For people in Grande Prairie looking to quit smoking, there’s still time. National Non-Smoking week runs until Saturday. Alberta Health Services’ Medical Officer of Health Doctor Albert de Villiers says its goal is to teach people about the dangers of smoking and the support services available.
“It’s basically an opportunity to raise awareness about the health effects of tobacco in all its forms; that means chewing and smoking and all the other things people do with tobacco and then also to provide education about the resources and the support services that [are] available for people wanting to quit.”
Tobacco use can increase peoples’ risk of heart disease and lung cancer and can also lead to diabetes among other things. De Villiers says he has seen a decrease in smoking rates over the years which shows that what they are doing is working.
“It used to be in the high 20 per cent of people so that means one out of every four; it’s probably down closer now to one in every five or even less so that’s a good sign; some of the work that we’ve been doing around trying to get people to break the habit and get away from the addiction of smoking is actually working.”
For people wanting to find out more about how to quit, de Villiers says the best resource is Albertaquits.ca. There, people can find resources as well as call or text a stop-smoking counsellor. National Non-smoking week runs from January 20th to the 26th.