It’s National Non-Smoking Week, and Northern Health said about 15% of Canadians currently smoke, and around 48,000 Canadians die each year from commercial tobacco use.
“The purpose of it is to get education out there for the public to help prevent use in young adults starting tobacco products, and while helping aid those that are using to help limit their intake,” said Lindsay Willoner with Northern Health.
Anyone who is thinking about quitting smoking has some resources available to them that might be helpful:
- QuitNow offers support, information, and counseling.
- The BC Smoking Cessation Program offers 12 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy through your local pharmacy.
- Here to Help: Tips for Cutting Back offers information and support for cannabis use.
- The First Nation Health Authority offers supplementary coverage for nicotine replacement therapy.
“What I like to tell individuals is that when you’re craving tobacco, what you’re really craving is nicotine, and it’s highly addictive, it’s not a habit, it’s not something you can just quit.”
“I think it’s just really important for individuals to celebrate their wins. We need to give ourselves credit for hard work, and like I said, it is an addiction. Remember, if you slip up, don’t be hard on yourself,” said Willoner.
Jennifer Callaghan with the BC Lung Foundation said we shouldn’t forget e-cigarettes, as they’re also a nicotine product.
“In recent years we’ve seen an increase with vaping, and vaping products.”
Callaghan noted that we still don’t have the abundance of information on the effects of vaping like we do with cigarettes, but said they still come with risks.
“Some of those risks for example are to the lungs. So vaping will irritate the respiratory system. It can lead to coughing and inflammation, which ultimately increases your risk of chronic lung diseases.”
“In the states, we’ve seen deaths that resulted from vaping that we still to this day can’t fully explain, which kind of indicates that there’s a lot still to discover about vaping,” added Callaghan.
She noted that the QuitNow program also helps with people trying to quit vaping, and that she recommends anyone who is trying to quit smoking or vaping to use a combination of programs to raise the chances of quitting.