FREDERICTON (GNB) – Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for several chronic diseases that kill hundreds of New Brunswickers each year, including cancer, lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It is never too late to quit. Make 2017 a tobacco-free year.

There are many benefits to living a tobacco-free life:

  • Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your blood pressure returns to normal.
  • Within 48 hours of your last cigarette, your senses of smell and taste begin to improve.
  • Within four weeks of quitting, your blood circulation begins to improve, your lungs work better and physical activity becomes easier.
  • Within six to nine months, coughing, sinus congestion and tiredness are generally reduced.
  • Within three years, your risk of a heart attack will be similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
  • After five years, you will have reduced risk of developing cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney and pancreas.
  • After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.
  • After 15 years, your life expectancy and risk of heart disease are the same as those of a non-smoker.

If your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, support is available:

  • Call the Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333 for free, confidential and convenient assistance. Trained specialists can answer your questions, help you plan, and even call you when you are ready to quit.
  • Register for Smokers' Helpline Online from the Canadian Cancer Society. This interactive, web-based service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering tips, tools and support to help with quitting smoking or other tobacco use.
  • Health Canada's self-help resource On the Road to Quitting provides an overview of why you smoke, including how addicted you may become to nicotine. It will also suggest ways you can prepare to quit, and provide tools to deal with withdrawal and stress.
  • Consider nicotine replacement therapies in either gum or patch form, which can double your chance of being successful. The NB Drug Plans cover certain smoking cessation therapies. Information on eligibility and is available from the Department of Health.