The New Brunswick government is pushing hard to ensure those looking to give up smoking are successful this year by promoting numerous support resources for residents.
National programs from the Canadian Cancer Society and Health Canada, such as the Smokers’ Helpline, are being brought front and centre to combat tobacco addiction – said to contribute to the deaths of hundreds of New Brunswickers each year.
“They can be both answering your questions about quitting and helping you through the quitting process as well as being proactive,” explained Kristin Muecke, New Brunswick Acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health. “If you set a quit date say three months from now, if you let them know that they will actually call you three months from now and give you a boost.”
“One of the key things people need to remember is that they’re not alone,” Muecke said.
Health professionals tout the benefits of quitting smoking for its long-term and short-term positive effects.
They say after 10 smoke-free years, the risk of developing lung cancer is cut in half and after 15 years, life expectancy and the risk of heart disease are the same as that of a non-smoker.
“Within minutes to hours of quitting smoking you will see changes in cardiovascular health, blood pressure,” Muecke explained. “And within days to months, people will start to see improved lung function, they’ll see drops in their risks for heart attacks and strokes.”
Muecke added that some health care providers cover medication that can improve a smoker’s chance of success in their quest to quit.
Anyone interested in accessing the Smokers’ Helpline can call 1-877-513-5333.