Want to quit smoking? London Drugs pharmacists can help

London Drugs pharmacist counsels a patient about over-the-counter smoking cessation aids.

Research shows quit medication combined with professional counselling provides the greatest chance of success

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to quitting smoking but there are many evidence-based ways to increase your chances of quitting success.

Research demonstrates the strongest approach to smoking cessation is to combine quit medication with quit counselling.

As part of National Non-Smoking Week, we are encouraging smokers to take advantage of complimentary smoking cessation counselling available at our pharmacies.

Pharmacists are available to advise patients on selecting a nicotine replacement therapy as well as provide advice by developing personalized quit plans to help people stop smoking.

To learn more about how your pharmacist can help a person quit, visit or call your local London Drugs.


Support for Smokers in B.C.

In B.C., London Drugs has joined forces with QuitNow, a provincially-funded program delivered by the BC Lung Association, to support British Columbians in their efforts to quit by providing free informational resources and coaching.

Eligible BC residents can also receive government financial support through the BC Smoking Cessation Program which covers 100% of the cost of nicotine replacement therapy (specific nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, inhaler), or contributing to the cost of specific smoking cessation prescription drugs.


London Drugs Certified Tobacco Educator Penny Lehoux, and QuitNow Health Promoter, Tracey Jirak.

Quit Coaching Clinic Co-Hosted by London Drugs & QuitNow

 As part of National Non-Smoking Week, London Drugs and QuitNow are co-hosting a Quit Coaching Clinic next Wednesday at the Coquitlam Centre location.

Quit Coaching Clinic

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018 – 5:30pm to 8:30pm
  • London Drugs Pharmacy
  • Coquitlam Centre (2929 Barnet Hwy #1030)


During the Quit Coaching Clinic, London Drugs Certified Tobacco Educator, Penny Lehoux, and QuitNow Health Promoter, Tracey Jirak, will be:

  • Conducting CO breathing tests, a quick and easy way to demonstrate the impact that smoking is having on your body.
  • Discussing practical tips to help you reduce your smoking and providing info about free services available online through Quitnow.ca.
  • Developing personalized quit plans.
  • Offering information about the B.C. Smoking Cessation Program for nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Answering questions about smoking cessation products available over-the-counter and by prescription.

The Candy That Will Help You Kick Sugar: Smart Sweets

Smart Sweets founder, Tara Bosch (image via Facebook)

This post marks the first in a series of product profiles that we plan to publish on the London Drugs blog, exploring the talented people producing some of the exciting Canadian products on our shelves. 

22-year-old founder Tara Bosch launched the confectionary company Smart Sweets in 2016, and in doing so, shook up the candy world. If you picked up a bag of her treats at your local London Drugs, you may have wondered in fact whether you were getting candy or a health product.

You’re getting both.

Bosch set out to create a treat that wasn’t loaded with the usual amount of sugar. Where a 56-gram bag of Skittles contains 43 grams of sugar, Smart Sweets contains just 2 grams of sugar per 50-gram pouch (not to mention 24 grams of fibre and 5 grams of protein). It’s a sweet snack that you can feel a little better about enjoying.

An up-and-comer in the business world, Bosch has already been on the popular TV program Dragons’ Den (earning praise from all the judges) and has been honoured in the Pitch for the Purse contest as well as in the most recent BCBusiness 30 under 30 issue.

“It was amazing to see and hear the stories of how people’s lives have been impacted by sugar. There is no better time to be part of the wellness​ industry in Canada as more and more people are realizing the impact that food, specifically sugar, has on our body and are eagerly waiting for options to be innovated so they can make smaller, smarter choices in their daily lives,” says Bosch.

“It was so cool to see people who watched our episode reach out and share their stories about how they are kicking sugar, too. Smart Sweets has the opportunity to make a massive impact in people’s lives. At the end of the day, it’s about being able to feel good about enjoying the foods we love, and life’s too short not to be able to eat candy everyday.”

When asked where Bosch sees Smart Sweets going from here, the entrepreneur doesn’t balk. “Smart Sweets is revolutionizing candy consumption. Tackling one of the largest and most concerning problems hidden in our everyday foods, we are driving innovation through creation of the first candy products that kick sugar naturally … We want to empower people to live their best lives by giving them the choice to kick sugar.”

