January 20 - 26, 2013 is National Non-Smoking Week, a week
designed to raise awareness about the effects of tobacco use in order to
help prevent individuals from starting to smoke, help smokers quit and promote
smoke-free environments. This year’s theme is "Live, work, play... even
Smoking is responsible for more deaths each year than drug
and alcohol abuse, car crashes, AIDS, murder and suicide combined. According to
the World Health Organization, every eight seconds, someone dies from a tobacco-related illness.
It’s clear that nicotine has a firm grip on those who
consume it. But there are ways to break the addiction.
Dr. Peter Selby, Chief of Addictions at CAMH is available
to discuss tobacco addiction, smoking cessation, policy, research and
treatment. For a preview of Dr. Selby’s quit tips, click here.
Thinking about quitting smoking? Here are some tips to get you started
your reasons for quitting smoking? Write them down. Do you want to quit cold
turkey or cut down a bit at a time? Whatever your reasons or methods for
quitting, your environment, behaviour and biology all play a role in
determining how successful you are going to be.
- Make your home smoke-free before you quit. If
you go outside to smoke, it will help you start changing some of your routines.
This is an important first step in changing any behavior.
- If you can’t make your entire home
smoke-free, limit your smoking to one
- Make your vehicle smoke- free. This might be an
important part of your smoking routine.
- Eliminate any triggers or reminders of smoking
from your home by removing ashtrays, lighters, and matches.
- Tell your friends and family you are planning to
- Do you live with a smoker? Will they quit
smoking as well? If not, ask them not to smoke in the house or around you.
- Do you work with someone who smokes? How will
you plan your day if you usually take ‘smoke breaks’ with them?
some things you can do to change your behavior to support your quitting.
- Track your smoking. Record every cigarette you
smoke, when you smoke, how you feel when you smoke and what you are doing at
the time. This will give you a picture of your pattern of smoking and help you
identify some of your most challenging cigarettes – the harder ones to give up.
- Before you light up, ask yourself, “How much do
I really need this cigarette?” Sometimes people smoke because it’s an automatic
behaviour. If you stop and ask yourself this question, it may identify which
cigarettes you smoke out of habit and which ones you smoke because you are in
When you are
- Identify your triggers. What makes you want to
light up? Your morning coffee? After a meal? Smoke breaks? Make a list of the
most common triggers.
- Change your daily routine. This strategy helps
to reduce and even eliminate some of your daily smoking triggers.
- Plan how you will cope. Looking at your triggers, think about what
you will do instead of smoking. For example, if you have your first cigarette
with your morning coffee and it’s the first thing you do in the morning, can
you delay your coffee? Shower first, get dressed, and leave your home?
- Plan on how you will cope when you are bored or
in withdrawal. Think of ways to distract yourself from your craving-- maybe
drink a glass of water or go for a walk.
- Consider activities that will replace your
smoking: exercise, knitting, or other activities you can do with your hands.
- Reward yourself throughout your quit
journey. Build incentives into your quit
plan and take some time to recognize even the small changes you may make that
move you one step closer to your goal of quitting.
- Get support from family, friends, colleagues, a
health professional or Smokers’ Helplineby calling 1-877-513-5333.
- Attend a support group to get support from
others trying to quit.
- If you are in Toronto,
the CAMH Nicotine Dependence Clinic can help you with a personalized treatment
plan to increase your chances of quitting smoking. Please call (416) 535-8501 x 7400.
find withdrawal from cigarettes too difficult. Talk to your doctor, nurse or
pharmacist to consider medications that can help you manage withdrawal and
cravings. There are three types of medications:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) – Over the
counter medications such as the patch, gum, inhaler, lozenge and mist replace
the nicotine in your body when you quit smoking.
- Bupropion (Zyban)-- This is a prescription
medication that can increase a person’s chances of quitting smoking.
- ne (Champix)-- This is another
prescription medication that can increase a person’s chances of quitting
The Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's
leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research,
education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives
of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully
affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American
Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more
information, please visit www.camh.ca.
more information contact: Michael Torres, CAMH
Media Relations, 416-595-6015 or firstname.lastname@example.org