Quitting smoking can start with becoming a non-smoker for just a day, says medical director of community health in Nanaimo. (Stock photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Plenty of support available to help people quit smoking

Doctor urges smokers to try to become non-smokers for a day tomorrow, Weedless Wednesday

To the editor,

Tomorrow, Jan. 20, is Weedless Wednesday, the highlight of National Non-Smoking Week. The Canadian Cancer Society encourages those who smoke or vape to abstain from smoking for 24 hours. It could end up being the start of something wonderful.

There is evidence that COVID-19 infection is more severe in those who smoke or vape.

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/friends, even your planet will thank you with amazing results. Since 1999, over a 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 non-smoker)? This ‘best friend’ turns out to be your worst enemy.

There are many ways to quit smoking. Just remember that there is the free 24-hour smokers’ helpline called Quit Now by phone at 1-877-455-2233 or online at www.quitnow.ca.

May everyone have a healthy and safe 2021.

Dr. Derek Poteryko, Nanaimo

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The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

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