Bosch’s dream of seeing Smart Sweets take up space on shelves across the world–including shelves at London Drugs, of course–just may become reality. We wish her the best.

Smart Sweets is currently available in stores across Canada, including London Drugs. The product will be launching in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018.

New Year, Healthier You: Wearable Tech to Improve Your Health

You’re ringing in the New Year with some new resolutions, but a lot of us get lost before we’ve even hit the ground running. Where do you start?
London Drugs Pharmacist, Agusha McGrath, stopped by Breakfast Television Calgary, with the 411 on how those popular gadgets some of us got under the tree can actually help reach your goals for 2018.

Catch the full segment here or read some highlights below.

If you plan on setting health goals for 2018, one of the best paths to success is to speak with a trained professional. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers in Canada. They can help you create a personalized plan to become a healthier you.

Wearable technology makes working towards, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle easy and fun. Set goals with your pharmacist and ask about what wearable device or monitoring technology is best for you. With the newest advancements, catching a health issue before it’s a major problem, or just being the best version of you, is easier than ever before.

Whether you’re looking for gadget to compliment an already established routine, or you’re just starting out on your journey and need a little assistance, London Drugs has the most popular health tech companions on the market.


Fitbits are some of the most popular devices for fitness tracking. Count your steps, measure calories burnt per workout, monitor your heart rate, and track how well you sleep. These can range from simple step counters to full featured smart watches, all of which are extremely user friendly. Join the Fitbit community and challenge each other, or just keep track of your personal goals.

Garmin vivofit3

Need to be reminded to get up and move? The Garmin vivofit will send your automated encouragement, and can monitor different activities, like walking, running, biking swimming, or using elliptical with Move IQ.

Oxywatch Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

A pocket friendly device for monitoring your blood oxygen levels on the go, while maintaining impressive accuracy. Store your data, set alarms, or replay results.

Abbott Precision Neo Meter

Accuracy meets affordability. Make 2018 your healthiest year yet by testing your blood glucose levels anywhere, anytime. No coding required, an easy high-contrast display, with a light user friendly design.




5 Tips to Help You #KickSugar in 2018

Whether you’re climbing aboard the resolution train or not, a new year really does come with a fresh start feeling where anything is possible. If that anything for you is to reduce your sugar consumption – no problem, these five tips can help you stick with it.

Photo from @eatsmartsweets

For any lifestyle change or new habit, it’s all about making small changes. Any sudden, drastic moves to cut out sugar completely are often paired with some intense cravings that can make someone with the strongest of willpower give up altogether. And that’s not what we’re going for, is it?

Incorporate these small steps to help you on your #kicksugar journey even one per week and you’ll be crushing those new year goals in no time:

1. Stay Hydrated

Boring I know. Drink water? Heard it a million times before. But for real, this is key. Dehydration can cause the body to become sluggish and tired, craving foods it doesn’t even need including high-sugar foods. Keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the day in whichever form you like – on its own, with lemon, herbal tea – you name it, just drink it. Try to get at least 4-6 glasses in a day.

2. Sip Some Apple Cider Vinegar

This might seem like a strange one. What the heck does vinegar have to do with reducing sugar? Well let me tell you. Apple cider vinegar has countless benefits, one of them including balancing blood sugar. When blood sugar is unstable, up and down like a rollercoaster, this is when sugar cravings can come in strong and fast. Start with 1 tsp of ACV in ½ cup of water with meals to help balance blood sugar. You can even start with one meal and work up to taking it with all your meals.

3. Get Those Probiotics

You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard the benefits of beneficial bacteria or ‘probiotics’ for overall and intestinal health (if you’ve been under a rock, please just Google it). The connection to sugar cravings is that the bacteria living in your intestinal tract can dictate the foods you crave. If there is an imbalance of bacteria in gut, sugar cravings can be fierce and steady. Support your intestinal flora balance by consuming fermented foods like raw sauerkraut and unsweetened yogurt and/or supplementing with probiotics.

4. Keep Low-Sugar Snacks Within Arm’s Reach

Photo from @eatsmartsweets

One of the toughest times to avoid sugary foods is when you’re out and about, haven’t eaten for too long and hunger strikes. Most convenient snacks include a shocking amount of sugar, naturally-occurring or not. Something like keeping a stash of your favourite nuts in your car or desk is great snack to tide you over to a meal. Having low-sugar treats around is also key. Just because you’re reducing sugar, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to treat yourself. SmartSweets Low-Sugar Gummy Bears are a total game changer when you feel like a sweet treat. With 2g or sugar per serving, you can get your sweet fix without falling off the wagon.

