National non-smoking week 2023

A new year brings new beginnings, and it is a perfect time to celebrate National Non-Smoking Week (January 15 – 21, 2023) and Weedless Wednesday (January 18, 2023).

On Weedless Wednesday we encourage those who smoke tobacco and/or recreational cannabis to challenge themselves by going smoke-free for 24 hours.

Quick facts

  • According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, smokers are actually more likely to quit in January than any other month.
  • Approximately 48,000 Canadians die each year from tobacco use and direct health care costs in 2017 were estimated to be more than $6 billion.
  • In recent years, vaping has become an epidemic amongst youth. A 2020 survey on COVID and vaping in youth, indicated that 75% of youth who vaped within the last 30 days vaped within 30 minutes upon waking.

Stopping smoking/tobacco use is not easy because nicotine is addictive and can take more than just one try. Try not to think of quitting as an all-or-nothing occurrence. It is a gradual process that can take many attempts and different combinations of methods before you find one that works for you. The most important thing is to not give up trying. 

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • VCH offers a free, drop-in smoking cessation group. Joining a smoking cessation support group can double your chances of successfully quitting smoking in the long-term. Anyone who currently uses tobacco products, including cigarettes and vapour products, is welcome to drop in.
  • BC Smoking Cessation Program – offers FREE nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
  • Free counselling and support for smoking/tobacco use and/or vaping:
    • Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Cessation Clinic – by phone or video with a doctor. Contact to book an appointment.
    • Smoke-free Curious – provides tips, information and free trial/samples of selected NRT with coupon
    • QuitNow – offers online support, by text, phone and live chat, and monthly telephone group support (on the first Monday of every month at 7:00 pm PST). To register for a Group Support session, call a Quit Coach at 1-877-455-2233.

For further information about stopping smoking or tobacco use, visit HealthLinkBC Quitting Smoking.