National non-smoking week takes place each year during the third week of January. Initiated by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control in 1977 as a measure to counteract the rising number of smokers in our society, their mandate is to:
EDUCATE about the dangers of smoking
PREVENT new smokers
HELP smokers quit the habit
PROMOTE the right to breath unpolluted air from tobacco smoke
DENORMALIZE the tobacco industry as we know it
ASSIST in the attainment of a smoke free society
On a personal level, I always say smoking is one of the best things I NEVER did. However, it could have gone very differently as peer pressure during our early adult years is strong. When we are teenagers, we think of ourselves as invincible and that the effects of smoking will not impact us. The truth, as we get older, is so very different.
My good friend, Michelle, decided to quit smoking 4 years ago and to date has been successful at keeping the dreaded weed at bay. Her motivation was her children; she wanted to increase her “odds” (as she said) of seeing her family grow up and have children of their own.
The benefits, however, have been far greater than she ever expected. At the age of 50 she is feeling healthier and fitter than when she was 30. Her energy levels have increased and she participates in biking, hiking and keeping fit with her 16 and 18 year old sons, not to mention the daily yoga practices she enjoys.
All of this was not possible when she was smoking 20 cigarettes a day. She also realizes that her decision to quit set a far better example to her sons, both whom she says are vehemently against the idea of ever starting to smoke.
Not only that, the amount of money she has saved over the last four years has enabled more family holidays and other treats that were not in her budget while she smoked.
A packet of 20 cigarettes costs on average $12.65, that’s $88.57 a week or $354.31 a month. It is an expensive habit on your pocket book as well as your health.
Michelle’s story is a successful one, and as she says if she can do it so can you.
If you are sitting on the fence about quitting, maybe knowing the dangers and the known diseases that smoking can cause might just push you into quitting. They include lung and other cancers, COPD, heart disease, strokes, asthma, reproductive issues for women, diabetes and even blindness.
Take the challenge and refrain from tobacco on Weedless Wednesday January 20, 2021. This could be the day you kick start your quitting process. Quitting is not easy. Nicotine is highly addictive and set backs are par for the course, but you do not need to do this alone.
quitnow.ca is a free programme for British Columbians looking to quit or even reduce their tobacco intake. The programme is delivered by the B.C Lung association on behalf of the government of B.C. You even have the benefit of having your own “Quit coach”. Find out more by calling 1 877 455 2233 toll free.