National Non-Smoking Week, a time to give your New Year's resolution a boost!
With the New Year now upon us, many people make resolutions to adopt a healthier
lifestyle in the coming year, yet how often do people follow through? For those
who have committed to quit smoking in 2013, National Non-Smoking Week, January 20
to 26, is an ideal time to quit or recommit if you've fallen off track.
You can strengthen your New Year's resolution by setting a quit date and sticking
to it! It may also be a good time for those who are struggling or trying to quit
on their own to consider accessing smoking cessation support services available.
"Research shows that most smokers want to quit and have intentions of quitting within
the next 6 months," says Health Promoter Jessica Lang. "Elgin St. Thomas Public Health
can help those smokers fulfill those quit intentions."
Elgin St. Thomas Public Health offers free one-on-one consultations with reduced
cost nicotine replacement therapy for those trying to quit. Consultations last for
approximately half an hour and can be arranged around the clients' needs. Consultations
are offered through ESTPH's Clinical Services Mondays and Wednesdays between 9:00
a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Friday mornings between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. "Research
shows that those who seek support are more likely to be successful than those who
attempt to quit on their own," adds Lang.
National Non-Smoking Week is one of Canada's longest running events and public health
education efforts regarding tobacco control. Established in 1977 by the Canadian
Council for Tobacco Control (CCTC), National Non-Smoking Week also includes Weedless
Wednesday (January 23), a day dedicated to quitting smoking and the use of tobacco
Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Ontario, killing
13,000 people annually or 36 people a day. Many smokers make five to seven attempts
to quit smoking before they quit successfully and accessing cessation supports and
programs can help increase a smoker's chance of becoming tobacco-free.
For more information on local cessation services available, please contact Elgin
St. Thomas Public Health at 519-631-9900 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Smokers' Helpline at 1-877-513-5333.
Editor's Note: Think you can't quit smoking, or don't really want to quit?
That was what my husband and I thought - both counts. After being heavy smokers
for 40 and 50 years respectively, chain smoking for the last several years, we decided
to join the Stop Smoking Study the Elgin St. Thomas Public Health Unit was offering
about a year and a half ago. Neither of us expected it to work, but we thought we'd
give it a try.
Using the nicotine replacement aids they provided, it took my husband 10 days to
be off both the cigarettes and the nicotine replacement aids - he'd been
smoking for 40 years and chain smoking for the last three years. It took me 12 weeks
- I'd been smoking for 50 years and smoking 2 packs a day for the last three years
- but I was determined to stick with it so that my husband would also not go back
We quit at the end of August in 2011. To my surprise, I started getting my wind
back within just one week of quitting. My stamina and energy levels improved. We
both stopped coughing. Our senses of smell and taste returned. Skin colour and skin
tone improved in both of us. We no longer need to go outside in rotten weather to
have a smoke. We, and our home, no longer smell like tobacco smoke. Our vehicle
no longer smells like tobacco smoke and no longer needs ashes cleaned out of it.
We no longer spend hundreds of dollars every month on a habit that was killing us.
Neither of us get any desire to start smoking again if we see other people smoking
or if they are smoking around us. Smoking is no longer a part of our lifestyle and
we don't miss it at all. I also don't miss including cigarettes in our household
budget - they're what, over $10 a pack now?
The point is, it can be done and it is remarkably easy to do. All
you have to do is stick with the program until you get past the psychological addiction
(the actual craving physical addiction wears off in 3 days, the residual physical
addiction in 3 weeks). Believe me, if I can do it when I did not really have any desire
whatsoever to quit, anybody can do it.