Smokers can butt out this week

Jan. 18 is Weedless Wednesday, the highlight of National Non-Smoking Week.

To the Editor,

Jan, 18 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/friends, even your planet will thank you. Since 1999, over 1 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)?

There are many ways to quit smoking. This year, there is a workshop at Beban Park on Wednesday at noon. You will be able to find the necessary tools to quit smoking for good.There is the free 24-hour smokers’ helpline called Quit Now at 1-877-455-2233 or www.quitnow.ca. All of these community resources are at the clinic’s website at www.cisic.ca.

Dr. Derek Poterykomedical director of community healthIsland Health