FREDERICTON (GNB) – Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Tobacco use is linked to a number of chronic diseases that kill hundreds of New Brunswickers each year, including cancer, lung diseases and heart diseases.

There are many benefits to living tobacco-free. After quitting, chances are you will live longer and have a better quality of life:

  • Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your blood pressure returns to normal.
  • Within 48 hours of your last cigarette, your sense of smell and taste begin to improve.
  • Within four weeks of quitting, your blood circulation starts 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 your risk of getting 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 is the same as those of a non-smoker.

If you are ready to make 2018 the year you quit, support is available to you:

  • Call the Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333 for free, confidential and convenient assistance. Trained specialists can answer your questions, talk to you about things like managing your cravings and quit aids. They will help you to plan and find additional support in your area. They will even call you to follow up if you want.
  • Visit SmokersHelpline from the Canadian Cancer Society. Registering gives you access to your own personal quit plan, a quit calculator, support from an online community, and other tools to help you reach your goal of tobacco-free living.
  • Read On the road to quitting: A Guide to becoming a non–smoker. This guide from Health Canada will give you the information and skills you need to successfully stop smoking. Spend some time reviewing this booklet to consider your options, understand what to expect during your quit attempt and learn tips to help you along the way.
  • Find out more about nicotine replacement therapies in either gum or patch form, which can double your chance of being successful. The New Brunswick Drug Plan covers certain smoking cessation therapies. To learn more call the toll-free information line at 1-855-540-7325, or visit the website.