Make 2014 smoke free, Canadian Cancer Society advises

Thursday, January 30, 2014

broken-cigaretteWhether it's to lose a few pounds or get out of debt, focus more on family or advance up the corporate ladder in the workplace, many Canadians are thinking about what their New Year's resolution will be as the end of 2013 draws near. While all of these personal commitments have their value, the Canadian Cancer Society is advising smokers to make 2014 the year they finally kick the habit once and for all.
John Atkinson, director of tobacco and cancer prevention for the Canadian Cancer Society, noted that roughly 30 percent of all cancer deaths in Canada stem from people who use products with tobacco, such as cigars, pipes, cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

With this in mind, the Canadian Cancer Society has made a new program available at its website called the "Driven to Quit" Challenge. By logging on to, individuals who are committed to making 2014 the year they cease smoking for good can register and be entered to win a prize, the grand one being a brand new 2014 Dodge Avenger.

In the meantime, the Canadian Cancer Society has made a list of tips available to assist Canadians of all ages with what could be a difficult process of weaning themselves off of cigarettes, as the nicotine makes them highly addictive.

  • Hold yourself accountable. The best way in which to hold true to a commitment is by letting others know about your desire to quit. That's why you should be sure to tell your family members, friends and loved ones about your resolution, as they can provide you with the encouragement you may need to not give in to the temptation to smoke when it arises.

  • Recognize and avoid cues that stir up smoking urge. There are certain triggers that may cause you to want to light up, such as being in a bar where many people are smoking or after a meal. Be prepared for them by replacing them with a different behavior.

  • Identify reasons for wanting to quit. There's a motivation for almost everything we do in life. Besides the obvious health benefits, regularly go over the justifications for wanting to kick the habit permanently, whether it's to improve your appearance or for a loved one who's expressed their concern.

  • Set milestones. Quitting smoking all at once almost never happens, even though some may say that they've been able to do it by going cold turkey. For most, it will be a gradual process. Set a goal for how many cigarettes you want to limit yourself to over the course of several weeks or months. Should the objective be reached, feel free to reward yourself with a personal indulgence, so long as it's not related to smoking.

  • Keep alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol reduces inhibitions and also judgment. After having one too many glasses of wine or beer, you may unwittingly smoke a cigarette, putting you right back to where you started. Limit alcohol consumption or, when at a bar, ensure that there are non-alcoholic menu items.

Just as there are numerous health benefits from quitting smoking, there are even some home insurance discounts that policyholders may be able to take advantage of, as cigarettes are one of the primary ways in which home fires are started. Health Canada recently released a report arguing for the tobacco industry being more regulated in order to reduce the risk of fires occurring among residential properties.

In the report, Health Canada noted that smoking materials result in more property damage and fatalities than fires started by other sources, such as arson, space heaters or wood stoves.