June 14, 2019 6:21 pm
Updated: June 14, 2019 8:44 pm

Retiring pharmacist organizes campaign to get entire Alberta town to stop smoking

WATCH ABOVE: This weekend brings a chance for a lot of people in Cochrane to give a really memorable Father’s Day gift. It comes thanks to a man who’ll definitely be thinking of his dad as he launches a major effort to help smokers kick the habit. Gil Tucker has the story.


Kelly Kimmett has been a pharmacist for 42 years, and over the decades, he’s filled a lot of prescriptions for health problems caused by smoking.

“Emphysema, COPD, coronary heart disease,” the pharmacist from Cochrane, Alta., said.

Now, Kimmett is winding down his career with an ambitious project centred around Saturday, June 15 — the day he retires.

“We’re going big!” he said. “[We’re] hoping that all of Cochrane quits for at least a day.”

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Kimmett’s Two Pharmacy in Cochrane is sponsoring the effort, with town council supporting it by declaring June 15 to be “Cochrane Quits Smoking Day.”

The pharmacist is inviting everyone to a large stop-smoking clinic, offering plenty of follow-up and support and encouraging smokers to kick the habit forever.

“What we’re hoping to do is form partnerships, teams of smokers,” Kimmett said. “Strength in numbers will definitely help. We’re going to carry on the program through the summer with counselling at the store.”

It’s a project welcomed by many customers at the pharmacy.

“That’s great,” Karen Chapman told Kimmett. “It’s great you’re helping out the whole town.”

READ MORE: Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study

Convincing people people who have smoked for decades to kick the habit is quite a challenge, but some seem open to the idea.

“If it’s for one day, I’ll try,” Nancy Lallier said. “I’ll give it a shot!”

The devastating effects of tobacco use is something that hits close to home for Kimmett.

“Lung cancer took my dad at the age of 67 — he was a smoker,” Kimmett said. “It’s very difficult to see your dad, who’s a strong farmer, reduced to what he was at the end.”

The timing of Kimmet’s campaign could help sway some smokers, with “Cochrane Quits” taking place on the day before Father’s Day.

“It’d be a great day to give a gift to yourself and to your family by stopping smoking,” Kimmett said. “I’d love to see all dads quit, [and] it doesn’t have to just be in Cochrane, it could be anywhere.”

More information on the event is available here.

As they say goodbye to their longtime pharmacist, Kimmett’s customers are wishing him success in his efforts to get smokers to butt out.

“I think it’s great,” Bob Kilmartin said. “I quit smoking a long time ago and I feel a lot better because of it.”

Watch below: Some Global News videos about quitting smoking.



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