is an online platform that enables patients to connect with a GP via their smartphone or desktop through a secure instant-messaging service. No appointment is necessary and consultations remain open for as long as the doctor and patient need. If the GP needs to see the patient, a video link can be opened. If a prescription is required, the GP can fax it to a local pharmacy.
Commenting today, Wille Komulainen, Chief Medical Officer with MeeDoc, said: “Research shows that 70% of smokers want to quit, but over 80% of those who try don’t succeed.
“Getting well-informed, reliable and tailored advice from a GP can be one way of increasing your chances of success. In fact, it has been shown that people who use medication to help them quit are three times more likely to succeed.”
“To mark World No Tobacco Day, MeeDoc is delighted to offer free consultations to Cork smokers looking to quit. Our GPs will be on hand throughout the day to develop personalised treatment plans for each smoker who contacts them. Detailed dietary and lifestyle advice will also be offered.”
Key Stats on Smoking
19.2% of Irish adults (aged 15+) smoked in 2015.
Ireland’s smokers start smoking at the youngest age in Europe – just 16 years old.
To maintain smoking rates at their current levels, the tobacco industry needs to recruit 50 new smokers every day.
Half of smokers will eventually die from a smoking-related disease, and smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in Ireland: 5,200 people die from smoking-related deaths here every year – that’s almost one in five deaths.
Smoking costs the health sector in excess of €650 million per annum.
Consultations with MeeDoc normally cost €34. However, the company is offering free consultations to Cork smokers as part of a Europe-wide initiative to mark World Tobacco Day organised by the World Health Organisation.
“We are providing this special service for World No Tobacco Day across Ireland and the UK” said Wille Komulainen. “Reducing smoking rates is a public health goal that is common to all countries.”
Since it launched in Ireland last November, MeeDoc has attracted thousands of downloads and is being used by a growing number of GPs based across the country. The service originated in Finland in 2012.
Further information is available at: www.meedoc.ie, and the app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play for iOS, Android and desktop.