(NC) Most people who smoke understand that it’s bad for their health. But quitting can be difficult, taking willpower, helpful tools and a strong support system. You might even need a couple of tries to succeed.
Almost half of daily cigarette smokers in our country have made at least one quit attempt in the last year. If you’re trying to break free, here are some helpful tips from Health Canada:
- Understand the damage. People who smoke are exposed to toxic chemicals, including tar, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and benzene. These harmful chemicals can cause a number of diseases like lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
- Learn the health benefits. You may know that the positive effects of quitting are significant, but did you know that they are also immediate? The health benefits of quitting start within 20 minutes after your last cigarette! And, as soon as you quit smoking, your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and breathing problems begins to drop.
- Make a plan. The key to making and getting through your quit plan is educating yourself, understanding your triggers and having a plan to overcome them. If you slip up, learn from your mistakes and get back on track.
- Eliminate temptations. Work on developing new behaviours instead of simply trying not to smoke. Try going for a walk around the block, munch on something crunchy like celery or sunflower seeds, and practise deep breathing. Keep your home and car smoke-free. Change your work break habits.
- Get help. There are many options when it comes to quitting smoking, like nicotine replacement therapies, medications and other less harmful sources of nicotine. Talking to a quit coach can also be great help. Connect with one for free at 1-866-366-3667 or online at gosmokefree.gc.ca/quit.