Today is the start of National Non Smoking Week! Many tobacco users use this opportunity to quit smoking. It often takes a few tries to successfully quit smoking. The more you are prepared, the more likely it is that you will succeed.
There are many reasons why people smoke, but 70% of tobacco users want to quit and many wish that they had never started. If you have tried to quit before, think about that experience and recognize what worked and also what made you relapse.
Nicotine is a very addictive substance and causes uncomfortable withdrawal when you go for a period of time without smoking. Smoking is also a learned behaviour that you may associate with certain feelings or activities. It may also be a social activity for some. The addiction is quite complex and unique to each individual.
Because of this, I recommend that you keep a diary of your smoking prior to quitting to identify your triggers and to help you change your behavior to reduce your smoking. Record what you were doing when you decided to smoke and why you feel you need one. You may even find that you reduce the amount you smoke prior to quitting.
Try to write down your goals and how you will achieve them:
- Are you going to use nicotine replacement therapy or other medications? If so, check out the BC Smoking Cessation Program for free products.
- Are you going to tell your friends to gain support or are you going to keep it to yourself?
- Are you going to access online support and counselling through QuitNow services?
- What is your measure of success? Have you completely quit or cut back? Are you still craving?
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. You will feel better, have more money in your pocket and no longer have to worry about quitting!
The BC Smoking Cessation Program is now easier than ever to access. As of January 1, 2016, you can get 12 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy products (including gum, patches, lozenges, and inhalers) just by visiting any pharmacy in the province. You may also qualify for assistance for other tobacco cessation medications. For more information, visit QuitNow.ca or call HealthLink (8-1-1).
Every day is a good day to quit smoking. Plan to make 2016 your smoke free year!
About Nancy Viney
Nancy is a registered nurse working in Northern Health’s population health team. She often imagines a day when no one in northern British Columbia suffers from the harmful effects of tobacco. In her time off, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her two little grandchildren! Nancy also enjoys quilting, knitting, crocheting and many other home spun crafts.