The first days of the new year are upon us and perhaps you are one of the many who have been thinking about becoming tobacco free in 2017. What an amazing gift to give to yourself, your family and friends!
Approximately 550,000 British Columbians smoke and more than 70 per cent of those people say they wish they could quit. Many British Columbians are planning to quit smoking this year so you are not alone.
Making a plan to quit can increase your chances of success. Make sure your plan includes a quit date to help you get started on your tobacco free journey and be sure to tell the supportive people in your life when that day is. 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 and time.
Support and resources are available and can bolster your success.
QuitNow 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. They can be reached online at www.quitnow.ca/ or by calling 1-877-455-2233 or by texting QUITNOW to 654321.
The B.C. Smoking Cessation Program offers British Columbians access to nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum, lozenges or inhaler to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. Joining the program is easy, simply visit any community pharmacy in the province and ask to join B.C Smoking Cessation Program.
Don’t forget your health-care provider can also be a great support, so be sure to tell them your plans to become smoke free and ask how they can support you.
In addition to many health benefits, quitting can save a person $3,650 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.
For more information on quitting smoking visit the BC Smoking Cessation Program website.
Trish Hill is the integrated tobacco program team leader with Interior Health.