The more support a quitter has, thebetter the chances for success, saysLuhoway. Those who prefer to workthrough their quitting process in thecompany of others can register for Quit-Core (1-866-710-7848), a free programfor adults 18 and older offered by AHS’Tobacco Reduction Unit. The 10- to14-week program is offered in a varietyof locations around the province andcovers techniques such as self-hypnosis,behaviour modification and relaxation,as well as visits from people who havesuccessfully quit smoking.
Support services are also offeredthrough Albertaquits.ca, where smokerscan plan their quit program with the helpof online counsellors and share their experiences through online chats. Luhowaysuggests calling the AADAC Smokers’Help Line (1-866-332-2333), where counsellors are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,and who can help create a personalizedquit plan, as well as provide generalinformation and references to community services.
Quitting may require another kind
of support — cessation medications
prescribed by a doctor, or an over-the-
counter nicotine replacement therapy
(NRT), such as the patch, gum, lozenges
or a nicotine inhaler. “The problem is
sometimes people don’t use NRT long
enough because they look at it as a
crutch,” says Luhoway. “But they should
be looking at it as something that’s help-
ing them make a break in their smoking
patterns, so if they need to be on it longer,
then that’s fine.” Some may complain
about the cost of cessation medications
and NRTs, but their cost is significantly
less than a smoking habit, Luhoway notes.
With the right support in place, smokers
can begin to break their puff patterns and
reduce the number of times a day they
light up. For those accustomed to taking
regular smoke breaks at work, Luhoway
recommends putting off the routine by
even 10 minutes and avoiding places
where smokers congregate. It’s important
to celebrate even the smallest victories
and Luhoway says a popular technique
is to create a personal reward system by
putting aside money saved from buying
cigarettes and treating yourself when
you’ve hit a milestone, such as delaying
average month, Fedorchuk recommends
automatically transferring the amount to
your credit card, loan or line of credit, so
you’re immediately forced to live within
your means. In the event pennies from
heaven fall into your life — pay increas-
es, bonuses or inheritances — Fedorchuk
recommends sticking to your plan. “Put
it right against your debt, continue to live
at your means and pay your debt down
quickly,” he advises.
If you start to feel an itch to make a big,instantly gratifying purchase on credit,consider the consequences — not interms of some abstract debt amount, butin terms of the actual hours you’ll need towork to pay for your purchase.
“It’s not about depriving yourself orbeing miserly,” says Fedorchuk. Extremebudgets are hard to live up to. Your budgetshould be sustainable. “It’s about makingsmart, informed decisions, balance in workand lifestyle, and value for your spending.”The key is to break old bad habits and startnew good ones. Soon you’ll be well on yourway to financial peace of mind.
While resolving to quit smoking isadmirable, the decision to try and beatnicotine addiction through willpoweralone is often the first step to relapse.
“The problem is that it’s often a knee-jerk reaction, as opposed to somethingthat’s very planned,” says Brian Luhoway, a tobacco reduction consultant forAlberta Health Services. “People setthemselves up to fail when they haven’t
“The more support a quitter
has, the better the chances
— Brian Luhoway, tobacco reduction consultant