5. Check Your Mindset

I totally get it, been there. Reducing sugar can mean saying ‘see ya later’ to some of your very favourite foods. Which can even be slightly emotional. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to invite different foods into your life rather than saying goodbye to the higher-sugar ones. Adding in more variety and new foods you haven’t tried before can mean new favourite foods. Get creative, hunt for some new exciting recipes and get busy in the kitchen.

Remember, it’s all about those small changes. Be easy on yourself and have fun with it! Join the SmartSweets #kicksugar challenge by following @EatSmartSweets on Instagram and share how you’re kicking sugar to the curb in 2018.

Paige Webster
Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Could One Sleep Position Be Better Than Another?

You generally don’t think about how you sleep until you can’t sleep. But not being able to sleep can have adverse affects on life—and sleep position might be a factor.

Sleep Positions - London Drugs Blog

An adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and if you’re not meeting that need, you might want to think about the position you’re sleeping in instead of fruitlessly counting sheep all night.

But is one sleeping position really “better” than another? We delved deep and here’s what we found out about these common ways to get some shut eye and the pros and cons of each position.

Back Sleepers


Congrats, back sleepers. Sleeping on your back is widely considered to be a good position for your spine and neck, as the back is straight and not bending haphazardly, as with some of the other positions. In fact, the best possible sleeping situation for your spine would be to sleep on your back, but with no pillow. Not that we are suggesting that (it sounds terrible)!

Bonus: there’s also some evidence that sleeping on your back leads to fewer wrinkles! 


Sleep apnea is so directly linked to sleeping in this position that doctors literally recommend sleeping on your side to combat it. And any snoring associated with sleep apnea, of course, may impact partners or anyone nearby. Studies have also shown that those who sleep on their backs tend to be worse sleepers overall.

Side Sleepers


A very popular position. Sleeping on one’s left side in particular is good for pregnant women, as well as for those who deal with acid reflux and heartburn, making it easier for people dealing with those conditions to nod off.


Sleeping on the left side is thought to be hard on the stomach and lungs (it puts pressure on those organs), and, as side sleepers will know well, the chances you come out of the morning with the dreaded dead-arm due to numbness are high. Switching sides can help.

Fetal Position Sleepers


A slight variation on side sleeping, the fetal position has you curled up with your legs tucked in. This position has some of the same benefits as sleeping on the side: it’s great for those who are pregnant (but not too pregnant!) and for overall blood circulation, and it’s actually more popular than the standard side sleep. It’s also good for snorers.


Curling up too tightly in this position might become a bad habit as you get older, as it can restrict breathing in your diaphragm. It can also leave you aching in the morning, especially if you have arthritis. If you’re a fetal sleeper, try to straighten out when you can to help ease your breathing.

Stomach Sleepers


There’s a virtual guarantee that you won’t snore. 


Sleeping on your stomach can be hard on your back, as it tends to flatten the spine. Stomach sleepers can also strain their necks if the head gets turned to one side all night.

If you are already in the habit of sleeping on your stomach, you might want to try using pillows to train yourself to eventually sleep on your side. Your back and neck will thank you for it.

The Verdict on Sleep Position

The fact of the matter is that people sleep in whatever matter they find the comfiest, and knowing the pros and cons of each position may not change that. But if you’re experiencing aches, back pain, or an angry partner due to your snoring, it might benefit you to try out a different position. Here’s to peaceful nights and restful days. 

Back to School Essentials for Happy, Healthy Kids

It’s almost that time of year again. Time for eager kids to explore a new set of subjects. Time for growing bodies to eat healthy, balanced lunches while enjoying the company of their friends. That’s right – It’s time for bright young minds to start a fresh new school year!

The best way to ensure that your kids are getting the nutrition they need, is to prepare a delicious and healthy lunch for them. Thanks to great products from Rubbermaid, this task is much simpler.

With Rubbermaid LunchBlox, you can easily pack a well-balanced meal with snap-together containers. Not only are these containers convenient, but they are pretty darn fun too! Is your kid messy? That’s okay, most of them are. But now you can help prevent the mess with 100% leak-proof Rubbermaid Brilliance containers. Rubbermaid Balance helps regulate portions and ensure kids are getting the right mix of nutritious foods. Field trip coming up? Not to fear! Rubbermaid Takealongs are perfect for on-the-go.

