Your new Salamol inhaler–Reason for change and how best to use it

We are changing ventolin and generic salbutamol inhalers over to a new inhaler called salamol--- here’s why:

The propellants used in inhalers make up 5% of the carbon emissions the NHS generates each year. The NHS is therefore reviewing the use of inhalers to ensure we are using the inhalers that are least harmful to the planet (green), whilst ensuring they are equally as effective for treating your asthma.

Did you know using up a Ventolin inhaler creates the same carbon dioxide as driving from Kingswood to Manchester in a car? (170 miles!)

Salamol is a greener alternative to ventolin. It contains salbutamol (the same drug as in ventolin inhalers) and is your rescue inhaler. It is the same dose as your previous inhaler.

The good news is that a salamol CFC free inhaler creates about one third of the carbon emissions compared with your previous inhaler and research shows it is equally as effective as ventolin, if used correctly. 

See this link for more details.

Is Salamol less effective than Ventolin? A randomised, blinded, crossover study in New Zealand - PubMed (


Using your inhaler

It is really important that you use your inhaler correctly to achieve the best effect. The salamol CFC free inhaler requires a slow and steady breath, (rather than a sharp quick breath) to achieve the maximum dose into your lungs. Because salamol contains less propellant than ventolin, you may notice that you don’t feel the ‘spray’ of the inhaler as much. This is completely normal and providing you do a steady and slow inhale, the medicine will still work just as effectively.

If you use a spacer device to help you use your medication this may need to be changed. If you find your new inhaler does not quite fit your current spacer please contact our practice pharmacy team who will arrange for a prescription for a new spacer.

See below for a video demonstrating how to use your inhaler:

How to use a pMDI inhaler | Asthma + Lung UK

Other inhaler changes

The most green inhalers are dry powder inhalers but these are sometimes not suitable for everyone as you need to be able to take a very strong breathe in and hold your breathe for 10 seconds to get their best effect. During an acute asthma attack this is not possible to do.

At your next asthma check with the nurse, we will consider changing you over to a dry powder (greener) alternative if this is suitable for you.

Asthma review

The best way to protect you and control your asthma, together with protecting the environment, is to get your inhaler regime right.

Good control of asthma should mean you do not have to use your reliever very often.

If you are using your rescue inhaler (blue in colour) more than 3 x a week (using more than 1 inhaler per month) it is a sign your asthma is not well controlled. You will be invited for an annual asthma review at the beginning of your birthday month but if you feel you need an appointment sooner, please contact the surgery to talk to the asthma nurse.

If you cannot book an appointment straight away, visit the Asthma UK website for more information You can also call the Asthma UK helpline nurses on 0300 222 5800 for advice and support (Monday to Friday 9am -5pm)

Let us help you control your asthma and in doing so protect our environment too

Published: Jun 23, 2022