Kiss Tobacco Goodbye in 2012

Cheryl Sidenberg speaks about trying to quit smoking in a new year.

Cheryl Sidenberg

Senior Tobacco Reduction Co-ordinator with Interior Health

The first days of the New Year are upon us and today is the day you have been thinking about being tobacco free in 2012. What an amazing gift to give to yourself, your family and friends.

Approximately 550,000 British Columbians smoke and over 70 percent of those people say they wish they could quit. Many British Columbians will be thinking about quitting this year.

January 15 to 21 is National Non-Smoking Week in Canada. For over 30 years, this special week has encouraged living a smoke free life. This year’s theme is “Breaking up is hard to do”.

Is today the day you can kiss tobacco goodbye? Did you know that making a plan to quit can increase your chances of success? The most important person to quit for is you, and making a quit plan that includes a quit date will help you get started on your tobacco free journey. Recognizing that you are not alone and that support and resources are available to you may also bolster your success. If you have tried to quit before, think about what worked, what did not work and how you might use that information to make your next quit attempt your last one. Past attempts are real learning opportunities so stay positive and plan one step at a time.

QuitNow Services at 1-877-455-2233 offers free personalized support to British Columbians 24 hours a day. They can provide the tools and support to help increase your chances of quitting.

British Columbia is working hard to improve the health of families and communities by supporting living well choices.

The B.C. smoking cessation program offers British Columbians access to nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches or gum to help reduce withdrawal symptoms.

As well, Pharmacare has announced coverage of two prescription medications for smokers who wish to quit. You can call Health Link BC at 8-1-1 to find out more information, or talk to your health care provider; doctor, nurse, dentist, or pharmacist about how they can support your choice to become tobacco free.

You may choose to quit cold turkey or cut back on your daily use. You might even try putting off your first cigarette a half hour later each day until you are no longer smoking.

In addition to many health benefits, quitting can save a person $3000 in the first year if they have smoked a pack a day. Remember to be kind to yourself and reward yourself for being tobacco free. Today is the day you can decide to kiss tobacco goodbye.

For more information about National Non-Smoking Week visit: http://nnsw.ca/