Weighing the costs and benefits of smoking may help you decide whether or not to quit, and whether or not this is the time to try.
- What are the benefits you get from smoking? What do you like about it? What does it do for you? List everything you can think of (e.g. it’s a social thing, it helps me manage my weight, I like the taste and feel of a cigarette).
- Has smoking caused any harm to your health? If it hasn’t, what harm will you likely encounter in the future if you continue smoking? If you’re not aware of the health impact of smoking, visit any of the suggested resources in the section “Quit Smoking Resources” to learn more.
- What does smoking cost you each day? Each year? If you were saving this money instead of spending it, what could you buy at the end of a year? Ten years? Fifty years?
- How does your smoking hurt those who are close to you (e.g. spouse, children)? Consider every bad effect you can think of (e.g. I am using money I should spend on my family, secondhand smoke can give my child asthma and other health problems, I snap at my family when they criticize my smoking, I smoke more than they know and I am living a lie, etc.).
- If you quit smoking, how would you benefit personally?
- If you quit smoking, how would your family and loved ones benefit?
- What would it feel like to successfully quit smoking?
- What would it take for you to try to quit smoking?
You don’t have to make any decisions now, but it’s important to keep the costs and benefits of quitting smoking (or not quitting smoking) very fresh in your mind. What can you do to keep these benefits fresh in your mind?
What have you changed successfully in the past?
Have you ever tried changing something about yourself before? Think about all of the challenges and personal growth that you’ve experienced in your life and how you adapted to these challenges to get where you are today—relationship changes, job and career changes, changes in schooling, changes in living circumstances, and more.
- When you set your mind to accomplish something do you usually achieve it?
- When you are faced with a challenging situation, can you find the courage and conviction to meet it head-on?
- When you face setbacks at something you really want, do you keep trying until you succeed?
- If you don’t succeed at something you try, are you able to learn from the experience and try again with your new learning in mind?
- With the support of another person, have you solved a challenging situation that you’ve faced?
If you answer YES to any of these, you can try to quit smoking. It may be far easier than you imagined because you have the life experience to bring to the challenge! And with the right plan and the right support, your chances of succeeding are very, very high.
Quit Smoking Resources
The following is a list of helplines and resources. New resources are continually available, and the contact information for some of these resources may change. For the most up-to-date information, do an internet search for “quit smoking programs.”
Provincial Smokers’ Helplines
- British Columbia (1.877.455.2233)
- Yukon (1.866.221.8393)
- Nunavut (1.866.877.3845)
- Northwest Territories (1.867.920.8826)
- Alberta (1.866.332-2322 and alberta.quitnet.com)
- Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (1.877.513.5333)
- Prince Edward Island (1.888.818.6300)
- Quebec (1.866.527.7383)
- Newfoundland, Labrador (1.800.363.5864)
Resources For Youths
- Quit4Life (www.quit4life.ca) is a Health Canada program for 12 to 18 year olds.
- Smoke-FX (www.smoke-fx.com) is Ontario-based and has many useful resources to aid in quitting smoking as well as an advocacy tool kit.
- Smoking Zine (www.smokingzine.org) is a University of Toronto smoking cessation program for teens.
- Inventory of Canadian Tobacco Cessation Programs and Resources (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/pubs/tobac-tabac/ictcpr-rrpcrt/index-eng.php). A listing of smoking cessation programs that are available nation-wide or province-wide.
- Health Canada (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca). Health Canada has numerous resources to help smokers quit. Search the “It’s your health” section of the Health Canada site or use the A-Z index to find out about the latest programs and information they offer.
- Canadian Cancer Society (www.cancer.ca or 1.888.939.3333)
- Canadian Lung Association (www.lung.ca)
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
- National Clearinghouse on Tobacco and Health
- Non-smoker’s right association (www.nsra-adnf.ca)
- Physicians for a smoke-free Canada (www.smoke-free.ca)
- Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé (www.cqts.qc.ca)