National Non-Smoking week is one of the major events in the public health education efforts of the Canadian government. It is observed during the third full week of January every year starting on a Sunday. This year, it will start on the 17th of January and end on the 23rd day of the same month. The public health campaign was established in 1977 by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control for the purpose of informing the public of the many dangers of smoking cigarettes.
Many people are unaware that smoking is one of the most preventable causes of death not just in Canada but all over the world. Also, approximately 33% of deaths due to coronary heart disease are directly connected to smoking and second-hand smoke. What is very alarming is the fact that almost 90% of lung cancer cases are related to cigarette smoking. This is the reason the Canadian government makes it a priority to reduce the number of smokers in the country by helping smokers quit and preventing non-smokers from taking up the horrible habit.
Purpose of National Non-Smoking Week
The public health campaign coordinated by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control aims to:
- Educate the public about the many dangers of smoking
- Prevent non-smokers from beginning to smoke and becoming addicted to the nasty habit
- Help smokers quit the nasty habit
- Promote the right of the people to breathe air unpolluted by tobacco smoke
- Denormalize the tobacco industry, their marketing practices, their products and tobacco use in general
- Help in the attainment of a smoke-free country
What You can do on National Non-Smoking Week?
- Help in advocating the implementation of strong and effective tobacco control legislation and policies at the different levels of government.
- Use social media to spread awareness of National Non-Smoking Week and the dangers of smoking.
- Help people learn about the various ways they can quit smoking.
- Support municipal bylaws that ban smoking in public areas.
- Help fund research to assist in the control of tobacco use.
- Organize a local event to spread the word about the dangers of smoking.
- Educate your younger family members about the dangers of smoking in order to prevent them from starting the nasty habit.
- Contact your local media outlets and ask them to help inform the public about National Non-Smoking Week and the dangers of smoking.
Message on National Non-Smoking Week
If you are a smoker, National Non-Smoking Week is the perfect time to think about quitting. Start by learning about the many dangers of smoking which is the reason you should quit in the first place. This is the ideal time to quit since there are many others who will be taking their first step to becoming non-smokers. It is surely a difficult process but find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. There are also many resources that can help you with your difficult journey like Smokers’ Helpline which is free and confidential.
Special Tips on National Non-Smoking Week
Here are useful tips to help you quit:
- Find Your Reason – You need a powerful, personal reason in order to get truly motivated. One example is if you want to protect your family from the dangers of second-hand smoke. Another is to lower your lung cancer risk so you can be there for your children when they are growing up.
- Preparation is Vital – Smoking is highly addictive so you will experience withdrawal. This is why you need to be ready and have support in place before you quit. Seek assistance from your doctor and join quit-smoking groups or counselling.
- Consider The Use of Nicotine Therapy – Nicotine withdrawal will affect your energy, mood and overall well-being. The cravings will seem impossible to control which is where nicotine replacement therapy can come in and help. Studies indicate that this can significantly improve your chances of success.
- Lean on Your Family and Friends – Inform your loved ones that you are trying to quit. They can help give you encouragement especially when you are having cravings to light up. There are also support groups and counsellors that can help you stick to your quit-smoking program.
- Avoid Triggers – It is harder to stick to your no-smoking goal when you consume alcoholic beverages. Coffee is another trigger for many individuals. Find an alternative activity to replace smoking like taking a walk, chewing gum or brushing your teeth.
There are many reasons to quit smoking like the fact that it is one of the major causes of death all over the world. Just by quitting smoking, you can significantly reduce your lung cancer risk. Also, on average, smokers die more than 10 years earlier when compared to non-smokers. Fortunately, it is possible to quit smoking and help is readily available in many places.