In an attempt to raise global awareness about the destructive nature of tobacco addiction, the World Health Organization has declared May 31 World No Tobacco Day.
Dr. Derek Poteryko, medical director for Central Island Smoking Intervention Clinic in Nanaimo, has seen hundreds of people succeed in becoming healthy non-smokers and hopes World No Tobacco Day will help more.
More than four million Canadians smoke, and at any given time it is estimated 70 per cent of those want to quit.
“In the clinic, we use cognitive behavioural therapy to help people shift their thinking to a more resourceful state when they crave a cigarette,” said Poteryko, who has some tips using CRAVED as a memory technique.
C – Committed action – Think of the commitment you have made to yourself to be free of this addiction for 24 hours.
R – Reasons – Remember your reasons of why you are doing this. It may be for health, it may be for your family, or even for the financial reasons.
A – Appreciate – To help shift thinking, every day think of three things in the past 24 hours that are good in your life or what went well in the last day.
V – Variety – Variety is the spice of life when it comes to healthy behaviour change. What works today, may not work tomorrow, but some other thought or action will satisfy the craving.
E – Exercise – To exercise 20 minutes a day (if you have been sedentary then start with 5 minutes a day and work yourself up gradually), e.g. walking is cheap and effective.
D – Drink healthy – Drinking healthy fluids helps with the transition of becoming a non-smoker for good.
More ideas can be found at the www.mediatherapy.ca website under quit quitting exercises.