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Winnipeg Free PressLatest NewsSmokers encouraged to break it off
An average of 230 Manitobans try to quit smoking every day. This week, their odds of quitting are better than ever.
It's National Non-Smoking Week and the Canadian Cancer Society has rolled out a new initiative called Break It Off to help young smokers kick the habit before they cause further damage to themselves.
"The big thing is the website, BreakItOff.ca," said CCS tobacco advocacy co-ordinator Will Cooke. "This was done in conjunction with Health Canada and is aimed at a younger demographic."
"Right now the highest smoking rate in Manitoba is among young people. We wanted to create a tool that is relevant to that age group."
Break It Off aims to get smokers to view their relationship with cigarettes as extremely unhealthy and encourages them to "break up" with their addiction.
"There are a lot of cool features young adults can use on the site," Cooke said. "You can even end your relationship with smoking publicly with a status update on Facebook."
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, a "public breakup" with smoking can greatly increase the chances of success.
"People successfully quit smoking in many ways and we have all sorts of tools to help them improve their chance of success," said Cooke in a media release. "It's all about helping people quit and improving their odds of staying tobacco-free."
The CCS also offers their Smokers' Helpline to help all Manitobans cope with the difficulties in quitting smoking.
"Medication like Champix can help, but another thing that helps people quit is getting telephone counselling," said Cooke.
Manitoba continues to have one of the highest smoking rates in Canada with about one in five Manitobans lighting up.
Benefits of butting out worth the effort
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, smokers feel pretty lousy after their initial 'breakup' with cigarettes. But here are the benefits you can expect after:
Eight hours: Increased oxygen in your system and lower blood pressure may have you feeling like a heavy weight is being lifted.
One day: Your lungs should be working better, leaving you out of breath a lot less often.
Two days: Your sense of taste and smell should be making a pleasant return.
One week: Increased blood flow to your hands and feet should have you feeling a lot less cold.
Four weeks: As your lung function continues to improve, physical activity should be quite a bit easier.
Six weeks: You should notice less coughing, sinus congestion and shortness of breath.
One year: Your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of an average smoker.
Three years: Your risk of heart attack is similar to someone who has never smoked.
Five years: You have reduced your risk of getting cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney and pancreas.