Even better smoke-free
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 15:01
This week, from January, 20th to 26th, is National Non-Smoking Week. For those who have decided to quit smoking in 2013, this week is a great time to bolster your resolve to stay committed to your New Year’s resolution.
The theme for this year’s non-smoking week is “Live, work, play... even better smoke-free.” The National Non-Smoking Week (NNSW) was established in 1977 by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control with the hopes of educating Canadians about the dangers of smoking. NNSW is one of the longest running health promotion campaigns in Canada. Their goals are to educate Canadians about the dangers of smoking, prevent non-smokers from beginning to smoke and developing an addiction to tobacco and to help people to quit smoking. They also promote the right for individuals to breathe air that is unpolluted by tobacco smoke and attempt to change the public opinion of the tobacco industry, their marketing practices, tobacco products and tobacco use. Finally, they assist in the attainment of a smoke-free society in Canada.
In Ontario, tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease, killing 13,000 people annually or 36 people a day. Direct health care costs alone from tobacco exceed $4.4 billion per year, and total economic costs are greater than $17 billion per year. Even though people know about all of the health issues that surround smoking and have all heard these statistics before about the lives lost and the billions spent, people still choose to start and continue smoking.
I know that quitting smoking is possibly one of the hardest things for someone to accomplish, yet there are so many benefits that come with quitting that make it worth the effort and sacrifice. In addition, there are many different supplements and programs that have been created to help people quit smoking.
Quitting smoking is not easy and most of the time you’ll be unsuccessful. Studies have found that many smokers make five to seven attempts to quit smoking before quitting successfully. With that in mind it is important to keep trying to quit and taking every opportunity, such as the NNSW, to make a renewed attempt to quit.
25 per cent of Ontario’s young adults aged 20 to 24 smoke cigarettes. That is the highest smoking prevalence of any age group in the province. The deadliest health problems that are a result of smoking occur years after a person starts, which makes it a dangerous substance to start using since it is easier to ignore the detrimental effects that are slowly taking their toll on your body. For this reason, universities and colleges are vital locations for anti-smoking campaigns since a large portion of young adults attend these institutions.
At Brock, students can participate in the NNSW by taking part in the Leave the Pack Behind program. The province-wide program was initiated at Brock University in 2000. This student run initiative provides smoking awareness campaigns and cessation services to post-secondary students on 43 university and college campuses in Ontario.
This year at Brock, Leave the Pack Behind is running a contest called “wouldurather”, where students can enter for a chance to win various prizes. There are four categories, each suited to a different level of smoker or non-smoker, and all successful candidates are entered into a draw for the prizes. The contest continues until March 11th, 2013. Any student who is interested must register with a “buddy”. The buddy will observe the contestant over the course of the contest. Buddies are also eligible for prizes.
To register please visit leavethepackbehind.org/contest, to be eligible you must register by 11:59pm on January 27th, 2013.