Now that we have messy meals all sealed up, let’s put a lid on that kid’s messy hair! With Goody Ouchless Brushes and Goody Ouchless Elastics , you can have your little ones looking their finest.

And nothing says new school year like a bunch of fun, colorful writing utensils! From doodling for fun to completing math equations, we have you covered with a wide selection of fun brands:

Visit your nearest London Drugs today and get a head start on your back-to-school shopping!

Last – but definitely not least – you have the chance to win a $2,500 RESP contribution to use toward your child’s education.  Plus, there are great secondary prizes consisting of a $1,000 London Drugs gift card and 3 Back to School gift packs for your kid when you buy one of the qualifying brands listed above. Click here to learn more and for full contest rules!

Sun Care 101: A Parents’ Guide to Sun Safety

It can be time-consuming (and maybe a little annoying) to apply protective sunscreen on you and your family members—especially if these people happen to be squealing kids, just waiting to get outside in the sunshine! We’ve got some great tricks and tips for easy (ish) sun care application that will help keep your family covered. Here’s our guide to sun safety for parents.

Rules for Parents

Plan on five minutes per body

You might be thinking, “That is completely nuts! Sunscreen doesn’t take that long.” You may be right, but many of us groan at the thought of applying sunscreen on our kids because we don’t plan enough time for it. After gathering up all the snacks, water bottles, extra clothes, towels, sand toys, and so on, we’re already leaving an hour later than we wanted to. At this point, we’re often not in a good head space to tackle a rushed sunscreen job, so we either lose our tempers, give up, or decide to apply upon arrival. None of these are ideal.

So, yes, allowing five minutes per person is over-planning, but if you budget this much time there is a better chance you’ll actually leave the house smiling (and maybe even have a toy shovel packed for each kid!).

Apply 20 to 30 minutes before going out

We know: what a pain! But experts say sunscreen takes 20-30 minutes to become effective. Good thing we’ve already budgeted our time at home! Plus, following this rule means slathering on sunscreen away from all of the playground distractions and blowing sand. You may even schedule time between pajamas and getting dressed for the beach–it’s easier to apply sunscreen when kids are changing clothes. Also, remember to reapply regularly, especially after hitting the pool or the ocean for a swim.

Think of sun protection like you would a car seat

Toddlers cry and fight, but you still buckle them into a car seat (forcibly, if necessary), right? Sun protection is the same: a necessity. It’s not one of those teachable moments where you let your child choose not to wear a raincoat and get uncomfortably wet. One blistery sunburn in childhood can increase the risk of melanoma by 50%. Safety trumps tantrums, and that’s that.


Tricks for Kids

A quick internet search yields loads of tricks for making sunscreen tolerable for kids. Here are a few of our favourites.

A blogger at Happily Ever Mom lists seven ways to speed up the slather. One of her great methods is to make it into a timed challenge she calls “The Countdown”. The Countdown challenges mom or dad to finish the job before getting to number 10. She advises that parents make sure they are in charge of the counting, so they can stretch the countdown if they need to.

Another good trick is a game called “What’s Missing?” Apply everywhere but the nose, or one arm, and let your kid guess which body part still needs lotion. This gives your child the all-important power to point out mom or dad’s “mistake.”

Alternatively, you could give your child a sponge paintbrush and put her in charge of everyone’s sunscreen, like the girl in this video. It’s messy, but it works. And maybe their enthusiasm will solve this doctor’s number one complaint: that parents don’t apply enough lotion.


Sun Safety while Solo

Remember back before you had kids, when you took a book to the beach, and the biggest problem you faced was trying to put sunscreen on your own back? Simpler times. If your kids hit the pool as soon as you get there, and you don’t have help for your own sun care, we’ve got you covered there too. Here are a few hilarious, but strangely practical tips for applying sunscreen to your own hard-to-reach places. The toilet brush isn’t for everyone, but maybe a spatula or paint roller could do the trick.

As you gear up to take on the summer sun, set challenging, yet realistic goals. Try to finish the application process without losing your temper, and work on getting through a whole summer without a sunburn. You can do this!

Stay safe out there in the sunshine.

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