A popular New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking and Alberta Health Services is giving help during National Non-Smoking Week.
The National Non-Smoking Week runs from January 15 to the 21 and the yearly theme is Sometimes People Love a Quitter. AHS says more than 4,000 Albertans die because of tobacco use every year while tens of thousands more Albertans suffer from tobacco-related illnesses that affect their lives.
AHS says commercial tobacco use such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco leads to disease, disability, and premature death. Smokers also increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, oral cancers, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.
AHS has different programs and services to help Albertans quit as seen in the following:
- AlbertaQuits Helpline,1-866-710-QUIT (7848), which provides one-to-one telephone counselling.
- Free text message service that gives tips and motivational messaging to help people quit. The text service includes support for quitting vaping and a live chat feature with quit counsellors. people can enroll today by texting ABQUITS to 123456.
- The website albertaquits.ca, which provides information and tools for preparing people to quit.
- QuitCore, a group support program that provides individuals with the strategies and skills they need to quit tobacco, while connecting them with others who are also trying to quit. This program is offered in person, as well as virtually through Zoom.
- Use of cessation medications increases your chances of success and the cost of the medications may be covered. Check with your provider for coverage information.
AHS says quitting tobacco is one of the best ways to improve health and well-being and acknowledges it may take several quit attempts to succeed but it’s important to not give up. The daily and occasional use of tobacco has been on the decline for the last 20 years according to the 2021 Canadian Community Health Survey.
More information and resources are available at health clinics, pharmacies, dental offices, and AHS locations.