Statistics say more than one-third of people who made new year’s resolutions give up after the first week, but there are 250 reasons why people who made resolutions to stop smoking shouldn’t give up trying.
“There are 250 disease-causing chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke,” says Dr. Meena Dawar, Medical Health Officer. “Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and illness in British Columbia, claiming more than 6,000 people every year.”
Exposure to second-hand smoke contributes to disease and premature death in children and adults who don’t smoke. Second-hand smoke is a carcinogen and contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals. Even brief exposure has immediate adverse effects and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer.
Richmond resident Craig Milligan, who smoked a pack a day for 45 years, was one of those users, until he quit with the help of the Break Free program. “Like most smokers, I was thinking I had to quit, but it was always next week, next month or next year. I was realizing the dependence that I placed on having on tobacco. I didn’t want to be a slave to cigarettes anymore.”
“Quitting smoking is a journey: it usually takes many attempts to quit for good,” says Dr. Dawar. “Each attempt is a learning opportunity which brings you one step closer to a successful long term quit.”
- The B.C. Smoking Cessation Program is available to eligible British Columbians. The program offers B.C. residents up to 12 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, just be registering at their community pharmacy, or going to see their doctor to get a prescription for PharmaCare coverage of a prescription drug, based on their plan. People can choose between nicotine gum, lozenges, an inhaler or the patch.
- A confidential, free helpline is available 24/7. Call toll-free at 1 (877) 455-2233 or go online at QuitNow.ca.
- VCH’s Break Free programs provide group counselling and support.
- Or talk to your family doctor or pharmacist about how to get started.