Celebrating National Non-Smoking Week
Letter to the Editor
Since 1977, we have observed National Non-Smoking Week as one of the longest-running public health events in Canada’s history. Each year we take the opportunity to emphasize the importance of quitting smoking, even trying it ‘one day at a time’ on Weedless Wednesday.
I know quitting smoking is not easy. Quitting may take practice and it can take a number of times to be successful. Former smokers say they learned something each time they quit. With supports provided through quitnow.ca, there’s no better time to get ready to quit.
We’ve seen strong success with our BC Smoking Cessation Program, offering eligible B.C. residents free nicotine replacement therapy products when they register at any community pharmacy. Our program now also has more product choices – people trying to quit can choose between nicotine gum, lozenges, an inhaler or the patch, in addition to prescription drugs. I congratulate the 234,500 British Columbians who have used B.C.’s Smoking Cessation Program to try and quit. As someone who has witnessed loved ones struggle with nicotine addiction, I know your family, friends and pets are immensely grateful for your decision for better health.
But sometimes offering help is just not enough. Other jurisdictions have explored unique ideas to discourage youth from smoking, like Hawaii and California where they have raised age limits to 21 for buying and selling tobacco. Tobacco is pervasive and attractive, and we need to think outside the box for ways to help limit the number of young people starting to smoke.
Having a variety of options means people trying to quit will have a better chance of finding a product that works best for them. Together, both the BC Smoking Cessation Program and QuitNow offer the tools they need to quit.
This year, make a commitment to yourself and your family. Try going smoke-free and reap the rewards of a new, healthier you. Call QuitNow or talk to your pharmacist, and remember that any great journey begins with a single step.”
Need some support as you try to quit smoking? Visit www.quitnow.ca for information, tips, and free coaching from a trained quit coach.
B.C. Minister of Health