There are many strategies for quitting smoking and support programs available, says letter writer. (Stock photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New year right time to butt out

Jan. 24 is Weedless Wednesday, the highlight of National Non-Smoking Week

To the editor,

Jan. 24 is Weedless Wednesday, the highlight of National Non-Smoking Week. The Canadian Cancer Society encourages those who smoke to abstain from smoking for 24 hours. It could end up being the start of something wonderful.

Since helping people quit smoking is a great interest of mine, I would also encourage those who smoke to try and become a non-smoker for the day. Try a day, what do you have to lose? You have everything to gain. Your body, your wallet, your family and friends; even your planet will thank you with amazing results. Since 1999, over one million Canadians have quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is not easy. Many patients I have helped in the hospital’s smoking cessation clinic have told me that quitting smoking was like giving up their ‘best friend.’

This is merely the illusion of tobacco addiction distorting reality because what ‘best friend’ would take your hard earned money and shorten your life (on average a smoker lives 10 years less than a nonsmoker). This ‘best friend’ turns out to be your worst enemy.

There are many ways to quit smoking. There is the free 24 hour smokers’ helpline called Quit Now by phone at 811 or online

Nanaimo also has a free smoking cessation class at Nanaimo Community Health on Grant Avenue. For more information, please call 250-755-6200.

May everyone have a healthy and happy 2018.

Derek Poteryko, MD, medical director community health, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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