Wed January 16, 2013
1,700 Nova Scotians will die from smoking this year and another 200 will die from illnesses connected to second-hand smoke.
With a new year beginning, this is the perfect time to make a change. Doctors throughout the province want all Nova Scotians who smoke to take the first step and talk with their doctor about quitting.
National Non-Smoking Week is January 20 to 26. The theme is “Live, work, play… even better smoke-free.” While the idea of quitting can be daunting, the most important step is deciding to do it.
Talk to your doctor about your options and learn from your past attempts. Quitting is a trial and error process but it’s important to identify what triggers your cravings such as meals, drinking, stress and/or the presence of other smokers and learn how to avoid or cope with urges.
You should expect withdrawal, urges to smoke, and perhaps even a relapse. It can sometimes take four to five tries before you are completely successful.
Quitting reduces your chances of having a stroke or heart attack, or getting lung cancer and other lung diseases. Not only will you have fewer coughs, colds, and earaches, you will be able to climb stairs and walk without being out of breath. Most importantly, quitting will protect your loved ones from second-hand smoke.
Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in our province. Make this year, the year you quit. For more information and resources to help you quit, visit www.doctorsns.com.
John Finley, MDCM, FRCPC