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Health group outlines advice for giving up smoking

The Canadian Cancer Society (Société canadienne du cancer) is a national, community-based charitable organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of those living with the disease. One of the early 2017 activities of the group is to encourage those who smoke to quit. the society has provided Digital Journal with nine steps that can assist with the quitting process.

The nine steps are:

1. Quit. A lot.

Here the society is realistic, for it can take a lot of tries to stay quit for good. The advice is so “try frequently until you quit for good”. Support from helplines can assist.

2. Celebrate your failures.

The society indicates that each time a person tries to quit they learn more about what works for them and what pitfalls to avoid. the advice is “celebrate learning something new for the next time you try to quit.”

3. Talk to strangers.

If your friends and family don’t really get trying to quit then there are several support groups to turn to. This can help with the quitting process.

4. Make excuses.

Here the society notes: “somebody is going to ask you out for a smoke break, or you’re going to get that after-lunch craving. What are you going to do?” the advice here is to “start making excuses now so that you have one ready when you need it.”


The more someone publicizes the fact they are quitting, the more likely they are to see it through. Here the society advises: “tell everybody you’re quitting. Post it on Facebook, tell that guy you buy your coffee from – everybody. ”

6. Take up drinking…

By this the society means water, not alcohol. Drinking more water, especially early on, helps during cravings and also speeds up the removal of nicotine and other stuff from the body.

7. Take a Hike

Exercise can help to reduce common side effects (like weight gain) associated with giving up smoking.

8. Stop planning to quit.

The advice here is to stop procrastinating and making plans on how to quit, and instead to get on as soon as possible with the quitting process.

9. Use nicotine

The use of nicotine replacement therapy products can help to lower the daily dose of nicotine slowly and without the other effects of tobacco.

Commenting on the nine steps, John Atkinson, Director of Smokers’ Helpline, who is involved with society, told the Toronto Star: “We hear stories from smokers every day about all of the weird tricks that they or their friends use to stay smoke-free. A lot of them actually have roots in science, but people don’t always realize it at the time. The old saying is often true – if it sounds stupid, but it works, it isn’t stupid.”

Within Canada, smoking rates vary across the provinces, from a low of 15.8 percent in B.C. to 23.8 percent in Saskatchewan, according to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey (and as reported by CBC News).

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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